St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - March 31, 2021
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

We are in the midst of Holy Week, the most sacred time of the church year. It's important for us to journey with Jesus through the events of this week and not skip from Palm Sunday to Easter. Please join us online for the following services:

Wednesday in Holy Week - Join us tonight to hear about Judas' betrayal of Jesus, and the love Jesus continues to have for Judas.

Maundy Thursday - Jesus shares the Last Supper with his disciples, washes their feet and gives them a new commandment.

Good Friday - Jesus is arrested, humiliated, beaten, and crucified. Jesus dies for our sins. The links to these services are below.
 
On Easter Sunday, April 4, we will have one in-person service outside at 10:00 AM to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, weather permitting. Everyone is asked to bring their 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. If the weather is bad, a service will be recorded in the church prior to Easter and put online for Easter. For those who cannot or do not wish to come to the outdoor service, that service will be recorded on Easter and then posted online a few days later. (It takes several days to process the video and make it ready to post online.)

Please watch your emails for any last-minute announcements. I hope you will all join us for this Easter service at St. John's!

Carol
Wednesday in Holy Week: Service Tonight March 31

Link to Maundy Thursday: Service, April 1
Link to Maundy Thursday: Bulletin, April 1

Link to Good Friday: Service, April 2
Link to Good Friday: Bulletin, April 2

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
Virtual Coffee Hour and Lectionary Class
There will be no virtual coffee hour or lectionary class this Sunday. Join us for the outdoor Easter service at 10:00 AM.

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.

Cleaning the church!
On Saturday, April 10, we will have a "cleaning of the church"! It has been just over a year since we have had services in the church. It now looks like we might be able to get back into the church for services, sooner rather than later, using COVID guidelines. We want to give the church a good cleaning before we gather in the church. We will start at 9:00 AM. Please bring cleaning supplies.

Sunday, April 11
Next Sunday, April 11, the diocese will have a service online with Bishop Goff preaching. The link to that service will be in next Wednesday's E Notes. St. John's will not have an online service that Sunday.

Many thanks!!
Thanks go to to 11 people who baked and provided cookies, the 6 people who assembled bags, the 4 people who made the palm crosses, and the 8 people
who delivered the bags of cookies, palm crosses and Holy Week/Easter reflections to our parishioners. During this time of separation, it is important for us to stay connected with each other. This was truly a team effort. Thanks!

Vacation
Carol will be on vacation the week after Easter. In case of a pastoral emergency, please contact Susie Pike, Senior Warden (571-275-4744).

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 31
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.

Facilities Campaign Dollars at Work at St. John's
Many layers go into re-constructing a flat roof system.
Photos courtesy of Tom McDermott

A complex installation having to work around the new HVAC units, and drainage system.
"LIFT ME UP"
FACILITIES CAMPAIGN
A tremendous thank you to all who contributed to the Lift Me Up facilities campaign drive. Additional donations this week have made the new total: $48,000! Thanks to the generosity of the people of St. John's that will enable us to keep our 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
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

Easter Sunday
April 4, 2021

The First Reading:
Isaiah 25:6-9
 Isaiah foretells a time when God will swallow death itself and wipe away people’s tears.

The Psalm:118:1-2, 14-24, page 760, BCP
The Second Reading:
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
 Paul does not merely assert the resurrection but cites eyewitnesses to the risen Christ, including the Apostles, a group of 500 people, and Paul himself.
 
The Gospel:
John 20:1-18
 Mary, John, and Simon Peter are confused by the signs of the resurrection. Mary understands the moment Jesus speaks her name.
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.
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 Holy Week:
To Bind Up the Broken-Hearted
 
It has been Lent for a year. Our lenten liturgical observances, faithfully as we tried to mark the season, seemed to keep dissolving into the long siege of the last thirteen months. We’ve grown weary of even the recitation of the wave upon wave of calumny, crisis, catastrophe. And still the surf is rough; still there is pestilence stalking the land; still strife and discord mar our common life.
 
Now comes Holy Week – the week of broken hopes, intimate betrayals, and the murderous madness of crowds. The biblical story sends us careening on a rickety wooden roller coaster of parades and songs, screaming matches in the temple, dinner parties with dear friends, corrupt officials, fervent prayers, frustrated and duplicitous revolutionaries, police beatings, precious gifts, denial by allies, tears, suicide, atheistic nihilism, bread and wine, state-sponsored torture and execution. Forget about the movies; read your Bible. Truth is far more gripping, far more terrifying, far more damning than fiction. Because the Bible is not, primarily, a window into the past. The Bible is a mirror. As one of our seminarians remarked last week, “You know what Ecclesiastes says: there is nothing new under the sun.” Rather surprisingly, the student went on to say, “I take great comfort in that.” A wise insight. Because redemption comes, too.
 
Holy Week is not about something that happened twenty centuries ago – not only about that, at any rate. It’s about what happened last year, and what will happen this week, and, unless Jesus returns first or something changes, what will happen a decade from now, and twenty centuries from now. Holy Week is about how we behave, and how God responds, and our option to change.  At its core, it’s about how this week could be different, how the next decade could be different, how a century hence the world could be very different. It could be, if we want it badly enough, a much deeper, clearer reflection of God’s reign and the paradise for all people that this world was made to be.
 
There have been moments in the endless Lent of 2020-2021 when I wondered if we were going to make it. I wondered how we – humanity – would manage to endure and redeem our days, and our children’s futures. And my determined plunge into the history of the US and Virginia – which includes the history of my own ancestors – did not improve my outlook. We are capable of so much evil. I know that I am capable of it; the same blood flows through my veins. I am capable, in perhaps less cinematically dramatic ways, of all the same denial, anger, partisanship, fear, despair, and betrayal as the characters in the biblical Holy Week saga.
 
Holy Week takes us out of busy, linear time and into the ancient story so that, once a year anyway, we are brought face to face with the mirror. Holy Week lays it out before me; I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. We are shown the price that we pay for our resistance to God and God’s ways – ways of justice, truth, compassion, generosity – what we used to call “righteousness”.  Not self-righteousness, but being right with the ways of God. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner! Mercifully, we are not left there, naked under the stadium lights and surrounded by darkness. Not for long. A different kind of light is breaking through.
 
Jesus has been shining that light all along – giving sight to the blind of eye and heart, giving speech to those muted by tongue and society, healing those whose skin had made them outcasts, restoring sanity to the mad. He has set free those oppressed by sin and those oppressed by religion; he has offered release from captivity to money. He has reminded (or threatened, depending on your perspective) us that God is sovereign and Caesar is not. Jesus has described the Kingdom of God – that is, the way the world is meant to be – in the most ordinary and intimate terms. That Kingdom, he has repeatedly insisted, has come VERY near. You can reach out and touch it! And yet, all around his words and deeds, swirl the problems that we continually create for ourselves. 
 
I wonder where those gaps are in your life. I wonder where the glimpses of paradise exist alongside the fumes of hell itself. For me it is sometimes a juxtaposition of events, but just as often, it’s a contradiction in my own soul. Overwhelmed by my own weakness and the brokenness of this world, I need a clear path to redemption in this life.
 
Jesus was no fool, no dummy, no Pollyanna. He knew perfectly well what was going on around him and in the hearts of those gathered near him, as well as in the hearts and minds of the establishment of his day. He knew. At the Passover supper, when he knew his time was short, he boiled it down, with one catchphrase that summed up the whole project, the whole plan, the whole promise. One sentence. I give you a new commandment, he said:
Love one another.
 
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another, he said. And that is the answer to all of the tribulations of Holy Week and this mortal life. Jesus did not say, “like each other.”  He wasn’t talking about warm fuzzy feelings or about love-ins or even about having a high opinion of someone. He did not mean “feel love”. He meant “DO love.”  He meant, do for any human what you’d do for a beloved family member. Wash their stinky feet. Stand up for what is right. Speak the truth. Forgive. Restore the alienated. Fix what ails people. Feed the hungry. Put money and politics in their place – in service to the Kingdom of God, not personal advantage over other people. Respect the dignity of every human being, even a lunatic running around naked in the cemetery. Let the children come up close. Go to the towns of people whose grandparents hated your grandparents and get to know them. Refuse to scapegoat the women. Recognize the good in your enemies. This kind of love is not mushy or sentimental or even familial, as Jesus made shockingly clear. The children of God are my family. Those who seek to live into the ways of Christ are my family. Imagine that world for just a minute. It’s the Kingdom, isn’t it?
 
Bishop Curry has got it right. The only way to heal the hurt in this world is love. Tough, tender, heroic, sacrificial, compassionate, indefatigable love. So roll up your sleeves, because - - -
 
Oh, just one other thing. It’s Holy Week, and that means that just after it gets the darkest, LOVE will conquer it all. All hate, all fear, all degradation, all despair, all alienation, including that enemy that rolls them all into one: death. Love will conquer death. The grave will be empty. And we have a role to play.
 
So roll up your sleeves, because. . . yeah, it’s Friday all week long. . . but Easter is coming.
 
Love to each one of you, and through you to all God’s children.
 
Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson. 
Awareness
The only thing that separates us from God, us who seek Him, is our awareness in this moment of His presence. The Psalmist asks,"Who can stand in His Holy place"? Well, that’s a sort of a trick question, since all we really need to do is open our eyes to see that wherever we are, we’re already standing in His presence.
-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
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