St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - July 22, 2020
Carol is on vacation from Monday, July 13 through Sunday, July 26. Our Senior Warden, Susie Pike, is available, should any problems arise.

For the virtual Sunday services on July 19 and 26, we will be having preachers from the diocese do the sermons. On July 19, our new Assisting Bishop Porter Taylor will preach. On July 26, The Rev. Becky McDaniel, Chaplain at St. Catherine's School in Richmond will preach.
Preparing for Phase II Regathering in Our Church Buildings 

Here's the link:
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.

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.
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:

Bob Faithful is now at home, following his surgery and a week at a rehab facility. His brother will be helping him at home for awhile, but they would be grateful for some delivered meals, if any parishioners could provide a meal or two. Please call him at 703-599-7948 if you are able to provide a meal.

Cheryl Nayyar, a parishioner at St. John's, is in need of a nanny to care for her two small boys, If you know of someone who might be able to fill this position, please email Cheryl at
hawaiispearl@gmail.com.

Education for Ministry
It's almost time to start registering our class for the Education for Ministry Program. EfM is a four year program of study and theological reflection. The class meets once a week for 2.5 hours for 9 months. 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. Questions? Contact Carol or other members of EfM (Craig Staresinich, Walt Cooner, Patricia McPherson, Val Tucker, Durinda Smith, Bob Faithful).
Many thanks go to Angela Hadfield
who came up with the idea of having the Vestry take small bags of goodies to our parishioners. Some are bakers and some are deliverers. She has put together a spread sheet and gives us our assignments each Saturday. The final deliveries will be made this week. Thanks to Dick Griffith, Susie Pike, Ann Goldberg, and Angela who are doing the baking, and to Andrew Wade, Susie, Angela, and Carol who are making the deliveries.

If you participate in our online worship services on Wednesdays and/or Sundays on YouTube, please
hit the subscribe button and you will get notifications of anything posted on YouTube by St. John's. It also shows us how many people are watching our worship services.
 
  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. Mid-year statements are in the mail.

The manufacturer, Brick Makers, is going to be discontinuing the color of the bricks that we use on our "Walkway of the Saints". If you are thinking about getting a brick in memory of or in thanksgiving for someone, please let Carol know as soon as possible. We need at least 5 brick applications to send an order into Brick Makers. We can continue having engraved bricks installed in our walkway, but they will be a different color. The cost of an engraved brick is $75.

Prayers for Justice, Reconciliation and Peace
The Deacons of the diocese put together a booklet of prayers for justice, reconciliation and peace. Click on the link to access the prayers.

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.

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.

In Memoriam
The Hon. John Robert Lewis

As the Hon. John Robert Lewis enters the nearer presence of our Lord, we pray for rest and peace for his soul and comfort for his family, as we mourn the loss of a great leader in the cause of racial justice and healing in our country.

Mr. Lewis, born to sharecroppers in Alabama in 1940, became one of the original Freedom Riders, and he worked his entire lifetime with tireless physical and moral courage in opposition to racism. One of the organizers of the March on Washington, Mr. Lewis may be best known for his leadership in the March 7, 1965 (“Bloody Sunday”) march across the Edmund Pettus bridge, a moment that galvanized Americans in the 20 th  century civil rights movement.

Mr. Lewis was elected to Congress in 1986 and re-elected 16 times. The list of his actions to confront racism, and the catalogue of insults and physical injuries he sustained in response, fills pages. Controversial on a variety of issues to the end, he was nevertheless awarded over 50 honorary degrees (in addition to his earned degree in religion and philosophy), as well as the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize, the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the NAACP Spingarn Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The willingness to risk censure, hardship, and extreme physical violence at the hands of white supremacists and corrupt officials, for the cause of justice and human rights for black Americans, opened the eyes of many to the injustice and inhumanity of deeply imbedded racist norms and laws. Mr. Lewis’ work was instrumental in beginning to dismantle Jim Crow culture – a significant step toward justice and healing.

The Diocese of Virginia honors the legacy of this brave and faithful American. We ask your prayers for the repose of his soul and for comfort of his family. We pray that the Holy Spirit will animate us with the passion and conviction that Mr. Lewis brought to the struggle for justice and healing. May his memory continue to inspire us with boldness, courage, and confidence that in loving our neighbor – all our neighbors – as ourselves, we may bring this country and this world into ever-closer alignment with God’s dream of peace and joy among all people.
PARISH NEWS
PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGES IN Sunday Event TIMES!

This Sunday, July 19, 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 - I have been reading the highly acclaimed book "White Fragility - Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin Diangelo. It's been an eye-opener for me and has caused me to think about things I have never thought about before, but what people of color have to think about every day. I'd like to start a conversation and study of this book - perhaps six weeks (reading 2 chapters per week), starting in September. We will meet on Zoom. If you are interested, please let me know. You can order the book on Amazon, or it might be in the Fairfax library. Six people have already signed up.
St. John's History Video
                     by David Weir  
          
The St. John’s IT committee is putting together a video tribute marking this year’s  170 th 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 no later than 1 August. I can be reached via email at Signalsdw@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.
The Prayer list - If you would like to add someone to the prayer list, please email Carol and Catherine (catherinepackard@earthlink.net). The readers who do the readings as well as the Prayers of the People, do their recordings from their homes toward the beginning of the week. If you send a name after the recording has been made, the name might not be on the prayer list until the following Wednesday or Sunday. Also, please note that the prayers of the sick, and those who have died, are read during the services we are posting on YouTube. So they are now "virtual". If you put a name on the prayer list, please contact the church office to have their name taken off the list when they have sufficiently recovered.
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, VA 20151

They accept donations from 8-10 AM Monday-Friday and 2-4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays,

You can still order food online at Amazon:
Here is the link that takes you directly to WFCM's 'wish list' on Amazon:

Outreach to Episcopal Church in Liberia, West Africa

Even in the midst of a pandemic, St. John's is able to help a church halfway around the world. A woman called us to request any used prayer books, hymnals and choir robes we might have that we could donate to an Episcopal church in Liberia. They have no books and no robes and would be grateful for any donations. We were able to come up with 13 prayer books, 25 hymnals, 12 children's choir robes and 26 adult choir robes. Many thanks to St. John's for their generosity of sharing resources with our neighbors in need.

“One Voice, One Family, One Sacred Humanity: A Local Virtual Interfaith Service to End Racial Bias"

Faith leaders in Fairfax County have put together an interfaith service to address racial bias. It features faith leaders from 20 religious communities in and around Fairfax County, as well as Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler, Jr. in prayers, meditations and songs for unity and hope to end racial bias and hate. Faith communities represented include Christian (Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Unity, Mormon, United Christian, Non-Denominational), Jewish (Reform, Conservative), Muslim, Unitarian-Universalist, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Meher Baba, Bahá'í , as well as the Mosaic Harmony Choir of Fairfax. Service length 1 hr.

To access this service, click on the link below:
 
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 Eighth Sunday
after Pentecost -
July 26, 2020

The First Reading:
Genesis 29:15-28
Jacob, the trickster, gets a taste of his own medicine.

The Psalm: 105: 1-11
pg. 738, BCP

The Second Reading:
Romans 8:26-39
In the depths of suffering, God will lead us through the valley of death, always our companion.

The Gospel:
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
 Jesus presents many parables describing the kingdom of heaven, forming a cohesive picture this side of glory.
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 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 sjeccentreville@aol.com.
Welcome Bishop Porter Taylor
 Bishop Porter Taylor, our new Assisting Bishop, marked his first official day on the job July 1.

“I am delighted that Bishop Taylor is now a part of our team," said Bishop Goff. "It is a strange time to begin a new ministry, but we’ve got the technology to make it work. I am excited for the people of the Diocese to meet and get to know this wise, compassionate man.”

Bishop Taylor is the retired Bishop of the Diocese of Western North Carolina and comes to the Diocese of Virginia from Wake Forest University Divinity School, where he served as a visiting professor of Episcopal Studies. He will maintain an office in Northern Virginia. He and his wife Jo, an artist, will live in Arlington. Learn more about Bishop Taylor.
Meditation: Steadfast Hope
Sent July 20, 2020

From Jennifer, Susan, and Porter , to the church in Virginia, in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you, and peace.   We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before God the work you do because of your faith, your labors of love, and your steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.[i]

2020 has felt anything but steady. Who among us has not felt overwhelmed? Who among us has not doubted our own physical, emotional, and spiritual stamina? 

We never expected to enter this wilderness – but the People of God have been here before. We have been lost before, between the old and the new - upon leaving Eden, upon leaving Ur and Haran, upon fleeing to Egypt, upon fleeing from Egypt. We have crossed into unknown lands “where there be giants” and found intense struggle along with the milk and the honey. We have been dragged from our beloved place of worship into exile, we’ve come home to political unrest, disenfranchisement, and violence. We have had to worship in small home groups and in tombs, with infrequent visits and letters from our leaders.

How has hope survived? How on earth did the message from heaven of the saving love of God ever survive the anxiety, pain, and disappointment of our lived experience of politics, pestilence, and dislocation? Where did our ancestors find the fortitude? What can sustain us through 2020? 

I’ve been thinking lately about Endurance . In 1914, on an expedition to cross Antarctica on foot, Ernest Shackleton's sailing ship, Endurance , was crushed in the ice of the Weddell Sea. He and his crew were trapped on the ice, with no communication, for 20 months.  They survived on an ice floe, without setting foot on solid ground, for 497 days before reaching Elephant Island, where there were longer delays, followed by Shackleton’s 15-day small open-boat voyage, with five others, across 720 nautical miles to South Georgia. After three attempts, the crew was rescued. Not a single crew member was lost. There is much to learn from Shackleton’s story and his family motto, for which his ship was named: Fortitudine vincimus ("By endurance we conquer").

Shackleton survived – and conquered his circumstances – with the same outlook that got Admiral Jim Stockdale through seven years as a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton. His philosophy, as described to Jim Collins, is known as the “Stockdale Paradox”:  You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

In other words, neither despair nor denial is helpful. What does help is a combination that irreligious people find paradoxical: Clarity combined with faith. That is the way of the People of God. We call it “steadfastness.”

In our world, the world of a good God, a good creation, and plenty of trouble along the way, we are sustained by the steadfast love of God. The way things are is often not the way things are intended to be. That is not the end of the story. We have something more than endurance. We have steadfastness. We live in the sure and certain hope of Resurrection.

In this time of disease and discord, disappointment and even despair, we are sustained by the steadfast grace, mercy, and love of God. When the world wobbles beneath our feet, we stand on the promises of God. When our hearts melt in fear and our vision dims, we look to God’s fearless vision for our lives and our world.

The psalms tell our stories of trauma and triumph. We have been here before, and we have endured – not by our own strength, but by the steadfast strength and love of God. By that steadfast love, we survive and we thrive.

Praise the Lord, all you nations! Extol him, all you peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! - Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, beloved ones. Lean on his steadfast faithfulness. 
He will see us through.

The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson
Assistant Bishop

[i] 1 Thess. 1:1-3, The New Brooke-Davidson Version .
Reflections

Fear
Jesus promises that he will meet us in the experience of fear. He tells us, “remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Tell Jesus about your fear. If you’re afraid even to talk with Jesus about your fear, then start there: why it is that you are afraid to talk to Jesus about your fear? Tell him! Jesus is all ears. Jesus has an open heart. And he is waiting.
-Br. Curtis Almquist



The Society of St. John the Evangelist calls us to create times of peace for ourselves in order to not be overwhelmed by what is going on around us.


These are momentous, stressful times we live in. It may seem that around every corner there’s something to be fearful, angry, or distraught over. Our minds may habitually return to the last article we read, or video we watched, or podcast we listened to. We may feel compelled to stay up-to-date on the latest news, out of a sense of duty, from a powerful curiosity, or a need to be on top of what’s going on so as to feel safe and prepared. And all of this takes a toll on us.
Psychologists have long studied what is called vicarious trauma or vicarious traumatization. This kind of trauma arises not from a first-hand experience of a traumatic event, but from witnessing such an event. Such vicarious trauma has often been seen in professionals who work in fields where witnessing traumatic events or interacting with trauma survivors is common. However, it’s now known that vicarious trauma can also affect those who are regularly exposed to traumatic events in the media. Constant exposure to traumatic events in media has been shown to cause anxiety, difficulties in coping, immense fear, and feelings of hopelessness. This is especially true for those of us who have a history of trauma ourselves or just happen to be particularly sensitive.
Jesus said “blessed are the peacemakers,” and as children of God that is our calling. Being a peacemaker, which is so needed is these tumultuous times, begins with being at peace ourselves. A big fan of the beatitudes himself, Gandhi once said that “there is no way to peace, peace is the way.” And Martin Luther King Jr. told us to “be the peace you wish to see in the world.” In other words, one of the very best gifts we can offer a troubled world is letting ourselves rest in God’s presence, resting in the Peace and Joy of Christ.

If you feel yourself caught up in a cycle of fear, anger, and despair, as you digest all the latest news of a world and people in crisis, you owe it to yourself and the world to be kind to yourself, and take a break. And even Jesus needed to be alone every now and then, so you know you’re in good company. In a world inundated with news 24-hours a day, here are some helpful tips on being a peacemaker, beginning with making inner peace:
  • Set limits on the consumption of news media, videos, etc. Consider taking a Sabbath from all kinds of media, for a day or even longer.
  • If you have trouble setting limits, put notes on the devices you use reminding yourself to ask “Is what I’m doing now nourishing for my soul?”
  • Practice noticing patterns in your thoughts and feelings around consuming traumatic news, and take a break when needed.
  • Make a list of things that bring you hope, peace, and joy, and practice them.
  • If you feel called to do something, then do something! Consider even the smallest gestures that could turn hopelessness and anxiety into action.
  • Make time for silent prayer, and practice letting God take on the cares of the world while you rest in God’s presence.
Remember, your greatest contribution to God’s Kingdom is to cultivate the Kingdom within. Stay informed in moderation, be kind to yourself, and be the Peace and Joy of Christ the world so needs.
Peace and Be Well,
 
Br. Nicholas Bartoli
Society Of St. John the Evangelist

 
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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