St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - February 10, 2021
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

What I miss most in this time of the COVID pandemic is seeing each one of you on Sunday mornings, to make that connection with you, to hear what is going on in your life, to offer prayers for you or loved ones who may be going through a difficult time. I miss being able to worship together with you, to share our community of faith, to share the Holy Eucharist. I miss singing the great hymns of our faith together with the full choir and the congregation.
We have lost a lot during this past year of the pandemic and its not over yet. We can't go out to eat as we normally do, or go to the movies, or gather with friends and family. We have missed alot. And it is hard.
But what have we gained? What have we learned from this pandemic? That life is precious and fragile. That faith and community are important. That even our health is dependent on each other doing their part by wearing masks and socially distancing. That we can reach more people who can't or won't come to church by offering our services on YouTube. That we might get more people to participate in book studies and other events on Zoom if they don't have to leave their home.
This pandemic has changed us all. There are some things we may do differently after this pandemic is over. Hopefully, we will continue to broadcast our services online, even as we gather in person for worship. We might continue to have some meetings on Zoom rather than in person. We might find other ways to reach out to others. Our Outreach Committee might continue to have drive by food drop offs in order to encourage the surrounding community to participate.
God continues to give us the strength we need to get through this pandemic and the restrictions we have to follow. Some days will be good, some not as good. But our loving God holds us in the palms of God's hands and will not let us go.

The Rev. Carol Hancock
Rector




The Rev. Carol Hancock
Rector
show your love

drive-by

this Sunday 1-3 pm
St. John's Food Drive -

The Outreach Committee will host a "Show Your Love" Drive-by Food Collection on Sunday, February 14 from 1 - 3 PM in the front parking lot. All donations will go to Western Fairfax Christian Ministries. They are especially in need of baby wipes, canned fruit, canned vegetables and canned meat (chicken and tuna). Donations of other food will be gratefully accepted.
PARISH NEWS
Lenten Book Study - This year, Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, is February 17. For our Lenten book study, we will discuss Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's most recent book, "Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times." If you are interested in joining this book discussion, which will be held on Zoom, please let Carol know. You will need to order the book ahead of time. We will meet on Monday evenings from 7:00 - 8:00 PM, starting on Monday, February 22. The link for the Lenten book study is

Ash Wednesday - We will have a pre-recorded service recorded in the church for you to watch at home. Our bishop has said that each family or individual can use ashes from their fire place or fire pit, or they can burn some leaves into ashes. Another option is to pick up a small bag of ashes from the church sometime before the service. Families can apply ashes to the foreheads of other family members with the words "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." Those who live alone can apply the ashes to their own forehead. If you would like to pick up a small packet of ashes, please let Carol know by Monday, February 15. The link to the Ash Wednesday service will be in next Wednesday's E Notes.

The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper - We will have the Pancake Supper on Tuesday, February 16, at 6:30 PM, only this year it will be virtual. We can all eat our pancakes and discuss who has the best or most creative pancakes! We will enjoy being together virtually. The Zoom link for the Pancake Supper is:

No need to sign up ahead of time. Just click the link and join us!!!!
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:
February 10, 2021
COVID Vaccines - The Governor of Virginia has announced that those who are 65 and older can now register with the Fairfax County Health Department for a vaccine. You are encouraged to register now, although it might be several weeks or months before they assign you an appointment date and time to get the vaccine. As more vaccines are produced and become available, pharmacies and doctors offices will also have access to the vaccine and be able to administer them. The health department also lists other targeted groups that are eligible to register for the vaccine. You can register at

Please tell your friends and neighbors over 65 that they can register now.
The Fairfax County Health Department is looking for Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Registered Nurses, and Licensed Practical Nurses to join its vaccination team on a part-time, temporary basis.  Here is the link to apply:  Help Wanted: Fairfax Health District is Hiring For Pandemic Response Efforts | Health (fairfaxcounty.gov)
 

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.
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.
As most of you have seen in your mailboxes, the 2021 “Lift Me Up” Facilities Campaign is now underway. We’ll be posting a weekly update in the E-Notes to let everyone know how we are doing. And just to highlight a point from the initial letter, we’re already off to a strong start with 40% of our goal, $20,000, achieved thanks to some early givers and the grant from the Diocese.
"LIFT ME UP" FACILITIES CAMPAIGN

In the past, it was our practice to embark on a fund-raising campaign every other year. We skipped a planned campaign in 2020 in the face of the uncertainty of the pandemic. Rest assured, however, that even after a year of the pandemic, the church’s operating budget is sound. The continued generosity of parishioners, savings that were realized from reduced use of the building, and a US government pandemic small business loan have helped ensure that our daily expenses are met even when some of our ministry partners have had to cut back on their donations. This campaign, however, is enabling us to take care of the long-term maintenance items that could not be postponed. 

The deadline for campaign contributions is March 17. Please send your gifts to the church by that date, either by mail or via the tithe.ly app. Help us make our thermometer rise!

Thank you everyone for your loyal support of Saint Johns. 

Lisa Heller and Andrew Wade
***FIREWOOD FUNDRAISER A GREAT SUCCESS***
The firewood sale has raised $1,640 !! Wow! Many thanks to all who felled the trees, chopped the wood, stacked it out back, bundled it, stacked it out front to sell, and purchased the bundles.

A note from a grateful customer: "Thank you for having this wood where old people can access it and at a reasonable price."
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 Last Sunday after the Epiphany
February 14, 2020

The First Reading:
2 Kings 2:1-12
 Elijah is about to depart the earth. With boldness and humility, Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s prophetic spirit.

The Psalm: 50:1-6
p. 654, BCP
The Second Reading:
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
 God prepares the hearts of those who receive the gospel, revealing his truth through the light of Jesus Christ to those who are willing to submit themselves to his lordship.


The Gospel:
Mark 9:2-9
 Jesus’s closest disciples witness his transfiguration at a turning point in his ministry. Jesus is buoyed by the companionship of Elijah and Moses. The light of God is revealed.
 
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.
Bishop Goff's Meditation on Forgiveness, Accountability and the Abolition of the Death Penalty
2/8/2021
 
“O LORD our God, you answered them indeed; *
   you were a God who forgave them,
    yet punished them for their evil deeds.” (Psalm 99:8)
 
What does that verse mean? Doesn’t God’s forgiveness just wipe the past away?  
Well, actually, no. God’s love washes us clean and gives us a fresh start, but it doesn’t erase the past. Because forgiveness is not the same as exoneration. It doesn’t relieve us of responsibility for what we have done. When God forgives, it is as if God is saying to us, “What you did was wrong, and I still love you. Therefore I refuse to let what you did come between us. But I love you too much not to hold you accountable. I want you to keep on growing. Yes, I love you just the way you are, and I love you too much to let you stay the way you are.”
Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting, either. Instead, it is remembering what we did or what was done to us while refusing to allow the offense to have power over us anymore. The God who forgives us sets us free and holds us accountable in the power of deep and unquenchable love. 
That’s why when I heard that both Houses of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia have adopted resolutions to abolish the death penalty, I remembered this verse from Psalm 99. Abolishing the death penalty proclaims the fierce love, the compelling forgiveness and the demanding accountability of God because:
  • It honors life.
  • Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
  • It strips the power of and impetus toward vengeance.
  • Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written    “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  (Romans 19:12)
  • It is motivated by Godly love for the guilty and for the innocent.
  • Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:43-45)
  • It leaves abundant room for healing and repentance.
  • Jesus said, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”  (Matthew 9:13)
  • It puts judgment for life and death right where it belongs -- in the hands of God.
  • There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. (James 4:12a)
  • It holds the guilty accountable in significant ways while ensuring that innocent Iives are protected.
  • So then, each of us will be accountable to God. (Romans 14:12)
  • It rejects retributive violence that disproportionately targets persons of color and persons who are poor.
  • Jesus read from the scroll:  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free."  (Luke 4:18) 
When the abolition of the death penalty in Virginia is signed into law we will take a giant step, in the love of God, toward healing and wholeness. We will end one dimension of our complicity with vengeance, killing and injustice. We will proclaim that the love of God made known to us in Christ Jesus, who was himself executed by the state, brings healing and forgiveness even while holding people accountable for their actions. In that love we know hope, see justice and encourage amendment of life. For that, I give thanks to God. 

The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff
Open
When we open our hearts enough to truly love, our enemies can open up the possibility for our healing. It’s not just about treating our enemies a certain way; it’s about the fruits of relating to each other, to everyone, in the fullness of Christ’s love. When we practice loving fully, our great reward is being free from holding onto feelings like anger and hatred.
-Br. Nicholas Bartoli

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.