Greetings!
PARISH NEWS for Wednesday, December 18, 2019
THE HISTORIC CHURCH IS CLEANED AND GREENED FOR CHRISTMAS!
Many thanks to all who participated in the CLEAN & GREEN this last Saturday...Marcia Evans; Larry & Susie Pike; Val, Kristen & John Tucker...
... Maurice McPherson; Marie McDermott; Denise McCarthy; Denise Bellows, Rohan and Akshay Kumar; David Weir; Linda Schrey; & Carol Hancock.
"May her soul and the souls of all the departed through the mercy of God rest in peace." Fran Griffith, wife of Dick Griffith, died peacefully on Tuesday, December 17. A graveside service will be held in Madison, VA, this Friday, December 20 at 11:00 AM at the Hebron Lutheran Church Cemetery. Please keep Dick and their daughters Theresa and Jennifer in your prayers.

Donations needed for Christmas "baskets" - Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, we collect funds to provide "baskets", now food gift cards, to 10 families whose names have been given to us by Western Fairfax Christian Ministries. Our donations are low this year and we will not be able to provide each family with what we usually give. If you would like to donate, please turn in your donation this Sunday, or deliver it to the church office no later than today, Wednesday, December 18. Envelopes are on the back table in the church. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Coffee Hour - As this Sunday is the fourth Sunday of the month, the members with last names starting with M - Z will provide the Coffee Hour snacks.

Interested in becoming a Lay Eucharistic Minister? We are in need of several more LEM's to serve at the altar on Sunday mornings. LEM's lead the psalm and the Prayers of the People, help prepare the altar for communion, and administer the chalice. Training will be provided. Please contact Walt Cooner or Carol Hancock if you are interested. We need your help!

And we need your help soon! So far, no one has signed up for any of the positions (LEM, lector, usher) needed for the 9:00 PM service on Christmas Eve, the 9:30 AM service on Christmas Day, and for Sunday, December 29. Please scroll down this page and click on "Altar Servers" and sign up today! Thanks!

Wednesdays in Advent - Following the 6:00 PM service, we will gather in the library to talk about "The Way of Love - Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life." Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry began this curriculum and often preaches about the way of love.There are seven intentional areas for leading a Jesus-centered life - turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go, and rest. Not all of these have to be done every day, but these areas give us a pattern for our lives, somewhat like a rule of life. Join us for the last discussion Wednesday in Advent - tonight December 18 from 6:45 PM - 7:45 PM. Bring a sandwich or light dinner. On December 24, we will gather at our Christmas Eve services to welcome the Christ child.

Meditation from Episcopal Relief and Development - As we move into Advent, we're reminded of the song from the movie Urban Cowboy — "Looking for love in all the wrong places." We are bombarded at every turn with everything the retail world insists that we need — the right decorations, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, party invitations, recipes, music, gifts — everything we need for the perfect Christmas holiday.

If we look to the retail world, we are looking for love in all the wrong places. As Presiding Bishop Curry reminds us with the Way of Love, one of the important steps is to turn — to pause, listen, and choose to turn back to God from anything that has turned us away. Advent calls us to "go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways." In this broken world, we turn to God to find the path of true peace, the path of God's reconciling love.

May we all find the path of God this Advent season.

Donations for Christmas wreaths and flowers - If you would like to donate funds for Christmas wreaths and flowers, please use the envelopes that are on the back table in the church. Be sure to include who they are in memory of or thanksgiving for. We need to receive the donations no later than Friday, December 20 (though the sooner the better) so the names can be printed in the Christmas bulletins.

Christmas services - Our Christmas Eve services will be at 4:00 PM and 9:00 PM. At 8:45 PM, the choir will lead us in singing Christmas carols.The 4:00 PM service will include a children's sermon and nursery care will be available. The service on Christmas Day will be at 9:30 AM. All services will include the Holy Eucharist, sermon and music. The choir will sing at both Christmas Eve services. Please invite your family and friends to join us for this wonderful celebration of the birth of the Christ child!

Wednesday 6:00 PM services - We will not have the 6:00 PM service on Wednesday, December 25 and Wednesday, January 1. These services will resume on January 8.

Church Office - The church office will be closed on Wednesday, December 25 and Thursday, December 26.

I ntern in the Deacon's School to assist at St. John's - Steven Busch, a second year student in the Deacon's School will serve as an intern at St. John's in 2020. His first Sunday will be January 5, though he will sit in the congregation that day. He will be a Vocational Deacon when he is ordained in 2021. That means his ministry will be that of a deacon, whose focus is on those in need in the community, and he will not be ordained as a priest. Steven spent his career in the military and he is now retired. His focus at St. John's will be outreach. After learning more about the community and its needs, he will help us either enhance an outreach program we already have or help us start a new one. Steven will assist on Sunday mornings in a rotation of positions (but he will not displace our lay people who currently serve as LEM's, lectors, crucifers, etc.) and will work here 3 hours per week on outreach. I am pleased to welcome Steven to St. John's and look forward to his ministry with us.
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SUNDAY SERVICE
We can prepare our hearts & minds by reading ahead
for the Sunday Service lesson


The Fourth Sunday of Advent


December 22, 2019

9:30 AM

 The First Reading: Isaiah 7: 10-16
God longs to show his people the strength and the resolve of his heart, to provide for and to bless all nations through his servant Israel.

The Psalm: 80:1-7, 16-18 , page 702, BCP

The Second Lesson: Romans 1:1-7
Paul's identity, as he writes ahead to the church in Rome, a group of strangers to him, is rooted in and completely tied up with Jesus. Indeed, his identity as presented would make no sense at all if Jesus were not at its heart. May we find our identity to be the same.

The Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25
Jesus comes to the family of Mary and Joseph, born of uncommon circumstances, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, but born of very ordinary circumstances, a poor child in a backwater village.
  ____________________________
 
CHILD CARE IS PROVIDED IN THE NURSERY  
(Rm. 205) 
During the Service
____________

JOINT SUNDAY SCHOOL: 10:30 - 11:30 AM
 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 

_________________________

THE ADULT LECTIONARY FORUM

MEETS EACH SUNDAY IN THE LIBRARY, FOLLOWING THE SERVICE 
  FROM 10:50 - 11:50 AM

The Saint of the Week for Forum Discussion:

Ruth Elaine Younger (Mother Ruth) (October 1, 1897 - December 22, 1986) was an Anglican nun and the founder of the Community of the Holy Spirit . She was a member of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine from 1922 to 1952, when she founded the Community of the Holy Spirit. She held the office of Reverend Mother of the community until 1976. Mother Ruth also founded St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School in 1950. From the very beginning, the school encouraged, maintained and flourished with a fully integrated faculty and student body.


THE DIOCESE OF VIRGINIA

"Be still and know that I am God." 
(Psalm 46:11 )
 
Be Still. Slow Down. It's Advent.



VOLUNTEERING AT ST. JOHN'S
Sign Up Here to be an altar server *, or to donate flowers for a Sunday service, or to bring refreshments for Coffee Hour after the 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).
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COMMUNITY
WESTERN FAIRFAX
CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES

"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:
OPPORTUNITIES
Reminder
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!

 Fear
Give God your fear, which is something that God does not otherwise have. Give God your fear, however it’s wrapped up. That’s your Christmas gift for God. Open your heart and open your hands and offer to God your clutching fear, which may be the very thing that makes room within your soul for the gift of God’s provision to face whatever it is that is coming.
-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
ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH | 5649 MT. GILEAD RD. , CENTREVILLE, VA | 703-803-7500
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