The Epistle
January 20, 2021
The Power of Love
Dear St. Aidan’s family,

I write to you as I am watching and listening to the Inauguration Day ceremonies on the steps of the Capitol. It is a moving ceremony within a day focused on power. So what's LOVE got to do with it?

Many of us came together (remotely) this morning in worship, to celebrate what we hoped and prayed would be a peaceful transition of power from one administration to another. I say “hope” because the security of our traditions, our Constitution and our civilization has been shaken to the core. Some of us didn’t feel quite able to exhale until about 11:48 a.m. today. Even so, we still have so much work ahead, to become, in the prophet Isaiah’s words “the repairers of the breach, the restorers of streets to dwell in.” (Isa 58:12)

And how, in this fragile restoration, do we do that? In a word, LOVE.

This morning, we heard the familiar words of 1 Corinthians 13:13, words that St. Paul wrote centuries ago. They are often heard at weddings, and they fit for the individual relationship of one couple. But they were originally written for a community in conflict, in danger of breaking apart. And they are healing words for us today. Because it is LOVE that will restore our society, our hope, our hearts: love for one another, love for our country, love for those with whom we disagree.

So this day is at least as much about love as it is about power. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. 
Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” 

Let us remember these words in the days and months ahead, and as we pray these prayers inspired by LOVE. This inauguration ceremony has ended; our prayers continue.

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.  

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The Rev. Dr. Rosemary Beales
Interim Rector
Upcoming VTS Webinar and Sacred Ground session
Please consider this webinar offered by Virginia Theological Seminary, this Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 3:00pm. It is entitled Cultivating Culture Change: Tips and Resources for Antiracist Christian Formation. Being antiracist requires more than hosting the periodic book club. Both as individuals and faith communities we can make changes to our practices to become more faithful witnesses to God's love on earth. In this webinar hosted by Katherine Malloy, panelists the Rev. Melanie Mullen and the Rev. Claire Brown will share strategies from their experience in antiracism and reconciliation. Participants will receive a list of the panelists' go-to resources for cultivating culture change in a variety of ministry contexts. Can't make it at that time? Sign up anyway and you will receive the recording and resources in your inbox the day after the webinar. Click here to register
The Ministry for Racial Justice and Healing of the Diocese of Virginia invites you to learn about the history of race and racism in America and the impact it has on our world today, while engaging in meaningful conversation through the Episcopal Church’s Sacred Ground curriculum.  For each session, participants will watch documentaries and read articles to help inform and enlighten them. They will then gather on Zoom for conversation to help them peel away the layers that have contributed to the challenges and divides of the present day – all while grounded in our call to faith, hope and love.  If you are interested in registering, please contact Aisha Huertas in the Bishop’s office at
Children and Youth Formation
Children and Families
Children: Godly Play has resumed! Until we are able to meet in person again, a live lesson for children aged 3-10 (and their parents!) will be offered virtually each Sunday at 10:30. Link will be sent in monthly email to families.

January 23: 6-6:45 Middle School; 6:45-7:30 High School.
2021 Directory
It's that time again! Please send any updated addresses,
phone numbers, new family members, etc. to
Eileen in the office no later than Fri, Jan 29th.
We'd love an updated photo as well to be included.
We will be sending out the directory virtually, but if you would like a hard copy mailed to you, please email Eileen with your name and address. They will be ready prior to our Annual Meeting which will take place virtually the first Sunday in February.
Upcoming Dates to Remember
Sunday, Feb 7 - Annual Meeting and Election of Vestry Members following the 9:30 service. Zoom link to follow

Saturday, Feb 13 and Sunday, Feb 14 - Mardi Gras Luncheon Alterntive 2021. See more details below.

Wednesday, Feb. 17 - Ash Wednesday
VICHOP News 2021
Feed the Homeless - Once again in 2021, St. Aidan's will support the local homeless community with meals for the Ventures in Community - Hypothermia Outreach Program (VICHOP).
St. Aidan's will provide hot meals for
approximately 50 guests of the Shelter on each of four Sundays
(February 14, February 28, March 14 & March 28).
We are seeking to fill 16 volunteer slots (four per Sunday).
Each volunteer(s) will cook from the safety of their own kitchen for approximately 14 people, with the recipe and shopping list for that week to be provided in advance. Please take advantage of this great opportunity for a shared family commitment or a peaceful time for individual introspection. Sign up here:
Thank you for your service.

FYI - We will not be needed as overnight chaperones this year
due to the current health risks/situation.
St. Aidan's Mardi Gras Luncheon
Alternative 2021: Give From Your Heart
Gather canned and dry good grocery items as donations to a local food bank in order to Give From Your Heart and participate in St. Aidan's Mardi Gras Luncheon Alternative 2021. Dress up yourselves and your car in Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold and tune in local jazz music. Then drive by St. Aidan's curbside and drop off your contributions into Give From Your Heart marked bins beginning at
11:00 am Feb. 13 and ending at 1:00pm Feb. 14. 
     In your home kitchen, prepare this quick (prep time 10 min. & cooking time 20 min.) Red Beans and Rice for your own Mardi Gras Luncheon:  sauté ‘til tender at medium heat in 2 TBSP olive oil and 2 TBSP minced garlic  ½ c. each chopped celery, red pepper, and green pepper, and 1 c. onion.  Stir in 1 TBSP hot sauce, ½ tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. onion powder.  Add 2 – 1 lb. cans low sodium red kidney beans.  Simmer together with 2 ½ c. low sodium vegetable broth; just before serving, fold in 2 TBSP. chopped parsley and 1 to 2 c. cooked hot rice.  Serves 8.

Thank you one and all for participating in Give From Your Heart. 
Questions / concerns: email Sally and Charlie Chadbourn at
Outreach...Helping Those in Need
The Outreach Committee
is continuing the food collection for the winter months.
As food is collected, volunteers will take it to Rising Hope which serves
many families along the Route 1 corridor in our area. 
They have asked for canned meat, canned vegetables, canned fruit, and cereal. The Outreach Committee greatly appreciates the ongoing efforts of the
St. Aidan’s community to provide food for those in need.
Red Bag collection 
If you would like to sign up for this program, visit their website

Then please consider being part of a “table read” of the classic
Murder in the Cathedral, by T. S. Eliot. This play relates the story of the
death of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, after his patron, Henry II, complained to four knights, “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?”
There are parts for 10 voices in an abridged “parlor performance” of the play –
and no lines to memorize, as we will just read our parts in a Zoom space.
You are also welcome to tune in and listen without taking a role.
Contact Rosemary if you would like a copy of the text or
a link to purchasing the abridged version.
We will gather at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27, to go back in time and gain appreciation of an early (1170) saint of our Church!

Helpful Links
We would like to share the link for the Virginia Department of Health website. Here you can see what phase our
state is at for distribution of the vaccine.

Link to VA DoH:

Specific link for the questionnaire to see where you
in the different phases:
From the Treasurer
Thanks to all who support St. Aidan's in so many ways! Here is our Pledge Link if you would still like to donate

Your support makes so many good things happen at St. Aidan's and beyond.

Final Numbers for 2020
Received to date $ 276,500  
Budgeted to date $ 304,980
Thanks for your support of this amazing community!
We worship virtually on Sunday at 9:30 am and 5:30 pm as well as every weeknight evening at 7:00 pm. You are always welcome at St. Aidan's,
wherever you may be on your faith journey.
Service Links
If you are not receiving our separate mailing each week with links for worship gatherings and would like to be added to that list, simply reach out to the office and let us know. Those links are sent out on Saturday.
St Aidan's
St. Aidan's has been serving the Stratford Landing area & beyond since 1963.
We worship virtually on Sunday at 9:30 am and 5:30 pm (Celtic) and every weeknight evening at 7:00 pm. You are always welcome at St. Aidan's, wherever you may be on your faith journey.
Some Helpful Links:
The Center for Spiritual Deepening at St. Aidan's supports the soul and heart work of those seeking a deeper sense of God's presence in their lives. Check out the Center and its offerings Here.