May 21, 2020
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Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
Weathering the storm
We would like to begin this week’s article by offering four quotes that are relevant to our discussion and our time. Dolly Parton states: “Storms make trees take deeper roots.” Michael Watson notes: “Strong people do not put others down, they lift them up.” Emma Watson writes: “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” And Dave Willis says: “Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.” From these quotes, we have selected four words that we know all so well – Storms, Strong, Choice, and Encourager .

Storms – Yes! We all have experienced or are experiencing some kind of storm. Storm in this context does not denote rainstorms; we are talking about life’s storm. For example, there are far-reaching effects and long-lasting impacts of a natural disaster. Extreme stress is common in the aftermath of such storms because homes are destroyed and lives are lost. Even though there are anticipatory storms, yet we find it challenging to cope with the aftermath; we simply cannot prepare adequately. Yet these storms make us stronger and wiser; we “take deeper roots.”

Strong – Additionally, storms build the courage to exercise resilience. Resilience is the spirit of toughness or being strong to persevere through or after the storm. Despite life’s challenges, many can face or overcome the mundane problems they face. When we face our storms, we are saying yes, we are ready to deal with the situation so that we can move on with our life. The above statement is equated to the impact of treatment planning and medication management. Effective treatment helps us get well because of the impact of treatment far overwhelms any effect of the emotional or psychological state. Facing the onslaught of a storm with resilience requires strong mindfulness and acceptance of reality.

Choice – But each of us has a choice. To paraphrase Emma Watson, we are not what happened to us. We are what we choose to become. There are many things in life that we cannot avoid. However, we can choose to make a difference. We can choose to have a bad day at work or school or we can choose to have a good day. We can choose to allow our problems to linger for a long time or we can choose to seek help. We have the free will to choose.

Encourager – Not everyone has the resolve to make the right choices, and that is why each of us needs an encourager. Dave Willis reminds us that each person should “Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.”

In Context – Just in case you have not realized, our denomination is traumatized. We never overcame the shocking results of 2019 General Conference, which was the first storm that divided us by our own volition. As the denomination prepared for the 2020 General Conference, we experienced another shock, COVID-19, which was the second storm that forced our separation. Not fully recovering from the first storm and then experiencing the second storm has compounded the problem in our denomination; the system is jarring.

But regardless of the strength of the storm, we encourage you to be strong and exercise resilience. May the outcome of the storm that has divided us make us stronger, wiser, and help us to take deeper roots into reconciliation and healing. There is no time for division; we need each other. Make the right choice – let us move on and become the best people we can be instead of pointing fingers at each other. We have the capacity and ability to do so with God’s help. Finally, rather than criticizing the leadership of your church and the denomination, let each of us be an encourager. Together let us weather the storm, for there is strength in numbers.

Blessings to you!

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
UMCOR is receiving urgent requests from ministry partners throughout the U.S. and around the world. Sadly, an overwhelming number of these requests are to meet the need for food.
Partners who operate or directly support food pantries are asking for help as the global fight against COVID-19 is inflating the price of food, especially in places where food insecurity was already a major public health issue - even here in the U.S.

1 in 5 children are “food insecure” in the U.S. according to
an April 2020 survey by the Brookings Institution:
Our partners abroad are struggling with food insecurity as well. Soaring food prices are compounding regional shortages of food in communities that were already vulnerable.

100% of your gift to the UMCOR COVID-19 Fund will be used to meet the basic needs of people who are hoping for your response.
Please give, today.

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) 
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.


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)