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Ashes to Go

Posted by Heather, February 12, 2016

Christ Church offered Ashes to Go at the King Street Metro station again this year. It was a cold day but our hearts were warm in sharing the message of God’s forgiveness as open to all who turn and seek it. In my fourth year of offering ashes at the metro station, I observed familiar things and experienced some new reactions. As cold and early as the day typically is, offering Ashes to Go is a great blessing to me – truly I received more than I give. Every year it is a delight to see people who walk with such purpose towards our group as we offer the ashes.

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Welcoming the Stranger, Praying for your Neighbors

Posted by Heather, December 23, 2015

Last Friday, my day in the office started with sharing words of blessing, encouragement, and welcome with the students in the New Neighbors English Language Learners program that Christ Church hosts and is run by a great local organization, the Campagna Center. They have 170 adult students this year, taking classes 3 mornings a week, along with a number of children in their nursery and preschool programs. The students come from many countries – Honduras, Japan, Morocco, Spain, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Korea, and Mexico – to name a few. Most are recent arrivals, with others have been here for 15 years.

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Making Room and Seeing Who is Around You

Posted by Heather, November 12, 2015

Several years ago, I read a scholar commenting on the creation passage in Genesis 1. This person (whose name I cannot remember) observed that if God was all in all before the creation, that in the act of creating God would need to make room for the creation to exist. For there to be light, galaxies, stars, and planets, God would need to make room. For there to be water, land, and plants, God would need to make room. For there to be animals of all kind, as well as humanity, God makes room.

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Running with Joy!

Posted by Heather, September 23, 2015

I saw a beautiful sight on Sunday morning. I was rushing to get down into the Fowler House so that I could lead an orientation class for Sunday school parents but I was outpaced by a first grader. She was so excited for Sunday school and she yelled out, “I can’t wait for Sunday School!!!” She was in a place of delight, excitement, and anticipation for the new year of Sunday school. To my eyes, this was not just the energy of your average 6 or 7 year old. She knew she was coming into a place of joy, a place where she was know, a place where she was loved for who she is as a beloved child of God. And because she’s a first grader, that heart and head and soul knowledge flowed through her body into her running feet and her shout of excitement. 

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Third Sunday Fellowship Breakfasts

Posted by Heather, August 19, 2015

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42 

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The Deepest Identity

Posted by Heather, June 17, 2015

A couple of news stories have me thinking about identity. To be honest, I haven’t delved deep into either story but it has been hard to avoid surface-level stories about Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner or Rachel Dolezal (the NAACP local branch executive whose racial background is white but who identifies as black). These are people who have changed their outward identity dramatically. Both would say, I think, that they have tried to make their inward self-identity match with what the world now sees externally. Their quest to do this is not unique – I’m guessing that each one of us has tried to do that at one point or another. 

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So what do you do come Wednesday?

Posted by Heather, May 7, 2015

I just got back from a few days away at Shrine Mont for the Bishop’s Spring Conference. Twice a year, the Diocese of Virginia hosts conferences for those who work in churches – the fall one is for clergy only, while the spring conference is open to clergy, lay professionals, and spouses and partners. It is always a rich gathering characterized by beautiful worship with great singing, hearty fellowship and opportunities to connect or reconnect, downtime for hiking, napping, reading, and contemplation, and breathing in the special air of Orkney Springs. Each year there is a program, something to feed our minds and hearts as well, plus a chance to hear what is on the hearts of our bishops.

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Why talk about race and reconciliation?

Posted by Heather, April 8, 2015

Some of you know that I led, along with Chris Hamby, a reading and discussion group this Lent on race and reconciliation. Our sessions were grounded in a small book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu called In God's Hands. This was the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent book for 2015. In this book, Abp. Tutu wove some stories from the struggle against apartheid in South Africa with reflections on various passages from the  Bible which tell the story of God's love for us.

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Sing your song! #MakeItHappen

Posted by Heather, March 11, 2015

What a wonderful celebration we had on Sunday for International Woman’s Day! There was powerful and challenging preaching by parishioner Pauline Muchina and the singing of familiar and new hymns written by women at the 10:00 a.m. worship service. At the international marketplace that followed, organized along with our partners at Empowered Women International, we were enriched, cheered, and challenged by the singing poetry of Anna Mwalago and the sharing of stories of the other women entrepreneurs. Across the day, we moved from strength to strength and from joy to joy.

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The Words of Dr. King

Posted by Heather, January 28, 2015

Just over a week ago, on the federal holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, Christ Church was open for a feast of words. We held a day of readings from the works of Dr. King. From noon until 7:00 p.m., sermons and speeches by Dr. King were read by a variety of people from the church and the community. Over fifty people, in addition to the 16 readers who had signed up in advance, came to listen, with some being moved to join in the readings and one gentleman offering song to enrich the day.

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