November 19, 2020
Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
 Involuntary Departure from our Norms: Coping Strategies for the Journey

Last week, we discussed “Involuntary Departure from our Norms.” In today’s article, we will offer helpful hints on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of our reactions. Importantly, we will offer some coping strategies for the journey.

Learning how to cope is not just an emotional journey, it is also an educational and spiritual journey. The process involves the recognition of our anger, anxiety, depression, desire to have a conversation, emotional numbness, fatigue, fear, loneliness, poor concentration, and negative reaction, just to name a few. Have we experienced the above symptoms lately? If so, how have we reacted to them? Our reaction may vary from denunciating others to rejecting them. However, owning our feelings and finding solutions to our emotional outbursts are our responsibilities.  

At the beginning of the year, we recommended that each clergy person self-select a covenant or support group and model the way for their laity. The idea was to begin a collegial and supportive journey to help us and others connected to us. Some clergy have, while others have struggled to find the time because of the demands of ministry. Nonetheless, have we ever considered that unless we are emotionally stable, we run the risk of reacting instead of leading? The above statement is true regardless of our status as clergy or laity. So, now that we have identified some symptoms, we want to offer some coping strategies.  

First, if we have not already so, let us self-select a support group, whether we are clergy or laity. In this group, we will be able to share common interests and listen to stories of how our peers have coped. We will build authentic trust that will help alleviate isolation. We will learn how to be accountable. We will learn how others have overcome similar emotional challenges, and we will realize that we are not alone, which will allow us not to feel guilty.

Second, let us learn how to express ourselves. Remember that parts of the journey are educational. Let us permit ourselves to learn something new each day. For example, artwork and/or journaling. Understand that it is okay to be frightened by the outcome of our artistry or the product of our writing. Understand that it is okay to be skeptical about our ability to do these things. The product is ours; it is an expression of our feelings and emotions. As long as we express them, we may be on the path to wholeness.

Third, let us take care of our emotional and physical health. We can take care of our emotional and physical health by minimizing our anxiety and stress. If exercising works best for you, engage in a deliberate routine exercise program. For others, it might be eating nutritious meals and observing a balanced diet. Others might simply need sufficient rest. Do what is needed.

Finally, let us embrace the spiritual disciplines of personal devotion, meditation, and prayer. Even though it is sometimes challenging to navigate our emotions or find the right words to utter, spending quality time with the Lord during these challenging times cannot be overemphasized. The gift of “quiet” is a virtue, embrace it. We hope these strategies help.

Blessings to you! 
District Lay Members to 2021 Annual Conference Elected
Annette R. Ashton
Matthew Blackley (YOUTH)
 Mary Beth Bryant
 Judy Kay Craun
 Patricia C. Erickson
 Mary Ella Fuquay
 JuliaMeade “JM” Gallier
Elizabeth “Libby” Hadley
Jim Helm
Brian Lamb
Carolyn Pollard Nelson
 John Nelson
Karen W. Robison
Stephanie Serrett
Suzanne Shrader
Pam Smith
Barbara Swingle
Patricia “Trish” Vaughan
Mary WIldy
Kelsey Wilson (YOUTH)
Kay Wright
Allison Xanthopoulos
Reserve Members Elected:
Angela Armstrong (Trinity Catlett UMC)
Al Bliss (Hillcrest UMC)
Anji Budzynski (Ebenezer Stafford UMC)
Susan Driggers (Wright's Chapel UMC)
Don Eldred (Antioch UMC)
Karen Elmore (Andrew Chapel West. UMC)
Kevin Mooers (Fairfields UMC)
2021 District Board & Committees Elected
A huge thank you to the District Nominations Committee for their hard work. Thank you to everyone who has agreed to serve on a District Board or Committee for 2021. We appreciate you!
Recording of District Conference Available

To watch the District Conference recording, please click below:

Passcode: 2GT7if%s
Mary Washington Campus Christian Community Fundraiser Announced

Our students are very thankful for the opportunity to learn more about faith, and find the CCC a welcoming place that they can come and be in community with one another. I hear consistently how much the CCC means to the students who come here!

We are asking for donations to the CCC so that we can continue ministering to the students of the University of Mary Washington. Every little bit helps, and makes a difference in our ministry to college students.

There are three tiers of sponsorship for individuals, they are: Bronze: $50, Silver: $100, and Gold: $200

Please send all checks to the CCC (1213 Dandridge Street Fredericksburg, VA 22401, and if you need more information please contact us at the CCC and we would love to help you.You can visit our website at to learn more about our ministry. Once again, we are so thankful for you and the way you have financially supported the CCC in the past.

Elizabeth Snader 
Campus Minister 
Campus Christian Community”
Irvington UMC Fall Bazaar open by appointment only following social distancing guidelines. Please contact Audrey Lowery at (804) 438-6122 or
to schedule an appointment to shop. The bazaar gift shop will be open for sales on December 5 from 9-12.
Give thanks
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Scripture, prayer, and some questions will help get your family talking about adopting an attitude of gratitude. Read more at
Be a part of The United Methodist Church 2020 Worldwide Virtual Christmas Choir video!

You’ve seen the videos of choirs and studio singers coming together (digitally) to sing uplifting songs and hymns, creating works of art that in times like these are needed and incredibly inspiring.
Now is your chance to be a part of a virtual choir for Christmas! Come together with unified voices to celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior!
Congregations will be able to use the video in their Christmas worship services and post to social media. For More Information go to Christmas Virtual Choir
Coping Through the Tinsel and Tears
The Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging is offering a virtual discussion next week focusing on grief and loss during the approaching holiday season. The discussion is open to all who are interested. Please share this information with your congregations. “Coping Through the Tinsel and Tears” will be held on Thursday, November 19 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. The description of the discussion reads: “Dealing with the pandemic has changed how traditions and holidays are being celebrated; learn strategies on how to cope through the holiday season as many are experiencing grief-related losses during the COVID-19 pandemic or grieving the loss of a loved one during this season; a message of hope will be presented.”
On Sunday evening of Thanksgiving weekend, Afton United Methodist Church will be playing all your favorite hymns and uplifting songs! 

You are cordially invited to join them at the church or streaming on their Facebook Page. Follow the instructions below to send in those requests and make your donation to their relief efforts.

Proceeds will benefit United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Through UMCOR, United Methodists extend loving care to people within the United States. We have all seen the devastation caused by recent hurricanes and wildfires. For those on the ground, it was life-threatening and life-changing. Please join Afton to help provide ongoing relief for those who are still struggling and suffering.

Olivia Morgenthaler has generously donated her beautiful Tokai baby grand piano to Afton in loving memory of her mother, Mary Priscilla Cockrell (pictured below), who was a long-time member of Afton. She was much-loved, and served faithfully as Afton’s choir director as well as Sunday School Teacher. In order to dedicate the piano and allow Afton members and friends to enjoy the beauty of the music, they are planning a musical evening of requests. Afton’s talented members and special friends have offered to play your favorite hymns and other special songs in honor or memory of a loved one. Some of the pianists offering their talents are: Jan Bean, Alf Braxton, Everett Hanson, Barbara Hays, Judy Jett, and Anne McMahan. The special music will also be available on Afton’s Facebook Page for viewing at any time. 

Please send your name and phone number via text to 804-724-0706 or via email to matthew.ewoldt@yahoo.comYou are kindly asked to submit all requests by November 18th. Someone will contact you to collect details of your request and donation.

So, mark your calendars for Sunday, November 29th, 6:00 PM and join them in person or streaming on Afton’s Facebook Page. What a wonderful, blessed way to glorify God at the end of Thanksgiving weekend! All donations for this worthy cause will be appreciated and will bless those affected by these disasters. Mother Nature’s devastation is always difficult, but especially so during this time of Covid-19. Afton is following all CDC guidelines and requires that all persons entering the sanctuary wear masks and practice social distancing.

Afton UMC is located at 5130 Hacks Neck Road in Ophelia, and invites all to join them at 11:00 AM on Sundays in person or on their Facebook Page.  
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) 
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)