St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA

Parish News - February 28, 2024

To St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

At St. John's, our worship varies according to the seasons. Readings and hymns change every Sunday, but service music, prayers, and the colors change with the liturgical seasons. Last week, I talked about how we're using Prayer C in Lent, but the first thing you probably notice when entering the historic church for Lent is the color purple, one of many liturgical colors here.

Why is Lent purple?

A cool, somber color, purple is fitting for a season of penitence, but purple was also the color of royalty and wealth in the ancient world. When the soldiers and crowds mocked Jesus as "King of the Jews," "they clothed him in a purple cloak" (Mark 15:17). The soldiers mocked Jesus as a king, but their mocking ironically and briefly revealed who he is for us: Lord. As the church prepared in Lent for these events of Holy Week, it adopted the purple of Jesus's royal cloak as the season's color.

We often behave like the soldiers. It's often when our conscience is most active that we work hardest to deny it. We miss church and try convince ourselves that we won't be missed. We neglect charity and tell ourselves that someone else will do it. We hurt someone and say we were hurt first. Our efforts betray us. We know we're not living quite the way we hope. That's why we're working so hard to tell ourselves different.

In Lent, we remember that there are rules which govern us even when we try to cut corners. There are values which compel us even though we don't always live them. There is a God who cares for us, who is always seeking us, even though we try to hide. Lent is a purple season, then, a time of self-examination when we can see how our even denials instead reveal the truth.

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.


Last Sunday's Sermon

The apostle Peter comes in for some condemnation because he seems to imagine Christianity without a cross. The faith by which we're justified is not only a set of actions or a set of beliefs, but a deeper faithfulness to a God who is faithful.

video of Rev. Kevin Laskowski's sermon from February 25, 2024

View the Second Sunday in Lent on February 25 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 Third Sunday in Lent

Let us prepare our hearts and mind for worship:

First Reading: Exodus 20:1-17

The Lord delivers the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Above all else, the people are to love God and treat one another with honor and respect.

Response: Psalm 19

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

The suffering of Christ may seem like foolish waste to some, but to faithful people the cross is a revelation of God’s infinite and redeeming power.

Gospel: John 2:13-22

Jesus drives merchants and money changers out of God’s temple. Comparing his body to the temple, he reveals that he must die and rise again.

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.


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 Tonight

EfM #13101, St. John's EfM group, welcomes alumni back for two upcoming sessions with the current group: tonight, February 28 and next week 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.
  • Pledge to give using this online form.
  • Explore more about giving to St. John's on our website or by contacting Father Kevin.
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