St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - April 28, 2021
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

This Sunday, May 2, we will have our Annual Parish Meeting at 11:00 AM on Zoom. Normally, we would have had this meeting in February, but at that time, we had no candidates to run for Vestry. We now have 4 excellent candidates and you can read their short biographies below. We will also elect our delegate and alternate delegate to the Diocesan Convention and regional meetings. All adult members (16 and older) who are communicants in good standing are entitled to vote. Communicants in good standing are defined as: "All communicants of this parish who for the previous year have been faithful in corporate worship, and have been faithful in working, praying and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God, are considered to be considered communicants in good standing." In this case, as we have had only one in-person service in the past year, it is hoped that members of the congregation have participated in the online services, and have been diligent in prayer and giving.
I want to thank the two members of the Vestry who are completing their three year term on the Vestry and will be rotating off - Lisa Heller and Susie Pike. Lisa has worked hard on many different Vestry projects and was the co-chair of the Facilities Campaign. Susie has worked tirelessly as the Senior Warden for the past two years and helped us work our way through this pandemic. She has overseen many projects and upgrades throughout the building and has kept us on an even keel. Many thanks go to both Susie and Lisa for their hard work on your behalf.
I hope you will join us on Sunday at 11:00 AM for this important parish meeting. You will find the link to this meeting and all the documents you will need below.

The Rev. Carol Hancock
"We give thanks for the ordination to the diaconate of The Rev. Steve Busch last Monday and pray for his continued ministry among us." 
The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
On Monday, April 19, the Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff ordained Steven Busch, along with six others, at All Saints' Church, Richmond.
He is ordained as a Vocational Deacon and continues his ministry at St. John’s. The Rev. Carol Hancock attended as his clergy presenter, and Mary Johnson as his lay presenter.
Cleaning the Church & Planting the Easter Flowers
At some point, in the not-too-distant future, we will again be able to hold services inside the church. Now that it's all spic and span, and the front flower bed has new flowering plants installed, thanks to the following folks, we will be more ready to open the red front door!
A big thank you to: Dave and Penny Parker, John and Kristen Tucker, Marcia Evans, Marie McDermott, Beverly Taylor, Andrew Wade, Lisa Heller, Susan Davis, Larry and Susie Pike, who worked like crazy last weekend to get it all accomplished!
We need some help...
For the past 13 months, David Weir has digitally put together two services every week. The service, the sermon, the readings, the prayers and the music all come from various locations. He puts them all in the right spots and puts it on YouTube for all the parishioners and others to watch. This takes about 10 hours each week. Due to an increased work load, David will stop editing these services at the end of May. Our heartfelt thanks go to David for the amazing work he has done to put our services online.
It is now time for David to hand this off to someone else (or a team of people) so we can continue to have an online presence. It is now time for others to take over. We would like to continue to record the services until we have in-person worship in the church. Hopefully, that will be soon. Once we are in the church, we would like to livestream the service so those who are not able or do not yet wish to come to the church can watch the service online. It would be helpful to have a "team" of people willing to take this on, so it doesn't all fall on one person. (I have heard from another church's tech person that we can use an ipad or iphone and with a free software program, we can put in on Facebook live.) If you have some expertise in this area, or are willing to learn how to do this, please let Carol know as soon as possible. It is important for us to keep an online presence as we are reaching people outside of our congregation.
Annual Parish Meeting**Annual Parish Meeting**Annual Parish Meeting

Our Annual Parish Meeting will be held this Sunday, May 2 at 11:00 AM on Zoom.

We will hear some reports and elect several Vestry members. Here are links to some documents to use for the annual meeting - please read through them before the meeting:

Pease join us for this important meeting. We can elect up to 7 people for the Vestry so if you are interested, please let Carol know. Here is a bit about the four candidates who are running:

Robert (Bob) Faithful began attending this church in 2010. This would be a third term on the Vestry for Bob. He previously served from 2012-2014 as the Senior Warden. He served on the Vestry from 2016-2019. Bob has participated in the Education for Ministry classes 1, 2 and 3. He lives in Centreville and is retired from 37 years of Federal service in the US Air Force and the Department of the Interior. His past career has been in law and management. He is a grateful member of this Church.

Tom Jones - My wife, Mary, and I moved to Northern Virginia in 1987, having been transferred here by my employer. We initially attended The Church of the Good Shepherd in Herndon for a few years, then joined St. John’s. We have now been at St. John’s for well over 25 years. I graduated from The University of South Carolina, served in the US Army, and then started my career in the insurance claim industry. I retired from The St. Paul Insurance Companies as Regional Manager of Medical Professional Claims, encompassing a six-state region. Mary retired from Fairfax County Public Schools. We have two adult children, and five perfect grandchildren. Previously, I served on the Vestry, as well as Junior Warden, at St. John’s – Shandon, in Columbia, South Carolina. I was nominated for Senior Warden; however, a job promotion required a transfer, and it would have been unfair to accept the responsibilities of Senior Warden, only to vacate the job in a noticeably short period of time. In the other parishes where we have lived (New Orleans, Raleigh, & St. Paul) I have worked with the EYC, assisted as a chalice bearer, and served as Lector. Serving is a way of giving back our time and talent for God’s blessings bestowed upon us. I would hope that, in some manner, I would serve as a positive influence for the mission of St. John’s Centreville.
David Parker - I am a recently retired stage-hand after having worked on staff at Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts for nearly 30 years. My wife, Penny, and I live in Manassas and have been members of St. John’s since the mid 80’s. Our two daughters, Rebecca and Sarah, were both baptized and confirmed at St. John’s and our oldest, Rebecca, was married there. My ministries include singing in the choir, helping out with a variety of handyman projects, especially electrical, and organizing the annual pancake supper. I served on the vestry once before in the 90’s.

Durinda Smith - My family and I have lived in the Virginia Run community in Centreville for 32 years and I have been regularly attending services at St John’s since 2015. I have served as an usher at the Sunday morning services and served on the Altar Guild for the past few year. I also participated in the Education for Ministry program with Carol and 5 other parishioners. In serving on the vestry I hope to help continue the good works of the current vestry and do what I can work for our church and community.
As we begin the season of graduations, we want to recognize those from our St. John's family who are graduating from high school, college, or with other post-graduate degrees. Let us know where you are graduating from and what your plans are for the coming year. We want to celebrate your accomplishments! Please send your information to Carol.
-Lisa Heller is graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary with a Diploma in Theology on May 13.
-Gray Jones is graduating from Chantilly High School and will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall, majoring in Business Information Technology.

I've been scammed!!!
Last week, I was informed that someone was using my name and asking people to buy iTune gift cards for cancer patients. THAT WAS NOT FROM ME! I will not ask people for money, unless it is something I put in the E Notes, and that would be very rare. If you ever get a request for money and the email says its from me, please feel free to call me and confirm it before sending any money. Unfortunately, there are people out there who try to scam others. Carol Hancock

Special Diocesan Convention
Last Saturday, Walt Cooner, your parish delegate to Convention, and I attended a Special Convention called by the bishop to pass the budget that was not passed at the regular Convention in November. Several amendments to the budget were discussed and voted on. The only one of the four amendments that passed was to restore $20,000 to Campus Ministries. The 2021 budget was passed.

WFCM requests backpacks for the fall
Western Fairfax Christian Ministries has asked St. John's to provide 15 girls backpacks for Lees Corner Elementary School. These backpacks would be for elementary school girls. Solid colors are preferred in pink, yellow, purple or turquoise. The backpacks are not needed until early August but you can drop them off at the church anytime.

The Bishop's Learning Series
Bishop Porter Taylor’s online classes continue with a new course beginning in May and June. There are class times specifically for clergy and lay participants. 

Evangelism as Storytelling
Classes for clergy and laity starting early May

We are our story. Stories are how we make meaning. When people asked Jesus complex questions, he answered with stories. To that end, evangelism is about storytelling. We are commissioned to go and tell the Good News, which is the story of what God has done, is doing and has promised to do in us, with us and through us. This class will focus on sharing our stories with one another in a safe container. At the end of the course, discussions will include how evangelism as storytelling can be incorporated into a church's life in ways that draw people into a similar activity. 

Learn more about this classIf you are interested, please contact Anita Lisk Classes will begin in early May. All classes will be virtual. There will be a clergy class and a laity class.

Join the Diocesan Creation Care Task Force
Members of the Diocese are invited to apply to serve on the Creation Care Task Force for the Diocese of Virginia. The Task Force is responsible for developing programs that meet strategic vision and goals. It is the conviction of the Diocese that this group represent a depth of diversity in Creation Care experience, parish, school or organization, geography, age, racial and cultural, as well as experiential diversity. The Task Force will be comprised of 15-20 people. Terms will be staggered. Those serving will be appointed by the Bishop. Please submit applications to by Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
Be a Sunday service reader, from anywhere!
During this time of covid, St. John's holds a Sunday morning prayer service which is "aired" on Sunday mornings at 9 AM. The readings are
...pre-recorded, and several parishioners have been doing a great job doing them, from different venues - no matter where they are! We welcome, need, and value your help! If you would like more information on how to do this, click here for the info page on SignUp Genius. Please sign up a week before the Sunday you would like to read, so we can get the readings to you and you can get your recording to David Weir by Thursday.
Every Wednesday, St. John's has a Service of Evening Prayer at 6 PM. It is a peaceful way to end the day, and it's now being held virtually. Here is the link to this evening's service:

Wednesday, April 28
The link to the Sunday service is sent out each Saturday as usual. Then join us for the coffee hour from 10:00 - 10:30 and the Adult Lectionary Class at 10:30 AM on Zoom. The links will be sent out in Saturday's email to all.
The Adult Lectionary Forum
Now being held virtually via Zoom. All are invited to join in, following the virtual Sunday service. The links to the Forum and the service are sent out in a separate email on Saturdays.
We can prepare our hearts & minds by reading ahead
for the Sunday Service lesson

The Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 2, 2021

The First Reading:
Acts 8:26-40
The Lord prepares an Ethiopian eunuch to understand the gospel and prepares Philip to convey it. Philip obeys and a rapid conversion results.

The Psalm: 22:24-30, page 612, BCP
The Second Reading:
1 John 4:7-21
The love that God shows us through Jesus must overflow from our hearts for the sake of our neighbors.

The Gospel:
John 15:1-8
 Abiding in Jesus shields us from self-deception and draws us closer to God.
Online Contributions
 to St. John's
St. John's now offers three buttons for online donations via You may use the buttons below to go directly to, or you may download the app on your phone or tablet.
The Pledge payment button may be used only to make your pledge payment (after signing up to be a pledger, which may be done at any time in the year. See Carol or Vestry)
The Facility Campaign button may be used only for any contribution for the facility's buildings and grounds, or special facility campaigns.
The Donation button may be used for any other type of donation to St. John's. To designate a special purpose (i.e. Organ Fund, Ministry Partner payments, etc.) please send a note to
Sermons from the Bishop's Online Chapel
Each week, one of our bishops or a member of the diocesan staff prepares and posts a sermon based on the Sunday's readings that can be used for online services. Here is the sermon posted for this past Sunday.
A Meditation for the Fourth Week of Easter: It's Time

It's Time

Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
And how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take 'til he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind. 
--Bob Dylan
It’s time. It’s time for us to remember who we are and why we are here. I am writing a week after the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. I am not interested in re-litigating the trial.

My point is: we cannot live like this. It is not God’s intention. We must move out of melodrama. There are not good people and bad people. There are just sinners who are aware of their need of God to enable them even as flawed people to be instruments of God’s will. There also are those who are unaware and, therefore, may be helping to bring in God’s reign of peace, justice or may be consciously or unconsciously working against it.

It’s time to move out of melodrama and take an honest look at who we are as a nation and what we want to be. More importantly, as Christians we must remember who Jesus is calling us to be.

It’s time: time to be honest about our past, our present, and God’s desire for our future.
Remember Jesus’ last words in the Gospel of Matthew? “Go therefore making disciples of all nations…. teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” And what did Jesus teach us? “Love God with all your heart soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”

It's time. It’s not enough to sit in judgement of Derek Chauvin or anyone else. We are to “be the change you seek for the world” (Mahatma Gandhi). The question is not simply who is right and who is wrong. The questions we face are what are we doing here and now to make a difference? How are we being instruments of the Good News? Are we loving our neighbor as ourselves? 

It’s time. We start where we are. 

First, we become more aware of who we are as a country and who we are as individuals. Take a step in that direction. Become a participant in Sacred Ground; read books that lift the veil of our country’s history.

Second, as we say in AA, “Do a moral inventory.” What’s our personal history? What is it about our individual and corporate past that we don’t want to confront? In this moment, what is God calling each of us to do?

I grew up in Asheville. We had a maid who left her eleven children to come and cook for us and clean our house. As a child, it never dawned on me that something was wrong with this. I never wondered why the five of us lived in a house three times bigger than the one Anna lived in with twelve other people or why she had to leave her children to be with us.

Third, we are to be open and intentional about what God is calling us to do and think right now. It’s convenient to blame Derek Chauvin as if he is the cause of everything racist in Minneapolis. However, he is one chapter of a long story that has been told since our country’s inception.

As the writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Yes, we must confess our country’s racism and pray and work to rid ourselves and this country of it.

Yes, we must do something about the never-ending deaths of black men and women in our streets and realize this is more than a police problem. It’s a systemic problem that unveils the differences between races in income, housing, medical care and on and on.

Because we all are sinners in need of God’s redemption, we must not make Derek Chauvin the scapegoat. He is one person who holds up a mirror of what is wrong throughout our country. Racism is not over because he is convicted.

Now is the time. The answer is not blowing in the wind. It’s pounding in our hearts and echoing in the voice of our Lord. It’s time.

Bishop Porter Taylor
We need not fear change, because Jesus does not change. He is faithful, and he urges us to remember that he is with us always even to the end of the age. That is our Easter hope. That is our Good News.
-Br. Geoffrey Tristram
My email address is,
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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