Visit Little Blessings

Do you have a little one that is ready for preschool next year? Come visit Little Blessings Preschool during our Open House on January 24th from 9:30 to 11:00 to meet our administration and teachers, tour our classrooms, and learn about our programs.
If you are not able to make the Open House but would rather like to visit the preschool, please contact Heather Robért at 703-777-8514 or email PreschoolDirector@holytrinityleesburg.org to schedule a private tour.

Through the Cross

The Gospel of Mark:  Seeing Jesus through the Cross

A couple of months ago, I mentioned the Gospel of Mark as a good informative read about Jesus.   So, I thought, since we are beginning the year of Mark in our worship lectionary, it would be great to have a Bible Study ot explore the witness of Mark’s Gospel.

Please mark (pun intended)  your calendar for the Sunday School Hour and make the study of Mark part of our Epiphany journey.

Going Fishing…

Do you remember going fishing as a kid? I do. I hated it.
I would get a rod, and a reel, and get some squiggly worms and off I would go. I would dump the line into the water. Time would pass. The first minute–nothing. The second minute–nothing. The third minute–nothing. Well if it was a war of wills, the fish always won because I never, never caught anything.
As an adult I realize my childhood experience had two deficiencies. One, I had lofty hopes. You can’t get a 20-pound bass out of a small stream. I hoped for too much. Second, I didn’t have the patience to stick to the plan. If you are going to do something, you need to be committed to seeing it through. I lacked the patience as a kid (or the confidence to know that over time, I would prevail.) Fisherman know by experience that they will catch something, and that if they don’t, it is not their fault, and they will still enjoy the process. I never had the experience of catching a fish, so I never enjoyed the process.
When I think of Andrew, Peter, James and John, with Jesus invitation, I think they had these two attributes from being fisherman. They had well founded hope, and they had patience to enjoy the process. When Jesus came, they could say to themselves, “What can happen here?” and be realistic about it. They could commit to the process and enjoy it.
When they saw Jesus, they saw a new kind of hope. When they saw Jesus, they knew they could catch fish and they new they could be patient with the process and even enjoy it. After all, they always had real fishing to fall back on. So, what the hey, they took the adventure.
How about you? Does Jesus provide a new hope for you? And can you commit to the process—even enjoy the process?  Can you go fishing for people?
Pastor Gerry
 
The Gospel according to Mark 1:14-20
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news.”
16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

Super Bowl Subs & Dips

Sale to support our youth who are going to the ELCA Youth Gathering over the summer. We thank you for your support!

You will have your choice of three 6-inch subs: Ham and Cheese, Turkey, or Cold Cut. In addition we will offer a 7 layer bean dip with chips for sale.
The dip is a party pleaser made with beans, guacamole, sour cream, taco sauce, cheese, tomato, and scallions. We will sell extra corn chips as well.
The subs will cost $5.00 each. The bean dip will be $6.00 for a 8×8 inch tray. Corn chips will be $1.50.  Pick Up February 4, 2018.
Order forms available in the common area.

Women’s Retreat Planning

Plans for Holy Trinity’s Annual Women’s Retreat at Signal Knob Retreat Center near Strasburg, VA are underway. The retreat is scheduled for the weekend of Friday-Sunday, April 13-15, 2018. We have scheduled a planning meeting for Sunday, January 14 following Sunday School (around noon). It will be held in the Gathering Area. Come with your ideas for a theme, music, crafts, food, and more! The total cost for the weekend will be somewhat dependent on these decisions. Watch the ’This Week’ announcements and Tidings for additional information. Plan now to become a part of this growing community of faith!

The Baptism of Our Lord

The Baptism of Our Lord
The Gospel according to Mark 1:4-11
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
A message from the Pastor…
The reality is that I do not drink much pure water.  It is not that I don’t like the taste of water, it is just that I like the taste of ice tea better. I drink ice tea frequently. I drink orange juice in the morning and on occasional beer or wine in the evening, and the rest of the time: ice tea. It is just that other drinks taste better. They  are sweeter, or have caffeine, or have a good taste that I prefer over water.
However, to be perfectly honest, on a hot day when  you are working hard, there is nothing more refreshing than a tall glass of cold water. It goes down smooth and it seems that every part of you welcomes the new water and you feel better after drinking it. For pure refreshment, there is nothing like water. Sugar, caffeine, or additives don’t really make it better. By saying all this, I wonder why I don’t drink more water.
Thinking about it, the water of our Baptism is the same way. It is the means that we enter into God’s family. By the water, we receive the grace of Jesus Christ and have his assurance in new life in him that will last forever. But even though that is refreshing, we sometimes are attracted to other earthly additives or concoctions of refreshment. We may be taken in by the promise of pleasure or stability or even joy or fun. We might even forget for a moment how refreshing the water of Baptism is for us. Then something happens, and we are reminded that the taste of the “additives” is short lived and so is the refreshment. The waters of our baptism are the only thing that give us true and lasting refreshment.
Pastor Gerry

The Epiphany Story

Jesus is born and already things are happening!  These wise men from the East are following a star with the idea that a new child is born to be King of the Jews.  They go to King Herod and tell them they are here in search of this child king.   Notice that “king of the Jews” is a title not used again until Jesus is arrested and before Pilate.  Further, Herod is in this story and in the Gospel of Luke at Jesus’ arrest.  Also, frankincense and myrrh are oils used in preparing a body for burial, funny gifts for a child.

When we read this story, we see some parallels that take us from the birth of Jesus to the death of Jesus.  In addition to the connections just mentioned, we also know that the Jews rejected Christ and at his birth, it is the Wise Men (not Jews) that accept him, even as a baby.  The Jews in Jerusalem are afraid of Herod.  The Wise Men sneak off and shun Herod and return without reporting in.  Herod is infuriated and went on a rampage killing children two years old and younger.

This story is about jealousy, deceit, fear, hatred, murder, power, and preservation at all cost.  It is also a story about innocence, grace, love, humility, and obedience.  It is a story about God entering our crazy world and having both incredible visitors and homage and incredible threats of destruction.  This story reminds us that from the very beginning, Jesus light is not very popular with some people.  — God’s plan will be met with resistance.

In the midst of the joy of Christmas we are reminded of the realities of our world.  Jesus is not welcomed everywhere.  Jesus provides a message of love and grace, but people within the body of Christ and outside the body of Christ are not willing to accept that.  The religious conflict we have today, have been from the very beginning.  However, the light of Christ reached the Wise Men, and for 2,000 years, it continues to reach people and shine in the hearts and minds of many.

Generosity Feeds – Register Now!

Please join your fellow HTLC members as we attend the GENEROSITY FEEDS MEAL PACKAGING EVENT!!  The event will be held on Saturday March 10, 2018 at 10 AM at Loudoun County High School, located at 415 Dry Mill Rd SW, Leesburg, VA 20175.    We will work together to make and package 20,000 meals in 2 hours!!

Did you know that 16.7 % of children in Loudoun County struggle with hunger?    All meals are being given to children in Loudoun County!  Please register for this event if you want to help these children in need in our local community!

Unable to attend the event?  You can still make an impact by donating.  $30 will provide meals for 30 children.

This is a family event.  Children as young as 3 can participate! 

*****This event will fill up quickly.*****

Register today to volunteer your time or donate using the link below!!

https://generosityfeeds.org/va/leesburg/330

We will meet at the church on the day of the event at 9:30am and travel together to Loudoun County High School.

Have questions?  Please call or text Amy Miller 703-297-9220* HTLC Mission Team

Inclement Weather Policy

The winter months are upon us and soon we will be experiencing freezing rain, ice, sleet and snow. The following is Holy Trinity’s Inclement Weather Policy:

 Programming for youth , specifically Wednesday Night, LIVE! , confirmation, youth choir rehearsals, Little Blessing Preschool, etc., will follow the lead of Loudoun County Public Schools. If the schools are closed due to inclement weather, then HTLC youth programming will be cancelled.

 The HTLC church office will follow the lead of Loudoun County government. If Loudoun County government offices are closed, the HTLC church office will also be closed.

 Committee chairs and outside groups shall make a decision as to whether or not their committees or groups will meet. All are encouraged to use extreme caution and keep in mind the conditions of the roads and parking lot.

 For events taking place on the weekend , a message will be left on the Church Office’s voice mail and a message will be posted on our website, www.holytrinityleesburg.org , as to whether or not the building is open for use.

Please remember that our first concern is everyone’s safety!

Sunday School for all Ages

Holy Trinity offers Sunday School for Preschool childlren through adults during the months of September thru June at 11:00 am after worship.  Our Sunday School Program will resume on January 7, 2017.

Preschool through Elementary School learners gather in the Sanctuary for opening activities and then students move to grade level classes where they explore Bible Stories.

Middle and High school youth meet together to explore Bible Stories and how they relate to their daily lives.

Adults may choose from our Bible Study or Adult Forum opportunities.

Periodically, special events highlighting important times tin the church tear are held for learners of all ages.  Come and Join Us!