February 20, 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 Four)

In today’s edition of frame of reference , we will discuss women in leadership . The concept of women in leadership is one of the most controversial issues in the church. For example, we find this tension in the Catholic as well as in the Protestant churches.
Many congregations reject women’s leadership roles. However, only a few congregations, mainly in small rural areas, tend to support women’s leadership roles. The question is, what drives the response so differently to women’s leadership role? To find out the answer to the above propositional calculus, we need to explore the frame of reference of the entities involved so that we can determine the differentiating factor.

As a framework to present the questions, we thought to briefly introduce a familiar document, the Declaration of Independence of the United States. The premise of the 1776 Declaration of Independence of the United States notes that “all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among this life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If we hold to this declaration, why is it that we continue to find a pattern of gender segregation as women seek to enter male-dominated professions? Don’t females practice many of the same religious activities as male leaders in the church? Why are women denied admittance into the highest echelons of the church leadership? Why are women scorned for asserting they have the same spiritual authority as men? The answers to these questions are resting in the unconscious presence of our societal norms. Thus, we must examine the frame of reference of those who practice or advocate these behaviors.  

Women are denied continuously formal acknowledgment as leaders, yet the religious community allows them to engage in leadership activities. In as much as they are allowed to participate, why can’t women be permitted to lead? Is it possible that women are experiencing this overt resistance because male leaders feel threatened by the growing challenge to their self-pronounced male-exclusive rights as leaders of the church? Is it possible that male leaders of the church are responding with stiffened opposition to keep women in subordinate roles? Are their decisions scriptural (e.g., 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Timothy 2:11-14, and if so, what did Paul mean)? Should we take Paul literally? What if we used Ephesians 5:21? How does the latter affect the former? Do the above scriptures form the frame of reference of those who suppress or object to women’s leadership in the church? If so, how do we reconcile their frame of reference to Hebrew scripture?

In the Hebrew scriptures, many women spoke and wrote words that became scripture, including Mariam (Exodus 15:1-21), Deborah (Judges 5:1-31), and Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10). Deborah was a judge in Israel (Judges 4-5). God spoke prophetically to David through Abigail (1 Samuel 25:24-31), and Huldah was a prophetess in Jerusalem who spoke the words of God (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chronicles 34:22), as was the wife of Isaiah (Isaiah 8:3). If women led in those days, then what makes it so controversial that they cannot lead now? The frame of reference of others should solicit our curiosity to the point that we will engage in exploration and conversation rather than condemnation and isolation.

Other questions come to mind. What biblical scripture supports the male position? What are the differences between the way male and female church leaders carry out their roles? What effect does the different leadership have on the church? We believe that it is only when each of us searches that we will find the answers to these questions. While our answers may vary, the ultimate goal here is for each of us to participate in this discourse so that hopefully, we can minimize or resolve this controversial issue. Durham (2016) observed that women typically bring more aptitude to a job and perform at higher levels of competence than men, yet their role in leadership is limited. The question is, what can each of us do to bring awareness to this segregated reality? To answer this question, we will have to determine the frame of reference of those who perpetuate this divide. Let us begin the dialogue in the church.

We believe that we miss the mark when we leave women out of the equation. Women are vital to the mission and leadership of the church. The “created order” and “the Fall” (Genesis 1-3) and how they relate to women’s preaching, teaching, and leading in the church, according to Paul, can, by themselves, cause a lot of debate. So many scriptures address the roles of women in church leadership. We are unable to offer a comprehensive view of a single scripture that addresses women’s leadership. What we do know is that the roles of men and women in the bible are significant to the leadership of the church; we honor both.  Stay tuned for the next edition in two weeks. Next week we will be discussing Lent.

Blessings to you!

Attention Laity!
Presentation regarding Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation through Separation for our District
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
2020 Mission Trip
Deadline Approaching!
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
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

March 12 7:00pm - 9:00pm

March 12 at Tappahannock Memorial UMC, 345 Earl Street, Tappahannock

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

All God's Children Camp is just 4 short months away and we need some MENTORS! Youth pastors, this is a great opportunity to send your Senior high youth on a mission together right here in Virginia!!! Churches, consider getting a group together and come mentor at camp! Here is the bottom line: 
June 14-16 at Camp Chanco we need 7 females and 12 males.
August 9-14 we need 8 females and 14 males.
Check out the link below and please consider mentoring with us this summer. Camp will not be possible without you!!! For more information contact Lori Smith at 571-245-9591 or  lttlelori@gmail.com
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 - March 27 Deadline
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

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    
Upcoming Meetings this month

March 8 Youth Council (Hillcrest, 2 pm)
March 10 DCOM (Wright's Chapel)
March 12 Church Location & Building (Wright's Chapel)
March 12 Financial Training ( new date), Tappahannock Memorial, 7:00 pm
March 14 - UMW Spiritual Day Apart
March 22 - Protocol Presentation for Laity (Wright's Chapel, 2 pm)
March 22 - Youth Council (Hillcrest, 2 pm)
March 25 - Full Clergy Meeting (Wright's Chapel, 10 am)


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)