Sunday, December 16, 2018

Greening of the Church THIS Sunday after the 11am service: Join us immediately after the 11am service to assist with decorating the church. We will need help with ladders, setting up the Christmas trees and decorating the wall sconces. Help needed and greatly appreciated.

Advent Word: Advent has begun! Check out daily visual meditations and add your own by following Christ Church on Facebook: Christ Church on Capitol Hill or Instagram: christchurchdc

Elisabeth Malphurs, our seminarian, has her last Sunday with us on December 16th. We have enjoyed her preaching, teaching, and companionship the last year and a half and wish her well as she finishes seminary and returns to minister in her home diocese of Mississippi.

The last Advent Contemplative Service is this Tuesdays, 7pm:  Advent is a time to slow down and reflect on the ways God is present.  In a candlelit sanctuary, we will gather with music, poetry, Scripture, prayer, and communion.  The service will last about 30 minutes. Tuesday December 18th.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Saturday, Dec. 15th, 7pm:  This service, hosted by a neighborhood group, is rooted in a century-long tradition and is an imaginative retelling and response to the birth of Christ and his promise to make all things new — today and forever. The service progresses through an extended nativity story that draws from Genesis, the prophecies of Isaiah and the Gospels. The readings are interlaced with poetry, song, and other artistic expressions, all an invitation to pause amid the busyness of our city, to consider the mystery and hope of the Advent season. For more information, please visit the Festival website and blog.

Christmas Flowers and Music: To support our special music and flower arrangements for Christmas, consider making a donation in memory or in honor of someone. Please fill out the dedication on the sign-up bulletin board, or email the church office by Dec. 17th. Suggested donation is $25.

Christmas Eve Festive Reception:  Join us after the 10:30pm service in the Parish Hall to celebrate Christmas as a community. Please bring your favorite dish to share (and ready to serve) during this time of celebration and put it out on the table before the 10:30 service.

Christmas Cards. If you send out holiday cards with a family picture, please include Christ Church on your list; we’d love to post the holiday greetings on our bulletin board.

New Vestry Members: In January we elect 4 new Vestry members.  Vestry members serve as the discerning body of the church for major decisions.  A good candidate for Vestry is someone who has an active spiritual life, cares for the work of the church, and has around 5 hours a month to serve.  We like to have a representative sample of the congregation on the board; as our current class of 4 departs, we see a particular need on the Vestry for: young adults (we have 1), 9am service congregants (we have 1, but they make up almost 1/2 the congregation), and long-time members of the church (we have 1).  If you are interested in serving or would like to discuss it further, please contact the senior warden Anne Curry at

Coffee Hour Hosts Needed: The sign up sheets for December through February are up and are very empty! Please consider selecting a Sunday (or more than one) to bring the food for coffee hour after the 9am and 11am service. A remainder will be sent with instructions/suggestions if you have never hosted. It is a great way to celebrate a milestone (birthday, anniversary, etc.) and to contribute to the fellowship and community of the church.

Washington National Cathedral 12th Annual Bethlehem Prayer Service, Sat. Dec. 15, 9:30am:  Live simulcast Christmas service with Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, Palestine.  Choirs, readings and carols alternate in English and Arabic between the two places.  Live stream at

Adult Formation

Play at Adult Forum Time:  There are very few among us who could not use some more play in their life.  In our Advent adult forum series, we will play together – exploring “alternative” Christmas pageants as a way of entering anew the well-known story of Christ’s birth.  No thespian skills required.  Sunday mornings at 10am on Dec. 9th and 16th.

Advent Day Retreat: On Saturday, Dec. 15, 9:30am-4:00pm, join parishioners at the Advent Centering Prayer Retreat Day offered by Bon Secours Retreat Center near Baltimore.  This retreat will explore the classical and mystical dimensions of Christmas through periods of reflection, vocal prayer, silent centering prayer, and sharing.  Register and pay ($60) for this retreat at the Bon Secours website under Retreats & Events. Please let the Rev. Serena Sides know if you are attending, particularly if you are willing to carpool.

Christmas before Christmas Service, Wed. December 19, 7:00pm: Traveling over Christmas? Can’t get enough Christmas music and celebrations? Don’t miss our first-ever Christmas before Christmas Service. The Children’s Choir will be singing at this special service.

The Church will be closed the week after Christmas. 
Wednesday Morning 7:30am services are cancelled for the next two weeks: We will resume on January 2nd.
Charitable Giving and Tax Bill/End of Year Giving:  For 2018 tax purposes, financial gifts must be received at the church by December 31st or postmarked by that date.
Coffee Hour Hosts Needed: The sign up sheets for December through February are posted and are very empty! Please consider selecting a Sunday (or more than one) to bring the food for coffee hour after the 9am and 11am service. A remainder will be sent with instructions/suggestions if you have never hosted. It is a great way to celebrate a milestone (birthday, anniversary, etc.) or to contribute to the fellowship and community of the church.

January Book Club, Friday, January 4: The next meeting of the First Friday Book Group will be January 4, beginning at 6:30pm with a light supper and continuing at 7:00pm for discussion. We’ll be reading Luke for Everyone by Tom Wright. In preparation for the January meeting, we suggest reading the first 88 pages, which cover several Advent and Christmas readings. You may order your book from the East City Book Shop.

20s/30s Young Adults: Mark your calendars for this winter for our series, The Way of Love: Practices for Everyday Living, Tuesday evenings at 7pm, January 15th-February 12th.  Rev. Cara will lead this group in focusing mainly on deepening (or starting) a practice of prayer and meaningful engagement of Scripture.  If such things have been your to-do list for a while, make it a priority to be there.  Drop-ins are also welcome.

Looking to deepen your connections at Christ Church? We have two more intentional small groups (one men’s group and one women’s group) starting in late January. We’ve had 6 groups so far involving about 45 parishioners of all ages and life circumstances. In describing their small group experiences, participants have used words like, “powerful,” “safe,” “heart space,” and “a real blessing.” They’ve been reminded that “everyone has a story” and enjoyed seeing each other at coffee hour and other events.  More information about these kinds of small groups is available in our literature rack in the parish hallway. The initial commitment is 8 weeks (you should be able to make 75% of gatherings), and there will be an option to continue. Meeting dates are not chosen in advance. Please prayerfully consider whether this invitation to spiritual growth is for you and let Rev. Serena know if you are interested (

Children and Family

Sunday School and Children’s Chapel Reminders: There is NO Sunday School on Dec. 23 and 30 and Jan. 6. We will offer Family Epiphany Activities from 10-10:45am on Jan. 6 in lieu of Sunday School. There is NO Children’s Chapel at either service on Sunday, Dec. 30.

Christmas Eve Services for Children: We have several distinct options for Christmas Eve worship. At 11am on Christmas Eve morning we’ll have a 30 minute service with pick-up pageant for all ages and carols, no communion, and a petting zoo on the front lawn. At 4:30pm, we have our big informal family service with pick-up pageant, carols, and communion. At 6:30 we have a more formal family service with a rehearsed pageant, music with the St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble, communion, sermon. The 6:30pm service is a good mid-step between the traditional 10:30pm service and the earlier young family services.


Tommy’s Toys:  Toy collection will begin this Sunday for Tommy’s Toys.  Please place new, unwrapped toys in the BOXES marked TOMMY TOYS.  All toys collected will go to the families of Community Action Group (CAG), our long-time outreach partner.  Toys will be collected through Dec. 16th.

Quilt Raffle Winner: Thank you to all who purchased quilt raffle tickets or donated to our fundraising efforts and supporting the two deserving organizations: Buenos Vecinos, a small non-profit serving poor children and their families in Central America, and Capitol Hill Good Neighbors, a group of religious and faith organizations who support refugee families relocating to the DC area. Congratulations to Christ Church parishioner Wallis McClain on winning the quilt.

Laundry Love, Sun. Jan. 6, 1:30 -4:00pm: Laundry Love is our ministry providing free laundry service and supplies once a month at a local laundromat for our low-income and homeless neighbors. We need volunteers to assist for all or part of the time. Please sign up on the bulletin board or send an email to Jennifer if you are interested in serving.