South Riding celebrates new church home!
By Becki Neumann
We worship a miracle-working God, and he has been working miracles in our midst here at South Riding Church! Last June I was attending a ministry event in western North Carolina. Needing to be back for Sunday worship meant I needed to leave early. But before I left, Bishop Abraham Nial from the South Sudan, a Congolese pastor, and an Episcopal priest from Haiti offered to lay hands on me and pray for God’s blessing. I have very few absolute rules, but one of them is to NEVER turn down an offer of prayer. As these dear saints were praying over me the Lord spoke audibly to me, saying, “I am delivering that building to you.” I immediately burst into tears.
South Riding Church has been praying for a better worship situation for the entire 3.75 years I’ve been rector. We had looked at some properties, including one, a beautiful church, on Poland Road in Chantilly that we heard was closing. All were beyond our means in terms of purchase price. So we continued to pray. And then God spoke. What does it mean when God says, “I am delivering that building to you”?
Examining that statement led us to understand that God was going to do the work. When a package is delivered to you, you do not have to strive; you simply wait attentively for the delivery to happen. You prepare to receive the package. I began to pray, “Lord, don’t let us miss the delivery. Don’t let us miss what you want to give us.”
In late summer, 2012, the Lord delivered a lovely townhouse to us. It has more space, less utility cost, and better parking than our previously rented apartment. On top of that, the monthly rent is less. We did not go looking for it. It came to us. Was this that building, the one God was delivering to us? As we prayed into that gift, it became clear that this was only a sign of something greater to come.
The beautiful church building on Poland Road was put up for sale. We prayed that it would not fall to developers who would level it and build townhomes on the property. It didn’t. We heard that it was being purchased by another, nearby church. Our immediate thought was ok, so that wasn’t the building God was planning to deliver to us. We were wrong.
Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church (PVUMC) purchased the church building on Poland Road as a ministry base to reach into the surrounding area. Our senior warden, Paul Branch, is a Boy Scout leader in a troop that meets at PVUMC. When he heard of the purchase, he stopped in to talk with the pastor, who explained that they were looking to assist a small, struggling church in South Riding, one worshipping in a school. In addition, they were hoping to partner with another church for outreach and ministry in the area.
And the rest, as they say, is history. We negotiated a lease with terms so favorable it’s unbelievable. We pay the same rent to PVUMC as we did for the school and two storage units, which we will no longer need. We have total use of the building on Sundays until 1:00, plus a 24/7 office, permanent storage. The children’s ministry area is also a Christian nursery school, so the walls are adorned with scripture and biblical pictures. The worship space is large, bright, and inviting. It was pre-wired for sound and projection. Our first service was on April 14th, the Sunday we had months ago scheduled for confirmation, so Bishop John was with us to bless our new worship home.
We do indeed worship a miracle-working God, and we are blessed beyond measure. We continue to meet to pray faithfully so we can continue to hear God speak and move in obedience as He calls us to live fully into the new opportunities He is giving us. If you are in the Dulles South area on a Sunday, stop in and worship with us at 25350 Poland Road, Chantilly, 20152.
The Rev'd Becki Neumann is rector of South Riding Church, South Riding, VA.