St. John's Episcopal Church - Centreville, VA

Parish News - January 31, 2024

To St. John's Parishioners and Friends:

Lent is two weeks away! Are you ready?

In the liturgy for Ash Wednesday, the minister invites the people "to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word" (BCP, p. 265) We're asked to turn away from those things holding us down and holding us back. We pray in new ways or renew our prayer life, and adopt disciplines that strengthen us for our ministries. Finally, we study the Scriptures.

As a youth, I was always encouraged to give something up: chocolate, candy, or soda, something like that. And to give money to charity in Lent! As I grew up, I was often encouraged to take something on: a new prayer discipline, some kind of good-deed-doing, to do something.

This year, I think there's something to the giving something up. There's a freedom that comes when we're not expending energy on something that isn't right for us. There's a freedom that comes when we're doing less.

There's a temptation to hear a to-do list in the Ash Wednesday invitation: It's two weeks away. Are you ready? What are you doing for Lent? Those are good questions. So are these: What will you give up? What will you let go of? How will you forgive? How will you be forgiven? How will you rest? This Lent, how will you be still and know just how much God cares for you?

On your way to a holier Lent, join us for our annual meeting this Sunday and pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday:

  • Annual Meeting, February 4, 10:30 AM. We gather after morning Eucharist to attend to the annual business of the church, including the election of new Vestry members. Join us in the historic church or view on Zoom.
  • Pancake Supper, February 13, 5 PM-7 PM. Let there be pancakes! For dinner! Our annual Shrove Tuesday celebration happens February 13. Invite family and friends, and RSVP here.
  • Ash Wednesday, February 14, services at noon and 7 PM. Hear the invitation to a holy Lent, and receive the imposition of ashes.

Grace and peace,


The Rev. Kevin Laskowski


St. John's Episcopal Church

St. John's Men's Group: Pancakes and Potholes

What: Men’s Group Fellowship Breakfast

When: This Saturday morning, February 3, 2024 @ 8:00 AM

Where: IHOP (very close to St. John’s), 13810 Braddock Rd d, Centreville, VA 20121

It has been quite a while since the Men’s Group has gathered. We typically gathered for fellowship and/or for some chores around the St. John’s campus. This will be just an early morning social breakfast and we will discuss what we may want to do in 2024.

With the recent snow, it was great to get the snow removed, but the plow also removed the speedbumps from the parking lot! Needless, to say, if you have about 30 minutes after the breakfast, we will be doing ‘pothole patrol’ to get the parking lot evened out and looking better. Just bring a pair of gloves, and if you have an outdoor broom and a flat shovel, that would be helpful. RSVP to Andrew.


Last Sunday's Sermon

Jesus teaches as one having authority and not like the scribes. Jesus's authority isn't like the political or social authority we usually experience. In a model for teachers, leaders, and all Christians, Jesus's authority is marked by its humility and its power to transform people and relationships.

video of Rev. Kevin Laskowski's sermon from January 28, 2024

View Fourth Sunday after Epiphany on January 28 here, and look for new sermons as always here.

Upcoming Readings for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

Let us prepare our hearts and mind for worship:

First Reading: Isaiah 40:21-31

The prophet sings the praises of our wondrous and glorious God. Enthroned on high, the Lord possesses all power and all majesty.

Response: Psalm 147:1-12, 21c

The Psalmist praises a God who heals the brokenhearted and lifts up the lowly, a God unimpressed with human strength but pleased with those who listen.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Paul declares that he is willing to be all things to all people if it means he is most effectively sharing the essentials of the gospel.

Gospel: Mark 1:29-39

Jesus begins his public ministry of healing. At Capernaum he gives relief to a woman beset with a fever, and he grants freedom to many who are possessed by demons.

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 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 Returns February 11

The lectionary forum will be taking a break Sunday, February 4 for the annual meeting. It will be back as usual February 11. Join us Sundays in-person in the church library or online via Zoom to discuss the day's lessons.

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.


tree of life dinner 2023-10-10

Volunteer at the Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter

We still need volunteers for this month's project. St. John's will be serving meals at the Katharine K. Hanley Family Shelter every second Tuesday of the month. Sign up to join us February 6 or 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.

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 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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