St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - March 17, 2021
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:
We are now more than halfway through our Lenten journey. The second half is often harder for us to keep up the discipline we started on Ash Wednesday, whether it was to give up something or take something on.

But hope and good news is on the horizon, in several ways. We are having more hours of daylight now, flowers are starting to bloom, and spring is on the way. More people are receiving COVID shots and deaths are decreasing. And in another few weeks, we will celebrate Easter - the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The celebration will be even more glorious as we are able to worship together outside (with COVID precautions in place). It's been a tough year, but things are starting to look up.

As we look toward Good Friday and Easter Sunday, what things in us need to die so that we can be resurrected? What have we learned during Lent that will remain with us after these 40 days are over? What will we celebrate on Easter?

Please plan now to join us virtually for the Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services and to join us in person on Easter Day.

The Rev. Carol Hancock
Rector
From the Bishop’s Office

As the diocese is no longer publishing the quarterly Virginia Episcopalian magazine, they are encouraging everyone to subscribe to the "e-communique," which will give information about what is going on in our diocese as well as stories of various ministries. You will receive the e-communique as an email. Click on the subscribe button to sign up.
 
We strongly encourage you to subscribe to keep up with what is happening in our diocese.
PARISH NEWS
Lenten Book Study - For our Lenten book study, we are discussing Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's most recent book, "Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times." We are meeting on Monday evenings in Lent from 7:00 - 8:00 PM. We will be discussing chapters 9 and 10 next Monday. March 22. No need to pre-register - just join us on Monday night. The link for the Lenten book study is


Clocks, cakes and China - Do you know what these three things have in common? These were the topics of conversation during our virtual coffee hour last Sunday! Clocks (who still has an analog clock), cakes (there's a great bakery in Culpepper) and China (Jim Heller was the judge of a pie contest in China where he is serving). See what you missed??? Please join us for coffee hour next Sunday at 10:00 AM on Zoom. It's 30 minutes of tantalizing conversation, information, and an opportunity to see other parishioners. The link is sent out on Saturday.

Then after you have attended the coffee hour, click on the link (sent out on Saturday) to attend the Adult Lectionary class. Although we don't usually discuss clocks, cakes and China, we have interesting discussions on the readings for the day. We also hear about the saint of the day, including some you may never have heard about, Their stories are fascinating. The class is led by Walt Cooner who is an incredible scholar of history and the bible. You will learn about what's going on at the time that the bible stories were written, why they were told, and how they affect our lives. The class starts at 10:30. Come and give it a try - just listen if you want. Don't feel intimidated by your perceived lack of knowledge. We are all on this journey together and we'd love to have you join us.

Diaper Drive: Collections through March 31
 
The St. John’s Outreach Committee is embarking on an aggressive Diaper Drive through the end of March. The group is assisting the Ampersand Pantry Project in Leesburg VA. The Ampersand project distributes free meals seven days a week in the town of Leesburg. The program has morphed into greater than just the food security issues. They soon realized the young families were short on diapers. The delivery will be on Saturday morning April 3rd so please get in all diapers by the end of the month.
 
Items Needed:
·      Diapers: Size 4, 5, 6
·      Wipes
 
Please leave in the box in the front of the church. If you need someone to pick up any supplies or would like to give funds for someone else to make the purchases, please contact the church office @ 703-803-7500.
 
The Outreach Committee

Easter Flowers
As we have enough funds in our Easter flowers account for this year, please consider making a donation to the "Lift Me Up" campaign instead, to remember or honor a loved one.
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:

Wednesday, March 17
Spanish Translators Needed
The Centreville Immigration Forum has made arrangements with AARP to work with our members in preparing their income taxes. However, we still need bilingual translators to assist in the effort; no knowledge of accounting or tax preparation is required. The dates will be every Monday (beginning March 15) until April 12. The time will be every afternoon from 1 PM until 5 PM. The volunteer may sign up for an hour shift, the whole time frame, or any fraction of the time. John Cano (j.cano@thecifva.org) will be directing this effort; please email him directly at his address above.
  
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.

Congratulations Steve!!!

Steve Busch's ordination to the Vocational Diaconate will be held on Monday, April 19 in Richmond. More information about the time and livestreaming details will be coming closer to the date.
 
Facilities Campaign Dollars at Work
this week at St. John's
Many layers go into re-constructing a flat roof system.
A complex installation having to work around the new HVAC units, and drainage system.
"LIFT ME UP" FACILITIES CAMPAIGN Hits $41,500!

In the last few chapters of Ezekiel, the people of Israel are sent a vision of a brand new temple to replace Solomon's temple that was destroyed during the Babylonian exile (587 BC), and "the glory of the Lord" enters the temple (43:4) with rejoicing (and a large number of animal sacrifices.) It probably won't be quite so spectacular when we can finally gather at St. Johns, but our building will have had lots of needed updates when we do. 
We didn't have to raise new walls, gates, and pillars like the Judean exiles but our new roof, HVAC systems, and lighting will provide a wonderful environment in which to worship just the same. This week, additional donations to the Facilities Campaign moved the thermometer up another $3,000 from $38,500 to $41,500!! Well done, and many thanks to all who have contributed!!!
Lisa Heller and Andrew Wade
Applying rubber membrane to plywood.

Photos courtesy of Tom McDermott
Demolition of old roofing.
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 Fifth Sunday in Lent
March 21, 2021

The First Reading:
Jeremiah 31:31-34
The prophet foresees a new covenant between God and the people whom he loves. This covenant will be marked by the Lord’s Spirit in their hearts rather than on tablets of stone.

The Psalm: 51:1-13, page 656, BCP
The Second Reading:
Hebrews 5:5-10
 Through obedience and suffering, Jesus opened the gates of the kingdom. He is named high priest forever.

The Gospel:
John 12:20-33
 Jesus teaches that God will be greatly glorified by the suffering and death of his Son. Following his prayer to God, a voice from heaven is heard.
 
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 Fourth Week in Lent:
Every Person Is Related to God
 
Let me start with a quote from Rowan Williams’ book Being Disciples: Essentials of the Christian Life:
 
 “Being disciples means being called to see others, and especially others in profound need, from the perspective of an eternal and unflinching, unalterable love…. For the Christian disciple, human dignity…depends upon the recognition that every person is related to God before they are related to anything or anyone else.”
 
This is our task. As Christians we must cultivate a different vision of other people: a vision that goes beyond what they do; what they own; whom they voted for. A Pew Study showed that just before the election, when people were asked, “If the presidential candidate you did not vote for was elected, would it do lasting harm to our country?” 89% Democrats and 90% Republicans said “yes.”
 
How can we get from where we are in this political divide to “unflinching, unalterable love”? How can we get to a place that recognizes that people’s relation to God is more important than how they voted?
 
One of the mystics said, “Look for God where you lost God.” I think that means, go back to where you were before you started categorizing the world with strict labels. Our need to label the world gives us control but also puts us at a distance from the world as it is.  As the poet Wallace Stevens wrote, “Things as they are, are changed on the blue guitar.” We interpret the world to understand it, but that process is our blue guitar that changes “things as they are” into something we can label and understand. That process limits our vision and our ability to love.
 
Lent is a season where the light is growing both outside and inside. We are preparing for our old self to be crucified so that we might also be resurrected. Remember that in much of the history of the Church, those who were excommunicated came back to Church for the Maundy Thursday service. They rejoined the community in both the washing of feet as well as the Eucharist. They were made new, and their past was truly past. With the whole congregation at the Easter Vigil, they heard the cantor sing, “How holy is this night, when wickedness is put to flight and sin is washed away. It restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to those who mourn. It casts out pride and hatred and brings peace and concord.”
 
To prepare for the deepest mysteries of Holy Week, let us be honest about those we have put in boxes as well as the ways we have insulated ourselves in our box. Let us walk towards peace and concord as well as innocence and joy.  
 
I know this is hard in Covid world because we are necessarily isolated, but we may have more time for reflection. How can we learn to see? How can we erase our definition of others so that we might be resurrected? How can we open our hearts?
 
I can only speak for myself. Here’s one step. Each day I pray for my family and people close to me. I pray for those who have asked me to pray for them because they are sick or in a hard place. I remember my thanksgivings. Then I say the names of the people I have put in a box—a negative box—and I ask for God to let me see these people as they are and not as I have defined them. I am not praying for them; I am praying that my sin will be washed away. So, when we proclaim, “Christ is risen, we are risen,” I can hope I am part of the “we.”
 
May we remember: “For the Christian disciple, human dignity…depends upon the recognition that every person is related to God before they are related to anything or anyone else.”
 
Bishop Porter Taylor
Praise

We can take every opportunity, even in mundane and ordinary situations, to praise and worship God, whose biggest desire is to be in relationship with us.
-Br. Jim Woodrum
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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