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The Trailblazer

From our Seminarian: Tuesday's News from St. Dunstan's- December 21, 2021

Posted 7:53 PM
The News from
St. Dunstan's
 
December 21, 2021
Tuesday
 
Seeking God • Building Community •
Growing Faith • Reaching Out
 
A Note from the Rev. Fergie Horvath
Dear People of St. Dunstan’s -
           I write to you in thanks for such a lovely birthday celebration and farewell gathering extended to me and my husband Gary last week. I am so thankful we were able to gather in person. For over a year, I have known you all through a computer screen in the midst of the small boxes of Zoom. And then I saw you outside but only from a distance. So to be able to be in the same room eating, drinking, and doing a little crying, was the best gift for which I could have asked.
           You need to know of the deep appreciation I have for my Lay Support Team (LST). Lynne Leonard, Ray Donnelly, Joanne Comstock, and Frenchie Gogos have been a constant presence in my life since I began attending St. Dunstan’s (online) as a middler seminarian. We have met several times over the past 18 months whether online or in person. They have shared their lives with me, what is happening in their families, with their children and grandchildren, their own health issues, and employment challenges. And I have shared my life with them, from the pressures of seminary classwork to a cancer diagnosis, surgery, and radiation treatment. All of them have shared their hopes and dreams for St. Dunstan’s with me, and their love for this church is palpable. Their involvement in the LST shows their commitment and dedication to the church and also to Jesus Christ. Not only have they prayed for St. Dunstan’s, but they have intentionally prayed for me these past 18 months. For their presence, their prayers, and their support, I will be forever grateful.
           Although much of my involvement at St. Dunstan’s has been through cyber-meetings, cyber-Bible study, and cyber-worship, I have learned much about this community of faith through these engagements. I have learned that you value the Scriptures, wanting to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, as the famous collect states. I have learned that you value worshipping Jesus Christ, often having to scroll through two or more computer screens during a Zoom worship in order to see everyone attending. These are things that hopefully will continue in person as the world begins to emerge from the cave of COVID. In fact, the involvement in Bible studies, Christian formation, and especially worship must continue in person at St. Dunstan’s if the parish is to return to the community of faith it has been in the past, and the community of faith it is now called to be, post-COVID. You are needed. You are necessary. Without you there is no St. Dunstan’s. It is through your witness that I was able to see what church could be during a pandemic. I pray your witness in person will be just a strong!
           Finally, I have to thank the Rev’d Patty Alexander. Do you know what a rock star priest you have in your midst? I do. It is her example of dedication to this parish that I have witnessed these past 18 months. Her care of all things scriptural, spiritual, and liturgical is wholistic; in other words, one informs the other. Her ability to connect those dots is a special gift, one I have seen other Rectors overlook. Supervising a seminarian takes a vast amount of time and yet she has continually made me feel that my presence was an integral part of St. Dunstan’s. She has been a loving pastoral presence in my life and a source of encouragement in my ministry. She has given me a wealth of information directly related to being a priest as she has continually answered my questions of “why” and “how.” Through her guidance, prayers, support, and love, I have been blessed and will be forever grateful to her for our time together these past 18 months.
           In closing, I thank you again for allowing me to be present among you for this short time. I’ll be back as a worshiper in the spring every now and again. Until then, may God bless you and keep you from this day forth and forever more.
 
The Rev. Fergie Horvath
Virginia Theological Seminary, '22
 
 
Christmas 2021 Schedule
 
Friday, December 24
(Christmas Eve)
4:30 p.m.- Children’s Crèche Service
Children of all ages - and their parents! - are invited to join us for this short, informal celebration (without Eucharist). We will hear the Story of Christmas while remaining masked and socially-distanced. Pajamas are welcome!
(Note: This service will not be live-streamed.)
 
6:30 p.m. - Pre-worship Christmas Concert
Arrive early for worship to enjoy 30 minutes of beautiful music courtesy of Minister of Music Joey Arkfeld and his team.
 
7:00 p.m. - Festival Holy Eucharist, the “Christ-mass”
 
Saturday, December 25
(Christmas Morning)
10:00 a.m. - Christmas Morning Service of Holy Eucharist, with music
(Note: This service will not be live-streamed.)
 
Sunday, December 26
(The First Sunday after Christmas)
10:30 a.m. - Service of Holy Eucharist with the Church of the Redeemer (at Redeemer) 
(Live-streamed at redeemerbethesda.org.
To attend in person, please sign up at this link.)
 
 
St. Dunstan's 2022 Calendar
Good news! Having sold out of St. Dunstan's 2022 calendars (featuring the work of Liturgical Artist-in-Residence Sue Carroll), we were able to arrange for a second printing and now have a limited additional supply available for purchase.
 
Calendars cost $20 each, with proceeds to support Outreach ministries at St. Dunstan's. Please contact Parish Administrator Kim Matthews at 301.229.2960 or admin@stdunstansbethesda.org to order.
 
End-of-Year Donations
 
Please remember that Friday, December 31 is the last day for your gift to St. Dunstan's to be counted for 2021. If you have not yet completed your pledge for this year, and/or if you would like to give an additional end-of-year contribution, please use this link to make a secure donation online. If you are paying by check, please make sure that it is dated and postmarked December 31, 2021 in order for it to count for this year. You also may drop a check in our locked mailbox at the church.
If you anticipate that you will not be able to fulfill your 2021 pledge, please just be in touch with the Rev. Patty Alexander to let her know.
Thank you all for your support this year, and may God continue to bless you richly in 2022 and beyond!
 
Taking a Break:
Bible Study Resumes in January
 
The Wednesday Bible Study is on hiatus for the remainder of December. Bible Study will reconvene on January 5, 2022, which would be a wonderful time for you to join us!
If your schedule permits, why not make studying the Word part of your weekly discipline for the new year?
 
 
American Red Cross Blood Drive
 
December 29, 2021
Noon-5:30 p.m.
St. Dunstan's Parish Hall
 
This drive is by appointment only; 
please use this link to schedule your donation.
 
If you yourself are not able to give, please spread the word to your networks. Please also consider volunteering to help on the day of the drive. Just let Patty know of your interest, and she'll sign you up!
 
For Your Prayers
 
For healing, strength, and protection:

Joyce Barnett, Sydney Betz, Connie Carpenter,
Phil Carroll, Chuck Cash and Jackie Jones, Paula Clark,
Bill Darnell, Kenny Farnsworth, Maddie Fennell,
Warren Green, Michael Hackley, Governor Larry Hogan,
Ben Hull, Ann Johnson, Todd Leonard, Joyce Nugent,
Susan Parker, Christine Partin, Carol Patterson, Gabi Shea, Ann Shelly, Curt Shively, Anne Smedberg, Lina Verville,
Don Wasseman, Sharon Wolfkiel, Charlie and Sheila Wooters, Bea, Carmen, Katherine, and Nancy
 
Refugees and displaced persons
Those impacted by recent tornadoes
Those battling COVID and those who care for
and about them
 
May he rest in peace, and rise in glory:
 
Rick Hoeninger
 
 
Online Parish Calendar
 
Please click the icon below to be taken to this month's calendar of parish events:
 
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