Rector's Reflection
St. John's Church, Lafayette Square
March 14, 2021
Good morning St. John's Community,

We are deep into Lent now, and today's Old Testament reading is set in the desert as the Israelites travel with Moses towards the Promised Land. The people are losing their patience with with Moses and with God, and they express how sick they are of the manna that they have to eat. (Their 40 years in the desert is an archetype for Lent, and I sincerely hope that your Lent is going better than this.)

It suddenly gets dramatically worse for them when they encounter deadly, poisonous snakes! It is one of the more bizarre and challenging stories in the Bible, and yet it is actually a central story—quoted by Jesus himself in today's Gospel. It's a powerful story with lessons for us today, which I will unpack in today's sermon. This experience in the desert points to the cross and resurrection.

Today's service will be live-streamed and available to watch with others when it "premiers" at 9am on Facebook, and on our website's worship page. It will be posted soon after on our YouTube page as well.

Note: We believe we are close to resolving our recent livestream issues. We have isolated the cause of this problem to occasional "dips" in the signal, which interrupt the uploading process. We will improve our signal strength and consistency, and for now we have a small tech work-around that should help. Thank you for your patience as we address this challenge.

Finally, please know that we are carefully scaling upward for in-person attendance. We have increased the number of open seats in worship to 25. In order to attend, you will need to sign up by Thursday at noon, which you can do by either clicking here or by calling the church office at 202-347-8766. If seating fills up, we will put you at the top of the list for the next service. If and when you are able, we look forward to having you join us.

Starting with Palm Sunday, we will increase attendance to 100! You will need to sign up one week before each service then, and because of seating requirements we will be assigning seats. The online services will of course continue throughout this time and beyond.

God's peace,

Wonderful news! The city has taken down the fence that was around the church since June.

Also, we have removed the boards from the windows so that light is now able to illuminate our beautiful stained glass. We are leaving the painted murals over the windows of Parish House for now. Soon, many of these murals will be donated to the Smithsonian.

How to help, or how to get help. During this difficult time, St. John's is looking to connect people in need of assistance with those who are able to help. If you fall into either category, please visit this link or send an e-mail to with your name, contact information, and details of the type of support you can give or the support you need. And to get involved in any of our ongoing local outreach ministries, which are in special need curing this time, you may click here.

Want to share these messages with a friend? Anybody can sign up to receive these emails, which will be sent to the same list as our weekly eNewsletter The Word, by clicking here.
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St. John's Church, Lafayette Square
1525 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-8766