St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA

Parish News - December 20, 2023

To St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

video of Advent and Christmas message from The Episcopal Church and St. John's Centreville

Advent and Christmas at St. John's

Join us in celebrating our Lord's wonderful birth and glorious return:

  • Dec 24th Advent 4 service, 9:30 AM,
  • Dec 24th Christmas Eve Family Eucharist, 4 PM
  • Dec 24th Christmas Eve Eucharist, 8 PM
  • Dec 25th Christmas Day Service, 9:30 AM
  • Jan 5th Twelfth Night potluck, 6 PM (RSVP here)

A Pledge Campaign Update

Thank you to all those who've given of their time, talent, and treasure with a 2024 pledge to St. John's, Centreville. Thanks to you, more pledge dollars, more than $300,000, have been promised than at any time in the past ten years. At the same time, the number of pledging families is down from last year. St. John's is only sustainable when all who believe in it are contributing.

See below for a few stories from our parishioners about why they give. We hope you'll join them. Make your pledge by year's end to help us continue our offering of God's healing, hope, and hospitality in Centreville and beyond.

Why We Give

Parishioner Jean Makurat writes:

St. John’s welcomed me in a little over 20 years ago. I was struggling spiritually and needed healing and direction. 'Healing, hope, and hospitality' isn’t just a catchy phrase – that really is what St. John’s is all about, and I’ve been blessed to call it my church home ever since. In my own home, bills have to be paid, floors swept, things repaired, etc. The list never seems to end; but by taking care of these responsibilities, I make my home safe and sound, and somewhere I love to be. St. John’s is my church home, and its parishioners my church family. Each member has certain talents and skills that they use to keep our church safe and sound, and somewhere lots of people love to be. I am blessed to be able to help support St. John’s in a variety of ways, including financially. I’m not as hesitant as I used to be about giving my time, talent, or treasure (even if it hurts a little), because I think I finally understand the first verse of the 23rd Psalm. The Lord is indeed my shepherd - He guided me to St. John’s, after all! As long as I trust Him and follow Him, I can rest assured that I shall not be in want.

Finance Committee Chair Monti Zimmerman gave some testimony this past Sunday about why he gives:

video of Monti Zimmerman from December 17, 2023
Poinsettia, red

Christmas Poinsettia Dedication

The historic church will be traditionally adorned with poinsettias for Christmas Eve services. If you'd like to dedicate one to a loved one, or offer one in thanksgiving, email Father Kevin. You can make a contribution online here. Proceeds benefit St. John's Mission and Outreach.

St. John's Office Closed 12/25-1/1

The St. John's office will be closed December 25-January 1, resuming normal hours January 2. If you have a pastoral emergency, please contact the church office, and leave a message for Father Kevin or Deacon Steve.


Last Sunday's Sermon

Deacon Steve Busch tells us that the third Sunday of Advent is a happy Sunday, a pink candle in our Advent wreaths, because Jesus is very near. We intensify our joyous preparations as Christmas approaches.

video of Rev. Steve Busch's sermon from December 17, 2023

View the Advent 3 service from December 17 here (apologies for some technical difficulties), and look for new sermons here.

Upcoming Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Let us prepare our hearts and mind for worship:

First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

The prophet Nathan receives a word from the Lord for King David, professing the great things which God commits to do for the house and family of David.

Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27

God works through the witness and testimony of his saints throughout the ages, through the prophecies of old, through the secrets, mysteries and questions of all time, through all these things, to reveal himself in glory to his people throughout all the world.

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

To a young woman, God sends the angel Gabriel to tell her what God has planned for her life. Mary submits to this call.

Join Us In Person or Online

Join us in the historic church at 9:30 AM Sunday or watch live via YouTube. Additional links to the livestream, worship bulletin, and lectionary class are sent Saturday and also available on our website.

New Worship Customary

Bishop E. Mark Stephenson has updated liturgical guidelines for the Diocese of Virginia. Remember: "individual communicants may not dip their own hosts or bread in the wine." The minister will intinct for you, if you so desire. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Rev. Kevin.

Interested in Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation? Save the Date for Bishop's Visitation

The Rt. Rev. James J. "Bud" Shand will visit St. John's on Pentecost, May 19, 2024. Bishop Shand is the retired Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Easton (Maryland), served as Chairman of the Board of the Virginia Theological Seminary, and is now the newest Visiting Bishop here in the Diocese of Virginia. If you're interested in Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation on Pentecost with the Bishop, or what these things might mean for you, please contact Rev. Kevin.


Advent with Mark

Zoom, December 21, 7:00 PM

REGISTER HERE. Registration required.

View the first two sessions here.

With Advent, a new lectionary year has arrived, and Year B features the Gospel of Mark, the second and shortest of the Gospels. Over three evening classes, we'll begin our journey with Mark by looking at the stories unique to it. What are the stories we hear only from Mark? How does Mark tell stories we hear from other gospels differently? Join us on Zoom for this Advent with Mark!

Adult Lectionary Forum on Christmas Break

Our lectionary forum Sundays after church will be taking a Christmas break, returning January 7, 2024.

Education for Ministry (EfM)

Education for Ministry (EfM) is a unique four-year distance learning certificate program in theological education based upon small-group study. St. John's EfM group is underway on Wednesday nights. Contact Walt Cooner for more information.


tree of life dinner 2023-10-10

Tree of Life

In 2023, St. John's partnered with several other local churches to prepare and serve a meal to local residents every second Tuesday of the month at the Sterling Community Center. Last week, we served our last community dinner in Sterling for some time, having served 900+ meals over the year. We'll return with a new community meal in 2024, closer to home. Stay tuned for more details.

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries

St. John's delivered 34 Christmas boxes to feed families in need over the holidays. Thank you to all who donated!

St. John's is a founding partner of Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, which provides food and financial support to more than 600 local families every month. Please continue to bring donations of food and more to Sunday services, or drop at the church office.

The Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter

The shelter is in need of volunteers to serve meals and help with dinner preparation. For more information, and to volunteer, contact Deacon Steve.

Bring donations for our local family shelter to church or drop by the office.

Their needs may be found on their In-Kind Donations Wish List through Amazon.

Centreville Immigration Forum

CIF provides immigrants in need with the means to improve their lives and become more integrated into the community, improve communication and cooperation among all groups serving immigrants, and build community recognition of our strength in diversity.

The Shepherd's Center of Western Fairfax

The Shepherd's Center needs drivers and support for local seniors.


Prayer Requests

If you would like to add yourself or someone you care about to our Sunday prayer list, please contact clergy or the church office.

Prayers for the Holy Land

Many prayers have been offered in the wake of terrorist attacks by Hamas and the outbreak of war. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry called for prayer again as an Anglican hospital in Gaza was destroyed. The Presiding Bishop and Pope Francis have both called for ceasefire, return of hostages, and humanitarian aid as the conflict continues. Pray along with Archbishop Hosam Naoum of the Episcopal Diocese in Jerusalem:

O God of all justice and peace we cry out to you in the midst of the pain and trauma of violence and fear which prevails in the Holy Land. Be with those who need you in these days of suffering; we pray for people of all faiths - Jews, Muslims and Christians and for all people of the land. While we pray to you, O Lord, for an end to violence and the establishment of peace, we also call for you to bring justice and equity to the peoples. Guide us into your kingdom where all people are treated with dignity and honour as your children for, to all of us, you are our Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


Sunday Services

Additional readers and ushers are needed. Sign up here.

Coffee Hour

We gather after worship for food and fellowship. Assist with snacks here.

Altar Flowers

Dedicate the altar flowers in thanksgiving or in memory of a loved one here.

Tree of Life

Help us feed hungry families. Sign up here.


Have any photos or short videos from St. John's events? Send them to us.


rooted in abundance logo

St. John's Episcopal Church is Rooted in Abundance, our theme for our 2024 pledge campaign. Rooted in Abundance, we draw on the rich tradition of the Church, on the history of Centreville and St. John's, and on the good things God has done for each and all of us. Rooted in Abundance, we follow Jesus Christ to ever greater things (John 1:50, 14:12) and more abundant life (John 10:10). Read letters from our stewardship chairs and priest-in-charge.

Thank you to all those who've already made their commitment for 2024. Our draft budget for 2024 includes funding for outreach, music, web development, and significant savings to cover maintenance of this historic property for future generations.

The greater our pledges, the more we can be sure all this and more is part of St. John's mission in 2024. If you haven't already, please prayerfully consider your own financial contribution. With your pledge, you'll become part of our offering of healing, hope, and hospitality to all God's people:

  • Healing: worship God and proclaim the Good News of God in prayer (worship and liturgy), sermon (proclamation online and off), and song (music ministry).
  • Hope: form disciples of Jesus Christ, of all ages, in word (Christian education) and deed (mission and outreach)
  • Hospitality: steward our historic building and grounds for our parishioners, ministry partners, and beyond

Join us now!

Make Your End-of-Year Gift

With your online contribution, you are part of St. John's offering of healing, hope, and hospitality to all God's people. Click the GIVE button below or text STJOHNSCENTREVILLE to 73256 to make a one-time or recurring donation to St. John's Episcopal Church.

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