Dear Floris Family,

Bishop Young Jin Cho, who oversees the Virginia Annual Conference, recently contacted me to congratulate Floris on our membership growth for 2012. He reviewed the 2012 year end reports and found that Floris had the largest number of new members in the Virginia Annual Conference. He was grateful for your commitment to reaching new members and, as our former District Superintendent, is aware of all that we have done to reach out to our community. Bishop Cho praised our decision to build the new sanctuary, the hospitality of our congregation, our ministry to all ages and outreach to those in need in our community and world. I am grateful to serve a congregation that continues its tradition of reaching out to our neighbors here in western Fairfax County, inviting them to Floris and welcoming those new to our community.

We have also received word that a grant request related to our Latino Ministry has been accepted by the Virginia Annual Conference. Rev. Julio Serrano, a Methodist pastor from Cuba who emigrated to Richmond, Virginia in 2012, will be preaching each Saturday and training leaders in this ministry. Julio enjoyed a fruitful ministry in Cuba, led a growing Methodist church that I have visited and has a gift for preaching and evangelism, two crucial components in our current ministry. Jacqueline De Los Rios will continue to provide pastoral care and lead small groups during the week. If this model works, the Conference would like to establish it in other churches using Julio as a “traveling elder”, a model of ministry used years ago in the UMC where the pastor traveled from place to place while laypersons sustained the ministry through the week. Our requirement, and the purpose of the grant proposal, is to insure that there would be no budget impact for the use of this model at Floris. This is another area where we are working to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Thanks for all you do to share Christ with others.

Shuttles During Lent and Easter
Let’s welcome new guests during Lent and Easter by helping them find parking.Because of increased worship attendance, I ask you to prayerfully consider the shuttle bus option for you and your family. If you attend the 11 AM service, please take the shuttle from the NetworkSolutions/XOCommunicationsparkinglotduring Lent. This helps our guests find parking and experience Floris’ radical hospitality.

This Week in Worship
We will continue our Lenten Study, 6 Decisions That Will Change Your Life. I am really excited about what I have learned this week in my study and writing and hope you will be there to share in the sermon on Sunday.If you want to hear God’s voice and direction in life, a key decision you and I must make is “The Decision to Mature” in our faith.We will look at Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman and see how he challenged this woman, her village and his own disciples to mature in their faith so that they could hear God’s will for their lives.There are a lot of relevant applications for our faith journey today that I will share.The text will be John4:4-15but read all of chapter 4 to be prepared for the sermon.

In Christ,
– Tom

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