Interested in serving at Reston Bible Church? We are now accepting volunteers for our Host Team – the group of volunteers who serve on Sunday mornings as Ushers, Greeters, Welcome Desk, Coffee, and Parking Attendants. The Host Team helps make our worship services inviting & welcoming, and we are always looking for people to serve. Emphasis on people.
I am inspired by the many mission opportunities that RBC makes available to those who are willing to go abroad with the gospel. But for those of us who are not able to participate in an overseas mission trip, may I suggest to you that there is an alternative right here at home?
As most of you know, we have the world at our doorstep through the English as a Second Language program, International Connection. But since I like to give all of my teachers the summer off, we do not hold classes from mid-May to September. That is a long time for our students to be drifting without regular English interaction. It may be hard to imagine, but for some of our students, their time in class here is the only time that they speak English consistently throughout their week. It is more comfortable for them to speak in their first languages at home, in their neighborhoods, and even in their workplaces.
That’s where our Conversation Partners program fills in the gap. If you can manage to hold a conversation in English for an hour once a week for six weeks or more, I ask that you pay attention! I have a list of more than a dozen women (only women this time) in our program who would love to meet you. No lesson plans are required, just a willingness to meet with your international person once a week or every other week to speak English. The emphasis is on building a relationship, not teaching grammar! I suggest a public place such as Starbucks, the library or a park where you can carry on a conversation. This will be the seventh year that we have implemented this program and some of my students have made long-term friends with RBC attendees through this simple method. If you have the desire for cross-cultural ministry, this could be the opportunity for you without the jet-lag.
I’ll be holding an Orientation session on Tuesday evening, May 21, and on May 28 you will be paired with your new international friend!
Please contact me, Susan Morinaga (email@example.com), if you have any questions or would like to volunteer for this unique opportunity.
God’s mercy requires us to relieve suffering and makes us sensitive to others’ trials in order to be His love to them during a time of need.
“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ,” Scripture tells us (Galatians 6:2). Thus, RBC is appointing a specific group of men and women in our church to help bear the burdens of those in need – particularly, widows and widowers – within our congregation.
If you missed the announcement in services last weekend, you can watch it in the video above. For more information on the Deacon Ministry, including FAQs and the online nomination form, please visit www.restonbible.org/deacons.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” – Matthew 9:37-38
Isn’t it interesting that one of Jesus’ prayer requests was for those who would work in His harvest? The Jr. and Sr. High Youth Ministries are joining Him in that prayer as we are seeking God for volunteer staff who will join us in our ministry fields. I have been blessed by God to not only come to Christ in the RBC Youth Ministry (a while back), but to also to serve as the Youth Pastor here at RBC for over 26 years. One of the greatest gifts and most powerful tools God has blessed me with are the volunteer staff He has sent me. I am guessing that God may want you to join me in this mission field if you have read this blog entry to this point but you may be thinking that you need to be young, cool, tech-savvy, and able to play video games to apply – you would be wrong. Continue reading
Conversations is an evening of music, humor, drama, and moving real-life stories. This year, nightly shows will begin the week of March 25-29. If you’re unfamiliar with Conversations, you can get more info here.
Our first performance is less than two weeks away, and we are in critical need of at least 60 more bakers and at least 40 more Children’s Ministry workers. There is also a less-critical need for ushers, parking attendants, prayer warriors, and make up artists. To volunteer for any of these positions, please click here.
We also need volunteers to provide food for the cast and crew prior to each performance (March 25-29). Each night during our Conversations outreach we will be feeding more than 100 people involved with the production. Please consider signing up to provide one or more items of food. To help with these meals, please click here.
For more information on any of these needs, please contact Barb Ruffner or sign-up online. And don’t forget to pick up invitation cards from the Welcome Desk and other tables throughout the RBC lobby the next time you’re here! We hope you’ll prayerfully invite many friends, coworkers and neighbors to this great event.Thanks.
Baby Quest, the nursery program at Reston Bible Church, has traditionally run as a parent co-op. We are changing that to an all volunteer system to better serve our kids and parents. This video explains why.
You can get more information and fill out a volunteer form at www.restonbible.org/nursery
TRUNK-or-TREAT IS CANCELED.
After much deliberation, the church leadership has decided to cancel Trunk or Treat.
Like you, we are very disappointed, but feel that it would not be safe to hold the event outside, and we don’t have what we need to move the event indoors. None of our supplies have been delivered due to the storm, and our facilities staff will need to devote their time to making sure our grounds and building are safe for use, rather than setting up this event.
To our volunteers:
To all who answered our plea to sign up for Trunk or Treat, we cannot thank you enough for your willingness and flexibility. We hope that you can use the candy that you have purchased to bless the children in your neighborhoods. We will be using what small amount of supplies that arrived before the storm to bless the children of our food pantry guests with a mini-Halloween.
I want to thank you if you have ever given the precious gift of blood at one of our past blood drives. If you have already signed up for next Sunday’s drive (September 23), let me also offer a big thank you! If you haven’t yet signed up for the drive and are eligible, I would ask that you prayerfully consider donating the gift of life. If you’d like to sign up, you may do so at restonbible.org/giveblood.
There is an immediate need in our area for most blood types. Blood must be available when needed for patients whose lives depend on it. Over 200 blood and platelet donations are needed every day, year round by patients at the 15 hospitals served by Inova Blood Donor Services.
We’re doing something very special again for our next drive. We are once again having two bloodmobiles for this drive. This should dramatically reduce waiting times and the over crowded conditions that we have been experiencing, especially right after services. This will also mean an additional 22 slots will be available for us to fill. Although walk-ins are always welcome, I encourage you to sign up early to get the exact time you prefer by clicking here.
If you are donating next weekend, be sure to eat a good breakfast Sunday morning, get an extra boost of iron Saturday night if needed (steak and broccoli work great), and bring a picture ID with you. Our website has useful information that will help you prepare for Sunday’s drive, including a list of iron-rich foods.
Thanks, again, for helping our community with its blood needs. As you probably know, each unit donated helps up to three people. Therefore, when we collect over 50 units a drive, over 150 people reap the benefits of your generous gift. The last time we had two bloodmobiles, we collected 73 units!
Have a very blessed week and I hope to see you Sunday.
We love to take the opportunity to thank those who serve at Reston Bible Church… which is exactly what we hoped to do at the Host Team Appreciation Dinner last week.
Our dinner was western-themed, complete with cowboy hats, bandanas, root beer, country music and a square dance! The goal of our evening was simple: express appreciation to those who serve throughout the whole year – and have fun doing it.
What a blessing to see our volunteers fulfilling the vision to be stewards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to guests and our congregation by demonstrating love, expressing value, and offering practical support at weekend services.
Week after week, our Host Team joyfully serves our congregation. They have helped transform the culture of our church toward loving hospitality and we who attend get to reap the fruit of their service.
We are so thankful for those who serve on the Host Team at Reston Bible Church.
I want to share some astonishing numbers with you. And I want to share what the Lord has done in one year of our Community Outreach ministry. Through the sacrificial giving of time, talents and finances of the body here at RBC, amazing things have been accomplished by the grace of our Lord. This is mostly facts and numbers, and doesn’t adequately represent the many lives that have been changed through this ministry – one of which is my own. However, I hope that it will at least show some of the many areas that we have been able to make a difference for our neighbors.
From September 2011 – July 2012, RBC has received over $135,000 in donations towards Community Outreach. Of that approximately $61,000 was designated for the food pantry, and $18,000 was designated for Guilford Elementary, the rest was undesignated. We have spent approx. $90,000 of what has come in. That means a couple of things – we have funds as we move forward, and it means that the giving for this ministry has sustained. RBC has shown we want to reach the community for Jesus Christ.
So, let me share some of what the Lord has accomplished through you this year and share a little about our upcoming plans.
“Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God….so that in all things God may be glorified by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:9-11
At Reston Bible Church, we highly value the experience of those who attend Sunday services. We want everyone who attends services with us to experience the care of Christ – to feel welcome, have information that is helpful and easily accessible, and to have a pleasant experience right from the time they drive onto our parking lot.
This is why we have a Host Team.
Our Host Team is the group of volunteers who serve on Sunday mornings as Ushers, Greeters, Coffee, Welcome Desk, and Parking Attendants. We believe God has called us to hospitality and allows us to partner with Him as stewards of His grace to those who attend RBC. Our goal is to express Christ’s value to guests and congregants while helping to meet practical needs.
I can tell you from experience what a blessing it is to serve in this ministry and how fun it is to welcome people, help answer a question, find someone a seat, or even pass out a bulletin.
As we move into the Fall season, we are in need of volunteers to serve in all areas of the Host Team. If you’re looking for a way to serve or get to know some other people, this is a great opportunity. For more information or to volunteer, check out www.restonbible.org/resources/volunteer or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d like to extend a huge thanks to all that donated clothing and/or helped out at this year’s Clothing Exchange, held earlier this summer. Well before 8:00am, when we opened, there were just over 70 guests already waiting in line. In the first 30 minutes alone, we handed out over 250 bags for people to fill with clothes. Around 300 bags had been given to guests within the first hour.
Our guests also had the opportunity to visit the Food Pantry while they were here. We ended the event with only about 10 bags of clothes left over, which we donated to the SACS Thrift Store. In addition to meeting needs within our congregation and our surrounding community, we were also able to give clothes to the Brazil summer missions team to take with them to distribute in Beneviedes.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
(Matthew 25:34-40 ESV)
If you’d like more information on how to get involvedour thrift store partnership, our Food Pantry, or other community-oriented service opportunities, please visit www.restonbible.org/community
by Bob Zerrenner, RBC Food Bank volunteer
Recently, I volunteered for to pick up the groceries for the Food Pantry. As a newer volunteer, I thought it would be pretty simple: Drive up to the store, load up the groceries, return to the Food Pantry and unload. The term “shopping” never entered my mind (I personally don’t shop – especially not in stores.) I usually just make a list and search reviews to find the best price to buy. When I go in the store, I don’t meander the aisle thinking about the various products. If it’s not on my list, then I don’t buy it (unless it’s a dessert – then I may do some impulsive justification of why it should be on the list!)
Due to my schedule, I planned on making two trips to two different stores. I went to the first store that had the four products that we needed. I entered the store, got two carts, my binder with notes, our tax-exempt card (don’t forget to hand them that!), a lot of energy, and went to my first aisle to find the first item. I found the space on the shelf where the item was supposed to be …but, alas, no item. I thought I’d ask a friendly associate, but could find any associate at all, let alone a friendly one. Moving on to item two: I needed 200, but found only 30 on shelf. Make that question number two on my friendly associate request list. On to item number three: needed 100 items, but only 19 were on the shelf. Do you see a theme starting here? Move on to the last item where I needed only 4 items and – bingo! – I was able to find all four.
After a little while, I found three associates together in one aisle and figured that the odds were in my favor that at least one would be friendly. After a short conversation, I remembered why I don’t gamble – all three associates were not that helpful at all, even after explaining to them how to use their own inventory scanners to see if any of the products I was searching for were in the back room. Continuing on my search for a friendly associate, I finally found one who explained that a delivery truck was scheduled for that evening to bring the back-ordered items. I should check back tomorrow.
I left the store and actually was disappointed that my first shopping adventure was a disaster. I returned to the Food Pantry and started to unload the feeble amount of merchandise that I had purchased. As I opened the door to the pantry and saw the shelves – and how empty space was on them – I was instantly reminded how blessed I am. What if I needed assistance and I waited in line and got a bag or two of groceries? Would that be “enough” to feed my family of five? Who would I turn to for assistance? Would I be “happy” with the products provided, or would I want brand name products? Oh, how selfish, self-centered and sinful I am.
The next day, I went to our second store where I knew that a lot of items were waiting for me to pick up (we do an advance order with this particular store each week.) Upon arrival, I was greeted enthusiastically by the manager who proceeded to wheel out two u-trucks full of groceries. She was pleasant, and her whole team was helpful during the process. I loaded the car and realized that I may need a bigger car, but we were able to fit it all in there.
As I drove home that night and came home to a pantry full of stuff, I realized how blessed we truly are. How much do I take for granted that our pantry is filled? How do I react when my favorite chips, cookie or fruit is not at my fingertips? Do I react with a correct heart and mind? Or do I react out of a mindset that tells me I deserve to have this and now? There was a frustration within me that said, “Why can’t I just go out and buy the products and not worry about the cost? Couldn’t just we fill the pantry to the ceiling with food?” Yes we could… but that would be us working and not God working in this ministry. We may only be able to provide some small amount of food each week to the people who need it, but we are also building relationships with those people. We are telling them about eternal food available through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While we can’t provide for every physical need, we can certainly provide for their spiritual need and point them to the place where the pantry is never empty.
We are excited to share an update on the Food Pantry ministry. After barely four months of operation, we have grown to serving over 250 families a week. These are families from within our body, from Guilford Elementary, from our surrounding community and beyond. We have approximately 30 volunteers faithfully serving our neighbors each week. Because of your continued generosity, we have been able to work out some purchasing agreements with a few local stores that help us to have enough of the items that are heavily requested available to those who need them.
It can be so easy to read about the Food Pantry or hear an occasional update but forget that this is a ministry to actual people. This story was recently shared by one of our Food Pantry volunteers:
It was toward the end of the Food Pantry time, and just one table of waiting people was left. An older lady, with torn and worn-out clothes, matted hair and no teeth, was having trouble filling out her form, so I sat down to help her to get through it. She began trying to tell me something and grabbed my arm while repeating the same indiscernible sentence. Since she had no teeth, I couldn’t even tell if she was speaking in English or Spanish. Perhaps seeing my confusion, she began to use gestures with the words to get her point across. She was pointing up at first and saying “God” and then touched her eye and then her mouth to indicate smiling. As I repeated the words she was trying to say, we got through the sentence, “God is watching us all at the Food Pantry and is smiling down from Heaven at what He sees as we feed the hungry.” Tears filled my eyes as I realized what she was saying, and the lady and I hugged as tears streamed down my face.
In the midst of all the confusion and busyness of serving over 130 families that day in the Pantry, this poor old lady’s words were a real high point and it seemed that the Lord was confirming his pleasure with this ministry.
Let me take this opportunity to once again thank you all for your faithful giving. If you would like to give monetarily to support the Food Pantry, you can do so online (click here to access online giving. When you get to screen where you enter an amount, be sure to select “Food Pantry” from the “to” drop-down menu.) You can also leave a check in an offering box (located in the lobby or at the rear of the sanctuary) with “Food Pantry” in the memo line.
If you would like to donate items to the Food Pantry, drop-off baskets are located in the foyer at the front entrance of RBC. Here is a “most wanted” list of items we need for the Food Pantry (click here to download).
If you would like to serve during the Food Pantry (open Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings), please email me. We have an ongoing need particularly for volunteers with Spanish language skills.
Please continue to pray for us as we show the love of Christ through this ministry.
That’s right: I said “Don’t volunteer at Guilford.” At least, don’t volunteer if you just want to do a little something nice for the underprivileged or if you are checking off the “help the community” box on your weekly to-do list.
You see, should you volunteer at Guilford, something will happen to you when you meet these kids. No longer will you be able to keep your heart’s door closed to the reality of the poor. Everything that you have carefully compartmentalized into statistics and bar charts and percentages of those-who-qualify-for-free-lunches suddenly become …people. Beautiful, unique, gifted individuals who face challenges that most of us cannot fully grasp – challenges that are out of their control.
I spent the afternoon at Guilford Elementary last Friday. I was the special guest of one of the third grade classes, and now I know what it feels like to be a rock star or Santa Claus. I was treated like royalty, given lots of hugs, and kids fought for the privilege of sitting next to me in the classroom (a first for me!)
The children had written thank-you letters for the things that RBC is doing for them. Many of the kids stood up and read me their letters, and some read to me from their writing journals. I was touched to the point of tears. One boy told me that he has wanted to go to a museum his WHOLE LIFE, and this year he will be able to go on the field trip because of the people from our church who paid for it for him. He also told me now he can think better in school because he’s not thinking about his tummy being hungry. One child said I was “such a nice teacher.” When I asked why he thought I was a teacher, he said it was because teachers are the ones who love you and take care of you, so I must be a teacher since I was getting people to give the children snacks. Kind of makes you think.
Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t perfect little Stepford children with large puppy dog eyes. These are real kids. Charming, silly, serious, thoughtful, impish, studious, sometimes disobedient, always enthusiastic and energetic, children. What overwhelmed me was that all of them were respectful and grateful. Both the haves and the have-nots were appreciative of all that RBC has done for their school. There was no sense of entitlement. Just thankfulness. It was humbling to realize how infrequently I am just thankful for what I have been given.
So there you have it. Don’t volunteer at Guilford, because once you meet the kids, suddenly it becomes about people, not programs. It becomes about justice and mercy and grace and love and sharing it with what Jesus called the “least of these”. So don’t do it, because try as hard as you can, I don’t think you can close your heart door to the “least of these” once the Lord has opened it.
(Click on the images to the right to read a few of the letters from Guilford students.)