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 

May 5, 2020

Usually the spiritual discipline of Solitude lasts only through Lent, but we have “enjoyed” solitude longer than 40 days! We are in a period of “liminal time and space,” which can be either frustrating or nurturing. We can see this as a pause or interval between one point and the next. You know what I mean, in terms of COVID-19. A time between having closed/cancelled activities (creating a stay-at-home reflective solitude) and reopening/reset/reboot (the goal of congregating and gathering together again). There are many opinions out there about how and when to reconvene, and all are valid for those persons.


Yesterday, however, our Virginia Governor set out his 3 phase re-opening plan for the state. Although the numbers of Coronavirus cases are increasing, we will examine his guidelines and the Church Leadership Council Executive Board will issue a cautious decision soon. Many within our church and Mission Center community fall into the “high risk” category, and require a longer time to social distance and stay protected. This gives us the time needed to prepare the building and ourselves. Phase I remains “safer-at-home” with no more than 10 people. Phase II goes up to 50, with social distance and mask/glove protection and telework. Phase III requires evidence of no rebound cases for a period of time. More information will be revealed soon. Pray still!


Have your children or grandchildren been keeping you both informed and “grounded” at home? Not as a punishment of course, but as a protection, so they’ve likely said, “Mom, Dad, don’t you DARE go out there! Stay at home, please! We’ll get your groceries, etc.” They love you and want to protect you. When I first heard this, it reminded me of Harry Chapin’s song, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” where the son just wants to play ball with a busy dad who has no time. Then the child grows up, and the retired dad wants more time with his busy son: “He said, I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time / You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kids have the flu / But it's sure nice talking to you, dad . . .” Ouch; now we have too much time and cannot get together. Or you’re a busy mom/teacher/employee trying to supervise online school with no sleep. Have you heard your own voice as a younger parent coming from your children or grandchildren during this stressful time? What can we learn about relationships or priorities from this time?


I learned how much I need all of you! Thank you for your faithful notes and calls. “Our bodies have many parts, but the many parts make up only one body when they are all put together. So it is with the ‘body’ of Christ (1 Cor 12:12TLB).” We are separated but not separate. We will unite again in body and faith. Have Hope!


April 7, 2020

My hair is quite a bit longer and gray-er than this picture, after this month of March and into April, adjusting to a new temporary COVID-19 normal. Lent had just begun along with our 2020 theme, “Be Sustained . . .” before we temporarily suspended activities. Who knew (the Lord!) that this theme would be so appropriate for this pandemic. I do hope my recent mailings and reflections are helping you to stay occupied and focused on the one true thing, Jesus.


Singing our Cantata on Palm Sunday was a tradition not available to us, and this Easter Sunday we will still be apart; however, you have the freedom and chance to worship in your homes in a way that suits you! It may be pajamas or your Sunday best; it may be a television preacher (please be selective!), a Facebook Live service or a quiet Scripture reading and prayer. The one true thing is that you worship! Alone or together we are one.


This year, Jesus’ going to the cross and his Resurrection for our redemption mean more than ever in light of uncertainty, temporary social boundaries, fear and death. Have you heard the term “Easter People”? I keep thinking what does that really mean? If we live in the hope of eternal life, how are we living now? How are we treating those with whom we are housebound? How can we share our faith with those who don’t have any hope if we don’t physically interact with strangers? I don’t have the answers, but using creative ways (God is creator!) to meet needs is helpful. Encouraging Facebook posts, notes, cards, calls, sidewalk chalk messages, sewing masks, donating blood, delivering groceries, nursing people back to health, finding a vaccine are many others. Praying is one thing we can do wherever we are!


I was a “Martha” recently (Luke 10:38-42), increasing our communications, teaching myself Zoom, trying to call everyone, make videos and more. Ha! Reading a lesson for 3/29, I was stopped short by the phrase in my head: Pam, Pam and church, church, [Martha] “you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part.” That is, to sit at the feet of Jesus and to be taught by the silence, solitude, grief or boredom we might be feeling. I got quiet and found peace. Being sustained by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is how I am coping. We are human; there is anxiety, but I am calmed by the Spirit I trust and the hope I have in Christ. Sing loud Hymn 406, “The Solid Rock” – “My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.” Love. 


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

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.