November 24, 2021
Your Midweek Update
In this week of Thanksgiving, we are reminded again of God’s many blessings that are freely and richly bestowed upon us. As we gather with family and friends to celebrate the holiday, let us offer our thanks to the Lord for his many gifts in our lives. One of these blessings is sure confidence and faith in Christ our King, whose promised coming we await. This is what we celebrated in worship last Sunday on the festival of Christ the King. We worship and serve a different kind of king, as the sermon pointed out. The crown he wore was not gold, but thorns, and his throne was the wood of the cross. By his death, and resurrection we are forgiven and freed to love and serve our neighbor.
 
Please join us for our Thanksgiving Eve worship service on Wednesday, November 24 at 7:30PM. This service will be both in-person as well as live streamed. In this worship service, the food bags that we’ve been collecting will be dedicated in Jesus’ Name to help those in need in our community. After Thanksgiving, the bags will be delivered to a local agency to help address food and hunger needs. Thank you for your generous support. We join our hearts and voice in thanks and praise to the Lord as a favorite hymn of Thanksgiving reminds us:
 
Now thank we all our God with hearts and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in whom His world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blest us on our way
With countless gifts of love and still is ours today.
(Lutheran Service Book 895, stanza 1)                     
From the Pastor's Desk - November 2021
Church and School Holiday Closing
 
St. John’s church office and Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) will be closed this week on Thursday and Friday, November 25-26 for the Thanksgiving holiday. We wish everyone a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
Decorating at Church on Saturday, November 27
 
Wondering what to do after Thanksgiving? Lend a hand to put up decorations at church for the Advent and Christmas season on Saturday, November 27 at 9:00AM. Many hands will make light the work of putting up banners, roping, trees and wreaths, etc. This is a great opportunity for families to serve together, as well as students to earn community service hours. Questions? Please contact Nancy Lacy.
Advent Wreath-Making Event on Sunday, November 28
 
You are invited to a fun, intergenerational activity on Sunday, November 28 at 11AM (First Sunday in Advent) in the Fellowship Hall. All materials and instructions are provided so that you walk away with a beautiful Advent wreath to use at home. This Advent Wreath-Making Event is open to everyone, but please register in advance so we know how many materials to have ready. You can click here to register for the Event.
Stewardship Report
 
A very heartfelt Thank You to everyone who participated in the 2021 Stewardship Campaign. Praise be to God for all He has provided! As of November 8, we received 71 pledges for 2022 operating funds, for a total pledged amount of $537,332.00. Nearly two thirds (44) of all pledges represented an increase over 2021 commitments. Wonderful! However, we recognize that we are living in challenging times. Last year, we received 80 pledges for $646,498, so we are slightly behind, both in terms of people and dollars committed.

If you are able, we encourage you to please complete your 2022 financial pledge. You can obtain a hard copy of the form from the church office, or you can complete the form online

Thank you again for your commitment to stewardship! 
October 2021 Financial Update
 
The October 2021 St John's Lutheran Church financial results for the Operating Fund and ECEC are posted in the Narthex. The results remain encouraging. Additional wonderful news was received regarding the flood damage of the library and the lower level of St John’s when we were informed the full deductible amount would be applied to the repair of the damage.
 
As we approach the congregational meeting on December 5th, I wish to remind you to please prayerfully consider completing a pledge card and returning it if you have not already done so. Many thanks to everyone who has made a commitment.
 
More details are posted in the narthex or may be obtained from Jim Burroughs, Minister of Finance. Thank you for the smooth transition and for your ongoing financial stewardship.
Virtual Congregational Meeting on December 5
 
Members of St. John’s are invited and encouraged to participate in a virtual congregational voters' meeting on Sunday, December 5 at 1:00PM. Chief among the agenda items for this meeting will be considering for approval the proposed operating budget for 2022 for our congregation. The Church Council reviewed and approved the proposed budget at its most recent meeting on November 14. The December 5 congregational meeting will take place on Zoom, and you can log-in using these credentials:

Meeting ID: 868 6753 4702
Passcode: 629380
 
Watch for a meeting agenda with a proposed 2022 budget summary that will be coming to you via email through Church Community Builder (CCB). Questions? Please contact congregational President, Denise Canter.
Christmas Wishes - Last Day to Bring a Gift is December 5
 
It is time for Christmas Wishes! Each year, the people of St. John’s generously donate unwrapped new toys, new books, and gift cards for the Koinonia Christmas Wishes program. This ministry allows Koinonia parents in need to gather gifts for their children, so they have presents to give them for Christmas.

The Christmas tree is in the Narthex and the stars on it each represent a gift for a child of a certain age range. When you take a star, sign up in the book next to the tree, on the line that matches the number(s) of your star(s). You then purchase the item(s) and place it under the tree when you come to worship. There are also virtual stars that you can sign up for online in CCB with opportunities to drop off gifts without entering the building. No need to sign up online if you take a star from the tree! 
 
Please leave gifts at the tree (include the stars) only when an attendant is there (before or after worship services). Those not wishing to enter the building may drop the gifts off on Saturday, December 4 between 10AM and 1PM at the Craft Room doors. Please do not bring gifts during the week—we cannot securely store them! You will find a list of Koinonia suggested toys at the tree or at this link. Koinonia asks that neither Barbies nor Matchbox cars are given, and that a gift card does NOT exceed $25.00. The final day to drop off gifts is Sunday, December 5. Contact Christy Hoins for more information.
Temporary Transportation Assistance Needed for a Member of St. John's

A member of our St. John's family, Pete Pettigrew, is in need of assistance in taking himself and his son to an important after-school class located in the Fair Oaks area which is about an hour away from their home. The class is held three days a week and there are still ten more weeks left in the session. Pete recently had back surgery and, at this time, is not able to drive.

We are looking for volunteers who can help this family; if you can only provide transportation for Pete and his son once or twice during this time, your efforts will be greatly appreciated. Pete's daughter will be providing his return transportation on most days.

If you think you would be able to help in this effort, please contact Cathy Long for more detailed information including the days and times transportation is needed.
Crucifer Training - Sunday, December 5

All High School students who have not been trained to serve as Crucifer are invited to a training session on Sunday, December 5 at 11AM (immediately following the Worship Service). Students who are trained but would like a refresher are also invited to attend. We are so appreciative of the service of our youth.
Help Wanted for the Sunshine Committee
 
You are invited to join the Sunshine Committee, part of St. John’s Connecting Ministry. The Sunshine Committee is responsible for sending cards to those members and friends listed on the weekly Prayer Request sheet acknowledging birthdays, Baptisms, illnesses, etc. Volunteers serve three consecutive months annually, requiring no more than 90 minutes per week. Training and supplies provided. To participate or for more information, please contact Jeannette Bottomley (703-922-7429).
Midweek Advent Worship Services Wednesdays at Noon
 
The blessed Advent season will soon be here in which we anticipate not only Jesus’ first coming as the Child of Mary born in Bethlehem, but his second coming as King and Judge of all creation. Midweek Advent worship services will take place on Wednesdays during the Advent season on the following days: December 1, 8, 15 and 22, all beginning at 12 Noon.  

These services will build on the Wednesday noon Holy Communion that takes place each week and will be live streamed for worshipers to watch live or at a later time. Advent devotional booklets will be available (both hard copy in the Narthex as well as online) through Lutheran Hour Ministries. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Meehan or Liane Olsen, Gathering Ministry Lead.
Sunday Evening Worship Services Planned
 
St. John’s Gathering Ministry, which oversees the worship life of our congregation, is pleased to announce that, on a trial basis, we will have once-a-month Sunday evening worship services. These services will take place on the following dates: December 5, January 30, and February 27, all beginning at 5PM in the Sanctuary. 

For those who are unable to be present for worship on Sunday morning, these Sunday evening worship services will allow Christ’s people to gather together for prayer and praise around God’s gifts of Word and Sacrament. The first Sunday evening worship service on December 5 will include Holy Communion. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Meehan or Liane Olsen, Gathering Ministry Lead.
COVID-19 Mask Update

St. John's congregational leadership continues to closely monitor updates by the State of Virginia and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on COVID guidance, the Delta variant, and wearing of mask protocols. The new CDC guidance related to the Delta variant updated their guidance on wearing a mask indoors in public, even if fully vaccinated. 
 
According to the current CDC tracking levels for community transmission, Fairfax County is now at the level of "Substantial Transmission." We are thus strongly encouraging that everyone, including individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19, wear a mask in indoor settings. Click here for more information on Fairfax County COVID-19 guidelines.

Jeffrey McKay, the Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, periodically sends out an excellent email newsletter which contains the latest information on the COVID situation in our area. If you would like to be added to his mailing list, click here.

If you have questions or concerns, please be in touch with the church office.
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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