May 14, 2020
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Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
Are We There Yet?

Let’s face it! We have all heard the question “ are we there yet ?” When our children were young, we took many day trips together to experience the scenery. Often we would hear the shout from the back of the car: “ Are we there yet?” This was the children’s way of expressing their weariness of the trip. They wanted to arrive early but our destination was not yet in sight.

For the past three months, you too hoped for an early return to in-person worship, but the day has not been in sight. Like our children shouting from the back of the car, you too have shouted more maturely, but the message remains the same. Your weariness to return to in-person worship is similar to the children's weariness to reach to their destination. “We have a right to attend worship services so why aren’t we in our buildings?” “Why aren’t we having drive-in worship services since we cannot enter our buildings?” "Why aren’t we taking communion?” These are a few questions that are constantly asked in private conversations and through emails. You are wondering, “ are we there yet ?

The day will soon arrive when we will gradually return to in-person worship. Your prayers, support, hopes, and expectations are paying off. But wait, there is still work to be done. Research shows that the psychological perception of the trip back from a destination is experienced as shorter than the trip to the destination. If this research is correct, why does it seem like our return to in-person worship is longer? To answer this question, you must determine from which destination you are returning – Where have you been for the past three months? Was it longer to get to your destination compared to returning from your destination?

In the past three months, you have been innovating and creating new ideas. You have implemented those ideas and have reached the laity of your churches. Through your work, you have learned, and that is why you are eager to return to share your experiences in a more personal way – in-person worship experience. That is why your psychological perception of the trip back from a destination is experienced as shorter than the trip to the destination. In other words, you have been in the research laboratory (virtual platforms) experimenting, and now you cannot wait to reenter the classroom (in-person worship) to show what you have learned. Moreover, you are frustrated because you cannot see, hug, and shake each other hands. Your inability to do the above things has created tension; your work is hampered by “waiting.” Therefore, you unconsciously developed a reversed perception – the return trip to in-person worship is longer than expected.
While we empathize with you, we want to encourage preventative measures because this pandemic is a matter of health concern. We want to encourage you not to underestimate the time spent in your research laboratory, learning how to utilize virtual platforms. But we want to encourage you also to exercise caution and patience as you return to the classroom (in-person worship). Allow this waiting period to be a time of continued preparation. In-person worship will be different when it resumes. Expect to experience differential familiarity between your laboratory (virtual platforms) and your classroom (in-person worship). We will be praying with you.

Blessings to you!
DS Preaching at all District Churches this Sunday
DS Charles Ledlum-Bates will be preaching for all our churches this Sunday. The sermon will be pre-recorded for any churches who prefer to add it into their existing services - or you can join Tabernacle UMC in Fredericksburg at 10:00am for their livestream.

YouTube link below not available until Sunday 5-17-20 at 10am

This is the link to the FULL service on YouTube that will be published on Tabernacle UMC's Channel on Sunday 5-17-20 at 10am. Anyone can use this link to watch the full service at that time. I

FULL Service

If the link above doesn't work for some reason, you can also get to it from their website:

Plan to Return to In-Person Worship
Here is the link to the information In a  letter from May 9 , Bishop Lewis shared that a return to in-person worship would be phased beginning with "drive-in" worship for all churches under strict guidelines and the authorization of some "pioneer" churches to open on May 24 under strict guidelines.
A workgroup of church leaders, medical professionals, and legal professionals have prepared a comprehensive plan which includes: summary of the plan, handbook, visual presentation, and more for churches to plan on how to approach this phased return to in-person worship. Details are available on the Virginia Conference website at
Prayer Requests
Please be in prayer for Pastor Michael Liskiewicz and family (Grace Oak Grove UMC) in the loss of his father this week.

Please be in prayer for Rev. Gina Anderson-Cloud and family (Fredericksburg UMC) in the loss of her father this week.

Samaritan Program Needs Your Support
How much do you know about the historical connection of support for older adults in our denomination?
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, is known for his concern for the welfare of others, from basic health care to improved working conditions. In the birthday reflections in his journals, Wesley wrote about many factors he attributed to his own successful aging into his eighties. He recorded insights on a variety of topics including the importance of a good diet, feeling useful, and being active. Wesley lived to be a very old man in the 18 th  century! As Methodism spread to the American Colonies, early leaders saw a crucial need for care of orphaned children in the early colony of Georgia. This led to the first Methodist-related home to care for children in 1741. It would be more than 100 years later in 1850 that the first “home for aged persons” was established in New York City. 
The following prayer from Rev. Livingstone S. Dore who serves Great Falls UMC, Arlington District, calls us to remember our heritage and to give God thanks for the gift and wisdom of our years. Join us in this prayer today. Share it with your congregation in weekly electronic communications, small group connections and worship.
Loving God, we give you thanks for the valued lives of the older adults in our churches and communities. You have made it possible for institutions and ministries to offer care and service to all in need. You have shown us by example that you came not to be served but to serve others, even to the point of giving your life in service to others. Help us to always show love and compassion to those who have blessed us with faithful longevity. May we in turn find joy and spiritual blessing as we journey with them through life. Amen.
You have the opportunity to support this continued connectional ministry focus of The UMC through the Samaritan Program of Pinnacle Living. Our five senior living communities across the Virginia Conference have a mission of enriching life’s journey for those who are aging. We hope John Wesley would be proud of how we continue this heritage through our daily work.
You can support the Samaritan Program by visiting our website at .  Contributions can be mailed to: Pinnacle Living, 5101 Cox Road, Suite 225, Glen Allen, VA 23060.
Martha Stokes, Director of Church and Community Relations  or 804-474-8718
Charles Wickham, Director of Donor Development and Retired Clergy Housing  or 804-347-8391
Camp Rainbow Connection Summer Sessions Cancelled
After much prayer and discussion, the Core Leadership Team has decided that we will not be able to have our 2020 Camp Rainbow Connection sessions. We recognize that information on this pandemic is changing every day. However, the majority of our campers and volunteer staff are at-risk for contracting Covid-19 and we feel it's in everyone's best interest to cancel. The ministry of CRC is vital and will continue, even though we cannot hold camp as we normally would. We are hoping to host an event in the fall. We are still in need of financial support and are grateful for your continued support of this ministry. For questions or concerns, please contact Stacy Roberts at .
Please note that the District Office is closed at this time. 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  and 804-462-7376 (Geri Vick, Worship committee chair) 
Kilmarnock UMC

Seeking an Organist/Choir Director, to share their faith through music to the glory of
God. We are looking for a musician with organ and piano skills who also has
experience conducting a 15-20 person adult choir. We have two traditional
worship services on Sunday morning and Choir Practice on Wednesday
evenings. This person would be responsible for planning and selecting choir
music. If interested please send your resume to or
call 804-435-1797.
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
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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

Director of Music Ministries (DOMM)
Hillcrest United Methodist Church located in Fredericksburg, VA, is searching for an enthusiastic individual with a Christian background to fill the position of our retiring Director of 28 years. The candidate should have excellent organ and piano skills and experience in leading a choir. This is a part time position; the expected commitment is up to 12 hours per week (1.5 hours of weekly rehearsal with choir, 2 hours weekly Sunday service, and additional time for planning, communications, and worship preparations). The Director should be able to work closely with the Pastor to coordinate music for a smooth, orderly, and meaningful worship service. Competitive salary. Send Cover letter, Resume, and references to Hillcrest UMC – Attn. Kevin Northridge, S/PPR Committee, 2208 Lafayette Blvd., Fredericksburg, VA 22401 or email: .  

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 For more information, contact Barry Dillon, SPRC, Regester Chapel UMC, 85 Bells Hill Rd., Stafford, Virginia, 22554.

Bethany Christian Services asked that we share this information with you as a community notice.

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)