What to Expect


Calling all children! We care so much for each child that walks through the door. Children's Church meets at about 9:30 am during our traditional service. After the Children's Message, they will be dismissed for Children's Church. Sunday School for all ages begins at 10:00.

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Summer Events

Lots of things are happening this spring! A new Connections small group plus we're ready to spend extra time inside, make a difference in the community and have a lot of fun.

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This year, we've set out to create a mentorship program to build up our youth. Learn more about the program and how you or someone you know could get involved.

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Serve on Sundays

Giving back is so important. The Audio/Visual team can always use more help, your child can be an acolyte, you can be a reader, or sing in the choir. Find a place to serve today!

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Creative Media Ministry

Have an artistic bent and a passion to create? There are new internships and volunteer opportunities listed for our Creative Media Ministry. That includes Audio Visual opportunities and working on our website.

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Summer Missions

We are supporting 142 local and international missionaries who need lots of prayer and support. Sign up to send letters, sponsor a team, or learn about joining a trip team. See all God is doing across the pond!

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Carillon Ringers

October 3, 2023

Handbells are not just for children and teens!  We have adult handbell groups for beginner to advanced...

Joy Ringers

October 3, 2023

Handbells are not just for children and teens!  We have adult handbell groups for beginner to advanced...


We're thrilled you're here! You're invited to visit us for a worship service or event, or listen to a sermon online to get to know us.

We’d love to learn more about you, where you are in your walk with Jesus, and how we can welcome you into the Pender Church family.

Our Vision Statement: By following Jesus and reaching out to others, we seek God's transformation of ourselves and our world.

Who to Expect

  • Two Worship Styles - Learn more about each Worship Time here
    • Traditional Worship at 9:00 am
    • Common Ground Worship at 11:15 am
  •  Real People
  •  Lots of Children.  Children are welcome during the services or our nursery is located downstairs.  We provide infants and toddlers (newborns through age 4) with a safe and caring Christian environment
  •  An Opportunity to Connect with Others
  •  Time to Reflect Upon Jesus in our Lives
  •  Outstanding and Varied Music
  •  A Sense of Having Done Something Important with your Day

We are an “Access for All” church, meaning it is important to us for people with wheelchairs or other challenges to have easy access to doorways, hallways, bathrooms, ramps and elevator, seating (places for wheelchairs), and kid-friendly (coloring books, booster steps for toddlers, high chairs).

Hearing aid and large-print hymnals are available during the service.  (See one of our ushers.)

What We Believe

It is our desire to create disciple making communities. We do this through reaching people, teaching them to love and serve Jesus, and sending them to reach, teach, and send others.

Our hearts cry out for more of God. Pender is a “big place” with a “huge heart.” We care about being a community.

In Fairfax, we know it’s possible for us to live a totally anonymous, distant-from-one-another life. At Pender, we desire a different kind of community and life together. We believe Jesus has called us to be a very special community who cares about the world. It’s the essence of what “makes us tick.”

Our mission statement says it this way, we exist to make disciples of Jesus Christ. For us, that takes a very special passion for real community.

For Your Kids and Youth

Our goal is that all children and youth will know and experience the love of God, and then extend that love to others.

Follow: We want those who are teaching and spending time with children at Pender to be followers of Jesus, who then teach children how to also be followers.

Reach: Our desire is for God to reach your child in a unique and meaningful way. This may come through some of our various Children’s Ministry events and activities, or through the loving community of Pender.

Transform: Ultimately, a relationship with Jesus changes lives. Living in the love that God has for us is a true gift and often times transforms the way in which we live.

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Newcomers Class

During COVID this class has been on hiatus but will resume soon

I'm interested!

Special Needs

Pender United Methodist Church has made a commitment to be an Accessible Congregation, as part of the National Organization on Disability campaign of the same name. We proudly display their logo -- a wheelchair user surrounded by a heart -- to show that as a congregation, we strive to provide physical access and also open our hearts and minds to people with all types of disabilities. Some of the ways we do this include:

  • Automatic doors at the front entrance (for security reasons, these doors are functional during certain times only, including worship and meeting times)
  • Large-print hymnals available upon request
  • Hearing assistance devices available during worship
  • Pews with space available to accommodate wheelchairs
Worship Styles: Contemporary

Not everyone is cut out for the same worship style.

Common Ground is Pender United Methodist Church's contemporary worship experience led by our worship leader and a rock-style worship band. You'll find worship to be more interactive and energetic, and you'll hear messages that are relevant to everyday life.

Young children are more than welcome! We have a play area within our worship space set aside just for them, or they can enjoy our awesome Sunday school program. We also have paid staff nursery care available for our littlest ones.

You will leave feeling closer to Jesus, challenged and more prepared to serve Him, and warmed by a relationship in a genuine community of Christ-followers. We hope to see you soon!

Worship Styles: Traditional/Blended

At 9:00 am, Pender offers a traditional/blended worship service. The service includes traditional hymns and music as well as some more contemporary worship and praise music.

You’ll find a variety of musical groups participating in these worship services, ranging from children, youth and adults to vocal, flute and bell choirs. On special occasions, we bring in an orchestra

At Pender’s traditional/blended service, you get the best of both worlds! We celebrate the traditions of our faith at these services with the scriptures, the creeds of the church, the symbols of our faith and a word from the Bible that applies spiritual principles to everyday life.

Holy Communion is shared the first Sunday of every month. Come and join us for worship every Sunday in the main sanctuary at Pender.

We hope to see you soon!

On Sunday, October 1, 2023 Guest Preacher Beth Dougherty preached on "It Was the Best of Times" based on 1 Corinthians 1:18 and Psalm 66:16.

Although today is World Communion Sunday, we will celebrate when Pastor Bruce returns next Sunday.

Sunday will be the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost.

Read the Sunday Bulletin for more information.

We look forward to seeing you!

All of Pender's services are streamed live and in person.

Join us live at Pender UMC
12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, VA US 22033

Do you need Closed Captioning/Subtitles?
You do not need to be a Facebook member to watch Traditional Worship here.

The Next Traditional Service will be October 8 at 9:00 am

The Next Contemporary Worship will be October 8 at 11:15 am

Opportunities to Serve

More opportunities to serve