Send announcements to the Gazette, by e-mail to, by fax to 703-917-0991 or by mail to 1604 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Deadline is Friday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos and artwork encouraged. Call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6407 with questions.

Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church Choir Retreat. The MVUC Choir, under the interim leadership of Melodie Feather, welcomes new singers (both music readers and non-) beginning in January. Join us at our choir retreat on Jan. 13 (time and place tbd) to start the winter-spring season. Weekly rehearsals Wednesdays, 7:30-9 p.m.; Sunday services 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., twice a month. Located at 1909 Windmill Lane. Call 703-799-9274 (Trish Waters) for information.

Learn to meditate! If one of your New Year‚s Resolutions is to enjoy a more peaceful mind, please join us on Tuesday nights at Meade Memorial Episcopal Church, 322 North Alfred St. in Alexandria. The Vajrayogini Buddhist Center will be offering classes on Buddhist meditation from 7-8:30 p.m. beginning Tuesday Jan 16. Classes are $10 each, no registration is required. For more information visit or call the Center at 202-331-2122.

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington Victim Assistance Coordinator in conjunction with Catholic Charities will offer a 10-week psychotherapy group for victims/survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Arlington and Fredericksburg. The groups are open to all victim/survivors of sexual abuse. Further information is available by calling Patricia Mudd, A.C.S.W. at 703-841-2530. Registration required.

The Victim Assistance Coordinator maintains a list of social workers and counselors, as well as local clergy available for counseling of victims. The office also facilitates counseling for any victims/survivors abused in other dioceses, but currently living in the Arlington diocese. Call Patricia Mudd, A.C.S.W. at 703-841-2530.

Would you like to learn more about how to pray? To get some practical ideas and learn some new styles that might work for you? Good Shepherd Catholic Church will have four speakers coming to guide us through different styles of prayer. Join Thursday evenings from Jan. 11-Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Located at 8710 Mount Vernon Highway, Alexandria. Call 703-360-5517 or e-mail for more information.

* Jan. 11: "Traditional Prayers" with Rev. Lawrence Madden, S.J.

* Jan. 18: "Meditation and Contemplative Prayer" with Sr. June Fitzgerald, O.P.

* Jan. 25: "Praying with Scripture" with Sr. Mary Ellen Brady, O.P.

* Feb. 1: "Prayer in Daily Life" with Ms. Renee Bhatia, M.Div.

Circle Dance Workshop. Evelyn Torton Beck, PhD., will teach a workshop of ancient & new simple circle dances from around the world at Mt Vernon Unitarian Church, 1909 Windmill Lane, Saturday, Jan. 6 from 1-4 p.m. No previous dance experience is necessary. $15; light refreshments provided. Visit or call 703-333-3004 for more information.

First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1509 Collingwood Road, Mount Vernon, is now holding Wednesday evening meetings at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome. For more information call 703-768-2494.

Beginning Jan. 14, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1301 Collingwood Road, Alexandria, will be hosting a six-week series on Christianity and World Religions: "Building Bridges Across Faith Communities." The series will include worship services and town-hall-style meetings with visiting religious scholars as well as numerous small group studies delving more deeply into understanding the world’s major religions and how Christians can more compassionately relate with other faith communities.

* The series will begin Jan. 14 with an introductory sermon by Aldersgate Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Dennis Perry. Worship services are held at 8:30 a.m. (traditional), 9:45 a.m. (contemporary) and 11:15 a.m. (traditional).

* Over the following five Sundays, Jan. 21 through Feb. 18, visiting religious scholars will be invited to speak during worship services as well as participate in a town-hall-style meeting following the 11:15 a.m. service. A complimentary light brunch will be served prior to the meeting. For further information about the series, visit

Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church on 2001 Sherwood Hall Lane invites you to attend our Christmas Eve services. Dec. 24 regular services at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.; Family Service 4:30 p.m.; Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: 7:30 p.m.

The Vajrayogini Buddhist Center offers classes in Buddhist Meditation at the Meade Memorial Episcopal Church, 322 North Alfred St. in Alexandria. Classes are held on Tuesday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m. Buddhist Nun Kelsang Varahi will be teaching. $10/class. For more information visit or call 202-331-2122.

Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Road, Alexandria, holds services at 8:15 p.m. on Fridays and at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Religious school is on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. Adult learning opportunities take place throughout the year. Tot Shabbat is at 11 a.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Kolot Shabbat (musical service) the first Friday of every month at 7:30 pm. For more information, call 703-370-9400 or visit

Good Shepherd Catholic Church on Mount Vernon Highway in Alexandria is offering a "Coming Home" process at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month to ask questions, get an update on the church, and to help decide if it's time to reconnect with parish life. Contact Rob Doerschner at 703-822-0523.

The Urban Passage Inc., a faith-based non-profit organization, seeks adult volunteers, 50 years and older, to mentor high-risk youth at the Northern Virginia Juvenile detention Home in Alexandria. Volunteers are also needed to serve as youth advisory council leaders and community service project leaders for a program that serves terminally and seriously ill children at Inova Fairfax Hospital. Call 703-924-9840.

The Christian Women In The Marketplace meets to study God's word at the Royal Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. The CBWC meets every Wednesday at 7 a.m. for breakfast. Additional information contact Pamela Nilsen at 703-660-6759.