PARISH NEWS for Wednesday, October 16, 2019
CENTREVILLE DAY IS THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19!!! And it happens in our front parking lot! Parishioners have signed up to staff our table to sell coffee, snacks, historic Centreville afghans and St. John's history books. Others will be in the church to show people around and answer questions. Many people have signed up to provide baked goods to sell. If you did not sign up and want to donate something, please feel free to do that. We will have the "Blessing of the Pets" in the afternoon, so bring your pets by our table, which is right in front of the church. Many thanks go to those who have been working to clean up the grounds, and clean the cemetery headstones (thanks to the DAR) to help us look our best. (Please note that the streets around St. John's are closed to traffic. The back parking lot is reserved for staff and volunteers and you need a parking pass to park there. Shuttle buses run from Trinity Parkway, where there is free parking, to Mt. Gilead Road.)
 The Wonder of Mysterious Ways
By Sanford David Weir
The members of the West Side Baptist Church choir in Beatrice, Nebraska had choir practice every Wednesday beginning at 7:20 PM. On Wednesdays the choir would sing, except for the evening of March 1 st , 1950. There would be no choir practice that night. This is because at precisely 7:25 PM, a faulty gas line exploded and destroyed the entire church. The blast was so severe that windows were shattered in nearby homes. The most amazing thing was not the devastating explosion, but the fact that none the choir members were injured in the blast! This is because for some reason or another, each member of the choir was delayed from arriving on time that fateful night.

 Cars that would not start delayed two choir members. The minister and his family were delayed by a dress that needed ironing. Others were late because they had to finish homework assignments. Some wanted to listen to the end of a radio program. The choir’s pianist awoke late from a nap. Others could not think of any reason they were prevented from arriving on time. Before the night of the explosion, never had all 15 members been late for choir practice. It may be impossible to calculate the precise odds against this unanimous tardiness. And because of this, some choir members believed that a divine intervention had taken place.
  A careful reading of the bible makes it clear that God’s miracles can happen anytime and to anyone. Sometimes all it takes is to be like the Prophet Elijah and listen for that “still small voice”.  As you contemplate your contribution for St Johns’ 2019 Pledge Drive, you may want to consider some of God’s miracles in your own life. Because the more you think about them, the more you may come to know the:
Have you received 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 3 weeks on Sunday, November 3.

Week 3 of Stewardship
This graphic illustrates some of the major projects that St. John's
was able to accomplish
over the past year.
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!
FALL KICK-OFF: 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"
No nursery this Sunday, October 20 - The nursery will not be staffed this Sunday as our nursery attendant will be out of town. If someone would like to volunteer to staff the nursery, please let Carol know.

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 third Sunday of the month, the Vestry 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 last Friday and finished up on Tuesday. Many thanks to the DAR for choosing St. John's cemetery as the focus of their Day of Service.

Hurricane Relief Concert, 10/20
Sunday, October 20, 4-6 pm, Immanuel Chapel at VTS
The organist at Church of the Resurrection, Carol Sikkelee,, is organizing a concert for Sunday, October 20, to raise money for Hurricane Dorian relief via Episcopal Relief and Development . Performers are varied and all excellent. Free-will offering; reception after the event..

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 lessons.  

The Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

October 20, 2019

9:30 AM

 The First Reading: Genesis 32:22-31
If you have spent a sleepless night brawling with God in prayer, your energies will not be ignored.

The Psalm: 121, page 779, BCP

The Second Lesson: 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
May the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ be the wind in our sails and the measure of our work, rather than reactions or environments or terrain or companionship.

The Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Persistence in prayer creates space in our hearts and lives for God's voice to speak loudly. He plans good things for his children, much more than an unjust judge.

(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:

Channing Moore Williams was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1829 , and ordained an Episcopal deacon in 1855. The Episcopal Church sent him to China, where he was ordained priest in 1857. In 1859 he was sent to Nagasaki, Japan, and in 1866 was consecrated Bishop of China and Japan. By 1868, Japan was opened to far greater contact with the West than before, so he determined that he could achieve his best results by concentrating on Japan. In 1874, a new bishop, Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewski (who we honored last week), was consecrated for China, and Williams went to Tokyo (then called Edo), where he founded St. Paul's School--today it is Rikkyo University. In 1878, he helped unite several mission efforts in the formation of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai , the Holy Catholic Church in Japan. But in 1889, his health began to fail and he asked to be relieved. In 1893, a successor (Bishop John McKim) was appointed, although Williams remained in Tokyo, continuing to open new mission stations. He returned to the United States in 1908 and died a mere two years later on 2 December 1910.


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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