Thank You from Guilford
In August 2011, God opened the door for RBC to become Guilford Elementary’s first Loudoun County Business Partner.
It has been a privilege to grow our relationship with the school administration, families, and community over the last ten years. The Lord has done great things and used the giving of time, talents, and finances of the body here at RBC for His glory!
This past school year was especially difficult for our Guilford community. Many families were out of work, kids were at home distance learning, and countless families were quarantined with COVID. Our congregation was called to serve in a way we had not done before. Taking on one family after another and walking with them through these struggles. 57 families were adopted by RBC families and Shepherd Groups. Each family had its own unique situation and problems from all different backgrounds. They were shown what the love of Christ looks like through prayer, service, and giving.
Here are a few ways our generous congregation helped: Groceries and toiletries delivered weekly, gift cards donated, bills paid, new jobs found, cars donated and some fixed, rides to doctors and other appointments, clothes and shoes given, furniture donated, medicines provided, legal counsel assistance, Children’s and Spanish Bibles donated, Easter and Christmas gifts provided, and the Good News of the Gospel given to each and every single one!
Thank you RBC for being a generous church to our local community! As we continue to follow up with these families and start a new school year, please pray that hearts will be open and lives will continue to be changed in Jesus name.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
ESL Call for Volunteers
You can watch this video to meet Kim Satterfield, RBC’s new director of International Connection, and pray about whether the Lord might be calling you to serve in the ESL ministry this fall.
Celebrating Generosity: Youth Summer Camp 2021
Annual Report Highlight: Food Pantry
In these videos, Pam Swope-Bland and Rob Schulman give updates on the RBC Food Pantry and Community Garden.
Visit annualreport.restonbible.org to see the rest of the 2020 Annual Report!
Celebrating Generosity: Guilford Family Partnerships
First Fruits Recap
2020 has been a crazy year, but there is still reason to know God is working. One clear example of that is First Fruits 2020.
During First Fruits, lives were impacted in our local community for the glory of God. Check out the numbers below to get a snapshot of God’s goodness, but know it is the individual lives within those numbers that matter most.
We had around 524 volunteers who took care of more than 120 jobs and delivered food to 27 homes.
In total, $39,455 was generously given for the jobs, and another $9,545 was donated online. We are thankful for this outpouring of generosity, and for the Lord’s great work in it!
Below you can watch our recap from right after the event.
Celebrating Generosity: Face Mask Donation to INOVA
Foster & Adoptive Parent Survey
The Hope ministry at RBC is focused on serving vulnerable children who are in need of families locally and globally. Part of serving these children is supporting the foster and adoptive families who care for them.
At this time, the ministry is considering how it might best serve foster and adoptive families who consider RBC their church home. To that end, we’d like to hear from you. We’ve put together an online survey that we are asking all current or potential adoptive and/or foster partents at RBC take time to fill out. Some of the ideas listed are only ideas at this point, so we will take all feedback into consideration as decisions are made regarding how the ministry moves forward given interest, need, and feasibility.
The survey can be completed anonymously if you prefer. We’d also be happy to speak with you in person, by phone, or by email to follow up or hear more, just check that box at the end. Any questions can be directed to Kate Reen at email@example.com.
Celebrating Generosity: The RBC Garden Project
A volunteer-lead imitative that began in the Spring of 2018, the RBC Community Garden Project grows and provides several hundred pounds of food a year to guests of our weekly Food Pantry.
If you’re interested in volunteering, we are always looking for help with planting, weeding, watering, harvesting and produce delivery. We also can use help with special projects like mulching, garden box construction and grounds maintenance. If you want to volunteer or would like more information, please contact Rob Schulman. You can download a Garden Volunteer application form here.
Puerto Rico Crisis Response – Collection at RBC on Oct. 22
Wilfredo and Glorimar Corps are long-time RBCers originally from the town of Aibonito, in the center of Puerto Rico.
As most of us are aware, Puerto Rico as recently been devastated by two hurricanes. When they visited Aibonito a week ago, Wilfredo and Glorimar were dismayed to discover both the extent of the damage and that much of the aid sent to Puerto Rico has not reached inland, where their town in located. Many families there are hurting, as well as a large senior assisted-living facility that is unable to provide three meals a day to its residents.
Twenty-two years ago, Wilfredo and Glorimar planted Primera Iglesia Bautista de Aibonito (First Baptist Church of Aibonito) in their garage. The church continued to grow even after the Corps left Puerto Rico for the mainland United States. Today, we have the opportunity to partner with this church to bring much-needed aid and supplies to the people there. The church has procured a waiver from the Puerto Rican government that will allow us to send a large amount of supplies and aid without import taxes. Wilfredo and Glorimar will be on-hand in Puerto Rico to receive our shipment of donated items, transport them to Aibonito and deliver them personally to people in need.
On Sunday, October 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., we will have a truck parked in front of the main building on the traffic circle where you can drop off aid and supply items you see on the list below. The goal of this project is to provide some basic necessities to sustain the people of Aibonito for the next 30-90 days, the estimated time frame until power and basic utilities will be restored to the town.
Here is a list of what we need:
- Power generators
- Extension cords
- Personal water filtration systems
- Drinking water
- Lamps (solar- and battery-powered)
- Non-perishable food items (canned food or items that don’t need refrigeration and can last 60-90 days)
- Powdered milk
- Baby formula
- Baby diapers
- Batteries size D, AA, and AAA
- Battery-operated fans
- Mosquito nets
- Mosquito repellent
- Solar-powered chargers (for phones and other electronics)
- Adult diapers
- Tarps (any size, the bigger the better)
- Power inverters
- Bed sheets (all sizes)
- Over-the-counter medication (Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, etc.)
- Clothing (not heavy or winter as PR is tropical year around)
- Personal hygiene items
Feel free to donate any of the items above in bulk as we are planning on a large container in which to ship them.
Finally, if you order anything from Amazon, please consider using smile.amazon.com, where you’ll find the exact same shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to RBC’s Benevolent Fund. You use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile, so your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are the same. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, simply select Reston Bible Church as your charitable organization. The website will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make from then on will result in a donation.
We are looking forward to seeing how God will use the people of RBC to share Christ’s love with recent victims of natural disasters, first in Texas and now in Puerto Rico. Thank you for your willingness to help so many hurting people.
The Heart of First Fruits
God has called us to love and “be neighbors” to those He has placed around us!
This year we are adding an additional aspect to the First Fruits Project: The Heart of First Fruits. We are asking you, the body of Christ at RBC, to consider the needs of the people around you and how you could tangibly bless them over the weeks of First Fruits and Thanksgiving. Prayerfully consider whom God might put on your heart, and then think of a practical way to encourage them. Some examples you might think about: a single mom, an elderly couple, someone dealing with an illness, someone who lost a job, a young couple with young children, someone with no family near by, or even someone with no perceived need at all.
Your encouragement could be anonymous, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be fresh baked cookies. It could be an invitation to come to dinner at your home. It could be raking the leaves in their yard or fixing a leaking faucet. The options are many. Just ask the Lord how you can bless someone around you — the way you would want to be blessed if you were in their shoes. It is the heart of the Lord to bless us and for us to pass on this blessing to others. Enjoy this opportunity to love others as unto Jesus.
We would ask one additional thing — that you share how God leads you to live out the “Heart of First Fruits” and what happens. We would love for you to share your story using the button below. We will keep your name and those you bless confidential. Our goal is to allow the body of Christ at RBC to hear how God has led us individually to love our neighbors. We will provide a follow-up after the event so we can hear how God’s hands and feet responded! We hope you will choose to join us on this mission – and for it to become a regular part of all our lives.
Prayer and Support for Texas and Florida
Please pray for the hope of Christ to reach theses devastated regions.
For those of you who have been here 10 years or longer, you probably remember our extensive involvement with disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina (sending a dozen work teams and a truckload of food and other supplies). At the moment, we ask that you pray, pray, pray for the victims and for an effective response that demonstrates God’s grace and love. Disasters like this often provide many opportunities for people to talk about Jesus Christ because of their joyful endurance, hopeful spirit, and works of love.
Here’s where we currently stand. As we did with Katrina, we are waiting until things settle down somewhat to determine our course of action. We certainly do not want to be in the way of early response teams, FEMA, etc. as they continue to rescue people and sort out needs. We also must find a church or churches in the area to partner with. We have learned from experience that this is the most effective way to extend our help from so far away. When it is safe for us to enter affected areas, we may once again send work crews to help clean up and repair. However, we need to wait until the danger has passed so as not to complicate the ongoing rescue operations. For example, many churches there are currently overwhelmed by acting as temporary shelters housing evacuees. They cannot accommodate work teams right now. Some hotels are reporting 10 or more people per room with little more than the clothes on their backs. So, as hard as it is, we must wait patiently for the right moment to be the most effective – remember, we sent our first team to Katrina (I was part of that team) six weeks after the storm.
If you feel led to do something now, there are options for you. If you want to go or give, we recommend contacting one or more of the following:
- Samaritan’s Purse is currently on the scene assessing the damage. We have teamed with this organization in the past and have been richly blessed by it.
- The American Red Cross is taking donations to help victims and asking people to donate much-needed blood at local drives.
- World Vision is assembling Family Food Kits.
- SPCA is helping families connect with lost pets.
Finally, if you have family members who have been severely affected by Harvey in the greater Houston area, or by Irma in Florida, please let us know. If and when we do send teams, we would love to start by rebuilding homes of your loved ones.
Please address your immediate questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and continue to pray for Houston and Florida!
This post has been updated in response to the impact of Hurricane Irma in Florida.
Update on Dr. John Brewer’s Reinstatement
Many weeks ago, we made an announcement that Dr. John Brewer and been recommended for termination as principal of Dominion High School. By now, many of you know that the Loudoun County School Board concluded their discussions last Monday and voted 6-3 to reinstate John as principal beginning April 17.
On behalf of John, his wife Rachel and their daughters, they wanted us to pass on their deepest gratitude for the outpouring of support and prayers you showed them during the time of uncertainty. The LORD Jesus answered our prayers by having the School Board reinstate John as principal, and so we rejoice with the entire Dominion community that he will be back serving there soon.
While we care about John returning to his position as principal, we care even more for the reputation of his character when it is maligned. The incomplete facts found in newspapers, web sites and uttered elsewhere is partially due to not having access to all the facts. So much of what has been written and said could easily leave people suspicious of John’s basic character and integrity on a number of fronts.
A few things to bring to your attention: Several weeks ago, an independent hearing officer chosen by the Loudoun County School System heard two days of testimony from the Superintendent, school attorney, John and his attorney. The testimony centered on eight specific charges on why John should be terminated as principal. The hearing officer concluded that none of the specific eight charges – considered either individually or collectively – warranted termination. In summary, the hearing officer ruled 8-0 in favor of John as it pertains to termination. Nevertheless, the hearing officer did recommend some form of probation.
In order to place John on any form of probation, legal technicalities required that his current contract first be terminated so a new contract with terms of probation could be offered. That is the reason the board first voted 9-0 to terminate John. The first vote was not to agree with the Superintendent’s recommendation to terminate, but to satisfy legal requirements regarding his current contract. If this technical procedure had not been required, then the School Board would have voted once with six members voting to reinstate John and three voting to terminate him.
John acknowledges that there are some process and procedural matters that he should be more cognizant and alert to. Keep in mind that in his many years in the Loudoun County School System, there is no pattern of problems, even in those areas that he will be more attentive to. Furthermore, he has never ignored or treated lightly any allegations of misconduct by any teacher or student, and he has never coerced or manipulated any student to ever attend Reston Bible Church. It is also noteworthy that the teacher who was the catalyst for all this applied to multiple school systems around the country including the one in Florida. Each of them, except Florida, contacted either LCPS or John to further inquire why the band teacher abruptly resigned. After hearing a fuller explanation, all of them declined to extend an offer. Again, only the school system in Florida did not perform the due diligence all the other school systems did.
This does not constitute our full opinion on this saga or address other important issues, but we hope as you think of John and Rachel in the future please continue to pray for them, the Dominion High School community and everyone involved in LCPS administration according to each one’s need. John and Rachel have been an excellent example of the admonishment in 1 Peter 2:12-23, which we hope you’ll take some time to read.
In Support of Dr. John Brewer
I have a very important announcement regarding the recent recommended termination of Dr. John Brewer from his position as principal of Dominion High School in Sterling.
In addition to his fifteen-year tenure as principal, John and his family have also faithfully attended and served here at Reston Bible Church for many years. John has a long-term proven record of outstanding character as he has consistently lived in the grace of God as a husband, father, teacher and principal.
Some specifics include:
- Dr. Brewer was Commended by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and named by the Loudoun Times Mirror in 2008 as “Citizen of the Year” because of exemplifying kindness, competency, professionalism, and reliability and how those qualities positively impacted students and teachers.
- In 2010 John was recognized by the Washington Post as the Distinguished Educational Leader for Loudoun County because “he goes beyond the day-to-day demands of his position to create an exceptional educational environment.”
- John was also named the 2010 Loudoun County Principal of the Year.
- Dr. Brewer visits the home of every incoming freshman to meet them and their family, demonstrating initiative and humility.
- John writes a personal letter to every graduating student evidencing his sincerity and care.
Dr. Brewer was notified of the recommendation for termination a few days before Christmas. After much prayer and counsel with our youth pastor Bob Shull, his attorney, and other educational leaders experienced in these matters, John has decided to appeal his termination before the Loudoun County School Board. Because of John’s faithfulness as a brother in Christ, his impact for the sake of the gospel, and the clear injustice of his termination, the leadership of RBC desires to support him in his appeal.
Naturally, in a church our size, many of you may not know Dr. Brewer on a personal level. Without a more complete knowledge of him or the facts surrounding his recommended termination, it is understandable that many of you would be reluctant to e-mail a note to school board members, sign a petition or make a call in support of John’s reinstatement. However, I want to assure you that the details surrounding this matter, John’s role in it, and his character have all been seriously considered by both pastoral staff and the Elder Council. Based on our knowledge of the situation and of Dr. Brewer himself, the leadership at RBC believes the recommendation for termination is extreme, unwarranted, and unjust. As can happen in any situation like this, some of what is stated in various newspapers is not accurate. Loudoun County Public School representatives are not accusing John of a violation of policy, insubordination, or of violating any civil or criminal law.
Consequently, although you may lack details, we are asking you to trust our collective judgement, pray for John, his family and the School board, and for you who are lead, to please attend the Loudoun County School Board Meeting in Ashburn on Tuesday, January 10, in support of John’s reinstatement as principal at Dominion. This is one of those circumstances when having a lot of people simply show up can have a great impact, so your presence matters.
Additional information on the specific location, and time of the meeting as well as recommended actions you can take are listed below. In a case like this of clear injustice, we want to do for one what we wish we could do for everyone.
If you have questions, please contact me at email@example.com or call me at 703-404-5011.
Executive Pastor, Reston Bible Church
- Pray for each LCSB member to vote to reinstate Dr. Brewer as Principal at Dominion High School.
- Pray for peace and wisdom for Dr. Brewer, his wife Rachel, and his daughters Belle & Abby during this time of uncertainty and waiting.
- Attend the upcoming Loudoun County School Board Meeting on Tuesday, January 10. Numbers matter. Your presence – even for 1 hour – is important. Even if you can’t get into the auditorium because of the crowds, being in the hallway or on the front lawn even for half an hour will be part of the impact.
- When: Tuesday, January 10, at 6:30pm. If possible, arrive no later than 6:00pm.
- Where: 21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148 ( Next to Clyde’s Willow Creek.)
- Sign the petition to reinstate Dr. Brewer at the following link: https://www.change.org/p/loudoun-county-school-board-support-dr-brewer
- Call or e-mail Loudoun County School Board Members. Individual and group contact information is located here: https://www.lcps.org/Page/1629
- Sign up to speak on behalf of Dr. Brewer’s character, the story of Dominion High School and his record of excellence there by calling 571-252-1020 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A fund has been established to help Dr. Brewer defray the significant legal costs resulting from the LCPS hearing process. You can help or find additional information at the GoFundMe page.
Links to Additional Articles of Interest:
- Commendation of Dr. Brewer for 2008 “Citizen of the Year”
- Cedarville University article on John’s positive impact as a principal & educator
- Washington Post article on Dr. Brewer’s energizing effect at DHS
- Washington Post article on Dr. Brewer’s positive impact on students
- Loudoun Times-Mirror article on John as Principal of the Year
- Connection article on the “community of caring” John developed at DHS
- Support Dr. Brewer Facebook page
Thank You from Nicaragua
We are thankful that over 500 hundred bikes have been donated by RBCers in support of the Casa Bernabe orphanage in Nicaragua.
Thanks in part to your generosity, the orphanage has developed Nica Bikeshop, a thriving bicycle shop where orphans are discipled in Christ as they learn vocational skills like bike repair, sales and customer service. We recently received the photo above from some of the Nica Bikeshop workers – the sign reads, “Thank you RBC Friends. You are a blessing!”
We also received the message below from Cal Covert, our ministry contact for the bike donations. Cal is on the board of directors for NicaWorks, the non-profit organization that oversees the bike collection and many other aspects of care, support and ministry in Nicaragua.
The bike shop has provided opportunities for many Nicaraguans, including orphans and at-risk youth. It is now the largest bike shop in all of Nicaragua. RBC has played a vital role in donating more than 500 bikes to the ministry. The shop has been a tremendous opportunity to mentor young men and women who otherwise would have no hope of a future for themselves or their families. For example, Josh, the director of the bike shop is a recovering alcoholic. Last fall he looked me square in the eyes and said, “If it wasn’t for this business, I know I would be dead right now.” Not only has he pulled his life together, but he is in a strong walk with Jesus that he never had before. Josh meets with his Nicaraguan and American (via Skype) mentors at least once every week.
Thank you, RBC, for your continued generosity as we know Christ and make Him known in Northern Virginia and around the world!