Why We Love CLC


Moving South was unsettling in more way than one.

We were churchless.

Our foundation in marriage was and is based on this concept.

We enjoyed many years in the little Lutheran church in Portville N.Y.

Raising the kids there – confirmation – and youth group.

Meeting life long friends –

memories of those who have moved on and those still there.

For the first 6 years in NVA we bounced around –

one church after another.

And it took the engagement of Tammy and Marcus Krohn 

to finally find a HOME so to speak.

His parents belonged to Community Lutheran Church in Sterling Va.

And he was raised in this church

as his parents were among the founding members in 1972 I think.

Right away we felt and became very comfortable –

and a couple years passed and we joined –

Transferring our membership from Bethel in Portville – to this church.

Along the way – new pastors have come

and old one retired – it now is a two pastor church –

Two services on Sunday and one on Wednesday.

We have become involved in many facets –

from food pantry to distribution –

From Book club to adult Sunday school.

Trips to the ball park to watch the Nationals

to Women’s retreat for

Sherry Overbeck Fitzsimmons.

Senior connection breakfasts once a month – yes we are SENIORS !

There is a living garden where 400 pounds of produce

was generated for the food pantry.

Back pack buddies – this is where 11,000 children in our County –

whom qualify for free meals at school –

go home every Friday with

food to eat over the weekend.

GOVERMENT OFFICIALS  DO NOT eliminate these meal programs –

That is all they get to eat each day – now some are even including breakfast !

Outreach to addiction – AAA – single parents -there are cracks out there that PEOPLE fall through – Children fall through – Mental illness is real.

Our church is a pillar in the Community –

people search us out -and they are interviewed by our pastors –

a very tough job – but so much needed.

At the local coffee shop – every Friday – a table dedicated to our pastor- A sign on the table “FREE PRAYER” is offered -a place to sit down and talk.

Noisy offering taken up each Sunday – both services by the children -loose change gathered and put into a pail -each month a different charity – or a service performed -college students (two ) in Rowanda supported for education. Utility bills paid for families in need – the list goes on and on.

We found a home that has very deep meanings for us.

Recently – two signs were posted on the front door –

This one reads :


It is a fitting sign of welcome to a church home we found.

It is a place for people to come and feel welcomed.

It is the place we call OUR CHURCH – almost 10  years ago

we became members –

a lot of searching – a lot of going through doors-

And we picked the right one that shared our beliefs.



Tom Fitzsimmons


” Jesus Makes a Difference! – CLC Youth at Confirmation Camp 2017″

13 of our amazing Confirmation Students, Becca Shelor and Pr. Joe attended Confirmation Camp at Mar Lu Ridge Lutheran Camp in Jefferson, MD July 16-21.

CLC had the largest group (13) in attendance from 7 congregations across Maryland/Delaware and Metro DC Synods.  A total of 63 Youth were in attendance with Pastors, Youth Leaders, Camp Counselors and Staff as they spent the week in Faith Formation exploring the theme” Jesus Make a Difference!”      Everyone participated in Large and Small Group Bible Studies, Worship, Camp Games and Challenge Courses including the Zip Line and Ropes course as well as Swimming, Hiking, Camp Fire Cookouts and Crafts.     10,000 meals were packed for the Hungry as a Service Project (2 times Jesus’ feeding the 5000!)


We are so proud of our Youth and CLC for making this possible with your good offerings, prayers and support.   Enjoy the pictures and the comments from our Youth.   Jesus Makes a Difference in all our lives and we give thanks for the Adventure in faith together!

I am so thankful for my opportunity to go to Confirmation camp, and everyone who helped send me! I got to spend a week at beautiful Mar-Lu Ridge, have fun with my friends, and learn about how Jesus makes a difference. Some of my favorite memories of camp are having fun in the pool, singing, worship in the beautiful chapel, and our service project. In the service project, we packaged food for Rise Against Hunger, and it made me realize how Jesus was making a difference through me and my friends to help hungry people get a healthy meal. It was amazing how much food we were able to pack in a short amount of time by working as a team. Thank you to Pr. Joe, Miss Becca, my church family, and my counselors for an amazing week at camp!


Jesus made a difference through my friends during the week. He brought me closer to my existing friends and even “gave” me new ones, without whom the week would not have been the same. He also made a difference through the Bishop. Hearing him talk about his encounters with God made everything feel more real, like God is closer to all of us than it might feel.


I had a tough start to the week (yep, I was homesick, sick, and stung by a yellow jacket!) and began thinking NEVER AGAIN, but Jesus made a difference by putting people around me to help me like Pr. Joe, Mr. Jae, the nurse and my church and new camp friends. I ended up having fun on the zip line, playing ga-ga ball, and singing songs and even thinking I’d like to give it a try again one day.


I loved camp!  It was so much fun being with my friends and worshiping with them. We did everything together and helped each other. Jesus was with us in everything we did.   Thank you to our church family for letting us have this experience. We will always remember it!


At Confirmation Camp I got to know my CLC friends better and I met new people.  I think that God helped me the most during the zip line and ropes course. I am a little afraid of heights and doing the ropes course was scary.  I had to depend on my friends and campers to help me and I finished and accomplished both of them! I was so excited 😀


Thank you to the Congregation for giving me the opportunity to go to Confirmation Camp.  Confirmation Camp 2017 challenged me physically, mentally and spiritually. We had bible study, rope courses and skilled crafts which all made me stop and think about how God is with me in everyday life.


This summer at Mar Lu Ridge was beyond fun. I feel I have not only become closer with my friends at camp but feel I have also become closer with god. When at Mar Lu Ridge I feel closer to God than ever. Between all the signing, worships, prayers, games and service projects I became closer and feel more connected with God. I want to thank CLC for this amazing opportunity and for letting me have the time of my life and helping make memories that will remembered.


This year was my third and last year of confirmation camp and I could not have asked for a better week. Every year I go I get to see so many kids my age that are so involved with their church and congregation. Confirmation camp is when I’m closest to God, when there are no distractions, and when you can just be surrounded by what God has created. My experience with confirmation camp is one of the memories I will never forget. Thanks be to God and my church for giving me this opportunity!


Confirmation Camp made a difference in my life because it reminded me of God’s commandment to treat people well and to love everyone.  Thank you CLC for helping to send me!


Confirmation camp was a bit of a mixed experience, because I dislike the woods, but I think overall the good definitely outweighed the bad. I ended up making new friends from other congregations and I greatly enjoyed some parts of it. I’m glad I went, and got the experience.



Community Kids Summer Camp – Week 4

The last week of Summer Camp came to a Roar with all the Dinosaurs

in the building.  God’s love was with every camper this week.

You see how gentle our friends were with the Dinosaurs.  Each camper made lasting

friendships during this magical summer.
Many decades ago the dinosaurs handled many types of weather as we
did during this week of camp.  From heat waves to down pours to chilly
So on that note, our week was adventures from Monday – Friday.
It was quite different from day to day.  We say, C’est la Vie for now.

Take me out to the Ballgame with CLC

Members of CLC Congregation went to the Washington Nationals Baseball game on Sunday, July 30.  This year we were greeted by fabulous summer time temperatures and a mild breeze.  Thanks to Debra Vought for securing seats in the shade.  Even with the mild temperatures we could tell that those in the sun were slightly over heated.

The peanuts, hot dogs and beers were good as was the company of wonderful members of CLC.

The only sad news is the Nationals lost but we did get to witness a grand slam home run by Zimmerman.

If you have never joined us, please consider next year.

In this picture the grand slam hit  the metal you see  you see and bounced off  back towards the field 

Community Kids Summer Camp – Wk 3

Community Kids Week 3 for Summer Camp was Space Camp.  Campers started off on the ground but, by the end of the week the campers blasted into space with their Jetpacks on their backs. I was so impressed with all the children.
I was listening to a few children who read to the classroom and all the children saying the correct answers themselves for each planet from the Scholastic Space book called “The Book of Planets”.

– Monday was getting to know each Astronaut in the camp.

– Tuesday, they had Chapel Time and a special treat shaped like a Rocket.
– Wednesday, the astronauts had to squint their eyes for our special picture before the walking over to the Cascades Library.
-Thursday, we switched our water play day due to the weather.  It was kinda chilly for our Astronauts even on Thursday before the storms came in on Friday.
– Friday, was BLAST off DAY with the campers Jetpacks they help make.

A Good Goodbye from a member of CLC

Goodbye — recently a “ young “ and knowledgeable Lutheran pastor explained to me that the word is derived from Old English — meaning “ God Be With Ye “ ( probably from godbwye ).

I leave CLC with that very positive connation to all of the various friends and parishioners of which it has been my privilege and honor to have known and to have shared memorable moments.

I have been extremely blessed by being a member of CLC and have “ received “ much more than I have given. Pat’s and my “ Two Church Experience “ has been both enlightening and a blessing.  It has elevated our spiritual awareness and has allowed us to effectively build on our Christian beliefs.

It is now time however to consolidate our worshiping platform; as such, I will be joining her permanently at HCLC.

We are all brothers and sisters in Christ — let us build on our faith, as we hold onto one another, regardless of where we praise Him.  I believe Christ chose his disciples as much on their differences as their similarities. It is by recognizing and being respectful of our differences that we can truly build strength — in our personal, professional, and spiritual lives.

Love, Peace, and God’s Speed be with you all.

Rick Garverick

Mission Reports from the Captain’s Log by Youth Leader, Becca Shelor from Hilton Head Island


Sunday: When your mission trip is to the beach, you’ve got to hit the beach after 10+ hours in the van!

Monday: We got to help with hurricane clean up. There is still work to be done in response and so we shoveled, raked, carried and cleared with all our might. We also got to visit the park for lunch and *finally* see some crocodiles. All seven of us are still in one piece, a little pinker than when we started this morning despite a lot of sunscreen applied, and still in good spirits. The kiddos are playing ping pong tournaments while we get dinner ready.

Tuesday: Given a short break, we have time to catch up with friends from home and take much needed naps before we are off again to serve as we love our neighbors here. We had an incredible day volunteering at a local food pantry doing everything from serving food to organizing closets. Then after some wonderful beach Ministry where our amazing kids built relationships and sand castles with new friends on the beach – making their community just a little bit bigger. Finally, we wrapped up the night with fireworks!!! Here’s to another great day on the island.


Wednesday: Today we had a morning off to play and celebrate being together in a beautiful place. We visited the beach, souvenir shopped, got ice cream and played twister. Then we headed off to Bloom (Assisted Living Facility) where we got to host bingo and crossword puzzles with the residents and had an incredible time – I think it was our favorite mission opportunity so far. Morale is still good and the group bonding is wonderful. The leaders are tired.

Thursday: The gang is hard at work organizing and setting up for another day at the food pantry. Love these kids and their call to service. The crew had an amazing time serving at the food pantry. Each of our youth was a station specialist – dairy, produce, meat, desserts and grains – and was responsible for distributing food goods in their specialty and helping the patrons choose what they wanted from their section. So proud of them. It’s amazing how happy they are serving and sharing their talents. Thursday was a full mission day – after the food pantry in the morning and a quick lunch, we bustled the gang off to help a senior parishioner at our host church by sprucing up her garden, much to her delight. Then it was back to campus to bake cookies for Kairos prison ministry (over 180 cookies were lovingly baked from scratch by our industrious youth). As our trip came to a close, what else could we do but make one more trip to the beach on Thursday night to play in the waves one more time.

Friday: This morning we watched the sunrise from the beach before making the trek back home again. I am happy to report that all youth and leaders made it back alive, unharmed and in one piece mostly thanks to an impromptu Disney karaoke hour in the last leg of the drive to stave off the madness. Thank you to our incredible congregation for spending us on this mission – the youth are looking forward to sharing even more about their experiences before the summer’s end. But before that, we all need a nap.

Community Kids Summer Camp – Week 2

Week 2 for Community Kids Summer Camp finished with a Bang!  The theme was
Dr. Seuss.
Each day consisted of Monday – Get to Know You
Tuesday – Chapel Time with Pastor Annabelle
Wednesday- Walking Field Trip to the Cascades Library.
Thursday – Surprise Visit from Cat in the Hat
Friday – Water Day
There were smiles every day during Dr. Seuss Week.

Community Kids Summer Camp – Week 1

Community Kids first week began with surprises around each corner.
The kids learned about Under the Sea, Social  Skills and having good old Summer Fun.
SummerCamp schedule consists of:
Monday – Get Know Each Other
Tuesday – Chapel Time with Pastor Annabelle
Wednesday – Story Time (Walking field trip to the Cascades Library)
Thursday – More theme related activities
Friday – Water Day
By mid-week, I was hearing children say “I Love You” to the Camp Director and Counselors.
One child said while in the sanctuary “Camp is so much Fun”.

Giving Garden Update!!

Our Giving Garden is starting to produce beautiful vegetables for the LINK Pantry. We made our first delivery to the pantry last week…over 2 pounds of squash and peppers! The vegetables went out with deliveries the same day they were dropped off. Garden to table – fresh produce into the homes of those who need it most.
Thanks to Marilyn Bowers and Alitia Cross for installing wire netting around the plants to prevent our neighborhood deer from feasting on our plants. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered so far to help water and harvest the garden.
Please help us take care of the garden this summer! We are asking families to sign up for one week. For that week, you would water and harvest the garden as needed. Please contact Cori Sanzano at mcsanz95@gmail.com for additional information.