Posts in ENews
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.

Great & Wondrous slide Advent Evensong 2018 v1.jpg

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.

Great & Wondrous slide Cantata v1.jpg

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.)

Thanksgiving Eve Service

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

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

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
Canned fruit 

ENewsMeredith KeseleyServe
Making Firm Our Facility Care
Week 3 bulletin insert.jpg

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

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
All Saints Remembrance

On All Saints Sunday, we remember the saints who have gone before us and are part of the great cloud of witnesses. This year we would like to create a visual representation of the friends and loved ones who gather with us at the Lord’s Table, not just on All Saints Sunday, but every weekend we worship. You are invited to bring in a picture of your friends and/or loved ones who have died. It can be in a frame or not in a frame, any size or shape you wish. Please put your name on it so we can be sure to get it back to you. Pictures can be dropped off in the church office anytime before November 3, or you can bring them to worship with you the weekend of November 3-4 and put them directly on the altar. If you would rather not bring a picture, you can fill out a name card with your loved one’s name or email the name for us to fill it out. These name cards will be displayed along with the pictures. Pictures and name cards will help all of us experience the power of being surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.

We will also be reading the names of anyone who has died since last All Saints Sunday. If you have a loved one who has died this past year, please email the name along with their date of death (or approximate date of death). We will read these names aloud in worship. Please email all names by Wednesday, October 31.

Photo by  David Menidrey  on  Unsplash

Wednesday, October 24 from 6:45-7:30 p.m.
Looking for a safe, family-friendly way to trick or treat? Children ages 6th grade and under are invited to dress in costume and come trunk or treat in the church parking lot! "Trunk or Treat" cars will be parked in half the parking lot and roped off to incoming cars. Children then walk from trunk to trunk to collect candy.  Trunk or treating will be from 6:45 - 7:30 p.m. All are welcome!

Feeling creative? We are also in need of families and individuals who will decorate the trunk of their vehicles for this event! Please let Sara Dyson, Children and Family Minister, know if you can provide a trunk and approximately 300 pieces of candy. Trunks will need to be parked by 6:30 p.m. and will be asked to stay in the lot until 7:45 p.m.

Fall Festival This Saturday!
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Saturday, October 13 from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Abiding Presence offers a free community fall festival. Lots of volunteers are needed to make this event possible! Please consider volunteering for an hour shift (or more) before or after enjoying the festival by signing up here. The festival is completely FREE and offers food, games, live music, haunted houses, bouncy house, pumpkin paining, balloon artist, face painting and much more.

The Fairfax County Sheriff's Office will be on hand to provide FREE Child Identification and Fingerprinting. Information on Internet safety for children and parents will also be provided.

This completely FREE event is a great way to come celebrate fall with friends and neighbors. There will be several free raffles to enter, and gift cards given out throughout the day.

Adult Social at Paradise Springs Winery

Sunday, October 14, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Join us at Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton for an afternoon of socializing with other adults in the congregation. Meet new people, reconnect with those you haven’t seen in awhile and enjoy tasty food and beverages. We’ve reserved ½ of the picnic grove, which is to the right past the small vineyard as you come into the winery. Please bring an appetizer or dessert to share. Non-alcoholic beverages are welcome as well. You’ll be able to purchase whatever wine you would like from the main tasting room and bring it down to the picnic grove. Feel free to invite a friend or neighbor to come along. RSVPs are helpful, but not necessary.

**While Paradise Springs is a family friendly winery, this particular event is for adults 21+ only.**

ENewsMeredith KeseleyAdults
Wednesday Night Gathering is Back - September 26
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Wednesday Night Gathering is back this fall! Plan to join us each Wednesday for dinner and activities. We even have a few exciting new additions to the schedule this year. Dinner is served "cafeteria style" each week from 6:00-6:45 p.m. A full schedule of activities is below. Childcare for children under the age of 3 is provided in our professionally staffed nursery. 

Dinner Menu for September 26
Build your own Tacos with Ground Turkey, Rice, Beans, Veggies with Lettuce, Chips Salsa & Cheese

Schedule of Activities
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Youth Band (6th-12th) and Puppet Team (4th-12th)
6:00 - 6:45 p.m. - Family Dinner
6:45 - 7:45 p.m. - Iron Men Bible Study, Women's Bible Study, 2nd Year Confirmation and Handbell Choir
6:45 - 7:15 p.m. - Preschool Choir and Elementary School Youth Groups (K-6th)
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. - ESL Class
7:15 - 7:45 p.m. - Preschool Youth Group, Elementary School Choir (K-5th) and Pre-Confirmation (6th)
7:45 - 8:30 p.m. - Youth Choir

Abiding Presence Adult Oktoberfest - September 29
Photo by  Roman Kraft  on  Unsplash

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Adults of the congregation are invited to gather on Saturday, September 29 at 6:00 p.m. in celebrating the fall season with a nod to the German tradition of Oktoberfest! Dig out your lederhosen, dirndls and steins and join us in this once in a while AP tradition. We will be meeting at the home of Steve and Cheryl Lucky. If you are a Saturday church attendee please feel to come after service. Brats and beverages will be provided; please bring a side dish, dessert or home brew to share at this adults only gathering. Please RSVP on the sheet in the narthex or by e-mail.

ENewsMeredith KeseleyAdults
Sunday School

We have launched another year of Sunday School! If you are looking for a Christian Education opportunity for your child or youth, we would love to have you join us. Please register or simply show up on a Sunday morning at 9:50 a.m.

We have Sunday School classes for ages 3 through 6th grade, Confirmation classes for middle school youth and a senior high class. Children ages 4th grade and younger are invited to Bailey Hall at 9:50 for Sunday School Liftoff before being dismissed to their classrooms at 10:00. Children ages 5th grade and older kids are welcome to go straight to their classrooms to meet their teachers. 

Adults gather in Bailey Hall from 10:00 - 10:45 a.m. for the Abiding Table, our adult breakfast and conversation group. Breakfast and coffee will be served, so plan to come hungry! 

2018-2019 Sunday School Classes and Room Assignments
Preschool            Room 1
Kindergarten       Room 4
1st Grade             Room 5
2nd Grade           Room 6
3rd Grade            Room 7
4th Grade            Room 8
5th/6th Grade     Room 9
Confirmation, 1st Yr.       Rooms 2 & 3
Confirmation, 2nd Yr.     Library
Senior High                     Rooms 10 & 11
Adults                   Bailey Hall



ENewsMeredith KeseleyChildren
Children's Ministry Registration

Please help us plan for fall by registering your children ages 3 through Senior High for Sunday School and youth groups. We ask families to please fill out a new registration form each year so we can stay updated on allergies and other needs for each child. Registration is available here. Contact Children and Family Minister Sara Dyson with questions. 

God's Work. Our Hands. - More Hands are Needed!
Photo by  Tim Marshall  on  Unsplash

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

As the old Sunday School rhyme reminds us,
The church is not a building.
The church is not a steeple. 
The church is not a resting place.
The church is the PEOPLE!

You are the church and as our church seeks to do God's work, we need more hands! Our ministry continues to grow and we need to grow the number of people involved in leadership. Please prayerfully consider serving in one of the following ways:

Sunday School Teachers (Sunday mornings from 10:00-10:45 a.m.)
Our Sunday School classes are growing by leaps and bounds, and we are adding yet another classroom of kids this fall! Consider volunteering to be a Sunday School teacher this fall!  No previous teaching experience needed, only a love of Christ and helping to share that love with the children at Abiding Presence.  Sunday School starts on September 9, and substitutes are always available if you are out of town.  Please talk to or email Sara Dyson, Children & Family Minister ( if you are interested.

Wednesday Night Teachers (Wednesday Evenings from 6:45-7:45 p.m.)
We are looking to reenvision what Wednesday night youth and children programs look like, and I am looking for 2-3 high schoolers or adults who would commit to teaching with me on Wednesday evenings from 6:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. I'll provide the curriculum, guidance, and help, but you'll have the freedom and creativity in the classes. Please talk to Sara Dyson,  Children & Family Minister ( to get more information or if you're interested.

Meal Providers Needed We have some AP members who occasionally are in need of having meals provided due to medical issues. They have someone who helps provide most of their meals, but is not always available due to business travel. During these periods, we would like to be able to help them out by providing prepared, frozen meals that they can just take out of the freezer and reheat. Since this will be an ongoing need, we would like to have a volunteer team who would be willing to help out when contacted. You would have at least several days ad- vance notice. If you can assist in this way, please contact Kathi Schultz in the church office, 703-455-7500.

To volunteer for the following worship assistant opportunities, contact Pastor Keseley

Time commitment in addition to worship: 15 minutes before and after service
Job: Greet worshipers at sanctuary doors, pass out bulletins prior to the service, collect offering, dismiss people to communion and make sure sanctuary is picked up following service
Who Can Volunteer:  Senior High through Adults; Families with young children are encouraged to sign up as a family so parents and kids can serve together

Time commitment in addition to worship: 15 minutes before service
Job: Greet worshipers at the main church doors
Who Can Volunteer: Anyone with a smile! Families with young children are encouraged to sign up as a family so parents and kids can serve together

Lay Reader
Time commitment in addition to worship: None
Job: Read the assigned lesson which is emailed to you in advance
Who Can Volunteer: Senior High through Adults

Communion Assistant
Time commitment in addition to worship: None
Job: Distribute either the pouring chalice or common cup at the time of communion
Who Can Volunteer: Senior High through Adults

Altar Guild
Time commitment in addition to worship: Approximately 20 minutes before or after the service
Job: Set up or clean up the altar from Holy Communion
Who Can Volunteer: Senior High through Adults; Families with young children are encouraged to sign up as a family so parents and kids can serve together

ENewsMeredith Keseley
Take a Mental Health First Aid Training

You know what to do when someone is bleeding or choking, but do you know what to do when they are experiencing a mental health crisis? 

Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach how to help someone who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.

The 2-day training is led by a certified instructor with Fairfax County. Registration is $25 and includes breakfast & the course workbook.

Class size is limited so register as soon as possible at:

Youth Choir & Band Nats Game Outing!

[Deadline Extended!]
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.

We'll meet at Abiding Presence right after worship and head over together. Everyone should bring money to get lunch at the ballpark. Afterward, we'll visit an incredible ice cream place nearby that makes their own ice cream daily.

All rising 6th-12th graders interested in Youth Band and/or Youth Choir are welcome to join us! (You don't have to commit to anything long-term.) If you'd like to join us, please email David Chávez (Music & Worship Minister) at by the end of the day on Monday, July 2 so we can get a final count for ordering tickets.

Ticket prices will likely be around $15 to $23 depending on how many people go, but do not let cost be an obstacle to coming! If you need help purchasing a ticket, we will figure it out; just talk to me. I'm really excited about the work Youth Band and Youth Choir have already done, and the potential for musical growth and worship leadership among this year's amazing group of students!

For more information about Youth Choir and Youth Band, email or visit