News & Publications

Thanks + Giving Sunday — A Future with Hope

November 8, 2021

Dear Members and Friends,

Over the past few weeks we have been talking about “A Future with Hope.”  We have noted how rhythms of exile and return have always been a part of Christian life. And that’s true. It’s also true, though, that the Covid-19 pandemic has been a season of separation like no other we’ve ever known. As we look ahead to Rock Spring’s next chapter, we may never appreciate the power of gathering together in person more than we do today.

The beauty of worship — gathering together in the midst of a world full of distance. The wonder of music — singing together in the midst of a world full of silence and loneliness. The sweetness of sacraments — celebrating together the waters of baptism and the nourishment of Communion in the midst of a world full of dust and hunger. And the joy of service — working together in the midst of a world full of broken systems and broken hearts.

In short, if the world is full of exile, Rock Spring is a community of return. A place to come home to, again and again. A congregation in which we can tangibly experience God’s ancient promise to “bring you back to this place,” and “give you a future with hope.”

And here’s one more thing that’s true: even when this pandemic is a distant memory, the world will still be full of need. Still longing for home, for community, for reunion, for return.

Over the past couple of weeks in worship, we have been praying a special prayer written by Vince Meehan, Council Chair and Giving Campaign Chair, which is printed below.  We invite you to pray this prayer daily over the next two weeks as you begin to think about the investment you will make to Rock Spring over the coming year.

Sunday, November 21 is Thanks + Giving Sunday and we encourage you to make a pledge that week, before or on November 21. We will send you a link for pledging next week. If, instead, you would like to have a hard copy of the pledge card sent to you, please email our Office Administrator, Stephen Williams, at admin@rockspringucc.org or call him at 703-538-4886.  You may also wish to read our Narrative Budget for 2022 again as you begin this discernment process.

Please keep praying and giving thanks for all the ways our faith, our prayers, our worship, our music, our sacraments, our building, our service, and our lives help bridge the gaps that divide creation. And we’ll see you for Thanks + Giving Sunday on November 21st, our grand celebration of God’s gift of “a future with hope.”

Faithfully,

2022 Giving Campaign Committee
Vince Meehan, Chair
Nancy Battle
Chris Hood
Frank Hopkins
Will Martyn
Rob Rainhart
Kathy Dwyer

Prayer of Connection:
Holy One: Over and over, we become scattered and separated from all we hold dear.
Over and over, like a good shepherd, you find us in our exile and guide us home.
For the refuge you provide when we find ourselves on a hard path, thank you.
For the gift of faith that carries us through times of separation, thank you.
For all of the love and togetherness we experience at Rock Spring, thank you.
In your generosity and grace, O God, grant us the wisdom to see what we can give
to make our separations easier, and our homecomings even more joyful.
Connected by the Spirit, let all we do be done in love. Amen