500th Anniversary Reformation Service

For the last event on Reformation weekend, 22 of us hopped on a bus Sunday afternoon and headed down in the rain to the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Everyone was in excellent spirits despite the weather and excited to see what the Metro DC Synod had cooked up for this, the 500th anniversary of the day Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. We were not disappointed! The Cathedral was filled with festive red; amazing music from the Roanoke Collage Choir, AfroBlue, and Philly all stars; and a generally wonderful atmosphere. Link to the official photos from the event on the Metro D.C. Synod's Flickr page. Link to the official program. The archived live strea

Reformation Sunday 2017

Luther posted thesis for debate on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. I post cartoons on my study door. Not quite the same thing. My most recent one (copied from Facebook) shows Luther at that church door with a big hammer. Others are looking on. Luther is saying, “No, the door is fine. It’s your theology which needs fixing!” Day after tomorrow, on October 31st, will be the 500th anniversary of that date in 1517 when Luther fixed theology! His 95 thesis, which he posted there in the academic tradition of inviting debate, were 95 reasons why selling indulgences was a bad idea. The church had commoditized forgiveness. It had devised this really ingenious system of paying you

Luther Movie Night!

Friday night Luther Movie Night was a big success! Despite the boisterous (and lovely) wedding reception being held next right outside our door in the Reston Community Center, we gathered our own decent-sized, if somewhat less energetic, crowd to watch Luther (2003). Awarding attendees was a delicious spread of bratwursts, sauerkraut, soft pretzels, and authentic German beers (thanks to Hertha Lange, Phyllis Potter, Pastor Carl, and Bruce). It was great food and an even better movie. Thanks again to all those who came and made this event a success! Paster pulled out the Martin Luther apron and Hertha the Bavarian lid. The spread!

October 15, 2017

Looking forward to our Every Member Response next Sunday I have chosen a text from Luke for this sermon’s stewardship theme. This is from the 21st chapter: “He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” (Like 21:1-3) Well, the story may be moving, but it isn’t logical. Why would the widow put in all her money – two coins of little worth? She could have put in one coin and used the other to buy food. She sti

Pentecost 18, 2017

When we moved to Virginia nine years ago, one of the first things we did was to go to out to Loudoun County wine country. I think the first vineyard we visited was Willowcroft, the oldest vineyard in Loudoun County. While we were there we picked up a booklet, The Loudoun County Wine Trail which listed all the wineries in the county. Marilyn and I decided that we would try each and every one of them and check them off in our booklet as we went. There were about twenty-seven of them listed in our book. At the rate of three per year we finally visited the last one this past Saturday up on the Harpers Ferry road. We checked it off in our book (the cover of which was falling off) and, while

Adult Forum Tackles "Whiteness"

Please join us on Sunday mornings at 9am in Room 2 of the Reston Community Center for Adult Forum. We resume our study and discussion of Rev. Dr. Drew Hart's book Trouble I've Seen. The following article is of interest as it relates to the Las Vegas shooting and the issue of "whiteness." https://theintercept.com/2017/10/02/lone-wolf-white-privlege-las-vegas-stephen-paddock/

Pray Last

Sunday’s tragedy in Las Vegas has us all shaking our heads in sorrow as we ask “why?” and wonder what we can do about it. We can’t easily answer the ‘why’ question because what happened was evil and evil is not on speaking terms with rationality. It is evil precisely because it can’t be explained. Evil is what put Jesus on the cross Good Friday. There are, however, some answers about what we can do. Pray, yes. But prayer without action is empty. So, I would ask you to pray only after you have done these things: Write your representatives to advocate for sensible gun control. In particular, please write against the NRA proposed “Hearing Protection” bill which would loosen restrictions

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Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

The Rev. Dr. Phillip A. Carl

2320 Hunters Woods Plaza, Reston, VA  20191