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Votes

Faith, Oct. 1-7

Send announcements or events, which are open to the public at no or minimal cost, to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102 or e-mail <a href="mailto:loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com">loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com</a>. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call 703-917-6454.

Potomac Falls Anglican Church will hold a Blessing of the Animals, Saturday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m., at Horizon Elementary School, 46665 Broadmore Drive, Cascades. The Rev. Jack Grubbs invites the community to bring their family pets to receive a blessing and a treat. All pets and stuffed animals are welcome. Pets should be on a leash or in a carrier. The congregation will be collecting old towels and blankets for Loudoun Country Animal Shelter and pet food for Loudoun Interfaith Relief. Call the church office at 703-404-0900 or visit www.potomacfallschurch.org. Potomac Falls Anglican Church meets for services each week, at 10 a.m., at Horizon Elementary School in Cascades.

The Rev. Deborah Dodson Parsons will be formally installed as pastor of Leesburg Presbyterian Church, 207 West Market St., Leesburg, Sunday, Oct. 5. Everyone is welcome to attend the installation ceremony, which will be held at the church at 3 p.m.

A native of Texas, Parsons graduated from Austin College and Vanderbilt Divinity School. After her ordination, she served as chaplain and instructor of religion at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va. Upon accepting her call to Mary Baldwin, she became the first woman to be ordained in the Shenandoah Presbytery.

Leesburg Presbyterian Church Sunday worship services are held at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

The 10:30 a.m. service, Sunday, Oct. 5, at the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling is a Blessing of the Animals The Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael invites all to bring mementos or photos of their pets and animal compatriots to have them blessed by our community in a ritual that recognizes our inherent interconnection. The all ages' service will honor our present pets, our past pets and the life of St. Francis of Assisi whose compassion for animals first blossomed in the celebration of animal blessings. A hymn sing will prepare for worship at 10:20 a.m. and an Inquirer's Class will follow the service for anyone who wants to learn more about Unitarian Universalism. UUS meets every Sunday, at 10:30 a.m., at the Sterling Oaks Commerce Center at 22135 Davis Drive. Call 703-406-3068 or visit uusterling.org.

From Sunday, Oct. 5-Nov. 16, Leesburg United Methodist Church will engage in a spiritual campaign called "40 Days of Purpose," based on Scripture and the Rev. Rick Warren's best selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life."

In the three Sunday morning worship services, numerous small study groups throughout the week at the church and in host homes, and in individual daily prayer and reading of "The Purpose Driven Life," the congregation and any others who wish to participate will spend six weeks exploring the question, "What on earth am I here for?"

The campaign also will emphasize both short-term and continuing mission projects, in which participants can apply their individual talents in God's service. Children are welcome; activities for those from preschool age through fifth grade will be offered each Sunday evening at the church. Child care will be offered at the small study groups.

The campaign will begin with a kick-off, Saturday, Oct. 4, beginning with dinner, at 6 p.m., in the fellowship hall of the church, 107 W. Market St., Leesburg. The program will include a DVD presentation by Rick Warren at 6:45 p.m. and a preview of campaign activities. Participants will receive copies of "The Purpose Driven Life," an $8 donation is suggested, and choose a small group for the weekly gatherings. Contact Leesburg United Methodist at 703-777-2056 or go to www.leesburgumc.org.

Congregation Sha'are Shalom, Loudoun County's Conservative synagogue, celebrates Yom Kippur (day of atonement) services begining with Kol Nidrei (all vows) at 6:15 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 8, and resume at 9 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 9. A break-the-fast will be held after the conclusion of Yom Kippur services around 7:20 p.m., Thursday.

All services and events are held at Congregation Sha'are Shalom, 19357 Evergreen Mills Road, Leesburg. Nonmembers can reserve tickets by calling the synagogue at 703-737-6500 or by downloading the reservation forms at www.sha-areshalom.org.

The 10:30 a.m. service, Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling is "Forgiveness, That We May Live." The Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael invites everyone to consider how forgiveness is both a personal experience and a spiritual pursuit. The service will touch on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. UUS meets every Sunday, at 10:30 a.m., at the Sterling Oaks Commerce Center at 22135 Davis Drive. Call 703-406-3068 or visit uusterling.org

The 10:30 a.m. service, Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling is "United Nations Revelations." This is the 60th anniversary year of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael invites us to consider the dream of the UN in relation to the present struggles of our global civilization. On this day, the congregation will also recognize new members of the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling. UUS meets every Sunday, at 10:30 a.m., at the Sterling Oaks Commerce Center at 22135 Davis Drive. Call 703-406-3068 or visit uusterling.org.

CONNECT, the young adult group at Sterling United Methodist Church, 304 East Church Road, Sterling, is seeking new members. CONNECT focuses on bringing people together in a social setting as they commonly search for Christ's direction in their lives. The group is open to all men and women in their 20s and 30s, married or single, with or without children. There is no cost for membership, although activity participation fees may apply. Call 703-430-6455 or visit www.sterlingumc.org.

Stephen Ministry at Ashburn Presbyterian Church, 20962 Ashburn Road in Ashburn, is a one-to-one listening ministry for those who need support for reasons such as divorce, loss of a loved one, recent hospitalization or terminal illness. Although Stephen Ministers are not counselors, they do empathize with those they are called to support and help them to find comfort through God's loving presence. Call Mark Armstrong, associate pastor at 703-729-2012 or visit the church Web site at ww.ashburnpresbyterian.org.