Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

Penny Gross

Happy Spring Break! Easter is “late” this year, which might ensure better weather for egg hunts and Easter finery, but the later date also means that traditional springtime community events vie for calendar time. Many faiths use a lunar calendar to chart religious observances and, according to a centuries-old ecclesiastical dictum, the date for Easter is determined as the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. Easter can be as early as March 22, or as late as April 25 (the Greek Orthodox Easter is one week later this year, on April 28). Regardless of the date, Easter signals a rebirth of faith, values, and a reawakening in the community after a long, cold winter.

Last Saturday, youth picked up supplies at the Woodrow Wilson Library, and fanned out across the community in small teams to clean up neighborhoods of litter during the 17th annual Culmore Cleanup. Community sponsors provide cleanup supplies, snacks, and T-shirts for the volunteers who spent their Saturday morning working to beautify neighborhoods. The 2019 sponsors included Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, Wegmans, Anthem Healthkeepers, United Health Care, Second Story and La Madeleine. For many of the children, Culmore Cleanup was their first volunteer experience, and a start on the pathway to future community activities.

Sunday evening, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Bailey’s Crossroads hosted a remembrance of persons who died while homeless in our community. The interfaith service, especially appropriate for Holy Week, was highlighted by prayers in English, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic, along with a candle lighting and musical selection by the NoVa Lights Chorale. I had the privilege of reading the names of 25 homeless persons who had died in our community, each name punctuated by a haunting bell in the hands of music director Anna Ko. Many thanks to St. Paul’s pastor, Rev. Elizabeth Tomlinson, who organized the remembrance.

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On Monday, April 22, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is hosting a community meeting to update residents about a proposed walkway along Sleepy Hollow Road. FCDOT staff has been working with affected property owners, and will present adjusted configurations for the project. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale.

Saturday, April 27, will be an especially busy day in our community. The annual Culmore Multicultural Day will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Woodrow Wilson Library, 6101 Knollwood Drive in Falls Church. Admission is free, and there will be lots of activities for the entire family, along with live entertainment on the Showmobile stage.

At 3 p.m., Sopranessence will present Kindred Spirits, a musical benefit concert celebrating friendship and love, at Convergence, 1801 North Quaker Lane in Alexandria. Sopranessence is an all-female vocal ensemble, includingMason District residents, dedicated to “rebooting classical music” through innovative arrangements and programming of music typically thought of as stuffy or distant. Half of the proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For more information, visit www.sopranessence.org.

All day, volunteers will make repairs to selected homes of needy residents as part of the Rebuilding Together program. Volunteers teams from local businesses and faith communities band together to paint, repair, do yard work, build access ramps, and much more to make daily life a little easier for the residents.

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Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.

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