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Religious Groups to Host Interfaith ‘Families Belong Together’ Vigil

The United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive) will host an interfaith vigil in support of the national “Families Belong Together” campaign tomorrow. 

A rally is scheduled for Saturday in the District in order demand the reunification of families and the end of family separation in detention.

In Reston, organizers hope Friday’s event will “shine a light of truth and hope.” The event is open to all and is organized by United Christian Parish Reston, Unitarian Universalist Reston, Washington Plaza Baptist, Shoreshim, Unity Fairfax, ADAMS Center, MCC NOVA, and others.

“The vigil is very important as we join together to light candles of hope and resistant to unjust and inhumane policies that separate families [and] put children, immigrants, and asylum seekers into cages,” said James Dean, co-chair of UCP’s justice and peace ministry team.

“Some of us can’t march, but we can gather together as part of this interfaith vigil,” Dean said.

Organizers of the national campaign issued the following description of the event:

The Trump Administration is a threat to the lives and safety of millions of immigrant children. Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have torn babies from their mothers, run over, punched, and sexually abused children and Health and Human Services have lost track of thousands of children and youth in their custody. They are unfit to be in charge of children.

We demand that Trump’s immigration agencies stop the implementation of any policy that separates children and youth from their families and that the Administration enlist qualified social service agencies to ensure the well-being of children who are still in their custody or have gone missing.

Photo via UCP

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

Trick-or-treaters have plenty of options for goodies, fun and scares throughout the area this weekend.

At the BOO-stravaganza at Frying Pan Farm Park (2739 West Ox Road), guests can enjoy themed games, enter a slightly-spooky barn and take a wagon ride through the woods at night. One-hour sessions begins at 6 and 7 p.m. tonight. The cost is $10 per person and reservations are required. Call 703-437-9101 for more information.

Children in costumes can visit participating retailers to trick-or-treat goodies on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m in Reston Town Center. Participating retailers will display a pumpkin flyer in their window.

Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza West) will also hold its annual Boo & Brews event on Saturday. The schedule runs from 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. and includes a pet costume contest, a live DJ, pet treats, pumpkin painting and beer gardens.

Children and their parents can trick-or-treat at decorated car trunks in the parking lot of Forest Edge Elementary School (1501 Beacontree Lane) from 3 – 4 p.m. on Saturday. The event, Trunk-or-Treat, is hosted by Reston Church.

Guests can also trick-or-treat in the playgrounds of Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) and enjoy s’mores and stories. The program runs from 7 – 8:30 p.m. and costs $8 per person. No reservations are necessary. Call 703-471-5414 for more information.

There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Take a look at our list below.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • The Washington West Film Festival continues tonight and Saturday with dozens of screenings and opportunities for conversation with filmmakers. For the complete schedule, visit the festival’s website.
  • The United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive) will holds its third annual Fall Art and Craft Fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local artists and craftspersons will showcase their work in this juried fair. Admission and parking are free.
  • Volunteer to help remove English ivy vines on the path between Sanibel Drive and Dogwood Elementary School (12300 State Route 4721) on Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon. Reston Association needs volunteers for its Habitat Heroes initiative to help protect the native mayapple plant. Attendees should wear long sleeves and pants. To volunteer, register online.
  • The Reston Community Players’ 2017-18 season continues their presentation of Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical “Aida.” The show, winner of four Tony Awards, will be performed through Nov. 11 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). This weekend, the show is being performed at 8 p.m. on tonight and Saturday tonight and at 2;30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $27, with student/senior tickets available for $23.
  • A trail of illuminated hand-carved pumpkins is welcoming visitors to “THE GLOW: A Jack O’Lantern Experience,” now through Sunday at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). Presented by Townsquare Live Events, the “enchanting Halloween wonderland” features a third-of-a-mile trail decorated with more than 5,000 pumpkins. Tickets, which are $16 for kids ages 3-12 and $22 for adults, are available online and must be purchased in advance.
  • Show off your best superhero costume at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.) from noon to 6 p.m on Sunday. The book store is hosted a Be Your Own Superhero Day. All ages are welcome.
  • The exhibit, Reston: The Art of Community, will continue at the Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza) this weekend. Produced by Public Art Reston in collaboration with the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, the display showcases the legacy of public art in Reston. The exhibition will be on display through Nov. 26.

  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m; and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) every Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
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United Christian Parish Plans Community Discussion on Bigotry and Unconscious Bias

An upcoming event at a Reston church plans to dive into the issue of hate in the wake of violent clashes earlier this month in Charlottesville.

United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive) will host a panel of community and faith leaders on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. for what it is calling a “post-Charlottesville town hall.” According to information provided by the church, residents are invited to take part in the “[discussion of] bigotry and unconscious bias as we seek to work together to heal the wounds.”

Panelists scheduled for the event include:

  • the Rev. Debra Haffner, Unitarian Universalist Reston
  • Imam Ali Siddiqui, the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, Virginia
  • the Rev. Dr. Ken Brooks Langston, Disciples Justice Action Network
  • the Rev. Michele Nickens, Washington Plaza Baptist Church
  • the Rev. Russell Heiland, Unity Fairfax
  • Minister Wendy Hamilton, Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia
  • Ronald Lapitan, the Center for Health and Human Rights
  • the Rev. Marcus Leathers, United Christian Parish-Reston

Registration is also open for the church’s Justice & Inclusion Conference, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11. Workshops will include Justice of Anti-Racism, Immigrant Sanctuary Cause & the Law, LGBTQ Students, Employees and Families in Public Schools, Troubling the Waters: Intimate Violence & the Church, Movement for Health & Human Rights, Think Global Warming: Act Local, Social Justice and Islam, Social Witness & Justice Advocacy, Transgender Advocacy, Immigrant/Refugee Advocacy and more.

“In light of recent events, it seems more important than ever for people to come together to discuss and work together for justice, inclusion and peace,” the church says in a press release. “We will not agree on all of the issues, but we can find common ground and we can work together to advance justice, inclusion and peace.”

Singer/songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine will also perform at the free conference.

For more information about either of these events, contact James Dean at [email protected] or 571-830-8730.

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Get Your Holiday Shopping On at United Christian Parish Saturday

Crafts by Cynthia Larre'The end of the Halloween season can only mean one thing — it’s time for holiday shopping.

Local artists and crafters are scheduled to set up tables at Reston’s United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive) during its 2nd annual Art and Craft Fair this Saturday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Church organizers said this year’s festivities will be even bigger than last year, with more vendors and more space. Nearly 30 vendors are already slated to participate.

Also new this year will be an “alternative gift opportunities” table, which benefits a wide variety of charitable organizations from around the world.

Such organizations include:

Crafts by Susan MaynardThere will also be a nonjuried table at the fair for which several artists have agreed to donate their wares, with all of the proceeds benefiting UCP Mission programs.

See a list of all participating vendors, and photos of their work, on UCP’s website.

Admission to the fair is free, and free parking will be available at Lake Anne Elementary School, adjacent to the church.

Images via United Christian Parish

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Give Thanks at UCP’s Thanksgiving Eve Interfaith Gathering

United Christian Parich/Courtesy UCPUnited Christian Parish in Reston is inviting people of all faiths to come to the church Wednesday night for a celebration of community and giving thanks.

The church’s annual Thanksgiving Eve gathering “allows the local community to  come together in celebration of the diversity of our community,” says UCP’s website. “We share the unity of our humanity in the simple, yet universal message of ‘giving thanks to God’ for the gift of each other and lift up the call anew to care for our neighbors and neighborhood.”

The service is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the UCP Sanctuary, 11508 North Shore Dr.

Participants will include:

• All-Dulles Area Muslim Society
• Shoreshim Community
• St. John Neumann Roman Catholic Church
• Unitarian Universalist Church, Reston
• Cornerstones
• Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins
• Del. Ken Plum

A social time for connecting and re-connecting follows the service.

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Former Church Land May Become Assisted Living Facility

Former United Christian Parish land on Colts Neck Road

A long-tabled plan to build a senior citizens housing development at 2222 Colts Neck Road may be getting ready to be resurrected — with some changes. The site’s owners, approved years ago to build senior citizen independent living apartments, now hope to amend that plan and build some apartments, along with an assisted living facility.

The site of the former United Christian Parish church was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for the independent living apartments in  2007. But with the housing downturn and general economic slowdown occurring soon after, the plan never got started.

However, developer Colts Neck Road LLC recently filed plan changes for the 4.3-acre site across from Hunters Woods Village Center.

The company filed a Development Plan Amendment, a Proffered Condition Amendment and a Planned Residential Community Plan Amendment to revise the approval of 210 independent living units to allow for 119 of the approved independent living units to be replaced with an assisted living facility.

United Christian Parish formerly had three sites in Reston, but over the last decade has sold two of them. One is the site on Colts Neck. The other, on Ridge Heights Road, became Sunset Hills Montessori’s headquarters. The remaining one is at 11508 North Shore Drive.

The Colts Neck site is also located close to the Hunters Woods Fellowship House, senior citizen independent living that is subsidized by the Fellowship Square Foundation.

Reston has two current assisted living facilities — Sunrise Assisted Living on Fountain Drive and Tall Oaks Assisted Living. There is no skilled nursing care facility in Reston after Cameron Glen Care Center closed in 2014.

Colts Neck Road LLC will have to take its new plans to the Fairfax County Planning Commission, as well as the Board of Supervisors and Reston Association’s Design Review Board, for approval. No hearing dates have been set.

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Monday: Reston Church Prayer Vigil for Charleston Victims

United Christian Parich/Courtesy UCPUnited Christian Parish will hold a prayer vigil Monday at 6:30 p.m. to honor the victims in last week’s shooting at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.

Nine people were killed at Emmanuel when a white gunman began firing at a Wednesday night bible study at the historically black church. The gunman, Dylann Roof, 21, is in custody.

Sunday services were held yesterday at Emmanuel. Rev. Norvel Goff Sr., a presiding elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, said moving forward “sends a message to every demon in hell and on earth.”

UCP will hold a vigil every night through Saturday to honor the Charleston victims.

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Tonight: Black History Forum at United Christian Parish

United Christian Parish/Photo Courtesy of United Christian ParishThe Reston Historic Trust and United Christian Parish are celebrating Black History Month with a community forum at 7 p.m. tonight at United Christian Parish, 11408 North Shore Drive.

The topic: Reston’s African American Legacy: Valuing the Past, Planning for the Future

There will be a panel, presentation and discussion moderated by Rev. Laverne Gill, creator and producer of the Comcast television show Reston’s African American Legacy and Laura Thomas, retired educator and longtime Reston resident.

The panel includes Bob Secundy, a Reston resident since 1967 who was active in the Reston Black Focus and Fairfax County government; Martin Taylor, resident since 1972 who is now an aide to Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins working on housing, human services and budget issues.; and two South Lakes High School students.

Admission is free.

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Obituary: Oscar Haynes, 98, Civil Rights Activist and Community Leader

Oscar Haynes/Family photoOscar Haynes, a longtime area resident, civil rights movement leader and husband of United Christian Parish Pastor Joan Bell-Haynes, died on July 31 at his home in Herndon. He was 98.

Haynes was the only child of Oscar Haynes and Nannie Bradley Haynes. He was born in Rogersville, Tenn., on Jan. 18, 1916. He moved to Washington, DC upon graduation from Swift Memorial Junior College and became a member of Twelfth Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He attended Howard University and Tuskegee Institute before being drafted into service for World War II (1941-45), serving in Tampa, Fla, India-Burma and Kearns, Utah.

Upon leaving the military, Haynes became a journalist with the Afro American Newspapers. During his tenure, he was part of a team of journalist that did investigative reporting on the Martinsville 7 Trail in Virginia. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement in Washington, DC. He joined Mary Church Terrell and other activist in “sit-ins at the bus station and local restaurants. He was among the thousands at the March on Washington when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech, according to a death notice published in The Washington Post.

Haynes served as president of the Capital Press Club in Washington, DC; the National Convocation, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); and the Board of Managers of Greenwood Cemeteries, Nashville, TN. During his tenure as president of the Capital Press Club, he gave President Harry S Truman an award for desegregating the military.

As a businessman and State & Regional Manager for Fromm & Sichel/Christian Brothers Wines & Brandy, Oscar forged partnerships with the State Department to increase the sale of American wines abroad. When he retired in 1984, Christian Brothers Wines and Brandy were being sold in 28 nations.

Haynes served on numerous boards including: Thurgood Marshall Community Center, Washington, DC; National City Christian Church Foundation; Christian Church – Capital Area Region; Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Nashville, Tenn.; Trustee, Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, Ky.; United Campus Ministry Board, University of Maryland, College Park Campus; and the Reston Community Orchestra.

Haynes received honors that included: John James Audubon Medal, Audubon Naturalist Society; Public Service Award YMCA, Washington, DC; The College Park Lions Club; Diplomate, National City Christian Church Foundation, Washington, DC; Liberation Award, National Convocation, Christian Church 1998; Tribute of Appreciation, Secretary of State, American Businessmen Abroad Committee, July 31, 1967.

In 2008, the Disciples Historical Society of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nashville, TN, named an Exhibit Hall in his honor.

Haynes married his first wife, Lula Mae Smith, in 1949 and they raised five children together. She preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Rev. Joan Bell-Haynes, his children: Toni Ross, Oscar Sherwood Haynes (Robyn); Kim A. Atwater (Jay); Donna N. Taylor, and Christina H. Haynes; as well as nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; son-in-law Rev. LeBaron Taylor.

In addition to being a member of United Christian Parish, Haynes was a member of the Herndon Rotary Club.

Funeral Services will be held at United Christian Parish, 11508 North Shore Dr., Reston, on Aug. 9. Viewing will be at 10 a.m. followed by a Homegoing Service at 11 a.m. A Service of Inurnment will be held at National City Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to United Christian Parish, The Christian Church Foundation, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 130 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46206 and Capital Caring Hospice. Information and condolences at www.adamsgreen.com.

Photo of Oscar Haynes/Credit: Family photo

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