As of the end of the school year, rising 6th graders are now officially eligible to participate in Youth Band and Youth Choir at Abiding Presence! To officially welcome them to the groups (and just for a super-fun thing to do together!) we're going to a Washington Nationals home game vs. the Atlanta Braves at 1:35pm on Sunday, July 22.
Help is still needed with Vacation Bible School from July 9-12 from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. We are in need of both station leaders and crew leaders. Station leaders prepare a workshop that is visited by small groups of kids. Crew leaders lead small groups around to the various stations. Station leaders need to be adults. Crew leaders can be teens and/or adults. If you can help, please contact Children and Family Minister Sara Dyson.
A letter from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and faith leaders from faith traditions across the country in response to separation of families at the border. Church leaders from many traditions are speaking out in a unified voice.
Is your child or teen headed to sleepaway camp this summer? If so, the church would like to help make sure they receive mail. Please send the dates they will be away along with their address (email and/or postal mail) to Pastor Keseley. Camp is a great opportunity to let our children and teens know that the church cares about them.
This Saturday the Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will gather for the the annual synod assemble. Voting members from Abiding Presence will include Rev. Meredith Keseley, Rev. Heidi Eickstadt, Rev. Ivan Ives and Karen and Joe McGavin. The assembly will gather under the theme "Connecting - Up In Out" at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Fairfax.
The synod assembly is a bit like the annual meeting of a congregation. The assembly will vote on the proposed budget. They will also elect members to the synod council, synod committees and to serve as voting members to the churchwide assembly next summer. In between the business sessions, there will be opportunities for worship, workshops and fellowship. If you want to stay up to date on the action, there will be a blog running from the floor of the assembly all day on Saturday.
As our synod gathers for assembly, it's a good time to remember that we at Abiding Presence are part of a larger church. The work we can do as one congregation can feel limited at times. The work we can do as 80 congregations in our metropolitan area or as one of more than 9.250 congregations in the country is limitless. Together we support ministries around the country and even the world. Our witness to the good news of Jesus Christ and God's love for the world is stronger together.
Abiding Presence is especially grateful for the support of the synod of our congregation. We are currently in the second year of a three year grant to help us fund our Pastor of Discipleship position. Pastor Heidi's ministry with us would not be possible without the synod's backing. As the synod is helping to support us, we are blessed to be able to help the synod support ministry at many other congregations in our area. This is what it looks like to be the church together - connecting up, in and out in our world!
While the majority of our old sanctuary chairs found a second life at a Christian church in Maryland, about 30 of them found their second life at ECHO. ECHO is one of our community partners who supports people in need in the immediate Burke and Springfield area.
Recently, ECHO lifted up the need of children's shoes, especially for older children. If you have new or gently used shoes to donate, please bring them to church and drop them in the ECHO bin under the coat rack.
If you're looking for an opportunity to volunteer this summer as a teen or adult, consider signing up for one of ECHO's backpack packing sessions to help them get ready to distribute backpacks with school supplies to local school children.
We're grateful to have such a strong community partner with whom we can serve our community!
Abiding Presence has three services each weekend - Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday at 8:45 or 10:15 a.m. Our Saturday evening service is a great option for worship throughout the year, but we find many people especially enjoy the service in the summer.
If you are new (or relatively new) to Abiding Presence, we'd love to connect with you! Join Pastor Keseley and others from the church leadership team for a family-friendly lunch in Bailey Hall (to the left of the main entrance to the building) to learn more about the church. You'll have the chance to connect with others in our faith family, eat some food and enjoy fellowship. Kids are welcome to attend. If you're interested in formally joining the church, we'll have paperwork to do so. There's no pressure to join, however! We're just glad you're here and would like to get to know you better. You can RSVP to Pastor Keseley or just show up as we'll make sure to have plenty of food.
What if youth ministry was more than youth group? What if churches built youth ministry not just for young people, but with young people? What if youth ministry became a construction site: a place where young and old work together to survey, build and reflect the kingdom of God in their local community? These are the questions being asked by Princeton Seminary as they launch a new initiative called the Log College Project, in which Abiding Presence has been chosen to participate. I am excited for our congregation to learn, grow and discern alongside 53 other churches of various denominations from around the country.
Do you have unwanted clothes and household items, but no time to have a yard sale? Here's a way to clean out all that stuff and help send our 13 Senior High youth and 3 chaperones to Houston for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering.
Bag up your unwanted items and drop them off in the Abiding Presence Narthex anytime between May 25th and June 3rd. The following items in good, clean condition are accepted: Clothing, Accessories (hats, belts, scarves, etc.), Shoes, Linens, Books and Small Household items.
Every item donated turns into money to help send the kids of Abiding Presence to Houston. We've partnered with the company FUNdrive who will pay us per pound of items collected.