The King's Herald, June 2019

The King's Herald is Christ the King Lutheran Church's monthly newsletter
A message from Pastor Hank

BIRTHDAY: As you’re reading this, Shirla and I are either on our way to or are already in Jesup, Georgia to celebrate her dad’s 90th birthday.

NEW BISHOP: On June 14 and 15, I joined Allen and Audrey Wild and Bob Hummel as voting members of the Metropolitan Washington D.C. Synod Assembly, held this year on the campus of the University of Maryland. A “synod” consists of the all the congregations and leaders in a geographical area. In our case, that region includes the city of Washington, D.C. and the contiguous counties in Maryland and Virginia and—we were reminded this year during a motion to amend the constitution—certain “independent cities” in the Commonwealth of Virginia! The synod is headed by a bishop and a synod council (a body that includes clergy and lay leaders representing the various counties … and independent cities).

Anyway, after we clarified the confusing judicatories of Virginia, we elected to call a new bishop: the Rev. Leila Ortiz. She will replace the Rev. Richard Graham who is retiring after twelve years of service as bishop. Leila has served as an assistant to Bishop Graham for the last three years In fact, one of her first duties in office was to oversee the process that ended in my being called as pastor at Christ the King. And some of you will remember that she preached at Christ the King in the fall of 2018, just after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, where she was born. Two events of interest related to this episcopal transition: the synod will say its big goodbye to Bishop Graham on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 2:00 pm (place TBA). And Bishop-elect Ortiz will be installed on Saturday, Oct. 12 (time and place TBA).

BICYCLING: Last week in the mail I received a mailing from Fairfax County that should’ve overjoyed me … but actually made me a bit sad. It announced Sunday, August 18 as Fairfax County “Bike or Walk to Church Day.” I’d love to promote it. Except that it’s not possible to safely walk or ride a bicycle to Christ the King! (Well, okay, Shirla and I can safely walk to church … but the rest of y’all … sorry!) When people ask Shirla and me how we like living in Great Falls our reply is always, “it’s great, we love it … 95.5%!” That last 4.5% though is because we miss our previous neighborhood where we could safely ride our bicycles right out of the garage and within minutes be on the multi-use trail network. I know that a Georgetown Pike multi-use trail will be a reality someday. And I’m thankful for those in the county and on the Great Falls Citizen’s Association who are working toward that end. But until that great day comes, I’m afraid Christ the King will have to pass on “Bike or Walk to Church Day.”

PRAYER: Prayer is one of the holy duties to which we are called when we gather for worship as a congregation. Some of the prayers are stylized and formal—like the Prayer of the Day and the prayer of thanksgiving at the altar before communion. Some of the prayers accompany various parts of worship—like the offering prayer, the prayer after communion, and the prayer that accompanies the laying on of hands for healing. But the real heart of our obligation to pray is expressed through the Prayers of Intercession. At this point in the service we pray for the world, the church around the world, creation, our nation and its leaders, the sick, this congregation, and for the faithful departed. When I arrived at Christ the King the practice was to accept a version of those prayers that came to us from the Worship Office of the ELCA. Those prayers were beautifully crafted … but they tended to be broad and a bit generic. Bit by bit over the last two years we have worked to localize and customize the prayers (so, for example, instead of praying for “rivers and streams” we pray for “the Potomac River and Sugarland Run”). This summer we’re going to take this localization to the next step. Starting in mid-July, worshipers will be given the chance to post to a “prayer board.” Our collective contributions to this prayer board will provide the specific local focus for our intercessor

A message from Mitchell Kiffe, outgoing Council President

Dear CTK congregation,

My term as a member of the Council and as President is coming to an end this month. I first want to thank the active members and participants of CTK for all your support and service over the past three years. It has been a blessing for me to be able to serve in this capacity, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work closely with Pastor Hank and the rest of the Council and congregation in furthering our Christian mission from our outpost in Great Falls. We are truly blessed to have so many talented and committed people who are willing to spend so much of their time helping others. Special thanks to Allie Peters, Marie Peterson and Steve Wilson for their leadership on Council these past three years.  

Going forward we have terrific momentum, energy and activity in our worship life at CTK, as well as our ministries locally, nationally and even globally. As Pastor Hank so eloquently said in his recent “Found in Translation” sermon, the Church and its mission is always in transition and evolving, and we need to be a part of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to our community in different and innovative ways while being ever faithful to our core Christian beliefs. While progress has been and is being made through the efforts of CTK, we must embrace the belief that we can continue to Give, Grow and Sustain in the months and years to come. 

The future is bright. Enjoy a relaxing and enriching summer. God Bless!


Mitchell Kiffe 

Council President


We had another productive and well attended semi-annual Congregational Meeting and Town hall forum on Sunday, June 9. The town hall format plus the attraction of a potluck luncheon immediately following the meeting seems to be a big hit with our members. We had approximately 70 members attend the meeting, and we collected another 30+ proxy votes. 

Pastor Hank started the meeting with a prayer, and we covered the usual business of approving the minutes of the Feb. 10 meeting before we voted on the slate of new Council members commencing their three-year terms. Those new members elected unanimously were: Jul Benson as Service Advocate and Larry Zmuda as Youth Advocate. Since the new slate was short two members (VP and Secretary), we looked for nominations from the floor without success. The new council will figure out how to handle these openings.The congregation then thanked the following members whose terms have expired for their service: Marie Petersen, Allie Peters, Steve Wilson and Mitchell Kiffe.

Dick Wardman provided a financial update which showed YTD giving and expenses to be in a positive position vs the YTD budget. Good news thanks to CTK’s generous givers! The Youth Committee made a proposal to hire a part time person to work 20 hours per month in support of our very active Youth programs. That request was approved unanimously, and there followed some discussion of the active Youth program at CTK. 

We concluded the meeting with some open town hall conversation with the attendees and Pastor Hank, followed by adjournment and a wonderful potluck luncheon and fellowship.

Special thanks to all the volunteers who helped with the setup, serving and cleanup. A special recognition goes to Jim Kennedy, who once again was the grill master par excellence! We appreciate it Jim!

~Mitchell Kiffe, Council President


Thanks to Kevin Magley, who held a basic skills workshop for this year’s work campers on June 9. Along with Tom Kalka, Phil Magley and Tom Wolfe, the youth were taught drilling, hammering, taping, sanding, calking, and painting skills to most of the kids who are going to work camp, so that they would be more useful there. As part of that workshop some of the kids and the four adults taped, calked, sanded, and painted a good bit of the upstairs hallway of the education wing. The four adults and several of the youth were there from noon until 5 p.m. Kevin and several more of the kids spent a good bit of either Friday, June 14 and/or Saturday, June 15 evening on most of the rest of the painting.

Whether you can play one Sunday or many of them, you are welcome to give Summer Chimers a try!

Summer Chimers will meet from 9 to 9:45 a.m., to practice and then play for the 10 a.m. service on June 23, July 28, Aug. 4, 18, and 25 and Sept. 1. Anyone wishing to practice and play with the group on any of those Sundays should contact Karen Magley, (703) 728-3321, or Tone chimes create soft muted sounds, which add a lovely dimension to any piece of music. It is a group activity, so all chimers need to have a desire to work in a group. Anyone from grade 3 through adult is eligible to play with the group.

Congratulations to our Bishop-elect Leila Ortiz.

The Rev. Leila M. Ortiz was elected to serve as the fourth Bishop of the Metro D.C. Synod Assembly on Saturday, June 15, 2019. She is the first woman to be elected in our synod.

Bishop-elect Ortiz will be succeeding Bishop Richard Graham, who served as Bishop for two terms, and will be retiring on August 31st, 2019. Prior to being elected, she served as Assistant to the Bishop, and prior to that, served as associate pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, MD.

Bishop-elect Ortiz’s installation is scheduled for October 12 and more details will be shared as they become available.

A full press release from the ELCA can be found here:

Be a CtK Ambassador and B.L.E.S.S. the Great Falls community!

Come enjoy the fun 4th of July festivities in Great Falls with your fellow members and introduce Christ the King Lutheran Church to other families. Christ the King will have a table on the Village Green before the 9 a.m. Little Patriot parade and after the 10 a.m. main parade. You can work behind the scenes setting up or cleaning up, or you can greet interested folks and hand out postcards, bubbles and water bottles. We'd love to have teenagers help, but we need lots of adults to volunteer, too.

Did you know CtK's front lawn is the best spot for viewing the fireworks? We'll host members of our congregation, their friends and families, and anyone else who joins us. We need you to supervise children in the moon bounce, set out water bottles, and clean up.


We’re recruiting volunteers to help serve breakfast at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter in Reston on Sunday June 30, from 7:30-9:00 a.m. (this leaves plenty of time to make to church). Please contact Steve Wilson if you’d like to help:

Save the date: Sunday, Aug. 4, after the 10:00 a.m. service, Martha's Table sandwich making, Aug. 4, 11 a.m., for delivery to the needy downtown. Info and signup to come at

This year we’ll again be supporting Cornerstones of Reston to equip thousands of schoolchildren in the Reston-Herndon area with brand new backpacks for the 2019-20 academic year. Purchase new backpacks and drop them in the bins in the lobby anytime from now through Aug. 5. Sizes needed: high school (most needed), 20” H x 14” W x 7” D; junior high, 18” H x 13” W x 6” D; and elementary, 16” H x 12” W x 5” D.


There is a large collection of Lost & Found items that have been gathering in the kitchen for quite some time now. These items will be on a rolling cart in the nametag hallway for the next two weeks & then they will be incorporated into the kitchen inventory or donated to Goodwill.