August 22, 2018
Welcome to The Bridge, a weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the United Methodist Church 
Ministry Partnership: Together in Disciple Making (part 4)

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor." Ecclesiastes 4:9

This isn’t another top down cookie cutter program! We are genuinely interested in hearing what disciple making help, tools and resources your church needs so that we can provide them. We want your church to keep discussing what hasn’t worked, what has worked, and what might work over the next two years. In my 30+ years of ministry many laity and clergy have said, “lay low and wait for this new Conference program to pass overhead.” In many cases that was true and the Conference did move on to the “next great program.” 

The significant realities we will reverse are:

1) that fewer and fewer people are entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ – the numbers don’t lie and the declining worship attendance numbers represent actual neighbors of ours

2) fewer and fewer folks are attending and inspired by worship in our churches

3) our culture is creating significantly higher numbers of spiritually immature and biblically illiterate citizens

We will not rest until we’ve done all we can to transform the world for Jesus Christ!

Two are not only better than one, but two UM congregations in close geographic proximity are better than ministry in isolation. What could your church accomplish if two or more of you took on a new special community ministry together? What kind of synergy would you see if two or more congregations' lay leaders attended a bible study together? How excited would your congregation be if your newly discovered and used disciple making tools resulted in unchurched folks joining you in community mission, worship, and a response to the hurts of your neighbors?

  If you and your folks are feeling the burn of the “been there, tried that, what’s next?” doubt, we have a remedy that we believe will inspire renewed passion. 

We’ve seen the great “See All the People” resource and introduced you to Rev. Dr. Junius Dotson and the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Wilson. We’ve also worked closely with Rev. Jeff Campbell. This week we want you to become more familiar with the Youth division Leader, Rev. Michael Ratliff. 

Michael Glenn Ratliff was named associate general secretary of the Division on Ministries with Young People, effective January 1, 2007. He was previously an associate pastor with youth and their families at Saint Andrew United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, where he served since 1995. His work there involved a large staff and volunteer team ministering to hundreds of youth every week. He also directed Crossties, a leadership consulting and training initiative, for those who minister with young people. He has served in similar positions in churches in Georgia and Florida.

Ratliff has worked in youth and young adult ministry for over 30 years, served as faculty teaching youth ministry courses at Iliff School of Theology for three years, and has taught a variety of courses for the Perkins School of Youth Ministry.
An accomplished author, workshop leader and curriculum developer, Ratliff's writings include the books Sacred Challenge and Sacred Bridges and articles in Church Leader , Youth Net , Circuit Rider , Children's Leader , and various web resources. He has also developed curriculum for Faith and Sexuality , Let's Be Real , Confirmation Times , and Combos .

He holds a Certificate of Practical Theology and Youth Ministry from Princeton Seminary, a Master of Arts in Christian education from Scarritt College, and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Georgia Southern University. The Reverend Ratliff is an ordained deacon, certified minister of youth, and certified minister of education from the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Pray for the RRD and Discipleship Partnership. Tell us what resources you need to more effectively make disciples. Send your laity to the partnership events.  Spread the word that we are more determined than ever to “See All the People” and reach all the people for Christ. 

See you on September 29 th when you drop in at the Intentional Disciple Making Fair at Trinity King George from 10:00am - 12:00pm. Trinity KG is located at 9425 King's Highway in King George.

Pastor Ted

Rev. Micheal Ratliff
At our upcoming Fall Celebrations on October 21, October 28, and November 4, the District will elect At-Large Delegates for next year's Annual Conference in Roanoke (June 20-22, 2019). We need to elect 23 At-Large Delegates and 8 reserve delegates.  

The same ballot will be presented at each Fall Celebration. In order to be on the ballot, you need to complete a nomination form by clicking the link below and  returning it to the   District Office by October 10, 2018.   Because of scheduling issues, this is a FIRM deadline. 

You can nominate yourself or someone else (with their permission).

If you have any questions, please let us know. 

Rappahannock River District Office: 
Mail: PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 
FAX  804.448.8328  (call to confirm receipt)
Phone : 804.448.8326 Office or 804.304.8566 Cell

District Celebrations:

Sunday, October 21, 2018: Ebenezer Stafford
Sunday, October 28, 2018: Wright's Chapel
Sunday, November 4, 2018: Heathsville
In addition to electing At-Large Delegates to the Virginia 2019 Annual Conference at our upcoming Fall Celebrations, we will also be nominating up to 9 people to attend the 2020 General Conference and 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference.

General Conference is May 5 - 15, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN.

District lay nominations for the  2020 General Conference and 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference  will be voted upon at each district conference. Laity who wish to be nominees as delegates for these conferences shall complete the lay nomination form at Click on the "District Lay GC Nomination" button .

 Upon completion, the form automatically will be submitted to the district office in which the lay nominee’s church is located.  Electronic submission is preferred but if a nominee is unable to complete an electronic nomination, he/she may contact the district office. 
Conference Standing Rule III.D.3 contains information about the church membership requirement for nominees.
III.D.3. Church Membership. All nominees shall have been professing members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years preceding their nomination and must be members of churches in the Virginia Annual Conference and shall have been active participants in The United Methodist Church for at least four years preceding their election. They also must be active members within The United Methodist Church at the time of holding General Conference and jurisdictional conference. The four-year participation and two-year membership requirements may be waived for young persons under twenty-five years of age. Such persons must be members of The United Methodist Church and active participants at the time of election.
A link to this form is also available on the Virginia Conference website at

The deadline for these forms to be submitted to the District Office is October 10, 2018.
Lay Servant Training Offered
The Rappahannock River District is pleased to announce our Lay Servant Ministry Training for October. Join us October 5 - 6, 2018 at Regester Chapel UMC in Stafford, VA. 

  Classes include:
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
Intentional Discipleship Making
Leading Worship

Please click button to register. Classes are Friday evening from 6:30pm - 10:00pm and Saturday from 8:00am - 4:30pm. 

Please contact Lay Servant Ministries, Director Dottie Garrison at 703-403-8953 or  or the Rappahannock River District Office at 804.448.8326 or .
District Youth Council Meetings
We are getting together at Hillcrest UMC ( 2208 LaFayette Blvd, Fredericksburg) at 2:00pm on the following dates:

August 26
September 30
October 28

We will be studying the Leadership Qualities of Nehemiah and everyone is invited! Come Join Us!
Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer
The September 15 Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer will focus on how to prayerfully respond to current concerns of The United Methodist Church. Dr. Terry Tekyl, well known lecturer and author of fifteen books on prayer will be the plenary speaker. Classes on prayer and spiritual disciplines will be offered as part of the convocation. A brochure about the convocation and information about registration is at   Half a CEU is offered for convocation participants.

Marriage Enrichment Retreats at Lake Junaluska

We are created for a lifetime of love and intimacy, but relationships can be hard, even for the happiest couples. Distance, frustration and disconnection can enter through any number of life's events. This retreat will help you better understand your partner and learn to cultivate a warmer, more joyful and loving relationship. Learn more at  or call 800-222-4930.
Cost:  $669 per couple. Includes two nights lodging, five meals and sessions.
-           September 30 - October 2, 2018
-           March 10-12, 2019
-           August 18-20, 2019
-           September 29 - October 1, 2019
The UMW Mission Outreach Program featuring Peg Arnold scheduled for September 11, 2018 at Kilmarnock UMC has been cancelled because of Ms. Arnold's recent serious skiing accident.
Please remember her in your prayers.

FACE TO FACE – an encounter with the Risen Christ
FACE TO FACE – an encounter with the Risen Christ – is an experience in the tradition of the Walk to Emmaus designed for persons 60 and older. Open to Christians of all denominations who want to strengthen their spiritual lives,  FACE TO FACE allows the opportunity to rediscover Christ’s presence, gain understanding of God’s grace, and form friendships that foster faith and spiritual maturity.
The Fredericksburg Emmaus community is having its first FACE TO FACE Encounter in August at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church. The Encounter will be August 14, 16, 21, and 23, all Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9am to 3:30pm. Lunch is provided. The cost for this amazing experience is $25.00.  Yes, $25.00!  FACE TO FACE is an experience for both men and women. 
FACE TO FACE information is displayed on the Upper Room Website. Prayerfully consider who among your congregation would benefit from an Encounter. August will be here soon, so don’t delay. If you have questions, contact Kitti Mann, or John Mann, or call, 540-891-1671. We will be glad to send registration forms and brochures to you.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 8 at 10:00. The District Superintendent Ted Smith will be serving as the Grand Marshal for the Edwardsville Day Parade. Join us at Galilee UMC located at 747 Hull Neck Road in Edwardsville for a wonderful day!
Friendly Reminder - Please check "Display Images" at the top of your email in order to see all of the newsletter including events like the Distinctive Bazaar at Irvington UMC (flyer below).
Camper Open Golf Tournament

Westview on the James invites you to be a part of our Camper Open Golf Tournament! The tournament will take place October 29, 2018 at Stonehenge Country Club in Midlothian, Virginia. By participating in this event you will be helping to send underprivileged kids to camp who otherwise would not be able to attend. We have several options for those who would like to participate, whether it be attending the tournament and playing on a team or whether you would like to become a sponsor to help us reach our goals.

If you would like to register and become a part of a team for $100 or create a team for $400 please  click here ! We know not everyone can be available to participate on a team but if you would still like to  become a sponsor  we would love to have your participation.  

Thank you for all your participation and we look forward to seeing you on the green!

The Westview Staff

Summer Food Distribution
The Heartwood Center summer food distribution is underway. Caroline County site at Bowling Green UMC served 45 children. Fauquier County site at Mary Walter ES served 89 children. The Stafford County site at Howell (formerly England Run) Library begins Saturday June 23rd at 2pm.

 Volunteers are welcome to come:
  • unload food bins,
  • set up,
  • help families with selections,
  • carry bags to cars. 
For more information or to volunteer click  here

The Heartwood Center Youth Mission Day Camp will be held July 16-20 and August 13-17.  1pm-8pm. If you would like to volunteer for a day, provide an evening meal or snacks and beverages, click  here

We are also collecting the following items for care bags for people who are without a permanent residence:
Baby wipes, lip balm, lotion, sunscreen, apple sauce and pudding cups, trail mix, beef jerky,  travel coffee mugs, gift cards, socks, band aids, mini sewing kit, Q tips, nail clippers, dental floss. These bags will be assembled during the Youth Mission Camp.
Upcoming Events & Meetings:

August 6 - 24 DS preaching/teaching in Africa
August 26 District Youth Council, Hillcrest UMC, 2208 LaFayette Blvd, Fredericksburg
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)