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eNote from Rev. Tom Berlin September 6, 2012

Dear Floris Family,

There will be a lot of excitement this weekend at Floris as we begin the kick off of the fall season for Kid Nation, Krew and Crossroads and our other ministries. I am also looking forward to being at the CRC Benefit Golf Tournament on Monday with many of you. There are some new and exciting things coming, and I want to highlight a few of them:

  • Kid Nation Sunday Morning (Nursery – 5th grade, 9:15 & 11am) – Electronic check-in for all ages was implemented this summer. If you have not picked up your key tag, you can do so on the 2nd floor on Sunday. Nursery must check in at the nursery and preschool thru 5th grade can check in at any of the four stations located on the 1st or 2nd floor. In an effort to make all children feel welcome, we sought input from parents and developmental specialists and are excited about the changes we've made to Kid Nation. For more details about those changes go to www.florisumc.org/sundaymorning. Also, don't forget to have your kids bring their backpacks on Sunday at 9:15 and 11 AM for a backpack blessing in their classrooms.
  • Crossroads (grades 6-8) – Crossroads kicks off Sunday at 5 PM in the lower lot for games, food and fun. We are very excited about the new 5 PM start time each week. This will allow Jeremy Glovitch, our Student Ministries Director, to lead both the middle school and high school programs each Sunday night. The Crossroads students will also now be able to meet in the Hangar each week. Middle School students will also have an opportunity to gather for small groups (by grade) on Sunday mornings at 11 AM beginning this Sunday.
  • Krew (grades 9-12) – Krew kicks off Sunday at 6:30 PM in the lower lot as well. Beginning next week, students will start in their small groups. Hang out time will begin at 7:45 until 8:15 PM. This time is optional for those who enjoy more social time. There will also be a high school small group that will meet on Sunday mornings at 11 AM. For details about all the exciting events for students in the fall, visit www.florisumc.org/students.
  • Music Ministry– there are many new and exciting things happening in the Music Ministries at Floris this fall. The adult Sanctuary Choir kicks off with a retreat this Friday night and Saturday at the church and anyone interested is encouraged to attend. Please email Yoon Nam for more information. If you have children who might like to join one of our children's choirs, I encourage you to attend the Children's Choirs Open House on September 12 at 6 PM – 7 PM. There you can find out about all of the great things in store for the children's choirs this fall. There are also openings in all of Floris' handbell choirs. Please visit www.florisumc.org/music for more information about all of our music ministries and how you might be involved.

Parking on Sunday
As worship attendance increases in September after the summer months, the parking challenge on Sunday mornings returns. I want to encourage you to consider parking only one car per family in the parking lot on Sunday mornings and carpooling to church when possible.

Floris is Going Green!
Earlier this year we walked through a sermon series titled, "Why Should I Care?" As part of that series, Rev. Tim Ward challenged us to consider why we should we care about the environment. After that sermon, many of you commented on the number of worship bulletins that are thrown away every week. Some of you even challenged us to consider going without bulletins all together. In response, we've reduced the number of bulletins we produce each week. Please consider taking one bulletin per family. Our goal is to be good stewards of the environment and FUMC funds. We will be evaluating the impact of the bulletin reduction in a few months.

Connections for Hope
Floris has supported Connections for Hope (C4H) since the center opened on March 15, 2010, through our support of Helping Children Worldwide, the non-profit our church started several years ago. C4H has proven to be a valuable resource for our community and an efficient model for partnering nonprofits and county services that have shared space and built coordinated programs. In recent weeks we have learned that the Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic will be leaving C4H to become a Federally Qualified Health Center. The loss of this partner,that is responsible for 50-75% of the usage of C4H, is significant. One possibility for the future was to move the rest of the center to the same location as Jeanie Schmidt. However, this would require signing afive year lease at a cost that the board of Helping Children Worldwide believes to be unsustainable. This has led to the extremely difficult decision that HCW cannot continue Connections for Hope in its current form as a program of HCW. Please know that the Connections for Hope staff is working closely with Reston Interfaith, our partner organizations and Fairfax County representatives to develop an alternative plan that will provide a way for these programs to continue serving our community. For more information, read the letter from the Chairman of the HCW Board of Directors.

This Week in Worship
I am enjoying our current sermon series, Stung by the Tongue, and have heard from many of you that the reminder from Sunday to "Corner Criticism" has been very helpful. This series explores the power of words and gives suggestions for building others up while speaking the truth in love. For many of you, it is already prompting conversations about how we talk to each other, both at home and at work or school. This week we will consider the power of gossip and be challenged to "Harness Hearsay." I hope you will join me each week and invite a friend to worship this month. Scripture: James 3:3-6, 4:11-12.

In Christ,
– Tom

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