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Vienna SDA Newsletter Boldly reaching out in love together to make disciples for Jesus Christ

July 2020

In This Issue ...

  • Pastor’s Message: “Be Still and Know that I am God,”
  • Church Calendar
  • Announcements
  • - Food Drive: Sabbath, July 4, 12:00 – 1:00pm Church Parking Lot
  • - Coming Soon: Women’s Ministries Mentoring Program
  • Potomac Conference Message Regarding COVID-19
  • North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church President Daniel Jackson shares a special message for the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America regarding the racial tension in the United States
  • Potomac Conference Responds to the Death of George Floyd
  • Potomac Conference Virtual Town Hall Highlights
  • Opportunities to Get Together via Zoom
  • Grow Groups on Summer Break – See You in the Fall!!
  • Coming Soon: Women’s Ministries Mentoring Program
  • Online Giving
  • 911 - Is God listening?
  • “A 100 Days of Prayer” March 27 – July 4, 2020
  • Inspirational Bible Verses
  • • Featured Link: Adventist Book Center https://adventistbookcenter.com/

Pastor's Message

By Pastor Garry Genser
“Be Still and Know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10

What a time we live in, unprecedented, unknown times, with our worldly futures more out of control than ever before. Many of us don’t know what will become of our jobs, our savings, if we even have any. Where will we be even be living. Across this awful, unknowable, panoramic screen of life is either written the message of fear or the message of faith.

The message of fear says that we are alone, that there is no one who protects our future, that we are left alone to connect the dots of our experiences and make a graphic picture of our future, according to the best predictions we can make. Depending of which television station we watch, we are almost at the end of the pandemic or we are in the middle of it with the worst yet to be seen. Depending on our mood we draw a map of our futures with wild, intermittent strokes where the dots hardly even connect.

It is beyond us to predict our own futures, in these chaotic times more than any other times. In the midst of all the chaos God tells us, as our head Elder Agnes and myself have preached recently, “Be Still and know that I am God!” God’s answer is short and dramatically clear. We are not the busy managers of our futures our feelings may imply; we are not even good predictors of what is to come. But our peace does not depend on our abilities to analyze or predict; our peace of mind comes only from trusting in a God who loves us and has the power to protect us. Even the omniscient Christ prayed to Our Father, “Thy will be done!” How much wiser and how much more important is it for us to trust in our loving Father’s ability to plan and administer our futures.

I will follow God’s plan, whether the clouds are dark or the sun is bright, whether the times are of abundance or of scarcity, whether the years are lean or fat, whether my feelings are up or down, whether my courage is strong or weak. I will follow Him, and I encourage you to do the same. That way, no matter what the future brings, we can all be closer to its loving Author!

Calendar

9:45 am Sabbath School

Sabbath/May 30

10:40am Online Worship Service

8:37pm Sunset

Announcements

Food Drive - Let's Reach a Half a Ton!

Food Drive – Let’s Reach a Half a Ton! Last Sabbath, June 27, the congregation donated 451 pounds of non-perishable items in support of the Food Drive organized by Women’s Ministries. This Sabbath, let’s make it an even 1,000 pounds.

Donations of bagged/boxed non-perishable food will be collected at the church parking lot on July 4, 12:00noon – 1:00pm. We are also collecting travel-size toiletries. No Need to get out of your vehicle, just pop your trunk and we’ll do the rest!

The food will be donated to “Food For Others” (www.foodforothers.org) a non-profit whose mission is to distribute food to those in need with the aim of reaching more than 2,000 local families each week. Items most needed include: -Canned chili -Canned chicken -Rice -Pasta sauce and -Canned fruit.

The toiletries will be assembled in totes sewn by our own Sabrina Riley and distributed to local homeless shelters. Donations could include: -Shampoo -Conditioner -Lotion -Toothpaste -Tooth brush -Hair brush -Soap/liquid soap, etc. Thank you for your help and donations!

Enlist your families and friends to participate! If you have questions or comments, please respond to this email or call/text: -Heather Pederson: (703) 801-2316 and/or -Lisa Hamilton: (973) 390-3347

Anita Job and Heather Pederson help with the food collection on June 27.

Boxes are also needed!

Lisa Hamilton, Heather Pederson and Anita Job load the vehicle with 451 pounds of food! Let’s make it 1,000 pounds on Sabbath July 4!

You are invited to the Ignite worship experience, Fridays at 7pm. Ignite is a weekly evening worship experience led, shaped and created by our youth and young adults, yet everyone is invited! The purpose of Ignite is to spark a movement of young disciple makers.

Watch and Chat Live on our YouTube Channel for this week by clicking here:

Host a "Watch Party" on the Ignite platform by inviting your friends to engage and chat during a live rebroadcast Sabbath evening at 7pm or Tuesday at 7pm by clicking here:

See you there and remember to invite a friend!

Coming Soon: Women’s Ministries Mentoring Program!!

Societies in the past tended to have more built-in mentoring relationships available. Today’s world is different. Never before have mentoring relationships been so badly needed and in such short supply. We as older women in the church need to ask, “How can we become mentors”? As Christian women, one of our roles should be to act as mentors for younger women and women who are new to our faith. But what exactly does “mentoring” involve, and how do we go about doing it? We were inspired by Pastor CJ’s Mother’s Day sermon about Mary, mother of Jesus, and her older cousin, Elizabeth and their supportive relationship. As a result, the Women’s Ministries team is looking to start a Mentoring Program that will be a relational experience in which one person empowers, encourages, teaches and shares experiences and resources with another person. For more information, please contact Lisa Hamilton at (973) 390-3347 lsuzette@aol.com or Heather Pederson at (703) 801-2316 heatherpederson4@gmail.com

Potomac Conference Message Regarding COVID-19:

Last updated: 6/25/20, 9:38am

With the continuous rise and spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), people are asking how to stay safe and asking if there are new protocols when attending worship services. This page will answer some of those questions and provide updates on upcoming conference sponsored and supported events.

Up-to-date information is a good solution for anxiety. Visit trustworthy websites for reliable information—a list of resources has been provided at the bottom of the page. During this time of uncertainty, trust God, and don’t be anxious, get plenty of rest, eat healthily and make conscious and thoughtful decisions about your health and the health of those around you.

We invite you to join us in prayer for the countless individuals around the world who are infected, their families, neighbors and colleagues. Pray also for the nurses and doctors assigned to care for the sick and the scientists who are searching for an effective vaccine.

Phase 3: Religious services must be conducted according to the following requirements. For information, visit pp. 32-35.

NAD President Addresses Racial Tensions in the U.S.

NAD President Daniel Jackson shares a special message for the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America regarding the racial tension in the U.S.

NAD President Daniel R. Jackson shares a special message for the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America regarding the racial tension in the U.S.

My dear fellow Seventh-day Adventists, members of the church throughout North America, and our division,

For the past 10 years it has been my privilege and blessing to serve as your president. It has been an invigorating and challenging road, and one where God has blessed us, and where your faithful commitment to Him has allowed the church in our division to carry out His mission.

This has been especially true in these days of COVID-19 where your faithfulness has been magnificent. In a few days now I will cease my role as your president, but I want you to know that I am proud of what God has accomplished through you.

The reason that I am coming to you today, however, is different. Like many of you, I am heartbroken as a result of the wanton and hateful violence that led to the death of George Floyd. One cannot describe this in any other way than what it is: a horrible illustration of what happens when men feel that they are superior to others. This thinking allows racism and prejudice to grow. It provides the fuel that powers hatred and murder. This incident, furthermore, is one of a series of actions perpetrated against blacks in America. Together, these experiences lead us all to question the guarantees of freedom and justice enshrined in the constitutions of the nations that make up our division.

To my African American brothers and sisters, I want you to know that I am deeply sorry. I am saddened that you have experienced prejudice and bigotry — even in the church — and that there have been times when you were not allowed eat in the same cafeteria or go to the same washroom as whites. I am deeply sorry that you have experienced these things. As a white man I know little of your suffering, but I suffer with you today as you look out at a future that seems uncertain. It is wrong that you should live with fear because of your color. I am sorry. Together with hundreds of thousands of other white people I want to say to you: “I love you — you are my flesh and blood in Jesus.”

To all our members I say that if we are truly Christians, we who know ourselves to be Seventh-day Adventists will demonstrate God’s love. One of Jesus’ great statements was and is, “By this will all men know that you are my disciples in that you have love one for the other” [John 13:35, sic]. It is the litmus test for Christians. If we disdain and denigrate others on the basis of race, gender, economic status, etc., then we are not Christians. We may have a name but, in this regard, it is only a flimsy robe that we garb ourselves in — in order to maintain our self-satisfied superiority.

It is time for us all to do some soul searching. If David could appeal to God to search him in order to see if there was “any wicked way in him,” it is our time to do the same. In this regard our family needs a radical change. Our church needs transformation: If change is to take place in the church then it needs to take place first in me.

It is not OK to tolerate or propagate racial slurs, to laugh at jokes that target others because of their status, etc. Furthermore, it isn’t appropriate for us to remain silent when others suffer, are victimized and marginalized. The gospel of Jesus Christ is active. It is not passive. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal. … In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Many have asked in recent days: “What should we do? How should we act?” Well, it is not mine — nor is it in the capacity of the church to dictate to you what you should or should not do in this time of crisis. However, our guidance should be based upon the life and teachings of Jesus. Whatever will bring dignity, and reform, and blessing to others — whatever will demonstrate true love to a broken and battered world — whatever will bring others to look to God — do these things as you are personally guided by the Holy Spirit.

Finally, my friends, let it be clearly recognized that the work of God on this planet will not be finished — I repeat — will not be finished until we, as a people, connect with God in such a way that we will be instruments in His hands to demonstrate His love.

No program or busy-work will solve the problems of the church as important as they may seem. We must go to our knees and ask God to make us His agents in order to demonstrate His love. Then our programs and objectives will take on a new meaning.

I want to remind us all of the words of one of our founding leaders, Ellen White, who said, “From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church will be made manifest — even to principalities and powers in the heavenly places the final and the full display of the love of God” [The Acts of the Apostles, p. 9, sic]. That is our mission. It must infiltrate our words and every aspect of our work. It must be clearly seen in our voted actions and interactions. Then and only then will the church have fulfilled her mission.

God has a dream. His dream is that one day, at a grand table spread out in heaven, seated next to each other and across from each other, will be men and women, young people, boys and girls, from every nation, kindred, tongue, and tribe and people. That they will fellowship together in His presence and that the harmony of those moments will go on through the ceaseless ages of eternity. God wants the table experience to start now in your heart and mine.

May God bless each of us. I pray that His Holy Presence will guide you today, and in each day to come. We are living in the final days of human history. Let us stand tall for the God who called us to be His children — His witnesses, every one of us.

Amen.

— Daniel R. Jackson is president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America; this is taken from the transcript of Jackson's video message.

Potomac Conference Town Hall:

For those who missed the Potomac Conference Town Hall held on June 1, please visit www.pcsda.org/townhall to view the video recording. Highlights include:

  • NAD (North American Division) provided a $25,000 Grant to the Potomac Conference to distribute to the area’s Adventist Community Service Centers.
  • ADRA (Adventist Development & Relief Agency) provided a $9,000 Grant to the Potomac Conference to distribute to Adventist Community Service Centers in the region.
  • Adventist Community Service Center of Greater Washington (www.acsgw.org, 501 Sligo Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910, (301) 585-6556), led by Director Ken Flemmer, is supplying diapers for 500 babies! In the month of May alone, it distributed 900 boxes of food--representing 40,000 meals--to those in need.
  • Potomac Conference applied for and received $5.4 million from the Federal Government as part of the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security act (CARES ACT) through a program known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). To view the Potomac Conference statement, visit https://www.pcsda.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5.6.2020-Potomac-PPP-Statement-Final.pdf

Opportunities to Get Together Via Zoom

Prayer Meeting Wednesday Nights at 7:30pm

Church Worship Service Sabbath at 10:40am

Stay connected, Stay blessed! - Garry

Grow Groups

Grow Groups will be on break over the summer as the Spring Session concluded on June 13. Information about the Fall Session will be available in a couple of months. Stay Tuned!

Coming Soon: Women’s Ministries Mentoring Program!!

Societies in the past tended to have more built-in mentoring relationships available. Today’s world is different. Never before have mentoring relationships been so badly needed and in such short supply. We as older women in the church need to ask, “How can we become mentors”? As Christian women, one of our roles should be to act as mentors for younger women and women who are new to our faith. But what exactly does “mentoring” involve, and how do we go about doing it? We were inspired by Pastor CJ’s Mother’s Day sermon about Mary, mother of Jesus, and her older cousin, Elizabeth and their supportive relationship. As a result, the Women’s Ministries team is looking to start a Mentoring Program that will be a relational experience in which one person empowers, encourages, teaches and shares experiences and resources with another person. Stay tuned!!!

Online Giving

If we would faithfully bring God our tithes and offerings, His treasury would be filled.

Jesus taught that the value of the gift is estimated not by the amount, but by the proportion that is given and the motive that actuates the giver.

“He which soweth sparingly, he shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 9:6,7.

Tithe and offerings may be submitted on the church’s secure website, Togethernet at https://viennasda.ccbchurch.com/index.php login, and click on “Give”! You may choose from several giving designations.

911 – Is God Listening?

“Call to me and I will answer you” Jer. 33:3

“Call to me and I will answer you” Jer. 33:3 If you would like to request special prayer, please email office@viennasda.org and Vienna’s Prayer Team will pray for your needs. Each request will be treated with confidentiality. Or use the Prayer Text Line – Send your prayer requests to (703) 801-2316.

The General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists has launched a 100 Days of Prayer. For more info and to sign-up to receive daily prayer devotionals

Vienna’s Prayer Ministry

This year, 2020, we are intentionally praying for our church families. Specifically, we are praying for our families to have a stronger walk with Christ, as this will also impact their bond with each other. Each week, we will include a new list of families in the Prayer Praises & Requests section of the church bulletin. We ask We ask that our entire church body pray for these families each week.

Inspirational Bible Verses

We all experience seasons in life that can be discouraging and stressful. Whether you're dealing with the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or an overall confusion about where life is heading, reading through inspirational Bible verses is an excellent way to lift your spirits and gain a new perspective on a difficult situation. The word of God has a profound way of encouraging its readers to be strong and courageous in the midst of tumultuous circumstances. These inspirational verses are a great starting point for morning prayers and hope-filled conversations. Use them as an ever-present reminder all things are possible with God, and His mercies are new every morning.

Romans 8:38-39 - For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Lamentations 3:22-23 - The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
John 15:13 -Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
Ephesians 3:20 - Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, or the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Psalm 27:12 -The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
John 4:18 -There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Romans 8:31 - What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 31:24 - Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 40:31 - But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Mark 10:27 - Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.'
1 Peter 5:7 - Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Matthew 19:26 - But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
1 Corinthians 15:58 - Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, knowing that in the LORD your labor is not in vain.
Proverbs 3:3-6 - Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Matthews 17:20 Our faith can move mountains.
Psalm 107:1 - Give thanks to the LORD for He is good: His love endures forever.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Psalm 34:8 -Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Featured Link: Adventist Book Center

NOW OPEN! It’s brand-new, mobile-friendly www.AdventistBookCenter.com is now live! Come on in and stay a while…AdventistBookCenter.com features Christian books and magazines, cookbooks, devotionals, Sabbath School materials, Bibles and Bible-study guides, hymnals and songbooks, games, CDs DVDs, and more topics such as Christian living, health, doctrine, Ellen G White, family life, kids and parenting, and prayer.

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The goal of the Vienna SDA Church Newsletter is to inform members of upcoming events, provide encouragement, and share information. We welcome your comments and suggestions.