Advent Evensong this Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

Q: What is "evensong"?
A: According to choralevensong.org, evensong is a "peace-inducing church service in which the ‘song’ of voices sounding together in harmony is heard at the ‘even’ point between the active day and restful night, allowing listeners time for restful contemplation." The tradition of sung evensong as it is known today goes back to Reformation, and is still part of the worship life of many Anglican, Episcopal, and other churches today, particularly in the U.K. However, the roots of evensong lie centuries earlier in the the monastic practice of the "Divine Office" or "Liturgy of the Hours," which are short prayer liturgies chanted at certain hours each day and night––as many as eight times every 24 hours! Like most evensong services, ours draws from the hours of Vespers (Evening Prayer) and Compline (Night Prayer). In a basic sense, each Saturday when we gather at Abiding Presence to sing our vespers service, we are continuing the tradition of which Evensong is a part. However, nowadays the word "evensong" usually refers to a music-filled evening service featuring plenty of choir singing. Our service features chants based on the tune VENI EMMANUEL (better known as "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel") with our Abiding Presence Choir and Handbells.

ENewsDavid ChavezMusic
Latte, Light and Luke
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Early this past Monday morning, before anyone else was in the building, I took my latte into the sanctuary, lit the first candle on the advent wreath and began reading the gospel of Luke. Reading through the familiar story of my favorite gospel once again, I found myself drawn into the story with eager anticipation. It is a reminder that Christ’s birth doesn’t come at the end of the story. As I keep preaching, “God isn’t done with us or our world.” Reading through Luke’s gospel in preparation for Christmas reminds me of that truth.

In the midst of this busy time of year, I invite you to join me in the Advent discipline of preparing for Christ’s birth by reading through the entire Gospel of Luke between now and Christmas morning. At 24 chapters, it makes for an easy one-chapter-a-day kind of a read. If you’re starting now, there is plenty of time to catch up in the one-a-day reading. You can also just take an hour sometime and sit down and read the whole thing from beginning to end. If you would like to bring your latte over, you can light the advent wreath and read in our beautiful sanctuary. (You’ll find a candle lighter tucked inside of the pulpit. Just be sure to blow the candle out when you are done, please.) It doesn’t matter where, how or when you do it, just make a commitment to do so sometime between now and Christmas morning.

As people of faith, this is a time of actively waiting, watching and preparing for Christ to come again. Reading through the Gospel of Luke is one way to engage in it this Advent season. See what surprises you as you read through the gospel story. Listen to what God is speaking into your life right now.

CoverMeredith KeseleyAdvent
Meet our Jazz Vespers Musicians
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We thank our musicians who made the Advent Jazz Vespers service special!

Jacob Aguglia, vocals

David Chávez, piano

Craig Fraedrich, trumpet, arranger, and leader

Jacob Pembelton, bass

Quinn Sherman, drums

Bios below:

Hailing from Buffalo, New York, Jacob Aguglia is a Freshman BFA in Acting Major at Shenandoah University. Though his main art form is acting, he is also very heavily involved with the Music Program at SU. He is involved in the SU Jazz Ensemble as trumpet player and vocalist, and has also been a featured vocalist with the SU Little Big Band. He is in the Shenandoah Chorus and a member of the "Buzzin' Dozen Pep Band". In his previous years, he has sung at the NYSSMA Conference All-State festival in the Vocal Jazz (2017) and Mixed Choir (2016) ensembles. He has also played and sung with funk-rock group "French Quarter Hounds" and jazz-fusion group "The Progressions". 


David E. Chávez is a composer, collaborative pianist, music theory professor, church musician, music director, and podcaster. His compositions include the opera Norton: A Civil War Story, which premiered with Loudoun Lyric Opera in 2014, and works for classical and rock instrumental/vocal ensembles, solo songs, choral music, and film music. Dave regularly plays piano and electronics in an eclectic variety of collaborative groups and settings, including with Opera on Tap DC Metro. Current positions include Music and Worship Minister at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Burke, VA, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Shenandoah Conservatory. David holds two degrees in music composition from Penn State, and is a doctoral candidate at George Mason University. More at davidechavez.com.


www.craigfraedrichmusic.com

Jazz artist Craig Fraedrich has enjoyed a professional career as a performer and educator that spans over thirty years. He received his undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance from North Texas State University and Masters Degree from Arizona State University. He also studied at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Banff Center for the Arts. He was awarded music scholarships at each of these institutions. While in college he won numerous solo awards at jazz festivals throughout the country including:  The Elmhurst Jazz Festival, The Notre Dame Jazz Festival, The Wichita Jazz Festival, The UT-Austin Jazz Festival, The University of Arizona Flagstaff Jazz Festival and the University of California Berklee Jazz Festival where he was named the outstanding soloist of the Festival.  He was a winner of International Trumpet Guild Jazz Solo competition and leader/director of the first student combo to perform at the International Jazz Educators Conference.

Since 1986 he has performed as a featured jazz trumpet soloist with The Army Blues, the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Army and one of the few full-time jazz ensembles in the country. During that time he also served as the groups musical director, trumpet section leader and assistant group leader. In addition to performing, he has composed or arranged over 100 pieces for the band. As a member of this prestigious ensemble, Craig has traveled extensively both performing and serving as a clinician. In addition to visiting much of the United States, he has performed in Australia, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Germany, China, Ireland, St. Thomas and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He finished his career as a Sergeant Major, serving as the leader of the Army Blues and Element Leader of the Popular Music Element.

Craig has pursued a significant solo career as well. He has released twelve compact discs with his own groups and has appeared on dozens of others as a side-man. His release, So In Love (featuring NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman) reached number twelve in national jazz radio play according to Billboard Magazine. His most recent, All Through the Night on Summit Records is now available. Other performance highlights have included an appearance as guest jazz soloist with the Brass Band of Battle Creek for the premier of Wycliff Gordons Tribute to Muhammad Ali as well as the Kennedy Centers presentation of Ramsey Lewiss Proclamation of Hope, both of which were recorded for PBS. Craig continues to maintain a busy schedule in the Washington D.C. area. He is a dedicated educator and has been a faculty member (Associate Professor) at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music since 1989 and was a Lecturer at West Virginia University from 2013 to 2016. His duties have included:  teaching Applied Jazz Trumpet, Jazz Coaching (applied jazz lessons for any instrument) Music Theory, Jazz Theory, Jazz Arranging and Composition, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Combos, the Little Big Band and has been the director of the Shenandoah Jazz Ensemble since 1999. Highlights directing the Jazz Ensemble included tours of Senegal West Africa with performances culminating at the St. Louis Jazz Festival and a tour of Ireland with a featured performance at the National Concert Hall.

Craig has published three books as part of the Practical Jazz Theory for Improvisation series. He has studied improvisation with Dave Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Chuck Marohnic, Rich Matteson, Dan Hearle, Jack Peterson, and Frank Puzzullo. Additionally, he cites the remaining faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts (1985- Dave Holland, John Abercrombie, Don Thompson, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, and Julian Priester) as major influences. His principal trumpet teachers have included Dennis Najoom, Dr. Leonard Candelaria, Don Jacoby, Dr. Wayne Cook, Steve Kossoris, Chuck Tumlinson and Ken Van Winkle.


Bassist and band-leader Jacob Pembelton is from Winchester, Virginia and grew up playing a menagerie of music. With beginnings in the church and coming from a moderately musical family, he starting playing the trumpet in 6th grade at Aylor Middle School and soon moved on to tuba. Outside of school Jacob became interested in the bass at the age of 13. After he saw a band perform and being draw towards the electric bass (bass guitar) he decided he had to get one. After a few years of learning the electric bass he began playing in youth bands through "The Rock Room", under the direction of Phil Zuckerman. During this time he wanted to make playing bass his primary focus at school and switched to playing upright bass. Although there was no orchestra program in his school system, the band director Ryan Dempsey allowed him to play upright bass in both the wind ensemble and the jazz band provided he could get an upright bass (which he did!).

Jacob first began actively performing with the modern rock group, "Justified Asylum", to which had had belonged to throughout high school. Moving towards jazz and blues, he played at the Blues House Festival in Winchester, VA with "The RR All-stars" and soon began taking lessons on upright bass with Inez Wyrick. Prepping him for the next step in music he went on to major in Jazz Studies at The Shenandoah Conservatory under Donovan Stokes. Since coming to college he has had the opportunity of working as a part of various recording projects, large ensembles, and live bands. Most notably was his time with the group "Bees?", in which he was on the recorded album "Buzzkill" and toured through NYC and north east. Currently Jacob is a member of both Shenandoah's Big Band and Little Big Band, various jazz combos, and leads the Sweet NOLA's Po'Boys. He actively gigs in Winchester, Washington D.C., and the Northern VA area.

When not playing the bass, Jacob enjoys apprenticing under Thomas Wolf in The Plains, VA. There he does maintenance, building, and restoring of the upright bass. Recently he finished a 18 month restoration of a 1900's German bass, that he plays as his main bass today!

David ChavezMusic
Christ is Coming...Again!


I love Advent! It is my favorite season of the entire church year. It is a time of watching and waiting, preparing and hoping. Together, we cling to God’s promise that Christ will come again. Advent is the season in which we recognize that God will have the last word over the mess of creation and the muck of our lives. These four weeks before Christmas are filled with promise and hope for our futures. Advent is my most wonderful time of the year! 

During my pre-pastor and early-pastor days, I was an advent purest. I thought Christmas carols shouldn’t be sung until the Christmas Eve service, decorations should wait until as long as possible to be put up and that there should be a clear distinction between the four weeks of Advent and the 12 days of Christmas.

But then, something happened. I started looking around and realizing that we (the church) were missing out on a huge opportunity! Our culture was spending the whole month of December (and November and most of October, too) teaching people the meaning of Christmas - bargain shopping, snowmen, decorations, cookies, songs about jingle bells - and the church was relatively silent.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good cyber Monday sale like everyone else. Christmas cookies, jingle bells and Santa Claus are all part of my family’s celebrations, but they aren’t the meaning of Christmas. They aren’t why we celebrate.

I’ll confess that this year I started listening to Christmas music in mid-November. I still love Advent. I continue to cling to this season of promise and hope that assures us that God is not yet done with us or our world. Christ is coming…again! Thank goodness! It is abundantly clear that the world as it is today is not the world God would have it to be.

BUT, I also believe the church needs to reclaim its role of teaching about the meaning of Christmas. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. This is a powerful and important message that the world needs to hear…now!

So, starting this week we’ll slip a Christmas carol or two into our worship. We’ll begin looking at not only the promises of Advent, but the promises of Christmas, too, through the eyes of people like Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary.

Indeed, Christ is coming…again! The babe born in Bethlehem was the beginning, not the end, of God’s kingdom coming near. As people of faith, we live in the tension of this in-between time when Christ has come and when Christ will come again. We are Advent people. We are Christmas people. We are God’s people who trust that God has come, God is here and God is not yet done.

Advent Jazz Vespers
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Saturday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m.

Join us for a special Advent Jazz Vespers service featuring the arrangements of veteran arranger/trumpeter Craig Fraedrich (learn more about Craig’s music and take a listen at craigfraedrichmusic.com). It’s a great way to get ready for Christ’s coming with quality music in a relaxed worship service!

Featuring
Craig Fraedrich - trumpet
Jacob Pembelton - bass
Quinn Sherman - drums
Jacob Aguglia - vocals
David Chávez - piano

Invite a friend on Facebook.

Before and after the service, make a positive impact in the world by starting your Christmas shopping at the Fair Trade Christmas Market in the Narthex (provided by our local Lutheran-owned Fair Trade Winds store)!

Meredith KeseleyWorship
Sign Up for Bagels with Santa
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Saturday, December 8 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa is coming! Join us in Bailey Hall for a bagel breakfast. Santa will be making an appearance, and provide an opportunity for children to have their picture taken with him with a photographer onsite (FREE!). There will also be crafts for the children to work on. Don't miss this exciting event! Advanced sign up is requested.

We will also be holding a coat drive raffle! For EVERY new or gently-used coat you donate, you'll receive a raffle entry ticket to win some fun prizes! Coats will be donated to ECHO to help those in need this winter.

Special Worship Opportunities During the Season of Advent
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Advent is the season of promise and hope. It is not only a season of preparing for Christmas, but also a time of actively watching and waiting for Christ to come again. Throughout Advent we have special opportunities for worship as we pray, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”

Advent Jazz Vespers
Saturday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m.

The service will feature a Jazz Combo led by Craig Fraedrich, a Christmas market by Fair Trade Winds and a dessert reception in the narthex. See the event page for more details.


Blue Christmas Service
Wednesday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m.

We invite you to gather with us for a time of quiet reflection and stillness with God and each other. We realize that not everyone is filled with "holiday cheer" this time of year. Illness, death, the loss of a job, a change in family traditions and lots of other things can leave us struggling. This service recognizes what can be hard about the holidays and offers the opportunity for healing and hope. The service will be about 45 minutes and will include Holy Communion. Childcare will be provided in our professionally staffed nursery.


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Advent Evensong
Saturday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m.

The tradition of choral evensong dates back to the time of the Reformation. This service will feature chants based on the tune of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and music by the Abiding Presence Adult Choir and Handbell ensembles.


Children's Christmas Program
Sunday, December 16 at 8:45 a.m.

The children and youth of Abiding Presence's music ensembles will bring the Christmas story to life through drama and song. All are welcome at this special worship service that includes the singing of Christmas carols, the Christmas drama and Holy Communion. See the event page for more details.


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Great and Wondrous Mystery Cantata
Saturday, December 22 at 6:00 p.m.

An original cantata inspired by the ancient Orthodox hymn of the same name featuring guest soloists with members of the Abiding Presence Chamber Orchestra.


Service of Lessons, Carols and Holy Communion
Sunday, Dec. 23 at 10:00 a.m.

(One Service Only this Sunday. There will be no Sunday School or Abiding Table.)

From our Senior Pastor and Council President

WOW! You never cease to amaze us. Thank you for the faithful, generous and inspiring financial commitments you have made for 2019. It was an amazing weekend last weekend celebrating what God is doing in our midst.

So far, 136 households have offered commitments for the coming year. We reached the $5,000 challenge gift goal of 75 new/increased commitments by Celebration Weekend last weekend AND the $2,000 challenge gift goal of 50 additional commitments by Thanksgiving. That’s an additional $7,000 for our ministry this coming year. Thank you to all of you who have committed to helping make our vision a reality in 2019. There’s still time, though, for those of you who have not yet submitted your commitments to do so.

We promised in last week’s e-news that there was news coming about a big step we are taking right now toward our 2019 vision. Now, we’re ready to share that news!

We have hired Katy Moran as Interim Senior High Youth Director. We have been dreaming about and praying for a Senior High Youth Director for several years. When Pastor Keseley met Katy at a synod meeting, she immediately recognized her as having the gifts and skills of the kind of person for whom we have been praying. While we weren’t in any kind of formal search process to hire a Senior High Youth Director, the church council decided to embrace this “Holy Spirit moment” and bring Katy on board through May.

Katy comes to us as a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Herndon and a 2018 graduate of Longwood College. She started college with plans to become a special education teacher and then heard the call to ordained ministry. She will start her Master of Divinity at United Lutheran Seminary in the fall of 2019. Katy has spent the past five summers on the staff of Lutheridge Camp in North Carolina. She is well trained and equipped to bring all of the faith and fun of Lutheran summer camp to our youth ministry. Katy will work alongside our existing youth ministry team “Making Firm the Foundation” in preparation for our Log College Project grant project that will launch next fall.

Katy will start with us Sunday, December 2 and will be present at both worship services and the Abiding Table that morning. Please take a moment to introduce yourself and welcome her to Abiding Presence when you see her. We’re thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit that has connected us with Katy and for the opportunity to bring her on board for this school year.   

We say this often, but we continue to feel like it is an exciting time to be the church here at Abiding Presence. Thank you for all the ways you are helping to grow and shape our ministry for the sake of the world.

Blessings,

Rev. Meredith Keseley
Senior Pastor

Steve Lucky
Council President

This Weekend is Celebration Weekend!

You are an amazing group of people! Our congregation never ceases to surprise me. Watching the Holy Spirit work in and through you is a tremendous blessing. Looking ahead to 2019, I can honestly say that I am as excited as ever to take get to work Making Firm the Foundation at Abiding Presence. Thank you for ALL the ways you come together to be the church to make ministry happen. This weekend we are going to celebrate!

As of this moment, we have 105 households who have offered financial commitments for 2019. A big thank you to all of you! Of those 105 commitments, 81 represent new or increased commitments. I am thrilled to share that we not only met, but also surpassed our goal of receiving 75 new/increased commitments by this weekend. This means we will receive a $5,000 one-time challenge gift from a family in the congregation. What a blessing!

But, that’s not all. When it looked like we were closing in our first challenge gift goal, another family came forward to offer a second challenge in order to help emphasize just how much every single commitment – regardless of size – matters in our faith community. We currently need only 29 more households to offer their commitments prior to Thanksgiving in order to receive a second challenge gift of $2,000. If you haven’t yet submitted your commitment, please help us meet this goal. You can submit it online or we will have commitment cards available at worship this weekend that can be placed in the offering plate.

This weekend we are going to celebrate…and get to work making our vision a reality as we seek to together be the church for the sake of God’s world. We will be blessing quilts made by members of the congregation to be sent to Lutheran World Relief and then distributed to people around the world in need. Our Log College Project Design Team will be commissioned at the 8:45 a.m. service as we get to work re-imagining our ministry to and with senior high youth. All of our pre-confirmation kids who have baptismal anniversaries in November will be recognized and blessed. We’ll gather around one of Michael’s home-cooked breakfasts at the Abiding Table for faithful conversation. Our Sunday School kids will gather in their classes for another week of learning. This week’s gospel text and sermon will help us think about our response as disciples of Christ to the brokenness of the world. Then, in the afternoon, we will gather for the CROP Walk with other faith communities in our area to stomp our hunger. It’s going to be quite a weekend. I hope you will both be at church and be the church.  

Oh, and that’s not all…the church council and I have an exciting announcement to share about something your generosity is going to allow us to do right now to take a big step toward furthering our vision. We’ll be sharing the good news during the announcements at worship and follow it up with a congregational letter next week.

Thank you! Thank you for your commitment to being the church and for the privilege of serving as your Senior Pastor.

Thanksgiving Eve Service
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Wednesday, November 21 at 8:00 p.m.
Temple B’nai Shalom

Abiding Presence and Temple B’nai Shalom have an over 30 year tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving Eve together. Join us at the Temple this year where Pastor Keseley will deliver the sermon. Our combined children, teen and adult choirs as well as a combined brass ensemble will provide the music. This uplifting service is a great way to begin your Thanksgiving celebration.

ENewsMeredith KeseleyWorship
Submit Your Statement of Intent Online or by Paper
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If you have not already done so, please plan to fill out your Statement of Intent online or by paper. Paper copies can be mailed to the church office or dropped in the offering plate this weekend.

This year we have a challenge grant of $5,000 that has been offered if we meet our goal of 75 new or increased commitments received by Celebration Weekend – next weekend, November 17/18!

ENewsMeredith Keseley
Thanksgiving Baskets for Families in Need
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Each year Abiding Presence provides ECHO Thanksgiving Baskets for families in need in our community. Please bring the following basket items to worship with you this weekend. Baskets will start to be assembled following the 11:00 a.m. worship service on Sunday.

$25 Grocery Gift Cards
Stuffing mix, readymade
Gravy mix packets or jars/cans of gravy
Cranberry sauce
Boxed potato mixes 
1 box or package of rice
4 cans vegetables (or 2 large cans)
Bread or muffin mixes
Dessert mix (cake/frosting, brownies, puddings, etc.) 
Disposable roasting pan
Flour
Shortening
Sugar
Tea/coffee
Canned fruit 
Beans

ENewsMeredith KeseleyServe
Life Changing Ministry...Literally!
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A couple of weeks ago I was teaching confirmation and I watched it “click” for one of our confirmation kids. I had a group of them standing around the baptismal font learning about what it means to be baptized children of God. We were talking about the promises God makes to us in the baptismal waters and suddenly the magnitude of these promises hit a particular kid. It clicked. Being a baptized child of God suddenly meant something and was relevant in a way it never had been before. I watched as if a weight suddenly came off this young person’s shoulders, a smile spread across their face and they exclaimed with sheer joy. It was amazing! In that moment, standing around the baptismal font, I took a moment to silently give thanks for the ways this particular faith community is changing lives…literally!

Around this same time, I asked one of our church members to do something particular to their professional background. The church had a specific need and I knew this person was the person to meet it. I also knew I was probably asking a lot. It wasn’t a quick hour or two and done kind of thing. When I checked back in with them about it, I was blown away to hear them say to me, “This project has been a blessing to me,” and then they went on to tell me how. In the midst of an unexpected turn in the conversation, I once again took a moment to silently give thanks for the ways this faith community is changing lives…literally!

Again, around this same time, someone walked into the church off the streets looking for assistance. I engaged in the usual conversation about grocery gift cards and our food pantry when the person said, “I know this is a church, but I have this problem…” At this point we sat down and they shared their story. I was able to speak a word of God’s love into their story where they had previously heard judgement and condemnation from the religious community. Sitting in that suddenly holy moment, again I silently gave thanks for this ways this faith community is changing lives…literally!

Week after week, I am privileged to see the impact Abiding Presence is making on people’s lives – both people in our congregation and people in our larger community. Thank you for the ways you make this life changing work possible through both your presence in our faith community and your financial support for our ministry.

This week we are asking you to please make a financial commitment to Abiding Presence for 2019. For those of you who have been around for a while, you will recognize this as our fall stewardship campaign. For those of you who are new to the church, this is the way we anticipate income for the coming year in order to responsibly set a budget for our ministry. We need to raise $60,000 in new income for 2019 to make our vision for ministry a reality. I hope you will join me in increasing your commitment to Abiding Presence for the coming year.

Additionally, this year we have a challenge grant of $5,000 that has been offered if we meet our goal of 75 new or increased commitments received by Celebration Weekend – next weekend! Please turn your commitment in online or on paper by this Sunday at noon. Next week our stewardship team will be calling households who have not yet turned in a commitment to invite them to be part of making our vision a reality.

Thank you for all of the ways that you are the church. Thank you for the ways you open yourselves up to be transformed in this community. Thank you for the ways you are being the hands, feet and voice of Christ to others in our faith community and beyond. We are the church together. As always, I am grateful for the privilege of being the church with you as your Senior Pastor!

Blessings,

Pastor Keseley  

Making Firm Our Facility Care
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As a growing church, it has become apparent that our facility has become a limiting factor to expanding our ministry and outreach to the community. We still have plenty of room in the sanctuary (although we might need to order a few more chairs!). The rest of the building, however, has the wonderful challenge of bursting at the seams.

 Firming up our facility will allow us to continue to respond to God’s bold vision for our faith community. We will take the following steps this year:

·       Engage an architect in a planning study of the facility, which will involve establishing a facility use committee, writing an RFP, interviewing architects and spending 4-5 months engaged in the actual planning study

·       Explore health and wellness resources that might be offered to the congregation and community during the week, especially counseling, spiritual direction and a parish nurse

·       Be intentional about how we connect people to Christ through our Abiding Presence Community Center by providing a welcoming space that makes clear who we are and what we are about as a faith community

ENewsMeredith Keseley
Abiding Table this Sunday
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Join Pastor Keseley at the Abiding Table this Sunday from 10:00-10:45 a.m. to hear a bit about where we’ve been this past year and where we hear God calling us to go in 2019. Come be part of the conversation in shaping the future of our ministry.

ENewsMeredith KeseleyAdults
Making Firm Our Living Out of God’s Story in Our Story
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Making Firm our Living Out of God’s Story in Our Story

God’s story is not just limited to the pages of Holy Scripture. God’s story is our story, too, lived out in our experiences and relationship. Having spent the past year focusing on dwelling in God’s word and learning God’s story, we will now turn our focus to living out God’s story in our daily lives. We want to equip each person with tools, experiences and relationships to take the next step in their discipleship journey.

 Adult Small Groups

·       Increase the number of people involved in congregation-wide adult small group experiences so that at least 125 people will be part of a group this year

·       In order to help people experience Sabbath rest, create an adult spirituality group that will be led by a trained spiritual director to help people explore various spiritual gifts and discipline

 Senior High Youth Ministry

·       Discern the “next big thing” for our ministry to and with senior high youth through our participation in the “Community of Practice” with the Log College Project of Princeton Seminary

·       Establish a new ministry specifically geared toward 11th graders called the “Launch Team” that will gather youth for small group Bible Study, prayer, participation in the Dominican Republic Mission Team and discussion about the transition to young adulthood

 Children’s Ministry

·       Explore how to make our children’s ministry scalable for growth given the significant increase in the number of children involved in Sunday School and midweek youth groups

·       Find ways to provide tangible and intentional experiences for children to live out their faith

·       Explore ways for our senior high youth to serve as faith role models for our children and continue equipping them to lead our elementary school youth groups

ENewsMeredith Keseley