2017 Lenten Devotionals

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.”

Oakton Women’s Retreat

Looks like the 2016 retreat featured a craaaaazy jam session.

The second annual Oakton Women’s Retreat will be held the weekend of March 10 through 12 at Shepherd’s Spring Retreat Center in Sharpsburg, MD. The theme of the retreat is “Anna’s Prophecy: A Women’s Renewal Retreat” and Claire Flowers Waggener will lead us.
Last year, the women in our church had a wonderful time of study, reflection, relaxation, and fellowship. We pray for the women attending this year’s retreat to have a similarly restful and renewing weekend.

An adventure in interplanetary theology

Credit: NASA/JPL

Credit: NASA/JPL

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

theological-worlds-inventory

Children’s Offering

Children’s offerings this year will be going to support Habitat for Humanity. The Mid-Atlantic District Church of the Brethren is sponsoring a Habitat House to be built this year in Hagerstown, MD. District wide efforts are under way to raise funds to finance and build the home in partnership with the family who will live there. For more information, visit: www.madcob.com or  www.habitat-wc.org. Oakton contacts for this program are Debbie Seidel, Karl Wilkerson, or Bridget Beach.

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