I want to start by saying a huge thank you to you all for welcoming Jon and me so quickly into your church, families, and community! I have loved getting to meet so many of you and look forward to getting to know more of you as the school year starts up.
As we look forward to the upcoming school year, we also anticipate the beginning of Sunday school. I am so excited to coordinate this year’s Sunday morning classes. We will be starting up September 8th with puppets, songs, crafts, and Bible stories ready to enjoy.
This year, we have so many students that we hope to have separate classes for every grade. We have been so richly blessed with lots of little hearts and minds to pour into, but in order to fulfill our big goals, we need a handful more Sunday school teachers. You don’t need any former experience, just a desire to let kids know that they are loved by their Creator. If you have questions or would like to get involved, please reach out to me. I would love to chat with you more about my dreams for our already thriving children’s ministry!
Mr. Jon, our new Youth & Family Minister, is excited to meet all of our 7th-12th grade youth and families. We will be grilling burgers and hot dogs while Mr. Jon talks to parents and students about the new youth ministry program. Bring your 7-12th graders, a side dish or dessert, and that is all that you’ll need. The night will start at 6pm and end around 8pm. Feel free to email Jon with any questions or to RSVP. Look forward to seeing you there!
What a week at Abiding Presence! Our senior high work trip team of 17 headed south to Savannah, Georgia for a week of home repairs while our confirmation camp team of nine headed to the mountains of Maryland for a week at Mar-Lu-Ridge. Their experiences have been plentiful!
Our confirmands joined a group of 60 confirmands from various churches spread across Maryland and Virginia. They hiked, zip lined, learned about what difference Jesus makes in the world, zip lined, sang, worshiped and bonded together. They got all of the fun of church camp with a bit of confirmation thrown in there, too.
Our senior high youth split into three teams to serve low income homeowners in Savannah. One team built a fence and two others replaced roofs. As one of our Senior High on the work trip said, “I feel like helping this lady with her roof helps us connect with God, being in God’s creation, a mirror of God.” They also worshiped with the hundreds of others at the work camp and opened their eyes to the many ways God is at work in the world, even in places like Krispy Kreme Donuts.
None of this would be possible without our amazing volunteers and staff. The Senior High Work Team was led by volunteer youth advisers Phil, Craig and Breanna. When you see these three, please stop and say, "Thank You" on behalf of our faith family.
Our Confirmation Camp team was led by Mr. Jon, our Youth and Family Minister. Having been with the group on Monday, I can assure you that their experience was as great as it was because Mr. Jon was there. Mr. Jon has jumped right into our congregation to form relationships with our students, help them navigate situations and engage in faith formation.
When you see our students, please stop them and ask them what their week has been like. Let them tell you stories about donuts and songs about black socks. Listen to what brought them joy and how they overcame the obstacles that they faced. I am proud of our students for stepping outside of their comfort zone and encounter God in new ways this past week.
To you, the church, I want to say, “Thank You,” to you, too. Neither of these experiences would have been possible without you. Financial contributions were made by the congregation in order to invest in these experiences for our students. The congregation also has invested in our new Youth and Family Minister staff position to ensure that these experiences aren’t just summer highlights, but continue to be relevant into the year as our students come together to learn, serve and build relationships. Thank you! I cannot wait to see what comes next for our students and for our congregation.
Hello, Abiding Presence I am your new Youth and Family Minister! My name is Jon Galdames-Henry. I just moved back to the Northern Virginia area after living in Philadelphia for school. I am so excited to get to know you all. I am especially excited to begin creating and growing a youth ministry dedicated to the faith formation of our middle school and high school students! I look forward to learning more about this amazing community and come alongside you all. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or concerns. I look forward to talking with you.
Michelle Galdames-Henry, Children & Family Minister
Hello, Abiding Presence! My name is Michelle Galdames-Henry and I am excited and honored that I get to come on board as the new Children and Family Minister. I have already had an amazing welcome from many of you and had so much fun experiencing VBS with all of the children and volunteers! My husband, Jon and I just moved to this area from Philadelphia, and what a joy that we have been given the opportunity to serve this congregation together. I cannot wait to get to know our new church family better. You can reach me at email@example.com- I look forward to talking with you soon!