We give thanks for those assisting with the Sunday's worship:Pastor - Rev. Alex P. Stall, Jr.; Assisting Minister - Debbie Lewis; Altar Guild - Lydia Suarez; Greeter - Esther Day; Usher - Jones Day; Organist - Rhonda Rose; Videographer - Shane Gainer; Social Hour Host - Rick Hawn; Counters - David Falksen and Nancy Jairrels.
A representative from the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) is our special guest Sunday. Join Exploring Faith in the Fellowship Hall after worship and learn more about AFAC and its mission. Everyone is encouraged and welcome to attend.
From the Pastor's Desk - Week of January 31, 2023
It’s been a whirlwind past couple of weeks as I’ve settled back into the rhythm at Advent after our trip. In addition to getting caught up on the things that are happening here, I continue to work through the notes and pictures from the trip. Soon, I’ll pull together something I can share in discussion sessions, I imagine we’ll have a couple of those! Looking back on my journal, I’m even thinking of doing a session on the Book of Revelation – we visited six of the seven churches to whom the author wrote in chapters 2 and 3!
Just a reminder that we are asking for contributions to help cover the expense of replacing the AC units that cool our sanctuary in the summer. I forgot to mention this in the announcements last week, but we distributed commitment cards for contributions, and we ask that you return them to the collection plate or bring/mail them to the church office by Sunday, February 15 so we can appropriately budget payment for the repairs. We are always grateful for the support you all show for this congregation!
Upon returning to Jerusalem after their Babylonian captivity, the people of Israel happily “went back to Temple” with sacrifices and fasting. But the disparity between wealthy and poor was greater than ever, and those returning from exile treated those who had remained behind as if they were not as good as those who had been taken away. In our first reading this week, Isaiah 58:1-12, we will hear that outward observance, acts of worship carried out to be seen and to show people how righteous you are, is not what God desires from God’s people. Through Isaiah, God shares a vision of the commonwealth of God: “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?” God tells the people that unless they care for their neighbors, those who need love, they are not practicing their faith.
Lent is approaching – our time of “wilderness journeying” as we seek to orient ourselves on God and to God’s promises; to get our own hearts put right so that we can see God in the world around us. As we prepare for that journey, let us reflect on these words of Isaiah, and continue to seek ways to serve the community around us.
Grateful always, Pastor Alex
It's Almost Game Time!
Sunday, February 12, is Super Bowl Sunday and the conclusion of Advent's annual Souper Bowl Food Drive. Bring your donations to help score against hunger and food scarcity. All donations go to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).
All non-expired,non-perishable, non-glass items are welcome but ESPECIALLY needed: low-sodium canned tomato products, beans, soup, tuna, vegetables; low-sugar, kid-friendly cereal; and peanut butter.
SERVICE OF INSTALLATION
The Rev. Alexander P. Stall, Jr. will be installed as Advent's eighth called pastor Saturday, February 25, at 3 pm. A reception will follow the Saturday afternoon service.
Members, please visit Sign Up Genius to volunteer your assistance with the reception.
Council Meeting February 12
All are welcome! Bring your lunch or a snack to the Fellowship Hall.
Advent Book Club February 18, 3 pm
There There by Tommy Orange is the February selection. New voices and perspectives are always welcome!
Exploring Faith February 19
OAR of Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church will join us. OAR is a community-based nonprofit that works with those impacted by the legal system.
Ash Wednesday Service February 22 @ 7:30 pm
Join us for the start of our Lenten journey.