World Communion Sunday – October 2, 2016

Refugee camp in Aleppo. Photo by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

Refugee camp in Aleppo. Photo by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation


It’s hard for us to imagine what it means to leave your home with only what you can carry or is necessary. It’s hard for us to comprehend not knowing where your next meal will come from for yourself or your family. It’s hard for us to understand bombings and the physical violence of war where we live.

This Sunday’s Love Feast will be part of  our morning worship. With Syria and its suffering so much in the news, we’ll try to make connections as we mark World Communion Sunday.

Join us as we bear witness to people suffering around the world especially remembering those in Syria. We will humbly do a foot washing and offer communion to each other and share food.  Our love feast meal will be a simple Syrian rice dish with sides of yogurt, almonds and dried fruit.

Join us in prayer and love.

University Park Church of the Brethren
4413 Tuckerman St., University Park, Maryland

Morning worship begins at 10:50am

All are welcome!

Faith Imagination: Healing Prayer


“Faith Imagination is a way of praying in which we specifically invite God to enter into our experience in a way that we can perceive God’s work in us. We do this in the faith that God want to meet us at our growing edge, or where we are most vulnerable, hurting or scared.”  (Consenting to Grace, Tilda Norberg)

Mini – Retreat

Saturday, October 1, 2016
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Leader – Darlene Meyers, Gestalt Pastoral Care Minister Intern
Complimentary lunch will be provided
Retreat will be held at University Park Church of the Brethren
4413 Tuckerman Street, University Park, Maryland

Please RSVP to or call 301-864-4328


What will happen at the Retreat?

An introduction to faith imagination healing prayer

An exercise in increasing awareness

A guided meditation drawing upon our faith imagination

An exercise in identifying our individual preferred modalities of perception

Discovering our symbols for the Holy One

Time for silence, sharing and writing about your experience

An opportunity to “work” using faith imagination healing prayer

Join us!

ALL CHURCH RETREAT: Feed Body and Soul April 15-17



April 15-17

Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry Center
(Sharpsburg, Maryland)

Enjoy time away with friends…

Savor God’s presence…

Stretch and grow…

Revel in the beauty of the outdoors…

Friday evening 8 p.m. –  Sunday 1 p.m.

Beds are available in the lodge or in cabins (call the church office 301-864-4328 for rates)

The church is covering half the cost for every attendee,
and has additional funds available for anyone who might need them.

Explore growing edges around multicultural awareness

We will worship, play games, sing, and walk,

Delight in good food cooked for us

Gather around the campfire, and just have fun!

Mulch Sale: April 2


We’re selling and delivering shredded hardwood mulch to neighbors and friends again this year. Orders can be made by calling the church office (as long as supplies last) at 301-864-4328 or better yet stopping by the church parking lot early Saturday morning! We’ll be delivering by 8am.

Proceeds from the mulch sales go to various church projects. In recent years, these have included:

*sponsorship of Rwandan university student Venuste Gatabazi

* assistance for children attending camps and conferences

Christmas Sharing Fair: Alternative Gift-Giving for the Holidays

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Saturday, December 5
9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

A marketplace of craftspeople, non-profits, and artists supporting justice, peace, and the good of the earth:

SERRV – global handcrafts
HEIFER INTERNATIONAL – passing on the gift of food
INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE – helping refugees around the world
ON EARTH PEACE – building justice and peace
ECO CITY FARMS – promoting sustainable local agriculture
NEW COMMUNITY PROJECT – supporting women and girls
EQUAL EXCHANGE – offering fairly traded coffees, teas, and chocolates
KOINONIA PARTNERS – cultivating community (and pecans)
CHEETAH CONSERVATION FUND – protecting life in the wild
…and more


Find creative gifts…
Sample the grilled brats or burgers…
Take something home from the baked goods table
Savor some roasted almonds…

Cookie-baking and decorating for children will also take place throughout the day!


Heeding God’s Call Memorial to Those Lost to Gun Violence


Last year, 155 people in our metropolitan area died of gun violence: There were two children who were three years old, a 73-year old man whose life was irrevocably altered many years ago when he was shot, dozens of teens and young adults, and many in the prime years of their lives. Some died by their own hands, some at the hands of others.

We at University Park Church of the Brethren and at Hyattsville Mennonite Church stand with the faith-based efforts of “Heeding God’s Call” –lamenting this loss of life, grieving with those left behind, and calling for change to prevent such tragedies in the future.

We acknowledge that none of us is immune to fierce impulses within or beyond us.

But behind the trigger stand arrayed forces of cultural violence. Recognizing that economic interests, fear, militarism, poverty, and racism are at play, we want not only to mourn the tragedy of gun violence, but to transform it.

The One who calls us to seek the welfare of the city in which we live is here among us. In this place and beyond, many are working to address causes of the crisis.

They tend to the vulnerable.

They advocate for just regulation and accountability.

They invite us to join in stepping forward to act.

Today, we light the peace lamp as a sign of our commitment to be a part of this diverse community of concern and deeds. Let its flame burn steadily.

IMG_5370A Prayer

God of love,

Light a flame of love in our hearts to you,

A flame of love in our families and friends,

A flame of love for our neighbors,

A flame of love for our enemies.

As we gather in your Spirit,

Light a flame of love in our hearts for all,

From the lowliest thing that lives,

To the Name that is highest of all.





A Confession

One: God of life,

Our anxieties are too much and our trust is too little.

Falling captive to fear, we build defenses.

Through your grace

All: Turn us and transform us.

One: Removed from violent death, we are often oblivious.

Privileged enough to turn away, we close our eyes.

Through your grace,

All: Turn us and transform us.

One: Busy with our lives, we are distracted.

Ill at ease with confrontation, we remain silent.

Through your grace,

All: Turn us and transform us.



Behind each of these shirts is not only the person it represents, but the parents, siblings, extended family, friends and neighbors who know the grief of loss.

And behind each is a hand that pulled a trigger for reasons that can, we believe, be avoided.

Behind them is a community broken by this violence, longing for healing.

And in the midst and beyond all of these is the God who yearns for the wholeness of our community and every community on earth.

We’ve heard the names. We see these shirts that remind us of their living, breathing presence in the world. And we protest their loss.



Follow the link to see the 2015 Memorial list of 155 names (1) that each shirt is labeled with. All were a child of God that was killed by gun violence in 2014 in the Metropolitan DC area.

This post includes excerpts from the service around the setting up of the memorial at the University Park Church of the Brethren.