March 22, 2018
Welcome to The Bridge, a weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the United Methodist Church 
Hello Rappahannock River District - This is a large newsletter so if you see a message at the very bottom of your browser that says, "Message Clipped. View Entire Message", you'll need to click that link to see the rest of the newsletter.
The Ultimate Roller Coaster
They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
 “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10  When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11  The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”  Matthew 21:7-11

Believe it or not, I’ve run a number of full and half marathons. I actually have the medals and the injuries to prove it. Before I ran my first marathon, I talked with an experienced runner who was also a trainer. One very true and significant piece of advice I received was that I should not get overly excited in the best moments nor overly depressed in the more challenging moments. My trainer friend said , “Whether you feel great or feel lousy, that moment will quickly pass.”  That valuable piece of information has been my experience in every full and half marathon I’ve run.

When I think of these last days of Holy Week and Palm Sunday, the image of a roller coaster comes to mind, particularly an emotional roller coaster. I can almost visualize the emotional roller coaster as Jesus rides into Jerusalem like a triumphant leader, faces arrest and ultimately crucifixion, and is resurrected from the dead. Can you imagine the emotional roller coaster the disciples and loved ones of Jesus felt as they watched Jesus praised while entering Jerusalem, mocked and tortured after the arrest, missing from the tomb, and appearing before his ascension?

This week presents for the Christian community the best and worst of the journey from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Unfortunately, many Christians are eager to rush directly from Palm Sunday to Easter without so much as a glance at the bible text of the arrest, the mock trial, the torture, and the crucifixion. I do understand not reading bible verses about the arrest, the mock trial, the torture, and the crucifixion because this part of Jesus’ journey is a close look at pain and suffering. Many Christians (not all) have come to the place of wanting Christianity to be happy, joyful, consoling, and totally positive. There are so many Christians who don’t seem to read the bible, understand, remember, and regularly share God’s word.

My preference and hope is that more of us would stop this week - especially this week - to read, understand, and share why God chose to have Jesus face crucifixion in order to redeem we who are born in sin. We are indeed born into sin, were in need of, and remain in need of salvation. As we know, we don’t get salvation, agape love, transformative justice and peace, or reconciliation with God and one another unless God does something life changing and out of the norm.  In short, 2000 years ago humanity needed and still needs God’s sacrifice of Jesus the Son.  Based on our continued need, I will look again at the difficult bible passages between Palm Sunday and Easter. I encourage our friends of the Rappahannock River District to read through this part of Jesus’ journey as well.


Don't forget! THIS SATURDAY
See All the People: Intentional Disciple Making
March 24 th
10:00 am to 12:30 pm
Wright's Chapel UMC, Ladysmith

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.

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
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This is to inform you that, as a representative of Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church, I will be visiting in the Fredericksburg District of the Virginia Conference on April 7, 2018.
My name is Hess B "Doc" Hall, Jr. and I am the Program Manager for  Face to Face , a new ministry in the Walk to Emmaus tradition, for people 60 and older. We are a ministry of the Upper Room and Discipleship Ministries. ( )
I will be representing The Upper Room and Emmaus Ministries at a training event for the Fredericksburg Emmaus Community and will have resources for people to look over. I will be offering information on how to  Face to Face  as well as other information meant to assist the local community to be successful in our mission of making 4 th -day leaders being the hands and feet of Christ in the world.
If there are any questions you may have, or if I may be of assistance in some way, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Hess B. "Doc" Hall, Jr.
Director of Older Adult Spiritual Formation Programs
The Upper Room
Local Phone  (615) 340-7288

Final Planning Meeting is Sunday, April 8 at 2:00pm at Hillcrest UMC
426 Deacon Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
(540) 373-8759


March 25: Palm Sunday
                                   8:45 a.m. - Worship with a special message by
                                         Peter Vernimb
                                   11:00 a.m. - Cantata, followed by Covered Dish Luncheon and Easter Egg hunt

            March 29: Maundy Thursday worship at 7:00 p.m.

            March 30: Good Friday worship at 7:00 p.m.

            April 1: Easter Sunday
                                   6:30 a.m. Sonrise Service, followed by light breakfast
                                   8:45 and 11:00 a.m. Worship

           All are welcome to gather with us for any or all of the Holy Week 

Sunrise Service
Zion United Methodist Church Sunrise Service Easter morning 4/1/18 at the Pavillion at Merchant's Square in Spotsylvania Courthouse. It is at 6:30 a.m. and a light breakfast follows.  
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
The Credit Union Wants To Donate To Your Church

Our vehicle loan program is benefiting churches across the Virginia Conference and so far we’ve donated over $4700 to conference churches. Each time a church member finances their next vehicle purchase with the credit union or refinances a vehicle loan that they currently have with another lender, The United Methodist Credit Union will donate $25 to their church. Our current rates start as low as  2.45% APR  and we finance church vehicles too! Visit   or contact Mike at  866-657-0004  for details. (For Virginia Conference clergy, church members and their churches. All loans are subject to approval and credit restrictions apply. Not applicable to the refinance of current TUMCU vehicle loans)
Gun Violence Family and Survivor Retreat
Gun violence kills 93 people daily in the United States and our faith communities are not immune. People in our congregations, communities, and families suffer the pain, trauma, and loss of gun violence. Church and Society and Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence are hosting  a Gun Violence Family and Survivor Retreat  on Wednesday, April 11 – Thursday, April 12 in Washington, D.C. This two-day, all-expenses paid retreat is for individuals in the Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas who have lost loved ones to gun violence or have themselves survived gun violence. It will provide a space of healing and empowerment for these persons who have suffered from gun violence, encouraging their presence and action in the movement to end gun violence. The retreat is open to any survivor of gun violence, regardless of faith affiliation. For more information and to register, contact the Rev. Jeania Ree Moore ( ) and Rebecca Cole ( ).
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
Upcoming District Meetings & Training:
March 24 Intentional Disciple Making Training, Wright's Chapel, 10:00am
April 3 District Board of Missions, Tabernacle, 7:00pm
April 5 Heartwood Board, New Hope, 7:00pm
April 7 El Salvador Team Meeting, Wright's Chapel, 9:30am
April 9 Connectional Ministries, Wright's Chapel, 7:00pm
April 10 Ordained Ministry, District Office
April 12 Church Location & Building, District Office, 7:00pm
April 13 - 15 District Youth Retreat, Camp Happyland
April 14 District UMW Mission Event, Warsaw
May 4 - 5 District Lay Servant Training, Warsaw
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)