December 2020 Newsletter
Greetings!
Welcome to the monthly news. There are many ways for you to connect with God and with our neighbors at LCOC and beyond. You are invited to share this news with new neighbors and others who may be interested in hearing what God is doing through the people and ministry of LCOC.
GATHER  GROW  GIVE  GO
HOW TO REACH THE OFFICE...
MESSAGE FROM PASTOR DARCY
As I write this article, three words come to my mind – GRATITUDE, DIFFERENT, AND HOPE

First, my heart is full of GRATITUDE for each of you. As I look back over this past year, LCOC has been able to navigate this unprecedented time because of your willingness to experiment and to remain connected with God and each other through online worship, Bible studies, and other events. In addition, LCOC has continued to BE the church as we have been God’s hands as we provided food, backpacks, gift cards, and more for our neighbors in need.

These times are definitely DIFFERENT. The common phrase that I am hearing (and saying) is that this holiday season is different. It looks, smells, tastes, and sounds different as our gatherings are smaller, our travels are limited, and some of the ways that we “normally” do things need to shift. I lament the loss of being able to gather in person worship and to gather with extended family to celebrate these holidays. At the same time, I am filled with HOPE for the new things that God is doing during these times.

While our gatherings will be different this year, this season and time are still filled with HOPE. No matter how different our rituals and gatherings are this year, the Good News does not change—to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:11) This gift of the birth of our Savior, offers hope and assurance of God’s steadfast love in the joys and challenges of life.

May your hearts be filled with GRATITUDE…
take a moment to create a gratitude list and/or write a note to someone for whom you are grateful

May your hearts be open to God’s presence even when you experience life in DIFFERENT ways….
take a moment to write down how you have experienced God’s presence this year

May your hearts be filled with HOPE…
Take a moment to write down the signs of hope that you are
seeing and experiencing

Pastor Darcy
MESSAGE FROM
DENISE WILDER, COUNCIL PRESIDENT

I trust everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving. Our gratitude journals should be full to the brim by now! 2020 is drawing to a close, and we are more-than-ready to put it behind us. BUT some surprising advantages did materialize this year. Our former hustle bustle lives have been forever changed. Our prayer lives have expanded exponentially. We’ve learned many new ways to connect with our church family and community. And through global cooperation, several new vaccines are on the horizon. Praise God!!!

We’ve started moving through the peaceful season of Advent, one of quiet anticipation for the arrival of a perfect little baby boy, our Savior Jesus Christ. What better time to share our faith in God and the future that awaits us in heaven? Let us share our faith, our love of God, our church services and activities, our resources, and our time.
For God so loved the world that He gave his only son.                                  
  Whosoever believes will not perish. They shall have eternal life.
 
God only asks us to give a small fraction of what He gave us. “Where Charity and Love prevail, There God is ever found.”  Please give generously of yourself this season – to strangers and to Church to allow LCOC to be a beacon of hope and love to neighbors far and wide.

Peace to you,

Denise Wilder, Council President
OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT ONLINE
NOTE: currently all of our events use the same information.




WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
SUNDAY
FELLOWSHIP - 9:30 AM
WORSHIP - 10:00 AM
Advent Service of Hope
Wednesday, December 9th
7:30 pm via Zoom or YouTube Live
This has been a challenging year filled with many losses, transitions and changes. You are invited to this special service which offers space to name these losses and to also be reminded of the hope we are given through the birth of Jesus.
Christmas Eve afternoon Communion offered
in the sanctuary -1 to 3 pm
On Christmas Eve, the worship team is offering communion in the sanctuary. Sign-ups are required and physical distancing and other precautions are planned.
Please email Pastor Darcy if you want to receive communion yet prefer to stay in your car.


Please join the Worship Team at their next meeting on Saturday, Dec 5 at 9:00 a.m. on Zoom. Or email Sonya or Pastor Darcy with your ideas and to be a part of the fun and joy in making this season special!
A beautiful day for an Outdoor Communion Service
Thank you for taking part of the Outdoor Communion Service that it was held November 7.

LEARNING AND PRAYER OPPORTUNITIES
TUESDAY MORNING BIBLE
RESUMES ON SEPTEMBER 8TH
10:00 AM
VIA ZOOM
We will explore Gospel reading for the upcoming Sunday


December 14 at 9:00 am
Lower Fellowship Hall

TIME FOR FUN AND FELLOWSHIP
Join us on ZOOM for a merry
Church Christmas Party.

Date: Sunday, December 13
Time: 4:00 pm

Invite your friends and family to our LCOC Christmas get-together. Help set the stage for the party with your Christmas decorations as your ZOOM backdrop. Have your favorite holiday drink, snacks, sweets to share (virtually/visually). Holiday dress, and yes, even ugly Christmas sweaters are encouraged. We will share good cheer and stories of favorite Christmases past.

To join in on ZOOM, You can join in the festivities by computer or phone. 
use the same access codes used for Sunday services, found on our website: www.lcocdalecity.org.
Questions? Email Kathy
JOIN THE LCOC NETWORK
WAYS TO SUPPORT GOD'S WORK
THROUGH LCOC
Ways to give:
       15008 Cloverdale Road
      Dale City, VA 22193

LCOC is a beacon of light in this community.
Your financial support will equip LCOC to BE the church so that we can offer care, hope, and peace in these uncertain times - Thank you!
SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING AT LCOC
Cleaning and Painting of the Steeple of Lutheran Church of the Covenant.


We have also new lights inside our church!
CARING AND OUTREACH OPPORTUNITIES
Hello Everyone! It’s time for un-trim a tree! LCOC will provide gifts for 25 children this year.
 
Please note, all gifts must be unwrapped, should not exceed $75, and must be delivered to LCOC no later than 1 pm, Sunday, December 13, 2020.

Please contact Kathy Panther or Stacey Rosenquist with any questions. Thank you.
LCOC is blessed to be a blessing as we provide food and resources for local families to enjoy Thanksgiving this year!
Lutheran Church of the Covenant collected food and supplies for ACTS. the total amount delivered was: 
2,260 pounds!!!!!!!!

Many families will be able to have food on their tables on Thanksgiving!
THANK YOU!
Because of your generosity, LCOC is giving 73 gift cards to the families of Neabsco Elementary!


Another team effort:
Thank you Jo Ann Rudy for coordinating this event.
Thank you Denise Wilder for her leadership in this outreach.
Thank you Diane DeGroodt for being the "super" shopper for this outreach and in the 7,000 pound food drive in May.
Thank you Brian Richard for applying for the Thrivent Action team and to Thrivent for these funds.
Thanks to all who helped sort, load, and deliver the food to ACTS (Roger Rudy, Sherman Basinger, Mike Riley, Diane DeGroodt, Tricia Schilder, and Pastor Darcy!)
Thank YOU for you extravagant generosity that provided the food and the gift cards so that our neighbors can enjoy a special Thanksgiving meal!
Project Mend-a-House has done a few small projects during this time of COVID-19. Thank you, Ralph, for keeping us connected! Email Ralph for more information!
A glimpse of the latest project - building an access ramp! Thank you Ralph and Bob!
Synod and other events
Metro D.C. Synod Shares the Feast
This Epiphany season the Metro D.C. Synod is expanding the table; connecting one home to another. Sharing our cultures we recognize and celebrate the gifts of flavor and culture that come through the recipes that are handed down. Brighten our table with the gift of a beloved dish you share with your family. We will compile and share the recipes with the entire Metro D.C. Synod as a way to be together at the table even when we cannot be in person.

Once the recipe book has been shared, we encourage you to share through social media a picture of what you made along with a prayer you said for the person who shared the recipe. We look forward to hearing how you tried something new, tasted something different, and dared to do something that expands the table.

Please respond by December 11th.

Mar-Lu-Ridge Summer Camp 2021

You may notice our schedule looks a bit different this year. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have chosen to be conservative with our summer program offerings, for the safety of our campers and staff. Here is an overview of some changes we have made:

  • We will no be offering Day Camp nor many our specialty programs
  • Our weekly programs run Sunday- Thursday
  • We will continue to have cabins available for Family Cabin rentals Thursday-Sunday
  • We will have virtual options available throughout the summer
  • We are requiring a $50 non-refundable deposit a the time of registration

Please know that, despite all these changes, your camper will still have a variety of exciting camp experiences this summer. as always, We have full and partial scholarships available for any family in need. Visit our website for more information and to register, and please give us a call with any questions or concerns. We hope to see you this summer!

SEASONAL VIRTUAL CONCERTS
In the first-ever event of its kind, ELCA World Hunger presents an online Christmas benefit concert featuring Peter Mayer, a longtime Lutheran and the lead guitarist for Jimmy Buffett.

Although we are in the midst of a difficult winter due to COVID-19, we know that, through God’s abundance, you have shown incredible generosity by supporting the necessary work of the church. This concert is a gift to you this Advent season. It is a way for us to say thank you and provide a place for you to gather online with the church community as we prepare for the birth of our Savior.

The concert is free and will premiere on the ELCA Facebook page, with a live chat so you can engage with the audience, ELCA staff and Peter Mayer himself. Donations to ELCA World Hunger are encouraged and will support our church’s work to respond to hunger and poverty in more than 60 countries around the world.

Register now to receive a free, exclusive Peter Mayer Christmas album download, created just for this event!
A virtual, multi-media concert that evokes a global nativity and the miracle of Christ incarnate being born to all people for the healing of the world.


GOD SIGHTINGS
Brian Smith, recent sightings from our front yard in Montclair.
CONGRATULATIONS....
Are you celebrating a special milestone/anniversary/accomplishment?
Roger and Sonya are celebrating their 60th Anniversary!
IN DECEMBER WE CELEBRATE
BIRTHDAYS
5 Cooper S
6 Ethan D
6 Lorelei D
7 Mickie K
7 Kassidy R
7 Sydney R
13 Eileen E
15 Karen S
16 Angela Z
16 Heather G
18 JoAnn E
27 Marlies S
30 Allison P
ANNIVERSARIES
17 Roger and Sonya W
19 Nate and JoAnn E
28 Douglas and Lilo S
30 les and Karen B

BAPTISM BIRTHDAYS
1 Tyler R
4 Alexa W
8 Diane D
20 John E
26 Britt P

SERVING IN THE MILITARY
Tyler R.
Tom M.
Ryan L.
Samuel B.
Xavier D.
Kevin B.