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Weekly Newsletter

Sowing Seeds Capital Campaign Concludes

At the beginning of the year, the parish received an invitation to contribute to the Sowing Seeds Capital Campaign in the Biblical spirit of bounty, “The one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians (9:6) If ever there was a snapshot of bounty, it would be each of you, and collectively the St. Michael’s community! You gave generously, sacrificially, and some of you, more than once. Our goal was $65,000. To date, we have commitments totaling $143,994, and participation from a majority of our households. Thank you for making such a profound and faithful commitment to God and this community. 
The Vestry and I are humbled, and have begun the process of thoughtfully stewarding these resources. Our first priority is to repay the $100,000 loan we borrowed from the Diocesan Missionary Society, prior to launching the campaign, as the roofs were falling in and we needed to act quickly. We have an aggressive repayment plan, with intentions to repay the loan in full prior to the balloon payment in 2026. Our second priority is to complete a few, small remaining projects, and seed the Major Maintenance Fund, which makes allowances for the upkeep of aging buildings. The Vestry has also made a commitment to take the next five years to make an annual contribution to this fund in our Mission Spend Plan (budget). Contingency funding is often the first thing to go when a budget is lean. Long term, this only creates more problems. We will slowly and methodically build up these funds to ensure our buildings continue to be well cared for. 
Finally, we will make a substantial contribution to the St. Michael’s Endowment Fund. We borrowed $130,000 from the corpus of the Endowment to complete the renovations. This is exactly what these funds were intended to do, and we are grateful we were able to rely on the generosity of those who have gone before us. The endowment both supports our annual Mission Spend Plan, and provides a firm financial foundation for the future. The Vestry is committed to maintaining these funds, and hopes you might consider doing the same. (Please see the note below from the St. Michael’s Endowment Board.) 
St. Michael’s, it’s been a crazy few years in our lives, our community, and the world. There are many ways in which I am in awe of you. More than doubling our goal and rate of participation for a capital campaign is near the top of the list. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 
You are Loved. You were missed. You are a blessing. 


Worship This Sunday, September 18

Shrine Mont Parish Retreat; Morning Prayer at 9 AM in Arlington 

Please note this will be a spoken service (no music) or communion, as many will be attending worship at Shrine Mont for our parish retreat on Sunday. 

There will not be a virtual offering this Sunday. 

At this time we will continue to ask that all attendees of indoor worship wear masks, preferably well-fitting N95 or KN95 masks. Wearing masks makes our in-person gatherings as safe as possible for all, especially those who are at higher risk for contracting COVID. Masks are available at all entrances to the building for anyone who may need to make use of them. We appreciate your thoughtfulness in caring for your neighbor.

Collect for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost 

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Fall Worship Schedule: Please Respond by Sept. 18

During the months of June, July, August, and September we have committed to one worship service at 9 AM. As you are likely aware, this was a change from the rhythm of an 8 AM and 10 AM service from many years prior. The Vestry’s decision to make this change was based on the observation and challenge of finding ministers of worship to serve on a regular basis at both services. Our liturgy is the work of the people, and if the people are not finding it life-giving, but burdensome, we have to honestly ask ourselves what is motivating these decisions. The question before us is what will best serve the community in this next chapter of life together. The pandemic undoubtedly changed some of our priorities and patterns of behavior. I think it’s important to speak aloud this reality as a part of our communal conversation. 
I hope coming to church on a weekly basis continues to be a part of your commitment to God, yourself, and this community. My intention is always to offer worship opportunities that are accessible and responsive to our community. Please take five minutes to complete this brief survey about your preference for schedule times, number of services, and COVID protocol over the next few months. Your input is vital as the vestry and I work to make sure our offerings are responsive to the needs of the community. 

St. Michael’s Endowment: Help Us Update our Records

The St. Michael’s Fund Board needs your help! If you have included St. Michael’s in your estate plans, please let us know. Even if you have notified the church in the past, marking the box will let us double check our records.
The St. Michael's Fund is one way current and past members of our community have given so the church has a firm financial foundation for the future. Endowment income and/or funds have supported essential repairs of church property, program development or expansion, and enhancement of outreach ministries. Some of the ways that people have given to the Fund is through memorial gifts, bequests in wills or trusts, and designation of St. Michael’s as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or other asset.
If you would like more information about the St. Michael’s Fund or the topic of planned giving, please reach out to any of us. And thank you for notifying us of any planned gifts so that in the years to come St. Michael’s can continue to progress in living more fully into our mission as God’s people.
Faithfully Yours, 
St. Michael's Fund Board Members: 
Molly French (Chair), Nora Kelleher, Keith McCartney, Demian Perry, and Bernadette Stout
Each week, this section of the newsletter will connect upcoming events to the ways in which beloved community is taking shape in our midst. 
In August I wrote to the congregation about our commitment to Becoming Beloved Community, and the ways in which it would serve as our guiding principle throughout the year. In case you missed it, you can read that letter here. Below you can find details about ways in which you can participate in Becoming Beloved Community. 

Traces of the Trade Viewing 

On Sunday, September 25 we will offer a parish-wide screening of the film that served as the inspiration for the creation of the Sacred Ground curriculum. In the feature documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide.
All are welcome for the screening in the parish hall at 4 PM, which will last 90 minutes, followed by a brief time of discussion in small groups. If you would find it helpful to have childcare available for this event, please let The Rev. Beth Franklin know. 

Pocket Practices

The focus of our pocket practice in this season after Pentecost is to practice becoming beloved. Each Sunday in worship we set aside a few minutes to connect with another in sharing a brief reflection as to how we are exploring our own belovedness. Pick up a card to take with you in worship on Sunday, or use the prompt found on our website at anytime. 

Sacred Ground Dialogue Circles Forming

Sacred Ground is a film-based dialogue series on race and faith that has made a tremendous impact in our community. Take two minutes to watch Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s invitation to participate in Sacred Ground.  
  • Sacred Ground is a sensitive, prayerful resource that creates space for difficult but respectful and transformative dialogue on race and racism.
  • It invites participants to walk back through history in order to peel away the layers that brought us to today, reflecting on family histories and stories, as well as important narratives that shape the collective American story.
  • It holds as a guiding star the vision of beloved community – where all people are honored and protected and nurtured as beloved children of God, where we weep at one another’s pain and seek one another’s flourishing.
Beginning the week of October 10, St. Michael’s will host dialogue circles on Wednesday evenings and Thursday afternoons. These groups will meet every other week, completing half of the 11 week curriculum in the fall, and resume in January after the holidays. Please register here to participate in a St. Michael’s Dialogue Circle. Additionally, The Diocese of Virginia will host online dialogue circles with participants from across the diocese beginning the week of September 11. You may register for one of those dialogue circles here. Please note: the content for the parish and diocesan offerings are identical. The participants—whether parish specific or diocesan wide—is the only difference. Please contact, The Rev. Beth Franklin with any questions. 

Voter Registration: Why it Matters and How You Can Help 

Did you know that, “People of color are a growing share of our nation’s population, making it more important that their voices are heard. Non-white people comprised more than 40 percent of the U.S. population in 2020, up from roughly 30 percent in 2010 and 20 percent in 1980.” (Source: The Brookings Institution
As we seek to repair the breach caused by racism, fellow parishioners have partnered with Reclaim Our Vote, a non-partisan organization whose mission is to empower under-represented voters to fully participate in elections. Post-card writing parties will focus on encouraging voters to register. Join us for one or all of the dates listed below. 
  • Tuesday, September 27 at 3 PM in the Parish Hall 
  • Sunday, October 2 at 4 PM in the Parish Hall 

XYZ Potluck Thursday, October 6

Join us, Thursday, October 6, for lunch in the parish hall—followed by a program. Gathering at 12:15. Lunch at 12:30. Note new modified potluck format: Bring a ready-to-serve dish to share and your own drink & table service. (We won’t be washing dishes or relying on disposables.)

Our 1:15 PM presentation: This past July, vestry member Beth Cavey took a physical and spiritual leap—walking the last 80 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. She will blend information about the historic significance of the Camino (pilgrimage) with her own experience. All are welcome, especially seniors. Masks required for the presentation. Contact: Evelyn Bence.

Worship Schedule through October 

Throughout the month of September, there are events in the life of our parish that are best facilitated by a single worship service that brings us together on Sunday morning (see below, and please mark your calendars!) We will continue with a 9 AM service through October 2. Any potential changes will be communicated prior to October 9.
  • September 18: Shrine Mont Parish Retreat 
  • September 25: St. Michael’s Sunday 
  • October 2: World Communion Sunday, joint services with Lomax AME Zion Church
Families with Children

Making Music: Third Sunday of the Month 

Over the coming months, I would like to invite our children to come participate in a fun music activity after church! Every 3rd Sunday of the month, at 10:15 AM sharp (while services remain at 9 AM), please come join me for some music and movement activities, which we’ll connect to the music we sing in church! We will kick this off at Shrine Mont this weekend on Saturday morning, during our program, then resume on Sunday, October 16.
All ages are welcome! I will adapt the activity based on the kids we have that day. Parents are welcome to participate as well!

Noel Warford, Music Minister

Discipleship Sunday: In kinship with our Neighbors

Last Sunday, St. Michael's community partners came to St. Michael's to engage and inform our parish on their work and St. Michael's volunteerism in support of our community and our neighbors. AFAC (Arlington Food Assistance Center), APAH (Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing), Doorways for Women and Families, Path Forward (formerly A-SPAN) and Inova participated in coffee hour for conversation about volunteer activities that encourage St. Michael's members of all ages be "doers" in partnership with our neighbors and community, not just "donors."  Sponsored by the Outreach Committee, we are also asking you to weigh in on our volunteer efforts by completing this three question survey.

Volunteers Needed: Fall Picnic at Sibert House on September 25 

St. Michael's is serving a Fall Picnic at Path Forward's Sibert House Apartments (1124 N. Kennebec St.) on Sunday, September 25, from 11:30 am-1:30 PM.  We need 5–6 volunteers to help set up and serve the food (Popeye's Chicken, salads, desserts and beverages) from 11:00 AM–2:00 PM. If you cannot make it, we invite 4 volunteers to provide a vegetable salad, fruit salad, dessert or beverage to serve 10 people.  Deliver all donations to St. Michael's by 9 AM on September 25. Contact Linda Kelleher at 703-346-9808 or to volunteer— or sign up on the sheet on the Outreach bulletin board in the hallway outside the Parish Hall. 
Sibert House residents are our neighbors living in Path Forward's permanent supportive housing community, a successful, cost-effective model that combines affordable housing with supportive services, that is helping our neighbors find jobs and live more stable, productive lives.  Please join us on September 25.

"Back to School" Cereal Drive in September

During the month of September, we are asking parishioners to bring donations of low sugar, low sodium cereal. Cereal is in high demand among clients of the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). According to AFAC's latest stats, they are feeding 2,400 families each week with the help of over 2,000 volunteers. Donations may be dropped off in the white AFAC box located in the narthex on Sunday mornings or dropped off at the parish office. For more details, please contact Helen Hines.

Inova Blood Drive at St. Michael’s

On Saturday October 15, 2022 Inova Blood Donor Services will be onsite with the bloodmobile from 9 AM until 2 PM. In honor of Kim Sutter, this is an opportunity to support our greater community. Details about the drive, including the sign up to make an appointment, can be found here.

Questions? Contact Dan Ruff.

Arts and Faith Upcoming Solo Exhibition: ‘Psalms Visualized’

Contemporary woodcuts by Florida printmaker Kreg Yingst are the subject of St. Michael’s fall exhibition, “Psalms Visualized,” which will open September 22 and run through October 20.
Ten framed full-color block prints of a selection of Psalms will hang in the Parish Hall. Images of these 10 and of an additional 10 color woodcuts—all hand-carved and hand-pulled through an antique press—also will be available in a more comprehensive online presentation that will include commentaries and devotions by Kreg, a playlist, a statement about Kreg’s artistic process, and resources. The online exhibition also will include a link to a pdf that can be downloaded and printed as an exhibition catalogue. 
Among the selections for in-person and online viewing are Psalms 23, 45, 46, 62, 117, 121, 138, and 150. As inspiration for his images, all of which are 6” x 4”, Kreg used just a verse or two from each Psalm to meditate upon daily, throughout the day, before rendering his contemplations into visual metaphors. His practice, likened to a kind of visio divina, he says, became “more nourish[ing] than an empty calorie of chocolate” and revealed to him “in the here and now” certain “deeper elements” not in the texts themselves. “For me, the Psalms, as difficult as they were to read and interpret, became a devotional, my artwork a prayer.”
Each of the woodcuts in the Parish Hall will be for sale.
Maureen Doallas
Curator, Arts & Faith Ministry
Copyright © 2022 St. Michael's Episcopal Church Arlington VA, All rights reserved.

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