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PASTORAL LETTER #12

September 18, 2020

Dear FPC Members and Friends,Six months into this pandemic, we are figuring out together how to do worship, Christian formation, mission and various fellowship activities. The church continues to do ministry, even in a challenging time!

Since it is September, we will have the annual meeting of the congregation on Sunday, Sep 27, at 10 am, via Zoom. Please register for the meeting via this link: https://fairfaxpresby.breezechms.com/form/cbe8fdIf you do not have Zoom downloaded on your device, please make sure to do so prior to the meeting.  If you need assistance, please contact Yena at yena@fairfaxpresby.com to set up a time for her to walk through this with you. If you cannot attend via Zoom, you can also call in to the meeting -- please let Yena know and she will send the information with the Zoom invite. At this meeting, we will receive the annual report of the congregation, financial reports, and the budget for 2020-2021. We will also elect elders, deacons, a trustee and members of the nominating committee.

Thanks to the nominating committee for providing us with an outstanding slate:

Elders: Emily Van Durick, Terry Yee, David Semendinger, Isaac Bumgardner, Susan Mangin

Deacons: Judy Holloway, Chuck Monnig, Vasantha Rayman, Andrew Snyder, Dick Lessard, Zack Van Durick (youth)

Trustee: Jim Ashe

Nominating Committee:Elizabeth Fink

We still need 2-3 more people for next year's nominating committee and at least one more deacon. We can take nominations for both deacons and nominating committee from the floor. In preparation for the annual meeting of the congregation, please take a look at the financial reports and annual report on the church website: https://www.fairfaxpresbyterian.org/fpc/member-resources

This Sunday, Sep 20, we will have two opportunities for COVID-cautious fellowship: First, all are invited to wear masks and gather in a socially-distanced way on Sunday at 11:15 am, for an outdoor service of worship, a Celtic Pilgrimage. FPC traces its roots to Celtic Christianity, which was popular in Ireland, Scotland and Northern England in the Middle Ages. It influenced Catholic Christianity, and then Protestant denominations such as the Presbyterian Church. The cross in our Sanctuary and on the spire of our church is a Celtic Cross. For this Celtic Pilgrimage, we will walk around the grounds of FPC and focus on 12 Celtic Christian practices that we can make a part of our lives, along with Scripture passages for meditation. Henry and Tempest will lead the service, along with members of the confirmation class. The service will last one hour, and will not involve singing. Regular online audio and video services will be offered at 8:45 and 11:15 am.

Second, the Sunday Express families will be getting together on Sunday at 6:30 pm for an OUTDOOR FPC movie night! We're screening "Inside Out" and it's gonna be great. Please RSVP and if you decide at the last minute to join us, please do. RSVP to sanzero722@gmail.com

Reminder that we will continue with online worship at 8:45 and 11:15 am through Sunday, Nov 22, the Sunday before the Thanksgiving holiday. We very much want to return to in-person worship, and hope to do this on Nov 29, which is the first Sunday of Advent.  However, as always, your health and safety is most important to us in this decision, so we will continue to reassess the situation with attention to scientific data and the number of COVID-19 cases in our area.  

On Sunday, Oct 4, we will celebrate World Communion Sunday, so please have your bread/juice elements ready and join us online. At that same service, we will mark a transition in the work being done by the Rev. Susan Wisseman at FPC. She is moving from Outreach Coordinator to Parish Associate, and we look forward to her ongoing ministry among us.

As always, we are grateful for the ways you support the mission and ministry of our church through this challenging time.

 

In hope, health and peace,

 

Henry G. Brinton & Yena K. Hwang 

 

 

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

PASTORAL LETTER #11

Updated: August 28, 2020

Dear FPC Members and Friends,We hope this letter finds you in good health as the summer heat loses its grip and the cooler breezes of the fall arrive.

As promised, we want to share with you the church schedule for the fall. The session has decided to continue with online-only worship through Sunday, Nov 22, the Sunday before the Thanksgiving holiday. We very much want to return to in-person worship, and hope to do this on Nov 29, which is the first Sunday of Advent. However, as always, your health and safety is most important to us in this decision, so we will continue to reassess the situation with attention to scientific data and the number of COVID-19 cases in our area.

Thank you to all who submitted responses to the Worship Ministry’s Reopening Survey.They were very helpful in our Session’s discerning process. The survey revealed that satisfaction with online worship is extremely high! 88 percent of survey respondents are either very or somewhat satisfied with online worship. Also, 48 percent are very unlikely to participate in worship in the Sanctuary this fall, and 59 percent of you will not feel comfortable returning to in-person worship until next spring or later. These responses from you, combined with the fact that our final pieces of equipment for live-streaming services have not arrived, led the session to make the decision to continue with online services up to Thanksgiving.

Even as our online worship and Christian Formation classes continue to help us feel connected, we also have scheduled gatherings on the Glebe to keep that connection going strong through socially distanced fellowship. Please join us for a monthly event sponsored by the Membership Connection Ministry called “Sundays on the Glebe.” The next one is scheduled for this Sunday, Aug 30, at 10 am. We will wear masks and practice social distancing for this and any other gatherings that happen in person.

On Sunday, Sep 6, we will celebrate Communion, so please have your bread/juice elements ready and join us online. You can even bake your own communion bread, as one Sunday Express family is doing! On Saturday, Sep 12, MCM will host “Guess Who’s Coming to Happy Hour?” at 5 pm via Zoom. On Sunday, Sep 13, we will have four children being baptized and being welcomed into our community of faith. Sep 13 is also the “Kick-off ” date for the new program year for the Sunday Express families and GRACE Youth families.

On Sunday, Sep 20, the September edition of “Sundays on the Glebe” fellowship will beat 10 am, followed by an outdoor in-person service of worship beginning at 11:15 am near the Memorial Garden and continuing around the church property. Both events will be socially-distanced and a marvelous opportunity to see each other face-to-face! Also on Sep 20: Kids Konnect, September edition, in the afternoon (Details TBA).

Finally, rounding out this busy month, we will hold our annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, Sep 27, at 10 a.m. via Zoom. If you do not have Zoom downloaded on your device, please make sure to do so prior to the congregational meeting. If you need assistance using Zoom, please contact Yena at yena@fairfaxpresby.com to set up a time for her to walk through this with you. The Zoom link for the Congregational meeting will be sent out to you as we get closer to the date. If you cannot attend via Zoom, you can also call in to the meeting. Either way, please let Yena know and she will send the information with the Zoom invite next month. At this meeting, we will receive the annual report of the congregation, financial reports, and the budget for 2020–2021. We will also elect elders, deacons, a trustee and members of the nominating committee.

In response to questions we have received, we want you to know that the church’s Heating and Air Conditioning Replacement is going well (thank you, Tom MacDonald), but is moving slowly. The Kitchen Renovation will move forward when conditions allow. The Affordable Housing project is also moving ahead slowly, as our negotiations with the City of Fairfax continue.

Last but not least, we had to say good-bye to our part-time Office Assistant Kim Hart and her family this month, as Kim’s spouse Kristen found another job in the Virginia Beach area. The Staff Personnel and Administrative Ministry suggested an innovative staffing solution, which was to combine the Youth Director position with the Office Assistant position, making each a half-time position. This suggestion was offered to Tempest Brevard, our current Youth Director, who accepted the position. The Session approved this process and Tempest will begin her dual role as Youth Director and Office Assistant on Sep 1, 2020. As always, we are grateful for the ways you support the mission and ministry of our church through this difficult time. We miss you, look forward to seeing you in person, and are grateful for all the ways we are able to connect during this time of pandemic.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit who continues to supply us with hope, health and peace,

Yena K. Hwang and Henry G. Brinton 

 

 

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

PASTORAL LETTER #11

Updated: August 28, 2020

Dear FPC Members and Friends,We hope this letter finds you in good health as the summer heat loses its grip and the cooler breezes of the fall arrive.

As promised, we want to share with you the church schedule for the fall. The session has decided to continue with online-only worship through Sunday, Nov 22, the Sunday before the Thanksgiving holiday. We very much want to return to in-person worship, and hope to do this on Nov 29, which is the first Sunday of Advent. However, as always, your health and safety is most important to us in this decision, so we will continue to reassess the situation with attention to scientific data and the number of COVID-19 cases in our area.

Thank you to all who submitted responses to the Worship Ministry’s Reopening Survey.They were very helpful in our Session’s discerning process. The survey revealed that satisfaction with online worship is extremely high! 88 percent of survey respondents are either very or somewhat satisfied with online worship. Also, 48 percent are very unlikely to participate in worship in the Sanctuary this fall, and 59 percent of you will not feel comfortable returning to in-person worship until next spring or later. These responses from you, combined with the fact that our final pieces of equipment for live-streaming services have not arrived, led the session to make the decision to continue with online services up to Thanksgiving.

Even as our online worship and Christian Formation classes continue to help us feel connected, we also have scheduled gatherings on the Glebe to keep that connection going strong through socially distanced fellowship. Please join us for a monthly event sponsored by the Membership Connection Ministry called “Sundays on the Glebe.” The next one is scheduled for this Sunday, Aug 30, at 10 am. We will wear masks and practice social distancing for this and any other gatherings that happen in person.

On Sunday, Sep 6, we will celebrate Communion, so please have your bread/juice elements ready and join us online. You can even bake your own communion bread, as one Sunday Express family is doing! On Saturday, Sep 12, MCM will host “Guess Who’s Coming to Happy Hour?” at 5 pm via Zoom. On Sunday, Sep 13, we will have four children being baptized and being welcomed into our community of faith. Sep 13 is also the “Kick-off ” date for the new program year for the Sunday Express families and GRACE Youth families.

On Sunday, Sep 20, the September edition of “Sundays on the Glebe” fellowship will beat 10 am, followed by an outdoor in-person service of worship beginning at 11:15 am near the Memorial Garden and continuing around the church property. Both events will be socially-distanced and a marvelous opportunity to see each other face-to-face! Also on Sep 20: Kids Konnect, September edition, in the afternoon (Details TBA).

Finally, rounding out this busy month, we will hold our annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, Sep 27, at 10 a.m. via Zoom. If you do not have Zoom downloaded on your device, please make sure to do so prior to the congregational meeting. If you need assistance using Zoom, please contact Yena at yena@fairfaxpresby.com to set up a time for her to walk through this with you. The Zoom link for the Congregational meeting will be sent out to you as we get closer to the date. If you cannot attend via Zoom, you can also call in to the meeting. Either way, please let Yena know and she will send the information with the Zoom invite next month. At this meeting, we will receive the annual report of the congregation, financial reports, and the budget for 2020–2021. We will also elect elders, deacons, a trustee and members of the nominating committee.

In response to questions we have received, we want you to know that the church’s Heating and Air Conditioning Replacement is going well (thank you, Tom MacDonald), but is moving slowly. The Kitchen Renovation will move forward when conditions allow. The Affordable Housing project is also moving ahead slowly, as our negotiations with the City of Fairfax continue.

Last but not least, we had to say good-bye to our part-time Office Assistant Kim Hart and her family this month, as Kim’s spouse Kristen found another job in the Virginia Beach area. The Staff Personnel and Administrative Ministry suggested an innovative staffing solution, which was to combine the Youth Director position with the Office Assistant position, making each a half-time position. This suggestion was offered to Tempest Brevard, our current Youth Director, who accepted the position. The Session approved this process and Tempest will begin her dual role as Youth Director and Office Assistant on Sep 1, 2020. As always, we are grateful for the ways you support the mission and ministry of our church through this difficult time. We miss you, look forward to seeing you in person, and are grateful for all the ways we are able to connect during this time of pandemic.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit who continues to supply us with hope, health and peace,

Yena K. Hwang and Henry G. Brinton 

 

 

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

Updated: July 31, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER #10

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

We hope that you are staying well through this pandemic: Physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. We have received some special gifts to help members with rent, mortgage payments, utilities, etc. If you have a need, we can provide confidential assistance. Please be in touch with one of us: henry@fairfaxpresby.com or yena@fairfaxpresby.com.

As much as we want to gather physically for worship, we cannot do this until the danger of infection drops. According to The New York Times, more than 650 coronavirus cases have been linked to nearly 40 churches and religious events across the United States since the beginning of the pandemic, and many churches that reopened their buildings are now being forced to close their facilities again.

The FPC elders will meet on Tuesday, August 18, and talk about the church schedule for the fall. They want your input, so please take a minute to answer five short questions on this survey:

FPC Reopening Survey

Please respond by Sunday, August 16, so that our elders can be informed by your preferences.

And now, an opportunity for creativity, open to children, youths and adults: "Help Us Design a Banner for This Moment and Beyond"

Fairfax Presbyterian Church stands on the conviction that all people have been made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27); we strive to embody the principle from the prophet Isaiah engraved on our sanctuary walls: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples" (Isaiah 56:7). We also recognize and acknowledge that not all people have been honored in this way throughout history, and that every generation is obliged to make this promise anew, for themselves and for the generations that follow.

In that spirit, the leaders of Fairfax Presbyterian Church are calling for submissions to a new creative effort - the design of a flag or banner that represents our shared commitment to combat systemic racism and other injustices suffered by Black Americans as well as other marginalized groups in our nation and community.

This creative endeavor to design a flag or banner is open to the children, youth and adults of FPC. The group will also joyfully accept submissions from outside the congregation. All are welcome to submit designs, regardless of religious affiliation, residency, age, or other criteria.

Submission Information:

  1. Designs should be submitted by September 1, 2020.
  2. Designs should be submitted to https://fairfaxpresby.breezechms.com/form/Banner as high resolution .jpg images.
  3. Submissions will be reviewed by members of the church.
  4. Representative design submissions will be displayed at Fairfax Presbyterian Church online and at a congregational fellowship event. At that time the selected design will be announced.
  5. Those submitting designs will retain no rights to the design, nor will FPC own the rights. Instead, all designs will remain in the public domain. FPC intends to create a physical flag or banner from the selected design and display it. Others who wish to do so will be encouraged to do so.

Please make a submission to this important creative endeavor! We and the elders are excited about this opportunity, and look forward to seeing the banner that you design.

In hope, health and peace,

Yena K. Hwang and Henry G. Brinton

 

 

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

Updated: July 10, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER #9

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

We pray that this letter finds you in good health and spirit.  We continue to create different opportunities to connect with members and engage in meaningful conversations through this period.  It is not the same as seeing each other physically through worship and fellowship time, but we are grateful for the positive ways in which the congregation has responded to the challenges we face during this unprecedented period.

We want to inform you of some transitions that are happening in the FPC staff:  Kim Hart, who has served as FPC Office Assistant, will be moving with her spouse Kristen Hart, to Virginia Beach, where Kristen found a new job.  Kim will be able to serve in her current position until the end of August. Please take a moment to thank her for a job well done!

Susan Wisseman, who has served as Outreach Coordinator since June 2019, will not be continuing in this capacity as of July. The pandemic has made it very difficult for her to do her job, which requires a lot of physical engagement in the community.  However, Susan will be staying with us as a Parish Associate and continue to support the ministry and mission at FPC.

We are thrilled and grateful to share the good news that we received a generous gift from the Dottie Cousineau estate that will enable us to complete our 2020 Vision goal of completing the HVAC replacement. Dottie loved FPC, and we are deeply grateful to her. We miss her smiling face in the choir, but through this gift her service continues.

Member Connections Ministry originally planned a “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” event in March, but due to our situation decided to alter the event to “Guess Who’s Coming to the Happy Hour” online.  This will take place via  Zoom on Saturday, July 11th, at 5:00 pm. We don’t know who will be there, but it will be fun!  You can find the link on the internal FB page or by contacting memberconnections@fairfaxpresby.com.

MCM is also planning a "Summer Sundays on the Glebe" event on two Sundays, July 26th and August 30th, at 10 am.  Please bring your own chairs/blankets to sit on and  bring food/drink of your choice if you would like refreshments. We want to be sure everyone is comfortable and is looking out for the health of themselves and other FPC members. In case of inclement weather, the events will be cancelled. If you have any questions, please contact MCM elder Tonia Anderson at tonia_anderson@yahoo.com.  

We are grateful for all your support and encouragement shared with us via emails, FB, messenger, etc., as we continue to minister through this time of pandemic.  Know that we keep you in our prayers and ask that you continue to pray for us as well.  

The financial impact of this pandemic has hit many individuals and families hard, and we want you to know that we have received some special gifts to help members with rent, mortgage payments, utilities, etc. If you have a need, we can provide some confidential assistance.

Stay well and please be in touch if you have questions, concerns, or a need for assistance: henry@fairfaxpresby.com or yena@fairfaxpresby.com.

In hope, health and peace,

Yena K. Hwang and Henry G. Brinton

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

Updated: June 19, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER #8

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

We hope you are staying well as our region slowly reopens in this time of pandemic. In our last pastoral letter, we promised to inform you of steps we are taking toward gathering for worship once again. We have learned that  National Capital Presbytery is recommending that churches not rush into returning to in-person worship services. In addition, health officials recommend that we wear masks, avoid singing, and practice social distancing while the coronavirus is still active.

Our session ministries discussed the state of the pandemic in their regularly scheduled meetings, and the Worship Ministry made the recommendation that we delay in-person worship services in the sanctuary until at least Labor Day (September 7, 2020).

At the Stated Session Meeting on Tuesday, June 16, the elders discussed this recommendation and approved it unanimously. We will continue with taped and broadcast worship services through at least Labor Day.

We know that many of you are anxious to gather in the Sanctuary, while others are reluctant to gather because of health concerns. Be assured that the health and safety of every member of FPC is the top priority for all of us in leadership. Other churches in our region, including Vienna Presbyterian Church, will also be delaying the resumption of in-person worship until at least Labor Day.

Another consideration is the quality of the worship we can offer in a time of pandemic. While we pastors love the experience of seeing church members in person and preaching to a gathered congregation, we know that church members love to sing in worship. Sadly, this will not be possible for many months. So we feel that the music of our online services is a real benefit to staying online for now.

At the same time, we want to create opportunities for socially-distanced fellowship events over the summer, so that members can see each other. The Grads on the Glebe parade was such a joy for everyone who participated! Please stay tuned for opportunities to gather on the Glebe for worship and fellowship in the weeks and months ahead. We miss you and want to see you face-to-face, in a manner that is safe for everyone. Any opportunities will be announced on our church website, https://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/

Please continue to join us for audio and video online worship at 8:45 am and 11:15 am every Sunday at https://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/fpc/sermons#Listen%20Live. Thank you also for your continued financial support, which has come through the mail and through secure online giving. The Stewardship and Finance Ministry will send you a message about church finances very soon. As we enter a new Fiscal Year on July 1, we ask everyone to continue their support as they are able, preferably at the level of giving for the past year.

Stay well and please be in touch if you have questions, concerns, or a need for assistance: henry@fairfaxpresby.com or yena@fairfaxpresby.com.

In hope, health and peace,

Henry G. Brinton & Yena Hwang

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

Updated: June 5, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER #7

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

We have all been horrified by the picture of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man, pleading for air while a white police officer kneels on his neck.  Floyd died during this encounter, leading to the arrest of the officer.  The death has sparked protests over the excessive force so often directed by law enforcement toward black men in America.

Many of these demonstrations have been peaceful, in line with the nonviolent protests of the Civil Rights Movement, which leaders and members of FPC supported in the 1960s.  A young black woman named Erika Atson was among the thousands of peaceful demonstrators who recently came together in Minneapolis to call for justice.  She said she was worried about raising children who could be vulnerable in encounters with the police.  “We don’t want to cause any damages,” she said. “We just want the police officer to be held accountable.”

Holding people accountable — that is so very important. We need to hold ourselves accountable and hold each other accountable as well.  In particular, whites who abuse African-Americans need to be held accountable.  Tragically, there is a long history of such violence in the United States.

At FPC, we hold each other accountable for being a "house of prayer for all peoples” (Isaiah 56:7).  This means that we see all people as children of God, equally made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26).  We do not consider people of color to be less evolved than white people, which was a common understanding in the time of slavery and still persists today. We know that we cannot live in peace if some of us hold on to the idea of white supremacy.

The Wired Word class will be discussing this issue on Sunday at 10 am, and our worship at 8:45 am and 11:15 am will lift these recent events into the light of God's Word. Please participate online in these important opportunities for church members and guests.

We also want to inform you of the conversations that will be happening in the next few weeks about gathering for worship in the Sanctuary once again. Our session ministries will be discussing the state of the pandemic in their regularly scheduled meetings, and then the session will make a decision about gathered worship at its stated meeting on Tuesday, June 16.  After that date, you will get an official update about our schedule, and any changes will be announced on our church website, https://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/

While we are anxious to gather for worship, we do not want to come back together in a way that endangers the health and well-being of the congregation and community.  Because of the danger of the coronavirus, we have to make safety our top concern.  For now, we will continue to offer audio and video online worship, and we will maintain our two-service schedule with worship at 8:45 am and 11:15 am every Sunday at https://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/fpc/sermons#Listen%20Live.  We are maintaining this schedule because we believe that it will prepare us best for a return to in-person worship.

Stay well and please be in touch if we can assist you in any way: henry@fairfaxpresby.com or yena@fairfaxpresby.com.

In hope, health and peace,

Henry G. Brinton & Yena Hwang

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

Updated: May 15, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER #6

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

Thank you for the faith and courage you are showing in this coronavirus pandemic. We hope that you have remained well, and that you have the supplies you need. As of today, we have been online-only as a congregation for two full months.

We are anxious to gather for worship in the Sanctuary once again, but we do not want to come back together in a way that endangers the health and well-being of the congregation and community. Because of the danger of the coronavirus, we have to make safety our top concern. We will not gather until local infection numbers fall for two or three weeks, and then we will announce the change on our church website,  https://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/

Until then, we will continue to offer audio and video online worship, and we will maintain our two-service schedule with worship at 8:45 am and 11:15 am every Sunday (not switching to a single 9:30 am service on Memorial Day Weekend, as is our custom). We are maintaining this schedule because we believe that it will prepare us best for a return to in-person worship. Any gathering for worship over the next year will have to be socially-distanced, and two services will help us to accomplish this goal.

So, what will worship look and feel like when we do gather again? Sadly, it will be different, and we may feel grief over the changes. The Worship Ministry is working on developing a plan for services, but changes will probably include:

  1. Less singing. Since singing is one of the ways that the virus is transmitted, our music will be affected.
  2. Masks. To prevent infecting our neighbors, masks will be worn in worship.
  3. No shaking of hands or hugging. We will have to greet one another and pass the peace without making physical contact.
  4. Social distancing. We will mark the pews in such a way that everyone can gather safely as individuals or in family groups.
  5. Live-stream video worship. Many vulnerable members will want to stay home and watch the services on their computers, so we are working to develop live-stream capabilities. Currently, our services are recorded in advance, but we will want the gathering of our congregation to be broadcast live.

Other plans are being made by the Worship Ministry and session, and we will announce them well in advance of our first gathering, which will be mid-June at the earliest. Until then, please continue to worship every Sunday morning at 8:45 am or 11:15 am at  https://www.fairfaxpresbyterian.org/fpc/sermons  

In spite of the challenges presented by the coronavirus, God is at work in our congregation in powerful ways. Members are connecting with one another, Christian Formation is happening online, and our community is being served through Hot Meals and our Little Free Pantries.

In addition, we want to invite everyone to get out of their house on Saturday, May 30, and drive to the church parking for a parade! The event will not require you to leave your car. So what is it all about?

Youth Director Tempest Brevard writes: Join us on May 30 at 3:00 pm for a CELEBRATORY PARADE for our graduating high school and college seniors. Come offer your support for our grads, in a socially distanced way but with big FPC spirit! Please begin lining up at 2:50 pm on Presbyterian Way; the parade will begin at 3 pm; drive up the circle toward the front of the church; honking, cheering, with signs, or noise makers all for our graduates. As you reach the larger end of the parking lot you can choose to exit by the first row, or choose the second row which will have a table setup for you to drop off a card, balloons, or a gift for a graduating senior.

We also want to share with you the results of the congregational survey prepared by outreach coordinator Susan Wisseman. The results were very encouraging, and show the vitality of our congregation at this difficult time.

In what ways are you engaging the FPC community?

  • Worship - 97.5%
  • Sunday Express - 2.5%
  • Youth - 10.0%
  • The Website - 52.5%
  • Wired Word - 12.5%
  • Presbyterian Women - 27.5%

Do you support FPC through financial giving?

  • Yes, through online giving - 53.8%
  • Yes, by mail - 46.1%
  • No - 5.1%

Are you able to worship online?

  • Yes, by audio - 12.5%
  • Yes, by video - 85.0%
  • No - 2.5%

Have you used the Little Free pantries?

  • I've made a donation - 37.5%
  • I've used the pantries to support my family - 0.0%
  • I have not used the pantries - 45.0%
  • I have let others know about the pantries - 17.5%

The survey clearly reveals that FPC members are active in worship, staying connected through activities, supporting the church financially, and providing food to our hungry neighbors Until we meet face-to-face, keep up the good work and may God bless and keep you!

Please be in touch if we can assist you in any way: henry@fairfaxpresby.com or yena@fairfaxpresby.com.

In hope, health and peace,

Henry G. Brinton & Yena Hwang

 

 

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

Updated: April 23, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER #5

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

In this time of coronavirus pandemic, we hope that you are staying well and that you have the supplies you need. The staff and deacons of FPC want to be of whatever assistance we can be. Don't hesitate to reach out by email if you have a need during this time of adherence to the governor's "Stay-at-Home Order." Although we need to stay apart, we are united by God's love, and the worship, ministry and mission of the church continues through online platforms.

Good things are happening at FPC despite the pandemic. We want to share some highlights and ask for your response to a survey.

  1. A new and improved FPC website has been introduced, thanks to Member Connections Ministry, Kim Hart, Tom MacDonald, and Abby Carlson. Check it out: https://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/
  2. Worship continues online every Sunday at 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., so that you can worship at home via your computer or smartphone. You can listen to audio or watch YouTube video through the FPC website: https://www.fairfaxpresbyterian.org/fpc/sermons  
  3. The mission, ministry and needs of the church continue, and you can continue to support FPC's ministry and mission by mailing your gift to the church or through secure online giving: https://fairfaxpresby.breezechms.com/give/online.  If you need assistance setting up the worship live-stream or using online giving, please contact Boyd Harrison at boyd@fairfaxpresby.com or Kim Hart at kimberly@fairfaxpresby.com. One "silver lining" of the shut-down is that work is progressing on our 2020 VISION Capital Campaign heating and air conditioning project, so thank you for your gifts!
  4. The session has been working hard to address the financial strain of this pandemic, and you will receive a letter soon with details of the steps that have been taken to maintain our financial viability. Also, a commitment is being made to fund our mission outreach efforts at the highest possible levels, so that we can continue to help our suffering neighbors.
  5. A full range of Christian Formation opportunities, for children through adults, is being offered online. Please consult the announcements in the Sunday bulletin on the website. The "Faith and Science in the 21st Century" class for adults and youths will return online, for two Sundays at 10 am, beginning May 3.
  6. We want to hear from you! Please fill out the following short survey as soon as possible: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CN8XJ6V
  7. If you would like to talk with a pastor, please contact Henry Brinton at henry@fairfaxpresby.com or Yena Hwang at yena@fairfaxpresby.com. Also, you can submit your “joys and concerns” at our website at  https://www.fairfaxpresbyterian.org/fpc/sermons then scroll down to the Prayer Request section. Fill out the form and Tom MacDonald will share them during our worship services.

Thank you for continuing to be members of the Body of Christ during this stressful time. As our elders noted in their session meeting on Tuesday night, "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit … For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ." (1 Corinthians 12:4, 12). We could not do ministry and mission without you, the many members of the Body of Christ at FPC.

In hope, health and peace,

Henry G. Brinton & Yena Hwang

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

Updated: April 10, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER #4

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

Easter is coming, regardless of COVID-19! Although the governor's "Stay-at-Home Order" means we cannot gather as a community, FPC will continue to provide worship, ministry, and mission opportunities through available online platforms.

1. Worship on Easter, the Day of Resurrection, April 12, will be available online only through live-stream at 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., so that you can worship at home via your computer or smartphone. You can listen to audio or watch YouTube video through the FPC website: http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/listen-live/.  

2. Although our worship will have to be online only until the "Stay-at-Home Order" is lifted, we will celebrate the resurrection in glorious fashion on the first Sunday we are allowed to gather in the Sanctuary. Remember, in our Christian tradition, every Sunday is a "little Easter"!  

3. In the meantime, please continue to support FPC's ministry and mission by mailing your gift to the church or through secure online giving: https://fairfaxpresby.breezechms.com/give/online.  If you need assistance setting up the worship live-stream or using online giving, please contact Boyd Harrison at boyd@fairfaxpresby.com or Kim Hart at kimberly@fairfaxpresby.com.

4. In compliance with the governor's order, the FPC building continues to be closed until further notice. You can watch the FPC website for updates: http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/.

5. Updates on ministry and mission are found on the FPC website: https://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/. Please consult it regularly and be aware that we will roll out a NEW website on April 15. Although it will look different, do not be alarmed and think that you have gone to the wrong site. It will reside at the same web address and be much more attractive and functional than our current site.

6. A full range of Christian Formation opportunities, for children through adults, is being offered online. Please consult the announcements in the Sunday bulletin on the website.

7. If you would like to talk with a pastor, please contact Henry Brinton at henry@fairfaxpresby.com or Yena Hwang at yena@fairfaxpresby.com. Also, you can submit your “joys and concerns” at our website in the http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/listen-live/ section. Fill out the form and Tom MacDonald will share them during our worship services.

We are working to keep our congregation connected and spiritually supported as we go through this crisis together.  May you find inspiration in the Scriptures that will be at the heart of our Easter worship:

"While it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb" (John 20:1). Yes, these are dark times, but the tomb is empty!

"Mary stood weeping outside the tomb" (v. 11). Like Mary, we are filled with grief and anxiety, but God is working for new life.

"Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord!'" (v. 18). Our hope is that you will see the resurrected Christ as well -- maybe in some surprising places!

Know that we miss you and look forward to the day when we can gather in person!  

In hope, health and peace,

Henry G. Brinton & Yena Hwang

 

Updated: April 2, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER #3

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

We send you our love and support as we continue to face this COVID-19 threat together. As you know, the Virginia Governor’s “Temporary Stay-at-Home Order” was put into effect on March 30, and it will be in effect until June 10, 2020.  Because we express our love of God through loving our neighbors, we will continue to do our part to promote public health by being in compliance with the Executive Order.

Although we cannot gather as a community, FPC will continue to provide worship, ministry, and mission opportunities through available online platforms.

1. Worship.  FPC services will be available only online through live-stream at 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Sundays, so that you can worship at home via your computer or smartphone. If you have not already done so, please locate the live-stream option on the FPC website:  http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/listen-live/.  

2. In addition, we will have live-stream Holy Week worship on Maundy Thursday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. and on Good Friday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. For Maundy Thursday, please prepare a cup of juice (any kind) and a piece of bread, so that you can celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at home during the service.

3. Although our Easter Service on April 12 will have to be online, we will celebrate the resurrection in glorious fashion on the first Sunday we are allowed to gather in the Sanctuary.  For now, Sunday, June 14 may be that first Sunday, but stay tuned for future updates. Remember, in our Christian tradition, every Sunday is a "little Easter"!  

4. In the meanwhile, we ask that you continue to support FPC's ministry and mission by mailing your gift to the church or through a secure online giving:  https://fairfaxpresby.breezechms.com/give/online.  If you need assistance setting up the worship live- stream or online giving, please contact Boyd Harrison at boyd@fairfaxpresy.com or Kim Hart at kimberly@fairfaxpresby.com.

5. Building Closure. In compliance with the Executive Order, the FPC building continues to be closed until further notice. You can watch the FPC website for updates: http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/.

6. Continuity of ministry. Although we are in a quarantine situation with limited contact with others, you should not be isolated.  It is important to stay connected with people. Please know that the pastors and elected leaders are reaching out to fellow members and neighbors through phone calls, texts, emails and video chats.  Also, the following Christian Formation (CF) opportunities are available via video conferences like Google Meet or Zoom:

  • For Adult CF:  Sunday’s Wired Word @ 10 a.m. with Henry Brinton and Yena Hwang.
  • For Children:  Sunday Express Musical Rehearsal @ 11:30a.m. with Erin Sanzero and Bill Reidway.
  • For Youth:  GRACE Youth Sunday Night Fellowship @ 5 p.m. with Tempest Brevard;  and Monday Movie Night @ 7 p.m. through Netflix Party.
  • For Youths and Adults:  Weekly Wednesday Bible Study “Hope During Time of Crisis” @ 1 p.m. with Tempest.
  • Coming Soon:  After worship conversation on various topics @ 12:30 p.m. with Ako Cromwell
  • If you would like to participate in any of these live virtual studies, please contact Yena at yena@fairfaxpresby.com and she will send you the information needed to participate.  
  • In addition to these, Henry is posting daily Bible Studies on our website and on our FPC Facebook.  You can leave a comment and interact with others on these study threads.

7. Mission to the community. "Little Free Pantries," installed on the front patio of the church, outside the building, are being used by our neighbors as needed. Thank you to all who have replenished the pantries with non-perishable food items.  Please wipe down your donated items with disinfectant before placing them in the pantry. For larger food needs, our food closet can be available by appointments only at this time. Please email the pastors at the addresses below.

8. Pastoral Concerns. If you have questions or concerns, or if you would like to talk with a pastor, please contact Henry Brinton at henry@fairfaxpresby.com or Yena Hwang at yena@fairfaxpresby.com. Other staff members such as office administrators Boyd and Kim will be available to serve you by appointment.  Also, you can submit your “joys and concerns” at our website under the  http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/listen-live/ section.  Fill out the form and Tom MacDonald will share those during our worship services.  Although much of our work is being done remotely, we are all happy to respond by email or telephone, and to meet in small groups as needed.

Please know that we are praying for you and we are working to keep our congregation connected and spiritually supported as we go through this crisis together.  We understand that this social distancing and quarantine time bring many challenges like possible isolation of our single/older members, financial insecurities due to job losses, and difficulties of juggling work and taking care of children who are home from school.  We want to provide as much support as we can. We covet your prayers and support as we continue our work. Let us lift each other up with encouragement and prayers. “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). We miss you and we look forward to the day when we can gather in person to worship and fellowship!  

In hope, health and peace,

Henry G. Brinton & Yena Hwang

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

Updated: March 25, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER #2

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

We send you our love and support as we face this COVID-19 threat together. Please know that we are praying for you and are working to keep our congregation connected and spiritually supported as we go through these challenging days. Know that God continues to be "our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

FPC is continuing to take steps to ensure the health of our community, to slow the spread of the virus, and to advance our worship, ministry and mission. As of today, our plans are:

1. Worship. We will NOT gather in the Sanctuary for worship through the end of April. This is a response to the statewide ban on gatherings of more than ten people which began on March 24 and will last until April 23. Instead, FPC services will be available by live-stream at 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Sunday so that you can worship at home via your computer or smartphone. Thanks to the efforts of Tom MacDonald, these services include both audio and video. If you have not already done so, please locate the live-stream option on the FPC website: http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/listen-live/. In addition, you can continue to support FPC's ministry and mission by mailing your gift to the church or through online giving: https://fairfaxpresby.breezechms.com/give/online. We will reassess and update our information as needed regarding further future services.  Although our Easter Service on April 12 will have to be online, we will celebrate the resurrection in glorious fashion on the first Sunday we are allowed to gather in the Sanctuary. In our Christian tradition, every Sunday is a "little Easter"!

2. Building Closure. Our governor's recent executive order calls for "closure of all public access to recreational and entertainment businesses" for the period March 24 through April 23. While churches are not mentioned specifically, we want to abide by the spirit of this order and promote public health. As a result, the FPC building is now closed to all events and meetings until further notice. You can watch the FPC website for updates: http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/.

3. Continuity of Ministry. Although you are right to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus, this is not the time to become isolated. Please continue to reach out to fellow members and neighbors through phone calls, texts, emails and video chats. Your deacons are making calls to church members, as are your pastors. Yena has been offering daily Facebook Live messages to Sunday Express families, Tempest has been gathering the youths online, Erin has been using her tech savvy to make it possible for rehearsals for the spring musical to continue every Sunday, FPC's Facebook group has been active with members sending messages, and Henry has been posting daily Bible studies (with a comments section for your thoughts) on http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/. Trusting that our lives are in God's hands, we will continue to be the body of Christ through all the days to come.

4. Mission to the Community. "Little Free Pantries" have been installed on the front patio of the church, outside the narthex. Hungry neighbors are coming by to pick up canned goods and other non-perishable food, and FPC members are replenishing the pantries as needed (please wipe down your donated items with disinfectant before placing them in the pantry). In addition, our food closet will be available by appointment. Please email the pastors at the addresses below.

5. Pastoral Concerns. If you have questions or concerns, or if you would like to talk with a pastor, please contact Henry Brinton at henry@fairfaxpresby.com or Yena Hwang at yena@fairfaxpresby.com. Other staff members such as office administrators Boyd and Kim will be available to serve you by appointment. Although much of our work will be done remotely, we are all happy to respond by email or telephone, and to meet in small groups as needed.

6. Self-Quarantine Alert. Erin, Gretchen and Grace have continued to do a terrific job with the music of the church, and the last live performance of music was on Sunday, March 15. Yesterday, March 24, Grace learned that she tested positive for the coronavirus. If you last encountered Grace in our service of worship on Sunday, March 8, your 14 day period for self-quarantine has now passed. But if you met with her on Sunday, March 15, you are advised to self-quarantine through Sunday, March 29. Grace is sharing this information with the congregation out of a desire to do anything she can to help minimize the spread of the virus. You'll be happy to know that Grace and her family are recovering and are physically well.

We look forward to the day when we can gather together in person to worship and fellowship.  In the meanwhile, know that you are not alone. Our God is the Strong One who sees us -- El Roi.  Our God is the One who provides -- Jehovah Jireh. God is our Stone of Help -- Ebenezer. God is our Healer, Jehovah Rapha.  God Immanuel, the One who is with us, bless you and keep you safe during this time of uncertainty.  I

n hope, health and peace,

Henry G. Brinton & Yena Hwang

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

Updated: March 17, 2020

PASTORAL LETTER

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

We know that this is a stressful time for all of you, with the threat of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) forcing you to stay home from work and school, and self-quarantine. FPC wants to remain connected to you and provide the spiritual and social support that we all need as we face this crisis together. With God’s help, we will get through this!

FPC is responding by putting plans in place to ensure the health of our community and the continuation of our worship, ministry and mission. We want to care for ourselves and the wider community by taking steps that will slow the spread of the virus. As of today, our plans are:

1. Worship. We will NOT gather in the Sanctuary on the following Sundays: March 22 and March 29. Instead, FPC services will be available by live-stream at 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Sunday so that you can worship at home via your computer or smartphone. In advance of these services, take a minute to locate the live-stream option on the FPC website: http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/listen-live/. The live-stream services will include prayers, scripture, sermons and music, since we all need the guidance and reassurance of worship during this stressful time. In addition, you can continue to support the mission and ministry of the church by mailing your gift to the church or through online giving: https://fairfaxpresby.breezechms.com/give/online. We will reassess and update our information as needed regarding future services, and post information online.  For now, the Sermon in Music is moving to May 3 and Youth Sunday to May 17.

2. Building Closure. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have put our emergency health safety plan into place.  Following the decision of Fairfax County Public Schools, FPC is now closed to all events and meetings until further notice. Watch the FPC website for updates: http://fairfaxpresbyterian.org/.

3. Continuity of ministry. A public health crisis such as COVID-19 is an important time to be the church! Although church members are right to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus, this is not the time to become isolated. Please continue to reach out to fellow members and neighbors through phone calls, texts, emails and video chats. Trusting that our lives are in God's hands, we will continue to worship God and serve our neighbors through all the days to come.

4. Mission to the community. We are installing "Little Free Pantries" on the front patio of the church, outside the narthex. Hungry neighbors are welcome to come by at any time and pick up canned goods and other non-perishable food. Thank you, outreach coordinator Susan Wisseman, for establishing these pantries! Church members are encouraged to add contributions to the pantries at any time — a nice “get out of the house” activity! In addition, our food closet will be available by appointment. Please email the pastors at the addresses below.

5. Contacts: If you have questions or concerns, or if you would like to talk with a pastor, please contact Henry Brinton at henry@fairfaxpresby.com or Yena Hwang at yena@fairfaxpresby.com. Other staff members will be available to serve you by appointment. Although much of our work will be done remotely, we are all happy to respond by email or telephone, and to meet in small groups as needed.

We encourage you to take this unprecedented situation as a part of our Lenten journey towards the cross. While this situation brings financial and medical uncertainty and unrest, it is allowing us to experience a different kind of rest, an unexpected time to break from everyday busy-ness for ourselves and for the earth.  The European Space Agency reported a dramatic decrease in nitrogen dioxide over northern Italy, where there has been a nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19. NASA images show similar reduction of pollution in China during their lockdown.  We trust in God who is our Creator, Redeemer, Nurturer, Sustainer, and Provider.  We trust God to guide us through this time with wisdom and grace.

In hope, health and peace,

Henry G. Brinton & Yena Hwang

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

WELCOME

 

  • Palm/Passion Sunday – April 5, Dedication of Pledges“Capital Crime” by Henry Brinton, Isaiah 53:3–5; Luke 19:37–40
  • Maundy Thursday – April 9 at 7:30 pm, Foot-Washing Presentation
  • Good Friday – April 10  at 7:30 pm, Readings and Hymns
  • Easter Sunday – April 12
    • 6:30 am – Sunrise Service, Easter Pilgrimage
    • 8:45 & 11:15 am – Traditional Service with Choir and Brass
      "Jesus Is Dead?” by Henry Brinton, Luke 24. 1–12
    • (6:30 and 8:45 only) Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
    • Easter Breakfast 7:30–11:00 am

Easter Schedule

WELCOME