April 24, 2019

Welcome to The Bridge, a weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 

 Rebellion for a Mighty Cause

When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man's blood on us." But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.  Acts 5:27-32

The Easter egg hunts are all complete. The Easter Sunrise service was early and a great morning spiritual reminder of the empty tomb experience. The Easter Sunday service(s) with full choirs, liturgical dance, children’s messages with empty eggs are a fond memory of the reason Jesus Christ was born. None of this should be taken as an indication that Easter is over. In fact, for those who follow the Christian season, Easter is just beginning. The power of the empty cross now becomes even more powerful than the news of the empty tomb. The power of Christ whom Mary Magdalene encountered in the tomb is the best indication that the moments after Easter morning grow in meaning, responsibility, and expectation for Christians worldwide.

Maybe it’s the rebel in me, but I just love these words from the disciples to the Roman authorities, to the Temple leaders, and historically to us. Maybe you read it and think the disciples were rude, insubordinate, or simply “trouble makers.” Typically, being a trouble maker is not what we desire to be. It is basic human nature to get along, have stability, establish and maintain status quo, and for some, to have the absence of conflict at all costs. Thank God the disciples did not opt for status quo, superficial peace at all costs, or going along to get along.

Let me ask, if you’ve ever been in a situation in which you needed and had the courage to say “We must obey God rather than human authority?” My answer to that question is a resounding YES! I have been in situations in which the authority, or law, was acting in a way that was contrary to God’s biblical word. I’ve been in situations in which the person in charge desired an outcome that would have caused Jesus himself to turn over tables. In each of those situations, I didn’t feel a need to be self-righteous, but felt a conviction to say, “I don’t believe this is God’s will.” None of those moments were comfortable, easy, nor safe, but I feel that I grew from each one of them.

So, what? So what are Christians today called to do as a result of the 2019 Easter celebration? Let me suggest that the Christian who today wants to be faithful to celebrating Jesus’ resurrection might engage in some of these activities:

·        Seek out, listen to, and examine God’s leading in response to prophetic voices in today’s culture;
·        Question every news source to sort out God’s agenda from human agenda;
·        Be the Christian witness scripture demands you to be, don’t keep the message of Jesus’ resurrection to yourself;
·        Follow Christ’s example of overcoming the power of sin, be it an unhealthy addiction, a poisonous influence, self-harming behavior and choices, your behavior that treats others in ways Jesus would never approve of, or whether it’s calling upon strong Christian friends to support you in making long overdue changes in your life;
·        Pray, Pray, Pray that you actually have the courage to speak up when you see manifestations of evil
·        Spend more time learning and practicing the Spiritual Disciplines so you can be a stronger witness for Jesus Christ.

Last, but not least friends, let this 2019 Easter be a season of all things Resurrection.

In Christ!
Pastor Ted
Walking the Journey Together  with Bishop Pete Weaver

Eastertide District Days
   'Jesus was talking to us on the road'  (Luke 24:32)
Bishop Pete Weaver is inviting clergy and laity of the Virginia Conference to join him in district gatherings in May and early June.
"Jesus most often journeyed in the company of others," said Weaver. "Even in our context, we can learn from each other and practice our Christian love for each other by journeying together. I am inviting you to join me in a district gathering in May and early June so we may have conversation 'on the road' together."
He explained, "We will share in Communion, seek to care for one another, and look at the meaning of the Judicial Council decisions and their implications as your Bishop and Cabinet seek to follow the Book of Discipline which governs our church."
A copy of Bishop Weaver’s invitation and the schedule are attached or may be found on the conference website at  https://www.vaumc.org/pages/news/2019vanews/2019vanews_walkingthejourneytogether

Our District is joining with the Richmond District for a Bi-District time of conversation with Bishop Weaver. on Saturday, May 11 from 2:00pm - 3:30pm at Wright's Chapel UMC in Ladysmith (8064 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen). This will replace the Chat & Chew 3.0 and will be for clergy and laity.
TODAY (April 24) IS DEADLINE - Email your registration details today to rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org

Lay Servant Training Offered
Lay Servant Training can help anyone who is interested in learning more in their pursuit of being a better leader and servant for Christ’s church. These classes can be used as tools in discerning God’s call for your personal walk and ministry. 
We are pleased to announce that Lay Servant Training will be offered on May 3 & 4 at Warsaw UMC.

Classes Offered include:

The Basic Course
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
Policy in the UM Church
Leading Worship

If you have any questions, please contact Lay Servant Ministries Director Dottie Garrison at 703.403.8953 or dottiegarrison@yahoo.com
We hope you can join us!

Youth Embracing Service

kNOw Hunger Event
On April 27th Youth Embracing Service will be meeting at Ebenezer UMC to participate in the kNOw Hunger event. We will not be meeting Saturday April 20th. Here is the link to register as a volunteer:
https://ebenezerumc.org/events/know-hunger/  Please contact Rev. Gayle Porias at gayleporias@vaumc.org if you have any questions or would like more information.

April 30th Deadline
El Salvador
UMVIM District Mission Trip
August 3-10, 2019

We are excited to reconnect with our International Methodist Mission Partner—The Evangelical Methodist Church in El Salvador. In 2019, we’ll send a District team to continue our relationship-building, food distribution and VBS.

Applications are available by clicking the buttons below or contacting the District Office.

Trip Cost:  Expected to be in the $750-$850 range, including airfare. $300 scholarships will be available to persons under 30 years of age.

Application and Deposit Deadline:   April 30 th , 2019 - $250 deposit is due with your application. Make checks payable to “Rappahannock River District UMC”, memo: El Salvador Trip and mail to:
Rappahannock River District Office
PO Box 100
Ladysmith, VA 22501

Final payment will be due at the second team meeting – June 8. No refunds after the airline tickets are purchased.

Team Meetings are mandatory (or must be made up) – May 11 th , June 8 th , July 13 th (all second Saturdays) at a location to be determined, 9:30 am – 11:30 am

If you have any questions, please contact Co-Team Leaders Rev. Carol Seeley ( carolseeley@vaumc.org ) or Rev. Robin BeMiller ( robinbemiller@vaumc.org)
Emmanuel UMC at Morattico is seeking a pianist/choir director. For more information, please contact taewonkang@vaumc.org
Annual Conference Orientation
Sunday, May 19, at 3:00pm at Wright's Chapel UMC located at   8063 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen .  

Please visit the conference website Annual Conference page at  https://www.vaumc.org/AC2019  for
 Annual Conference information. 
Upcoming Meetings

May 2 District Finance, FUMC
May 3 -4 Lay Servant Training, Warsaw UMC
May 9 Church Location & Building
May 11 Bi-District Conversation with Bishop Weaver, Wright's Chapel 2:00pm
May 19 Annual Conference Orientation, Wright's Chapel 3:00pm
May 28 District Superintendency, TMUMC, 7:00pm
May 29 Clergy Farewell Luncheon (for clergy and families)
May 30 Connectional Ministries, Wright's Chapel

Save the Date: Sunday, June 30 DS Farewell/DS Welcome, Wright's Chapel, 3 pm Everyone is invited!


District Superintendent: Rev. Dr. Theodore Smith
DS Email:   rappahannockriverds@vaumc.org Cell: 540.419.5131

2019 District Co-Lay Lay Leader:

2019 District Co-Lay Leader:

District Lay Servant Ministry Director  Dottie Garrison dottiegarrison@yahoo.com
Heartwood Director: Rev. Gayle Porias gayleporias@vaumc.org
Crossroads Minister: Rev. Mark Roscoe markroscoe@vaumc.org

District Secretary: Lynn Manley rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org
Cell: 804.304.8566

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)