PARISH NEWS for Wednesday, March 11, 2020

What the church is doing in response to the Coronavirus

Last Saturday, Bishop Susan sent out an email to all clergy to assure all parishioners that receiving just the bread is considered as having received "full communion". Because of the coronavirus, some might not feel comfortable sipping from the common cup and we want to be sensitive to that. However, studies have shown that the alcohol in the wine, something that is in the silver of the chalice, and the Lay Eucharistic Minister wiping the rim and rotating the cup, there are virtually no germs on the chalice. Although it is Lent and we usually use the pottery vessels for communion, we will use the silver set instead. Contrary to popular opinion, there are more germs for those who intinct (dip the bread in the wine) because oftentimes peoples fingers end up touching the wine. If you choose not to receive the wine, please cross your arms over your chest so the chalicer will know that you do not wish to receive. Pause for a moment in front of the chalicer as he/she says the words, "The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation."
We are urging people not to shake hands during the "Peace", but to speak the words, wave, or elbow bump your fellow parishioners.
We have hand sanitizer wipes at the front (by the pulpit) and at the back of the church (on the back table) for those who want to use them. Some will also be on the coffee hour table in the breezeway.
St. John's is taking the precautions suggested by the diocese and in keeping with the guidelines of the CDC. If you are not feeling well, please stay home. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Carol.

Lenten Program: Tonight - For the Lenten program this year, we are reading and discussing the novel, "Woman of God" by the popular author James Patterson. The book deals with the subject of suffering and where God is in the midst of it. Running Wednesday evenings now through April 1 , we will have a service of Holy Eucharist at 6:00 PM, a light supper at 6:30, and the book discussion from 7:00 - 8:00 PM . We will be discussing Part 2 this evening (Mar.11), but please join us whether you have read the book or not.
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:
Fasting for Lent
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry talks about his practice of fasting for Lent.

Rotary Club of Dulles International Airport
Rise Against Hunger Meal Packing Event

Please join the Rotary Club of Dulles International Airport at our Rise Against Hunger meal packing event. We will be packaging 10,000 meals for people in need.
WHEN: March 14th at 8:00am - 11:30 AM (Saturday)
WHERE: YMCA Fairfax County Reston, 12196 Sunset Hills Rd, Reston, VA 20190
We are partnering with Rise Against Hunger to facilitate this event. They provide all the materials, equipment, and know how. We just need to provide enthusiastic volunteers. 

To sign up to help, here is the SignUp Genius link:

For more information about Rise Against Hunger, visit their website. 

below is an example of how the SignUp Genius looks when you sign up!
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. 
Snacks for Sunday's coffee hour will be provided by the Vestry.

Vestry Coffee Hour set-up and clean up- Jim Elliott.

Steve Busch, our intern this year, will present an adult forum on Sunday, March 29 at 10:45 AM . Steve, who is studying to be a deacon, will explain what the diaconate is and how it has evolved over the centuries. He will also share his call to become a deacon. Please join us in room 207/208.

Many thanks go to Andrew Wade who worked in the cemetery to uncover two gravestones that were not able to be seen. The out of state family was most grateful and gave St. John's a sizeable contribution.

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.

Looking ahead to Holy Week and Easter... services for Holy Week and Easter are as follows:
Sunday, April 5 - Palm Sunday, 9:30 AM with short outdoor procession
and the dramatic reading of the gospel
Wednesday, April 8 - 6:00 PM service of Holy Eucharist
Thursday, April 9 - 7:30 PM foot washing, Holy Eucharist, and stripping
of the altar
Friday, April 10 - Liturgy of Good Friday at noon and 7:30 PM
Easter Sunday, April 12 - Celebration of the Resurrection at 8:00 AM and
10:30 AM.

Easter Egg Hunt - The annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 12 and under will be held at 12:00 noon on Easter Sunday. We will need donations of candy to fill the plastic eggs on Saturday, April 4. We do NOT need any more plastic eggs.

Save the date! The annual Progressive Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 16. Put it on your calendar now. Details will be provided closer to the date.

It's not too early. sign up for Shrine Mont camps for this summer. Brochures are in the breezeway. These camps fill up rapidly so register soon. Shrine Mont is located in Orkney Springs, VA, in the Shenandoah Mountains and is owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

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We can prepare our hearts & minds by reading ahead
for the Sunday Service lesson

The Third Sunday in Lent

March 15, 2020

9:30 AM

 The First Reading: Exodus 17:1-7
As the Israelites are lead in freedom by Moses, they quickly turn from trusting God's provision to complaining to Moses that they will surely die.

The Psalm: 95, page 724, BCP

The Second Lesson: Romans 5:1-11
We may find joy in suffering, knowing that trials mature and solidify the divine love in our hearts.

The Gospel: John 4:5-42
Jesus' unusual interaction with a Samaritan woman plants seed for salvation of the entire community, in addition to perplexing the disciples and causing their minds and hearts to be stirred.
(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:

Vincent de Paul (24 April 1581 – 27 September 1660) was a French Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He was canonized in 1737. He was renowned for his compassion, humility, and generosity. Founder of Congregation of the Mission and Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.

Dear Diocesan Family,
  I write to you with news that is personal and that touches on our life together as a diocesan community. I have been diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. It was detected early in a routine mammogram in February. While the cancer is not aggressive, my marvelous medical team and I are responding quickly. I anticipate that I will have surgery before Easter and begin additional treatment a few weeks later. My prognosis is excellent. I am otherwise in very good health and have a strong support system. While this is not a season I ever would have chosen, I am on a remarkable, creative and holy Lenten journey.
 As I take care of myself during treatment, I will be able to do the ministry to which God and this Diocese have called me, although with a somewhat lightened schedule. In particular, my Monday through Friday travel will be limited for some weeks during the second phase of treatment. This reality will not require rescheduling Sunday visitations. During the time of reduced travel, I will embrace electronic meetings more fully than ever. My colleague Bishop Brooke-Davidson, our team of visiting bishops, our committed diocesan staff and our Standing Committee are working together with me to ensure that our diocesan life remains healthy during these next months. I anticipate resuming my normal round of activities before the end of June. 
 Diagnosis and treatment do not change my retirement plans. I will continue to serve as Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority through the election and consecration of our next Bishop Diocesan in 2022, and then as Bishop Suffragan until I retire in 2023. 
 I invite you to send any messages or words of encouragement you might offer me to . Your notes will be collected in a folder in my inbox. I will open and read them once a day during a prayerful time. In addition, I will post periodic updates, reflections, meditations and art that emerge from this healing journey. You can find the blog at .
 I feel buoyed by prayer and covet your continued prayers for me, for my husband Tom, for our diocesan staff, and for all the people of this Diocese.
 Faithfully yours,
 The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority 
  O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

Addressing Parishioners Concerns about Flu and the Coronavirus: A Letter from the Diocese of Virginia
Clergy and Members of the Diocese:
As the flu season continues, and amid growing concerns about the possible spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, now is a good time to remind everyone about best practices for hygiene during Eucharist and other services.
During Eucharist and the Peace
  • Parishioners who are coughing or sneezing should refrain from handshaking during the Peace. Fist bumps, elbow bumps, friendly waves, and peace signs are all acceptable substitutes.
  • Churches should make hand-sanitizers available for parishioners to use. Sanitize hands before and after contact with others.
  • Assure parishioners that the entire altar party will be washing their hands before the service and will use hand sanitizer before the Liturgy of the Table.
  • Strongly discourage intinction (the dipping of the bread into the wine). Intinction does little to avoid the spread of disease and may actually increase the spread, as the bread or wafer spends more time in the (possibly unclean) hand before being dipped in the wine, and sometimes fingers touch the wine as well.
  • There has never been much evidence of risk of disease associated with the shared communion cup, because of the alcohol in the wine and the fact that the rim of the chalice is wiped after each person. But if parishioners are concerned, remind them it is acceptable to 1) abstain from communion, or 2) receive "in one kind" (host only). Let them know how to indicate this preference at the altar rail - by crossing their arms over their chest right after receiving the host. The chalicer will then know they do not wish to take the communion cup.
Elsewhere in the Church Facilities
  • You may choose to wipe down altar rails and the tops of pews, since the virus can last for more than an hour on hard surfaces.
  • Avoid stuffed toys in the nursery
Pastoral Care
  • Keep in mind parishioners who are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the virus and stay in touch with them.
  • Be aware of parishioners or staff who work on an hourly basis. If there are quarantines, their livelihood is affected.
  • Have a plan for delivering food to those who are quarantined.
  • If you have the capability, be prepared to livestream your Sunday service or have some other way of sharing worship with those who cannot come to church.
  • Best hygiene practice should continue to be observed in all pastoral contacts.

Presiding Bishop Curry's Statement on the Coronavirus
In this time when we are all affected by the coronavirus, whether directly or indirectly, whether physically, biologically, psychologically, spiritually, and for many economically, it may be helpful to remember that we're in this together.
  Jesus came among us in the first place, to show us the way to be right and reconcile with the God who is the creator of us all, and right and reconciled with each other as children of this one god who has created us all, and therefore as sisters, brothers, and siblings, one of another.
  Jesus came to show us how to be in a relationship with God and in relationship with each other, came to show us how to live not simply as collections of individual self-interest, but how to live as the human family of God. That's why he said love the Lord your God, love your neighbor as yourself. Because in that is hope for all of us to be the human family of God.
  I was in Cuba the last few days with Bishop Griselda and the good people of the diocese there as we received and welcomed them as a full part of The Episcopal Church. A while back when she spoke to the last diocesan synod before they became part of The Episcopal Church, she said, and I quote, “The reason we must become part of The Episcopal Church is so that we can be part of a big family.” She spoke by prophecy. We are all part of a big family. Bigger than our biological families, bigger than our immediate families, bigger than our congregations, bigger than our dioceses, bigger than our cities, our states, our nation.
  We are part of the human family of God. Jesus came to show us that his way of love is the way of life. It’s God’s human family. We are in a time when remembering that may be important for all of us. We are in this together. What affects some directly affects all indirectly. We are part of a family. The human family of God.
  Just over the weekend the head of the World Health Organization, said this, and I quote, “We have seen this coming for years. Now is the time to act. This is not a drill. This epidemic can be pushed back, but only with collective, coordinated, and comprehensive approach by us all.” It takes us all. We are family.
And then one of the spokespersons for the European Union, speaking to the member states said this, and I paraphrase: We must share our resources and our information. It is not the possession of any one nation.
  In each of those calls, and in the calls of many of our leaders, we have heard again and again, that we are in this together, we can walk through this together, and we will find our way in our life together.
  So look out for your neighbors, look out for each other. Look out for yourselves. Listen to those who have knowledge that can help to guide us medically and help to guide us socially. Do everything that we can to do this together, to respond to each other's needs and to respond to our own needs.
  Walk together children, don't get weary, because there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
  Allow me to close with this prayer found on the website of Episcopal Relief & Development , where there are resources and where information can be found.
  God of the present moment, God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; bring hope and courage to all who wait or work in uncertainty. Bring hope that you will make them the equal of whatever lies ahead. Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health and wholeness; you are God, and we need you. This we pray in Christ our Lord. Amen.
  God love you. God bless you. May God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.
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!

A lot of people try to make God domestic. God becomes the "Hail Mary, full of grace, help me find a parking space" God. But this means missing the absolutely unfathomable power of God, like you can see at Niagara Falls. That's what water can teach us about God: you can't bottle God.
-Br. James Koest

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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