Advent Events

P1090285_edited_editedP1090280_edited
Vacation Bible School was wonderful! We had about 30 kids and adults altogether – the pictures are of some of the kids singing and dancing to the theme songs! The kids learned about Jesus’ saving GRACE (God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense)! They learned that Jesus Calls Us, Teaches Us, Keeps Us Safe, Saves Us and Provides All that We Need! GREAT lesson for all of us! Thank you for your prayers and support.

Amanda Pic
Advent Lutheran extends our highest congratulations to Amanda Gessler, chosen out of more than 300 international entrants as winner of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition. Amanda had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall on May 18th. We were blessed to have Amanda as our pianist in 2013, while she was studying piano under Professor John O’Conor at Shenandoah University.
Congratulations Amanda!

Check out this wonderful mini-recital offered by Kevin at our congregational dinner

“A Visitor from Bethlehem – A Shepherd’s Sister” By Dona Hughes with special music by Kevin Kaukl and Katie Difiglio and Scripture readings by congregation members

P1080803_edited P1080806_edited
P1080799_edited P1080794_edited
P1080788_edited

Some exciting events are coming to Advent in December – mark your calendars!

Sunday, December 1st after our worship service, we will be decorating the Christmas tree and sanctuary. If you can stay to help, that would be great! Many hands, make light work!

Friday, December 13th 7:00 pm, we will host an Advent Program with special music and Donna Hughes, a local storyteller, doing a dramatization. Please invite your family, friends and neighbors! We will be serving cookies and drinks at a reception after the program. If you would like to bring 2-3 dozen cookies for the event, please let Jan and/or Audrey know.

Sunday, December 15th after the worship service, we will have a potluck luncheon for our church family. Please bring a dish to share and come to enjoy the fellowship!

Tuesday, December 24th at 7:00 pm, we will have a moving, candlelight Christmas Eve Service with music and a special message. Please bring your family and friends to worship our Lord.

ChristtheKingSunday4Christ the King Sunday, November 24th
Christ the King is the last Sunday of the season of Pentecost and of the church year. This day completes the Christian journey through the life of Jesus Christ on earth and in heaven which began with the preparation for the birth of Jesus in Advent. Kings are absolute rulers: they attain power by raising and leading armies into war against other countries. Jesus’ war was not against people or against a country, but against sin, death, and the power of the Devil. By his death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus won the war against evil. Christians accept that Jesus fought and won the war for their sakes and to recognize him as King of Kings. On Christ the King Sunday, Christians recognize and worship Christ as king of heaven and earth for all time without challenge and without end.

The season of Advent is beginning and the NALC is making available a devotional booklet ‘Amen, Come, Lord Jesus!’ written by Pastor David Wendel, NALC Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism. The devotional booklet will be available free online at http://www.thenalc.org starting on Christ the King Sunday. Use it as a personal, family or small-group Advent devotional!

P1080681C-CAP Food Drive
THANKS TO EVERYONE for your contributions to Advent’s C-CAP Harvest Food Drive for Thanksgiving! We gave C-CAP 204 food items and $84 to purchase turkeys. We will be receiving matching funds from Thrivent Lutheran for this project which will help more families. The picture shows the second batch of food taken to C-CAP – I took the first load last Monday! Thanks Advent Lutheran family!

Reformation Sunday
Thanks to ALL who made Reformation Sunday special!!!!
Thank you, Tom Willis, for the wonderful children’s and adult messages. Thank you, Kevin and Katie, who lifted our hearts in worship through the special music. Thank you to the ladies who brought flowers and the scrumptious goodies (we need those recipes!!!). Thanks to ALL who participated in the service and did the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff but most importantly —-
Thanks be to God that we may freely come to the altar and receive His grace and mercy through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord!

P1080669_edited P1080666_edited
P1080664_edited P1080661_edited
P1080656_edited

SPCA Project
Evangelism is targeting 3 groups of folks in the next few months to get Advent’s business before our community. We are doing service projects for: college students at Shenandoah University in August or September; families with kids in October; and, folks who love animals in July. Today we packed 36 ‘Doggie and Kitty’ Bags with treats, toys, helpful hints about care of the new adopted ‘family member’ along with the Advent business card, a letter of congratulations and a prayer that says the following: Advent Lutheran of Winchester would like to congratulate you on the adoption of your new family member! We pray you will enjoy many years of blessings with each other!

The folks at the SPCA were grateful for the gifts from Advent – I think the new owners, doggies and kitties will ALL be grateful too! It is a JOY to spread the love of the Lord!!!!!

P1080326 P1080325
P1080323 P1080317

Advent’s Third Anniversary
Advent celebrated its Third Anniversary June 2nd. Thank you Lord God for your loving care of our congregation. We ask for you continued blessings. We loved hearing the special music by Amanda and Morgan. Thanks Tom Willis for the wonderful sermon. Thanks to all of the members and friends of Advent for your support.

P1080259 P1080258
P1080251 P1080248

Easter 2013

P1070995 P1070991
P1070986 P1070980

What a great morning at Advent! Beautiful music, inspiring sermon, wonderful friends and family! The kids had a great time with the Easter Egg hunt – lots of smiles on their faces trying to decide with whom to share all of that candy !!! Here are some of the pictures – these were the best – the kids were moving too fast to get many

408767_4610699460144_1358048162_n
‘Lost Boy’ to Build Theological College in South Sudan

Recently, members of Advent Lutheran, Winchester, Lebanon Lutheran, Lebanon Church, VA, and Reformation Lutheran, Culpepper, VA had the privilege of hearing Pastor Matthew Riak speak about his journey of being one of the ‘Lost Boys of Sudan’ to becoming a Lutheran Pastor. He also spoke of his dream of establishing St. Luke’s Theological College in his home country and fairly new nation of South Sudan which gained its independence July, 2011.

In 1983 Pastor Riak and 20,000 young boys trying to escape the atrocities of a civil war in southern Sudan set out for refugee camps in Ethiopia. The trek lasted ten weeks as they traveled over a thousand miles. Continually under threat from starvation, dehydration, disease, soldiers, wild animals and thieves, the journey was harrowing and many died. Following the change of government in Ethiopia in May 1991, the survivors who reached the camps in Ethiopia, had to flee back to camps in the Sudan. The boys who made it through this second trek received help from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Fighting erupted around them again late in 1991 and they were on the move once more, this time heading to Kenya. In 2001, as part of a program established by the United States and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), approximately 3800 ‘Lost Boys’ were permitted to settle in the United States. Pastor Riak was one of those young men.

Pastor Riak came to the US in 2001 after living in a Kenyan refugee camp for nine years where he taught Christian Education to adults. In 2005, he started the Sudanese Christ Lutheran Church in Wyoming, MI, a suburb of Grand Rapids. Pastor Riak is an ordained pastor of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) and Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ assigned with his family to missionary service with the World Mission Prayer League.

Since gaining its independence, South Sudan is a country with many needs and one of those needs is education, particularly in Christian leadership. In partnership with the NALC, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, World Mission Prayer League, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and Leadstar University College in Ethiopia, the Board of Governors in Sudan established St. Luke’s Theological College in South Sudan. Pastor Riak will be the college’s principal whose job is to raise awareness of the college, oversee the college’s work and arrange for guest professors to teach. St. Luke’s will train and equip men and women in theology, leadership and management so that they might serve as core leaders within their local churches and communities. Returning to their communities, trainees will be agents of change as they help to develop and lead healthy, strong and growing congregations and communities in South Sudan. St. Luke’s will begin its mission in a rented facility while funds are being raised to build the college’s chapel, central hall and guest compound. Pastor Riak is very excited about his calling by God to build and grow this college to help the people of his newly independent nation.

Advent Pancake Dinner
The Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner was wonderful! The food was delicious and the fellowship great! Thank you to all who made the evening special!

Shrove Tuesday 3 Shrove Tuesday 2 Shrove Tuesday 1

Jim Swartz Receives Lamb Award for Service to Church and Scouting
Advent’s own James Swartz received recognition today for almost 57 years of service to his church and to Boy Scouting. There was an award ceremony during this morning’s service and a reception afterwards.

P1070900 P1070925 P1070930
P1070937 P1070946 P1070957

Souper Bowl
The NFL Playoffs are here and the Super Bowl is right around the corner! Advent will be collecting cans of soup for its own ‘SOUPER BOWL’ as we did last year! We are having another player come on board our team – Seventh Day Adventist Church will also be collecting soup!!! We are so excited about the joint venture! For the next three Sundays, January 20th, 27th and February 3rd – please bring in soup for the team you think will win the Super Bowl -
we will collect TOMATO for the AFC team (we don’t know who that is yet) and CHICKEN NOODLE for the NFC (also to be announced as the playoffs progress). If you are like me and your team did NOT make it to the playoffs, you can bring ANY kind of soup you want!!!!! Let’s see how many cans we can collect!
The winners of our ‘Souper Bowl’ are those who get fed by our endeavor!!!
THANKS so much!!!

Sunday 1/13/2013
What a WONDERFUL morning we had at Advent! Pastor Vold presented a powerful message focusing on the words of Isaiah 64:1 Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down… The music was inspiring and the fellowship was heart-warming! Our special guests, Pastor Wayne Spangenberg and his wife, came to worship and fellowship with us then Pastor Wayne taught us a little history of Seventh Day Adventist’s and their beliefs! It was very interesting and informative to know how the body of Christ works together to spread the Good News to a hurting world! Thank you, Pastor Wayne! God was present and we were blessed!

WP_000087 WP_000083
WP_000078 WP_000074

A Visitor from Bethlehem

What a WONDERFUL night we had at Advent last night! God was VERY present and the evening was blessed beyond measure! We had 88 folks present and 2 that came after the performance to enjoy the fellowship! THANK YOU to ALL who made it such a special event!!! Thank you to the multitude of the behind the scenes folks who planned and prepared – from ushering, lighting candles, preparing bulletins, arranging performers, organizing, advertising, decorating, setting up, cleaning up, greeting, recording, doing sound and lighting (you know who you are – and God does too – thank you)!!! Thank you, Tom, for being our leader and MC for the evening and praying special prayers for us and God’s people. Thank you to our readers – Wayne, Roy, Beverley and Sally who spoke the word of the Gospel so well. Thank you to our special music performers – Carol and John, Sharon, Julie, John, Alex, Christian and Heidi! We were blessed by your talents!

Thank you to ALL who made the reception so special! The fellowship hall was beautiful and the MOUNDS of cookies were scrumptious!

Thank you to Donna Hughes for her performance – it was very special. Pastor, we missed you immensely and hope and pray you feel better soon!
So many reasons to be thankful BUT we are most especially thankful to the one who gives us eternity – Jesus Christ, our Lord!


Innkeeper's Wife
P1070741 P1070742
P1070746 P1070748 P1070747
P1070737
Advent Lutheran Christmas Program

Getting Ready for Christmas

DSC04606 DSC04611 DSC04604
DSC04603 DSC04621 DSC04605
DSC04616 DSC04619 DSC04624

Trick-or-Treat
Several Advent kids and adults passed out candy and invitations to visit us to some 560 children at the Old Town ‘Trick or Treat’ event Saturday, Oct. 27th on the Pedestrian Mall. The message ‘Let the Light of Jesus Shine’ symbolized in three carved pumpkins – one with the image of Jesus, one with the cross and symbol of a fish and one with a heart and the name of Jesus was on display at our table along with another invitation for folks to visit Advent. The kids who received the candy were grateful and we were blessed to have been able to participate in the event.

Gospel Bracelets

Rally Day Picnic

Advent Rally Day!

Advent donations to the C-CAP school supply drive. 

Thanks everyone for the donations!

Advent School Supplies Advent School Supplies

Vacation Bible School

From July 16 – 20 Advent Lutheran and Our Savior Lutheran Churches collaborated to put on a Vacation Bible School for children up to the fifth grade.  The program was conducted at Our Savior.  Older kids from Our Savior helped out as group assistants.  Students learned important life lessons from the Bible and participated in  games and other “energy releasing” fun activities.  Advent volunteers  were in charge of the games activities.  Everyone enjoyed the experience!

The Caravan at the 'Amazing Desert Journey' Riding Alice the Camel at the 'Amazing Desert Journey' Snacks at the Market Place of the 'Amazing Desert Journey'