Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6 and is a 40 day season of returning our hearts to God in preparation for the celebration of Easter. There are lots of special worship services and activities to support you in your Lenten journey. Check them out here.
God calls each and every one of us to serve. We are called to be Christ’s hands, feet and voice in the world today. Regardless of your age, ability or experience, God is calling and equipping you for service.
Here at Abiding Presence, our vision is for every person in our faith family to be engaged in some form of service both in the church and out in the world. This year as part of our “Making Firm the Foundation” vision, we want to help ensure everyone is equipped to listen to God’s call. Further, we want to raise up service opportunities so that people can get connected. In order to do this and track our progress toward every member serving, we will be distributing a “Time and Talent Survey” to all adults and youth in 7th-12th grade. Elementary and preschool kids will have the opportunity to fill out a special form just for them in worship this weekend. We hope to have the surveys returned prior to worship the weekend of March 2/3 so we can celebrate our faith families’ commitments to service for this coming year.
If you have any questions or would like the opportunity to talk further about listening to God’s call and/or service opportunities, please contact Pastor Keseley, Pastor Eickstat or any member of the church staff. All of us would love to talk with you and/or help get you connected with lay leaders in our congregation.
Small Groups will meet for five weeks during the season of Lent to explore what Jesus’ seven last words on the cross mean for us. Small groups are hosted by members of Abiding Presence at their homes or at the church. They start the week of March 10th and run through the week of April 7th. A short book will guide our discussions but there is also a DVD we’ll be watching in the small groups so even if you don’t have time to do the reading, you will still be able to participate!
Welcome to Abiding Presence! We're glad you are here! Join Pastor Keseley and others from the church leadership team for a family-friendly dinner to learn about the church and connect with others in our faith family. We'll eat some food, share a bit about the congregation and answer questions. Kids are most welcome to attend. There's no need to bring anything but yourself as we'll provide all the food. If you are interested in formally joining the congregation, we will have paperwork available to do so. If you have any questions or dietary restrictions, please be in touch with Pastor Keseley. RSVP to Pastor Keseley or on the evite.
What is faith? How would you describe your faith in one sentence? What difference does your faith make? These are some of the questions I posed to our pre-confirmation 6th graders this past Wednesday night as we sat in my office talking together. “This is getting deep!” one of them said to me as we wrestled with the idea of faith together. Indeed, faith can sometimes seem like one of those deep conversation topics that is hard to grasp.
In the biblical book of Hebrews, faith is described as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (11:1).” I encourage you to commit this verse to memory, highlight it in your Bible and recite it often. It’s short, sweet and to the point. Faith is both hope in God’s promises for the future and conviction, or trust, in all of God’s works that we cannot see.
The pre-confirmation youth and I talked about how God gives us all the faith we need. We don’t have to go out searching for faith. We don’t have to worry about if we have enough. God is the giver of faith and God always provides. This conviction that God has and will give us faith is something in which we can take comfort.
But, that’s not all! Faith is like a muscle. We all have it, but only some of us exercise it. When we exercise our faith, it gets stronger. We can feel it in a more pronounced way. It becomes visible to others. Faith becomes something we think about and engage with through the exercise of worship, prayer, scripture reading, service and life together in Christian community.
As I’m passionately discussing exercising faith with our 6th graders, one of them looks up at me and says, “So, basically, pastors are body builders.” Immediately, there was lots of laughter from all of us! But, it is not just pastors who are called to be body builders, it is all of us in this faith community who are called to exercise our faith and coach others along in exercising their faith, too.
I continue to be amazed by the faith of our young people and the ways that God is working in and through them. I’m thankful for all of the teens and adults in our congregation who are serving as body builders of the faith to help our children learn how to exercise their faith muscle. I hope you will prayerfully consider how God might be calling you, too, to get involved in body building in our faith community.
Abiding Presence offers food to neighbors in need through our partnership with ECHO, a monthly food pantry at the church and a monthly “Neighborhood Pantry” at a local apartment complex. Learn more about how you can get involved and/or receive food if you are in need.
Many of us have heard Jesus' last words from the cross every year on Good Friday but what do they mean? What do they tell us about Jesus and God? What do they mean for us?
Come explore these questions and more in one of our Lent small groups! Meet with other Abiding Presence members in hosts' homes, at a restaurant, or at the church for a fun time of connection and community.
All groups start the week of March 10 and continue for five weeks. Come try it out!
All seniors in the congregation and community are invited to join our OWLs group. Please contact the church office if you are planning to come. The Raptor Conservancy of Virginia will join us after lunch to share with us real, live owls to share with us more about the birds.
Join us for a memorable evening of fun and dancing at our 3rd annual Daddy Daughter Dance! While this is geared towards 4th grade and younger, girls of all ages are invited to come with their dad or favorite adult. There will be music, dancing, desserts, drinks, and a photo booth. Tickets are $12/couple, $6 for each additional girl. Pre-registration is required and tickets can be purchased here. Financial assistance is available, please email Sara Dyson, Children & Family Minister.