October 4, 2017
Welcome to The Bridge News Section, a weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the United Methodist Church! Local Church EVENTS are in separate email.
Prayers & What Else?

We prayed for the people who suffered the three hurricanes, but what else could we possibly do?
We prayed for the Mexico earthquake victims, but what else would Christ expect of us?
We are shocked at the senseless violence of a Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and the latest Las Vegas killings, but what else does Christ require of us?

I won’t pretend to give you the answers or climb on a preaching soap box, but I must ask the questions hoping that Christ will keep guiding you in a response that will demonstrate the love of Christ and give God glory.

 Remember that prayer is the first action, not the only action.

Preparing for District Conference (part II)
 Charge Conference is upon us and many of our wonderful laity are preparing to give their charge or church report on their congregation’s steps to making disciples. I am excited about the reports and still praying that we don’t just get a list of church programs as we have from many congregations over the last six years.  My hope is that our lay reports will actually have a clear connection (like connect the dots) between what detailed discipleship steps take place when a new person arrives and in the months/years after they have joined.

The resource we recommended for help in this development is “See All the People,” by Dr. Junius Dotson, but there are also many other great resources that describe a step by step process. One of the best books regarding making disciples was written by Phil Maynard and published in 2015. It’s entitled “Membership to Discipleship: Growing Mature Disciples who Make Disciples.” I like this book because it is very clear in saying that there is a big difference between being a member and living as a disciple.  One can be a member of a Church and never engage in deeper spiritual maturity. Discipleship, however, is all about giving oneself to Christ in a way that leads to deeper biblical literacy and deeper spiritual maturity.  The signs and evidence of spiritual maturity are very clear, including (but not limited to) regular practice of the spiritual disciplines, sacrificial generosity of time, talents, and gifts, use of God given spiritual gifts, and freely sharing talents for God’s glory.  Truthfully, programs can be a vital part of ministry, but it is rare that a program aids in forming and shaping a disciple. So, friends, let’s get those reports ready to share and celebrate!

Blessings!
Pastor Ted

P.S . Article correction: Last week I mistakenly printed the word “immolate” in reference to following God’s example when the proper word should have been “emulate.”
Builder's Club Call for Warsaw UMC is at $2,870!!
 The Builder’s Club is a group of Laity and Clergy from across the District who have pledged financial support for building new churches and renovating and expanding exsting church facilities on the district.

The Club raises money by issuing a call to its members two or three times a year. When members receive a call letter, they will receive information about the church, the location and information about the project. Members are then asked to respond with a donation to the Club. You decide how much to donate - donations come in from $10.00 to $1,000.00. All donations are tax exempt and you decide the amount you wish to give for each call. No more than three calls will be asked of you during any given year. You can opt out of the Builder’s Club any time if your circumstances change.

This Call (the first in two years) will be for Warsaw United Methodist Church in Warsaw, Virginia. The request is for renovation of the lower structural part of the existing Sanctuary. This will include replacement of footings, foundation, sill plates, support beams and new floor joists where needed. 

Please click here to see the information packet for Financial Information and letter from the Warsaw Pastor explaining the project in detail.

Anyone who would like to contribute, please send a check payable to Rappahannock River District and mail to Rappahannock River District Builder's Club, PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501  Please indicate in the memo box that it is for Builder's Club Call #5. The call will end November 1, 2017 .

Thank you for supporting and serving in this connectional ministry.
Call for Nominations for At-Large Delegates at Annual Conference 2018
At our District Conference at Wright's Chapel UMC on Saturday, November 18, 2017 the District will elect At-Large Delegates for next year's Annual Conference in Hampton (June 15 - 17, 2018). 

We need to elect 28 At-Large Delegates and 9 reserve delegates.  In order to be on the ballot, you need to complete a nomination form and return it to the District Office by November 1.   You can nominate yourself or someone else (with their permission). Please click on the links below for either a PDF or Word version of the nomination form and return it to:

Rappahannock River District Office  
Mail: PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 
FAX  804.448.8328 (call to confirm receipt)
Carol Draper from the Conference Treasurer’s Office will be with us to discuss the annual statistical data required by the General Church. This includes how you record membership, ethnic diversity, small group participation, community outreach, as well as church assets and liabilities, income and expenses. She will provide line by line detail for you to take back to your church. Since apportionments are based on the data entered in these statistical tables, it is important that we categorize expenses, members, etc. correctly. This will be useful information for anyone who enters your statistics - whether it’s your pastor, treasurer, membership secretary or anyone else. 
Statistics Training
Two Statistics Training Classes will be offered on our District this fall:

Thursday, October 12 at 7:00pm at St. Matthias UMC, Fredericksburg
(426 Deacon Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22405)
or
Tuesday, October 24 at 7:00pm at Warsaw UMC, Warsaw
(287 Main Street, Warsaw, VA 22572)

Please register by contacting the District Office at rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org or
calling 804.448.8326 so we have plenty of handouts.
 
District Meetings & Training
October:
Thursday, Oct. 5 Board of Church Location & Bldg., Wright's Ch. 7:00pm
Tuesday, Oct. 10 Board of Connectional Ministries, Wright's Ch. 7:00pm
Thursday, Oct. 12 Statistics Training St. Matthias UMC 7:00pm
Tuesday, Oct. 17 Ordained Ministry, Wright's Ch. U 9:00am
Tuesday, Oct. 24 Statistics Training, Warsaw UMC 7:00pm
Thursday, Oct. 26 Finance Committee Fredericksburg UMC Room 209 7:00pm

CHARGE CONFERENCES: October 7 - November 5. Click here for a schedule.

OTHER UPCOMING TRAINING EVENTS:
Nov. 18     DISTRICT CONFERENCE  & TRAINING     Wright’s Chapel UMC
Jan. 10 TRAINING FOR NEW TREASURERS Wright's Chapel UMC
Jan. 20 PPR COMMITTEE TRAINING Trinity King George
  
District Superintendent: Rev. Dr. Theodore Smith
District Lay Leader:
Ms. Debbie Dietrich      debbiedietrich6@gmail.com
District Associate Lay Leaders:
District Lay Servant Ministry Director Greg Sokolowski  Gregory.sokolowski@navy.mil
Heartwood Director: Rev. Gayle Porias gayleporias@vaumc.org
District Secretary: Ms. Lynn Manley rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org
Administrative Assistant: Ms. Pam Blalock pamblalock@vaumc.org
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)
 
Thanks from El Salvador
We have received a gracious and deep felt Thanks! from our Mission partners in El Salvador for the gift of funds to purchase a truck. The truck will be used for El Salvador Methodist Conference ministries including the transport of supplies for our VIM mission teams.