This issue includes news about an Instructed Eucharist, Vestry and financial reports...and more
A Place Set Apart: Shrine Mont

Perhaps one of the quirks of my personality is that when people ask where I am from, I frequently respond that I am "from" the mountains of Virginia. My mailing address was only ever listed as Orkney Springs, Virginia during the summer months, but the impact of those days on the mountain far exceeded the volume of time. There are many details about my time at Shrine Mont as a camper, counselor, retreat leader, and parishioner that I will happily recount for anyone who is actually interested! But my intent in sharing my personal connection is to offer a much broader invitation.
Shrine Mont is the retreat center and Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. As Bishop Lee frequently boasted, "OUR cathedral has the tallest ceilings in the world," (because it is outdoors!) It is literally at the end of the road, and hugs the border of West Virginia. The original hotel was built as a retreat for those who traveled to the natural hot springs for their healing powers. It is intentionally rustic in nature, and stunningly beautiful in simplicity. One of the benefits of our status as a parish in the Diocese of Virginia is the opportunity to be on retreat together at Shrine Mont on an annual basis.

As a place that is physically apart from our daily lives, Shrine Mont provides the opportunity to connect in whatever way our souls might need most. If you are in need of connecting with nature -- the beauty of the mountains and the breath-taking (literally!) incline of the hills cannot be avoided. If it is God with whom you seek to connect, perhaps a hike to the cross, time spent in the shrine, or an opportunity to walk the labyrinth would nourish you. If you are still wondering whether St. Michael's is your parish home, come share meals with fellow parishioners, spend time in conversation that goes deeper than coffee hour allows, and lean into the possibility of making meaningful connections. If it is your playful, child-like nature that you are seeking, be prepared to relish in the joy of our children, or find an Adirondack chair and simply watch the world pass by in delight! If you are looking for peers and partners in the parenting vocation, seek out those who share this role and know that the children will be exhausted by delight at the weekend's end! Shrine Mont is a place intentionally set apart so that we might make room for all that our souls need, but often do not receive in daily life.

Shrine Mont is many things for many people. Whether this is the first you've heard of our Cathedral Shrine, or you've been going for years, this is YOUR retreat! While I expect most of you will not adopt Shrine Mont as your home away from home, it has always been a place of meaningful spiritual growth and connection for me. What I have experienced over the years is that we are continually invited to return so that we might be nourished anew by meaningful connections, in whatever form we are seeking them. My sincere hope is that everyone in our parish family will consider joining us on retreat, September 14-16, 2018. As a commitment to our parish families, the Vestry generously pays the cost for all children to attend the weekend.

Your planning committee has already begun working in earnest and early registration has begun! For questions or more information, please seek out Tom Sheldon, Caroline Haynes, or Linda Kelleher. Details on how to register can be found on our parish website. Please use the online registration form to reserve your spot today!

Instructed Eucharist

On Sun., Apr. 29 we'll be having an Instructed Eucharist at both services. While we will have full Eucharistic celebrations at both services on Apr. 29, we will take the time to deepen our understanding of the significance of each component of the liturgy. There will be narrated explanations offered for each component of the service. Families with children are particularly encouraged to attend, as children will be invited to gather around the altar to have a better view of all that takes place.
April Financial Report
The Vestry approved the 2017 Operating Fund Budget in Feb. 2018. It was projected to have a $53.6K deficit.

Our income as of March 31, 2018 was slightly ahead of our projected budget by 2%. For the same period, our expenses were less than our budget projection by about 8%. Our  Parish Administrator (Wil Harkins) has provided a summary of our 2018 Operating Fund Pledge Campaign; as of Mar. 11, 2018, we have 67 pledges with $243.5K pledged (13 are completely paid) and we have received $90K. In summary, we are on-track with our income and pledges and our expenses are currently below budget -- so after the first quarter of the year we are doing well. 

Read the full treasurer's report  (which includes the Outreach collection figures)  here.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Dean Scribner, Treasurer
Communication Deadlines
Please submit short announcements of a timely nature to Wil Harkins, parish administrator, by noon on Thursday prior to the Sunday that you'd like it included in the service bulletin. 
Longer articles and items that are not time sensitive should be submitted to The Guardian newsletter staff by the 1st or 15th of the month. The newsletter is published on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. All submissions are subject to edit and approval.
Reminder...Rebuilding Together is this weekend,
Sat., Apr. 28 at a home in Arlington.
Many volunteers make light work!

Contact Dan Ruff for information on helping out.
New Parish Directory to be Published Soon

A draft version of the Parish Directory is available in the Parish Hall. Please review and mark any changes that need to be made.

Would you like your picture added to the directory? If so, please send a .jpg file to Wil Harkins in the Parish Office or stop by the Parish Office with a photo and Wil will scan it and add it to the directory.

Judy Andrews and Dan Botticello have recently moved. If you'd like to contact them before the new directory is available, please call the Parish Office for their new address and phone number. 
Vestry Meeting Highlights

Please be aware that the content contained in these meeting minutes was accurate at the time of transcription. Some details may have since been updated.

A brief Vestry meeting was held during the final 30 minutes of the Vestry retreat at Virginia Theological Seminary [on March 17, 2018].
In attendance: Rev. Beth Magill., Mary Cushing, Dan Plafcan, Penny Jones, Molly White, Julia Carter, TJ Burnside Clapp & Michele Casciano . Absent: Tim Matlack, Barb Adams
4:00 pm : Prayers for our parish family -- prayers for parishioners, family, friends & neighbors
  • Approved February minutes as amended
  • Received Financial Reports
  • Review & approval of the parochial report. 
  • Thanks to Julia Carter for orchestrating a wonderful 'Celebration of New Ministry.'
  • Conversation about using a consent agenda to help streamline Vestry meetings. Requires all written reports be submitted by the Thursday before the Tuesday Vestry meeting to allow everyone ample time to read/review/comment.
  • The Rev. Beth Magill provided an update from the work of the communications committee. She presented proposals from four different firms to redesign the St. Michael's website. 
The vestry voted to contract with Membership Vision, a California-based web design c ompany that focuses on providing churches w/ sustainable tools to tell their stories across all media platforms. The Finance Committee recommended that the funding for this work come from the Memorial Fund. 
The book Joining God, Remaking Church, Changing the World was distributed; assignment for April Vestry meeting is to read Introduction & chapter 1.
Blessing and Dismissal
Respectfully submitted: Michele Casciano
Support St. Michael's


You can make single gifts and recurring donations (pledges) through our online service  Network for Good.
St. Michael's Episcopal Church
 1132 N. Ivanhoe Street  | Arlington, VA 22205-2445

Our mission is to provide a nurturing spiritual community in Christ Jesus as the foundation 

from which we strive to go forth and serve God by the power of the Holy Spirit.