The United Baptist Church
Hours: Phones M-Th: 9 am-1 pm; Sundays Temp. Suspended 
7100 Columbia Pike Annandale, VA 22003

The United Baptist Church

Ph: 703.256.5900

Kairos Moments . . . 

     Reflections by Rev. Pamela Moyer 

Most Recent Letter, April 1, 2020

Dear Congregants and Mission Center Community Partners,

I still miss you, even though we’ve been able to speak by phone and communicate through emails and online social media. You may feel like you’re in a Biblical wilderness or exile. Since changes occur daily, I hope you are keeping up to date and have all your supplies, food and medicines to weather this temporary, though longer than anticipated, storm called COVID-19.


Yesterday, once again, our Church Leadership Council Executive Board and I conferred, this time through email, about the Governor of Virginia’s new Executive Order No. 55, enforcing stay-at-home guidelines through June 10th. Here is the link to the actual document: file://192.168.111.3/Shared/UBC/Health%20Ministry/Coronavirus%202020/EO-55-Temporary-Stay-at-Home-Order-Due-to-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).pdf. We of course concluded that we would comply with his order to temporarily suspend ALL group activities through June 10, 2020.


Although we are very sad about the extension, it is necessary for the good of our country, our state and especially for the health and welfare of our congregants and Mission Center partners. I am personally able to come into the very clean office M-F, 9-3+ as “essential personnel” (mail, finances as directed, pastoral care, communications, seeking creative solutions); other groups are following all guidelines as we requested. Staff members are productively working from home on old or new projects, rehearsing or seeking distance solutions.


This is the time to be “Mary” not Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Yes, meeting others’ needs at home, online or by phone is being church; but I also challenge you to create routines for reflection, meditation and study. “There is need of only one thing,” Jesus told Martha. Are you sitting at the feet of Jesus? If ever you had extra time to study Scripture, pray and abide with Christ, it is now! Please take advantage of this opportunity if you can and continue to reach out to your “buddies” to connect spiritually and socially. Have you prayed together on the phone yet? We will continue our weekly support plan of calling and mailings (reflection material, birthday and prayer lists, etc.). The Vision will go out April 7th.


Access to our building is limited through June 10th. Please continue to pray with us daily at noon wherever you are and be assured that God is still with us. Call the church (703.256.5900) or my church cell (571.278.7115) with concerns, major supply needs or pastoral updates. We appreciate those of you who have mailed in your offerings and hope you will continue to do so as you are able.


Be sustained . . . through your faith, gratitude, Scripture, family, friends, prayer, trust and hope. Psalm 121 and Palm Sunday verses (Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:1-11; Lk. 19:28-41; Jn. 12:12-19) sustain me this week. Thank you, and be well,

Pam


The Reverend Pamela L. Moyer

Senior Minister

The United Baptist Church

7100 Columbia Pike | Annandale, VA 22003

Office 703.256.5900 | Cell: 571.278.7115

Email: pmoyer@unitedbaptchurch.org

Church Website: www.theunitedbaptchurch.org


March 19, 2020 

Dear Congregants and Mission Center Community Partners,

I miss you! It is my sincere hope that you are well, have needed supplies, are joining us in spirit for noon prayer and are complying with the state and national recommendations to protect yourselves from contagion and COVID-19.


Yesterday, our Church Leadership, Senior Minister, Staff and Parish Nurse distantly conferenced, discussed, prayed and concluded that we will temporarily suspend all activities through Saturday, April 18, 2020, keeping in mind the health and welfare of our congregants during this unprecedented contagion. Suspended activities include Sunday Gatherings, Sunday School, Worship services, Agape Fellowships, Face to Face Prayer, Wednesday Bible Studies, Choir Rehearsals, Young at Heart Gadabout outings, Saturday Clean-outs, UBC Family Breakfasts, Palm Sunday service (Cantata) and Easter services and Breakfast. We will reassess in early April, since new facts are surfacing around the world, including the good work toward vaccines and procedures. God is bigger than all of this, especially our anxiety! We will notify you of further decisions in a timely manner. I personally like the buddy-system with a church congregant and/or neighbor to stay connected socially and spiritually, even praying together! We will be calling periodically and sending out communications weekly (Lent material, birthday lists, prayer sheets, ministry news and health updates). If you have positive information to share, let us know electronically or by phone; we need to share that news too.


Secondly, we will continue to temporarily limit access to our building, making it available to skeletal Staff and approved appointments. Although we have been deep cleaning all areas and your work is important to us, we ask our Mission Center Partners to find alternative ways to meet or do business, and expect you to be compliant with federal, state and local guidelines. We will continue to support our congregants, community and ministries with prayer, telephone check-ins, social media and technology.


We must be Christ’s example to others, staying hopeful, prayerful and resilient; please pray with us daily at noon wherever you are, and be assured that God is walking with us in this health crisis. Call each other occasionally to check in. Call the church or my church cell (571.278.7115) with concerns, major supply needs or pastoral issues; and please continue your faithful giving through USPS mail so that we may weather this temporary storm.


Be sustained . . . through Scripture and the relationships you treasure; it will bolster your spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-20; Jeremiah 29:11-14; 2 Timothy 1:7). Thank you, and be well,

Pam


The Reverend Pamela L. Moyer

Senior Minister

The United Baptist Church

7100 Columbia Pike | Annandale, VA 22003

Office 703.256.5900 | Cell: 571.278.7115

Email: pmoyer@unitedbaptchurch.org

Church Website: www.theunitedbaptchurch.org


March 14, 2020

Dear Congregants:

After difficult yet necessary considerations, our Church Leadership, Senior Minister, Staff and Parish Nurse have agreed to cancel all activities starting tomorrow, Sunday, March 15, 2020 through March 21, 2020. This includes cancelling Gathering time, Bible Study/Sunday School, Worship, Agape Fellowship, Call to Prayer, Adult Bible Study, Choir Rehearsal, and UBC Family Breakfast until further notice, but certainly through Saturday, March 21. We do this out of an abundance of caution for our congregants’ health and in support of our state’s and nation’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We do this based on review of the most current facts, not fear. We will reassess daily and notify you of further decisions in a timely manner. We encourage you to establish a buddy-system with a church congregant and/or neighbor to stay connected socially and spiritually with one another. We will be sending out on Monday this week’s pre-printed bulletin with prayer list, a health insert and Lenten Devotional that I encourage you to use until further notice, understanding that the calendar and some announcements are voided by this decision.


Secondly, we will be temporarily closing our building to the general public, making it available to Staff, approved appointments and Mission Center Partners (as they are independent and will make their decisions organizationally; some are already meeting online). We will continue to support our congregants, individuals in need and ministries daily by means other than face-to-face contact (prayer, telephone check-ins, social media and technology as it becomes part of our repertoire). We ask our staff to report to work as usual (except on Sunday) with appropriate precautions (handwashing, staying home if sick, distancing, etc.).


Thirdly, we ask you to remember that we are a resilient people; please pray unceasingly and be assured that God is working in the midst of this health crisis. Do feel free to call the church with concerns or for pastoral issues, please call my cell: 571.278.7115. We will catch up on tithes and offerings when we reconvene or as you choose to mail them in (address is below).


Lastly, ponder this translation of a familiar text: “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment (2 Timothy 1:7 HCSB)."

Thank you, and be well,

The Reverend Pamela L. Moyer

Senior Minister

The United Baptist Church


March 3, 2020

February has been Heart Month as well as the month of love. I hope you had a loving Valentine’s Day. February sermons introduced God’s day of rest and the “Blessed Alliance” of Adam and Eve. On February 16th, we welcomed Jody Faig to the pulpit. Jody is our Field Representative of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and attends, as a pastor’s wife, the renamed Old Town Community Church (formerly Downtown Baptist); her message was “Cultivating Gratitude,” and she sends her gratitude for welcoming her so warmly.


The following Sunday, February 23rd, we held our first Combined Worship Service with New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church (NBMBC), recognizing Black History Month. Not only was the Spirit present in the lively and energizing music of our combined choirs and instrumentalists, but we learned more about the history of freedom in our country, slave hunters, the hymn code words for the Underground Railroad and heard parts of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last sermon. Plus, we had a chance to see the many improvements in The Chapel and Lounge, making it an enjoyable “Holy Collaboration!” Thank you all who came and took part.


We have also been preparing ourselves in Lent, which began Ash Wednesday, February 26th. Wednesdays’ Call to Prayer, brown bag lunch and Adult Topical Bible Study have been a calming yet revitalizing rhythm to our already busy weeks. Hope you’ll join us! No reservation needed; drop in as you are able. The UBC monthly breakfast topic was Praying with your Heart. Henri Nouwen writes, “Prayer is standing in the presence of God with the mind in the heart . . . There heart speaks to heart, because there we stand before the face of the Lord, all-seeing, within us (from The Way of the Heart).” A somewhat scary thought if our hearts or minds are out of order! This ties in to our 2020 theme, “Be Sustained,” reminding us that prayer, love, worship and service sustain us always even during difficulties or temptation.


Parish Nurse, Debbie Caffrey, has been working extra hours in her job and church to blend the service areas she is passionate about: recently it is helping flood victims and teamwork on Corona Virus prevention. Through her help, we have implemented new practices: extra surface cleaning with bleach, more hand sanitizers (even before communion!), encouraging better nutrition to boost immune systems, posters and giving CDC correct information to our members and visitors. Please do NOT to panic, but practice good hygiene, rest, stay home if you’re sick and improve nutrition. This self care is for the good of our community! As we journey to the cross together, let us be reflective and repentant. Paul told the church at Colossae to “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2 NIV).”


February 4, 2020

In January, we kicked off our year’s theme, “Be Sustained …” and opened with Creation, “in the beginning …” reflecting on God our sustainer, our magnificent universe and the start of Jesus’ life in the season of Epiphany. We are continuing to study Genesis and the writings of John in the gospel and his letters. A Congregational Hymn Sing was reprised in January, as David Evans shared some rich history of each piece; no instrumentalists were stumped by congregants’ selections, thanks to Charles and Melissa’s expertise!

As in life, we saw some endings and beginnings and have, to the best of our ability, celebrated them. We fondly remember those congregants we lost in the first 34 days of 2019 (Helen, Ernie, Betty and Verle). Our thoughts go out to the families on their one-year anniversaries.


Punxsutawney Phil claims we’ll have an early spring! But new things here have begun already: Mailbox Angels Ministry began on Sunday, where individuals write notes of encouragement to others during Agape Fellowship. Call to Prayer and a Bible Study on Prayer begins Wednesday, Feb. 5th at noon in the Sanctuary and Conference Room. Please join us and bring your lunch. Clear Out Saturdays began in January, and thank you to Carole Martindale for her energy, strength and discernment. Building and Grounds is meeting the first Sunday of every month to get a handle on the needs of this large building, inside and out. And my first year anniversary as Senior Minister occurred this week, for which I am grateful!


Additional snippets of information about the church are found in this newsletter, on the website, www.theunitedbaptchurch.org, on Facebook, or in our bulletins on Sunday, so I do hope you’ll read, digest and pray about how we’re serving others. Your spiritual gifts and motivations are an important part of how we move forward. Although I have many ideas and plans for this year, our growth is a Holy Collaboration between God, the church, its leaders and our community. I’d like to know your thoughts! What can we do differently to bring in a diverse group of guests to our Church and Mission Center who are intergenerational, who represent the racial, ethnic and economic diversity of our region, and some who may not know Christ but are curious? Do we want to be and how will we be more relevant in the culture? What is our identity? We are a hospitable community of faith, so how do we exercise this “Holy Collaboration” of divine intervention and human responsibility? Let’s figure this out for 2020!

Blog postings:

Kairos (καιρός) is Greek for “opportune time,” where God may break in to our circumstances, and we then can reflect on the purpose of His in-breaking. I think of it as the Holy Spirit nudging me toward an “AHA!” moment. “Kairos Moments” will be the title of this regular article, so that observations, reflections, questions and theology can be examined for action.

These articles will be displayed for 4 weeks. If you are interested in previous articles, please contact our office. The first 3 pages of the newsletter are at the bottom of "Our Message", but our prayer list is not included due to confidentiality. Call the office if you have an update or a concern.