St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - March 24, 2021
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

I just received very exciting news from our Bishop Susan Goff. She has assigned Steve Busch to be a Vocational Deacon at St. John's! You will all remember that Steve served his diaconal internship at St John's in 2020. However, due to the pandemic, many of you were not able to meet him face to face. Hopefully, that will soon change. Steve will be ordained to the Diaconate on Monday, April 19 in Richmond. The time, and whether this will be open to the public, have yet to be decided.

A Vocational Deacon upholds the ministry of outreach in the community and invites the congregation to participate in outreach events to the poor, the sick, the shut-ins and those in need, as Jesus has called us to do. Steve will be leading our outreach efforts, along with our Outreach Committee.

Vocational Deacons (as opposed to Transitional Deacons who, after 6 months or a year, are ordained as priests) are assigned to a church by the bishop and they serve at the pleasure of the bishop. Vocational Deacons are non-stipendiary so they are doing this out of a calling to serve God and neighbor. These deacons have gone through an extended time of discernment and then a two year program of study, including a one year internship.

Steve will work about 12 hours per week, in addition to Sundays. On Sundays, he will do the duties assigned to a deacon - read the gospel, prepare the altar for the Holy Eucharist, and say the dismissal. He may take on other duties from time to time, such as preach and read the lessons.

I am delighted that Steve has been assigned to St. John's and I look forward to working with him as a colleague in ministry. I hope you will join us on Easter Sunday when Steve will be with us to make this announcement in person. Steve will begin his work with us after he is ordained.
The Rev. Carol Hancock

I am very happy and excited that Bishop Goff has assigned me to St. John’s to begin after my ordination to the diaconate. I look forward to sharing in God’s work with Reverend Hancock, the congregation of St. John’s and the surrounding community. May we all use or talents and skills to share God’s love with the world and our neighbors.


In spite of what you heard me say in the announcements this past Sunday during the online service, we are NOT having two services on Easter and you do NOT have to sign up ahead of time. I apologize for the confusion. We will have one service on Easter, April 4, at 10:00 AM. Weather permitting, it will be outdoors and in-person. Everyone is asked to bring your own chair, wear a mask, and maintain a 6 foot distance in all directions from anyone else who is not a member of your household. The service will be held on the side patio, with people spread out in the parking lot or on Gilead Green. We have a good sound system, thanks to David Weir. We will have recorded music and hymns but no congregational singing will be allowed. We are not yet able to receive communion physically, so it will be a spiritual communion. A decision regarding the weather will be made by Thursday before Easter. If the weather is bad, a service will be recorded in the church prior to Easter and put online for Easter. Please watch your emails for announcements. I hope you will all join us for this Easter service at St. John's!

Holy Week services
We will have online services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. It is important for us to walk with Jesus during the events of Holy Week and not skip from Palm Sunday to Easter. The links to these services will be in next week's E Notes. Please join us!
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.
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. Our last meeting will be this Monday, March 2. The link for the Lenten book study is

Virtual Coffee Hour and Lectionary Class
Please join us online on Sunday mornings to visit with each other during our virtual coffee hour which starts at 10:00 AM. Then at 10:30 join us for the lectionary class, where we discuss the saint of the day and the Sunday readings. The link to both of these events are sent out on Saturday. Come give them a try!

Diaper Drive: Collections through March 31
The St. John’s Outreach Committee is embarking on a Diaper Drive through the end of March.  We are joining the Ampersand Pantry Project in Leesburg VA as they assist young families who desperately need these items for their children. The Ampersand Project began with a vacant building at the start of the pandemic where a local businessman started distributing free meals seven days a week. As community needs have grown this past year, the program has expanded as well. The diaper 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.

Annual Parish Meeting
Our Annual Parish Meeting that was postponed from February, will be held on Sunday, May 2. More details about the time and location will be coming later. You should have received the reports from our various committees and ministries by email earlier this month. Please plan to attend.
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 24
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 ( will be directing this effort; please email him directly at his address above.
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 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.

A tremendous thank you to all who contributed to the Lift Me Up facilities campaign drive. Thanks to the generosity of the people of St. John's, we collected $44,000 that will enable us to keep St John's building welcoming guests for many more years. Your faithfulness to the mission of St. Johns in this difficult year is an inspiration. 

Lisa Heller and Andrew Wade
Applying rubber membrane to plywood.

Photos courtesy of Tom McDermott
Demolition of old roofing.
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

Sunday of the Passion:
Palm Sunday
March 28, 2021

The First Reading:
Isaiah 50:4-9a
 The prophet encounters opposition as he boldly proclaims God’s truth. His vindication is found through remaining steadfast in his calling.
The Psalm: 31:9-16, page 623, BCP
The Second Reading:
Philippians 2:5-11
 Even though he is the incarnate Word, Jesus freely humbled himself, living a life of service. His obedience to his Father, even unto death, is the reason for his exaltation in heaven.

The Gospel:
Mark 14:1–15:47
 Jesus is betrayed, arrested, and tried before Pilate. He suffers a shameful death on the cross at Calvary.
Online Contributions
 to St. John's
St. John's now offers three buttons for online donations via You may use the buttons below to go directly to, or you may download the 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
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 Bishops of the Diocese of Virginia stand in solidarity with the Deputies of Color for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church and commend to you their statement below:

A Statement from the Deputies of Color of the General Convention
March 23, 2021
The Deputies of Color of the General Convention (Asian Caucus, Black Caucus, Indigenous Caucus, and Latinx Caucus) express deep concern and sadness for the increased racial violence against the Asian and Pacific Islander population. The murders in Georgia on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 reflect the American reality of a society deeply ingrained with racism, white supremacy, and sexism. 
We mourn the lives lost and stand with the victims and families. We are hurt that members of our Asian community wake every morning fearing acts of violence and have been the scapegoats for this pandemic. We lament the complicity of silence and we express our gratitude for many who stand in solidarity with the Asians and Pacific Islanders during this troubling time.
It is becoming far too common for people acting through social media or in their day-to-day encounters to encourage such hatred. What is happening and the normalization of violence in any form are not acceptable and need to stop. The destructive power of words has caused lives to be lost. For too many years, ignorance and hate have been weaponized against people of color. This hatred and ignorance are another virus amongst us.
We call on all people across The Church to use their voice and power to stop these acts of hatred and racial violence immediately. We call on all leaders to set an example in their words, their deeds, and all forms of communication to oppose such hatred instead of encouraging it. We cannot see members of our community as “others” but as people we are in communion with.

President Biden in his recent address on Asian discrimination stated, “this has to change, because our silence is complicity. We have to speak out. We have to act." We echo the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”. We appreciate and affirm Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s message calling for the followers of Jesus of Nazareth to “stand up, speak up, and show up when hatred or bigotry is directed at any child of God.” Today, we stand in solidarity with our Asian siblings, and we are committed to reach out to them, offering kindness and love, so that we can become The Beloved Community. Acts of racial hatred need to end NOW.
Submitted by the Deputies of Color Steering Committee for the 80th General Convention:
A Meditation for the Fifth Week in Lent:
Sorrow and Joy
I woke one recent morning with words from the Epiphany hymn, We Three Kings, singing in my head. 
“Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying, sealed in the stone cold tomb.”
As I pondered those words out of season, I suddenly recognized how in season they actually are. In the joy of Christmas, we already see the sorrow of Good Friday lurking on the horizon. Because sorrow is like that; it is not bound by time, but infiltrates past, present and future. Sorrow will not stay in its lane. Sorrow, in fact, does not have a lane but touches all of life. Thanks be to God, joy is like that, too. It doesn’t have a lane but crosses every boundary. 

In a scene in the movie, Shadowlands, C.S. Lewis and his wife Joy are traveling in the countryside. Joy begins to talk about her impending death from cancer. Lewis objects, begging simply to enjoy the beauty of the day without having to think about the suffering to come. Joy says to him, “The pain then is part of the joy now. That’s the deal.”
The pain then is part of the joy now. Sorrow won’t be bound by time. Sorrow comes unbidden, even into the joyful moments of our lives. When sorrow comes, it cast shadows and those shadows give depth to our lives. In the same way that shading adds depth in a painting, sorrow makes our lives three-dimensional. It is excruciating for us who have been taught to deny, reject and ignore uncomfortable feelings, yet sorrow makes us more fully alive human beings.  Francis Weller wrote of this in his book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow.
“Life is hard, filled with loss and suffering. Life is glorious, stunning, and incomprehensible. To deny either truth is to live in some fantasy of the ideal or to be crushed by the weight of pain. Instead, both are true, and it requires a familiarity with both sorrow and joy to fully encompass the full range of being human.” 
As Lent continues, we stand before our Lord’s suffering and death. We contemplate the cross and recognize the agony of sorrow. We also see, right there at the foot of the cross, clear and undeniable glimpses of the joy to come. We know both joy and sorrow by faith and from our own experiences. Our wrenching grief for a loved one who has died is colored and deepened by moments of joy, thanksgiving, even laughter as we tell stories, remember past happiness and recall the ordinariness of daily life. The joy then remains part of our pain now. As mystic William Blake said, “the deeper the sorrow, the greater the joy.”
So walk boldly through the season ahead. Touch the sorrow. Touch the joy. Do not turn coward before either. The pain then is part of the joy now. The joy then is part of the pain now. Jesus’ death and resurrection make both complete. 
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
-- The Collect for Palm Sunday from The Book of Common Prayer

The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff (Sorrow by Susan E. Goff, Collage on Canvas, 2016)
We’re invited to practice remaining still before the Lord, ready to notice the visit from an angel delivering God’s Divine message of Silence. As this luminous darkness unfolds within, a peace and joy, beautiful beyond beauty, is born in our hearts, like a flower blooming in the desert. Out of this fertile silence, God’s Eternal Word is born, and so we bear the fruit of Christ’s Light by word, deed, and presence in the world.
-Br. Nicholas Bartoli
My email address is,
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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