Entries by Sue Von

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Formation 5.3

Posted 5:26 PM by


Resurrection Stories
There are two more weeks of our focus on Resurrections Stories in sermons and formation offerings.  Through stories of the resurrection people came to know that things would be forever different.  Christ was alive! It took the disciples a long time to get it - some hid, some didn't believe without seeing and touching, others were afraid. Where are your experiences of the resurrection in your life? Have you or will you tell these to someone else? Have you heard stories of resurrection from others? One promise of our baptismal covenant is to "proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ!" A way to do this is to share our stories of resurrection with others. For if we do not - if we are fearful and do not tell - how will others come to believe?  

Children's Formation ... Sharing our Faith

The children will be in their classrooms this Sunday, May 3 and continue hearing the stories of Jesus appearing to the disciples after his resurrection.  The story this week will be the Breakfast on the Beach which is told in the Gospel of John.  Parents please take your children down to the classrooms before you head to adult formation. 

Please keep our Children's Choir in your plans for next fall! Beginning in September our Children's Choir will be meeting on Thursday evenings (probably between 5:30-6:30 p.m.). We hope that you will make a commitment to this program as it will help to form the faith of your children and be great fun! There is no better way to learn and integrate the stories of faith then through the music we sing as children. 

Youth Formation ... Growing our Faith

Youth will join the adults for formation again this Sunday, May 3 as we continue to explore resurrection stories. This week Trisha Lyons will be our guest speaker again and we will hear her understanding of Harry Potter as a Resurrection Story


The best way to help your young person grow in faith is through a camp community. Please talk with Sue if you have any questions, but set aside the week now.  The Diocese has put together a great program with wonderful leaders in a superb facility. The cost for the week is $575 per camper.  You can register online here.  

Junior Camp (Rising 4th -6th graders) - July 26-31, 2015.  
Middler Camp (Rising 7th- 9th graders) - August 2-7, 2015

Adult Formation ... Living our Faith

Stories of the Resurrection continue this Sunday, May 3 as we welcome back Dr. Patricia Lyons for more on Harry Potter as a Resurrection Story. Trisha will also preach at the 10:45 service. There will be clips from various scenes of the movie and lively discussion.  It promises to be an enlightening and energetic morning!

On Sunday, May 10 The Rev. Susan Flanders will be our guest speaker.  She has recently authored the book - Going to Church: It's Not What You Think! She will share some stories from her book that speak to our topic of Resurrection Stories. Her book is considered to be a modern Pilgrim's Progress which interweaves family drama, theological insight, and a critique on conventional "churchiness."
Sue von Rautenkranz
      Christian Formation Director



Formation: Resurrection Stories

Posted 5:44 PM by
Resurrection Stories
This Eastertide the focus of our sermons and adult formation will be on hearing the Gospel stories of Jesus’ resurrection and hearing and sharing our own stories of resurrection.  After all, it is through these stories that our life in Christ as Christian people is centered and finds meaning. For while we are told that the disciples and the women who were first witnesses to the resurrection were at first fearful; and we are even told that they “didn’t tell anyone” - clearly they did! And clearly, we must learn to tell our stories of resurrection so that others might come to believe. This Sunday, April 19 we welcome Dr. Patricia Lyons as our guest speaker and preacher at both liturgies.
Adult Formation
Patricia Lyons will be with us on Sunday, April 19 and May 3 for our formation time and as our preacher at both liturgies. Trisha has titled her time with us as Harry Potter as a Resurrection Story. She brings a compelling energy and passion to her love of life, the Gospel, and all things Potter! So hold on to your seat because we are all in for quite a ride. She also brings a profound depth to her understanding of the Christian faith and years of hands on experience in teaching faith to others.

Dr. Patricia Lyons is currently the JK-12 Director of Service Learning at St. Stephen's & St. Agnes Episcopal School in Alexandria, VA and is in her 15th year of teaching ethics and religion at the Upper School. She is also an adjunct at the Virginia Theological Seminary, where she teaches evening and summer courses to masters and doctoral students. Patricia has taught courses in Systematic Theology, C.S. Lewis, Sigmund Freud, Theology and Fiction, and most recently, Christian Themes in Harry Potter and the author of The Soul of Adolescence: In Their Own Words.

Patricia is an honors graduate from Harvard College in the Comparative Study of Religion. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Harvard Divinity School, with a focus on Biblical languages and systematic theology. She received her doctorate from the VTS. Her doctoral thesis was a study of the stages of moral and spiritual development of adolescents.

Children’s Formation
Music with Michael! Children will be singing with Michael on Sunday, April 19.  Parents should bring children to the church for formation time this week.
Youth Formation
Youth will join the adults for formation on Sunday, April 19 as we will have a special guest speaker, Patricia Lyons. She will be offering Harry Potter as a Resurrection Story and it will be a fun and enjoyable experience. This will take place in the parish hall.



Celebrate Easter With Us

Posted 2:11 PM by


The Great Vigil of Easter
Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Fire+Water+Story+Bread & Wine

Readings of the story of God's creation and salvation of the world, followed by the first Eucharist of Easter. Experience one of the most ancient and moving liturgies for Christians.


Easter Day
Sunday, April 5

9:00 a.m. Family Eucharist
A simple, joy filled service for children and their families with
the Easter story, joyful songs, and communion.
9:45 a.m. Egg Hunt for children
An event of that bring joy and fun to all - and there are always eggs to go around!
10:45 a.m. Festival Eucharist
A traditional Episcopal service with choir, sermon and communion
in a church adorned in beautiful flowers and pageantry.



The Triduum and Easter Day

Posted 6:48 PM by


You are invited to experience the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ in these services at St. Dunstan's:

Maundy Thursday - Supper+Washing+Do This+Watch
6:30 p.m.  Supper for all - Parish Hall
7:30 p.m.  Eucharist - Last Supper and Foot Washing
9:00 p.m.  Night Watch - Prayer in the church until 8:00 a.m.  ‚Äč

Good Friday -  Cross+Candles+Prayer+Song
7:30 p.m.  Contemplative service around the cross, with beautiful chant music from Taize, France.  (Adults and older children)

Saturday - The Great Vigil of Easter- Fire+Water+Story+Bread & Wine
7:30 p.m.   Readings of the story of God's creation and salvation of the world, followed by the first Eucharist of Easter. 

Sunday - Easter Day- Rising+Joy+Song+Alleluia!
9:00 a.m.   Family Eucharist
9:45 a.m.  Egg Hunt for children
10:45 a.m.  Festival Eucharist

Glimpses of the Triduum, get a feel for these liturgies here. Learn more about the history of these liturgies here.



Why do we worship on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday?

Posted 6:03 PM by

Why do we worship on Thursday, Friday and Saturday?

The Triduum … What is it and why you should be present?

Triduum is a Latin word meaning three days. Three days you say? - I count four! True, but the days are counted from sundown to sundown. So the days do not begin until sundown on Thursday and conclude with sundown on Sunday - giving us three days. The three services are really all one, just carried out over these days. This is emphasized by the fact that there is no dismissal on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. In that way the church emphasizes the importance of being present for all of these liturgies. A play with three acts - there are just longer intermissions. We know about these liturgies because in the 4th century a Spanish pilgrim named Egeria recorded in her journals her experiences in Jerusalem of what we refer to as Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday

The name comes from the Latin word, mandatum, which refers to the new commandment that Christ gives to the disciples in John 13:34 - “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”  This text was appointed in the prayer book to be sung as an antiphon during the footwashing, and came to be called “the Maundy” in medieval England.  The proper liturgy for this day celebrates the events of the Last Supper - which includes the footwashing and the institution of the Eucharist.  The liturgy concludes with the stripping of the altar. The ornaments of the sanctuary are removed leaving it bare and empty for Good Friday.

Good Friday

The observance of the Friday before Easter as a commemoration of the crucifixion has its roots in 4th century Jerusalem. Before that time, Easter was a unitive celebration of the passion and resurrection. Our Good Friday Liturgy includes prayers invited by the deacon for the Church and the World, and the ancient Solemn Collects which gather all our prayers in one. Tonight we also use a simple version of the Stations of the Cross, and chants from the Taizé Christian community in France.  The liturgy ends with a simple prayer and silence.

The Great Vigil of Easter

Probably the most dramatic liturgy in our Book of Common Prayer, this liturgy includes fire, story, water and the first Eucharist of Easter.  Traditionally the rite took the entire night - after sundown and ending at sunrise - ours will take much less time.  We bring outside and strike flint and steel to make our fire. Then we hear stories of salvation and move into the parish hall.  Finally we enter the church in its Easter glory and sing the first Alleluias and renew our baptisms with the sprinkling of water and share bread and wine around the altar.



Formation 3-22

Posted 10:08 PM by

Children’s Formation

Today, March 22, the children will be in their classrooms and focusing on the stories of Holy Week and Easter.

Eggs needed for the Hunt!

There are empty eggs in Founders’ Hall - are you one who might fill them up and bring them back to the church before 9 a.m. on Easter Day?  We could also use a few more.  Or donate both eggs and candy and we will find eager hands - but these are needed by Palm Sunday.  Either way, we could use a few helpers from that elusive rabbit. If you can assist, please be in contact with Sue.

Youth Formation

The Coffee House will be openthis week, Sunday, March 22, and those present will discuss Holy Week and Easter with Jackie Bray.


The next youth event is the Overnight &Watch on Maundy Thursday, April 2. Youth will participate in the dinner and liturgy for Maundy Thursday and then spend the night at the church.  This begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends on Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. After the service we will gather in the youth room for movies and conversation before taking our time of prayer.  Please let Sue know if you are coming. There is no cost for this event,

Adult Formation

Jeff will lead another session of our Lenten study through Time: Redeeming the Gift, from the brothers of Society of St. John the Evangelist this Sunday, March 22. Come and join the conversation inthe parish hall!



Formation 3-8

Posted 7:55 PM by

Lenten Intergenerational Event

Sunday, March 15 - 9:50 a.m. to 10:35 a.m.

Come and see! Children, youth and adults gather in the parish hall for a special time to learn together. We will begin with a video and move to a number of activity stations to make both Lent and Easter crafts. Pretzels and string eggs will again be offered with a couple of new ways to experience the seasons. Come for learning and fun on this “refreshment” Sunday in Lent.

Children’s Formation

On Sunday, March 8, the children will gather in the Church for Music with Michael and some of our other musicians.

We are now and the midway point of Lent making Holy Week and Easter just a few weeks away.  If you would like to fill empty eggs for the hunt on Easter Day or contribute filled eggs, please be in contact with Sue.

Youth Formation

Youth and youth leaders from St. Dunstan’s are attending a Montgomery County Episcopal youth event at the Church of the Epiphany this coming weekend. They will spent Saturday evening learning about homelessness and justice issues in the metro area and on Sunday morning will participate in the Welcome Table, a program that feeds and provides hospitality to over 200 guests each week. Please hold them in prayer as they experience this program.

The Coffee House is open on, Sunday, March 8, and those present will discuss the season of Lent. Various programs that are especially appropriate for youth will be highlighted - including Lent Madness, d365, and Videos for your Soul.

Adult Formation …

One Sunday, March 8, we will continue our Lenten study of Time: Redeeming the Gift, from the brothers of Society of St. John the Evangelist. If you have not signed up for the daily meditations please go to this link, It is never too late to begin. The program shares a daily mediation and weekly focus on five words - Stop, Pray, Work, Play and Love - through the lens of Time.  This week we focus on Work.  Come and join us for conversation and discussion. A workbook is available online and copies are available on the table in Founders’ Hall.


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