St. John's Episcopal Church

Welcome to the E-Notes!

February 28, 2018

ST. JOHN'S CALLS NEW ORGANIST/CHOIR DIRECTOR
 
Mandy Hull has been called as our new organist/choir director. She has been with us for the past two Sundays. Mandy has a long history of serving congregations as their organist/choir director in several different denominations. However, she is very familiar with the Episcopal liturgy and looks forward to working with our choir. Mandy also works as a teacher for children with special needs. Please welcome Mandy to St. John's this Sunday. Many thanks go to Bob Barnes for filling in at the organ during this interim period.
 
Lenten Service, Supper & Book Discussion...continues this evening, Wed., Feb. 28. 
It's not too late to join in!
On Wednesdays in Lent, we have a service at 6:00 PM, followed by a light supper of soup and bread, and program for the 6 weeks of Lent. The program is a discussion of the book "Walking Home: From Eden to Emmaus" by Margaret Guenther. She says, "The book is a series of meditations on the "walking stories" of Holy Scripture, beginning with the expulsion from Eden. Jesus walked everywhere with his disciples. He was always arriving, on the way somewhere else, or departing. Adam and Eve walked out of the garden, Abraham and Isaac walked up to Mt. Moriah, the Israelites walked for 40 years in the desert, the Prodigal Son walked home barefoot, and the disciples encountered the risen Christ when they walked to Emmaus. If we take the walk of faith, our feet will get dirty, worn and blistered. But the walk demands that we stand on solid ground, that we feel the earth beneath our feet, when we go barefoot from the garden to begin our lifetime of walking." The books are $20 each and are for sale now. Please see Carol. (Please go ahead & read chapters 4-6 before class)


JANUARY VESTRY HIGHLIGHTS


  • 2018 Budget Approval
  • Bishop Lee challenge grant application
  • "Church Watch" meeting by Fairfax County Police was attended to hear ideas for church safety and security
PARISH
  • Vestry officers
At our last Vestry meeting, the Vestry unanimously elected David Weir as Senior Warden, and Monti Zimmerman as Junior Warden. Julie Weir was unanimously appointed as Register, and Tom McDermott was unanimously endorsed as Treasurer. Many thanks to those willing to serve in these roles.

  • Help for Holy Week services is needed

On Palm Sunday, March 25, we will need 6 extra readers to read the parts of the Passion Narrative. We will then have a service on Maundy Thursday, two services on Good Friday, the Easter Vigil on Saturday, and two services on Easter Day. If you are an LEM, crucifer, lector, usher or torch bearer, we need your help! These services will be posted on the online sign up sheet (thanks to Sandy Jones!) so please sign up. The extra readers for Palm Sunday do not have to be lectors.

  • Congratulations to Anu George!
Parishioner Anu George is engaged and will be married on April 7 in Baltimore to David Chacko. After the wedding they will be moving to San Diego, California. We will certainly miss Anu but wish her Godspeed.
 
A STATEMENT FROM BISHOP SHANNON JOHNSTON REGARDING GUN VIOLENCE

Dear Diocesan Family -

I am posting below the statement from the group Bishops United Against Gun Violence, which we issued this past Friday regarding the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida. "Bishops United" is an association of approximately 70 bishops in The Episcopal Church and I am a charter member of that group.

It is clear that a statement along the lines of what we have released in the wake of past mass shootings is no longer satisfactory or sufficient. Such tragedies as these must never be permitted to lapse into what could easily be seen as routine. This is why we are calling for specific action steps.

Please give this statement your every consideration and your deepest prayers as our nation tries to come to terms with the awful reality of gun violence besetting our society during these times. Of course, we welcome your circulating this statement as widely as possible. With the very courageous - and most impressive - response from the students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, we may be turning a corner with respect to the public's response to this particular shooting. We can certainly hope and pray, but it is my hope that we will do much more than that. Surely there are some concrete steps that can be debated and passed by the U.S. Congress. And perhaps these action steps will make something of a difference. The status quo with respect to guns in our society and culture must not be allowed to stand!

Faithfully yours,

The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston
Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia


Bishops United Urges Assault Weapons Ban, Prayers of Lamentation

The heart of our nation has been broken yet again by another mass shooting at an American school.

We offer our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We mourn with particular sorrow Carmen Schentrup, a 16-year-old student at the school and leader in the youth group at St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs, who died at the hands of the gunman. We pledge to work with the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida to lend whatever material and spiritual comfort we can to all those who have suffered such a devastating loss.

The phrase "thoughts and prayers" has been devalued by politicians whose prayers seem never to move them to act against their self-interests or the interests of the National Rifle Association. Yet, as Christians, we believe deeply in the power of prayer to console, to sustain and to heal, but also to make evident the work that God is calling us to do. We pray that all who have been touched by this violent act receive God's healing and solace.
In the wake of this massacre, we believe God is calling us to understand that we must not simply identify the social and political impediments to ending these lethal spasms of violence in our country. We must reflect on and acknowledge our own complicity in the unjust systems that facilitate so many deaths, and, in accordance with the keeping of a holy Lent, repent and make reparations.

Specifically, we ask you, members of our church and those who ally yourselves with us, to:
  • Contact your elected representatives and ask them to support legislation banning assault weapons such as the AR-15, which is the gun used in most of the recent mass shootings in our country; high-capacity magazines; and bump stocks, the equipment used by the killer in the Las Vegas massacre that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire dozens of rounds in seconds. We understand that mass shootings account for a small percentage of the victims of gun violence; that far more people are killed by handguns than by any kind of rifle; that poverty, misogyny and racism contribute mightily to the violence in our society and that soaring rates of suicide remain a great unaddressed social challenge. And yet, the problem of gun violence is complex, and we must sometimes address it in small pieces if it is not to overwhelm us. So, please, call your members of Congress and insist that your voice be heard above those of the National Rifle Association's lobbyists.
  • Participate in a service of a lamentation for the victims of the Parkland shooting and all victims of lethal gun violence. We will be announcing a schedule of such services at churches around the country in the near future. To keep up with these plans, please follow our Facebook page Episcopalians Against Gun Violence.
  • Enter into a period of discernment with us about how, through prayer, advocacy and action, we can make clear to our elected representatives that they must vote in the interests of all Americans, including law-abiding gun owners, in passing life-saving, common sense gun policies. Visit our
    website  to learn more about our work and how to reach us. And if you plan to attend this summer's General Convention in Austin, Texas, plan to join us each morning for prayer outside the convention hall and to attend the Bishops United Against Gun Violence public witness on Sunday, July 8 at 9 a.m.
Two years after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that took the life of Ben Wheeler, an active young member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown, Connecticut, his father, David,  asked parents to look at their children and then ask themselves, "Am I doing everything I can to keep them safe? Because the answer to that question, if we all answer honestly, clearly is no." In memory of Carmen and Ben and all of God's children lost to senseless gun violence, may God give us grace and fortitude in our witness so that we can, at last, answer yes.
DIOCESE
  • Welcome Bishop Ihloff

Bishop Johnston is pleased to announce his appointment of the Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff pronounced "E loff) as Bishop Associate in the Diocese of Virginia. Bishop Ihloff served as the Bishop of Maryland from 1995 until his retirement in 2007. He will provide key support to the Diocese during the transition between Bishop Ted Gulick's retirement at the end of 2017 and the election of a second Bishop Suffragan later this year. His office will be in Northern Virginia, at The Falls Church.

 

  • Online Lenten Offering
Again this year, Virginia Theological Seminary has teamed up with the Society of St. John the Evangelist to provide a Lenten program. "Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John" provides an online opportunity for you to watch a short daily video, ponder the verse for the day, and then write or draw something you want to remember in your journal. Journals can be downloaded from the website. To sign up to receive the daily videos and other resources, go to 
www.meetingjesusinjohn.org   (I have been watching the short (2-4 minute) videos each day and have pondered the questions they raise. They are quite good and I highly recommend them for your personal daily devotions during Lent. I also recommend the Lenten Meditations booklet from Episcopal Relief and Development that are available in the breezeway. They are faith-filled stories from a variety of authors. Carol)
  OPPORTUNITIES 
  • 2019 Trip to Israel
If you are interested in the trip to Israel in January 2019, you need to contact Andrew Wade
andrewdwade@gmail.com    as soon as possible.The trip is filling up fast and there is a limit of 40 people. Each person planning to go must make a reservation with St. George's College in Jerusalem and make a $500 deposit. We will be traveling with parishioners from Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Delaplane.  
 
  • Holy Sepulchre Closed in Jerusalem
Yesterday, Sunday February 25, the Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. For the first time in decades, in an act of solidarity the doors were locked at noon in protest to recent actions initiated by the Mayor of Jerusalem by which various church accounts have been frozen, millions of dollars in property taxes levied against 887 church and UN properties, and a bill brought before the Knesset that is said to open the way for permissible church property expropriation. All of which is being felt as a sudden precipitous threat to the Christian presence and ministry in this land as not seen in the 70 years of this State.

 
Last night it was my privilege to be invited by Archbishop Suheil Dawani to a dinner hosted at our Cathedral Close which welcomed Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch who presided earlier that day over the closing of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was a stirring evening as he and our Archbishop spoke in strident terms of the challenge they, and the churches of Jerusalem, are facing in this moment. The Christian community in this city stretches back across 20 centuries of worship, ministry and service in the name of Jesus Christ, and no one can say where this will lead.

At this hour only the Guardian, in Western press, appears to be reporting the closing of the Holy Sepulchre. www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/25/jerusalem-holy-sepulchre-church-closes-tax-protest-israel

The Middle East Monitor, in an article on February 2, 2018 drew dots between these developments and the pronouncement made by President Trump in December. "US President Donald Trump's decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has encouraged the Israeli government to annex large swathes of the city and force its laws on it." https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180202-israel-imposes-taxes-on-church-un-properties-in-jerusalem/

I should tell you that one of the two accounts of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem that was frozen by the Israeli government earlier this month was one of our smaller College accounts. The College is able to function and pay our staff. Courses are thriving.
O give thanks
  • for the united stance of the Churches of Jerusalem
  • for the witness of our Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem
  • for the ministry of the College by which faith is enhanced and invigorated.
Pray for us, as we pray for you in your witness to the living Christ.

Warm regards,
Richard LeSueur
Interim Dean, St. Georges College, Jerusalem

(Later announcement) The good news today is that the Prime Minister of Israel has announced a change in course that has brought the reopening of the Holy Sepulchre this morning. The negotiations regarding the taxing of certain church properties has yet to begin. There will be more. Thank you for your prayers.
St. John's Recycling Fundraiser -
LAST CALL for this year! Bring your electronics in by next Sunday, March 11!
 
***Have you gotten a new phone lately? Consider donating the old phone to St. John's! 
Protect the environment and clean out those used electronic items that clutter closets & drawers!
Nothing to buy! Nothing to sell! Just bring in the used electronic items that you have replaced or that have broken. We will package the items and send them to Eco-Phones for recycling. Eco-Phones pays us for these items -
working or not. Here's what we're collecting:
 
cell phones - ipads & tablets - inkjet cartridges
 
Eco-Phones will not accept desktop computers and is no longer accepting laptops.
Bring your items to the church and place them in the "Eco-Phones" box in the breezeway. If you have any questions contact Penny Parker at 703-791-3482 or pennypar@gmail.com 
 

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You may sign up here to donate the flowers to be used on the altar for each of the Sundays in 2018. Click to read additional info before signing up.
 

 
  
We can prepare our hearts and minds by
reading ahead for the Sunday Service lessons.  
        
THE THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT  
March 4, 2018
     9:30 AM      
          

Christ expelling the money changers, El Greco, detail

       
The First Reading:
Exodus 20:1-17 
On Mount Sinai, Moses receives the Ten Commandments; God provides boundaries for his people to help them live the good life. 
  
The Psalm:    19
   
The Epistle: 
1 Corinthians 1:18-25  
The way and work of the cross does not make sense to worldly understandings of success, fulfillment, and safety. Christianity turns the world order on its head. 
 
The Gospel:
John 2:13-22 
As Jesus clears the temple, he shows from his action and his prophecy both, that the physical world matters to God. Like the Temple and like Jesus's body, our bodies and our environments deserve sacred treatment. 

  
 
THE ADULT
LECTIONARY FORUM

MEETS EACH SUNDAY IN THE LIBRARY,  
FOLLOWING THE SERVICE 
  
FROM 10:50 - 11:50 am
___________________

CHILD CARE IS 
PROVIDED IN THE NURSERY   
(Rm. 205) 
During the Service
____________________
 
JOINT SUNDAY SCHOOL

  Each week, St. John's children
join with three of our Ministry Partners: 
Fairfax Chinese Christian Church, 
Wellspring UCC
& Grace Baptist Church

 for Sunday School
10:30  - 11:30 A
M
 
We  offer 3 classes:
 
PreK: Rm. 205;  
K - 6th grade: Rm. 207/208;
 7th - 12th grade: Rm 206
    
Reminder
Every Wednesday evening, we have a service of Holy Eucharist and healing at 6:00 PM. The service is about 30 minutes. It is a perfect alternative for those who cannot come to church on Sunday mornings, as well as a good spiritual boost in the middle of the week. Come join us!
 ***
O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, the evening comes, the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, page 833 

 
 
My email address is stjohnscvpriest@gmail.com,
and the office number is 703-803-7500.  
May our ministry together spread God's love to all whom we encounter.

       - Carol
       The Rev. Carol Hancock
       Rector

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