A couple weeks ago, the leadership of our church sent out an online survey to get feedback from our local body here at RBC. As we move into colder months, the weather impacts our ability to host outdoor ministry activities, so your feedback is very helpful as we consider how best to steward our ministries in this season. Within the next few weeks, you can expect to hear from the elders regarding any adjustments to our COVID requirements for indoor gatherings.
We do want to thank those of you who took time to fill out the survey. We estimate somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of our congregation responded, and we are grateful for your feedback. As communicated when it was released, please note that the questions and responses in the survey are not indicative of any future leadership decisions on these matters. But because the issues at hand are complex and have implications for life and ministry in the body of RBC, it is very helpful to have heard from so many of you. Please continue to pray for our church leadership as we seek the Lord’s wisdom and discernment in faithfully caring for His bride. There are many factors, viewpoints and considerations to navigate, and we take none of it lightly. Yet, we have great hope and freedom, for the Good Shepherd whom we follow patiently reassures us His burden is easy and His yoke is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
For those within our body who are local, consider RBC your church home, and are experiencing significant financial or spiritual hardship in this season, we want to be able to care for you and minister to you. Please reach out to us.
FINANCIAL: If your household is experiencing financial difficulty, please reach out to our Deacon Ministry here. Our deacons are specifically-appointed men and women in our church commissioned to coordinate financial resources and assistance to meet the material needs of our congregation.
SPIRITUAL: If you are experiencing significant spiritual burden or you feel your walk with the Lord is suffering and you would like to speak with someone, please let us know by emailing us or calling the church offices at 703-404-5010. We would love to connect you to a pastor, elder or counselor here at RBC.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11
This past year, we’ve had three elder candidates sitting in on our elder council meetings. That year is now up, and we are pleased to present them to the RBC congregation for the next two weeks.
The candidates to join our elder council are Ed Lee, Dan Lowen, and Jason VanDorsten. If there is anything that you know about these men that we don’t know, please let the elders know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love your feedback on anything that might disqualify any of these men from being an elder, or if there are any positive things that you would love for us to hear about them.
We believe that they are very well qualified, and we are eager to introduce them to you following this period of consideration.
For those of you unfamiliar with the world of theology, allow me to introduce you to the greatest theological mind in the last century – Dr. R.C. Sproul. In a culture awash with theological liberalism, Dr. Sproul has been one of the greatest defenders of the faith in our lifetime.
On December 14, he went home to meet the Savior he has faithfully preached about for the last fifty years of his life. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” were no doubt the first words he heard upon entering his eternal home and walking into the presence of his Lord.
God gifted Dr. Sproul with a mind that was far beyond that of the greatest of scholars. A scholar himself in numerous fields, he was a superb philosopher, an accomplished linguist, a master logician and a theologian beyond compare. What he casually knew about various disciplines often exceeded the knowledge of scholars dedicated to those fields. To challenge R.C. to a debate was to face sure defeat even before the first words were spoken. His mind was a true gift from God and a true gift to Christianity – a gift well-stewarded in advancing the Kingdom.
When Dr. R.C. Sproul left this world, I am quite certain 90% of its intelligence left with him. But our great loss is overshadowed by his great legacy. May God bless Dr. Spoul’s legacy, and may it continue to bear gospel fruit for generations to come.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. -Philippians 1:21
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.
We are thankful for many who seek justice and love mercy. Over the past year, we have been able to contribute to both of these organizations because of your generosity.
Starting this Sunday (March 5), we will be opening up a few extra parking spaces during the second service to help ease congestion and make sure everyone has a place to park.
These spots are in the grass area behind the side parking lot (to the right of the main entrance). You can watch the video below to see how to access them.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to think and pray about ways to improve the parking experience.
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
“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.
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!
The mission of our Adopt-a-School relationship with Guilford Elementary School is to help meet the physical, relational and spiritual needs of the disadvantaged through service and generosity, and to encourage the staff who work with these families.
By leveraging the talents and resources of many RBC volunteers, we have the opportunity to positively affect the lives of students, their families, and the staff of Guilford. We can help to fill the gap created by budget cuts and a poor economy with our abundance and share the hope that is in us.
One of the ways in which Reston Bible serves Guilford Elementary is through Backpack Buddies, where we send bags of food home every Friday with the children of families living below the poverty level.
Right now, Guilford has 250 families that meet that criteria and need assistance. Last Thursday, volunteers gathered together in the clubhouse to pack bags for our first delivery of the school year. It was a time of fellowship, service, and an opportunity to show the love of Christ to our local community. Thank you to the volunteers who came out to help! This ministry would not be possible without your faithful service. We are in need of many more weekly volunteers – especially for Backpack Buddies delivery on Fridays when we take the bags of food to Guilford. If you are interested in serving with us, please click here for more information.
Thank you for your patience in cooperating with all of us assisting in the parking lot each week. We still have some tweaking to do and we can always use more helpers in our rotation (email email@example.com to express your interest!)
If you arrive for the second service somewhere close to 10:55, the parking lots will be full. You can drop your family off at the main entrance, but you will have to drive back to the overflow parking at the bottom of the hill to park.
Also, when leaving the property after services, please note that there is a Yield sign – not a Stop sign – at the bottom of our driveway. A volunteer will be posted there to remind people they don’t have to stop, which backs up traffic. We hope this knowledge will save you some time on Sunday mornings.
In addition, we have an imbalance in the number of children attending Quest during the first and second services. If you are a family with elementary school-aged children and attend the 10:45 and it is not a hindrance to your family, please consider attending the 9:00am service.
Here’s a short video from Pastor Mike announcing some staff changes here at RBC.
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.