Church News

6 tips for good health from Mary Washington Healthcare

Dr. Vranian’s Quick Tips for Good Health

1. Minimize meat consumption

2. Avoid “white” foods — Foods that have had the shell of the grain removed

3. Eat plenty of colored vegetables

4. Stay away from saturated fats, like heavy dressings and sweets

5. Exercise 30 minutes/day at least 3 – 5 days per week

6. Find some thing or somebody to love

– by Dr. Robert Vranian, Cardiologist, Mary Washington Healthcare

Teen wins NYC trip with “Say I Won’t” video with Manassas City Police Department

#SayIWont, manassas city police department

Captain Trey Lawler and Chief Doug Keen stand behind Mark Johnson.

In December, City of Manassas resident Mark Johnson had an idea for the #SayIWont video contest put on by Grammy Award winner Lecrae Moore and Reach Records. The video contest asked participants to make a 15 second video showing how “you’re not scared to be different.” Mark’s video featured members of the Manassas City Police Department.

Mark Johnson had the idea, in light of current happenings in other areas of the country, to show a positive relationship between the Manassas City Police Department and a City resident. His video shows him coming into MCPD Roll Call and encouraging the officers about to go out in the field.

Mark went to Osbourn High School in the City of Manassas. After a rocky start, including being expelled from school, Mark went back to Osbourn to finish high school with an advanced diploma. When asked why he chose the Manassas City Police Department to feature in his video, Mark said he remembered the great conversations he had in high school with Officer Cahill and he used that contact to make the video happen. 

On Dec. 12, while attending the Manassas City Police Department holiday luncheon, Mark received a phone call from Reach Records saying he had won the national video contest and had won a trip to New York City to accompany Lecrae Moore to a Brooklyn Nets game.

“We are honored that Mark chose the MCPD to feature in his video,” said Chief Doug Keen from the Manassas City Police Department. “Mark Johnson’s video sheds a positive light on relationships with police officers and those relationships are something we want to promote in the City of Manassas. We congratulate Mark on his award winning video.”

Johnson traveled to New York City in December.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

City of Manassas Citizen Satisfaction Survey results are in

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Manassas ranks above average in 8 Citizen Satisfaction categories surveyed

In a survey conducted by one of the nation’s leading community-based market research firms, results showed that citizen satisfaction in the City of Manassas is significantly above national and regional benchmarks in a number of service areas. Overall, three categories stood out: the overall quality of citizen services provided; the overall quality of water and sewer utilities; and the effectiveness of communication with the public.

Categories where the City of Manassas scored significantly higher than the national and regional benchmarks include:

  • Maintenance of streets
  • Sidewalks and infrastructure
  • How safe residents feel in their neighborhood at night, in commercial/business areas of the City and in City parks
  • Maintenance of neighborhood streets
  • Cleanliness of City streets
  • Access to information about City services
  • Opportunities to participate in local government 
  • Satisfaction with residential garbage collection and residential curbside recycling

The percentage of residents satisfied with customer service is 15 percent higher than the national average. Survey participants responded more than 20 percent above the national average when asked how satisfied they were with customer service in regards to response time and customer service experience.

“Having worked with City staff for the last year, I know how our dedicated staff goes above and beyond to provide services to the community,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. “I am extremely proud that resident opinions show that City of Manassas staff are significantly above the nation in customer service.”

City Council and staff are pleased with the results, not only because they highlight what the City is doing right, but because the survey shows what priorities the community has in coming years. Major services that were recommended as top priorities for investment over the next few years include: overall flow of traffic and ease of getting around; overall quality of public education; and overall quality of economic development.

ETC Institute used a random sample of households within the City of Manassas for this survey. They had a goal of 400 completed surveys being returned to provide this data and received 405 surveys from all areas of the City of Manassas. To read the survey results presented by ETC Institute, visit

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

New Life Anointed Ministries Int’l moves admin offices to Lake Ridge

the life

New Life Anointed Ministries Int’l (The Life) moved its administrative offices from Marumsco Plaza to 12680 Darby Brook Court in Brooke Centre Plaza in Lake Ridge on December 1, 2014. Sunday Worship Services will continue to be held at 9 a.m. at CD Hylton High School, 14051 Spriggs Road in Woodbridge.

The Life will hold an open house at its new administrative offices in Brooke Centre Tuesday, December 23, 2014 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm.

The Life is a non-denominational spirit-filled worship center under the leadership of Senior Pastor and Founder Bishop Eugene Reeves with the vision of a multicultural body of disciples loving the unlovable, reaching the unreachable, restoring hurt and broken lives through the power of Jesus Christ. For more information, visit or contact Georgette Patterson at (703) 490-7155.

Eco-themed Worship Services Help Make St. Francis of Assisi Parish GreenFaith Certified

TRIANGLE, Va. – New Jersey-based GreenFaith, a nationally acclaimed interfaith environmental coalition, has certified Triangle, Va.-based St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church as a “GreenFaith Sanctuary” and faith-based environmental leader.

“Saint Francis of Assisi has shown deep commitment and leadership,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director. “They have made significant changes to lessen their environmental footprint, and to inspire and educate their community about one of the most important issues of our time. They are an inspiration for church communities all across the country.”

In 2012, St. Francis of Assisi Parish was accepted into – and was the first house of worship in Virginia to participate in – the GreenFaith Certification Program, the country’s first interfaith environmental certification program.

Churches, synagogues, mosques and temples gain recognition as environmental leaders when they earn GreenFaith certification by carrying out more than two dozen environmental activities in two years.

From eco-themed worship services and religious education on the environment, to reducing consumption in their buildings and engaging in environmental justice activities, participants “green” their communities from top to bottom.

When a congregation completes the program, GreenFaith officially acknowledges them as a “GreenFaith Sanctuary” and religious environmental leader.

“By definition as Franciscans, we’re obligated to be good stewards of God’s creation,” said Fr. Kevin Downey, O.F.M., pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. “Going through the GreenFaith Certification Program has not only energized the parish and school in this responsibility, but the ripple effect has been such that it has also greatly impacted the individual thinking and personal practices of our parishioners.”

When St. Francis of Assisi Parish and School began the GreenFaith program, they audited their facilities and programs using templates GreenFaith provides and created an action plan.

They “greened” their facilities, saving energy and water, and established non-toxic cleaning and maintenance practices. They reduced paper usage and increased recycling, had energy-efficient windows installed in the parish school, and offered healthy, sustainable food and canning workshops. They even made use of composting bins, planted gardens, and became a National Wildlife Federation® Certified Wildlife Habitat™ site, among many other actions.

They advocated for access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries and participated in legislative advocacy, including a campaign to address environmental concerns on the George Washington National Forest.

They created newsletters and eco-reflections and distributed numerous resources to the community on an assortment of environmental topics, including waste and composting; Pope Francis on the culture of waste; a Franciscan approach to ecology; the importance of local and organic eating; green cleaning tips; researching safe cosmetics, and many others.

They published timely church bulletin and school newsletter eco-tips on such topics as water conservation, energy-efficient washing machines, unplugging from technology, using reusable grocery bags, “phantom” power usage, simplifying one’s life, cleaning out dryer lint, keeping cool in the summer by preparing no-cook meals, addressing one’s carbon and water footprint, and fixing water leaks promptly.

The parish incorporated Catholic social teaching on the environment into Masses and other parish celebrations, hosted interfaith events and guest speakers, and provided education, classes and activities for children, teens and adults, in addition to launching an annual St. Francis Earth Day, participating in two fair trade global bazaars, as well as taking class field trips to a local landfill.

As a result, the parish and school experienced the renewed conviction and satisfaction that comes from a deep commitment to caring for creation.

“This was a huge parish and school team effort, and we have many people to thank for this certification,” said Downey. “This GreenFaith honor is a great milestone for us, as this culmination is not an end, but a motivation for all we have planned going forward.”

Founded in 1992, GreenFaith ( inspires, educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. For more information on the GreenFaith Certification Program, contact Stacey Kennealy at or 732.565.7740, ext. 303.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church ( is part of the Diocese of Arlington and was established in 1957. For more information on the GreenFaith certification at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, call the parish office at 703.221.4044.

Church Draws Locals to ‘Taste of Africa’ Event

LAKE RIDGE, Va. — On Saturday, April 26, 2014, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) held the unique “Taste of Africa” event at their Woodbridge Stake Center off Old Bridge Road.

As guests came in, they were greeted by volunteers, given name tags, and directed to explore fifteen African countries in class rooms around the building.

This was no ordinary church activity. Planning for this event took roughly four months. Close to five hundred people were in attendance, and about seventy volunteers made the event possible. One of the organizers, , said:

“We wanted to create an awareness about our African and African American members of the church. The event was an invitation to come and see…the diversity in the church. Sometimes, people think that a particular type of people go to this church or that other people don’t belong with us. We organized this event because we are not an all-white church as some people say. That is not who we are. The LDS church invites everyone.” said Jeff Kimera, from Kampala, Uganda one of the event’s organizers. “As LDS members, we are part of a big thing which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This message is very important for me. The message is that everyone is welcome and God treats everyone the same. We hope people who came to the Taste of Africa event will stay and worship with us and come back again and again.”

Around the building in classrooms, presenters explained their displays of art, jewelry, cravings, clothing, and flags from African counties. The country presenters were either from that country or had lived in that country for several years.

“Every room gave a different sense of Africa,” Patricia Thomas of the Lake Ridge.

Small children rushed to the presenters, collecting stamps in their passport books. In one room, they colored and made crafts, in another they sat and listened to traditional African stories.

“I like that everyone is so open, and interactive and asking questions about all of the different African countries and members here tonight,” said Lilly Sanusi, of Lake Ridge.

Church Gifted Land on Busy Route 610, Considers Relocating

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — The Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Stafford is currently considering the options for development of a property on Va. 610 in North Stafford they inherited last year. The church received the land after the passing of two congregation members, Mary Stuart and Frances Cloe.

“Mary Stuart and Frances Cloe were long time members of Ebenezer Church. As I understand it, their parents were some of the founding members of Ebenezer Church,” said Reverend Chris Bennett.

“We ultimately decided that after prayer and discussion, that if we’re gonna stay here, we want to be able to do what we can with where we are, and it made sense to sell the property,” added Bennett.

More to the Story: A list of FAQs compiled by the church about the Cloe property

The 45-acre property at 425 Garrisonville Road sits across from Dan’s Pharmacy, and Arby’s restaurant and a Radio Shack. “It is currently zoned as residential with a house sitting on it, but the church is considering the development of the land for commercial use, which would require approvals from the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.”

According to Bennett, the proceeds from the sale and development of the proper will help to fund ministry work and projects, as well as a potential scholarship program in the Cloe’s name.

“We want to honor the Cloe sisters, whether it’s setting up a scholarship or naming something after them,” Bennett said.

In order for the church to move forward with commercial development, they’ll need to get the rezoning approved, so the plan will have to go before the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission, be subject to public hearings, and ultimately be approved by the Board of Supervisors, according to Stafford County spokeswoman Shannon Howell.

While Ebenezer Church has not started on the paperwork for the rezoning, they are hopeful about the impact they can have on the community as a result of the land sale’s proceeds.

“We are excited about the opportunity this gives us to continue our ministry and blessing the community. We hope this will continue to give us the opportunity to serve the local habitat. We’re just thankful for the gift that the sisters gave us, and we want to make sure that whatever we do honors them,” Bennett said.

Ebenezer United Methodist Church dates back to before the Civil War. The church used to be located on Onville Road in North Stafford before moving to its current location on Embrey Mill Road in 1992. If Ebenezer decides to relocate to the more visible Cloe House property, it would sit about a mile away from its old location on Onville Road.

Christ Chapel Mountaintop Seeks to Provide Toys

Submitted News

Christ Chapel Mountaintop and Toys for Tots understand the financial difficulties each family has undergone this past year. We would like to partner together with you to see this Christmas Season be a joyful time for everyone.

Registration will be held at 10501 Balls Ford Rd, Manassas, VA 20109 on Sunday, Dec. 15, 8:15 am – 12:30. Please remember to bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate. THIS IS THE LAST WEEK FOR REGISTRATION.

Breakfast with Santa will be held Dec 21, 10501 Balls Ford Rd, Manassas, VA 20109 from 8:00 am – 10:00. The toys will be distributed to all registered individuals.

If you would like more information about the Toys for Tots Outreach with Christ Chapel Mountaintop, please contact Melinda Word at or call 478-396-7582.

Holiness Tabernacle to Give Away 800 Turkeys

(Mary Davidson/

Submitted Church News

LAKE RIDGE, Va.  – For the fifth consecutive year, Holiness Tabernacle Church Of God In Christ is sponsoring “‘Tis the Season to Give Thanks,” – and giving away free turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday, November 23 beginning at 10 a.m., while supplies last.

The church is located at 1440 Old Bridge Road in Woodbridge. In 2012, Holiness Tabernacle distributed more than 700 Turkeys. This year, the church plans to give away 800 turkeys.

Holiness Tabernacle is committed to providing a helping hand to those in need. “I’ve always been a firm believer that before we can meet the spiritual needs of people, we must first meet their physical needs,” said Pastor Eddie B Pruitte, Jr., who feels God has called the church to minister to the total needs of the Woodbridge community, both natural and spiritual.

If you would like to support the Free Turkey Giveaway with a monetary gift, please visit our Donations Page.

For more information on the Holiness Tabernacle Free Turkey Giveaway, please contact the church at 703-497-7928.

St. Francis of Assisi Plans Bazaar Dec. 7 & 8


Submitted News

TRIANGLE, Va. — St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Triangle, Va. will host its annual Fair Trade Global Bazaar after all of the Masses on the weekend of December 7-8, 2013.

There will be olive oil, chocolate, jams, coffee and tea, clothing and jewelry, ornaments and handcrafts from around the world, items from their sister parish in Peru, and much more for purchase. In addition, through Catholic Relief Services, they will also offer the option of purchasing gifts that feed the poor, encourage self-sufficiency, build a better society, and promote health around the world.

Everyone is invited to this after-Mass event. The Masses are on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. (Spanish) and 5:30 p.m. The parish is located at 18825 Fuller Heights Road, Triangle, Va. 22172.

“Our global bazaar enables everybody not to only feel good about what they’ve purchased, but to do some good,” said Fr. Kevin Downey, O.F.M., pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. “And the support of fair trade doesn’t have to end here, because we hope to inspire everyone to purchase and encourage the sale of fair trade products all year long at local stores, as well as through online sites and organizations.”

In partnership with Catholic Relief Services (, their partner, SERRV (, and Larry’s Beans (, among others, the event will also offer educational and awareness campaigns related to fair trade and labor issues, which stress the importance of a fair wage, opportunities for advancement, equal employment opportunities, environmentally sustainable practices, public accountability, long-term trade relationships, healthy and safe working conditions, and more.

The event is sponsored by the parish’s GreenFaith Green Team.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church is part of the Diocese of Arlington and was established in 1957. For more information, contact the parish office at 703-221-4044.

Dumfries United Methodist Church Plans Holiday Craft Show, Bazaar, Bake Sale

Submitted Church News

The women of the Dumfries United Methodist Church, 3890 Cameron Street will host their annual holiday craft show, bazaar and bake sale on Saturday, November 2 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church in Dumfries.

The ladies have been crafting all year and have many hand-made, hand-painted items for sale, a bake sale table loaded with homemade goodies made by the ladies of the church, and a “second chance” table filled with once loved, small treasures all reasonably priced.

Breakfast and lunch will also be available. All proceeds support mission projects locally and around the world. For more information, please call 703-221-7440.

Submit your church news.

Chapel Springs Church Opens Stafford Campus

Chapel Springs Assembly of God Church opened its new Stafford Campus on Sunday. [Submitted photo]

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. — A popular church in Bristow has expanded to Stafford County.

Chapel Springs Assembly of God Church, formerly the Manassas Assembly of God, opened their new “Stafford campus” at Shirley Heim Middle School on Telegraph Road in North Stafford on Sunday. Worshiping each week inside the school, the church will hold meetings on Sunday mornings at 10:30.

More in a press release:

How does church happen at a school? “We’re literally church in a box,” laughs [Campus Pastor Rick] Sarmiento. “We load up a trailer every week that has everything from speakers to coffee pots to puppets for kids church to nursery toys to a folding stage for our live worship band.” He continues, “We have a terrific logistics team who gets us unloaded and set up in under an hour.”

The church also stated its release the new campus is designed to be more convenient. Sarmiento says the church service attracted many military members and their families because it’s located so close to Quantico Marine Corps Base.

The Stafford campus is our first of what we hope are many campuses positioned to serve local communities throughout Northern Virginia.” He adds, “Northern Virginians spend so much time driving—we don’t want them to have to drive long distances to get to church on the weekend. So by opening campuses like our new one in Stafford, we can bring church close to people instead of their having to drive far to come to us.”

Chapel Springs-Stafford offers a live worship band, high-energy kids church, and a full nursery staffed by trained, screened caregivers. Pastor Rick Sarmiento shepherds the congregation through Sunday worship, weekly get-togethers, and community service projects. Congregants worship together and then view a sermon by the lead pastor via high-def video fee.

Chapel Springs Church took its new name earlier this year after 76 years as being known as the Manassas Assembly of God. The church offers five worship services every weekend with programs for young children and infants.


Retired Woodbridge Pastor Calls for Donations, Presents $12,000 Check to ACTS


On June 30th, Pastor David Bohannon preached his final sermon from the pulpit of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Woodbridge, retiring after over 40 years of service there.

From his arrival in October 1971 to begin a mission church in the Woodbridge area until his retirement, Pastor Bohannon focused his energies and enthusiasm upon building a church that would not only serve its members but would support and bless the surrounding community.

Every day, by his example, he taught his congregation to live out the words found in the New Testament book of James 2: 14-17: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

One way that St. Matthew’s found to serve the community was as one of thirteen local churches who support ACTS (Action in Community through Service of Prince William, Inc.) Pastor Bohannon continues to serve on the ACTS Board of Directors and has also been its president in the past.

The mission of ACTS is to address the basic human needs of food and shelter. As well as a food bank, a thrift shop, and a homeless shelter, ACTS also provides services such as a domestic violence prevention and intervention program, a hotline crisis telephone line, and an Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides individuals in financial crisis with immediate help.

During his years at St. Matthew’s, Pastor Bohannon was often approached by people off the street who had urgent needs, such as money for gas, food, rent, or utility bills. He never turned anyone away without trying to meet their needs.

It is not surprising, therefore, that in lieu of expensive farewell gifts upon retirement, Pastor Bohannon asked that donations be made in his honor to the ACTS Emergency Assistance Fund. The congregation readily responded with their usual generosity. On Tuesday, August 13th, a check for $12,000 from the people of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church was presented to Frances Harris, executive director of ACTS, for the Emergency Assistance Fund.

Pastor Bohannon may have retired, but his legacy of faithful service will continue through the people of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.

Start-Up Church to Rock School Auditorium

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The local Spirit & Life United Methodist Church is part of a new trend that’s sweeping the nation. It’s one of thousands of new church plants that seek to redefine traditional concepts of worship in our Twenty-First Century world, while still remaining true to millenias-old principles of the Christian faith.

Spirit & Life is hosting an exciting “Fall Kickoff Event” on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Forest Park High School (located at 15721 Forest Park Drive, Woodbridge). Electric guitars, a keyboard, and drums will rock the school auditorium. Adults will be treated to a rooted but relevant message. Children and youth will be supervised by professional staff as they enjoy age-appropriate activities including a moon bounce and other games. Plus a free lunch on site will conclude the morning’s fun.

For more information, please visit

Bible-Reading Campaign Launched

MANASSAS, Va. – The Bible is the best-selling book in history, but how many people in the Manassas area are actually reading it? A Gallup survey reports the average American household has four Bibles. However, research by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2008) found that only 16 percent of Americans read the Bible every day.

Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church is hoping to reverse this trend, starting with its own congregation. Pastor Jeffrey Wilson believes that The Story is the right tool to increase Biblical literacy, and help readers hear God’s story from Genesis to Revelation and how their own stories intersect with God’s. Consisting of 31 chapters of carefully-selected scriptures sequenced in chronological order, The Story presents the word of God in an engaging format, reading like a novel.

“I want the people in my congregation, as well as the our neighbors in Manassas and Bristow, to realize the incredible love God has for them and how their story is found in His story,” said Pastor Jeffrey Wilson.

The Story Church Campaign is a unique program that we will use throughout the entire congregation: in worship, in Sunday School for preschool children, elementary kids, teens and adults, and in small groups. So, the entire church will literally be on the same page for 31 weeks. Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church plans to begin the experience with a kick-off on Sunday, September 8, with worship at 10:00am and a church picnic following. The following Sunday, September 15, will begin the fall worship schedule at 8:00am and 11:00am, and Sunday School for all ages beginning at 9:30am.

With thousands of participating churches nationwide, The Story is becoming a movement that is bringing wide-ranging benefits to local churches. Many have reported increased community outreach, increased Biblical literacy, congregational growth and a greater understanding of how God’s story reveals the reasons for the things that happen in man’s story.

Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church invites you to experience The Story. For more information, visit

First Baptist Church of Manassas Hosting Events in August

First Baptist Church of Manassas (9258 Center Street, Manassas, VA 20112) will host several community events in August.

Saturday, August 17 (8:00am-Noon) will be the annual Community GIVEAWAY in which donated appliances, clothing, electronics, housewares, linens, shoes, tools, and toys will be given away to the community. First Come First Served While Supplies Last!

Saturday, August 24 will be the annual Community FESTIVAL (10:00am – 4:00pm). Lunch will be served 12:00pm – 3:30pm. There will be free food, games, moon bounce, dunk tank and more for all to enjoy.

Saturday, August 24 (8:00am – 11:00am) will be the annual BACK PACK GIVEAWAY with school supplies. First Come First Served While Supplies Last. *A Parent or Legal Guardian must accompany each child to receive the free backpack and school supplies.

For more information, go to the First Baptist Church website at or call the church office at 703-368-2935. Dr. Keith Savage, Senior Pastor. “Moving the Kingdom Forward Through Faith”

St. Francis of Assisi Showing Film on Human Trafficking


TRIANGLE, Va. – On Saturday, August 17, 2013, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Triangle, Va., will present a free screening of Not My Life, the internationally acclaimed documentary film that depicts the horrifying and dangerous practices of human trafficking and modern slavery on a global, national, and local scale. The film is by Robert Bilheimer, and narrated by Glenn Close, both Academy Award nominees. The showing will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the parish’s Dining Hall.

In addition to the screening, representatives from Polaris Project and ACTS SAVAS will be in attendance. Polaris Project is a leader in the global fight against human trafficking – and the organization that operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline 1-888-373-7888. ACTS SAVAS is the only sexual assault crisis center serving Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

“Following our awareness presentations last May, this screening is the next step in our commitment to bringing continued awareness, action and advocacy around the issue of human trafficking,” said Fr. Kevin Downey, O.F.M., pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. “But this event is about more than just viewing a powerful documentary, because after it’s over, our guests from Polaris Project and ACTS SAVAS will provide us with ways that we can immediately take action.”

The United Nations defines human trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

Statistics show that more than 27 million people in more than 161 countries are victims of human trafficking. Two hundred thousand of these are in the United States alone. Fifty percent of victims are children. Every two minutes, 14 people fall victim to this crime. Sex trafficking and forced labor are the most common forms of trafficking in the United States. Prince William County, Fairfax and Loudon are among Northern Virginia counties that have or are establishing Anti-Human Trafficking Alliances or Task Forces.

The event is sponsored by the parish’s Human Trafficking Committee and Franciscan Action and Advocacy Council.

For more information on Worldwide Documentaries’ Not My Life, visit

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church is part of the Diocese of Arlington and was established in 1957. For more information, contact the parish office at 703-221-4044.

Children 3-Years-old and Up Welcome at Vacation Bible School

Dumfries United Methodist Church is hosting its annual Vacation Bible School, August 5-9, 8:30 a.m. – noon.

This year’s theme is “Kingdom Rock – Where Kids Stand Strong for God.”

Children three years of age and potty trained through rising 5th grade are invited to attend.

Registration forms are available at or call the church office, 703-221-2880 for more information. The church is located at 3890 Cameron Street in Dumfries.

All Saints, Area Churches Ready for Vacation Bible School

Jesus: Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

Meeting Jesus in your neighbor’s back yard. Cool, no?

This June, All Saint’s Church and five partner churches will be continuing their program of taking Vacation Bible School out into the Prince William County community – and all elementary-age children are invited.

“In the past, Vacation Bible School within the walls of our church had been fun, but a majority of the participants were from church families who heard the message of Jesus’ love in Sunday school every week,” said Lindsey Feldman, director of Children’s Ministries at All Saints’.

Shortly after assuming that position, Mrs. Feldman was inspired to move out of the “church box” and open VBS up in various neighborhoods, using members’ homes as host sites.

That first year there were 10 sites; the next, 15; the following year, 20. By 2012, Spirit and Life United Methodist Church and St. Margaret’s Anglican Church had joined the program, and there were 29 sites, including two homeless shelters. Of the 400 children attending the various sites that summer, more than 80 percent were not affiliated with any of the participating churches.

The idea of taking Jesus into the world also went international in 2012. One All Saints’ family, with roots in Sudan, took Vacation Bible School along with them on a visit to relatives back home. More than 500 children heard the Gospel in a country where Christians are systematically persecuted.

This year, Grace Baptist Church, Reconciliation Community Church and Christ Our Lord have joined in the effort, with homes from Woodbridge to Dumfries, Montclair to Manassas opening their yards and decks to children in their neighborhoods June 24-28. Some sessions will be in the morning, some in the afternoon and others in the early evening. There’s a time to fit anyone’s schedule.

The Sudanese family hopes to be able to make a return visit, and a family from Christ Our Lord will be taking VBS to a children’s home in Jamaica.

All this requires logistical magic. The program calls for Bible study, worship time, crafts, games and refreshments – too much for any one home to provide. Bible study leaders are recruited to stay at each home, but teams are put together to rotate through the sites teaching games, or songs, or crafts. And all the materials, from ice pops to markers and glue dots for the crafts, are assembled and delivered to the host homes ahead of time. Somehow it all works.

This year’s theme is Colossal Coaster World, created by Lifeway. The motto is “Facing Fear! Trusting God!,” based on II Timothy 1:7.

The overseas missions are not directly supported by any of the partner churches, but are being funded by donations. Anyone wishing to sponsor a child in the Sudan or Jamaica is encouraged to go online at and click on “donations.” A S10 contribution will cover the cost of a child’s VBS T-shirt, breakfast/lunch (Sudan) or snacks (Jamaica) for the week, and daily craft materials.

For more information about VBS in the community or to find a host home where your child might participate, go to, e-mail Lindsey Feldman at

-Submitted news

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church to Highlight Problem of Human Trafficking


Submitted News

TRIANGLE, Va. – In an effort to bring attention to the ever-increasing problem of human trafficking, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Triangle, Va., will offer human trafficking awareness presentations at the parish after all the Masses on the weekend of May 18-19, 2013.

There will be guest speakers, a video, handouts, and suggestions for direct ways to take action. Everyone is invited to this free event. The Masses are on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. (Spanish) and 5:30 p.m. The parish is located at 18825 Fuller Heights Road, Triangle, Va. 22172.

“It’s shocking how prevalent and complex human trafficking is and how it plagues our own communities in surprising ways,” said Fr. Kevin Downey, O.F.M., pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. “The good news is, there are things we all can do to address it, to protect our children and to help those in need.”

The United Nations defines human trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

Statistics show that more than 27 million people in more than 161 countries are victims of human trafficking. Two hundred thousand of these are in the United States alone. Fifty percent of victims are children. Every two minutes, 14 people fall victim to this crime. Sex trafficking and forced labor are the most common forms of trafficking in the United States.

Prince William County, Fairfax, and Loudon are among Northern Virginia counties that have or are establishing Anti-Human Trafficking Alliances or Task Forces.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration’s Statement on Human Trafficking clearly outlines the Catholic Church’s teaching on human trafficking, noting, “Human trafficking is a horrific crime against the basic dignity and rights of the human person. All efforts must be expended to end it.”

The USCCB has been a leader in the U.S. and global response to human trafficking for more than a decade, and has even established an Anti-Trafficking Program within its Migration and Refugee Services Department to coordinate the response of the U.S. Church.

The event is sponsored by the parish’s Franciscan Action and Advocacy Council (FAAC).

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church ( is part of the Diocese of Arlington and was established in 1957 to serve the military community at Quantico Marine Base. For more information, contact the parish office at 703-221-4044.

Manassas Assembly of God Changes Name Ahead of Stafford Expansion

[Submitted photo]

MANASSAS, Va. — Manassas Assembly of God has a new name: Chapel Springs Assembly of God Church.

The church dropped the Manassas portion of their moniker because they plan to open a new church in Stafford County.

“God is leading us in an exciting new direction. We’re expanding by opening new branches of our church in other communities. We’ll be opening our first new site this fall in North Stafford. As we began praying and planning for our expansion, it became clear that we needed a name that would work anywhere, not just in Manassas,” said Senior Pastor Scott Leib.

The church takes its new name from a small street nearby off Va. 28, Chapel Springs Road. The name was chosen after a panel took more than 400 names into consideration, according to a press release:

Longtime church member and historian Charlie Byrd immediately set about months of detective work on the name. “I had lots of help from the folks at the Prince William County Library and the Manassas Museum,” he says. “We scoured old records for any mention at all of Chapel Springs.”

The resulting efforts netted maps of the area from the early 1820s, which identified a White Chapel and an Old Chapel Spring on the property.

As Byrd continued his search, he unearthed the December 4, 1854, edition of the Alexandria Gazette. The paper contains an advertisement for the sale of a parcel of land on which Chapel Springs is situated. The tract was described as “249 acres situated near Bristoe Station with a dwelling house, good soil, sufficient wood and water with the Chapel Spring supplying a never-failing stream of excellent pure water.”

Says Pastor Scott Leib, “’A never-failing stream of excellent and pure water.’ What a perfect description not just about a spring but about a church—a church which would relocate on the same property. That advertisement captures the essence of our church over these past 76 years!”

The church plans to have its new campus in Stafford County open by October. In February, the church held meetings at Shriley Heim Middle School on Telegraph Road in Stafford for those who had questions about the expansion, according to the church’s Facebook page.

This is not the first time the 76-year-old church has changed its name. With it’s roots in the Great Depression and the Old Dixie Threater on Main Street in Old Town Manassas, the congregation later moved to the corner of Maple and Quarry streets and changed its name from Manassas Full Gospel Church to Manassas Assembly of God in the 1960s. A later move took the church to Plantation Lane in Manassas in 1979, and then another move brought the church its current 150-acre home on Va. 28 near Bristow in 2001.

In Manassas, the church offers four worship services each weekend and has special programs for infants, children, and teens.

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