945 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 | 202 628 4317
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October Gabriel’s Horn|October 21 Newsletter

Nuts & Bolts

Take a breath! Experience God. Discover community.
Circle around a Table. Pursue your questions.
Get fired-up to work for God’s justice.

Welcome to worship at First Church,
whoever you are:

if you’ve never been to a church or you’re a regular,
if you have longed for a spiritual community of acceptance;
if you like world music, diverse music, or an organ favorite;
if you are full of questions and want to be challenged to grow
or to take it easy in silence;
if you want to explore the Christian faith, and value other faiths.

If you’ve been hurt or alone and want some healing;

if you are certain of God, of Jesus, or not;
if you like children and youth and all kinds of families;
if you want to be with people of different races and orientations;
if you want to get renewed and make a difference in the world;
Oh, and no matter what you wear;
this may be the place for you.

Every Sunday, we gather in our new sanctuary at 10:30AM.

We encounter God and are renewed in community
so we can live every day – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week –
with God’s hope and love in the world.

The Spirit is alive in worship.

During the hour, we sing and pray. We engage both the world and the Bible – making connections with our real lives and the real world. That happens sometimes in a sermon by one of our ministers, and other times by people sharing what’s on their hearts and minds. We are inspired by music that lifts our spirits and draws us closer to God.

Throughout the service, we use expansive language that welcomes women and men, girls and boys, and celebrates the many images of God. Children and youth are usually involved in worship as well. Together, we share life’s celebrations and concerns and then offer them in prayer. Worship ends with a blessing – to be led together by God to live out a life of faith, of loving and doing.

We share Communion and baptize too!

At least once a month, on the first Sunday, we share Communion (what others might call the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist) with one another. It is one of the two sacraments, or special rites, in the United Church of Christ. In the simple gifts of bread and juice shared around a table, we become aware of the presence of God and celebrate our oneness with others around the world. We remember when Jesus shared a similar meal. All are invited to Communion. Christ is the host. We can join in around the table or not. We believe we also commune with one another through prayer and community.

We baptize people of all ages. Baptism is the other sacrament or special rite. We follow what Jesus did. As water is poured over us, we believe God’s spirit pours over people – and people become part of not only our church, but the world-wide community of Christians, the Body of Christ in the world.

There are some extra-special days.

Christmas and Easter are two of our big-day celebrations. In these holidays, we recall and celebrate the journey and life of Jesus. We imagine ourselves taking the journey with him every year on these special days in worship. The seasons of Advent and Lent lead up to those holy days. Other special days include Ash Wednesday, All Saints Day, Good Friday, Maundy Thursday, and Pentecost.

We also mark special days in our members’ lives. We celebrate weddings of all kinds of couples, straight and LGBT. We hold memorial services and funerals for those who have died. We rejoice on the days that infants are born or baptized.

Making worship into a welcome, joyful, and powerful place for you!

We pray God is in all our worship. We plan worship the best we can – and still listen and watch for God’s amazing and spontaneous presence. We want to be surprised in worship by God’s Spirit in community. We hope you find a spiritual home among us – a place of acceptance, challenge, and strengthening. Just give it a try. As we say, almost every Sunday, “may God’s peace be yours.”