The Epistle
April 28, 2021
SPRING CLEANING
Dear St. Aidan’s family,

There is a magical moment I look forward to every spring. I live in an apartment in Kingstowne that backs up to the woods; it was one of my criteria when apartment-hunting that I had a view of nature and not just parking lots. In fact, “the woods” is a narrow strip of trees and foliage fringing a steep gully, where a creek runs when there has been enough rain, and where foxes and spring peepers announce their presence this time of year. On the other side of the gully are another set of apartment buildings, visible from late fall until . . . . just about this time of year. Yesterday I looked out my back windows and found the moment had arrived, when I can no longer see my neighbors across the gully and can imagine I live at the edge of deep woods.

Why does this matter? I like the sense of being sheltered by living, breathing trees. I like the sense of community with living creatures from chipmunks to Cooper’s hawks, sparrows to squirrels, from the cardinals who make a spectacle of themselves to the woodpeckers that I can often hear but rarely see. I find the growing green outside my windows is a calming respite from the daily news cycle and the never-ending to-do list.

Just as the trees and other living, green things clean our air -- recycling our exhaled carbon dioxide into the oxygen we need to breathe -- living among the “woods” can clean my mind. Not all of us can engage in “forest bathing” to the extent we would like, but all of us can take a minute to gaze on greenery, to tend to our gardens or houseplants, and to reconnect with the little piece of nature God has given us. We are, after all, part of that vast natural web, creatures united with all of creation. Happy spring cleaning!

The Rev. Dr. Rosemary Beales
Interim Rector
Looking Ahead
May 9th - Rev Rosemary will be taking a much needed day off and we'd like to tell you a bit about our supply priests that will be celebrating with us on that day.
At our 9:30 service we will have Fr. Michael B. Guy Sr., S.T.S.
A little about him - he finished the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in
May 1998 and was ordained a priest in January 1999. Fr. Guy served congregations in
New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. He has been serving as an interim since 2018. His calls since have been senior interim pastor for Resurrection Lutheran Church, Arlington, VA, interim rector Grace Episcopal, Alexandria, VA., and supply priest for St. Margaret Episcopal, Woodbridge, VA. He is retired Navy and a former trauma physician assistant. He has two children and six grandchildren.

At our 5:30 service we will have the Rev. Jeremy Means-Koss
A little about him - Having done his field education with the St. Aidan’s community, the Rev. Jeremy Means-Koss is very excited to be returning to guest celebrate and preach on the 9th. Fr. Jeremy is currently serving as the long-term Supply Priest for Epiphany Episcopal Church in Herndon, VA. In addition, Fr. Jeremy has started a digital ministry https://goodtheology.life. A graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, Fr. Jeremy also holds degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary, King’s London, and American University. Before entering ministry he held numerous roles in student affairs/higher education. And in his personal life, Fr. Jeremy is an avid Harry Potter fan and Star Trek fan. 

May 23rd - Pentecost
We will be reading the scripture in assorted voices and would love help from our parishioners who speak other languages. If you are interested in reading a portion of the scripture in your 2nd language and in person at the 9:30 service on May 23rd, please reach out to Eileen or Rev Rosemary. Thank you.
Links for Attending In Person Services
Please sign up with the links below for our 2 in person services.
Links to join us virtually will be sent in our usual
Saturday morning E-News.

If you'd don't already receive the Saturday E-news but would like to be added,
please send a request to Eileen in the office.

*******
Sunday, May 2, 9:30 am In person service

*******
Sunday, May 2, 5:30 pm Celtic In person service

*******
Due to the virtual participation being less interactive we'd like to compile the names of anyone sharing a birthday or anniversary in advance.
Please use this link if you'd like your birthdays &/or anniversaries
to be remembered during the 9:30 service.
Send your requests to the office by Friday at noon.
Thank you!

*we will have a form available at the welcome table
for those attending in person to add their name/s as well.
Children and Youth Formation
Stay tuned for family formation email next week

Families with children from preschool-5th grade are invited to outdoor game days on the THIRD Sundays, 12:00-1:00pm (adults and children welcome!).

EYC: Second and Fourth Sundays, 12:00-1:00pm
Join us for outdoor games and a lesson!

Until we begin regathering for children's formation next fall, recorded Godly Play stories will be posted to the St. Aidan's website under the education tab.
This is a great chance to experience these stories as a family.
They are as valuable for adults as for children!
Adult Formation:
Social Justice and Racial Reconciliation
Meeting tonight at 7:30 pm
This Wednesday our newly formed Social Justice and Racial Reconciliation committee, in partnership with Adult Formation,
invites you to discuss the book
How to Be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi.

We meet on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm via Zoom.
See the link to join in last Saturday’s E-news. We discuss two short chapters each week, focusing this week on Chapters 3 and 4. For more information, please contact Ted Renaud or Lianne LaFleur.
All are welcome, whether you have participated in earlier sessions or not, whether you have read the book or not! Join us as we learn together.

We hope you will consider joining these conversations as we
learn together  and strive to live out our baptismal vow to 
"respect the dignity of every human being."

*********
A parishioner recently shared this article from last week's Washington Post, which looks at the role of Christians within the need for reparations

Environmental Stewardship
graphic-fist-globe.gif
EARTH DAY IS EVERY DAY
Every day is a good day to care for the planet on which we depend for our very lives. In recognition of our call to serve and care for God’s creation (Genesis 2:15), the Vestry has created an Environmental Stewardship ministry. Many of you take part in caring for the beautiful natural landscape surrounding our church, but our stewardship of creation goes far beyond these acres as we care for “this fragile earth, our island home” (Eucharistic Prayer C). Here are some resources from the national Episcopal Church to help each of us engage in the care of creation. For more information, please contact Jesse Forbes or Ted Boling, and watch for upcoming earth-friendly events. 
Capital Campaign - Helping to Secure Our Future

Thanks this week go to Peter and Mary Jaye, Mary Jane, Mike and Jonathan for picking up those rollers and brushes and painting the first of three hallways. Beautiful work and what a difference it made! The hallway looks so bright and clean. If you have some time and energy to share, sign-up slots are still available. Sign up here. And thank you to all who have contributed time and treasure to the Capital Campaign. 

If you have some time and energy to share, sign-up slots are still available. Sign up here. And thank you to all who have contributed time and treasure to the Capital Campaign. 

Center for Spiritual Deepening offering
A Morning of Remembrance, Blessing, and Thanksgiving

Saturday, May 8, 2021
10:00 am – 12:00 pm (EDT)
 
Join us for a socially distanced, in-person gathering on the beautiful grounds of St. Aidan’s for a time of Remembrance, Blessing, and Thanksgiving. Through music, meditation, poetry, walking, and praying, we 'll make space to recall and acknowledge what has been a part of the time we are living in—both the sorrows and the joys. We’ll make our way through remembrance, reflect on where we find blessings, and imagine what it can look like to go forward with deep gratitude for what we love, what nourishes us, and what we have learned.
 
Bring a water bottle, a journal, a Bible, a sketchbook, a lawn blanket...whatever might enrich the quiet moments.
 
Registration is not required, but you may help us get a rough
sense of numbers by sending us a note at info@centerforspiritualdeepening.org to express interest or
to ask any questions you may have.
All are welcome!
Join the Flower Team!
We'd love to expand our team of
Flower members to create bouquets
for the Altar.



Parishioners can once again support this effort by making donations. Your dedication or memorial will be noted in the bulletin.

Shrine Mont Camps
Shrine Mont Camps are open this summer! Yes, really!
It’s a great way to have fun outdoors, make friends, and connect with God. Even if you have other camp plans this summer, there's nothing like the Shrine Mont experience! Ask any former camper. 
Sessions are for 8-14 and 15-17-year-olds,
with sessions running July 3-July 30. 
There is also St. Elizabeth’s camp for campers who are neuro atypical, which is looking to hire volunteer (age15+) and paid counselors (18+)

 
St. Aidan’s has a scholarship fund and is pleased to offer a small stipend
to encourage parish youth in Christian formation.
Email staidansalexandria@gmail.com if you are interested. 
Community Outreach - Food Collection
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,
cereal and diapers in all sizes.
*Besides the non perishables they have also requested the need for toiletries and feminine products
(specifically deodorant, tooth brushes, toothpaste & sanitary napkins).
The Outreach Committee greatly appreciates the ongoing efforts of the
St. Aidan’s community to provide food for those in need.

**********
You may also sign up for a program called Food for Neighbors. This group delivers a Red Bag to donors that includes a specific list of items they need. They collect the bags from your home bi-monthly on a Saturday and distribute the food to families in need. For additional information on the program and to sign up please visit the following website: https://www.foodforneighbors.org
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.

Total annual pledge budget through March - $65,775
Received to date (April 2nd) - $54,362
Thank You for your support of this amazing community!
********
We are happy to report we now have a Make a Donation here button on the St Aidan's website. You will find the Donate button on
the Giving page under the Pledge button.
We still encourage parishioners to Pledge so our budget
can be planned in advance but this new format gives us all options.
Thank you.
Worship
We worship in person and virtually on Sunday at 9:30 am and 5:30 pm
as well as every weeknight evening at 7:00 pm (virtual only).
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 in person and virtually on Sundays at 9:30 am and 5:30 pm (Celtic). We also offer evening prayer every weeknight at 7:00 pm (virtual only). 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.