St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA
Parish News - September 30, 2020
Dear St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

Civil discourse. Listening to each other. Hearing what the other person thinks and feels and why they think and feel that way. Listening to the other's life experiences that have molded them into the person they are. Getting rid of labels and boxes to put people into. Living into the way of love. Respecting the dignity of every human being.

Jesus calls us to love one another. That does not mean we have to like everyone or agree with everyone. But it does mean that we need to see everyone as a beloved child of God, made in the image of God.

These are contentious times in our country today with politics, racism, environmental tragedies, and an uncontrolled virus killing thousands of people. How do we, as people of God, navigate such storms that are raging all around us? We put our faith and trust and hope in God and we pray. We pray for people to listen to each other and work together. We pray for the doctors and scientists who are working on a vaccine. We pray for this great country not to be pulled apart by division and hatred and violence. God is in our midst and our prayers do not go unheard.

I invite you to watch this video by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who addresses our divisions and the love that can overcome all.


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.
Save the date!!! On Sunday, November 1 from 1-3 PM, St. John's will host a food drive for WFCM and collect funds for their holiday food baskets. There may also be a collection of warm women's clothing for those in need. Stay tuned for more details!

Parishioner David Kantor will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery this Friday, October 2. A celebration of his life will be held prior to the burial at the Fort Myer chapel. David died a year ago, on September 22, 2019. Due to COVID 19, the service is not open to the public. Please keep Mary Jo and their family in your prayers.

Hannah Rose Hadfield, daughter of Angela and Russ Hadfield, will receive the sacrament of Holy Baptism this Saturday, October 3, and will become a member of Christ's Body, the church. Due to COVID 19, this will be a small outdoor service at their home.
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:
September 30, 2020
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.
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.

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 5 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 duty to vote.
 

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 several weeks ago and will meet for 2 more 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 9 and 10 for our next meeting, which is this Thursday, October 1 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 Eighteenth Sunday
after Pentecost -
October 4, 2020

The First Reading:
Exodus 20:1-4,7-9,12-20

The Psalm: 19
pg. 606 BCP

The Second Reading:
Philippians 3:4b-14

The Gospel:
Matthew 21:33-46

  ______________________
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?" 
Meditation for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
  Deeper Than Melodrama

"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?" -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Think back to 2008. John McCain is holding a rally near election day. He has already spoken and it's question and answer time. A woman stands up and gives a rant against President Obama ending with, "Obama is an Arab." John McCain answers, "No ma'am. He's a decent, family man; a citizen that I just happen to disagree with and that's what this campaign is about."

The 2020 presidential campaign is about our country but it's also a mirror for us to evaluate our hearts and the way we see the world. As Solzhenitsyn writes, "If only it were so simple!" If only we did live in melodrama, and wouldn't it be convenient that we just happen to be the enlightened people? Of course, we need to make political distinctions; of course, we need to stand up for what we believe is right and just and good for our country. After all, a vote is all about saying yes about one candidate and no about another. In the midst of arguments in our family sometimes my mother would say, "I guess we're all saying the same thing" and, being Southern, I'd sort of nod, but I'd think to myself, "No, we are saying opposite things."

I fear we as a country may lose our sense of being the United States of America and we could move into melodrama -- strict definitions of good and evil -- which is dangerous for our country and very dangerous for our souls. Richard Rohr said, "I like many of you am only a disciple of the poor man from Nazareth. He like the cosmos itself is about two things: diversity and communion." When we think of God's Realm, we know it's about those two things. After all, the New Jerusalem is filled with people from all races and, yes, political parties. All they do is sing God's praises in harmony. When we pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven," perhaps that harmony is what we should pray for.

Therefore, we are called to another way. I think of Ruby Bridges praying for the mob outside her New Orleans school that cursed her and spit on her. I think of the Amish forgiving Charlie Roberts after he shot and killed five Amish children. I think of St. Francis walking to Jerusalem to talk to the Sultan to see if he would call off his armies and stop the crusades. I think of Paul writing to the Christians in Rome to say, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:17. Or as the contemporary translation in The Message says: "Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone."

Labelling those who disagree with you in terms that demean them or degrade them or to make us feel morally superior may feel good in the moment and make sense to us at the time, but they cannot be good for our souls. When Ruby Bridges was asked by Robert Coles why she prayed for the mob outside her school, she replied, "Don't you think they need my prayers?" Is our motive to justify our moral superiority or to be agents of God's realm of peace, justice, and mercy? Do we want to be right or be faithful? Maybe this election pushes us to confront those questions.
Bishop Porter Taylor
Fear
Fear is not a sign of the absence of God. In our fear we rather find the bidding presence of God. Our fear most often arises out of something that is bigger than we are, and we find that in and of ourselves, there isn’t enough – not enough energy, or patience, or hope, or encouragement, or provision. We come up short. Where is God in your fear? What is the invitation from God in your fear?
-Br. Curtis Almquist

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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