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Send announcements to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to

loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.

This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun marks the end of summer vacation by returning to two services on Sunday, Sept. 12, with their annual "In-Gathering" service. The In-Gathering service invites members and friends to share stories of their summer adventures by pouring a bit of water collected while traveling or from the back yard into a common bowl.

UUCL welcomes everyone to attend Sunday services, held at 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., at the UUCL chapel, 20460 Gleedsville Road, Leesburg. For more information about UUCL, visit the Web site, www.uuloudoun.org or call the church at 703-737-7644.

The All-American Family Festival, sponsored by the Church of the Holy Spirit in Ashburn, at Mill Run Elementary School, will be held Saturday, Sept. 11, from 2-5 p.m. Rain date is Saturday, Sept. 18. Games, moon bounce, pony rides, dunk tank and free food and drinks will be available. There will be an opportunity to thank the local Sheriff's and fire departments for their contributions to the community. Questions, call 703-726-0777.

Kathy Troccoli, recording artist, speaker and author, will be in concert at Christian Fellowship Church, 21673 Beaumeade Circle, Ashburn, Sunday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ÒAn Evening of WorshipÓ is sponsored by the WomenÕs Ministry of Christian Fellowship Church. Troccoli recently completed her 16th album, entitled "K.T.worship - Forever in Love with Jesus," featuring 16 classic worship songs. For tickets or more information, call 703 729-3900 ext. 4017 or e-mail Sarah Hansma at sarah@hansma.com.

ESL classes will be held at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church this fall. Registration is Sept. 8 and 15. Classes are from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday nights from Sept. 22-Dec. 15. Some tutoring is also available in grammar, spelling, conversation and writing. Call Leanna Wilson at 703-421-7086 to pre-register. The 13-week session is $25, but scholarships and reduced prices are available. Se habla espanol.

The Loudoun Church Alliance, is heading up a Healthy Marriage Initiative to reduce divorce by 50 percent in the next 10 years. Central to this initiative is the establishment of Community Marriage Policy. The CMP is a set of voluntary guidelines for clergy and their congregations for improving premarital preparation, marriage enrichment, crisis intervention, stepfamily and single parent support. On Sept. 25, from 8-10 a.m., the Loudoun Church Alliance will host a Healthy Marriage Summit at First Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Leesburg. U.S. Senate Chaplain, the Rev. Barry Black, and Mike McManus, president of Marriage Savers, will be guest speakers. For more information call 540-338-0409.

The annual apple festival at the Open Arms Christian Child Development Center and Our Savior's Way Lutheran Church, 43115 Waxpool Road in Ashburn will take place Sunday, Sept. 26, from 12:30-4 p.m. The event will feature amusements, a farmers market, food concessions, home-based business exhibits, bake sale, 50/50 raffle and children's games. Admission is free. Rain date is Oct. 3. For more information, visit www.oswlc.org or call 703-729-9114.

The Loudoun Church Alliance is a formal association of churches of many denominations, founded two years ago. It works in the areas of youth development, international missions, evangelism outreach, and is now working to develop relationships with government and business. For further information, contact founder and missionary Jack Stagman at jackstagman@adelphia.net.

The Unitarian Universalists of Sterling will be providing voter registration services in September. In addition to helping to register new voters, they will provide absentee ballot requests, address change forms, and other voter information. They will also provide free rides to the polls on election day. These services are non-partisan and available without regard to the voter's political preference.

The dates, times and locations of the voter registrations are:

* Saturday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., at Safeway on Sterling Boulevard;

* Tuesday, Sept. 14, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Cascades Senior Center in Sterling;

*Tuesday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the NVCC Loudoun Campus, Reynolds Building.

For more information, call the church at 703-406-3068.

Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church, 201 E. Frederick Drive in Sterling, presents its new Bible Study: BIBLE 1:01, Wednesday nights beginning Sept. 15 and running through Oct. 13. A light meal will be served at 7 p.m., with the hour long study following at 7:30 p.m. This study is designed for the beginner, but everyone is welcome. Topics include The History of the Bible, The Contents of the Bible, Studying the Bible, The Bible in Worship and Difficulties with the Bible. Everyone is encouraged to come with questions for discussion. For more information visit the Web site at www.stmatthewssterling.org, phone 703-430-2121.

Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration will be holding its first "Celebration in the Park...ing Lot" Sept. 19 at 9:30 a.m., under the tent on the grounds of the Loudoun County Senior Center. The day-long event will feature many activities for children, including rides, games, puppet shows, crafts, face painting and more. The service will run from approximately 10 a.m. until noon, with nursery care provided, after which a free lunch, donated by local businesses, will be provided. During this evangelistic service, there will be opportunity to receive pastoral prayer and counseling for both physical and emotional healing. Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration, a part of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. For more information, call the church office at 703-858-9550 or visit the church's Web site at www.ccott.com.

A "Bible for Liberals" class will be held as a monthly drop-in discussion at the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling on the second Sunday of each month beginning Sept. 12. At each session there will be an in-depth discussion of a biblical text. Participants will be given background on the historical context in which the text was written, the literary features, and the way it has been interpreted. There will be opportunities to talk about personal response to the text and how biblical studies might influence one's own personal spiritual journey. The discussions will be held after the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service held at the Sterling Oaks Commerce Center at 21355 Davis Drive near Route 28 and Church Road. For more information call 703-406-3068 or visit uusterling.org.

Dr. Scot McKnight will be speaking at Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church, 201 E. Frederick Drive in Sterling, Sunday, Sept., 12, at the 8 a.m., 9:50 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. McKnight will be discussing "A society with perspective--finding a spiritual center around which we can organize lives that are healthy and whole." His latest book, "The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others," will be available for purchase at the church. Everyone is welcome. For more information visit the Web site at www.stmatthewssterling.org, phone 703-430-2121.

Galilee United Methodist Church, 45425 Winding Road, Sterling, is hosting a special informational meeting for those looking for help and support with a possible diagnosis of Alzheimer's, Sept. 27, from 7:30-9 p.m. The meeting includes information about the disease and tips on what can be done to help the quality of life for both the patient and for the family. or more information, call Rev. Sarah Calvert at 703-430-2203.

The Loudoun Church Alliance has received a proclamation from the Purcellville town council in support of the Loudoun County Healthy Marriage Initiative. Forty percent of the county churches are working together to reduce divorce in the county by 50 percent in the next 10 years. The Concerned Women of America has also endorsed the program. A Healthy Marriage summit will take place Sept. 25 at the First Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Leesburg. For more information, e-mail jackstagman@aol.com.