January 30, 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

I grew up in the United Methodist Church. As a teenager and young adult, I often heard arguments about the color of the carpet on the floor. Some argued about the color of the paint on the wall. Some argued about the length of the lawn and the list can go on. I thought then that leaders of the church were spending far too much time discussing irrelevant issues. But for some, the above-referenced matters were relevant to them at that time, as they are now. Something connected them to each of the above-listed items. Perhaps it may have been an experience. These people were arguing about their frame of reference .

The significance of the color of the carpet on the floor may have a sentimental meaning. The paint on the wall may have an emotional purpose. Likewise, for some, the length of the grass may have a reason. These meanings are the frame of reference .

Here is a case in point. In a counseling session, a young couple presented with anger toward each other. I’ll give you a little more detail to help you understand the context of the story.
The couple dated for a short period; they hardly knew each other. However, it was evident that the couple loved each other. The young man grew up in a family that was close-knit. At the end of each conversation, it was customary to say, “I love you.” Their family structure required the blessing of the food and eating at the table.

On the contrary, the young woman grew up in a family that was not as close-knit as her spouse. Even though they did not say “I love you” at the end of their conversations, they loved and cared for each other. They did not mention the blessing over the food together, and they did not eat at the table. It was okay for each person to bless their food and eat wherever it was comfortable.  

When the couple got married, their differences were not immediately apparent. The young man usually came home earlier from work and had hot meals prepared for his spouse. When she arrived, rather than sitting at the table, she took her plate and went to a comfortable place to enjoy her dinner; she had a frame of reference . Her spouse, on the other hand, interpreted her behavior as disrespectful and unappreciative; he too had a frame of reference . As I explore their presenting problem, it became evident that it was less of an anger problem and more of a communication ( frame of reference ) problem. The young man felt unappreciated and unacknowledged, but the young woman thought it was no big deal. The marriage was experiencing some controversial issues that the couple had not explored until they met me.

Application: What if we took the time to explore each other's frame of reference rather than making assumptions? Can we take the time to examine each other’s feelings? Can we take the time to explore the context of what some might feel about the color of the carpet? Can we take the time to examine the meaning of what others might think about the color of the paint on the wall? Can we take the time to explore the context of what others might think about the length of the lawn? What if we took the time to understand the frame of reference of others?

People are attached to various things for various reasons. There is always a back story that connects us to some controversial issues. Recently I was researching controversial issues in the church. I wanted to know what church folks were thinking about these days, and I came across some of the most intriguing findings. The first controversial issue I found is gay marriage, followed by abortion, women in leadership, types of worship music, spiritual gifts, baptism, politics from the pulpit, and alcohol. What do these findings mean? The findings suggest that people are passionate about each of the above elements because it means something to them . However, the results show that people are more concerned about social issues than they are about spiritual matters . Do the findings imply that people are less religious or spiritual? No! Let us not make assumptions; instead, let us explore their frame of reference before we render any judgment. 

Stay tuned for part two of the  frame of reference.


Conference Board of Communications Survey Findings
Last summer 2,147 people from across the conference took the Board of Communications survey and shared their feedback on a variety of conference communications topics. The findings have been very useful in helping the board and the conference communications team prioritize our efforts to continue to improve conference communications. Some of the findings could also be helpful for communications programs in district offices, local churches, and related organizations. We invite you to join us for a February 19 Zoom video call to learn more.
  • Topic: Conference Board of Communications Survey Findings
  • Presenters: Jill Gaynor (Board of Communications President) and Madeline White (Conference Director of Communications).
  • Time: Wednesday February 19, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
  • Link to join the Zoom video meeting: https://zoom.us/j/954149868
  • Meeting ID code: 954 149 868
  • Dial-in phone number: (646) 876-9923 or (877) 369-0926
Please let me know if you have any questions.


Jill Gaynor
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 6 at Saint Matthias UMC, 426 Deacon Road, Fredericksburg
February 20 at Tappahannock Memorial UMC, 345 Earl Street, Tappahannock

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

Each year the Virginia Annual Conference has vacancies for both Lay and Clergy that become available for specific positions serving on our various conference boards and committees.

 This year, the following positions are open: 

Common Table: 1 clergy
Church and Society: 3 clergy
Church Development Team: 2 persons, lay or clergy

Board of Discipleship: 
Older Adult Council - 1 person, lay or clergy
Young Adult Council- 1 person, lay or clergy
Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries- 1 campus minister- 1 young adult
Missional Ministries Board - 2 clergy, 2 lay
Board of Communications - 1 clergy, 2 lay
Commission on Disabilities - 1 clergy, 2 lay
Equitable Compensation Commission - 1 clergy from small membership church (<200)
Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy - 1 lay
Council on Finance and Administration - 1 clergy
Virginia United Methodist Pensions, Inc. - 2 clergy, 5 lay men, 5 lay women (8yr term)
Committee on Rules- 3 lay, 2 clergy (8yr term)
Commission on the Status and Role of Women - 1 clergy
Trustees- 2 lay men, 1 lay woman
Site Selection- 1 clergy, 2 lay (8yr term)

Please playfully consider this list. Would serving with one of these groups be part of your call and skill set? Do you know someone who you can see doing a good job serving with a particular board or committee? 

Please act on this soon.  

Nominations will be considered  February 20th  and must be approved by the District Superintendent before that date. If you are interested in nominating yourself or someone else, please complete the nomination form found here  Conference Nomination Form and submit it  immediately to the District Office at  rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org

If you have questions about the process or the work of particular boards and agencies, please contact the district nominations coordinator, Rev. Bert Cloud, at 757-775-9532 or  bertcloud@vaumc.org for more information. 

Visit  https://www.vaumc.org/Nominations for nomination forms as PDF or MSword formats, availability information and information about boards and committees.  

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

Participate in Scout Sunday
From the Advocate:

Scout Sunday is of particular importance this year as 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the formal relationship genesis between the Boy Scouts of America and The United Methodist Church. The original agreement was signed on February 12, 1920. 

Each and every church in the Virginia Conference is highly encouraged to recognize this milestone event. Even if your church has no Scouting, you can still support the program. The United Methodist Church is the number one sponsor of Scouting BSA units with more youth and more adults than any faith denomination in the United States! The UMC generally celebrates with Scouts clearly serving in the Sunday program: Scouts can usher, present performing arts, read Scripture, sing, as well as be presented their recognition awards from their efforts in the PRAY/God & Country program.

This year, celebrations occur on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. Contact Virginia Annual Conference Scouting Coordinator Bill Chaffin with any questions at  bcumcbsa@juno.com . To support scouting on our district, contact our District Scouting Director Rev. Tom Swingle at 703.232.2470. More...
Scout Leaders:

Scholarships are now available for the United Methodist Scouters Conference at Philmont Training Center, June 28 - July 4, 2020. Please see attached flyer for more information or call District Scouting Director Tom Swingle at 703.232.2470 .
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 on February 8, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Woodlake UMC in Chesterfield and five satellite locations. 

"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; and Adams-Bloxom Mission Cooperative Parish, Eastern Shore District.

Click here to register Deadline to register is Sunday, Feb. 2.

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
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
Feb. 9th
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    
White Stone United Methodist Church will host an auction to raise money for church upkeep and repairs on May 9th, 2020. More Details Soon!

Thank you from Irvington UMC
Irvington UMC had a very successful meatloaf dinner on January 17. As a church we selected the LINK in Lancaster VA as our Intentional Ministry Outreach for 2020. We tithed 20% on the proceeds from the dinner and sent a check to Tom Coye for the LINK to use. Our next dinner will be the baked spaghetti dinner on April 17 and once again we will tithe and support the LINK. Please make plans to join us!

Upcoming Meetings this month

January 30 UM Day at General Assembly
February 4 District Finance Committee 7pm (FUMC)
February 5 Scholarship Committee 7 pm (District Office)
February 6 Finance Training 7 pm (St. Matthias
February 8 Bishop Reconnect Event (See above)
February 9 District Youth Council 2 pm (Hillcrest)
February 11 Ordained Ministry (District Office)
February 13 Church Location & Building, 7 pm (District Office)
February 20 Finance Training 7 pm (Tappahannock Memorial UMC)


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)