(thankful to Joyce Beales for continuing to provide our recaps)
December 2022 Recap
Here we are, again—another month has passed! Not just any month, either. This one marks the end of yet another year. As I reflect back over the past months, I am reminded of the many changes this year has brought to our church family—some exciting; others—sad.
Think back with me to the beginning of the year. We were just beginning to contemplate the renovation of the sanctuary. Now that project is drawing to a close—with a whole new look to the sanctuary and new opportunities for using this space during the coming year. Because of that renovation, our youth and young adults have their own dedicated space in the Courtyard Commons—another answer to prayer! Think of what this will mean for them! Look for growth in both of these areas in the coming months.
In that same vein, Generations Central is now up and running—new clients are finding their way into this lovely space. As a volunteer there, myself, I have enjoyed seeing the relationships blossom between clients, staff and volunteers over these past months. Partnering with Hospice of the Piedmont, Sara has begun a support group for caregivers that provides a safe space for them to find encouragement, support, and understanding as they grapple with the responsibilities of caring for their loved ones while balancing other home and familial concerns. In the past several months, three new staff members have joined CBC staff—Lindsey Harris as part time worship leader during the 9:00 a.m. service and Jake Rameriz as part time
worship leader for the 10:30 a.m. service. Yasmin Phillip, organist, who came on board during the early fall makes up the third.
These are all wonderfully positive steps into greater ministry opportunities, but I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge that changes do bring some melancholy as well. Even positive change represents a ‘saying goodbye’ to some of the comfortable ways we’ve done things in the past. As well during this year-long journey, we have said goodbye to eleven of our church family and numerous friends, all of them loved—many of whom were a vibrant part of all that ‘used to be.’ It all would be overwhelming, but for—Jesus. Here’s what he has to say on the subject . . . ‘I have come that you will have life . . . in abundance.” In his abundance there is room to grieve as well as celebrate, to laugh and to cry, knowing that in Him, we have a Living Hope.
I hope you had an opportunity to take in the model train show mid-month that was set up in the IG space—it was amazing! WOW! These guys are serious about their model trains! They came trooping in around 7:30 a.m. and when I left at noon that Friday, they were just beginning to put the final touches on ‘train town.’ It filled the w h o l e room!
The Culpeper Community Christmas Dinner, prepared by Chef Jay Cohen and the students at Blaze Kitchen over at C-Tech hosted some special guests earlier in the month. For many of these folks, this will be the only real holiday meal they have during this Christmas season. What a privilege to work with the folks at C-Tech each year for this special dinner. In that same vein, CBC hosted the folks from the Sheriff’s office so that families of inmates could spend time with spouses and their children as they opened gifts and enjoyed a catered meal. Meanwhile Hans and his Angel Tree elves delivered gifts to 23 local children again this year. A big thank you to everyone who participated!
There were numerous Christmas parties near the end of the month. Two come readily to mind. Dave and Judy Mullins hosted the young adults at their home. Jim posted some really great photos on the website. Go have a look! I saw one particularly TALL elf—wonder WHO he was? What a great group they are! The senior adults turned out for their party, too, in the Worship Center. The tables were groaning with food. Looks like everyone had a good time, judging by all the wide, toothy smiles.
The Seipp/Sheets Christmas Concert was fabulous and everyone who attended enjoyed it immensely. You should have heard their rendition of The Hallelujah Chorus. AWESOME! Wait until you see next year’s concert series! SEVEN great concerts. Pick up one of the brochures around the church or drop by the office and get one. I hope you came for the annual Christmas Music Worship service on December 11th. Kudos to our music team! It was great to be back in the sanctuary again, wasn’t it! Even though there were still some ‘loose ends.’
The culmination of the season of Advent, of course, is the Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve and the Christmas morning service the next day. Both were beautiful and the music moving. Thus, another year ended. THANK YOU for your generosity all during the year and especially during Advent—the Christmas Missions offering this year totaled $21,228! Unit next month, be well.
November 2022 Recap
November has come and gone in a flash it seems! I think of November as one of those transitional months . . . Autumn is slipping in to her winter slumber, and our church calendar is becoming crowded with December commitments as we prepare for Advent.
We welcomed Jake Ramirez as interim worship leader (part time) for our traditional service early in the month. Jake is currently the choir teacher at Fredericksburg Christian School and is involved in Christian Youth Theatre in Fredericksburg. He has been a music director at several churches beginning with his college years. Jake has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Texas Lutheran University. He’s already ‘getting his feet wet,’ so to speak, with the Christmas Choir! They’re busy rehearsing for next month and will be singing December 18th. Save the date on your calendar.
Sharon Accado, a Medicare Educator, was the guest speaker for the Senior Chat November 10. She gave our seniors a crash course in Medicare 101 during her time with us. Senior Chat is a monthly gathering of community leaders who share information about services available to senior adults in our five-county area.
Generations Central, in partnership with Hospice of the Piedmont, has begun a caregiver support group that will meet monthly to provide resources and encouragement for family members of folks who are aging in place at their homes. Generations Central will host a special Christmas Open House December 3rd. I’m told there will be door prizes contributed by local businesses, refreshments, fellowship with clients and their families and even some crafts for sale—made with love by GC’s clients.
With the upcoming move back to our Sanctuary for worship services tentatively scheduled for next month, Jim deVries, our Youth & Young Adult Director, has put out a call for gently used furniture, rugs, table games, etc., to furnish the Courtyard Commons (aka Worship Center), which will become a youth hangout. How about that!! Call Jim if you have something that might fit in their décor.
Friendsgiving was a great success with about twenty folks in attendance on Thanksgiving Day. This was the brainchild of Jim deVries. The church provided the turkey and everyone else brought the sides and/or a dessert. What a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving—with members of our church family! Thank you, Jim!
One of the highlights of the month was King’s Cadence in concert near the end of the month. These guys were terrific! A male quartet from Tennessee with “gospel-roots,” they treated us to a medley of old favorites in their inimitable style. Chuck Seipp and Randy Sheets will close out our Concert season next month with their Christmas concert December 11th. What a treat will be! And, speaking of next month, check out our Celebrate Christmas Event Calendar on the website for a list of upcoming events that include, concerts, Charlottesville Ballet’s Class with Clara, a model train show, Acoustic Café and more! Come and bring your family and friends. Until next month, be well.
October 2022 Recap
American author and poet, Bonaro Overstreet, wrote about October as ‘. . . a symphony of permanence and change.’ Ponder that for a few moments. Each new day, now brings a mixture of change —a ripening of this season called Fall amongst the sameness of everyday life. Temperatures fluctuate from Indian summer to brisk cool mornings—sweater weather—hinting at the colder days of winter just around the next bend and over the next hill. Each season has its own beauty and even heartbreak sometimes—kind of like life. I kid myself occasionally that I’m just in “middle age”—but, honestly, I don’t know a soul that’s 148! At 74, I am way down in the autumn of my life; perhaps even early winter and I just haven’t realized it yet. Seasons of life come and go. We change and mature, and—in the process—say a lot of ‘goodbyes’ and ’hellos.’ Goodbye to youth, hello to the joys of grand-parenting; goodbye to our work-a-day world; hello retirement; and everything in between! In all the seasons of life, lies the newness of each day lived in the presence of our God—even and most especially when grief enters our lives—when the days are difficult and sometimes the nights feel unending. Even in those seasons, God invites us to come join Him in all of the richness of a life lived in deep connection to the One who loves us beyond our wildest comprehension. What a gift!
Another busy month as we transition to cooler weather and more indoor activities. We partnered with Mountain View Community Church October 1st to bring Brian Welch to CCHS to lead a conversation about drug addiction. Brian is the lead singer of the Christian Band, KORN. He came to share his personal story of drug addiction, coming to faith in Christ and his recovery. Earlier in the day we were privileged to host the men and women from the local correctional facility in our worship center to meet with Brian. Stories like his encourage all of us to realize what is possible when we depend upon Christ.
Now, here is a blast from the past! You can access vintage CBC Church bulletins on our website. Travel back through yesteryear to 1948 all the way forward through 2009! An appreciation of our history can help develop our perspective toward the future. . .if we choose to learn from it. There is even a link on the website in case you have a special story you would care to share.
The first of the month, our teens celebrated with a Fall Fest. Activities included a leaf hunt, candy apple bar and testing their knowledge about corn. Later on, they began a study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Meanwhile, Unite and Unite Jr. did a study in Genesis about how Joseph, with God’s help, responded to tough times. At the end of the month, the Branch young adults and Mid-Point group celebrated fall at the Parkinson’s home.
The Girl Scouts that meet in our building hosted a blanket drive mid-month in our lower parking lot, along with our usual Saturday crew of the Culpeper Farmer’s Market. They also hosted the annual Trunk or Treat event. You should have seen all the candy! We had a small mountain of candy spilling out of the cupboard and onto the floor in the office area! Thank YOU for your generosity!
Senior Chats welcomed Molly Brooks, of Hero’s Bridge during the month to share her ministry through this local non-profit situated at Midland, VA, dedicated to serving veterans aged 65+. The November Senior Chat will feature Senior Insurance Professional Medicare Educator, Sharon Accardo. So,if you have questions about Medicare, she’s someone who knows all about it! Join us in the Worship Center at 10:30 a.m. November 10 for this informative discussion.
Well friends, I have only hit the highlights of activities that happened in our buildings during the month. Check our website frequently for updates. Until next month—be well!
September 2022 Recap
Typically, September is a beautiful month and marks the changing of the seasons from Summer to Fall. As we leave the humidity behind, I’m looking forward to the rich, vintage beauty of Autumn with crisp azure blue skies and leaves beginning to get some color by month’s end as the scent of ripening fruit and grain harvests ride on the wind! However, this year one could hardly distinguish the first week of the month from early August because summer just wasn’t leaving town! The weather was muggy and even thunder-stormy some days. Over on Ripplebrook, the opulent red of the dahlias is fading and the day lilies have long since disappeared, nothing but some foliage and mummified seedpods are left. Now the Crepe Myrtles are ‘coming into their own’ as they revel in their red, pink and purple garb! Every season is a feast for the eyes, and I never tire of seeing our Master Artist splash broad swaths of color across the canvas of His world!
With late summer morphing into fall, more opportunities crop up as families settle back into their regular schedules from the relaxed dawdling of the summer months. One glance at the church calendar reveals a plethora of small groups from which to choose. There are at least four Bible studies available. BSF [guys and gals] is back again this year, Pam Jackson is leading a PRECEPT study, there is a Romans small group as well as an additional women’s group about Forgiving What you Can’t Forget. Financial Peace University has returned, and we have a number of grief support groups that meet as well.
Converge and the Branch are back in their respective time slots, and I hear the GLOW NIGHT was really something to behold—with games, dancing, tonic water and glow-in-the-dark fun! More recently, they have begun a new series about ‘Identity.’ While we’re on the subject of GLOW NIGHTS, Unite and Unite Jr. had one, too! If you like to hang out with the younger set, they can still use some volunteer assistance! Just shoot Jeanine an email. The group with no name finally has one—Mid-Point—a gathering of mostly 30-and-40-year-olds; some with kids, some not. If you’re in this age range and would like become a part of this group, give Pastor Dan a call. He can fill you in on all the details.
There was plenty of action during the recent Nerf battle and a good mix of all age groups as the Facebook photos revealed! I saw a lot of “ammunition” scattered throughout the battle theatre, and it sure looked like everyone had a great time—judging by all of the wide, toothy grins. Look for repeats of this event in the future.
Acoustic Café was rocking this month with Christian artist, Mike Dickey; singer-songwriter, Buck Robey; and Carol Young with Keith Walter! Forty-five folks relaxed in the easy ambiance of our Worship Center to listen in on this great jam session and enjoy some tasty snacks!
Near the end of the month, we, along with Maranatha, took time out to welcome a host of new members into our church family via the baptismal service held outside in the courtyard commons. This was a touching and joyful service to be sure, with folks of all ages gathered around the baptismal area! Although the skies were partly overcast, the temperature was near 70 degrees and the sun did peep through the clouds during the closing prayer. These are just a few ways God is moving among us. As another month draws to a close, I hope you will take time to savor God’s rich blessings in the life of our church and in your own personal life as well. Until next month, be well.
August 2022 Recap
Well, folks, the little pod of “sharks” down the hall from my office, so active all summer, has returned to school—along with the whales, dolphins and all the other creatures! So, the noise level around CBC has all but dissolved since our last recap. Yes, the children are all back in school classes again, and the third-floor hallway is silent and still. . . until late afternoon when the buses arrive and the after-school herd troops into our quiet little harbor. I miss them, though—the giggles, the guffawing and all the boisterous horseplay—kids spilling out all over the place! From all of the feedback I’ve heard, the summer camp program was a rousing success. Kudos to the CDC and their staff for all of their hard work to make the summer fun and exciting for these children! As I come into the office each morning, I’m greeted by a trio of happy faces–along with Miss Amy or Miss Erica—and lots of laughter as the children wait to embark on the second leg of their daily journey to school!
The “Branchers” Young Adult Group began their new Bible Study, Find Your People, Building Deep Community in a Lonely World at the beginning of the month. This 7-week study chronicles the struggles of Jenny Allen as she seeks to get beyond surface conversations and relationships to more authentic interactions—a messy process to be sure. I don’t know about you, but I, too, struggle in some of these same areas. I think I’ll borrow the book from one of the Branchers. . .I could learn a thing or two.
A good group of young adults attended a DC United Game during the month with Jim and Kathryn deVries. The Sports Mole, a local sports prognosticator in Fredericksburg, had predicted the game was going to be a blow out with DCU losing . . . Ha! Can you believe it was a draw?! Thaaaat’s right. Jim reported the game was a little bland because neither team scored. So much for the Sports Mole’s accuracy! But—what can one expect of a little portly gray mammal who lives in subterranean tunnels and is both colorblind AND nearsighted? A quick glance of the group photo on our web page clearly shows everyone had a great time.
The second gathering of young adults comprised of couples and singles came together near the end of the month with a room full of energetic folks, some with kids in tow! They’re working on a handle to call themselves. Look for this group to grow and refine areas of ministry in the days ahead. Future gatherings will occur on Wednesday evenings to coincide with UNITE’s schedule so the kiddies can enjoy themselves as well. And—way to go UNITE! They now have a younger twin, UNITE Jr., especially for K-2nd grades.
Our senior adult food delivery has expanded, and we are looking to enlist additional volunteers to help with this much-appreciated community ministry! If you have a few hours on third Saturdays of each month, Hans and his delivery-crew will be delighted to have your assistance. Speaking of senior adults, those guys and gals r e a l l y stay busy, busy, busy—what with Senior Chats, Bible studies, live streams of Sunday services at The Arbors and The Culpeper and even a senior adult picnic at Mountain Run Lake Park at the end of the month. If you missed it, we’re soooo sorry. The ‘burgers and ‘dogs along with all the sides were delicious, and the fellowship was great as well! Maybe you can attend the next one?
Listen, folks, in case you haven’t noticed—there are lots of good things happening here at CBC! The fall line-up, posted on our website, promises an array of new options as well as old favorites such as Financial Peace, PACT Tutoring, Nerf battles, grief support, Bible study, etc. Check out the handy buttons—just click and surf through a whole bunch of great choices to suit your particular gifts! Get yourself plugged in and join us! If you’re breathing, there’s a place of ministry for you and folks that will be glad to come alongside and help you learn the ropes. Stop by next month for a few minutes as we chat about what’s been happening in and through the ministry of our church family. Until then, stay well.
CBC celebrated Independence Day by hosting the Freedom 5k again this year. In fact, hosting the race has become an annual tradition for us. We had wonderful weather that day and great community engagement as well, fielding 198 participants! The racecourse meandered through the residential area near the church, looped around Yowell Meadow Park, and ended back at the church where winners received medals, and refreshments.
Have you heard about Senior Chats, yet? No? Well, this is a new group experience occurring the second Thursday of each month right here in our Worship Center and provides useful information about local services/programs available for senior adults. Each month we’ll be sitting down with community leaders ‘up close and personal,’ to discuss ideas for living well, staying active, managing stress, having healthy relationships and so much more! Gladys Williams, longtime director of the Culpeper Senior Center, was our first guest speaker. What a treat! We learned about the many facets of available RRCSB senior adult programs and support at the senior center and a lot about the servant-heart of Gladys Williams! If you didn’t attend, you missed a wonderful blessing and some really valuable information. Tell your friends and neighbors—bring ‘em along with you!
Jamie Jackson is leading a five-week study on Sunday mornings about the Holy Spirit—who He is and His role in our lives. Although Jamie and Pam are relative newcomers to our church family, they have made themselves right at home and are plugging in to ministry. In fact, Jamie recently preached at The Culpeper while Hans was away!
If inter-generational opportunities are more your style, Generations Central partnered with Hero’s Bridge and our CDC to honor local veterans and veterans who attend adult day with a special celebration this month. The veterans received honorary awards from Hero’s Bridge and the children from our CDC led a parade through the IG space followed by an ice cream social. These functions are so special for the adults as well as the children. In the same vein, Hans’ senior adult food distribution brigade might just fit the bill! This group includes young adults, empty nesters as well as older adults who come together the third Saturday of each month for several hours to deliver USDA boxes to local senior adults. If that’s not quite your ‘cup of tea,’ you might consider dropping by the lower parking lot on Saturdays from now until November to avail yourself of some fresh veggies and such at the Farmer’s Market. We’re hosting them again this year. Another great choice might be Acoustic Café on third Fridays of each month—I hear they had a great crowd of all ages on the 15th! We also partnered again this year with Antioch Baptist Church the last Saturday of the month for their annual Back-to-School Give Away of school supplies for local children.
SPARK, our summer enrichment program for grades K-8, ended July 21st. This was a great platform that provided support to students during the summer months so they will be ready to return to classes in the fall. Thanks to everyone who made this possible!
Ham biscuits and chicken tenders were the order of the day for July 31st as we gathered in one service with the Child Development Center for a time of worship and prayer in preparation for the new school year! Each summer we look forward to this event because it’s a tangible way we can show our love and support to the teachers, children and parents of our CDC. What a wonderful time of worship and fellowship!
Well, friends—July was just like I thought it would be—b u s y! Looking ahead to next month and beyond, among other events, there’s an ice cream social scheduled with Laura Hoover, a gathering for young families so they can become better acquainted and a baptismal service with Maranatha—in the courtyard . . . coming in September – seriously! Until then, stay well!
Unbelievably, we are now at the mid-point of 2022!! As one sage has said, “Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” To be sure—the months have flown by—kids are out of school for the summer and a lot of them are right here at CBC. Just down the hall from my office, in fact, is a whole “pod of sharks!” They’re a lively bunch, too—it sounds as if they’re having a great summer so far!
The first Sunday of the month must’ve been a preacher’s dream as Sunday mornings go—with a kaleidoscope of activities: a parent/child dedication, testimonies and The Voices of CBC singing, decommissioning of the sanctuary; even a brunch fundraiser for the FUGE teen Summer Camp! The pandemic put a monkey wrench in a lot of things, including child dedications. Sunday was a special opportunity for parents to publicly express their desire to raise their child(ren) in a God-honoring way and for the congregation to make a commitment to support our families with prayer as they begin this exciting journey with their children. The Voices of CBC, under the direction of Alex Smith, came together again for this special day and sang a beautiful rendition of I Am but a Small Voice, a timely reminder that by ourselves our impact is small, but together we can transform the world around us! Nicely done!
As we await the transformation of the sanctuary during the next few weeks, it’s worth remembering that testimonies help us to focus our attention upon our mission rather than our surroundings. Toward that end, several folks gave testimonies about reaching out to our children, the personal enrichment experienced by volunteering in the adult day center, working with the families who have children in our CDC and even a video of Pastor Vasiliy sharing how our generosity is helping folks in Ukraine.
Speaking of the sanctuary . . . a few days ago, I checked out the fresh coat of paint in there. Beautiful! The woodwork is a glossy white and the walls are a restful gray. Now that the room is vacant, it feels and looks enormous! I’m excited about the next stage—carpet and chairs and, of course, the new sound system. In addition to freshening up this area, the renovation will allow us to use the space in many different ways.
Mid-month, Generations Central hosted a Family Fun Day on June 18th from 2-4:00 p.m. in conjunction with The Path Foundation and Aging Together. Quite a ‘shin-dig,’ too. There was even a food truck serving tasty bar-b-cue as well as music and games—including miniature golf—AND a cakewalk! Several of our Friends who come daily to Generations Central attended with their families and lots of families with young children. Miniature golf and an interactive computer wall game were the favorites among the younger set. The following week, we hosted the official grand opening of Generations Central. Click here for video. Lots of well-wishers attended.
Sixteen of our youth and several adult chaperones attended the FUGE youth camp at Ridgecrest (click here for highlight video). A typical day included recreation, Bible study, hang-time, and worship among other opportunities. . . Everyone had a great time, but I heard later that several of the adults picked up the Corona Virus germ while they were there. At the other end of the age spectrum, our senior adults gathered at Mountain Run Lake Park for a picnic on June 30th. Lotttttts of good food and fellowship.
SPARK is back again this year—offering an enrichment program supporting students K-8—at a new location—the Technical Education Center over on Frank Turnage Drive. This hands-on summer camp provided social, academic and emotional support to the youth and families of our community. A big Thank You to everyone who helped make this possible!
That about wraps up the month in a nutshell, folks. July promises to be just as busy if the calendar is any indication! Have a great July 4th! Stay safe.
Well, it’s June on Ripplebrook, a l r e a d y! Thanks to the local big box stores and the ‘garden fairy,’ my flower beds are awash in blooms of Foxglove, Hydrangea, roses, petunias and clematis—with lilies not far behind! I’m sad to say the yellow Iris blooms, that took center stage just a few weeks ago, are done for this season; their delicate fragrance is just a memory, now. The squirrels, ever inquisitive about new additions to the gardens, have had a ‘hey day’ with the recent glut of new plants I set out—digging around them looking for food I suppose. Well, enough about flowers and squirrels!
May has been a busy month here at CBC with Leadership hammering out the details of the loan for the sanctuary renovation and completion of the asbestos abatement/demolition. So far, 27 volunteers from CBC and Maranatha have worked 57.5 hours relocating first floor furnishings to storage and doing other tasks as well! Thank You! Oh, did you miss your chance to help? Not to worry, there will be other volunteer opportunities as the work progresses. Listen for a call to go out in late June/July for additional volunteers. We are looking for folks who can paint, help with drywall, build a handicap ramp and other tasks. Pop off a quick email to the church office if you’re willing to help. Keep an eye on our webpage for frequent updates. Construction loans and work aren’t all we’re about, though. There were many opportunities to enjoy gathering together! Read on.
The American Youth Harp Ensemble concert was a wonderful treat! This unique performing arts organization is the brainchild of Lynnelle Ediger, founder and Director Emeritus. It combines the highest caliber professional musical training along with innovative programming, community outreach, music therapy, mentorship, healthcare and social justice programs for underserved youth. Their current director, Trey Nunnally, is a graduate of AYHE as well as a superb musician in his own right. Sunday’s concert included selections from Themes from the ‘Lion King,’ Irish folk tunes, even some J. S. Bach! Fabulous! Who knew the harp was such a versatile instrument! The next concert is scheduled for September 18th—circle the date on your calendar, because you won’t want to miss it!
We had two of what we hope will become frequent mixers so we can connect and get to know each other better. The First Sunday Fellowship occurred May 1st in the new IG space between worship services and was a meet and greet affair. The Spring Celebration, held in the Worship Center and spilling out into the courtyard, featured music, games, crafts and a simple meal along with a spiritual theme of being rooted in Christ. What a great opportunity to hang out and connect with friends you haven’t met yet. Watch social media and our website for future events like this!
Playgrounds and Popsicles was CBC’s booth at the Farmer’s Market on the 28th. We gave away over 50 popsicles and hosted a crowd of young ones on the playground. It was a popular event and the plan is to offer one again on the last Saturday of the month throughout the summer! In other news, Branch Young Adults gathered in the courtyard for potluck and trivia on the evening of the 29th. It was a beautiful evening and a narrow game. The final question asked of participants was to list the 7 dwarves from Snow White! (Can you list all 7?).
The end of the month brought the CDC graduation, and they had a full house! It was wonderful to see so many parents, grandparents and other relatives come to support the little graduates! Congratulations to one-and-all, and THANK YOU to the CDC staff!
What’s waiting in the wings for next month? Glad you asked. The first Sunday is the parent child dedication, the renovation ground breaking, as well as the brunch fundraiser for Fuge Summer camp and another Family Festival mid-month. Mission opportunities abound, too. The CDC can use volunteers for their petting zoo, their summer carnival and Vacation Bible School. If your talents are in the computer field, our Tech Team will be offering training to interested volunteers. Don’t forget the upcoming Culpeper Freedom 5k in July! We can always use volunteers for this community event. Searching for ways to engage, call or email the church office, and we’ll point you in the right direction. Until next month, stay well.
April is associated with springtime, new beginnings and a time to bloom. It comes from the Latin verb “Aperire,” and means “to open.” Like the lovely blossoms on flowers and trees we’ve seen around town this Spring, CBC is entering a season of new beginnings! It all began several years ago with the expansion of our child development center, progressed when community partners invited CBC to ‘test the waters’ for an Adult Day model that offers engaging programs and care for senior adults; even featuring an intergenerational program with the children from our child care center. Thus the birth of Generations Central came about! The only Adult Day Center of its kind in this area. Shortly thereafter, church leaders began the ongoing conversation of how best to steward the use of our spacious sanctuary as well as the first floor of this building. The ideas from this conversation were given to our architect to flesh out on paper. Near the end of March we gathered as a church family—approving this important step and authorized leaders to secure financing. Now, we are in the preliminary stages of letting bids, meeting contractors and readying the area for demolition. What an exciting time in the life of our church family! AND—isn’t it so encouraging to look back over the last several years and see how God has brought this about?!
Oh, but there’s more! The 20 Somethings young adults and Converge youth, both of whom have enjoyed steady growth and ministry during the past several years, are looking forward to continued expansion as well as new ministry opportunities as Jim deVries settles in as the director. In fact, the young adults, along with their peers from Precious Blood stepped up this year to lead the Way of the Cross walk Saturday, April 9, with stops along the way for Scripture and songs. They also gathered the last Sunday of the month for dinner together, which they plan to do every month. Converge hit Yowell Meadow Park for a ‘pizza in the park’ evening and were joined by lots of new friends who dropped by.
The children were just as busy—with a great Parents Night Out, Pizza on the Playground, an Easter Egg Hunt with the CDC and the Butterfly Photo Booth! Families also gathered for Messy Church Easter, an informal worship time in the new IG space. I hear there are great plans in the works for the upcoming summer months, too!
The CBC calendar was chocked full of Easter activities beginning with Palm Sunday here at CBC and our usual satellite locations: the J. T. Edwards Chapel at The Culpeper and The Arbors location. On Good Friday, we hosted a Sunset Service in the courtyard. The next day, our friends from the local Sheriff’s department along with the men and women from the county jail joined us for a special luncheon. Resurrection Sunday we joined the residents at The Culpeper for a sunrise service at The Culpeper Overlook featuring music and Scripture, before gathering for worship in our sanctuary with the Easter Choir under the direction of Alex Smith, solos by Alex and Friends along with the skillful hands of Yasmin Phillip at the pipe organ and, of course, our great Handbell Choir. A wonderful day of worship and celebration! Thank You one and all!
Our Church softball league is up and running again! Stay tuned to our website and E-news for updates about what’s going on with the Team. Follow your favorite players! Come out to support them at Lenn Park.
Generations Central Adult Day has settled in to a routine with a great group of regular clients and lots of volunteers and staff. Near the end of the month Lola, the miniature horse, paid a visit to the delight of clients and children from the Child Development Center!
These are just a few of the activities that happened in an around our church family during April—it is by no means an exhaustive list. Any day you stop in you’ll find our hallways echoing with laughter, the playground full of frolicking children, senior adults engaging with life, and folks of all ages following their passions as well as community civic groups doing their thing—bringing vibrant life into the nooks and crannies of our church! CBC is blooming! Until next month, stay well.
Well, March has gone by like a west Texas whirlwind! Here we are once again at the end of the month, can you believe it! Over on Ripplebrook, the flowering cherry and Bradford pear trees are in full bloom—just huge clouds of pink and white loveliness—makes me think I live in a Thomas Kincade painting. I’m guardedly optimistic that the squirrels haven’t made any midnight raids to abscond with my lily bulbs, yet. . . but time will tell. Robins are in great abundance, now, and the doves are pairing off—likely searching for a good nesting spot. Spring is popping out all along the avenues of Southridge, and I AM loving it!
We kicked off the 2022 Concert season with Thomas Pandolfi in concert the afternoon of March 13. WOW! What a performance! Pandolfi is hailed as one of the greatest interpreters of Polish masters including Chopin and Paderewski, and he certainly did not disappoint on this occasion! He thrilled the audience with Leonard Bernstein’s Rhapsody on Themes from “West Side Story,” as well as several Chopin compositions during the first half; switching to Gershwin in the second half; then topped off the afternoon with his own America Fantasy (Virtuoso Transcription on Popular American Melodies). Take heart if you missed this concert, the American Youth Harp Ensemble will be here in mid-May, and there are four more concerts after that. Seriously, these folks are world-class musicians, having performed at some of the most prestigious world venues. Circle the date on your calendar.
This is the month for new beginnings! Yasmine Phillip joined our staff as organist and Jim and Kathryn deVries have become a part of our church family—where Jim will assume leadership as Youth and Young Adult Director. How exciting is that! These staff additions are an answer to prayer, and we are delighted to have all of them on board and are thrilled about the possibilities ahead of us. Another exciting event was the long-awaited opening of Generations Central March 15, with nine clients who attend regularly. The space is light an airy; decorated in soft greens and blues. So far, they have 12 volunteers who pop in during their open hours to assist with activities and other work. We expect the clientele to grow as more folks become aware of this much-needed service.
Our Church Ministries Team has been busy in the past few weeks. For several months, they have taken baskets of snacks and fresh fruits to local schools for our county teachers and staff to enjoy as they take their breaks throughout the day. Most recently, they enlisted help from our church family as well as children in the Child Development Center and residents of The Culpeper to write personal greetings to tuck in the baskets among the snacks as a way to encourage teachers and express our thanks for all of their hard work. Earlier this month, our CM Team had a ‘Soup’s On’ event with folks gathering to sample some really delicious soups. Now they’re teaming up to regather the Dinner Groups. If you missed this opportunity the last time around, get involved this time! You have from now until May 1st to sign up. Look for their sign up table at the back of the worship center after the 9:00 a.m. service or catch them after the 10:30 a.m. service in the vestibule of the sanctuary. Two options are available: Family Groups including children or Adult Groups. It’s a good way to renew old friendships as well as meet new friends.
Our senior adults have paired up with some of the young adults to deliver the USDA food boxes to clients around town, and they are gathering again weekly for a Bible study in the new IG space [Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.]. Hans leads this group, and he’s always glad to ‘make room for one more.’ Converge is going strong and plans a busy Spring and Summer ahead! Jeanine Judd, our children’s Director, has had two Family Fun Nights recently, and I hear they were a big hit, too!
In the past several months, we have continued to have great conversations regarding how to make the best use of our sanctuary and steward the resources that God has provided. Town hall meetings were held to answer questions and discuss options. Our Leadership Council and Finance Team put together a bold Ministry Plan for presentation at the business meeting near the end of the month. I’m excited to share that the church approved that plan, and our Finance Committee is currently working to finalize the financing of the project. This is a great time to donate to the “Sanctuary Fund” either through our online giving portal or by designating a check to “Sanctuary Fund.” What an exciting season in the life of our church! I hope you’re excited, too! That about wraps up March. Tune in next month to see the wonderful ways God chooses to move in this church and around our community! Until then, enjoy Spring and stay well.
Another month in the record books! Over on Ripplebrook, the squirrel hysteria about empty suet feeders has calmed down a bit, but I think they’re plotting a skirmish with the lily bulbs—possibly as early as next month! Interesting month weather-wise! Ice storms and almost 80F temperatures—not on the same day, though. Fickle weather is a given here in the Piedmont area of the Blue Ridge foothills. Look for more of the same in March!
The first week of the month, our church along with Maranatha provided meals for the clients of the local heat shelter. This community ministry launched in 2008! Now, because of the pandemic, the meals are prepared in St. Luke’s kitchen, boxed and delivered to clients at local hotels. A big thank you to everyone who helped!Lots of news this month, folks. Jim and Kathryn deVries visited for a weekend to look around Culpeper and get acquainted with staff and members of our church family before relocating here next month when Jim assumes his duties as Youth and Young Adult Director. We have been looking forward to this transition for several years, and it’s an answer to prayer. Be sure to keep them in your prayers as they settle in here at CBC and the greater Culpeper community.
The Adult Day project is reaching a climax, with the cleaning crew making an appearance at the end of the month to prepare for occupancy and tours. Meanwhile, Sara is unpacking furniture, decorating the walls and finishing up last minute paperwork so we can ‘get this show on the road!’ The area is really beautiful and the sun room is fabulous—lots of comfortable rocking chairs! Generations Central is the only one of its kind in this five-county area and will meet a huge need right here in Culpeper. Did I mention that it will also provide regular opportunities to build meaningful relationships with the children right here in our own child development center!
Our search for an organist has ended with the hiring of Yasmin Phillip! She is a 2020 graduate of Southern Adventist University, earning a B. S. in Health Sciences. While there she studied sacred and classical organ repertoire and regularly performed recitals and “Evensong” programs. Yasmin lives at home with her parents and two younger sisters, talented musicians in their own right, in New Market. She and her sisters regularly record
Youtube videos and post them to Yasmin’s Youtube channel Y.S.A. Music.
Months ago, CBC began an ongoing conversation with leaders in our church about how best to utilize the square footage of the Sanctuary Building [1st and 2nd floor(s)]. Based upon those conversations, the Leadership Council in conjunction with the Finance Committee has developed the Sanctuary Building Plan. This bold plan will renovate the sanctuary and fellowship hall area and will radically expand our mission and ministry opportunities as well as deal with significant deferred maintenance issues and repurpose areas to generate income greatly reducing dependency upon the church budget for maintenance and operation. The plan is posted on our website—check it out for full details.
But wait—I have still more good news! Our 2022 Concert brochures have arrived from the printer. Randy has put together a sensational group of musicians from March through December. Let me just spin off a little tease for you–Thomas Pandolfi, a concert pianist located in Washington, DC will kick off the series on March 13th at 4:00 p.m. You won’t want to miss this one. You’ll find brochures on tables located around the church, pick one up the next time you’re in and see some of the other folks who will perform here throughout the year. That about wraps up February. See you next month.
Remember last month when I said, ‘It actually feeeels like winter. . .’? Yeah, I’m over the “feeeels like winter business,” now. Two snowfalls later, my thoughts are fondly drifting back to several months ago when I was in Florida and temperatures were in the 80’s! A snow bunny, I’m not! Over on Ripplebrook, even the squirrels are crabby, fussing because the suet feeders are empty—never mind that the real bird feeder is an al- day buffet! No doubt, they are waiting for the salad bar to open when my Spring jonquils awaken from their long winter’s nap. The squirrel colony and I have a, shall we say, conflicted relationship!
Right out of the gate, CBC took 32 young adults to Atlanta for the Passion Conference! Yes, you read that correctly—32! Imagine joining 50,000+ other young adults in worship! Wow! Blessings all around—not the least of which was a delightful young lady by the name of Marlene Michel, who connected with our group at the last minute and made it to Atlanta for the conference. By the way, folks $11,008 was contributed toward this trip. Thank you for your generosity.
What can you do with a roll of tape, some toy cars, and blocks on a Friday night in January? Several families had loads of fun on our Family Fun Night during the month building all kinds of roads and streets while other groups enjoyed talking together and snacking on hot dogs. Keep an eye on our website to find out what’s happening next for families!
There’s lots going on with the Adult Day renovation area. Can you believe we’re a mere four weeks away from opening the doors?! Sara tells me Winston and his construction crew are busy laying tile, painting walls, etc. The place is really beginning to take shape, folks! We even have 12 participants on the waiting list and volunteers have begun receiving their training as well!
The brochures for our 2022 Concert Series came in during the month . . . pretty spiffy looking, too! Randy has put together another stellar line up of musicians—kicking the season off March 13 with well-known concert pianist, Thomas Pandolfi, from Washington, DC.
In April a trio of artists, Danielle Talamantes, soprano; Kerry Wilkerson, bass-baritone and Henry Dehlinger, pianist/composer will present a program called “Literary Giants.” Works will feature the writings of James Joyce, Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and more!
The American Youth Harp Ensemble visits in May, with organist Craig S. Williams stopping by in October, followed by King’s Cadence in November and topping off the season will be our well-loved Seipp/Sheets Duo presenting “A Trumpet and Organ Christmas!” Well done, Randy!
Late in the month, the shared leadership of our church met with 58 in attendance! During the first half of the meeting, we remained in the large group as Pastor Dan presented an overview of earlier accomplishments, outlined where we are now; then focused our attention toward the future. After a question an answer period, the group adjourned into breakout groups of teams/committees to organize for the months ahead. Click here for a recap.
That about sums up January in a nut shell. Judging from the calendar, February is going to pick up speed, folks; so hang on to your hats—we are off and running! Stay well, and I’ll fill you in on all the details next month.