Visiting Abiding Presence
If you are a newcomer (or have been worshiping here for years, for that matter) someone will likely notice you on Sunday morning and engage you in conversation. Pastor Keseley will do her best to connect with you before or after the service to say hello. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to track her down or ask someone sitting around you. We try to be a pretty friendly bunch of people.
Where is the church and when do you worship?
Abiding Presence is conveniently located in Burke, Virginia at 6304 Lee Chapel Road near the intersection with Old Keene Mill Road. Interstate 95, the Fairfax County Parkway, and Route 123 all provide easy access to the church. Click here for directions to the church. We have plenty of parking in the lot behind the church, including handicapped and visitor spaces.
We worship on Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday mornings at 8:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. (the late service moves to 10:00 a.m. during the summer).
What do I wear?
You will find people wearing just about anything at our worship services. The Saturday evening service is meant to be casual and people usually wear whatever they had on for the day’s other activities. The Sunday Praise Service is also casual and you will find people wearing everything from skirts to jeans and dress shoes to flip flops. You probably won’t find anyone wearing a suit or tie at the Praise Service or on Saturday nights, but if you would like to wear one you certainly can. The Sunday Traditional Service is our most dressy service, but you will still find people wearing a wide range of things. Some men may be in suits and ties while others will be in dress pants or jeans. Women wear everything from dresses to slacks to capris. We want you to wear whatever makes you comfortable and we can pretty much guarantee that you will find at least a few other people similarly dressed. Whatever you look like when you walk through the door, we’ll be glad you joined us!
What will the worship service be like?
The short answer is that depends which service you attend. All of our services include Holy Communion each week. Our three distinct worship services include:
Saturday Evening at 6:00 p.m. is a service based on the “Holden Evening Prayer” liturgy. The music is led by the piano/organ and a cantor and involves a lot of congregational singing. This is a quieter, more intimate service. Everything you need to follow along in the service is found in a worship bulletin. The service tends to be about 50 minutes.
Sunday Praise Service at 8:45 a.m. is our most energetic service led by our Praise Band and includes contemporary Christian music as well as more modern hymns and songs. All of the prayers and songs are projected onto a screen for the congregation to follow. The service tends to be about an hour.
Sunday Traditional Service at 11:00 a.m. (10:00 a.m. in the summer) is our most traditional service. The music is led by the organ and our adult choir and includes traditional hymns as well as some more recent worship hymns. Our traditional service is by no means stuffy, though. Everything you need to follow along in the service is found in a worship bulletin. The services tends to be about an hour.
What about my kids?
Pastor Keseley has young kids herself and knows just how nerve-racking worshiping with kids can be. After all, you never know what kind of mood they will be in or if you will be sitting next to someone who finds your little one as adorable as you do. Honestly, though, the people at Abiding Presence love kids! You don’t have to worry if your child makes noise or moves around. Kids are important people in our congregation and we want them to be seen and heard. We believe that kids worship through their wiggles and giggles. We want kids to love coming to church and enjoy worship.
We have children’s worship bags for preschool and elementary age children with activities based on the day’s Bible story. The ushers will have one waiting for you when you walk in the door of the church. Please return the bag to the basket following the service so we can restock it for the following week.
All three of our weekly services include a children’s message. Pastor or Vicar will invite the children to come forward to spend a few minutes with them on the altar step learning about the day’s Bible story. Parents are welcome to come forward with their kids.
At our Praise Service, kids are invited during the last song to pick up a shaker and “make a joyful noise” along with the band. It is also not uncommon to see them singing and dancing in the front of the church or in the aisles.
If your child really isn’t in a worshiping mood, we have a professionally staffed nursery on Sunday mornings. Our nursery attendants have been with us for years, quickly learn the names of kids and parents and provide a fun, safe place to play. The nursery also includes a changing table, diaper genie and child’s size bathroom. Some parents choose to let their kids play in the nursery during the sermon and then bring them back into worship in time for Holy Communion. Changing tables and diaper genies can also be found in both of our main hallway bathrooms.
All of this said, if you are looking for a congregation without kids where the sanctuary is always quiet, we probably are not the best fit for you.
What about Holy Communion?
During the worship service before the distribution of Holy Communion, you'll hear Pastor Keseley say, "This is the Lord's Table and all are welcome here." We mean what we say! We believe that everyone is welcome to receive Holy Communion. It doesn't matter if you are Lutheran or not, when the last time you went to church happened to be, how old you are, what your background is, if you feel especially close to God or not or even if you are struggling to believe. Holy Communion is God's gift of grace to give us a tangible way to experience God's love and forgiveness.
If for whatever reason, though, you would rather not receive Holy Communion, you are still invited to come forward to the altar for a blessing.
How do I get involved?
One of the things that makes a church feel like home is when you get involved and begin to meet other people. There are tons of ways to get involved at Abiding Presence and we would welcome you to take part in any of them. You can read about specific ways to get involved on our activity page. New people are welcome at all of our activities, so do not feel like you have to have joined the church or been here for years to attend a Bible Study group, fellowship event or service project. If you want to talk more about how you can get connected in the congregation, just ask Pastor Keseley.
I like Abiding Presence. How do I become a member?
We welcome anyone and everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or ethnic background become a member of Abiding Presence. New member classes are offered every other month or so. Just check with Pastor Keseley to find out when the next gathering will be. Joining the church means affirming your faith in God and committing to live out your faith at this point in your life in this congregation.
Don’t worry, though! There is no pressure to formally join the church. So if you decide you want to join, great. If not, that’s fine, too. We’ll still be your church and Pastor Keseley will still be there to support you through your faith journey.