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The Messenger

December 9, 2013 Volume XXIII, No. 12

The Journey to Bethlehem From Burden to Blessing Seen through the Eyes of Mary

Christmas Eve Services Metropolitan and Wesley Monday, December 24 5pm - Family Christmas Eve Service with Live Nativity 7pm - Candlelight Communion Service at Wesley Campus 7:30pm - Candlelight Communion Service 10:30pm - Musical Prelude 11pm - Candlelight Worship

Service of Lessons and Carols Sunday, December 29 9 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. Sanctuary

We continue to celebrate the story of Jesus’s birth through the reading of short Bible stories and singing of beloved carols.

January Sermon Series

Poetry, Wisdom & Politics

This Advent we are experiencing the journey through the eyes of Mary of Nazareth. She was a young girl who lived a simple life and certainly didn’t expect the news she received from a visiting angel. Mary is the one character in the Gospels who is part of the entire story of Jesus: from his conception, to his birth, through his childhood, through his ministry, to the cross, and then to experiencing the power of Pentecost. Mary accepts God’s frightening invitation, takes God’s Word into her very being and then births it into the world, transforming all of history. Join us throughout this Advent, as we learn from the wisdom of this remarkable young woman how to give birth to God’s word in our own lives.

The First Advent and the Unexpected Path: Mary’s Journey

This summer when I began working on the Chancel Drama with music by Dayspring, I read lots and lots of books and articles (a good reason to support my Amazon addiction) to develop a focus. Everything I found was leading me to the story of Mary; who she was, where she lived, what her life was like. As I began to spend time in reflection, I kept hearing the voice of Mary, speaking in her own words, and sharing the story that began it all. How powerful would it be to hear the traditional scripture stories through the voice of Mary and then, to listen in a more contemporary way, to how she felt? To sympathize with her fear and confusion and also reflect back on ourselves and to how we might have reacted. Would we be like Mary, open to the possibility, trusting the words of Gabriel, willing to serve our God? Or, would we be like Joseph -- at first angry, upset, accusatory, but then understanding and supportive of his young bride? Would we be like Elizabeth, full of joy and possibility, and embracing Mary and her news? Or, would we be like the townsfolk, uneasy and judgmental? I spent weeks living this story, reading many variations, but few with significant historical and biblical references. And, that’s when it got exciting, when I was able to worry less about facts and more about the mystical and magical story that unfolds. I found a wonderful resource, “The Song of Mary,” written by John McNeil and available through Dramatrix, a free online resource. As I continued to imagine how the drama would unfold, I kept also hearing the voice of Joseph, his need to respond to Mary, his initial hurt and disbelief, and his eventual loving and caring acceptance. As I was crafting the script, I met several times with Casey Elliott, our creative and imaginative director of the 9:00 am Dayspring Choir. What a gift to share my ideas and to refine and redraft as she found just the right music selections for Dayspring, the Youth Choir and soloists. I also reached out to the incredibly talented Bill Anderson, who moonlights as an attorney but who is really a songwriter extraordinaire. I was hoping for an original song, if possible, and he provided beyond my expectations. I invite you to join us at worship, on Sunday, December 15 at 9:00 am, when we present our musical drama, Mary’s Journey: From Burden to Blessing. I am thankful for the patience of Dayspring and their willingness to bring this story to life, through scripture, monologue, music and prayer. We are all on “unexpected paths” in our lives and Advent is the perfect time to slow down, listen for the word of God and open our hearts to the magic.

Patrisha House

Homes are the Cure to Homelessness

Christmas Eve Collection to Support Friendship Place’s Direct Housing Program Sometimes a relatively small amount of money means the difference between being homeless and having a home. This year Metropolitan’s Christmas Eve offerings will support Friendship Place’s direct housing program. Funded through private donations, this rapid-solutions program assists highly vulnerable individuals and families secure housing. Since its launch in April 2013, the program has placed 38 households (57 individuals) in permanent housing and is currently helping 23 others find housing. The average subsidy required was only about $1,000, meaning our contributions can make a significant impact as the stories below illustrate.

Christmas is not Your Birthday! Metropolitan Memorial seeks to keep Christ and his ministries central to our Christmas observances by dedicating all offerings received at Christmas Eve services to ministries beyond our local church. We challenge you to honor the true spirit of Christmas by prayerfully considering how much money you and your family spend on your own Christmas celebration and dedicating an equivalent amount to helping others this holiday season.

“I always had a job, working since I was 13 years old,” says John Hines, 61, recalling his early days working at his uncle’s trash business while also holding down a job as a dishwasher. As an adult, John worked in security at hotels and other places. But when his health started to fail – diabetes, hypertension, the onset of renal failure – it became harder to keep a job and medical expenses quickly ate up his savings. “Getting sick is what depleted my income,” John says. “I didn’t have any insurance.” John was sleeping in his car, trying to get by on $1,500 a month in disability income, when he heard about Friendship Place’s Direct Housing program. The social workers found a room that John could afford. Direct Housing paid John’s first month’s rent and security deposit, a crucial bit of cash that eliminated the stumbling block that had kept him from being able to get a roof over his head until then. The whole process took less than two weeks. “When I was working, little did I know I’d be living in my car, going two or three days without eating,” says John, who adds that he now wants to find a way to help others get off the streets. “Thank the Lord and thank Friendship Place.” Stephanie’s finances were in shambles. After her husband’s stroke, her DC government job wasn’t paying enough to cover her family’s bills. She sought assistance from city agencies but couldn’t get any help. Her income was too high for the cut off but too low to make ends meet. The eviction notice came in September. A friend took in Stephanie and her family temporarily but that eviction notice torpedoed her credit and no landlord was willing to sign a lease. After weeks of shuttling all over town, Stephanie was losing hope. Finally, she called Friendship Place and everything changed. A Social Work intern got to work helping the family find a place to live. Now Stephanie and her family are in a three-bedroom apartment in Congress Heights. The Direct Housing fund covered the family’s first month’s rent, security deposit, the cost of a few nights in a hotel during the move, and even found and paid for the movers. Now that her husband’s disability arrangements are set, Stephanie will be able to cover the rent and living expenses, pay off debts and save some toward her children’s college educations. “I’ve had a setback and it humbled me,” says Stephanie. “I’m ready to start 2014 in a positive light.” Friendship Place is a highly respected, innovative, and successful homeless service established over twenty years ago by a coalition of congregations and concerned citizens in Northwest DC. Learn more at Please give generously on Christmas Eve to support Friendship Place’s Direct Housing fund. And if you will be away at Christmas, you can mail your donation with “Christmas Eve Donation for Friendship Place” in the memo line.


Life at the Metropolitan Church Help Out The Church While You Shop Online

Doing some online shopping? Pick “a little something” out for your church while you’re at it. The UMCmarket, a shopping portal that pays a commission of 1-9 percent to your church with zero effort on your church’s part and no increased costs to you is now available. The United Methodist Church, in partnership with some of the largest online retailers, have built a shopping tool that provides a cash benefit for your church when you purchase through the UMCmarket -- items you'd probably be buying anyway. The retailer does not markup the price any — you still pay what you’d pay as you did before. How does it work? Simply create an account at UMCMarket. org and designate the church of your choosing. Then when you're ready to buy, just log into your UMCmarket account and shop at any of the partner retailers and, PRESTO, a percentage of the sale is given to the beneficiary you designated in your account settings. There’s even an add-on for your Web browser to make the process even easier. What are you waiting for? Sign up today at

Wesley Bible Study Mondays, 7pm, Wesley UMC*

Reflect on God’s plan for and relationship with us and creation with “Manna and Mercy - A Brief History of God’s Unfolding Promise to Mend the Entire Universe.” A great overview of the Biblical story with cartoons and engaging questions. For more information, contact Rev. Kate Murphey, kmurphey@ *5312 Connecticut Ave., NW.

New Members

We welcome Laura Shernit who joined our congregation on Sunday, November 17. Laura is a Registered Nurse in Labor and Delivery at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Jonathan and twin boys, William and James, who turn one on New Year’s Eve and were also baptized on Sunday, November 17.

Annual Commitment Campaign

Thanks go out to our many members and friends who made their pledges. Due to their generosity, our 2014 campaign is off to a strong start. If you have not yet returned your pledge card, please mail it to the church office or put it in the offering plate on Sunday. Pledge cards will be in the attendance pads in the pews. Or, submit your 2014 pledge online at Giving/Annual_Campaign. Your continuing generous support is vital to our church’s mission and ministry!

~~~ Flowers and Greens Gracing the Church ~~~ Celebrating the Arrival of the Christ Child TheChristmas Christmas season seasonis is aa time time of your family andand friends whilewhile beautifying our church with a donation The ofjoy joyand andpeace. peace.Honor Honor your family friends beautifying our church with a toward the flowers and greens that wrap the Sanctuary, building and halls of the church in the living colors of the season. donation toward the flowers and greens that wrap the Sanctuary, building and halls of the church in the living The greens and flowers in the church are totally supported your contributions. The Poinsettia are available for a donation colors of by the season. of $25. Any donation amount is welcome. All donations will be recognized in the Bulletin on Sunday, December 22, 2013.

The greens and flowers in the church are totally supported by your contributions. The Poinsettia are Plants may be taken after the 11pm service Christmas Eve. Envelopes for donations are located in the pew racks. available for a donation of $25. Any donation amount is welcome. All donations will be recognized in the Bulletin on Sunday, December 23rd.Remembering Others at Christmas

Plants be taken after the 11:00 pm service Christmas Eve. Envelopes for donations are located in the pew racks. Name:may _________________________________________________Phone:____________________ Remembering Others at Christmas Address: _______________________________________________ Email: ____________________ Name: _________________________________________________Phone:____________________ Donation of $______, for #___ Poinsettias. I will ___ will not___ be taking the plant(s) after the Christmas Eve service. Address: _______________________________________________ Email: ____________________ In Memory of ______________________________________________________________ Donation of $______, for #___ Poinsettias. I will ___ will not___ be taking the plant(s) after the Christmas Eve service.

In Honor of _____________________________________________________________ In Memory of ________________________________________in Honor of ____________________________________ th Mail, drop drop off offor ordonate donateonline online at by . No phone orders please. Mail, byDecember December1817th . No phone orders please. Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016 Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016


Life at the Metropolitan Church Coats for Kids Today through Sunday, December 29

Book Club Monday, January 20, 7:30pm, Parlor

The Bible Plus Sunday School Class members are looking for new coats for children from ages 2 to 16 for their annual coat drive. These coats will be donated to Martha’s Table and given to needy local DC children. A box will be in the lobby outside of the church offices on Sunday mornings.

Please note that we will not meet in December. Join us in January and February where we will discuss Uncommon Friends in January and Sycamore Row in February. Please contact Joan Topalian, or Suzanne Clewell, with questions.

Christmas Concert: O Lord! Shout for Joy! Saturday, December 14, 7pm, Wesley UMC*

National Gallery of Art Caroling and Ringing Sunday, December 22, 1:30pm or 2:30pm

Come and hear the festive sounds of The Wesley Choir and Combo with Special Guests: Kim Sator, Harpist and Winona Stanback, Soprano *5312 Connecticut Avenue, NW.

UMW Recognition Luncheon Sunday, December 15, 12:30pm, Great Hall

All women of the church are invited to join us as we honor four outstanding United Methodist Women who have made significant contributions to the church and community: Annie Butler, Kelly D’Angelo, Lara Kline, and Suzanne Vieth. We will also celebrate the babies who have been born this year, welcome our new UMW members and remember with gratitude those who have died this year. Lunch will be catered by Leonardo. UMW Circle 8 members (Eugenia Evans, Chair) are hostessing the luncheon. Suggested donation $10. Reservations unnecessary. Contact: Phyllis Kokus, pkokus@

Mary’s Journey: From Burden to Blessing Sunday, December 15, 9am Worship

Come share in a celebration of the life and witness of Mary of Nazareth! Through drama and song, Metropolitan’s Dayspring and Youth Choirs will lead a service that explores the fear, awe, pain, honor and joy that Mary experienced in preparation for the coming of her son, the Messiah.

Prayer Shawl Ministry Tuesday, December 17, 1:30pm, Parlor

Come join the sing-along caroling and cheer Metropolitan’s choirs at the National Gallery of Art. Members of the Chancel Choir and Dayspring Choir will lead the festive caroling, interspersed with Christmas anthems from Metropolitan Ringers. These identical 45-minute sets in the West Sculpture Hall of the West Gallery will lift your spirits and leave you with a merry heart!

A meeting of Heaven and Earth Icons by Delphia Dirks and Veronica Royal

January’s unrelieved leaden skies and sloppy, sodden world will have to give way this year at Metropolitan to blazes of color and flashes of gold. From January 26 to March 2, 2014, the Arts Council is mounting an exhibit of modern icons whose rich reds, blazing blues, and gleaming gold form a background for modern images that represent the tradition of icon-painting which dates to the Byzantine Empire (ca. 330 to 1453 AD) and was exported to other areas that accepted the Orthodox tradition, such as Russia and Serbia. Plan to attend the exhibit opening and concert on January 26! (We are quite pleased that the National Gallery of Art has kindly opened a show that complements ours. November 2013 - March 2, 2014)

Enjoy a time of knitting, crocheting, fellowship, ministry and fun in the Parlor! Interested in joining? Contact: Barbara Tate,

Reconciling Ministries For over 40 years, our denomination has been in conflict about homosexuality, and has maintained its prohibition on allowing LGBT folks to be ordained, or even married in our churches and by our clergy. Six years ago, Metropolitan publically declared our opposition to our denomination on this issue: becoming a “reconciling congregation” and proclaiming Metropolitan’s welcome towards our LGBT sisters and brothers. Our denomination, which has been at the forefront of so much social progress, sadly, lags far behind our broader society on this issue. For members of the clergy, this provides a particular challenge: our church laws demand that we offer our ministries equally to all members of our congregation, but it also forbids us to preside at the weddings of our same-gender couples. We, therefore, call upon the United Methodist Church Council of Bishops to stop the trials against clergy for performing same-gender wedding ceremonies immediately. Members of Metropolitan are encouraged to add their voices to this debate, as we seek to shape the life of our denomination. We will speak up and we will be heard. We will live the United Methodist ideal of open hearts, open minds, and open doors. All are welcome. Learn how you can add your voice and join others in this fight at To learn more about our reconciling activities or join the Reconciling Team, contact Suzanne Forsyth, SuzanneForsyth@ or Kerm Towler,


Service and Advocacy Sharing Holiday Joy with the Residents of Metro House and St. Luke’s Shelter

This holiday season help our guests at Metro House and the St. Luke’s Shelter experience the joy of the season. You can support them in the following ways: 1. Volunteer a few hours at Metro House on Christmas Day. We strive to open the shelter all day on December 25. To volunteer, contact Nancy Clarkson, with your available hours. 2. If you are in town this holiday, donate a meal! Sign up at or contact Kent Weaver, 3. Work an overnight shift at Metro House during December or early January. Many student volunteers are home for the holidays, which makes this an ideal time for church members to volunteer. Sign up at or contact Nancy Clarkson, Training provided for first-time volunteers. 4. Donate gift cards for local grocery or drug stores, coffee houses, or fast food restaurants. Place cards in an envelope marked “shelter gifts” and drop off in the church office or in the offering plate.

May 2014 Dates Set for South Africa Mission Trip First Team Meeting is Sunday, January 12, 2:30pm

Planning is underway for a Volunteers in Mission trip to South Africa, May 9 - 24, 2014. And the first official team meeting for potential participants will be held Sunday, January 12 at 2:30pm in Metropolitan’s Great Hall. The trip will focus on mission education and cultural immersion aimed at understanding race, culture, and religion in the South African context and building solidarity with the South African people. Seven days will be spent at the Bokamoso Youth Centre in Winterveldt (, continuing to build our ongoing partnership with this organization that empowers at-risk youth. The team will present a Vacation Bible School for younger children, mentor older youth, and help repair facilities. Two days will be spent in Johannesburg, including a visit to Central Methodist Church to assist in their feeding ministry with refugee populations. The cost is estimated at $3,500/person for air travel and all on-the-ground expenses. It is expected that participants will pay their own travel expenses or raise funds to cover their own expenses and participate in group fundraising to support the team’s mission and mission partners. Scholarships may be available to assist participants who are unable to pay the entire cost. All payments are made through Metropolitan Church and are considered a mission contribution for tax purposes. An initial deposit of $2,000 is due on January 30, 2014, with the balance due 30 days prior to departure. While at Bokamoso, the group will stay in a dormitory-style guest house. Other nights will be spent in hostels and guest houses. The final two days will be spent at the Bakgatla Game Reserve. For more information, contact Ann Michel, or Pat House,

Campus Kitchen Project Saturday, December 21, 3pm St. Luke's Mission Center*

Volunteers are needed over the holidays to help cook and deliver our Campus Kitchen meals. The Campus Kitchen Project empowers thousands of students each year to recycle food from their cafeterias into nourishing meals that are then delivered to those in need. How can you get involved? Join us from 3pm - 6pm at our St. Luke’s Mission Center to prepare the food or join us at Regency House (5201 Connecticut Ave., NW) from 6pm - 9pm to serve. To volunteer, sign up or contact David Hosey, * 3655 Calvert St., NW.

Homeless Youth Covenant House Vigil November 21

WIN members, including Metropolitan and Brighter Day UMC members, showed up in force for the 2nd Annual Covenant House Vigil. The event makes the tragedy of youth homelessness visible. At the event, Maggie Riden of DC Youth Advocates Alliance, announced a WIN-endorsed plan to end youth homelessness ( In other news, while we were not successful in changing the definition of a homeless individual in the city’s Winter Plan to include youths under 18, we were successful in getting the city to commit to fund 6 more beds, and to appoint Sasha Bruce as the intake contact for all homeless youth this winter.

Members of Metropolitan Memorial and Brighter Day attend the Covenant House Vigil

Parkway Overlook

We are pleased that Mayor Gray has announced that the new affordable housing funds will be made available to Parkway Overlook, the project that was the subject of our joint worship service in June with Brighter Day UMC. We are pleased with this forward progress, and still need to clear up issues with HUD before the redevelopment can proceed. The Mayor will support 4 other WIN-endorsed projects as well, which is a nice complement to our advocacy work.


Replacement of Sanctuary Chairs We have undertaken an exciting new project in our sanctuary, and we want to tell you about it and invite your participation. The former configuration of the pews in the Chancel area allowed us very little flexibility in using that space. After much study and consultation, we have replaced the pews with appropriately lovely chairs designed for church Chancels that matches the wood in the sanctuary. We know that any changes to the beautiful sanctuary space will be uncomfortable for many of us, so we want to address some of the questions and concerns that you might have: Why are we replacing the pews with chairs? The key advantage to chairs is that we have gained tremendous flexibility for a wide variety of worship services. We have increasingly been using the Chancel space for diverse worship times, such as the weekly Wednesday morning meditation group and Contemplative worship, and being able to move the chairs will be a great advantage. Members of the Chancel choir will tell you that the former arrangement with the speakers has been very problematic, from members of the Choir not being able to hear part of the service to sore shins from banging into the speakers! With the pews removed, the design of the sound system in the Chancel becomes much easier. In addition, the placement of the chairs will enable the members of the Chancel Choir to see Bruce Caviness’ directions much more easily. Members of the Dayspring Choir will also be able to sit in these chairs since they can easily move to the front of the Chancel for singing. How will this affect the music staff and how do they feel about it? This project was thoroughly reviewed and discussed by the music staff and had the strong support of all. It was also discussed and unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees. Won’t the chairs violate the integrity of our Gothic structure? No, actually, they will bring us closer to the actual structure of Gothic spaces. Traditional gothic cathedrals had no chairs at all (congregants stood during services!). To accommodate congregations that are less use to standing, most cathedrals in Europe, as well as the Washington National Cathedral have put chairs in the nave. From where did we get the chairs and what do we know about this company? The chairs were purchased from R. Geissler, Inc. in Eagle, Idaho. Geissler is the premiere company for church furnishings and they have an incredible history of work in this field since 1877. It is very rare for a spe-

cialized company like Geissler to have stayed in business and flourished over this many years, and is a testimony to the quality of their work. How many chairs did we order and how are they being financed? We ordered 50 chairs. We had the very good fortune that Geissler actually had the 50 chairs in stock ready to be shipped to us. We wanted to have the chairs in place for our annual MESSIAH Sunday, and we were confident that members and friends of our church would enthusiastically support this project. Because the total that we are raising is relatively modest ($25,000 or $500 per chair for 50 chairs), we did not finance this through a ministry area. We are providing members and friends of our church with the opportunity to purchase a chair in honor or in memory of someone special to them. A Mother who loved music, a Father who sang in the choir, a child who has helped you grow in your music appreciation, a favorite music teacher, a beloved aunt or uncle who nurtured your love of music – the dedication can be to someone dear to you who helped you grow in your love of music or deepened your faith. At $500 a Chair, this has been described as, “The Most Reasonable Chair You Will Ever Endow”! It is a lasting legacy that you will be creating when future generations come to worship at Metropolitan and see the name(s) of someone who was special in your life. What if I can’t afford $500 for a named chair, but want to contribute to this project? Contributions of all levels will be welcomed and needed to help us meet our goal, and it is also an option if several people want to join together to purchase a chair in honor or memory of someone. How do I contribute to this? Please contact Bill Potts, Executive Director of Operations, or 202-363-4900 to tell him that you want to contribute, and/ or complete the form below and return with your donation to Metropolitan Memorial with “Chancel Chair” in the Memo line, or use our online giving option through the website and select the “Chancel Chair” option. We are delighted with the way in which our beautiful Chancel space is transformed by these lovely chairs and invite you to be a part of this transformation. If you have any questions or for additional information, please contact Charlie Parker, Senior Pastor, at or Ellen Bachman, Chair of the Praising Ministry Pillar,

---------------------------------Please detach and return with donation-------------------------------End of Year Giving Opportunity (Note: gift given above and beyond the regular pledge and donation) Name: _________________________________________

Amount: $__________

E Mail: ______________________________________________________________ Chair Given in Honor or Memory (please circle one) of: _____________________________________________________


Adult Study

A New Year...A New You! Leadership Development Classes

Soup and Study

The evening classes at the Metropolitan site will resume on January 8 with an exciting winter season. Rabbi Noah Fabricant will be visiting us from our neighbors at Washington Hebrew Congregation. He will lead sessions January 8 and 22, “An Introduction to the Talmud for Christians.” Rev. Kate Murphey begins four sessions of study on Evangelism, to equip members to speak out and reach out more effectively about their faith. Also in January, Pam McFarland will offer two sessions on “Journaling in Life Transitions.” In February, Chris Geyer will begin a class on the skills to make conflict situations constructive. In the spring, Jane Ward will lead four sessions on Creation Care, and Kris and Randy Oberdick will lead a class on “What Does the Bible Really Say?” In January, Bob Olson and Charlie Parker will begin a new topic in the Hebrew scriptures for their on-going Bible Study. Classes meet the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, with supper at 6pm and classes at 7pm. See the schedule below for details.

Join us in January, February and March on the first and third Wednesdays for our Leadership curriculum! If you are in a leadership position in the church, if you are assuming a new leadership position next year, or thinking about doing so some day, or if this is useful in your work or some other area of your life, this course is for you! You can take all 6 classes or any one class. Questions? Contact Barbara Green, Director of Learning, or 202-3634900, ext. 105. Dinner begins at 6pm with classes following at 7pm. The schedule is: •

January 15 – Research/Emotional Intelligence

January 29 – Personality Characteristics and MyersBriggs

February 5 – Team Building

February 19 – Dealing with Conflict

March 5 – Leading Meetings

March 19 – Applications: Case Studies, Problem Solving

2014 Soup and Study Schedule

January 8

Pillar Study

Bible Study

Sharing – Kate Murphey on Evangelism

with Charlie Parker and

January 22

Bob Olson

Other Classes Rabbi Fabricant: Introduction to the Talmud

Pam McFarland on Writing through Transitions

Chris Geyer on Constructive Conflict

February 12 February 26 March 12

Caring – Jane Ward on Creation Care

March 26 April 9

Kris & Randy Oberdick on

April 23

“What Does the Bible Really Say?”

May 14


Dottie Yunger on environmental stewardship

May 28 June 11 7

Advent Retreat Weekend December 13 - 15

Caring and Learning

Nurture your heart and experience joy to the world with Sylvia Boorstein and Sharon Salzberg. Cost: $20/Friday Session l $95/ Two-day Pass. Tickets at Learn about our teachers at and •Dec. 13, 7:30pm - Evening of talk and meditation on cultivating kindness •Dec. 14,10am - 4pm - Quiet day to nurture peace and goodwill (lunch provided) •Dec. 15, 7pm - Advent Contemplative Communion Service led by Rev. Dr. Charles Parker and Rev. Drema McAllisterWilson with live music. All welcome. Free of charge.

Annual AARP Holiday Luncheon Monday, December 16, Noon, Vestry

Please join us in the Vestry for our annual holiday luncheon. The cost is $15 per person. Besides a delicious meal of turkey and all the trimmings, we will have musical entertainment and will sing holiday songs. Please contact Bobby Turnbull to remit payment,

Dark Night Service Thursday, December 19, 7pm – 8pm, Wesley UMC*

We understand the Christmas season isn’t joyful for everyone. Whether you are grieving the loss of a loved one or the loss of a job, or you just want to find a time of peace in the midst of the hectic season, there is a place where you can seek comfort and prayer. The Dark Night service will be a quiet service of prayer, reflection, and Holy Communion.*5312 Connecticut Ave., NW.

Weekly Meditation Practice Wednesdays, 8:30am, Sanctuary

Join us for guided and walking meditation that nurtures a sense of inner peace and balance. For more information, contact Betty Rogers,

Alzheimer’s Support Group 1st Wednesdays, 9pm, Medical Building*

Come and experience the strength and hope of being with others who share a common bond. Registration required. To register call 202-364-7602. *Conf. Room 5, Sibley Hospital, 5215 Loughboro Rd. NW.

Lunch and More: Feasting, Fellowship and Fun Thursday, January, 16, Noon, Great Hall Please note we will not meet in December

Join us for “Lunch and More”! After eating together, you can choose to either play bridge, canasta or other board games, “chat with Charlie” or watch a faith-based movie followed by discussion. This will be a time of feasting, fellowship and fun. Questions or input, contact Phyllis Kokus, or Mary Jo Marchant,

Club Memory 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 1pm, Great Hall

A supportive social group for people with mild cognitive impairment or early-stage Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia and their caregivers or family. Registration required. Call Sibley Senior Association, 202-364-7602 to register.

Gentle Yoga Thursday, December 12, 4pm, Great Hall

Gently stretch and strengthen! Suggested donation $10$15/class. Questions? Contact instructor Cathryn Gunnerson, or 301-946-7045.

Communion to homebound

If you or someone you know is homebound and would like to receive communion, please contact Rev. Drema McAllisterWilson, 202.363.4900, ext. 104 or dwilson@nationalchurch. org.

Questions about Aging and Care?

Call Iona’s Helpline at 202.895.9448 or to schedule a consultation to discuss: whether a loved one should move or remain at home; how to find home care in your area; which older adult living facilities might be the best fit for your older relative; how to manage health issues, including memory loss; how to find the right medical help, including assessment for memory loss; legal financial concerns, such as powers of attorney and how to pay for services; referrals to transportation services, caregiver support groups, and social activities; how to communicate with a family member who is unwilling to accept help; handling family conflict and the stress of care-giving, whether longdistance or local.

United Methodist Women UMW Women’s Retreat - February 7 - 9, 2014

Calling all women of the Metropolitan Community! Mark your calendars for the 2014 Women’s Retreat, February 7-9, 2014. This year our retreat guide will be Dr. Terri Lynn Simpson, who will lead us on an exploration of Celtic spirituality incorporating themes of prayer, poetry and pilgrimage. The setting for the retreat will once again be the lovely Priest Field Pastoral Center in Kearneysville, WV, approximately 90 minutes from DC. This is an opportunity to step away from our hectic schedules and dedicate 48 hours to spiritual renewal and rest while connecting with a diverse and caring group of women. In addition to the program segments led by our capable leader Terri Lynn, our retreat format includes time for quiet contemplation, worship, leisure activities such as crafting, knitting and Tai Chi, and lively conversation over a meal or a scrabble board … Whether your “home base” is Metropolitan, Wesley, or Crossroads, you are welcome and encouraged to join us. Sponsored by United Methodist women. Stay tuned for more details coming soon, including retreat registration, fees and partial scholarship assistance. Questions? Contact Suzanne Vieth,


Youth Ministries Youth Sunday School Sundays, 10:10am

Join us throughout December as we continue our regular Sunday School programming. Our middle school class follows the wonderful Bible in Life curriculum and is led by Frances Bourne and Jason Grim. Our high school class follows our newly developing two year youth curriculum and is led by Eric Imperial and Patrick Landau, Director of Youth Ministries, All middle school and high school students are invited to our Sunday school classes.

Our Active Youth Ministries

November was one of our busiest months of the year. We had our fall retreat at Manidokan (pictured below), a service project for AU students (pictured below), MYF series on The Hunger Games, “Catching Fire” Movie Night, Sunday School, and more!

January MYF

Batman 5:45pm - 7:30pm

Join us on January 26 as our Methodist Youth Fellowship program begins anew with dinner, games and lessons focused on Batman. Meets two Sundays a month. Questions? Contact Patrick Landau, Director of Youth Ministries, or 202-363-4900, ext. 112.

Upcoming Dates for Youth Ministry:

December 24: 5pm - Christmas Eve Service January 19: Parent and Youth Potluck

January 31 - February 2: ROCK 2014 with Brighter Day Ministries For a calendar of youth events or to see reflections on our youth program, visit the youth ministry blog at

Children’s Ministries

Christmas Eve Family Service Rehearsal Sunday, December 22, 10am, Vestry

Rehearsal for the Family Christmas Eve service will be Sunday, December 22, starting at 10am in the Vestry. There will be no Sunday School that day. Then we’ll have lunch and run through the service in the sanctuary at the conclusion of the 11:15 am service. Kids should be done by 12:45pm that day. Questions can be directed to Megan Lordos,

Nursery School Open House Friday, December 13 and Thursday, January 9 9:30am - 10:30am, Great Hall

Come and learn about our school’s program, curriculum, and admission procedures. The Director will be available to answer any questions you may have about the nursery school. You will also have the opportunity to see our lively classrooms in action. In order to truly appreciate our program we encourage you to attend.


Our Mission - Building an inclusive, caring Christian community that invites all into a deepening relationship with God and challenges all of us to grow as disciples, seeking justice and joy for the transformation of the world. Our Vision - Extending radical hospitality, transforming lives, and pursuing justice. Reconciling Statement - Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church affirms that all individuals are of sacred worth without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, education, marital circumstances, economic status, physical and mental condition, or criminal history. We declare ourselves in support of the reconciling movement and welcome the full participation in the church of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered persons and their families, as a reflection of God’s unconditional love. At the same time, we recognize differences of opinion on issues of sexuality and seek to journey together in faith toward greater understanding and mutual respect.

Pastoral and Administrative Staff - 3401 Nebraska Avenue, NW, DC - 202.363.4900 - Pastoral Emergency Number - 202.510.8555 Rev. Dr. Charles Parker –– Senior Pastor, ext. 108, Rev. Kate Murphey — Associate Pastor, Sharing, Lead Pastor at Wesley UMC, ext. 110, Rev. Dottie Yunger –– Associate Pastor, Service/Advocacy, Lead Pastor at Crossroads, ext. 111, Rev. Drema McAllister-Wilson — Minister of Congregational Care, ext. 104, Rev. Barbara Green – Director of Learning, ext. 105, David Hosey - Pastoral Associate for Crossroads and Campus Ministry, Princess Bethea — Office Coordinator, ext. 102, Bruce Caviness — 11a.m. Organist-Choirmaster, ext. 152, Jeff Clouser — Director of Communications and Outreach, ext. 113, Dona Collary — Pastoral Care Assistant/Wedding and Funeral Coordinator, ext. 106, Casey Elliott — Dayspring Choir Director/9am Worship Leader/Youth Choir Director, ext. 151, Patrisha House — Director of Worship, Music and Arts, ext. 114, Patrick Landau — Director of Youth Ministries, ext. 112, Bill Potts –– Executive Director of Operations, ext. 101, Rafael Reyes — Director of Building and Grounds, ext. 116, Director of Children’s Ministries (Hiring) Helen Simon — Executive Assistant to Dr. Parker, ext. 109, Linda Smith — Director of Nursery School, 202.362.8746,

The Messenger is published by The Metropolitan Church - A Multi-site United Methodist Community Metropolitan Memorial - 3401 Nebraska Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20016 Tel: 202.363.4900 St. Luke’s Mission Center (3655 Calvert St., NW)/Wesley UMC (5312 Conn. Ave., NW) Fax: 202.686.2056 E-Mail: website: NEXT ISSUE: January 13, 2014 NEXT DEADLINE: Noon on January 7, 2014

December 9, 2013  

The Messenger

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