Message from the Pastor
God has richly blessed me by leading me to a life of ordained ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (ELCA) I began ordained ministry as the Mission Developer of a Spanish speaking mission in the Rio Grande Valley border area of Texas. I then served as Pastor of the bilingual/bicultural Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd/Iglesia Luterana del Buen Pastor in Mexico City, before serving over 25 years as a Lutheran Campus Pastor, first in Baltimore and then at the University of Texas at Austin. I’ve been active promoting interfaith cooperation, in reaching out to culturally diverse communities, and in global mission through many years of relationship with Lutheran Churches in Mexico and Central America. I’ve found my chief joy in ministry to be sharing life together with others who seek to follow Jesus and work for the healing of the community and of God’s good creation.
I was born in Seguin, Texas, and attended Texas Lutheran University before getting a Psychology degree from the University of Texas at Austin. I received a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, in Berkeley, CA, after earlier completing a Masters in Religion and Sociology. I completed a Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
Marsha and I were married in 1978, and family has become a chief blessing of my life. Marsha worked as a clinical social worker, for some years as a foster care supervisor for Baltimore County Social Services, MD, and then with Seton Hospitals in Austin, TX. She is also an enthusiastic weaver. We have two children, Nathan and Aleisha, who both live in Baltimore. We’ve been blessed by four grandchildren, and we also enjoy our dog Tule, a black Lab.
I look forward to meeting you!
Rev. Paul Collinson-Streng
Pastor’s email is: email@example.com
I love this community! Christ Lutheran is a place of deep, caring and enduring relationships, oriented toward serving others and praising God. Following are the 5 best attributes of this community of faith. Come join us!
Reflecting our Lutheran heritage as “the singing church”, music at CELC adds to our worship experience through the rich tradition of liturgies, choral works, hymns, songs and instrumental music. As a congregation we participate joyfully during the service and are grateful and appreciative of our world-class organ. We value and foster the development and growth of our music ministry.
CELC provides opportunities for members of all ages and musical backgrounds to take part in celebrating through music. The adult choir and bell choir offer leadership and support during the Sunday services. The children’s choir, as well as vocal and instrumental soloists and ensembles join in regularly.
Our Christmas Eve and Easter Services especially give us the privilege of sharing all these musical gifts and talents in glorious worship. Music is a thread that binds us together, opening our hearts to a more meaningful spiritual experience.
2) Serving One Another
We believe strongly in Jesus’ exhortation to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty and welcome the stranger. As faithful followers of the Gospel, we believe that by serving others we are serving Christ.
Generous giving permeates life at Christ Lutheran, and as good stewards of our resources, our congregation serves each other as well as the wider community. With a relatively small congregation, as one member puts it, “it’s amazing how much we [the congregation] can do with so little.” In addition to visiting and bringing meals to shut-ins, preparing monthly meals for the homeless, giving gifts and food to needy families at holidays, providing housing for a family in crisis in our Christ House, and many other service projects, we provide food and shelter for homeless clients for one week each winter through the county-wide hypothermia shelter program. “Serving God by Serving Others” could very well be our banner.
Our congregation places a high priority on Christian education. Church is not only a place of prayer but also a vehicle of learning about the Word. Strong, life-long friendships formed within our membership foster faith. Visitors feel welcoming warmth from our congregation due to the genuine caring our members feel for one another. Educational opportunities include children’s and adult Sunday school, confirmation class, and other fellowship groups such as Bible study for all adult members during the week. We continue to expand our education with learning opportunities such as lifestyle courses, additional book discussion and fellowship groups, and Vacation Bible School. Our preschool extends our education to the community!
4) Living in Friendship
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church (CELC) is known in the Northern Virginia community as a friendly and welcoming church.We greet newcomers and welcome new members with gratitude and genuine interest, and want to get to know you.
We are eager to include a wide variety of individuals from all age groups and cultures within the activities of our congregation. We cultivate and nurture lifelong friendships, kindred spirits, and human heart connections through a variety of large and small group activities.
We grow together spiritually in fellowship and community within our congregation, and, being nurtured in this way, we enter our broader communities as witnesses of our living faith.
5) Celebrating Together
Members and friends of our congregation enjoy celebrating major events together, such as baptisms, weddings, funerals, and confirmations, and also weekly at worship services and other gatherings we cherish throughout the church year. Our church family offers our talents and form joyful memories as we work together to improve and share our property. Other church celebrations include picnics and different fun night gatherings for adults and children.
As our loving God constantly showers us with Grace, our congregation responds with a celebration of joy and thanksgiving as we share our gifts of fellowship, faith, music, and service with each other and with the community in which we live. Join us!
The Staff of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church
Steve Beck – Director of Music Ministry
Our Director of Music Ministry is Steve Beck. Steve directs the adult choir for us on Wednesday nights at 7:15 p.m and children’s choir on Sunday mornings at 8:45 a.m.
Virginia H. Trygstad – Director of Education and Congregational Ministries and Director of the Christ Lutheran Preschool
Ginny grew up in Pittsburgh and moved with her family to NoVA in 1983. She joined Christ Lutheran that year and has been a member ever since. Her work here involves working in many aspects of the educational ministry: Sunday School, preschool and confirmation class. In addition, she helps to organize activities for the congregation and enjoys visiting with shut-ins and older members of the congregation.
Ginny’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis and Tanya Shifflet – Parish Custodians
Dennis and Tanya are from this area. In December of 1979 I came to paint the house we now reside in. We then became custodians of the church in 1980. My family was baptized here and my two girls were confirmed here as well.
Connie Hepler – Church Administrator
Connie grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia in beautiful Rockingham County. She moved to the area in 1983 to begin work with the U. S. Navy, after attending James Madison University.
Connie’s email address is: email@example.com