This issue includes news about Mission & Outreach collections, the church roof, Back to School Night babysitting...and more

Saturday, October 13
11 AM to 3 PM

Fun for all ages!

BBQ, craft beer,
bounce house and more

Volunteers needed
Sign up sheets to work a shift  or bake (brownies or mini-muffins)
will be in Parish Hall
beginning this Sunday.
 
Blessing of the Backpacks

In addition to the blessing offered in this past Sunday's 10 AM service, Beth ventured out into the community on the first day of school. Read about local church activities as a new school year begins. 
A Prayer for this Day
 
Today marks seventeen years since the September 11th attacks. It is likely that many of us have vivid memories of how that day unfolded. Tragically, some of us knew lives that were lost in the Pentagon or on one of the other planes. There's a clear delineation in my mind of life in the greater DC area pre-September 11th, and post-September 11th. Much changed. Much changed in our world, for that matter.  
 
When I was serving at my first congregation after ordination, deacons were asked to write a unique set of the Prayers of the People for every individual Sunday. For the week that included the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I added in a petition that mentioned the event, and lifted up prayers for all those who had been and continued to be affected. As the prayers were reviewed at staff meeting, my rector announced, "September 11th wasn't as big of a deal as we've made it out to be. No reason to include it in the weekly prayers." I was so stunned I didn't have words to respond.  
 
I did a lot of reflecting about my reaction to his comments. I wondered whether I had over-exaggerated things because of my physical and emotional proximity to the Pentagon. What I've realized all these years later is that it shouldn't have mattered that our experiences were different. The liturgy, specifically the Prayers of the People, are the place we are to turn with our laments, our joys, our heartbreaks, and our wonderings. There's nothing too insignificant or too large to fit into those prayers. We'll never accomplish full inclusivity of all the things that matter, but it is the container meant to hold all that we are able to bring to bear. I'm so grateful that our liturgy is written in plural language. When I cannot find the words, I trust that the person next to me in the pew can. With our collective voices, our laments and celebrations come to fruition.  
 
May we continue to find ways to share our prayers with one another and with God.  
 
A Collect for September 11th

O Almighty God, who brings good out of evil and turns even the wrath of your children towards your promised peace: Hear our prayers this day as we remember those of many nations and differing faiths whose lives were cut short by the fierce flames of anger and hatred. Hasten the time when the menace of war shall be removed. Cleanse both us and those perceived to be our enemies of all hatred and distrust. Pour out the spirit of peace on all the rulers of our world that we may be brought through strife to the lasting peace of the kingdom of your Son; Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [Source: Episcopal Diocese of New York]
 
Blessings,
Beth
Back to School Night Babysitting

Girl Scout Troop 3254, 8th grade Cadettes from Swanson Middle School, are babysitting for Back to School Night at St. Michael's. The babysitting night runs from 6:30-9:00 PM. The suggested donation is $15 per child. For more information, please contact Kelly George. Sign up here.  
September Mission & Outreach Collections

Outreach envelope: ChildFund International

Outreach Basket:  Supplies and gift cards for Doorways for Women and Families
Communication Deadlines
 
Please submit short announcements of a timely nature to Wil Harkins, parish administrator, by noon on Thursday prior to the Sunday that you'd like it included in the service bulletin. 
 
Longer articles and items that are not time sensitive should be submitted to The Guardian newsletter staff by the 1st or 15th of the month. The newsletter is published on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. All submissions are subject to edit and approval.
 
 
Support St. Michael's

 

You can make single gifts and recurring donations (pledges) through our online service  Network for Good.
Wednesday Book Club News

The Wednesday Book Club resumes monthly meetings on Sep. 26 at noon  in the library. Cindy Warkintin will lead the discussion of our summer book,  A Lesson Before Dying  by Ernest Gaines. We will also discuss suggestions for our selections going forward.

The group meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month, September through June. Please bring your lunch and join us whether you've read the book or not!

Barb Adams
Making a Joyful VBS Noise!

Last issue, in my thank-you to Vacation Bible School (VBS) volunteers, I was remiss in recognizing our VBS musicians! I would like to send a big, musical shout-out "thank you!" to TJ Burnside Clapp and Jim Thorne. TJ and Jim (both with amazing musical prowess) helped our "VBS chorus" prepare and perform a song for the Sunday service. Their skills are remarkable! With not much notice, minimal practice, and lots of kid chaos, TJ and Jim managed to learn a new song (pretty much by ear!), and make a performance out of it. VBS is so thankful for their time and dedication to music! The kids had a blast singing and dancing!

Melanie Monahan
From the Windows to the Roof: A Facilities and Funds Update
 
We continue to rejoice at the beauty of our cleaned and refurbished stained glass windows and to marvel at the skill and speed of the workshop that repaired them. As important, we are grateful for the financial generosity and stewardship that made the repairs possible without straining parish resources. The Vestry had already set aside $16,000 in a dedicated fund for the windows' repair and that proved to be sufficient to cover the cost. Many, many thanks to everyone who has supported the parish financially over the years -- we could not have done this without you!
 
But, alas -- as homeowners know, as soon as one project is complete, another looms. Our next big project will be to replace the roof. We have had minor damage from several storms in recent years, and with each round of repairs, the workers have warned that our roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. The Vestry takes this caution seriously and is beginning to research options, including the costs of different types of shingles. As we did with the windows, we also are laying the financial groundwork by setting money aside in a dedicated fund. The Vestry seeded the roof fund last year with $16,000 (transferred from the operating fund) and the current balance is $18,180. Together with the Finance Committee, the Vestry is exploring options for growing that fund so that it can cover the eventual cost as close to fully as possible. In that regard, any direct contributions from parishioners would be hugely helpful. Anyone who wishes to contribute can do so through the yellow envelopes, noting that the donation is for the "roof fund." The Vestry will, of course, keep the parish informed about the health of the fund and the replacement plans as they progress.
 
Mary Cushing
St. Michael's Episcopal Church
 1132 N. Ivanhoe Street  | Arlington, VA 22205-2445

Our mission is to provide a nurturing spiritual community in Christ Jesus as the foundation 

from which we strive to go forth and serve God by the power of the Holy Spirit.