Daily devotionals are now available from the hall counter in Church. They are for the months of April thru June. You can also get these resources online for your computer or phone if that is more convenient.
We invite you to participate in all of our Holy weeks activities. There will be no program on Wednesday to free up time to come out on Thursday or Friday.
Thursday: As the ‘Last supper’ was a full meal we are going to have a potluck starting at 6:30pm. Please bring a good dish or two to share, invite family and friends to join you, kids welcome. Around the table we will read and sing through Marks account of Jesus last day before the Cross. Our special guest speaker is David Harper, retired from our mother Church (Apostles in Fairfax).
Friday: The building is open for meditation from noon to 3pm, come and go as you please. Our Good Friday service begins at 7:30pm and features the Cross in interactive ways to tell the story and learn the significance of the Crucifixion the heart of our faith.
Sunday: We celebrate the resurrection victory at both services as we join the Angels in glorifying the risen Lord Jesus. We learn how he conquered our three great enemies of sin, Satan and death. During the service we have several baptisms, first communions and a treat for the kids! Dress well for the celebration, white is appropriate!
Pastor’s Letter Easter 2015
Living as Those Made Alive in Christ
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
—St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians
Everybody is anxious for spring. Although it has not been a terribly hard winter, it seems to have dragged on with frequent interruptions of snow, ice, and low temperatures. As these dark months slowly pass, we are more appreciative of the warmth of spring. Of course, there are always those who enjoy the challenges of winter, especially if they can get away to enjoy the slopes or the trails.
When we think about spring it is often linked in our minds with Easter (the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead). Unfortunately, the secular world has imprinted in our imaginations, a vision of bunny rabbits, chicks, eggs, and daffodils; to confuse the season of spring with the resurrection. As if earth’s cycles were sufficient cause for a celebration in Church! Christians must not let the secular media steal the glory of the resurrection from us. We must take deliberate steps to recapture the joy of that first resurrection morning and its meaning for those who are in Christ. We must learn to, ‘set our minds on things above, not on earthly things!’
We can do this by making the most of the preparation time of Lent and especially Holy Week. Palm Sunday (March 29) is a dramatic opening of the story (see Mark 11). There is an interplay between mystery and intrigue. There are also vignettes of personal courage and moral failure; with undertones of conflict between unseen spiritual forces and the seduction of secular power.
Although the story is 2,000 years old, it is our story because we are represented in the forces at play. We are the cause and the prize of this drama; and our engagement with it is of prime importance. As Paul says, ‘for you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.’
May I challenge you to make the most of Holy Week this year and attend as many worship services as possible? Our staff goes to great lengths to make both our fellowship and worship, fresh and real. If you will engage, then this Resurrection Sunday (April 5) will be a powerful experience!
We will delve deeper into the meaning of the resurrection for Christians, in May, when we host Canon Mark Pearson for a teaching and ministry weekend (May 14~17)
based upon his latest book, Fifty Days of Glory.
We are excited to host a conference with Canon Mark Pearson of the Institute for Christian Renewal on Ascension weekend in May.
Books are available from Church of the Word firstname.lastname@example.org
It is based largely on Marks book ‘Fifty days of Glory’ which is available from the church now for $15 each.
Thursday May 14 is the day we mark the bodily ascension of Jesus to heaven after resurrection appearances for 40 days. Then follows 10 days of prayer while waiting for the coming of the promised Holy Spirit.
Thu 14 Interactive Ascension themed worship sermon by Canon Mark. 6:00 pm Light refreshments, book table, meet and greet, music rehearsal. 7:00 pm Interactive Ascension service begins Sermon by Canon Mark Pearson.
Fri 15 Healing service 7:00 pm meet and greet, book table, prayer teams prepare, music rehearsal. 7:30pm healing service begins close around 9pm.
Saturday 16th Day seminar/retreat on ‘Fifty Days of Glory’ (Registration required)
8:30am light breakfast. 9am to 12:15pm first two talks with a break in between.
12:15pm Lunch followed by third talk, Close around 2pm
Cost will be $30 for an individual $50 for a married couple and $25 for a group of 6 or more. Pastors in full time ministry half price.
Sunday May 17th 8/10 am Worship Guest Preacher Canon Mark Pearson
More details will follow including how to register.
Join a home Group
Small groups are a way to build community by making disciples. The only organization Jesus left behind after his ascension was a small group of 11 disciples. He gave them the great commandment, ‘Love God (Worship) and love your neighbor (Service)’ and the Great commission, ‘Go preach (evangelize), baptize (Community) and make disciples (Disciples).’ The five imperatives we draw from these core values of Christ’s mission are the very ones we aspire to at our Church. Our Mission statement is to ‘Encounter Jesus Christ through Creative Worship and Loving community and to Share Jesus through Relational evangelism, lifestyle discipleship and Hands on Service’. A good small group will incorporate these five elements and will enrich and complement the efforts of the larger congregation to make Christ like disciples.
You have five opportunities for small group fellowship at the moment and we may add some more later. Wednesday at the Word has an adult forum at 6:45pm. We now have three home groups meeting on Thursday evenings. You are welcome to join any of these groups. Contact the host or leader for details. The Manassas group meet at the McMichael’s home from 7pm, they are currently studying the book of Exodus. The Gainesville group will meet at Freddie and Barbara Rappina’s home with Leon Williams as leader at 7:30pm starting 2/26. The Fauquier group meet at Chris and Lauren Coleman’s home and will be led by Beno Ramirez starting 2/26. Pastor Robin and Donna will host a young adult group in their home on Sunday evenings starting at 6pm on Sunday March 1st.
Quotes on the necessity of small groups for healthy disciples and Churches/
1. A church must grow larger and smaller at the same time. Larger through worship and smaller through small groups. –Rick Warren
2. The small-group program is not an appendage; it is not a program we tacked onto an existing structure. The small group is part of our lifestyle. –Andy Stanley
3. This is, in essence, what a cell is: a group of people who have laid down their personal agendas to work together as a team. –Larry Stockstill
4. When the New Testament was written, the typical church was so small that it was, in essence, a small group. –Larry Osbourne
5. The majority of churches…which have broken growth barrier after growth barrier are churches which have stressed home cell groups. –C. Peter Wagner
6. This common vision- reaching the lost and equipping believers for that task- provides the healthy continuity between all the cell groups. – Ralph Neighbour Jr.
7. John Wesley wasn’t persuaded that someone had made a decision for Christ until that person became involved in a small group. -Joel Comiskey
Tanzania Mission, August 2015
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
For the last 10 years Church of the Word has had a significant ongoing relationship with Revs. Given and Lilian Gaula of Tanzania. We first became acquainted with Given as a seminary student attending the Virginia Theological Seminary and later with Lilian when she came to the States to attend Trinity School for Ministry in Pennsylvania. As a church we offered financial and prayer support when Given returned to Tanzania to serve as an instructor at the Msalato Theological School in Dodoma, and maintained a close working relationship when the family moved to New Zealand where Given earned a Ph.D. in Missiology. In 2013, he was unexpectedly called to be the new Bishop of Kondoa, a rural, poor diocese in northern Tanzania that is predominantly Muslim.
The Bishop visited our church in December 2014 where he shared his heart and vision for the evangelization of this region where many have never even heard the name of Jesus. As a result of his desire for us to see firsthand the fruits of our prayer and financial support, Robin, Donna, Karen and Dylan Ramirez will be leaving on August 5th for a two-week visit. Francine Thomas, formerly of Church of the Word, and her brother will also be accompanying us on this trip. While Francine has participated in a number of mission trips to work with the Gaula’s over the years, this will be our first time visiting our dear friends in their own homeland. Our desire is to represent Church of the Word by establishing a personal relationship with our African brothers and sisters in their cultural context. We will be able to visit a number of rural village churches and interact with the Bible school students as time permits. A highlight of our trip will be the chance to minister at the diocesan synod, an annual gathering of church leaders.
We are especially excited about visiting the Women’s Empowerment Center located on the diocesan compound. Lilian Gaula established this facility and its programs several years ago when she first learned of the great need to teach literacy, Bible and ministry instruction as well as life skills such as health, nutrition and sewing. As if all of this is not exciting enough, we are planning to take part in a week-long evangelistic outreach effort in Mpendo, a remote area with a newly formed congregation. While the people there have been able to make sufficient bricks to build walls for a much-need church building, they are asking for our help to purchase roofing materials. Toward that end, Church of the Word has agreed to raise $3,000 to facilitate this project.
What does all this have to do with you? It is simple! We firmly believe that a “missions team” is made up not only of those who go to minister on foreign soil, but also those who offer the sacrifice of prayer and financial support here at home. Consequently, we are asking you to prayerfully consider donating money to defray the general expenses of our trip and to purchase materials for the church roof. All check donations should be made out to ‘Church of the Word’ and designated ‘Tanzania Mission.” Our plans are to post updates while we are away on the church website and Facebook pages.
Read more about Kondoa diocese at their Facebook page.
April 6th- Preschool Sunday
April 6th-11th – Book Sale
April 7th – 22nd – Claire’s Gourmet Fundraiser
First Steps $100,000 development campaign
CW/G is raising a sizeable amount of capital to help us move forward in the next stage of our development. Previously the vestry had explored the possibility of selling our land and acquiring a new site and building from scratch, but this was deemed to be too disruptive and too expensive. Over the summer we investigated renovating the transmission shop, but this is not feasible from and engineering standpoint. Now our focus is on building additional ministry space adjacent to or near to our existing building. Because of the mixed zoning of our property it is necessary to go through a long process with the county to arrive at clear answers to the development puzzle.
We need the $100,000 first steps campaign to be successful in order have the resources on hand to engage zoning lawyers, civil engineers and an architect to help us navigate our application for rezoning and site development through Prince William County. If successful this initial investment will not be wasted because most of the work completed and paid for will carry forward into the next phase.
Once we have reached our financial goal it will still take 12-18 months to complete the process so the sooner we complete this challenge the better!. But by the end we will have a clear understanding how we can use our site. We will also know the parameters of our building expansion and have good estimates of the completion costs moving forward.
It is also the vestry’s intention to pay off our existing mortgage of $500,000 before embarking upon a major building project and we continue to work on paying down that figure and completing minor renovations and improvements. ‘First steps’ is a separate campaign which must be done in parallel, so we are very appreciative of your involvement in both.
We are asking every member to do two things. First if you can make a $1,000 donation. Checks are made out to ‘Church of the Word’ and designated ‘First Steps’. Second we have explanatory letters available for you to send along to friends and family. We are inviting them to help us reach our goal. Please ask the office for copies of this letter. Already some friends of our parish have responded out of generosity and have set this campaign off to a good start. Thank you for your participation in this important need. Please ask any vestry member for details.
Pastor Robin approached me three years ago about helping out with the Church of the Word website, and we’ve discussed it on and off since then. Church of the Word now has a new WordPress-based website to help us manage content and to provide us with additional functionality.
Additional functionality has been added to the site, including a slider, event calendar, media gallery and technical functionality to speed up the rendering of the website.
We have added the following