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    Invitation to an International Easter Banquet in Leesburg
    easter danceWorship dance team from Ekklesia-USA in Reston bless the assembly with their rendition of “Jesus Is Risen." Photo is courtesy of Andy Cho.
    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

    Invitation to an International Easter Banquet in Leesburg:
    Sunday March 29th
    4:00 to 8:00 PM
    Leesburg Community Church
    835 Lee Avenue SW, Leesburg, Virginia 20175

    Come, taste and experience what Easter is all about! And come find out what it means that God gave up His Son for the world. All are invited!

    International Learning Center - NoVA (ILC-NoVA*) and the churches of the Leesburg area are together hosting a banquet celebrating a very important holiday in America and all over the world. Come with your family and befriend our ESL/international families, and please invite your friends from other nations. We will have testimonies and singing in many different languages – Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu & of course, English. Childcare is also provided.

    *NOTE: ILC-NoVA offers ESL classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at The Worship Center, located at 19227 Gleedsville Road, Leesburg, VA 20175. US Citizenship Test classes will start in April. Contact Faith Cha for details – .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 703.801.5880.

    Please let the organizers know if you plan to attend. For more information, please contact Pastor James Cha at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call Faith Cha at 703.801.5880.

    Last year the Lord gave ILC-NoVA an excellent opportunity to celebrate the Easter Resurrection Day (“Jesus Is Risen”) Banquet with their international friends from all over the world. About 120 people (guests and volunteers) attended the afternoon gathering. Many of the guests were students of ESL classes.

    Pastor Alan Stanford, Pastor Jason Baird, and other staff members graciously opened up Leesburg Community Church for ILC-NoVA to celebrate this highest point of the Christian Church year in America. The Season of Easter is a time of praise, as Christians glorify the risen Christ. The scripture readings proclaim the power of the resurrection that gives strength in suffering, unity in diversity, consolation in sorrow, perseverance in adversity and faith in times of doubt.

    Through His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for sin, thus gifting for all who believe in Him eternal life in Christ Jesus. "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17).

    The families who attended represented 27 countries: Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Mexico, North Korea, South Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Singapore, Spain, USA, and Venezuela.

    Volunteers from Korean Central Presbyterian Church, led by David Shin, provided delicious Korean food for all the guests. Pastor Carlos Penaloza from Ekklesia-USA in Reston shared a powerful message, and the worship dance team blessed us with their program. Volunteers from other churches included Open Door Presbyterian Church, Hagerstown Korean Church, Cherrydale Baptist Church, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Cedar Run Community Church, The Community Church, and Crossroads Baptist Church to assist with setup, cleanup, and donations for food, drinks and gift Bibles.

    Please lift this event in prayer and also come and assist.

    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers.

    ><((((º> .• `•.. ><((((º> .• `•.. ><((((º> .• `•.. ><((((º>.•
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    JWCL Prom Wishes Event in Leesburg
    jwclThis year’s event will be held March 14, 2015 in the Teen Center at Rust Library in Leesburg and all teen girls are welcome. Regardless of the economic situation, JWCL has always opened the doors of this event to the public and served over 100 girls each year. Photo is courtesy/ JWCL.
    By Lori Rocker
    JWCL Prom Wishes Chairman
    Special to Community of Faith

    Junior Woman’s Club of Loudoun Signature Event – Prom Wishes

    The Junior Woman’s Club of Loudoun (JWCL) is preparing to host its annual Prom Wishes event, held 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, March 14, 2015, at Rust Library's Teen Center.


    The Junior Woman’s Club of Loudoun (JWCL) is hosting its 13th annual Prom Wishes event on Saturday, March 14. JWCL collects prom dresses and accessories and then makes them available to high school girls in the community at a one-day boutique where they can select prom attire free of charge. To make the event successful, JWCL needs new or gently worn formal dresses, shoes, purses, jewelry, accessories, and unopened cosmetics. JWCL accepts all styles and sizes of dresses. Tax deductible donations may be left at the following locations throughout Loudoun County until March 9th.

    • Ashburn: Ashburn Sports Pavilion, Studio PinkFIT
    • Leesburg: A.V. Symington Teen Center at Rust Library, Maggie’s Closet, Claude Moore Community Center & Salon Ten
    • Purcellville: Loudoun Valley Community Center
    • South Riding: Dulles South Community Center & Town Hall
    • Sterling: Sterling Community Center

    This year’s event will be held March 14 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Teen Center at Rust Library in Leesburg, Virginia and all teen girls are welcome. New for this year, extended hours and JWCL is providing options for pre-registration for a shopping time. Follow this link to register: This will allow teens that have work or sports commitments on Saturday the ability to sign up for a time that best works with her schedule. Pre-registration is not required, walk-ins are always welcomed!

    Over the last 12 years, we have helped over a thousand young ladies find dresses for their proms. Last year JWCL assisted 129 girls from 25 schools, including 15 Loudoun County Public Schools. All the dresses that are not selected are distributed to other organizations that hold similar events in Northern Virginia and West Virginia. Every dress finds a home. We received this message from a mom after our 2014 event, "Today my daughter found THE prom dress which she promptly fell in love with! I want to thank you for making this available to us, and to all the young ladies who benefited from your kindness and generosity today. My family and I are truly grateful to you!"

    In order to reduce wait times and hope to reach additional girls, we have added an hour to the event (runs until 3:00 PM) and the option of pre-registration this year. This will allow teens that have work or sports commitments on Saturday the ability to sign up for a time that best works with her schedule.

    For additional information, please visit the JWCL web site at or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). JWCL is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization. Contributions to the organization are tax deductible.

    About Junior Woman’s Club of Loudoun

    JWCL has been serving Loudoun County since 1951. JWCL welcomes all women who live or work in Loudoun County to join in their mission to make a difference in the community. This year the theme is Keep Calm and Serve Others. JWCL is a broad-based interest organization and support the needs of the community and ideas that our members care about and bring to the attention of the membership.

    JWCL also supports March of Dimes 'March for Babies', Mobile Hope, High School Project Graduation events and the Loudoun Free Clinic. JWCL welcomes all women from Loudoun County to join in their mission to make a difference in the community. This year the theme is Volunteers Make Life Sweet for Others. Please consider attending a club meeting to experience JWCL and learn more about this organization. Meetings take place on the third Tuesday of every month (August - June) at 7:00 p.m. The meeting location is at the ALLY Advocacy Center, Paxton Campus, 601 Catoctin Circle, NE Leesburg.
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    The Lenten Experience
    lent_2015“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry” – Luke 4:1-2.
    "We are indeed mortal – we are dust, and to dust we shall return" - Genesis 3:19. The Church now calls us back once again to the graces of our baptism, to do penance, and amend our lives.

    Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable Fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter. It can occur as early as February 4 or as late as March 10. The word “Lent” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, or spring, the time of year when the days begin to lengthen.

    This year Lent begins on Ash Wednesday with services, February 18 and ends on Holy Saturday, April 4, the day before Easter Sunday. The day before Lent begins, some churches will hold Shrove Tuesday pancake dinners, following the Lenten tradition of using up all the butter, eggs and yeast in the kitchen before Lent actually begins.

    Lent is a season of repentance, self-examination and quiet contemplation of the mysteries of God. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days.

    Most people are quite familiar with the practice of giving up something desirable for Lent. This discipline is meant to foster a stronger will, one that intentionally chooses to make room for God amidst all the competing distractions. Say no to these desires so that we can say yes to God. The journey through Lent follows Christ to the cross, the tomb, and resurrection. Believers gain a better understanding of their own frailties and the Lenten season nurtures an enhanced knowledge and love of Christ.

    Some denominations practice the wearing of ashes on the forehead in the sign of a cross on Ash Wednesday. Ashes symbolize true heartfelt repentance. More important than the outward symbol of ashes is the inner reality of a contrite heart. God promises: “I will give you beauty for ashes” - Isaiah 61:3.

    The Bible does not mention the custom of Lent, however, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21. To learn more about Wednesday Lenten services, contact your local church. Lent is generally celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Greek Orthodox, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and some Baptist and Mennonite congregations.

    For a great Lenten read, see Leesburg Patch article, “Invitation to a Holy Lent”, by Rector Clancy Nixon, Church of the Holy Spirit – Leesburg.

    Calendar of Dates for Lent and Easter 2015 (United Methodist Church)

    Ash Wednesday - February 18, 2015

    First Sunday in Lent - February 22, 2015

    Second Sunday in Lent - March 1, 2015

    Third Sunday in Lent - March 8, 2015

    Fourth Sunday in Lent - March 15, 2015

    Fifth Sunday in Lent- March 22, 2015

    Liturgy of the Palms - March 29, 2015
    Sixth Sunday in Lent

    Liturgy of the Passion - March 29, 2015
    Sixth Sunday in Lent

    Easter Sunday - April 5, 2015

    Mark Gunderman
    Sterling Park, Va.
    ><((((º> .• `•.. ><((((º> .• `•.. ><((((º> .• `•.. ><((((º>.•
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    Big Bad Drama presents The Little Town of Christmas
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    2014 Bible Reading Marathon and National Day of Prayer Seek Volunteers
    12th Annual Prom Wishes Event in Leesburg
    Photographer(s) needed to capture Bible Reading Marathon events in Leesburg
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    There can be no Christianity without community
    Jesus at the Beach Festival brings the Holy Spirit to Ocean City, Maryland
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    About the Blogger
    Mark Gunderman writes and solicits articles that reflect the Church ministries and faith-based organizations' spiritual rhythm and follows the seasons of the Church. The Church and its ministries are relevant for news articles all year round, not just during Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Church and the media have many philosophical differences, yet common denominators link them together. Both have a message they want to articulate. An inherent responsibility for both is to communicate successfully.

    "If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all and servant to all" (Mark 9:35).


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