Care of Congregation
One of the things we hear over and over from members is how important the sense of community is at CPC and how it feels like home here. We believe it’s a way fulfill Jesus’ words: By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35).
Our caring for one another takes many forms, both formal and informal. Programmatically, we offer fellowship time after the worship service, which helps us connect with God and each other, we have meals together when we have important things to discuss or just for fun, and we support one another in difficult times by the “laying on of food.”
This past year, the Care of Congregation committee hosted Easter Breakfast and our church summer picnic. Our Prayer and Care Team works with the pastor to keep in touch with our church family, sending cards and making visits.
At a time when the culture we live in is rapidly embracing material things and our society is being pulled farther and farther away from Christianity, we stand together in order to bring youth to encounter Jesus and become his disciples.
The mission of the Youth Ministry at Catoctin (YMAC) is to serve youth in our congregation and community through engaging programs and events that help them become disciples of Jesus Christ.
This past year we continued to expand our Sunday afternoon youth group program, which served 10-18 elementary schoolers, and 5-8 high schoolers. These groups meet at the church for their own recreation time and bible study classes. Then the students all join in Christian fellowship at dinner (along with the staff) and experience “holy hilarity” with a few table games.
In March, high schoolers participated in a weekend lock-in and learned about stewardship of God’s creation, with a major emphasis on financial assets. In order to raise money for their planned 2020 summer mission trip expenses, they had a bake sale during the annual church yard sale and made and sold artisanal blueberry jam at the Waterford fair. They also supported VBS by decorating the sanctuary and classrooms and being teacher aids during the weeklong program.
Moving into 2020, the high schoolers that are participating in confirmation studies will travel to Portland, Maine for a week of mission service for our brothers and sisters who are refugees from Africa or are suffering in urban poverty. We are very excited to be adding this critical element of hands-on mission work and serving Christ by serving others to our ministry.
Our Christian Education program has developed wonderfully over the past year! You may be asking yourself, “What does CPC have to offer when it comes to Christian Education?” Well, just this past summer, we continued our Vacation Bible School program and it was fantastic! We brought in close to 50 children and everyone had a blast. The dedication of our staff and volunteers really made this experience special for everyone!
What else do we have to offer? Not only does funding go towards supporting a solid Vacation Bible School program, but it also supports our weekly Sunday School lessons for grades K-5 children. Our Sunday School program runs from fall to spring, and takes place during the eleven o’clock worship hour. We enjoy making crafts, reading Bible stories, singing songs, and playing games! Currently, we are implementing the Dig In – Epic Teachings of the Bible curriculum from Group Publishing.
Christian Education is not limited to grades K-5 students. We have a separate Youth group that meets after church on Sundays from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Elementary, middle, and high school students begin their time together playing games. They then focus on Bible study before wrapping up with a meal together.
And for adults, Leif Larsen leads adult Sunday School each Sunday at 10:00 a.m., and we have seasonal bible studies during Lent and Advent.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called by Him to apply our wealth and service to the “least of these” (Matthew 25:31-45). The mission committee continues to serve others in our community, nation, and the world by coordinating projects that deliver goods and services to individuals and communities with a variety of needs such as hunger, education, disaster relief, and shelter.
In the past year, our mission funds have been distributed to:
- Mobile Hope Loudoun (local, shelter/hunger)
- Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (regional, hunger)
- Community Coalition for Haiti (global, education)
- Great Plains Foundation (global, environment)
- and the Presbyterian Church (USA) (national, our general denominational mission giving).
We have also provided additional giving opportunities for both monetary and gift assistance to be distributed to numerous organizations, including Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Mobile Hope of Loudoun, and the Community Coalition for Haiti.
Outreach is important to us at Catoctin Presbyterian. In order to grow as a church body, we make it a priority to connect with the community, invite people to the church grounds, and form relationships.
There are many young families living in or around the area. In an effort to build a stronger bond between us and them, we host Parents’ Night Out sessions at the church each quarter. This gives us the opportunity to hang out with kids for the evening, while enjoying crafts, snacks, games, and a movie. The parents really appreciate this, and it has been an effective source of fundraising and relationship-building.
We are planning to start a community children’s choir that will practice weekly in the evening, giving youth an opportunity to gather together and sing beautiful music. We are looking forward to seeing this new program develop over time!
Other sources of outreach that we offer throughout the year include our annual spring yard sale, the quarterly pancake breakfasts, Vacation Bible School, blessing of the animals service, and the local concerts that we host at the church. We also welcome people into our church during the Waterford Fair, and next year we will be officially on the Tour of Homes.
Worship & Ministry
Humanity’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy God forever. Worship is our primary service to God as disciples. Worship is to the Body of Christ what breathing is to the human body. These are just a few of thoughts that Christians have expressed about worship.
For our part as a congregation, weekly worship on the Lord’s Day is the central focus of our life together. Here we meet with our sisters and brothers in faith. Here we are reminded that we are not alone on the journey of faith. Here we sing praise to our God and Savior. Here we listen again to the assurance of God’s love for us in Christ. Here we are washed from the font and nourished at the Lord’s Table. Here we are confronted with God’s claim on our lives that we make a difference in the world. Here we learn to breathe grace and peace.
Christian worship is a give-and-take experience. We not only receive God’s presence and goodness, but we offer ourselves to God in response. In worship we give thanks to God for life, for faith, for grace and forgiveness, and for purpose. We do that in prayer, in our singing, and in giving our gifts, tithes, and offerings to God through the church.
Worship is so important to Christians because it is our primary act of devotion to God as a community, our primary time for fellowship with our brothers and sisters, our primary channel for proclaiming the Good News of Christ and educating our people in the faith, and our primary opportunity for outreach and evangelism. It’s been said the Church can survive without meetings, committees, small groups, Sunday school, potlucks, and even mission projects, but the Church cannot survive without worship.
Facilities & Communication
Since its initial construction in 1814 and rebuilding in 1882, the Catoctin Presbyterian Church building has served as our place of worship, education, fellowship, and community events.
Our sanctuary is now 138 years old, the Fellowship Hall is 70 years old, and the Manse is 68 years old. CPC’s facilities are in good repair and support an array of activities. The Sanctuary has ample space to accommodate worshipers and religious ceremonies, as well as public audiences for concerts, lectures, and meetings. Our facilities will adequately support our 2020 ministries, and we have plenty of space for church membership growth.