LETTER FROM CAROL for WEEK OF Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Dear St. John's parishioners and friends:

    I’ve been reading some of the information that is being put out about the emotional and psychological effects we are having in response to the coronavirus. I’ve read (and experienced) that the day may get off to a great start, feeling well with energy to get everything done on the to do list. By mid morning, a lack of energy takes hold, and feelings of anxiety and depression take over. On other days, we feel good all day, that we have adapted to all the changes we have had to make in our routines and interactions with others.
    Feelings of well-being, anxiety, or depression can change daily or several times within a day. Our lives have been turned upside down and it takes time to adjust to a new reality. We are bombarded daily with the number of illnesses and deaths caused by COVID 19. Sometimes we need to turn off the TV just to get away from it.
    Where is God in the midst of this pandemic? God is with each one of us, holding us up, helping us to keep putting one foot in front of the other. It is God that we can hold on to, even if we are holding on by our fingertips. And God will not let us go. Ever.
    What can we do when it is hard for us to feel God’s presence, when we are anxious or depressed? We can pray for those less fortunate than ourselves. We can pray for the strength to keep going. We can send money or donate food to the various charities and local organizations who are on the front lines of helping those who are hungry or homeless. Putting the needs of others ahead of our own will help our own emotional state.
    Our country has not seen this kind of unemployment since the Great Depression. So many people are in need, having lost their jobs as businesses have had to close. We have seen pictures of cars lined up for a mile or two, waiting to get food from a food distribution site.
    We are called by God to help those in need, as we can. Each week, we will list in the E-Notes local organizations who need help to feed the hungry or house the homeless. Our donations will help others, as well as ourselves, as we seek to be Christ to one another during the time of extreme need.
   I keep you all lifted up in daily prayer as we navigate these uncharted waters. Take care of yourself and those around you.

The Rev. Carol Hancock

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.
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:
Blood supplies are getting low. If you are able to give blood, please consider doing so. You can go to the Inova Blood Services website to find donation sites and you can sign up online.
HELP FROM THE HEART Community Drive 
 The Communities of Trust is collecting items to be distributed by local food pantries to individuals in need.
You can drop off items 24/7 at Sully Station (4900 Stonecroft Blvd, Chantilly) or at any local police station
Please place only NEW items in plastic grocery bags in the collection bin.
Items needed (New ONLY)*
  • Toothpaste & Brushes
  • Deodorant & Lotions 
  • Diapers & Baby Wipes
  • Soap, Shampoo, & Conditioner
  • Feminine Hygiene Products 
  • Adult Incontinence Underwear 
  • Laundry & Dish Detergent
  • Household Cleaners
  • Paper Towels & Toilet Paper 
End Date TBD.

Stuff the Bus!!
Western Fairfax Christian Ministries will be sponsoring "Stuff the Bus" to collect food for those in need. They will not be in the parking lots of grocery stores, but rather will be at different locations throughout the area. In Saturday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 19, buses will be located in the parking lots of the Sully Government Center (4900 S tonecroft Blvd., Chantilly) and the Centreville Regional Library (14200 Saint Germain Drive, Centreville) from 10 - 3 pm. The need for food is great right now so please donate as you can. Monetary donations are also being accepted and you can do that online at

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries
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 pre-bagging food to continue to provide all clients with food.

They are 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:
Nita Amar has been staying busy! She reports that she's made over 150 quilted masks for friends and family.
Join us on Sunday for a virtual coffee hour!!! Do you miss talking with other parishioners at coffee hour and catching up with what is going on in their lives? This Sunday, May 17, join us for a virtual coffee hour at 12:00 noon on Zoom.
The link for the coffee hour will be sent out in Saturday's email, which will have the link for the service (9:30 AM), the link for the Adult Lectionary class (10:30 AM) and the link for the coffee hour (12:00 noon) . Bring your own coffee and snacks and we'll have a chance to check in with each other. We had 18 people sign in to Zoom last week and 20 the week before. We had a good time of sharing with each other. Join us this Sunday!

Many thanks go to David Weir for editing and posting our services on YouTube. He spends a lot of time doing this so we can take part in regular worship together but physically apart. Thanks also go to the readers who are now taking part in the services, and to Mandy Hull who finds the appropriate hymns on You Tube that we can use, and plays a prelude and postlude.

The Prayer list - If you would like to add someone to the prayer list, please email Carol. The readers who do the readings as well as the Prayers of the People, do their recordings from their homes toward the beginning of the week. If you send a name after the recording has been made, the name might not be on the prayer list until the following Wednesday or Sunday. Also, please note that the prayers of the sick, and those who have died, are read during the services we are posting on YouTube. So they are now "virtual".

Congratulations to our graduates! The following parishioners are graduating this spring:

-Gluay Zimmerman and Ethan Zimmerman from Northern Virginia Community College
-Catherine Crossett from Virginia Tech
-Katie Heller from William and Mary
-Audrey Yagerline from Oakton High School

If you or a family member is graduating this spring, let us know so we can share the good news with the parish family.

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 button below.

ZOOM upgrade - Many businesses and organizations are using "Zoom" for online meetings. The church now has a Zoom account, updated from the free version which only allow for meetings of 30 minutes. If you want to have a church meeting on Zoom, please let Carol know. Carol is registered as the "host" so meetings will have to be scheduled by her.

If you have a prayer or a reflection , either one you have read or one you have written and you would like to share it in the E-Notes, please send it to Carol. If it's one that someone else has written, be sure to include their name.

Forward Day by Day , a daily devotional normally available in the breezeway, is now here for May/June/July. If you would like one to be mailed to you, please call Carol or send an email.

Read any good books lately? If you have read something that you would like to share with others, please send Carol the name and the author of the book and a short review. We will share that in the E Notes.

A short video on grief - Because our lives have been turned upside down with a loss of our normal activities and routines, we may be having feelings of grief. Steve Busch has shared this short video on grief that may help us better understand what we may be experiencing.

A Letter to St. John's from Parishioner Gail Weirich

On this Mother’s Day morning in Phoenix, my heart is sad as my sister Carol is not here to celebrate this special day for mothers. I am here with my mom, Vilda, (95) and Carol’s daughter Annie (25). We all feel the heartbreak of not seeing Carol’s smile as she looks at her daughter. Carol Simon Ebert, beloved mother, sister and daughter went to be with the Lord on Sunday April 5 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Carol was born in Ft. Meade, MD on July 26, 1951. She spent her youth as the daughter of United States Air Force parents, living in Ohio, California and Maryland.   After attending LSU for a brief time and becoming a life-long Tiger’s football fan, she graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio with a BS degree in Secondary Education. Carol was a passionate teacher of English in middle and high school, becoming a certified writing specialist, including technical writing. She began her writing career in 1973 and taught a variety of classes, all within the subjects of English, Reading and Writing.  
Carol was awarded teacher of month in March of 2016 and was also nominated for Who’s Who Among American Teachers during her career.
After retiring from teaching in May 2017, Carol enjoyed playing mahjong, cards and socializing with friends. Her strong sense of contributing to her community led Carol to join AAUW (American Association of University Women). She held the position of Chair of the Membership Committee and served on the Scholarship and STEM committees. She also enjoyed participating in the Red Hat Society and being active with the Department 56 Club.
Throughout Carol’s life the beach held many special moments for her – from childhood summers in Ft. Walton Beach, FL and Galveston, TX to adult trips to beaches on the East Coast, West Coast, Oregon and especially San Diego. 
This is an extraordinary time that each and everyone one us is going through. To have to experience a death of a loved one during this uncertain time is so difficult as we cannot welcome friends and family to give us hugs and say encouraging words that help get us through the day. And it is hard not knowing when we will be able to provide a proper memorial service for Carol.
When I left Virginia on March 13 to come take care of my sister in Phoenix, I put my life in the Lord’s hands and said “I know I need to be with my sister and mother now, and I put my life in your hands to get me there safely.” And that He did with so many guardian angels along the way.
When I arrived in Phoenix, I had no clue that my sister’s life was to end so soon. I visited her in the hospital, took her to a doctor’s appointment, and did what I had to, along with her daughter Annie, to make her last weeks comfortable. The media was saying, “Stay at Home – Practice Social Distancing.” The Lord has continued to watch over our family and provide so many guardian angels along the way – our caregivers for our mom, Hospice workers, my sister’s friends, even “roaming” notaries (I didn’t know this existed!!!). Each and every need we had to take care of was fulfilled. I prayed, and continue to pray each morning, to God that he will give me the strength and courage to face each day’s challenges.
To be away from home has been very hard and I miss so much Jerry, our kids and our grand kids. I will be coming home in late June and Jerry and I will welcome our 7 th grandchild in August. Every day I feel the prayers from the St. Johns Community and look forward to being back in the historical church with my fellow worshipers.

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*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 Sixth Sunday of Easter - May 17, 2020
 The First Reading: Acts 17:22-31
  Idols of silver, technology, or other earthly things cannot compare to the almighty living God.
The Psalm: 66:7-18, page 674, BCP

The Second Lesson: 1 Peter 3:13-22

The Gospel: John 14:15-21

Most of the bundles will be ash wood. If you would like to fill up your car or truck, please leave a message with the church office and we will make arrangements.

St. John’s Men’s Group / Lumberjacks SELLING WOOD!
Replenish your firewood, as we are all sequestered at home! And help benefit St. John's at the same time!

The Lumberjacks are selling bundles of wood outside 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.
A Meditation for the Fifth Week of Easter
Bishop Susan Goff
May 11, 2020
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Psalm 88:11a
There are three things that our sweet Chihuahua, Georgia, delights in doing above all else: eating, sleeping and going for a walk. I suppose that makes her pretty much like every other dog, although Tom and I think she's quite remarkable. She is, in fact, one apt teacher.
Georgia has a built-in clock. She knows exactly, to the minute, when it's time for her noon treat and her 5 p.m. supper. She knows exactly! Even as the light changes with the seasons, even when we adjust the hour hand on the clocks, she knows. At one minute before the appointed hour, she spins and leaps at our feet in her "feed me NOW" dance. Typically, I'm in the middle of something that seems vitally important and the first steps of her dance come as an annoying interruption, but Georgia will not be ignored; the enthusiasm of her full body wag becomes contagious.
Our pup sleeps with abandon, too, and her favorite place to sleep is on my lap. (She's figured out how to fit herself onto the same lap that is also holding a laptop.) Her warm little body in sleep seems to have no bones, no muscles, but is simply a limp puddle of relaxed.
Our daily walks are the highlight of her day. Once Tom and I have put shoes on our feet and a harness on Georgia, I'm ready to move and get some exercise. Georgia, on the other hand, has something else in mind. Even though her short legs can keep up with my long stride, her idea of a walk has little to do with exercise. Instead, she's all about sussing out which dogs and cats and squirrels and birds were there before her. She takes it all in through a nose that leads her in zigzag patterns around the neighborhood. "Who trained you?" I ask her nearly every day.
I think God would take such delight if I
would do the happy dance of thanksgiving before every meal.
I think God would take such delight if I
would rest on God's lap in a warm puddle of trust.
I think God would take such delight if I
would slow down and notice the sights
and sounds and smells all around.
I think I would, too.
Sometimes a dog can point me to God.
Who is teaching you the simple things in this age of Coronavirus.
Who is pointing you to God?
Diocesan Resources
The Diocese of Virginia has posted on its website ( many resources for individuals and clergy to use during this time when we cannot gather together for worship and Christian Education. On the opening page of the website, you will see "Covid 19 Resources" in the upper right hand corner. This page includes statements by Bishop Susan Goff, some church financial resources, tips about recording services online, and Christian Education resources to use at home. One resource is entitled "Do Faith at Home" and has ideas for adults and children

A Letter from the Bishops of Virginia, DC, and Maryland

The bishops of three dioceses in our area have joined together to begin working on a four phase program to regather as the church. In our diocese, groups of clergy and lay leaders will begin to look at the ways we will implement these phases. It's not a once-size-fits-all plan, as small and large churches, as well as city and rural churches, will have different challenges and different opportunities. No time table has been set as the diocesan leaders will be listening to guidelines and directives from the CDC and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Click on the link to read about the four phases.

Every Monday morning, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry broadcasts a short reflection entitled, "Habits of Grace". He has encouraging words of hope and love for all of us during this difficult time. You can watch the videos at
This is a word of comfort and of hope that we can carry with us: God is love. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. And that means that “all shall be well, every manner of thing shall be well.” Don't be afraid. Don’t worry. God’s LOVE will always be there for you.
-Br. David Vryhof

May we who are merely inconvenienced (by this virus)
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.
-Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX
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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