The Epistle
June 9, 2021
THE GIFT OF LIFE
Dear St. Aidan’s family,

This week, I donated blood for the first time in a couple of years. I say this not to brag, but to share with you my awe at the technology, science, and commitment to the common good that makes such a marvel possible.

This was my 107th donation, and I am so grateful for the good health that allows me to pass on to others the gift that I have done nothing to earn. Jesus said to his disciples, “You received without payment; give without payment.” (Matthew 10:8)

My sister Bernadette was a professor of hematology (the study of blood), and her death from pancreatic cancer in 2015 was a loss not just to our family but to the world of medicine. She could have explained why my AB+ blood and its components, and the fact that I lack a common antibody to something called CMV that makes my blood ideal for fragile newborns, are so important. For me, it’s enough to know that others know the science and that, while my body gets older every day, my blood is fresh and young, and able to save the life of a stranger.

It’s that last bit that really thrills me and fills me with a mystical kind of joy that the apostle Paul might have felt in his meditations on the body of Christ: “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” (Romans 12:4-5) 

I’m sure the experts who understand all the science of blood donation aren’t thinking, as I do, “this is my blood, given for you,” but I know YOU understand how powerful the feeling of sharing blood is. I also know that many, many people are unable to give for one reason or another, which makes my participation in this simple effort even more important for me. For a long time, the Red Cross did not accept my blood because of an early-stage cancer in my history; but when their criteria changed, I became a fervent advocate and donor.

I do not want to pressure anyone to give blood, but if you are able (16 or older, in reasonably good health, and meet other criteria), please do consider giving the gift of life. From start to finish, including a brief screening, the process takes less than an hour of your time, and you are giving time to someone else.
Plus, you get cookies and juice! And sometimes an awesome T-shirt ☺

The Rev. Dr. Rosemary Beales
Interim Rector
Discernment News
The discernment committee is delighted to announce an exciting step forward in our process. As of last week, updates to the website have gone live and our community ministry portfolio has been posted on the diocesan site for priests in transition. This means that from now through July 20, we will be receiving applications from potential candidates for rector. The diocese asks us to wait until all applications are in before beginning to review them. We will review applications in late July and early August, then prepare to interview candidates.

Your participation in the parish self-study made it possible for the committee to craft our portfolio and make enhancements to the website. Thanks to all who were with us last Sunday to hear how those products of everyone’s efforts have come together. 

Please do visit the newly updated website at staidansepiscopal.com! It is crisp and clear, easy to navigate, and more robust than ever in depicting the worship, ministry, and community life we share at St. Aidan’s. Thank you to all who shared your knowledge and experience to help round out the St. Aidan’s story. An especially enthusiastic thank you to Russ Bradley, whose tireless efforts brought a new vision for the website to fruition, and to Mary Jane Guffey, who brought to the discernment process a background in website design we knew nothing about until we needed that expertise!

Whether or not you were with us on Sunday, please reach out to a member of the committee if you have thoughts or questions about where we are and what’s next. While the portfolio is complete, the website will continue to evolve as our ministries evolve, and what we continue to hear from you will be important to have with us in our conversations with applicants.

In closing, here is a poem we shared on Sunday that we find grounding for our work and the way we undertake it. 

The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
William Stafford
Looking Ahead
This Sunday, June 13th.....Lemonade on the Lawn will happen but we are in need of a parishioner to help with clean up. Just let Christina Mazzanti know when you see her at church on Sunday that you are that person. Thank you!

Save the date! Please mark your calendar for Sunday, August 1 and join us for a reception following the morning service for Ted Renaud, who will begin classes soon at Virginia Theological Seminary. We will continue to be Ted's "home parish" and support him in his journey toward ordination. We are happy to say that Ellen, Kyra and Chloe will continue as active members here. We will also be collecting donations for a purse. Checks should be made out to St Aidan's with "Ted Renaud" in the memo line. Contact Kathy Seikel or Carol Horn with any questions. Thank you.
Links for Birthdays and Anniversaries
If you are not yet attending morning worship in person and would like your birthdays &/or anniversaries to be remembered, please use this link to let us know.
Send your requests to the office by Friday morning. Thank you!

Children and Youth Formation
Youth and Family events will be offered once a month during the summer. Come out and celebrate summer with warm weather games and activities! All events are planned to take place outdoors. In the case of inclement weather, they will be moved indoors and notification of a change will be via Facebook and email.

Family Game Days
(PreK-5th Gr., parents encouraged to attend): 12-1pm
June 20
July 18
August 15

EYC (Gr. 6-12): 7-8:30pm
June 25-Bring a lawn chair
July 16-Bring a towel
August 13-Wear clothes that can get dirty
Social Justice, Meeting tonight at 7:30 pm
Our 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 15 and 16. For more information, please contact 
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."

"What critical race theory is -- and isn't"
By Faith Karimi, CNN
Capital Campaign Refresh
Here is the link to tell us where and when YOU can help get St. Aidan's buildings and grounds ready for our next chapter. Thank you.
Flower Ministry
Many thanks to those who have provided floral arrangements or donations for flowers since we have returned to indoor worship. This is a generous way to remember a loved one or give thanks for a blessing. Your dedication, thanksgiving,
or memorial will be noted in the bulletin. You are welcome to either create an arrangement or donate money for purchased flowers.
Only through your generosity will we have flowers on the altar. 


*If attending in person services, please note we also have a hard copy for signing up,
on the main bulletin board in the narthexalthough it's still best to sign up via the Sign Up Genius. Thank you.
Community Outreach
woman_grocery_shopping.jpg
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.

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In addition to the food drive, we are asking for the following items to be donated for the Artemis House, a shelter in Fairfax County for families and individuals fleeing domestic violence. Artemis House provides crisis intervention and temporary housing in apartment-style units in an undisclosed "safe-house" location. There will be a separate bin on the breezeway labeled Artemis House for these items:
  • body wash-Lg
  • feminine wash-Lg
  • bar soap
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • lotion
  • razors
  • powder
  • pillows
  • clorox wipes
  • towels (hand and bath)
  • pillow cases
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • combs
  • brushes
  • Gift Cards(Giant, Safeway, Wegmans, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart) amount up to the donor.
  • Gas gift cards- amount up to the donor.
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 end of May - $109,625
Received to date (May 20) - $75,720
Thank You for your support of this amazing community!
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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 M/W/F 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.