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eNote from Rev. Tom Berlin May 2, 2013

Dear Floris Family,

Many years ago, when Floris UMC was located in its first facility, the church made a decision to hire a Children's Ministry Director. In some ways the decision was an obvious one. As dairy farms turned into neighborhoods, more and more families with young children were coming to Floris. The church was not large, and not accustomed to having staff. This decision was a moment when a priority was established in the life of the congregation to share Christ with children and to make church something they would enjoy attending. The impact of that decision, made almost 20 years ago, is still with us today and a key reason for our vitality. Below you will find ways that you can bless children in our church and community. Please pray about how you might offer your time and talent to continue to bless the next generation with the love and joy of Christ.

Vacation Bible School
If you like to see kids grow in their faith, we encourage you to volunteer at one of our VBS Summer Camps. You can choose the age group you prefer: preschool and elementary both have volunteer openings. This is a great way to teach kids lessons from the Bible and songs they will remember their whole lives. Visit the VBS pageon our website or contact Melissa Ciavarella.

Camp Hutchison
Camp Hutchison helps kids at Hutchison Elementary improve their math and reading skills, enjoy two nutritious meals daily and have a great time while learning. Camp Hutchison runs from July 8 to August 2. During this four-week enrichment camp you can help children make progress toward learning goals they have not yet accomplished.We are looking for instructors and counselors (one to four weeks of service), as well as people to help with meals and fun activities (a few hours or a few days). Visit the Camp Hutchison page on our website to submit an application. If you have any questions, please contact Jake McGlothin.

Prayer
We had our first meeting about upcoming plans to challenge the congregation to "Pray in May" to discern God's will for our church and its future. I will share that challenge with you next week. Today is the National Day of Prayer. Take time to pray for our nation and its leaders, as well as those in leadership in other places in our society.

Rebuilding Together
On Saturday a team of 44 people from Floris worked to renovate the home of a couple in our community as part of Rebuilding Together. Thank you to all of those who installed beautiful landscaping, repaired windows, installed smoke detectors, renovated a bathroom, painted and much more. The Floris team was one of more than 40 groups that helped neighbors in need in Fairfax and Arlington Counties. It is such a blessing to be a part of a church working actively in our community to help others.

Parking Shuttles
We will be offering parking shuttles every Sunday through Mother's Day. Please park at the Network Solutions/XO Communications lotand take the Floris Shuttle so that guests and first time visitors can find a parking spot easily Sunday morning.

This Week in Worship
As Christians we sometimes sense an opportunity to share our faith in Christ with another person, but we often stop short because we feel unprepared. I hope you join us Sunday as we begin a new sermon series designed to equip us for conversations that are life-changing but not alienating. Our new sermon series, Go!, will offer some basic answers to questions about how to communicate the good news of our faith. If you want to get past Go, join us Sunday. Scripture: Matthew 9:35-38.

In Christ,
Tom

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