WHY WE CHOSE IDYLWOOD
The strength of Idylwood is in its people.
Shawn, Jennifer, Bonnie, Lucy and Sam
After the birth of our twin daughters, Bonnie and Lucy, Jennifer and I started looking for a church in the Falls Church area. Both of us grew up in relatively small towns, and our churches played important roles in our lives. We wanted our children to experience the same fellowship, community and support that we had found in our churches. All of the congregations we visited welcomed us warmly, and we had opportunities to sample a lot of tasty fare. We soon discovered, however, that Presbyterians have the best food.
During our first visit to Idylwood, the people we met made us feel like they were welcoming back old friends, rather than meeting visitors for the first time. It was immediately apparent that this was a family, not just a group of people. On our second visit, we brought Bonnie and Lucy with us; they were welcomed in the same manner, clearly felt comfortable in both the nursery and the sanctuary, and quickly made many new friends.
In addition to personal relationships, the glue that helps bind together any organized group of people is an effective leader. We found ourselves drawn into MaryAnn's sermons, and could easily relate to the personal stories and insights she weaves into her preaching; her passion and dedication were obvious, even to visitors. The decision to join Idylwood Presbyterian Church was one of the easiest we have ever made together. Jennifer and I have had longer discussions debating the merits of which way the toilet paper should be hung! As our family has grown with the birth of Sam, we couldn't be happier being part of the Idylwood Presbyterian family.
Growing up in Falls Church, I had seen IPC many times. It always looked like a peaceful countryside type of church compared to the big church in Arlington that my family attended. So when I first attended IPC, it already seemed kind of familiar to me. I was happy to meet people from my neighborhood, some I knew and some who were friends of friends. It was and still is a warm and friendly church. I am also impressed by the thoughtful prayers and sermons. I even enjoy listening in on the children’s sermons and hearing the comments of the children. I always hear a good message at IPC, usually a very clear application of the Bible to today’s world. On a more material level, there are always goodies and good coffee after the service and nice people to chat with. I never leave feeling empty, spiritually or physically. To me, IPC is what a church should be.
Cara and Steve
When we were searching for a church home, we attended many in the Falls Church area. Our requirements, we thought, were simple. We wanted a place where our children could enjoy themselves and where we could feel welcome. Jim Sirbaugh, the pastor at the time, took the pulpit as he did many Sundays before, but this time he said something that made me stop dead in my tracks. He quoted Walter Brueggemann, saying that the covenant God made with the Chosen People, the Jews, has not been overcome or set aside by the covenant God made through Jesus Christ with others of God’s children. Rather, Christians are now included in the covenant and promises God made then and has never forsaken.
This is why we chose Idylwood. Idylwood includes people; it does not turn people away because they are different. Fortunately, Idylwood rejoices in those differences to help our church grow stronger.