St. Andrew Presbyterian Church will welcome its new head pastor, the Rev. David Milam, at the 11 a.m. service Sunday. Milam has been an ordained minister for more than 20 years and has been head pastor at the Church of the Covenant in Macomb, Mich., since 1995. 711 W. Main St., Purcellville. 540-338-4332.

St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church will hold a St. Gabriel's Day celebration and ministry fair from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday. There will be a moon bounce, and information about the church will be available. Family photos will be taken for the parish directory. Belmont Ridge Middle School, 19045 Upper Belmont Pl., Lansdowne. 703-779-3616 or

Harmony United Methodist Church will hold a blessing of the animals service at 3 p.m. Sunday. 380 E. Colonial Hwy., Hamilton. 540-338-2937.

Sterling United Methodist Church will celebrate its 130th anniversary Sunday with a birthday party at noon. There will be games, a baby-photo contest, cake decorating and homemade ice cream. 304 E. Church Rd. 703-430-6455 or

Galilee United Methodist Church is beginning a small-group series, "Everyday Spirituality," to explore what it means to try to live each day as a follower of Christ. The groups start this week with a six-week study based on the book "God Is Closer Than You Think," by John Ortberg. 45425 Winding Rd., Sterling. 703-430-2203.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun will celebrate the gift of gratitude through stories, songs and a short homily Sunday. The service will be led by Dee Kysor and George Crafts, the song-story duo known as "Woven Yarns." UUCL services are at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m., 20460 Gleedsville Rd., Leesburg. 703-737-7644 or

Church member Mike Masiak will share his views on belonging to a faith community Sunday at the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling. UUS services are at 10:30 a.m. Sundays at 22135 Davis Dr., Suite 104. 703-406-3068 or

Congregation Sha'are Shalom, Loudoun County's only Conservative Jewish congregation, will hold an open house for those interested in learning about membership, programming or religious school, or in touring the synagogue before the Jewish High Holidays, which begin Oct. 3. 6 to 8 p.m. next Thursday. Refreshments will be provided. 19357 Evergreen Mill Road, Leesburg. 703-737-6500 or

High Holy Day services at Congregation Sha'are Shalom will begin with Rosh Hashanah at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3. Services will be at 9 a.m. on the first and second days of the holiday Oct. 4 and 5. Tashlich will be held at the conclusion of the first-day service, at 1 p.m. Oct. 4.

Yom Kippur services will begin at 6:15 p.m. Oct. 12 and at 9 a.m. Oct. 13. A break-the-fast will be held after the conclusion of Yom Kippur services, about 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services will be led by rabbinic intern Neil Tow.

Nonmembers can reserve tickets by calling the synagogue at 703-437-6500. $150 a person or $300 a family (includes children age 22 and younger). For information, visit

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church will hold a fall festival from 2 to 7 p.m. Oct. 1 to raise money for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Disaster Response to aid Hurricane Katrina survivors. There will be food, musical performances, arts and crafts, a barn dance and more. Rain or shine. 605 W. Market St., Leesburg. 703-777-1008.

Potomac Falls Episcopal Church will hold a blessing of the animals service at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 in the parking lot of Horizon Elementary School Parking Lot on Broadmore Drive in Cascades. The Rev. Jack Grubbs will conduct the service. Bring family pets for a blessing and a treat. Pets should be on a leash or in a carrier. 703-404-0900 or

St. James United Church of Christ in Lovettsville will sponsor a lecture and discussion on "The Great Divide: The Income Disparity That Is Destroying America" from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Thomas Balch Library, 208 W. Market St., Leesburg. The conversation will be led by Terry D. Kester, host of the Pacifica Radio program "What's at Stake," and Pete Farina, an economic-legal activist. Free. 703-443-0524.

-- Compiled by LESLIE SHEPHERD

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