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Famine has been declared in areas of South Sudan, with Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen on the brink of famine. More than 20 million people are at risk of starvation in these four countries alone. Globally, millions more suffer from drought and food shortages. The UN is calling this the largest humanitarian crisis since 1945. Yet, the famines are the result of conflict, drought, poverty and global inaction, and in most cases they are preventable. On Sunday, we will join with churches around the world in a prayer to end famine. read more…
Mothers’ Day is May 14. We would like to create a slideshow to honor mothers to be shown at the May 14th worship service. If you would like to include a photo or two of your mother, or a woman who has been an inspiration to you, please email them to the church office as soon as possible. If you are unable to send them by email, you could ask a member of the congregation to scan the photo and email it, or bring the photos to the church office. Original photos will be returned. We welcome high resolution (large size) images, and invite you to include a dedication line addressed to your mother, such as “Thank you for modeling compassion toward others.”
Dust off those hats, gloves, and boas and join us for the Ladies Tea on Sunday, May 7th, immediately following service. Ladies of all ages are invited. A tea lunch will be served, followed by a short program and lots of fellowship throughout the afternoon. Please sign up on the sheet in the church narthex, or email the church office, so we have an idea of how much food to prepare. Although not mandatory, hats and boas are strongly encouraged and always make for a fun afternoon. Hope you can make it!
Oakton Church of the Brethren is proud to be one of the 35 churches and civic organizations that support the work of the Committee for Helping Others (CHO). CHO is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that has provided simple loving charity to the needy in the Oakton, Vienna, Dunn Loring, and Merrifield areas of Northern Virginia since 1969.
On Saturday, April 22, volunteers have an opportunity to help out with the Furniture Program. Meet at the furniture warehouse around 8:45 a.m. At this time, things should be wrapping up with the furniture give-away that occurs from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. Then we jump in the CHO truck and make a delivery loop that includes five or six houses that have been scheduled in advance. We are usually done by noon. If you are interested in volunteering on Saturday, please call Karl Wilkerson at (703) 300-4415.
Special note on access to the warehouse: The town of Vienna will be re-paving Mill Street. If you find you’re not able to get to the property yard via Mill Street, try the Glendon Street entrance. (Drive north on Glyndon; it ends at the property yard. This entrance is usually kept closed, but it should be open during the Mill Street reconstruction.) See the website for more information about the road reconstruction.
All are invited to our Maundy Thursday observance, a re-enactment of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. We will gather downstairs in the candle-lit fellowship hall for a brief meditation, followed by footwashing, love feast and a service of communion. All are invited to participate or observe each portion of the service as they choose. Child care will be provided. Please join us April 13 at 7:30 pm.
More about Love Feast
In an act of great love, Jesus gave his life for ours. The Brethren, as Jesus’ followers, love God and each other—and take that love into the world. Once or twice a year, Brethren celebrate what the earliest Christians called agape: the outflowing love that seeks not to receive but to give.
Jesus taught us this practice, sharing with his disciples a last, loving meal the night before he died. He washed the disciples’ feet, ate supper with them, sought to draw them closer into the fold of his love, and offered them the symbolic bread and cup.
During love feast, we repeat these simple, meaningful acts. After reconciling any discord among ourselves, we lovingly wash each other’s feet, then enjoy a meal together. Quietly we share communion, the bread and the cup that remind us of Jesus’ great gift; we renew our commitment to follow his example of sacrificial love.
Love feast closes with a hymn; then follows the humble task of cleaning up, in which all are invited to participate. When we leave the feast, reunited in our dedication to Christ and to each other, the deep, nourishing love goes with us. More information on Brethren practices.
We invite you to join with Christian brothers and sisters on Friday, April 14 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm at the Oakton United Methodist Church for an ecumenical service. Guests are not expected to stay for the entire service, although you are welcome to do so. The service includes prayer, music, scripture readings, and meditations offered by area clergy. Our pastor, Ken Miller Rieman, will be the first member of clergy to offer a meditation shortly after the service begins at 12:00.
Easter Sunday is April 16th! Join us for breakfast at 9:45 am. Come as you are, and enjoy warm fellowship. Last year’s breakfast was festive and fun. We invite you to stay for worship service at 11:00 am as we rejoice in our risen Savior!
Oakton was delighted to host Church of the Brethren General Secretary, David, Steele, on Thursday, March 30 for a listening session. Oakton members were joined by members from Arlington, Dranesville, Midland, and Manassas for a conversation with Mr. Steele about the denomination and congregational life. Mr. Steele extended a personal thank you to Oakton for its steadfast support of denominational ministries. Read letter.
Friends, it appears that the storm has passed over! The snow has stopped earlier than we’d expected and dropped less than we’d feared or hoped for, depending on your perspective. We received between three and five inches, but that’s already started to melt. At any rate, the parking lot is plowed and the entryways to our building are open.
Finally, Board and Committee members can expect e-mail and/or phone communication of meeting cancellations. But we’ll also try to update events on the Google Calendar embedded in our site as we get information. We’ll also update information for our partnering congregations’ events as we hear from them.
If you have updates for us, please contact Pastor Ken.
If you are interested in a Lenten devotional during the season of Lent, we will have Lenten devotionals available in the church narthex (regular as well as large print). However, if you would prefer to have this year’s devotional on your mobile devices, it is also available as a digital download from Brethren Press. Digital downloads may be ordered online for $3.00.
This year’s devotional is Medicine of Mercy, by Theresa Eshbach. “Lent is a season of repentance and healing. God anoints us with a medicine of mercy, a healing balm, when we return to God’s ways. We receive this generous mercy and forgiveness and then extend it to a world in need.”
A five week Bible Study group, sponsored by the Action Reflection Committee, continues to discuss the Annual Conference Moderator’s monthly studies on the topic “Risk Hope.”
The moderator, Carol Sheppard, is addressing the uncertainty of these times in the world and in the Church and how we can risk hope in the midst of confusion.
Each study includes related scripture, commentary and discussion questions. Our last meeting will be this Thursday, March 2 in the Fellowship Hall at 7:30 p.m.
This is a series; but participants are welcome to attend any of the sessions they can make.
Advent Worship services begin Sunday, November 27th
Join us during the season of Advent, as we prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Christ at Christmas! Oakton Church of the Brethren incorporates seasonal music for piano, organ, cello, violin, and brass quartet. The service includes scripture lessons, a children’s story and a sermon as we come together in prayer. Every service offers a loving children’s ministry. Each Sunday of Advent, we light another Advent candle.
All visitors are welcome throughout the season of Advent and Christmas!
Sunday, December 4th 5:00 pm Prepare your hearts and minds for the Christmas Season! Join us for the annual Christmas Festival starting with cider, special live music, and a toasty fire outside the main doors. Afterwards, there will be an opportunity to sing some of your favorite Christmas carols, followed by inspiring music and a program performed by our children that will keep you in the true Christmas spirit throughout the year. We will conclude the evening with dinner and social time in the fellowship hall.
Saturday, December 17th 5:00 pm Caroling at family residences is a favorite tradition. We will meet at the church at 5:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to join us. If you, or anyone you know, would appreciate a visit by the carolers, please contact the church office. All carolers are invited to a meal in the church fellowship hall following this event.
Saturday, December 24th 7:00 pm All are welcome for a communion and candle lighting service. Come, and invite friends and family, for this joyous celebration and reconnect with the spiritual reason for the season.
Sunday, December 25th 11:00 am Christmas Day Worship service, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2.11
Does God-talk make you squirm? Have you ever had someone ask you about your faith, only to have them criticize your honest reply? Have you ever confessed doubts about some theological doctrine only to be denounced as a false Christian? If so, you’re not alone, even among many regular churchgoers. In truth, theological conversation goes deep, all the way to the root of how we understand ourselves, others and the world in which we live. It’s easy to understand why it can make us feel so vulnerable.
Theologian W. Paul Jones has spent years studying the theological diversity within Western Christianity and the conflicts which have ‘polarized, paralyzed and neutralized’ the life and ministry of denominations and congregations. He’s come to believe that our theological differences, sufficiently studied and understood, can help Christians revitalize their communities of faith and reawaken their ministries and mission.
From October 23rd to November 20th, we’ll immerse ourselves in the 5 distinct ‘Theological Worlds’ Jones has identified. In Sunday School and Worship, we’ll study the unique insights and challenges these different worldviews bring to our faith. I’m inviting all of our members and friends to complete a survey to help identify the worldviews that most resonate with your own faith and perspective.
There’s no right or wrong worldview. Each is grounded in scripture and the history of our tradition. But because they represent such different ways of viewing the world, they pose both risk and opportunity–risk when they lead to misunderstanding and opportunity when we learn to speak each others’ language of faith.
Please stay tuned for more information on our study and the accompanying sermon series. And please consider completing the survey. We’ll invite you to share your results with the office so we can create a map of our whole congregation’s diverse perspectives. I’m hopeful that this five-week immersion will be an adventure in our learning and growth as a community of faith and that each of us will emerge with a better understanding of each other.
Gratefully yours, Pastor Ken
23rd Annual Christmas Craft Show
Thursday, November 17 & Friday, November 18 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and Saturday, November 19 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Oakton Church of the Brethren’s 23rd Annual Christmas Craft Show is a three-day event featuring a wide variety of handmade creations and craft supplies for purchase, plus a soup and sandwich lunch and bake sale. The church is located at 10025 Courthouse Rd., where Courthouse Rd. intersects Rt. 123 near Oakton. For more information, call the office at 703-281-4411. Office hours are M-F 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.
The event is a fundraiser for church projects. There is no admission charge.
Come browse around and find one-of-a-kind presents; cards, tags and gift bags; fall and holiday décor; kitchen accessories; ceramics; jewelry; soaps; baby and children’s items; pillows and linens; scarves, hats and other attire; pies and cakes; yarn, fabric and sewing notions and more!
Now Recruiting Crafters!
Crafter signups are now under way for Oakton Church of the Brethren’s annual Christmas Craft Show. The three-day show is consignment-shop style, staffed by church volunteers, freeing crafters to do another show that same weekend.
There is a $20 crafter sign-up fee and 10 percent of crafter sales go toward church projects.
Our show is a local holiday tradition now in its 23rd year! We actively publicize the event, and our prominent location helps us draw a crowd. Again this year the show will feature crafts and craft supplies, as well as sales of baked goods and lunchtime soup and sandwiches.
Interested crafters should contact the church at 703-281-4411 or email for more details. You can also find us on Facebook!
Join us Sunday, October 23rd at 4:00 pm for a FREE community concert featuring 7th Position.
7th Position is an ensemble composed of four trombonists plus a drummer with a mission of playing both original and a wide v
ariety of popular music with the noble sound that makes the trombone unique among instruments.
Al Burgstahler plays tenor trombone. He played in the Interlochen World Youth Symphony and was principal trombone with the University of Kansas Symphonic Orchestra. When living in Central California Al performed in regional ensembles including the Sierra Symphony, Big Band Express, and the Ken Robinson Dixieland band. He is currently lead trombone with the Tom Cunningham Orchestra. read more…
This summer, August 1st to 5th, we were blessed with 38 children who attended God’s Big Backyard. We learned each day what it means to be in service to each other.
On Monday, we learned that Miriam SERVED her FAMILY by taking care of her brother Moses. She hid in the tall grass as she watched over him and spoke up at just the right time. A pot of grass reminded us of the secret hiding place where Miriam watched and waited. If you watch, I’m sure God will show you many, many opportunities to SERVE your FAMILY in love each day.
On Tuesday, we learned about four men who SERVED their FRIEND by taking him to Jesus to be healed. They went through a lot of trouble to get him there! A hammock reminded us of the man who couldn’t walk and how his friends carried him on a mat that was a lot like this hammock. Always remember that the best way to SERVE your FRIENDS is by bringing them to meet Jesus. read more…