PARISH NEWS for Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Change your clocks !! Turn your clocks AHEAD one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.

The changes that Lent brings - The 40 days of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26 and ends on Easter Sunday, April 12. It is a time of penitence, prayer and self-denial. Many people give up something, like wine or chocolate or Facebook; others take on something, like daily devotions or additional prayer time or additional acts of kindness. Each time we deny ourselves something that we want, or reach out to others, we remember that Jesus died for our sins as we acknowledge that we are penitent sinners. To reflect the penitence of the Lenten season, there are several changes we make in our Sunday services:

-there will be no "alleluia's" said or sung
-there will be no altar flowers, but greens instead
-the color of the altar hangings will be purple, a penitential color
-we will use the Rite I liturgy, rather than Rite II (some responses are different)

Do what makes Lent meaningful to you. There are a lot of resources online. We will have daily devotional booklets from Episcopal Relief and Development on the back table in the church.

Lenten Program - The Lenten program this year will be a bit different. We will read and discuss a 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. Again this year, 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. The book study will be held on the 6 Wednesdays in Lent, from March 4 through April 8 . Please sign up in the breezeway to provide soup and bread for the supper. You can borrow the book from the library. It can also be ordered on Amazon.) For those who plan to attend, please read the first 82 pages, which is all of Part 1, for the first session tonight.

Many thanks go to David Parker for chanting the Great Litany on Sunday.

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 choir.

Vestry Coffee Hour set-up and clean up- Susie Pike.

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.

Sabbatical grant - I am currently working on an application for a grant from the Lilly Foundation to fund a 3 month sabbatical in 2021. The grant would provide not only funds for the sabbatical, but also for clergy coverage while I am gone. The application is due April 1 and I will hear in August whether I have received the grant or not. The grant amount is up to $50,000. In order to apply, they need to know that I have the support of the congregation. At this point, my plans include a trip to the island of Iona, off the coast of Scotland, where Celtic Christianity is said to have been born; to London for a 12 day pilgrimage tour entitled "Our Anglican Heritage in England"; a stay at a retreat house in rural England; and a possible trip to Hawaii to rest in the beauty of God's creation. Clergy are encouraged to take a sabbatical every 5-7 years. I am beginning my seventh year at St. John's. Please let me or Susie Pike (Senior Warden) know if you support this sabbatical or not.

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.

St. John's Car Magnets - Evangelism never got so easy! We have a stack of St. John's magnets on the back table in the church. Put one on your car and as you drive around, you are advertising St. John's. And, yes, we did get a new family who is now quite active here, because they saw a St. John's car magnet!

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.

TV for sale! We have a 32” color TV for sale. It's in good working condition and we will accept the best offer. If you want to come by and see it, it is in Carol’s office. The proceeds will benefit St. John’s.

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.

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

The Second Sunday in Lent

March 8, 2020

9:30 AM

 The First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4a
God calls Abram (later known as Abraham) to leave all that he has known and to strike out into the wilderness to follow God.

The Psalm: 121, page 779, BCP

The Second Lesson: Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
God called Abraham righteous because of his trust in the Lord and the Lord's own mercy and grace, not because of anything that Abraham did or possessed.

The Gospel: John 3:1-17
Here is the Good News of salvation given to Nicodemus, hidden in the hearts and minds of Christians the world over.
(Rm. 205) 
During the Service

 Each week, St. John's children join with our Ministry Partners: 
Wellspring UCC & Grace Baptist Church
Room 207/208

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:

Geoffrey Anketell Studdert-Kennedy (1883–1929) was an English Anglican priest and poet. He was nicknamed Woodbine Willie during World War I for giving Woodbine cigarettes along with spiritual aid to injured and dying soldiers. In 1917, he earned the Military Cross at Messines Ridge after running into no man's land unarmed and under withering gunfire to help wounded soldiers during an Allied attack on heavily defended German lines.

A Meditation in the Time of the Coronavirus

"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have called you by name, you are mine .
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you." -Isaiah 43:1-3
We've been down this road before, this fearsome path of uncertainty.
         Asian flu in the 1950s
         Hong Kong flu in the 1960s
         SARS in 2002-2004       
         H1N1 in 2009
         The continuing HIV/AIDS pandemic
Each time there is real reason for concern; there are circumstances in which fear is a right and natural response. Fear can motivate us to take careful precautions to slow the spread of illness, to protect those we love and to safeguard our own health. Fear can mobilize action.
  In the midst of our fears and our actions, God's clear message to us is, "Do not be afraid." Do not be overwhelmed by fear. Do not be consumed by fear. Do not allow fear to make your world so small that there is little room for anyone else. We are in this together, the entire world community. It's not about each individual "me," it is about us.
  So in addition to taking precautions at church , at home, at the workplace, at school, and everywhere you go, offer up your fear to God. Offer up in prayer all who are affected by this outbreak. Lift up to God healthcare workers and researchers, as well as those who are sick and the family members and friends who care for them. Pray for those whose livelihoods and income are threatened. Recognize those who become ill as children of the one God, and therefore as our very own siblings, so that stigmatizing will not make a difficult circumstance even worse. Above all, hold tight to the power of God whose perfect love casts out fear.
Your sister in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff 
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority in the Diocese of Virginia

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.

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!

Lenten Reflection
Numbers 21: 4-9
Psalm 102: 2-3, 16-18, 19-21
Gospel: John 8: 21-30

“Who are you?” the Pharisees ask Jesus.
“You will realize that I AM” and “the one who sent me is with me”, says Jesus.
 “He has not left me alone” and “what I do is pleasing to Him”.
And from Psalm 102: “Hide not your face from me in the day of my distress.”
Jesus knows who he is and why he’s here, and he knows that he is never alone.
If I could summarize the faith given to me by my parents, it is this simple and foundational belief. They introduced me to Jesus, showed me how to know and talk with him and with my Father, and to listen and watch for the Spirit. It is a life-long relationship that is nurtured through time and experience, like any human relationship.
I’ve always known that I’m not alone, and while I strive to do what pleases God, I also believe that God’s love for me is not dependent on my efforts. My part in the relationship is to trust and be open to receiving God’s grace and love. I often fail, but God continues in his part offering love, grace, blessings, beauty, goodness.
The hope I see in Psalm 102 is that God doesn’t hide from me when I’m in distress. I put up barriers of fear, worry, judgment and self-centeredness, so it isn’t God who is hiding, but me. It’s like I put on glasses that narrow and blur my vision so I can’t see God. God hasn’t changed. I’m the one stumbling around trying to fix things myself. But I am never alone, God is always there, embracing me in the relationship of love that Jesus reveals.
Jesus, help me see who you are and that you are with me always. Amen.
Jan Hancock
(Jan is Carol's sister and accompanied the St. John's group to the Holy Land last year.)
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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