PARISH NEWS for Wednesday, October 23, 2019
CENTREVILLE DAY was a fun time!!!
Many thanks go to all who helped out on Saturday - those who donated baked goods to be sold, those who staffed our table and those who gave tours of the church. We made $212.50 from the sale of coffee, water and baked goods. About 40 people came into the church to take a look and to hear about our history. It was good for us to be a "presence" in the community who, literally, come to our front doorstep on Centreville Day. Thanks to all who helped!
Carol and friends
Pet Blessing
Carol & Sandy
 The Wonder of Yeshua Ben Yosef
By Sanford David Weir
   The young man was just 20 years old when his country was invaded. He suffered greatly at the hands of the invading forces. He was forced into hard labor. And his dream of becoming a priest vanished, as churches were closed, and priests were killed. The young man’s name was Karol Józef Wojtyla. He had the great misfortune of living in Poland during the Nazi occupation of World War II. During this dark period, his faith and determination sustained him. He worked during the day as a manual laborer in a Nazi controlled factory, but attended secret seminary classes at night.  All this dedication and hard work did pay off. He became an ordained priest. You may not recognize the name Karol Józef Wojtyla, but you probably do know him for whom he eventually became: Pope John Paul II.
  A reading of the Gospels and study of the early church indicate that the divine nature of Jesus was largely unknown. In fact, Luke’s introduction for the start of Jesus’s earthly ministry describes him as the son of Joseph or perhaps for Luke’s Jewish readers: Yeshua Ben Yosef. In fact, it was not until some 300 years later that the Roman Emperor Constantine declared Christianity as a legitimate religion.  This meant that the Roman Empire was finally proclaiming that Jesus was no longer just Yeshua Ben Yosef, but was indeed the Son of God.
     As the St John’s 2019 Pledge Drive comes to a close and you look ahead, you may feel a certain uncertainty about the future. If you do, remember, despite the darkness, the divine light of Jesus is constantly close by. This means he can be always be known to you, especially if you allow yourself to embrace the:
Have you pondered your pledge card?
The pledge cards for 2020 have been mailed out. Please prayerfully consider what God is calling you to give this year. God has given us everything we have and everything we are. How do we show God our gratitude for all that God has done for us? One way is to support St. John's, by giving a financial pledge to support the work of the church. The biblical tithe is the standard amount of giving. Some of us are there, others are working toward that goal, a little at a time. Wherever you are on that spectrum, know that, although the church needs your financial support, it's the giving that deepens your relationship with God. Pledging is something you should do for you, and to enhance your spiritual life. Some of us may not have the financial resources to pledge much, but giving of your time and talents is another way to give back to God.
    When you receive your pledge card, please prayerfully consider what God is calling you to give in 2020. We ask that you consider increasing your pledge, even by 1% to move toward that 10%. God lets us keep 90% of all that God has given to us and asks for only 10% in return. The ingathering of the pledge cards will be in 2 weeks on Sunday, November 3.

Week 4 of Stewardship
It takes a lot of people doing many different things to create the services each week: sermon writing; supplying altar flowers; rehearsing the music and the hymns; doing the bulletins; cleaning the space; preparing the table with freshly ironed linens, polished metal, and candles; reading the lessons; carrying the cross; sharing the bread and the chalice. All the people coming together as one communion.
Parishioner Lisa Heller sends greetings to us from Pakistan, and gives insight into how things work in the expat congregation she attends while abroad.

To my St. John's family,

As I promised a couple of weeks ago, here's a bit about church in Pakistan. 
Christians make up about 1% of the population of Pakistan, roughly equally divided between Catholics and Protestants. Most of the latter are Anglican thanks to the historical influence of Britain. Religious minorities of all types (Christians, Hindus, Yazidis, etc.) have been declining in recent years thanks to the aggressive implementation of blasphemy laws and growing Islamic fundamentalism. 
Foreigners cannot attend the local churches -- a separation that is for the safety of both the foreign community and the local congregants. There is a Protestant church on the diplomatic enclave that I and about 50 foreigners attend. After a terrorist incident at the church about 15 years ago, special security measures were put in place -- we need to get a special ID to attend and you pass through two special police checkpoints to enter. Like many expat congregations, the church is a mixture of nationalities and traditions. The congregation is currently between pastors, so the services are lay-led. The services are not very Episcopalian: the music is pretty modern, while sermons and readings don't really follow the lectionary. But the people are dedicated, friendly, and diverse. And they're always looking for help: after two visits, I'm already teaching Sunday school and signed up to be a greeter. (Yes, there are about a dozen kids!) If nothing else, by the time I return to St. Johns, I'll be well versed in modern praise music and I'll have a new appreciation for the structure of the BCP.  
Miss you all!
Ingathering of Blue Boxes / cash / checks is this Sun., Oct. 27

Through the United Thank Offering (UTO), the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) supports a ministry to send grants to help those throughout the world and in our own communities. With prayers of thanksgiving and the outward sign of coins in the Blue Box, special projects can be accomplished to serve those in need through grants. In-Gatherings are held twice each year, in the Spring and Fall, the seasons that represent new growth and harvest times.

Every penny collected from the Blue Boxes is sent out in a grant. Overhead expenses of UTO are paid through the Memorial and Gift Trust Fund at the National Church, as well as a stipend from the Episcopal Church. The UTO ministry is a collaborative work among the ECW Board, the staff at the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, members of the Executive Council, our Bishop and the Office of Mission and Outreach at the Diocese of Virginia, and each and every one of us who make the UTO a part of our lives. It is a ministry of the whole church!

This is our kick-off of the Fall 2019 campaign as the little Blue Mite Boxes are available to the congregation. As we share our daily thankfulness and prayers for the gifts that God gives us, place a coin in the Blue Box. For those who wish to support the UTO by cash or check, we will collect the boxes and envelopes during Service on October 27.
"Change in the little blue box changes lives"
Clergy Conference - Carol will be at Shrine Mont Retreat Center from Sunday afternoon, October 20 - Wednesday, October 23, attending the Fall Clergy Conference. She will be back in time for the 6:00 PM Wednesday service.

Coffee Hour - As this Sunday is the 4th Sunday of the month, parishioners whose last names start A - L will provide the Coffee Hour snacks.

Thanksgiving donations - Now that we have plummeted from 95 degrees to the 60's, and we have a few fall days under our belt, it is time to look forward to Thanksgiving. Again this year, we will be providing food for 12 families in need. The names have been given to us by Western Fairfax Christian Ministries. This year, we will be providing gift cards so families can select what food they would like. Many other churches are doing gift cards rather than food baskets. Envelopes are on the back table for your donations.

The Lane's Mill Chapter of the Daughter's of the American Revolution (DAR) cleaned the headstones in the cemetery a couple of weeks ago. You may recognize one of the crew as a parishioner of St. John's. They did a beautiful and professional job! Many thanks to the DAR for choosing St. John's cemetery as the focus of their Day of Service.
Lane's Mill DAR crew
Before cleaning
After cleaning
Make an Online Pledge Offering!
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We can prepare our hearts & minds by reading ahead
for the Sunday Service lessons.  

The Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

October 27, 2019

9:30 AM

 The First Reading: Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22
The great power of facing reality - that is, god's truth - cannot be over emphasized; acknowledging both our sin and God's mercy, recognizing the consequences of our choices while also entreating God to save us - this is the work of living into God's kingdom.

The Psalm: 84:1-6, page 707, BCP

The Second Lesson: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Rather than putting hope in the constancy of human companions, may we rely solely on God's abiding, knowing that in this one thing, we will not be disappointed.

The Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
Humility is the gift of the truly righteous; pride infects those who comfort themselves with being better than others.
(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:
This week’s honored saint is a Desert Mother named Maryam of Qidun. Desert Mothers were female Christian ascetics living in the deserts of Egypt, Israel, and Syria in the 4th and 5th centuries AD. They typically lived in monastic communities that began forming during that time, though sometimes they lived as hermits. Other women from that era who influenced the early ascetic or monastic tradition while living outside the desert are also described as Desert Mothers. Desert Fathers are much better known because most of the early lives of the saints "were written by men for a male monastic audience"—occasional stories about Desert Mothers come from early Desert Fathers and their biographers. Many desert women enjoyed leadership roles within their Christian communities. The  Apophthegmata Patrum , or Sayings of the Desert Fathers , includes 47 sayings that are actually attributed to Desert Mothers. There are several chapters dedicated to Desert Mothers in the  Lausiac History  by Palladius, too. He mentions 2,975 women living in the desert. The lives of 12 female desert saints are also described in Book I of  Vitae Patrum  (Lives of the Fathers). 
Orphaned at age 7, Maryam of Qidun was raised as an achorite with her uncle Abraham, a hermit, for 20 years. When she was a young woman, one of the monks who followed Abraham desired Maryam. After a year of attempts, they finally had sex. Upon losing her virginity, she became so despondent that, rather than confess her sin to her uncle, she moved to another town, and established herself as a tavern prostitute.
In a dream, Abraham realized Maryam had been taken captive by a life of sin. He searched for her for two years. When he finally located her, he donned military garb, mounted a horse, and set out to the town where she resided. Abraham sat in the tavern, anxiously looking for Mary.  When Mary did not appear, Abraham jestingly asked the innkeeper about seeing “a very fine wench” that he heard was there.  The innkeeper responded that Mary was in the house, and that she was “an uncommon handsome lass … in beauty of body was fair, well-nigh beyond aught that nature demandeth.”  He requested a meal with her. After a lavish dinner, the couple retired to Maryam's room. 
There Abraham said, "My daughter Maryam, don't you know me? Whatever has happened to you? Why did you not just tell me when you had sinned? I would not have been angry with you, for who is without sin, except for God alone? I would have done penance for you myself, yet instead you have left me all alone in unspeakable sadness and grief." In the Syriac original Abraham fell to his knees, begging Mary to accept God’s forgiveness for her sins.  Abraham did not address Mary as a weak woman, but as a strong, temporarily fallen woman.  She was to him equal personally to a young man, his son.  Mary responded with gratitude. Indeed, she was so overcome by her uncle’s compassion that she agreed to returned with him to Qidun. Once back “home” Maryam is purported to have pleased God more by her sincere repentance than she ever had by her virginity.


The Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff announces return to ministry in Maryland

The Rt. Rev. Robert W. Ihloff, Bishop Associate in the Diocese of Virginia since March 2018, has accepted a call to serve as Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Maryland, effective January 1, 2020. He previously served as Bishop Diocesan of Maryland from 1995-2007.
 "I will miss so many of the fine clergy and lay leaders of this Diocese with whom I have worked and forged bonds of affection," said Bishop Ihloff. "Our work together is an inspiration to me and it models the best in team ministry."
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority Susan Goff said, "I am grateful to Bishop Bob for the formative work he has done with regional councils and clericus groups and for the oversight he has provided for our vocational deacons. He has been a marvelous and beloved colleague in the mission and ministry we share in the Diocese of Virginia."
During his tenure in this Diocese, Bishop Ihloff logged hundreds of miles commuting from his home in Baltimore to his Northern Virginia office and to our congregations. "I have loved every aspect of my nearly two years of work in the Diocese of Virginia - except the commute from Baltimore," he quipped. The Diocese of Maryland position, which is based in Baltimore, will allow him to spend far less time on the road and more nights at home with his wife, Nancy. Bishop Ihloff will complete his time of service in the Diocese of Virginia on December 31, 2019.
In a letter to Bishop Goff, he wrote, "A chapter ends and another begins, but we are all part of the story, all in God's hand, all partners in ministry. God bless you all, and God bless the Diocese of Virginia."

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!

We have been created in the image of God, whose opening act in creation in the Book of Genesis is generosity. The words "genesis" and "generosity" spring from the same etymological source. Long before death pulls from your grip what you cannot take to the grave, acknowledge it all as gift, and gift it back to God as an offering for God’s use. Participate in God’s generosity.
-Br. Curtis Almquist
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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