What We Do
How We Worship and Learn About Christ
St. John’s combines the best traditions of Episcopal worship and music with a vibrant parish community. Together we explore our love of Christ and mission as Christians in a rich and nurturing environment.
We celebrate the Holy Eucharist Rite every Sunday at 8am and 10:30 am mass. We share relevant readings from scripture and the Book of Common Prayer. Stirring sermons draw parallels from scripture to our modern lives and challenge us intellectually and spiritually. Together we grow more deeply into God’s grace.
Music is a cherished part of St. John’s. Peggy Howell is our full-time organist and choirmaster. All services include organ accompaniment. The 10:30 am service features the celebrated St. John’s Parish Choir as well as frequent participation by our youth choirs. The choirs hold public concerts and in 2018 were in residency at Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester England. Learn more about music at St. John’s and our adult and youth programs. We also frequently host musical and vocal performances.
St. John’s Parish Choir has provided local, regional, and international performances:
Three choir trips to the United Kingdom, with residencies in four Cathedrals (seven or eight services sung on each trip):
2011: Collaboration with The Parish of St. Matthew in Palisades Park, California, one-week residency at Winchester Cathedral.
2015: St. John’s (and Friends): three days at Wells Cathedral followed by three days at St. David’s Cathedral, Wales
2018: St. John’s (and Friends): One week at Gloucester Cathedral
Numerous collaborations, major works, and choral festivals over the years, including these in the last few years:
2015 - Evensongs at St. John’s, Six Performances January – June
2016 - Lynchburg Symphony, Brahms Requiem, St. John’s Choir, Lynchburg Choral Union, some students from Liberty, Lynchburg Symphony, Chris Swanson conductor, Peggy Howell, organ
2016 - Lighten our Darkness, Choral concert with Martin Neary, guest conductor
St. John’s Choir, St. Paul’s Choir, Cantate
2017 - Lessons and Music for Passiontide, Spring,
2018 - Evensongs at St. John’s, January –June; Five at St. Johns and one Evensong at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, NC with St. Paul’s Choir
Annual - Christmas Concert or Lessons and Carols, St. John’s and Cantate Children’s and Youth Choir, various instrumentalists
Worship for Families
Children and Parents are encouraged to attend the Formation Hour (LINK) that takes place from 9:30am to 10:15am each Sunday. The children meet in the classrooms on the third floor. Adults participate in one of two Formation Groups. Learn more about Formation beyond Sunday
(LINK to Sunday School offering page)
Children are also invited to attend worship with their families. There are children’s packets available at both sanctuary entrances, complete with children’s bulletins and crayons, as well as children’s worship books in all the pews. Children hear words and perceive images from what is said in church. Often, the images show up in their Doodles!
Formation is the Episcopal term that is used in place of “Sunday School.” Episcopalians believe that Christianity cannot be taught, rather it is a lived experience. Teachers and facilitators help us to live into our faith, to see it unfold in our lives and in our world.
Children and Parents are encouraged to attend the Formation Hour that takes place from 9:30am to 10:15am each Sunday from Fall through Spring. Adults participate in one of two Formation Groups. A large Formation Group meets in Magill Parish Hall and a more intimate Formation Group meets in the Chapel.
St. John’s Christian Formation is centered around learning about Christ. Rounding out the formation experience is the path to communion with Christ and connection with community within our church and in our world. Formation is to be experienced not taught, through opportunities shared in community and throughout our world.
Sunday morning programs for young children are Christ centered teaching, where relationships are emphasized instead of format. Sunday morning programs for youth are based on dialogue, relationships and living your faith through nature, service and community with other congregations. High school classes include the Jesus and Java program for faith sharing, as well as confirmation classes.
Adult programs are presented by lay ministers and guest lecturers from the surrounding colleges and universities. Past and present offerings include EFM-Education for Ministry, Animate Series, NOOMA, CS Lewis Series, Living the Questions, Dream.Think.Do. and Saving Jesus Redux among many others.
Formation beyond Sunday includes both Men and Women’s book study groups for further faith building.
Many parishioners get involved in St. John’s Worship Services. St. John’s Sunday services are made possible by member volunteers who serve in key roles as Greeters, Ushers, Altar and Flower Guilds, Lay Eucharist Ministers, Lay Readers, Children’s Chapel, and Youth Acolytes (Grades 6 through 12)