From the Desk of Pastor John

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Letter from Pastor John 1/12/18

Dear Christ Church Family,

 Many of you know that for the past five or six years, Christ Church has played a major role in staffing the Hypothermia Shelter at our sister church, Rising Hope, located north of Fort Belvoir just off Route One.  Every Sunday night from November through February, and every Monday night in March, the people of Christ Church provide food, shelter and care for up to 24 homeless men and women.  In order to care for these people, it takes roughly 25 volunteers each week.  Here’s what we do:

3 people provide a dinner entrée
3 people provide salads
3 people provide side dishes
3 people provide a dessert
1 person provides drinks (water, juice, iced tea, etc.)
3 people serve the dinner
3 people provide breakfast for the next morning
2 people provide milk and juice for breakfast
4 people stay the night as chaperones

 Among the many wonderful people at Christ Church who selflessly volunteer to serve at the shelter, every year members of the Christ Church staff also volunteer to spend the night.  This year Brian Greene and Milton Zapata will be chaperones on Sunday, January 21, and Pastor Ryan, Pastor Tony, Jeff Kimmel and I will be staying the night on Sunday, February 25.  As proud as I am of my staff members for leading by example, I am most humbled by one of the newest members of our church family, Morgan Sandoval.  Morgan has volunteered to spend the night at the shelter every Sunday night from December through February!  Recently, Morgan posted the following:

 “So last Sunday I signed up and volunteered to spend the night at Rising Hope Mission Church, in the building that they are using as a Hypothermia Shelter.  And let me tell you, this was a whole new experience for me.  Not only was this the first time volunteering in the community, but it was an eye-opening experience.  It made me see and realize not only how blessed I am, but how much we receive love and blessings from God each and every day.  But even with all the blessings in the world that the Lord sends us, some people end up in bad situations for one reason or another, and this includes homelessness.  On Sunday, there were 24 homeless men and women whom we were able to provide a roof, four walls, good, healthy, hot food—both dinner and breakfast—along with things like gloves, socks, toiletries and HOPE.  Unfortunately, sometimes for people in situations like this, WE are their only hope.  Christ Church has been working with Rising Hope to provide food, shelter and chaperones, but if three chaperones do not sign up, Fairfax County will not allow them to open the shelter.  Can you imagine being homeless in such cold weather with no warm place to sleep?”

 Thank you, Morgan, and thank you to everyone at Christ Church who helps to care for the “least, last and lonely.”  If you are interested in providing a meal or spending the night as a chaperone, please click *HERE*.  If you would like more information on how you can help, please email Gloria Gharib at .

 This is just one more reason that I love being your pastor!

Posted by John Speight with

Letter from Pastor John 4/21/17

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Dear Christ Church Family,

 

Thank you for being a part of our great Easter weekend worship.  More than 2000 people worshiped with us, including approximately 100 people who worshiped with us for the first time.  The hospitality you showed to our guests made lasting impressions. 

 

Also last weekend, after announcing our Rise Against Hunger campaign, which will take place Friday evening, June 9, and Saturday morning, June 10, 18,147 meals were given.  When combined with a pledge from your church staff to fund a minimum of 15,000 meals, we have a total of 33,147 meals, which is 13.26% of our church goal of 250,000 meals.  Be sure to mark the dates on your calendar now and talk with your family about what you will contribute to Rise Against Hunger.

 

As many of you know, we have a school in Kenya, “Hope Education Center,” where 280 students attend.  The people of Christ Church bought the land and have built the first floor of the building.  In Kenya, most students never go to high school, which perpetuates a cycle of poverty.  Our school is breaking that cycle.  The students and parents are taught the importance of education.  We, at Christ Church, partner with the parents to send our best students on to high school.  Recently, I received thank you letters from students receiving support from Christ Church.  I want to share two of them with you.  (Note:  English is their third language, and I am typing the letters exactly as they were written.)

Thanks to my sponsors.

First of all I want to take this opportunity to thank you for what you have done.  You have sponsored me and my school in some events and activities.  For example, I never thought of going to an educational trip, but one day I did so because of your assistance.  I appreciate and give plenty of thanks to you and other missionaries who sponsored me and other students.

As you know that in secondary school, I am putting more effort in my studies to attain the best grades.  I got a B- of 780 marks.  I want to put more effort to improve in my studies. I want to be a pilot of what my dreams say.  In school, I attend our Christian Union program.  I am a strong Christian.  My best subjects are English, Chemistry and Mathematics.

In my background I only have my father, but I am not staying in his home.  I am staying in my aunt’s home.  My aunt adopted me when I was a child.  When my father tells me how he did so, it is because my mother had ran away and left me.  Now I have my father, three cousins and my aunt.  My father is not able.  I want to thank you for sponsoring me in high school.  I appreciate so much.

Your’s faithful,
Marley Atoni Arasa


Dear Sponsor,

May I take this brilliant opportunity to thank you for the assistance you have been taking through my schooling.  Since I entered high school, you have been paying my school fees.  May God bless the work of your hands.

My schooling started falling as my mother and younger brother died on the same day.  I have a father, elder brother and younger brother and sister.  You have been building the dreams in my life of knowledge and wisdom and I believe that God shall never forget you.


I am still working hard and achieved a score of 463 at position 189 out of 266.  I promise that I will work harder to achieve my best.  May you receive showers of blessings as you are helping me improve my academic standard.  May God guide you through your paths.  Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Clifford Kamanda

 I hope that you read those letters and recognize that these students are in school because of your generosity and the grace of God that flows through the Christ Church family.  Over the weeks ahead, I’ll be sharing more letters.

This Monday I’ll be leading a group of 35 from Christ Church on a trip to the Holy Land.  We are going to Jordan and Israel, and some of us are going on to Rome to see significant sites associated with the apostles Peter and Paul.  If the technology works as planned, we will join you in worship on Sunday, April 30, by Skype from the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and on Sunday, May 7, from Rome.  Please join me in praying for a safe and blessed trip. 

 See you this weekend in worship as I kick off a new series we are calling Masquerade.  It is a new, fresh look at the “Seven Deadly Sins” and how we, as Christians, can live out from behind a mask.

Love from your pastor,

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