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December 2016

118 N. Washington St. ✠ Alexandria, VA 22314 ✠ 703-549-1450

Humility: The Forgotten Virtue of American Greatness Conclusion of a 3-part series leading up to a National Day of Prayer

The Reverend Edward R. Welles II By John Lawson, Senior Warden Emeritus

Recap: The rector in 1942, the Reverend Edward R. Welles II—was known for his anti-Isolationist views. In a sermon titled, “Pardon–Power– Peace,” Welles admonished his fellow countrymen for not mobilizing sooner for the war. “We are well acquainted with the sins of other nations and we often talk about them, but we seldom think, much less speak of our own…[B] y far our greatest sin is the sin of international irresponsibility. We want our country and our people to have power and prestige,” he asserted, “but we balk at the international responsibility which those privileges impose. “Let us pray for pardon for past shortcomings; for power for the present task of achieving victory; and finally, for peace,” Welles concluded. The service also was remarkable

as a statement of peace from another war, as described by Jon Meacham in Franklin and Winston, An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship. Before they sang the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the rector explained that it would be the first time the southern congregation of Christ Church had sung the hymn associated with President Lincoln and northern victory. But, he said, the current world crisis meant it was time to “bury the hatchet of the War between the States.” Rev. Welles noted afterward that as FDR, Churchill, and the congregation sang the “Battle Hymn” together, the Prime Minister, hearing it for the first time, was “so deeply moved that Betsy inTom the and middle heHahn wept, with great tears running unashamedly down his cheeks.” Sandys wrote that the whole congregation within the white walls of the church, including many Secret Service agents, sang movingly. Years later, Churchill selected the hymn for his own funeral, saying its inclusion was a tribute to his American mother. In the rain, the leaders left Alexandria for Mount Vernon, ten miles down the modern parkway, to lay a wreath at the tomb of General and Mrs. Washington. That evening at the White House, they were joined by the ambassadors from the Soviet Union and China in signing the first “Declaration by the United Nations.” Amazingly, Roosevelt had persuaded the Soviets to include a commitment to religious freedom in the text. Churchill was amused when told

earlier that the atheistic Soviets had accepted the provision, admiring the persuasive skills of his new American friend. Roosevelt and Churchill faced threats to the very existence of our democracies with realism, faith, and a commitment to the wider world. Both were “world-historical figures,” known for their unstoppable wills. But when the world was at stake, they also had the humility to believe that our countries had to be worthy of the victory they were asking the Almighty to bless. In our time, when the greatness of America is the focus of intense political debate, it’s important that we remember that we still have to earn it.


n Sunday, January 1, 2017, we will celebrate the 75th anniversary with a Service of Prayer for Peace at Christ Church, remembering those prayers prayed so many years ago but also adding our own voices and prayers for our nation, calling for an end to the violence that plagues us both here and abroad, calling for strength and humility in our nation’s leaders, and calling for justice and mercy to be practiced in the public sphere. Worship will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will include music and Holy Eucharist.

Rejoice is the official monthly publication of Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia, an Episcopal church in the Diocese of Virginia. The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston Thirteenth Bishop of Virginia The Rt. Rev. Susan Ellyn Goff Bishop Suffragan The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. (Ted) Gulick, Jr. Assistant Bishop of Virginia Vestry Janet Osborn, Senior Warden Abigail Arms, Junior Warden Emily Bryan, Susan Davis Geoffrey Giovanetti, Susan Hahn Jim Lafley, Betsy Powell Dave Riggs, Brian Shannon Anne Shine, Janet Zavrel Tykie Tobin, Treasurer Andrew Baird, Assistant Treasurer Clergy Rev. Noelle York-Simmons, Rector The Rev. Ann Gillespie, Senior Associate Rector

Lessons and Carols Festival Heralds the Season By M. Jason Abel, Director of Music


lease plan to join us for the 11th annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 4 at 5:00 p.m. (Doors will open at 4:30 for seating). This year, the combined choirs of Christ Church will again be joined by a brass quintet and guest organist, Dr. Daniel Aune, the award winning director of Music and organist at the Christ Lutheran Church in Baltimore. Dr. Aune has been published in the Eastman Organbook. He has composed choral anthems and hymn arrangements for organ, brass and choir. His competition credits include first prize in both the Rodland Memorial Scholarship and San Marino Competitions,

and he was a semi-finalist in the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. He is the recipient of Eastmans’ first Lecture Recital Prize. Also joining the Christ Church Choirs will be lesson readers from the community in retelling the story of the history of human salvation. Among a number of pieces, the choirs will sing two anthems that were commissioned in the past for this particular service at Christ Church—one by Craig Phillips and another by Dent Davidson. A large festive reception will follow in the Auditorium. Please plan to join us for this liturgy, and invite a friend or two along to join you!

The Rev. Heather VanDeventer, Associate Rector The Rev. Dr. Richard Jones Parish Visitor The Rev. Dr. Diane Murphy, Priest Associate Director of Music M. Jason Abel Christ Church embodies God’s unbounded love by embracing, liberating, and empowering people, whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on your journey of faith. The Rejoice deadline is the third of the month preceding publication. Please email proposed articles to Those accepted are subject to editing for length and content. Susan Hahn edits Rejoice while Craig Keith provides design and layout. Carol Donlan gives her time and talent as an advisor. Meredith Bracco is the staff liaison.


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2017 Save the Date! All-Parish Meeting on January 22

Cherished Nativity Collection Opens Advent Perspectives By The Rev. Noelle York-Simmons, Rector


collect Nativity sets. It is the one thing I really like to buy when I travel abroad, so I have them from all over the world, from Honduras, Spain, Burma, Israel and Michigan. I get great joy every year out of unpacking them from their little boxes and remembering where they’ve come from: my grandmother’s attic, a honeymoon trip, a corny gift shop. The thing I love most about the collection is that every artist has conceived the Holy Family in a different way. I have 18 different Nativities and no two are alike. The tiny set on my desk at the church is from Bengal. Joseph is wearing a turban and Mary is in

a sari. They are attended by a tiny smiling tiger. A Honduran nativity I have is made from the most abundant resource in that country: corn husks. Each creator of these little scenes has used materials and social cues to show how the Holy Family are depicted in each culture. It is a beautiful way to remember that no one has ownership over this most sacred of stories. We are entering the season of Advent, when we begin to unpack our Nativities and unpack our stories. Each of us will hear the story from a different place based on our age, country of origin, family of origin, marital status, economic status, events of the year, events of our lives. The story of the heavily pregnant Mary riding her donkey into

Bethlehem will sound different to the mother of four grown children than it will to the mother who has had a miscarriage this year. The innkeeper will sound callous to some and kind to others. Those whose lives are marked with violence, might weep at the tiny baby who will die a horrid death. Those who need a ray of hope this year might hear John the Baptist’s cry as one of foretelling of the inbreaking of God. Every person you encounter this Advent is carrying a different burden in his or her heart. Every one of us sees the promises of the Nativity story through our own lenses and hears the Nativity story through the cacophony of our own lives. This Advent, I encourage you to listen to the voices around you without putting your own story first. Just listen. You might hear about a Bengal tiger at the foot of the manger or get a glimpse of a king with a corn-husk crown.

God’s Kingdom on North Washington Street By Tom Hahn, Stewardship Chair


n invitation went out this fall to all of us at Christ Church to “Take a Step” and return to God a portion of the financial gifts entrusted to us as part of the 2017 pledge campaign. Our rector called us to a new season of “growth and [to] usher in a new day for God’s corner of the kingdom here on North Washington Street,” Since that invitation, we’ve seen posters highlighting just some of Christ Church’s on-going works for the kingdom in four broad ministry areas: Worship & Music; Hospitality & Pastoral Care; Mission & Outreach; and, Children, Youth, and Adult Faith Formation. Every poster displayed ministries worthy of continuing but even more so, these are ministries worth growing. We’ve

also heard from parishioners, some recently joined and some having long and rich experiences through Christ Church. All of the personal reflections, whether by adult or youth, generously shared experiential stories and hopes for Christ Church’s future and our increasing witnessing for God’s work. The parish family thanks those who have submitted their 2017 pledges and we thank God for your faithful giving. These submitted pledges

will help support continuing Christ Church’s mission. Most importantly, though, God blesses every giver. We read of this blessing in the Gospels, where Christ teaches us that God calls everyone to return a portion of their received gifts so as to bring on and increase the kingdom.  For those who have not yet submitted their 2017 pledge, you now are asked to answer the call. Please, before Christmas, “Take a Step.” Do not tarry longer: the 2017 budget train to fund our ministries is about to get on the tracks. Once we have all submitted our pledges, we will be standing united in our witness to the blessed new day and future for God’s corner of the kingdom here at Christ Church. Let us bring on and grow the kingdom together today. God bless.

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Are You Ready for the Holidays? By Santiago Rodriguez, Youth Minister


ide-and-seek was my favorite game growing up. The game is all about strategy and thrills. It was no small victory to secure the perfect hiding place and to hold my breath as I heard the seeker getting closer. If I was the seeker, I loved the thrill of the count as others frantically scurried to hide. Of all the lessons hide-and-seek taught me, the one I prize the most is the self-control to remain silent for long periods of time to avoid the seeker. Silence was both soothing and thrilling. During the final weeks of the year, I need to be reminded of that lesson. It

Hearts and “Soles” for Our Little Roses By Sarah DeCamps and Elizabeth McAlister, Our Little Roses Coordinators


his Christmas, Christ Church has the opportunity to spread Christmas Cheer all the way to Honduras. The parish is collecting CROCS, the unmistakable colorful plastic shoes we all know and love. These will be Christmas gifts from Christ Church to the girls of Our Little Roses. CROCS are wonderfully versatile and perfect for children and adults. They are the nearly perfect shoes for the girls living in Honduras as they can withstand rain, sun, dirt roads, pavement and everything in between. Our goal is to provide a pair for every girl at Our Little Roses. If you would like to contribute, visit our special CROCS tree in the Fowler House between Sunday, November 27 and Sunday, December 11 to select an ornament from the tree and complete the sign-up sheet. The ornament will tell you the name of the girl, her shoes size, and where to buy a pair of CROCS for her. The

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is easy to give into the holiday madness. The malls are packed. Anxieties and tempers are high. People are on edge. In moments like that, we need to be reminded that God is seeking us. That is one of reasons why the church gives us the season of Advent. Over the four weeks preceding Christmas, as others engage in the frantic dance of the holidays, we are invited to pause and to ponder how much God loves us. And how He seeks us. Advent is a time to practice selfcontrol to remain silent. Unlike the game of hide-and-seek, at Advent we don’t have to hold our breath to shoes cost approximately $25.00 and are available at local stores and online. CROCS can be dropped off any Sunday between December 4 and December 18. For more information, contact Sarah DeCamps at sarahdecamps@

avoid the seeker. The rhythm of our breath can serve as a wonderful way to greet and welcome the seeker. We breathe the breath, love, and grace of God. We let God find us where we are. We expose our souls to God. And then we invite our families to join us in this game of love. We hold our spouses and we breathe with them. We teach our children and teens that God is seeking them too. We teach our loved ones to befriend the seeker. We cherish the playful love of God. Advent is upon us. Are you ready to let greet the seeker? I hope you are. For as hide-and-seek reminds us, ‘Ready or not, here He comes.’

Lives Bound Together, A Must-See at Mount Vernon By Susan L. Hahn, Communications Committee


y daughter and I listened intently to the curator of the museum and home of the first U.S. president described the new exhibition at the estate where George and Martha Washington lived. We’ve spent many hours over many years touring the Mount Vernon estate at special events, with visitors and just ourselves. We like to imagine life in the early days of our nation and learn about an early Christ Church parishioner who also was a brave national leader. In May, our daughter, Margaret, worked her dream job as an intern with the archeological team at Mount Vernon, in the archaeology lab and in the graveyards of the enslaved residents who once lived there, with Joe Downer, Mount Vernon’s archaeology site crew chief, and Lily Carhart, archaeological field and lab technician. She learned to find and process artifacts that tell about the lives of those early enslaved workers and residents. At the October 1 Mount Vernon annual slave memorial commemoration ceremony and tribute hosted by Black Women United for Action and

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, we were keen to explore the exhibit, see how the artifacts are used and how the stories of all the brave people who lived there are told. Joe Downer has spent three years with his team on a full-scale archaeological survey of the burial ground where many of the enslaved individuals who lived and worked at Mount Vernon were laid to rest. The goals are to define the boundaries of the cemetery, and to identify the locations of each individual gravesite contained within, he said. The remains of those interred are not encountered or disturbed. To date, about 5,000 square feet have been excavated, and the locations of 62 grave sites identified, including 39 adults and 23 young children or infants. With a debt of gratitude to Christ Church parishioner Susan Magill, we received a transcript from Susan P. Schoelwer, the Robert H. Smith Senior Curator of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, of her introduction to the candid, bold new exhibit in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center. Ms. Schoelwer described the exhibit creation to at least 200 attendees on opening exhibit day

at the commemoration event. “Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon is Mount Vernon’s first major exhibition on the enslaved community of this plantation” she said. “It draws upon years of archival research, archaeological excavations, and conversations with descendants, Schoelwer explained. It is the largest special exhibition that Mount Vernon has mounted, she said, in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center. More than 350 documents, archaeological artifacts, artworks, and household furnishings, offer a chance to learn “more than you might have thought possible, about the experiences of the enslaved men, women, and children who lived and worked here in the 18th century.” George Washington’s evolving view of slavery is candidly depicted. The last gallery’s epilogue gives “a brief look at the nineteenth-century experiences and accomplishments of former Mount Vernon slaves.” Life size silhouettes of former residents show how closely their lives were intertwined with the Washingtons. For more on the exhibit, visit:

Christ Church Is a Music Venue for First Night Alexandria


hrist Church is a music performance venue for the 2016 First Night Alexandria event, the annual City of Alexandria celebration on New Year’s Eve. In the Christ Church Auditorium, you can hear singer, song writer and guitarist Michael Lille. He’ll be performing on December 31 from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. First Night Alexandria is a celebration of the new year through the performing arts. Retail stores, churches, museums and public build-

ings become performance venues for local and regional talent ranging from clowns, face painters and magicians for children to a world-class Scottish fiddler, a Grammy-nominated rock and roll guitarist and a classical cellist for adults. Billed as the best, family friendly New Year’s Eve Party in the DC area, First Night Alexandria is fun, affordable, safe and family friendly. Fireworks at midnight are free. To enjoy all the activities throughout the evening, tickets are $20 until December 12, when the price of a badge in-

creases to $30. To gain admission to all First Night Alexandria venues you need just one badge per adult. Kids 12 and under and active military get in for FREE! Tickets will be on sale at ALL venues! Most of these venues are cash only, but credit cards will be available at the Durant Arts Center & The Torpedo Factory (until 10:00 p.m.), as well as the Visitor’s Center (until 7:00 p.m.). Tickets grant access to all the entertainment, more than 100 performances, all evening! See for details and tickets.

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Keeping Up With Our Church Properties By Barry Stauffer, Property Committee Chair


ith winter rapidly approaching, it’s time to update you on some of the work on our church properties. The most significant change to our property status is the hiring of a full-time Facility Manager and Security Manager. Please join me in welcoming Gary Gilham to our staff. We continue to have many more projects than budget, but we have competed much needed work this summer and early fall. We also recently purchased Facility Management software to make facility management and maintenance planning easier and more efficient. We are now entering that data into the new program. The most visible repairs completed followed last winter’s snow damage to the church roof slates and the south side rain gutters. In addition, there were several “wear and tear” items that have now been repaired. Our church insurance picked up the repairs due to the snow damage. That left $22,410 to be paid out of our annual budget. In addition, we have continued to have roof and skylight leaks on the Parish House and the Ross building. We replaced one Parish House skylight which seems to have solved one problem for now. Painting the top of the church tower is a project that remains. The contractor is working a city permit issue with the lift required to reach the tower roof top. The final work is expected to be completed next spring. We are grateful for the donation of six LED landscaping lights to replace the existing lights on the east side of tower. Two of these will be installed this fall, while the rest must wait for the lift. Other church work included the replacement of some very old fire sprinkler heads in the attic, tower and basement. After extensive research by Rawles Jones, and Anne Shine, we are moving forward with remodeling the Meade Room kitchen to convert it to a catering kitchen to better meet our needs. That work is expected to occur early next year. You may also have noticed some plywood covering several of the Parish House windows. These window sashes had extensive wood rot and are being replaced by Tart Lumber with new custom-made window sashes, thanks to Craig Fritsche. Within the Parish House, we

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are repairing the stair treads in the main entryway. In the Ross building, we replaced old fire sprinkler heads as required by the city fire marshal. We installed new windows in the doors of Fowler House room 129. We also completed needed replacement of lighting in the alleyway and parking lot beside the Ross building. On October 29, church and neighborhood volunteers completed our annual fall cleanup of the historic church Wilkes street cemetery. Our SOD (Stewards of the Dirt) group, headed by Caroline Carbaugh and Paula Dubberly, have done a super job this year recovering our landscaping from the very cold winter and wet spring. There are many challenges here and I encourage you to join SOD for their next Saturday work party. Projects pending for 2017 include replacing the carpet in the McMurray Commons, replacing fluorescent lighting in the first floor of the Parish House, and adding windows to the doors on the parish House offices.

Memorial funding and volunteer opportunities available. Volunteer opportunities Update the church furniture inventory to note the new Parish House furniture Assist in organizing the archives Funding needed Meade Room kitchen—funding needed: ~$8,000 Outside mechanical sweeper for sidewalks— funding needed: ~$4,000 Auditorium kitchen refrigerator—funding needed: ~$ 3,500 Church kneeler and pew cushion—funding needed: ~ $40,000 Replacement of the church second floor carpet — funding needed: ~7,5000 Overhaul or replacement of the PH and Ross personnel elevators—funding needed: ~ $60,000 each Add 2–3 new church yard pole lights to complete the lighting along the path toward Washington Street—funding needed: ~$3,500 each Replace the churchyard lighting in the trees with LED ground level lighting—funding needed: TBD.

A Joyous Celebration of New Ministry


he Rev. Noelle York-Simmons was installed as the 28th Rector of Historic Christ Church, Alexandria on November 18, 2016, with Bishop Shannon Johnston of the Diocese of Virginia officiating and featuring a compelling and uplifting sermon by The Rev. Kimberly Jackson, associate rector of All Saint’s Atlanta. “Christ Church, you, with Noelle, will make new songs,” Rev. Jackson told the congregation. “I came up from Atlanta to let you know that God has called you to sing new songs together,” Rev. Jackson said. “I am talking about that metaphorical music, the harmonies that you make when you create community with each other by bringing your stories, your joys and your sorrows together,” she continued. “I am talking about the ways that Christ Church will resonate with the City of Alexandria with those in your community and across the world. I am talking about the new songs that we create when we bring people together in a common life.” She implored the invitation of the day’s lesson in Psalm 96, noting that its invitation to sing new songs together was clear. “And in the course of making your harmonies come true, there will come a time when you’ll realize that your songs aren’t quite complete because you need some new voices, some new harmonies. And so, my friends, this Psalm calls us to

go and find those voices, so that you can sing a new song of praise to the Lord.” She concluded, “She’s ready to sing with you all. And my request for you, as her friend, as a priest of the church, is that you love her back, and that you sing new songs with her with uplifted voices, knowing that Christ Church, Christ’s Church, can only move forward in new ways if you do so surrounding one another in love.”


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December 2016 ✠ Page 7

Rites of Passage

Special Services for Advent & Christmas Sunday, December 4, 5:00 p.m. A Service of Nine Lessons & Carols

This popular, traditional service features all of the Christ Church choirs along with a brass quintet and guest organist Daniel Aune offering music appropriate to the Advent season along with selected readings. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 11, 6:00 p.m. Neighborhood Caroling Join in sharing the joy of Christmas through the timeless tradition of neighborhood caroling. Carolers will gather outside the church following the 5:00 p.m. service.

Sunday, December 18, 5:00 p.m. Children’s Christmas Pageant & Yuletide Feast

The Christ Church community gathers each year on the fourth Sunday in Advent to hear the story of Jesus’ birth as retold by the children of the parish. All children from 3 years old up through 5th grade are invited to participate. Immediately following the pageant, the whole parish is invited to the gather in the Auditorium for food, fellowship, and a cookie exchange at the Yuletide Feast. If you or your child would like to participate, please meet in the Fowler House at Page 8 ✠ Rejoice ✠ December 2016

4:00 p.m. the day of the pageant.

Saturday, December 24 Christmas Eve Services • 3:00 p.m. – Worship with Communion and Carols (Holy Eucharist Rite II) • 5:30 p.m. – Worship with Communion, Choir, and Carols (Holy Eucharist Rite II in the Historic Church) • 5:30 p.m. –  Festive Family Worship (Holy Eucharist Rite II in the Auditorium) • 8:00 p.m. – Festive Worship with Communion, Choir, and Carols (Holy Eucharist Rite II) • 10:30 p.m. – Festive Worship with Communion, Choir, and Carols (Holy Eucharist Rite II)

Sunday, December 25 Christmas Day Service

10:00 a.m. – Worship with Communion and Carols (Holy Eucharist Rite II)

Saturday, December 31 New Year’s Eve Service

11:15 p.m. – Prayer service with readings from the Bible

Sunday, December 1 New Year’s Day Service

10:00 a.m. –  Prayers for Peace Among Nations (Holy Eucharist Rite II) 

Births • Peter Schertel to Peter & Connie Schertel • Pearce Robert Zuppert to Robert & Emily JohnsonZuppert • Benjamin Dedrick Baize to Michelle & Zack Baize • Owen Christopher Raddock, grandson to Doug Mitchell and Kitty Dillon • Arya Lynn Kilby to David & Melissa Kilby Deaths • Martin Mead • Brian Davis • Brian Hoke • Chet Bradley • Katrina Moss • Paul Tuozzolo • Justin Martin • Anthony Beminio • Kumud Parekh • Christopher Holmes • Joseph Teresa • Brenda Jean Hill Dalton • Scarlett Lawty Baptisms • Reed Dorsey Millar • Delilah Rose Vaccaro • Vincent Christian Myers • Caleb Luke Worosz • Grady Donaldson • Thomas Clayton Jorgenson • Evalyn Blake Jorgenson • Emily Amanda Bennett Donaldson Weddings • Jackie Celeste & Taylor Steiff • Kelly Anne Warner & Adam Rehman

December 2016 rejoice final 3  

The monthly newsletter from Christ Church Alexandria

December 2016 rejoice final 3  

The monthly newsletter from Christ Church Alexandria