The Epistle
January 13, 2021
The Way of Love
Dear St. Aidan’s family,

It has been a tumultuous week. Our nation’s security has been shaken – from within – and the path ahead is unsteady. Ironically, the darkness of a violent mob’s invasion of our Capitol occurred on the day when Christians celebrate that Jesus came to be a light to the whole world, the feast of Epiphany. We know that the Light of Christ shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome (John 1:5), but the earthly light that was once idealized as the “city on a hill” (John Winthrop, 1630) seemed quite dim last week. The “thousand points of light” espoused by Ronald Reagan (via his speechwriter Peggy Noonan) seemed remote in the thick of mob violence and at least some officials’ cooperation with it.

What is a Christian to do, but pray, and work for a saner, safer future? The Diocese of Virginia is calling us to Six Days of Prayer leading up to what we all hope will be a peaceful transition of power. In a ceremony altered by both pandemic restrictions and, of course, by the continued threat of violence, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be inaugurated as president and vice-president on January 20. No one expects them to be perfect, but their inauguration does symbolize a sort of recovery, a return to the rule of law, civility and decency. We will each play a part in that, as we live our baptismal vows to respect the dignity of every human being and strive to love our neighbors as ourselves.

I hope you will join next Wednesday at 10 a.m. in St. Aidan’s service of prayer for our nation and its leaders (watch for the Zoom link). While we watch and wait to see what happens politically, I hope you’ll also join prayerfully with those around our Diocese in the Six Days of Prayer beginning Friday (but why wait?). These prayers are based on St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, a community embroiled in conflict and deeply in need of reminders of the Way of Love -- as are we. The prayers are inspired by the passage in Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians, often called the “love chapter” and frequently used at weddings. These marks of love, however, go beyond those of a single household. Imagine how they might transform a culture, a society, a nation, as you pray in the days ahead. 

Here is Friday’s prayer, to get you started:. Find the rest on the link above, or join in nightly compline at 7 p.m. to pray with your fellow parishioners as we walk, together, the Way of Love. For we walk with Jesus, who is the Light, and the Love, of the world.

Day 1: Love Guides Us 
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. 

The Rev. Dr. Rosemary Beales
Interim Rector
Children and Youth Formation
Children and Families
Children: Godly Play will resume on January 17! 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.

EYC
SECOND and FOURTH SUNDAY: Zoom EYC resumes!
January 23: 6-6:45 Middle School; 6:45-7:30 High School.

OUTREACH: January 17th, 12:00-1:00pm (combined Middle/High School event.) Assembling blessing bags for distribution to people along Route 1 (socks, water, hygiene items, etc.) To comply with Diocesan gathering guidelines, a maximum of 10 youth attendees will be allowed. Sign-up Genius link will be distributed in monthly family email.

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, Jan. 17 Commemoration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, Jan. 20 - Prayer Service for Inauguration Day, 10 a.m. Zoom Link will be sent this Sat with our other service links for the week.

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: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080C44ADAE2FA13-staidans1.
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 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 Feb. 13-14 and drop off your contributions into
Give From Your Heart marked bins. Your groceries will go to a local food pantry for the needy and serve as an alternative for the annual
Mardi Gras Luncheon. Just as we would have begun Luncheon decorating at 11:00am on Sat. Feb. 13, the food bins will open for your donations. And just as we would have at 1:00pm on Sun. Feb. 14, completed clean up after our famed Luncheon, the bins will close and be taken to the food bank. Thank you one and all for participating in Give From Your Heart. 
Questions / concerns: email Sally and Charlie Chadbourn at Schadbou@aol.com

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.
 
The next Red Bag collection will take place on January 9, 2021. 
If you would like to sign up for this program, visit their website https://www.foodforneighbors.org/

MISSING THE THEATRE? 
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 Link
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!
Worship
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. staidansalexandria@gmail.com
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.