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Faith Notes

Retired State Department official Stephen Buck will assess the situation in Iraq a year after the invasion during a public discussion at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston (UUCR) on Monday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. The discussion is part of a series on events in the Middle East presented under the auspices of UUCR's Forum for Free and Responsible Discourse, which promotes the examination of issues that have religious and/or public policy implications. UUCR is located at 1625 Wiehle Avenue (at Fairway Drive) in Reston. For further information, contact the church office at 703-742-7992 or visit www.uureston.org.

40 Days of Purpose. Join the Church of the Epiphany as they explore God's purpose in small groups in the Oak Hill/Chantilly/Herndon area. Program starts April 24. For details, visit http://www.churchoftheepiphany.com/schedules/40days.htm.

The United Christian Parish of Reston will hold a series of four Inquirers’ classes beginning on Sunday, May 2 at 10 a.m. to explain the church, which is a union of four Protestant denominations – Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ, United Methodist and Presbyterian (USA). The one-hour weekly classes will be held at the church, 11508 North Shore Drive. They are aimed at prospective members, but anyone may attend and there is no obligation to join the church afterwards. Child care will be provided. For more information, call the church office at 703-620-3065.

Internationally acclaimed composer, vocalist and performing artist Debbie Friedman brings her trademark style to Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation on Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m., in honor of Rabbi Rosalind Gold's retirement. Seating is limited and tickets are $36 per adult, $18 per child 12 and under and $72 per family. NVHC is located at 1441 Wiehle Avenue, Reston. For more information, call 703-437-7733.

The Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston (UUCR) is sponsoring a fund-raising raffle for which first prize is a seven-night cruise for two of the Western Caribbean aboard the smoke-free Carnival Paradise. Round-trip airfare from Dulles International Airport to Ft. Lauderdale is included. The raffle's second prize is a Kodak digital camera with printer and docking station. The cruise will depart from Miami on July 25 and will travel to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Isla Roatan and Belize before returning to Miami on Aug. 1. Further information about the cruise can be found by going to www.srandolph.cruiseone.com and clicking on the UUCR FUNdraising Cruise link. Only 300 tickets will be sold; the cost is $50 per ticket. Proceeds will benefit the church's budget, part of which helps support local charitable organizations and social action programs. For information about ticket sales, contact the church office at 703-742-7992.

Free help is available for Spanish speaking parents and guardians through the Nurturing Parenting Program, held at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Herndon. These session are scheduled every Tuesday until Aug. 17. Each class is from 5:30-8 p.m. Dinner is served and free childcare will be provided. These meetings will be conducted in Spanish and are designed to help families with children, newborns to age four. The program is designed for the entire family. St. Timothy's Episcopal Church address is located at 432 Van Buren St., Herndon. Contact Krissa Slone at 703-324-7745 or via email at Kslone@fairfaxcounty.gov or Vera Berrio Breton at 703-324-7737.

On the first Sunday of each month from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Washington Plaza Church hosts a Christian discussion group reinforcing God’s love for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning community and the people who love them. The next topic will be "I'm not gay, but my daughter is. Can she really be a Christian?" on May 2. The discussion is led by Pastor Sandi John and Minister of Music Dean Jenkins. The gathering is an informal time of worship, instruction and fellowship. Call the church office at 703-471-5225, e-mail Pastor@WashingtonPlazaChurch.com and/or see www.WashingtonPlazaChurch.com for directions.