On Thursday evening, January 31, 2019, from 6:00-7:30 p.m., we will host the Souper Bowl! No, that isn’t a typo. We’re having a soup dinner! The Souper Bowl of Caring is a chance for us to enjoy some fellowship together and to offer some help to folks who might otherwise be hungry. We’ll have a variety of homemade soups, plus salad, bread, drinks, and dessert. The meal is free and open to the public. We will have a basket for a freewill offering for those in a position to contribute, and those funds will go to help hunger ministries.
We especially want to invite our neighbors who were directly affected by the partial government shutdown. If you are government employee who was furloughed, we want to show you (and your family) some love with a free meal.
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?
See our previous post about Advent and this year’s themes.
Christmas Eve Service – 7:00 p.m., December 24
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.