After two nomadic years, the congregation of The Church at Clarendon (1210 N. Highland Street) is getting ready to return to their newly-renovated church sanctuary.
Since construction began in late 2009, the congregation has been meeting in venues like Rosslyn’s Top of the Town conference facility and at the First Baptist Church of Ballston. Starting on March 4, they’ll be back home.
Rev. David Perdue, the church’s Interim Senior Pastor, says he’s hoping to not only welcome back those who have stuck with the church through the construction, but to attract new, younger worshipers who might have moved to the area in the intervening years.
“We’re reintroducing ourselves to the community,” Rev. Perdue said. “We’re prepared to receive visitors and let them know: this is who we are.”
The journey to the church’s upcoming homecoming, however, has been a bumpy one. Founded in 1909 as the Clarendon Baptist Church, the church had its heyday in the 1950s and 60s, when up to 2,000 congregants would pack the pews for Sunday services.
The congregation started to wane in the 1970s, and by the 2002 Sunday attendance was consistently dipping below 100. Faced with an aging congregation, a large, aging building, costly needed repairs and utility bills that exceeded $100,000 per year, church leaders took bold action. They hired Rev. Perdue, who formed a younger, more contemporary congregation to supplement the older, traditional congregation, and then struck a deal with Arlington County and a nonprofit developer.
The church sold its “air rights” to the developer for $5.6 million. The developer, in turn, would build an eight-story affordable apartment building — to be called “The Views at Clarendon” — while renovating the two story church below it. It seemed like a win-win: 70 affordable apartments would be added to the Clarendon area (in addition to 46 market-rate apartments), while the church was saved from potential financial ruin.
The airport served a record-breaking 18.8 million passengers in 2011, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. That’s a nearly 4 percent increase over 2010, which compares favorably to the national passenger growth average of 1.5 percent.
The growth may continue in 2012, thanks to new and expanded service that’s coming to DCA starting on March 25.
US Airways is in the process of adding non-stop service to 11 new cities via Reagan National. And JetBlue is increasing service to its existing destination, while providing new daily service to Tampa.
“Even during these challenging times for the aviation industry, we are very pleased that in 2011 we were able to not only continue to provide excellent air service for the region but also to attract new airlines and service,” MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter said in a statement.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
A YouTube video of an amazing half-court buzzer beater in a key game between Washington-Lee and Wakefield is making the rounds today among local hoops fans.
The video (above) was recorded by Arlington Independent Media during last week’s National District semifinal game between two Arlington high schools: Washington-Lee and Wakefield.
According to the Sun Gazette, Wakefield had just tied the game at 60-60 with a last-second three pointer. Then, with 1.2 seconds to go, W-L inbounded the ball to junior Winston Duncan, who sunk the winning basket from half court.
Washington-Lee fans rushed the court in celebration, but that’s where the team’s jubilation ended. The team went on to lose by 9 points in the National District championship game and has since been eliminated from the Northern Region tournament.
Hat tip to @31nader
Someone broke into an Alcova Heights apartment last week, used the bathroom, and didn’t flush. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 02/17/12, 3600 block of S. 5th Street. Between 7:45 am, on February 14, and 6 pm, on February 15, an unknown subject entered the victim’s apartment and used the bathroom. There were no items reported missing. There is no suspect description.
According to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the bathroom bandit may not have flushed, but he or she did, at least, turn off the lights.
“An unknown subject defacated in the victims toilet and didn’t flush,” Sternbeck said in an email. “The suspect also turned off interior lights in the residence that were left on… there were no signs of forced entry.”
Sternbeck said he could not recall any similar incidents in Arlington in recent memory. The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
Clarendon’s annual Mardi Gras parade marched up Wilson Boulevard last night, to the delight of hundreds of paradegoers.
Among the those marching in this year’s parade were the Ballou High School Band, Washington Nationals mascot Screech, the D.C. Rollergirls, and the all-women, Afro-Brazilian/samba-reggae percussion band Batala Washington. Local businesses, churches, nonprofits and political parties also took part.
Photos by Erin Schwartz Sutherland
This morning, as commuters rushed off to work, ministers from St. George’s stood outside the Virginia Square Metro station placing ashes on the forehead of anyone interested in partaking in the solemn Ash Wednesday tradition, which usually takes place inside a church.
“Ashes to Go,” as the service was called, is an outreach initiative that has spread from churches in San Francisco and St. Louis to other cities across the country.
“‘Ashes to Go’ is about bringing church to the people: bringing spirit, belief, and belonging out from behind church doors, and into the places where we go every day,” the church said in a press release. “It’s a simple event with deep meaning, drawing on centuries of tradition and worship across denominations to provide a contemporary moment of grace.”
St. George’s will be back at the Metro station during tonight’s evening commute, offering the imposition of Ashes prior to the church’s 7:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday service.
Dust at Courthouse Metro Station — We’ve heard from several readers who were concerned about a high concentration of construction dust at the Courthouse Metro station yesterday. Apparently, the dust was left over from track work over the weekend. Not to fear, says WMATA spokesman Dan Stessel. According to Stessel, the dust was “not harmful.”
General Assembly Approves ‘Conscience Clause’ Bill — The state legislature has passed — and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) says he will sign — a bill that would allow private adoptions agencies legally discriminate against gay couples for religious or moral reasons. [Associated Press, Reuters]
McDonnell Reconsidering Abortion Ultrasound Bill? — Gov. Bob McDonnell “is backing off his unconditional support” for a bill that would require women to receive a potentially invasive, medically unnecessary ultrasound before receiving an abortion. The bill drew more than a thousand protesters to Richmond over the weekend, and has attracted national attention. Both Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show have recently taken turns poking fun at it. Lawmakers are said to be working on a compromise version of the bill. [Washington Post]
Lopez Claims Free Clinic Victory — Del. Alfonso Lopez says his budget amendment to restore $1.6 million in funding to Virginia’s free clinics has been approved by the House Appropriations Committee. Gov. Bob McDonnell had called for cuts to free clinics, arguing that the federal health care reform bill will grant health coverage to many of the low income individuals who use the clinics. The cuts would have impacted the local Arlington Free Clinic. [Del. Alfonso Lopez]
Seventeen-Year-Olds to Vote in Board Election? — Civic-minded 17-year-olds will be allowed to vote in the upcoming March 27 County Board special election — provided they turn 18 by this year’s general election date (Nov. 6). [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA