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The Rock Spring News

August 2012

Vol. 08 No.08

A Summer Of Mission: Youth Mission Trip

Vacation Bible Experience

Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ

5010 Little Falls Rd. Arlington, VA 703-538-4886

New Christian Education Offerings



Preparing The Way...

An experiential Journey through the Hebrew Bible New This Fall! Preparing the Way: An experiential Journey through the Hebrew Bible For 2nd graders through 5th graders

Sunday Mornings at 9:15 a.m. (after the children’s time in worship) until 10:15 a.m. beginning Sunday, September 9 and continuing through November 25!

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New Christian Education Offerings C

ome join us as we become a bunch of Abrahams and try to convince our wife Sarah to leave the big city and move out into the unknown to discover God. Later, you could be one of Jacob’s sons trying to get rid of your younger brother Joseph because he is your father’s favorite and has been given a beautiful coat while you have to wear scruffy old clothes! So maybe you and your brothers take his coat, put him in a pit and then he is stolen! Or how would you like to be working with bricks and watch Moses take out one of the Egyptians who has been mean to one of your people. Or you might even get to go with Moses to meet God and discover what God’s name really is and what it means. And what does the word exile mean anyway, and what would it be like to be in exile? This is a new curriculum created by Linda Carder and Janice Langholz. It has several purposes: • First, the children will learn the faith history of Israel much as one might learn it in seminary, except that it will be appropriate for children. • Second, it will be taught so that it does not need to be relearned as they get older. • Third, the curriculum will be totally experiential, interactive, and will use all of the multiple intelligences. • By the way, you won’t mind if your child has to take care of sheep or be threatened by a Roman centurion will you? The children will wear costumes each week so that they can experience being one of the Hebrew people.



We will begin each session by putting on the costumes, praying and collecting an offering. As we go through the program, the children will decide where the money will go. Then we will begin the session. We will use the whole church complex for our classes. Sometimes we will be outside, other times we will be in Neighborhood House, and other times, well, we will let you know! The classes will not end until 10:15 a.m. so that we have time to do all we want to do. However, if you have a child in choristers, they may leave to go to practice. If you are out of church before that, enjoy your coffee before you come for your child. Tentative Session Titles: • • • • • • • • • • •

Abraham and Sarah Isaac Esau and Jacob Joseph Moses and the Exodus Becoming a Covenanting People of God Moving into the Kingdom Going into Exile Time in Exile Return from Exile Under Occupation of the Romans

It is easy to see that each session builds on the previous one, so it is hoped that children will attend regularly. We will be making this class available not only to our children but to children of interfaith families. So please feel free to share this information with your friends!

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Reflections Directly after seminary, I had two different jobs. By day, I worked with business executives to build a new organization in Columbus called the Forum for Faith in the Workplace. Most evenings I could be found 45 miles east of Columbus where I was the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in rural Thornville, Ohio. The purpose of the Forum for Faith in the Workplace was to help individuals integrate their values and their faith with what they did in their places of work. We did this through conferences and workshops in businesses. But we also offered courses in congregations and weekly small group offerings scattered around the city that were designed to help people discern their personal gifts and call and to encourage them to live out their faith in daily life. In an effort to integrate my two worlds, I asked members of my congregation to invite me to their places of work so that I could better Rev. Kathy Dwyer understand what they did and also understand the challenges and delights of being in ministry in the world. I soon found myself milkin cows and learning about the rhythm of farming. I spent time at the Waste Management plant, a realty office, and an auction house. It was a wonderful education for me that not only deepened my relationship with these individuals, but helped me understand the challenges and demands that they faced on a daily basis. I hope that they, too, benefitted from this encounter and were perhaps able to look at their work more deeply through the lens of faith and call. The Council has been focusing on Rock Spring’s sense of call and trying to look at everything we do through the lens of call. One thing that has risen to the surface in our work is a desire for deeper personal and spiritual growth and deeper relationships with members of the congregation. Next month you will see some small group initiatives that are in response to this goal and the staff is making our relationship building with the congregation a priority (see article “Engage with Us” on page 6). God’s call is not limited to the church or to people who choose to go to seminary. On our bulletin every week we list the names of the pastors and also list the ministers who are The Congregation. This highlights our belief that the real ministry is done outside of the church. The members of the church are the ministers, not only in serving others through Rock Spring or in the community through service, but every day in our places of work. Consider this column as the same invitation to the Rock Spring community that I extended to my first congregation in Thornville. Invite me to your place of work—whether that is on Capital Hill, downtown Arlington, or your kitchen—so that I might get a glimpse of what you do when you are not at Rock Spring. I look forward to learning about your work, the challenges you face, and your own personal sense of call. Grace and peace,


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From The Council President It has been quite a year of reflection for me in many respects. The number of questions have been personal – what are my dreams for my family, home, etc., professional – what is my calling, and am I in the right job to realize that call, and spiritual – what is God’s call for me. Sound familiar? These reflections and questions have certainly carried over to our work on Council this year. What is our mission and vision? What does growth mean and look like to Rock Spring? What is our call? How do we organize ourselves to meet that call? As you heard at the June Congregational Meeting, we have a report from the Alban Institute with some independent observations to help us as we look forward to how we might operate in the future. I have begun to think of this report as a guidepost to help us understand where we are, what are the most relevant near term decisions we need to take with respect to our path forward, and what is farther out on the horizon depending on which direction we decide to head. One of the other guideposts we have to help us with our questions on how we might organize ourselves is the work of the Constitution Task Force and the work of the prior committee that studied our volunteer needs. We learned from the initial study that there are other models for structuring our boards and committees to do the work. As a result, we’ve suspended a portion of the constitution to allow for experimentation with board sizes, our structure, and what our future Council should look like. We quickly merged two boards resulting in our Social Action and Mission (SAM) board. We’ve allowed each board to experiment with their membership requirements. We will need to take further steps to streamline board membership and participation if we are to achieve the congregation’s expressed goals to be “more focused, less busy” and to foster opportunities for meaningful volunteer call that will nourish our lay volunteers and further Rock Spring’s mission, rather than perpetuating a perhaps bloated committee structure that by some counts contemplates more committee and board slots than the church has active members. The Constitution Task Force has continued to research, analyze, and provide us with new studies, surveys, and information as we consider these questions. I look forward to further discussion on our readiness for a potential new board and/or new Council structure as well as a teeing up a revised Constitution to serve as new guideposts for the future work of our lay leadership. With peace and hope, -Sarah

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Spiritual Growth & Learning Engage



The staff is looking for ways to increase engagement outside of Sundays to increase bonds and better understand the lives of our members.

• Hank will be seeking opportunities to attend events of the children and youth in the program such as baseball and soccer games, recitals, school plays, or concerts.

• Elizabeth would like to invite people to join her for tea or coffee at Starbucks. • Janet would like to invite people to take a walk with her in the natural world or sit and talk in a natural setting.

• Kathy is inviting members of the congregation to invite her to their places of work. Most of our days are filled primarily with tasks and responsibilities. And yet we know that our relationships with one another are often put on the back burner as we “check off” a to-do list. It is our hope that engaging more fully with each other will help all of us better understand who we are, what we value, how we serve our larger world, and the challenges we face every day.

Worship Through Music Music at Rock Spring Start-up Dates:

Just a reminder that we have many musical offerings for all ages! Please note the 1st rehearsal date, and if you can’t make the 1st one, please come to the 2nd, or feel free to contact Ed Roberts or Elizabeth Kluegel Niblock. Sanctuary Choir (adult choir which sings each week at the 11:00 a.m. service). Rehearsals begin Thursday September 6 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Child care available with notice. Men’s Choir (men’s ensemble which sings every 4 to 6 weeks). Rehearsals begin Thursday, September 13 from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Child care available. Choristers (ensemble for children grades K through 5 which sings the Introit each Sunday). Rehearsals begin Sunday, September 16 at 10:00 a.m. First Sunday to “robe-up” is September 23. Youth Choir (ensemble for children grades 6 through 12 which sings every 4 to 6 weeks). Rehearsals begin Sunday, September 16 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Handbell Choir (ensemble for bell ringers - play most Sundays for 11:00 a.m. introit). Rehearsals begin Wednesday, September 12 at 7:45 p.m.

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Social Justice Action & Mission Updates National Defense Authorization Act

The NDAA is coming up for renewal by Congress and the President for 2013. Amnesty International and dozens of other groups are speaking out against the NDAA and, specifically, against the use of indefinite detention of foreigners, which the NDAA requires in certain circumstances, and the indefinite detention of Americans which the NDAA allows. Sharon Singh of Amnesty International argues that the Obama administration has allowed legislation that “will authorize indefinite detention. The bill places enormous power in the hands of future Presidents, and the only answer the President has is to say trust me.” President Obama, she argues, is the first president since the McCarthy era to sign a law allowing indefinite detention. Senators Feinstein and Leahy have argued that by allowing military detentions we will hurt our national security because it is the police, FBI, intelligence agencies, and judges that have the greatest expertise in tracking and prosecuting terrorism suspects. Furthermore, Judge Kathryn Forrest ruled section 1021 of the NDAA unconstitutional because of its threat to free speech. Pultizer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges said he could no longer interview contacts in the Middle East for fear that associating with them might be “substantially supporting” terrorists or their “associated forces.” The National Religious Coalition Against Torture (NRCAT), of which Rock Spring is a member, is organizing lobbying against the NDAA. If you have questions or would like to get involved in some way. Contact Iris Gibson at 703.892.7164 or email her at

Eco Justice Invites You to the Blessing of the Animals

On Sunday, October 7, 3 PM the third Blessing of the Animals will take place at Rock Spring on the lawn or, if raining, in Carpenter Hall. All household pets are invited. Dogs must be on a leash. Do come and bring your favorite pet. For information call 703-538-4886.

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Community & Society Rev. Jesse Jackson to Deliver 30th Annual Parker Lecture The media justice legacy of the United Church of Christ will be celebrated Tuesday September 25 when the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, will deliver the 30th Annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture at First Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) in Washington DC. The annual Parker Lecture and Breakfast celebrates the legacy of Rev. Dr. Everett Parker, who led the UCC’s Office of Communication (OC) Inc., in challenging the broadcast licenses of Mississippi television stations that blocked portions of network news shows that covered the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s. OC Inc.’s legal battle ultimately established the right of the public to intervene in regulatory proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission. This year’s event will also celebrate the centennial of Rev. Parker’s birth and honor two other media justice advocates for their work in supporting the public interest and diversity in media: Charles Benton, chairman of the board of Benton Foundation, and Washington lawyer S. Jenell Trigg. It will also spotlight the newly renovated facility of First Congregational UCC, which was founded by abolitionists in 1865 as the first racially integrated church in Washington DC. The event will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the church, which is located at 945 G Street, NW near Metro Center. For more information, to purchase tickets or to make a donation, go to --Sara Fitzgerald, Treasurer, OC Inc. Board of Directors

Task Force Corner 5th Sunday Task Force Report and Silent Auction: Help Needed! A special thank you to all the Rock Springers, friends of Rock Spring, families, staff and board members from Shaw Community Ministry, and members of Lincoln Temple UCC that made our July 29 5th Sunday event a success. Look for a full report on the event in the next issue of RSN. SAVE THE DATE: Last year’s “Stop Hunger Now” 5th Sunday event was such a success that we plan to hold another Silent Auction and Stop Hunger Now meal bagging event on September 30. We are also increasing our goal from 11,111 bags to 20,000 meals bagged. We are also planning to have the young people bring in canned goods for AFAC during worship again. CALL FOR DONATIONS: Do you have a treasure or talent to share for our upcoming Silent Auction? Please consider donating your treasure such as weekend or weeklong stays at vacation homes, event tickets (sports, theater, music), memorabilia, artwork, jewelry, etc. or your talents, such as babysitting or parent helper services, gardening expertise, cooking or baking services, handyperson expertise, scrapbooking consultations, music lessons, etc. Please contact with the item you would like to donate, dates available (if applicable), and approximate monetary value. Thanks in advance! CALL FOR PLANNERS: Please contact if you would like to assist in planning the Silent Auction.

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Rock Spring Celebrates 100 Years The Centennial Concert

A large group of Rock Spring music lovers joined together on the 22nd of July to attend the Centennial Concert and honor the music ministry of Rock Spring. Elizabeth Kluegel Niblock and Ed Roberts presented an outstanding program which was a joy to all. The concert was followed by a lovely reception honoring our superb artists for their gift of music. Over 700 dollars were raised at the event to support the Rock Spring music program.

Many thanks to all from the Sanctuary Choir, the Music Committee, and the Centennial Committee who supported the reception and the event. And of course, many thanks to Elizabeth and Ed for such a wonderful concert commemorating 100 years of music at Rock Spring. -Gail Howell Centennial Planning Committee

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A Summer


Mission: Youth Mission Trip

Rock Spring News August 2012 10

A Summer


Mission: Vacation Bible Experience

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Rock Spring Review News & Notes Staff Schedules:

Janet Parker: Study leave and vacation from July 15 to August 12. Much of this time will be spent working on her book, Becoming Human Again. Hank Fairman: Vacation- July 30 to August 12 Study Leave August 13 to 19 Elizabeth Kluegel Niblock Conference leave July 29 through August 2.

Baptisms in July:

As you knit think words of comfort and love. Imbue that piece with your prayer for the well being of another. Someone in the Handmade Ministry will put the pieces together into a lap blanket to give to someone in need of comfort in our congregation. Finished items may be put into the low chest in the Saegmuller Room. Don’t forget to sign the register so we know who is contributing. During the summer you may contact Peggy Greenwood, 703.941.7303, with any questions. Many thanks. More 7” x 9” rectangle suggestions:

We celebrate the baptisms of: Amy Clark Lily & Olivia McGlinchey Samuel & Thomas Perrelli Nicholas & Ryan Sullivan Andrea Tisi

BASIC CROCHET SECTION PATTERNS Materials: W orsted-weight acrylic yarns Gauge: 9 stitches = 2” Finished size: 7” x 9” Hook: Size G crochet hook or size necessary to obtain gauge

Rock Spring Review

BASIC SINGLE CROCHET Chain 30 for the foundation chain. Row 1: Single crochet in 2nd chain from hook, and in every chain in the foundation row. Chain 1 and turn your work. Row 2: Working under the 2 top loops of each stitch in the previous row, single crochet across the row. Chain 1 and turn. Repeat Row 2 until piece measures 9”. Fasten off.

Handmade Ministry Update:

The Handmade Ministry will not be meeting formally again until Sunday September 23, 2:00-4:00 p.m. However, any two of you or more are welcome to arrange your own get-together. Invite a friend, sit in the A/C at the church, home, Starbucks, or under a tree. Knit, crochet, or quilt, and create a shawl, lap blanket, or knit cap. Need a simple project for the summer? What about knitting or crocheting 7x9 inch rectangles?! It is easy, and you can do any pattern or any stitch. It is good practice for beginners. Use the right size needle for your yarn, and check the gauge to see how many stitches to cast on. Then measure the length as you go. Or, knit a strip 7” or 9” wide and 36” or 60” long. You can practice different stitches and adding yarn within the strip.

BASIC DOUBLE CROCHET Chain 27 for the foundation chain. Row 1: Double crochet in 3rd chain from hook and in each chain of the foundation row. Chain 2 and turn your work. Row 2: Double crochet in each stitch across the row. Chain 2 and turn. Repeat Row 2 until piece measures 9”. Fasten off. BASIC KNIT SECTION PATTERNS Knitting Patterns Materials: Worsted-weight acrylic yarns Gauge: 5 stitches = 1” Finished size: 7” by 9” Needle size: 7 needles or size necessary to obtain gauge

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Rock Spring Review GARTER STITCH Cast on 35 stitches. Knit every row until piece measures 9”. Bind off.

(Yes, longer range, the list would include window treatments and replacing the rug and the lighting, but these things can wait.)

STOCKINETTE STITCH Cast on 35 stitches. Row 1: Knit all stitches. Row 2: Purl all stitches. Repeat these 2 rows until piece measures 9”. Bind off.

You can help accomplish the rest by giving a Tangible Gift or a cash donation. There are several ways to do this: 1) donate a “share” toward one of these items or projects (even small amounts will add up); 2) coordinate with the Saegmuller Committee to “gift” an item from the list below; or 3) coordinate to donate a used piece from your home (see item 4 below).

SEED STITCH Cast on 35 stitches. Row 1: Knit 1 stitch, purl the next stitch, knit the next. Continue alternating stitches across the row. Repeat this row until piece measures 9”. Bind off.

Men’s Group Lunch

The Men’s Group Lunch is on the first Friday of each month at Mylo’s Grill in Chesterbrook at noon or a little earlier. This is an opportunity each month for the men to escape their normal routines, ponder and recharge their batteries, talk, and share. Meetings are free format with each gathering finding its own common ground. There is no requirement to bring or contribute anything, but everybody finds something interesting. Each pays for his own lunch. For further information or to coordinate a ride, call Emory Hackman at 703.288.2941.

Donate to the Saegmuller Room by Tangible Gifts

The Saegmuller Renovation Committee has a vision. We’ve witnessed a glimpse of their vision as they have gradually transformed the room from its prior state to its current state. This transformation has been accomplished thanks to funds from a variety of sources. Big donations from Cecily Angleton and the Women’s Fellowship launched the project. Since then, smaller donations from an anonymous member, Deacons, and Property Board have underwritten the rest of what you see. And, the wonderful art by Cynthia Young ties it all together. But, some things remain on the immediate Wish List.

Here are the top priorities: 1. Round Chlor coffee table plus glass top to protect it 2. A nice looking easel to hold the paper used during Bible Study and other meetings 3. Eight more cushions for the Chlor straight-backed, rush-seated chairs throughout the building (We have the fabric.) 4. Chlor server or similar size piece 5. Saegmuller kitchen rehab with minimum goal of accommodating a bigger refrigerator and ultimate goal representing a total kitchen replacement 6. Wall-mounted large TV to support audio-visual needs for meetings/events and incorporating decorative frame/mirror to maintain atmosphere (i.e., not be an eye-sore) when not in use. Please contact the committee for specifications and estimated cost to donate a Tangible Gift. For cash donations, checks may be made out to Rock Spring noting “Saegmuller Fund” in the memo line. Also, add the specific project or item in the memo line, if you want to designate. Direct any questions to the Saegmuller Renovation Committee: Angela Manning, Chairperson, Jacki Brown, Peggy Greenwood or Laurie Rodgers.

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Rock Spring Review

First Fridays Goes Outside! Summer Evening Outdoor Worship August 3 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Join us for song, music and prayer designed to deepen our wonder and appreciation for all of creation Rock Spring News August 2012 14

Special Events Calendar Friday, August 3 6:30 p.m. Outdoor Worship Service Rock Spring Park Wednesday, August 15 9:30 a.m. Worship Planning Saegmuller Room Sunday, August 19 12:30 pm. Prayer Circle Peace Room Sunday, August 26 10:00 a.m. Stephen’s Ministry Commissioning Sanctuary Thursday, August 30 12:00 p.m. People of Faith for Equality in Northern Virginia - Carpenter Hall

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The staff is looking for ways to increase engagement outside of Sundays to increase bonds and better understand the lives of our members.

• Hank will be seeking opportunities to attend events of the children and youth in the program such as baseball and soccer games, recitals, school plays, or concerts.

• Elizabeth would like to invite people to join her for tea or coffee at Starbucks. • Janet would like to invite people to take a walk with her in the natural world or sit and talk in a natural setting.

• Kathy is inviting members of the congregation to invite her to their places of work. Most of our days are filled primarily with tasks and responsibilities. And yet we know that our relationships with one another are often put on the back burner as we “check off” a to-do list. It is our hope that engaging more fully with each other will help all of us better understand who we are, what we value, how we serve our larger world, and the challenges we face every day.

Rock Spring Congregational 5010 Little Falls Road Arlington, VA 22207

RSN August 2012  

Summary of the summer mission events held at Rock Spring UCC