Welcome to 
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Bailey's Crossroads
Sunday worship and Holy Eucharist at 10:30am
To read recent sermon transcripts,  CLICK HERE

StPaulsSnow

July 30, 2020 


It never occurred to me that I had ever had a personal experience that could be related to the feeding of the 5000 until I came across one sentence in a commentary by Clifton Kirkpatrick that jumped out at me: "The story of the five thousand is very familiar to most Christians, but its message is always new: ~ That God loves and cares for every person on earth and that the promise of "life in fullness" extends to every creature and to the creation itself." I was suddenly catapulted back in memory to the days and months immediately after my husband died. Our family income had been reduced to 1/5 its size. I had three children still not yet launched and a home that I was determined would not be lost to my family as their father had been. Many was the night that I fell asleep with absolutely no idea how the mortgage would get paid and how my three children would get educated and launched. Logic told me that there simply was no way. But God has a way of making a way when there is no way. If I sat down and got out a piece of paper and a pencil, I might be able to trace back all the sources of income that cropped up along the way. No one in either of our families was supporting us. Monetarily, we were on our own. The prayers floated up to heaven on a nightly basis...about our physical and material needs, not to mention our emotional and spiritual ones. At the end of the day, the two older ones not only got their college degrees, one got an MBA and the other got a Ph.d. Eventually, the youngest one was settled in a group home  and I was blessed to be able to go to seminary. And to top it all off, we still have the house!! I know who did all that. We were on the receiving end of being touched by the kingdom of God through people who responded to their sense of compassion for us and put those feelings into action. They did something. Some were Christian. Some were not. God works through whoever God wants to work through. Thanks be to God. 
                                         T he Rev. Liz Tomlinson
New thoughts on a familiar story
Jesus doesn't feed the five thousand~the disciples do

The photo you see is a ceramic bowl that replicates the mosaic tile floor in front of the altar in the Church of the Multiplication situated on the banks of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is a reminder of the two fish and the five loaves of bread that fed 5000 men, not to mention the women and children, and produced twelve baskets of leftovers. The disciples point out to Jesus that it's getting late in the day and they should send the people into the nearest village so they can get something to eat. Jesus tells the disciples that they should feed the people, but they protest, "We have nothing. Just two fish and five loaves of bread." That's not much, but it's not 'nothing.'  Jesus blesses their meager offering and then sends them out to feed the 5000+. There's plenty to go around...more than enough actually. Jesus himself was moved by compassion to care for the hungry people in front of him. Jesus was the one who performed the miracle, but it was the disciples who actually fed the people. They were the hands and feet of Jesus, just as we are. This is the only miracle story that appears in all four gospels, so apparently it's important that we not only know the story, but that we explore its meaning and implications. J oin us on Sunday morning at 10:30am on Facebook for our Liturgy of the Word worship service and explore with us the limitless bounty of God's love and care for us.  CLICK HERE 
 Blessings
On the first Sunday of the month, we offer blessings 
for birthdays and for wedding anniversaries. 
If you will e-mail Linda Green on Thursday at green@stpaulsxr.org 
and let her know the date of your birthday or your wedding anniversary, 
we will include you in a blessing. 
Adult Formation
Third Session was Wednesday, July 29 at 7:00pm

Our third session was last night, but you can join us whenever you'd like. We are able to read this book and study it together on ZOOM which has become our home away from home. Arthur Brooks' objective is to give us some new strategies...some new tools to use...to be able to hear other people without falling into the trap of arguing. We've been commanded by Jesus to love one another and Arthur Brooks takes that commandment very seriously. He's offering some insights and strategies to help us do just that. Books are available on Amazon in hardback ($24.99) and Kindle ($13.99). Let Rev. Liz know if you are planning to be part of this study and if you would like to be provided with a book. This book study will be completed on Wednesday, September 2. 
Virtual Church
The Season of COVID-19 
 
We are currently using ZOOM to conduct our worship service each week. The service is recorded from the Rectory and the sacred spaces and homes of the Virtual Church Ministry team of Caroline Kruger, Dave Wright, Markeeta Belmar, Tam Mehuron, Michael Dunn, Sarah Dunn, and Abraham and June Jallah with the beautiful music provided by our Music Director, Anna Ko.  You can view the pre-recorded worship service on Facebook on Sunday morning at 10:30am. You can participate in all the liturgy, congregational responses and hymns right from your own home. It will enable us to 'be together' for worship and to enjoy Anna's music. We will be able to see and hear multiple people read, but we will not be able to hear a congregation responding during the course of the service. It will be different, but while our building will be closed, we are still the church and are still open to others. You will be able to access our Sunday morning service on  Facebook if you CLICK HERE  at 10:30am or later in the day if you wish. 
Virtual Coffee Hour
Face-to-Face...almost...at 11:30am

One of the things we miss most about not being able to gather together on Sunday morning for worship is the fellowship that we enjoy afterwards over a hot cup of coffee. We can still have the coffee...and we can still 'see' each other. It will just be 2-dimensional on ZOOM. Grab your coffee after our worship service and climb into a comfy chair in your own living room.  We had a great turnout last week and hope for more folks to 'show up' this coming week. Just send your RSVP to Linda at green@stpaulsbxr.org to reserve your spot!  'See' you there!!  If you need some help with ZOOM just let Linda know when you RSVP. One of us will be happy to walk you through it. If you worship with us regularly, you will receive a ZOOM invitation and link through Constant Contact on Saturday afternoon. 
Regathering
Options for worshiping together

The Diocese has been very good about providing guidelines for regathering for worship together in person and what precautions we need to take. The Diocese also provides the latest information about the numbers associated with COVID-19 in Fairfax County so we can keep tabs on how things are going in the areas where we live. The Diocese has authorized outdoor services and has approved our plan. We hope to have our first outdoor service on Sunday, August 9. If you would like to help with that service, please contact Rev. Liz. Our plan for indoor regathering has also been approved by the Diocese, but in order to implement it the public health metrics for Fairfax County must show a 14-day decline in new cases of COVID-19 and new deaths. To date, this has not happened. You should be getting a phone call before too long from one of the callers on the Telephone Ministry who will want to know from you how you are feeling about the prospect of re-gathering...both outdoors and indoors. Please feel free to share with your caller all your thoughts...anticipations and reservations...about coming together again for public worship. These are decisions our parish family needs to make together!
Personal Note Ministry
Staying in touch the old fashion way

Handwritten notes and cards are fast becoming a lost art. Telephone calls are good and e-mail is great, but nothing takes the place of a handwritten note from one friend to another. So many people relish and treasure them. Now that the pandemic has slowed our lives down a bit, we have time to resurrect this kind of communication. It's warm. It's personal. It's not intrusive. And it can be read and re-read as many times as the recipient wants. And it carries the distinct penmanship of the person who wrote it. Sometimes people would prefer a card rather than a phone call. If you have the time and the willingness to begin writing notes to your fellow parishioners to let them know that they are loved and that you miss them, please e-mail Rev. Liz at tomlinson@stpaulsbxr.org...or send her a handwritten note! If you need a directory, we'll get one to you!
Intercessory Prayer Group
Every Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

During this time of 'social distancing' the Intercessory Prayer Group will be maintained by Tam Mehuron in her home and on ZOOM. The day and the time frame and the structure will remain the same. Tam will be going through this Prayer Service at her house, so please send an e-mail to her with your prayer requests. Her e-mail is tmehuron@verizon.net. She can also let you know how to access the meeting through ZOOM.   
Telephone Ministry
Staying in Touch

Jesus told Peter, "Feed my sheep!" There are lots of ways that we can 'feed' one another, but one of the best ways is through conversation. Since we can't 'be' together for worship services or for Coffee Hour, we have started a new ministry that will help us stay connected and perhaps even help us get to know each other better. Since the second week in March, you should have gotten at least one call from another parishioner at St. Paul's...and perhaps more than one. Our callers are fantastic, but we need to share the wealth and let others take a turn. If you would like to participate in this ministry and be one of the callers, please contact Tam Mehuron at tmehuron@verizon.net and let her know. She will give you all the details and will include you when she draws up the new rota. 
Pledges and Offerings
Still needed

Thank you to each one of you who have been faithful with your pledge and those of you who are supporting us financially by donating through Tithley on our website and through this e-mail. Since we are not gathering for church on Sunday morning, we don't pass the collection plate during the service. That means that pledge envelopes and checks and cash offerings aren't presented for blessing, but when Monday morning rolls around, the bills continue to show up. To the extent that you can, please send your check or your pledge to the church via US mail. The address is at the end of this newsletter. You can also donate with your credit card by using Tithley. Just  CLICK HERE These are strange and unusual times and we're all in this together. If you aren't a member of St. Paul's but would like to make a donation to help us through this tough time, please know how grateful we are. Thank you in advance for keeping the St Paul's boat afloat! We are keeping a list of the Patron Saints of St. Paul's and we add each one of you to our prayers. Thank you!
 Book-Share   
The Joy of Reading
 
C heck out the bookcase outside the Rector's office and help yourself to anything that looks interesting. It's said "a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.  The man who never reads only lives one." Some new selections have shown up recently! Check them out!  When we get to return to our church building, check out the new books that have come in...or bring some donations yourself!
               
 
The food pantry
Summer is here     

St. Paul's continues to be both faithful and generous in supporting the ACCA Food Pantry. Your generosity is inspiring. If you have food to donate, please contact our Parish Administrator, Linda Green by e-mail at green@stpaulsbxr.org to make arrangements with her to drop off your donation. She is at the church several times a week to pick up the mail and keep the office running. She will be glad to arrange a time to let you in the building with your donation. Please continue to bring nonperishable foodstuffs for ACCA and place them in the wicker basket at the rear of the Sanctuary. Also, please remember to thank God's faithful servants, Dick and Mary Lou Runyon, for making sure all our donations are delivered to the ACCA Food Pantry where they will be shared with those in need. In the middle of this pandemic when many people are without incomes, the need for food is even greater. Please contribute all that you can!  
Homeless Shelter
Volunteer Opportunities
 
The next meeting of the Advisory Committee will be on Wednesday, September 9 at 7:00pm and it will be conducted on ZOOM. Please let Rev. Liz know if you are interested in shelter operations or volunteer opportunities and she will give you information about how to access this meeting. In the  meantime, if you would like to make donations to the shelter, New Hope Housing has provided a Wish List (on Amazon) for the homeless who are moving into housing of their own which is SUCCESS! To access that list, please  CLICK HERE . New Hope Housing manages a number of shelters around the county, so be sure to specify to New Hope that you want your donation to go to the Bailey's Crossroads Shelter. You can reach New Hope Housing at the Bailey's Shelter by calling 703-820-7621. You are helping to ease the way for our neighbors to get back on their feet! What an act of love!!