Service Times: 9 and 11 AM on Sunday mornings
Please mark events (at the end of the newsletter) on your personal calendars.
"How to have a Merry Missional Christmas" by Pastor Clancy Nixon
"Let's Rise Up and Build" by Pastor Dean Schultz
"Middle School Mania Report" by Sara Johnson
"Report from Ashby Ponds" by Pastor Dave Prosser
"Four Churches Pray for Healing and Reconciliation"
(after the Pittsburgh Massacre)
by Pastor John Nuzum
"Five Ways to Enjoy the Birth of our Savior this Christmas" by Terry Johnson
"Women's Ministry Report: Christ Shining through Fashion" by Ginger Nixon
"Drawing Near to God Conference with Mike Flynn" by Monica Whitmer
"Bonhoeffer" by Pastor John Nuzum
Winners of Last Month's Mission Outreach Quiz
Thank You Note to Holy Spirit from the Anglican Relief and Disaster Fund (ARDF)
List of Events for Fall 2018
"How to Have a Merry, Missional Christmas"
by Pastor Clancy Nixon
Black Friday deals were all over the Internet a week early; the first snow has already blanketed the hills and valleys; Thanksgiving is past and Christmas is on the way. We are about to enter the season of preparation we call
There are a variety of ways that we prepare.
First, we prepare by searching our hearts to see if there is any unclean way in us, and to see if we are putting any confidence in our flesh (Phil. 3:3), rather than in the Lord.
Second, we prepare for the visitation of our King once more, as if he were coming to visit us physically, as a dignitary, to our home.
Third, we prepare with tangible gifts, making our list, checking it twice, and giving gifts to our families, friends, and ministry partners as reminders of the gifts of the Magi to the Christ child, out of thankfulness for God's gift of them to us.
Fourth, we prepare our homes with Advent wreaths and calendars, decorating Christmas trees, and for hospitality and parties. I love pulling out the ornaments that my mother made, and thinking of her love for me, and mine for her.
These familiar rhythms comfort and connect us to fond memories from past celebrations. They make the heart glad; merry.
I want to suggest an additional kind of preparation for Christmas, "missional" preparation.
The word "Missional" is a neologism, an adjective recently coined that describes people on mission for Christ in whatever we are doing. We are entering the one extended season of the year (really two - Advent and Christmas) in which the secular world acknowledges Christians' second highest holy day - the birth of the god-man, Jesus Christ. In this season, our neighbors who are far from Christ are more open and receptive to talking about Jesus, because Christmas symbols are all around them. Current statistics show that only 2% of American Christians have shared their faith with someone far from Christ. Evidently, most of us find that very difficult to do. However, 80% of unchurched Americans are receptive to an invitation to attend Christmas worship from someone they know personally. If you won't do the hard thing, then by all means do the easy thing, and invite people far from God into relationship with you, and to worship!
Our Mission Statement is this: "We invite nations and generations to experience God's love and power."
Mission is what we do. We want everyone to experience God's love and power. But the operative verb is "invite." Will you join me in inviting someone to worship this season, particularly someone from a different ethnic group, religious background, or age?
Please consider joining me and inviting a friend, neighbor, or co-worker to one of our two Christmas Eve worship services. The pageant at 2 o'clock on December 24 is particularly suited for families with small children, as we feature kids acting in our Pageant drama. The candlelight service at 10 PM is for adults who are looking for a contemplative worship experience. Both are excellent entry points into our common life!
While it's best to invite someone you know, because they're more likely to respond, still, people whom you don't know well, may very well respond to an invitation like this from you. We have printed invite postcards that I encourage you to use to hand to people that you know, or ones God puts in your path.
Another missional opportunity is our Christmas parade on December 8, Saturday evening. We will gather at the home of Keith and Sara Johnson at 5:00PM, and pass out these invitations and candy canes to our neighbors as we walk down King Street.
What better birthday present could we give to Jesus then to introduce someone who is far from him, to the saving knowledge and love of Him? Please pray with and for all of us, as we invite nations and generations to experience God's love and power.
May our gracious God bless you as you prepare for the coming of our King.+
"Let's Rise up and Build"
by Pastor Dean Schultz
It was a joy to gather with members and newcomers to our Holy Spirit church family this Fall at the home of Mike and Barbara Kelley for a retreat day that featured teaching from the Old Testament Book of Nehemiah, whose name in Hebrew means "comforted by YAHWEH." Written sometime between 445 and 420 B.C. following the Babylonian captivity, the book of Nehemiah provides us with a prophetic blueprint for how the Holy Spirit (our Comforter) comes and works through us to be His ambassadors for societal transformation as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When you meet Nehemiah in the sacred scriptures, you are introduced to a committed layman who is burdened to see the broken-down walls in his hometown of Jerusalem (a picture of the broken-down lives that surround us) rebuilt. They had been destroyed by the Babylonians, who could be likened to the forces of darkness that seek to destroy the hearts, minds and souls of God's people.
Before Nehemiah begins to repair, rebuild and reinforce the broken down walls of Jerusalem, he humbles himself, mourns, fasts, weeps, prays, and confesses his personal sins, father's sins and nation's sins. Our great God then uses a pagan king named Artaxerxes to issue the edict for the rebuilding project on March 14, 445 B.C. and provide the resources Nehemiah needs to complete the project.
And why is this date so important?
It's the day that begins the prophetic timetable prophesied by Daniel
in the following verse, which tells the Jewish people and the world the exact day that our Lord Jesus Christ the Anointed One (Messiah) will enter the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday:
"Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler - the Anointed One - comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defense, despite the perilous times." (Daniel 9:25)
The prophecy states that 69 weeks of years (173,880 days using the 360-day prophetic year) after the command goes forth to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem, the Messiah will come.
If we count forward 173,880 days from March 14th 445 B.C., we arrive at April 6th 32 A.D, the date on which our Lord Jesus Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week in our liturgical calendar. (I can still remember the first time I studied this prophecy in Bible College - it nearly knocked me off my chair!)
After inspecting the broken-down walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah challenges God's people living there to join hands with him in the rebuilding project to which they reply, "Let's rise up and build"! What follows is nothing short of miraculous. Despite opposition from enemies, exhaustion, the attacks of false prophets and other forms of spiritual warfare, the wall is rebuilt in just 52 days.
For this miracle to happen, God's people had to be willing to sacrificially invest their time, talents and tithes to complete the project. Likewise, God is calling you and me to rise and go forth to rebuild the broken-down lives that surround us by sharing the Good News of the Gospel with our family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
Have you heard God's call? If your answer is yes, I would encourage you to read through the book of Nehemiah. If you're not sure, I would encourage you also to read the book of Nehemiah, which will help to position your heart to hear God's still, small voice. If you feel that you're not able to reach out to others right now due to the needs in your own life, ask the Holy Spirit to "comfort you" (remember, his name means "Comforted by YAHWEH) as you read the book of Nehemiah.
May our great God use the book of Nehemiah to encourage and equip you for the work of the ministry as we prepare to begin this upcoming Advent and Christmas season, when we will have many opportunities express God's love in word and deed to our family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers!+
Middle School Mania Update
By Sara Johnson
The middle schoolers at CHS have been busy this past month! We meet every other Sunday afternoon from 4:30-6:00 at church for games, community and Bible study. We also get together once a month on Friday evenings for fellowship and outreach.
In recent weeks we have gone bowling and had a movie night at our house where we watched "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." It was even better than Keith and I had remembered! On Sunday evenings we've been working our way through the book of James and have learned so much together.
We learned about being "Do-ers" of the Word and not merely hearers - and made cookies for the Kairos ministry as a follow up. We've talked about how faith without deeds is dead, and examined people throughout the Bible who have shown faith through their deeds, like Joshua, Rahab, and Noah. To put deeds to our faith, we cooked a meal for the Loudoun Homeless Shelter. The kids were awesome workers, and cooked with humility and joy. We've talked about the power of our tongues, and how we can use our words to tear down or to build up. And as always, we mix in much silliness in all we do. Below are a few pictures of our times together this past month! We have such fantastic youth at CHS. They are a blessing! I encourage everyone to get to know them - they are worth knowing.
Report from Ashby Ponds
By Pastor Dave Prosser
We continue to see growth
among those who participate in programs we lead and present.
Remember: Bible Study, morning prayer, Hymn Sing and Healing Service.
Earlier this Summer, after praying a commitment prayer and receiving Jesus into her heart during a Hymn Sing, Anne stopped me in the hall and exclaimed to me, "Dave, guess what God is doing for me?" I asked her to tell me and she said, "I am no longer afraid to die." Anne is 93 and at that age I imagine our heels will be on the threshold of the doorway to eternity.
Sally came up to me after a bible study in September and said, "I've attended this Bible Study for nearly three years. When I started, I could not understand anything that was said, but now it's making sense to me, I understand." Praise God, such an advancement in understanding she has made. Three years ago, Sally did not even know that where was table of contents to aid in finding a book of the Bible. Now she just turns to the books. Anne tells others about her progress and asks if they would like to attend.
We keep seeing this kind of growth among God's Holy people. We also pray for each other, sometimes as the whole group and sometimes individually. They are learning that they can pray out loud. They are learning to pray individually with a neighbor. You could become a part of this rewarding ministry. If you are already trained in ministry -- great. If not, Carole and I will teach you. Honestly, while we both had interesting and challenging jobs in the marketplace, Carole and I are happier than we have ever been. We are seeing lives changed and people growing into Bible professing servants of God and being willing to tell somebody.
Four Local Congregations Pray Together for Healing and Reconciliation a
fter the Tree of Life Massacre
by Pastor John Nuzum
With anti-Semitism and racism on the rise around in the world, especially in Europe and America, tragedy struck at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27th, during a Shabbat Service. Eleven people lost their lives at the hands of a man who was arrested, and told the Pittsburgh Police SWAT Team, "All Jews must die."
Amidst the tragedy, many Pittsburghers chose to funnel their grief into action with many acts of love and kindness, which seemed small by themselves, but when combined, were on a much grander scale.
Hearing and seeing those moments of hope didn't lessen the gravity of the pain that rushed through the "Burg," as news reports made their way through radio, television, and social media, but it did provide the beginning for healing and reconciliation in Squirrel Hill.
Some of the acts of kindness ranged from donuts and snacks being brought to officials at the crime scene;
nurses from Boston Medical Center sent pastries to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC Presbyterian) emergency department staff with a thank you note;
hours after the tragedy, students at Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill organized a vigil with the help of Sixth Presbyterian Church and the Jewish Community Center, that drew thousands of people flooding Murray and Forbes Avenues, where they sang Jewish songs of healing; "Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue," a Pittsburgh fundraiser started by two Muslim groups collected more than $180,000 dollars for Tree of Life victims; and Northway Christian Community Church held a prayer vigil that filled the room at its Oakland campus.
There have been expressions of support from cities across America and other countries from around the world. One example of a city's support is seen in the picture taken at Battery Park in Manhattan on Monday morning following the massacre.
Pittsburgh is Pastor Clancy's hometown, and Squirrell Hill is the neighborhood where he grew up. He and Ginger grieved over what happened at Tree of Life, a synagogue well known to Clancy. (Pictured to the right is another Synagogue in the neighborhood where funerals of those killed were held, Rodef Shalom.) He rode his bicycle by the synagogue many times as a boy. Pastor Clancy was moved to call together all of the congregations that use our building as their place of worship. With the agreement of Rabbi Neal Surasky of Messianic Synagogue Kehilat Sar Shalom, Pastor Stephen Essilfie of the Church of Pentecost, and Pastor Salvador Henriquez of inglesia Del Avivamiento, a prayer meeting was called for Thursday, November 1st at 7:00pm.
After Clancy opened with words of encouragement and prayer, he introduced the other pastors who each took turns leading congregational prayers in memory of the lives lost and for the comfort of their families and loved ones. The names of those massacred were called out consistent with Jewish Tradition. Congregant prayers were included in the service as well. During the service we lifted petitions to God, to end hatred of every kind, in our lives, churches and land. We humbly worshiped, prayed and mourned in unity. All were blessed by this show of unity in prayer. We aim to have combined prayer meetings in the future.+
Five ways to enjoy
the birth of
this Advent and Christmas
by Terry Johnson
This Advent and Christmas season, please join us at
Church of the Holy Spirit in any or all of these events.
Sunday, December 2, is our annual
Advent "Make & Take."
Yep, you make it and you take it;
The wreath helps us observe the season of waiting for our Messiah's arrival. We supply the candles, wreath forms, greenery and decorations including ribbon, pine cones and berries. If you have a favorite shrub or tree in your yard, feel free to bring your own greens and decorations. Consider making a second wreath to give it to a neighbor or friend, along with the daily readings for the Advent season. We will also have a
lunch after the second service. Bring a dish to share and enjoy food and "being together" as we begin the Advent season.
there's nothing like a
The Leesburg Christmas Parade is the evening of Saturday, December 8. Come join our growing team as we walk in the parade, handing out candy and invitations for our Christmas eve services. This is our third year of parading. It's a fun time of festivities and fellowship. The carols, the lights, the smiling bundled children, and sometimes the snow, make a memorable tradition for you and your family. Young ones can be pulled in wagons. We meet at the home of Sara and Keith Johnson, 411 Tudor Ct., Leesburg, at 5:00pm. A simple supper will be provided before the parade begins at 6:00pm. Dress warmly and wear a red scarf! Contact me to let me know you are coming:
Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24
, offers two uniquely beautiful Christmas services in commemoration of the Holy Father's gift to us through the birth of his son Jesus. Join us for the
2:00pm family service with children's Christmas pageant.
This year, while Christmas cookies are baking, the children will hear a story of "The Dreams of Three Trees" adapted from the story of "Three Trees." Invite grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors to watch the children as they listen in wonder. A Christmas sermon and holy communion are part of our celebration at this service. There will be cookies for all after the service!
on Monday evening,
December 24, at 10:00pm is our Candlelight service
, join us as we reflect on the holy night that our Savior was born. We will enjoy a Christmas sermon, hymns and holy communion, in a candlelight setting, with our lovely carved nativity. Invite a friend or neighbor to join you, as we gather to commemorate the birth of the Christ Child.
, our Sunday morning services on
Sunday, December 30,
will be at
9:00am and 11:00am
. We will enjoy the festival of
"Lessons and Carols"
as we read the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus, as told in 9 bible readings from the
Torah, the prophetic books and the Gospels. Our readings will be interspersed with Christmas Carols and hymns. There will be a Christmas sermon and holy communion. Childcare will be provided as usual.
Come worship Christ our King with us!+
Women's Ministry Report: "Christ Shining Through Fashion"
by Ginger Nixon
On Saturday, September 22,
Aleona Isakova, Shannon Melick and Yehee Jung inspired an audience of about 80 ladies and a handful of men with captivating ways to express God's love for us through beauty and fashion. The lovely brochure invitation, created by
Stephanie Miller, had given each of us a taste that something very special was in store for us that evening.
Many of us felt as if we had been "standing on our tiptoes"
scripture- inspired designs by Shannon and Yehee. Shannon's designs included themes from biblical characters such as Ruth, Deborah, Esther, Abigail and Priscilla. Yehee's designs included
waiting for the evening to arrive. We were encouraged to wear white as a symbol that we are the "Bride of Christ." Two photo-artists were snapping photographs,
Leslie Miller and Simon Bechera. In addition, Simon volunteered his time that night to create exquisite "up-dos" for our three lovely models,
Samantha Miller, Rebecka Stark and Victoria Matuli.
These lovely, graceful young ladies also volunteered their time to reveal God's beauty through the original,
"Convergence" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit from Genesis, and "Spoken Light" when God created light and life in Genesis.
We began with an opening prayer to clothe ourselves in humility and the blood of Christ. Our mission is to know God, make him known, and be known by him. We were called to be heroine makers. As the evening proceeded, we began to understand that we were part of something very big. We were drawn to enter into this unexpected, sensational call to encourage these godly designers, models, artists, and photographers who reveal God's beauty through their creations.
Megan Thomas inspired us to make God the focus of our evening
by leading us in sung worship with "Beauty for Ashes" and "How Great is our God." Then Aleona stood up to speak.
When Aleona speaks, people become very quiet.
She is captivating, because she understands God's beauty so very well, and how to reveal beauty. Aleona told us about her passion for God, how he rescued her from the secular world of fashion, and captured her heart. She laid down her internationally famous career to create solely for Jesus. She spoke about mentoring Yehee and Shannon in the field of designing fashion for God.
She also gave us a breathtaking description of how she selected and designed her rare, museum-quality,
Jesus" dress that was displayed for us that night. It is an anointed creation of of worship meant to be experienced in person, like a Nativity.
I wept the moment I saw the dress in the sanctuary, placed strategically next to the cross.
Through it, I had a supernatural revelation of the weightiness and sacrifice of Christ's blood covering for us.
Next, Shannon and Yehee
gave us a
sneak preview of their collections that will be revealed at DC Fashion week in February. Delicacies and centerpieces were prepared by Stephanie, her caterers and Aleona's dear friend also named Aleona, who also donated red roses for the occasion.
That night the Lord picked us up and let us see.
Like brides on our wedding day, we wore white and we felt loved.
radiant because of His love and beauty revealed to us through these godly artists.+
"Drawing Near to God" Conference
by Monica Whitmer
The Conference, "Drawing Near to God," held at CHS on November 9th and 10th, was an amazing success. Topics that Mike Flynn and Pastor Clancy spoke on included, "Practicing the Presence of the Lord," "Power in Weakness: Holiness in Intimacy," "Remedies for Powerlessness in Prayer" and "Persevering Prayer." These were powerful topics and testimonies, that spoke through to the heart of people present.
What spoke through to me the most during the conference was not the actual topics themselves. It was watching and noticing what the Lord was doing in the lives and minds around me, including my own. I saw a refreshing in the people, a new infilling. What seemed old and dry in their lives, seemed to get a watering from the Lord. Being told not to give up, try this new direction for what you have been doing, others are going through this, too. Recognizing that it isn't all upon our shoulders; that God has us in his hands; to just come closer to Him, because He has more for each one. To know that we are all heard, to simply trust in Him.
If you missed the conference, audio CDs are for sale in the church on each topic. I recommend that if there is an area where you are truly struggling, pick up the CD on that topic.
What is not on the CDs, but changed many lives, was the inner healing received by each one present. This was evidence to many that the Lord truly wants to heal and recreate each person. That He knows where each individual inner wounding is, that He wants to love on us, taking our pain and suffering away. Many had a deep and lasting healing during these times.
Also not included on the CDs was the calling forth from God. Mike called the Holy Spirit to manifest in each of our bodies if He was wanting to give a particular anointing for ministry. If certain things were happening within your body, you were to step forward for prayer. For example, last year when this happened MIke said some were experiencing a burning or tingling of the feet. My own feet were on fire (it was hard to even stand!). This was a calling to missions; the year that followed I was called to go on two missions trips, to Uganda and Haiti. The biggest thing to know about calling from God like this is, you must step out in faith! If you have been called to healing ministry, you must pray healing for people to see them healed. If you are called to prophesy, you must speak encouragment to people. These are gifts given by God, but a gift is of no use just sitting on a shelf; you must use it!
The conference was a great blessing to all who attended. If the Lord did something big in your life during this time, please don't hold back, but speak to others about it! We would love to hear!+
Pastor John Nuzum
Some of you may have heard of him or read about him; or perhaps some of you have read his books; others may have never heard of him. You don't hear his name bandied about much these days, but I can assure he is one of the giants of the faith. At the age of 24 he was a lecturer in Systematic Theology in 1930 at Berlin University. He attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City and was judged by many theologians as "brilliant and theologically sophisticated" for a young man. He was greatly influenced by Karl Barth and the writing of his many popular books brought Bonhoeffer much recognition.
His death at the hands of the Nazis was a great tragedy for the Christian world, but the standards of the world cannot deny that God not only called him to many scholarly achievements, but also to become a martyr for Christ and His church. While imprisoned, Bonhoeffer wrote, "I cannot get away from Jeremiah 45."
The prophet Jeremiah gave a message to Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, after Baruch had written down everything Jeremiah had dictated to him. He said, 2 "This is what the
Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: 3 You have said, 'I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven't I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.'
Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran who lived during the time of the Third Reich in Germany. He was imprisoned at one of the more famous German concentration camps, named Buchenwald. He was arrested by the Gestapo in his parents home in 1943 and was executed at the Flossenburg Concentration Camp on April 9th, 1945 under special orders by Heinrich Himmler.
At an early age in his adult life Bonhoeffer understood, even before Hitler came to power, that National Socialism was an attempt to make history without God and to found it on the strength of man, and man alone.
Bonhoeffer left America after the war started, passing through England on his way home to be with the oppressed and persecuted Christians of Germany. His American and English friends could not persuade him to stay in safety. His heart belonged to the German Christians at a time they needed him the most.
While in prison, his fellow prisoners were very impressed by his calmness and self-control which Bonhoeffer displayed even in the most terrible situations, like when prisoners were beating their fists against their locked cell doors during the Allied bombings of Berlin towards the end of the war. He got permission while in prison to minister to the sick and his fellow prisoners who were anxious and depressed. He found his own peace and happiness in the guiding force found in his great love and faith in the Triune God.
Bonhoeffer faced what other Christians face in their daily Christian lives, the fight between the flesh and the Spirit, Adam versus Christ, and the battle of the voices in one's mind.
One of the noteworthy things Bonhoeffer said that I bring to your attention is this: "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die."
Bonhoeffer goes on to say that one does not answer the call by faith, but by obedience. Faith comes later.
I have been moved by reading "The Cost of Discipleship," by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Pick up a copy and see what the Holy Spirit does in your heart as you read about one of the greatest theological minds and martyrs of the modern church. May the Lord bless you!+
Who can name this missions outreach from September 2014?
of our Missions Outreach Quiz from our last Newsletter are
Mark and Dondie McNickle
! They knew the mission was
Convoy of Hope
, an outreach when several local churches in Leesburg partnered to provide many free services, foods, and gospel ministry, to local needy families.
WOW! and Well Done, Good and Faithful Servants
The Anglican Relief and Disaster Fund (ARDF) sent Clancy (a.k.a. Clarence!) and Church of the Holy Spirit a thank-you note for our contributions to help the victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael!
Mark Your Calendars
CHS has a number of events scheduled for this year and next year. Please go to www.holyspiritleesburg.org/events-calendar to see all of them.
Here are some of our upcoming events!
Dec. 1: Healing Service with Anthony Lutyk: 5:00 - 7:00pm
Dec. 2: Advent Make and Take after the 2 services
Dec. 8: Leesburg Christmas Parade 5:00 at Johnson's
Dec. 20: Muintearas House Graduations and Commissioning 7:00pm
Dec. 24: Christmas Eve Pageant 2:00pm
Dec. 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 10:00pm
Jan. 6: Epiphany Drama
Jan. 22-25: Karl Lehman Conference - Immanuel Prayer
Feb. 14: Sweetheart Banquet
Feb. 18: March for Life on National Mall
Mar. 6: Shrove Tuesday
Mar. 7: Ash Wednesday
Apr. 21: Easter Sunday
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Church of the Holy Spirit | 703.726.0555 | www.HolySpiritLeesburg.org