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

August 2020

In This Issue ...

  • Pastor’s Message: “COME OUT"
  • Church Calendar
  • Announcements
  • Ignite Worship Experience, Fridays at 7pm
  • VAA Goes Virtual for the Opening of School on August 17
  • Opportunities to Get Together via Zoom (Sabbath Schools, Church Service, and Prayer Meeting)
  • Grow Groups on Summer Break – See You in the Fall!!
  • 14 days of Prayer
  • Pathfinder Registration now open
  • 911 - Is God listening?
  • Featured link: Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists
  • VAA Summer Harvest Event and Photos

Pastor's Message: "Come OUt!"

By: Pastor CJ Cousins
“And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:2-5 NKJV

Notice the wholistic nature of Babylon. The language of “fornication” is referring to the fact that she is spiritually unfaithful to Christ and is therefore a false representation of Christianity flowing out of the history of Western Europe. Yet, remember she is not merely religious in appearance, but is also deeply intertwined with the culture, mainly through government (fornication with kings) and business (fornication with merchants). Revelation 13:11-18 reveals that the United States of America is not only a part of this system, but is the primary agent being used to bring its image and influence around the world! And the sins of this system have now reached up to heaven, inviting the just judgment of God. Jesus calls you to come out of allegiance to the fallen system of Babylon, because…

LOVE DEMANDS JUST JUDGMENT

Notice that God is calling out of Babylon those He calls “My people.” Jesus has His people, from all walks of life, within many religions and denominations including Roman Catholicism, that He is calling out. It’s not just about coming out of the confusion of false religion or false Christianity that paints a wrong picture of God, but also about coming out of a way of thinking and being in the world we live in. He’s saying to break allegiance and loyalty to the fallen system of this world, which is under the sway of Satan.

It’s like when God called His people, specifically Lot and his family, out of the city of Sodom. God was so patient with Lot and his family as they delayed coming out, but in an act of sheer grace, quickly escorted them out by two angels. However, as the city was being destroyed, despite God’s loving command to flee and not look back at the city, Lot’s wife tragically turns around to see the city she was loyal to and then immediately became a pillar of salt. She may have physically left Sodom, but her loyalty to Sodom was still in her heart! You can physically leave the way of the world, another religion or denomination and join this one and still have Babylon in your heart! To you, Christ says come out!

The call to come out of Babylon in Revelation 18:2-5 is just a repeat and enlarging of the 2nd angel’s message of Revelation 14:8, which says, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 14:8. The Kingdom of God on earth, through Christ’s loyal followers, becomes so revolutionarily counter-cultural, in the most beautifully compelling and attractive way imaginable, that they increasingly come in direct conflict with the fallen system of Babylon. Their supreme loyalty to the ways of Christ’s Kingdom subverts or undermines the system of End-Time Babylon, and in the wake of Babylon’s rejection of the Gospel, results in Babylon’s fall. Understand that when Bible prophecy refers to the Little Horn power of Daniel 7, The Anti-Christ system in 1st & 2nd John, the Beast from the sea in partnership with the Lamb-like Beast (the United States of America) from the earth in Revelation 13, the 10 toes of the statue representing Rome’s global influence through the nations of Western Europe, it is speaking of the same development of what constitutes the global, religious, political and economical fallen system of End-Time Babylon. And do not think that the lamb-like beast is only going to speak as a dragon, through coercive religious oppression, in the near future. Revelation 13:11 says that it is speaking or speaks like a dragon, meaning in the “present continuous tense”, it has always had the guise of Christianity, while speaking like a dragon through force and oppression. The oppression develops, eventually, into outright religious oppression, however, you can spot the ugly stain of oppression throughout the history of our beloved country even to this day! He that has an ear, let him hear!

Calendar

9:45 am Sabbath School

Sabbath/August 8th

10:40am Online Worship Service

8:11pm Sunset

Announcements

Food Drive

Food Drive –A big thank you to all those members who contributed to the food drive. We collected over 800 lbs. of food and toiletries which have been distributed to Food for Others in Fairfax and Doorways shelter for women in Arlington.

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. This month’s speakers are pastors Terrance Taylor, Jennifer Deans and CJ Cousins.

Ignite is NOT merely for spectating, but has been designed for active engagement and interaction. You are strongly encouraged to chat with our chat hosts and each other throughout the Ignite experience. We are fostering loving online community.

Click the link below to participate:

Each week's Ignite will usually feature...

  • Younger Generation Praise Team.
  • Ignite Stories, a Bible Game or Special Media Presentation.
  • A message from a guest speaker or Pr. CJ Cousins.
  • Live one-on-one prayer.
  • Group chat and conversation.
  • Direct chat with Hosts.
  • And much more!

See you there and remember to invite a friend!

VAA Goes Virtual For The Opening of School on August 17

It is clear that the time we live in are trying and at times appears discouraging and hopeless, but God is not asleep where His children are concerned. And even though our outlook may seem bleak, He says in Isiah 41:10, “Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” As children of God, we are encouraged to take a different perspective as we deal with the world around us. We are all faced with challenges and trials as the rain falls and trouble comes to everyone, but in the middle of it all, fear is replaced with trust in God’s promise never to leave nor forsake us and despair is exchanged with hope for a future with Him. We pray to a God who listens, for He cares about all His children, both those who know Him well and those whom we are purposed to tell of His wonderful love and mercy.

We are faced with a pandemic that threatens our ability to see our way through financially and worse, puts our very lives at risk. Our children, the most precious and valued beyond price, are faced with devastating realities we never dreamt they would ever experience. Their health, emotional security, and spiritual well-being supersedes all other concerns and rightly so. For they are here to carry on where we leave off in the big picture of the Heavenly Kingdom and they embody our dreams for a bright and purpose filled future.

As the start of the school year approaches, we have had to take inventory of the current pandemic and its exponential advancement of infections throughout Fairfax County and many locations across our state and country. We see the potential of the VAA family being overwhelmed with the spread among our ranks as teachers and subsequently among our families. Without the assurance of rapid test results as well as the danger of asymptomatic carriers mixed in our groups, careful consideration had to be given as to the safest route to school opening on August 17. Through the gathering of vital information from our wider health community, analysis of the data from our parents, and the input of teachers, we purposed in making a decision that would not leave us regretting any resulting loss of life or function for loved ones both on and off campus. Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our children and teachers with high health risks and the protection of immediate family members, the VAA School Board has decided that school will reopen using only virtual learning for delivery of instruction this Fall, starting August 17. This will allow for additional time to monitor the threat of infection in our area, apply new safety improvements within our ventilation system, and as effectively as possible, eliminate the potential spread of airborne Covid-19 particles in our facility.

Our experience with virtual learning is well established with our VAA Family. Our teachers have demonstrated the skill of presenting well laid out content using the latest technology tools. With their creativity, teaching will continue unhindered by masks that would otherwise muffle the sound of presentations and suffocate feedback from students burdened with safety requirements for face-to-face learning. Our goal is high interactivity between teacher and student on-line, project-based approach to learning, and purposeful screen time. We will dedicate each Friday for optional outdoor social-distancing activities that allow students to see their teachers and participate in activities that connect learning with hands-on experiences. This we can do safely without additional risk to health.

Dwight L. Morgan - Principal

Vienna Adventist Academy

Opportunities to Get Together Via Zoom

Prayer Meeting Wednesday Nights at 7:30pm

Young Adults: Meeting 2nd and 4th Sabbaths ((Meeting ID: 821 683 638 Password: 069278))

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!

14 days of Prayer

14 Day Prayer Challenge August 9 - 22, 2020 Vienna SDA Church & Vienna Adventist Academy are uniting to P.U.S.H.(Praying Until Something Happens).

In 2020, we are reminded how little we are in control, but how much God is.

  • We miss our worship services.
  • We miss sending our children to school.
  • We miss being together.
  • We miss working together.
  • We miss learning together.
  • We must unite and P.U.S.H.
  • Let us all pray until something happens: August 9 - 22, 2020
  • Please check the school or the church Facebook pages for daily prayer promptings.

Pathfinder Registration Now Open!

Pathfinder registration form: https://viennasda.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/55/responses/new

Master Guide registration form: https://viennasda.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/57/responses/new

Pathfinder Staff registration form: https://viennasda.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/59/responses/new

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.

Here is an interesting video on tithing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUNShhazMLg&feature=youtu.be

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.

Blessings

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.

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.

Featured Link: Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists (ESDA)

The Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists officially launched on July 1, 2020. Here’s a link to a promotional video on

The Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists project is directed by and based at the General Conference Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR), Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.

What is the Encyclopedia of Seventh-Day Adventists (ESDA)?

ESDA is a global church project which aims at completing approximately 8,500 articles with accompanying photographs, media, and original documents. ESDA is a great tool, not only for those seeking to learn more about the church, but also for those looking to witness to others. ESDA Online, the church’s first online reference work, launched on July 1st, 2020. This free online resource will continue indefinitely, to be constantly updated and expanded.

Why ESDA?

Almost twenty-five years after the second revised edition of the SDA Encyclopedia, and more than half a century after the publication of the first edition, the Seventh-day Adventist Church needs a new reference work: one that embodies the diverse Adventist Church of the twenty-first century, reflects the tremendous growth in the church in the last fifty years, the shifts in global membership, and the development of Adventist historical scholarship in the last quarter century. The Church also needs an online encyclopedia that allows all the possibilities of the digital age.

How is ESDA different from the encyclopedia produced in 1996?

ESDA is much larger in its scope and is a brand-new reference work. Every article is freshly researched and written. They include historical data from world regions that previously were left out of the Encyclopedia. Also, even though the authors of the earlier editions really tried to present an international worldwide perspective, many feel that it was written mostly from a North American perspective. ESDA draws on the expertise of hundreds of authors worldwide. Eventually the editorial team comprised more than 35 assistant editors, sub-editors, editorial consultants, and research assistants, along with 15 consultant editors from the Adventist Church’s 13 world divisions, the Middle East & North Africa Union, and the Ellen G. White Estate, directed by an ESDA Main Office composed of the Editor, Managing Editor, Editorial Assistant, and website developer.

The advantage of worldwide involvement is that assistant editors were able to identify authors with local (and expert) knowledge, while authors have been able to collect materials from their local churches, such as letters and diaries. They have also recorded oral traditions and conducted interviews with surviving relatives or people who experienced key historical events. This information would often probably not have survived but for ESDA.

ESDA Goals

  • Supply reliable and authoritative information on Adventist history, crucial events and themes, organizations, entities, institutions, and people;
  • Strengthen Adventist identity in a fast-growing worldwide movement, heightening awareness of distinctive doctrinal and prophetic beliefs;
  • Provide a reference work for those new to the Adventist faith and not of the Adventist faith, to learn about all aspects of Adventism;
  • Bring out the role of denominational organization in fulfilling the church’s mission;
  • Highlight the missional challenges still remaining in order to “reach the world”;
  • Reflect the nature of the world church today, both in subject matter and in those who write and edit the encyclopedia.

So much for the past, what about the Future: Can I suggest an article topic?

The editorial team seeks to include articles on every aspect of Adventist history, so consider: What are some other topics that merit inclusion in ESDA? It may be a forgotten person that you think people should know more about. It may be the Adventist work in the country, state, or city in which you were born. You may want to suggest an article on a school or ministry, or about Adventists’ engagement with an issue that you are passionate about, such as social activism, technology, or the environment. To contact the main office please write to encyclopedia@gc.adventist.org.

And who can contribute articles?

Members from all walks of life with expertise on a given subject, not only history and theology scholars, are welcome to contribute to ESDA. This is a chance to write about our church in an honest, open, and thorough way. Contact the ESDA main office for a list of available articles to write at encyclopedia@gc.adventist.org. See also the author guidelines and other useful materials at: https://encyclopedia.adventist.org

VAA Summer Harvest Event

It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a global church project that thousands of others are joining in, the articles will be signed and so you will be the authority on the subject; it will count as a scholarly publication and so count for professional development; and most importantly, you will add to the body of knowledge about our church that is accessible on the web, and you will fulfill the inspired admonition to remember, record, and rehearse God’s leading.

This pandemic has not been too successful in slowing VAA down with learning and positive experiences. On Sunday, July 26, VAA held its Summer harvest event, where students threshed and winnowed harvested oats and dug up potatoes in large quantities to share with our school families and the local food bank. Other produce was harvested including, butternut squash, okra, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Object lessons, made possible through the harvesting process, were shared with the attending adults and their children. For example, the sowing of seeds in good ground vs rocky or hard; separating the wheat from the tares and gathering vs burning; and faith as a small seed growing to produce fruit.

Under the direction of our Science teacher, Mr. Phil Wygul, the expansion of the school garden during the early days of Spring, proved productive under the bright Summer sun and frequent thunderstorms.

Send Us Your Comments/Suggestions

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.