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Faith Notes

Know something that should be featured in Faith Notes? Classes? Services? Special events? Send a brief write-up and photos to 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, fax to 703-917-0991, or call Mary Anne Weber at 703-917-6436.

Dr. Ryan LaHurd, president of the Near-East Foundation, will speak on international development as a tool in fighting for freedom and dignity in Middle Eastern affairs, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m., at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer at 1545 Chain Bridge Road in McLean. This is the second of two programs on Islam and the Middle East, sponsored in partnership with the Luther Institute and the Lutheran Center for Theology and Public Life at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg. The program is open to the public. For more information, call 703-356-3346.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church , 7426 Idylwood Road, Falls Church, presents “3 1/2 Stories of Christmas,” Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m.  Christian actor Frank Runyeon presents a show appealing to all.  Tickets are $5, children under 6, free; maximum for family is $20.  Reception follows.  For more information, 703-573-0295 or http://www.his.com/~stpaul/ . Car pools encouraged.

Dunn Loring United Methodist Church will host a program on disaster preparedness presented by Paula Graling of Inova Fairfax Hospital on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 6:30 p.m., in the Dunn Loring United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Graling has been an operating room nurse at Inova Fairfax Hospital for over 20 years and is on the National Board of directors for AORN, a nursing association dedicated to specialty practice in surgery. Before the program, join a potluck dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. and share your favorite dish. For information, call 703-573-5836. The church is located at 2501 Gallows Road in Dunn Loring.

Epiphany United Methodist Church, 1014 Country Club Drive in Vienna, will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.. There will be a silent auction, crafts, greenery, door wreaths and centerpieces, poinsettias, a fun room for children, baked goods and lunch. Call 703-938-3494.

Arlington-Fairfax Jewish Congregation, 2920 Arlington Blvd., invites you to join us at our next "Tot Shabbat"  Chanukah Celebration, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. to Noon. "Tot Shabbat" is a free monthly program planned to engage Preschool through Kindergarten children and their parents in an age appropriate Shabbat service. Playtime, games and a snack are also part of the fun. Membership is not required for attendance at Tot Shabbat. Please call 703-979-4466, or email school@arfax.net for more info.

Redeemer Lutheran Church in McLean will celebrate the Festival of St. Lucia at the conclusion of the 11 a.m. service on Sunday, Dec. 8. In the St. Lucia Festival, a young woman, dressed in a white gown with a red sash and wearing a crown of lingonberry twigs and candles, brings sweet buns and coffee to the other houses in the village. She symbolizes the light after the darkness of winter. St. Lucia's feast day, Dec. 13, was the date of the winter solstice on the Julian calendar. The evening service at 6:30 p.m. will feature scripture reading and singing led by Donald McCullough, director of the Master Chorale of Washington. The public is invited to attend.

St. John's Episcopal Church on Georgetown Pike in McLean is inviting the community to sing the Christmas portion of Handel's Messiah on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the church. The congregation will be joined by the St. John's Choirs and the Northern Virginia Community College Loudoun Campus Small Vocal Ensemble. The evening will conclude with the Hallelujah Chorus.

Call 703-356-4902.

The Great Falls United Methodist Church will hold its children's Christmas pageat on Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. Christmas caroling and party will begin at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15. The group will leave from the church'sback parking lot. On Dec. 24 there will be three worship services at 6:30 p.m. for children, candles and carols at 8:30 p.m. and Candles, Carols and Communion at 11 p.m. For information call 703-759-2506.

Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners Magazine, will speak about the "Call to Renewal," an ecumenical effort to eradicate poverty and revitalize politics, as part of the Advent series at the Church of the Holy Comforter, 543 Beulah Road N.E. in Vienna, Sunday, Dec. 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer will hold it's Creche Play in the church nave on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. Over 130 children will participate telling the Christmas story in song and dance. Parishioners will serve homemade cookies with an international holiday theme following the play.

A Living Nativity will be held on the front lawn of the Church with stable animals on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 19 and 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Teens from the church will stage the stable scene of Mary, Joseph, shepherds and wise men.

A special ecumenical "Longest Night Worship Service" will be held on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at The Church of the Good Shepherd, a United Methodist church located at 2351 Hunter Mill Rd., Vienna. The service is planned for anyone who is finding this Christmas season difficult or sad or who is searching for new meaning.

The service will be held on the longest night of the year, "acknowledging how this season can seem dark for many," said Doug Bursch, Good Shepherd’s lay leader who will lead the service.

Bursch, who regularly leads Good Shepherd’s monthly healing service, said he got the idea for the special winter solstice service after spending last Christmas in Michigan and hearing his sister-in-law describe her church’s longest night service.

Child care will be provided upon request by calling the church office at (703) 281-3987. For more information, call the church office or visit the church’s Web site at www.GoodShepherdVA.com.

Emmanuel Lutheran Church has a full range of education, music, worship and outreach programs. Traditional Worship is at 8:15 and 11 a.m., in the rich Lutheran tradition of liturgical song mixed with music of the masters, spirituals and contemporary Christian music.  Contemporary Worship is at 9:45 a.m., with fresh liturgical song and contemporary Christian music led by Revelation.   Christian Education for all ages is 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-noon.  Christian Education is available for everyone from preschool through adult. Classes are always open to newcomers. The church is located at 2589 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna, on the Oakton side of Vienna near McDonald’s. Call 703-938-2119.

St. John Catholic Church, 6420 Linway Terrace, McLean, has new fall hours for the thrift shop. The shop will be open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Donations of clean clothing for women, men and children are accepted during store hours. Call 703-356-7420.

The Baha’i community of McLean holds a weekly fireside, a meeting of discussion, devotion and fellowship, at 7500 Box Elder Court in McLean, beginning at 8 p.m. every Friday. The fireside is an opportunity to learn about the Baha’i faith and why Baha’is find hope in a seemingly hopeless world. Call 703-556-3400.

The International Chabad-Lubavitch organization is establishing a new Jewish institution, Chabad at Tysons, which will serve Vienna, McLean and Great Falls. Chabad welcomes all Jews regardless of background or affiliation. Activities will include holiday awareness programs, adult education, Shabbat and High Holiday services, and special children’s events. Call 703-356-3451 or 703-622-2953.

Charles Wesley United Methodist Church, located at 6817 Dean Drive in McLean, holds Sunday Services at 10 a.m. and Communion and healing services Wednesdays at noon. Its motto is "A Place to Be — Belong, Become, Believe." Visit www.gbgm-umc.org/cwumc.

The Vienna Presbyterian Church (VPC) announces the opening of CenterPoint, the adult Christian education center. CenterPoint invites adults in the community to spiritual growth experiences through education. Five academic tracks on the Bible, Church History and Theology, Ethics and Christian Living, Spirituality and the Arts, and Church and Mission will be offered during the four five-week terms. Classes will be offered through April 2003 on Sunday and Tuesday evenings. VPC staff, university, seminary, business and nonprofit organizations professionals will teach the classes. Registration is required, and there is a $25 fee per course ($35 fee at the door on a space-available basis.) Call 703-938-9050, e-mail to centerpoint@viennapres.org, or visit www.viennapres.org.

St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in McLean has revamped the Sunday school curriculum to provide a stimulating, experiential learning opportunity for youth. The youngest children, up to third grade, will be introduced to the concept of stewardship, using their behavior and talents as gifts in the offertory part of the weekly service. They will learn the Lord's Prayer in sign language and will have other activities geared to different learning styles. For more information, call 703-356-7553. The church is located at 1830 Kirby Road in McLean.