Lutheran Church of the Covenant
JULY 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to the July monthly news highlighting what God is up to at LCOC! You are invited to share this news with new neighbors and others who may be interested in hearing what God is doing through the people and ministry of LCOC. Also invite others to come and be a part of these various ministry opportunities!

GATHER          GROW         GIVE         GO
Pastor Darcy 

 "No one can believe how powerful prayer is and what it can effect, except those who have learned it by experience. Whenever I have prayed earnestly, I have been heard and have obtained more than I prayed for. God sometimes delays, but He always comes."
                                                                                               Martin Luther
Prayer does make a difference!  About a year ago, I learned about an app called "Ceaseless Prayer".  Each day, this app randomly picks three people from my address book for whom to pray.  For me this is the start of my prayer time in the morning and this practice is a gift to my journey of faith.  Prayer shifts and opens my heart to God's leading.  I am always amazed at God's timing, as many days when I send a message to someone that I prayed for them, their response is "Thank you, I was really in need of prayer today."  God is good!
Sometimes, we struggle with the gift of prayer.  We are busy.  We may feel uncomfortable with praying or feel we do not know how to pray.  Prayer is an open conversation with God.  To support and encourage us in prayer, our special study this summer will be on the Lord's Prayer.  All are invited to be a part of this study that begins on July 23rd (see the education article in this newsletter). 
From July 23rd - September 3 (Labor Day), I invite the entire congregation to an intentional time of prayer as we rest and renew this summer and as we prepare for how God is leading us in the coming you.  First, pray the Lord's Prayer daily.  Pray the words out loud!  Pray them slowly or perhaps focus on a specific petition on different days.  Pray as you write out the prayer.  Or even color as you pray.  (see link)  What new insights do you gain?  Then I invite you to pray individually or as a family the following morning and evening prayers that are based on the Small Catechism.

Morning Blessing                           Evening Blessing

Praying for and with you,
Pastor Darcy

Permission is granted for congregations to reproduce these materials provided copies are for local use only and the following copyright notice appears: From Reformation 500 Sourcebook, copyright © 2016 Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

2017 Synod Assembly update

On June 16 and 17, Phil Overholt, Stacey Rosenquist and Pastor Darcy
attended the Metro DC Synod. The Holy Spirit is a-movin' in our synod and
throughout the whole church. See below for a summary of the assembly and
also links for the videos that were shared. 

We encourage you to especially 
watch the New Connections and the Called Forward Together in Christ videos.

All Videos shown at the assembly

Council President
Sharing in God's Mission 
at Lutheran Church of the Covenant

Dear brothers and sisters-in-Christ,
                 What a wonderful summer we are having at LCOC!  How exciting to have Vacation Bible School and to be able to welcome children from our Dale City Community and beyond.  Great fun and food at our Annual Church Picnic was experienced by all who attended and the weather was such a blessing.  I hope that some of you will help out at our LCOC Table at the 4th of July Parade, as well as, attend the fellowship event at Potomac Point Winery on July 9th.  The council is teaming up to put on a Community Food and Fun Day on July 22nd and we hope to have lots of support from our church family.  Please remember to bring in lots of food for the ACTS pantry as we have a challenge of 5000 pounds of food by August 15th.  I pray that you will attend and/or support all of these great opportunities, as well as, Sunday school and, of course, Worship.  We have so much to be grateful for here at LCOC.  Please join me in thanking and praising God for all of our blessings which all come from Him.  
Please know that I will continue to pray for all of you, and I ask that you pray daily for all your brothers and sisters here at LCOC and that we are carrying out God's will for us in this place, in the community, and in the world.  I ask that if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, comments, etc. that you feel free to talk to me (in person, by phone (703-670-8365), or through email  But more than anything, I ask that we all remember never to limit what God can do through us in carrying out our mutual missions!  
May God bless you all as you are a blessing to me and many others.

Jo Ann Rudy

to worship God and fellowship with the community


We had a wonderful day for our annual church picnic this year. The weather couldn't have been nicer. Thank you to the Zamora's for bringing and grilling the hamburgers, hot dogs and bratwurst. Thank you to everyone for bringing all the rest! A lot of relaxing and a little competition made for a great time.
                                 Picnic Pictures

Coming this month, Fellowship is hosting a relaxing afternoon tasting wines at the Potomac Point Winery on Sunday, July 9th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. A sign up sheet is posted on the bulletin board.

Prayer Breakfast
Men's Prayer Breakfast   

Our next meeting is July 8th 
at 7:30 am  in the DFH. 

LCOC Prayer Garden
Community Prayer Group
The LCOC community prayer group meets the second Saturday of each month from 7:30 am to 9 am in the Work Room. We share prayers of concern and numerous praises along with a strong cup of coffee. We offer this time to the community and congregation to join us for prayer, openly or privately. We will meet again on July 8 at 7:30 am.

Matt. 21:13 - my house will be called a house of prayer,.....

in our relationship with God through prayer, Bible Study, and service

Adult Education


July 9 and 16th
:  You are invited to a study of the Book of Philippians which provides us a wealth of wisdom for living:
  • how to find joy and peace in the midst of all circumstances
  • how to persevere in living for Christ
  • how to be like Christ
           Starting on July 23rd:  Special Summer Study:
Pray Like Jesus: Rediscovering the Lord's Prayer 
July 23
The Lord's Prayer:  On Our Knees
July 30
The Lord's Prayer:  What would Jesus Do?
Aug 6
The Lord's Prayer:  Daily Food
Aug 13
The Lord's Prayer:  How Can God forgive us?
Aug 20
The Lord's Prayer:  The Unforgiven
Aug 27
The Lord's Prayer: Tempted by What
Books are $10.  Please email  the office if you would like a book.  

Join us, the coffee is ready!

Story Time VBS 2017
Vacation Bible School
"Do Good; Seek Peace And Go After It."  Psalm 34:14b
                What a blessed week we had at VBS!  Starting Monday, June 19th through Friday, June 23rd from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., our church was filled with young children, parents, and volunteers.  Dinner was served each evening and we are grateful to all who helped shop for, prepare and serve the delicious meals each day.  We are also grateful to Papa John's for providing 10 large cheese pizzas for our dinner on Thursday night.  Our own Captain Shield and her sidekick, Flame lead the assembly, along with Pastor Darcy who lead the music.  The videos were great and started each night off with excitement. The children then went to the Bible Storytelling area where we traveled back to Bethlehem where Samuel Anoints David (God's Heroes have Heart), Maon where Abigail Saves the Day (God's Heroes have Courage), Jerusalem where we find the Boy Jesus in the Temple (God's Heroes have Wisdom), The Mountain where Jesus gave his sermon on what we call the Beatitudes (God's Heroes have Hope), and we experienced Pentecost in Jerusalem as the disciples did so many years ago (God's Heroes have Power).  Then the young folks went to the Crafts and Science areas where they had great fun and did many projects that went along with the storytelling and which they could take home and continue to experience God's love.  The evening ended back at Heroes Central as it began with Captain Shield, Flame, Pastor Darcy and with videos, dialogue, song, and prayer.  We thank all those who provided for our staging of the different biblical areas, for the money donated for food, for the cookies provided, and for your prayers.  All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to provide many children with physical nourishment, spiritual nourishment, and lots of love.    

Sarah, Sarah & Seth
Confirmation Corner
First of all I would like to thank the congregation for the Martin Luther book I received along with the many thoughtful comments and signatures that you wrote inside the cover.  On June 4th I was proud to help in the confirmation of three great kids - two of those being my own.  Sarah Gimmi and Sarah & Seth Sutton were confirmed on a beautiful Sunday morning.  A great benefit in teaching kids more than one year is seeing them grow not only in their faith but in maturity as well.  I was so proud to see Seth overcome his fear of public speaking and stand at the pew and lead us in the responsive reading of the Psalms.  I believe Cindi and I were more nervous than he was.   We all have watched Sarah Sutton provide the readings routinely during church and saying, "She reads better than I could do."  Finally watching the quiet Sarah Gimmi step up and join our choir; what a great addition!  These three are truely a blessing.
As I wrap up my last year as your confirmation teacher, I wanted to provide you pictures of the classes I have taught.  I am praying that someone will step up and lead the next group of kids. You have the opportunity to impact our youth and help them grow spiritually.
Thank you all for your prayers and kind words I've received throughout my time as your confirmation teacher.
Ray Sutton

Prayer Opportunities

              Prayer List Ministry                 

Prayer Chain Ministry: 
Please send an email to 
or call the Prayer Chain Lead at 571-210-1979      
Free Ceaseless Prayer App:   

 Youth Group

of our resources, time, and talents in response to God's extravagant generosity towards us

Stop Hunger Now 2017
As of this writing, the final touches are being put on Vacation Bible School and when you read this article we should be celebrating that event which hopefully will offer fond memories to children from our area for many years to come. Thanks to everyone who has stepped up from all areas of the congregation to work on the many aspects of VBS!
Keep other ministries in mind as well and think about using your gifts to serve and help with the Backpack Drive, Fall Festival (aka Trunk or Treat), Operation Turkey, Breakfast with Santa and Christmas Gifts for those in need later in the year.  Please contact me at 703-200-3077 or via email at for more details on any or all of these exciting efforts.
I am working with some community partners again to increase the impact of our Backpack Drive. Our contact at Neabsco Elementary has provided the approved list of school supplies and I have started distributing those as handouts available by grade level. I know that LCOC will give generously as always so that many children can start the next school year with supplies they need and be filled with anticipation and eagerness to learn. Please help as God leads.
We had a very informative sharing time from two members of the ACTS organization recently and LCOC is preparing to challenge ourselves to build a larger I Walk for ACTS team with an increased sponsorship donation to that event on October 10th and as a more ongoing initiative to collect an even larger amount of non-perishables than last year  that ACTS will need for the summer, particularly food items that children need and like since those who depend on breakfasts and lunches through the school system will not have that resource over summer break.
Our application for LCOC to host a Rise Against Hunger event on March 10, 2018 has been submitted. Woodbridge Rotary and some other groups will probably be pitching in so that we can strive for 30,000 meals. To accomplish this, we will likely run two shifts on the day of the event. We will be taking up offerings at various functions and during the adult education hour as we did last year to fund the meal materials. Please mark your calendars for March 10, 2018 and encourage friends and neighbors to join in.
Thank you also for your generosity in your financial commitment and consider using the Vanco option which can be accessed online at: if you haven't already done so. Please consider becoming a Thrivent member as well and if you already are a member and use Thrivent products, make use of the Action Team funds that are available to help fund LCOC's ministry projects. This seed money really makes a difference and helps us increase the scope of our service projects.
Finally, please enjoy and take a moment to think about this scripture verse and story that I found online:
"A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other" 1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT)
When I cleaned out my messy closet recently, I found a beautiful gift a friend had given me many months ago. I remember when she gave me the gift - I was thrilled! It made me feel so special and loved that she purchased it with me in mind. Yet somehow in the busyness of life, the gift became buried underneath "stuff," hidden and unused. I can't imagine how disappointed my friend would be if she knew I hadn't continued to treasure it.
It made me pause and think about the gifts that the Ultimate Gift Giver has given each of us ... and whether or not we're using them. (Story from Michele Dudley)
In love and peace,
Patti Beattie

Amazon Smile:
Amazon members can help support LCOC while you shop! Click on the link below and pick Lutheran Church of the Covenant as your favorite organization and start shopping! We will receive a percentage of the sale.

Good shop:
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forth to serve others and share the story of God's love for all
CPR Training Class
5,000 Pounds of Food for
ACTS Challenge
Please join us in providing 5,000 pounds of food for ACTS by August 15th.  The Challenge just started and we have already delivered 405.2 lbs.!  Needless to say, the folks at the ACTS Food Pantry were thrilled to see us and welcomed us and the food with open arms.  There is always less food in the summer, but the need is greater because the children (from Neabsco School and other areas) who were getting a free breakfast and lunch at school will be coming to ACTS for their food since they are on break.  Please pick up a shopping list in the entryway and continue the LCOC extravagant generosity. 
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers (and sisters) of mine, you did for me."  Jesus
Thank you all so very much, Roger Rudy

Hilda Barg Homeless Shelter
Dear Church Family,
Thank you for your continued support to our outreach program at the Hilda Barg Homeless Shelter. LCOC will be serving meals on August 20, 21, and 22.
A menu will be posted at the end of July. Please consider giving a monetary donation so we can purchase and prepare the meals.
Blessings in Christ
Sandy Strychowski.

Treasurers Report
This month at a glance
Happy Birthday to you!
               1   Jerry H.
               1   Mary K.
                1   Betsy L.
                2   Steve W.
                3   Jani L-B.
                3   Susie R.
                6   Katie B.
                  Tricia S.
              14  Georgiann T.
              14   Sonya W.
               15   Harriet R.
              16    Linda S.
              16   Fay Y.
              17   Doug S.
              17   Sandy S.
              17   Brielle W.
              24   Dave W.
              27   Natalea C.
              29   Mark G.
              29   Gene W.
              31   Eliana M.
Happy Anniversary
Katie & Jason P.
July 26, 2003

Roger & JoAnn R.
July 1, 1967

Brian & Marlies S.
July 23, 1972
Baptism Anniversaries
Sarah G.
Lauren L.
Jackson M
Shannon R.
Winston W.
Monica W.
Homebound Members
Ruth J.
Jean J.
Mary S.
Virginia S.
Members in the Military
Tyler R.
Tom M.
Ryan L.
Samuel B.

Please remember to keep our service members and their families in your prayers as they serve our country. If you have someone to add to this list, please contact the office.

Flower Calendar
The altar flowers for this month are given to the glory of God and contributed by:

July 2
Mark & Kathy L. in celebration 
of Susie R. birthday

Mark & Katy l. in celebration 
of Eli's 7th birthday

July 9
Jon S. and family in celebration 
of Tricia's birthday

July 16
Lilo S. in celebration of 
Doug's birthday

July 23
Cindi S. in memory of her Dad

Kids Page
We are fortunate to be able to use our gifts that God has provided us through a variety of ways.  Ongoing ways to use your gifts are to sign up to be a part of supporting Neabsco Elementary in many ways and in being a part of the gardening team at LCOC to help keep our landscape beautiful.  Future experiences involve Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, (If you have questions, please see Jo Ann Rudy), and helping with Vacation Bible School  - (all at LCOC). 
When we choose to give our time, energy and talents to serve others, we are taking part in God's work to share the love of Christ and give God glory.  With God working in us and through us, we can make a difference!

OTLWB Book Club

The Book Club Summer Selection
(see you in September!)
The Rosie Effect 
by Graeme Simsion

Other recommendations Summer 2017 :

The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
The Town that Died: A Chronicle of the Halifax Explosion by Michael J. Bird 

If you would like more information, 
please see Sandy S. or Diane D.
Project Mend-A-House  

Would you like to participate in the next project? 
contact Ralph Morse  

NEWS & Notes
Photos from VBS

In Nature at LCOC

Dear LCOC Family Member ~
            If you've never spent time in any of the outside sanctuaries surrounding our church, you are missing an opportunity to feel God's awesome peace and His presence.  Allow me to take you on a walk through some of the gardens as we explore what is happening as summer makes her debut:
  • As we begin our walk, we notice the vibrant Portulaca flanking either side of the doors to the inner sanctuary. 
  • The lilies surrounding much of the parking area are in full bloom and as their name implies, they produce a new flower each day (hence the name daylily). 
  • We pass by roses and more daylilies as we near the Children's Garden which is now filled with coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, miniature gladiolus, and daylilies.  The little angel still stands guard and seems to smile as we stop to take in all the beauty.
  • As we continue our walk, we are amazed as we happen upon the HT Memorial Garden.  The liliums have faded, but the pink and white coneflowers stand tall and regal as they seem to say "Look at us!"  The dwarf Crepe Myrtle is starting its profusion of blooms which should last all summer long.  This is a great spot in which to enjoy the menagerie of birds fliting to and from the feeder, some stopping by to take a drink or a dip in the nearby birdbath.
  • We round the corner and see and hear those two eager beavers that you can find in this outer sanctuary about every week taking care of the grounds.  We also see a bevy of catbirds hanging around the patio.  They have continued to spend the spring and now the summer in this area where their favorite food exists (Mahonia - Oregon grape).  Although they have eaten all the fruit, they find this a pleasant and safe place to spend the summer. 
  • The butterfly bush is starting its show, hoping to attract some glorious "Wings of Fancy".  The garden behind this shrub is filled with lilies, coneflowers, balloon flowers, hostas, ferns, etc. 
  • As were near the end of our early summer stroll, we notice the other Crepe Myrtles on the property as they begin their three-months of amazing blooms.
You are encouraged to take a self-guided tour through our wonderful landscape here at LCOC.  But be ready - you are going to experience God's peace and presence - so enjoy this special time with our Creator!  Next month, we'll see what's happening as summer is most assuredly, hot and sassy. 
"Always remember the beauty of the garden,
 for there is peace."  ~ Author Unknown

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9:00 am - 1:30 pm
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