May 4, 2018
Welcome to The Bridge, a weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the United Methodist Church 

Is it worth Saving?
And I say also to you, that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.   
Matthew 16:18 (American King James )
Let’s jump right into the heart of the theological and spiritual question, “Are human beings worth saving?”  I’m sure that asking 100 people this question will reveal 100 different answers.  I’m sure the answers among the 100 would even reveal a list of persons in human history that were/are beyond redemption and salvation as well as a list of persons who “deserved” God’s love and salvation.  The biblical fact is that God has determined that humanity IS Worth Saving. God has actually determined that every single human is worthy of salvation.  So, God sent Jesus to save every single one of us; like it or not.  Yes, according to God, everyone Is Worth Saving!  Thank you God for believing in us more than we demonstrate belief in our own worth!
Once we determine whether people are worth saving, it should become easier to determine whether an institution like the Church is worth saving.  Jesus established the Church using the disciples to share the message.  “Upon this rock, I build my church.” So, let me ask, Is the UMC worth saving?  According to Rev. Dr. David McAllister-Wilson, President of Wesley Theological Seminary, the UMC is worth saving.  Here’s what President McAllister-Wilson has to say on the subject,
“The United Methodist Church is worth saving if it can serve the present age guided by a vision of the Kingdom of God, led by the example of Jesus, and strengthened by the Holy Spirit to make disciples of Jesus Christ who strive to make the earth more like heaven.”
What a mouthful and a lot of “if’s.  President McAllister-Wilson believes the UMC is worth saving based on a few conditions.  The conditions are a) if we can serve in this day and age guided by a vision of the kingdom of God (KOG), b) if we'd agree that Dr. McAllister-Wilson’s  “ifs” require a great deal of us.  The “ifs” also require a great deal of behavioral change in the average congregation.  The prominent conversation in most churches recaps the decades of decline we’ve seen in worship attendance and membership.  We’ve successfully identified the condition, we know Christ and disciple making is the cure to the condition, but we still seem to want to conduct business as usual.  We see clearly what has not worked to make disciples in the last 30-50 years, yet we seem to cling to religious status quo as if salvation will come if only because of our persistence.   
The UMC in Virginia is a 236 year old institution.  Institutions have a way of fighting for self-preservation until the institution either is revived into greater vitality or until it can no longer escape a painful ending.  My preference is that our Virginia UMC decides we won’t rest until we’ve prayed and worked for vitality that propels us into the year 2118.  Why the year 2118 you ask?  Because getting through 2018 and the next 100 years is a God size dream and will be a tremendous testament to vitality and faithfulness.
Are we (God’s children) worth saving?  God has answered with a resounding YES!  Are the Church and the UMC worth saving?  I agree with Dr. McAllister-Wilson, only if…
In Christ,
 Pastor Ted

Dear Lay Leaders and Certified Lay Servants,
We are pleased to announce we are kicking off the first laity cluster meetings in May and June. The purpose of the laity cluster meetings will be to bring together lay leaders and certified lay servants so that we can learn from one another, share ideas and resources, and partner together as we begin our journey toward intentional discipleship. Each meeting will open with introductions and devotions, followed by updates from your district lay leaders on various topics. There will be time for you to share with one another as well.
Our first meeting agenda is:
·           Welcome/Introductions/Opening Devotion
·           Update on Commission for the Way Forward
·           Intentional Discipleship
·           Future cluster meeting topics
·           Closing Prayer
We will be using the same regional groupings that we are using for our district fall celebrations. Here’s the schedule:
Saturday, May 19, 2:30-4:00 pm, Heathsville UMC: All churches in the counties of Northumberland, Lancaster, Richmond, and Lower Westmoreland (all except Colonial Beach and Grace)
Saturday, June 2, 2:30-4:00 pm, Regester Chapel UMC: All churches in Fauquier, Stafford, Fredericksburg, and Spotsylvania

Sunday, June 3, 2:30-4:00 pm, Tappahannock UMC: All churches in the counties of Caroline, King George, King William, Essex, and King and Queen, as well as Colonial Beach and Grace (Oak Grove)
Please RSVP to either of us at least one week prior to the meeting date so we can make sure we have enough handouts.
Terry Bain                                                    Debbie Dietrich
804-761-1625                                              804-769-3730                     
Now Hiring
The Heartwood Center, a mission on the Rappahannock River District has the following part-time, summer seasonal position available:

Mission Ministries Coordinator
The Coordinator leads a group of volunteers to provide a 2-week day camp for Middle School Students with a focus on mission in the local community. The home base for the camp is at the Heartwood Center property on Hartwood, Virginia in Stafford County. During the camp, the students have the opportunity to participate in team building skills, low ROPES course, hands on local service projects, Bible study, and recreation. The local churches support the camp with experienced and enthusiastic volunteers and evening meals. 
Call: Rev. Gayle Porias at 540.788.9838
The Afton United Methodist Women will be hosting an Indoor Yard Sale at the church on Saturday, May 12th, from 8AM - 1PM.  This is our fundraiser to benefit Local Missions such as The N N Food Bank and The Haven Domestic Violence Shelter. There will be lots of everything, including toys, decor, dishes, fold-out beds and furniture! Most items will be available for a donation; select items will be priced. Hot dogs, chips and drinks will also be available for sale. Mark your calendars for May 12th from 8 AM - 1 PM. and come early; you never know what “treasures” you will find at our sales! Afton United Methodist Church is located at 5130 Hacks Neck Road in Ophelia.
Help Us Help Them!

Crossroads Mission Center is looking for volunteers who can help package and deliver food to the children of King William County who are participating in the Summer Food Program. The program provides “2-Day Bags” consisting of 4 meals for 2 days for 1 child. The bag contains 2 breakfast, lunch, snack and drink items. The program runs from June 16 – August 25 . We need drivers (background check is required and will be provided) and packagers . Training will be held on June 5, at 6:00, at Crossroads Mission Center , 694K Sharon Road, King William, VA . We are also looking for individual and corporate sponsors. If you or your organization would like to collect items needed for the bags, please visit our web site at for a complete list of needed supplies. Monetary donations received will be used to purchase food and can be mailed to Crossroads Mission Center. If you have any questions, please call 804-769-2139 or email us at .

More Details Below.
Holy Thunder Christian
Dear Friends,
Now is the time to sing his praise!  
Join us on the lawn for  Holy Thunder, a Contemporary Christian Music Festival , Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 1 – 5 p.m., at Regester Chapel United Methodist Church, 85 Bells Hill Road, Stafford, VA. 
Bring a friend and a chair as we lift our voices in worship with performances from eight local area church praise bands.  Reverend Randall Snipes will deliver a message of salvation, that is sure to touch hearts and lift spirits.   FREE admission, FREE refreshments and FREE face painting for kids! 
For more information please visit: ,  or call:   540. 659.2642 .
Please help us to make this event great, by sharing our Facebook event page with your church friends and members:
Thank you, and we hope to see you there!
The Regester Chapel Family
Positions Open:
NEW LISTING: Wilderness Community Church in Spotsylvania, VA is seeking a Director of Youth Ministry. Primary responsibilities are to coordinate along with a team of youth ministry volunteers Christ-centered ministries that serve Youth (6th to 12th grade). This is a part-time, salaried position. If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to . For more information on the position,  opening.

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
May District Meetings & Training:
ay 4 - 5 District Lay Servant Training, Warsaw
May 19 District Laity Meeting (Lay Leaders & Certified Lay Servants)
- Lower Region Churches, 2:30pm, Heathsville UMC
May 20 Annual Conference Orientation, 3:00pm, Wright's Chapel UMC
May 30 Clergy Event: Clergy Farewell, 11:30am, Wright's Chapel UMC
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)