St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - December 30, 2020
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:
Christmas Prayer 

You came as a baby, Lord, as a little helpless child who relied on a human family to care for him. 

You cried because you were hungry, because you were homeless, because you were a stranger far away from home. 

You still cry with hunger, Lord, in the voices of the many starving; your tears still flow: for the homeless, the lonely and the forgotten; you still rely on human families to care for you. 

And so this Christmas, Lord, we pray: help us to be the kind of people who look for you in the world, and joyfully discover you as we care for one another. 
     
© Carol Dixon (from Worship Resources for Advent & Christmas John Paul Press, reproduced with permission)

May you and yours enjoy a blessed and peaceful Christmas season, remembering always God's love for us.

The Rev. Carol Hancock
Rector
PARISH NEWS
Looking ahead... When we have our Annual Parish Meeting in February, we will need to elect several people to serve on the Vestry. We are desperately in need of faith-filled people to oversee the business of the church. Meetings are on the third Sunday of the month at 7:00 PM, currently on Zoom. Projects or other tasks may need to be done between meetings. As the leadership of the church, Vestry members are the eyes and ears for concerns or needs of the parishioners, looking out for the upkeep and repairs of the building, and financial matters. Please prayerfully consider serving on the Vestry with your time and talent.
Food Drive...Thanks to the generosity of St. John's parishioners, the food drive for Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, held on Sunday, December 13 in our front parking lot, was a great success! We collected 859 pounds of food for those in need. Financial contributions of over $1200 were also collected for the WFCM Christmas baskets. Many thanks to all who contributed food our money to help those who are less fortunate.
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:
December 30, 2020
Jo Chandler, longtime parishioner of St. John’s, died on Christmas Day after a short stay in the hospital. Jo moved from Centreville to Burke about a year ago and was attending Good Shepherd Episcopal Church.
 
Jo was an active member at St. John’s for many years. She was a member of the choir, the Altar Guild, and Daughters of the King, as well as assistant treasurer and counter. She was an avid knitter and crocheter and made lots of hats, scarves, mittens and sweaters to sell at Centreville Day, and to donate to cancer patients. She owned her own loom and would spin her own wool. Jo would bring that to Centreville Day to the delight of those who watched her.
As someone said, Jo was the “salt of the earth”. Her faith was strong and she lived her faith by participating in many outreach programs. Jo will be greatly missed. A celebration of her life may be held on Zoom in the next few months. May her soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Ron Dungan notified us that former parishioner Bill Caison died on December 15. When Bill was a parishioner here, he sang in the choir. He left St. John's in the mid 1990's and attended his wife Etta's church. They lived on Pheasant Ridge Road. May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
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.

Forward Day by Day is a daily devotional booklet that is published every three months. Different writers contribute for a month at a time and reflect on the daily readings. Those daily devotions are now online. Go to www.forwarddaybyday.org to see the daily devotion. Because we are not having in-person worship, we have stopped our subscription of the printed booklets. If you would like the printed booklets, you can order a personal copy on their website that can be mailed to your home.

Many thanks go to all who have made a pledge to St. John's for 2021. We have received $211,140 from 44 pledging units. If you have not yet returned your pledge card, please do so as soon as possible.

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.

Free COVID Testing
COVID Testing is done at the Centreville Regional Library for those who have symptoms or who have been in contact with someone who has COVID. For more information, call 703-267-3511 for hours and other restrictions.

Vacation - Carol will be on vacation from December 25 - January 2. In case of an emergency, please call Susie Pike, our Senior Warden.
(571-275-4744)

If you or someone you know is in need of a male caregiver with excellent references, please contact Carol for more details.
If no one is around to receive your money for the firewood, you may put it into the secure black mailbox adjacent to the firewood stack.
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 Second Sunday after Christmas Day
January 3, 2020

The First Reading:
Jeremiah 31:7-14
 The Lord gives Jeremiah a joyous vision of God’s people being restored from exile. The families of Israel will be comforted by the LORD, their loving Father.
 
The Psalm:84
The Second Reading:
Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a
 The Apostle Paul praises God for his many blessings and prays that the disciples of the Lord Jesus will know the greatness of God’s power at work in those who believe in him.

The Gospel:
Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
 Directed by the angel of the Lord, Joseph leads his family to Egypt to escape Herod. Later, the family returns to Israel, making its home in Nazareth.
 
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.
A Meditation for the First Monday after Christmas 2020

It is good to be human.
It is good to be a creature.
It is good to have a body.
 
God said so, decisively,
  when the Divine became human,
  when the Creator became a creature,
  when God lived on earth in a body.
 
From the deepest depths of Love,
  the Infinite chose limitations,
  the Omnipotent chose weakness,
  the Immortal chose mortality.
 
God so honored us, showing that it is
  good to be human,
  good to be a creature,
  good to have a body.
 
So we honor God
by honoring bodies -- ours and others' --
  by keeping distance and wearing masks,
  and being inoculated as soon
    as the vaccine is available to us,
  and continuing to build community
    without being together in person,
All for the time being.
 
All because
It is good to be human.
It is good to be a creature.
It is good to have a body.
 
God said so. Decisively.
And to God's Yes, we say
  a resounding,
  once and for all time,
  Glory, Hallelujah,
  in excelsis Deo,
  love unlocking,
  terror-blocking
  jingle bell rocking
    YES!!
  
Art: from a Fiber Sculpture Nativity
By Susan E. Goff 2008
#WISDOM
The wisest path is to surrender to the will of the “only wise God” when it is revealed to us. Mary was confused by her encounter with the angel Gabriel but wisely said, “Here am I” nevertheless. Indeed, having wisdom does not mean having all of the answers. Wisdom resides in actively waiting for the word of God to come to us at the appointed time. It involves trusting enough in God’s provision that we can say “yes” to God’s call.
- Joseph Thompson
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
Please note: If you choose to unsubscribe below, please be aware that you will no longer receive either St. John's sermons or E-Notes, which are sent weekly. If you do unsubscribe and later want to be added back in, that needs to be done through the provider, Constant Contact. Please email St. John's office with the request: SJECCentreville@aol.com.