June 2020 Newsletter
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.
It is hard to believe that it has almost been three months since we have gathered in person. A lot has shifted as we have adapted to new ways of doing things. At the same time what has remained constant is that “God’s steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1)

As we navigated this shift, one of the gatherings that we needed to temporarily pause was our adult Sunday morning education time. We did this so that we could nurture our relationships with each other with online fellowship before worship. At the same time we have missed this time to spend together going deeper into God’s Word.

To help us prepare to gather in person and to discern what God is calling into being as we move forward, the practices of prayer and studying God’s Word are vital. To help us with this, we are going to try a 6 week experiment with offering a learning hour at 6:00 pm followed by Evening Prayer at 7 pm on Wednesday evenings. Please note that you are welcome to attend one or both of these opportunities. 

The season of Pentecost has begun with the focus on discipleship. We are excited to offer a study on the Book of ACTS to help us explore and grow in being a disciple. Here is a brief overview of the study:
Learn to walk more closely with God with the boldness and the zeal of the apostles.
There’s no better explanation for how to live out the Great Commission—following the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world—than in the book of Acts. It is a unique and crucial book that chronicles the story of God’s grace flooding out to the world through the lives of the apostles in the decades immediately following Christ’s ascension into heaven. In Acts: Catching Up with the Spirit , author and biblical scholar Matthew Skinner explores six key themes that illustrate the ways in which reading Acts is capable of igniting our imagination about the character of the Christian gospel, the work of God’s people (the church), and the challenges of living faithfully in a complex and changing world.

All are welcome and encouraged to be a part of these faith practices - no previous experience required! Invite your friends and neighbors as well!

You and your family continue to be in my prayers during these times.

Pastor Da rcy
Council News
June Meeting - June 13th at 9:30 am
We continue to explore the best time to gather in-person again, what gathering options will look like and how to best prepare. Here are some links of resources that will help guide our decision making. Please note that It is because we are part of God’s love story and because we love and care for each other, that at this point the building will remain closed for in-person worship and study.

The office email and phone continues to be monitored during this time.

To reach Pastor Darcy, call or text 703.283.9531 or email Pastor Darcy

NOTE: Pastor's is off on Friday, yet is available for emergencies.
NOTE: currently all of our events use the same information.




*****NEW study*****
begins: JUNE 10TH
ACTS: Catching up with the Spirit

June 13 at 8:00 am via zoom

June 13th at 8:00 am
via free conference call
712.770.5505 code 333631#
Be a part of the fun as LCOC gathers for a night of Bingo via zoom .
Please RSVP to our hosts Kathy and Denise or call Denise at 540-841-4079

The bingo cards will be emailed to you. For those who do not have email, please let Kathy and Denise know by TUESDAY, June 2nd so a card can be mailed. There is a limit of 34 cards.
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!
Providing Food for Our Community
Over 6,409 pounds of food donated far!
         Even though our doors are closed at this time, members of the Lutheran Church of the Covenant remained steadfast in helping our neighbors in our Eastern Prince William County Community. For the past three years, and during the month of May, LCOC has held a Food Drive to benefit our local food pantry (ACTS ~ Action in Community Through Service) in conjunction with a local grocery store (Shoppers in Dumfries). Due to the current pandemic, we were unable to do what we normally have done (parking outside the store, filling pickups with food that shoppers in the store and members of our church provide, and then taking it to the ACTS warehouse). In trying to think outside the box and still fulfill this important ministry, members of LCOC decided to go forward with our annual food drive but to do it differently this year. Members, friends, and neighbors were encouraged to bring in food on specific days when we had our pickup in the parking lot at church or to contribute money and have our wonderful team shop for them (the DeGroodt Family, the Gimmis, Wilbur Snyder, and the Rudys) and deliver to ACTS. We have, each year, been able to exceed our goal of 5000 pounds of food, and this year is no exception. Our church family, along with some of our friends and neighbors, have indeed continued to “Live Generously”. These loving, giving, and thoughtful people have contributed amazing amounts of food and other supplies, as well as, over $4,000.00 toward this amazing outreach. Thanks LCOC Church Family; thanks friends and neighbors; and thanks Thrivent Financial who also supported us by providing two Action Teams ($500.00) to assist us in helping us make sure our neighbors do not go hungry.  Our personal involvement in caring for others in this way is what Jesus calls us to do. So, well done, faithful servants of Lutheran Church of the Covenant!!   
Did you know that:
40% of food is wasted ?
1 in 6 people is food insecure ?
$14,512,000 was the annual cost to feed the hungry in Prince William County- and that was before the pandemic...?
46.5% of students in the Prince William region qualify for free/reduced lunches ?
Unused produce creates methane gas as it decomposes ?
20% of the weight in our landfills is produce ?
There is only 1 compost facility in our region ?
Prince William County Food Rescue is a program of Action through Community Service (ACTS) started tin 2019 which partners with food retailers, nonprofit organizations and food rescue 'heroes' to bring healthy food to those experiencing food insecurity. Anyone who has a car or truck, can carry about 20 pounds, has about two hours of free time in a day, and completes an on-line application can participate. In the application process you can specify days, times and geographic areas for your rescues. Volunteers apply through an ‘App’ which can be downloaded from the internet at https://pwfoodrescue.org to your mobile device either from the ‘Apple App Store’ or from ‘Google Play’ depending on your operating system and then appears as an icon. You will then receive Short Message Service alerts on your mobile device when there is an 'Available Rescue'. The attached screenshot is an example of the information you would receive after the initial alert which details the food pick-up and delivery addresses, organizations/names, and time frames, to include a map of the 'Available Rescue' locations. You have no obligation if you click to view the 'Available Food Rescue' alert, and must click again to actually accept the rescue. Many, if not most , rescues are claimed within minutes of the alert. Once that is done you will be required to click on the App as you complete successive stages of the rescue: start; arrive at pick-up location; arrive at delivery location; and complete the delivery. The App gives you the opportunity to make comments about the rescue at the end, particularly if the instructions were not correct or you had other challenges. Many 'Available Rescues' begin at the ACTS Hunger Prevention Center at 3901 ACTS Lane along Route 1 in Dumfries, but some pick-ups may be as far away as Manassas, with the deliveries being anywhere in Prince William County.

I recently volunteered for Prince William County Food Rescue and have now completed 6 rescues, including 4 in one day. Being in the program definitely has given me a greater sense of purpose, particulalry during this time of uncertainty, and is really helping me better understand both the demography and geography of Prince William County. I highly recommend it !

Wilbur Snyder
Sustainable Landscaping Solutions for 
Faith Communities
June 14 2-4:30 pm
First Flight
         For the past almost three months, we have experienced a pair of Bluebirds visit, bring nesting materials to, move into, and ultimately lay five eggs which hatched into five babies. Every day, we thanked God as we watched the male bring worms to the female as she sat on the nest. We also observed her come out for a brief time to grab some seed and return quickly to the nest. We knew the eggs had hatched and we had babies in our nesting box as we watched mom and dad take turns feeding with worms they hunted for, as well as, meal worms that we provided in a feeding station nearby. 
It is now Sunday evening, May 3rd, around six o’clock, and as we peek out the window we realize that the babies and their parents are preparing for the ultimate event. When we looked at the opening to the box, we see a little head poking out. We immediately became concerned and shouted “not now, it is going to storm tonight”! However, the parents of these sweet birds had other plans. Shortly, the first baby took flight to the farthest branch on a nearby Crepe Myrtle. Another little head peers out into the unknown and soon finds security in a crotch of the same tree. Numbers 3 and 4 come out of the box and sit side-by-side in the entryway, appearing to be trying to build their confidence for their first short flight. As we watched the first two babies, we could only imagine how exciting and frightening this first encounter outside the four walls of their home must be for these precious novices. As if it wasn’t enough that a storm was brewing, it was supper time at the backyard feeder and this evening a wide variety of birds were stopping by for a bite to eat. We watched the second baby stretch his neck back as far as possible so he could look up at what must have seemed like a gray giant. The Mourning Dove only had one thing on his mind however, and that was getting some dinner and he did not seem impressed by this fuzzy little creature. The whole time, mom and dad are flying back and forth from a nearby Leyland Cypress emulating what they want their babies to do. Meanwhile, numbers 3 and 4 are still mustering up their courage to make their move. Soon thereafter, they make their getaway and land together on the same branch still sticking together. In the meantime, the first two, individually, successfully, fly to their home away from home in the security of the Leyland. The final baby comes to the hole, peers out, and then retreats to the security of his home. Number 4 soon joins his parents and siblings in the nearby evergreen. Number 3 remains on the branch fluttering his wings but going nowhere. Dad returns with a worm as if to entice baby number 3 to join his family. All the while, the sun is sinking further into the horizon and the clouds are moving ever closer, and baby number 5 is still trying to make up his mind about leaving the nest. Almost an hour after the first flight, number 5 flies to a close branch. He appears to be the biggest of the five and as dad continues to encourage him to finish his flight, he soon joins the entire group in the Leyland.  As we have for many years, we were so thankful to be able to share in the fledging of these special babies. We feel very blessed to witness another of God’s miraculous gifts in our little backyard!    
Our College Graduates....
Brielle is graduating from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History degree. Brielle is staying in the northern Virginia area as she has accepted a position with Northrop Grumman and is working in the McLean VA office. She plans on pursuing additional education goals and is considering Law School as an option.
Brett graduated on May 15, 2020, from Virginia Tech University with a double major in Sociology and Criminology. Brett minored in Peace Studies & Violent Prevention and National Security & Foreign Affairs. Brett is currently awaiting a conditional offer letter for the position of Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations, within the Department of Homeland Security.

Brett wishes to express his gratitude to LCOC for all the love and support along the way.

Our High School Graduates...
Jessica graduated from Forest Park High School. She will attend Virginia Tech in the fall within plans to major in communications!
Emily DeGroodt will be graduating from Charles Colgan High School on June 6th. As a student there, she participated in orchestra, field hockey, and track. Emily was also a member of the music, science, and national honor societies. Emily will be attending James Madison University and plans on pursuing a degree in a health-related field.

Kevin graduated from Forest Park High School and has enlisted in the Army, specializing in cyber security. He will be sworn in on June 5th.
Please email any information about graduates that we have inadvertently missed. thank you!
5 David Z
7 Amber R
8 Jon S
11 Rita K
11 Roger R
12 Madison K
16 Darla F
17 Lauren P
24 Jim O
26 Cody K
26 Melissa M
26 Jillian R
28 Marie H

5 Carl and Eileen E
7 Amber and Shawn R
10 Mary S
14 Michael A
16 Jessica R
20 Carla K
20 Lauren P
30 Emily D
30 Darla F
Tyler R.
Tom M.
Ryan L.
Samuel B.
Xavier D.