PARISH NEWS for Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Update on our 2020 Pledge campaign
As of today, we have received 40 pledges totaling $191,020. Last year, we had 46 pledges totaling $198,326, but we are still waiting to hear from some of last year's pledgers. If you have not yet returned your pledge card for 2020, please do so as soon as possible. It is important for us to know our income so we can plan our expenses for next year. Extra pledge cards are on the back table.

The organization Our Neighbor's Child , has asked St. John's again this year to participate along with many other churches, in providing gifts to children in need in our area.

We received 15 paper ornaments, each bearing the gender, age, and interest of a specific child, and the ornaments will be hung on the Gift Ornament Tree set up in the Breezeway this Sunday, November 24, if there are any left. As of today, there are 3 ornaments still available.

The gifts will need to be purchased, labeled with the paper ornaments, and returned to the church, unwrapped, by Sunday, December 8. [We are glad to receive them any time before that date.]
Service Thanksgiving Eve - Wednesday, Nov. 27 @ 7:30 PM
We will have an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service with some of our Ministry Partners on Wednesday, November 27 at 7:30 PM in the church. Please invite friends and neighbors to join us in giving thanks to God for all that God has given to us. Bring a can of food for the Western Fairfax Christian Ministries. The offering collected will also go to WFCM. Photo below from 2015.

Coffee Hour - As this Sunday is the fourth Sunday of the month, those with last names starting with A - N will provide the Coffee Hour snacks.

Sunday School - Because some families may be out of town for Thanksgiving Day and through the weekend, the Sunday School for ages 2 - 4 will NOT meet on December 1, but will meet on December 8 instead. Many thanks go to Angela Hadfield and Denise Bellows for teaching this class.

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!

Did you know??? Did you know that the Diocese of Virginia puts out a quarterly magazine called "The Virginia Episcopalian"? The most recent issue just came out. If you do not receive this magazine, with stories and information about things that are going on in the diocese, and you would like to, please contact Catherine Packard in the church office. The yearly cost is $5.

Altar Flowers - When you sign up online (by clicking on "Altar Flowers" below) please include your intention for the flowers. Are you giving them in memory of someone, or in thanksgiving, or in honor of someone? Please include that information when you sign up to give flowers. (Please know that we have greens only on the altar in Advent and Lent, so we will not be using flowers.)

Advent - Advent is the season of four weeks prior to Christmas and begins on Sunday, December 1. Contrary to our culture, Advent is NOT just a time to buy and wrap gifts and attend holiday parties, though there is nothing wrong with that. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts to receive the Christ child, to welcome Jesus (again) into our hearts and lives. At St. John's, we will use greens on the altar instead of flowers. On Sundays, we will be using Rite I rather than Rite II, as it is more penitential. Please note there are many differences in the congregational responses between Rite I and Rite II, so you may want to use the Prayer Book.

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." 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 on three Wednesdays in Advent - December 4, 11 and 18 from 6:45 PM - 7:45 PM. Bring a sandwich or light dinner. On December 25, we will gather at our Christmas Eve services to welcome the Christ child.

Blood donation opportunity on November 23 - According to the LifeServe Blood Center, an average of 90 percent of people who live to the age of 72 will need at least one whole blood or other blood product transfusion in their lifetime. I know that you understand how important it is. I hope you will consider making an appointment to donate blood on Saturday, November 23rd at Rec Center 2 in Little Rocky Run (6201 Sandstone Drive, Clifton).

Appointments are available every 15 minutes from 7:45 AM to 11:45 AM and can be made here: Make an Appointment or you can email me ( ) with your preferred time and I can make an appointment for you. Drop-ins may be permitted, but you may have to wait for an opening so that we can honor the time commitments for people who make appointments.

Thanks, as always, for supporting PantherPints and Inova. Hope to see you on November 23rd.

Brent Kiefer (Brent is a high school student whose older brother has needed blood transfusions in the past for a medical condition. He and his family are known to many in the congregation.)

Clean & Green Already on the calendar! Save the Date!
On Saturday, December 14 , from 9 AM - 12 PM , we will have the " cleaning and greening " of the church. We will clean the Historic Church from top to bottom and then decorate the church for Christmas. Bring your cleaning supplies and join us from 9-12. This would be a good activity for students who need community service hours!
Make an Online Pledge Offering!
The new way to send your pledge offering! You can download the app to your phone, or you can click the link below, and use your credit card!
We can prepare our hearts & minds by reading ahead
for the Sunday Service lesson

The Last Sunday After Pentecost

Christ the King

November 24, 2019

9:30 AM

 The First Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6
The prophet Jeremiah promises that God will restore the flocks which have been scattered, and the shepherds responsible will suffer. May shepherds tremble in fear at the call they face, that of faithful leadership; and may the sheep take comfort that their good shepherd will find and restore them.

The Psalm: 46, page 649, BCP

The Second Lesson: Colassians 1:11-20
Jesus, the Son of God incarnate, fills all creation with his great power. Any energy we expend is meant to come from his stores rather than ours, to give glory to him.

The Gospel: Luke 23:35-43
Must Jesus do great miracles and show muscly strength for us to believe in his power as our Savior? May we have the faith of the criminal and know that Jesus is God.
(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 for Forum Discussion:

Three 3rd Century Saints this Week

Today we remember three 3 rd  Century women-- Saints Catherine, Barbara, and Margaret- -who were among the most popular martyred saints in ancient & medieval times, but whom modern research has yet to find solid historical evidence of their lives. Their stories, nonetheless, have inspired Christians for centuries.
    Catherine of Alexandria (a saint from whom Joan of Arc claimed to receive regular visits and messages) captured the popular imagination for many generations, although no reference to her can be traced earlier than the 9 th  century. A native of Alexandria in Egypt, she was alleged to be beautiful, brilliant, and of noble birth. After Catherine rebuked the heathen emperor Maxentius for his idolatry, he offered to pardon her if she married him and renounced her faith. She refused. He then tasked 50 philosophers to refute her faith in a public debate. She easily won every point and made them look foolish. For their failure, the emperor had them burned alive. Later, returning from business elsewhere in his domain, the emperor then discovered Catherine had converted his queen consort and the 200 soldiers of her bodyguard. This was too much. He had the Empress and her guards put to death and sentenced Catherine to be tortured on a spiked wheel. But the wheel flew apart and fragments killed many of her accusers. After this and other marvels occurred, Catherine was beheaded—but milk allegedly flowed from her veins instead of blood. The angels carried her to Mount Sinai, where St. Catherine's Monastery is now. Built by Justinian in 527, the monastery has borne her name since the 8 th  century. It survives undefiled by Muslims (thanks to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH).
     Barbara of Nicomedia , was an early Greek Christian saint and martyr who lived in Heliopolis (modern Baalbek, Lebanon). There is no reference to her in authentic early Christian writings nor in Saint Jerome's original martyrology. Her name can, however, be traced to the 7 th  century, and her veneration was common among Eastern Orthodox Christians as early as the 9 th  century. As one of the 14 Holy Helpers , Barbara continues as a popular Catholic saint in modern times. According to hagiographies, Barbara was the carefully guarded daughter of a rich pagan who kept her locked in a tower to protect her from the outside world. Having secretly become a Christian, though, she rejected a marriage offer her father had arranged. Dragged before the province prefect, Martinianus, she was cruelly tortured but held true to her faith. Each night during her torture, the dark prison was bathed in light and miracles occurred. Each morning, her wounds were healed. Torches that were to be used to burn her went out as soon as they came near her. Finally, she was condemned to death by beheading and her father carried out the sentence. As punishment for this, he was allegedly struck by lightning on his way home and his body was consumed by flame.
     Margaret of Antioch [aka Saint Marina ] was martyred in 304. While Pope Gelasius I declared her life dubious in 494, devotion to her revived in the West revived during the Crusades. According to her account in the Golden Legend , she was the daughter of a pagan priest, Aedesius. Her mother died soon after her birth and a Christian woman served as her wet-nurse. Having embraced Christianity & consecrated her virginity to God, she was disowned by her father, adopted by her nurse, & lived in the country keeping sheep with her foster mother (in what is now Turkey). Olybrius, Governor of the Roman Diocese of the East, asked to marry her, but demanded that she renounce Christianity. When she refused, she was cruelly tortured, during which various miraculous incidents occurred. One of these allegedly involved being swallowed by Satan in the shape of a dragon, from which she escaped alive when the cross she carried irritated the dragon's stomach.

Highlights from the 225th Annual Diocesan Convention
The Diocesan Convention met at the Marriott Gateway Hotel in Crystal City, Virginia on November 14-16. St. John's was represented by The Rev. Carol Hancock and delegate Walt Cooner.
Bishop Susan Goff presented her pastoral address on the themes of light, life and joy; an uplifting and moving address. (Her complete address can be found on the diocesan website.) She announced that at the convention in 2020, she will call for the election of the next bishop diocesan. The election will be held in the spring of 2022. She will spend some time working with the new bishop and retire in 2023.
Elections were held for Standing Committee. Those elected were The Rev. Katharine Ferguson (to complete an unexpired term), The Rev. Anne Turner, The Rev. Dorothy White, Deborah Gandy and Diane Miller. They will serve for 3 year terms.
Elections were also held for deputies to General Convention which will be held in Baltimore in 2021. Those elected in the clergy order were The Rev. Hilary Smith, The Rev. Sven vanBaars, The Rev. Daniel Velez-Rivera and Rev. Robert Pritchard. Those elected in the lay order were J.P. Causey, Russ Randle, Patty Rosenberg, and Diane Wright. Alternates were also elected.
Those elected to serve as Province III deputies were The Rev. Barbara Ambrose, Karl Colder and Ellyn Crawford.
Many workshops were held on Friday afternoon, followed by a service of Holy Eucharist. Our new Assistant Bishop Jennifer Brooks-Davidson was presented with a bishop's crozier, representing her call to serve in the Diocese of Virginia.
Several resolutions were passed. They included a more specifically written policy on alcohol use at church events; a call to begin to do away with one time use plates, cups, silverware, and water bottles; more equity in the salaries of men and women clergy; and a call to encourage power companies not to disturb the sacred burial sites of Native Americans, slaves, paupers and other groups.
In addition to the clergy, each parish and mission elects delegates to represent them at the Diocesan Convention. The number of delegates they can have is based on the size of the parish. Diocesan Convention will meet again next November, again in Crystal City.

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).

"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!

God wants to come to us. God wants us to open ourselves to God as God has opened Godself to us. God wants our hope, our listening, our receptivity. God wants our silence. That is easy to say. It is hard to do. In noisy, frenetic lives, silence is an uncomfortable task. It is a dangerous rebellion against a culture whose armies encroach on all sides, war drums beating ever more loudly.
-Br. Lucas Hall

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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