St. John's Episcopal Church

Welcome to the E-Notes!

October 18, 2017 

How to Imagine Success
     He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Towson High School. And now he found himself in Beijing, China during the 2008 Olympics. He stood behind his starting block, bouncing slightly on his toes like a boxer. In less than four minutes he would be competing in a swimming race against the best swimmers in world. After the announcer called his name he got into his stance and awaited the start of the two-hundred-meter butterfly race.  
     The starting gun sounded and he drove into the pool. As soon as he splashed into the water he knew something had gone seriously wrong! Water was leaking into his swimming googles! With each passing moment, the problem got worst and worst. His vision began to go blurry. And on the final lap, water completely filled his googles so that for the last 100 meters he was effectively swimming blind! He could not see the other swimmers, the lane he was in, nor the big black "T" on the pool's bottom that alerted the swimmers of their approach to the wall.
     Most swimmers, even trained Olympians, would have panic- but not him. Instead he remained cool and collected. When he touched the wall at the end of the race he looked at the scoreboard. Not only had he won the race but he set a new world record! The swimmer's name is Michael Phelps. When asked by a reporter what it felt like to swim in the blind he replied: "It felt like I imagined it would."
     Since he was 12 years old Michael Phelps had been coached to visualize swimming the perfect race. After each practice session and before each race he was told to "watch the video tape" in his mind.   This mental "movie" technique aided him in all his races so that he could still "see" success despite his immediate problem.
     The bible is filled with people who saw beyond the everyday problems to a better future: Abraham dreamed of a new land, Isaiah saw the coming of God's Messiah, and Paul had a vision of heaven. It has been said we look with our eyes but we see with our hearts. So, during this 2018 St John's pledge drive what would happen if you took a few moments to reflect and imagined a better tomorrow? What would it look like for yourself and for St. John's? If you do then perhaps you will find:
Fourth in a series 
Written by David Weir, Senior Warden
The St. John's Stewardship Campaign for this year is named "To You All Hearts Are Open." Here is the link to the Weekly Bulletin Insert for this campaign, which is a reflection based on the Gospel reading for Sunday, October 15:  

"Iconic Giving: Whose image is on the coin?" 
As we begin our Annual Pledge Campaign, I think it is important for the congregation to know how hard your Vestry works to SAVE money. They are very conscientious about how the money you pledge to St. John's is spent. These are some of the ways that we have saved money this year:
-We no longer pay for a post office box, but have all mail delivered to the church.
-We have changed security companies which has saved us money.
-The copier we rent now is cheaper than the last one and has the same features.
-We will no longer have a safety deposit box.
-Volunteers now take care of our computer technical support rather than paying someone to come in.
-We renegotiated the contract for our church accounting software saving us over $100 per month.
-Volunteers have taken care of many building maintenance repairs, saving us from having to call in outside people.
-Volunteers replaced rotten wood, sanded, primed and painted the outside of the church and many of the supplies were donated.
These saving costs alone have saved us thousands of dollars. We will continue to look for ways to save money and put the money you pledge to the greatest use.
Did you know....
The number of pledges we receive effects the interest rate we get on our mortgage. When we refinance our mortgage loan every five years, the lender looks at how many pledges we have over the past few years. The more pledges we have, the better rate we can get. To those of you who contribute regularly to St. John's but who do not pledge, I ask that you consider filling out a pledge card this year with the amount that you intend to contribute during the year. If circumstances change and you need to reduce (or increase!) the amount of your pledge, you can simply call the church office and make the change. We will be refinancing our mortgage in 2019 and they will look at the number of pledges we have in 2018. Filling out a pledge card also greatly helps the Vestry as they plan the budget for next year. Please fill out a pledge card this year!                                                                                    The Rev. Carol Hancock

Openings available the next few Sundays for Altar Flowers! This is the be st time of the year for planting,  
so now is a great time to provide flowering plants for the services, which then can be put in the front flower beds!  

as LEM, Crucifer, Lector, Usher, Verger, Torch Bearer at a Sunday Service.

click here:
You will receive an automatic reminder a few days in advance. ( If you would like to become an altar server, please see the Rev. Carol Hancock.)

for coffee hour after the Sunday Service in the Breezeway.

 click here: 
You will receive an automatic reminder a few days in advance. Coffee hour is an important part of fellowship - staying connected with each other and welcoming newcomers.

for a Sunday service throughout 2017.

click here:
You may sign up here to donate the flowers to be used on the altar for each of the Sundays in 2017. Click to read additional info before signing up.

All Saints' Day, November 5
All Saints' Day is always November 1, but the celebration of it is usually moved to the next Sunday. This year, we will celebrate All Saints' Day on Sunday, November 5. It is a time to remember all the saints who have gone before us, and to remind ourselves that we, too, are the saints of God, doing God's work in the world. It is customary to read the names of those who have died in the past year, as well as the names of our loved ones who have died. If you would like to have the names of your loved ones read aloud during the All Saints' Day service on November 5, please send those names to Carol Hancock.

Brick Fundraiser
The brick fundraiser was a wonderful success with 28 bricks being ordered! It will take a few months for them to be engraved and shipped. Once they arrive, we will bless them after a Sunday service. Those who ordered the bricks will have an opportunity to decide where they would like them placed on the walkway.
Please sign up to provide altar flowers, coffee hour snacks, and help with Sunday services
You can sign up online! Just scroll further up this page to the sign up block. Click on "altar flowers" or "coffee hour" or "altar servers" and sign up for the date you want. We really need YOUR help. If you would like to be a lector, crucifer, usher or Lay Eucharistic Minister, please let Carol know. Training is provided.

Centreville Day is Saturday, October 21
Centreville Day happens right here in the St. John's parking lot! We would like to sell baked goods and some crafts as we did last year, so please start baking and making crafts you would be willing to sell at Centreville Day. We will need many volunteers that day and the sign up sheet is in the breezeway. We will need volunteers to staff our table to sell coffee, crafts and baked goods, and volunteers to give tours of the historic church. We will have the Pet Blessing available all day (bring your pets!) and Jo Chandler will bring her spinner and give demonstrations. Many thanks go to Nita Amar who is donating a quilt she made for us to raffle off. The quilt will be on display for the this Sunday. And the highlight of Centreville Day will be our own Mildred DeBell riding in the parade in a convertible as the Grand Marshall!!!!
Funeral Planning
No one likes to talk about their funeral or their final arrangements. But it makes it so much easier on the family if the persons wishes are known. We will have a class on "Planning Your Funeral Service" on Sunday, October 29 at 10:50 AM in Carol's office. This will be an opportunity for us to go through the Burial Office in the Book of Common Prayer and see what the choices and options are so you can plan your funeral.

D ear Diocesan Family,
Nearly seven years ago, the Rt. Rev. Edwin "Ted" Gulick returned to his native Virginia to become the Assistant Bishop of this Diocese. During that time, he has brought his boundless energy to everything he has touched.
He has helped many congregations work through conflicts to become thriving ministries. He has been a leader in ecumenical relations on behalf of The Episcopal Church. He has devoted himself to supporting Shrine Mont to ensure that generations of young people have the kind of mountain-top experience that shaped his youth in the 1960s.
Now, Bishop Gulick has announced his plans to retire at the end of this year. Thankfully, he and his wife, Barbara, will continue  to live on their Fauquier County farm, so their contributions to the life of the Diocese will continue.  
It has been my honor to serve beside such a remarkable servant as Ted. I thank God for his friendship. I know the people of the Diocese share my profound gratitude for his inspiring ministry.
With Bishop Gulick's impending retirement comes the need to assess our capacity in diocesan ministry and leadership. After thoughtful consideration, it has become clear to me that we need to return to a third full-time bishop.
The Standing Committee has offered its consent and the Executive Board has unanimously endorsed my request for the Annual Convention to call for the election of a second Bishop Suffragan in 2018. A resolution from the Standing Committee will be submitted this week to that effect and will be considered by the Convention on
November 4.
A number of factors have driven this course of action:
We have the need.  In his "part-time" position, Assistant Bishop Gulick has consistently worked overtime. There is simply too much for our third bishop to manage on a part-time basis. A diocese of our size -- one of the largest in The Episcopal Church -- must equip itself for ministry in the way that other, similarly sized dioceses have found to be necessary. 
We have the vision.  I believe it is a more appropriate course to elect this bishop, rather than to appoint one. An elected bishop will have more of a mandate, reflecting the will of the people of our Diocese. 
The ministries for which our second Bishop Suffragan will be responsible will be outlined before the search process begins, so that we can choose from a field of candidates who feel called to those ministries. This will ensure the best match for the needs of the Diocese.
This second Bishop Suffragan will live in Northern Virginia and will hold hours in our offices there, as Bishop Gulick has done.
We have the opportunity. When Bishop Gulick steps down from his position on December 31, the time will be ripe to make such a change.  We will have to fill that vacancy one way or the other, so now is the time to move ahead. 
History shows how well three full-time bishops can minister for the Diocese of Virginia, as they did in the 1990s, and we need  that strength as we face the ever-changing challenges to faith communities in the 21st century.
We have the means.  With the current realities of our diocesan budget, we can employ a second Bishop Suffragan with minimal impact on our present diocesan staff. Together with a more creatively structured staff, a third full-time bishop will improve our ability to serve the whole Diocese, both clergy and laity.
When the need, vision, opportunity and means converge, we must act on it with confidence.  I ask that you keep this request and, if approved by the Annual Convention, the ensuing search for our second Bishop Suffragan in your prayers.
Faithfully yours,

The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston
Bishop of Virginia  
We can prepare our hearts and minds
by reading ahead for the Sunday Service lessons 
Sunday, October 22, 2017 
The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
The First Reading:
Exodus 33:12-23
Moses needs some encouragement to continue in the call that God has given him; God reveals his glory to Moses. 
The Psalm:  99
The Epistle:  
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
The Thessalonians are encouraged that their faith is genuine, as it has been proven of the Holy Spirit in their midst. 
The Gospel:
Matthew 22:15-22
Jesus refuses to be entrapped by wily Pharisees and declares that taxes ought to be paid to Caesar, as is required by Roman law.

FROM 10:50 - 11:50 am 

(Rm. 205) 
During the Service
   Joint Sunday School
  Each week, St. John's children join
 with three of our Ministry Partners: 
Fairfax Chinese Christian Church, 
Wellspring United Church  of Christ
& Grace Baptist Church 
 for Sunday School 10:30  - 11:30 AM .  
We  offer 3 classes:
  PreK: Rm. 205;
 K - 6th grade: Rm. 207/208;
 7th - 12th grade: Rm 206
          to see artworks and text relevant to this Sunday's readings 
(Blood drive at Paul VI High School on Route 50 in Fairfax)
Dear All,

The senseless tragedy in Las Vegas has residents there lined up to give blood, and rightly so.  Everyone wants to help, however we can. The need for blood is constant all over the United States, and it can only come from donors like you.
We are hosting another blood drive on Wednesday, October 25th from 1:30 - 6:00 PM. I am writing to you because you donated at a previous drive at Paul VI or supported us in another way and because I know that you understand how important it is. Will you make an appointment to donate again? The link is here:  Schedule a Donation
This is the fastest we have ever tried to get a drive together. Can you help us spread the word? You can forward this email to people you think may be interested or you can just tell them to email us for more information. A few reminders: to be eligible to donate, you must be in generally good health, be at least 16 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.  People are eligible to give blood every 56 days.  There are also travel restrictions and more specific criteria can be found here: eligibility requirements.  PVI students, regardless of age, will need signed permission.
Appointments are strongly preferred. Unfilled appointments can be filled by drop-ins but can't be guaranteed. I can make an appointment for anyone who emails me at Appointments are available every 15 minutes between 1:30 and 6:00. The appointment time is the time that Inova asks that you arrive.
Please make an appointment, forward this email, bring a friend and help save lives.  Thank you.
 Brent Kiefer

(Brent is a student at Paul VI High School in Fairfax. He is known to Tom and Marie McDermott and others in the congregation.)

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries
Please remember those who are hungry when you do your grocery shopping and
donate nonperishable food items to WFCM when you come to St. John's on Sundays.
You may put your donations in the baskets by the front door of the church. 

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!
If God seems distant or uncommunicative these days, maybe you're simply not listening. God doesn't shout: God's first language is silence. Maybe in your prayers you are doing too much talking and not enough listening.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE
Society of Saint John the Evangelist
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

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