PARISH NEWS for Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear St. John's parishioners and friends:

As you know, the impact of the corona virus is changing daily and sometimes hourly. What we originally thought might be a two week hiatus for public worship has now extended to a much longer time frame. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry (see his letter below), in compliance with the Center for Disease Control, has suspended public worship through "the sacred time of Holy Week and Easter Day." But we will still be worshipping God, just in a different way.
Starting this Sunday, we will be live streaming our St. John's worship service at 9:30 AM. The technical aspects of this are still being worked out and a link to watch the service will be sent out at the end of the week. We hope to incorporate music into the service in the coming weeks.
It is important for us to stay connected during this time when we can't physically get together. Please call each other. Check on the elderly or others who might have trouble getting to the grocery store or the pharmacy. Call the church if you need some assistance. Since we are a small staff, we are continuing to maintain office hours.
And most importantly, pray. Pray for the doctors and nurses and all the health care workers who are working to stop the spread of this virus, at risk to their own health. Pray for those who have been infected with this virus. Pray for the scientists who are working to develop a vaccine to stop it. Pray for those who are living in fear.
As Bishop Susan said in a Zoom conference call with the clergy yesterday, "we are all in this together" and we need to help each other. Our loving and gracious God is in our midst. God will give us the strength we need to get through this. Sometimes it is when we struggle the most that we rely on God and know God is present with us.
We are the church, whether we are gathered together or not. We can continue to worship, though in a different way. We can continue to share the gospel by our actions of helping others. Alternative ways of doing this may become apparent to us as social distancing and quarantines become the norm for awhile.
The diocese is assisting us with providing resources, mostly technological, so we can connect with each other.
We are concerned about our financial health during the coming weeks and perhaps months. Please keep your pledge and contributions current by either mailing them to the church (5649 Mt. Gilead Road, Centreville, VA 20120) or use the button below. Our bills, like yours, continue to come in and we rely upon the giving of our parishioners.
We are not alone. Together, with the support of each other, with the gifts that each of us has to offer, we will get through this difficult time.
I miss our being together and worshipping together. But we stay apart for the health and wellness of all of us. May God bless each and every one of you.

The Rev. Carol Hancock

(the above items are a sampling from WFCM's Amazon list, which can be found by clicking the link below. Some of the items may be out of stock when you look. But keep looking as some will be available.)

WFCM is pre-bagging food to continue to provide all clients with food. With schools being closed items are being included for breakfast and lunch food for kids (primarily single servings that do not require a stove). The bags will also include bread, fresh fruit and items already in our pantry that come daily from grocery stores. 
WFCM is not accepting individual small donations from homes.  If you would like to donate food items, please order food and toiletry items online and ship them directly to WFCM's office in Chantilly or donate online .
Here is the link that takes you directly to WFCM's 'wish list' on Amazon:

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church:
Holy Week and Easter Day 2020
Online worship supported and encouraged
[March 17, 2020] A word to the Church regarding Holy Week and Easter Day from the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church:
Dear People of God,
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
These affirmations are at the very heart of our faith as followers of Jesus Christ.
In public services of Holy Week and Easter we solemnly contemplate, commemorate, and rededicate our lives as witnesses to life made possible in the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Together with Christmas, Holy Week and Easter are the holiest of days in our life together in Christ.
Last week I stated publicly my support for bishops who, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, decide “for a designated period of time . . . to cancel in-person gatherings for public worship.” I write now concerning the need to suspend in-person gatherings for public worship, in most contexts, during the sacred time of Holy Week and Easter Day.  Because this is a global health crisis, the principles in this letter apply throughout The Episcopal Church, including beyond the United States.
On March 15 th the Centers for Disease Control recommended the suspension of public gatherings in the U.S. of more than 50 people for the next 8 weeks. On March 16 th officials of the federal government asked persons in the U.S. to “avoid gatherings of more than 10 people” for the next 15 days. It is reasonable to assume that some form of recommendations restricting public gatherings will continue for some time.
Considering this changing landscape, I believe that suspension of in-person public worship is generally the most prudent course of action at this time, even during Holy Week and on Easter Day.  I am also mindful that local situations vary. Bishops must make this determination and the duration of said suspension in their respective dioceses, based on the public health situation in their context and the recommendations or requirements of government agencies and officials. 
It is important to emphasize that suspension of in-person gatherings is not a suspension of worship. I very much encourage and support online worship.
In the Gospels, the teachings of Jesus about the way of love cluster during Holy Week and Easter (see John 13-17, Matthew 22:34-40). The primacy of love in the Gospels is given its fullest expression in the shadow of the cross. This way of unselfish, sacrificial love, the way of the cross, is the way of God and the way of life.
It is out of this love for our fellow humans, our neighbors, that we forego the blessing of being physically together for worship. In so doing we seek to promote health and healing needed at this time.
God bless you and keep the faith,
The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Living Well Through Lent
An Introduction to
Practicing Courage with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind
Lent is a time for introspection and self-reflection, a time to reflect on the core of what it means to live a Christian life in the midst of great change and uncertainty. When facing change and uncertainty, few practices are more central to that life than courage—the courage to be vulnerable, the courage to grow, the courage to change direction, the courage to let go, the courage to act with grace, and the courage to walk the way of love. To receive daily devotions from Living Well throughout Lent, please click here:
St. John’s Men’s Group / Lumberjacks SELLING WOOD!
Replenish your winter firewood, as spring is still some weeks away! And help benefit St. John's at the same time!

The Lumberjacks are selling bundles of wood near the front entrance to the Historic Church for the great price of $5 per bundle. (or $20 for 5 bundles).
 Please give the money to someone in the office, a vestry member, or Carol.
Most of the bundles will be ash wood. If you would like more than a few bundles (would like to fill up your car or truck), please leave a message with the church office and we will make arrangements. 

Many thanks go to Monti Zimmerman who cut up branches and hauled them off to the transfer station.

Last call for anyone who would like to be confirmed when Bishop Gulick comes to St. John's on Sunday, May 10. We would need to start the classes shortly in order to be finished by the time the Bishop comes.

Pictorial Directory - It's about time that we did another pictorial directory! The last one was about 6 years ago and we have many new members. In order for the directory to be helpful, we need to have EVERYONE'S participation. There is no cost to you to have your picture taken and put in the directory. The only cost is if you decide to purchase pictures. We'd like to do this in the spring, if possible. But we need 2-3 people to take charge of this project , which means getting people to sign up to have their picture taken, and calling those parishioners who have not signed up. Think you can help? Let Carol know. We need to have some volunteers willing to organize this before we can request dates with the photography company.

Make an Online Pledge Offering!
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We can prepare our hearts & minds by reading ahead
for the Sunday Service lesson

The Fourth Sunday in Lent

March 22, 2020

9:30 AM

 The First Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13
God surprises his prophet Samuel by sending him to anoint the youngest son of a large family to be the new king. He protects Samuel in this work despite reasonable fear of death by King Saul.

The Psalm: 23, page 612, BCP

The Second Lesson: Ephesians 5:8-14
God has come into the world through the person of Jesus Christ, bringing light and redemption to every corner of the globe.

The Gospel: John 9:1-14
Jesus stirs up trouble when he restores a blind man's sight. Pharisees and the man's own parents are skeptical and angry, while the now-seeing man becomes a disciple.
(Rm. 205) 
During the Service

 Each week, St. John's children join with our Ministry Partners: 
Wellspring UCC & Grace Baptist Church
Room 215 (207/208 the first Sunday of the month)

St. John's Sunday School class for ages 2-4, Room 215
Meets the first Sunday of each month from 9:50 - 10:40 AM 



  FROM 10:50 - 11:50 AM

The Saint of the Week:

The Rt. Rev. Susan Goff Announces Appointment of Assisting Bishop 
The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Virginia, is honored to announce the appointment of the Rt. Rev. G. Porter Taylor as Assisting Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. Taylor is the retired Bishop of the Diocese of Western North Carolina and comes to the Diocese of Virginia from Wake Forest University Divinity School, where he serves as a visiting professor of Episcopal Studies.
Coronavirus Updates and Information
from the Fairfax County Interfaith Office
Members of the Faith Community,
  In an effort to ensure you are receiving accurate and timely information, Fairfax County has created a webpage that includes updated information and community resources at . You can also view the emergency blog , and stay in touch using the County’s social media platforms and through text messaging (Text FFXCOVID to 888777 to receive updates).
  The Health Department has a dedicated phone line that residents can call if they have questions 703-267-3511 (9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends) . If you have congregants who are in need of support please have them 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 , an online, searchable guide to available health and human services resources in Fairfax County.
 An updated list of community-based resources for food assistance and donations can be found at: . Residents who want to contribute are encouraged to consider making monetary contributions and grocery gift card donations to our community-based organizations partners.

Ramona S. Carroll, MSW
Community Interfaith Coordinator
County of Fairfax
12011 Government Center Parkway #408
Fairfax, VA 22035
Direct: 703-324-5185
Cell: 703-507-3390

Sign Up Here to be an altar server , or to donate flowers for a Sunday service. ( if you're not an altar server, and would like to be a Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM), a Lector, or a Crucifer, please see Carol).

"We know that food can be one of the most expensive items on a household budget list. Our hope is that in allowing our clients to visit once per month they will save enough money to pay for other expenses such as rent or utility bills."
I tems are collected weekly in the baskets at the front door of St. John's Church. For food list:
Every Wednesday evening, we have a service of Holy Eucharist and healing at 6:00 PM. The service is about 30 minutes. It is a perfect alternative for those who cannot come to church on Sunday mornings, as well as a good spiritual boost in the middle of the week. Come join us!

In the 1959 Canadian Prayer Book, the Catechism starts, "What is your name? Who gave you this name?" And the answer is, "My godparents, when I was baptized, wherein I was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." And, that is a Christian's identity. If that's the only thing somebody remembers, they've got their Christian life.
-Br. James Koester

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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