INTRODUCTION: Christ Church, Anglican is an Anglican Church committed to prayer, God’s word as revealed in Holy Scripture, and corporate beliefs as outlined in the creeds. Our mission is to study, worship, and pray as we grow in our faith and discern God’s direction for our lives, our parish, and our neighbors so that we can serve as his hands and feet in a challenging mission field.
ABOUT US: At Christ Church, we are loving, supportive, and united. We genuinely enjoy being together to worship as a church family each week. We seek to share that love and support with others in the surrounding community.
What we believe:
- Celebratory Worship – Worship brings joy to our hearts and a smile to our lips. Through a unique blend of Word, Spirit, and ACNA liturgy, we come expecting to meet God face to face. We believe that God is alive, present, relevant, and wants to be in relationship personally with each one of us. At Christ Church our worship is a blend of music, both traditional and contemporary, the reading of God’s Word, teaching and preaching, Holy Communion, and corporate prayer. We support the ordination of women as deacons and priests and value their ministry.
- Authentic Relationships – Church should be a place where people are warm and friendly, and where everyone can experience a sense of belonging. At Christ Church, we walk alongside each other without pretense, seeking to love each other as Christ would, developing relationships that are rich and real.
- Our Relationship with God – As baptized children of God, we believe that we should bring the innocence of a child to our interactions with Him each day. Christ Church is a prayer driven church that believes the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead calls us to risk-taking prayer for all our needs. We encourage an openness to seeing the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives and in our worship.
- Christ Centered Caring – We are committed to forming a Christian community dedicated to discovering and responding to the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of all those we encounter. We strive to care for one another in ways large and small. Whether that means reaching out to offer support to someone in a time of or providing a ride to the local food pantry for a neighbor without a car, we are always open to hearing what direction God has planned for us.
- Church Beyond Walls – We desire to share the love of God beyond the four walls of the building where we meet on Sunday. Our congregation is always eager to welcome worshipers of all ages. We seek to make a difference in the world by helping those in need in our community and around the world through activities such as local ministries, global missions and supporting Operation Christmas Child.
- Committed to Spiritual Growth in God’s Word – We are passionate in our desire to study God’s word so that we might know Him better and serve Him well. We are intentional in deepening our understanding through materials and activities that strengthen our formation in the Truth so that we might become more like Jesus. Examples include our Men’s Weekly Bible study group and the Lenten study that has taken place each year.
The nuts and bolts:
- Christ Church has an Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) of 32 (in-person and virtual)
- Our members include people born into the Anglican tradition as well as others from a variety of denominational and nondenominational backgrounds.
- Age demographic of current congregation (74 members – not all are active)
Christ Church, formerly South Riding Church began in 2000 as a mission Church plant of the Episcopal Church of the USA. Starting from across a dining-room table, it grew to a body of 20 members under the spiritual guidance of Rev. Victoria Heard. In 2002 the Rev. Phil Ashey joined us as our first rector. South Riding Church continued to grow – both spiritually and numerically, outgrowing its South Riding Town Hall location and moving to Little River Elementary School (LRES) in the summer of 2004. Aided by professional facilitation, the Servants Council developed the Church’s DNA: its mission, core values, and areas for strategic focus. This planning initiative formed the nucleus for significant growth and development. The Church supported a body of approx. 140 members, with a regular attendance in the 60-80 range.
In November 2005, following significant debate and prayerful consideration, the congregation voted to leave ECUSA, and members voted overwhelmingly to join the Diocese of Ruwenzori. We were welcomed into the Church of Uganda with open arms. Our name was changed to South Riding Church (Anglican) or SRCA.
In 2007 we set ourselves a budget that assumed limited support from our external benefactors (other Churches in the area), but we still needed to dip into our reserves. It took several years to become fully independent (achieved in 2010) and to deliver a black Income & Expenditures statement (achieved in 2011), but the Lord has always provided for His church. During that time, the number of pledging (and regularly giving) families also doubled. Following the departure of the Rev. Phil, in 2008 (to become the CEO of the American Anglican Council), the Rev. Becki Neumann accepted the call as Rector of SRCA in late 2009. Under Becki’s shepherding, we have enjoyed a vibrant youth ministry, wonderful spirit-filled worship, effective discipleship, and spiritual growth.
Following a rebranding exercise, the church was renamed Christ Church in 2013. In 2014, we established a more-permanent presence in the community with the purchase of a town house, which also provided an office space. The home is currently leased to a single mom, providing her with an affordable, stable living situation. She is planning to vacate the property in June 2021.
For the majority of Rev. Becki’s tenure, we worshipped in a rented church complex on Poland Rd (on the outskirts of South Riding), but our landlord recently sold the facility and continuing worship there was not an option. With comparative ease and following a Covid-induced virtual-only worship season, we moved recently into new worship space, also located on the edge of South Riding town.
The chart below shows how the Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) has fluctuated over recent years:
OUR SURROUNDING COMMUNITY: Our church is in Loudoun County in Northern Virginia approximately 30 miles from Washington, D.C. With a population of approximately 420,000, the county has seen rapid growth over the last few decades. Loudoun is known for its beautiful scenery, rich history, healthy diversity of expanding business opportunities, comfortable neighborhoods, and high-quality public services.
The median age in the county is 36 with almost 75% of residents being between 18 and 65. Loudoun is a diverse county with nearly a quarter of the population reporting that they are foreign born. Residents identifying as Hispanic or Latino account for nearly 14% of the population.
OUR STAFF: Our staff includes paid worship leader, vocational deacon (non-stipendiary), and part time bookkeeper.
CURRENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES:
- Congregational growth
- Ministering to a community that is transitory, ethnically diverse, and driven
- Revealing our welcoming spirit, making newcomers feel comfortable and at home in our close-knit congregation
- Lack of youth in our congregation (Sunday school children are nearly all in college or graduated)
- Limited human resources – service fatigue – all regular attenders serve almost weekly and may be maxed out
- Lack of visibility, recognition in our community (no signage, building)
- Upcoming loss of retirees who are pivotal to many of church’s ministries; need to raise up new lay person leadership
- Need fresh vision and strategy for outreach
- Expanding small groups so that there are opportunities for all