March 8, 2018
Welcome to The Bridge, a weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the United Methodist Church 
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To Give Up (something) or Not?
So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.  Hebrews 9:28

Why give up something for Lent?

In Lent , many Christians commit to fasting, as well as " giving up " certain luxuries in order to "replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ's journey into the desert for 40 days." The Stations of the Cross, a devotional commemoration of Christ's carrying the Cross and of his execution, are often observed.

Some folks are reluctant to engage the season of Lent because it calls for a look at the inner self, because it calls for confession, and because it walks through a very painful time in the ministry of Jesus. By nature, we humans don’t want to experience challenges. We prefer status quo, we prefer comfort, and we prefer a stability through “sameness.” This leads some Christians to celebrate Christmas, drift during Epiphany, skip the Lenten season, and (figuratively) jump back into faith on Easter Sunday. Looking inside and seeing the behaviors we should change is hard, so we should not judge the choice others make about how to engage faith.

According to Christina Mead of “Life Teen" magazine, teens were asked what they will give up for this 2018 Lenten season.  The answers range from humorous, insightful, surprising, to deeply spiritual. Among the responses were these: energy drinks, pornography, back seat driving, greed, pride, pulling the victim card, opening the refrigerator just to look, wearing clothes that are too tight, being selfish, texting while driving, sweets, alcohol, illegal substances, education, all social media, bad friends, resistance to prayer, and resistance to share their faith. So, do you see anything on the teen list that you might need or want to give up for Lent?

My Lenten season practice has rarely been to give up one specific thing but instead I spend the 40 days in prayer saying the words, “search my heart, Lord and show me your will and plan for me.” I try to be sure I’m spiritually ready to hear whatever God says. I want to look inside, see what God sees, confess, repent, and strive to walk more closely with Jesus.  Friends, there is no right or wrong way to engage the Lenten season, especially if your way is an intentionally spiritual way grounded in Christ.
The season of Lent began on February 14 th and will end on March 29 th . This leaves us all more time to decide what we’ll do to walk closer with Christ in this season of recognizing that Christ has walked a very lonesome and painful journey for us. 

Blessing and Peace as you journey through the 40 days of Lent!



The speaker is sending materials ahead: please register soon so we order enough

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
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.

We want to help you reach young people!

So SIGN UP today for the Next Gen Summit at a location close to you!


It's not news to you that most churches have been steadily "growing old." While the gospel of Jesus Christ remains as relevant as ever, we have struggled to capture the hearts of young people in our communities.

But what if there are ways we could help our churches grow young once again? And what if the answer has nothing to do with church size, money, or being "cool?"

This April 21st, the Virginia Conference Next Gen Ministries have partnered with the Fuller Youth Institute to bring you Jake Mulder, coauthor of Growing Young - Six essential strategies to help young people discover and love your church. 

At the Next Gen Summit, we hope pastors, youth and children's ministry leaders, and volunteer teams will:
  • CONNECT with each other
  • CONNECT with excellent resources
  • CONNECT with God
Click below to learn more and register. Early Bird rates are just $35, but they end soon!

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.
Cleaning Kits
For future reference:

The Central Virginia Mission Hub located in Culpeper, VA has developed an Instructional Video for putting together a Cleaning Kit. Google cvmhub to view this training on YouTube. 

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
Music Director Opening (from Richmond District)
Willis United Methodist Church,  8360 Willis Church Road, Henrico, VA 23231 , is seeking a part-time Music Director who can play piano or Kewaii keyboard for the congregation and direct the adult choir. There will be 3.5 hours required per week at the church. This small historic Methodist Church is in Varina, in eastern Henrico County. The salary is negotiable depending on experience with a range from $9,000 to $11,000 per year. Please contact The Rev. Dr. Art Thomas at (home)  804 264 6746  or cell  240 281 1523  and email your C.V. or resume to .
Upcoming District Meetings & Training:

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)