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Living Love

LIVING LOVE LAUNCH!

Sunday, September 10, was the official launch to our church-wide Living Love focus.  There are lots of rich, exciting and challenging opportunities for both children and adults to get involved in.  Check out the initial list and come back often to see what is added:

Mission Focus Sunday – On October 1, former CUMC pastor Glen Evans will speak at both worship services about the exciting things going on at the Honduras Independence Bilingual School and how we can take our support to the next level.

Loving with Vision and Strength - A Bible study of 1 John. Come and discover the wisdom of God's Word as we seek to understand how to love God, love ourselves, and love our neighbors with fresh vision and strength.  Four weeks beginning October 1, 2017.  If you have questions, please contact Silvia Wang (sswang_2002@yahoo.com).

The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict, by The Arbinger Institute – Churchwide book challenge.  During the month of October, we are challenging the church community join local Methodist clergy in reading this amazing book that instills hope and inspires reconciliation.  Learn from once-bitter enemies the way to transform personal, professional, and global conflicts.  Books available to purchase at church for $9.83 on September 10, or visit Amazon.com.

Hands-On Mission Day - Saturday, November 4, at Bridges to Independence. We will be painting, cleaning, and working with the children at this Arlington shelter that leads individuals and families out of homelessness and into stable, independent futures

A Safe Place – As horrific and troubling events occur in our city, state and nation, we have committed to offering a safe place for people to come together in prayer, conversation, and holy discernment of where God is leading us to act as Christians.  Tanya, our administrative assistant, will be sending out notices to let you know when and where we will be gathering as these events unfold.    

Dinner and Dialogue Sunday, November 12, 6:30 pm, Floris UMC -  Rev. Tom Berlin hosts How to have the Conversation:  Boldly Engage in Dialogue around the Way Forward.  Registration will open soon and carpools will be arranged.

No One Left Behind – CUMC has been paired with an Afghan family relocated to Alexandria through No One Left Behind.  They arrived 4 months ago on a special immigrant visa (SIV), as the father was an interpreter helping our troops.  Member Attila Lantos has been working closely with the family, which includes three young children.  The Outreach Committee will share information soon on how you can help.

 

LIVING LOVE - the origin

In the fall of 2016, the staff at Clarendon began to sense that God was leading us to consider a church-wide spiritual focus.  The topic that kept surfacing was love - how can we embody Christ’s love in challenging times?  The staff gathered other church leaders together to share what they were hearing, and this dialogue affirmed their thoughts.  They made a commitment to gather regularly to discern next steps.  

Gradually - through prayer, conversation, preaching and listening - the theme Living Love emerged, and God brought three areas of focus to the forefront:

  • First - Living love at Clarendon United Methodist Church.  This is a wonderful family of faith with rich relationships and deep spiritual roots.  And God revealed that we have the opportunity to grow in grace - to increase our skills in respectful discourse and compassionate listening as we address the issues that face every church.
  • Secondly - Living love in the global United Methodist Church.  As a denomination, we are approaching a crossroads regarding our positions about human sexuality, and there are significant decisions that may soon be facing the church.  There is a sense that God wants us to prepare for such a crossroads with love as our guide.
  • The third focus is Living love in our nation.  How are we getting along with our fellow Americans in such turbulent and contentious times?  God is showing that love can be used as a catalyst to adopt a new posture of trust toward each other as neighbors and citizens with a focus on mutual openness, wonder and respect.

The next step was to share what the staff and church leadership had discerned with the entire church body.  At the Easter Sunday worship services in April, there was a brief presentation and those in attendance were asked for their feedback on what had already been discerned.  An incredible 181 responses were received on multi-colored sticky notes.  All of those were complied and catagorized.  The responses guided the Living Love group to plan new initiatives that would address the issues that God had put on everyone's hearts.  On Sunday, September 10, it was time to officially launch the Living Love theme and roll out the first wave of new studies, topics in worship, and opportunities for service.  There is much more to come!

Love is alive in Jesus Christ, and we believe that God is calling us to take our love to the next level in this church.  The Holy Spirit is moving in our midst, and by reading this and connecting with this faith community, you are already part of the plans God is revealing.  Join us on the journey!

 

 

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