or call in: 301 715 8592
Meeting ID : 840 5599 7546
(don't come in person - see you on the screen)
Dear People of Hope,
Merry Christmas. May the love and peace and joy of the Christ Child fill your hearts these holy days.
This is a season when we talk a lot about light and darkness. As we hear in The Gospel According to John, "A light shined in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it." Much as we are drawn to the light, Rev. Wil Gafney reminds us of Holy Darkness, Holy Blackness as well:
We are born of blackness, starry night and fertile earth, our first human parents in science and in scripture have Africa’s soil on their feet and in their skin. But somewhere along the way we were taught to fear the dark, to fear the night, to fear the holy blackness that is the swaddling blanket of creation.
She quotes Bishop Stephen Charleston as saying:
I have heard that the afterlife is a place of perpetual light. That’s a problem. Heaven needs night. Darkness is not evil, but a realm of mystery and imagination. The day is constant, but the night is creative. The stars dance. The moon dreams. The comets write poetry of fire. Without the night there is no dawn or twilight, no moments of sacred ambiguity, no subtle changes of perception, no promises kept or just made, a holy pledge of healing or of hope. No, please, we need the night in heaven. We need that glorious darkness, that obscure beauty, drifting on wedding gown clouds of white across an obsidian sky.
You can read the full sermon on this theme here. We celebrate the Light and the Darkness this season of Christmas.
Peace of Christ, Pastor Julie
ps - You are hopefully receiving all the notices about New Year's Day Worship being online only. Don't come to Hope this Sunday. We all all gather in one virtual location: zoom. We will all see each other's faces and hear the voices of anyone who wants to say hello. We will worship together with scripture and poetry. We will be using a new zoom link for 2023. Find it on Hope's website or throughout this newsletter:
New Year's Day Zoom Only Worship
A service of Scripture and Poetry Sunday January 1, 10:30am
Stay home, maybe in your pajamas or with coffee. We'll all worship online this morning, giving us the rare chance to be one community, all seeing each other on screen (rather than partially in person and partially online).
Zoom only; NEW zoom link for 2023:
Meeting ID: 840 5599 7546
Christmas Un-Decorating Sunday January 8
Stay after morning worship to clean up the church after the celebrations.
Gifts of Hope - local giving this Christmas Continuing through January 8
Jesus’ birth changed the world forever. This holiday season, we too can transform the lives of others through more meaningful giving. Donate through our Synod’s Gifts of Hope program and you will support local and global organizations with proven track records of helping those who need it most. Operating since Advent 1992, Gifts of Hope has raised and disbursed almost $4 million to two church camps, four ministries, three international companion synods, and many local social service agencies affiliated with the Synod. These funds have helped the homeless, the hungry, the young, the elderly, immigrants, refugees, jobseekers, seminary and college students, and those seeking to improve their lives. Visit the Gifts of Hope table in the entryway after the service to pick up a catalogue or go to GiftsOfHopeDC.org to learn more.
Collecting warm-wear for PG Day Center now through Sunday January 15
The PG Plaza Day Center welcomes donations of new socks, and new or good condition warm gloves and hats, prefer larger sizes. Hope will collect donations through January 15 and then make sure all items are delivered to the Day Center. Talk to Joan for additional information.
Hope is Hiring Continuing...
Hope's wonderful Administrative Assistant, Beth, has to resign from the position due to family needs. We are grateful for Beth's 5+ years of faithful service and we pray for her transition. Hope is now seeking a new Administrative Assistant. Find the job description on Hope's website and share it with any people or networks who might be interested.
Calendar and Links
Saturday December 31, 11am-1pm, Living Water worships at Hope
Sunday January 1, 10:30am New Year's Day Sunday Worship Zoom only; NEW zoom link for 2023:
Meeting ID: 840 5599 7546
Sunday January 8, after worship, un-decorate from Christmas at Hope
Tuesday January 17, noon-3pm, Hope serves lunch at PG Day Center contact Joan A to volunteer
Wednesday January 18, 7:30pm, Hope Council Meeting link shared with council