Lutheran Church of the Covenant
April 2017 Newsletter
Dear 

Welcome to the April monthly news highlighting what God is up to at LCOC! 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. Also invite others to come and be a part of these various ministry opportunities!

GATHER          GROW         GIVE         GO
Pastor Darcy 
Throughout Lent, our education opportunities have focused on John: The Gospel of Light and Life. We have been reminded of how Jesus is the light of the world and how Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life and that Jesus offers us life abundant! This is good news...this is a gift to celebrate...and this is an opportunity to invite others to know and experience this good news in new ways.
Holy Week is a chance to have a conversation with your friends and neighbors and then to invite them to come and to be wrapped in the love, forgiveness, hope and joy that each person is given because "God so love the world that he sent his only Son". What is happening during Holy Week?

Outreach to the neighborhood
April 8 - Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Egg Hunt
Food...fun...fellowship

Holy Week Schedule:
April 9th - Palm Sunday - worship at 8:30 and 11:00
Service experienced through the Passion According to Matthew

April 13th - Maundy Thursday - 7:00 pm
Foot Washing, Communion, Stripping of the Altar

April 14th - Good Friday - 7:00 pm
Service of Light and Darkness with the Passion According to John

April 16th - Easter - worship 8:30 and 11:00
Easter brunch 9:45
Celebration that Christ is Risen...He is Risen Indeed...Alleluia!

Who will YOU invite to these opportunities?


Council President
Sharing in God's Mission 
at  Lutheran Church of the Covenant

Dear brothers and sisters-in-Christ ,
           As we continue to journey through Lent, we have numerous chances at LCOC to build on our relationship with our Lord Jesus and with one another.  Some of these opportunities are:  The fellowship we experience at our Wednesday evening Soup Suppers; reaffirming our understanding of Luther's Small Catechism and our roots as Lutheran Christians at our Lenten Services; studying the Gospel of John which includes everything we need to know to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, through whom we receive eternal life; camaraderie with your brothers-in-Christ at the monthly Men's Prayer Group; prayer-filled time with your sisters-in-Christ monthly; and many others.  Please consider using your gifts to serve during worship, fellowship, education, evangelism, property, youth, in the community, or wherever you feel God is leading you.     
Please know that I will continue to pray for all of you, and I ask that you pray daily for all your brothers and sisters here at LCOC and that we are carrying out God's will for us in this place, in the community, and in the world.  I ask that if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, comments, etc. that you feel free to talk to me (in person, by phone (703-670-8365), or through email roger.jo@verizon.net ).  But more than anything, I ask that we all remember never to limit what God can do through us in carrying out our mutual missions!  
May God bless you all as you are a blessing to me and many others.

Love,
Jo Ann Rudy

Council Retreat 2017

GATHER
to worship God and fellowship with the community
Thanksgiving Service 2016
Worship
The search for an organist continued with an interview/audition of another candidate, and expressions of interest from two other organists to be considered.
The final Wednesday Lenten services on March 29 and April 5 will again feature a "Martin Luther" dialogue discussing parts of his small catechism in celebration of the 500th.anniversary of the Reformation.   
Holy week services will begin on Palm Sunday, April 9, with LCOC orators bringing the events of that week to life as part of the worship service.
 
Phil

Pastor Darcy's Birthday Celebration
Fellowship
I hope you all were able to wish Pastor Darcy a Happy Birthday at our March 19th celebration of her birthday. 

Our Lenten Soup Suppers are going great, the soup has been wonderful. Our final supper for this year is on April 5th. We would love to have everyone come out!

On April 16th, Easter Sunday, we will host the annual Easter Brunch. See the sign up sheet on the Entrance Hall bulletin board or sign up online at:


blessings, Tricia, Ray & Cindi

Prayer Breakfast
Men's Prayer Breakfast   

 
Our next meeting is April 8th 
at 7:30 am  in the DFH. 

LCOC Prayer Garden
Community Prayer Group
The LCOC community prayer group meets the second Saturday of each month from 7:30 am to 9 am in the Work Room. We share prayers of concern and numerous praises along with a strong cup of coffee. We offer this time to the community and congregation to join us for prayer, openly or privately. We will meet again on April 8, at 7:30 am.

Matt. 21:13 - my house will be called a house of prayer,.....


GROW
in our relationship with God through prayer, Bible Study, and service

Adult Education

Joins us in the Upper Fellowship Hall 
every Sunday at 9:45 am.




April 2
John - The Gospel of Light and Life
The Arrest, Trial, and Crucifixion of the King .
April 9
John - The Gospel of Light and Life
Eternal Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..
April 16
All are invited to the Easter Brunch!
April 23
The Sacraments:  Baptism
April 30
The Sacraments:  Holy Communion
Join us, the coffee is ready!

Education

Preparations have begun for this 
years Vacation Bib le School:

LCOC  Summer 2017 VBS  
theme 'Hero Central'- Bible heroes (Cokesbury Cirriculum)  
 
Mon., June 19th to Fri., June 23, 2017, 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM  
Children ages 3-11 from LCOC, area churches, 
the Dale City neighborhood, and Neabsco Elementary  

  • Pre-School, K-1st, 2d-3d, 4th-5th Grade age groups 
  • Starts with free supper meal for children and parents at 6PM 
  • Round-robin stations for devotions, story-telling, crafts, science and games 
  • Adult and teenage volunteers from LCOC 
  • Registration at: VBS Kid Sign-up or Volunteer Sign-up
  • Paper registration forms will also be available.
We are looking for Adult and teenage volunteers from LCOC to help us bring this wonderful, educational opportunity to the kids. Please pray-fully consider volunteering your time. 

Questions? Respond to Wilbur at vbs@lcocdalecity.org

Shekinah 2017
Confirmation Corner
The confirmation class just returned from Shekinah in Front Royal, Virginia.  All six kids attended with Stacey Rosenquist and me as chaperones.   It was a great trip and all had a good time.  We joined 21 congregations and over 200 people during Metro DC Synod - ELCA Lutheran annual confirmation retreat.  This was one of the biggest gatherings they have had in several years.
                Every year there is a theme, this year's was Sola Gratia - Grace Alone.  God has given us grace through Jesus Christ.  So what's the catch?  Nothing in life is free, we all know this.  We're reminded constantly that the one certainty in life is death and taxes.  Well, it turns out, there is no catch.  God's grace is a matter of fact.  We are guaranteed God's love in ways we can never imagine.  Through God's love, we receive God's grace, which is a gift, freely given.  As Martin Luther so succinctly put it:  Sola Gratia (by grace alone).
                The goal of the event was to help dispel the myth that there is some "catch" when it comes to God's grace.  As opposed to most other things in life.  God's grace has no strings attached, it is given with no questions asked, and there is no fine print
                If you have a chance watch a YouTube video entitled "Rob Bell 10 Lump".  This was the first video they saw to get them ready for the weekend lessons.  Throughout the weekend we read  bible verses from Romans 8:1-2, 38-39; Isaiah 49:15-16; Ecclesiastes 4:12 and Galatians 6:2.
                We broke the large group up into 18 small groups; I was group 5 leader and Stacey was group 6.  Each group averaged 8 kids. In addition to our five small group lessons, on Saturday we had activities that pushed home the theme.  One group of activities involved strings.  There were several different games where string was used to challenge the group.  The point is that God has given us the greatest gift one could ever receive, that is one of grace.  This gift comes without strings attached, but with God's love.
                The second activity involved bricks.  The kids had to carry bricks around while they participated in small games.  During these games they had to hold their brick and not allow it to be set down.  They had to maintain control of the brick the entire time.  If they completed a task they earned a "Blessing" stamp.  The goal was to see how many blessings they could earn in a short period of time.    Afterwards we talked about blessings and how they are a gift from God; you don't have to earn God's blessings.

                        
                At the end of the activity they wrote on their brick something that is burdening them, what was keeping them from God.  These bricks were collected and used during our Saturday evening worship.  From the photos you will see that they stacked the bricks to form a wall in front of the altar; a wall that we eventually knocked down to form a walk way.  This represented us giving up our burdens and leaving them with Jesus, remembering the gift of God's grace.
                In our small group we had the kids take a test which, if they would have read the fine print, all they had to do was write their name on the top of the paper.  Most of my kids tried to answer the 20 or so questions until they finally caught on and read the fine print.  The lesson - God has no "fine print" attached to his grace.
                In closing, may you know that God has always and will always love you - No Strings Attached, No Questions Asked, No Fine Print - and there is nothing you could ever do to make God love you less.
 
Hope you enjoy Sarah Gimmi's and Alexa White's book reports.

Alexa W.                      Sarah G.
                      


Ray Sutton

Prayer Opportunities

              Prayer List Ministry                 

Prayer Chain Ministry: 
Please send an email to prayerchain@lcocdalecity.org 
or call the Prayer Chain Lead at 571-210-1979      
Free Ceaseless Prayer App:   

 Youth Group
The youth have been busy with fundraising ideas and getting ready for the 2018 Youth Gathering.   Our latest fundraiser was a huge success.   The Thompson family provided us a generous donation for helping out with their yard.   They also cooked an amazing lunch for us.   We enjoyed helping them and it was a lot of fun.   


We are so grateful for our LCOC congregation for their continued support!
 
Katie Boivin (Morse)  kc.morse12@gmail.com  or   703-470-5749

GIVE
of our resources, time, and talents in response to God's extravagant generosity towards us

Stop Hunger Now 2017
Stewardship
I wanted to take this opportunity to express my gratitude: gratitude to God for providing each of us with wonderfully diverse gifts and talents and the opportunities to use them fully; gratitude for this amazing church family to learn, fellowship and serve with; and gratitude for each of you and all you are doing to spread God's love and serve those in our community. I appreciate all those who have been submitting their time and talents survey forms which our council members and leaders will be using to coordinate ministry projects. I am working with some local community posting boards to share and promote our events. Please continue your support of the exciting, upcoming events such as Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Vacation Bible School as we share the Good News with the children and families in the community. You are ambassadors for Christ and what you do truly makes a difference!
Thank you also for your generosity in your financial commitment and consider using the Vanco option which can be accessed online at: https://www.eservicepayments.com/cgi-bin/Vanco if you haven't already done so. Please consider becoming a Thrivent member as well and if you already are a member and use Thrivent products, make use of the Action Plan funds that are available to help fund LCOC's ministry projects. This seed money really makes a difference and helps us increase the scope of our service projects.  There will be a get-together shortly to offer more information on this opportunity.
Finally, please enjoy and take a moment to think about these simple, but powerful quotes from Mother Teresa as you go forward in your ministry, using your gifts and resources for Christ: "Get to know the poor in your country. Love them. Serve them. The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved. If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls....and finally....Let's do something beautiful for God."

In love and peace,
Patti Beattie

          Stop Hunger Now                                               Gifts of Ministry
___________________________________________________________________
Amazon Smile:
Amazon members can help support LCOC while you shop! Click on the link below and pick Lutheran Church of the Covenant as your favorite organization and start shopping! We will receive a percentage of the sale.

Good shop:
Support Lutheran Church of the Covenant when you search the Web at goodsearch.com or shop online with Goodshop.com. 



Property

Thank you Sherman and Roger for clearing downed trees and dead wood from the sidewalk area between LCOC and Nikkis' Daycare.
It is so nice to easily see the parking lot as you enter and the street as you exit.       

GO
forth to serve others and share the story of God's love for all
I WALK for ACTS
Evangelism
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny  and Egg Hunt

"They will know we are Christians by our love . . ."

Thanks to Thrivent Financial and their Action Team Program, we will be hosting a Breakfast and Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at LCOC.  This is in keeping with our continued efforts to support the families, in particular the children, living in the community surrounding our church.  A large percentage of the children in this area depend on their local elementary school (Neabsco) for their breakfast and lunch on a daily basis during the week.  We want to not only provide a nutritional breakfast (sausage, pancakes, juice, milk), but fun for these children.  Our team members will manage the following:
  • Stuff plastic eggs for the Hunt;
  • Plan Egg Hunt (K-2nd grade; 3rd grade - 5th grade);
  • Plan Easter Activities (indoors)??
  • Stuff individual bags with candies (so each child has something to take home)
  • Decorate UFH
  • Cook pancakes
  • Cook sausages
  • Greet guests, etc.
  • Serve pancakes, sausages, drinks, etc.
  • Manage Egg Hunt
  • Take photos
  • Provide each child with a raffle ticket (numbers only) for drawing for four Easter baskets.
Thanks to the congregation for providing Easter Candy for the kids to take home in individual bags and for stuffing in the eggs for the Hunt.  We will be inviting the students at Neabsco, the children at Nikki's, the children at LCOC, and other little ones.  We will also be advertising through two two-sided signs regarding the breakfast.    
     Through this project we will be bringing the community children into our fellowship hall, not only for breakfast and fun, but to show our Christian love for them.  Thanks to our LCOC family members for continuing to contribute coins/monies which will be used to buy nonperishable milk for Neabsco Elementary students.
     Please pray for our project asking our Lord to help us in being a blessing to and seeing blessings in all who attend.
In His service,
 
Jo Ann 
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THANK YOU
          Thanks to everyone who continues to bring food in for the students at Neabsco Elementary.  We will be delivering prior to the children's spring break.  Thanks also for contributing to Milk Money for Neabsco as we will be purchasing milk to go along with the food for the children.  Thanks for your kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity.    Sincerely, Jo Ann



Treasurers Report
This month at a glance
Happy Birthday to you!
APRIL

              10   Jackson M.
              13   Cindy T.
              20   Denise W.
              23   Rachel R .
              23   Alexa W.
              26   Patti B.
            
Happy Anniversary
Coy & Gudrun A.
April 18, 1962

Mark & Heather G.
April 6, 1991

Toi & Betsy L.
April 30, 1966

Mark & Kathy L.
April 21, 1979

Jim & Kathy O.
April 1, 1989

Jared & Stacey R.
April 26, 1997

Jim & Mary S.
April 19, 1958
Photos
Soup Supper

Baptism Anniversaries
Ethan D.
Victoria G.
Jerry H.
Nathaniel O.
Willem S.
Ingrid S.
Maira S.
Hunter W. 
Dave W.
Homebound Members
Ruth J.
Jean J.
Mary S.
Virginia S.
Members in the Military
Tyler R.
Tom M.
Ryan L.
Samuel B.

Please remember to keep our service members and their families in your prayers as they serve our country. If you have someone to add to this list, please contact the office.

Flower Calendar
The altar flowers for this month are given to the glory of God and contributed by:

April 2
The Rose family in celebration of Erik S. birthday

Wilbur S. in memory of Miriam S.

April 9



April 16
Roger & JoAnn R. in honor of Sue C.



April 23
The Rosenquist family in celebration 
of Rachel's birthday

Jared & Stacey R. in celebration 
of their 20th anniversary

April 30
Roger & JoAnn R. in memory of Joan W.

Toi & Betsy L. in celebration of their anniversary

Kids Page
OPPORTUNITIES TO USE OUR GIFTS
AT LCOC AND BEYOND
We are fortunate to be able to use our gifts that God has provided us through a variety of ways.  Ongoing ways to use your gifts are to sign up to be a part of supporting Neabsco Elementary in many ways and in being a part of the gardening team at LCOC to help keep our landscape beautiful.  Future experiences involve Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, (If you have questions, please see Jo Ann Rudy), and helping with Vacation Bible School  - (all at LCOC). 
When we choose to give our time, energy and talents to serve others, we are taking part in God's work to share the love of Christ and give God glory.  With God working in us and through us, we can make a difference!


OTLWB Book Club

The Book Club is meeting on April 17th
(at 12:30 p.m. in the workroom)
 to discuss 
The Obsession
by
Nora Roberts

Coming for May 15th meeting:
Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout

If you would like more information, 
please see Sandy S. or Diane D.
Mend-A-House
October 8, 2016 
Project Mend-A-House  

Would you like to participate in the next project? 
contact Ralph Morse  

NEWS & Notes
ThankYou
My brothers and sisters-in-Christ ~
Thank you for your prayers regarding my recent surgery and in my recovery.  Thank you also for the beautiful cards that you sent, as well as, food, calls and visits.  I appreciate your thoughtfulness, kindness, generosity, and above all your love.   I thank and praise God for you all.  Lovingly, Jo Ann
----------------------------------------------------------
My friend Amy and I hosted a bake sale for our social action project for our SIGNET class. Signet is the gifted education program at Saunders Middle School.  We held the bake sale on the 5th of March between services. Thanks to your generous donations we raised 143 dollars. All the proceeds will go to ACTS. We just wanted to say thank you for helping us raise money for ACTS.
 
Sincerely,
Sarah Sutton and Amy Melugin


LCOC, Youth Group and Congregation,
Thank you so much for thinking of me with the Valentine's Day package. I enjoyed all of the delicious treats! That was so nice of you
Thank you,
Cody
 

Hello Everyone!
I want to thank you so much for the lovely Valentine's Day gift and card. You have no idea how much it warms my heart to be thought about at my home away from home. I want to also thank you all for the prayers; I have most certainly felt them all the way down here in Richmond. It's quite hard for me to feel sad when I think about you guys!
I sleep with my quilt every night; it makes me feel protected and warm on any kind of night. I plan on graduating in December and then moving somewhere between Richmond and Petersburg. I hope to visit much more often during the summer and afterwards, but would greatly appreciate if you kept me in your prayers. You all are always in mind. Thank you and love to everyone!
 
Victoria 
--------------------------------------------------------------
To all of the Congregation at LCOC,
Thank you for supporting me throughout my journey here in Pennsylvania. I am glad to know you are all thinking about me. You all will be in my heart and prayers, I wish you all a good day and a happy Easter.  

Sincerely,
Kefarve Xavier Davis

In Nature at LCOC

Cherry Trees



Dear LCOC Family Member ~
            If you've never spent time in any of the outside sanctuaries surrounding our church, you are missing an opportunity to feel God's awesome peace and His presence.  Allow me to take you on a walk through some of the gardens as we explore what is happening on the first day of spring:
  • Walking around the property we pause as we see a large Woodpecker (perhaps a Common Flicker) land high atop one of the lights in the parking area.  He is marking his territory as mating season begins (sounds like someone jackhammering along with his loud chattering). 
  • There are numerous Crows cawing as they fly to and fro (reminiscent of autumn).
  • As we round the corner near Cloverdale Road, we hear the neighborhood rooster reminding us that he lives nearby.
  • The tulips are up and seem to be saying "Did we arrive too soon?"
  • We experience the beauty of the hyacinths and daffodils in the front beds.  The daffodils have weathered the storm and appear to be bowing to the sun in the morning sky.
  • The irises are rising up and we stop to check on The Rev Darcy and see that she is celebrating spring's arrival.     
  • Several grape hyacinths stand at attention in the children's garden, along with their taller relatives.
  • Daylilies are up and appear to be shivering a little as we pass by on this brisk morning.
  • Entering the space near the older building's entrance, we see robins enjoying the moist earth as they are having their breakfast of worms.  We have also interrupted two of the resident squirrels who are having their acorn breakfast.
  • The path is looking beautiful as it gets its thick layer of mulch to make it safer for the children and others who use it on a daily basis.
  • In the Meditation/Prayer Garden, the glorious Lenten Roses are blooming right on time (a precious gift from Pastor Kent Lang).
  • The Bluebird boxes have been cleaned and await these special beauties to move in and have their babies.
  • As we stop to admire the three cherry trees in the back who seem to be blooming cautiously, we see the Male Cardinal who flies from the shrubs nearby.  He is most assuredly checking out his usual nesting place.     
You are encouraged to take a self-guided tour through our wonderful landscape here at LCOC.  But be ready - you are going to experience God's peace and presence - so enjoy this special time with our Creator!  Next month, we'll see what's happening as the days grow longer and spring is well underway. 
 
 
"I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose, I would always greet it in a garden."
                                        Ruth Stout 

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