Homecoming Sunday ...

     Trail Notes ...

First Things First

If you visit my office here at St. Dunstan's (which I hope you will - often!), you no doubt will notice a jar at the corner of my desk filled with rocks, pebbles, and sand. As I curated my beautiful new work space this summer, I thought carefully about which symbols and images I wanted around me. I placed the jar right in front of me as a constant visual reminder of what is most important.


You may be familiar with the story of the professor who wanted to teach his students to budget their time. He stood before his class with an empty jar and placed several large rocks inside. "Is the jar full?" he asked. When his students responded yes, the professor dropped in handfuls of small pebbles; they nestled easily in and around the big rocks, challenging the students' previous assumptions. "Is it full now?" The class, beginning to catch on, surmised that it probably was not. And with that, the professor poured a bag of sand over the rocks and pebbles, filling every remaining crevice until the jar was, at last, completely full.[1]


When I conducted this experiment in Chapel at St. Andrew's last year, my Middle School students recognized immediately that it wouldn't have worked had I poured in the sand before everything else. The big rocks had to go first; they would not fit later. I wish I were always so astute! The message is clear: it is all-too easy for our "jars" to become filled by demands which consume our time and energy and leave little room for that which is truly meaningful and life-giving.


In this week's Gospel, Jesus challenges His followers to make our relationship with God the "big rock," prioritizing it above and before all else. Christians have wrestled with this troubling text for two thousand years, and we in our generation are no exception. Given the increasing complexity of our world and of our individual lives, it may feel unrealistic, if not altogether impossible, to meet Jesus's expectations. With so much else clamoring for our attention, how can we devote ourselves fully to God?


The answer, of course, is that few of us do it perfectly, or well. Virtually every day, it seems, my best intentions are thwarted by the pebbles and grains of sand that compete for my time and energy. This is why I am so grateful for Christian community, because I need the encouragement, support, and prodding of my brothers and sisters as I try, however haltingly, to put my faith first.


This week at St. Dunstan's is Homecoming, the official kickoff of the 2019-20 program year. For those of us who appreciate fresh starts, we might think of this Sunday as an opportunity to "refill our jars" and begin to think anew about the place and role of God in our lives. In the Episcopal tradition, we mark such new beginnings with prayer. In that spirit, I invite students to bring your backpacks to be blessed at the outset of this next school year. Adults, bring your briefcases, backpacks, and gym bags, too. There will be abundant blessings for everyone!


I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.


Your Sister in Christ,



    Backpack Blessings ...

     Youth Ministry ...

Youth Nights in September

6:00 p.m. Dinner
6:30-7:30 p.m. Program for youth in grades 5-12

Wednesday, September 11- Redeemer 
(6201 Dunrobbin Drive, Bethesda)
Wednesday, September 25- St. Dunstan's

The dinner on youth nights will be open to the children, youth, and their families. PLEASE click here by the Monday prior to youth night to sign -up.


P.R.A.Y. Youth Events - Grades 5-12

Key Bridge Boathouse- Paddle boarding and Canoeing
Sunday, September 22, 2019
4:00 to 6:30 p.m.
$16-25 per hour

The deadline to sign up for this event is 
Sunday, September 15. Send sign-ups to  Yaa Addison our new P.R.A.Y coordinator.
This is a fun event on the Potomac. Youths will have a choice of paddle boarding, kayaking, or canoeing on the Potomac River. Price is dependent upon the choice of activity. Pizza, drinks, and dessert will follow the activity. Please meet us at the Key Bridge Boathouse (3500 Water Street NW, Washington, DC 20007) at 3:45 p.m. Leave all valuables at home. Please contact Yaa i f you are able to drive or chaperone this event.

     Small Groups ...

Men's Group Resumes
Join us for the first men's group meeting of the 2019 Fall Season. We will gather in the newly renovated kitchen on Saturday, October 5, 2019 @9:00 a.m., and continue with our schedule of meeting every first Saturday of the month, same time, same place. Some of our topics for this season are how the Men's Group can help support our new rector and expand the "Men's" ministry at St. Dunstan's.  Join us, bring friends, share in the fellowship. If you have questions, please contact, John Wyss.

Soul Sisters
The St. Dunstan's Soul Sisters will resume meeting on the second Saturday of this month, September 14th.  Our new meeting time will be  10:00-11:30 am. We meet in the parlor, and everyone is welcome to come!  If you have questions, please contact Sue Carroll.  

Bible Study and Eucharist with Healing Return
Save the Date for the return of the weekly Wednesday Bible Study and Eucharist with Healing, beginning October 2, 2019 at 10:30 a.m for Bible Study, and 11:30 a.m. for Eucharist with Healing.

     Outreach ...

Hurricane Relief
As we continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas who have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian, you may be wondering how you and your family might respond most appropriately to this catastrophic disaster. I commend to you in particular the mission and ministry of  Episcopal Relief and Development, the disaster relief arm of the national Episcopal Church. ERD has a proven track record of sending financial, human, and material resources to those areas of our world most in need, while keeping administrative costs proportionately low. I encourage those who would like to join me in contributing to Dorian relief to do so directly through the ERD website; please include the name of our parish in the "Donor Organization" box to affiliate your gift with St. Dunstan's.
Thank you, in advance, for your generosity and your prayers for all those impacted by Dorian and for safety, strength, and courage for first responders.
~ Patty+

 Save the Date ...


Saturday, December 7, 2019
                                            11:00 a.m.

     Parish Notice ...

Remembering September 11
This Wednesday, on the 18th anniversary of September 11, 2001, all are invited to a simple time of prayer for peace, healing, and remembrance at 9:30 AM in the church. If you would like for anyone remembered specifically by name during this brief service, please call or email Patty in the Parish Office by Tuesday.

Bring a Friend to Church and Wear Your Name Tags
This Sunday, we are asking that you bring a friend to church to join in our celebration of Homecoming, backpack blessing, and brunch. Please remember to wear your name tags during the services and fellowship so that Patty may quickly learn your name. Name tags are located on the bulletin board in the Narthex. If you do not have a name tag, please  add your name to the "Nametag Needed" list in Founder's Hall.

 Kim Matthews
Parish Administrator

Hopes and Prayers on our Journey ...

n Need of Healing:

Curt Shively , husband of Susan Burkhalter in nursing care
Ken Farnsworth , at home in Westwood Towers
Pam Plaisance , fighting cancer, cousin of Sue von
Samantha Barnes, ill,  sister of Muriel Croston
DJ Crane , family friend of Trudy Surut, fighting cancer
Jessie McCardell, recovering from a fall
Joan (Penny) Denny , ill
Eleanor London , ill, mother of Ellen McCormick
Warren Green , ill, son-in-law of Trudy Surut
Katie Hemmer , ill, mother of Sidney Clark-Lequrique
Brian Ply, former parishioner of St. Dunstan's, ill
Sara Strattan , mother of Joseph Arkfeld, ill
Nene De Roos , family friend of Joseph Arkfeld, ill

Recently Departed: Patrick Smoak, brother of Fred Smoak, August 17, 2019 and Geri Sayer, friend of the Barrett family, August 22, 2019, and Christopher McGowan, friend of the Rev. Patty Alexander, August 31, 2019.

The flowers  are given to the glory of the Lord.

We pray for St. Dunstan's Missionaries, Cameron and Roberto Vivanco, who serve in Quito, Ecuador, and the parish of Buen Pastor.  

If you or someone you know is in need of prayer, please complete our prayer request form by clicking here.

Trail Map ...

The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

September 8, 2019

10:00 a.m. Eucharist  for All

The readings for this Sunday are:
Jeremiah 18:1-11, Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17,
and Luke 14:25-33

Sunday Schedule of Ministries ...

Serving this Sunday
Trail Notes: Joanne Comstock
Liturgical Coordinator:  Rosi Sweeney
Eucharistic Minister: Carl Adams
Prayer Minister: Sue Newman
Flower Guild:  Trudy Surut
Altar Guild:   Rosi Sweeney
Tellers: Donna Alvarez and Jackie Jones