Can’t find what you’re looking for on the home page? Feel free to scroll through the Announcement Archive for stories you may have missed.
Sunday, October 22, Carol Wise and Brian Flory, of the Supportive Congregation Network, and members of the Arlington, University Park and Westminster Churches of the Brethren were present to share stories about the discernment process that Brethren congregations have used to consider the nature of the welcome they extend to LGBTQ members.
The junior high youth who attended the Mid-Atlantic District conference assembled about 70 disaster clean up buckets. The buckets will be used by the Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries. If you wish to donate to the Disaster Ministries you can do so by clicking here. To learn more about the Disaster Ministries you can visit their home page here.
The 51st Annual Mid-Atlantic District Conference for the Church of the Brethren was held October 13-14 at the Frederick Church of the Brethren located in Frederick, Maryland. This year the moderator was our very own Brian Bachman. The conference opened on Friday night at 7:00pm and our former pastor, Kurt Borgmann, brought the message.
Our hearts go out to the people across the southern US and the Caribbean devastated by the recent hurricanes. Challenged by the Biblical mandate to “carry each other’s burdens,” the Church of the Brethren traditionally has been involved in the relief of suffering, whether caused by war, strife or natural disaster. That tradition continues as twelve volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) have traveled to San Antonio to provide comfort to children and families affected by hurricane Harvey. Dozens more volunteers will follow as this will be the largest response in a decade for CDS. More on Brethren Disaster Ministries.
If you cannot donate, please pray! Pray for the thousands of people affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana and Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in Florida and the Caribbean. May God comfort those who mourn, those who are injured, and those who have lost their homes. Pray for strength and safety for all the workers and volunteers giving aid to others. Pray that giving may be generous, swift, and beneficial. Pray for wisdom in relief and recovery efforts.
Sunday Worship, September 24th
We were pleased to welcome Rev. Belita Mitchell to the Oakton CoB on Sunday, September 24th at 11:00 am worship service observing the International Day of Prayer for Peace.
Rev. Mitchell currently serves as Senior Pastor at the Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, PA. Following service, Pastor Mitchell will be presenting an additional program on the topic of Agape-Satyagraha work in the Harrisburg community.
OPJF meeting is planned for Wednesday, August 23, at 6:00 pm in the church fellowship hall. We’ll have a casual potluck dinner followed by a screening of “Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA.” This award-winning film, produced by Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, details how, during a time of racial and cultural unrest, the founders of Reston created a truly diverse community. Please let us know if you’re bringing the kids – we will try to set up child care.
Our efforts are grounded in our conviction that peacemaking requires creating a more just society, and our commitment to build and leverage relational power to affect social change. Join us to discuss how we can be a witness to Christ’s love in the world through actions and advocacy. RSVP and find more on Facebook.
It was a joy to meet the members of the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) — the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria who were visiting the United States recently. The delegation included the President of EYN and the General Secretary. In addition to attending Song and Story Fest and Annual Conference, the group met with policy makers in Washington D. C. at an event organized by the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, on the crisis of famine and violence in Nigeria. The event was intended to give policy makers and their staff background knowledge on local solutions, U.S. policy, and interfaith organizing happening in regards to Nigeria. On July 17th, the group met a few Oakton members for thoughtful conversation and then stayed the night at the parsonage. Thanks to Gretchen who was able to host a guest, as well. The next day, the group returned home to Nigeria. We pray for blessings on their continued ministry.
Help keep Oakton beautiful! We will need several volunteers on July 22nd to work on projects inside and outside around the church property, as well as child care volunteers. We’ll plan to begin at 8am, but you are welcome to come earlier to beat the heat. Let us know in advance, and we can give you a project to get started. If you can’t make it that day, but you want to help, call the office for a list of projects that we need help with. If you have your own tools, you are welcome to bring them. No experience necessary. Lunch will be provided.
The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference was held June 28 – July 2 in Grand Rapids, MI. This year’s theme was based on Hebrews 10:23 urging us to hold fast to our hope in Jesus Christ. The Annual Conference exists to unite, strengthen and equip the Church of the Brethren to follow Jesus. For over 250 years, Brethren have gathered together regularly to worship together, to discuss questions of faith, and to be reacquainted with believers across the country. The first official meeting of this type was in 1742 when Brethren met to reaffirm their unique identity. Annual Conference is the highest and final legislative authority in the Church of the Brethren, including all matters of procedure, program, polity, and discipline. The authority of Conference has its source in the delegates elected by local congregations and districts, who come together as a deliberative body under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We pray for all those returning home from Annual Conference, that they will carry the warmth of community and the fire of commitment back to their congregations. More information about the results of this year’s Annual Conference business is available through the Church of the Brethren. read more…
Hannah has grown up in our congregation. Her parents, and many members of our church, have helped her come to know the life and teachings of Jesus. As a youth, she has undertaken a more serious study of faith and discipleship. It gives us great joy to celebrate her decision to follow Jesus, to join our church, and to partner with us in ministry. This Sunday, June 11th, Hannah was baptized in Christ. We will honor Hannah, and all who’ve joined the church this year, at a reception later this summer.
Father’s Day is June 18th. Please join us before service at 9:45 am for a Father’s Day breakfast. During service, we would like to show a slide presentation honoring fathers. If you would like to include a few photos (up to 3 per papa) of your father, grandfather, or a man who has played a fatherly role in your life, please email them to the church office as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think you’ll make it to the worship service, we would be happy to honor your father.
If you are unable to send a picture by email, you could ask another 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 (full size) images, and invite you to include a dedication line addressed to your father. Although not required, landscape orientation will display best on the slideshow.
Our annual community flea market returns on Saturday, June 3rd.
Sales open at 8:00 am and continue to 1:00 p.m. In addition to the vendors, there will be grilled hot dogs and delicious baked goods for sale. You never know what you’ll find at the flea market!
Vendor setup begins at 7:00 a.m. Sales space is available for a $15 donation to the church and must be reserved in advance. Email or call the church office to reserve space.
The flea market takes place along the sides of the church parking lot, moving inside if we get a rainy day. Tell your friends! read more…
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…
All are welcome to join us Thursday, June 1 at 7:00 pm for Bible study in the fellowship hall. We will continue our study on the theme of the Annual Conference “Risk Hope.” If you can’t make it, you can follow along here.
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.