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E-Blast Friday, August 25, 2023

Back-to-School, Backpack Blessing, Promotion Sunday!

This Sunday is our Back-to-School & Promotion Sunday! 

Here are some highlights:

--Blessing of the Backpacks at both services.

--Presentation of Bibles to our Rising Third Graders (both services)

--Sunday School Promotion in the Sanctuary at 10:00 AM

--Fourth Sunday Coffee between the services

--Worship at White Birch 1:30 PM

Whew!! Blessings abound!


**From Whitney!:  With the school year starting, we want to bless our students and teachers with a Backpack Blessing! On August 27th at either service, please bring your backpack or work bags for a back-to-school blessing! Also, please have your children at Sunday School that morning, as we will have our Promotion Sunday ceremony during the Sunday School hour! For more information or questions, contact Whitney at (540) 810-6691.


Sunday is the last Sunday of Hunger Action Month!  If you have food for the Bridgewater Interfaith Food Pantry, bring it to church!  Also, bring your Society of St. Andrew coin box and Adopt-A-Bushel money.  We will celebrate and dedicate our effort to take Action to Alleviate Hunger!     


This Sunday, our scripture focus is: Romans 12:1-8 and Matthew 16:13-20.  Who do we say that Jesus is as we begin another school year?  Why is that important?  Here's a link to the scripture:


VIEWING WORSHIP ONLINE: You can access our live stream from the website (  Click on "Sermons" and then "Live Steam."  Here is the link:  You may also join us directly on YouTube at and click on the LIVE tab.


Come be found by the ONE who seeks you,  


Pastor Mary

Important Health Note for Worship

Ann Keels, our church secretary has been out sick this week with COVID.  Please pray for Ann's healing and recovery.  She plans to return to the office next week.  


There has been a rise of COVID cases in our area.  If you are having upper respiratory symptoms (productive coughing, runny nose), you don't feel well, or have a fever, please stay home and consider avoiding gatherings.  


As we gather for worship, masks will be optional, but encouraged.  Masks are available at church if you need one.  Hand sanitizer stations are available.  Pastor Mary will refrain from shaking hands.  


Thank you!!


Worship Volunteers!  Thank you for Serving!


Sunday's Worship Volunteers


8:30 AM - Chuck & Sue Rexrode

11 AM – Leach Family



8:00 AM  -    Don & Sue Gilkeson

11 AM –   TBA



8:30 AM –    Dan Plecker

11 AM -   Dawn Kern


Audio Visual

8-30 AM   - Scott Ridder

11 AM – Mark Kipps



8:30 AM  – Madelyn & Nolan Gilkeson

11 AM – Children's SS 


Bus Ministry

8:30 Am –   Rodney Hildebrand

11 AM -  Chuck Kern

Worship Volunteers - Sept 3

Greeters -

8:30 AM - B.J. Jenkins & Bettye Newman

11 AM – Sandra Stroud & Kathi Hemmis



8:00 AM  -    Ed Craun & Marc Craun

11 AM –   Dennis Rawley & Sam Wright



8:30 AM –    Johna McFarland

11 AM -   Christy Kipps


Audio Visual

8:30 AM  - Scott Ridder

11 AM – Tony Mancari



8:30 AM - Madelyn & Nolan Gilkeson

11 AM - Children's SS  


Bus Ministry

8:30 AM - TBA

11 AM - TBA


Next Sunday, September 3rd

Welcome Back College Students!

In worship, we welcome guest musicians, The Bridgewater Brass, led by Wyatt Smith.  Coffee & muffins will be served between the services.  Come meet a new friend!  Wear your college shirt or school colors of your alma mater or a school you cheer on and support!  

UWF Executive Meeting - This Monday, August 28

The United Women in Faith will have an executive meeting this Monday, August 28 at 6:30 PM in the Library.

Educate & Equip Meeting - Thursday, August 31

The Educate and Equip Committee will meet on Thursday, August 31 at 6:30 PM in the New Beginnings Classroom.  See you there!

New Life for Your Upper Room

The Memory Wing at BellAire at Stoneport would like your gently used devotional materials (Upper Room or others) for the residents to use.  Please put any booklets you'd like to donate in the tub on the bottom shelf, under the quilts.  Thank you!

Christian Education Employment Opportunity

Weekday Religious Education needs to hire a Bible Teacher for Elkton & River Bend Elementary School.  This is a part-time, paid position for classes held during school hours two days a week.  If interested, please call 540-438-997 OR email

"Can't Feel at Home" --

A Play at the Court Square Theater

The Play "Can't Feel at Home" written by Dr. John T. Glick and adapted and directed by Stanley W. Swartz will be presented at the Court Square Theater, downtown Harrisonburg.  It will be August 31st to September 2nd, September 7th-9th at 7:30 PM and September 2nd, 3rd, 9th & 10th at 3:00 PM. 


This play is the story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930's to allow for the construction of the Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive.  


Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  

Thank you from UMCOR -

United Methodist Committee on Relief

"...when you have done it for one of the least of these my brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me." -- Jesus (Matthew 25:40 CEB)


Dear Friends in Mission, 


Thank you!  The dear people you just helped with your gift to UMCOR may never have the opportunity to meet you, but if they did, I am certain their response would be-- Thank you!


And through your financial support you are serving within a vital network of interactive relationships in the US and in more than 60 countries in which UMCOR and partnering agencies engage in direct ministry to persons in need.  


May we continue to reveal the love of God for men, women, and children of all ethnic, racial, cultural, and national backgrounds and to demonstrate the healing power of the gospel with those who suffer.  


Grace & Peace, Roland Fernandes, General Secretary


$200 -- UMCOR where most needed, rec'd 7/10/2023

DUM BUM Youth News

ROCO (Rockingham County) schools, I HOPE YOU HAD A WONDERFUL FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL on TUESDAY!! Kick some classes booty! 
Both churches are having a backpack blessing THIS SUNDAY (Aug 27) so bring your backpacks with you to church so that we can pray for you and over you for this new year- teachers included! :) 
THIS WEEK IS OUR YOUTH KICK OFF! Here's what else we have going on!: 
If you attended our Youth Mission Trip, this is just a reminder, if you haven't done so yet, to say thank you to your prayer partner! Write a note, shoot a text, etc. Just let them know that you appreciate them! :) 
TONIGHT! FRIDAY, August 25 @6pm: Water Slide!!
Please plan to attend our youth kick-off slip-n-slide! We will have dinner, fun, fellowship, and I will have our beginning of the year paperwork to fill out! If you filled out a parent/youth form last year and none of your information has changed, I will just get you to sign off on it! Bring your friends to this too!! WE NEED A HEADCOUNT FOR FOOD!!!!!!!!! If you are planning on joining us, PLEASE FILL OUT THIS LINK ASAP!!!:
Saturday, September 9 @9am: Packing and Serving Lunches at HBC!! Join us as we make a warm meal for our friends experiencing homelessness and send them on their way with a packed lunch! Our menu is still TBD but meet at HBC at 9am for a fun morning! SIGN UP HERE!!!! and text me ASAP if you need a ride at (540) 810-6691 so that I can reserve the bus if needed! :) 
And as always, what's coming up! 
8/25/23: Slip-N-Slide! SIGN UP HERE
9/9/23: Serving lunch at HBC SIGN UP HERE
9/23/23: Youth Hike? 
10/6/23: Making Soup for Dayton Days
10/7/23: Dayton Days!! 
10/14/23: Dayton Days Rain Date
11/11/23: Operation Christmas Child Packing Party
12/8-9/23: Christmas Lock-In!

School Supplies Update from Kathi Hemmis

I have been taking school supplies to various locations around Dayton and Bridgewater and I found out that Mission Central Clothes Closet wanted to hand out school supplies to the families that come in.  I had the opportunity to hand them out when the clothes closet was open on Thursday, August 10.  They served 43 families with 139 children that night and the children that were there were so excited to get the supplies.


Artie Frederick asked me to bring as much as possible, so I've taken a large amount of the supplies to them.  She wanted to thank the congregation for your generosity. 


Our new doors are installed and they are definitely red.  According to the UMC web site, the red doors of churches traditionally signaled a place of sanctuary, refuge, and safety.  Some people also see the red doors as symbolic of the blood of Christ.  


In celebration of our BUMC red doors, we're asking you if you have a picture taken in front of the doors -- maybe a wedding, Sunday School class, Scout Troop, whatever -- to please send it as a JPG file to Scott Ridder so we can share them together.   

Thanks, Karen

Happy Birthday!! August 20 - Sept 2


20 - Mark Kipps

21 - Laura Gilkeson

22 - Meredith Charlton 

23 - Samuel Briggs

26 - Jon Higgs

30 - Ryan McAlister

31 - Henley Miller (Kim's granddaughter), Frank Vetting



1 - Owen Hardy, Erin Breeden, Jason Gilkeson

2 - Ginger Usry, Daniel Bowman

Bridgewater UMC is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!  

Contact Us

219 N Main Street

Bridgewater, VA 22812

Call Us : 540-828-0890