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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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Seeing the Son

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04.01.18

Seeing the Son

Seeing the Son

Series: Easter

Speaker: The Rev'd Emily Griffin

When does a new day start? For those of us wondering when our official “do-over” begins, this is an important question. In one of my favorite childhood books, Anne of Green Gables, Anne defines tomorrow as “a new day with no mistakes in it yet.” As a recovering perfectionist, I would love to know when exactly we can let yesterday go and welcome tomorrow. When does yesterday die?

Some might say sunrise, but for many of us – whether it’s our work schedules or our internal time clocks opening our eyes – our new day begins long before we see the sun. Besides, as anyone who has ever planned a morning Easter Vigil would tell you, sunrise is notoriously tricky to pinpoint. It turns out there’s a technical definition for it – it’s the exact moment when the edge of the sun appears over the horizon. That sounds far more precise than how we actually experience the transition from darkness to light. Try witnessing it sometime. Go outside and watch. Long before the sun shows its face, the world starts to warm and wake. Birds greet the day long before we see it. Before we know it, we might not see the sun yet – but there’s light enough to see. Sunrise, when it finally does come, simply brings into focus what’s already there.

We could always go with the ancient Hebrew approach and start the new day the night before. Notice in our reading from Genesis – the first day began not with light, but with darkness. “And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.” Hear the order of that – evening, then morning. For Jesus in the 1st century and for Jews all over the world even today, the new day begins not at midnight and certainly not at sunrise – but at sunset, when the old day ends. That’s why Shabbat begins on Friday evening and not Saturday morning. Apparently, we have some choice in how we let yesterday die. What if our new day could start sooner? Could darkness actually be dawn?

Come to think of it - that’s how it worked in the Exodus story too. Tomorrow for the people of Israel started long before they saw the sun rise. We get so caught up in being chased by the Egyptians, the chariots and the chariot drivers, that we miss the timing of it. Our story here begins at night. We’re in the darkness when the angel of God and the pillar of cloud sent to lead the people take up the rear guard to protect them – which sounds like a great idea until we realize that that leaves us in the dark. The people cross the waters into freedom facing the dark with the light behind them. If that’s not a metaphor for faith, I’m not sure what is. In this case, their deliverance happens before they see the sun rise. It’s not until morning that they realize they’re free to face a new future.

Perhaps it’s appropriate then, that this morning’s baptism happened in the dark – by candlelight rather than the full-on brightness of the sun. We don’t need to see the sun for a new day to have begun, do we? Baptism is the mother of all new beginnings. We say that in baptism we’re buried with Christ and raised to new life. We die to our old selves so that we can walk in newness of life, so that the reality of Easter can be made alive in us. The problem, of course, is that we need to die to ourselves more than once. I need to die to how I understand myself daily. Every day I need to die to the notion that my goal is to make it through the day with no mistakes – as if perfection and faithfulness are the same thing. Every day I need to stop living as if the reality of the resurrection is somehow dependent on my responding properly to it. If the truth of Easter is dependent on us making it so with our perfect attendance and gold stars for good behavior, then I don’t care what day it is – that’s not good news at all.

Perhaps that’s why I’m finding Mark’s version of the Easter story good news today – instead of the letdown I’ve sometimes found it to be. Of course, I want the women to be the heroes of this story. They’re the first evangelists – the first people to get the best news of all time – that evil and death don’t have the last word, that Jesus is raised just like he said he would be – and that if he can be trusted on that, he can be trusted for everything else. I want them, as they do in Matthew and Luke, to respond in faith and joy and spread the Gospel of Easter like wildfire.

But they don’t in Mark. In Mark, they respond like most of us would to a young man in a white robe hanging out in a tomb passing on directions from a dead man. They wonder what happened to Jesus’ body, what monster could have robbed his grave. They don’t have a frame in their heads or their hearts that contains resurrection; it’s never happened before. This isn’t like the arrival of spring. It’s not part of the natural rhythm of life for someone to rise from the grave. Unlike the male disciples who fled the scene before the crucifixion, these women watched Jesus die. They saw him stop breathing. For those of us who have witnessed someone die, when the coroner has come and the body is removed, nothing seems more final. Maybe if they’d actually seen the risen Christ (like they do in the other Gospels) instead of getting an IOU, they’d believe. But as we know by now, we don’t need to see the Son rise in order for it to be a new day.

I wish I would have had the presence of mind to listen to this odd young man – that I’d remember that Jesus had actually predicted this multiple times, that I’d have the courage to look ahead expecting to find Christ there – even if it is on the other side of the grave. I wish that I would have conquered my fear and embarrassment and spoken up – but I can’t say for sure. I may have reacted just as these women did – with cowardice and fear.

But thanks be to God – our hope isn’t in these women. Our hope is not in proving that we’re better or smarter or more faithful than they were. Our hope is in the God who raised Jesus from the dead, who gives us what we need to practice resurrection now and walk in newness of life every day. No matter when we start the clock ticking, be it sunrise or sunset, no matter how many mistakes we’ve made the day before, every day can be a new day – where we’re free to face a new future. The future is as open as the promises of God. Evil and death have lost their stranglehold on us. It’s actually possible for us to choose life. By the grace of Easter, we can let yesterday go and welcome tomorrow right now. The time for looking back and lamenting our past fears and failures, for second guessing ourselves all the time is over – not because we never need to look back, but simply because that’s not the direction we’re facing this morning. We’ve been given our marching orders, and the direction is forward. Our Lenten fast has ended, and Christ is going ahead. “There you will see him, just as he told you.” Amen.