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Dear Friends,
It is incredibly bittersweet to share with you the important announcement that the Reverend Erin Hensley has accepted a call to serve as the next Rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas.  Knowing an amazing priest when they see one, the people of St. Alban’s offered Erin a chance to jump into God’s next adventure, and she knew it to be time.  While we will miss Sam, Micah and Erin beyond measure, it will be exciting to watch them offer their gifts to the broader Church in a new way. 
What Sam and Erin provide our community is amazing, unique and immeasurable.  Therefore, the future without them will inevitably be shaped differently for us as a parish.  This is as it should be.  As the Church is fit for eternity, moving forward into God’s new day is our perpetual trajectory.  Moreover, the good work the Hensley’s have done here has made us ready for the days ahead without them – as much as we wish they could be ours forever.   Which, in fact, they will be.  Because that is another truth of the Church: God does not lose things; and thus, neither will we.  Sam, Micah and Erin will ever remain a part of St. John’s, as we are wonderfully marked by the time we had with them.
Sunday, April 26th will be the Hensley’s last Sunday at St. John’s.  In the days ahead, look for opportunities to celebrate their ministry with us.
The Reverend Eric Long,

A Brief History of the Hensley’s Ministry at St. John’s
On February 1, 2009 the Rev. Erin and Sam Hensley came to St. John’s. Erin’s first ministry description here outside of sharing in priestly duties included overseeing outreach and hospitality efforts. In the summer of 2010 with the arrival of the Rev. Sandy Webb, her ministry shifted to a much wider focus on community life inside these parish walls. She focused on integration and community building via personal follow up, parish wide events, small groups, fellowship opportunities, and led efforts for the overhaul of the website in 2012. Micah came into their lives and St. John’s that same year. Both Sandy and Erin served as Acting Co-Rectors in February to May of 2013.

Since 2009, Sam has served as a youth advisor with great creativity, faithfulness, and enthusiasm and currently serves as the Youth Discipleship Committee Chair. Sam has been playing in the Gathering band since 2009 and leading those musicians since 2010 as well as offering his musical talent for the Easter Vigil and Good Friday services. Sam has also given of his audio visual expertise in the Christmas Eve family service, Factory Man book signing, Celebration Arts events, and other important occasions in our life together. He’s faithfully served as a verger since 2013 as well.

A Note about St. Alban’s, Austin

A parish since 2004, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas is an energetic, fun-loving congregation of people spanning many generations seeking transformation through the sharing of God’s grace.

Holy Week
Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015
*8:00 a.m. Liturgy of Palms &
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
9:15 a.m. Sunday School for all ages
10:30 a.m. Liturgy of Palms &
Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Children's Church
5:00 p.m. Liturgy of the Palms &The Gathering Eucharist
6:00 p.m. The Gathering Meal and Program

Maundy Thursday, April 2, 2015
6:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Foot Washing and Stripping of the Altar

7:00 p.m. Labyrinth opens for
the next 23 hours.

*All Night Prayer Vigil
April 2 - 3, 2015

Begins: 7:00 p.m., Thursday
Ends: 9:00 a.m., Friday
in the church

Good Friday, April 3, 2015
*12:00 p.m. Good Friday Liturgy

4:30 p.m. Simple Supper for Youth, 
the Light House on First St.
6:00 p.m. Good Friday Liturgy
6 :00 p.m. Labyrinth closes

Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015
*6:00 a.m. The Great Vigil of Easter
9:00 a.m. Festival Holy Eucharist, Rite II, with Children's Church
10:15 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt, gather in the Parish Hall
11:00 a.m. Festival Holy Eucharist, Rite II, and Holy Baptism, with Children's Church
5:00 p.m. The Gathering Eucharist, and Holy Baptism
(no dinner or program)

* No childcare available

Open 7:00 p.m.  Maundy Thursday, April 2  to 6:00 p.m. Good Friday, April 3.
Come Walk the Labyrinth in the Parish Hall.

St. John’s is blessed to have a canvas labyrinth which is a replica of the famous labyrinth at the Chartres Cathedral in France (picture above). The labyrinth is not a senseless maze, but a form of bodily prayer. Walking the labyrinth combines the physical act of walking with the spiritual act of meditation. Often people begin the walk with a particular question in their hearts, reach the center to listen, and then go back out with a new awareness. Sometimes people pray a particular mantra like “God is love” or “Lord, have mercy” while walking. More ideas for this spiritual practice are provided on site. We hope you can take advantage of this opportunity for contemplation after the Maundy Thursday liturgy, during the all night vigil, or during the day on Good Friday. With each step, may we become more faithful, more trusting of God.

7:00 p.m. Maundy Thursday, April 2 to 9:00 a.m. Good Friday, April 3.
While Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane at the close of the first Maundy Thursday, he asked his disciples to stay awake with him. They fell asleep and did not keep vigil. In an effort to be faithful to Jesus’ request on the eve of his crucifixion, we pray with him. From the conclusion of the Maundy Thursday service on April 2 until 9:00 a.m. on Good Friday, the church will be open for an all night prayer vigil. Every hour at least two parishioners will pray in the church. We will stay awake for Jesus in thanksgiving for his complete giving of himself for the world. A security guard will be on duty all night. Suggested prayers, flashlights for reading in the dark, and companionship during your hour of keeping vigil are all provided. The sign up for the vigil is in the Narthex, the carpeted foyer area immediately outside the church. 

Congregations in Action currently need to augment their pantry for the 84 students whose backpacks are filled with nutritious foods every Friday.  Especially needed are plastic jars of peanut butter and plastic jars of jelly - small, manageable jars and NO GLASS PLEASE.  Drop them off at the main desk in the parish office and Gates DeHart will see that they are delivered to the school.  Many thanks for your help.

Adult Christian Education Series, Sundays April 12 - May 17
Come and explore the history, theology, ethos, 
and future of the Episcopal Church/Anglican tradition.
These classes serve as preparation for adults who may wish 
to be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church by the bishop on May 10.
Want to know more about confirmation or reception  prior to the class?
Talk to one of your clergy at 343-9341.

I am raising money and awareness for the Roanoke Valley’s first and most established human service agency—Family Service of Roanoke Valley.
Celebrity Tip-Off is on Thursday, May 7 at 6 p.m. at the White Room at Blue 5 Restaurant. All tickets are $100 (25% as a tax deductible donation to Family Service) and the event includes a social hour beginning at 6 p.m., two-hour open bar and three-course meal. The event will kick off Mental Health Awareness Month (May 2015).
Reserve your tickets online now and be a part of this unique event! You will also be able to purchase $10 raffle tickets for the chance to win $1,000 when you make your reservation. Click here to see the waiters participating in the event and tip your waiter(s) of choice!
Even if you aren’t able to attend, you can tip online to the celebrity waiter(s) of your choice and help strengthen the mental health infrastructure of the Roanoke Valley and Commonwealth of Virginia.
Learn more at www.fsrv.org, visit the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/783641648381600/ and follow Family Service on Twitter @familyservicerv!
Thanks for all you do to support human services in the Roanoke Valley and promote the mental wellness of our community.

Flat Jesus is in Roanoke
Life happens. More often than not, life happens in what feels like warp speed. When that happens, we often forget that Jesus is with us. We forget to include Jesus as part of what we do. “Flat Jesus” is a fun way to remember to bring Jesus along with us on our adventures, social events, dinner with friends and at school.  To see where St. John’s parishioners are taking Jesus with them, click here.

Help bring “Flat Jesus” to life! Simply pick up a "flat Jesus" in the parish office on Mountain Avenue during the week or in the narthex on Sundays and do the following:
Step one: Decorate flat Jesus and show how you see Jesus.
Step two: Take Jesus to the playground, to dinner, to the movies or wherever you think Jesus would be.
Step three: Take a selfie with Jesus or just Jesus hanging out where you are.
Step four: Post that picture on the St. John's Facebook page. Tag yourself and use the hashtag #StJohnswithJesus. 
Click here to post your picture.
Step five: Give "flat Jesus" away to a friend and have that friend repeat steps 2-5. Watch the St. John's Facebook page to see where Jesus shows up in the Star City and beyond.

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