February 12, 2020
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Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
A word from our DS....

Frame of Reference (Part Three)

In last week’s edition of Frame of Reference, we received much feedback and many compliments about the approach to discussing the controversial issues we identified in the church.

Before we move any further, we would like to make an editorial note. In last week’s discussion, we stated the following: “Our denomination is the only mainstream denomination in the United States that has maintained the traditional definition of marriage between man and woman.” The statement should have read: “Our denomination is one of the very few …” We sincerely apologize. Thanks to our readers for bringing this to our attention and for holding us accountable.

In today’s edition, we will discuss the second controversial issue in the church that we identified, abortion . Abortion is considered a discussion that should take place outside the church. But nothing could be further from the truth. The focus of the conversation should take place within the church because it is more than just a social justice concern; it is a spiritual concern that has divided us as a people. But before we begin to render judgment, we need to consider the frame of reference of those who are for and against abortion.

In a recent Pew Research Center study, the researchers found that the religious community is not of one accord on the issue of Abortion. The study found that most Christians are pro-life, but the subject remains a controversial one within the church. Why? We believe that we have a theory – people of different political affiliations and persuasions have different views on this issue, and yes, these people are in the church.

Let us consider the following results from the above research. While the Catholic Church is known for its firm pro-life stance, only 53 percent of U.S. Catholics advocate for pro-life, and 44 percent said it should be illegal. Moreover, 67 percent of mainline Protestants believe abortion should be legal, and 30 percent think it should be banned. The study found that the results among black Protestants were lower: 55 percent were in favor, and 41 percent opposed. White evangelicals were the population most opposed to abortion; 70 percent opposed, and 29 percent supported abortion. The people most supportive of abortion are those who do not affiliate with particular dominations – only 17 percent of them opposed abortion.
In summary, six-in-ten Americans affirm the legalization of abortion. But what about the remaining four-in-ten Americans? Do we know or do we care to know their frame of reference ? Or do we see the frame of reference of the six-in-ten Americans? 

There are times in each of our lives when we shift our priorities due to the condition of existence. Our views on life can change. Our views on our status, profession, and relationships change. In short, our ideologies change. The purpose of this change is to effect change in our society for good or the worse. Ideologies are our beliefs or ideals that are unique to us, but more importantly, they characterize our cultural identities and political affiliations. So, for example, the political ideologies of a particular ruling party may drive abortion policies (Kahane, 1994). The author argued that these policies are put into place without consideration of inclusive religious reproductive health policies . As a result, many suffer the consequences.

We conclude by arguing that we are not advocating for or against abortion. We are suggesting, however, that we should not penalize the voiceless within our churches; let us begin to have the conversation around one of the most controversial issues in our churches, abortion . We believe that if evidence-based discussions take place in a healthy environment, we will understand the frame of reference of those who may choose to have an abortion without condemning them. If, indeed, the issue of abortion affects us that much, shouldn’t it be a topic of discussion within the church? We would think so and hope so. Stay tuned for part four of the frame of reference .

Blessings to you!

Presentation regarding Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation through Separation
Rappahannock River District Laity,

As you may be aware, a  Protocol of Grace and Reconciliation through Separation  was brought forth as a plan to be presented at General Conference 2020 in May. There have been so many questions regarding what this will mean for the denomination, the conference, the local church, laity, and Clergy.  

We, the Clergy Association along with our District Superintendent Charles Bates, want to make sure that you have accurate information, and can have as many of your questions answered as possible.  

We will be hosting a laity session with presentations and Q&A with Ms. Martha Stokes and the Rev. Keith Boyette. The meeting will be Sunday, March 22 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at Wright's Chapel UMC. Wright's Chapel is located at 8063 Ladysmith Road in Ruther Glen 22546 (Ladysmith Exit 110 off I-95).

If you are unable to attend this event on our district, we invite you to attend one at another district. You can find a list here .

Grace and Peace,
Becca Minor
Clergy Association President
Rappahannock River District
Nominations open for Conference Lay Leader

Warren R. Harper will conclude service as Virginia Conference Lay Leader in June 2020. The search process for the next Conference Lay Leader is underway. The  Book of Discipline  of The United Methodist Church states that the Conference Lay Leader is “the elected leader of the conference laity” who has “responsibility for fostering awareness of the role of the laity both within the congregation and through their ministries in the home, workplace, community, and world in achieving the mission of the Church and enabling and supporting lay participation in the planning and decision-making processes of the annual conference, district, and local church in cooperation with the bishop, district superintendents, and pastors” (¶607, 2016  Book of Discipline ). The Conference Lay Leader shall be elected for a term of not less than four years by the annual conference as the annual conference may determine.
The application for service as the Conference Lay Leader is available from the conference website at  https://vaumc.org/pages/news/2020news/cllnominations.
Interested persons should contact John Meeuwissen, Search Committee chair, with any questions at 7900 Bressingham Dr, Fairfax Station, VA 22039-3156;  john.meeuwissen@verizon.net . Nominations profiles must be submitted by March 31, 2020.
The Search Committee seeks your prayers as they move through this process.
Church Finance - 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 20 at Tappahannock Memorial UMC, 345 Earl Street, Tappahannock

Please RSVP to Lynn Manley at rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org .

Devotional Available
The Wayfarers Sunday School class, Fredericksburg UMC, still has copies of our annual devotional, the Mosaic, available for 2020. Each week features a devotion written by a member of our class, as well as seven Bible verses related to the theme of that week's writing. The class uses the proceeds from the sale of these devotionals for mission work. Past mission work supported includes camp scholarships for Westview on the James. Copies are $15 each if picked up at Fredericksburg UMC or $17 each if mailed directly to the buyer. Those interested in obtaining a copy of this devotional, please contact Janine Kuty at  janinekuty@yahoo.com  (preferred) or 540-898-0256.  
Youth Retreat 2020
Fellow soldiers! 

The Rappahannock River Youth Council wishes to invite you to the annual District Youth Retreat at Camp Piankatank on April 24th-26th!

Our theme, "Battle Ready", aims to train the youth about the Armor of God so that they can take their "stand against the devil's schemes." Through activities, worship, and fellowship with one another, the youth will experience God in a way that empowers them to go into the world. 

The retreat is a blast! Every year we gain new friends, we explore exciting opportunities, and we grow closer to God. A place free from the strains of society, the retreat allows us to be ourselves and to learn in our own way. Some may find their new best friend. Others may find the answer to a question burning in their heart. And still others will find the love and support they need to make it through everything the world is throwing at them. The possibilities are endless and God never ceases to provide and amaze.

Click below for the information sheet on the retreat. For the parental consent form, t-shirt order form, code of conduct form and Lip-Sync battle registration and rules or any questions, please contact TJ Oliver at  rrdyouth@vaumc.org .

We hope that all of you can make this wonderful event! We are excited and cannot wait to share this experience with you!

Over and out, 


TJ Oliver
Rappahannock River Youth Director

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 (robinbemiller@vaumc.org), 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
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 804-462-7376 (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 kumc_office@verizon.net 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
Secretary Needed
Tabernacle UMC, Fredericksburg, is seeking a part-time church secretary who serves as the assistant to the Pastor in all areas of ministry, acting as the voice and face of the church in all of its public encounters. This part-time position serves to manage all activities of the church office and to perform administrative duties related to the church’s mission and ministry. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at  www.vaumc.org/jobs
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 Meetings:
 All Meetings are at Hillcrest at 2pm

Mar. 8th
Mar. 22nd
Apr. 19th

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

T.J. Oliver, District Youth Coordinator    
Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser at Afton UMC February 15 th   Benefit for Betty Smith Gaskins Scholarship Fund
All are invited to Afton UMC on Saturday, February 15th for an Early Valentine’s Day Spaghetti Dinner from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. The church is located at 5130 Hacks Neck Road, Ophelia, VA.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day early with delicious homemade spaghetti and meatballs, served up with fresh salad, Italian garlic bread, and beverages. Top off your meal with Afton’s tempting homemade desserts. Bring the whole family and your sweetheart. 
The fundraiser will support the Betty Smith Gaskins Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Fund awards a scholarship annually to a deserving second-year student, attending Rappahannock Community College. 
Please come out to enjoy wonderful food and fellowship; all while supporting this worthwhile cause. Eat all you care to eat and give all you care to give. Your support and all donations will be greatly appreciated.   
Missionary Speaking on our District - all are invited
Please come and hear missionary Eric Soard speak Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Trinity UMC at 7 p.m. in King George. Eric and his wife, Liz, are United Methodist Church missionaries in Tanzania. Eric will make a multi-media presentation of his and Liz’s ministries to the children, women, and men of Tanzania. Two of their ministries, Emmanuel Center and Our Father’s House, are supported by Trinity's Mission of the Month. The church is located at 9425 Kings Highway, and the phone number of 540-775-4501.  
Upcoming Meetings this month

February 20 Finance Training 7 pm (Tappahannock Memorial UMC)
March 10 DCOM
March 12 Church Location & Building
March 14 - UMW Spiritual Day Apart


District Superintendent: Rev. Charles F. Ledlum-Bates , Ph.D.

2019 District Co-Lay Lay Leader:

2019 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
Administrative Assistant Connie Devenport rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org

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)