Our annual Youth Sunday—this year June 3—is an intentional opportunity to engage young people to play a part in the regular worship life of the congregation.
Children in PreK-3 through 1st Grade
These children will sing the sequence hymn during the 9:00 a.m. service. Children should follow the crucifer to the chapel at the start of the service.
In addition to singing, the class will also host the 10:00 a.m. coffee hour. Families with 1st-grade children should leave refreshments in the kitchen before the 9:00 a.m. service.
These children made the communion bread that we will use for Holy Eucharist on Youth Sunday.
These children designed the Sunday Bulletin covers.
These children should arrive at least 15-minutes before the 9:00 a.m. service (8:45 a.m.) on June 3 for usher duty.
Volunteers from the 5th-grade class will serve as lay readers during the service.
We are delighted to have Mia Landeck, a senior high school student, preach a homily on the appointed reading at the morning services on June 3, Trinity Sunday.
Youth Sunday is also an opportunity to give thanks to the teachers who have so ably led the children as they explored together the Bible and our Anglican traditions.
Sunday School is on sabbatical now through August.
Children’s Chapel will continue to meet during the 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. services, except on June 10. Children’s Chapel will resume meeting at 10:00 a.m. on June 17 during the summer months.
Volunteers for Summer Children’s Chapel and for the Fall Sunday School Year are needed. You don’t have to be a parent to teach—we are an equal opportunity outfit—everyone is welcome. The sign-up board is in Paca Hall and will also come with us to Shrine Mont.
St. Mary’s Annual Report for 2017 is now available to read. The tradition for this document is to provide a historical record of the ministries and outreach activities for the church and to review church administrative milestones.
On May 31st, the School Board will hear recommendations about how better to protect and serve immigrant and refugee students. These are the culmination of almost a year’s worth of work inspired by VOICE and its ally, The Dream Project.
Please mark your calendar and come out the 31st to show the School Board and Superintendent that the entire community endorses the need for action and will hold them accountable for taking steps now.
↓ Download the Report to read recommendations by a Working Group of community members and APS principals and senior staff who spent months examining the current situation.
What: School Board meeting
When: Thursday, May 31st, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Syphax Education Center, 2110 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22204. Note: This is a new location!!! Free parking is available in the garage connected to the Syphax center on levels LL, B1, and B2.
Thought I would pass along some pictures from an opportunity I had in mid-April, to visit and attend the Sunday morning Eucharist service of our companion parish in London – at St Martin’s West Acton. I was in Europe for two weeks for work – and had to stay the weekend in London. It occurred to me that one of the parishes we pray for each Sunday was somewhere in London, and would be great to visit – especially for a Sunday service.
After some research (the links on our St. Mary’s website were very helpful), found St Martin’s was an easy ride on the Tube from my hotel.
Everyone was warm and welcoming. The service was great, and of course, we prayed for the Queen!
As you may have heard, Rev. Henderson just retired, having presided over his final service at Easter. Their vestry has begun a search for their new “Vicar” as they call it.
It was nice to see the framed picture of St. Mary’s and letter signed by Fr. Merrow in February 1993, displayed when you first walk into the church building. St. Mary’s is referenced in some of their literature, and on their Website.
As you would expect, I encouraged those whom I met to stop by and visit St Mary’s when traveling to Washington DC.
St. Mary’s Committee on Tanzania Mission Trips invite you for dessert and conversation about our global mission efforts. Special guest speaker the Rev. Pearson Nhayo from the Diocese of Ruaha, Tanzania, will present some of his key research findings on the topics of cross-cultural ministry and communication within East Africa and beyond. What questions might St. Mary’s need to ask as we think about responding to the needs of our brothers and sisters within the Anglican Communion? All are welcome to attend!
One day a little over a year ago, a photograph of Fogo Island Inn popped up in my Facebook feed. The photo showed a white, modern-looking structure perched on the rocky edge of an island off the coast of Newfoundland, just yards away from the wild North Atlantic. I knew I wanted to visit this place immediately.
I chuckled to myself, wondering what it was in my search history that had triggered Facebook to send me the ad. How on earth did they know I would love this? I showed the photo to my husband, who agreed that Fogo Island was a perfect destination for our upcoming empty-nester phase (our youngest child was heading off to college that fall).
After doing some research, however, my husband voiced a concern: “Do you know how expensive this place is?” Expensive, and difficult to reach—two plane flights, a five-hour-drive, and a ferry lay between Washington D.C. and Fogo Island. But my enthusiasm did not dim. I felt strongly that I wanted to go there. I was attracted to the Fogo Island Inn, in part, because of its remoteness. Physically, and metaphysically, it is far from home.
National Geographic describes Fogo Island as “not so much a place as a state of mind.”
The landscape is ruggedly beautiful, all rocks and low-lying bush and small pools of water. The ocean is strong and turbulent, and the constant sound of wave against rock was hypnotic. Small fishing sheds (called stages) dot the coast, and customary Saltbox homes are sprinkled across the landscape. You cannot escape the feeling that you are standing on the edge of the earth, looking out across the sea at infinity.
During our three-day stay last October, strong sustained winds swept across the island. We hiked in the hills, and then on a path alongside the ocean. Eventually, we went back to our room at the Inn and to a welcoming fire. As my toes and fingers thawed, I allowed myself to settle into the sense of calm that surrounded me.
This, I thought, was the inner peace that God intended each of us to experience; this was the sensation I craved, that I knew I would find on Fogo Island. I marveled again at the serendipity of having received an ad for this particular place, just when I was most open to this experience.
Moments of serendipity such as this are rarely random. The Holy Spirit gives us more guidance than we know; we often simply don’t heed the call. The Facebook ad had been, I realized, an invitation: “Meet me here.” I am glad I accepted.
Leslie Ann Gerardo and her family have been members St. Mary’s for more than 20 years. Currently, she volunteers with the Sr. High Youth Group and as a member of the Healing Prayer Ministry. She can be reached at LAGerardo@verizon.net.
2) Fogo Island: Responding to the Call
This is Part 2 in parishioner Leslie Ann Gerardo’s series about spiritual lessons learned from her visit to Fogo Island in Canada.
Zita Cobb clearly heard the Holy Spirit’s call and responded to it.
I say this without knowing whether Cobb identifies as a person of faith; her story speaks for itself about God’s ability to use each of us for a greater purpose.
Cobb was born and raised on Fogo Island. Like most islanders, Cobb’s father was a cod fisherman. When commercial fisheries depleted the cod supply, he left Fogo Island and resettled his family in Ottawa.
Zita Cobb attended Carleton University, eventually became the CFO of a successful fiber optics company, and retired in her early 40s as a multi-millionaire. But Cobb had never stopped thinking about Fogo Island. She knew that the community in which she had been raised was dying a slow death from the lack of cod fish.
Cobb returned to Fogo Island, determined to turn its fortunes around. She donated $40 million of her own money to a non-profit foundation she and her brothers created, Shorefast, and began the process of creating a new economic base for Fogo Island.
She envisioned something that would supplement—not supplant—the island’s traditional, but inconsistent, fishing activity.
Cobb hired the world-renowned architect, Todd Saunders, who had summered on Fogo Island as a child, to design the Fogo Island Inn using local structures as a reference point. Through the Shorefast Foundation, Cobb also hired an international team of designers to create unique furniture reflective of the island’s culture and then hired local carpenters to build it. Local women stitched hundreds of rugs, quilts, and cushions used in the Inn.
Cobb envisioned more than a temporary financial reprieve; she laid the foundation for an enduring economy. Shorefast continues to fund the island’s young furniture industry, along with a cooperative for handicraft workers to sell their goods. Island residents staff the Inn and its five-star restaurant and also serve as community hosts to provide informative, personalized tours of the island to hotel guests. Shorefast finances artists who come to Fogo Island for inspiration and a quiet place to work. Cobb even started an annual boat race to revive the island’s boat-building trade.
Every dollar earned by the Fogo Island Inn goes back to the Shorefast Foundation and is used to finance new ventures. This means that Cobb will never see a financial return on her investment; however, the spiritual returns (though incalculable) are real.
Through her inspired vision—and her trust to act on that inspiration—Cobb has helped the Fogo Island community adapt to changing realities without sacrificing their cultural traditions.
The faithfulness responsible for revitalizing Fogo Island holds great meaning. I look forward to sharing Part 3 of this five-part series next month.
This is Part 3 in parishioner Leslie Ann Gerardo’s series about spiritual lessons learned from her visit to Fogo Island in Canada.
The phrase “ways of knowing” usually refers to the methods through which we acquire knowledge; i.e., things like language, emotion, imagination, intuition, and faith.
Zita Cobb uses the phrase differently. In her lexicon, “ways of knowing” refers to the body of crafts and skills, accumulated over centuries, that local residents developed as they struggled to survive in the island’s extreme environment.
In envisioning the island’s economic future, she strove to honor and preserve these local skills by adapting them to modern uses.
Thus, on Fogo Island, a boat became a chair.
Historically, Fogo Islanders used small fishing boats, called “punts.” To build a punt strong enough to navigate the rough waters of the North Atlantic, islanders knew to start with the right wood, a specific type of tree that was sufficiently mature, with a particular bend at the root. They knew how to cut that tree at just the right place. They knew how to carve the root into a boat’s ribs. The boats they crafted were small but mighty.
Over time, large commercial trawlers displaced the punts, and the tradition of punt-building threatened to be lost. Cobb tasked the team employed to design furniture for the Fogo Island Inn with finding new uses for old ways.
The design team recognized that the method for building a punt could be adapted to a new purpose—the base of a chair. Hence, the punt chair (shown at right) was born.
But Cobb didn’t stop there. In partnership with local builders, her brainchild, the Shorefast Foundation, created a heritage collection of wooden boats, then a boatbuilding program at the local high school, which led to The Great Fogo Island Punt Race Festival. This annual event is designed to nurture an appreciation for and enjoyment of the craft of punt-building.
The core of Cobb’s approach to preserving “ways of knowing” is respect for her homeland’s culture and heritage. Fogo Island needed to adapt to the modern world, but Cobb and those who worked with her recognized that in moving forward, the heart and soul of the island’s culture could easily be lost. Rather than stay mired in the past, or abandon it entirely, Cobb looked for and found a middle ground, one that honored traditional skills by finding modern uses for the “ways of knowing” behind them.
To me, it is not a stretch to suggest that we might learn from this example. How might the church keep our foundation strong by examining our traditions and employing reason? What can we do to preserve ways of knowing for the next generation?
Thank you for following this Fogo Island series. The next installment, Listening to the Community, will appear in the May newsletter (and in this blog).
I was drawn to Fogo Island by the photograph of the Inn overlooking the sea that appeared in my Facebook feed.
But beyond the physical beauty of the place, the experience of community on Fogo Island made the journey complete.
I had read about the Fogo Island Inn’s Community Host program, and when we were asked at check-in if we would like a host, I immediately said yes.
The next morning, “Helen,” arrived after breakfast, with her station wagon and bottles of water (reusable aluminum).
She reminded us to bring hats and gloves; it was shaping up to be a windy day. Knowing nothing about her, we climbed into her car and off we went.
Helen, we learned, grew up in Tilting, a community on Fogo Island. She took us there and showed us her grandmother’s Saltbox home (shown at right).
Several hundred years old, the home was still occupied. On Fogo Island, Helen explained, houses had value and were carefully maintained. Land, on the other hand, was considered valueless.
To this day, many Fogo Islanders do not have deeds for the land on which their homes sit. Helen showed us the cove where she and her friends had learned to swim.
Though the water only reached 57 degrees, the children plunged in each summer, because learning to swim was essential.
Helen told us that as a child on Fogo Island, she never knew she was poor; at least, not until electricity arrived in the 1980s and with it, TV. She told us she eventually left the island to follow her only son to British Columbia, but she returned when she heard about Zita Cobb’s project.
Helen was proud to be participating in the rebirth of Fogo Island by serving as a community host. Helen showed us the best hiking paths, picked berries with us, and pointed out the island’s landmarks.
She told us about the icebergs that float by each summer, and that polar bears sometimes travel on the ice. She explained how the fishermen cured their cod, and the kind of vegetables islanders typically grew in their gardens. Helen shared details of life on the island with us; we responded by sharing details about ourselves.
When our four-hour tour ended, a friendship had been born. She promised to visit us again; she was at the Inn the next morning and greeted us with hugs and a smile.
Fogo Island Inn’s Website notes “people and place are inextricably tangled up with one another on Fogo Island.”
Hearing about the island’s culture and history from someone who had lived it was essential to understanding this unique place.
Beyond that, the opportunity to grow a friendship with someone whose life experience was so different from my own made the trip to this unusual place more meaningful than I had anticipated. Connecting with people, sharing stories, finding commonality – this is how community is built, and through community, we become closer to God.
Thank you for following this Fogo Island series.
The final installment, “Artful Living as a Way of Life,” will appear in the June newsletter.
This is the final installment in parishioner Leslie Ann Gerardo’s series about spiritual lessons learned from her visit to Fogo Island in Canada.
In envisioning ways to revitalize Fogo Island, the Shorefast Foundation focused on more than simple economics.
Building a world-class Inn provided jobs, directly and indirectly, for island residents, and generated a lot of attention to this small corner of the world. But sustaining and preserving the island’s unique culture required one further component: art.
In four remote locations on Fogo Island, there are small structures that reflect the same design sensibility underlying the Inn itself; modern, yet grounded in tradition.
These are studios, designed for different artistic disciplines. The studios are made available to visiting artists selected annually by the Shorefast Foundation. The artists come to live and work on the Island for a designated period and are provided with housing along with the use of a studio.
Further acknowledging the significance of art, the Inn itself contains a gallery where selected resident artists’ works are displayed.
Each artist brings with them the influence of their homeland, and through their art, shares that influence with the Islanders.
Each artist takes away with them the cultural experience of living on Fogo Island; impressions of the ruggedly beautiful landscape and understanding of the difficulties inherent in the islander’s way of life. That new influence will be incorporated into their art and shared with the wider world.
The exchange of cultural influences through art both preserves those influences and breeds mutual interest and understanding.
Thus, the Fogo Island Arts program facilitates the creation of meaningful partnerships—locally, nationally, and internationally.
“I think of it as a reweaving of Fogo Island into the fabric of the world in a new way,” Zita Cobb has said. “I obviously am a big believer in the power of art to make all kinds of social impact.”
And perhaps it was this emphasis on art as a means of communication that has inspired me to share with you, in words and through photographs, my impressions of Fogo Island and of the woman who loved her homeland enough to find a way to save it.
Do we have that depth of love?
I hope you have enjoyed this series, as I have enjoyed sharing my experience of this magical place with you.
I became a member of St. Mary’s several years ago, long after first being confirmed in the Episcopal Church in Florida in the early 1970s. I participate in the caregiver’s support group, men’s activities, and retreats. I also had the privilege of participating in the 2016 St. Mary’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
My interest in astronomy and astrophysics started in elementary school and continued while growing up in Miami during the very early days of the space program taking place up the coast at Cape Canaveral, never dreaming that one day I would work at a place near there called Kennedy Space Center that didn’t even exist then.
Some of you may have seen the 80+ percent partial eclipse visible in the DC area on August 21 — and wonder what’s the big deal — Which is what I thought before experiencing (not just seeing) the total eclipse from Jackson, WY during a tour of the national parks out west this year. I could never understand why “eclipse chasers” (aka “eclipsophiles”) would travel all over the world every few years just to see another solar eclipse. Let me point out that a 90 percent covered partially eclipsed sun is still 100,000 times brighter than a total eclipse. It gets dark enough to see stars and planets around the eclipsed sun during totality!
First some background information — Our sun is about 400 times the size of our moon, and — miraculously — about 400 times further away. Therefore, while the moon’s orbit is not always perfect, the moon is often visually exactly the same size as the sun when viewed from the earth during an eclipse. This size match is not so for any other planet in our solar system, or anywhere else as far as we know now. I remember a science fiction book years ago where visitors from elsewhere would come to the Earth as tourists just to see the solar eclipse.
Our sun, old Sol, acts like a continuously exploding hydrogen bomb changing hydrogen into helium while converting a few percent of the mass into energy — a LOT of energy. Our sun has several layers above its core — We can see the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. A very, very thin layer between the chromosphere and the corona is known as the transition region, where the temperature rises from 14,000 degrees F at the chromosphere to 900,000 degrees F at the beginning of the corona.
The thin photosphere is what we see when we look at astronomer’s pictures of the sun’s surface. The photosphere is a bright, granulated layer of plasma containing darker, cooler sunspots. The photosphere also generates flares that extend hundreds of thousands of miles into space.
The layer of the chromosphere is next up from the photosphere. The chromosphere emits a reddish glow as super-heated hydrogen burns off. But this thin red rim can only be seen during a total solar eclipse as it is much dimmer than the photosphere.
The third layer up is the corona consisting of white plumes, tendrils, and streamers of ionized gas that flow visibly outward into space for multiple sun diameters. These are spectacular during a total eclipse. While the corona is hundreds of times hotter than the sun’s surface, it is also millions of times less dense. Therefore the corona is still much dimmer than the sun’s surface, so also only seen during a total eclipse. The corona does not have an upper limit and is the source of the solar wind that goes off into space with enough energy to cause auroras on Earth and other planets and sometimes damages Earth satellites.
The eye may see large sunspots, which could contain multiple Earth-sized planets, on the sun’s surface and flares at the sun’s edge through solar eclipse glasses sold for viewing the solar eclipse and optical devices with solar filters, such as binoculars and telescopes. During a total eclipse, we see only the flares from the photosphere, glimpses of the chromosphere, and the glorious corona.
Due to the rotation of the surface of the Earth, which is moving much faster than the Moon’s shadow, the solar eclipse shadow moves west to the east, even though our sun and moon rise in the east. The eclipse went across the entire US for the first time in almost a hundred years on August 21. The shadow was moving at 2,400 mph starting in Oregon, then slowing down due to the curvature of the Earth to 1400 mph in Illinois for the greatest total eclipse duration for this eclipse of over two and a half minutes. Then it sped up again going on to exit the US from South Carolina. In other locations around the Earth, a total eclipse may last several minutes. In 1973, a Concorde supersonic jetliner with scientists on board stayed in the total eclipse shadow for 75 minutes — still a world record for viewing totality!
If you are in a high enough location to see a total eclipse where you can see the ground far away, you may see the Moon’s shadow coming toward you. When you are in the shadow, you may see sunset 360 degrees around you. You can feel the temperature drop as the partial eclipse shadow moves over you, and it will be noticeably even colder during totality. Animal life gets confused and thinks it is nightfall. We had crickets start chirping on my eclipse tour at Jackson, WY, and nocturnal animals may wake up and become active.
As the leading edge of the Moon moves over the Sun to almost completely cover it, someone in the tour group shouted out “Diamond Ring” — This is the last bit of sun visible as the Moon covers it, and it looks like — well, a diamond ring… Then it is safe to remove your solar filter glasses, or filters on whatever optics you are using, and view the total eclipse without filters. Then comes “Baileys Beads” a view of smaller bright spots on the rim showing through valleys on the leading edge of the moon, which makes it look like a necklace or bracelet.
Then comes totality — The corona pops into view with white streamers and plumes extending multiple moon diameters in various directions around the dark black disk of the completely eclipsed sun! This event must be experienced to get the full effect. The children in the group go wild — including teenagers who had been blase until this point.
The experience of totality seemed like it lasted only several seconds, even though it was over two minutes long in reality. In fact, an oft-quoted eclipse expert has said that “totality is always eight seconds long.”
At the end of totality when the trailing edge of the moon starts to move off of the sun, some chromosphere and then “Bailey’s beads” reappear at the trailing edge of the Moon, followed by another “Diamond Ring.” The Solar filters go back in place for the trailing part of the partial eclipse phase — But most people start to leave, as they already saw the partial phases leading up to the total eclipse. Anything after seeing a total eclipse is anticlimactic.
Now, I am thinking about a cruise to Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific in 2019 and seeing the eclipse from a ship. Or, maybe seeing the eclipse from the coast of Chile north of Santiago and stopping at Manchu Pichu on the way
Capture a glimpse into this group as we gather for a meal (in Paca Hall) and conversation about our Response to God’s blessing — Fr. Chris will guide the reflection of this phenomenon. Jay and Lindsay Liwanag, who are part of the 20s and 30s group, will be there to help celebrate and extend the conversation about our talents, time and treasure.
Adults of all ages are invited.
Join us this Sunday, September 25 from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm. Childcare will be provided.
Updated Location: St. Mark’s, 520 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220 804-358-4771
The events of Charlottesville highlighted the racial divide in our Country, our State and even our Church. How do we find our way to community from this chaos? Join the Diocese of Virginia’s 2nd annual Intercultural Summit to discuss critical issues related to the the multicultural church. You will meet and network with people of various cultures from our diocese and beyond.
Cost: is $15.00/ individual or $10.00 per person for a group of 4.
WHERE: The march will line up at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill
This march is intended to harness the national unrest and dissatisfaction with racial injustice into a national mobilization that strengthens local and nationwide efforts for racial equity and justice. Organizers are mobilizing a coalition of organizations, groupsand individuals to stand together for racial justice in Washington, DC., to create a just and equitable future for communities of color, so that we may all thrive together. The march will line up at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill between 10 am and 12 pm, march to the Capitol and past the Department of Justice at 12:30, before culminating at the National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets. A vigil at MLK Memorial will happen at sundown.
WHERE: Patriot High School, 10504 Kettle Run Rd., Nokesville (Prince William County).
Join VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) leaders to hear from the candidates for governor and lift up social justice issues ranging from housing affordability and support for public education to immigrant rights, criminal justice reform, and ensuring a future for WMATA.
Supporting the Dreamers: Episcopalians as Individuals Can Contact Senators and Representatives
The Presiding Bishop and the Virginia Diocese are supporting the bipartisan Dream Act, which will provide a path to citizenship for the Dreamers, brought to this country as children and now living and working under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.