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Faith Notes

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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 Road, 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 on 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.

Retired ambassador Philip C. Wilcox will speak at Vienna Presbyterian Church at the corner of Maple Avenue, Mill and Park streets in downtown Vienna at 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 5. He is president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a Washington, D.C.-based foundation devoted to fostering peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He will speak on "Prospects for Peace in the Middle East." There is no charge, and no offering will be taken.

Children can meet the animals at a Live Nativity at St. Luke's United Methodist Church near Tysons Corner Mall on Christmas Eve between 4 and 6 p.m. At 5 p.m. a children's worship service features birthday cake and gifts for children. The church also holds a candlelight service at 8 p.m. with carols, candles and a procession of the Holy Family. St. Luke's United Methodist Church is at 7628 Leesburg Pike in Falls Church, across Route 7 from Marshall High School. Call 703-893-9220.

Redeemer Lutheran Church in McLean will hold three services on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas morning. The 9 and 11 p.m. Christmas Eve services will offer Communion and feature choral music under the direction of Donald McCullough, director of the Master Chorale of Washington. The Christmas Eve Children's service at 6:30 p.m. is designed with a Christmas message and songs for children. Christmas morning worship service with Communion will be held at 10 a.m. on Christmas Day. Call 703-356-3346 or visit www.redeemer-mclean .org.

The Great Falls United Methodist Church will hold three worship services on Christmas Even at 6:30 p.m. for children, candles and carols at 8:30 p.m. and candles, carols and Communion at 11 p.m.

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 preschoolers through adults. 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.