October 22, 2020
Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
Savoring God’s Presence

To savor God’s presence is to enjoy or treasure God’s existence. However, how can you savor God’s presence in the midst of brokenness and pain? What do we contribute to our own misery? The following is an account of a young man who feels alone and without hope:

“I have done everything correctly as I was taught. I am not a very religious person, and I am not a huge lover of being in the church building. However, I practice my spirituality through my personal devotion and private moments with God. I feel abandoned. My spouse is unfaithful. When we first got married, she was everything our family wanted. In the past few years, she has changed, and she does not act like the same woman I married. I have given so much to this relationship and have gotten little in return. I feel like God has abandoned me too.”

What a tragedy! However, we will use the above vignette to accomplish two things. First, we will synthesize the vignette to evaluate the essence of our relationship with God by asking several periphrastic questions. We hope that by asking these questions we will find a connection between this young man’s account and ours by contextualizing our experience. Second, we will discuss the value of savoring God’s presence in the midst of brokenness without shifting blame.

In this vignette, the young man blamed his spouse. What he does not mention in his account is his infidelity. Consequently, his spouse is emotionally withdrawn. He does not address his unfaithfulness. Instead, he addresses his spouse’s response to his behaviors. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions and asking for his spouse’s forgiveness, he projects his anger, frustration, and guilt to his spouse.

There seems to be a striking parallel between a broken marital relationship and our relationship with God (2 Samuel 12:9-14; Isaiah 59:1-2, CEB). However, there is a remedy (Romans 6:23). The remedy is essential and begins when we take our baptism vows. At our baptism, why do we renounce our sins? What do we renounce (2 Corinthians 4:2, CEB)? Why do we profess our faith (John 3; 1 Timothy 6:12; Romans 10:19; Hebrews 10:23, CEB)? At confirmation, why do we reaffirm our faith (2 Corinthians 12:9; Romans 3:24; Acts 15:11, CEB)? During our baptism, we also reaffirm our faith as a way to increase our faith, to reaffirm our trust, and to rekindle our loving relationship with God.

Increasing faith, reaffirming trust, and rekindling a loving relationship with God require us to talk to God and each other. We need to obey God and respect each other. We need to listen to God and each other. We need to show gratitude to God and be mindful of God’s creation. We need to refocus our thoughts and prayer-life on the essential things of life. If we do not maintain the above virtues, we will break-up our relationship with each other. When we break-up our relationship with each other, it affects our relationship with God.

Let us savor the Lord’s goodness even in the midst of our differences and diversity because we need each other. Let us act and speak in ways that allow others to savor God’s presence. In the midst of our ever- changing society, we need to support each other. Let us stop shifting the blame. Instead, let us acknowledge our faults, repent, take responsibility for our actions, and seek God’s forgiveness. Let us not pretend like we “know it all.” Instead, let us ask the question, “what would I do if I was wearing the other shoes?” The above statements call each of us to a degree of introspection. We hope that this journey will help us to know God because knowing God is not the same as thinking about God’s attributes and goodness. Knowing God is living into the experience of savoring God’s presence. 

Virtual District Conference
District Conference will be Saturday, November 14 at 10:00am. Zoom Details will be sent to churches for them to share.
Call for Nominations for 2021 Annual Conference
It's time for nominations for 2021 District Lay Members to Annual Conference. Please click below for the nomination form in Word or a PDF. We will elect 22 District Lay Members and 9 Reserve Lay Members to attend the June 2021 Annual Conference. The deadline for nominations to be returned is November 7.  
Mail completed form to PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 or email to rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org
Irvington UMC Fall Bazaar open by appointment only following social distancing guidelines. Please contact Audrey Lowery at (804) 438-6122 or alowery1012@gmail.com
to schedule an appointment. The bazaar will open on November 7 beginning at 10 a.m.
Builder's Club Awards Check
We are pleased to announce that the Builder's Club raised $5,185.00 for the recent Galilee call!

Pictured are Builder's Club President Dave Kellison presenting the check to Co-Chair of Trustees, George Noel, on behalf of all 147 members of the Rappahannock River District Builder’s club.
If you would like to still contribute to this call make your check out to Galilee UMC and mail to 747 Hull Neck road, Edwardsville, VA 22456. Mark for Builder’s call # 9
Hillcrest UMC wins Award
Hillcrest UMC in Fredericksburg became one of the very first recipients of the Silver Badge Award from the United Methodist Church's Disability-Friendly and Accessible Badge Program.

The church has worked hard to make their building accessible for those with disabilities.

How do I participate?
The trustees report for the charge conference asks, "Has an annual accessibility audit for church properties been conducted?" And the charge conference report gives the website (www.gcfa.org) to go to retrieve the accessibility audit form.  Once the form is completed there are instructions to score your audit, which determines the level of accessibility of the church and which award you receive (bronze, silver, or gold). You send that scoring back through the gcfa.or website and then they send you the appropriate "badge" (bronze, silver, or gold) by email for you to put on the church website to alert visitors . 
1) Side Entrance - this used to be a sidewalk with steps coming into the side entrance of the building where the church offices are located, now it is a handicap ramp that matches the handicap ramp that gives access to the front doors of the church.

2) Wheelchair Accessible - We took out the back pew for those in wheelchairs. This gives them access to the hymnals and bibles on the backside of the pew in front of them, and allows them to leave the sanctuary discreetly if they need to during the worship service.

3) Wheelchair Lift - this allows anyone with a physical handicap to access the second floor.
Heart Havens has several exciting events coming up soon that we wanted to share.

Holidays at Heart Havens: Heart Havens takes pride in providing a joyful holiday for all our residents. There are people in our homes who would not otherwise receive gifts.

Would you or your church or community group help us by sponsoring Christmas for a Heart Havens home with donations to buy gifts for the residents? Holiday donations allow staff closest to the resident to shop for items they know they will love, giving joy to our residents and staff. You can note "Christmas for Heart Havens" with your donation or contact us to learn more at jennifer.boyden@hearthavens.org.

Target Circle: We are honored and excited to be a part of the Target Circle program. Now through December 31, 2020, vote for us through the Target Circle program to help determine how Target’s donation will be divided up. You can vote multiple times.

Giving Tuesday: Join us on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, a global day of unity and giving. Our goal for Giving Tuesday is to raise funds for urgent maintenance needs. You will find more details as the event nears on facebook.com/heart.havens.
The Camper Open
Monday, October 26, 2020
Stonehenge Country Club

Dear Friends,

At Westview, we are creating a place apart to grow with God in every season. Playing outdoors. Building community. Transforming lives. Westview is building lifelong connections across Virginia. To help make this experience available to all children, Westview is hosting our annual Camper Open golf tournament. We believe that all children should be able to experience the life-changing joy of camp, regardless of financial ability.

This year we’re holding a golf tournament on Monday, October 26 at Stonehenge Country Club in Midlothian, VA. The cost is $400 per team or $100 if you sign up as an individual and we will place you on a team. The day will be full of exciting events including longest drive and closest to the pin, as well as a raffle and many great prizes. You can register for the event here: https://www.westviewonthejames.org/camperopen
Due to COVID, there will be a few changes to this year’s tournament:
  1. Buy all of your mulligans and score buster packages online when you register for the event.
  2. We will not be having a formal dinner and prize presentation instead we will have a catered grab and go lunch during the course of play.
  3. After you finish your round look for your door prize at the gift table.
  4. We will announce the winners via email and send their prizes to them.

Of course, all great tournaments have sponsors. We hope that your business or family is willing to support Westview on the James with a prize donation or sponsorship. Your contribution is tax-deductible, and we will publish your name as a sponsor in the tournament program along with other significant benefits for being a sponsor.

The sponsorship opportunities are as follows:
Title Sponsor - $5000
Dinner Sponsor - $2000
Beverage Cart Sponsor - $1000
Hole Sponsor - $500
Challenge Sponsor - $250
You’ll find more details about the Camper Open Sponsorship opportunities here: http://www.westviewonthejames.org/camperopen

Lastly, your support of our tournament will help us to send kids to camp who otherwise would not have the opportunity. These kids come from under-resourced neighborhoods from all over Richmond, and your donation will help them to discover the beauty of God’s creation in the great outdoors. One week of camp can change a child’s life forever.
We appreciate your consideration. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me. I hope to see you on the golf course.

All the best,
The Rev. Joseph Torrence

Westview on the James if a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization. Contributions are tax-deductible as provided by law. The IRS requires us to state that you received no goods or services in exchange for this gift. Please retain this written acknowledgment as a receipt for your tax records. FIN: 54-0505969
Disciple II Classes Starting at Fredericksburg UMC on Tuesdays
Sign up by emailing betterhealth@fumcva.org , or visit our site fumcva.org and click on the rotator picture

Our District Charge Conferences are going on right now!
If you are having a Zoom conference, your church will have the meeting ID and Password for you. Passwords are required to join the meeting. You can join by phone or by Zoom.

Zoom Conferences - Voting Summary Sheet and Nominations list are due in the district office 3 days before your charge conference. All other signed documents are due in the office within 7 days after your conference. Please review the checklist at the end of the EVC instructions sent to each pastor to see what has to be printed and mailed in.
In Person Conferences - Voting Summay Sheet, Nominations list, Clergy Compensation Documents and other forms due at the start of your conference. Please review the checklist at the end of the EVC instructions sent to each pastor to see what has to be printed.
All Saints Sunday - Remembering “those to glory gone” a virtual concert experience.
Sunday, November 1st 3:00 pm
On this very special Sunday in the life of the Methodist church, we invite you a musical event hosted by the Music Ministry of Fredericksburg United Methodist Church.

We HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to join or host a small group at your home with safety measures, outside if you prefer ( have one of those cool blow up screens??), or host an online "watch party" on Facebook. Find out more about how to set that up HERE. 

It will be available on our Facebook www.facebook.com/fumcva or our YouTube channel  
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 804-514-1830 (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 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 conniedevenport@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)