March 1, 2018
Welcome to The Bridge, a weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the United Methodist Church 
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23  Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139: 23-34

Are you brave enough to pray this prayer from the Psalms? Are you spiritually and emotionally mature enough to utter these words to God? Would you dare risk inviting God to “search your heart?’ 

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you are truly ready for the Christian season of Lent. If you can honestly say “search me Lord” and wait to hear God’s response to the search, you seem to understand what the Lenten season is all about. If your answer is “No,” then I encourage you to get the Heen and Stone book, “Thanks for the Feedback” which could help you become more comfortable receiving constructive criticism.

The hard truth is that many people, including Christians do not have the spiritual nor emotional maturity to engage in a dialogue about their short comings. Many people handle criticism very poorly and with nothing more than defensiveness. The plain truth is that those who can’t handle constructive criticism from people also do poorly at hearing a word of conviction from God. In the contrary, those who do well at God’s convicting voice do much better when they hear a message of constructive criticism from other people.

Like it or not, every one of us needs the 40 day season of Lent. Every one of us could benefit from a close look inside to see what God sees so that we can recommit ourselves to a deeper walk with Christ. We are not perfect, we are not pure, we are as Wesley says “going on to perfection,” but we are not there yet. So, we need the season of Lent to make us stop what we are doing and invite God to search us. Psalm 139 is a prayer of invitation, a prayer of confession, and figuratively laying prostrate before God to demonstrate how humble we can be. Admittedly, Lent is among the least of the favorite Christian seasons. Lent is a tough Christian season because it requires of us total honesty, total submission to God, and the requirement that we change bad habits and destructive behaviors.

I invite you to join me this Lenten season in being bold. I invite you to demonstrate the act of courage by praying Psalm 139, confessing before God, and inviting God to search your heart.


Thank you so much to the Ebenezer Stafford UMC Staff and Volunteers for all they did to make Chat & Chew 2.0 a success! 30 volunteers turned out to help with everything from manning the parking lots to serving snacks and lunches, setting up chairs, directing people to small group spaces, and countless other tasks as we hosted 400 attendees. A special thank you goes to BJ Priest and Linda Duvall who handled registration, food and so much more!

See All the People: Intentional Disciple Making
March 24 th
10:00 am to 12:30 pm

Calling All Rappahannock River District Clergy
& 3 Laity from Each Church/Charge

This March 24 th training day will teach us how to be more intentional in disciple making. We will cover:
  • Investing in making & growing disciples: Bringing clarity to the ‘What’ ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of making disciples. Offering tools to bring the ‘Why’, ‘What’, and ‘How’ back to your ministry setting. Creating an intentional discipleship system (or pathway) - unique to your church’s context.
  • Discipleship begins with relationships. Equipping your disciples with the right heart and motivation for disciple-making.
  • Engaging Your Community: Listening, Learning, & Developing Strategies to reach the non-religious and nominally religious in your community

Our Leader for the Day: Rev Jeff Campbell serves as the Executive Director of Conference Relationships at Discipleship Ministries. He works to strengthen intentional disciple-making across the connection. Jeff served for 13 years as a senior pastor prior to coming to Discipleship Ministries.

Please Let us know you're coming!
Lay Servant Training will be offered at Warsaw UMC on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5. Please join us!

Classes will be:

Basic Course
Teach us to Pray
In Ministry with Boomers & Beyond
Preaching from Your Heart
Making Sense of God and Suffering

Join us Saturday, March 10, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. to discover the depth of God’s love in the midst of human chaos, devastation and trauma. 

There are times when we question where God is in the midst of suffering.

There are days when we journey through the valley of the shadow of death and wonder how a loving God could possibly have allowed or willed this trouble or trauma we, and the world, are experiencing.

Come join us in a time of exploration and discovery as we worship, share, study Scripture, enjoy lunch and fellowship. Register by emailing Carolyn Messer at  or calling  540-538-0034 .  

We encourage you to register in advance so that we might have enough handouts and food for lunch. We will take a free will offering to cover the cost of lunch. When you register please advice us to any dietary restrictions you might have.  

"Making Sense of God and Suffering" is hosted by Zion UMC in Spotsylvania Courthouse, 8700 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22553. Directions are on the website at .

The workshop speaker is Rev. Dr. Teresa Smith, Pastor at New Hope UMC and Director of New Pathways, author of  Through the Darkest Valley . To contact Teresa email  or text  571-236-9753 .

All are welcome.
Rappahannock River District United Methodist Women


Trinity (King George) United Methodist Church
9425 King's Highway, King George, VA 22485

Rev. Emily Moore-Diamond
Chaplain, Mary Washington Hospital

Saturday, March 10, 2018

                           Registration:  9:30 - 10:00 AM
                     * Program:          10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
                              ( 11:30 - 12:30) LUNCH**
* Childcare provided if you request by February 24
** Love offering collected for lunch

Please pre-register by February 24.
(See your local UMW President or call 804-633-5415)

BIO ~ Rev. Emily Moore-Diamond has been serving in ministry in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church for over 25 years. Currently, she serves as a Chaplain at Mary Washington Hospital. Rev. Emily is the former pastor of Warsaw UMC and former president of the Rappahannock River District Clergy Association. She has also served churches in the Richmond, Harrisonburg, Danville, and Arlington Districts. She is married to Scott Diamond, and they live in Woodbridge. She enjoys writing, running, reading, and word games. 

Next Youth Retreat Planning Meeting is Sunday, March 18 at Hillcrest UMC at 2:00pm- Please join us!
The Heartwood Center will be packing food bags for the Easter break on March 27th beginning at 9am at St. Matthias UMC  426 Deacon Road, Fredericksburg . In addition to packers we will also need volunteers to deliver the bags to the Stafford County schools
Feature Heading
Financial Peace University Offered
With Dave Ramsey’s class Financial Peace University, you CAN take control of
your money and start planning for your future. If you’re interested in learning more
about the class, email Michelle Pinheiro at! Because
we’re offering it at Tabernacle United Methodist church just for you starting
April 4, 2018 at 7 p.m. You may sign up and order you kit today by going to or visit our website at and click
on the link to Financial Peace University.
Rappahannock River District
El Salvador (UMVIM) Mission Trip
July 2 – 6, 2018

We are excited to reconnect with our International Methodist Mission Partner – The Evangelical Methodist Church in El Salvador. In 2018, we’ll send a District team to continue our relationship-building and food distribution. Interested team members may have an opportunity to engage in some construction work as well.

Applications are available from the District Office, the District website, or by contacting Rev. Craig Muffley, Team Leader, at .

Trip Cost : Expected to be in the $750-$850 range, including airfare. $300 scholarships will be available to persons under 30 years of age.

Application and Deposit Deadline : March 15 th , 2018 - $250 deposit is due with your application. Make checks payable to “Rappahannock River District UMC”, memo: El Salvador Trip and mail to:
Eastland UMC - Rev. Craig Muffley
10718 Courthouse Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Final payment will be due at the first team meeting – April 7. The application fee is non-refundable after airline tickets are bought.

Team Meetings – are mandatory (or must be made up) – April 7 th , May 5 th , June 2 nd (all first Saturdays) at a location to be determined, 9:30 am – 11:30 am.

Positions Open:
Part-time Organist/Pianist wanted for Tappahannock Memorial United Methodist Church, Tappahannock, VA. This person will be responsible for providing music for two Sunday worship services, choir rehearsals and special worship services of the church. Salary negotiable. For more information, please contact the church office at or 804-443-2278.
The Heartwood Center is seeking a Youth Mission Camp Coordinator for 2018. The camp will be held July 16-20 and August 13-17, 12 noon to 8pm Monday through Friday. For a copy of the position description, please email Rev. Gayle Porias at or visit This position includes a paid stipend.   4.8.2018
Upcoming District Meetings & Training:

March 1 District Trustees, Hillcrest, 6:30pm

March 6 Full Clergy Meeting, Wright's Chapel, 9:30am

March 8 Church Location & Building, District Office, 7:00pm

March 10 UMW Spiritual Day Apart, Trinity KG

March 13 Ordained Ministry, District Office

March 14 Heartwood Board, New Hope, 7:00pm

March 24 Intentional Disciple Making Training, Wright's Chapel, 10:00am
District Superintendent: Rev. Dr. Theodore Smith
DS Email: Cell: 540.419.5131

2018 District Co-Lay Leader:
Debbie Dietrich

2018 District Co-Lay Lay Leader:

2018 District Associate Lay Leader: Jim Helm
2018 District Lay Servant Ministry Director  Dottie Garrison
Heartwood Director: Rev. Gayle Porias
District Secretary: Lynn Manley
Mailing Address: PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 Phone   804.448.8326     FAX        804.448.8328 Cell: 804.304.8566
Office Location: Inside Wright’s Chapel UMC at 8063 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen, VA (do not use for mail)