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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.
 
Blessings,
 
The Reverend Eric Long,
Rector


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.
 



EPISCOPAL ME
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.



Red Cross Blood Drive
 
Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 14, 2015 from noon until 6 p.m. for our next American Red Cross blood drive at St. John's.  In order for the Red Cross to staff our event effectively, we need to schedule as many donors as possible ahead of time.  Please e-mail Heth Thomas at hthomas@jhwadepwm.com or call (540) 871-3740 to make an appointment.

When St. John's hosts a blood drive, we also support a canteen to take care of the donors and staff.  Barbara Renick is in charge of the canteen and makes sure all of the food is plated and served.  We are in need of a  couple of people who could help for a couple of hours as a host or hostess in the canteen.  The drive is also in need of having very simple finger sandwiches and cookies delivered to the church the day prior to a drive or the morning of the drive.  If you would like to provide this assistance, please e-mail Elizabeth Thomas at lizzie3361@gmail.com.  



Grace Rebuilding Spring
Project, Saturday, April 18th
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Carpool from St. John's
Lunch Provided

 
Grace Rebuilding, an outreach ministry of St. John's, is sponsoring a workday for Episcopal parishes in the Roanoke Convocation at Emmanuel Chapel in Eagle Rock, VA on Saturday, April 18. We will be building an access ramp and making other improvements to the property to make it more accessible and inviting. No experience is necessary and folks of all skill levels are invited to participate! Youth ages 12 and up with an interest in working are welcome to join us.

Emmanuel is one of the oldest Episcopal churches in the region. It was once owned by the diocese but is now under the care of St. Mark’s in Fincastle. A monthly service, called Appalachian Vespers, is held there on the afternoon of the third Sunday.

Questions? Interested in participating? Please contact David Todd at davidm.todd2@gmail.com or Katrina Ross at katrina.ke@gmail.com or 540-819-5726 by April 15.



Celebration Arts presents

Bells and Barbeque:
A New Song and a Godspeed Celebration
Come ring out farewell blessings for Erin, Sam and Micah Hensley
April 26, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall


A parish wide celebration of our new handbells,
the blessings of this past program year, the Rev. Erin and Sam Hensley,
and the blessings ahead as we live into God's future.

phenomenal food, crafts and games for the young and young at heart,
moving music, and more

Suggested donation: $5 per person or $15 max per family






 
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.
Attention all Graduating Seniors
and Parents of Seniors


We want to honor you! Please send us your child’s name, their high school, and their plans for next year (service year, college, job..etc.) We will bless high school graduates on May 17th at the 5:00 p.m. Gathering Service. Please plan on seniors and their parents attending this service. Please e-mail all information to John Simpson
(jsimpson@stjohnsroanoke.org) or call him at 540-343-9341 by May 10th.

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