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February 17, 2019

Stop and Count, by Pastor Mark

Luke 12:22-32

Do Not Worry

 He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

 ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Pancakes & Ashes

Details

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Lenten activity stations, and worship service.

Donations will be accepted to benefit the Youth Summer Mission Trips

Schedule of Activities:

  • 5:30 pm – 7 pm: Pancake Supper, hosted by youth in Fellowship Hall
  • 6 pm – 7 pm: Lent stations, activities, devotions & crafts for all ages to help us focus more fully on following Jesus during the Lenten season
  • 7 pm – 7:30 pm: Worship service, featuring youth band in the Sanctuary

No Need To RSVP
All are welcome!
Please stop by any time during the event – and stay for some or all of the activities!

Child care is available in the Nursery during the event.

FAQ

What is Shrove or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras)?  The day before Lent begins is known as Shrove Tuesday.  For those who practice fasting during the season of Lent, all tempting foods are used up in a great feast (eggs, butter, sugar, meat) prior to Ash Wednesday.  In our church, we serve pancakes to remember this tradition.

What is Lent?  Lent is a Christian season 40 days (excluding Sundays) prior to Easter.  Lent is observed in several Christian denominations with a variety of traditions, all with the focus of prayer and preparation for Easter.

What is Ash Wednesday?  Ash Wednesday is the first day of the forty-day Lenten period.  It gets its name from the practice of rubbing ashes on your forehead.  At our service, everyone is invited to come forward to receive the ashes.  One of the pastors will smudge the ashes in a cross on your forehead.  You are invited to participate, but it is NOT required.

How much does this event cost?  Pancakes & Ashes is a free event.  For the Pancake Supper hosted by the Youth Ministry, a free-will donation is accepted.  All donations will go towards Youth Summer Mission Trips.  The Lenten activity stations are also free.

What ages are allowed? All ages are invited and allowed at this event. You are invited to stay for as short and as long as you want. Our church offers childcare for major events, including this one. However, we hope you’ll stay together as a family and enjoy the activities. Children are definitely a welcome part of our church experience.

Is there stuff planned for kids? Yes. In fact, all of our activities are designed to be experienced as a household. We have crafts which can take as little or as much time as you’d like, and plenty to take home with you to finish and enjoy later. Specifically, families will be able to assemble Lenten centerpieces to take home, eat pancakes, play board games, and much more!  The supper is served from 5:30-7:00pm.  The stations are open from 6:00-6:55pm.  The 7:00pm worship service is especially designed for children to understand and participate.

Do I have to be a member of the church to attend? No. This is a chance for us to share with our community a part of our church’s culture. You do not have to be a member to attend.

Do I have to be a Christian to attend? No. This is a chance for us to share with our community a part of our culture. You will not be asked to join the church or proselytized to. We intend this to be a gift given to all, without price or expectation.

Is there food? Yes. We will have a Pancake Supper with pancakes, sausage and juice, free for all. A free-will donation will be accepted to support Youth Summer Mission Trips.

What time should we arrive? You may arrive any time between 5:30pm and 7:00pm.  Please come when you can and stay for any or all of the activities. The Pancake Supper will be served during this time. Craft and activity stations will be open from 6:00-6:55pm. If you visit every station, it should take you about 45 minutes to enjoy.  At 7:00pm there is a 30-minute family worship service featuring the Youth Band.  Part of the service will include a Bible story and the imposition of ashes. 

What is there to do at Pancakes & Ashes? A lot! The main event is a Pancake Supper.  We’ll have a variety of stations for you to visit during your time. Stations include a Lenten centerpiece station where you may make your own candle centerpiece (all contents provided for free), a family board game room, and several other hands-on-activity stations for exploring the practice of fasting during Lent. You can also help us make tissue paper flowers to prepare for Easter.  After 7:00pm, there is a short worship service.

Why is Lent 40 days?  The number 40 is found several times in the Bible– it rained 40 days and nights during the flood, the Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting and praying, and was tempted, at the start of His earthly ministry.  The Lenten season mirrors these Biblical stories.

So, why ashes and where do they come from?  Ashes are a symbol of our temporary earthly bodies, which will one day decompose.  Ashes also connect us with the ancient practice of heaping ashes of your head as a sign of your repentance.  Our church tradition is to save the palm branches from Palm Sunday and burn them the following year for Ash Wednesday.  You are invited to participate, NOT required. 

What is fasting?  Fasting is a Biblical principle that we find in both the Old and New Testaments.  The references to fasting in the Bible present a time period of prayer during which one abstained from food.   Often we hear people say, “I’m giving up _____ for Lent.”  Lent is a personal time of self-reflection.  Some choose to fast from a certain food item (ex. coffee or chocolate), while others in the spirit of fasting, choose to restrict their activities (ex. digital fasting).  Fasting is an opportunity for you to get closer to God. It is a means to empty yourself of your desires, opening yourself to God.

Get Thinking about Lent

Will I give something up this year?  What does the Bible say about fasting?  How does fasting work with kids?  This year’s Lenten stations at Pancakes & Ashes focus on fasting.  To get you thinking ahead, check out these resources on fasting, and find ideas of how you can practice Lent with your family this year.

UMC Video about Fasting

UMC: On Lent, prayer and fasting

UMC: What do we believe about fasting?

Focus on Fasting with Kids in Mind

February 10, 2018

Bring It Back, by Pastor Mark

Nehemiah 9:6-12

 And Ezra said: ‘You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you. You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham;and you found his heart faithful before you, and made with him a covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and you have fulfilled your promise, for you are righteous.

 ‘And you saw the distress of our ancestors in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea. You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted insolently against our ancestors. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. And you divided the sea before them, so that they passed through the sea on dry land, but you threw their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. Moreover, you led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the way in which they should go.

February 3, 2018

Success, by Pastor Mark

Luke 18:9-14

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector

 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.” But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.’

2019 Summer Camp Registration

Courage Quest 2019

We’re going to West River UMC Retreat Center on the Chesapeake Bay and are challenging students in 3rd-6th grades and AT LEAST ONE of their parents to explore together what it means to live courageously for Christ.

Saturday, March 23, 12:00 PM –

Sunday, March 24, 3:00 PM

Cost $80 per person includes lodging, 4 meals, & one outdoor challenge activity.

REGISTRATION:

OPENS –  February 4, 2019

CLOSES – March 3, 2019

Register online using the form below

Read more

January 27, 2019

Life Is Short & God Is Good, by Pastor Mark

Isaiah 40:6-8, 28-31


6 A voice says, ‘Cry out!’
   And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass,
   their constancy is like the flower of the field. 
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
   when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
   surely the people are grass. 
8 The grass withers, the flower fades;
   but the word of our God will stand for ever. 
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
   his understanding is unsearchable. 
29 He gives power to the faint,
   and strengthens the powerless. 
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
   and the young will fall exhausted; 
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
   they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
   they shall walk and not faint.

January 20, 2019

Under Pressure, by Pastor Mark

Luke 5:1-6

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.’When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.

January 6, 2019

A Light to the Nations, by Pastor Drew

Ephesians 3:1-12

Paul’s Ministry to the Gentiles

This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given to me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow-heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

Valentine’s Day Dinner & Dance

Mark your calendars for Saturday February 16! The United Methodist Men are throwing a Valentine’s party! Gathering at 6:00, Buffet Dinner at 6:15, Dancing 7:00 to 9:00! Our DJ will play a mix of music! Cost is just $20 per person. Couples, single and children over 10 are welcome. Tickets will be on sale in the Gathering Place after each service today, January 27, February 3 and February 10! See Gene Pettit, Ken Bryant, Jerry Tussing, Dan Watkins, Jay Evans, Chuck Smith, or call Chuck at 703-451-3957. PARENTS come have an evening out! Childcare available: Nursery for under age 5 and Candy Crush Fun & Games for ages 4-6th grade.

The Children’s Ministry invites kids ages 4-6th grade to join us for an evening of fun and fellowship on Saturday, February 16, from 6-8:30pm. We’ll have dinner, games, crafts, activities, and treats in the Fireside Room, while parents connect and enjoy dinner & dancing at the Valentine’s Dance in the Fellowship Hall. Nursery will be available for younger children.

Let It Bowl: January Lock In

Alexandria-Arlington District Youth Bowling Lock-In

January 25 – January 26 11:00 PM – 7:00 AM

We’re joining other NOVA UMC youth groups for this event!

The evening begins with a rally at Friendship UMC (Falls Church) and is followed by all-night Cosmic bowling at Falls Church Bowl America.

Bring $35 for bowling and snacks to share at the Rally!

Registration fee covers shoe rental, one slice of pizza, one 16 ounce drink, and of course, unlimited bowling all night! Kids might want to bring additional funds to cover other food and/or video games.

MEET AT ST. STEPHEN’S AT 9:45 pm

Rally location: Friendship UMC– 3527 Gallows Rd, Falls Church VA

Bowling lock-in location: Falls Church Bowl America – 140 South Maple Ave, Falls Church

Students may bring their own snacks for the bowling alley and sleeping bags/bedding if they know they will try to sleep.

REGISTRATION DUE BY 1/20/19 so we can arrange rides.

Youth Mission Trip Application

mission trip sign up
For over 20 years our Youth Ministry has sent teenagers out each summer to serve their neighbor and put their growing faith into action.

This summer we have not one, not two, but three Mission Trips!

Our 7th and 8th Graders will go to Winchester, Virginia with the Jeremiah Project from July 14-20.

Our 9th-12th Graders get to choose between two trips, both from June 23-29.

1: A Jeremiah Project trip to Jonesville, VA

2: An Appalachian Service Project trip, location to be determined.

Want to learn more? Download our flyer!

Questions? Ask Pastor Drew.

Register Using the Form Below
Registration Closes January 27!

Bible Challenge Password Reset

If you are having problems logging in, please fill out the form below and the system will email you a new password within 10 minutes or so. If you do not see the email, please check your spam folder. The email will be from “WordPress.”

December 30, 2018

New Start with God’s Covenant – Pastor Jiyeon

Jeremiah 31:31-34

A New Covenant

 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. 

John 15:1-8

Jesus the True Vine

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunesto make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org