August 3, 2022
Your Midweek Update
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
How much is enough? That is a question that we wrestle with in this life, and one which Jesus addressed in the Gospel lesson for last Sunday. So often, we fear running out and not having enough. Then what? What will we do? Jesus was asked to meditate a dispute in which one brother sought to gain his fair share of the inheritance from another brother. That sounds like a request we might make ourselves in our own family! But Jesus steered things in a different direction, cautioning the man making the request, along with all of us, not to set our hearts and minds on possessions and the things of this world. Jesus then told the parable of the rich fool, and in so doing reminds us that we have been given an inheritance that is much more valuable than silver or gold, as the sermon pointed out the end of our life, we can’t take anything from this world with us. It all gets left behind. The blood-bought redemption that Jesus has won for us through his life-giving death upon the cross is what we put our trust and hope in today, tomorrow, and forever.
In Christ,
Pastor Meehan
From the Pastor's Desk - August 2022
National Night Out 2022

Thank you to everyone who helped make National Night Out 2022 at St. John’s such a wonderful event! The event took place last evening on Tuesday, August 2 from 5:00 to 7:30PM on our westside campus at church. Music by The Annandale Brass, fire and police officials, children’s games, and a food truck all helped to bring neighbors together. National Night Out is an annually occurring event on the first Tuesday of August that brings neighbors together to ensure the safety of the community.

Special thanks to Angela Schulze, Living Out Ministry Lead on Church Council, who helped to coordinate everything for National Night Out. Mark your calendars for National Night Out next year on Tuesday, August 1, 2023! Questions? Please contact Angela Schulze.
Church Nursery is OPEN!

After a pandemic induced hiatus our Church nursery is back! Beginning Sunday, August 7 the Church nursery will be open during worship for children up to age 4.

Our nursery is staffed by kind and caring volunteers. We need your help to make this ministry possible. If you'd like to serve in this ministry area please reach out to Beth Rempe who will be managing the nursery as we get it relaunched.
Sunday Morning Schedule Change for Fall

Over the summer, ministry leaders at St. John’s have been in discussion about a proposed schedule change to Sunday mornings. Since we returned to in-person worship from COVID two years ago, our schedule has been for the worship service at 9:30AM followed by the Education Hour at 11AM. As we have discovered, there are some drawbacks with our present schedule, especially when it comes to an after-service reception (New Members, Graduates, etc.) after the worship service. This spills over into the Education Hour and has proven to be a challenge. At present, our average weekly worship attendance thus far for 2022 is 110 (not including midweek worship services – e.g., Lent, Holy Week, etc.). At this time, there is no pressing need to have an additional worship service due to increasing attendance. Far better to have one service that is comfortably full vs. two services that are uncomfortably empty. After discussion and deliberation, both the Gathering Ministry (which oversees the worship life of our congregation) and the Church Council have given approval for the following Sunday morning schedule change that will begin on Sunday, September 11 (Homecoming Sunday), which is the beginning of a new year of Christian education and learning for all ages:

  • Education Hour – 9:15 AM
  • Worship Service – 10:30AM
  • Fellowship Hour – Following worship service in the Fellowship Hall

Our goal is to sponsor a once-a-month intentional fellowship/reception time in the Fellowship Hall, and the following dates are being planned through the end of this calendar year:
  • Sunday, September 11 – Homecoming Sunday (similar to last year – watch for more information in the weeks ahead)
  • Sunday, October 30 – Reformation Sunday/Stewardship Celebration Chili Cook-Off
  • Sunday, November 13 – New Member Reception
  • Sunday, November 27 – Advent Wreathmaking with Pizza
*Nothing in December as this is an already very busy month

The new schedule may not be everyone’s preference, but ministry leaders believe that this is what will be best for the overall life of our congregation at this point in time. God willing, as more people return to in-person worship in the days ahead, we will be able to expand our Sunday morning schedule. Should you have questions or concerns, you are invited to contact Pastor Meehan, Denise Canter – Congregational President, or Liane Olsen – Gathering Ministry Lead.
Roof Repair at Church Almost Finished

The roof repair project at church to reseal the flat roof areas over the Craft Room, Narthex, Sacristy, Offices, and Library is nearly complete. This project encountered both some really hot weather as well as rain, slowing work down, but it’s almost finished. The work is being done by RIBA Construction of Fairfax. Weather permitting, the work will be finished by mid-week. This project is being coordinated by St. John’s Campus Projects Team (CPT). Questions? Please contact Mike Waring, chairman of the CPT.  
Share Sunday for Koinonia is Sunday

Share Sunday is the first Sunday of each month at St. John’s, and that will be next Sunday, August 7.  Summer is an especially challenging time when children are home from school, and extra food is needed. Please consider picking up some extra non-perishable items when you are at the store and bring your donations to church or, if you prefer, continue to drop off at Koinonia. Please share the blessings God has bestowed on you by helping those in need through Koinonia, the Franconia-Kingstowne community service agency. Thank you!
Special Offering
for Church Worker Scholarships
 
The installation service for the new President of the Southeastern District, Rev. Dr. William (Bill) Harmon, will take place on Saturday, August 13 at 1:00PM at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Williamsburg. Pastor Meehan is planning to attend the service and will represent our congregation, but anyone wishing to attend is welcome and invited to do so. As part of Dr. Harmon’s Installation, a special offering will be received to support the Scholarship Fund for students from the Southeastern District who are going into church vocations. In August, more than 34 grants will be awarded to students who are attending the seminaries and Concordia Universities. They represent all the various ministry vocations and paths that are available: Ordained: Resident, Colloquy, Specific Ministry Pastor; Deaconesses, Teachers, Directors of Christian Education, Directors of Parish Ministry. St. John’s will be receiving contributions for this special offering over the next two weeks in advance of the Installation on August 13. You are invited to contribute to this fund either by writing a check payable to St. John’s with “SED Scholarship Fund” written the memo line, or by making an electronic contribution. Go to the church’s website and at the top of the home page, select the “Give” button. On the drop-down menu that appears, please select “SED Scholarship Fund.” Please make your contribution by the close of day on Wednesday, August 10, so that a check may be written and Pastor Meehan may put this into the offering on the day of Installation. Thank you, members and friends of St. John’s. Your gift will be a blessing to the education of future church workers! 
Jennifer Hills to Begin Masters Degree Program

Jennifer Hills will begin a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with The Townsend Institute through Concordia University in Irvine, California on August 9.

The M.A. Organizational Leadership will take approximately 1.5-2 years and, with the exception of the Kick-Off Conference (August 13-16), is a completely virtual program.

The Townsend Institute experience studies directly with Dr. John Townsend and master teachers who have decades of experience in leadership and know how to bring transformation, performance, and productivity to teams and organizations. The Townsend Institute has earned a reputation for its relational approach to begin with character growth as a building block for high motivation and performance. Through the Townsend Institute’s online program in Organizational Leadership Jennifer will:
  • Gain the skills needed to create high-performing teams.
  • Cultivate a culture that accelerates performance.
  • Create clarity and alignment to mission, strategy, and vision across an organization.
  • Learn how to lead both strategically and relationally.
  • Learn how to work with and direct difficult people.
  • Train in the art of managing your energy versus your time.

Your prayers and encouragement are welcomed and appreciated as Jennifer begins this new adventure.
Ice Cream Social
 
Creative Fellowship is hosting an Ice Cream Social on Sunday, August 21, from 3:00-5:00PM in the Fellowship Hall. Please join us for sweet treats and camaraderie.
ESL Volunteers Needed
 
Want to make a big difference in someone’s life? Join us teaching English online to our immigrant neighbors. Volunteers must commit to teach one online class per week, September 13-November 17. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00-11:30 AM or 7:30-9:00 PM (students attend both days, but volunteers teach once a week.) All classes are on Zoom. Our adult students are eager to learn and extremely appreciative. Training and books are provided. No experience necessary--just a smile and desire to help people from other countries!

We also need help selling textbooks to students on Tuesday and Thursday, September 6 and 8 at St. John’s. Click here for more information, or contact ESL Coordinator Dori McCormick.
Handbell Choir
 
Have you ever thought of joining a handbell choir? St. John’s handbell choir is a wonderful group of people who find joy in contributing to worship through music. All you need to be able to do is count to four and see the music stand! Some members have never read music before joining this group. Playing the handbells is a way to serve the Lord with music and enjoy fellowship with our church family.

As some churches move toward high-tech services with more modern music, some may consider handbells old fashioned, out of date, or just not interesting. But handbell ensembles have specific benefits that can’t be matched by other types of ensembles. Because of their unique, irreplaceable roles, they are as important in the church as they have ever been.

Handbell ensembles reflect 1 Corinthians 12:12: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (ESV). Each member of a handbell ensemble contributes specific notes to the musical line. Without even one of those notes, the entire line would be lost. A handbell ensemble is an ideal place to help members see the value of their contributions to the church as well as to reinforce this important Bible teaching.

Handbell ensembles offer one of the easiest ways for people to get involved in music ministry. Because handbells require minimal training to play, it is easy for new ringers to join even if they don’t have prior music experience. Members who are hesitant to get involved in music ministry for that reason can find that joining a handbell ensemble is an easy way to participate in music ministry.

Handbells have a unique sound that can’t be replaced by other instruments. On special days like Easter and Christmas, handbells may have a more appropriate sound than other types of music. What instrument could better represent the bright majesty of Jesus’ resurrection or the angels’ glory at Christmas?

Rehearsals will start in the Fall, and we would love to have you join us! Please contact Director of Music, David Leahey, for more information.
Wednesday Noon Holy Communion
 
We continue to offer Holy Communion each Wednesday at 12 noon. Based on feedback from individuals, we will continue with this midweek time of worship throughout the summer. All are welcome to join us. Please register here or feel welcome to contact the Church Office (703-971-2210.
Uptick in COVID-19 Cases in the Fairfax Health District
 
Many of you may be aware that there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Fairfax Health District (the "District" is comprised of Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City). Our policy is to follow the CDC guidance and since the first week in May, our "community level" has been at "medium." This is a change from our previous "low" transmission level!

The CDC website provides a link for anyone to check the current status of COVID transmission in their locality. Simply click here to keep up to date on the status of COVID transmission in your county or city.

Please be aware that, at this point, our "CDC Mask Guidance and St. John's" policy as shown in the article below, has not changed.
CDC Mask Guidance and St. John’s
 
St. John’s policy has been to follow CDC guidance (Use and Care of Masks | CDC). Although health officials have now indicated it is okay not to wear a mask, even in indoor settings, members of our congregation may choose to mask at any time. Those exhibiting symptoms, or who have tested positive for COVID, or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should certainly strongly consider wearing a mask. Pastor Meehan and the Lay Assistants will continue to wear masks during the Distribution of Holy Communion.
 
Please note that if circumstances change and the transmission category for COVID is on the rise in our area, we will once again encourage everyone to wear a mask indoors. Feel welcome to contact the Church Office, 703-971-2210, should you have questions or concerns.
Important Links

  • Registration for Holy Communion held on Wednesdays at noon.
  • Facebook Live for viewing live services or educational opportunities as well as those previously recorded.
  • YouTube for viewing church services
  • Click here and scroll down for the bulletins
www.sjlc.com | 703-971-2210
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