St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - August 12, 2020
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:
In a recent virtual meeting with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the bishops of the Diocese of Virginia were given a message of hope. "This virus will end," he told them. And therein lies our hope. And it's this message of hope that we need to share with others - not only the hope that this virus will end, but the hope that we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not battling this virus alone. God is with us in the midst of it, in our struggles to stay safe and to take care of others, in our struggles with our lives being changed in so many ways, in our struggles to deal with these changes, in our struggles to deal with the deaths of thousands of people in our country. God gives us hope when God leads us through the wilderness, as God led the Israelites to the promised land. It may not be an easy journey, but God can and does sustain us when we put our faith and our hope in God.

The Rev. Carol Hancock

(If anyone missed the "Dancing Priest" video from last week's E Notes, you can click on the link below. It will brighten your day!)

The Rev. Carol Hancock

What else can St. John's be doing to fill your spiritual needs during this difficult time? If you have ideas or suggestions, please let Carol know.

St. John's is here to help you!
If you or someone you know has a need that the church can help with during this pandemic (going to the grocery store, picking up prescriptions, etc), please do not hesitate to call the church (703-803-7500). Many of us are ready and willing to help, should the need arise. The church is here to help in any way we can
Is Education for Ministry for you?
EfM is a four year program of study and theological reflection. The class meets on Monday evenings each week for 2.5 hours for 9 months, starting in September. The four years cover the Old Testament, the New Testament, Church history and theology. The cost is $375 per year, and you commit for one year at a time. We need to have at least one more person join us in order to have an EfM group this year. In addition to the readings for each week, we do a theological reflection, which can help show us where God is in the midst of ordinary events, and how God may be calling us to minister to others in God's name. Questions? Contact Carol or other members of EfM (Craig Staresinich, Walt Cooner, Patricia McPherson, Bob Faithful). We'd love to have you join us!

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:
A few announcements:

On Sunday, September 6, which is Labor Day weekend, members of our diocesan staff will provide a diocesan wide service for all congregations. This is an opportunity for the entire diocese to worship together virtually and it will take the place of St. John's regular service. Our bishops know how much work it is each week on the part of clergy and lay people to put together a virtual service. So they will offer us this service to give us a sabbath rest and to be in partnership with the other churches in our diocese. Bishop Susan Goff will preach. More details on how to access the service will come later.

Online diocesan LGBTQ+ retreat, August 22, 2020
 Deepen your walk with Christ in spiritual space designed by our community, for our community, on Saturday, August 22, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Rev. Elizabeth Edman, author of Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity, will introduce Queer Theology through prayer and reflection, followed by virtual lunch and conversation. Share your whole self without pretenses while starting new and deepening existing friendships with people across our diocese. Register at before Thursday, August 20 to be included.
Questions? E-mail
Have you completed your 2020 Census? It is important for each of us to complete our 2020 Census. Funding for various things, such as schools and hospitals, are determined by the results of the census. The deadline is September 30. Please complete yours today!

Our bookkeeper, Juliette Faulding, will be on vacation from August 17 - September 9. If there is anything you need from her, please contact her by Friday or after she returns.

Forward Day by Day is a short commentary on the daily scripture readings. The current issue is for August through October. If you would like one mailed to you, please call the church office.

Save the Children
St. John's supports two children through Save the Children, and has done so for many years. Their pictures are posted in the breezeway. We pay $20 per child per month to support these children. ($40 per month). We are in need of donors to help us to continue to provide financial support for these children. If you can help, please make a check out to St. John's, and put "Save the Children" in the memo line.

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries
We have recently received word that Western Fairfax Christian Ministries is again accepting personal donations of food and toiletries. This is what they need most:
Current Pantry Needs
Food & Beverages
Canned Tuna or Other Meat
Canned Fruit
Canned Vegetables (no Green beans, corn or Peas needed)
Canned Pasta (ravioli)
Rice (small bags or boxes)
Mashed Potatoes
100% Fruit Juice
Pancake Mix/Syrup
Flour/Sugar/Vegetable Oil
Toilet Paper
Diapers Size 5, 6

St. John's would like to help people in need of food and other items. We now have a bin outside the door to the breezeway for people who would like to drop off donations and we will get it to WFCM. If you would like a member of the Vestry to come and pick up your donation at your house, please email Angela Hadfield at She will contact a member of the Vestry to call you about a date and time to pick up your donation. If you would like to take your donation directly to WFCM, their address is 4511 Daly Dr., Suite J,Chantilly, V A 20151

Donations: 8-10 AM Monday/Friday and
2-4 on Tuesdays/Thursdays.
Here is the link that takes you directly to WFCM's 'wish list' on Amazon:

This Sunday, August 16, join us for the service at 9:00 AM, 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.

Book Study - "White Fragility - Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin Diangelo. Seven people have signed up for this book study that will start in September and meet for about 6 weeks on Zoom. If you are interested, please let Carol know. You can order the book on Amazon, or it might be in the Fairfax library.
St. John's History Video
                    by David Weir  
The St. John’s IT committee is putting together a video tribute marking this year’s 170th anniversary of St. John's consecration. 

Many of you reading this have been part of St. John’s history and may wish to make a contribution to the video. The contribution can take the form of a short video of your St. John's memories. Or if you have videos, photographs, or other objects that you think may of interest to the parish community just let me know. Request any interested party contact me . I can be reached via email at
What is "Messy Church"?
Messy Church is an intergenerational program of Christian Formation for all ages. Looking for something to do with your children or grandchildren? Check out the fun activities that are offered and learn more about Messy Church by clicking on this link.

Sunday readers - If you would like to be a Sunday reader and have the technology to record the readings and send them digitally to David Weir, please let Carol know. We would love to have you.

We encourage you to please stay current with your pledge and contributions to St. John's. Our bills continue to come in and need to be paid. You can mail your contributions to St. John's at 5649 Mt. Gilead Road, Centreville, VA 20120. If you would rather give online, please use the button below.

Preparing for Phase II Regathering in Our Church Buildings 

Here's the link:
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 Eleventh Sunday
after Pentecost -
August 16, 2020

The First Reading:
Genesis 45:1-15
 What Joseph’s brothers meant for evil, God worked for good. He prepared a path to protect and redeem Jacob’s family.

The Psalm: 133
pg. 787, BCP

The Second Reading:
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
 God draws all people to himself to redeem both Jew and Gentile.

The Gospel:
Matthew 15:10-28
 Jesus heals the daughter of a Canaanite woman, a person not expected to recognize the Savior.

Volunteers needed for food distribution on Tuesday, August 18
A week's supply of dairy products will be given to anyone in need at the Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 6600 Old Centreville Rd,. Centreville, VA 20121 on Tuesday, August 18. We are looking for volunteers to assist at this location during the times of 11am -1pm, 1-3pm and 3-5:30pm. In addition, if we have extra volunteers, we would like to have volunteers to assist with distributing food at the Centreville Library, 14200 Saint Germain Dr, Centreville, VA 20121 between 2-4pm. If you would like to help, please contact Steve Busch by this Friday at. or call 703-220-0270. 
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 contribution button may be used 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 donation button may be used 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. If designating gift for a special purpose (i.e.Organ Fund, Cemetery, etc.) please send an email after donating 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.
For the Beauty of the Earth
The last week in July may not be the best time to resume a serious practice of walking for exercise. It was, Bishop Goff told me, the hottest July ever recorded in Richmond. I'm still learning the weather patterns, so I asked if August is hotter than July, or the heat starts to taper a bit. "Well, it doesn't get hotter. But. . . it does get more humid." Well, no matter, I said to myself. I'm from the place that invented humid heat. I wasn't so sure, though, when it became clear that my laundry load was going to double if I went out walking every day. I was warned out of the woods (copperheads!), so I've been walking the track of the open areas. It has been hot, when it hasn't been raining, and so humid after the rain that you can barely see where you're going, and the steam has brought -- no, not rainbows and roses, but gnats and mosquitoes and, oddly, a bumper crop of spiders (Go U of Richmond!). But then, one morning when I slowed down and looked around a bit, just off the nice, flat, safe pavement, I saw this.
Hard to capture in a photo -- the colors and textures of the moss and the lichens, the unexpected berries from a tree, the subtle blue-green sticky cone of a conifer -- Christmas in July. Maybe I need to choose what I'm focusing on a little more carefully.
Carrick and I lived in the countryside outside Austin for a long time, on land fitted out as a migratory songbird sanctuary. That means that we spent ridiculous sums and hours on several dozen bluebird houses and many "squirrel proof" birdfeeders, among other things. For over twenty years, Carrick cleaned and logged the houses and filled the feeders and never saw a single bluebird. (The county assessor said that was okay for tax purposes, but we were disappointed.) The baffles did keep the varmints out, though. This morning I looked up from the breakfast table here in Richmond and saw this: That's right, the raccoon is standing on the raccoon baffle, enjoying the woodpecker's lunch.
I decided that the only way to deal with this aggravation was to re-read a favorite book, and it turned out to be just the medicine I needed. You may know the story about the man who finds himself on a bus going through a grey city where everybody argues and fights all the time. The city is indescribably vast, because when you can't get along with your neighbors, you simply move.
The new neighbors are disagreeable too, so you move to a newly built place on the edge of town - and since everybody does this, the place constantly expands exponentially. The bus takes the man to a place where he learns that the grey city is, in fact, Hell. And it turns out that to change your address and move to Heaven, the main thing you have to do is -- want to go. You have to want joy -- more than you want revenge, sulking, rage, victimhood, fame, intellectual superiority, status, control, domination, and all your appetites and grievances. You have to be willing to ask for, and accept, forgiveness. You have to choose joy, and nobody can do it for you. For the joy of the Lord is love, and the love of the Lord is joy. Oh, yeah. . . (Thank you, CS Lewis and The Great Divorce -- I needed that.) And then I looked out the window again and I saw this: I know it's small -- but there are bluebirds. Real, live ones. One eating the bluebird food, and one posing opposite the metal bluebird finial. Looks like the raccoon came back and finished off the woodpecker food, and I forgive her. I'm going to choose joy. It's all over the place.
There's plenty of hellishness all around us these days, plenty of anger and fear and rage and stuck-ness. We can choose to squabble and cut each other off, moving further and further apart, or we regroup, look closer, forgive and ask for forgiveness, and choose joy. What will you choose? 

Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson
We Brothers say that the person who most gets under your skin in community has a special role to play. That one is your teacher. Often what annoys us in another relates to something in ourselves. Uncomfortably, he or she is the one whom you especially need on the bus. We all belong in one large, messy family of God.
-Br. Luke Ditewig

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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