St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA

Parish News - May 15, 2024

To St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

Pentecost is this Sunday! The Bishop celebrates with us!

Pentecost is known as the birthday of the Church and celebrates the Holy Spirit descending upon the disciples (Acts 2:1-13). And, every year, I hear at least two miracles in this story: one extraordinary, one ordinary.

"All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability" (Acts 2:4). On the one hand, there's the miracle of glossolalia, speaking in tongues. The disciples suddenly have the ability to speak in other languages. Some think this is a metaphor for the Gospel spreading to new communities of different languages and dialects. Others, from Pentecost, through the early church, to today, claim this supernatural power to burst into languages they didn't and don't know, often in euphoric, prophetic, mystical speech. I'm skeptical of the phenomenon, but I remember that "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

"And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?" (Acts 2:8). Being a skeptical sort, I find it easier to believe in the ordinary miracle of Pentecost: the disciples were heard and understood. Even when speaking the same language, we can feel as if we and the people with whom we're trying to communicate are from different worlds, speaking two completely different languages. It's a minor miracle to feel like you've actually been heard across lines of difference. The miracle of Pentecost, then, is not only in the disciples' speech but in the disciples' being understood.

I hope that St. John's is home to many miracles, extraordinary and ordinary. I hope and work that, here, you can witness the amazing power of Jesus Christ at work in your life and in the world. And I hope and work that you can be heard and understood. We may not always agree, about glossolalia, theology, politics, or which color to repaint the hall, but, here at St. John's, you'll know what it is to be heard, understood, and loved.

Happy Pentecost!

Grace and peace,


The Rev. Kevin Laskowski


St. John's Episcopal Church

The Bishop Visits This Sunday! - Worship and Forum

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.

He will preside at worship and join us for an informal discussion and Q&A forum after the service. Join us! Wear red!

Memorial Day Observance, May 26

Join us for a brief observance of Memorial Day on May 26. We'll gather at 9 AM by the bell before our usual Sunday worship.


Last Sunday's Sermon

On May 12, we were joined by The Rev. David Crosby, who looked at Jesus's prayer for his disciples.

video of Rev. David Crosby's sermon from May 12, 2024

View the Seventh Sunday of Easter on May 12 here. And look for new sermons as always here.

Bonus Sermon

The Rev. Kevin Laskowski traveled to Reno, Nevada this past week to preach the installation of The Very Rev. Timothy Watt as Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Fr. Kevin's sermon can be viewed here:

video of Rev. Kevin Laskowski's sermon from May 11, 2024 in Reno, Nevada

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 Day of Pentecost

Let us prepare our hearts and mind for worship:

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14

The prophet Ezekiel uses language of resurrection in describing God’s promises to the Israelites.

Response: Psalm 104:25-35, 37

Second Reading: Acts 2:1-21

The Holy Spirit’s presence enables the gathered Christians to proclaim God’s truth in languages they do not know. Peter explains the miracle by citing the prophet Joel.

Gospel: John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

Jesus assures his disciples that he will send the Holy Spirit to empower their ministry.

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.


No Adult Lectionary Forum This Sunday

There will be no Adult Lectionary Forum this Sunday.

Please attend our informal Q&A and discussion with the Bishop after our 9:30 AM worship.

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

St. John's Supports Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter

St. John's served 30 people last night at the 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 in May 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.

Parishioner Sandy Jones shared the impact St. John's support has had, in the community and on those who serve:

"After a year of serving a monthly dinner at Tree of Life in Sterling, we switched to the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter. It always felt good to serve and connect with families at Tree of Life, but it was a bit far and made it difficult for more people to participate. So we switched to the Katherine Hanley shelter, just two-and-a-half miles from St. John's. For me the experience was very different. We still bought and made the food, and we still served it with a smile, but it was not the same. We are serving people in our neighborhood who are at a place in life that is hard to imagine. They are without a home, and they are trying to start over with their children. Showing love and compassion, and serving them and sharing a conversation with our neighbors is a moving experience. For me the biggest impact is seeing the families sit and eat together, knowing how important that time is for a family. Most of the children are quite young, the youngest I met was two weeks old. Showing them they are cared about and supported is a gift to us as much as it is a gift to them."

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.

Donate Food to Western Fairfax Christian Ministries

Please bring donations of food and more to Sunday services, or drop at the church office. Take one of the blue or yellow slips at church as a reminder to shop. These items are especially needed:


  • Cereal (low sugar preferred)
  • Hot Cereal (Oatmeal, Grits)
  • Maseca Corn Flour 
  • Sugar (1 or 2 lb. bags)
  • Red Beans (low salt preferred)


NOTE: Toiletry items cannot be purchased by clients with SNAP​​

  • Size 6 Diapers 
  • Large size pullups​

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.

Donating Backpacks

St. John's is partnering with Western Fairfax Christian Ministries this summer to provide backpacks for elementary school students in need this summer. Stay tuned!

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. 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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