Our Purpose: The organized unit of United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in global ministries of the church. Membership is open to any woman who indicates her desire to belong and to participate in the Global Mission of the Church through the United Methodist Women.
UMW welcomes all women in the church and our activities include six circles (including a teen circle and an e-mail circle), a Bible Study, a monthly hands-on mission group “Service4Others”, the “Creative Hearts, Creative Hands” sewing group (which includes the Prayer Shawl Ministry), an annual Women’s Retreat, and the Maranatha Singers. For more information on any of our activities please contact the Church office at 703-978-8724 or submit questions to the online Connect Card.
Save the Date
St. Stephen’s Advent Festival is a fun and festive community event. Come enjoy the event with family and friends to experience Advent on Saturday, December 4th at 10:00 a.m. This event is designed for everyone of all ages to enjoy the season! This free event includes Advent Wreath-making, Christmas Concert (Maranatha Singers), Fair Trade Christmas Market, DIY Advent Craft Stations and so much more! The Traditional UMW Ornament Exchange will be included also.
Dear Friends of UMW,
“Friendsgiving” in December? Sure! This one is for gathering pals to celebrate Advent and for giving an ornament to another at the UMW Annual Ornament Exchange. Come to the Advent Event on Saturday December 4 and exchange an ornament with a name as your prayer pal for 2022. Come see Maranatha friends perform, and show off cookie baking with a donation for guests to enjoy. Families will make wreaths, which is always sweet to watch. Last year it was thrilling just to drive-up for a smile and an ornament, but this year, let’s gather in the UMW area for that “Comin’ Home” feeling! See you at the Fair Trade Market, too!
Serving through UMW, Patti Keppler, President, 2021-22
December 2021 Meetings and Events
Betty Whitehurst Circle will meet via Zoom, meet via Zoom on Monday, December 13, at 7:00 pm. Marion Gunnell will give the program, devotion, and prayer. We will continue to meet on Zoom throughout the winter months because of possible weather concerns.
If you would like to join us, contact us via the St. Stephen’s Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect.
Faithful Friends Circle will not have a circle meeting in December. We will meet on January 11th. Suzanne Cerney will present the UMW Pledge Program. Guests are welcome. For information, please contact the St. Stephen’s Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect.
Frances Allen Circle will meet on Thursday, December 9th, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. at Greenspring. Kay & Jim Burrier will present a delightful program of holiday music. Directions will be emailed out as we get closer to the meeting. Please wear your mask. All women who would like to join us are welcome. For information please contact the UMW via the St. Stephen’s Connect page www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect.
The Teen Circle will meet on Sunday, December 12th from 10-11 am. The program will be Receiving. For more information please contact the St. Stephen’s Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect.
Service4Others (S40) will be providing Christmas to two families at Homestretch. You have the opportunity to select gifts for family members through the Sign Up Genius until December 15th. For information please contact Cindy Srocco or Kathy Hennemuth via the Connect page. We will be gathering at Linda Stephens’ home to wrap gifts for those who are comfortable gathering. If you do not feel comfortable, you can drop off your wrapped or unwrapped gifts with tags at Linda’s by December 15th For more info contact Linda via the St. Stephen’s Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect.
New Dimension Circle: is an email circle especially for those for whom in-person gatherings might be challenging for whatever reason. We have more than 45 members of all ages (seniors to young mothers). This circle is seeking new leadership beginning in January 2022. This is a lovely spiritual practice for someone who is willing to write and share what is in their heart in a devotional style, plus prayers and UMW and SSUMC news. If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested please contact Patti Keppler via the St. Stephen’s Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect.
Creative Hearts, Creative Hands: The Prayer Shawl/Comfort Quilt sub-group is busy sharing our handiwork with those who have experienced a serious illness or death in the immediate family. We would LOVE to have additional people assist us in making knit or crochet shawls or lap-gans (lap-sized Afghans) and lap-sized sewn Comfort Quilts for both men and women. Please contact Judy Ryan with questions or nominations for helpers via the St. Stephen’s Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect.
Wednesday Women’s Bible Stud is each Wednesday, 9:30-11:00 am, at the church and on Zoom. ADVENT STUDY: Come with us on “The Journey – Walking the Road to Bethlehem.” Let’s do Advent devotion time together as a study class, and a circle of friends blessing each other with encouragement and connection. Adam Hamilton’s 10th edition is a rich classic. We use historical information, archaeological findings, and personal reflections to focus on the most amazing moment in His-story. Contact Patti Keppler via the St. Stephen’s Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect.
UMW Reading Program: Speaking Well (A Pocket Guide): Essential Skills for Speakers, Leaders, and Preachers, by Adam Hamilton. The author goes into great detail about how he prepares to give a speech or a sermon. He says that you should not try to make too many points. If you use slides, be prepared to go without them, in case there are technical difficulties. Write out the sermon. Answer the, “So what?” Address hot topics. Ensure that you are well-rested and properly nourished in advance of the sermon.
UMW Board Meeting: will take place at the church on Monday, January 24th at 9:30 am. For information Contact Patti Keppler via the St. Stephen’s Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect. We welcome: ideas, suggestions, or questions about UMW, please contact Patti if you have any of those.
Save the Date: November 12th Outing For All: Have you been waiting for a fun time to spend with friends? Come join a group ready to visit the “Turning Point Suffragist Memorial” at the Qccoquan Regional Park, Lorton. The Park is an outdoor, easy sidewalk exhibit to read and explore the relatable story of many women, including the Silent Sentinels, who fought for the vote for women. The date is Friday, November 12. We will meet at the church, at 10:30 am, but please RSVP to Patti Keppler via the St. Stephen’s Connect page at www.ststephensfairfax.org/connect. You can also call the church office to RSVP.
Looking Ahead to December
St. Stephen’s Advent Festival is a fun and festive community event. Come enjoy the event with family and friends to experience Advent on Saturday, December 4th at 10:00 am. This event is designed for everyone of all ages to enjoy the season! This free event includes Advent Wreath-making, Christmas Concert (Maranatha Singers), Fair Trade Christmas Market, DIY Advent Craft Stations, Christmas wrapping party for Grace Ministries (St. Stephen’s monthly food distribution), and so much more! The Traditional UMW Ornament Exchange will be included as well.
Thank you to everyone who took part in our special book conversation with former interim pastor at St. Stephen’s, Margaret T. Kutz, author of “Nevertheless, She Preached,” Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021,at St. Stephen’s Church in Burke, Va.
Earlier this year Pastor Marg spoke with our communications director Rob Paine to discuss her new book and her memories of St. Stephen’s. You can listen to this brief interview by clicking St. Stephen’s Podcasts
Pastor Marg’s book tells the story of Reverends Lillian Russell and Mildred Long, the two earliest clergy women in Virginia Methodism. The book is based on years of research of primary sources. To read a more in depth write up on the book on Amazon, please click here.
If you were not able to see Pastor Marg preach in-person, watch a video replay now here.
Pastor Marg served as an interim pastor at St. Stephen’s in 2o14 and 2015. This special event was sponsored by the St. Stephen’s United Methodist Women.