July 2, 2020
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Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
Challenges During COVID-19

“I see you have chosen to wear a mask! I choose not to, but I support your right…” “No, honestly, I want you to do what makes you feel safe. I just want to decide for myself…”

The above is a comic written by Heather Leigh, depicting the national conversation around wearing masks. In her piece entitled The Psychological Manipulation of Universal Masking, she argues that the COVID-19 dialogue is emotionally charged and that those who choose not to follow the medical advice are marginalized. She cites a local doctor who dismissed those who choose not to wear masks as uncaring, negligent, and proponents of “oppositional behavior.” The author summarizes her argument by suggesting that scientific evidence does not support the data for universal masks. She points to Saul Alinksy’s manifesto, “Rules for Radicals,” and states that the manifesto is the product of the far left.

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
“Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

We think Heather is correct. We need to explore why some people are choosing not to wear masks. For example, a person who chooses not to wear a mask may be doing so out of medical necessity. To this end, we agree. There are others, however, who do not have any medical condition. Yet they choose to exercise their right not to wear a mask. We also respect those choices.

We respect the above choices. However, there is a common enemy among us, COVID-19. Until now, COVID-19 has not discriminated against us. The pandemic has affected all age groups. It has affected Republicans, Independents, and Democrats. We believe that it requires a united front to eliminate this pandemic. In other words, we must come together for the greater good of humanity irrespective of our choices.

Coming together will require each of us to compromise what we think is correct for the sake of our communities and nation. However, whatever your choice is, consider joining ranks so that we can fight together. Rather than accusing us of infringing on your rights to wear or not to wear a mask, we hope and pray that you will see our effort as a noble opportunity and duty to join the fight against the common enemy, COVID-19.

The fight is a marathon and not a 100-meter race. We have challenges ahead of us. Our goal is not to keep you away from your churches, the places you cherish and call home. We do not desire to make you feel any less than a decent human being. Our goal is to ensure that you are safe, and doing so can come across as taking away your rights as responsible and independent individuals.

As we approach Independence Day weekend, we employ each of you, irrespective of your political persuasions and your sense of neglect, to join us in this fight. We promise you that your choice to wear or not to wear a mask will not sway us from loving and caring for you. We encourage you to think about others as you go out. Protect yourself and be safe. Together we can win. Have a very happy Independence Day.  

Blessings to you!

From Bishop Lewis
Dear Virginia Annual Conference:

These are certainly challenging times – and there is also a great deal of positive news for our church. Through faith, flexibility, and hard work we are returning to in-person worship in a safe and responsible manner.

Virginia is on track to enter Phase Three of Governor Northam’s reopening plan this Wednesday, July 1, 2020, as the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to decline in the Commonwealth. The Conference has been carefully monitoring events at the state level and the transition to Phase Three by Governor Northam was expected. It does not impact our return to worship plans.

Our churches continue the return to in-person under the  Stage 2 criteria  that went into effect for the Conference on June 21, 2020. The Conference will remain in our Stage 2 for the foreseeable future as we are being rigorous about the safety of our members and guests. Face coverings and social distancing are essential at all in-person gatherings.

I encourage all churches to return to in-person worship, even if it is with a modest number of church members while continuing to provide online or telephonic worship services. We will continue to monitor and evaluate events. As trends are expected to continue to improve in Virginia, we will likely loosen some of the requirements for in-person worship. 

Thank you to the hundreds of churches that have returned to in-person worship and other church activities, and thanks to those that are making plans to do so soon. Even though the services are smaller than before the pandemic, you are providing important, essential ministry to help the well-being of the Body of Christ. Every church that is comfortable can have in-person worship by following the  Technical Assistance Manual  on the Conference website.

Peace and Blessings,
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
Update on Baby Jacob
Please continue your prayers for baby Jacob McGuckin (3 month old grandson of District Treasurer Pat McGuckin). Jacob has been diagnosed with a type of lymphoma and will be undegoing chemo for a year. Please pray for Jacob, his parents Dennis & Katrina McGuckin and family during this time.
Social Justice
 Book Club
You are invited to join the New Hope UMC Social Justice Book Club on Monday July 13 th at 5:30 pm as we
discuss the book, “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo. To participate, purchase the book
(we have found Kindle to work best), and read at least the Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2. We ask all
participants to bring an open heart and mind as all are encouraged to listen and learn from one another
as we work through our own thoughts and struggles when it comes to race.

Join us July 13, 2020 at 5:30pm. For Zoom meeting details, please contact RobinBeMiller@vaumc.org
Westview on the James Fundraiser
We just launched our 2020 COVID-19 relief fundraiser on Facebook. Please consider sharing this post as well as giving if you are able. Here is the link:

You can also find the post on the Westview on the James Facebook page. Thank you all for your love and support!
Fake Emails
Many of our church members are receiving fake emails asking for gift cards, money, etc. The emails look like they're from the church pastor or staff - even have a vaumc in the email address but they are not the correct email address.

Don't be fooled. Your pastor will NEVER contact you via email or text to ask for donations.

Experts say that the crooks are counting on the fact the most churches aren't meeting in person and that people won't check with the pastor. They are targeting all districts.

Be vigilant!

District Churches Open for In-Person and Drive In Services. Please contact Church to register before attending:

In-Person Services:

Bluff Point UMC – Pastor Jack Bailey
2551 Bluff Point Road, Kilmarnock
Service at 11:00am

Carmel/Coles Point Charge – Pastor Bob Gochenour
 Carmel UMC
 5729 Sandy Point Road, Kinsale
 Service at 11:00am
 Coles Point UMC
 3944 Coles Point Road, Hague
 Service at 9:30am
Caroline Charge – Pastor Mark Lawrence
 Mount Vernon UMC
 21075 Frog Level Road, Ruther Glen
 Service at 9:00am
 Saint Paul’s UMC
 25187 Signboard Road, Ruther Glen
 Service at 11:00am
Edgewater UMC – Pastor Jon Davis
2152 North Tidwells Road, Montross
Service at 9:30am

Grace Oak Grove– Pastor Michael Liskiewicz
1655 Claymont Road, Oak Grove
Service at 11:00am

Heathsville UMC – Pastor Becca Minor
39 Courthouse Road, Heathsville
Service at 10:00am

Hillcrest UMC - Pastor Justin Williams
2208 Lafayette Blvd. Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Service at 10:30am

Hopewell Caroline UMC Pastor Lou Woolner 
12018 Guinea Drive, Woodford  
Service at 10:00am

Irvington UMC Pastor Jesse Blythe
26 King Carter Drive, Irvington
Service at 11:00am

Liberty UMC – Pastor Robb Almy
10513 Old Marsh Road, Bealeton
Service at 11:00am

Melrose UMC – Pastor Kathy Gochenour
Melrose Location 1317 Lewisetta Road, Lottsburg, 
Services at 8:00am at Lewisetta Chapel (Church Lane, Lewisetta )
9:00am (Contemporary in Memorial Hall) 11:00am (Traditional in Sanctuary)

Mila-Wicomico Charge Pastor Donna Blythe
Mila UMC
1690 Mila Road, Heathsville
Service at 10:00am
Wicomico UMC
5060 Jessie Dupont Memorial Highway, Heathsville
Service at 11:15am

Northumberland Charge – Pastor John Wright
 Afton UMC*
  5130 Hacks Neck Road, Ophelia
 Service at 11:00am *Starts July 12

 Fairfields UMC  
 14741 Northumberland Highway, Burgess
 Service at 9:30am

Olivet UMC – Pastor Hae Rin Lawson
7676 Stubbs Bridge Road, Spotsylvania 
Service at 9:00am outside at the Pavilion

Rehoboth Northumberland UMC Pastor Donna Blythe
126 Shiloh School Road, Kilmarnock
Service at 9:00am

Remington UMC – Pastor Don Williams
150 West Bowen Street
Remington, VA 22734
Service at 10:00am *Starts July 12. Service will be held outdoors

Tabernacle UMC * – Pastor Jim O’Quinn
7310 – A Old Plank Road, Fredericksburg
Service at 10:00am *starts July 5

Wilderness Community UMC Pastor Brad Phillips
10501 Plank Road, Spotsylvania
Service at 8:30am and 10:30am

Drive In Churches:

Andrew Chapel Stafford – Pastor Tom Swingle
COMMUNION Drive-In Service only
1732 Brooke Road, Brooke
Service at 9:00am

Galilee UMC – Pastor Carl Perez
747 Hull Neck Road, Edwardsville
Service at 9:30am
Service is weather dependent because of flooding risk/check Facebook

McKendree UMC  – Pastor Betty Jo Sims
4347 Manfield Road Aylett, VA
Service at 9:30am
If inclement weather, will have conference call worship

New Hope UMC* – Pastor Robin BeMiller
164 New Hope Church Road, Fredericksburg, VA
Service at 10:00am. Please arrive before 9:50am. *Starts July 19

St. Matthias UMC – Pastor Bert Cloud
426 Deacon Road, Fredericksburg
Service at 9:00am

Local Church Historian School offered to any UMC church

Are you, or someone you know, interested in caring for or improving your church's program of history? The General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church will be offering a Local Church Historian School in 2020 for church historians---or anyone interested in the story of their church. The Local Church Historian School curriculum will cover a wide range of skills necessary to become a "complete" church historian. Participating congregations will benefit from a new consciousness of their heritage and legacy and be motivated to study their unique stories and proclaim it to those around them. The online school will begin on September, 14, 2020. Plan now to use this opportunity to ensure that the heritage of each of our churches will be celebrated and that each church can receive the full benefit of its own amazing story. The only prerequisite for the Local Church Historian School is access to dependable email service. (Minimal computer skills are required.)

We will return to the office part-time starting July 6.

Until then, we are working from our homes. To reach Lynn call 804.304.8566. To reach DS Ledlum-Bates, please call 804.724.0202 or through our email addresses:

DS Ledlum-Bates-

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  beumcva@gmail.com  and 804-462-7376 (Geri Vick, Worship committee chair) 
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, visit the Virginia Conference website at  www.vaumc.org/jobs

Fredericksburg UMC Worship Leader
Fredericksburg UMC seeks a part-time, skilled worship leader for contemporary worship ministry. Quality vocal skills required, as well as knowledge of contemporary worship arts and streaming ministry. 

Join a dynamic team to carry the message of Christ forward!

For a job description, contact our Music Director, David Kirven at:  davidkirven@fumcva.org. Resume and video recording required.
Fredericksburg United Methodist Church

Director of Music Ministry
Regester Chapel UMC is seeking applications for its Director of Music Ministry. The purpose of the Director of Music Ministry is to help musicians and our congregation grow as disciples of Jesus Christ through our worship and music. A Bachelor’s Degree in Music is preferred with previous experience and leadership in Music performance and direction. The candidate must have knowledge of and experience with traditional music and possess the leadership qualities to inspire and lead a Chancel Choir, musicians and the congregation. This is a part-time position. To apply, send a letter of interest and a copy of your current resume to Office@RegesterChapel.org. For more information, contact Barry Dillon, SPRC, Regester Chapel UMC, 85 Bells Hill Rd., Stafford, Virginia, 22554.

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 kevinelmore@vaumc.org
Heartwood Director: Rev. Gayle Porias gayleporias@vaumc.org
Crossroads Minister: Rev. Mark Roscoe markroscoe@vaumc.org
Youth Coordinator: TJ Oliver, rrdyouth@vaumc.org
Office Manager: Lynn Manley rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org
Cell 804.304.8566
Administrative Assistant Connie Devenport rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org

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)