St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - August 25, 2020
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:
What is it that sustains you during this pandemic? That question was asked of the clergy who attended this week's webinar by Bishop Susan Goff. The three bishops shared what sustains them - remember that God is in charge and will not let us go; pray for ourselves and others; remember that we have been through tough times before, both in the church and as a nation, and have survived; read history and biographies to remember what other people have gone through; be present in the moment; enjoy nature; lighten up; practice forgiveness for yourself and others; enjoy family, friends and grandchildren, even if its at a distance; in this time of political upheaval, avoid political self-righteousness (why doesn't everyone see things the way I see them?) and too much negative news. The bishops encouraged us to be gentle with ourselves during this difficult and stressful time, and I pass along that same advice to you. This pandemic will end. But it is a marathon, not a sprint and we need to sustain ourselves for the long road ahead. So ask yourselves: what sustains you during this pandemic? May God's peace and love sustain you during this time.

The Rev. Carol Hancock
Rector

The Rev. Carol Hancock
Rector



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
Be a Sunday service reader, from anywhere!
During this time of covid, St. John's puts together a 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.
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.

Our bookkeeper, Juliette Faulding, will be on vacation until September 9. Catherine Packard may be able to answer your questions while Juliette is away.

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.
OUTREACH
TO OUR COMMUNITY

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
Toiletries
Deodorant
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 angela1117@gmail.com. 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:



Prayer list - If you would like to add someone's name to the prayer list, please send the name to Carol or Catherine Packard by Monday in order to have that name on our prayer list for the following Sunday. We need to get the prayer list to our readers by Tuesday so they can record the Prayers of the People and get it to David Weir by Thursday. Please let Carol know when we can take someone's name off the prayer list.

PARISH NEWS
This Sunday, August 30, 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. Nine people have signed up for this book study that will start on Thursday, September 3, from 7:00 - 8:00 PM and meet for about 6 weeks on Zoom. If you are interested, please let Carol know as soon as possible so she can include you in the list to receive the Zoom link for the class. You can order the book on Amazon, or it might be in the Fairfax library. Please read the first two chapters for our first meeting on September 3.
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.

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 Tithe.ly button below.
Preparing for Phase II Regathering in Our Church Buildings 

Here's the link:
SUNDAY WORSHIP & EDUCATION
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 Thirteenth Sunday
after Pentecost -
August 30, 2020

The First Reading:
Exodus 3:1-15
 God reveals himself to Moses, calling him to action on behalf of the Hebrew people.

The Psalm: 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c
pg. 738, BCP

The Second Reading:
Romans 12:9-21
  How Christians ought to treat one another in the church, and indeed treat all people, is simple but not easy.

The Gospel:
Matthew 16:21-28
 Jesus begins to reveal to his disciples the consequences of facing evil: the coming of God’s kingdom will mean death for many who follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.
______________________

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries

On Saturday, September 12, we will have a drive by food collection for Western Fairfax Christian Ministries from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM in the front parking lot of the church. Volunteers will be on hand to take your bag(s) of food from the front passenger seat or the trunk of your car for a no-contact drop off. All donations will then be taken to WFCM. As you know, we usually collect food every Sunday for WFCM. Since we are not having in-person worship services, we are not donating as much as we usually do. The need for food is great, especially for those who have become unemployed due to the coronavirus. Please help those who are less fortunate by donating food to WFCM on September 12. If you cannot make it on that day, you can put non-perishable food in the bin by the breezeway door, near the mailbox.


Online Contributions
 to St. John's
St. John's now offers three buttons for online donations via Tithe.ly. You may use the buttons below to go directly to Tithe.ly, or you may download the Tithe.ly 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 sjeccentreville@aol.com.
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.
“If we who are Christians participate in the political process and in the public discourse as we are called to do — the New Testament tells us that we are to participate in the life of the polis, in the life of our society — the principle on which Christians must vote is the principle,
Does this look like love of neighbor?" 
Get Souls to the Polls
A Message for the Twelfth Week after Pentecost
 
I write this message as the Democratic National Convention has drawn to a close and the Republican National Convention is about to begin. I watched much of the first and will watch much of the second. This commitment of time, prayer and discerning thought is part of my preparation to exercise a profound responsibility of all American Christians.
           
 As American citizens, it is our privilege and duty to vote. As Christians, it is our privilege and duty to ensure that all citizens may exercise their right to vote. In the words of our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, "It is a Christian obligation to vote, and more than that, it is the church's responsibility to help get souls to the polls."
 
Why? Jesus taught by word and example that the most important commandment of all is to love our neighbor as ourselves. He taught who our neighbor is in the scandalous story of the Good Samaritan in which a despised and rejected one proved to be a true neighbor to the man who was attacked and left for dead (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus reminds us in one of the last parables of his ministry that whenever we give food to someone who is hungry or visit someone who is in prison or give clothing to someone who is naked or cold, we do it for him (Matthew 25: 31-46). Literally. Because when we see someone in need, as Mother Teresa said, we see "Jesus in distressing disguise."
 
Because of the example of Jesus and the faith we have in him, we Christians have much to say to our elected officials whose decisions and actions significantly impact the lives of the people of this nation. We care deeply in Jesus' name about healthy food and safe water, education for everyone, care of God's beautiful earth, safety in our neighborhoods, access to health care and so much more. Voting for the candidates who reflect our Christian values gives us a powerful voice in the public square.  
 
A resolution adopted by the 2004 General Convention of The Episcopal Church put it this way: "the Church recognizes that a faithful commitment to voting is an extension of our baptismal covenant to 'strive for justice and peace and respect the dignity of every human being.'" The resolution went on to "ask all Episcopalians to actively engage in advocating for voter rights, encouraging voter registration, getting out the vote, and volunteering to assist voters at the polls."
 
Of course, churches as nonprofit organizations must follow certain IRS rules when participating in elections. Churches may not campaign, openly or otherwise, for or against candidates for public office. Churches, however, may and should involve their members in the political process by helping them to understand the issues, registering and encouraging them to vote, inviting candidates to address them and talking about how our faith shapes our votes.
 
So vote this fall. Examine your faith and choose the candidates whom you conclude best represent the values of the Church and the teachings of our Lord.
 
What else can you do?
·         If you are not registered to vote, register now!
·         Encourage friends and neighbors to register and to vote.
·         Help those in your community and in other nearby communities to vote.
·         On election day, if you feel safe doing so, help others to get to the polls.
·         Advocate for the rights of every citizen to vote. In a democracy, voting rights are fundamental. We as Christians recognize those rights as part of what gives dignity to every citizen.
·         In this season of global pandemic, be vigilant about safety - your own and that of others. Vote absentee if you don't feel safe going to the polls. Encourage vulnerable people to vote absentee. Offer to witness and/or mail completed ballots. Wear a mask and keep appropriate physical distancing when talking with others about faith and the vote, and while at the polls. Honoring the dignity of others always includes honoring their health and safety.
Vote. Get souls to the polls. Two concrete ways to love our neighbor as ourselves, in Jesus name.
 
Faithfully yours,
  
The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority
Reflections
Suffering
Even if you are suffering today, you can still come to the One who knows you better than you know yourself, and who cares for you in ways you can scarcely imagine. Let God take your hand today. Let God console and comfort you in your distress. Let God lead you and guide you through this perilous time.
-Br. David Vryhof
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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