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Votes

Faith

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 Friday, 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.

Rabbi Neil Tow will be with Congregation Sha'are Shalom from Dec. 2-4. He will conduct a Tot Shabbat for children ages 2 to 5, at 7 p.m., Dec. 2 with a family friendly service following at 7:30 p.m. There will be Shabbat Morning services on Dec. 3 and at 7 p.m. a discussion, The December Dilemma, which will address the special issues that the winter holidays pose for Jewish families. The community is welcome to all events.

Congregation Sha'are Shalom, a Conservative congregation, is located at 19357 Evergreen Mill Road in Leesburg. Call 703-737-6500 or visit www.sha-areshalom.org. Rabbi Tow can be contacted at rabbi@sha-areshalom.org.

Ashburn Presbyterian Church invites the community to the churchwide Christmas Story program Sunday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. Bring friends and the entire family to start the Christmas season by focusing on the real meaning of Christmas. Read the story of the birth of Jesus and sing all the favorite Christmas carols. ChildrenÕs choirs and youth will lead the singing. Dessert and fellowship will follow the program.

The community is also invited to join in by dressing as one of the characters in the Christmas Story: Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, angels, wise men, the inn keeper or the animals.

The church also be collecting canned goods or any nonperishable food items for donation to those in need throughout Loudoun County this holiday season.

APC is located at 20962 Ashburn Road in Ashburn. Call 703-729-2012 or visit the Web site at www.ashburnpresbyterian.org.

On Sunday, Dec. 4, at the 10:30 a.m. service, the Rev. Matthew McNaught of the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling, will take a fresh look at "A Christmas Carol" in the psyche of Ebenezer Scrooge. UUS meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., at the Sterling Oaks Commerce Center at 22135 Davis Drive off of Church Road. Call 703-406-3068 or visit uusterling.org.

The St. Gabriel's Alternative Gift Fair, where a person can buy Alternative Gifts for friends and family by making donations to local charities in the recipient's name, will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Belmont Ridge Middle School, 19045 Upper Belmont Place in Lansdowne. Nine Loudoun charities will be represented, offering gift choices ranging from $10-$75. Shoppers will receive ready-to-give gift cards with detailed descriptions of the gifts and the charitable organizations that benefit. Shop on line or order a catalog www.saintgabriels.net. Call St. GabrielÕs at 703-779-3616 or e-mail agf@saintgabriels.net. All gifts are tax deductible.

"Children's Night at Christmas" will be presented at Ox Hill Baptist Church Sunday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. All four children's choirs and the children's handbell choir will participate in this celebration of Christmas. The church is located at 4101 Elmwood St., Chantilly. Call 703-378-5555 or visit www.oxhillbaptist.org.

Congregation ShaÕare Shalom will host the first musical program in its new synagogue at 19357 Evergreen Mills Road, Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m.

The woodwind chamber group, Ensemble ˆ la Carte, will perform a work by local composer David Rubenstein along with works by Jacques Ibert, Georges Auric, and George Gershwin. ShaÕare Shalom Rabbi Neil will be joining the Ensemble for a selection of Traditional Hebrew songs as a guest vocalist with the Ensemble. In addition, Rubenstein, who lives in Reston, will be attending to see the performance of his 2005 composition A Summer Song for flute, clarinet, and bassoon. The performance will be followed by a wine and cheese reception with the musicians and Rubenstein.

Congregation ShaÕare Shalom invites all in the community to attend. The suggested donation is $10 each in advance or $15 at the door on the day of the performance.

Tickets can be reserved by mailing checks to Congregation ShaÕare Shalom, P.O. Box 4518, Leesburg VA 20175. Tickets are also available at the synagogue. Hours are posted on the Web site, www.sha-areshalom.org or call 703-669-4588.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun is hosting A Greater Gift Sale Saturday, Dec. 10, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., in its chapel located at 20460 Gleedsville Road, Leesburg. The Greater Gift Sale will feature hand-crafted items from artisans in 35 countries around the world including underprivileged parts of the U.S.

Every purchase directly helps to improve working conditions, access to health care and education for the artisans and their families by offering fair wages for their crafts. The sale is in partnership with A Greater Gift, a program of SERRV International. SERRV is a nonprofit alternative trade and development organization that has been marketing crafts and food products from artisans and farmers around the world for fair prices for 55 years.

Visit the Web site, www.uuloudoun.org or call the church at 703-737-7644.

Christmas Bible school for children ages 4-sixth grade will be held Saturday, Dec. 10, at Ox Hill Baptist Church, from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Children will hear the Christmas story, make crafts and sing songs. Register by contacting the church, 4101 Elmwood St., Chantilly. Call 703-378-5555 or visit www.oxhillbaptist.org.

Chanukah Extravaganza, Saturday, Dec. 10, 6:30-9 p.m., Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 8900 Little River Turpike, Fairfax. Free. Featuring arts and crafts; games; entertainment; latke and dessert bar; moon bounce and other gym fun. Call 703-323-0880, Ext. 39 or www.jccnv.org.

On Sunday, Dec. 11, at 5 p.m., 60 youth from the Shenandoah Conservatory Community Arts program, will perform a Christmas concert featuring, "Ceremony of Carols," by Benjamin Britten, accompanied by harp; and carol favorites. Free will offering. Reception follows. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 605 West Market St., Leesburg. Call 703-777-4912.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 605 W. Market St., Leesburg, has a full schedule of community music events over the coming months, including:

* Dec. 4, 4 p.m. Advent and Christmas Concert, by the Choirs of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

* Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. Christmas Concert Ñ Vivaldi's "Gloria," by the Loudoun Chorale

* Dec. 11, Christmas Concert, by the 60-voice youth choirs of the Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy: The Blue Ridge Choristers, and TOPS Ñ Top of Virginia girls choir

* Feb. 26, 8:30 a.m., at Holy Trinity and 11 a.m., at St. James Episcopal, combined choirs, in worship setting: "Deutsche Messe" by Franz Schubert.

Ashburn Presbyterian ChurchÕs Youth and Fun and Fellowship ministries will be hosting a family movie day Saturday, Dec. 17. The group will be attending the movie, ÒNarniaÓ as a group and meeting in the lobby of the Regal Movie Theater located on Route 7 in Countryside, at 9:30 a.m. Movie time is 9:50 a.m.

Tickets should be purchased in advance. The cost $7 per person. For more information or to purchase a ticket, visit the church office located at 20962 Ashburn Road in Ashburn, or contact Pattie Krzywicki at christianed@ashburnpresbyterian.org.

Ashburn Presbyterian Church invites the community to join its Christmas Choir sings carols at WegmanÕs Saturday, Dec. 17, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Come have lunch and enjoy hearing all the favorite Christmas carols. Call 703-729-2012 or visit the Web site at www.ashburnpresbyterian.org.

2nd Annual WF/EL Chanukah Bash fro western Fairfax/eastern Loudoun communities, Sunday, Dec. 18, 12-4 p.m., Congregation Beth Emeth, 12523 Lawyers Road, Herndon. Features arts and crafts; games; music and entertainment. Food available for purchase. Co-sponsored by Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, Congregation Beth Emeth, Temple Beth Torah, Congregation Yad Shalom, Congregation Sha'are Shalom, Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation and Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. Call 703-323-0880, Ext. 39 or www.jccnv.org.

Sterling United Methodist Church, 304 East Church Road, invites the community to its Christmas presentation of HandelÕs Messiah Part I, Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2:30 p.m. Admission free. Call 703-430-6455.

On Sunday, Dec. 18, at the 10:30 a.m. service, the Rev. Matthew McNaught of the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling, will deliver a sermon built around Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales." UUS meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., at the Sterling Oaks Commerce Center at 22135 Davis Drive off of Church Road. Call 703-406-3068 or visit uusterling.org.

The women's earth-based spirituality group at the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling will present a winter solstice celebration Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m.

All are invited to come and affirm spiritual ties to nature through celebration and traditions that are thousands of years old. Bring a drum or rattle and join in welcoming the return of the sun.

A night of music, introspection, drumming, folklore and joyous celebration. The UUS choir will sing a Muskogee Indian chant and congregants will participate in a candle-lighting ceremony to recall the sun at the winter solstice.

UUS meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., at the Sterling Oaks Commerce Center at 22135 Davis Drive off of Church Road. Call 703-406-3068 or visit uusterling.org.

Bethel Church invites the community to attend its candlelight service Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. Message on Christmas, "What Does It Really Mean?" Bethel Church is located at 19856 Evergreen Mills Road, Leesburg. E-mail Make-a-note@att.net or call 703-777-4221.

Ashburn Presbyterian Church invites the community for a sermon series focused on finding Jesus at Christmas. The sermon series will be highlighted at the contemporary worship service held at 9:45 a.m., and the traditional worship service held at 11:15 a.m., Sundays, through Dec. 18.

On Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, there will be two childrenÕs worship services, one at 4:30 p.m. and the other at 5:30 p.m., both featuring a live nativity scene performed by children. At 7 p.m., there will be a traditional candlelight service including congregation singing and special music by the sanctuary choir and at 9 p.m., a traditional candlelight and communion service including congregation singing and special music by the sanctuary choir.

On Dec. 25, Christmas Day, celebrate JesusÕ birth with a worship service at 10:30 a.m., which will include singing the favorite Christmas carols.

APC is located at 20962 Ashburn Road, Ashburn. Call 703-729-2012 or visit the Web site at www.ashburnpresbyterian.org.

Ashburn Presbyterian ChurchÕs Youth and Fun and

The youth of Sterling United Methodist Church are collecting pennies to support Methodist Church relief efforts for the hurricanes this year. The money collected will donated to a youth group in Mississippi or Louisiana whose church was destroyed by the hurricanes. The goal is 500,000 pennies by Jan. 28. A collection container is located in the church narthex, inside the main entrance. The church is located at 304 East Church Road. Call 703-430-6455.

Potomac Falls Episcopal Church meets for Sunday services at 10 a.m., at Horizon Elementary School, 46665 Broadmore Drive, Sterling. Sunday school for children and nursery care for infants is provided each week.

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. Contact founder and missionary Jack Stagman at jackstagman@adelphia.net.

The Unitarian Universalists of Sterling meet on Sunday mornings, at 10:30 a.m., at the Sterling Oaks Commerce Center at 21355 Davis Drive near Route 28 and Church Road. Call 703-406-3068 or visit uusterling.org.

Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation will hold Sunday School every Sunday, from 9 a.m.-noon, at the Boyd Montessori School in Ashburn. In addition to Sunday School, a second day of Hebrew School will be offered Tuesday evenings, from 7-8 p.m., at Sanders Corner Elementary School. Attendance is limited to fourth- through seventh-graders and adults interested in learning Hebrew. Contact Lisa Kimball at bradamk@aol.com or call 703-858-1999.