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eNote from Rev. Tom Berlin – September 20, 2012

Dear Floris Family,

If you are looking for a way to bless others, or feel that you haven’t made a difference lately, I have the perfect opportunity. We still have openings at the Floris Blood Drive this Saturday. The Inova Bloodmobile will be in our lower parking lot Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM. Lives are saved every day because of these donations. Here in western Fairfax County alone, more than 25,000 units from the Inova system were used last year and many families in our church have received the gift of donated blood. If you have ever had someone who was in need of a transfusion, you know what a precious gift you are making when you donate. So often we feel powerless to help those we love who are chronically ill or having a physical crisis. Giving blood is a tangible way to care for others. Please take an hour Saturday and give this gift to others by signing up to donate.

Welcome
Some good friends of mine have started attending Floris UMC and it has been a good reminder of how important it is to welcome and orient people to the church. We invited them out to lunch the first Sunday they came. Before we went I took them on a quick tour of the building so that they would know their way around. In the fall we see more new families attending worship for the first time. This past week I read with interest this article that re-framed how we might view Sunday morning from the perspective of a host who welcomes guests. I hope you will find it as thought provoking as I did.

Wesley Professors at Floris
Next Wednesday at 7 PM begins our Wesley Seminary Speaker Series. We are fortunate to have Dr. Shaun Casey, Professor of Christian Ethics, beginning the series with a 4-week class on contemporary Christian Ethics. During the month of November, Dr. Denise Dombkowski Hopkins will offer a 3-session course on the Psalms. Please be sure to join us for this great opportunity to receive instruction and insight from Wesley professors right here at Floris.

Children’s Music Ministry
We are very excited about the children’s choirs at Floris this year. More than 40 children attended the open house last week and there are choirs available for every age group. We also have opportunities available for volunteers to assist the kids. The JAM (Jesus and Me) Choir is in need of a director, and there are other openings for assistants. Please consider giving your time and talent to the children’s music ministry. For more information contact Yoon Nam.

The Closet Community Picnic
Floris is one of the many churches in the area that supports The Closet in downtown Herndon. Volunteers from Floris give many hours to this organization. The Closet is hosting a community picnic on Saturday in their parking lot from 2 PM – 5 PM as a way of thanking their many shoppers, volunteers, donors, staff and the community. Join them for great food, family friendly entertainment and fellowship.

This Week and Next Week in Worship
Sunday we continue our sermon series, Stung by the Tongue. For those who have become aware of God’s grace, all of life is filled with a sense of gratitude and each encounter becomes an opportunity to see and respond in a spirit of gratefulness. This week we will consider gratitude and the challenge of being grateful in the face of troubles. Consider inviting a friend to Floris this week as we are challenged to “Grow Gratitude.”  Scripture: James 4:13-16.

Our Stung by the Tongue series has been the cause of many interesting conversations. Our final sermon in the series on September 30 will provide the opportunity for dialogue around some of your thoughts and questions. Tim, Barbara and I will answer questions during worship. If you have a question you would like addressed you may email Pam Broadus.

In Christ,
– Tom

About Tom Berlin

Rev. Tom Berlin is the lead pastor of Floris UMC. Tom was raised in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and has lived in Virginia most of his life. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and his Master of Divinity is from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has co-authored three books and is the author of his own book and several small group studies. Tom and his wife, Karen, have four daughters.

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