PARISH NEWS for Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Service Thanksgiving Eve - Wednesday, Nov. 27 @ 7:30 PM
TONIGHT - 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. (There will be no 6:00 PM service) Photo below from 2015.
In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday,
the Parish Office will be closed this Friday, November 29.
 The organization Our Neighbor's Child , asked St. John's again this year to participate along with many other churches, in providing gifts to children in need in our area. Thanks to those who selected an ornament! 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***
Update on our 2020 Pledge campaign
As of today, we have received 41 pledges totaling $194,620 . 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.

Coffee Hour - As this Sunday is the fourth Sunday of the month, those with last names starting with M - Z 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.

Advent - Advent is the season of four weeks prior to Christmas and begins this year 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.

What is different about Advent?

- we will use greens on the altar instead of flowers.
- we will set up an Advent wreath next to the altar.
-the altar hangings and priest's chausable will be blue.
-Advent starts a new liturgical year, which will be Year A
-we will use Rite I rather than the familiar Rite II. Rite I is more penitential.
Please note there are many differences in the congregational responses and the service music between Rite I and Rite II, so you may want to use the Prayer Book and hymnal.

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 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.

Nursery Attendant - We are in need of someone to staff the nursery on Sunday, December 22 and 29, and at the 4:00 PM service on Christmas Eve, December 24. If you can help with one or more of these dates, please let Carol know.

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 First Sunday of Advent

December 1, 2019

9:30 AM

 The First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5
God promises through the words of Isaiah that he will usher in an age of perfect peace, with no need of weapons, whether of iron or of the pen. No divisions will exist among the people; all will be one in their variety and in their difference.

The Psalm: 122, page 779, BCP

The Second Lesson: Romans 13: 11-14
There is no reason or excuse to continue in sin, evil, and darkness. We know right from wrong and have power through Jesus Christ to choose the right. Now is the moment to step into the light.

The Gospel: Matthew 24: 36-44
The symptoms of the end of the age will not necessarily be like a blaring alarm or a tumultuous storm, rousing those who slumber; instead, those who wish to be part of God's Kingdom are cautioned to stay awake.
(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:

 Charles Eugene, viscount of Foucauld, was born in 15 Feb 1858 in Strasbourg, France. Orphaned at age six, his maternal grandfather, Colonel Beaudet de Morlet, raised him. It was the grandfather’s influence that led Charles to join the Saint-Cyr Military Academy. After graduation he went on to train as a cavalry officer at Saumur Cavalry School. There, he was known for his childish sense of humor and debauched lifestyle, made possible by the generous inheritance he received after his grandfather died. He was assigned to the prestigious 4th Hussars Regiment and deployed to North Africa. At age 23, however, he resigned his commission and decided to explore Morocco by impersonating a Jewish geographer. His work documenting oases throughout Morocco earned him a gold medal from the Société de Géographie, as well as great fame following publication of his book "Reconnaissance au Maroc" (1888). Seeing how Muslims expressed their faith impressed him and he began repeating, “My God, if you exist, let me come to know you.” Returning to France, joined the Cistercian Trappist order on 16 January 1890. Still with the Trappists, he relocated to Akbès, Syria, aspiring to pursue an even more radical ideal of poverty, altruism, and penitence. This led him to leave the Trappists and become a hermit. While living in Nazereth, he wrote a series of meditations that became the cornerstone of his spirituality. He returned again to France and sought ordination to the priesthood in 1901, opting initially to settle at Béni Abbès, deep in the Algerian Sahara, and hoping to form a new congregation there--No such luck. Now living among the Berbers, though, he adopted a new apostolic approach, preaching not through sermons, but by example. To be more familiar with the Tuareg “Blue Arabs,” he studied their culture for over 12 years, using a pseudonym to publish the first Tuareg–French dictionary. Charles de Foucauld's works are a reference for understanding Tuareg culture. On 1 December 1916, he was assassinated at his hermitage on the Assekrem during an anti-French uprising by Sanussi dissidents who argued that his goodness tended to create friendly feelings toward French colonial authorities. Quickly hailed as a martyr, he became an object of veneration following the success of René Bazin’s 1921 biography. In 1933 and 1939 respectively, groups of dedicated Christians formed in Algeria known as Little Brothers of Jesus and Little Sisters of Jesus, inspired by his ideas and example. Members lived in small communities (confraternities), in areas where the people were indigent. They supported themselves by doing the same kind of work as their neighbors. They made no explicit attempt to convert their neighbors nor to debate with them. Their purpose was/is simply to live among them as Christians. They say that Christ did not come to earth primarily to teach (there were already teachers) but to share our human lot. They seek to express the love of Christ for the wretched of the earth by living among them and sharing their lives and their hardships. Pope John Paul II declared Charles Venerable in 2001 and Pope Benedict XVIl Blessed his sainthood in 2005.


"Be still and know that I am God." 
(Psalm 46:11 )
Be Still. Slow Down. It's Advent.
When I was a parish priest, we would hang signs with those words all over the church buildings. We did it because in the crush of preparing to celebrate Jesus who came to earth as a newborn two thousand years ago, stillness can be elusive. Without moments of stillness, the press of shopping and making, parties and baking can overwhelm us. We might forget that Christmas has anything to do with Jesus. We might forget that Jesus not only came in the past, but that Jesus comes to us in the present and that Jesus will come again in God's anticipated future. When we forget any of the tenses of Jesus' coming, our Advent wonder is flattened.
Being still and slowing down gives God room to move in our lives and to remind us of what our preparations are really all about. So why not adopt a simple, daily practice -- like having a cup of tea or coffee with God each day? Prepare your hot beverage as usual, any time of day, then close the door on everything else for ten minutes as you drink it. You can talk to God as you would to any friend with whom you share a cup. You can spill out your anger and hurt, as you would with a loved one whom you know deep down will love you no matter what. You can sit in complete silence as you would with someone who knows you so well that you don't have to say a word. Just sit. Just be. Just for the time it takes to drink one cup.
God has always been with you. God will always be with you. So enjoy the warmth of the mug in your hands. Enjoy the wonder of the warmth of God's love as you prepare to celebrate again the greatest love of all.
 Faithfully yours,
 The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority
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!

There are various ways of asking to be delivered from evil, and to be saved from falling into temptation. One that I like is "Save us in the time of trial" (not from it). Our faith, when it is tested, can produce endurance, character, and hope.
-Br. David Allen
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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