St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA

Parish News - October 19, 2022

Masks are now optional during the service

To St. John's Parishioners and Friends -

From the Deacon:

Greetings from Shrine Mont! As I write this note, we have just finished the Deacon’s Retreat Weekend and are starting the Clergy and Lay Leaders Retreat. I have much to share about this weekend but first I want to thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes as I recovered from Covid and waited to test negative which I did just in time to participate in the Deacon’s Retreat. At this retreat, we had time with Bishop Elect Stevenson. Mostly discussion with questions and answers but as the discussion began, he made a statement I found to be extremely meaningful and important; that he and we as followers of Jesus Christ (and I’m paraphrasing) “We should ask ourselves, how would Jesus do this”. Make every action or decision through the eyes, mind and heart of Jesus Christ and in doing so care for the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the hungry. The great news is St. John’s is following Jesus’ heart. David Weir has completed the parish survey questionnaire and analysis which supports this conclusion. Please take a hard look at his brief and analysis of the survey at the link in this e-notes and if you have any questions, please ask David.  

Also from the retreat, the Diocese announced they will be conducting a Discernment Retreat Nov 4-6 at the retreat center in Richmond Hill. This will be open to anyone or any church group discerning their call to serve God whether as ordained clergy or in lay ministry. If you would like to participate, please let me know so I can make the recommendation to the diocese. 


Rev Deacon Steve

Bench Installation & Dedication this Sunday, October 23, immediately following the service.

This Sunday, DAR members have been invited to attend our service and stay for the dedication of the bench they are giving to St. John's. Some members of the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) will be in attendance in period uniform as well. Deacon Steve Busch will offer a short prayer of dedication and invite the DAR to make comments.


was a big success and enjoyed by all. 

Thanks go to the volunteers that worked together to make it happen: Susie & Larry Pike, David & Penny Parker, John, Val, & Kristen Tucker, Jean Makurat, Gail Weirich, Durinda Smith, and Sandy Jones. Thanks also, to the Woodchuckers led by Andrew Wade who prepared fresh firewood bundles for sale, and to all of those that baked goodies for the bake table.

An extra big thank you goes to Rev. Philene Ware Dunn, who took the time to come and be our pet blessing celebrant. She blessed approximately 15 pets and significant others, including “Bat Man” and “Puff the Magic Dragon”. It was a great time. Thank you!

Fire-wood Fundraiser for Outreach

has started ! Bigger Bundles this year! The Woodchucks have been out chopping, and there is a lot of wood in store! $10 for a large bundle, $25 for 3 large bundles! Right outside the front door. There are envelopes available - please drop envelopes in our mailbox adjacent to the wood.

    The Courage to Confront the Impossible


“They did not know it was impossible, so they did it.”


                                   Mark Twain  

  The country faced dark and dangerous times. The very existence of the national government and way of life was in doubt. The nation’s citizens were up against a ruthless dictator who possessed a modern, powerful military. The year was 1940, the place Britain.  Hitler’s forces had already defeated and nearly annihilated the British Army at Dunkirk. The British Navy was of limited use in preventing an amphibious and airborne attack across the English Channel.  The German High Command prepared for the invasion of England by assembling tanks, artillery, and over 250,000 Nazi soldiers on the beaches of France. All that remained was the defeat of the British Air Force by the German Luftwaffe.

  The outmatched English Fighter Command put up unexpectantly fierce resistance.  The invading Luftwaffe bombers and fighters ravaged London and military bases but could not gain control of the English airspace.  Over a three-month period, the British Air Force was able to deter a ground invasion but at a staggering cost.  Over 1,500 pilots lost their lives, more than 20,000 civilians were killed, and 1,744 aircraft were destroyed.  The war continued and Britain faced a new crisis. The German Luftwaffe was rebuilding its’ combat air fleet, but Britain did not have enough metals to replace the lost fighters and bombers. The new problem seemed impossible to solve.  Trade routes to Europe were cut off because of the Nazi occupation and American supply ships were under constant attacks by German U-Boats.

  A British aircraft designer named Geoffrey de Havilland decided it was time tackle the impossible. He set about to produce a new British airplane that would be faster and more versatile than anything the Luftwaffe had in their inventory. His work paid off when a radically new plane rolled off the assembly lines. It was called the Mosquito. The new aircraft could out class any German fighter or bomber. What made the Mosquito so unique was it was made almost entirely out of wood! The Mosquito was a muti-purpose air frame that could be outfitted as a fighter, a bomber, or a reconnaissance aircraft. The German Luftwaffe was so impressed with the Mosquito they called it the “wooden wonder”.  German aeronautical engineers even tried but failed to duplicate a wooden aircraft of their own.

  It is not unusual for impossible situations to crop up in our lives. We may despair when the news is disheartening, work unfulfilling, or family dynamics draining. Despite these seemly impossible situations, God’s presence is never far away.

  The bible recounts how King Hezekiah was faced with an impossible decision. The Assyrian leader Sennacherib laid siege to Jerusalem with his vast Army. The siege brought about starvation conditions inside the walls of the city. The Assyrian King sent his messengers to chide the people of the city not to trust Hezekiah or that Yahweh would protect them. Hezekiah thought his only choices were to surrender this people to captivity or face the onslaught of the Assyrian military. A distraught Hezekiah went to the Temple he had recently restored from idol worship and prayed for deliverance from the hand of Sennacherib.

  Hezekiah’s prayer was answered by the Prophet Isaiah who assured the King his prayer was heard, and God would defend Jerusalem. The bible records the siege ended when “the angel of the Lord set out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians.” It should be noted the miraculous delivery came only after the actions of King Hezekiah to restore the Temple and seek God’s mercy.

  As we close out this year’s pledge drive, it should be remembered you are an important part of the future of St John’s. The decisions each of us make for a commitment of our time, talent, and treasure will have a profound impact on St John’s continuing work for the Kingdom of God.  The work for the Kingdom of God may seem impossible at times, but once we act it is good to remember:

 “For nothing will be impossible with God

Luke 1:37

By David Weir

Sunday School Volunteers Needed - Planning Meeting this Sunday, October 23rd!


St. John’s is very focused on ensuring that we attract young families to the church and one of the ways we hope to do that is by getting our Sunday School program started again! Currently we have a few young families who are interested in having their children attend class, so we just need a few volunteers to help teach. We have already purchased a curriculum, so we just need a few volunteers who can commit to teaching the little ones one Sunday per month. If you are interested, please join us at an information session after the service on Sunday, October 23rd in the rector's office. At this meeting we will develop a schedule for the remainder of the school year and also share the new curriculum. 

We welcomed The Rev. Philene Ware Dunn on April 24 to St. John's, and she is the priest celebrating the Sunday services. She will be here on Sunday mornings only and will work with Deacon Steve on any pastoral concerns.

Bishop's Blend Coffee

After the Service - Coffee Hour Is Back!

If you would like to sign up to bring coffee hour "snacks" in the coming weeks click SUNDAY SNACK SIGN UP

                     St. John’s Parish Survey Results



The results of St John’s Discernment Committee Parish Survey can be viewed at the following You Tube Link:

Comments or questions about the survey can be posted on the St John’s You Tube Channel or emailed to

David Weir,

Chair, Discernment Committee

We have all seen the horrors of the war in Ukraine. If you would like to help those in need, Episcopal Relief and Development is working closely with a group that is on the ground in Ukraine. You can make a contribution on their website at Please continue to keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers.

A Prayer for all those involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
God of peace and justice, we pray for the people of Ukraine today. We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons. We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow, that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them. We pray for those with power over war or peace, for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions. Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear, that you would hold and protect them. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen
(written by Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop Stephen Cottrell)
Centreville Immigration Forum and Labor Resource Center
Volunteer & Intern Opportunities
Volunteer in these areas:
  •  Administration / Community Outreach / Database Management Marketing Committee / Personnel Committee / Fundraising
  • Our new volunteer orientations are a great way to meet the staff and hear more about our current volunteer needs.
  •  Please fill out the Intake form by going to the link below, and we will reach out to you shortly with information about the next information session. (Be sure to read our Code of Ethics before filling out the form!)
  •  Join us in action as we make Centreville a model of how day laborers and the community can work together!
Top Items Currently Needed by
The Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter
Toothpaste / Shampoo / Conditioner / Body Wash /
Bar Soap / Hand Soap / Deodorant
The items may be dropped off at the box in the office.
The Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter is located nearby and currently house up to 12 families onsite, 12 families in hotel sites and serve over 40 families in their prevention and rapid rehousing programs. Seeking volunteers for: On-call movers , Volunteer Shelter Assistant
If you are interested in these opportunities, please contact Rev. Deacon Steve at who will coordinate with KKHFS Community Coordinator to get you started.

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries updated list of the foods that they need the most. You can bring your non-perishable items to the church on Sunday mornings, or drop them off in the box outside the door by the breezeway during the week and they will be delivered to WFCM.

Most needed items in the food pantry this month: OCTOBER


·    Pasta Sauce 

·    Canned Mixed Vegetables (low salt preferred) 

·    Canned Corn (low salt preferred)

·    Refried Beans

·    Dried Beans (all types)

·    Pasta

·    Flavored Pasta (Pasta Helper)

·    Flour

·    Vegetable Oil

·    Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste

·    Flavored Rice 

·    Family Size Boxed Cereal

·    Ramen soup

·    Mac & Cheese 

·    Ketchup and Mayo (family size not miniature packs)

·    Toiletries: body wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, feminine pads, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotion, toilet paper (NOTE: we are not currently in need of diapers size 0-5 due to our partnership with Greater DC Diaper Bank. Please only donate size 6 diapers or larger size pull ups size 4T/5T for toddlers if you want to donate items for babies.)


As a reminder, we accept food and toiletry donations Monday - Friday 8-10 am at 4511 Daly Drive Suite H (Back Door) and on the second Saturday monthly 9-11 am. 

The services continue to be live streamed at 9:30 AM on Sunday morning, and they can be watched later as well. On Saturday, we will resend the link, along with a link for the bulletin and the lectionary class.


SIGN UPS - Volunteers Support our Sunday Service

  • Lectors read the lessons, ushers greet and help with the service
  • Lay Eucharistic Visitors help visit our sick and shut-ins who would like communion at their home (see Deacon Steve for this),
  • Altar Guild members help prepare for our worship service (see Marcia Evans or another A.G. member)

Sunday service reader or usher We welcome and value your help! The lector reads the 2 lessons and the psalm. The usher hands out bulletins and brings the elements and offering to the altar.


Altar Flowers

When you sign up, please indicate how you wish your flower donation to appear in the Sunday bulletin.


The Adult Lectionary Forum - IN PERSON & ON ZOOM

is held after the Sunday service. All are invited to join in, following the Sunday service, in the library. Or use the link to the Lectionary Forum via Zoom, in case you cannot attend in person. Here is the current login link, which runs through December:

We can prepare our hearts & minds by reading ahead

for the Sunday Service lesson.

The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

October 23, 2022

The First Reading: Joel 2:23-32

The prophet Joel tells God’s people of the signs that will signal the Lord’s presence. They are both comforting events and frightening signs.

The Psalm: 65, BCP, p. 672

The Second Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

The Apostle Paul offers his last will and testament. Showing faithfulness even in the end, he is eager for the kingdom of God.

The Gospel: Luke 18:9-14

Jesus tells a parable to illustrate the humble spirit to which God responds and the haughty spirit that God despises.

Online Contributions
 to St. John's
St. John's now offers three buttons for online donations via You may use the buttons below to go directly to, or you may download the app on your phone or tablet.
The Pledge payment button may be used only to make your pledge payment (after signing up to be a pledger, which may be done at any time in the year. See Carol or Vestry)
The Facility Campaign button may be used only for any contribution for the facility's buildings and grounds, or special facility campaigns.
The Donation button may be used for any other type of donation to St. John's. To designate a special purpose (i.e. Organ Fund, Ministry Partner payments, etc.) please send a note to
PLEDGE payment
FACILITY campaign

Sale of Bishop Goff’s Art Opens

We are pleased to announce the opening of an auction and sale of art by Bishop Susan Goff. Many have admired Bishop Goff’s creative expressions, and you now have the opportunity to own a piece that speaks to you artistically and spiritually. She has generously provided 33 of her original works for an art sale, the proceeds from which will be used to support the Bishop Goff Fund for Racial Justice Initiatives. 


The sale is being hosted by Gala-Bid, and can be accessed at Celebration of Bishop Susan Goff - GalaBid. The site will be accepting bids through 6:30 p.m., November 12. To place a bid, you will have to register with the site. Payment can be made by providing a credit card through the site’s payment processing platform, and buyers will be able to indicate arrangements for receiving their purchases. Questions about the art or the auction can be submitted to the “Contact Host” button at the left sidebar on the auction site.


Other Ways to Celebrate Bishop Goff

Letters of Appreciation

Many people wish to share words of appreciation for Bishop Goff’s ministry among us. The Transition Committee will be collecting your writings, printing them, and collating them in a book that she can enjoy and revisit often in the years ahead. You may choose your personal or congregational stationery. Feel free to contribute brief cards or longer letters. These letters of memories and expressions of care can be sent via email to or by post (in a flat envelope, letter unfolded), to: Cindi Bartol, 3709 Fort Worth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Please send your contributions by November 8, so we have sufficient time to print, collate, and assemble the book.

Gifts to Bishop Goff’s Retirement and Travel Fund

When ordained clergy retire, it is traditional to gather financial gifts, known as a "purse," from grateful disciples among us. Bishop Goff has expressed an interest in travel following her retirement, so her "purse" would support this well-deserved interest. These gifts may be made using the diocesan online giving portal or by check, made out to the Diocese of Virginia, memo line "Bishop Goff's purse," and mailed to The Diocese of Virginia, 110 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220.

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