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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)

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

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


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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The Unacceptable Messiah

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The Unacceptable Messiah

The Unacceptable Messiah

Series: Lent

Speaker: The Rev'd Jim Quigley

The Unacceptable Messiah 

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen 

Frederick Buechner wrote that after his baptism Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness asking himself the question of what it meant to be Jesus, and that during Lent Christians are to ask in one way or another what it means to be Christians.  The central question for the season we’re in, the thing we are supposed to be setting our minds on during these forty days of Lent is a divine one:  Who is this Jesus that we worship and what does he require from those of us who profess to believe that we are called to follow him?  As New Testament scholar William Gloer puts it, before we can understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus [the] Messiah we must understand what it meant for Jesus to be Messiah, and the hard part about that is that Jesus’ answers are as unacceptable to us now as they were to his disciples then.  

At their center the Holy Gospels (and all of Holy Scripture, for that matter) are stories about conflict of one sort or another; conflicts between the will of God and the ways of the world, internal and external conflicts within ourselves, conflicts between good and evil. Chapter eight, the chapter from which today’s gospel reading is taken, is the midpoint of Mark’s Gospel and it marks a radical shift.  The second half of the Gospel moves beyond the narrative of wilderness and sea-crossings and miraculous healings and a new narrative, Jesus’ southward journey to Jerusalem, begins.  The journey begins in the Northern most regions of Palestine, a place called Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus asks in the verses that immediately precede today’s Gospel reading, “Who do people say that I am?”  That question that is followed by another:  “And who do you say that I am?”  When Peter answers that Jesus is the Messiah our verses from today’s Gospel begin and Jesus teaches his disciples (and subsequently the “crowds” who had come to see him) that the son of man, or the human one, the Messiah, must undergo great suffering and be killed and in three days rise again.  At this point the only thing “going south” is Jesus’ message.  “We are going to Galilee and eventually to Jerusalem where conflicts with the authorities, both political and religious, will end with my crucifixion.  But that’s the only way this can work.”  “This can’t be!” is Peter’s response.     

Fitting for the season of Lent, a season of self examination and repentance for the church both communally and individually, is the fact that the focus at the midpoint in Mark’s Gospel doesn’t center on Jesus’ conflict with the authorities but rather on the dissimilarity between what Jesus understands his being Messiah means and how those who are trying to follow him do.  We know about what the disciples were thinking, or misunderstanding, believing that if Jesus were the Messiah that meant deliverance from Roman oppression, or some kind of political revolution.  So hearing that Jesus understood that being or becoming Messiah meant his certain death was a shock to them.  Simply put, they were looking for the birth of their Messiah; Jesus’ death was unacceptable.  Two more times on this Southern journey Jesus will remind his disciples about what was about to happen and two more times the magical thinking of the disciples will keep them from hearing or seeing the truth.  And we, those of us who have been listening and paying attention to the gospel narrative all these years and who already know how it’s all going to turn out are much the same!  We’d rather conjure another way; we’d rather think that being a disciple of Jesus is something other than a denial of self that leads to our suffering and death!  With Peter we say to Jesus, this is unacceptable!  But’s it’s the only way, Jesus says.  “If any want to be my followers let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”  

I’d be lying to you if I told you that I understand exactly what this radical call to discipleship means for us today, for you or for me or even if I’m willing to embrace it, completely.  With you I ask, “What would it mean to deny myself and take up my cross?”  “How can I save my life by losing it?”  “What would taking up my cross look like in these trying times and in this, our own adulterous and sinful generation?”  Searching the scriptures we find some hints, but can we sell all that we have and give it to the poor?  Can we turn the other cheek and love our enemies and those that persecute us?  Can we forgive those who trespass against us?  Can we stop worrying about what we will eat or drink and wear knowing that life is more than food and the body more than clothing?  Can we strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness?  All of it seems somewhat unacceptable, futile if not unreasonable, risky and certainly costly.  But such is the calling of Christ.  And every day it’s a new question.  And every question invites a new day and our Southward journey toward death and resurrection.  

In the coming weeks in our Lenten season we’ll leave The Gospel According to Mark and spend the time remaining reading from John’s Gospel.  Next week Jesus will overturn the tables and accuse the Temple leaders in Jerusalem of turning God’s House into a den of robbers.  He’ll talk of himself as being the Temple that will be torn down and then raised up.  He’ll say that unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies it can bear no fruit.  We’ll continue to struggle with what all of this means for us and hope that somehow we can be raised to new life in Christ, to a closer walk with the unacceptable savior.  As we move South toward Jesus in Jerusalem explicit connections will be made which imply that one step forward in our journey with Jesus, as reluctant as we are to take it, is when our worship takes place not only in the sanctuary but our when worship becomes our witness in the world.


As someone called to preach and teach in the church one of the many blessings is the gift of the places one goes and the things one learns as we journey toward the point of writing words like these on paper. Yesterday I read about Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929). Kennedy was an Anglican priest and poet who served as a chaplain in the First World War. After the war Kennedy was appointed to the Church of Saint Edmund, King and Martyr in London but his pacifism and zeal for social action led him to work for the Industrial Christian Fellowship and travels throughout Britain on speaking tours.  In 1923 when addressing the Anglo Catholic Congress, an outgrowth of the Oxford Movement, Kennedy said: 

“It is not enough to make the devotional life our main concern, and allow an occasional lecture or preachment on social matters to be added as a make-weight. The social life must be brought right into the heart of our devotion, and our devotion right into the heart of our social life. There is only one spiritual life, and that is the sacramental life – sacramental in its fullest, its widest, and its deepest sense, which means the consecration of the whole man and all his human relationships to God.  There must be free and open passage between the sanctuary and the street. We must destroy within ourselves our present feeling that we descend to a lower level when we leave the song of the angels and the archangels and begin to study economic conditions, questions of wages, hours and housing. It is hard, very hard, but it must be done. It must be done not only for the sake of the street, but for the sake of the sanctuary, too.”  Interestingly enough The Anglo Catholic Congress opened on June 29th, 1920, with a High Mass at the Anglican Church of St. Alban, Holborn, in the London districts of Camden.  As we often say in Morning Prayer, hear what the spirit is saying to the churches! 

Before we leave Mark and turn to John for the remainder of this Lenten season, hear this.  As Mark’s narrative shifts away from sea crossing and miraculous healing to selflessness and service, from a theology of glory to a theology of the cross, Mark frames the transition by beginning and ending with stories about the blind receiving their sight.  In the middle of the transition he adds a story about Jesus telling the father of a son with an unclean spirit that his son can be healed and that all things are possible for those who believe, to which the father responds, “I believe, but help my unbelief!”  Such could be our mantra for the remaining weeks of this season:  We believe, Lord, yet help our unbelief.  

In our customary time of silence in response to the gospel, a time that you are invited to use as you will, we might contrast what we find unacceptable insofar as is the call of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with what we find unacceptable in the world in which we live.  We might consider that which is no longer acceptable in our personal or private lives if we are to begin following Jesus; we might confess what in us might or must need to die in order that we begin see a new way of living; a life in Christ.