St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA

Parish News - January 3, 2024

To St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Christmas services at St. John's were joyous. See video from our wondrous whirlwind of the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. There were carols, and sermons, and our partners from Wellspring United Church of Christ, and our youth read, and there was a Christmas pageant Gospel, and so much Spirit-filled joy. Thanks to all who helped make the occasion a Christmas to remember.

And 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 than $300,000 has been promised, more 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. Please see below for more information about stewardship, and make your pledge for 2024 as soon as you can. The Vestry approves the budget at its meeting this month.

And, finally, don't miss Friday's Twelfth Night potluck! Celebrate the end of Christmas with us with a potluck and a little illumination. RSVP ASAP, and we'll see you Friday!

Grace and peace,


The Rev. Kevin Laskowski


St. John's Episcopal Church

12th Night Potluck This Friday, January 5

Friday, January 5, 6-8 PM

RSVP here (or email Fr. Kevin) and tell us what you'll bring.

Christmastide - the 12 days of Christmas between Christmas Day and Epiphany - was traditionally marked by parties, dances, and "illuminations" - candles, bonfires, and fireworks. We'll gather on Twelfth Night to celebrate a New Year with good friends at St. John's with a celebratory potluck and some illuminations of our own. Find us in the front parking lot and rooms 207/208. RSVP here (or email Fr. Kevin) and tell us what you'll bring.

Note: There will be some fireworks - sparklers and large fountains, no rockets - at the event. There will be some noise.


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 to be approved this month 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 now. 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!

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.

Caroline Machen wrote to her husband in 1850, when the church was built: would be delightful to have you here at the opening of the new church - Dr. May is to preach. I think you will like the interior of the building. Mr. Lockwood had exerted himself to the upmost in its erection and I feel & [sic] that you will also, that every effort should be made by those will be benefitted [sic] by his untiring labors to aid him by paying up their subscriptions. I believe, my dear Husband, that our crops would be more abundant & everything we undertake will succeed better by paying $50 to the Church than by the application of any amount of guano to the soil - we owe a large debt to our Maker; can we expect to prosper till it is paid? "Give unto the Lord the first fruits of all thine increase so shall they arms be filled with plenty and thy presses burst forth with new wine." Have we been sufficiently careful to perform this duty? We believe, let us hereafter endeavor more faithfully to show our faith by our works...

Read more from parishioners here.


Last Sunday's Sermon

Our words can be powerful because the Word became flesh and lived among us in Jesus Christ. But, too often, we speak when we should silent, and we are silent when we should speak up. The Word is too great to be wasted.

video of Rev. Kevin Laskowski's sermon from December 31, 2023

View First Sunday after Christmas Day service from December 31 here, and look for new sermons here. Stay tuned for video from all our Christmas services!

Upcoming Readings for the First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Let us prepare our hearts and mind for worship:

First Reading: Genesis 1:1-5

God in three persons existed before time. Jesus the Word creates light out of darkness. The Holy Spirit hovers over the waters.

Response: Psalm 29

The voice of the Lord proves a powerful thing: creating the world, transforming the land, and inspiring a people.

Second Reading: Acts 19:1-7

Paul shares the Good News of salvation in Jesus with the faithful in Ephesus, and invokes the Holy Spirit’s power upon them.

Gospel: Mark 1:4-11

As is foretold in Scripture, John the Baptist baptizes Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. This marks the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry.

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.


Adult Lectionary Forum Resumes on Sunday

The Forum is back from a Christmas break this Sunday, January 7. Join us Sundays in-person in the church library or online via Zoom to discuss the day's lessons.

Advent with Mark

Zoom, December 2023

View the YouTube playlist of Fr. Kevin's three presentations on unique texts in the Gospel of Mark.

With Advent, a new lectionary year 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?

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.


Serve Meals at the Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter

St. John's will be serving meals at the Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter every second Tuesday of the month. We'll be helping out this coming Tuesday, January 9. Contact Deacon Steve to be part of it.

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.

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.

Support St. John's

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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