Posts in ENews
Last Sunday of Sunday School

This Sunday is our last Sunday of Sunday School until September. There will be no Abiding Table as our 5/6th grade, 1st year confirmation and senior high classes will hold their annual “trash can game competition” in Bailey Hall.

A big THANK YOU to all of our Sunday School teachers! Our Sunday School ministry would not be possible without their dedication. If you think you might be interested in joining our teaching team next year, please contact Sara Dyson, Children and Family Minister, by July 15.

Next Sunday, we will move to our summer worship schedule - Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. and Sundays at 8:45 and 10:15 a.m.

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Outdoor Worship and Picnic
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Sunday, June 2 at 10:15 a.m.

We're worshiping outside on Sunday, June 2 for our annual Outdoor Worship Service and Picnic. There will only be one Sunday morning service at 10:15 a.m. (Saturday worship will happen as usual at 6:00 p.m.) Grab a lawn chair or use one of the many folding chairs we'll have set up. After a 45 minute worship service with Holy Communion, we'll have a picnic. There will be a moonbounce by the playground for the kids. The church will provide hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks. Each family is asked to bring a side dish or dessert to share. We welcome all from the community to join us! It's a great service to invite a friend or neighbor to come along.

We currently need volunteers to purchase food from Costco in advance, help with set up/clean up, grill and oversee the moonbounce. If you are able to help with the picnic, please contact the church office

Vacation Bible School

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!

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 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!

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
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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

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!

Great & Wondrous Mystery Cantata Service (Fourth Saturday of Advent)

Our Saturday Vespers service for this final weekend of Advent features the premiere of a new cantata by our music minister, David Chávez, featuring the Abiding Presence Chamber Orchestra and guest soloists:

Melissa Chávez, soprano
Natalie Naudus, mezzo-soprano
Michael Forest, tenor
[tap links above to learn more about our soloists]

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Q: What is a "cantata"?

A: Many of the best-known works of the most famous Lutheran composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, are cantatas. In fact, there were points in his career in which he wrote a new cantata weekly as part of his church job... in addition to playing the organ, directing the choir and orchestra, maintaining instruments, and on and on! Luckily, many of his twenty children had great musical talent as well, so one would suppose they helped out. The easiest was to think of a cantata is like a shorter version of an oratorio or unstaged opera––that is, like, Handel's Messiah but in miniature form so it fits within a regular church service. A cantata usually has a story or unifying idea, told across multiple movements by singers and orchestra. Our cantata on Dec. 22 features fabulous guest soloists with members of the Abiding Presence Chamber Orchestra.

Q: Why is the cantata called "Great & Wondrous Mystery"?

This cantata is inspired by an ancient Orthodox hymn of the same name, "Great and Wondrous Mystery," and especially by a recording of this hymn from the Forty Martyrs Church in Aleppo, Syria. This idea of opening oneself to mystery is central to worship in many Eastern Christian traditions. According to an Armenian Orthodox writer describing this hymn, "Rather than being a state of ignorance and lack of knowledge, mystery is the beginning of worship. It’s the place of awe where we realize the shadow God’s vast glory and divine infinitude. It’s the place where we dare not attempt to understand or grasp with our feeble and flawed minds, so instead we bow before Him in worship...The Mystery is the Incarnation – Jesus Christ revealed among us, the Son of God, who became a human being in order to fill us with His divine blessings, with eternal life, so that we would become like Him. The mystery is the reality of God with, among, and in us."

ENewsDavid ChavezMusic
Sign Up for Bagels with Santa

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

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.)