GET CONNECTED with our CHURCH FAMILY … responding to human need

This page lists a history of the Faith and Public Policy breakfasts held at Lewinsville Presbyterian Church since 2003.

~ 2020 ~

September 12: Virginia Redistricting Amendment, an item on the November ballot. There were speakers from varying perspectives.

~ 2019 ~

May 11: Better Angels Workshop.

March 20: Climate Change: An Alternate Perspective and the Policy Implications of Uncertainty. Lewinsville hosted a discussion on climate change/global warming  The meeting was moderated by Linton Brooks and included comments by John Theon, a member here at Lewinsville, and our guest speaker, Dr. Patrick Michaels.    

~ 2018 ~

October 20: Bridging the Partisan Divide to Solve Climate Change.  Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization that advocates for a policy known as carbon fee and dividend. We hosted two volunteers from CCL’s Fairfax County chapter, George Kralovec and Sarah Karush, who described how they each came to see this policy as the best solution to climate change, despite their divergent political philosophies. They discussed CCL’s bridge-building, respectful approach to lobbying Congress and the methods used by the group’s nearly 500 chapters to build political will for climate action in their communities.  After another energetic Q & A session, participants were advised how to get involved.

September 15:  No One Left Behind Presentation.  NOLB was established in October 2013 by Matthew Zeller. It’s mission is to ensure the U.S. Department of State upholds its promises of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to combat zone translators who worked with U.S. and NATO troops during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as provide financial and housing assistance to individuals and families who have emigrated to the United States under the SIV program.  We were honored to have Matt Zeller join us, along with Janis, his Afghan translator who saved his life.  We watched a video presentation, heard amazing stories first-hand and learned how to get involved in the organization.

February 24: Better Angels All-Day Red/Blue One-on-One Workshop.  Better Angels is an organization whose goal is to teach the skills needed to bridge the divide between conservative and liberal people.  This means not trying to convince others to accept our point of view, but rather listening to others and treating each other, especially those on the “other side” of the political divide, with respect and dignity. This followed a very successful event in November 2017.

February 3:  Opioid Crisis Panel. Lewinsville presented a program focused on the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic in Virginia and learned about a pilot program for incarcerated addicts first introduced in Chesterfield County, VA.  Called HARP (Heroin Addiction Recovery Program), it has been so successful that many other jurisdictions have initiated programs of their own.  We heard from a panel of three individuals who are intimately knowledgable on the topic, whether through policy, legislation or on-the-ground work with addicts, including faith-based programs. The presentation was followed by a lively Q & A session.

~ 2017 ~

February 4, 2017:  Prospects of Faith Guiding Public Policy Discussion and DebateIn the aftermath of a particularly acrimonious political campaign season, the Faith and Public Policy Committee has invited the Father Patrick J. Conroy, Chaplin of the US House of Representatives to join us.  Conroy is the first Jesuit priest to hold the position of Chaplin. Fr. Conroy was sworn in May 25, 2011. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Claremont Men’s College in Claremont, California in 1972. In 1977, he received a Master’s degree in philosophy from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington; in 1979, a law degree from St. Louis University; in 1983, a Masters of Divinity (M. Div.) from the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, in Santa Clara, California; and in 1984, a Masters of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) from Regis College of the University of Toronto.

January 22, 2017:  Islamophobia.  (Annual Salzman Lecture Series)  The speaker was Dr. Todd Green, faculty member at at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and currently serving as a Franklin Fellow at the State Department in the Office of Policy and Global Issues in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.  Todd’s presentation with us  explored questions such as, what are the causes and consequences of Islamophobia?, how can a local congregation engage these issues faithfully?, what do we need to learn – about ourselves and others – in order to engage these issues responsibly?, and what is the place of interfaith work in the life of the church?  View the video of this event HERE >>

~ 2016 ~

October 30, 2016:  Responding to Attacks on Christians in the Middle East.  The Middle East is the seedbed and cradle of Christianity.  But recent history has put its Christian communities and culture in peril.  In Defense of Christians mobilizes citizens around the world in unity, awareness, advocacy, and aid, to come to their defense.  The presentation and discussion will be led by Kirsten Evans, Executive, Director, In Defense of Christians.

October 23, 2016:  Faith and Public Policy Forum with former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf on the topic of Religious Freedom.

~ 2014 ~

March 15, 2014: Caring for the Vulnerable in an Affluent County – Policy and Program Challenges. A panel of Fairfax County leaders, followed by open discussion, will be moderated by Jane Edmondson Chief of Staff to John Foust, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, representing McLean, Great Falls and Herndon. She is a Lewinsville Church elder and was a leader in the creation of Chesterbrook Residences, a mixed-income assisted living facility, with Kerrie Wilson, CEO, Cornerstones, a community based, nonprofit human service agency in Northern Virginia that provides support and advocacy for people in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare and other human services Nannette M. Bowler, Director, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, with over 1700 employees and a budget of more than $211 million, with services for children, youth and families, adult and aging; a former chief judge Dr. Gerald Poje, Vice-Chair, Fairfax Co. Human Services Council, advising the Board of Supervisors; served on Board of Communities of Faith United for Housing

~ 2013 ~

June 15, 2013: Gun Violence and Gospel Values – Possible Church Responses. Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, Director of the Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Church (USA), Washington, DC, speaker. Summary: The massacre of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School got everybody’s attention, but how many Americans realize that we have much higher rates of gun violence than any other modern country in the world? What about the over 30,000 Americans who die from guns every year, one by one, unnoticed? Over half of them are suicides. Guns are very efficient tools for death. How should we balance the constitutional right to bear arms as established by the Supreme Court against the huge toll in life and injury in which guns play a role? How can the church play a constructive role? Rev. Nelson spoke about the magnitude of gun violence in America, attitudes toward guns in American culture, the constitutional issues, the politics and economics of gun sales, legislative efforts at gun control, and the position of our denomination on these issues.

~ 2012 ~

March 31, 2012: 1% and 99% and all the Numbers in Between: Trends in US Income Inequality and Why We Should be Concerned. Adam Wasserman, Social Justice Network of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax

~ 2011 ~

November 16, 2011: WOMEN, HIV AND THE FAITH COMMUNITY: BRINGING THE VOICE OF AFRICAN WOMEN TO WASHINGTON, hosted by Lewinsville and presentedby UNAIDS, The Balm in Gilead, Christian Connections for International Health, & Lewinsville Presbyterian Church. VIDEO of Program on YouTube: The presenters from Kenya and Zimbabwe spoke about the opportunity and role the church could play in addressing this epidemic. The event was co-sponsored by UNAIDS, the Balm in Gilead, and Christian Connections for International Health, a network of Christians working in health in developing countries headed by Lewinsville’s Ray Martin, who moderated the session.

Saturday, June 18, 2011: How does (or should) Local Government & Faith Intersect? Distinguished Panel: John Foust, Supervisor from the Dranesville District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Sandra (Sandy) Chisholm, Community Interfaith Coordination (CIC) Program Manager, Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services Kerrie Wilson, CEO of Reston Interfaith, a community based, nonprofit human service agency in Northern Virginia Jerry Hopkins, expert in the field of affordable and work force housing Imam Mohamad Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America and Imam and Executive Director of All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, VA. (Imam Magid received the Human Rights Award from the Fairfax County Human Rights Commission in 2005 and the Washingtonian of the Year Award in 2009.)

Saturday, April 2, 2011: Being Presbyterian in a Post-Denominational Age: Can the PC(USA) Survive? – Cynthia Bolbach Moderator, Presbyterian Church (USA).

~ 2010 ~

Saturday, June 26, 2010: US and global financial crisis from a Christian perspective – Rev. Séamus Finn Director of Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation for the Missionary Oblates

Saturday, May 22, 2010: The Conflict in Afghanistan. Bruce Douglass, PhD Professor of Government, Georgetown University and David Morrison Corporate Vice President for Government Operations, Boeing, Inc.; formerly Democratic Staff Director of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense

Saturday, April 24, 2010: Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-VA U.S. House of Representatives from the 11th Congressional District shared with us his perspectives on the interface between faith and the many issues that he deals with in the House of Representatives.

~ 2009 ~

Saturday, October 17, 2009: Group Visit to Solar Decathlon on the Washington Mall

Saturday, October 24, 2009: Visit to the First State-of-the-Art Carbon Neutral House in Our Area

Saturday, October 3, 2009: Health Care Reform – National, State, and Personal Perspectives. Ali Faruk, Policy Analyst, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

~ 2008 ~

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008: Green Architecture – Environmental Stewardship in our Churches and Homes. Joe Volk, Executive Director, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and Mark Turner, Founder and CEO, Green Spur, a Partner with West Group.

June 21, 2008: Modern Slavery – What Christians Can Do To End It. Bethany Hoang
Director of the International Justice Mission Institute and named as “activist changing their world through faith,” and Kevin Bales, PhD, President and Co-Founder of Free the Slaves and Economist author of Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy

Saturday, March 1, 2008: Special Feature – The Movie Amazing Grace On the life of William Wilberforce and the outlawing of the slave trade in Britain

Saturday, February 2, 2008: Religion, Reason, and the Press. John Walcott, McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief (formerly Knight Ridder newspapers)

~ 2007 ~

December 1, 2007: Communicating your Views Effectively to Political Leaders. Panel:

  • Dave Morrison, Chief of Staff , House Budget Committee – “How best to get your point across to U.S. Congressmen and Senators”
  • Rev. C. Douglas Smith, Executive Director, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy -“How best to get your point across to members of the Commonwealth of Virginia legislature”
  • Questions and discussion: Panelists: Mr. Morrison, Mr. Smith, and Mr. John Horejsi of SALT.

October 13, 2007: Elise Young, Regional Organizer, Bread for the World on A Faith-Based Perspective on the Current Farm Bill Debate: Why We Should Care? What We Can Do?

June 2, 2007:  Representative Frank Wolf, R-VA, on “The influence of religion on current public policy debates – A legislator’s perspective”

May 5, 2007:  David Morrison, Democratic Staff Director of the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on Defense, on “Can Christian Oppose War and Support the Troops?”

March 3, 2007:  Delegate Vincent Callahan, Jr., northern Virginia delegate to Virginia House of Delegates, on “What Happened in Richmond? Report on the Just Concluded 2007 Virginia General Assembly”

February 10, 2007:  Burton Gerber, retired CIA case officer and Chief of Station, on “Ethics of Intelligence in the Age of Terror”

~ 2006 ~

December 2, 2006:  Members of the Board of Directors, Chesterbrook Residences, Inc. (Jerry Hopkins, Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, Jane Edmondson, Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, Don DiLoreto, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, and Judy Seiff, Temple Rodef Shalom) on “Good Deeds and Punishment: Creating an Affordable Assisted Living Facility for Low-Income Seniors – Do Faith Communities Have the Desire and Endurance to Develop Special Needs Facilities in No. Va.?”

October 28, 2006:  An Inconvenient Truth (a documentary about global warming narrated by Al Gore followed by discussion of a faith response), with response from John Theon and general discussion

October 7, 2006:  Rev. Henry Brinton, author and Senior Pastor at the Fairfax Presbyterian Church, on “Author talk: Balancing Acts: Obligation, Liberation, and Contemporary Christian Conflicts”

June 3, 2006:  Terrence Brown, a patent attorney, on “U.S. Patent Laws – Costing or Saving Lives? – Justice, Values, and Balancing of Human Needs”

April 1, 2006:  C. Douglas Smith, Director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, on “Stepping into the Breech; Lessons Katrina Didn’t Mean to Teach Us”

March 4, 2006:  D. Jeffrey Lenn, Professor of Strategic Management and Public Policy, School of Business at George Washington University, on “The Role of Ethics in Restoring Confidence in American Business”

February 4, 2006:  Elenora Giddings Ivory, Director PC(USA) Washington Office on “Towards a Comprehensive Immigration Policy”

~ 2005 ~

November 5, 2005:  Capt. Linton Brooks, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and Undersecretary of Energy for Nuclear Security, on “American Nuclear Policy in the 21st Century: Ethical, Practical and Policy Issues”

June 4, 2005:  Lindsay Moseley of The National Religious Partnership for the Environment, on “Environmental Protection and Conservation as a Spiritual Imperative”

May 7, 2005:  Jim Perry of Coop America, producers of the Green Pages, on “The why and how of responsible consuming”

April 2, 2005:  Award winning documentary PAPER CLIPS, followed by discussion with LPC’s own Bob Johnson, producer of this remarkable film story

March 5, 2005:  C. Douglas Smith, Director, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, on “Struggling for Virginia’s New Political Conscience”

February 5, 2005:  Elenora Giddings Ivory, Director, Presbyterian Washington Office, on “Speaking Truth to Power”

~ 2004 ~

June 5, 2004:  Dr. Anita Everett, M.D., Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, DHHS, and Former Inspector General for Mental Health for Virginia, and Dr. Joseph P. Collins, Jr., D.O., Asst. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and Director of Medical Services, St. Luke’s Institute on “Accessing Mental Health on Earth and Beyond”

May 1, 2004:  Sue Capers, Virginia Coalition for the Homeless, and Fannie Mae’s 2002 Good Neighbor Awardee on “Affordable Housing: the American Dream or Myth: What we are doing and what we should be doing in Virginia”

March 6, 2004:  C. Douglas Smith, Director, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy on “Seeking Consensus: a Faith Perspective on Virginia Tax Reform”

February 7, 2004:  Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director, Coalition for Smarter Growth on “Smart Growth – Why Does It Matter to Faith Communities”

~ 2003 ~

November 1, 2003:  Stu Mendelsohn, Dranesville District (McLean, Great Falls, Herndon) Supervisor on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, on “Perspectives on issues of concern to people of faith”


For more information, contact Ray Martin, 703-556-0123