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For the congregation of the Metropolitan Memorial Cooperative Parish

March 4, 2011 Volume XXI, No. 3

Metropolitan Memorial, St. Luke’s, and Wesley United Methodist Churches

Children’s Art Showcase This art work, by Grace Taylor from the Godly Players class, Grace’s picture, along with many others from children in depicts the Parable of the Sower. In the parable, the sower our Sunday School classes will be part of a special event decides to plant some seeds. First, the sower drops seeds on at Metropolitan later this month. If you have ever wanted the path but the birds come and eat up the seeds. Next, the to see God through the eyes of a child, then you are insower plants the seeds in the rocky soil, where the seeds try to vited to attend a Children’s Art Showcase in the Great take root, but because there is no place for the roots to take Hall on Sunday, March 27, during the study hour. hold, the plants whither. Next, the sower tries a thorny area but the thorns choke the seeds and they die from lack of sun. The showcase is the culmination of efforts our children Finally, the sower plants the seeds in the good soil, where put forth every week in their Sunday School classes. Afthey take root and flourish. And in the next harvest, not only ter hearing a story from the Bible each class, our children are there 30 bushels of grain but 100 bushels. (The parable of respond to that particular story in their “work” time. the sower can be found in three gospels: Luke, Mark, and During work time, the children pull out any arts material they wish to use such as clay, markers, crayons, oil pasMatthew). tels, and even Legos and building blocks to interpret their Grace’s picture shows us all parts of the story, from the rocks, understanding of a parable, a miracle, a scene from Adseen on the right, and the thorny area on the left. The birds vent, or even a story from the Old Testament that they flying in the sky represent the part of the story in which the heard in the first half of class that morning. birds eat the seeds. Notice that one of the birds is smiling after its nice dinner. The good soil is beneath the sower’s feet, Not only will artwork be displayed at this showcase. The on top of which little shoots of green are peaking out. The Cherub Choir will perform fun Bible camp songs. Thirdmost stirring part of the picture, however, is the sower’s face. and fourth-graders will tell episodes from Jesus’s minisIn the story that the children hear in Sunday School class, the try that they have interpreted in the Godly Play style. The sower is represented by a woman figure. Interestingly, Grace’s Fifth-grade class have planned a dramatic presentation. depiction could be seen as woman. But also, it could inter- Please plan to join us for this special event. It will mean a preted as the face of Jesus. How wonderful that a leap could lot for the children to show you how they see God. be made between the sower being just a regular person sowing everyday seeds or maybe, the sower is Jesus and we are the seeds.

Lenten Sermon Series A Guided Journey with St. Joan Joan of Arc is one of the most remarkable and unusual characters in the history of the world, and is the only person (one of a long list of “only’s” for Joan) who was convicted (and executed) by the church for heresy and later canonized as a saint. Her story has inspired a host of literature and music, everything from drama by George Bernard Shaw to a biographical novel by Mark Twain. This Lent, in our sermons, we will be spending some time with Joan as we travel towards the cross and ultimately to Easter. Our Lenten sermons will use the lectionary texts for the season, and use episodes from Joan’s life to highlight the themes. (cont. on pg. 2)

Lenten Sermon Series: A Guided Journey with St. Joan (Cont. from pg. 1) We will begin our journey on March 13th looking at the desert places in which all of us experience brokenness and abandonment, and how that calls us to work towards the vision of a better world. The following week, we will look at the call of Abraham, striking off for a new land, trusting in God’s promise. On March 27th, we will explore the lectionary images of water and our deep thirst for relationship with God. On April 3rd, our theme will be how God often provides for us through unexpected means. The next week, we examine how God’s promise of resurrection shapes every aspect of how we live. On Palm/Passion Sunday, we get a taste of Good Friday as we look at how God helps us through times of trial and betrayal. And on Easter we celebrate! As always, I am greatly looking forward to our Lenten time together, and I know that Joan will provide us with stories and insights that will greatly enhance our journey. On Friday, April 1st, we will show a wonderful silent film called “The Passion of Joan of Arc” accompanied by an amazing piece of music written much later for it called “Voices of Light.” Please join us for this special time together. Blessings,

Rev. Dr. Charles Parker

Keeping A Holy Lent Lenten Devotional Lent is finally upon us, and as a part of Lent this year, the AU ministries team has brought back the Lenten Devotional. Devotionals are typically short reflections including prayers based on a scripture passage. Each day during Lent, a different devotion is reflected upon as a community. I encourage you to join us as we journey through Lent together. This year, our theme is focused on Micah 6:8: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Each week, you will find an insert in your bulletin with a week’s worth of devotions. You will also find the devotions in the weekly update or signing up on our blog: The devotions are all written by members of this congregation as well as by the AU students. In an effort to make this a complete success, we would like to encourage each of you help us write for later on in Lent. This is very easily done and is in the form of a reflection or prayer about 250-300 words in length. These can be sent to Jayne Mardock, our Lenten Devotional coordinator at As we walk together through Lent together, please join us as we reflect on what God has called us to do in order to bring the kingdom on earth.

Wednesdays During Lent - March 16, 23, 30 and April 6, 13, 20 Walking the Labyrinth and Light Lunch - 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Great Hall During Lent, you are invited to join others in walking the labyrinth, followed by praying and eating together. Walking this ancient design while praying or meditating can bring us into the mystery of God’s presence. The labyrinth offers a chance to take time out from our busy lives to become aware of the Spirit’s guidance and presence. As we walk the labyrinth with others, we are reminded that each of us is at our own place on the faith journey, just as each of us is at a particular place on the labyrinth - not further ahead or lagging behind, not higher or lower, not faster or slower, just different. Questions? Contact Mary Jean Evans, or Drema McAllister-Wilson, We hope you can join us. A Lenten Journey for Healing and Transformation Exploring the Mysteries of Lectio Divina (Sacred Scripture Reading) 7 p.m., Youth Room (Room 204) We will meet at 7 p.m. for a time of silence, refection, simple rest and relaxation in the quietness of the evening. From 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm, we will explore the history of Lectio Divina as a spiritual practice and how we can make the practice our own in contemporary life. From 8:30 p.m. - 9 p.m., we will have refreshments and conversation. Lectio Divina is a living spiritual tradition that has adapted to countless ages to bring healing. This experience can help you prepare yourself to fully enter into the mysteries of Holy Week and Easter. You are invited to join Betty Rogers and Drema McAllister-Wilson, facilitators. Questions? Contact Drema McAllister-Wilson,


Life at Metropolitan Memorial Cooperative Parish Prayer Shawl Ministry Tuesday, March 15, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 20, 12:30 p.m. Join us for a time of knitting, crocheting, fellowship, ministry and fun! Questions? Contact Annette Fletchall at 301.216.5470. Monday Evening Book Club! Begins April 18, 7:30 p.m., Library Suzanne Clewell and Joan Topalian invite all readers to a new book club that will meet in the Library every third Monday of the month. Our first selection is Abraham Veghese’s, “Cutting for Stone.” There are a few “rules of the road” for those who participate: All are welcome; All will be given a chance to talk; All will be on time; All will have read the book prior to the meeting; All will take turns in leading a discussion; All will arrive at the first meeting with one book they would like the club to read this year and tell us why. For more information, contact Suzanne Clewell, 301.530.8818 or Joan Topalian, 202.363.8797. March AARP Meeting Monday, March 21, 1 p.m., Vestry Please join us on Monday, March 21 in the Vestry. Davis Kennedy, producer and editor of the Northwest Current, will talk about his newspaper. Social time is at 12:30 p.m., and the meeting starts at 1:00. Refreshments will be served.

Be a Part of the Choric Choir! What is a choric choir, you might ask? In short, a group of people presenting a dramatic reading of scripture in parts (not sung). We are blessed to have Bob Benn who is willing to write, rehearse and conduct our scriptures in this fashion. We are planning to utilize this method during the weeks of Lent including Holy Week. If you are interested please let us know. Lent begins on Wednesday, March 9 and Easter Sunday is April 24. You can be a part of this every time or only 1 time – whatever works with your schedules. For more information, contact Pat House,

Boy Scouts Celebrate 80th Anniversary! On March 18, the Boy Scouts will celebrate their 80th Anniversary, having been chartered here at Metropolitan Memorial in 1931. If you are in the 5th grade and would like to join the boy scouts contact Richard Tilley, Scout Master at 301-9865578 or The troop is very active and meets most Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. “Little Shop of Horrors” Starring Rachael Goldman-Gorblutt March 25, 7:30 p.m. March 26, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. April 1, 7:30 p.m. April 2, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Come see our very own Rachael Goldman-Gorblutt as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at Bryant Alternative High School (2709 Popkins Ln., Alexandria, VA). Tickets are $20/adults and $16/students and seniors, group rates available. Go to for more information! Movie Premiere The Passion of Joan of Arc April 1, 6:30 p.m., Great Hall “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” starring Renée Jeanne Falconetti, is a French silent film based on the record of the trial of Joan of Arc. Produced in 1928, it is widely regarded as a landmark of cinema, especially for its production, its direction and Falconetti’s performance, which has been described as being among the finest in cinema history. The film summarizes the time that Joan of Arc was a captive of the English and depicts her trial, imprisonment, torture, and execution. Join us for this cinematic treasure as we “Journey with St. Joan” during Lent!

The Metro Players Present


Friday, March 11, 8 p.m./Saturday, March 12, 6 p.m. Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m. (Lunch after the 11:15 a.m. service. Childcare Available) Ticket Prices: $10/$5 students Only 3 Three Trips Available! Come join families and friends on the final “Excursion” to Coney Island on the S.S. Happiness. Tickets are avialable at the door or for reservations contact Helen Simon, or 202.363.4900, ext. 10.


Congregational Care

2011 Wellness Fair Exploring the Wholeness of Body-Mind-Spirit Saturday, March 19, 9 a.m., Great Hall Don’t miss this opportunity! Join us for samplers of relaxation, reflection, and renewal. The goal of this wellness fair is to acquaint attendees with spiritual disciplines for stressful times. We’ll explore the wholeness of body-mind-spirit through discussion, meditative/contemplative prayer, labyrinth walk, seated massage by certified therapist, feldenkrais, and journaling. Handouts containing more information will be available. All are welcome. Comfortable dress is advised. Pre- registration is encouraged. Contact Susan Roach, 202.686.1926 or Requests for child care must be made by March 12, 2011. This event is sponsored by the Wellness Committee.

Service and Advocacy Homelessness and Employment Symposium Wednesday, April 13, 6:30 p.m., Great Hall On April 13 Metropolitan Memorial formerly homeless men. Both of these houses have been the setCooperative Parish will host a sympo- ting for social and community events. Recently, FP outgrew the sium on homelessness and employ- Blue House and the administrative staff will move to St. Luke’s, ment. For 20 years our parish has had sharing space with us. As the new Mission Outreach Center takes a synergistic relationship with the shape, who would be better office mates for us than the folks workCommunity Council for the Homeless ing at FP? at Friendship Place (FP). Four members – Suzanne Forsyth, Penny Pagano, Leigh Rollins and Dick Two years ago our Church hosted an educational event on the topic Schleicher are board members. Dick Schleicher was part of of Homeless Veterans. Leigh Rollins put a big chunk of this prothe group that got FP started in 1991. We have hosted a gram together. And Circle 6 served as the hospitality committee fundraiser, Sing Out for Shelter, for ten years – this year the cooking sweets and savories, welcoming and directing our guests. church was packed for the concert on February 5. We work During the evening program a deep pocketed donor was moved closely with FP in the orchestration of our own shelter, Metro- when he learned about the huge number of homeless vets living politan House. During the capital campaign a few years back, on the streets; he donated the funds for FP to hire a returning Iraqi the congregation made a major gift to FP as part of a tithe of war vet to do homeless vet outreach for two years! Over a hundred that campaign offered to support various missions. Through vets living on the streets of DC have been housed. that gift, FP was able to create and fund a new position of If you would like to help host the FP symposium on April 13, Director of Volunteers. please contact Suzanne Forsyth at 202.686.8819 or FP offers direct outreach to members of our community living Who knows how the Holy Spirit might on the street. “The Blue House” on Wisconsin Avenue known work the crowd this year? as the Welcome Center has been a place of refuge for the home- Mike Durst, co-president of FP recently said that MMCP could less. Not only can one receive a warm welcome, a cup of cof- serve as a national model in connection with service to the homefee and medical help, case managers are available to help our less. neighbors with their transition to stability. There is a house on MacArthur Blvd for formerly homeless women, Veronica House. Leigh, Suzanne and Penny have helped these women with their Christmas tree and providing holiday food as well as taking them shopping and on outings and picnics. Zeke’s House for men on Western Avenue provides a safe haven for


Reconciling Ministries

Sunday, March 19, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Woodside UMC Please join the Baltimore Washington Reconciling United Methodists to Believe Outloud Together, a training event on how to better organize our churches to work for full inclusion. Saturday March 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Woodside United Methodist Church (8900 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD). Cost: $10. Lunch will be served. Questions? Email: To RSVP email:

United Methodist Women United Methodist Women’s Book Club On Sunday, February 27, the UMW Book Club met to discuss “A Love Affair with India: The Story of the Wife and Daughter of E. Stanley Jones” by Martha Gunsalus Chamberlain. If you missed this opportunity, don’t worry! We have several more opportunities for you to join us. Upcoming Books include: Mere Christianity by CS Lewis; God’s Gift for a Gospel-Hungry World, by Amy Oden; and When Christians Get It Wrong by Adam Hamilton. Upcoming dates will be announced here in the Messenger and in the UMW newsletter. For more information contact, Anne Mathews Younes, 2011 Women’s Retreat About 30 women from Metropolitan UMW attended a retreat at the Priest Field Retreat Center in West Virginia on February 11-13. The theme of the weekend was, “Thresholds: Honoring our Journey through Transitions, Symbols, Rituals and Celebrations,” and it was led by Rev. Laura Collins. There was time for reflection, journaling, crafting, fellowship and worship. Outside, there were beautiful walking trails along the river to explore. Barbara Gaskill led a session on liturgical dance and Pat Simpich conducted a Feldenkrais movement class. The members of UMW are grateful to the leadership of Suzanne Vieth, Sue Roach, Suzanne Forsyth and Jayne Mardock for organizing the event. Save the date for next year’s UMW Retreat: Feb. 10-12, 2012.

Pat Simpich guides a Feldenkrais movement class.

Leah Rollins and Kris Oberdick get in touch with their creative spirit with crafts.

Barbara Gaskill leads the group in Liturgical Dance.


Study at Metropolitan Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church Presents

A Science and Religion Discussion with Barbara Bradley Hagerty Award-winning NPR religion correspondent and author of Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 6:30 p.m., Vestry Barbara Bradley Hagerty is the religion correspondent for National Public Radio, reporting on the intersection of faith and politics, law, science, and culture. Her New York Times Bestselling book, Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality, was published by Riverhead/Penguin Group in May 2009. For more information contact Dr. E. Maynard Moore:

Science & Religion Class Sundays, 10:10 a.m., Parlor During 2011, our class addresses “the big questions” in Science and Religion. On March 13, we begin reviewing the questions raised by Dr. Keith Ward, and the question is “Is there an ultimate explanation for the Universe? The background material is Chapter One in Ward’s book, “The Big Questions,” but we will have material available in the Parlor at 9:30 a.m. Visitors are always welcome. Questions? Contact Maynard Moore, or Kent Weaver,

Questions of Faith Sundays, 10:10 a.m., Conference Room Our discussion of “From Jesus to Christ - the First Christians” explores the life of Jesus and the movement he started, drawing upon historical evidence and interviews with New Testament scholars. Questions? Contact Diana Eskin, (Conference Room)

Bible Plus Class Sundays, 10:10 a.m., Christie Room Join us as we study comparative religion through a conceptual approach as we look at the major similarities and differences between the Christian, Islam, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu faiths. Questions? Contact Nancy Wolfe, (Christie Room)

Kay Spiritual Life Center - Table Talk Lunch Series Noon Lunch and 12:20 p.m. Discussion Kay Spiritual Life Center Lounge Thursday, April 7 - Turkey: Looking West, Headed East? Buffet lunch is provided free to students. A donation of $5 each is requested from faculty and staff to help offset the cost of the program. Reservations required. Please RSVP 24 hours before the scheduled event at 202.885.3321 or

Transforming the Legacy: People of Spirit in the 21st Century: Volume II: The Response and Emerging Directions Dr. Maynard Moore has completed work editing Volume II in the series, “Transforming the Legacy: People of Spirit in the 21st Century” – which focuses on the life and work of Bishop James K. Mathews and his brother Joseph Wesley Mathews. A number of people purchased Volume I last Fall during the book signing at the Ministry Fair, and may want the new Vol. II. Vol. I, “The Legacy and the Challenges” is a compilation of the December 2009 Mathews Symposium at Wesley Theological Seminary and contains chapters by Dr. William A. Holmes, Bishop John Schol, Bishop Felton May, Bishop Susan Morrison, Dr. Moore, and Dr. Bruce C. Birch (among others). Volume II, “The Response and Emerging Directions for Urban Ministry” includes all of the papers presented during the workshop sessions at the Symposium. Each volume is available at a discount of 40% for the Metropolitan Memorial community. Together, both volumes cost $30.00, and are available from the church office. Contact Helen Simon at or Dr. Maynard Moore directly at


Children’s Ministry Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner Tuesday, March 8 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Vestry Before we all head into the denial of Lent, stuff yourself with sweet food including pancakes with butter and syrup, bacon, sausage, fruit, juice, milk, coffee and tea. It’s a lovely time to share with families and friends. Bring a neighbor! Wear your Mardi Gras beads! Our children’s choirs will provide entertainment for the evening. Cost is $5 per adult and $3 for children. And as part of our ongoing effort to support food bank minisSix Sundays of Service tries in the city, we’ll be collecting canned food to support local food For six Sundays in June and July, we will do some of banks. God’s work in the form of short-term service projects. Inspired Parenting Privacy in Our Technological World Sunday March 20 10:10 a.m., Fireplace Room Got a kid bugging you for a Facebook? Want to give your child an email address but don’t know when is soon enough? Worried about privacy issues when your child trolls the Internet? Parents, come swap ideas of what’s worked and what hasn’t when the issues of parenting and technology cautiously intersect. This is the next in a series of occasional meetings of this informal Sunday School group. Last October, we discussed how to strike a balance when interests and activities compete Sunday mornings. In December, we exchanged ideas of how to keep the holidays sane. We’d love your ideas for other session topics. Please contact Caralee Adams,, who moderates the group.

During the study hour each Sunday, we hope that a few people (such as a family, a couple, or a group of friends) will step forward to lead a service project of their choosing. The service project should be completed in the study hour and include the participation of childen. Ideas include making Father’s Day cards for veterans staying at the local VA, assembling activity bags for clients of Bread for the City, making sandwiches for delivery to the homeless. Those are just a few ideas, you may have an even better one. Six teams of service project leaders are needed for June 19 and 26 and July 10, 17, 24, and 31. Only one team is needed for each Sunday so your commitment is for the Sunday of your choosing. Can you pick one date and step forward? Please contact Anita Seline, Director of Children’s Ministry at

Vacation Bible School Hits Metropolitan Mark your calendars for June 27 to July 1 to visit the Shake It Up Café! Here’s a description of this year’s Vacation Bible School from the Cokesbury website. “At Shake It Up Café Vacation Bible School 2011 your kids will explore the Bible as a cookbook filled with recipes for living out God’s word. Through interactive lessons, they will celebrate biblical festivals that reveal the secret ingredient for being a follower of God. Kids will enjoy heaping helpings of God’s word, create a lasting relationship with God through Jesus Christ, celebrate the life-changing love of Jesus, and take God’s recipe into the world.” After each VBS 2011 Bible adventure, your chefs-in-training will learn a Bible Bite memory verse that reinforces each Bible story. A Bible Bite activity ensures your chefs can understand and apply the verse. They will also receive a daily Scripture Treasure featuring the day’s secret ingredient and Bible Bite. Lessons covered will include Israelites Celebrate Passover, Festival Celebrations for the Israelites, Jesus Celebrates the Festival of Booths, Jesus Celebrates Passover, and Celebrating the Festival of Weeks and Pentecost. Activities range from science, music, outdoor fun, and crafts. Meet Scraps the Racoon, eat great snacks, wear fun chef hats and enjoy a week together with our VBS campers. VBS will run 9 a.m. to 12 noon each day. Please register by May 31, 2011. Cost is $40 for the week. For questions or concerns, contact: Anita Seline, Director of Children’s Ministries at


Our Mission Building an inclusive, caring Christian community that invites others into a deepening relationship with God and challenges them to grow as disciples 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. 11, Rev. Drema McAllister-Wilson — Minister of Congregational Care, ext. 19, Rev. Jimmy Sherrod — Associate Pastor, ext. 24, Rev. Kate Murphey — Associate Pastor, ext. 21, Anita Seline — Director of Children’s Ministries, ext. 22, Patrisha House — Director of Worship, Music and Arts, ext. 28, Jeff Clouser — Director of Communications and Outreach, ext. 23, Rev. J. Cody Nielsen –– Associate for Campus Ministry, ext. 25, Emily Bagwell -- Associate Director of Youth Ministries, Bruce Caviness — 11a.m. Organist-Choirmaster, ext. 15, Casey Elliott — Dayspring Choir Director and 9 a.m. Worship Leader, ext. 12, Dona Collary — Director of Church Administration, ext. 17, Helen Simon - Executive Assistant to Dr. Parker, ext. 10, Bob Weintraub -- Bookkeeper, ext. 18, Rafael Reyes -- Director of Building and Grounds, ext. 20, Linda Smith -- Director of Nursery School, 202.362.8746,

THE MESSENGER is published by: The Metropolitan Memorial Cooperative Parish Metropolitan Memorial, St. Luke’s, and Wesley United Methodist Churches Metropolitan Memorial - 3401 Nebraska Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20016 Tel: 202.363.4900 Fax: 202.686.2056 E-Mail: website: St. Luke’s Campus - 3655 Calvert Street N.W., Washington, DC 20007 Wesley United Methodist Church - 5312 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20015 NEXT ISSUE: April 8, 2011

NEXT DEADLINE: Noon on April 5, 2011

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The Messenger is published by: The Metropolitan Memorial Cooperative Parish Metropolitan Memorial, St. Luke’s, and Wesley United Methodist C...