This issue includes news about Fellowship Gatherings, Meals on Wheels, M&O opportunities...and more
Funeral This Saturday

St. Michael's parishioners are warmly invited to celebrate the life of Brigadier General Jack E. Babcock on Sat., Jan., 13 at 11AM. The funeral will be at St. Michael's followed by interment in the Memorial Garden, and a reception in the Parish Hall. Please keep Jack's daughters, and the entire Babcock family in your prayers.

Merciful Savior, we commend to you our brother Jack. Acknowledge, we pray, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. May his soul, and the souls of all the departed, through mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
January Mission & Outreach News 
 
Outreach Envelope: Funds collected support A-SPAN.
 
The January basket collection will benefit Doorways for Women and Families . We are asking for donations of earbuds and eye shades for sleeping. Doorways utilizes both of these items as remedies to the challenges of community living, but also as ways for people to manage their needs post-trauma. Earbuds and eye shades can help ease the frustrations of sharing space at the safe-house and foster a sense of privacy. Doorways has also found that as people learn to cope with the symptoms of their recent trauma, it is helpful to have tools that support quality sleep and opportunities to heal and self-soothe through music or an audio book.
 
Terry Dinan
An Uncomfortable Invitation
           
A professor of mine once memorably stated that one of the most disruptive practices for a congregation to embrace was being hosted. He was speaking in reference to our cultural preference for acting as the host, and being in control -- whether it's of the venue, the guest list, the quality of food, or the time frame. There's a strong correlation between hosting a dinner party and a worship service on Sunday. As regular attendees, we are familiar with timing, behavioral expectations, the venue, and general cast of attendees. We each act as hosts in different capacities on Sunday mornings. Generally speaking, there's not much risk involved in attending a church with which you are familiar.

The far more difficult task is to be in the vulnerable position of being hosted. There's a chance you won't enjoy the company, will find the menu unappetizing, or will get stuck far later than planned. As a guest, one has to willingly accept the hospitality of the host, in whatever form it is given. Being in control of the situation is out of the question. Naturally, most of us would gravitate towards the role of hostess! Which is why I'm going to ask each of you to intentionally enter into the experience of being hosted.

Throughout January and February, members of the congregation have offered their homes for a series of Fellowship Gatherings. The purpose of these gatherings is two-fold. First, it is to give me a chance to get to know parishioners in more intimate settings of small groups over a cup of coffee or a meal. I intend to ask about your connection to St. Michael's and hopes for our future. I will also share parts of my journey with you. I am hopeful that you may meet parishioners who are new to you, and begin to develop meaningful relationships.

One of the things that attracted me to St. Michael's was its' embeddedness in the neighborhood -- which I experience as a distinct advantage! Coupled with the search committee's stated desire to sustainably grow the congregation, I saw nothing but possibilities.

Like any congregation full of dedicated parishioners, it is easy to become comfortable in our habits of serving as the hosts. Before we can begin conversations about how to welcome new parishioners, we have to take a step back and remember what it feels like to be new, what it feels like to be vulnerable enough to be hosted by another. The secondary purpose of these gatherings is to intentionally experience what it feels like to be hosted. While it may seem like a small gesture to attend a gathering in the home of a fellow parishioner, I invite you to do so with intention. Purposefully attend to your hesitations, discomforts, and delights. Spend time imagining what it would be like to attend such a gathering in the home of a stranger, or in a sanctuary unfamiliar to you. This will all feed into a larger parish discussion about our bright and hopeful future together.

I look forward to being hosted alongside many of you in the days that follow.

Blessings,
Beth
January Offerings at Virginia Theological Seminary
 
Ancient and New: The Anglican Theology of Rowan Williams

The Evening School is offering a four week course exploring the Anglican theology of Rowan Williams, a noted contemporary theologian and the former Archbishop of Canterbury. Williams engages a wide range of topics, from politics to popular culture to interfaith relations, demonstrating how to make the connections between our faith and the world in which we live. The course will be taught by the Rev. Catriona Laing and the Rev. Dr. Patricia Lyons. Thursdays, Jan. 11 - Feb. 1, 6:30 - 9:00 PM; Cost: $40;
Register here

Responding Faithfully: Working for Justice -- a Taste of Evening School at VTS

How do we create a world "where justice rolls down like water?" What does it mean for everyone to have an equitable share of the resources in our communities? How do we go about creating a society where all are welcome and upheld as children of God? Join our conversation with a panel of local advocates from faith-based organizations and community organizers who are working towards such a world. This conversation is particularly timely as we honor and commemorate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy the same week. Wed., Jan. 17, 6:45 - 9:00 PM
Free, Register here
 
 
Support St. Michael's

 

You can make single gifts and recurring donations (pledges) through our online service  Network for Good.
You're Invited: Fellowship Gatherings
 
Every parishioner is invited to sign up for a Fellowship Gathering in January or February. The gatherings are intended to provide an opportunity for our new rector, Beth Magill, to get to know us and for us to better get to know each other. Our hope is for every member of the parish to attend a gathering! 
 
Each gathering is of no more than 10-12 people, over dinner, lunch, coffee and muffins, wine and cheese, or cupcakes and apple juice. Families and youth are most warmly invited to attend! Michele Casciano and Dan Plafcan are co-leading the organization of these fellowship gatherings. Please contact them with any questions.
 
The sign-ups are available here or in hardcopy at the church on Sundays. (The hardcopies will be reconciled with the on-line sign-ups at least weekly.) Hosts will email all guests with a confirmation of the gathering, the address, and any other relevant details the week of the gathering.
Meals on Wheels News
 
Did you know that St. Michael's delivers Meals on Wheels (MOW) to Arlington neighbors three times a month? Did you also know that this ministry has been on-going for numerous years?

On Dec. 13, Judy Andrews and Beverly Grizzard made their last Meals on Wheels deliveries after countless years of dedicated service. A multitude of our home-bound neighbors have received both a hot and cold meal throughout the years thanks to these two; we are so grateful for their steadfast ministry. Stepping up to continue MOW deliveries, we welcome Barb Adams and TJ Burnside Clapp, former substitute MOW deliverers. Thank you to Barb and TJ! We need to replace our MOW substitutes, and we hope you will consider joining us as a substitute. For more info, please check out the MOW website or contact Lisa Harkins .
Knitting Class to Begin

Members of Wholly Knit and Whine, St. Michael's knitting group, would like to invite anyone interested in learning how to knit (or crochet) to join us for a beginner class starting Sun., Jan. 21 (weather permitting). The class will meet from 2 - 4 PM in the library. This class is open to absolute beginners as well as those who want to get reacquainted with knitting. We have a collection of donated yarns that will make good starter project yarn. We ask that participants bring a pair of size 8 needles and be over age 8. If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact Helen Hines. Registration before Jan. 21 will help with planning.
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.
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.