Welcome to The Bridge, a weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the United Methodist Church! 
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(Use Your) INFLUENCE: !
the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.”

Will anyone you encounter do anything as a result of your influence? The indisputable answer is YES! Whether it’s in small unnoticeable ways or life altering ways, your actions, behaviors, choices, words, or lack of all these do influence others. If you don’t believe me, just test my theory. Offer someone a hug and watch the reaction. Offer someone a compliment and take note of whether that affirmation gets a response. Offer to pray WITH someone in a difficult situation and pay careful attention to how it makes them feel. Your choice to engage in positive actions, behavior, choices, and words make a difference every day, even if you don’t notice it. 

Last week a clergy friend of mine said, “So, I guess this is a time when each of us must assess where we have influence and begin using our influence to improve our little part of the world.” My response to him was that one of three things is happening; 1) we are already using our influence to make the world a better place, 2) we are doing nothing to influence anyone thereby leaving the world and those around us to suffer, or 3) we are being influenced in the worst ways that diminish our values, that cause those around us to question whether we have a twisted understanding of Jesus, and making folks wonder why we are hurting others intentionally and/or unintentionally. Example: will there be a single testimony at your funeral about how you followed Jesus’ words and demonstrated in word and deed LOVE OF YOUR ENEMIES?

Bishop Lewis has offered the Virginia Conference a Christ worthy vision: “To be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve.”  This a Christ worthy vision I am excited about. I am excited about all the ways Bishop Lewis will invite and encourage us to put it into practice. Friends, narrow thinking, open hostility, overt racism, evil words and actions, mean behaviors, spiritual immaturity, denial of sin, and other behaviors that divide us have the worst hold on our society that I’ve ever seen! If followers of Christ don’t check ourselves (first) and start a movement of spiritual holiness, we will become totally useless in this battle Paul described as “of powers and principalities.” My friend is absolutely right, it’s time we Christians spend a lot more time using our CHRISTIAN influence to transform our U.S. culture rather than be influenced by secular culture.

Pastor Ted

Registration is now open for the  Live Your Faith Bold and Brave  Women's Conference to be held on our district at Ebenezer UMC in Stafford on Saturday, September 30, 2017 featuring Nicole Unice, Author of  Brave Enough  and Ministry Director at Hope Church.

Sessions include:
  • Created With a Purpose
  • Navigating Life’s Up’s & Down’s
  • Scheduling Time for God
  • Be Bold & Brave with Healthy Habits
Registration: $20.00 includes breakfast and lunch
Onsite child care available, $5.00 per child and includes lunch (max $20 per family)

We hope you will be able to come and join us in this great adventure of learning how to live out our faith with courage and boldness. 

Please click below for links to information on the event:

Live Your Faith Bold and Brave Women's Conference links:

Lay Servant Training Offered
T here are several training opportunities for Lay Servants available.

 The District will offer training at Regester Chapel UMC in Stafford on September 15 & 16. There are also On Demand opportunities and an Online Learning Ministry. See links below for more information.  
Please Contact Greg Sokolowski at   121falcon@msn.com  or Debbie Dietrich at debbiedietrich6@gmail.com

 Rehoboth United Methodist Church in Partlow is looking for someone to help us with an external audit. We have a member of our church that is willing to swap with another church person to do their audit. If anyone is interested, please contact Linda Gatewood at  804-241-5648.
There are several employment opportunities on our district. Please click here for more information:  Jobs You can also search under Resources on the conference website:  www.vaumc.org
Save the Dates: 

Sept. 15—16 LAY SERVANT TRAINING             Regester Chapel
Oct. 12      STATISTICS TRAINING                St. Matthias
Oct. 24      STATISTICS TRAINING                Warsaw
Nov. 18     DISTRICT CONFERENCE              & TRAINING          Wright’s Chapel UMC
District Contact Information
District Superintendent: Rev. Dr. Theodore Smith
District Lay Leader:
Ms. Debbie Dietrich         Debbie_dietrich@hughes.net (Debbie_dietrich@hughes.net)
District Associate Lay Leaders:
District Lay Servant Ministry Director Greg Sokolowski  Gregory.sokolowski@navy.mil
Heartwood Director: Rev. Gayle Porias gayleporias@vaumc.org
District Secretary: Ms. Lynn Manley rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org
Administrative Assistant: Ms. Pam Blalock pamblalock@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)
Free Organ
Free Technics FA 1 organ. If you are interested, please contact Suzanne Small at rossmall@cox.net 
Could Your Church Save By Refinancing?
Right now The United Methodist Credit Union has a special promotion on church loans. If your church has an unsecured loan with another lender,  we can refinance at a rate 2% less than the rate your church is paying now, down to a minimum of 4.25% APR. This is a limited offer available thru September or while funds are available. Contact Mike at  1-866-657-0004 for details.
All TUMCU loans are subject to approval and credit restrictions apply. Rates are subject to change.