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Faith Notes

Send announcements to The Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to reston@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703- 917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before publication. Photos/artwork encouraged. Call Bonnie Eaton at 703-917-6449.

The rescheduled Mardi Gras evening at the United Christian Parish of Reston to raise funds for a partner church and school in Gisenyi, Rwanda, will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 7 at 11508 North Shore Drive in Reston (next to the Lake Anne Elementary School.) The community is invited to the event which will include pizza, a silent auction and a talent show. Call 703-620-3065.

Washington Plaza Baptist Church, 1615 Washington Plaza, Reston will begin Lent on Wednesday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. A Lenten worship and sermon on the theme "Spiritual Discernment: Choose Life" will be held on Sunday, March 9. Pastor Sandi John leads an ongoing adult class entitled "The Bible and Life: God's Story and Our Stories Woven Together in Love" will be held on Sundays at 9:45 and 10:30 a.m. in the pastor's office. Call 703-471-5225. Email pastor@washingtonplazachurch.com.

Dranesville United Methodist UMW is sponsoring a "Frugal Fantasy Fashion Show" on Saturday, March 15 at 3 p.m. The clothes will be provided by "The Closet" located in Herndon and models of various ages will model the reasonably priced items. The Closet is supported by many area churches and the profits are returned to the community on a quarterly basis to numerous worthwhile causes. Tickets will be available at the door or call Linda at 703-467-9272. Cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children. All proceeds will go to the mission programs that Dranesville supports including "Kid's Connection," "Jeremiah House," "Iglesi Melodista Unida Gracia" and "William Waters House." Dranesville UMC located just off Route 7 between Dranesville Rd. and Georgetown Pike.

St. John Neumann Catholic Community in Reston will host a parish Lenten mission on Sunday, March 9 through Thursday, March 13, from 7-8:15 p.m. each evening. The mission, "A Spirituality for an Evangelizing Parish," will be conducted by Rev. Charles Martin, CSP and Andrea McMullen, both of the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association. Each evening's liturgy will be followed by a brief social in the St. John Neumann Parish Center. All are welcome. For more information, call the parish office at 703-860-8510.

A Scholar-in-Residence Weekend will be held at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, 1441 Wiehle Ave., Reston, March 14-16. Mark Washofsky, noted scholar and teacher, will share his insights on such topics as and "Reform Judaism & Jewish," "Playing God: Jewish Law and Genetic Engineering," and "The Jew: The Non-Jew and the Congregation." Washofsky will speak during Erev Shabbat services on Friday evening beginning at 7:15 p.m. and Shabbat services on Saturday morning beginning at 10:30 a.m. At noon, following a community-wide dairy potluck lunch, he will conduct an afternoon of workshops, concluding with a Havdalah service to mark the end of Shabbat. The Friday and Saturday events are open to the entire community, and there is no fee. Saturday events require an RSVP to the Temple Office. Bring a dairy dish to share at the lunch. For more information, contact Marjina Kaplan at marjina1@comcast.net. Call 703-437-7733.

The United Christian Parish of Reston (UCP), 11508 North Shore Drive, will hold a series of special events beginning with Ash Wednesday, March 5.

The Ash Wednesday service, a program of readings and music by the adult choir and instrumentalists, will be held at 7:30 p.m. and will include communion and the imposition of ashes.

A six-week Wednesday Lenten Luncheon Series will also begin on March 5 from noon-1 p.m. at UCP's Hunters Woods building at 2222 Colts Neck Drive. Members of the parish will share their experiences on the theme of "Faith Overcoming Fear." All in the community is invited to attend and bring a bag lunch. Beverages will be provided.

On Saturday, March 8, the church will observe World Day of Prayer by hosting the Interfaith Peace Vigil at 7:30 p.m. at UCP's Redeemer building on North Shore Drive. The vigil is taking place weekly at various sites featuring clergy and laity from local churches, mosques and synagogues who share their prayers for peace.

UCP is hosting a one-day retreat for women on Saturday, March 8, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at UCP's Redeemer building, 11508 North Shore Drive. The theme of the retreat is "Lenten Seasoning: Spices of Scripture, Friendship and Faith."

The retreat facilitator is the Rev. Mary Mason, a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary. Mason was ordained into Christian ministry in 1989 at the United Christian Parish and since then has served as associate minister of Herndon United Methodist Church and interim minister of Emmaus United Church of Christ in Vienna. She has conducted leadership training sessions, led retreats, taught Bible study classes, and participated in numerous community service and continuing education activities.

A continental breakfast and lunch will be served. A donation of $20 per participant is requested to cover the costs. For additional information or to register in advance, call the church office at 703-620-3065.

The Church of the Epiphany will offer an Alpha Course for women on Friday mornings, from 9:15-11:15 a.m., beginning Friday, March 14. The free 13-week course will explore "the meaning of life and the relevance of the Christian faith in today's world." Event includes free childcare and a continental breakfast, a video and discussion. The Church of the Epiphany is located at 3301 Hidden Meadow Drive on the corner of Fairfax County Parkway and Franklin Farm Road. Call 703-471-8601 or 703-860-9088.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Church holds a "Saturday Night Praise! service every second Saturday of the month at 7:30 p.m. The church is located at 11400 North Shore Drive, Reston. The public is invited. For further information, contact the church at 703-709-3641.