St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - July 8, 2020
Dear St. John's parishioners and friends:

Some authors that I have read or people I have listened to recently about the stress of this pandemic and racial unrest say that we need to take care of ourselves. We need to unplug from listening to the news 24/7 and all the commentators who want to analyze each new piece of data. It gets overwhelming and depressing.

In light of "taking care of ourselves" I will be taking a vacation from Monday, July 13 through Sunday, July 26. Most of it will be a "staycation" but I will go to the beach for a few days, wearing a mask and staying socially distant. In order to "unplug", I will not be answering emails or phone calls until I return, unless it is an emergency. Our Senior Warden, Susie Pike, is available, should any problems arise.

I am recording the Wednesday and Sunday services for the time I am away before I start vacation. For the 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.

So how do you take care of yourself in this stressful time? I encourage you to read the reflection at the bottom of the E Notes, written by one of the brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (reprinted from last week). He has specific ways for us to "unplug" from all the stress that surrounds us, at least for awhile. Take time to rest in God's presence, to be surrounded and filled with God's peace and joy. Only when we are filled can we minister to those around us and spread the peace and joy of God's kingdom. Take care of yourself first, then go and minister in God's name.

The Rev. Carol Hancock
Rector

Preparing for Phase II Regathering on 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 will be mailed out in July.
Spring Tune-Up was a Success!
St. John’s Grounds Cleanup was held Saturday, June 27

Thank you to the very generous parishioner who donated 100 bags of mulch! And to the sixteen volunteers who worked so hard this past weekend: 
Jim Heller, Andrew and Lori Wade,Susie and Larry Pike, Val and John Tucker, Kristen Tucker, Elise and Gene Crawford, Gene Milunec, Monti and Gluay Zimmerman, Stephen Burch, Marie McDermott, and Dave Parker.

The weather was perfect. We worked at a safe distance from each other. The original plan was to spread mulch only! However, the outdoor chores also included pruning bushes/trees, mowing, trimming, stump/dead tree removal, and re-setting several portions of the battlefield fence.

The grounds already looked good with the recent work by J & M Landscaping. With the additional Spring Tune Up this past weekend, the St. John’s campus is ready to be back in business, once the time is right!
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.
PARISH NEWS
PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGES IN Sunday Event TIMES!

This Sunday, July 12, 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.

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 August or September, whichever is better for people. 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. We have two people interested so far.
Can you donate food this weekend, Sat. July 11 ? If so, please see info from Centreville Immigration Forum further below to help out.
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.

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.
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 Sixth Sunday
after Pentecost -
July 12, 2020

The First Reading:
Genesis 25:19-34
 Isaac and Rebekah welcome their sons, Esau and Jacob; like many siblings, their relationship is a struggle. Jacob lives up to his “trickster” title as a young man.

The Psalm: 119:105-112,
pg. 772, BCP

The Second Reading:
Romans 8:1-11
 God has transformed us, empowering us for his service to do the good and the right rather than to sin and do evil.

The Gospel:
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
 We see in the parable of the sower how a lesson on how God has formed the world to function.
 

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: Lighting Small Fires to Bring About Lifelong Change
by Bishop Porter Taylor

Some years ago I was lost. Not geographically. I knew where I was; I just didn’t know where I needed to go or how I could get there if I did. I found myself in what the Desert Mothers and Fathers called “the noon day devil.” It’s when you’ve run through all your good ideas and your favorite verbal quotes and your various ways of denial and it’s just you. 
The poet Elizabeth Sewell wrote, “It’s not problems we face. Problems have solutions. It’s some utter deep rooted dilemma.”  I think we as a country are in dual deep rooted dilemmas: ravaged by a virus that we cannot or will not get under control; and finally forced to face and deal with the embedded racism that has infected our country since its inception.
I know that our country’s plight is not synonymous with my spiritual issue decades ago, but there is a parallel—at least for me. I went to my spiritual director and after my unloading, he looked at me and said, “Just go straight.” I shook my head and said under my breath, “What does that mean?” Yet it turned out to be very helpful.
What I heard in that statement is to let go of your ways of fooling yourself about what you are doing and what you are not doing with your life. Instead, make an honest deep inventory of your behavior and your motives and think and pray about the kind of person you want to be and the kind of life you want to live and the kind of country you want to live in. Then think of one action you can make to move yourself towards that.
I write this meditation to remind myself. Because what often happens with me is that I throw myself into a cause but in time my passion runs out, and I follow some diversion. What I’ve learned is that, in the long run, what matters is less my emotional passion and more my habitual actions over time. To lessen the deaths of Covid 19 or to diminish the racism that infects our country demands a cultural shift, which is a long-term project.
I would suggest reading Donna Schaper’s work Living Well While Doing Good . She sets forth many suggestions of how to be intentional over a lifetime in order to make change through our own daily behavior. She writes, “The balance comes from lighting simpler fires. It means doing small things well,” because what matters is the deep change that can take a lifetime.
Let me be clear. Sometimes we need large public demonstrations. Where would we be without the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge? However, if we are dedicated to being agents of God’s will being done on earth as in heaven, then change becomes a lifetime proposition. Thus, we must ask, “What will sustain our intentions once the public fervor quiets down?” As Donna Schaper writes, “We need to light small fires that we can keep burning over a lifetime instead of trying to set the whole forest ablaze.”
When my director said, “just go straight,” he meant to live a more intentional life. What actions are worth doing every day and what must I let go of in order for those to become a habit which becomes a disposition which becomes part of one’s character and enables one to be an agent of long-term change? 
My concern is that the endemic racism of this country is so embedded that, in time, I will go back to my daily life and get stuck in what Thoreau called “quiet lives of desperation.” Therefore, I am seeking repeatable actions I can take to maintain my commitment to be an agent of transformation for my sake and the world’s sake and Christ’s sake.
Bishop Porter Taylor is the new Assisting Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. The learn more about Bishop Taylor, click here .
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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