Posts in ENews
Notes of Welcome from our New Staff

Jon Galdames-Henry, Youth & Family Minister

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 jon@abidingpresence.net 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 michelle@abidingpresence.net- I look forward to talking with you soon!  

ENewsMeredith Keseley
Thank You to Our Vacation Bible School Team
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What an out of this world experience we’ve had this past week during Vacation Bible School! Throughout the week, our kids and volunteers learned that they can explore where God’s power can take them by His power at work within them! Each day they went beyond with faith, boldness, kindness, thankfulness, and hope, while having fun learning about bible stories such as Queen Esther, Daniel and the Lion’s den, and how Jesus comforted his friends on his way to Emmaus by means of science, crafts, games, snack, music, and bible storytelling. Our adult and teen volunteers modeled what it means to follow Christ by helping the younger kids to learn, pray, and know Jesus.

We asked our church adults, teens and community volunteers to step up in a big way, and wow, did they ever!! To Mars and Beyond was an amazing VBS experience for over 185 kids, supported by more than 80 adult and teen volunteers! I am incredibly grateful for the volunteers, both adult and teens, who gave up a week of vacation from work, a week of hanging out with their friends, or catching up on cleaning the house, to help share God’s love with our kids. They made this week fun, exciting, and a lasting memory for so many kids, some of whom this is their first experience with our church, and hearing about God!

Kimberly stepped up as our VBS Director this year and did an over the top job organizing so many kids and volunteers with contagious enthusiasm and positivity! New this year, we launched a double session VBS, adding in an afternoon session for elementary aged kids due to the overwhelming registration response that we’ve experienced in previous years. Kimberly rose above and beyond this occasion, meeting every challenge with a smile and a creative solution. I am deeply grateful for Kimberly and our volunteers! VBS would not be possible without you, and it is a joy and honor to work with people who truly exemplify what it means to live out Jesus’s call to us and share His love. If you see Kimberly or any of our wonderful volunteers this week, PLEASE join me in thanking them for equipping children during VBS to see where God’s power can take them, and spreading so much love and joy along the journey!

-Sara Dyson, Children & Family Minister

Welcome to Our New Children & Family Minister and Youth & Family Minister

It is with great joy that we share with the news that we have hired Michelle Galdames-Henry as our Children and Family Minister and Jon Galdames-Henry as our Youth and Family Minister.

As you have hopefully heard, Sara Dyson, our current Children and Family Minister, has decided to step down from her 30 hours a week position in order to focus her time and energy on being a mom. We will celebrate her ministry with us on Sunday, July 21 and look forward to continuing to have her and her family as part of the Abiding Presence faith family. After much discernment, research and prayer, the church council decided to move forward with two full time positions – a Children & Family Minister and a Youth & Family Minister.

We launched a national search for these positions and had the opportunity to interview several qualified candidates. What stood out to the interview teams about Michelle and Jon was their ability to articulate their faith and what it means to be followers of Christ in the world today. Jon talked about coming to faith in middle school when he started attending youth group for the first time and the profound impact youth ministry had on his life. Michelle talked about growing up in the church and realizing in high school that working in a church was a career possibility. Both of them have a passion for engaging children, youth and families in hands-on service to help us live out our core value of being “God’s hands and feet in the world.” They have experience, both independently of each other and together, in organizing ministry, leadership and working with volunteers.

Michelle and Jon graduated from Eastern University with degrees in Youth Ministry. They are recently married and moved to Springfield within the past month. Jon grew up in Centerville, Virginia, so he knows the area well.

We extended formal employment offers to Michelle and Jon this past Sunday afternoon and they started first thing Monday morning so they could experience Vacation Bible School (VBS). Following VBS, Michelle will then have the opportunity to overlap for two weeks with Sara Dyson, our current Children and Family Minister, in order to facilitate a smooth transition. Jon will be able to chaperone our confirmation youth at confirmation camp later this month. We’re grateful for their willingness to quickly jump into ministry with us.

Please join us in welcoming Michelle and Jon to the congregation and to these positions.

ENewsMeredith Keseley
VBS Help Still Needed
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We still need 6 more adults - 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon - to volunteer in order to make our Vacation Bible School a success. Please consider whether or not you can step up to fill one of these roles! VBS is the week of July 8-12 from 9:00 - 12:00 noon (morning session) and 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. (afternoon session). We also still need as many teen helpers as we can get! Teens, bring your friends! If you can help, please reach out to Sara Dyson, Children and Family Minister, or Kimberly, our volunteer VBS Coordinator.

ENewsMeredith Keseley
Worship Assistants Needed
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Worship assistants are always needed, but especially during the summer months. Summer is a great time to try out and learn about how to be an usher, greeter, assisting minister, lay reader, communion assistant, acolyte, crucifer or member of the altar guild. If you are willing to serve (we’ll train you on the spot), please email our the church office to get connected to our volunteer worship assistant coordinator.

Vacation Bible School
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July 8-12

Children ages 3 (and potty trained) through rising 5th grade are invited to join us for a week of fun and faith at Vacation Bible School. New this year! There are two sessions - morning or afternoon - from which you can choose. Registration is open! Read our recent statement on our switching of VBS curriculum for this summer.

Summer Worship Schedule
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Our summer worship schedule begins this weekend. We will worship through Labor Day weekend on Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. and Sundays at 8:45 and 10:15 a.m.

On Sunday, June 2 we will have only one service at 10:15 a.m. for our annual outdoor service and picnic on lawn. There will be a service on Saturday, June 1 at 6:00 p.m. as usual.

Journey to Easter
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Sunday, April 7 from 3:30-5:00 p.m.

"Journey to Easter" is an event for ages preschool through 6th grade. Participants grouped together with like-ages will walk through the events leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection through crafts, snacks, and games. There will be a preschool group, kindergarten group, 1st-3rd grade group, and 4th-6th grade group all running independently, but at the same time. A parent must accompany preschoolers and kindergartners. Please sign up here. Contact Sara Dyson, Children and Family Minister, with any questions.

Join the Adult Choir for Holy Week

Even if you don't normally participate in our adult choir, you are invited to be part of it for Holy Week and Easter. The choir will be singing on Palm/Passion Sunday (April 14) at the 11:00 AM service, Maundy Thursday (April 18) at the 7:45 PM service, Good Friday (April 19) at the 7:45 PM service, and Easter Sunday (April 21) at the 10:00 AM and 11:15 AM services!

All adults and high school youth are welcome to sing. Middle school youth can sing, too, with the Music and Worship Minister’s permission. Rehearsals (with snacks afterward!) to participate in choir for Holy Week are on:

Tuesday, April 9, 7:30-9:00 PM

Tuesday, April 16, 7:30-9:00 PM

Saturday, April 20, 10:00-11:30 AM

Sheet music and part-by-part practice tracks (for learning the individual voice parts even if you don't read music!) are available at AbidingPresence.net/music starting April 1. Questions? Talk to David Chavez, Music and Worship Minister, after church or email him.

Midweek Lenten Worship
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Mondays from 12:00-12:30 p.m.
Wednesdays from 7:00-7:45 p.m.

There are two opportunities to take a pause out of your week this Lenten season for worship, prayer and reflection. Both services include Holy Communion. Come to one or both as part of your Lenten discipline.

Abiding in Burke through Lent (and Beyond)
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Coins (Noisy Offering)

During this season of Lent we are “Abiding in Burke” as we seek to support and learn about our local service ministry partners. Each week we will collect a different item as a “work of love,” one of the disciplines of Lent. This weekend we will be collecting coins during noisy offering to support the Shepherd’s Center of Fairfax-Burke. One of our church members who is active with the Shepherd’s Center will be with us at the Abiding Table on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. to share a bit about their ministry, how we are currently engaged in supporting it and how you can get involved.

"Called to Serve" Time and Talent Survey
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“Called to Serve” Time and Talent Survey

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.

ENewsMeredith KeseleyServe
Join a Lent Small Group!
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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.  We hear the Seven Last Words of Christ sung as part of Good Friday services but what do they mean to us?  Are they remembered only to tell us about Jesus’ suffering?  Or do they tell us a bigger story about God and ourselves?

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 called Final Words from the Cross will guide our discussions but if you don’t have time to do the reading, there’s a video recap of the chapter every week so you will still be able to participate! 

All groups start the week of March 10 and continue for five weeks. Come try it out, even if you aren't able to make it every week, that's ok, come when you can!

Sign up at abidingpresence.net/smallgroups!

ENewsHeidi EickstadtAdults
New to Abiding Presence Dinner

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.

ENewsMeredith Keseley
Gather with a Small Group this Lent!
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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 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, even if you aren't able to make it every week, that's okay, come when you can!

Sign up below and contact Pastor Heidi with any questions!

ENewsHeidi EickstadtAdults
OWLs
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Wednesday, February 6 at 12:00 noon

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.

Annual Congregational Meeting

Join us this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary for our annual meeting to celebrate our ministry this past year and look ahead to what God is calling us to do next. We will vote on the budget and elect church council members.

Sunday School Liftoff will take place at 9:50 a.m. Sunday School classes will then meet as usual during the annual meeting with the 3rd-6th graders meeting in Bailey Hall with Katy, our Senior High Youth Director.

ENewsMeredith Keseley
Adult Choir Rehearsals — Open to All!

Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to get more involved in church? To sing more? To get closer to God in worship? Or, do you just love to sing? Our adult choir is open, and fun!

Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. from September to May. During rehearsals, we sing the music for upcoming Sundays and special events, going over any tricky parts bit by bit. We also laugh a lot, and eat delicious snacks!

The choir sings music of all eras, from Medieval and Renaissance to contemporary, accompanied by varied instrumentation (a cappella, organ/piano, orchestra, etc.). As worship leaders during the Sunday morning 11:00 traditional service and various special services, the choir is integral to supporting congregational participation in worship. If you love to sing, this is a great way to be involved! Choir is open to all adults, high school students, and (with director permission) middle schoolers.

Learn more at abidingpresence.net/music

ENewsDavid ChavezMusic, Worship
A Word about the Weather

If you have listened to the weather recently, you know there is talk of snow this weekend. At this point, we anticipate holding services as scheduled. If there is a need to cancel Sunday School and the Abiding Table, we will do so by 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning and announce it on our Facebook page, website and with a congregational email. If more snow comes in than predicted and we need to make a decision about worship, we will announce on those same platforms.

We are putting plans in place to keep the parking lots and sidewalks clear for anyone who can safely make it to church if there is snow. If you are willing to be part of the Sunday morning snow shoveling team, please contact Pastor Keseley or simply show up with a snow shovel in hand.

If there is snow, then be sure to check our Facebook page as we will likely “go live” Sunday morning with our worship services so you can tune in from home. If there’s a LOT of snow then we might even go for an “Abiding in the Snow 2.0” video service.

Stay tuned and stay safe!