On the evening of March 3, our facility was transformed into a medieval castle for the “Fair Maiden’s Ball,” our annual Daddy-Daughter dance.
The event was sold out! The princesses, accompanied by dads, grand-dads, uncles, and family friends, were welcomed at the door by their hosts, the king, and princess Bela, and treated to an evening of royal crafts, desserts, and a whirl in the royal ballroom. A good time was had by all. Kings and princesses alike were encouraged in their relationship with one another as well as with Jesus, the King of kings.
If you missed the Ball, do not worry. You can get a dad and daughter date passport from the Quest desk (in the RBC Children’s Ministry area) and begin to prepare for next year’s event. A special thank you to the Lady Hannah Huthwaite and her team of royal volunteers for a spectacular event!
After the devastation left by several hurricanes this year, Reston Bible Church engaged in relief efforts in Texas and Puerto Rico, providing manpower and supplies. Here’s a brief update from two trips. If you’re interested in future relief trips, please contact Dale Peak.
Here’s a quick update from Pastor Aaron Osborne on this year’s Youth Winter Retreat and how your generosity is impacting the lives of students for the glory of God. Thank you for being a generous church.
Throughout the month of December, RBC ministries, Shepherd Groups, and friends joined together to spread Christmas cheer and the gospel of Christ to our Northern Virginia neighbors.
This was the first time that we offered “Caroling for Christ.” It was an evangelistic opportunity, led by those in the congregation. To participate, the carolers would pick up a Caroling Kit that equipped them with everything they needed for planning their community outreach. Each Caroling Kit contained song sheets, candy canes, gospel booklets of the book of John, and invitations to the Christmas Eve service.
After gathering in groups, choosing a time and a location to carol, and assembling the Christmas caroling material, each group greeted 15 houses. Not only was this an event to minister to our community, but it was a fun way to bring Christian brothers and sisters together and be an encouragement to one another. Many caroling groups drank hot cocoa, ate cookies, and shared laughs together.
Over 500 households were reached the Christmas message. Praise God!
Here are a few comments we received from members our caroling groups:
“After caroling at one house, the lady commented that she had never been caroled to before. We asked if she’d like to hear another song and she said, ‘Yes, please!'”
“I was surprised by all the smiles.”
“It was a magical night, hopefully the first year of a long-lasting tradition.”
“We had an overwhelmingly positive response from the neighborhood and one family even wanted more information about RBC service times.”
“We had a whole night of caroling practice and prayer before actually caroling. I’m thankful for this community!”
“I will remember the deeds of the LORD… I will ponder all Your work and meditate on Your mighty deeds.” – Psalm 77:11-12
As 2016 comes to a close, we hope you’ll take some time to remember, reflect and give thanks for many things our God has done in and through the body here at RBC over the past year. Our annual report is a way of doing just that. It is not a list to highlight our accomplishments, but a way of “remembering the deeds of the LORD…”
In the annual report, you’ll find brief overviews of many things God has done as we sought to know Christ and to make Him known in 2016. Of course, He has done far more over the past year than we can put here – “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25) But our prayer is that this report will give you a brief glimpse of some of His mighty deeds, a taste of what He has done. Taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8)
As you read through and remember the goodness of God, we pray that you would rejoice in the glory of His grace and give thanks for the beauty of His gospel as it goes forth in so many ways in Northern Virginia and around the world.
Because of the generosity of over 800 volunteers who did 150 jobs, our First Fruits project raised over $41,000! Food and gift cards were personally delivered to 35 families and another 35 will receive food cards in the next few days. Excess funds will be used to provide several scholarships to local high school students and bless the staff of several area high schools. Thanks to all who donated directly, provided jobs and participated that day to bring joy (and food) to many hurting families in our community. Thank you for being a generous church!
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!
From June 27 through July 1, Reston Bible Church was transformed into an interplanetary gospel children’s training center where more than 350 children and 180 volunteers gathered for our annual Kids Camp. It was a week of adventure, purpose, and learning about the real Force that overcomes sin and death, and gives us the power to overcome all obstacles — that Force is the Master, Jesus.
Thank you to all of our volunteers and staff for a week of great Bible teaching, art, music, and tons of awesome games! Thank you, God, for what You did in the lives of the children and volunteers in attendance. Your love was on display in so many ways and for this we are so thankful!
Save the date: Our next Kids Camp will be held June 26-30, 2017!
I’m glad God shows up with His power when it doesn’t seem humanly possible things will work out nice and neatly as I would like. This happened for the student ministry’s “Spring Clean” this past Saturday, April 16.
Each year we host Spring Clean to do jobs for those in the church — things like mulching, cleaning, raking, etc. to raise funds for student summer missions. This year we did 49 jobs, with 14 teams consisting made up of 150 workers (adults, students, and children). We had both fewer jobs and workers this year, but the Lord still showed His power by providing over $19,000 in funds!
We are blessed by a church congregation that supports missions and the student ministry in a big way! I was personally blessed by the adult captains of each team who give of their time and energy to make the day happen. I was also amazed by the students and adults who came out to help that day and had no stake in the mission trip, but wanted to help their friends. It is awesome to see the body of Christ work together for the Kingdom.
Each winter, the students and leaders of the RBC Youth Ministry are blessed to have the opportunity to “retreat” from the daily schedule of life and trade it for time with each other, time in God’s Word, time on the slopes, time away from electronics, and more.
In February, we went back for the third time to Doubling Gap Christian Retreat Center in Doubling Gap, PA. The setting is awesome for “retreating” because it is an old hotel in the mountains with very little cell service (and it’s covered in snow!)
The speaker this winter was Shelby Abbott, who is on staff and an emcee for CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ). Shelby spoke on the theme of Living Outside the Box.
That theme is out of John 17:14-18, where Jesus calls His disciples to be in the world, but not of it. The desire was to help students see that God wants them to be engaged with the world around them without being overtaken by it. To do this as Christians we need to take on God’s approach to life. Shelby spoke on taking God’s approach to pop culture, extremes (legalism vs. license), relationships and dating, and suffering. The final message was to be on taking God’s approach to power (living by the Holy Spirit), but due to snow the retreat ended Sunday night. Many students have commented that the message on relationships and suffering were very impactful to them. This is most likely due to the difference in what they heard from the Bible and what the world tells them about relationships and suffering. God’s Word is truth and speaks!
We also had a blast out on the slopes of Round Top, the bowling alley, and the roller rink. New relationships were built and friendships were strengthened. Leaders poured into the lives of the students in their small groups. Students meditated on God’s Word and it spoke to them. We are blessed to have the opportunity to lead these camps and retreats, which are milestones for students because they clearly see and hear God in their lives.
The RBC congregation was generous in providing the funds to give scholarships for over 25 students to be able to attend the retreat. THANK YOU! Your financial gifts and prayers are so important! From the Youth Ministry Staff we all say thank you!
If you’ve been around RBC for much time at all, you know that this time of year, we are usually in full swing putting together an Easter week production we call Conversations. Conversations is a winsome combination of live music, real life stories, humor and drama that is ultimately meant to lead to conversations about the beautiful good news of Jesus. Originally developed as an outreach-focused alternative to our traditional Easter Cantata, it has been a staple event in the life of our church for over a decade. Hundreds of volunteers, cast and crew have given significant amounts of time, treasure and talent to this production – and we are grateful to the Lord for every single person who has been involved in some way over the history of Conversations.
We want to let you know that the leadership of RBC has decided to not do Conversations this year, but instead provide a smaller series of teaching and worship events called A King & A Kingdom. During these evenings of worship, teaching, testimonies and prayer, Jamie Winship will encourage and challenge the RBC body to seek the King of Kings in all aspects of life.
We understand that not having Conversations is a big change in the rhythm of life at RBC. With that in mind, we wanted to provide you with some answers to some of the questions you may have regarding this change.
1. Why aren’t we having Conversations this year?
The Conversations team prays, evaluates and discusses Conversations every year to see if it is accomplishing what we want to accomplish and if it is the best thing for our congregation and community. We don’t ever desire to do events just because we have done them in the past. This year, we believe that Conversations does not best meet the needs of our congregation, as we see that there are many among us who are hurting deeply and have significant needs. We believe this year, rather than focusing outward, that it would be more effective for us to build up the body of Christ at RBC and to ask God to encourage, direct and heal His people here.
2. What is “A King & A Kingdom”?
A King and A Kingdom is an opportunity for us to come together as a body for a concentrated time of teaching, prayer, and worship, that we might grow in unity and in our individual walks with Christ.
The main sessions of A King & A Kingdom will take place 7:00-9:00pm the evenings of Wednesday, March 23 and Friday, March 25. These evenings will include worship, teaching, prayer, testimonies, and special music. Jamie Winship will be our speaker and will explore forgiveness, repentance, redemption through the lens of kingdom living. Our hope is that we will be greatly encouraged and challenged to follow the King and build into His Kingdom.
In addition to the two main evenings open to everyone, the ladies are also invited for an evening of teaching and encouragement with Donna Winship on Thursday night.
3. Will Wednesday and Friday night be the same?
The structure of Wednesday and Friday will be similar, but the content is different and will build on itself. We would encourage you to attend both evenings (but the events will stand alone if families are only able to attend one.)
4. Will the content be available after the events?
We plan to record the content and have it available for those who are interested, but unable to attend.
5. Will childcare be available?
Childcare will be available for all events, but only to those who register online in advance.
6. Is this an outreach?
The evenings of A King & A Kingdom are designed for followers of Christ to enrich their spiritual walks. We believe that those who do not know Christ would certainly receive value from their time here and might enjoy the events, but A King and A Kingdom is not specifically intended to be outreach opportunities.
Lastly, we want to clarify that these events are not to fill the calendar or replace Conversations, but rather as we sought the Lord regarding the needs of our congregation, we believe that He is directing us to provide opportunities to build into our church body. We encourage you to take advantage of these gatherings, and see what the Lord may have for you in them. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at A King & A Kingdom.
Last Sunday, we were privileged to witness the baptisms of four individuals within our congregation. Here at RBC, we believe that baptism is a public declaration of faith and allegiance to Jesus Christ. Though baptism is not required for salvation, it is an outward expression of an inward spiritual reality – it’s a visible picture of what Jesus has done for those who place their faith in Him as Lord and Savior. Baptism illustrates for us His death & resurrection, the washing away of our sin, and the new life we have in Christ.
What an honor to rejoice with Bella, Corey, Jack and Karen as they proclaimed their allegiance to Jesus through baptism last Sunday! If you are interested in learning more about baptism or being baptized at RBC, click here.
This past Sunday evening a group of more than 60 adults and children from our congregation came together to bless the neighborhood behind the church with a gift of Christmas carols.
Before heading out we stopped for a moment and prayed together, “Lord, we thank you that for Jesus and the good news of His coming. We thank you that we can sing of the joy we have in Him. We ask that you would use our simple gift of song tonight to touch someone who needs to hear from you. Amen.” At that we started off. How could we have known that our prayer would be answered at the very first house at which we sang. We received the following email that very same evening from that neighbor.
To you carolers at Reston Bible:
Y’all came caroling through the Cascades Park neighborhood tonight. You rang my doorbell, and I opened the garage door and came and sang with you. I’m a believer, also, and your caroling was a warm reminder of Christmas. Thank you for coming! I thought you’d be encouraged by this:
Your caroling was a catalyst to me sharing my testimony with my roommate. I’ve been a believer for years, and lived with this guy for years. But I’ve always been hesitant to talk about Christ with him. When you came caroling, I went upstairs, joyful in the Spirit, and spent the next two hours talking with him about my testimony, which I hope will be the first of many conversations.
Thank you for spreading Christ’s love and message through song. You have effects that you’re not aware of, and I want to give you a glimpse of one of those effects while at the same time saying, “Thank you!” Glory to Christ the King!”
May the Lord use you as an instrument of His love this Christmas and always!