PASTORAL LETTER #19
May 21, 2021
Dear FPC Members and Friends,
Over 2,500 years ago, Ezra the prophet led the exiled Israelites back to Israel. They rebuilt the temple, rekindled their religious fervor, and renewed their community.
Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus died on a cross. Three days later, the despairing disciples met a resurrected Jesus. Motivated by his resurrection, they gathered communities that shared their possessions to build the Church, the living body of Christ that taught and served as Jesus had done.
Over a year ago, COVID-19 took our world into exile. After a year of distanced ministry and mission, FPC is moving toward a new normal. We started by pitching a tent, a “tabernacle” for worship, and now we have moved worship into our “House of Prayer for All Peoples.”
Like the Israelites and disciples, FPC faces a time of rebuilding and renewing relationships. Our building is intact and improved (new HVAC and a planned refurbished kitchen), but the pandemic struck at the very roots of our FPC community. It sequestered us from each other—except for virtually zooming. The pandemic curtailed our programs of friendship and fellowship. The pandemic’s financial impact on members diminished our contributions, thus decreasing support for our people, programs, and mission.
The 2021–2022 Stewardship Campaign has been launched around the Scripture verse, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together… but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:24–25). Tied to our transition to in-person worship, our 2021–2022 Stewardship Campaign is themed “Rebuilding Relationships.” Please prayerfully consider the importance of FPC’s worship, ministries, and mission to you as we reconnect with each other, our church building, and our community.
Your pledge is a faith-promise that demonstrates your commitment to God’s work through Fairfax Presbyterian Church—one that can be adjusted up or down as your circumstances change. There are several ways in which you can pledge, and we ask you to do so by Sunday, May 30:
1. You may use the pledge card received in our stewardship letter and either mail it to the church or place it in the offering plate during one of our worship services. If you did not receive one in the mail, pledge cards are available on the Communion table and on the table under the cross in the narthex.
2. You may complete a secure and confidential online pledge form.
3. You may contact the church administrator Michelle Coon by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phoning the church at
703-273-5300 to give your pledge directly and confidentially.
We face two challenges in the coming fiscal year. The first is to rebuild our relationships with our renewed in-person community augmented by new learnings from our virtual experience. All members are asked to explore and commit to ways of using their time and talents to rebuild relationships within FPC and in our community---not just upon the old foundations—but upon broadened and strengthened ones.
The second is to re-think the importance of FPC in our lives. All are called to pledge their support to FPC through giving. Increased giving will allow FPC to continue the programs and staffing to:
● teach our children and youth the Bible and values that they will carry throughout their lives;
● support our members who are in their twilight years;
● provide comfort for those who grieve or face crises;
● inspire us with spirit-moving sermons, prayers, and challenging leadership;
● lift us on the wings of angels through music;
● stimulate us with courses and studies of issues and policies facing our church and community;
● assure that our facilities are clean, welcoming, and appropriately warm or cool;
● care for the homeless, the disillusioned, the hungry, the medically needy, the imprisoned, and,
● enable and equip us to be disciples as Christ would have us to be.
For the Israelites and often the modern church, a tithe of 10 percent was the appropriate amount to give to God. However, the most appropriate measure is offered by Paul, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” May what you decide to give to FPC make you cheerful—whether it is one, five, ten percent or more.
With appreciation for your generosity and commitment,
The Revs. Henry G. Brinton and Yena Hwang Elders Scott Carlson and David Semendinger