The Radiant Nov/Dec,

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1 Rhonda Ricci Editor The Radiant Nov/Dec, Geneva Presbyterian Church Seven Locks Road, Potomac, MD Office Rev. Mary Pullen, Interim Pastor 2017 ISSUE 15 From the Pastor Dear Friends at Geneva, As of this issue of The Radiant, we will move to publishing the Radiant every two months instead of every month. We were simply not getting enough articles from people to justify doing the newsletter every month. This issue will cover the months of November/December I m always amazed to realize that as we approach the end of October, it means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner! Every year, I think it won t catch me by surprise but it always does. Why are we thankful? In his January 6, 1941 State of the Union Speech, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed four fundamental freedoms that people "everywhere in the world" ought to enjoy: Freedom of speech Freedom of worship Freedom from want Freedom from fear 1 (Wikipedia)

2 This speech became known as the Four Freedoms Speech. The American artist Norman Rockwell did a series of paintings based on this speech, the most famous one being that of a family seated at a Thanksgiving table. As we celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, let us remember those who live under oppressive governments, those Christians who are persecuted for their faith, those who experience hunger, and those who live in deadly, daily fear of their lives. As soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, it seems the Christmas season is in full swing. Every year, I hear someone say (and I have said it myself) I ll be so glad when the holidays are over. If Christmas were not so commercialized, perhaps we would not feel that way. Advent prepares us for the coming of the Christ child, the baby Jesus born in the manger. Jesus was born to ordinary people, people who worked for a living and were not powerful. This wonderful gift of God was freely given to us, and for us and our salvation. This year let your Christmas be spiritual! Pray, prepare, get ready! Jesus Christ is coming! Randy and I wish for all of our friends at Geneva a Happy Thanksgiving a very Merry Christmas, and a blessed New Year in 2018! Blessings and peace, Mary Pastor Mary Remember To Turn Your Clocks Back November 5, 2017 National Donut day November 5, 2017 Celebrate National Donut Day with us before Worship on Sunday, November 5 th. We will have coffee, tea & your favorite donuts starting at 9:45. Daylight Savings time gives you an extra hour of sleep that morning! 2

3 College Exams? Do you have a child in college? If your answer is yes, Geneva would like to send them a little something before they start their finals in December. Please provide your student s name and mailing address to Rhonda Ricci. Music Notes By Ben Shaver, Music Director Geneva Friends, Advent is just around the corner! In November, we have some wonderful music and services. We start off on November 5 with All Saints and Communion Sunday, where our choir will sing the Lord s Prayer and Glenn Burleigh s Order My Steps whose text is profoundly powerful: Order my steps in Your word dear Lord Lead me, guide me everyday Send Your anointing, Father I pray Order my steps in Your word Please, order my steps in Your word. The following Sunday, November 12, we will recognize our veterans. There will be a portion of the service where I will play the service songs of the different armed forces. I will invite those who served to stand in recognition when their service song is played. Sunday, November 19 will be a special service that Pastor Mary and I have been working on that ties Americana music from different periods in American History as we prepare ourselves for Thanksgiving. There will be music from the Shakers, an African-American Spiritual, a Temperance song and more. It will surely be an exciting and interesting exploration of history, ideals, and music! In addition, the Choir will sing Thankful by one of my preferred arrangers and composers, Mark Hayes. We offer this as a thoughtful response to our Stewardship Campaign as we bless our pledges during the service. The last Sunday in November will be our Christ the King service where we travel through the liturgical year through verses and hymns. I always look forward to maintaining this tradition at Geneva. One of the highlights this Advent Season, will be our Christmas Cantata The Promise of Light by Joel Raney on Sunday, December 17 at our 10:30 am service. This Cantata will be accompanied by piano and feature narrators Pastor Mary and Gabrielle Levy. There will be refreshments following the service. 3

4 Our handbell choir will also be playing during the Advent season! They have been sorely missed and are excited to come back to ring for our worship service. Christmas Eve happens on a Sunday this year! We will have a 10:30 am service as well as our extremely powerful Lessons and Carols evening service. This will feature our Handbell Quartet as well as our Soprano and Alto soloists! Keeping the tradition alive, we will end the evening by candlelight and in peaceful meditation. Be sure to invite and bring your family, friends, and neighbors for a wonderful service filled with music and the story of the miracle. For those travelling during these holiday seasons, I pray that God may guide you and your family safely to your destinations. In Christ, Ben Shaver Prayers for Olive Some of you might remember Tommy Webster who was the Music Director at Geneva. Tommy s daughter, Olive, is 10 years old and has had seven heart surgeries so far in her very young life. Currently, she is in the hospital with an infection in her heart following her most recent surgery. If you would like to send a card to the Webster family or to Olive to bring her a little sunshine, here is the family s address: Stratford Avenue, Fairfax, VA Sunday December 17 - Christmas Cantata & Refreshments To Follow Plan to join us for worship on Sunday, December 17, when the choir will present their Christmas Cantata, The Promise of Light, by Joel Raney. There will be refreshments immediately following worship. 4

5 Geneva Day School By Suzanne Funk, Director Happy Fall to all of our church friends! Your Day School has been busy during October thinking about the change of seasons, visiting local farms to pick apples and pumpkins, enjoying Harvest Day activities over two days, and preparing for the BIG day of Halloween! This is always an exciting day for our students, with games, parties, and special parades. The very active Geneva Parents Association (GPA) conducted an amazing Fall Family Fun Festival at the end of October. The parking lot was full of inflatable activities, games, pumpkin bowling, stuffing a scarecrow, food trucks, vendors, and more. It was a wonderful community afternoon whereby we also raised a few funds for other school social events and the scholarship fund. November will bring the important activity of Parent- Teacher Conferences. The Teachers enjoy telling parents how their child is progressing and identifying goals with them for the year. By working closely with the home team, each student receives a consistent message about what is appropriate behavior and how to help practice similar pre- academic skills. Of course, reading to a child remains the single best and most meaningful activity that parents can provide at home, as it significantly and positively impacts school performance. The Scholastic Book Fair will be held during the conferences on November 8, 9, and 10, with a Reading Night on November 9 in the evening. Feel free to visit the displays in the Open Classroom to do some early holiday shopping at very reasonable prices. You are supporting your school as you do! Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to remember our many blessings, and this is also true for the school. Children think, draw or write about what they are grateful for. Various classes prepare foods for a Thanksgiving snack or feast. Kindergarten has a turkey with all the trimmings and invites local Native Americans and their families for a full dinner. International families at Geneva seem to enjoy the holidays they experience at their new U.S.A. school! December brings colder weather, possibly some snow, and preparation for the holidays of Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year s. Santa s workshop is busy in all classes as little people prepare a special surprise for their parents. The school will have a Holiday Sing and the Kindergarten Class will have an amazing performance on December 13 at 12:30 p.m. This is a locally famous annual program with great songs to get everyone ready for the holidays. Join the school and experience this one- of- a- kind program! All in all, 2017 has been a remarkable year for the school. We thank you for your loyalty to Geneva and we wish you the very best in the new year of 2018! Warm wishes from all your Geneva Day School Friends! Suzanne Funk Director 5

6 Calling on Volunteers To Serve Coffee & Goodies after Worship We need folks to help serve coffee & goodies after Worship. You can make coffee and tea or serve lemonade and cider. You can bake your own cookies or serve Oreos and Chips Ahoy. We just need volunteers to sign up to assist. Sign up Sheets are in the Narthex. Thank you! The Lord s Table By Emma Wheatley Geneva is serving at The Lord's Table Soup Kitchen on Saturday, November 11 th and December 9 th. We arrive around Noon and cook a healthy meal and finish up by 3:00 when the next church arrives to serve the meal. You don't need to be a talented chef there are jobs for all levels of expertise! If you have any questions about The Lord's Table, please contact Emma Wheatley. 6

7 Christmas Decorations Rhonda is seeking a few adventurous souls to go up to the attic and help in bringing down our Christmas decorations. We can start this any time in November. If you can help, please contact Rhonda Ricci. Starting December 17 th..... We will be collecting our 2018 Wishes for Geneva. They will be collected on three consecutive Sunday s starting December 17th. Wishes will be collected during the worship services and should be anonymous. Hanging of the Greens and Chili Cook-off Please join us on Sunday, December 3 rd after Worship to help decorate the church at our Annual Hanging of the Greens and Chili-Cook off!! Upcoming POTLUCK Dates Sunday, November 12th and December 10th - - After worship Sunday, November 12th After Worship Sunday, December 10th After Worship Christmas Carol Sing-along Geneva will provide the food for this potluck to THANK YOU for the food you provided throughout the year! 7

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10 The Staff of Geneva Presbyterian Church wishes all our friends and families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2018! 10

11 Refreshments - Geneva Presbyterian Church Seven Locks Road Potomac, MD

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