Christmas Coffeehouse with author Enuma Okoro plus Xmas Carols, mulled wine

How can the true meaning of Christmas be found and experienced in a city characterized by media overload, cynicism, and a pursuit of individual power?  We are excited to host author and spiritual retreat leader Enuma Okoro as she shares some timely lessons on Christmas from her new book, Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent.  In her book, she meditates on the trials and travails of those connected with the story of Christ's nativity, particularly those of Zechariah and Elizabeth.  The cover jacket of Silence explains why Zechariah and Elizabeth are so important: "This is a story filled with deep sorrow and heartfelt longing, and Okoro's tough yet tender wisdom acknowledges both the wounds we endure and the blessings we receive; the grief we bear and the joys we are given." (click here to order book).

Besides hearing Enuma's inspirational thoughts, we’ll host a old-school potluck-style Christmas dinner,  mulled spice wine, and our favorite Christmas Carols to round out our celebration of Advent.  According to Enuma the theme of patience found in the Advent stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth are relevant to us today: "We [also] want to become a people who seek after God and who cultivate patience as we wait for divine justice to bring peace and freedom to an aching world." Finally, this coffeehouse also marks the 3rd anniversary of our community founded in 2010 so we want to celebrate that too.

You won't want to miss this fun & meaningful coffeehouse!

Merry Christmas!,

Glenn, Jen and the whole gang

More about our Conversation partner: Enuma Okoro is a critically-acclaimed author and spiritual retreat leader.  She's written extensively on the topics of emerging Christianity, spirituality, gender, and the immigrant experience.  As a Nigerian-raised author who grew up alternatively in the Anglican and Catholic traditions, she never quite found a spiritual home of her own.  She has lived in North America, Europe, and Africa over the years.  Her books include: Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent; Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-indulgent introvert’s Search for Spiritual Community; Talking Taboo: American Christian Women get Frank about Faith, and Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (with Shane Claiborne & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove).

Reluctant Pilgrim has been a finalist for the 2011 National Indie Excellent Book Awards and the USA Book News Best Book Awards. She has also served as the Director of the Theological Writing Center at Duke University Divinity School.  For more information, check out her website (click here).

How you can help with Food: The dinner will be old-school potluck style.  If we can get a number of people bringing a holiday-themed meat dish, green salad, side dish or dessert, that would be great.  Please list what you might bring in your RSVP line to help me prepare.  If you don't have time to prepare something, sponsoring a $10 bottle of wine for our mulled wine drink would be great instead.  If you can help with a bottle sponsorship or meal item, please indicate what you are planning in your RSVP line up to 3 days before the event.  If you can't help in these ways, that's ok, just bring yourself!  (If you are a last minute RSVP and want to help, just sponsor a bottle of wine, that's easy).

Collection for the people of Phillipines: This year, people can contribute to our Christmas cause this year, relief funds for the people of the Phillipine Islands who recently suffered from a tropical storm.

Schedule: For those who want to participate in the Christmas common meal, we'll start that at 7PM.  For those who just want to come to the gathering, we'll start the carols at 7:30PM.  If you are late, you can still pick up some dinner on the buffet table and join us in the discussion.  We are very casual about that sort of thing.

Location: Going forward, we're hoping to have our gathering in the "community/fireplace room" space of the Church of the Pilgrims.  If you are having problems finding the location on mapquest: mapquest Bier Baron Tavern [masked]nd Street, NW, Washington, DC  20037) which is just across the street on 22nd Street NW.

Directions from Metro: Church of the Pilgrims is about 2 blocks west of the Q Street Exit (that's the north one) of the Dupont Circle Metro Station.  Once you hit 22nd street, go south a block to the sanctuary entrance at P St and 22nd.

About Parking: Church of the Pilgrims has a parking lot entrance on 22nd Street twenty feet away from the corner of Q St. and 22nd St (where the big "Church of the Pilgrims" sign sits).  The parking lot is surrounded by bushes so it's not always easy the entrance at first. There's about 20 parking spots.  There's usually 20 parking spots right on the street in front of the church too.

About entrance Doors: The first time people come there can be confusion about which door to enter.  There are two to look for.  First, there's a back door off the parking lot.  That's the best door to enter.  Second, there's a front door that next to the big sanctuary doors and which one can use to get to the church office usually.

 

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  • Glenn Z.

    I have to say, event was one of the best we've had...Enuma's take on Elizabeth was both original and profound...enjoyed the carols too...very challenging message, which is why we like to gather like this!...and Beth's mulled spice wine was great too! That's to all who helped with food and set-up/tear-down.

    3 · December 8, 2013

  • Kat T

    Enuma taught me a lot last night and left me with some bits to sit with. I was prompted to contemplate God's seasons (the liturgical calendar) and that the Advent story begins with deep sorrow and longing. I was struck when Enuma said that the story of Elizabeth & Zachariah teaches us that God remembers us even when we think we're forgotten. it was a powerful talk and a wonderful evening.
    Merry Christmas!

    1 · December 8, 2013

  • Laura B.

    Sorry folks. We had Fawn at ER with asthma attack. She is better, but I think it best if we stay home.

    Sorry, as I was to bring an entree.

    Also, so sorry to miss tonight! May God bring new life to you this Christmas!

    Laura and Fawn

    December 7, 2013

    • Glenn Z.

      so sorry to hear that Laura. Our prayers are with you two during this difficult time. We had a good discussion last night, but you all were missed. Happy Holidays to you both. Best, glenn

      December 8, 2013

  • LJordan

    Brilliant and powerful! My main takeaways from tonight's discussion: Advent is the season for social justice; there are liturgical seasons ( I'm Baptist, I didn't know:-); baroness woman (Elizabeth's story in the Bible) is also a symbol for how our lives can have empty spaces or be unfulfilled; and the power of God's love. My life and spirit has been so enriched by our gatherings. I'm so grateful for our Emergent Christian group. I am constantly learning the secrets (they are secrets to me) about the Christian faith and its true meaning, not the Greco-Roman version I was taught. Rejoice! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

    2 · December 8, 2013

  • Nene G.

    Very interesting discussion. I'm glad I was able to make it.

    1 · December 7, 2013

  • Barbara Anne F.

    I will be processing the impact of this evening for quite awhile to come...and have ordered her book, "Silence"! I have been praying my way through "Reluctant Pilgrim" for days because it so resonates within my spirit. This was definitely a "God-moment for me! I only wish I lived closer so I could be more a part of these opportunities!

    3 · December 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm sorry I can't come. I'd still like to help pay for wine! Please send me a message if I can mail a check.

    December 7, 2013

  • Kat T

    Emergency babysitting but I'll be there by 7:30...with the pie!

    December 7, 2013

  • Sonya-Charie

    Still at work...Will try to make it as soon as I can

    December 7, 2013

  • Fay

    running behind.....cancel meat dish..I will do bottle sponsorship.. Thanks

    December 7, 2013

  • Nene G.

    Will bring Pumpkin bread.

    December 7, 2013

  • Sonya-Charie

    Okay...am from Alabama. ..Fried Chicken :-)

    1 · December 7, 2013

  • Fay

    poultry/ meat dish

    December 7, 2013

  • Janet S.

    To be more specific about my vegetable dish - I'll bring baked sweet potatoes.

    December 6, 2013

  • Beth

    I am working all day tomorrow, so bringing a dish will be a challenge. I will gladly help cover the cost of paper products and mulled wine! Thanks! Looking forward to meeting/seeing you all tomorrow night!

    December 6, 2013

  • Eduardo G

    I'll bring a potato dish

    December 6, 2013

  • Eduardo G

    "IT WILL hardly be possible fully to explain the many reasons which led to the selection of Palestine as the land for Jesus' bestowal, and especially as to just why the family of Joseph and Mary should have been chosen as the immediate setting for the appearance of this Son of God on Earth."

    December 5, 2013

    • Eduardo G

      "It was not until about six weeks before John’s birth that Zacharias, as the result of an impressive dream, became fully convinced that Elizabeth was to become the mother of a son of destiny, one who was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah."
      "Gabriel appeared to Mary about the middle of November, 8 B.C., while she was at work in her Nazareth home. Later on, after Mary knew without doubt that she was to become a mother, she persuaded Joseph to let her journey to the City of Judah, four miles west of Jerusalem, in the hills, to visit Elizabeth. Gabriel had informed each of these mothers-to-be of his appearance to the other. Naturally they were anxious to get together, compare experiences, and talk over the probable futures of their sons. Mary remained with her distant cousin for three weeks."

      December 5, 2013

    • Eduardo G

      "Elizabeth did much to strengthen Mary’s faith in the vision of Gabriel, so that she returned home more fully dedicated to the call to mother the child of destiny whom she was so soon to present to the world as a helpless babe, an average and normal infant of the realm."
      "John was born in the City of Judah, March 25, 7 B.C. Zacharias and Elizabeth rejoiced greatly in the realization that a son had come to them as Gabriel had promised, and when on the eighth day they presented the child for circumcision, they formally christened him John, as they had been directed aforetime. Already had a nephew of Zacharias departed for Nazareth, carrying the message of Elizabeth to Mary proclaiming that a son had been born to her and that his name was to be John."

      December 5, 2013

  • Barbara Anne F.

    What an exciting opportunity! The "Hound of Heaven" has just given me a wonderful Christmas present.

    December 2, 2013

  • Kat T

    I'll bring a pie.

    December 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can do a bottle sponsorship.

    December 1, 2013

  • Laura B.

    Fawn and I will bring a meat entrée; I'll think about what this week and update you.

    November 28, 2013

  • Janet S.

    I will bring a vegetable side dish

    November 26, 2013

  • Victoria P.

    I'm so sorry to miss this. I will be out of town visiting my mom.

    November 12, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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