• Caring for Creation—In collaboration with trustees the Van Dorn Habitat (“wilderness”) was improved with the installation of 5 native trees and 17 native shrubs.
• Rent Security Deposit Program—Support was continued for those experiencing housing insecurity during COVID-19, including collaborations with Christ Church in Old Town Alexandria
• ALIVE!—FUMC has continued to support West End Lazarus and ALIVE ministries with funding, as well as food, cleaning materials and equipment, and other requested support.
• Immigration—FUMC supported Just Neighbors and assisted in refugee resettlement with Trinity UMC. In 2021 FUMC contributed to West End Lazarus eﬀorts to help refugee families (primarily from Afghanistan) to apply for relief benefits and meet basic needs during COVID-19.
OTHER COVID-RELATED OUTREACH
• Coat Drive: Through donations from members and our community FUMC delivered 40 coats/jackets/ sweaters and 50 knitted items to Rising Hope and Mother of Light—the result of Jan. and Feb. collections of these items.
• Some FUMC members have been helping older adults register to receive COVID-19 vaccines. If you know of older adults who need help registering for COVID-19 vaccines please Contact Christian White.
• The Senior Ambassadors have been checking in on some of our 65 plus members and those who have been unable to be out and about due to COVID-19.
NEW RACIAL JUSTICE GROUP
In response to the anonymous letter sent to Pastor Chenda, a group of Fairlington members has begun meeting to prayerfully discern how our faith community can move towards racial justice. We believe this process will allow us to more fully live out our Reconciling statement. We are committed to including all church members as we go forward. For now, here are some suggested next steps for those who are eager to go deeper in this work:
1. Awaken. There is no shortage of resources on anti-racism, and we will continue to share as we go. For today, we will point you to this excerpt from Ibram X. Kendi’s book “How to be Antiracist.” http://bit.ly/fumcreading5
2. Confront. Sign and Share this Open Letter to the United Methodist College of Bishops written by our own Rev. Chenda Innis Lee. http://bit.ly/fumcnoharm
3. Transform. Sign up for daily prayers for anti-racism from Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church. http://bit.ly/fumcdisciple2021
FOR MORE INFO PLEASE CONTACT ASHLEY MOORE AT 703-731-2936 or email@example.com
The Finance Committee met in January and March to oversee our 2021 expenses relative to the 2021 operating budget of $955K approved by Church Council. Contributions for the most part remain close to projections for the quarter. Also, the church received news that the Payment Protection Loan of approximately $90K from CARES Act funding has been approved for loan forgiveness.
The Committee encourages members of the congregation to contribute to the technology enhancement fund. These funds will help support needed oﬃce computer and software upgrades and improved Wifi coverage throughout the complex. Funds from donations and from the Building Fund will also be utilized to improve technology for virtual worship and sound and video systems when we return to in-person worship. Thank you to all for your continued giving to the important programs of FUMC during the pandemic and the outreach programs we sponsor in our community.
The trustees had a busy first quarter working on projects made possible, in large part, by generous gifts. The family of our long-time librarian, Jean Wilkerson, gave a significant gift that is being used to completely renovate the library. After the library collection was sorted, with the help of Val Berry, June Stowe and Pastor Janine Howard, trustees removed shelves, repaired walls, installed new lights, repainted, and re-carpeted the room. New furniture will be ordered, and the same new carpet has been installed in the pastor’s oﬃce. While we have retained the library function and space for children, the room can now be used to host small meetings or as a waiting area for visitors.
Another gift from a member, combined with monies from the trustees’ maintenance budget, enabled painting of the corridors and lobby areas on the main floor that had not been repainted in the last three years, as well as repair of water damage in the parlor. The main floor of the building has a fresher and more welcoming feel after this repainting, the chapel and library renovations, and an earlier refresh of the narthex, The next steps will be to repair and repaint the King Street doors and damaged brickwork in the Boyer Courtyard and rose garden walls. The long-awaited chapel windows have been installed.
In mid-March five large native trees (including a redbud planted in honor of our former Associate Pastor, Devon Earle) and 14 medium-sized native understory shrubs were planted in the wilderness through generous gifts from three members of the congregation. Two additional benches were donated by two members just in time for the Easter sunrise service. The designer, who created the conservation landscaping installed last year, provided us with a master plan for the grassy area and the access to the Wilderness. The Caring for Creation Team and Trustees will work with this plan as resources are available. The next priority is to make the space more accessible to persons with mobility challenges.
Youth participated in three major programs in the first quarter of this year
1. Youth purchased and assembled about 80 hygiene kits and snack bags to be distributed to people who are living on the streets.
Devon’s redbud tree
2. Teens Opposing Poverty: Led by Maddie Yee and Taryn White on February 20, about 15 youth made and distributed 75 meals to people living in poverty in Washington D.C.
3. FUMC led a lectionary-based study group during Lent which took place on Sunday mornings.
STAFF PARISH RELATIONS COMMITTEE (SPRC)
The SPRC, Pastor Janine and the Leadership Team are exploring options for staﬃng as Pastor Chenda Lee and her family move to Pittsburgh. Chenda’s husband, Rev Asa Lee, will be assuming the role of President of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS), a Presbyterian school in Pittsburgh, PA. We wish Chenda well—we are going to miss her!
SPRC appointed a working group to analyze data and recommend a comprehensive strategy for FUMC’s Info Technology. The goal is to equip FUMC with an IT action plan and timeline that includes recommendations for…
• Policies related to purchase and renewal of IT related equipment and supplies
• Minimum IT equipment and training requirements for oﬃce staﬀ
• A draft contract for an IT specialist. (Goal is to ensure that the IT plan meshes with other systems currently being used or upgraded, such as the chapel & sanctuary.)
• More eﬀective use of Fellowship Hall, classrooms, and other FUMC spaces
The Leadership Team will receive a progress report from the group at the May 25 Leadership Team meeting.
Goal: $65,000. To date $56,429.72 raised….87% of goal!
UNITED METHODIST MEN
The United Methodist Men conducted a virtual meeting on March 6 and decided that though it’s our church’s turn to host the annual interfaith dinner with the Brotherhood of Beth El Hebrew Congregation, the annual dinner event will be postponed until next February due to the pandemic. The United Methodist Men continue to donate available limited funds to organizations such as ALIVE, Rising Hope, Just Neighbors, Cub and Boy Scout packs 350, Carpenter’s Shelter, and Rent Deposit Assistance. Of note, Cub Scouts held a Pinewood Derby at FUMC in February. The Methodist Men are also considering how they can contribute in meaningful ways to the goals and objectives of the recently formulated Racial Justice Task Force.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
FUMW members blessed over 50 current and retired United Methodist Missionaries with Easter cards and provided Easter boxes to children at the Carpenter’s Shelter. The quarterly book group continues discussing books about social justice. The weekly Wednesday evening podcast discussion group begins a two-month series in April, “Who Deserves a Monument?”, which explores the impact of unsung African Americans from Baltimore on American history. All FUMC members are invited to join these Zoom activities.
…included a sunrise service with communion in the Van Dorn wilderness. Music in the 11a.m. service was provided by the King Street Brass Quintet and organ; Tura Foster Gillespie, cantor; Jubilate Handbell Choir; and a Virtual Choir presentation of G. F. Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus (Messiah) by members of FUMC and Westminster Presbyterian Church choirs. Special thanks goes out to Holly Sapp for the beautiful cross on King Street.
From our Facebook page: “This Sunday (Easter) was full of joy and laughter thanks to the Carpenter's Shelter Circle of HOPE and
Fairlington United Methodist Church providing these beautiful baskets for our children in shelter and in the community!”
HEALTHY CHURCH TEAM
The Healthy church Team team continues to monitor guidance provided by the UMC Virginia Conference. Since COVID-19 cases are rising again we remain in a “wait and see” posture re returning to indoor worship. Updates will be posted on the FUMC Facebook page and website.
LAUNCHING OF THE SIMPLE GOVERNANCE MODEL
In January the Council transitioned to the new Leadership Team that was unanimously approved during the October, 2020 Charge Conference facilitated by Alexandria District Superintendent Jeﬀ Mickle. The purpose of the simplified governance structure is to streamline governance and administration with a single governing board consistent with the disciplinary requirements of P247.2 of the 2016 UMC Book of Discipline. The Leadership Team’s responsibility is to protect and champion FUMC’s vision and values and approve significant ministry decisions. Simplified governance enhances opportunities for leaders to prepare for and make strategic decisions. Meetings of the Leadership Team are open to all church members as was the case with the previous Church Council.
NEW SIMPLIFIED GOVERNANCE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Beginning January, 2021
Chair of Leadership Team, Anne Wilson, (term ends 12/2021)
Lay Leaders: Gerry Hebert (term ends 12/2022); Tracy Jeﬀerson (term ends 2023)
Trustee Chair (also VP of the Board), Clint Stretch (term ends 12/2022)
President, United Methodist Women (UMW)** Karlene Masters
Finance Chair, Randy Nuckolls (term ends 12/2022)
President, United Methodist Men (UMM)** Marc Dapas
SPRC Chair, Val Berry (term ends 12/2024) Lead Pastor Janine Howard, attends and is a voting member
Lay member/Secretary, Laurie Willshire (term ends 12/21) Clergy Chenda Lee and Christian White, non- voting members
Treasurer, Roma Sexson (term ends 12/2022)
Director of Music, Louise Wilson, non-voting member
One Lay Member to Annual Conference* Beth Strausser (term ends 12/2021) Young Adult Representative TBD
Youth Representative TBD
*The Nominations Committee identifies which of FUMC’s representatives serves on the Leadership Board
** In churches where UMW and UMM are chartered, as is the case at FUMC, they follow their own guidelines regarding term limits
As was the case with the previous Church Council, the meetings of the Simplified Leadership Board are open to all FUMC members, who may attend as non-voting participants.
Upcoming meeting dates
May 25 7:30-9pm
Sept. 25 (all day planning retreat – date may change depending on the timing of Annual Conference)
October 26 7:30-9pm