August 27, 2020
Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
White Stone UMC and Pastor Bryan McClain Report on Tornado
On Tuesday, August 4 at approximately 5:30 a.m. an EF2 tornado, spawned off of Hurricane Isaias, hit various communities in Lancaster County, Virgina. The hardest hit area was White Stone. 

The village of White Stone has one stop light at a crossroads 12 miles from the Chesapeake Bay with a post office and a handful of businesses. Beyond the little village lies a host of creeks and small tributaries that make their way to the Rappahannock River or directly into the Chesapeake Bay. Around all of those creeks and tributaries are literally hundreds of homes. Many of them belong to native “Northern Neckers” also called “Been Here’s” as well as those who have moved here, called “Come here’s”. But this storm did not care one way or the other who it attacked.

The area down Ocran Road (the road that lies directly across from White Stone United Methodist Church) sustained extensive damage. Several of the members of WSUMC live in this area. Some homes were so badly damaged that they have been condemned, forcing residents to find shelter with other family members, friends or neighbors. One young family from the Boy’s Camp Road area had no one else and were housed by the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), which is supported by local grants and Non-Profits such as White Stone UMC and other district churches. 

On that Tuesday morning when Pastor Bryan McClain heard that White Stone had been hit, he made his way to some members' homes. However, hundreds of trees covered the roads and he was unable to get very far. He reported that the devastation reminded him of hurricane damage in his home state of Mississippi. 

As he walked along checking on all of the people on that stretch of Ocran, he saw a woman and her daughter handing out water bottles to power line crews, residents and volunteers. Pastor McClain asked himself, “What can I do?” Immediately he drove to the closest grocery store and purchased hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, chips and water. Then, after recruiting his wife Stephanie and daughter Erin-Darby, he loaded up his grill and propane tank and went back to the devastated area to serve food to hundreds of hungry people. 

Pastor McClain and other members of White Stone UMC, including his son, John-Liam would be present for the next four days feeding residents, work crews and volunteers until the roads had been cleared and the power lines back up and most of the crews had left.

Then on Friday afternoon, Pastor McClain received a call from Julia Dudley, the head of CERT. She had heard that church volunteers had been down on Ocran Road the whole week since the tornado. She asked him if they could come back out on Saturday and help feed volunteers coming to cleanup yards. So once again, Pastor McClain made a run to the grocery store to replenish supplies and he and his wife Stephanie joined other helping agencies to respond to the greatest need White Stone has seen since Hurricane Isabel in 2003.  

Please be in prayer for all those who suffered loss all across the region from Hurricane Isaias, especially the family of one White Stone neighbor who died from a heart attack after seeing the storm damage. 
District Churches Continue to Serve
Numerous churches on our District have opened in some manner, thanks to the hard work of their Healthy Church Teams. Here are a sample of some of the activities that have been approved and are taking place:

Empty Nester Game Club
Exercise Group
Hockey Small Group
Spaghetti Supper To Go
Drive In Movie Night
Yard Sale
Drive Through Breakfast
Thrift Store Reopening
Outdoor Worship Services
Drive In Communion Services
Small Groups
Youth Groups
Worship Services

If your HCT would like to see samples of these approved plans, just let us know. You can then use it to write your own plan and submit it to the DS for approval.
Annual Conference will be Virtual September 19

2020 Virginia Annual Conference will take place on Saturday, September 19, 2020, in a virtual format. Additional details regarding timing, agenda and procedures will be forthcoming. Thank you for your patience and understanding as the Planning Team continues to coordinate the many facets of conducting Annual Conference, especially in this unusual time.

For more information on the Annual Conference Offering, Kits for Conference, Appointments, and the Ordination Service, CLICK HERE.

Book of Reports now available; check conference website for future AC 2020 updates
The 2020 Book of Reports is now available for online viewing. Printed copies are currently in the mail to clergy and lay members.

Can you help one of our District Churches ?
Call ends September 15
The Committee for the Rappahannock River District Builder’s Club is pleased to announce our 9th call. This is for Galilee United Methodist Church located in Edwardsville, Virginia. The links below include a Pastor's Letter of Description, Finance Information Sheet, and pictures of work recently completed. The request is for funds to help with completion of renovations to the septic and sewer system for the existing facilities. The work included removal of trees, sidewalks, old septic and sewer and the installation of new septic, leach field, and sidewalks. 

This Call is issued to anyone who would like to make a donation. The Call will close on September 15. 

Galilee is one of our smallest churches to request assistance.  We are asking that you support this Call by sending a check payable to: “Rappahannock River District Builder’s Club” to the district office at PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 before September 15th.

We currently have 138 members in our Builder’s Club. We would love to have additional members who help God’s Kingdom grow by supporting district churches. Become a member today by sending $ 10.00 or greater to the above address and tell a friend about the Builder’s Club. All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you for being a partner with Galilee U.M.C.

For more information on the Builder's Club and how we can help your church, please contact me.

Working in His Kingdom


David A. Kellison, President
Rappahannock River District Builder's Club
Emmanuel UMC

Searching for a pianist for their 9:30 am service. The pianist would play hymns and lead the choir anthem. 

There is no choir practice during the week. 
All those who are interested in may contact us via and 804-514-1830 (David Henley) 
Liberty UMC

Seeking a Pianist/keyboardist (Organ too if possible) to play at Sunday morning church service. Part time position for small vibrant church. Opportunity for growth in the position.
To find out more details, please call 540-439-0267 or message us through our facebook page: Liberty UMC-Bealeton
Ebenezer UMC, Stafford, VA, is seeking a part-time Assistant Property Manager to assist the Property Manager in maintaining the church building and grounds to provide a clean, safe, and welcoming environment that supports Ebenezer’s strategic vision. The selected individual will complete routine tasks on Sunday morning prior to worship, such as Café set up and breakdown, sidewalks and parking lot clear of debris, vacuuming, windows, trash removal, bathrooms, etc. as needed; ensure facilities are in good working order for worship services; perform basic repairs and maintenance to the various areas of the church building to include, but not limited to, plumbing, carpentry, painting, and lighting. For details, please visit the conference website jobs listing here


District Superintendent: Rev. Charles F. Ledlum-Bates, Ph.D.
DS Cell: 804.724.0202

2020 District Co-Lay Lay Leader:

2020 District Co-Lay Leader:

Lay Servant Director: Rev. Kevin Elmore
Heartwood Director: Rev. Gayle Porias
Crossroads Minister: Rev. Mark Roscoe
Youth Coordinator: TJ Oliver,
Office Manager: Lynn Manley
Cell 804.304.8566
Administrative Assistant Connie Devenport

Mailing Address: PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 Phone   804.448.8326
Office Location: Inside Wright’s Chapel UMC at 8063 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen, VA (do not use for mail)