St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - September 23, 2020
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:
In times like this that are difficult, how do we turn to find God? Where do we turn to get our well refilled? Maybe its getting away to the ocean or the mountains. Maybe its in the smile and giggles of young grandchildren. Maybe you find God in reading the psalms or other scriptures. Maybe its in the quietness of prayer time or reflection time or journaling time. Each of us has our own places where we more readily connect with God.
During this difficult time, when we are feeling stressed and don't know what the future holds, we need to identify those places where we find God. And then we need to spend time there, connecting with the God who lives within us, connecting with the God who is filled with love and compassion and who shares that with us.
What does God desire for us? To know God's love, to live with God's peace, to grow into the people God wants us to be, and to share God's love with others.
The Rev. Carol Hancock
Rector

The Rev. Carol Hancock
Rector



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.

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
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.
Our thanks go to David Parker who has spent many, many hours changing the ballasts and light bulbs throughout the building. They are being changed to LED lights, which will last much longer and save us money in the long run.

There will be several opportunities in the coming weeks from our Outreach Committee to help those in need. Stay tuned for details.
Presiding Bishop’s Statement on the Death of Justice Ginsburg
[September 18, 2020]  Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
 
The late John Fitzgerald Kennedy once said, “while on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” 
 
The sacred cause of liberty and justice, dignity and equality decreed by God and meant for all has been advanced because while on earth Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made God’s work her own. Because of her the ancient words of the prophet Micah to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God have found fulfillment. May we follow in her footprints. May she rest in the arms of the God who is love and the author of true justice. 
 
Rest In Peace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Shalom.
 
 
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

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:
UTO: United Thank Offering Outpourings and Ingatherings

Everyone is encouraged to send their Ingathering using one of the following methods:
·       Text to give: INGATHER to 41444
·       Give online: unitedthankoffering.org/give
·       Drop off your Blue Box or check in the mailbox at St. John’s
·       Mail your check directly to the bank. Simply make the check out to UTO with Ingathering Diocese of Virginia in the memo line and mail it to:
The United Thank Offering-DFMS-Protestant Episcopal Church
PO Box 958983
St Louis, MO 63195-8983
Every donation will be acknowledged with a card and will be recorded. If you want to ensure that your donation is recorded as being from St. John’s, just include a note at the bottom of the online donation page.

Questions? Contact Val Tucker, UTO Chairperson

Juliette Faulding, Bookkeeper
St. John's bookkeeper, Juliette Faulding, is currently on medical leave. If you would like to send her a card, you can send it to her sister's address, where she is currently recovering. That address is Lynette Johnson Williams, 12007 Wallace Lane, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. Prayers continue for Juliette's full recovery from surgery.

A new Fairfax County program for school age care in response to this year's virtual return to school. The SRS program reflects Fairfax County’s and Fairfax County Public School’s joint commitment to One Fairfax, and to ensuring that all families have equitable access to the services they need to support children’s virtual learning. The SRS program will provide full-day on-site programming for children in Kindergarten through sixth grade residing in Fairfax County and City of Fairfax, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. starting September 8, 2020. Space is limited. To register, call 703-449-8989.Families who need additional financial support or transportation should communicate their request when enrolling so that registration staff can best provide assistance. For more information please visit HERE.

Join AARP Virginia and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University (OLLI Mason) for the Boomers and Beyond Academy on Saturday, September 26. This virtual event is designed to help you make plans for better living. Learn about the positive powers of lifelong learning, volunteering, mindfulness and meditation, getting your legal documents in order, and more. You will get information about important life matters that you are faced with today or may face tomorrow. These tips and tools will help you make your own decisions about how you want to live.

Saturday, September 26
9:00 - 11:30 a.m.
How to Reinvent Yourself to Flourish in New Life Chapters: Mindful Tools to Connect with Purpose, Build Resilience, and Live with Intention
Martha Brettschneider, Author of Blooming into Mindfulness: How the Universe Used a Garden, Cancer, and Carpools to Teach Me That Calm Is the New Happy 
Volunteering: Good for Your Community and Your Health
Steve Mutty, CEO, Volunteer Fairfax

COVID 19 Help Available
If you live in Fairfax County and are in need of support please call Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) 703-222-0880 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays). Residents can also visit the Human Services Resource Guide (HSRG) at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hsrg/, an online, searchable guide to available health and human services resources in Fairfax County.

Episcopal Relief and Development
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that there is no "us" and "them" — there is only "us." For those of us who have remained healthy and safe during the crisis, this is an opportunity to care for our neighbors who have been less fortunate.

While the pandemic claims our attention, we are nearing the height of the Atlantic hurricane season. Already, we’ve seen the Gulf Coast devastated by Hurricane Laura, followed by Hurricane Sally, and we’ve also witnessed the tragic wildfires as they rage in the western states. The weeks and months ahead hold a great deal of uncertainty, and they ask one thing of us: Be ready.

Put your faith into action today.
Whether we're responding quickly to a crisis, or energizing communities through our transformational programs, your gift will be a lifeline for women, children and families around the globe.

PARISH NEWS
The link to the Sunday service will be sent out on 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.
Christian Formation curriculum for families from ChurchNext:
Here's something that can be really helpful for families growing together in Christ during lockdown: This is NOT Sunday School. It starts in later in September but you can sign up today.
This is NOT Sunday School is an intergenerational learning experience, perfect for families and individuals of all ages that will launch weekly starting September 16.

Each week’s session features video teaching by a professional from the Christian formation network, Forma, as well as downloadable lessons, readings, and engagement opportunities for all ages. The curriculum is from Exploring the Bible by Forward Movement and instructors include Victoria Hoppes, Roger Hutchison, and Miriam McKenney, and others.

ZOOM Book Study - "White Fragility - Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin Diangelo. Nine people joined this book study that started last Thursday. We will meet for about 6 weeks on Zoom. If you are interested, you can order the book on Amazon, or it might be in the Fairfax library. Please read chapters 7 and 8 for next meeting, which is this Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 PM. Here's the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83183049988
What is "Messy Church"?
Messy Church is an intergenerational program of Christian Formation for all ages. Looking for something to do with your children or grandchildren? Check out the fun activities that are offered and learn more about Messy Church by clicking on this link.

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.
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 Seventeenth Sunday
after Pentecost -
September 27, 2020

The First Reading:
Exodus 17:1-7
The Israelites wander in the wilderness, wondering if God has forgotten them.

The Psalm: 78:1-4, 12-16
pg. 694 BCP

The Second Reading:
Philippians 2:1-13
Christians in Philippi are encouraged by the creed of Jesus Christ which the Apostle Paul shares in the body of his letter to them. 

The Gospel:
Matthew 21:23-32
While clever religious adherents seek to trip up Jesus with particularities of custom, Jesus is more interested in the integrity of people’s souls.
  ______________________


Prayer list - If you would like to add someone's name to the prayer list, please send the name to Carol or Catherine Packard by Monday in order to have that name on our prayer list for the following Sunday. We need to get the prayer list to our readers by Tuesday so they can record the Prayers of the People and get it to David Weir by Thursday. Please let Carol know when we can take someone's name off the prayer list.


VOTE !!!
With the presidential election now less than 6 weeks away, it is important for all of us to decide how we are going to vote. There are several options available this year, especially for those who do not want to stand in line at the polls because of the coronavirus. You can vote by absentee ballot or in person before election day at a polling station. Details about how to vote and where are on the Fairfax County website. It's our Christian responsibility to vote.
 
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.
“If we who are Christians participate in the political process and in the public discourse as we are called to do — the New Testament tells us that we are to participate in the life of the polis, in the life of our society — the principle on which Christians must vote is the principle,
Does this look like love of neighbor?" 
Thanksgiving Has Come Early This Year
Meditation for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
 
Walking in the light of the first cool, crisp mornings of the fall, I find myself thankful -- not just Gratitude-Journal-thankful for hot coffee, or work that I love, or even for health (though grateful I am) -- but grateful for the front-line workers and first responders who are tending to the spiritual needs and feelings of anxiety or disappointment or fear or rage that flare up in unexpected hot spots in the uncontained fires of the multivalent mess that we can only call "2020."
 
I am grateful for our leaders in the Church -- all our leaders, lay and ordained. Today I am especially thinking of our ordained leaders -- pastors, preachers, priests. Men and women called by God and the Church, raised up in local congregations, trained and coached in the larger church, deployed into hundreds of unique settings in Virginia. They serve in cities, suburbs, the country. They and their families have given themselves to Christ and his bride, the Church. They have vowed to serve as shepherds, prayer leaders, prophets, and teachers, and serve they do. They are on call 24/7 for the emergencies of whole communities, and even when things are quiet, they routinely work far more hours than their agreements provide. They are present in crisis and in celebration; they work in the hospital and the study and the chancel.
 
And now this.  Now, the scramble from the beauty and dignity of Holy Week and Easter to the sudden need to convey all of that on Zoom or Facebook. Now, the need to reinvent pastoral care by remote. Now, the weekly uncertainty of regathering precautions and the weight of worry about balancing the deep desire for tangible sacramental life with the profound worry about the health -- even the lives -- of their flocks. Now, the plunge of the nation into superheated discourse on race and justice, and supercharged emotions over politics. Now, the crazy mix of the cohesion of loving congregations, the opportunity to experiment with new modalities, the need to plan for an unforeseeable future with unpredictable challenges and resources, and the stress of responding in love to the most stressed and anxious among us. Every wedding, every burial and memorial, every deferred confirmation, weighs upon them. This I know, because they will not complain, especially to their flock, but they will call to share their grief and sorrow on behalf of their people. Of course, clergy are not the only bearers of the burdens of this difficult season, but their burden is heavy.
 
To the clergy reading this: We bishops see you.  We pray for you. We are here to listen to you and support you. If it is in our power to help, then we will do it.
 
And to the laity of the Church, the flock of Christ: We see and pray for you, too. We know that you share the stresses of educational and economic upheaval and a million other worries.  And we ask your help in this: help us to uphold and sustain your parish clergy who now enter another stretch of demanding spiritual leadership. That's not to say that problems or disagreements, if there are any, should be swept under the rug, but rather that the truth must be spoken in love, and the hearts of all should be guarded and protected. Let there be grace -- the grace of time and space, the grace of appreciation and honor, the grace of companionship and laughter. Pastoring is one of those occupations with high rates of depression and burnout and worse, especially in times of societal trauma. The antidote is grace, and appreciation, and love. The antidote is remembering that we are not defined by the boundaries of doctrine or politics, but by our orientation toward the cross of Christ. The antidote is humming to ourselves: We have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back. . . The cross before us; the world behind us; no turning back.
 
Thanksgiving has come early this year. Your three bishops are grateful to your congregational leaders, and we tell them so, but it means much more when they hear it from you. We pray that they are going deaf from hearing it from you. May your love, your patience, and the grace of your support in these challenging times sustain them as they sustain you through the months to come.
 
And may God bless us all, every one.
 
Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davidson
Periphery
Walking along, likely amid a crowd asking questions, Jesus saw Matthew. Jesus paid attention to the periphery and saw those looked down on or overlooked. Matthew, an outcast seen and invited in, experienced Jesus’ mercy. How do we learn mercy? Look widely. Pay attention not only to those close to you. Look to the periphery; see and welcome the outcast and stranger.
-Br. Luke Ditewig
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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