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Letter from Rector Ann Barker 3/19/20

3/19/2020

March 19, 2020

Dear People of St. John’s,

Though we are apart right now, we remain the St. John’s family. Please continue to lift each other, our church, and our world up to prayer during this difficult time. We know that each of us is being affected in different ways by the corona virus pandemic, some much more than others. To minimize the risk of exposure for any of us, Bishop Goff has determined that we will not have worship together at least through Easter. I will make every effort to keep in touch with people by phone and email as we spend time apart. I will also begin posting and/or emailing (and mailing by USPS) a sermon each week and possibly other material. You may wish to participate in a weekly online virtual service offered by The Washington National Cathedral at 11:15 am on Sunday mornings. The link is https://cathedral.org/worship/weekly-services/ .

So many of us are worried about our health and our livelihood. I encourage everyone to follow the CDC guidelines to keep ourselves and others safe. We are now all responsible for the well-being of one another, and this is the time to walk with Christ and care for our neighbors. If you know someone who is elderly or health-compromised, reach out to them. Help where you can. Make a phone call to ease the isolation. Donate to food banks or offer to drop off food. We need to do all we can to be disciples of Jesus. God rejoices when we do good works for others.

If you yourself could use that help, our St. John’s community will do what we can to support you. If you are a parishioner who may be available to drop off groceries or prescriptions to someone in our community who needs help, please let me know, and I will connect you.

This is a time of great uncertainty for us as a church. Amidst the uncertainty though, we still need your financial support. Bills still need to be paid. We will most likely lose some income from the Seventh Day Adventist Church as we have been advised not to allow them to use the church. With the value of our investments substantially reduced because of the stock market drop, this is the worst time to have to withdraw money to cover operating expenses. So please, if at all possible, keep sending your periodic pledges. If you can give more or just earlier in the year, we would really appreciate it, as we will be losing plate offering every week, including our large Easter plate offering. If you typically put an offering in the plate, you can write a check instead to St. John’s. And if you can contribute more than usual, again we would be very grateful.

You can send checks to St. John’s Episcopal Church at 415 S. Lexington St., Arlington, VA 22204.

Our community is so important to us. In this time of virtual community, when we are physically apart, remember that God is with us, holding us tightly, blessing us and helping us cope. Please reach out to me for anything you may need, even if it is just to talk, at703-671-6834 (work), 703-532-3936 (home) or 703-622-2373 (cell). You can also email me at rector@stjohnsarlingtonva.org.

Thank you for being an important part of St. John’s.

Blessings,

Ann+

Click for PDF Version of the letter


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