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Welcome

Welcome to St. Alban’s Church! Every Sunday, and most days in between, people gather in this place to worship, to learn, to grow, to share the joys and struggles of our lives, and to seek God’s grace in the midst of our lives. We do not come because we have it all figured out, but because we are seeking light on the way. We come as we are and welcome one another.

On this website, you can find information about our worship, our classes for people of all ages, membership at St. Alban's, and about how we seek to make a difference in this world. We warmly encourage you to join us for a Sunday service or for some of the many other events that happen here. You belong at St. Alban’s.

Contact us with any questions. Call (202) 363-8286 or email the church office.

Service Times

SUNDAY SERVICES (after Labor Day through May)
8:00 a.m.       Holy Eucharist: Rite I (spoken)

9:00  a.m.      Holy Eucharist: Rite II

                        Children's Chapel

11:15 a.m.      Misa in Español (Little Sanctuary)

11:15 a.m.      Holy Eucharist: Rite II (Rite I during Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter)

WEEKDAY SERVICES
Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday, 9:00 a.m.  Daily Morning Prayer

Tuesday, 7:30 a.m.                                    Holy Eucharist: Rite II

Directions

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church is located next to the Washington National Cathedral at the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues in the northwest section of the District of Columbia.

From either direction on the north loop of the Capital Beltway/I-495 follow signs for Route 355/Wisconsin Ave south toward DC. St. Alban’s is located on the left just before the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Make a left onto Lych Gate Rd before you reach Massachusetts Ave. As you enter the drive, the church will be on your left and Satterlee Hall and the Rectory on the right. Stay on Lych Gate until it becomes Pilgrim Rd.

From any Virginia main in-bound thoroughfare (George Washington Memorial Parkway, I-395, Route 50, I-66), follow signs to Rosslyn and take the Key Bridge from Rosslyn north across the Potomac River into Georgetown. Go right on M St, left on Wisconsin Ave. St. Alban’s is located on the right just after the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Make a right onto Lych Gate Rd after passing Massachusetts. As you enter the drive, the church will be on your left and Satterlee Hall and the Rectory on the right. Stay on Lych Gate until it becomes Pilgrim Rd.

Parking is available on Pilgrim Road Monday-Friday after 3:30 pm and all day Saturday and Sunday. Parking is also available in the Cathedral’s underground garage for a fee Monday- Saturday and for free on Sunday.  You may also park on neighborhood streets according to DC parking signs.

What to Expect

Visiting a church for the first time can be a bit daunting. So we have tried to put together the answers to some of the questions you’re likely to have and to ensure that you find a warm welcome here. Click on the questions to learn more.)

How do you worship?

What time are services on Sunday morning?

How long do services last?

Where can I park?

Do you offer programs for children?

What should I wear?

Do you have provisions for the differently-abled?

For Your Kids

Children’s Ministry

At St. Alban’s Parish the formation of our children is a high priority.  While we know that a significant amount of a child’s faith comes from the home, we aim to provide excellent children’s formation throughout the year to complement the formation that is ongoing in a child’s life.  Our goal is to help children easily point to the love of God in their lives.

Worship: Children’s Chapel meets at the start of the 9:00 a.m. service in Nourse Hall. Children join the congregation in "big church" at the Peace, in time for Eucharist.

Education: All church school classes resume the Sunday after Labor Day with our annual Open House. Instruction starts the following Sunday. 

Nursery care: Child care is available from 9:00 to 11:05 a.m. during the program year (September to May) for infants and children under 3 who aren’t quite ready for our 2s & 3s class.

Learn more about Children's Ministries


Youth Ministry

Four teen groups participate in formation classes at St. Alban’s on Sunday mornings.  We use the nationally recognized Episcopal curriculum “Journey to Adulthood," or J2A.  J2A has two guiding principles: 1) Manhood and womanhood are gifts of God; and 2) Adulthood must be earned. This is a strong program with over 50 youth participating, many of whom engage in a wide variety of ministries at St. Alban’s. Two or three adults mentor each of the groups for two years, sharing their own faith journeys and forming strong bonds of fellowship with the participants. 

Worship:  St. Alban’s Teen Service Fellowship starts at 9:00 a.m. and is a separate service just for our teens held in the Little Sanctuary at St. Albans School. This interactive service offers teens time to talk about life, the Gospel, and to celebrate Eucharist together.  The teens return to "big church," before heading to their classes at the conclusion of the 9:00 a.m. worship service.  Friends are always welcome.

Learn more about Youth Ministries

The Episcopal Church

As Episcopalians, we follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe God is active in our everyday lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.  

The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and with each other in Christ. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love. The Church carries out its mission through the ministry of all of its members.

We uphold the Bible and worship with the Book of Common Prayer. We believe the Holy Scriptures are the revealed Word of God. In worship we unite ourselves with one another to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear God's Word, to offer prayer and praise, and to celebrate the Sacraments. The Celebration of Holy Eucharist is the central act of worship in accordance with Jesus' command to His disciples. Holy Communion may be received by all baptized Christians, not only members of the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion with 70 million members in 165 countries.  The word "Episcopal" refers to government by bishops. The historic episcopate continues the work of the first apostles in the Church, guarding the faith, unity and discipline of the Church. Both men and women, including those who are married, are eligible for ordination as deacons, priests and bishops. 

We strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person. We welcome all to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church.

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Dirty Dancing

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07.15.18

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing

Series: Pentecost

Speaker: The Rev'd Jim Quigley

 

If you are new to the bible I wouldn’t recommend Second Samuel as a starting point. In today’s reading, while David does his best impression of a strip-teasing whirling Dervish twerking in the name of God in front of the Arc of the Covenant, Michal, daughter of Saul, looks out a window from a distance and watches him in disgust, “despising him in her heart.”   The story reads like an episode from the House of Cards or a Hollywood movie script.  I’d cast Judy Dench as Michal.  The scripture doesn’t provide a definitive or complete explanation as to the reason for her disdain for David, but Michal’s contempt for the prophetic ecstasy displayed by Israel’s newest King is expounded upon a few verses later in the narrative.  When David comes home – channel Dench here – she scolds him for having exposed himself to his maids: “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself.”    

While by the end of his story the king David of Holy Scripture will have indeed penned the very honest and penitential fifty-first Psalm, his delusional response to Michal in the Samuel narrative is a warning sign for the lust and greed that would later taint his legacy: “It was before the Lord, who chose me in place of your father and all his household, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord, that I have danced before the Lord.  [Mark my words], I will make myself yet more contemptable than this, and I will be abased in my own eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.”  He sure would.  Abase himself, that is.  In the midst of it all he remained Israel’s king. One thing seems true here, to be sure; the strange stories contained in that which we call Holy writ aren’t bashful about real life.  They are in fact, R rated portrayals of humanity then and now.  Lately, in both the Daily Office readings and the Sunday lections, the resonance between the stories of scripture and the reality of our world have been pretty uncanny.  One wonders if Michal’s words to David resemble those heard by a certain politician returning home to his wife from the campaign trail after the Access Hollywood tape aired on national television… plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose? 

In the reading from the Gospel According to Mark more dirty dancing ensues.  Centuries after king David’s display this time it’s not a king but a girl, the daughter of Herodias, who is dancing.  In this story Salome, an innocent one caught in a tragic triangle of desire, twerks away.  For this script maybe, we’ll cast Woody Allen as king Herod.  Salome’s “dance” pleases Herod and his guests.  It’s a sickening story that only gets worse as it goes on.  Herod’s wife watches from a distance reveling in delight knowing that her scheme is all but yet a fait accompli – thanks to Salome’s dance and Herod’s incestuous desire she will get what she wants: the head of John the Baptist on a platter; the death of an innocent and righteous man of God, the one willing to call a spade for what it is, regardless of the cost.  

Most readings of this story in Mark’s Gospel consider it to be a call to radical discipleship for those that follow Jesus.  The fate of John the Baptist in the clutches of Herod and his guests mirror that of Jesus before Pontius Pilate and the crowds that call for his crucifixion.  Mark puts the gruesome tale between one story about Jesus sending out the disciples and another about their joyful return as a means of communicating the fact that despite apparent successes along the way, ultimately the call of Christ is that of John’s… a call to death.  Jesus bids us to come and die, as Bonhoeffer wrote.   As one preacher puts it, “You can put your ear to the ground and listen for as long as you like to this story in Mark’s gospel but doing so won’t lead to so much as a single note of good news.”  Combining the reading from Mark with the reading from Second Samuel this morning there’s just one thing for a preacher to say: double whammy.  What does one say about these texts or what do they say to us?  

Whenever I’m confronted with challenging readings on Sunday mornings I’m often drawn to consider them in the light of the communal prayer that the compilers of the lectionary paired with them.  What I’m referring to of course is the prayer that marks the beginning of our collective worship each week, the Collect of the Day.  In today’s collective hope we prayed that we might know and understand the things that we ought to do, and to have the grace and power to accomplish them.  There’s plenty of good news in that prayer, in yearning to know and understand what we ought to do but also to be given the grace and power to accomplish whatever that might be for us as individuals or as a community.  

There was a time in my own journey when my faith seemed so alive that I was willing to risk everything for Jesus.  I was about halfway through seminary and walking across the campus Close one day, I thought to myself, “I could die for Christ.”  I think the thought, which seems a little frightening now, was one result of being immersed so deeply and so daily in a community of extremely dedicated believers and seekers – students and faculty alike.  The feeling didn’t stick, thankfully.  And yet, while my faith is deeper now than at any point in my life I don’t feel that Jesus is beckoning me – or you for that matter – to come and die but rather to come and live.  Embedded in the invitation to life, ironically, is in fact the invitation to die to those things that keep us from the love of God or from loving one another.  To stop our dirty dancing, however subtle or harmless it may seem. 

Earlier I asked what there is to say about these texts or what they might say to us on this eighth Sunday after Pentecost.  In some ways the answer is pretty simple.  We could pray together that all those who are abusing the power they have been granted, and all those who are wrapped up in sickening cycles of mimetic rivalry – which undoubtedly includes the kings and queens of the world but also each and every one of us in our own way as husbands or wives, exes or parents or siblings – might hear or see in these texts parts of ourselves and be called from death to life.

We might also pray that all those children who suffer and act out because of their being lost and unloved find salvation in and with those called to care for them. 

We can also pray for the Baptists, not necessarily the denomination, mind you, but for all those called or compelled to speak truth to power and all those who risk their lives or suffer for the sake of their Gospel; whether Christian or Jew, Muslim or Hindu… agnostic or atheist; male or female, transgendered or straight, citizen or alien.  

We might also pray for our own calling to live, to love and to new life. 

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of the people who call upon you, and grant that we may know and understand what things we ought to do;  and give us grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen