St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA

Parish News - February 21, 2024

To St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

"Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for renewal." - Book of Common Prayer, p. 372

A colleague once described Eucharistic Prayer C in our prayer book as a "beautiful mess." I had to add the "beautiful;" To him, it's just a mess. It doesn't do things in the same order as the other prayers. There are some awkward turns of phrase. It could use a revision or three. Still, I chose to use it for this Lent because of this one line above. Along with the call to a holy Lent in the Ash Wednesday service I noted last week, it's an important theme for me this Lent, and I hope it will be for you, too.

Church is often a place where we get something. We receive Eucharist. Hopefully, we get some good music and good sermon. We find beauty, love, acceptance, mercy. After all, we're told, "Seek and ye shall find" (Matthew 7:7). The problems come when that's all it is, when we're simply Christian consumers and not the creative disciples God calls us to be.

Especially in Lent, I hope that St. John's is not only a place where we find the things we're looking for but also a place where we seekers are being transformed. We come to God, seeking peace, and we find not only solace but strength, too. We come to Jesus, pleading for forgiveness, and we find not only pardon but also renewal. We're no longer just consumers before the Spirit, at this Table, but witnesses, teachers, and servants--strengthened and renewed--for a world in great need.

A blessed Lent to you and yours!

Grace and peace,


The Rev. Kevin Laskowski


St. John's Episcopal Church

P.S. Easter candy! As you prepare for Easter, so do we, and we need Easter candy for our Easter egg hunt! Please bring donations of candy (or stickers or fun-sized party favors) for our Easter eggs to church or to the office during office hours.


Ash Wednesday Sermon

On Ash Wednesday, Rev. Kevin Laskowski ponders why we impose ashes, especially when Jesus and the prophets warn against such public displays. We impose ashes for perspective, to humble ourselves. Humility is a gift from an all-merciful God. Like the ashes themselves, it's free.

video of Rev. Kevin Laskowski's Ash Wednesday sermon from February 14, 2024

Last Sunday's Sermon

Rev. Deacon Steve Busch discusses the background and significance of the Gospel of Mark and its significance for the other synoptic Gospels, Luke and Matthew. Deacon Steve highlighted three important results from Jesus’s baptism and went on to explain how they relate to our journeys in the wilderness and responses as baptized Christians.

video of Rev. Deacon Steve Busch's sermon from February 18, 2024

View Ash Wednesday on February 14 here, and First Sunday in Lent on February 18 here, and look for new sermons as always here.

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.

Upcoming Readings for the Second Sunday in Lent

Let us prepare our hearts and mind for worship:

First Reading: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

The Lord establishes a covenant with Abram. He and his elderly wife will be blessed with a son, and through him and his offspring a large number of nations will arise.

Response: Psalm 22:22-30

Second Reading: Romans 4:13-25

Paul explains that Abraham, who trusted God’s promise before the law existed, should be our model for responding in faith to God’s goodness.

Gospel: Mark 8:31-38

Peter is shaken when Jesus declares that his destiny is to be rejected by religious officials and then to be killed. He warns that his followers will also face rejection and death.

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 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.


The Philadelphia Eleven

Screening and Panel Discussion

Sunday, February 25, 4 PM

The Falls Church Episcopal

The Falls Church Episcopal invites you to a screening of the documentary The Philadelphia Eleven, the compelling story of the first women ordained in the Episcopal Church. Afterward, five former female clergy of The Falls Church will discuss the film and their experience and reflections as ordained women in the church. The event is free and open to all. For more information, click here.

Adult Lectionary Forum - New Link

Join us Sundays in-person in the church library or online via Zoom to discuss the day's lessons. (This is the new link for meeting #826 4944 0667. Please make sure you use this new, updated link.)

Education for Ministry (EfM) Welcomes Alumni

EfM #13101, St. John's EfM group, welcomes alumni back for two upcoming sessions with the current group: February 28 and March 6. If you're interested in participating, contact Walt Cooner for the readings and details.

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

Volunteer at the Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter

St. John's makes and serves a meal every second Tuesday of the month at the shelter. Sign up to prepare or provide food ahead of time and/or join us on March 12 to serve. Contact Deacon Steve for more information.

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.

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries

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.

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.

Katherine Hanley Monthly Dinner

We cook and serve every second Tuesday of the month. Sign up here.

Altar Flowers

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


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

Support St. John's Episcopal Church

With your online contribution, you are part of St. John's offering of healing, hope, and hospitality to all God's people. Join us now!

  • Click the button below to set up a recurring gift online, or text "STJOHNSCENTREVILLE" to 73256 to give using your mobile device.
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  • Explore more about giving to St. John's on our website or by contacting Father Kevin.
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