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February 18, 2021
Dear Elizabeth,

Living space is very important for most of us. We all like to have a place that we can call 'home.' Whatever it is [a room, an apartment, a condo, a house] it's ours to furnish as we see fit. As we live in that space we choose furniture that reflects our taste in color or style or our sense of what is utilitarian. We might paint the walls or hang pictures or artwork. We project a sense of ourselves into that space. Very often, over time, our taste changes and so does our decor. The same thing can happen to our personalities...our individuality...our thought processes as we mature. We often find that solitude affords us the opportunity to rearrange our mental furniture or discard some of it and it replace it with something more suitable to our age and experience. We don't necessarily see the world in the same way or have the same perspective. Time alone in solitude and sometimes in prayer gives us the opportunity to see things in a new way. As we contemplate and pray...perhaps grappling with a difficult problem...new thoughts come to us and old thoughts disappear. It's a little bit like rearranging the furniture! And since all of us live inside our own heads, it's a helpful thing to do from time to time. Solitude can shore up our inner resources and sometimes give us a whole new way of looking at things.

The Rev. Liz Tomlinson
What happens to Jesus in the desert?
Temptation

We are probably all familiar with the scripture passages that describe Jesus' time in the wilderness after his baptism. This remarkable story is in three of the four gospels and is a pivotal experience at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. For 40 days without food or water or a decent place to sleep, Jesus battles Satan. He doesn't give in to temptation once. He emergences from the experience stronger and more committed to his mission than ever before. He was given the chance to renege on his ministry and mission, but he didn't give in. He didn't take the bait. Remembering his experience with the dove that descended on him at his baptism and the voice from on high that affirmed him as "My son," we know that Jesus has gone beyond the scope of mere mortal men. He emerged from that experience inwardly rearranged. It seems Satan was testing Jesus' powers and his judgment in how he would use those powers. Were they to be used as God had intended or would they be used as Satan wished? Sometimes in the heat of the moment or in the exhaustion of not enough physical nourishment or sleep, a person's judgement can get clouded or his resolve can dissolve. In Jesus' 40-day struggle with Satan over whose will would endure, Jesus made sure that the powers he had been given would be used as God had designed. It was a critical moment for Jesus at the very outset of his career and he emerged from that experience with the resolve to complete his mission and provide a promising message for us for the future. 
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Lenten Bible Study
The Gospel of Mark

Beginning on Wednesday, February 24 (that's next week!) at 7:00pm David Wright will be leading a Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark. This 5-week study will run from February 24 through March 24. If you've studied with David before, you know that his Bible Studies are thorough and enlightening. No matter how much you think you know about the Gospel of Mark, you're bound to learn a little more. This Bible Study is being taught on ZOOM and anyone is welcome to join us. You don't have to be a parishioner at St. Paul's to take part in this Bible study. If you would like to be part of it, send an e-mail to David at dfwinva@gmail.com and he will send you the ZOOM link.
St. Paul's helped "Stuff the Bus"
Helping neighbors in need

During the last part of January and the beginning of February, Fairfax County Neighborhood Community Services held a food drive in several areas in and around Bailey's Crossroads and Falls Church. Our own Caroline Kruger represented St. Paul's by making a donation of foodstuffs and by helping to 'Stuff the Bus.' These drives are done periodically throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled for the announcement in this newsletter for the next opportunity to make a donation and "Thank you!" Caroline!
Virtual Coffee Hour
Face-to-Face...almost...
at 11:30am on Sunday mornings

Coffee Hour just isn't the same WITHOUT YOU!! This is the one time during the week that we can all 'visit' with one another and stay connected with each other. Staying connected has been a challenge in the Age of COVID, but we can do it if we all pitch in and hop onto ZOOM. So grab your coffee after our worship service and climb into a comfy chair in your own living room. We look for YOU every week!! If you worship with us regularly, you will receive a ZOOM invitation and link through Constant Contact on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. Stop in and say "Hi" to the other members of your St. Paul's family!!
The Vestry Nominations

The year of COVID-19 has certainly created some interesting hurdles for us, but we are looking forward to a much more 'normal' year in 2021. To that end, we will need to do plenty of planning to re-establish the rhythm and routine of our church life together. We are looking for parishioners over the age of 18 who would like to help shape the future of St. Paul's. Vestry meetings are held on the third Sunday of every month after morning worship. If you are interested and willing to serve in this way, please speak to one of our Vestry members. 
The Annual Meeting ~ March 7

The Annual Meeting will be held on ZOOM this year on Sunday, March 7 at 12:00pm. If you are a member of St. Paul's, you will get the ZOOM link information in an e-mail prior to the meeting. It's very important that each one of you hop on this ZOOM session as we need to have a quorum in order to make decisions together as a congregation. Please mark your calendar!! Even though we aren't worshipping in person at the moment, there is still life at St. Paul's. We have information to share and plans to make for the upcoming year and we need YOU!!! If you aren't sure how to access ZOOM, you can speak with Linda Green, our Parish Administrator at 703-820-2625. She will be happy to help you. The Annual Report will be sent to Parishioners via e-mail in advance of the meeting, so please confirm with Linda that she has your correct e-mail address. 
Part time Bookkeeper Needed

St. Paul's is looking for a part time bookkeeper to work 6-8 hours per week keeping our financial house in order. This job might be perfect for someone who is retired or someone who wants to work away from home for a few hours each week. We need someone who is familiar with Quickbooks and who understands the specific needs of the Episcopal Church in terms of financial matters. If you know of someone you think would be good for this position, please speak to one of our Vestry members (June Jallah, Tam Mehuron, Dave Wright, Alvin Jones or Caroline Kruger) or to Rev. Liz. 
Virtual Church
needs technical assistance

If you are familiar with ZOOM, we need you as a technical assistant. In order to have everyone on ZOOM together and the service being broadcast live from the sanctuary, we need someone who can man the ZOOM program, be sure the bulletin is scrolling properly and troubleshoot if any problems arise. You do not need to be at the church in order to do this. It can be done remotely. If you have this expertise and would like to join the Virtual Worship Team, please contact Rev. Liz by replying to this e-mail. We are preparing to change our Virtual Worship format from a pre-recorded ZOOM service to a livestream ZOOM service in which each one of you can participate! It's one step closer to being able to worship together in our sanctuary. If you want to be part of the service, click on the ZOOM link you get in your Constant Contact notice. It will be live, not pre-recorded, so you won't be able to see it later in the day. Just like coming to church...you have to be there for the service!! Just one more experiment for us in the time of COVID-19. Until we make this change, please Watch our pre-recorded Virtual Worship Service on FB at 10:30am on Sunday morning by Clicking here.
The food pantry
  
Urgent calls have come from ACCA this month for donations to the food pantry. We have hungry people around us all year long, but especially now in this season of COVID-19 when so many sources of income have disappeared. St. Paul's continues to be both faithful and generous in supporting the ACCA Food Pantry and they need our help now more than ever. 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 do need a volunteer to deliver our donations to the ACCA Food Pantry where they will be shared with those in need. Please contribute all that you can!  
Bailey's Shelter & Supportive Housing
Volunteer Opportunities
 
The next meeting of the Advisory Committee will be on Wednesday, March 10 at 7:00pm 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. Please designate Bailey's Shelter and Supportive Housing, 5914 Seminary Rd., Falls Church, VA. 22041 when you place your order if you want your donation to go to this shelter. 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!! The hypothermia center on Lincolnia Road needs the donation of packets of instant oatmeal. Please speak to Rev. Liz if you are interested in helping to provide these packets to our hungry (and cold!) neighbors.

The Rev. Elizabeth W. Tomlinson 
Priest in Charge
3439 Payne Street,
Falls Church, VA. 22041
703-820-2625


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