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Weekly Update

The Prayers of the People

The Prayers of the People have always sought to do exactly what the name suggests—collect the prayers of the people who have gathered. Over time, we have come to rely on the familiar and beautiful language of prayers found in the Book of Common Prayer. While there is great comfort to be found in familiarity, we lose something by simply inserting names, and not taking advantage of the opportunity to reflect the greater struggles, celebrations, and living of life together in prayer. 

With the beginning of the ordinary time in our liturgical calendar, and our much anticipated return to the sanctuary, we will in fact invite these familiar words to wash over us, and hopefully nourish us anew as a gathered body. You will also find an addition towards the end of the petitions. Each month, we will include a collect that draws attention to one component of the many issues that still plague our society as we work towards racial reconciliation. For example, in the month of June we will pray for justice in the criminal system. I invite you to keep this prayer by your bedside or in a place where you might regularly lift it up. 

There is much in this world and in our local community that are worthy of our prayers. This past year has included a long overdue examination of the racial history of our country and church. While we are still searching for answers and a path forward toward reconciliation, communal prayer is one thing we do well. We must begin somewhere. My hope is that this opens a doorway—turning our attention to the many needs we might be called to voice in prayer. 

Lord you suffered at human hands the pain of false arrest, torture and unjust punishment, and you commended us to comfort those in prison.  Build a fire in your people, Lord, that we may never learn patience with prejudice or make peace with oppression, but that we may burn with zeal for justice, proportion, and equal protections under the law for all people.  In the name of him who died condemned.  Amen. [A prayer for Justice in the Criminal System] 

You are loved. You are missed. You are a blessing. 


New Worship Schedule begins THIS Sunday, June 6

Worship at 8 AM on the lawn: 

  • You will not need to pre-register to reserve a seat. Come! All are welcome, and there is ample space. 
  • In accordance with the CDC’s guidelines that the vaccinated do not need to mask outdoors, we will no longer require masks for outdoor services. Please be thoughtful when approaching others and responsive of personal needs to maintain distance or wear a mask. 

Worship at 10 AM in the sanctuary: 

  • Following the lifting of distancing requirements, we will not limit the capacity for this service. We will invite you to be thoughtful in choosing the proximity of a seat to your neighbor. 
  • To maximize airflow, windows in the sanctuary will be open and the auxiliary fan will run constantly during this service. However, because the air circulation is limited, we ask that everyone continue to wear a mask as a courtesy to those who are not yet eligible for a vaccine. 

Virtual Worship, 10 AM from the sanctuary: 

  • We will continue to make available a virtual option for those who prefer to worship remotely. This service will become less interactive, though still a Zoom meeting that invites participants to worship alongside those present in the sanctuary. 
  • This service will be recorded and available on our YouTube channel after the fact. 10 AM Liturgy of the Word Live on Zoom 
    Join Zoom Meeting here:
    (301) 715 8592
    Meeting ID: 829 5300 3225

Spiritual Communion at both services: 

  • We will continue with spiritual communion and abstain from physically receiving communion. The value in the sacrament of communion is that the body and blood of Christ are available to all, no matter what. That is not our current reality at this stage of life in the pandemic. We will return to receiving communion as a community once the sacrament is accessible to all. 
  • For those who feel a need to physically partake of communion, I am now able to provide pastoral home visits with the sacrament of communion. Please be in touch if this would be meaningful for you. 

Singing at both services: 

  • Congregational singing is now permitted and will be included at both services. 
  • The mechanics of singing suggests that air particles travel further when singing. Out of an abundance of caution, please wear your mask when singing, either indoors or outdoors. 

Coffee Hour: 

  • We have missed one another! You are invited to participate in a time of fellowship on the church lawn following the conclusion of the 8 AM and 10 AM services. At this time, we will not gather indoors for unmasked activities, like drinking coffee.  
  • We encourage you to BYOB to coffee hour, as we will not be sharing in a common carafe. 

Unfavorable Weather: 

  • In the event of unfavorable weather, or an unbearable plague of seasonal critters, we will have one service at 10 AM in the sanctuary, which will also be available virtually. 
  • Cancellation of the outdoor service will be announced on the home page of our website at least 90 minutes prior to the 8 AM start time. 

Children’s Offering 

Virtual lessons and accompanying activities focused on Compassion: Learning to Love Like God, will be available on a weekly basis. This content will be made available in the Sunday morning worship emails, and on our YouTube Channel.

Outreach Opportunity: A-SPAN Volunteer Gardeners Wanted on Sat. June 12

St. Michael's is creating raised-bed gardens for our A-SPAN neighbors (Arlington Street People's Assistance Network) in Westover. The frames for the gardens—using repurposed decking from the rectory—are already in place. St. Michael's volunteers are needed to move the soil from the street to the raised beds in the back of the building and to plant a variety of herbs, flowers and vegetables for our neighbors at Sibert House (1124 N. Kennebec St.). 

Date:  Sat, June 12
Time: 10:00 AM–12:00 noon (10:00–11:00 AM to move the soil; 11:00 AM–12:00 noon to plant)
What's needed:  Wheelbarrows or garden carts and shovels to move the soil; garden tools such as trowels to plant the plants.
How many:  10–12 people are needed

To volunteer, send an email to Linda Kelleher with the number of volunteers and equipment you can bring.  In case of rain, Linda will email you by 8 AM on June 12. Thank you for helping members by establishing a community garden.

Ministers of Worship

As we transition to 8 and 10 AM worship schedules, all are welcome to serve as ministers of worship. In particular, we are in need of lectors (who lead the congregation in receiving the Word of God,) and ushers. Additionally, the 10 AM service will be broadcast each week allowing for virtual participation. We are in need of virtual hosts on a weekly basis. Please email The Rev. Beth Franklin if you are interested in serving in any of these capacities. 

Calling All Graduates

We're planning to celebrate and bless all graduates on Sunday, June 13 at both services. Additionally, we will publish an article featuring students who graduate this year (from high school, college, or graduate school). If that applies to you or someone in your family, please contact The Rev. Beth Franklin.

Facility Use 

This new phase of life together brings the opportunity to migrate from online platforms to in-person gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors. The office staff will work with leaders of various ministries to thoughtfully return to use of spaces at St. Michael’s. We will be diligent about the size of gatherings, scheduling, and need to sanitize spaces after use. Please be in touch with the Rector and parish office to discuss availability moving forward.

Showering Beth & Nic

What:     Parish Celebration for Beth & Nic
When:    Sunday, June 27, 2021
Time:     4:00 to 5:30 PM
Where:   St. Michael's Lawn
               (parish hall if bad weather)
RSVP:    By June 18 to Barb Adams

Outdoor Gathering for Children and Families

We hope you'll join us for a fun morning of play and casual conversation with other St. Michael's families at Parkhurst Park on Saturday, June 5 at 9:30 AM. We look forward to seeing you and celebrating the end of a most unusual school year! BYOC[offee] and donuts. Please contact the Children and Youth Ministries Committee with questions. 

Walk-In COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics 

Arlington County’s Public Health Division is offering walk-in vaccine clinics to individuals ages 16 and up this week. No appointments required.

Creative Giving

During this time of separation, we are tremendously grateful to everyone who has submitted their offering through creative means. We are still checking the mail and would be happy to receive your contribution. Please know that we are making deposits less frequently than normal to attend to the safety of our counters. This means there may be a more significant lag than normal in the time it takes for a contribution to clear your bank account. You may also submit a donation through online giving. We are grateful for this faithful generosity, which remains essential to our mission. 
Copyright © 2021 St. Michael's Episcopal Church Arlington VA, All rights reserved.

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