One of the first things you might notice upon stepping into our church is the large stained-glass window at the front, showing the story of the resurrection, the angel, the open tomb, the faithful women who came to care for Jesus' body. That bright window oversees all of our worship, our celebrations of baptism and marriage, our memorials for those we've lost, our music and sharing of peace and communion. If you catch it at the right time of day, the sun shines brilliantly through it, illuminating that story of life overcoming death in a beautiful way.
When I step into the church and see this window and the light coming through it, I consider the multitude of ways we at St. John’s seek to tell the story of God to the world about us, the story of life overcoming death and joy overcoming sorrow. I invite you to come into our doors and experience that light and that grace, become of part of the story of resurrection with us.
As a historic downtown church, St. John’s has welcomed generations of people for more than 125 years. They have come at times of joy, and with hearts so broken they barely made it in. They’ve come as part of their weekly routine, or just to find a passing moment of solitude and grace. Whatever brings you through our doors, I know you will find a place of grace, light and peace.
I thank God for the long history of this church in this city, but am also grateful that St. John’s is very much a church alive and present to the world about us today. We are looking for what God calls us to do and be next as we move into the future. We would love for you to be a part of that future, a future we couldn't accomplish without the people who are called to be part of our work and worship.
St. John’s is a community of people intent on following Jesus in our day and time, and from our home in the heart of downtown Roanoke. Through beautiful, vibrant worship we learn how to be what God intends for the world through us. We do so by offering a loving, faithful, gracious open door to the world about us. We are far from a Sundays-only church, and hundreds upon hundreds of people — members of the parish and the community beyond — find that St. John's offers a place for them as well. It’s in our DNA to be a home for all people — and that will always include you.
Our faith and our work is rooted in our life in Jesus Christ. It is through him that we live, move and have our being. It is his risen life that shines on us day to day, not only through that window, but as a community gathered in his name. It shapes and directs us, so that the Spirit’s work through us will offer that same restoration and resurrection to our world in need.
The Reverend Eric Long, Rector