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

January 2019

In this issue ...

  • Pastor’s Message
  • Church Calendar
  • Announcements
  • Grow Groups - start again January 5!
  • Get Connected with Jesus and Our Church Community
  • Online Giving
  • 911 - Is God listening?
  • Meet Your Prayer Team!
  • Featured Link: Committee for Helping Others (CHO) – Did you know Vienna SDA Church is a member?!
  • Volunteers Urgently Needed in the SS Children’s Divisions!!
  • Share Your Pictures!
  • Did You Know?!
  • Send Us Your Comments/Suggestions

Photos ...

  • The View from Vienna Adventist Academy (VAA): 5th Annual Candlelight Christmas Concert
  • Women’s Grow Group Volunteers at Committee for Helping Others (CHO) Women’s Ministries Collects and Distributes Toys to Needed Families Praise Team Song Service Features the Children!
  • Christopher Adorno’s Baptism!
  • Pathfinder Stars Club hosted church potluck, collected canned food for the needed, and went caroling in the neighborhood – all to support the local community.

Pastor's Message

By Pastor Gary Genser

Here is wishing you all the happiest of New Years! The joyful anticipation of Christmas may be past, and the giving and receiving of gifts and the joining together of family, may be over but we have the second Advent to look forward to. It is an advent that will bring with it the resurrection of the righteous, the chaining of the Deceiver, and a fully realized reunion with our Creator God through his Son Jesus Christ. It will be a glorious morning with no let down after all the gifts are opened. Truly it will be the realization of our hopes and dreams with a future full of promise.

Let’s remember what this life is all about, being prepared for eternity. Surely there is nothing in this world that can compare--

Nothing the eye seen, nor the ear heard, nor the mind comprehended - 1 Cor 2:9

May this next year be full of promise and hope! Happy New Years!


Sabbath/January 4th

  • 9:15AM Sabbath School
  • 9:30AM Audio/Visual Material due to A/V Team
  • 10:40AM Worship Service and Communion: Pastor Garry Genser
  • 12:30PM Family First Sabbath (No Potluck)
  • 4:59PM Sunset

According to the Washington Post, reports for this year showed that Americans gave $428 billion to charity in 2018 -- 2.1 percent of the country’s total economy and more than the entire national economy of Norway. Figures for 2019 won’t be available until next year, but it’s almost certain that the generosity continued…!!


Grow Groups

Get Connected with Jesus and Our Church Community!

We'd love to help you get fully connected to Jesus and His mission to make disciples through our local church. We'd love to get to know you better. Please fill out the form below so that we can better serve you.

Online Giving

Don’t forget you can submit your tithes and offerings on the church’s secure website, Togethernet. The log on the link below and then click on “Give”!!

911 – Is God Listening?

“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 (541) 646-6384. Garden of Prayer – After the worship service, there will be a prayer meeting in the Kindergarten room. Anyone with prayer needs is invited to attend.

Meet Your Prayer Team

(L-R) Heather Pederson, Lisa Hamilton, Karen LaFave, Ellen Morgan, Bob Boardman, Angie Huang, and Rosa Marques.

Featured Link: Committee for Helping Others (CHO)

The Vienna SDA Church is a member of the Community for Helping Others (CHO) which is an all-volunteer organization that helps by providing:

  • Emergency financial assistance
  • Emergency food aid
  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Transportation

CHO is an all-volunteer organization that was organized in 1969 by a group of concerned churches and individuals in the Vienna, Oakton, Dunn Loring, and Merrifield area to provide simple, loving charity to those in need of goods and services they were unable to provide for themselves or obtain from government social service organizations.

CHO has NO PAID staff members. Everyone who works for CHO is a volunteer.

Requests for CHO assistance are received from a wide range of sources, including Fairfax County Social Services, Hotline, churches, teachers, visiting nurses, medical and mental health groups, other organizations and individuals. Concerted efforts are made to verify the validity of each request. It is our firm intent to help those individuals who are truly in need while assuring the most judicious use of our resources and avoiding abuse of our services.

CHO has two continuing needs: Volunteers and Funds.

Volunteers. In an area where both spouses in a family typically work outside the home, it can be difficult to maintain a pool of volunteers able to work on a regularly scheduled basis. Nevertheless, we are blessed with many dedicated volunteers. Individuals are needed to provide a variety of services for our Food, Clothing, Emergency Assistance programs and for our Christmas Store. The Furniture program needs drivers. On occasion we need additional volunteers for administrative positions and activities; for example, correspondence or publicity assistance.

Funding. Our monetary resources come from member churches and organizations, the Town of Vienna, and from concerned individuals and entities. Aside from the Town of Vienna, CHO receives no allocation of funds or grants from any public service or other governmental unit. With no paid staff, CHO services are all provided by volunteers. CHO has no central offices and operates out of member churches and homes. With the exception of the furniture truck, volunteers furnish and donate the cost of operating their own cars. Our operating costs are minimized which makes nearly all contributions available for aiding those in need.

Anyone wishing to donate time, talents or money to CHO may call (703) 281-7614 or email cho@cho-va.com. Also, contributions may be mailed to:


P.O. Box 233

Vienna, VA 22183

CHO is designated as a 501(C)(3) tax exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service. All donations are tax deductible.

Institutional Members

Membership in CHO is open to all faith communities, civic groups, and service organizations in the Vienna, Oakton, Merrifield, and Dunn Loring area. Following is a list of our current members. If your organization would like to join us, please e-mail cho@cho-va.com.

  • Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church, Vienna, Va. Antioch Christian Church, Vienna, Va.
  • Bruen Chapel United Methodist Church, Fairfax, Va.
  • Christ Church Vienna
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oakton, Va.
  • Church of The Common Table, Vienna, Va.
  • Daniels Run Peace Church, Fairfax, Va.
  • Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Vienna, Va.
  • Emmaus United Church of Christ, Vienna, Va.
  • Epiphany United Methodist Church, Vienna, Va.
  • Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, Vienna, Va.
  • First Baptist Church of Vienna
  • Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross, Dunn Loring, Va.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna, Va.
  • Newsong Church, Vienna, Va.
  • Northern Virginia Primitive Baptist Church, Fairfax, Va.
  • Oakton Church of the Brethren
  • Oakton United Methodist Church
  • Optimist Club of Greater Vienna
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel Roman Catholic Church, Vienna, Va.
  • Providence Baptist Church, McLean, Va.
  • Rotary Club of Vienna
  • St. Mark’s Catholic Church, Vienna, Va.
  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, Oakton, Va.
  • United Methodist Church of the Good Shepherd, Vienna, Va.
  • Vale United Methodist Church, Oakton, Va.
  • Vienna Baptist Church
  • Vienna Host Lions Club
  • Vienna Presbyterian Church
  • Vienna Seventh-Day Adventist Church
  • Wesley United Methodist Church, Vienna, Va.


The CHO Food Closet continues to see heavy demand. Current needs include laundry detergent, shampoo, cooking oil, canned meat, canned fruit, and kids’ snacks, toothpaste, and size 4 and 5 diapers. The Food Closet is located in the Vienna Presbyterian Church (VPC) Condo building at 133 Park Street NE (Vienna Courts), across Park Street from VPC. If you would like to donate, you can call the CHO phone number (703-281- 7614) to make an appointment or arrange to drop off food on Mondays from 9:30-11. Please do not leave any donations outside of 133 Park Street. The CHO Clothing Closet, also at 133 Park Street NE (Vienna Courts) currently needs spring/summer clothes. Specific items of greatest need are listed on our website https://cho-va.com/join-us/needs. We request donations of clothing that match the current season as storage space for off-season clothing is limited. The Clothes Closet is open for donations by appointment only during the summer (after May 20). Text or call (703) 679-8966 or email cho.clothes.closet@gmail.com. We will resume our Monday hours of 9:30 a.m. to noon on September 9, 2019.

The CHO Furniture Program’s most frequently requested items continue to be beds -- queen and full-size -- followed, more or less in order, by dressers, sofas, and table and chair sets. We are generally not able to accept king-size beds, sofa beds, living room chairs, and any items that are broken, damaged or excessively worn. We can occasionally accept refrigerators and electric washers and dryers if they are in good working condition. To arrange a pickup of items you would like to donate, call the Furniture Program phone number: (202) 681-5279. The Furniture Program is also looking for volunteers to drive its furniture truck. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is no longer required! Volunteers are asked to drive 4 or 5 times a year on a Saturday morning. Drivers do not need to carry furniture; other volunteers are available to do that. To volunteer for the program, contact Dan Larkins at danlarkins@verizon.net .


The Food Closet provides basic food items collected from our community and stored at the Condominium across Park Street from Vienna Presbyterian Church. In addition, Christmas food certificates are distributed, and a Christmas “store” is organized to provide gifts for clients’ children and clothing for the family. The Food Closet takes referrals from Fairfax County, area churches, and individuals. During the first three months of 2019, we helped 161 families and 577 people.


The Furniture Program collects gently used furniture, stores the items, and distributes them to families in need. For pickups and deliveries, volunteer drivers and helpers use their own vehicles and a truck donated by Fairfax County. For the first three months of 2019, we filled 21 requests with about $1,800 worth of furniture. The furniture program has been using a small facility offered by the town of Vienna, but it is now necessary to move to another location. At this time, CHO has identified an engineering and a construction company to help us with the design of the site and construction of the facility. We hope to begin work on the property shortly.


Emergency Services helps individuals and families to meet emergency rent, fuel, utility, dental, and medical bills and other miscellaneous aid. It responds to calls from churches, counties, and others and takes immediate action, including coordination with adjacent helper organizations, working with our treasurer to pay bills directly, and/or arranging help from other CHO Programs. For the first three months of 2019, we provided $33,949.93 of emergency aid to 113 families. As in the past, the major expenditure for emergency services continues to be rent.


The Clothes Closet collects clothing and distributes it to the needy. It is located at 133 Park Street NE, across from Vienna Presbyterian Church. The Clothes Closet is open for donations by appointment only during the summer (after May 20). Text or call (703) 679-8966 or email cho.clothes.closet@gmail.com. We resume regular Monday hours of 9:30 a.m. to noon on September 9, 2019 (the Monday after Labor Day). MEALS ON WHEELS (MOW): MOW provides meal deliveries to persons having difficulty preparing their own food. Food for six days a week is provided, and deliveries are made three days a week from Vienna Presbyterian Church. 1643 deliveries were made in the first 3 months of 2019.

Volunteers Needed for SS Children’s Divisions:

“Um, Teacher, I didn’t get one of those.” The words of a Primary Sabbath School child who was late, again, and missed out on the day’s craft.

“Can we do it again? I want more of those questions.” The words of another child who loves our Bible quiz game.

Our time with these children in Sabbath School is a special joy and privilege. As teachers, we may come to church tired and stressed from our busy week, but we’re energized and blessed by the interaction with these precious children.

Children love Sabbath School! It’s the part of Sabbath morning specifically designed for them. While the worship service might feel like a boring adult barrier to be endured before lunch, Sabbath School is an active, engaging, and multisensory exploration of God’s Word and learning about who He is.

Do you love kids? Do you love Jesus? Want to connect the two? This is an opportunity for mission right here inside the Vienna Church. Our children’s Sabbath School classes need assistant teachers, and in some cases leaders. Experience is not necessary. The current leaders would love to mentor you.

Cradle Roll (newborn-3) during the past three years has grown from three children to thirteen! This thriving class engages our youngest children with music, stories, and toys. They are blessed with a fully staffed Sabbath School.

Kindergartners (4-6 years old) frequently join the Primary class or return to Cradle Roll due to having only a part-time leader with no assistant. It is hoped this will soon change, but the need for assistants who can lead the program is urgent. Kindergarteners need their own class all the time as they are at a different developmental stage than Primary-age and Cradle Roll-age children.

Primary (7-9 years old) is an energetic, talkative group. They love hands-on learning, quiz games, nature object lessons, a little drama, and anything that gets them up and moving around the room. They are slowly learning the books of the Bible and how to find verses and read them aloud. Memorization of scripture and solid knowledge of the Bible is critical because what they learn at this age, they will never forget. The Primary class would also benefit from another assistant teacher, one who might be willing to become a future leader.

Juniors (10-12) is bursting at the seams. This summer many Primary students reached Junior age and were promoted. At the same time, like in Kindergarten, Earliteen and Teen leaders were not always available. Thus, Juniors become a 10-12+ class and frequently had more than 20 preteens and teens present. This is too much for one teacher, not to mention the difficulty of fitting into the room. Juniors enjoy food, contemporary music, and are in the progress of a deep discussion and study of the Gospel of John. Their lone teacher is urgently in need of an assistant.

Earliteens (13-14) struggle with attendance and this is concerning because, as our children enter their teen years, we hope and pray they are choosing Jesus and choosing to stay in church. The Earliteen class is an opportunity for our young people to have their own spiritual community within the church, to have a voice, and to be encouraged to participate in the life of the church. If we lose our young people at this age, we may lose them forever. The current leaders would welcome assistance in creating a spiritually nurturing and socially engaging Sabbath School experience.

So, what kind of person makes a good Sabbath School teacher? Someone who…

  • Is present – dependable, on time, consistent, and good at listening to children.
  • Demonstrates Jesus’s love in tangible ways children understand.
  • Engages children appropriately through all their senses.
  • Makes learning fun with age-appropriate lessons.
  • Creates an inviting environment, aesthetically and socially.
  • And most of all, opens the Bible with the children.

If you feel God calling you to the great joy of working with children or teens in one of these Sabbath School divisions, please talk to the following people about open opportunities:

  • Pastor CJ
  • Lemuel Peters
  • Mike Onoffrey
  • Sabrina Riley
  • Dominique Rodriguez-Sawyer
  • Emily Rosa

If you have need for volunteers or you would like to volunteer, please contact the church office at office@viennasda.org

Share Your Pictures and news!

We want to share how active and vibrant Vienna SDA Church members are! Send us your pictures and write-up an article that we can include in the newsletter. Email us at office@viennasda.org, thanks!

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. Email us at office@viennasda.org, thanks!

Did you Know?

We’re on social media! You can follow Vienna SDA Church on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.


The View from Vienna Adventist Academy (VAA): 5th Annual Candlelight Christmas Concert

Women’s Ministries Collects and Distributes Toys to Needed Families

With the help from the U.S. Marines and their “Toys for Tots” charity drive, Vienna’s Women’s Ministries was able to brighten the lives of some children at Christmas! Thanks to our own Betsy Caban who knew how to tap into the generosity of the U.S. Marine’s program!

Christopher Adorno's Baptism!