LETTER FROM CAROL for WEEK OF Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Dear St. John's parishioners and friends:

I think most of us are ready to have things get back to "normal". We miss being with friends and family. We miss being able to go to the store and not worry about germs. We miss going to church and worshipping with our parish family. We want to do what we want when we want.
But much of what we are hearing on the news is that what we are experiencing now - social distancing, wearing masks in public - is the new "normal" that will be with us for a long time, at least until a vaccine is developed and manufactured for world-wide use.
Many of us would like all of this to be over and, like flipping a switch, have all our activities and routines back in place all at once. But that is not going to happen. The governor of Virginia has said there will be a "phased in" reentry to opening up businesses, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. It won't be done all at once. Certain safe guards will be put in place for each phase.
Our diocese, too, is beginning to plan for a "phased in" reentry for public worship, church meetings and other activities. Safe guards will need to be put into place for each phase. You can read about what our bishop and the bishops of several surrounding dioceses are thinking in the link to their joint letter below.
As much as we would like to throw open our doors, welcome back the entire congregation and have a big celebration, that is not going to happen. The phased reentry will need to include social distancing and a limit of how many people can gather at one time. As we work from phase 1 to 2, 3 and 4, the number of how many can gather will be increased, and other limitations will be decreased.
There is no time line for this as the number of people infected with this disease is still growing in many areas. The number of hospitalizations and deaths needs to come down significantly before we can think about in-person public worship and other public activities.
We are being asked to be patient for awhile longer for the sake of the most vulnerable among us, those who are elderly or have other medical conditions that make them more susceptible to becoming extremely ill, or dying, from this virus.
God commands us to love one another as God loves and cares for us. By staying at home, wearing masks in public when we have to go out, and keeping social distance from others, we are living out that commandment. We may feel frustrated because we don't feel sick so why should we have to follow these protocols? Because it is in the best interests of those around us. We may not know we have the virus and unknowingly spread it to others.
We need to continue to pray for patience, pray for those who are sick, and those who have died from this virus, those who have lost their jobs, and all who are suffering as a result of this pandemic.
God will give us the strength we need for the journey that is still ahead of us as we work together for the health and well being of all. Take care and stay safe.
The Rev. Carol Hancock
St. John's is here to help you!
If you or someone you know has a need that the church can help with during this pandemic (going to the grocery store, picking up prescriptions, etc), please do not hesitate to call the church (703-803-7500). Many of us are ready and willing to help, should the need arise. The church is here to help in any way we can.
Every Wednesday, St. John's has a Service of Evening Prayer at 6 PM. It is a peaceful way to end the day, and it's now being held virtually. Here is the link to this evening's service:
Blood supplies are getting low. If you are able to give blood, please consider doing so. You can go to the Inova Blood Services website to find donation sites and you can sign up online.
HELP FROM THE HEART Community Drive 
 The Communities of Trust is collecting items to be distributed by local food pantries to individuals in need.
You can drop off items 24/7 at Sully Station (4900 Stonecroft Blvd, Chantilly) or at any local police station
Please place only NEW items in plastic grocery bags in the collection bin.
Items needed (New ONLY)*
  • Toothpaste & Brushes
  • Deodorant & Lotions 
  • Diapers & Baby Wipes
  • Soap, Shampoo, & Conditioner
  • Feminine Hygiene Products 
  • Adult Incontinence Underwear 
  • Laundry & Dish Detergent
  • Household Cleaners
  • Paper Towels & Toilet Paper 
End Date TBD.


Volunteer Opportunity!
The Center for Immigration Forum is beginning a program to deliver food to some of their families, starting Saturday, May 9, and continuing twice weekly thereafter (Saturday and Wednesday). The food will be delivered between 12:30 and 3:30, the exact time will be established later. The food will be provided by Chef Andre's World Kitchen; plans call for it to be picked up at Nationals Park and transported to the Centreville Library parking lot . Preliminary indications are that they have vans and drivers to pick up and deliver the food, but may need two volunteers to unload and distribute the food at Centreville Library. This is a great opportunity to help people in need at this difficult time.
If you can volunteer to support this effort, please contact our deacon intern, Steven Busch. You can e-mail him at or call him at 703-220-0270. 

Because of the shutdown, there is an ever-increasing need and food pantry shelves must be filled

  Drop off your kind gift at the
Centreville Volunteer Fire Department
Fire Station 417
5856 Old Centreville Road
12:00pm and 3:00pm  on
Friday, May 8
Please consider donating to the vulnerable among us:
•       Cans of beans/tuna    Milk boxes (with extra vitamins for kids)
•       Cereal     
•       Granola bars     Toothpaste
•       Rice Diapers (especially sizes 4,5, and 6)
•       Cooking oil      
•       Pasta        Baby formula
•       Pasta sauce       Baby wipes
•       Sturdy produce (apples, carrots, onions, potatoes)  Paper towels/wash cloths (to wash kids and clean) Juice boxes Toilet paper
Those who give do not need to get out of the car at the fire station. They may hand the donation from a window or pop the trunk and it will be collected.
With schools being closed items are being included for breakfast and lunch food for kids (primarily single servings that do not require a stove). The bags will also include bread, fresh fruit and items already in our pantry that come daily from grocery stores.


WFCM is pre-bagging food to continue to provide all clients with food.They are not accepting individual small donations from homes.  If you would like to donate food items, please order food and toiletry items online and ship them directly to WFCM's office in Chantilly or donate online .

Here is the link that takes you directly to WFCM's 'wish list' on Amazon:
Nita Amar has been staying busy! She reports that she's made over 150 quilted masks for friends and family.
Join us on Sunday for a virtual coffee hour!!! Do you miss talking with other parishioners at coffee hour and catching up with what is going on in their lives? This Sunday, May 10, join us for a virtual coffee hour at 12:00 noon on Zoom.
The link for the coffee hour will be sent out in Saturday's email, which will have the link for the service (9:30 AM), the link for the Adult Lectionary class (10:30 AM) and the link for the coffee hour (12:00 noon) . Bring your own coffee and snacks and we'll have a chance to check in with each other. We had 20 people sign in to Zoom last week and we had a good time of sharing with each other. Join us this Sunday!

Many thanks go to David Weir for editing and posting our services on YouTube. He spends a lot of time doing this so we can take part in regular worship together but physically apart. Thanks also go to the readers who are now taking part in the services, and to Mandy Hull who finds the appropriate hymns on You Tube that we can use.

Progressive Dinner Cancelled - Because of Covid 19, it is necessary for us to cancel the Progressive Dinner scheduled for May 16. It's an event that many parishioners greatly enjoy, but for the safety of us all, we are unable to have this event now.

Just so you're aware... the prayers of the sick, and those who have died, are read during the services we are posting on YouTube. So they are now "virtual".

Congratulations to our graduates! The following parishioners are graduating this spring:

-Gluay Zimmerman and Ethan Zimmerman from Northern Virginia Community College
-Catherine Crossett from Virginia Tech
-Katie Heller from William and Mary
-Audrey Yagerline from Oakton High School

If you or a family member is graduating this spring, let us know so we can share the good news with the parish family.

We encourage you to please stay current with your pledge and contributions to St. John's. Our bills continue to come in and need to be paid. You can mail your contributions to St. John's at 5649 Mt. Gilead Road, Centreville, VA 20120. If you would rather give online, please use the button below.

ZOOM upgrade - Many businesses and organizations are using "Zoom" for online meetings. The church now has a Zoom account, updated from the free version which only allow for meetings of 30 minutes. If you want to have a church meeting on Zoom, please let Carol know. Carol is registered as the "host" so meetings will have to be scheduled by her.

If you have a prayer or a reflection , either one you have read or one you have written and you would like to share it in the E-Notes, please send it to Carol. If it's one that someone else has written, be sure to include their name.

Forward Day by Day , a daily devotional normally available in the breezeway, is now here for May/June/July. If you would like one to be mailed to you, please call Carol or send an email.

Read any good books lately? If you have read something that you would like to share with others, please send Carol the name and the author of the book and a short review. We will share that in the E Notes.

A short video on grief - Because our lives have been turned upside down with a loss of our normal activities and routines, we may be having feelings of grief. Steve Busch has shared this short video on grief that may help us better understand what we may be experiencing.

Make an Online Donation!
You can make your donation here electronically.
The App
Use this button to make your donation.
*Now being held virtually via Zoom. All are invited to join in, following the virtual Sunday service. The links to the Forum and the service are sent out in a separate email on Saturdays.
We can prepare our hearts & minds by reading ahead
for the Sunday Service lesson

The Fifth Sunday of Easter - May 10, 2020
 The First Reading: Acts 17:1-15
  God’s missionaries spread the gospel throughout the ancient world, despite enemies who continually nip at their heels to trip them .

The Psalm: 31:1-5, 15-16 , page, BCP

The Second Lesson: 1 Peter 2:1-10
  Jesus is the foundation of our faith.
The Gospel: John 14:1-14
  The disciples are troubled that Jesus is preparing them for his absence; Jesus reassures them that the Father is present and always has been.

Coronavirus Updates and Information - April 2020
From the Fairfax County Interfaith Office
Common Grounds Newsletter - Newsletter for the Interfaith Community, h er e are a few of the topics:

  • COVID-19 Supports and Services Stay Connected Text FFXCOVID to 888777 To Receive Updates
  • Basic Needs: If you have congregants in Fairfax County who are in need of support please have them call Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) 703-222-0880 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays). Residents can also visit the Human Services Resource Guide (HSRG) at, an online, searchable guide to available health and human services resources in Fairfax County.
  • Community Food Locations: The county has developed a searchable map that includes all food distribution sites, including Fairfax County Public Schools, community meal distribution sites, food pantries and other related services.
  • Safe at Home: For some people, staying home doesn’t always feel safe because someone there may threaten or hurt you. If this is you, know that you can call the Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence hotline for help 24 hours a day at 703-360-7273. If it is not safe to talk, text or chat (text LOVEIS to 22522 for the national domestic violence hotline, chat at for the national sexual violence hotline). If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.For additional information visit Safe at Home.
  • Child Abuse Prevention: In the midst of this outbreak of COVID-19, many families find themselves facing many of the risk factors for child abuse and neglect. If you have questions or concerns about a child’s safety, call the Child Protective Services’ 24-hour hotline at 703-324-7400. Fairfax County's CPS hotline workers can also provide families with help, guidance, and referrals to supportive services. For additional information visit Department of Family Services - Children and Families.
  • Adult Protective Services: To report Abuse, Exploitation, or Neglect of an adult who is 60 years or older or is 18 years and older and incapacitated. Reports can be filed for people who live alone or with relatives or who are residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, or group homes. The Adult Protective Hotline: 703-324-7450. For more information on Adult Services please visit Fairfax County Services for Older Adults.
  • INOVA Respiratory Illness Clinics Inova Urgent Care (UCC) locations at Dulles South, North Arlington and Tysons will staff Respiratory Illness Clinics to evaluate all patients with respiratory illness symptoms. The three clinics will also be able to collect COVID-19 vehicle-side samples that have been ordered by physicians. To learn more visit INOVA.

Most of the bundles will be ash wood. If you would like to fill up your car or truck, please leave a message with the church office and we will make arrangements.

St. John’s Men’s Group / Lumberjacks SELLING WOOD!
Replenish your firewood, as we are all sequestered at home! And help benefit St. John's at the same time!

The Lumberjacks are selling bundles of wood outside the front entrance to the Historic Church for the great price of $5 per bundle. (or $20 for 5 bundles).

 Please give the money to someone in the office, a vestry member, or Carol.
Diocesan Resources
The Diocese of Virginia has posted on its website ( many resources for individuals and clergy to use during this time when we cannot gather together for worship and Christian Education. On the opening page of the website, you will see "Covid 19 Resources" in the upper right hand corner. This page includes statements by Bishop Susan Goff, some church financial resources, tips about recording services online, and Christian Education resources to use at home. One resource is entitled "Do Faith at Home" and has ideas for adults and children

A Letter from the Bishops of Virginia, DC, and Maryland

The bishops of three dioceses in our area have joined together to begin working on a four phase program to regather as the church. In our diocese, groups of clergy and lay leaders will begin to look at the ways we will implement these phases. It's not a once-size-fits-all plan, as small and large churches, as well as city and rural churches, will have different challenges and different opportunities. No time table has been set as the diocesan leaders will be listening to guidelines and directives from the CDC and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Click on the link to read about the four phases.

Every Monday morning, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry broadcasts a short reflection entitled, "Habits of Grace". He has encouraging words of hope and love for all of us during this difficult time. You can watch the videos at
Sign Up Here to be an altar server , or to donate flowers for a Sunday 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:
Until we are willing to die, until we acknowledge our need for God, we will never experience the utter joy of being forgiven, healed, restored, and empowered. Once we have experienced that grace, there’s no going back to a life where we trust in our own power and strength. Once we have known God’s hands upholding us and strengthening us, nothing else will do.
-Br. Geoffrey Tristram

May we who are merely inconvenienced (by this virus)
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.
-Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX
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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