January 2021 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...
Office will be Close on January 1st for New Year's Day. Noris will be off on December 31st.
Pastor Darcy will be on Vacation from December 25 to January 2 if you have a pastoral emergency please email Denise Wilder or call at 540-841-4079. For other information contact the office.
MESSAGE FROM PASTOR DARCY
There are many things that we are praying for as we begin 2021: health, peace, healing, the vaccine to be available to more people, and that we will be able to gather safely with family, friends and for in-person worship. As a Christian community our prayer also focuses on growing in our relationship with God and our neighbors. Let us pray that: 

according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

One of the ways that we learn how much God loves us and how to follow in God's Ways is to spend time in God’s Word. Sometimes this can seem daunting as the Bible is not a short story. During Epiphany, you are invited to take a step for you to dwell in God's Word as we focus on ONE book, the Gospel of Mark. Throughout this next year most of the Gospel readings will be read from Mark (the shortest Gospel) so in these next six weeks you are invited to:

1.      Write out the Gospel of Mark by hand
2.      Read and/or listen to the Gospel of Mark
3.      Participate in the reading of the Gospel of Mark in one morning

More details about these opportunities are found in the Learning section of this newsletter. 
Let us rejoice and give thanks, that God’s Word “is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Pastor Darcy
Dear People of LCOC,
Thank you for your generous Christmas gift, your prayers, and your partnership in ministry. This has not been an easy year and I feel so grateful for your willingness to experiment and to remain connected and focused on our mission to Gather...Grow...Give...and Go!
Thank you for your generosity and caring. Pastor Darcy
MESSAGE FROM
DENISE WILDER, COUNCIL PRESIDENT

Goodbye 2020! Like most of you, I am more than ready to move into the New Year. So much promise comes with a New Year, and 2021 has very many expectations to fulfill. As for myself, I can’t wait to get back into the sanctuary for our church services. But my most fervent desire is to get back to hugging people. Of course, I already hug my family, but I’m anxious to hug people who I meet for the first time and people who have ideas different from my own.

I think about the time when Christ was sharing fellowship with those individuals whom religious leaders considered unsavory. The fact that Jesus ate with sinners shows that He looked beyond culture to people’s hearts. Seeing this, sinners were no doubt inspired to know Him better.

Hopefully, by this summer we’ll be able to ignore “social distancing” and get back to properly welcoming strangers. Later this month, we’ll be celebrating the inauguration of our new president. We need to put the “us versus them” mentality behind us. Children of God are not each other’s enemies. Let us embrace a return to civility, kindness, openness, caring and generosity. Let us do what Jesus would do.

In Christ,

Denise Wilder, Council President
LCOC Leadership 2021
2021 Council:    council@lcocdalecity.org
             President                       Denise Wilder
             Vice President              Kathy Panther
             Treasurer                       Diane DeGroodt
              Secretary                     Jean Zamora
             Worship                         Sheila Kober
             Stewardship                  Daniel Owusu
              Property                        Brian Richard
 
Bookkeeper/Assistant Treasurer:
Doug Strack

Financial Secretary:
             Jon Schilder

2021 Trustees:
             Les Burroughs
             Brian Richard
             Roger Rudy
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
Christmas Eve, Communion and Holy Baptism.
Congratulations Sherry and Wes Coleman for your holy baptisms.

WORSHIP TEAM NOTES FOR JANUARY
The Worship Team would like to thank René and the choir (Fay, Brian, Penn, Carol, Jim and Ron) for their beautiful renditions of the special Advent and Christmas music bringing the LCOC congregation such joy at this time of the year. Thank you to Penn for the time and effort to create the audio of the hymns and special music.
JANUARY 6TH – SPECIAL EPIPHANY SERVICE

7:30 – Zoom Fellowship
7:45 – Sharing Joys/Concerns
8:00 pm – we will worship together as part of the special offering by ELCA Bishops elected in2019
TAIZÉ PRAYER SERVICE JANUARY 27 AT 7:30 PM

Come and connect with God during this simple, short and contemplative service. 
The Worship Team is looking for ways of making the upcoming Lent season more meaningful for you. Please share your ideas with the Worship Team – Fay, Gudrun, Harriet, René, Sheila, Sonya or Pastor Darcy. The next meeting of the Worship Team via Zoom will be January 16 at 9:00 a.m. Please join us.
LEARNING AND PRAYER OPPORTUNITIES
TUESDAY MORNING BIBLE
10:00 AM
VIA ZOOM
We will explore Gospel reading for the upcoming Sunday


January 9 at 9:00 am
Lower Fellowship Hall

Starting Christmas Day, you are invited to engage in the 12 days of Christmas Prayers! Various leaders from across the Metro D.C. Synod, including a few of our seminarians, have provided daily devotions, prayers and questions to ponder during the 12 days leading up to Epiphany. We invite you to share these devotionals with your congregations, friends on Facebook and family members. Devotionals will be made available at 5:00 AM every morning on the Synod website and Facebook page. 
In our Baptismal covenants we are asked, “Do you promise…to hear the word of God?” (ELW p. 236)

During Epiphany, YOU are invite to participate in these three Opportunities to engage in God’s Word through the Gospel of Mark:

1.       Write out the Gospel of Mark using the Journible through the 17:18 Series
Why the 17:18 series? video explanation of the 17:18 series
In Deuteronomy 17, Moses is leaving final instructions concerning the future of Israel. As a prophet of God, Moses foretells of when Israel will place a king over the nation (v. 14). In verse 18, the king is commanded to not simply acquire a copy of the law (the entire book of Deuteronomy) from the “scroll publishing house,” but to hand write his own copy of the law. Thirty-four hundred years later, educators are “discovering” that students that physically write out their notes by hand have a much greater retention rate than simply hearing or visually reading the information. Apparently, God knew this to be true of the kings of Israel also. From such understanding came the conception of this series of books.
Order here: 

2.      Listen to or Read through the Gospel of Mark
Resources: Purchase a CD of the Bible
Apps for phones and computers: Youversion Bible App

3.      January 23 – 10:00 am - experience the Public Reading of the Gospel of Mark – in its entirety Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fairfax, VA invites us to gather via Zoom to take turns proclaiming and listening, verse by verse, chapter by chapter to the stores that shape us and our faith. Join us for a unique, powerful, and counter-cultural experience. The Gospels were written to be shared and read aloud. 
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS
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!
COMMUNITY RESORCES
COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program
Action Required by January 21, 2021!
You may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay unpaid water bills if you or a person in your household has lost income due to the impacts of the COVID‐19 Pandemic. Financial assistance is available through the COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program.
We encourage all customers who may need assistance to apply as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 21, 2021.

CARING AND OUTREACH OPPORTUNITIES
Un-Trim-A-Tree

LCOC was a proud participant in the Volunteer Prince William Un-Trim-A-Tree Christmas gifting program this year. Thanks to the extreme generosity of our church family and the Thrivent Action Team, twenty children in our community will experience the joy of discovering the gifts from their wish list under their tree. Thanks to everyone who provided funding; those who shopped; and to Kathy, Stacey, JoAnn and Jessica for coordinating, organizing and delivering the packages. LCOC once again showing the true spirit of Christian generosity during the Christmas Season.
LCOC will be feeding the homeless at the Hilda Barg Shelter on February 14th and 15th.We will not be able to enter the shelter due to CDC guidelines. 
We would appreciate any assistance you could give us with a small donation, or if you would be able to drop off cold cuts, milk, or juice to the shelter.
For more information please call Sandy Strychowski at 703-791-3965 or email.
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!
GOD SIGHTINGS
CONGRATULATIONS....
Are you celebrating a special milestone/anniversary/accomplishment?
Tom Pennington (Penn) is a native of California. He has a daughter, a son and has three grandchildren. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard and retired after 20 years. After retiring from the Coast Guard, he worked as an Information Resources Management (Technology) Director in James City, County, VA. He has a wide range of hobbies that include astronomy, photography, music, woodworking, sounds systems, reading and being physically active in various sports such as golf, tennis, running, and swimming.
Penn is a widower and his significant other, Fay Yentsch, introduced him to LCOC. He wants to be part of the LCOC ministry because of acceptance and a warm, Christian Community that believes in outreach. We are grateful for the gifts he shares with the LCOC Virtual Choir, as a reader and assisting minister. 
Note from Penn:
I first came to LCOC for a sad occasion, the service for my late Coast Guard Academy classmate, Tom Yentsch. During the service I heard stories and an outpouring of love from Tom’s friends and family that brought to me how steadily and lovingly he had continued what we all knew of him when we began our work lives. Afterward, I found the same caring and welcoming attitude among the congregation.

Raised Catholic with an Episcopalian father, I knew the history and many of the differences among Christian faiths. As powerful those differences are I also understood that many arose from people’s behavior, not from a fundamental belief in God and the creed we share among the “closest” of the first dissenting churches.

After eight years, I’m still experiencing that warmth and caring I first saw on a sad occasion. I will forever be grateful to Fay for bringing me here. Thank you all for the welcome.
Congratulations to Sherry and Wes Coleman for your Holy Baptisms and welcome to the LCOC family!
IN JANUARY WE CELEBRATE
BIRTHDAYS
4 John M
6 Mary S
9 Brayden J
10 Victoria G
13 Roger W
17 Heather W
24 Sarah G
28 Gwen B

ANNIVERSARIES
5 Karen and Bob Scott


BAPTISM BIRTHDAYS
1 Troy S
2 Heather G
25 Annmarie B
28 JoAnn E
28 Joshua M

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