Join us for our Christmas Eve candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols, Tuesday, December 24, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. The service is based on the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, UK. We will read scripture lessons prophesying, describing, and interpreting the birth of Jesus Christ, interspersed with choir anthems and familiar carols, and Pastor David Douthett will offer a brief sermon. We’ll close the service by lighting candles as we sing the last hymn. It’s a lovely and meaningful way to welcome Christ into the world.
This Sunday before Thanksgiving (November 24) we will join with several other churches in the greater Waterford-Lovettsville metroplex in using a shared liturgy for our worship service. All eight participating churches will use the same prayers, hymns, scriptures, and even the same bulletins. The service focuses on thanksgiving as an act of worshiping God. (This is as opposed to the open-ended, un-targeted thanksgiving offered in our cultural holiday.) We give thanks to God our Maker, Provider, Redeemer, and Friend.
This is the first time we’ve done this, and we hope it will raise people’s spirits. It’s a way to focus on thankfulness, and also to recognize that we are part of a larger Christian community in the area. We’ll have 3 Lutheran congregations, 3 United Methodist congregations, 1 United Church of Christ congregation, and us, the Presbyterians.
Naturally, we hope you can join us! Regardless, we pray for you to know the blessings of God, so your heart will be filled with gratitude. May it be so, not only for the Thanksgiving holiday, but every day.
Ash Wednesday (March 6 this year) is the beginning of Lent, the season of preparation for Easter. We will mark the day with a simple meal together in the Fellowship Hall, followed by a brief worship service in the sanctuary. The meal will be soup and bread (with gluten free options). The service will include scripture, prayers, a brief reflection on Lent and lenten practices, and the imposition of ashes for those who wish to receive them.
If you plan to attend, it would help us plan if you drop us an email, give a call at 540-882-3058, or leave us a message below or on Facebook.
Join us for this year’s Christmas Eve service, a traditional service of lessons and carols, patterned after the liturgy from the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge. (Ours will likely be a little less formal.) The lessons cover the whole arc of the story of God’s salvation for us, interspersed with Christmas carols and anthems by the choir. Pastor David will have a wee Christmas message, too. Of course, it’s all done in the candlelight. We hope to see you with your friends and family as we celebrate God’s faithfulness and love made manifest in the birth of Jesus Christ.
Here are some ways Catoctin is marking Advent and Christmas.
We have several opportunities this season to share from the abundance God has given us. Giving to those in need is a good spiritual practice, fulfilling the call of God’s law, the prophets, Jesus, and the New Testament letters.
Warming Tree for the Loudoun Holiday Coalition – Bring new hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens for folks who don’t have cold-weather gear. Put them on the Christmas tree in the fellowship hall. This is wrapping up this week.
Grocery Gift Cards for Loudoun Hunger Relief – There’s a red collection box on the table in the fellowship hall for your $10 gift cards for any local grocery store. These will help folks with food insecurity through the holidays.
Christmas Joy Offering for the Presbyterian Church (USA) – This special offering for our denomination helps current and retired church workers in their time of need and also helps develop our future leaders at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges. Click here for more information. We will collect this offering in worship on December 17 and 24.
Besides our usual fellowship time after worship services, we have a couple special events coming up.
Christmas Cookie Exchange -On Sunday, December 8, bring some of your favorite Christmas cookies to share with everyone for after-service fellowship. It’s a fun way to enjoy each other’s holiday traditions and some sweetness for the season!
Men’s Christmas Breakfast – Sunday, December 16, 8:00 a.m. Come, and God rest ye merry, gentlemen! We will celebrate Christ’s birth, the dawn of God’s reign on earth, with food, fellowship, and glad tidings of good news! Food will be provided by a few of the brothers, so you only need to bring yourself and good cheer!
Women’s Christmas Luncheon – Sunday, December 16, 12:30 p.m. It’s the annual PWOC Christmas luncheon for women of the congregation and their friends. We’ll sing Christmas carols and tell the Christmas story. Please bring a salad or casserole to share. Also, bring a nonperishable food item as a gift to Jesus as he is found at Loudoun Hunger Relief.
We continue to mark the days of Advent in our worship services by lighting the Advent candles. We started our decorating with just the Advent wreath, but now the greens are up. What will come next?
This year’s Christmas Eve service will be a traditional service of lessons and carols, patterned after the liturgy from the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge. Ours will likely be a little less formal. The lessons cover the whole arc of the story of God’s salvation for us, interspersed with Christmas carols and anthems by the choir. Pastor David will have a wee Christmas message, too. Of course, it’s all done in the candlelight. We hope to see you with your friends and family as we celebrate God’s faithfulness and love made manifest in the birth of Jesus Christ.
This Sunday, December 3, is the first Sunday of Advent, the season of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth. It’s also a time when we prepare for the coming of Christ into our lives in a new way for today. Further, we prepare for Christ’s return in power as Lord of all at the end of the age.
We do all that by focusing on God’s call through the prophets and through Jesus himself that we should prepare for coming of our God. That means repenting of our sin, deepening our worship, and working for justice in the world. Admittedly, Continue reading “Advent Means “Coming””
Pastor David will be taking two weeks vacation at the end of August. He and Molly will be traveling to Colorado to see family and taking a side trip to Torrington, Wyoming, to see the total solar eclipse on August 21. They have their groovy eclipse glasses, so they’ll be safe. They’ll be staying at a Presbyterian church there, as rooms were booked and sold out six months ago. Continue reading “Pastor Going to Stare at the Sun”