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A Message from our Rector

ADVENT 2014

Advent is a two-faced season. It looks back to the birth of the Christ child, two thousand years ago and still approaching us anew at Christmas, but it also points us forward, into the Kingdom of God whose fullness is still unfolding around us. It reminds us whose we are, and invites us to contemplate what we shall become. It is also the start of the liturgical calendar, which begins in preparation for Christ’s birth and ends with Christ the King, reigning from the cross. As such, it is a good time to look over our common life and see what God has been working among us.

This year, our work can be gathered around three principal themes: Christ, compassion, and creativity. Christ, of course, subsumes them all, for it is the work of the church to show forth the love, grace, and mercy of Christ in all that we do. In this context, I am using it to point toward our deepening formation programs. We have entered the second year of our Core Curriculum, which we are developing to provide our parishioners with the kind of deep and transformative spiritual formation that is usually found only within the walls of a seminary. The intention is not to impart knowledge, but to allow God to shape our hearts, and it seems to be working. With about thirty people having finished the first three courses, and another eighteen having started this fall, participants are reporting that they experience God, Scripture, themselves and their relationships in a new and deeper way. (We will be enrolling another introductory class next fall.)

New this Fall has been our Wednesday evening drop-in supper, Get Fed!, which allows for formation and fellowship that are enriching the life of our parish. (You don’t need to come every time; you are always welcome.)  Of course, we still have the ongoing Forum series, EFM, Bible studies and book groups, and other learning opportunities for adults, as well as our excellent programs for children and youth. The Children’s ministries are considering a return to Godly Play, a joyful and rich experiential curriculum that offers greater transparency for parents and a low entry-bar for volunteers who wish to teach.

We also encounter Christ in serving the poor, which makes compassion a hallmark of the Christian faith. This fall, the Mission Committee has been unfolding the components of our TLC initiative (Transforming the Lives of Children): partnerships with schools in DC, South Sudan, and Jordan; legal representation for unaccompanied minors entering the United States; and a focus in our Crossroads apartments on housing mothers with children. (Our Global Mission group is actively discerning a mission partner in Latin America as well.) Meanwhile, our youth are gearing up for the Appalachia Service Project. This year, we are working in partnership with St. Columba’s, which gives us a large group of teens and chaperones and also holds the possibility of deeper relationships with our neighbors. We continue to respond quickly to emerging needs, such as the ebola outbreak, people emerging from prisons, and religious refugees in the Middle East.

Finally, we are making creativity a hallmark of all that we do. From the Creative Retreats to our beautiful music to the incorporation of the arts into our Adult Forums and formation programs, we are working to engage the power of the imagination in the service of Christ, both in the ways we form our hearts and in seeking new ways to meet the needs of the world around us.  Christ calls us into God’s future, and it is only by having the courage to imagine a world without degradation, injustice, and violence that we can begin to shape our own church, city, and culture in a Godward direction.

And so, as we enter Advent, we look for the Christ to come, and for the Christ who is all around us. May the peace of God be with you this season, and always,

Deborah Meister signature

 

 Click here for past messages from our Rector

Focus on Feeding

Hunger

One in eight District households is struggling against hunger. We invite you to prayerfully consider whether you can help one of St. Alban’s three feeding ministries. You can find more information on our Ministries page.

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Upcoming Events

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