St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA

Parish News - March 13, 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. In previous weeks, I've talked about our using Prayer C this Lent and why Lent is purple. This week, I just wanted to say something about the Penitential Order, which begins all our Lenten services.

A Penitential Order essentially begins the service with Confession. Instead of a Confession in the middle of our worship, after the Creed and Prayers of the People, we begin with it. We recite the Ten Commandments and are put in mind of the many ways we fall short of the kingdom of God. We confess our sins ("Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you...") and are absolved ("Almighty God have mercy on you...").

The prayer book reads, "The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting" (BCP p. 264-265). We prepare in Lent for Easter by penitence, by recalling and turning away from those things that put us at odds with God, ourselves, and our neighbors, so it makes sense to begin Lenten worship there.

A blessed Lent to you and yours!

Grace and peace,


The Rev. Kevin Laskowski


St. John's Episcopal Church

Spring Spruce-Up Take Two on Saturday

This Saturday, March 16, 9 AM-Noon

Last Saturday rained out, so join us this Saturday!

All ages, denominations, and ministry partners are invited to help spruce up the church grounds: trimming and clearing brush, maintain flower beds and parking lot, and more. Come and go as your schedule allows.

Bring rakes, shovels, brooms, wheelbarrows, and work gloves, if you have them.

Many hands make light work! See you Saturday!

Preparing for Easter

Easter Lilies. Dedicate an Easter lily to a loved one by making a donation to St. John's Episcopal Church. Send your dedications to the parish office.

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.

Palm Crosses and Easter Egg Stuffing, March 23, 10 AM, Rooms 207/208. Help us prepare for Holy Week by joining us to make palm crosses and stuff those Easter eggs.

Easter Egg Hunt Volunteers Needed. Email Rev. Kevin to assist with the Easter Egg Hunt.

New Episcopal Flag!

Some time after I arrived, I asked around about the American flag that flew during worship. I heard concern that people might only see a historic church building and not a parish at worship here, so we flew a flag (and rang our bell!) to let people know we were at worship. Many groups of many denominations worship on our campus. What should fly, I asked, when St. John's Episcopal Church is at worship?

A gift from the wardens on the occasion of my anniversary, a new Episcopal flag now flies during worship to welcome all. The American flag will return to mark Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day.


Last Sunday's Sermon

The command to "look" appears more than 1,000 times in Scripture. Rev. Kevin reminds us to look out, look up, and look again: to look out for sin and idolatry, to look up to God and heaven above, and, when all seems lost, to look again.

video of Rev. Kevin Laskowski's sermon from March 10, 2024

View the Fourth Sunday in Lent on March 10 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 Fifth Sunday in Lent

Let us prepare our hearts and mind for worship:

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34

The prophet foresees a new covenant between God and the people whom he loves. This covenant will be marked by the Lord’s Spirit in their hearts rather than on tablets of stone.

Response: Psalm 51:1-13

Second Reading: Hebrews 5:5-10

Through obedience and suffering, Jesus opened the gates of the kingdom. He is named high priest forever.

Gospel: John 12:20-33

Jesus teaches that God will be greatly glorified by the suffering and death of his Son. Following his prayer to God, a voice from heaven is heard.

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)

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.


hanley house 2024-02-06

Prepare and/or Serve Meals for 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 April 9 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.

Volunteer in a New Way with the Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter

St. John's has been supporting KKHFS for several years with donations,

funds, and, recently, one dinner every month. As the residents prepare to

move out of the shelter into long-term housing, many need help with

independent living skills. The shelter assigns a case manager to help

ensure a successful transition; however, some may need additional support,

such as household management, budgeting, organizing skills, and

childcare. Also important are skills related to securing and maintaining a job, such as resume-building, interviewing, scheduling, and discipline to keep the job and perform well. Case managers are looking to match clients' needs with volunteers interested and skilled in these areas. Please let Deacon Steve know if you would be interested in volunteering to help a KKHFS client.

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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