January 2, 2020
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Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
A Word from our DS....
New Year’s Greetings

We are officially in a new decade; 2020 has arrived. I remembered back home in Liberia, we often conducted a revival two weeks leading up to the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, we tarried the entire night leading up to New Year’s morning. The Watchnight Service , as it is still known, was in solidarity with the Black Church in the United States. You may recall that it was during the Civil War on December 31, 1862, that people watched and waited for President Abraham Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation into law (HUFFPOST, 2013). Reverend Harrell reflected on the above historical event and wrote the following statement:  

Free and freed blacks living in the United States gathered at churches or other safe spaces, while thousands of their enslaved black sisters and brothers stood, knelt, and prayed on plantations and other slaveholding sites in America.

The above statement embodies what it means to be in solidarity with and for a cause. Even though some blacks experienced freedom, they felt like they were in bondage because their brothers and sisters were still experiencing the pain and suffering of slavery. But that was not all the Watchnight in Liberia entailed. In addition to being in solidarity with the Black Church in the United States, the Watchnight Service/Revival Service was also a time to make resolutions, which was at the end of the service.

At the end of the service, the congregation led a candle-light procession to the river. The pastor baptized those who came to faith. It was often cold, but the sweet embrace of the cold wind and watching the early morning sun breaking through the East cloud inspired us as we sang different genres of songs. The types of songs ranged from hymns like Amazing Grace and Sweet Hour of Prayer to spirituals like We come this far by faith Leaning on the Lord, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, and Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen, and Glory Hallelujah.

As a reflection of the New Year’s Eve resolutions and the meaning of the service as described above, I wonder with whom do we stand in solidarity? While we need to reflect on 2019 and learn from the lessons of the past, it is equally essential for us to reflect on what lies ahead for us in 2020, which may come in the form of a resolution. Many people choose not to make resolutions, for fear that they may not live up to their expectations. For others, resolutions do not make sense. However, for me, it does make sense; it keeps me accountable and transparent.

As your District Superintendent (DS), I want to state my resolution to you, with the hope that you will hold me accountable. In 2020, I pledge to be the very best DS I can be from my level of consciousness. My objectives are to be more visible. Second, I plan to enable our connections locally, nationally, and globally. Third, I plan to inspire value in all that you do. Fourth, I plan to show you that I care. However, I need your commitment to helping strengthen our relationship in our district.

Within the next few weeks, I would like for each clergy and laity to self-select a diverse accountability group (Cluster Group) across the district. This group should reflect age, gender, experience, and ethnicity. Research shows that when a group is self-selected, there is ownership, responsibility, and accountability to the group. The objective is to inspire hope in and cultivate the gifts of each other. Furthermore, the aim is to stand in solidarity with each other because we need each other. We have some young clergy and laity who need the wisdom of older and more experienced clergy and laity. I hope that our more experienced clergy and laity will be willing to learn from our younger clergy and laity — they have excellent ideas. I wish you a blessed and happy New Year.

Blessings to You!

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.  TedSmith@vaumc.org
Lay Servant Training Offered in Fauquier County

To become a Lay Servant or to complete continuing education requirement:

10 hour training will be held over 3- 3.5 hour sessions.
January 4 th , 18 th and February 1 st . 8:30am-noon. at Mount Horeb UMC 10867 Elk Run Road, Catlett.

To register contact Rev. Gayle Porias at  gayleporias@vaumc.org  or 540.788.9838

To become a Lay Servant you must take the Basic course. The following book is required for participants and may be purchased
from the  bookstore.upperroom.org  or Amazon:
Lay Servant Ministries  by Sandy Zeigler Jackson and Brian Jackson
Participant’s Book DR626 • 9780881776263 • $11.00
(also available in Kindle and ePub formats)

Two advanced courses will be offered for continuing education of Lay Servants:
Preaching:  The following book is required for participants:   From
Pew to Pulpit . Clifton F. Guthries.  9780687066605  Cokesbury.com or Amazon

God’s Mission, Our Journey:  The following book is required for
participants: A Mission Journey- A Handbook for Volunteers.  9780835817868
Available at  bookstore.upperroom.org  or Amazon. Also available in Kindle and ePub formats.
All God's Children Camp
All God's Children Camp needs your help for 2020. We have 90 campers attending this summer and we need to pair them up with a mentor. Please consider volunteering a week of your summer and join us for a wonderful camp experience with children who need some extra love and encouragement. For more information about camp you can visit the website at  www.vaumc.org/agcc . You can also contact Lori Smith at 571-245-9591 or  lttlelori@gmaiil.com . Come serve with us this summer and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Consider putting a group together from church and serve together!  
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
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 rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org . We need to have 15 people to hold the classes.

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  beumcva@gmail.com 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    
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 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)