Wonderful and Exciting Christian Education Department at CLC

On June 4th, the Christian Education Department compiled photos from their 2016-2017 Sunday School events and showed it during the service. From fun in the classroom to First Communion Class, Service Day and Rwanda Scholarship Drive, to Shema Synod Event and other special events, the kids were busy! Please enjoy a sample of photos below:


Gifts of Hope— Hope for today; Hope for tomorrow

Gifts of Hope has exciting news to share with you. First, thank you for supporting Gifts of Hope during our annual Advent campaign in which we raised $2,050.00 from Community Lutheran (a 42% increase from 2015) and $104,337.00 in our Synod.  Thanks to the volunteers who present this alternative gift-giving option to the congregation.  Second, we are celebrating 25 years in our Synod, having raised more than $3,337,000.00 for our many beneficiaries, supporting their work in our metro DC area and abroad. Look for a special Christmas card in 2017 which celebrates our 25 years. Third, we are adding another organization:  Lutheran Campus Ministries in our Synod area.  A gift supporting LCM will be available during the 2017 Advent campaign.

Our 40 gifts are available year-round via out website:  giftsofhopedc.org.  Please consider purchasing gifts for other events in your life—not just during the Christmas season.  Select a gift from the online catalog and you will receive an all-purpose card to present to your honored loved one.   Your support provides hope for today and hope for tomorrow.

Carolyn Sowinski, Director

CLC Church Picnic


Over 80 people attended the annual Community Lutheran Church picnic on June 4th in the Fellowship Hall.  Hot dogs and hamburgers were served alongside an amazing array of side dishes and desserts provided by our members. The event also celebrated a new member who was welcomed to our congregation during the morning church services.This annual event is held on the last day of Sunday School and  gives our members and guests a time to engage in Fellowship as we all look forward to the summer days to come.


Temple Talk on CLC Endowment Fund

For all the Saints who from their labors rest,

Who Thee by faith before the world confess,

Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed,

Alleluia! ………Alleluia!

Many of you know that hymn by heart.  You’ve grown up singing it for every year on the first Sunday in November.   If you are like me, I’m sure it brings back memories of the saints in your life that brought you to the cross.  They may be family members, pastors, or even someone you did not know, but who taught you Sunday school or served your congregation in another way.

You thank God for those Saints, for where would you be today if not for them.

And where would we be today if not for the Saints who 45 years ago had a vision to start an ALC church in Sterling called Community Lutheran Church or but for the Saints who 25 years ago held their first worship service in this wonderful sanctuary.   It is not an exaggeration to say that they changed the our world for the better and for All Saint’s day this year we will be celebrating their legacy, vision, and contribution to making what we have today possible.

What will be our legacy to Community Lutheran Church?  Will we change the world for the better?  That’s where the Mission Endowment Fund comes in.  Please take a look at our new MEF brochure available today in your bulletin.  The MEF at Community Lutheran has been around for many years, however the Endowment Fund Committee was reestablished this year under the leadership of Betty O’Lear.

The purpose of the fund is to help address opportunities in mission and service that extend beyond the resources of our annual operating budget.  The funds are kept separate from the general operating funds of the church.  The committee manages the funds and reviews & approves the applications for funds from the MEF.  The fund is perpetual, in that, only 5 % of the total is to be spent each year.  Amounts above that require Church Council approval.   Currently we have about $ 33,000 in the MEF.

The ideas for how to change the world with the MEF come from Saints like you, as does the funding.  Outright gifts are welcomed of course, just indicate mission endowment fund on your checks.   Please consider the CLC MEF in your estate planning.  A beneficiary designation on an insurance policy or investment account is one way to do that.  Bequests by will or trust are also encouraged.  Please see Betty, Ed Rogers, or me on how to request that with your attorney and please let us know if the MEF is named in your estate.

Deborah and I have only been members here for 2 years or so, but we are humbled and awed at the gifts that so many of you provide to CLC.  The music, the youth education, the dedication of the Pastors, and the many committees that provide for this wonderful facility and programs.  I mentioned to Pastor Joe last week that during the past 37 years as a Lutheran (nearly half of it while I was in the Navy), I’ve had the opportunity to attend or become members of at least a half dozen Lutheran congregations, but never one as active, giving, and faith filled as this one.  It really feels like family.

We look forward to remembering the Saints with you in November.  Between now and then, as you do your planning nearly all of us will consider leaving legacy gifts from our estate to our family, why not your church family too?

Thank you.

Michael Kalas

June 4, 2017

Pentecost Sunday Celebration

On Pentecost Sunday,  June 4th Community Lutheran celebrated the” Birthday of the Church” as told in Acts , chapter 2, when devout Jews gathered in Jerusalem were filled with the Spirit of God and began to speak in other tongues, the mighty acts of Gods and sharing Jesus’ love with the world.  We filled the sanctuary with Balloons and celebrated with hymns and an amazing Choir Anthem.    And then we sang Happy Birthday to Community Lutheran Church celebrating 45 Years as Church that has always been “Welcoming Others, Growing in Grace and Sharing Christ’s Love!”      It was great fun.    Come Holy Spirit, lead your Church into all truth and help us to proclaim the Good News of Jesus’ love in our community and beyond for the life and healing of the world.   Amen.

Earth Keeping Ministry

Bottled water  can be  very dangerous!

On the Ellen show, Sheryl Crow said that this is what caused her breast
cancer.  It has been identified as the most common cause of the high levels
of dioxin in breast cancer tissue..

Sheryl Crow’s oncologist told her: women should not drink bottled water
that has been left in a car.
The heat reacts with the chemicals in the plastic of the bottle which
releases dioxin into the water.  Dioxin is a toxin increasingly found in
breast cancer tissue.
So please be careful and do not drink bottled water that has been left in a

Pass this on to all the women in your life.
This information is the kind we need to know that just might save us!
Use a stainless steel canteen or a glass bottle instead of plastic!


This information is also being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical
Center ….

No plastic containers in microwaves.

No plastic water bottles in freezers.

No plastic wrap in microwaves.

Dioxin chemical causes cancer, especially breast cancer.

Dioxins are highly poisonous to cells in our bodies.

Don’t freeze plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins
from the plastic.

Recently the Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital was on a TV
program to explain this health hazard.

He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us.

He said that we should not be heating food in the microwave using plastic

This especially applies to foods that contain fat.  He said that the
combination of fat, high heat and plastic releases dioxin into the food.

Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Pyrex or ceramic containers for
heating food… You get the same result, but without the dioxin..

So, such things as TV dinners, instant soups, etc., should be removed from
their containers and heated in something else.

Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper.

It’s safer to use tempered glass, such as Pyrex, etc.

He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved
away from the styrene foam containers to paper.  The dioxin problem is one
of the reasons….

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Cling film, is just as
dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave.

As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually
melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food..
Cover food with a paper towel instead.



Garden Party Tea

June 3, 2017 CLC Women’s Breakfast Group hosted a “Garden Party Tea.” The weather was beautiful and the food was delicious. Kathy Shaffer made beautiful butterflies out of the church bulletin’s as a token for everyone to take home with them and to Sharon Conley for our program. A big thank you to the following ladies that helped with food and set up for the event:

Roberta Buxton

Peggy Darr

Sharon Conley

Betty O’Lear

Kathy Shaffer

Debra Vought

A special thank you to Bob Bookwalter & the Reilly Family for putting up the tent. The shade was very much enjoyed by all.

The next Women’s Breakfast is scheduled for August 5 at 8:15 a.m. in the church library. Hope to see your there.


Shirley Bookwalter



CLC Book Readers Club

Did you know that CLC has a Book Club that meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:15 PM in the church library.  I have  been the moderator for 6+ years.  We average 10 to 15 people in attendance every month and we welcome both men and women.

I am  continually amazed at the wonderful conversation that takes place. The insights that everyone has are varied and some are very deep and thoughtful and some just fun and humorous.    It makes you want to go home and reread the book.

We welcomed back Marilyn Bowers.  She hadn’t read our book but after hearing the discussion she wanted to go home and start reading.

I talked to a past member of the book club, Audrey Heater and she is going to a Global Leadership Conference in August and  Imacalee Ilibagiza the survivor of the Rwanda genocide will be the speaker.   She is the author of the  book “Left to Tell”.  It was the 1st book she and I  read for the CLC Book Club.

We will meet July 11 and discuss Hillbilly Elegy.  This is another good book that can lead to some great discussion.  Please join us.  We have all become great friends over the years and it causes you to read great books that you otherwise might not.

Happy Reading and since it is so warm, it is a good time to visit the library and read!!!

Sherry Fitzsimmons

I have listed all the books we have read if you are so inclined

The Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance (July 2017)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury  (June 2017)

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (May 2017)

Body & Soul by Frank Conroy (April 2017)

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (March 2017)

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (Feb 2017)

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People (Jan 2017)

The Witness Wore Red by Rebecca Musser (Dec 2016)

Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (Oct 2016)

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Sept 2016)

Cold Daddy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (Aug 2016)

Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn (July 2016)

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (June 2016)

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman  (May 2016)

Neverhome by Laird Hunt (April 2016)

The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah (March 2016)

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coats (February 2016)

A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor (January 2016)

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (December 2015)

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (November 2015)

The Giver by Lois Lowery (October 2015)

The Shell Seekers by Rosemunde Pilcher (September 2015)

The Old Man & The Sea by Ernest Hemingway (August 2015)

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson (July 2015)

Slow Dancing with a Stranger by Meryl Comer (June 2015)

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (May 2015)

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (April 2015)

The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz (March 2015)

I Am Malala  by Malala Yousafzai (Feb 2015)

Defending Jacob by William Landay (Jan 2015)

The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman (Dec 2014)

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk (Nov 2014)

The People of the Book by Geradine Brooks (Oct 2014)

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (Sept 2014)

Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline (Aug 2014)

Martin Luther by Martin Marty

Modoc by Ralph Heifer

The Story Teller by Jodi Picoult

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

The Wind is Not a River by Brian Payton

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Boy That Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Hardin

A Skeleton in God’s Closet by Paul L Maier

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Falling to Earth by Kate Southward

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Mere Christianity by CS Lewis

Have a LIttle Faith by Mitch Albom

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

No Second Chance by Harlan Cobin

I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margret Craven

The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan

The Poet of Tolstoy Park by Sonny Brewer

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall

Faith like Potatoes by Angus Buchan

In the Garden of the Beast by Eric Larsen

Sarahs Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Hotel on  the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford  (April 2012)

Kabul Beauty School An American Woman goes behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

How Starbucks Saved my Life by Michael Gates Gill

Christmas Jar by Jason F Wright

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

To America by Stephen Ambrose

The Worst of Hard Times by Timothy Eagan

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The Shack by William Paul Young

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxes

Little Bee by Chris Cleve

Left to Tell by Imacalee Ilibagiza



The Giving Garden at CLC

On Saturday, May 13th, our Giving Garden was planted! We are growing tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe, and squash. The produce harvested from this garden will be delivered to the LINK pantry throughout the summer. Our fresh produce helps nourish families in need in the Sterling, Herndon and Ashburn communities.
To make our Giving Garden a success, we need your help! We are in need of volunteers to help maintain the garden throughout the summer. Please sign up for a week! Your responsibilities would include watering the garden, harvesting, and dropping the harvest off at the LINK pantry in Herndon.
Thank you to the property team for tilling the garden. Thank you to the volunteers who planted the garden. Special thanks to Peggy DeWeese for making a donation to the Giving Garden. Her donation allowed us to purchase all of the plants and supplies needed.