This issue includes news about Baptism preparation, VBS registration, Vestry and financial reports...and more

Rescheduled for This Saturday, March 3

New date and new time: 
Mar. 3 at 7:30 PM
Tickets are $10 each, and may be purchased in advance or at the door. Proceeds will benefit the  Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Light snacks will be provided; bring your own beverage.  
Contact Helen Hines if you'd like to sign up to help. 

Easter is coming...

and so is our annual egg hunt! Donations of candy, small toys/prizes, change/coins, and such should be dropped in the labeled box at the back of the church by Sun., Mar. 25. No nuts please, and items should be appropriate for kids of all ages.

Melanie Monahan with questions.
2018 St. Michael's Annual Report

The Annual Report  is available on our website. Paper copies are available by request from the  Parish Office .
Fellowship Gatherings, Debriefed  
Over the last month and a half, I have had the privilege of gathering with many of you over dinner, lunch, or a cup of tea and a memorable piece of homemade cake! We've eaten paella and countless h'doeuvres, shared several meals that paid homage to my Texas connections, and never missed dessert. It has been wonderful! Huge thanks to Dan Plafcan and Michelle Casciano, vestry members who helped organize these gatherings. Thank you also to our generous and thoughtful hosts, Linda and John Kelleher, Julia Carter, Mary Cushing, Barb and Bill Adams, Michele Casciano, Caroline and Mark Haynes, Gerry Oosterholt and Denny Saulman, Pauline Kusiak and Dan Plafcan, David and Molly French, and Cindy and Tim Matlack.

There were a few notable learnings from our time together that I wanted to share with each of you. Within our St. Michael's community, I am not the only one who does not yet know the wholeness and richness of the Body of Christ that has assembled! Whether because of a difference of Sunday morning schedules, or seating preferences within the sanctuary, many of you have not yet crossed paths with one another. I'm going to invite us into a time of boldly embracing this season of introduction with me. While you may feel you know everyone you need to know at church, I'm certain there's someone who doesn't yet know you! Individually, I am humbled to be in your presence. Collectively, I am in awe of the Body of Christ that God has assembled in our midst. With a spirit of curiosity and invitation, I will ring a bell after everyone has a beverage in hand at coffee hour. When you hear the bell, I invite you to find someone that you might not know as well as you could. Use this grace period to reintroduce yourself and listen thoughtfully to person whom God has brought before you.

The question I asked at each of these gatherings was as follows, "What is the most pressing or frequent spiritual concern or question with which you wrestle?" There were several intentions behind this question. First, I wanted to learn about the spiritual longings and curiosities you each hold. Or, more bluntly, to get to know you all on a spiritual level, beyond what typically happens at coffee hour. Second, I wonder about how you already are, or are not, in conversation with one another about these matters. The answers, and avoidance of answers, was as varied as the number of people who gathered! I am beginning to learn more about both what draws you to God, and what keeps you at arms' length. Slowly, I will learn to ask questions that help us to go deeper. As we embrace our season of re-introductions during coffee hour, think about questions that have "deep water" consequences. Meaning, you might have to dare to tread beyond the metaphorical shallow waters, and literally pull up a chair, and stay a while to truly engage in this kind of meaningful dialogue with one another.

Finally, these gatherings were full of joy and delight! An occasion didn't pass without someone saying, "I'm so glad we're doing this. I'm so glad I know you now!" My hope is that we will take on the habit of hosting Sharing Faith dinners in the spring of every year. They will have a similar focus, getting to know one another better, and asking meaningful spiritual questions. This particular phase of our work is done for this season, but we will return to the spiritual discipline of being hosted before long!

All of this work, these efforts towards learning the stories of one another's souls, it's so that we might eventually be able to articulate all that God is up to in our midst. Eventually, we will become excited about sharing this overwhelmingly good news with all of our neighbors!

Monday Book Group News

The evening book group will be discussing The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis on Mon., Mar. 5, in the Library. Note new meeting time: 7 PM (rather than 7:30). Newcomers welcome.
Items of Interest

Daring Way Retreat: Sat., Apr. 21 at Virginia Theological Seminary 
The Daring Way curriculum is a highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. Topics such as vulnerability, courage, shame, and worthiness will be explored. The Rev. Beth Magill is among the retreat leaders. Click here for more information.

An essay by parishioner Evelyn Bence

Sinners at the Table: Popeye, Paul, and Me  

February Financial Report
Our budget for 2018 was approved by the Vestry and presented to the congregation at our annual meeting on February 11, 2018. Although we are facing a budget deficit this year, we are in a stable position due to our strong financial reserves. As we move forward, we anticipate improving our financial position by increasing our membership. During this past month of January our net income was $720, but our income and expense are quite irregular from month-to-month so it is too early in the year to make any meaningful projections.

Read the full treasurer's report  (which includes the Outreach collection figures) here.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Dean Scribner, Treasurer

Support St. Michael's


You can make single gifts and recurring donations (pledges) through our online service  Network for Good.
Communication Deadlines
Please submit short announcements of a timely nature to Wil Harkins, parish administrator, by noon on Thursday prior to the Sunday that you'd like it included in the service bulletin. 
Longer articles and items that are not time sensitive should be submitted to The Guardian newsletter staff by the 1st or 15th of the month. The newsletter is published on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. All submissions are subject to edit and approval.
Baptism Preparation 

Easter is a traditional time that the church celebrates baptisms. If you, or someone you know would like to be baptized, please contact The Rev. Beth Magill to get more information about preparation for baptism.

St. Michael's VBS 2018
Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus
July 9-13
Download registration form here 
January Vestry Meeting Highlights

Please be aware that the content contained in these meeting minutes was accurate at the time of transcription. Some details may have since been updated.

Finance Committee
Vestry accepted the December 2017 financial report which showed end-of-year net income of $8093.
The 2018 Mission Spending Plan was discussed and accepted without change. As part of the discussion, Vestry approved a motion to review the resources being allocated to maintaining church cleanliness and prepare recommendations to ensure that the physical space is consistently clean and welcoming.
Senior Warden Report
Karen Ruff expressed appreciation to the Vestry and congregation for their support during the past year as St. Michael's conducted its search for a new minister and noted with pride many achievements made during this time. Vestry thanked her for serving an additional year to help facilitate the transition.  
Junior Warden Report
Mary Cushing summarized the following work at the church and rectory:
  • Repairs were done to the freezer and furnace in the church and plumbing at the rectory.
  • Mary is still looking for someone to help with snow removal.
  • A deposit has been made to Cathedral Crafts for repair of the stained glass windows. Work is expected to begin in June and take 6-8 weeks.
  • Tree pruning has been done and cables will be reattached this week.
  • She indicated that John Hughes had reviewed the church insurance policy which included a premium increase due to claims for roof and gutter repairs. The policy was renewed.
Election of New Wardens
Rev. Magill submitted the names of Mary Cushing for Senior Warden and Dan Plafcan for Junior Warden. They were unanimously approved by Vestry.
Discussion of Vestry Nominations
Vestry agreed to follow past procedures for submitting names to the Parish for election to the open positions on Vestry. Vestry will submit three names for the three open positions. Prior to election during the Annual Meeting, the Congregation will be invited to offer additional nominees.

A list of nominees was developed and their experience and past service reviewed. Rev. Magill will contact selected individuals to determine their availability and interest in serving.  
Music Director/Organist
Rev. Magill reviewed the status of the search for a music minister, saying she had spoken with members of the choir and congregation, had invited additional input from anyone interested, and was in the process of establishing a committee to conduct the search and selection. She hopes to install a new music minister by May/June.

Read the full report.
St. Michael's Episcopal Church
 1132 N. Ivanhoe Street  | Arlington, VA 22205-2445

Our mission is to provide a nurturing spiritual community in Christ Jesus as the foundation 

from which we strive to go forth and serve God by the power of the Holy Spirit.