Welcome to 
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Bailey's Crossroads
Sunday worship and Holy Eucharist at 10:30am
To read recent sermon transcripts, CLICK HERE

StPaulsSnow

September 10, 2020 


One of the hardest emotional and spiritual exercises I have ever undertaken has been the one of practicing forgiveness. Somehow in my warped way of thinking about things, I felt justified in continuing to feel hurt and angry long after some painful exchange had taken place. It took me years to realize that the only one I was harming was myself and the burden of carrying a grudge was just plain too heavy. By nursing my hurt feelings, I was also damaging my heart...quite literally...but learning the art of forgiveness has taken lots of time and effort. The motivation for tackling that was the line in the Lord's Prayer that says...'forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.' And I realized that what I was asking God to do was to forgive me in the same way that I forgive others. Whoops!!! That realization brought me up short and I began to try to practice forgiveness the way I wanted to be on the receiving end of God's forgiveness...complete and grace-filled!! The Holy Spirit works miracles and setting down that gunny sack full of grudges was a blessed relief!! 
                                         The Rev. Liz Tomlinson
Limitless forgiveness
 Jesus continues continues with Rules of the Road

Last week Jesus explained to the disciples about how they should handle church politics. His emphasis was on being sure that the 'offender' was not lost to the community, but was pulled back into the fold and loved and nurtured even through his sin. This week, Peter wants to know how many times he must forgive another member of the church who has sinned against him. Jesus' answers stuns us all. His answer is the equivalent of an infinite number of times. And then Jesus tells the parable about the slave who was forgiven by the king for his monstrous debt, but the same slave refused to forgive the paltry debt of that another slave owe to him. Jesus is still teaching us about what goes on in the church community. Jesus is still holding a mirror up to that community and teaching its members how they are to love one another and how they are to behave with one another...and that God is keeping an eye on all of it. There will be an accounting. To Join us on Sunday morning at 10:30am on Facebook for the service of Antecommunion and explore with us what it means to be willing and able to hear God when God speaks. CLICK HERE 
Virtual Church
The Season of COVID-19 
 
We are currently using ZOOM to conduct our worship service each week. The service is Antecommunion and is recorded from the Rectory and the sacred spaces and homes of the Virtual Church Ministry team of Caroline Kruger, Dave Wright, Markeeta Belmar, Tam Mehuron, Michael Dunn, Sarah Dunn, and Abraham and June Jallah with the beautiful music provided by our Music Director, Anna Ko.  You can view the pre-recorded worship service on Facebook on Sunday morning at 10:30am. You can participate in all the liturgy, congregational responses and hymns right from your own home. It will enable us to 'be together' for worship and to enjoy Anna's music. We will be able to see and hear multiple people read, but we will not be able to hear a congregation responding during the course of the service. It will be different, but while our building will be closed, we are still the church and are still open to others. You will be able to access our Sunday morning service on Facebook if you CLICK HERE at 10:30am or later in the day if you wish. 
Virtual Coffee Hour
Face-to-Face...almost...at 11:30am

One of the things we miss most about not being able to gather together on Sunday morning for worship is the fellowship that we enjoy afterwards over a hot cup of coffee. We can still have the coffee...and we can still 'see' each other. It will just be 2-dimensional on ZOOM. Grab your coffee after our worship service and climb into a comfy chair in your own living room.  We had a great turnout last week and hope for more folks to 'show up' this coming week. Just send your RSVP to Linda at green@stpaulsbxr.org to reserve your spot!  'See' you there!!  If you need some help with ZOOM just let Linda know when you RSVP. One of us will be happy to walk you through it. If you worship with us regularly, you will receive a ZOOM invitation and link through Constant Contact on Saturday afternoon. 
Regathering soon!!
Options for worshiping together

The Diocese has been providing guidelines for regathering for worship together in person and what precautions we need to take. The Diocese also provides the latest information about the numbers associated with COVID-19 in Fairfax County so we can keep tabs on how things are going in the area where we live. The Diocese has authorized outdoor services and has approved our plan. We hope to have our first outdoor service on September 20 at 10:30am.  We haven't yet worked out the details. If you would like to help with that service, please contact Rev. Liz. Our plan for indoor regathering has also been approved by the Diocese and we received notice today that we can gather indoors whenever we are ready. Please feel free to let your clergy know (by e-mail or phone) how you are feeling about the prospect of re-gathering...both outdoors and indoors. These are decisions our parish family needs to make together!
Personal Note Ministry
Staying in touch the old fashion way

Handwritten notes and cards are fast becoming a lost art. Telephone calls are good and e-mail is great, but nothing takes the place of a handwritten note from one friend to another. So many people relish and treasure them. Now that the pandemic has slowed our lives down a bit, we have time to resurrect this kind of communication. It's warm. It's personal. It's not intrusive. And it can be read and re-read as many times as the recipient wants. And it carries the distinct penmanship of the person who wrote it. Sometimes people would prefer a card rather than a phone call. If you have the time and the willingness to begin writing notes to your fellow parishioners to let them know that they are loved and that you miss them, please e-mail Rev. Liz at tomlinson@stpaulsbxr.org...or send her a handwritten note! If you need a directory, we'll get one to you!
Intercessory Prayer Group
Every Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

During this time of 'social distancing' the Intercessory Prayer Group will be maintained by Tam Mehuron in her home and on ZOOM. The day and the time frame and the structure will remain the same. Tam will be going through this Prayer Service at her house, so please send an e-mail to her with your prayer requests. Her e-mail is tmehuron@verizon.net. She can also let you know how to access the meeting through ZOOM.   
Telephone Ministry
Staying in Touch

Jesus told Peter, "Feed my sheep!" There are lots of ways that we can 'feed' one another, but one of the best ways is through conversation. Since we can't 'be' together for worship services or for Coffee Hour, we have started a new ministry that will help us stay connected and perhaps even help us get to know each other better. Since the second week in March, you should have gotten at least one call from another parishioner at St. Paul's...and perhaps more than one. Our callers are fantastic, but we need to share the wealth and let others take a turn. If you would like to participate in this ministry and be one of the callers, please contact Tam Mehuron at tmehuron@verizon.net and let her know. She will give you all the details and will include you when she draws up the new rota. 
Pledges and Offerings
Still needed

Thank you to each one of you who have been faithful with your pledge and those of you who are supporting us financially by donating through Tithley on our website and through this e-mail. Since we are not gathering for church on Sunday morning, we don't pass the collection plate during the service. That means that pledge envelopes and checks and cash offerings aren't presented for blessing, but when Monday morning rolls around, the bills continue to show up. To the extent that you can, please send your check or your pledge to the church via US mail. The address is at the end of this newsletter. You can also donate with your credit card by using Tithley. Just CLICK HERE These are strange and unusual times and we're all in this together. If you aren't a member of St. Paul's but would like to make a donation to help us through this tough time, please know how grateful we are. Thank you in advance for keeping the St Paul's boat afloat! We are keeping a list of the Patron Saints of St. Paul's and we add each one of you to our prayers. Thank you!
 Book-Share   
The Joy of Reading
 
Check out the bookcase outside the Rector's office and help yourself to anything that looks interesting. It's said "a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.  The man who never reads only lives one." Some new selections have shown up recently! Check them out!  When we get to return to our church building, check out the new books that have come in...or bring some donations yourself!
               
 
The food pantry
Fall is coming soon     

St. Paul's continues to be both faithful and generous in supporting the ACCA Food Pantry. Your generosity is inspiring. If you have food to donate, please contact our Parish Administrator, Linda Green by e-mail at green@stpaulsbxr.org to make arrangements with her to drop off your donation. She is at the church several times a week to pick up the mail and keep the office running. She will be glad to arrange a time to let you in the building with your donation. Please continue to bring nonperishable foodstuffs for ACCA and place them in the wicker basket at the rear of the Sanctuary. We need a volunteer to deliver our donations to the ACCA Food Pantry where they will be shared with those in need. In the middle of this pandemic when many people are without incomes, the need for food is even greater. Please contribute all that you can!  
Homeless Shelter
Volunteer Opportunities
 
The next meeting of the Advisory Committee will be on Wednesday, November 11 and it will be conducted on ZOOM. Please let Rev. Liz know if you are interested in shelter operations or volunteer opportunities and she will give you information about how to access this meeting. In the meantime, if you would like to make donations to the shelter, New Hope Housing has provided a Wish List (on Amazon) for the homeless who are moving into housing of their own which is SUCCESS! To access that list, please CLICK HERE. New Hope Housing manages a number of shelters around the county, so be sure to specify to New Hope that you want your donation to go to the Bailey's Crossroads Shelter. You can reach New Hope Housing at the Bailey's Shelter by calling 703-820-7621. You are helping to ease the way for our neighbors to get back on their feet! What an act of love!!