December 19, 2019
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Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
A Word from our DS....
The People

Adam and Eve are the two first people we know about in the world (Genesis 2-3). We read in Genesis Chapter 1 that God formed Adam from the ground. Adam also experienced the first surgery when God took a rib from his side to create Eve. God blessed the two people and placed them in the Garden of Eden (Paradise). Their act of defiance removed them from Paradise, and the consequence of their disobedience was painful childbirth, weeds in the garden, and, ultimately, death. Because of God’s act of mercy, Jesus came to live among us as a man to reestablish our relationship with God. In the next few days, we will celebrate Jesus’ birth. What does the celebration of Jesus’ birth mean to each of us? In this article, I want to introduce to us just a few of the people who paved the way for us to be preparing for this celebration.

Noah was the famous builder of the ark (Genesis 6-9). Perhaps we would not be here if Noah had not been a righteous man. Abraham was an exceptional man who obeyed God and journeyed with Sarah to the Promised Land (Genesis 12-25). Moses , enslaved in Egypt, fled but returned to lead his people out of Egyptian slavery (Exodus1-15). The young boy, David , courageously defeated Goliath and eventually grew up to become Israel’s greatest king (1 Samuel). Mary, the mother of Jesus, got pregnant under mysterious circumstances but carried the Christ child with dignity and grace (Matthew 1; Luke 2). Peter , the fisher of men and Rock on which Jesus built His church and gave him the key of heaven, betrayed Jesus. But after Jesus’ death, Peter spread Christianity abroad. Paul started a movement to crucify Christians, but he had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus that changed his life (Acts 9).

Each of the characters mentioned above played a role in what we will soon celebrate, Jesus’ birth. Time will not permit us to offer a detailed narrative of each of their contributions. However, each church has a character that contributes to the life, health, and vitality of her or his church.
During my recent individual pastor’s interview on the district, I asked the question, what motivates you to go to work each day ? The overwhelming response was the people . The people in our churches are not perfect; they are not flawless. Most of them are simple, ordinary people who seek to contribute or play a role in their church. They are hardworking, peaceful, well-liked, and well-governed people. I know the above attributes to be accurate; otherwise, our pastors would not have indicated that the people motivate them . Thus, I assume that there is a degree of cordiality between our pastors and laity.

We are living in a highly stressed and divided nation. The last place that should exhibit such attributes is the church. I appeal to each of us to let the church be the last place where the people be come subject to the politics of the day; there is a place for politics. The people are coming to worship to hear of God’s promised presence amid challenging circumstances. Many hearts are troubled, and dreams shattered. Some are searching for hope and healing. Others are broken and are trying to gather the pieces together. The last thing the people want to hear is depressing, stressful, and divisive information. During this season of hope, faith, joy, peace, and love, I encourage us to identify and find the time to recognize some of the people who make things happen in your congregations. Importantly, I encourage us to prepare your hearts and minds to receive the Christ child.   

Blessings to You!


Council of Bishops' Christmas Letter
to the People of The United Methodist Church
As we journey through Advent on the way to Christmas, we read and sing Israel’s promises and prophecies. We hear the prophet Isaiah’s invitation: “ Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord ” (Isaiah 2:5). And for many of us, all of this culminates as we stand in the darkness of a sanctuary on Christmas Eve, holding a candle, and sharing the light of Christ. “ The light shines in the darkness ”, we proclaim, “ and the darkness has not overcome it ” (John 1:5).
In these days many of us realize that, even as we walk this road, we have not arrived at our destination. Every year we light the candles of hope and peace, joy, love and light. And yet every year we confess our desire for a greater sense of hope and not despair, peace and not separation, joy and not sadness, love and not resentment, light and not darkness. But, to be honest, we are a mixture of all of these qualities, and so we depend upon God, our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1).
And perhaps we listen more closely to the invitation —“Come, let  us  walk in the light of the Lord.”
Please note that the District Office will be closed from December 24 - Jan. 1. We will be working from our homes as needed during this period.

If you need us, please feel free to email us. The next newsletter will be Jan. 2.

Merry Christmas!
Lynn, Connie & Charles
We have received word that our former District Treasurer, Terry Waldenmaier, passed away this past weekend from a heart attack.  Please be in prayer for his family.
Laity Re-Connect Event

Saturday, February 8, 2020 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis is inviting laity from around the conference for a time of connection following her return from medical leave. The event will be held February 8, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Woodlake UMC in Chesterfield. 

"It is my deep desire to reconnect with you in a personal and special way having been away from you for six months on medical leave,” Lewis said. “Let us come
together both in person and through satellite locations to have a time of worship, fellowship, anointing, sharing our hearts, and reconnecting. I want to hear from you and I want to share my journey with you.” 

Location for the event will be at Woodlake UMC (15640 Hampton Park Dr, Chesterfield, VA 23832).

There will be five satellite locations for the event as well:
Pender UMC, Arlington District;
Bridgewater UMC, Harrisonburg District;
New Creation UMC, Elizabeth River District;
Thrasher Memorial UMC, Roanoke District;
Adams-Bloxom Mission Cooperative Parish, Eastern Shore District.
The event is free and open to all laity. Lunch will be served.

Questions may be directed to the Rev. Dr. Ted Smith, Director of Connectional Ministries, (804) 521-1133.
2020 Mission Trip Announced
2020 Mission Trip
El Salvador (UMVIM) Mission Trip
 June 21-27, 2020

We are excited to reconnect with our International Methodist Mission Partner—The Evangelical Methodist Church in El Salvador. In 2020, we’ll send a District team to continue our relationship-building, food distribution and VBS.

Applications are available from the District Office, the District website, or by contacting Rev. Robin BeMiller (, Team Leader.

Trip Cost: Expected to be in the $850-$950 range, including airfare. A limited number of $300 scholarships are available to persons under 30 years of age.

Application and Deposit Deadline: February 29 th, 2020 - $250 deposit is due with your application. Make checks payable to “Rappahannock River District UMC”, memo: El Salvador Trip and mail to:
Rappahannock River District Office
PO Box 100
Ladysmith, VA 22501

Final payment will be due at the second team meeting – April 18 th. The application fee is non-refundable after airline tickets are bought.

March 21 st , April 18th, May 16 th , & June 6 th , 2020 from 9:30-11:30 am
Location TBD. 

Team Meetings – are mandatory (or must be made up) – March 21 st, April 18 th, May 16 th and June 6 th at a location to be determined, 9:30 am – 11:30 am
S/PPR Training Offered
  S/PPR Committee Training will be offered on two regions of the district in January:

January 11 at Hillcrest UMC in Fredericksburg

January 18 at Tappahannock Memorial in Tappahannock 

The training will be from 10:00am - 12:00pm.

This class is great for new committee members and anyone who would like a refresher course or who has questions.

Please RSVP so we have adequate handouts and can contact you in case of inclement weather.

RSVP to Lynn Manley or call 804.448.8326
Church Finance 101 - Answering Your Questions
David Dommisse and Carol Draper from the Conference Treasurer's Office will offer a free training opportunity to our churches!
This is ideal for Church Treasurers, Finance and Stewardship Members, Church Secretaries, etc. 

Topics will include:

Local church accounting practices
Proper Internal Controls
What does a Church Audit Mean?
Financial Reporting & Transparency
Unrestricted, Board Designated & Donor Restricted Gifts
Stewardship Ideas
Record Keeping
Question & Answer Session

7:00pm - 9:00pm

February 6 at Saint Matthias UMC, Fredericksburg
February 20 at Tappahannock Memorial UMC

Please RSVP to Lynn Manley at . We need to have 15 people to hold the classes.

Heartwood Center Needs You!
We believe children shouldn’t go hungry. 
We believe children should have a safe place where they can learn about Jesus. 
We believe churches can work together to make bigger things happen. 
The Heartwood Center needs help in bringing forth this vision.  
If you believe these things are important and are interested in learning more. Please contact Rev. Chris Watson ( ) or Rev. Gayle Porias ( ).  
Some areas of our team's needs are social media communications, financial management, bookkeeping, construction project management, graphics, teaching, praying, food collection and distribution coordination, youth camp, working with youth.    

Rev. Gayle Porias
Pastor Mount Horeb UMC
The Heartwood Center Director 
Rappahannock River District
Emmanuel UMC

Emmanuel UMC is 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
Youth Council Meetings
The Youth meetings occur on the second Sunday of every month. We usually meet at Hillcrest UMC starting at 2 pm unless otherwise indicated below. We have Melrose as a satellite site. If someone is seeking to join Melrose site, please contact me.

Next Meeting:
 Jan. 12th at Hillcrest at 2pm

Follow us on Facebook for up to the minute news and announcements: Rappahannock River District Youth

T.J. Oliver, District Youth Coordinator    



  426 Deacon Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22405
  (540) 373-8759

Saturday, December 21  3:00 pm “Blue Christmas”Service

Sunday, December 22  11:00 am Lessons and Carols

Monday, December 23  7:00 pm  Christmas Eve eve
              Contemporary service of worship, music and
                        Holy Communion

Tuesday, December 24  7:00 pm Christmas Eve service
              Candles, carols, Holy Communion

Candlelight & Communion
Heathsville United Methodist Church will be having a Candlelight and Communion Christmas Eve service on December 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm. 

All are invited to attend.

39 Courthouse Road

Upcoming Meetings this month

January 7 Ordained Ministry, Wright's Chapel
January 11 PPR Training , 10am - noon, (Hillcrest)
January 13 Board of Missions, 7 pm (Tabernacle)
Janaury 15 Superintendency, 7 pm (Tabernacle)
January 18 PPR Training, 10am - noon (Tappahannock Memorial)
January 28 Connectional Ministries, 7 pm (Wright's Chapel)
January 30 UM Day at General Assembly


District Superintendent: Rev. Charles Bates, Ph.D.

2019 District Co-Lay Lay Leader:

2019 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
Administrative Assistant Connie Devenport

Mailing Address: PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 Phone   804.448.8326     FAX        804.448.8328 
Office Location: Inside Wright’s Chapel UMC at 8063 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen, VA (do not use for mail)