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Connecting Christ to Congregation and Community

Reverend Dustin B. Sullivan, Pastor

September 2019

The Oracle provides Congregation members information on the major initiatives, events and activities of Heritage Fellowship Church.


Last spring, the Board of Directors launched a strategic planning process that included administering a congregation survey and facilitating several focus groups. The input received from the focus groups and congregation survey is being used to develop and define the priorities for the Heritage 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. The Board of Directors retreat, held in July, focused on governance, strategic planning, and financial management. As a result, the Board took the following actions: • Realigned Heritage’s mission to support the pastoral vision of “Connecting Christ, Congregation and Community” • Defined core focus areas for the Heritage Strategic Plan • Realigned the Board Committee structure to include adding Heritage members with content expertise to several Standing Committees Heritage Board of Directors Standing Committees • Finance Committee • Human Resource Committee • Strategic Planning Committee • Policy and Governance Committee (New) • Stewardship and Revenue Committee (New) • 20/20 Vision Committee (New)

Our Mission: “Embracing Christ to Build a Thriving, Unified Congregation that Transforms the World for the Kingdom.” Board Members will share additional information on the Congregation Survey, Heritage Strategic Plan, and Board Standing Committees during the Congregational Meeting. For additional information contact Board Chairman, Mr. Wallace Burnett at

LEGACY Project: Heritage Elders Paying it Forward On Senior Sunday, Barbara Osborne Harris announced that she is launching the LEGACY Project with Heritage’s senior members. The LEGACY Project, or Laboring Elders Gratefully Articulating Christ’s Yearnings is an oral history and artistic project to honor, collect, and share the faith journeys and testimonies of our senior members. As a mixed media artist, Ms. Osborne produces art that depicts the oral and personal histories of African Americans. Seniors interested in participating in the LEGACY Project should contact Ms. Barbara Osborne Harris at

Congregational Survey Completed The Heritage Congregational Survey identified 6 core focus areas: • Congregation Care • Christian Education • Community Outreach • Stewardship & Financial Management • Church Operations • Leadership Integration

Additionally, survey respondents tended to identify the following areas of opportunity: • Ensuring Financial Stability • Managing Membership Retention • Continuing Kingdom Building • Developing Leaders and Servant Leaders; Managing the Transition • Growing as a Unified Body • Supporting, Growing and Promoting Heritage Ministries

Right Hand of Fellowship Reception On Sunday, September 22 at 1:00 p.m. a Right Hand of Fellowship Reception will be held for all members who have received the Right Hand of Fellowship since January 2019. The reception will allow new members to meet their Deacons and to learn more about connecting with the ministries at Heritage Fellowship Church. The reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall immediately following the 10:45 a.m. worship service. For additional information contact Valerie Johnson at

September Congregation Meeting In accordance with Heritage’s Constitution, the Board of Directors will convene a Congregational Meeting to update the membership on ministries, administrative initiatives, and the financial position of the Church on September 19 at 7:00 p.m. Individuals who have received the Right Hand of Fellowship are encouraged to attend the meeting. To verify or update your membership status before the Congregational Meeting, please contact


of Churches livestream events and worship services weekly (Source: ChurchTech Today, 2018)

Streaming: Amplifying the Great Commission During September, Heritage will begin testing live streaming during the 10:45 a.m. service. In particular, plans focus on streaming sermons, community forums, and special events like the Cantata and Fall Revival. Taking this step in our outreach and evangelism efforts, will allow Heritage to connect with people who can’t otherwise attend services in person, like our seniors, shut-ins and college students. Church live streaming is also a convenient way for people to experience Heritage and helps our congregants stay connected. To volunteer with the A/V or Communications Ministries contact Dr. Gardner at

New Security Measures

Given the continued acts of violence towards faith communities and in consideration of the reoccurring incidents at BB&T Bank. Heritage has begun to implement additional security measures to ensure the safety of our staff, members, and facility. Effective immediately, the following security measures will be implemented: • Enhanced Internet

• Facilities Operations has completed the installation of WIFI throughout the basement level of the Church, ensuring reliable and accessible communications access in the event of any emergency.

• Police Detail

• Fairfax County Police Department will continue to provide paid security details.

• Church Business Office Access

• During normal business hours, the front desk will continue to be staffed. All visitors and members will still have to ring the doorbell and be buzzed into the Church. Based on the recommendations of our security consultant, we have added a Fob Access Control Panel to the Church Business Office door. Access into the Business Office during operating hours will require Fob Access

or the front desk staff will buzz people into the administrative office. • Since this is a security measure, we are considering who should receive Fobs. Right now, we are planning to provide fobs to the Church staff, Board of Directors, Deacons, Head Usher and Ministry Leaders. • We will program the Church Business Office door for open access in the evening on weekends. This access will probably be adjusted when we define additional policy parameters for evening access.

• Night Building Access

• Most of our ministry work occurs in the evening and on the weekends; This poses unique security concerns that we must also address. • The Church Operations Manager is working with our Security Ministry and external consultants to determine recommendations for securing our members and the building in the evenings and on weekends, while maintaining accessibility.

Additional security plans will be shared during the September Congregational Meeting.

For additional information on Heritage Security please contact Michael Joyce at


Pastor Dustin B. Sullivan and the Diaconate are pleased to announce that a Deacon Ordination Service will be held for Sis. Elaine Bryant and Bro. Cleveland Mickles on Sunday, September 29 during the 10:45 a.m. worship service. A reception will be held immediately following worship service. For additional information contact Deacon Roberta Edge.