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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.

Please fill out this welcome form to connect with us.

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

 

Service Times

Beginning on Trinity Sunday, May 30, 2021, worship will be open to anyone without pre-registration or distancing requirements. We will continue requiring that worshippers be masked for now. 

Our schedule of services will remain the same throughout the summer:

 - 9:00 a.m. (English) in the church

 - 10:30 a.m. (English) in the church

 - Noon (Spanish) in Nourse Hall

Communion in one kind (i.e. wafers) will be offered at the main altar, although we will happily bring communion to those for whom steps are challenging. 

Masked hymn singing both indoors and outdoors will be permitted, and music will be supported by a soloist and organ. 

On-line worship services in English and Spanish are available on Sundays beginning at 8:00 a.m. on our YouTube channel.

 

 

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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Faith Talk - Since She Brought It UP

Since She Brought It UP

Posted by The Rev'd Jim Quigley on with 3 Comments

As many of you have noticed by now my colleague Emily has an irenic way about her, especially when she's channeling her Mary more than her Martha (no dis here but rather a reference to a sermon she preached a while back).  Last week, when crafting a Daily Cup about art from a self-deprecating perspective she successfully painted a picture with words, as she often does.  I can't help but to pick up where she left off and say more about The Things That Make for Art.

My recent travels included a visit to deCordova, a marvelous sculpture park in Lincoln, MA.  As is often the case, and was last week, when I'm viewing art my heart leaps and I experience unadulterated joy. I'm overtaken with a feeling that is beyond description - time stops, tears flow and I feel that most precious of feelings - that life is all gift.  I don't know why God has granted me this particular blessing and I don't know exactly what it is about particular works of art that evoke these feelings in me but I think it has something to do with the fact that what I'm seeing and sense in these moments is a glimpse of the souls of the artists who created them. They are singing God's song... trust, believe, express, create, love, make your mark!  In the religious sphere such expressions of beauty transcend the doctrinal differences between denominations and the dogmatic assertions that divide world religions. The need that humans have to create art is timeless and universal, like God.  In his Letter to Artists (Archdiocese of Chicago, Liturgy Training Publications, 1999) Pope John Paul II wrote, "None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God, at the dawn of creation, looked upon the work of divine hands... God is an exemplar who on the very first pages of the bible produces work, and the human who produces art mirrors the image of God as creator."  In the Pope's native tongue the relationship between artist and creator is linked linguistically: in Polish stworca means creator and tworca means craftsperson.

One of the pieces that elevated my soul at deCordova last week was Jacob's Dream, a 9' tall cast aluminum sculpture by Isaac Witkin (1936-2006).  Witkin was born in South Africa, studied in London under Anthony Caro and was an apprentice to Henry Moore.  Witkin was part of a group of artists - sometimes called the school of Caro - who became a phenomenon in the British art world of the 1960's and were known as the New Generation of sculptors.

I suppose it's obvious that I'd be drawn to Witkins' Jacob's Dream because the inspiration for the piece comes from the Jacob narrative in The Book of Genesis (28.10-22).  You know the story - Jacob travels to Haran and with a stone for a pillow he falls asleep and dreams of a ladder reaching from earth to the heavens on which the angels of God ascend and descend connecting a divine reality with a human one. In his dream-state the Lord, the God of Abraham (Jacob's grandfather) and the God of Isaac (his father) appears to Jacob and promises to be "with him and keep him wherever he goes."  Jacob then wakes from his dream and proclaims, "Surely the Lord is in this place - and I did not know it!"  In the morning Jacob sets up the stone on which he slept as a pillar, pours oil on it, names the sacred place of revelation Bethel (Bet = house; El = God) and makes his own promise: "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear... then the Lord shall be my God."  But that's just the beginning of this story (ha)! 

Tamari Witkin Marcus, Witkin's daughter, described her father's imaginative state when making works of art as if he was almost working in a dream. He would listen to loud operatic music, sometimes sing and enter into what she calls a transformative state.  The white patina that Witkin used to finish the surface of Jacob's Dream was one that he hoped would evoke a ladder made of clouds.  Looking at the piece in person one gets the sense that a figure climbs the cloud-ladder toward the heavens.  There's also a strong visual sense of wrestling within the twisting metal shapes and forms (an allusion to another other Jacob story).  Tamari has said that her father was particularly concerned with the concept of wrestling with God and that spirituality was "a very, very meaningful topic for him."  

A document called Gaudium et Spes, which was part of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, maintains that through art "the knowledge of God can be better revealed and the preaching of the Gospel can become clearer to the human mind."  Theologian Marie Dominique Chenu, OP (1895-1990) claimed that the work of the historian of theology would be incomplete if it failed to give due attention to works of art, both literary and figurative, which are in their own way not only aesthetic representations but genuine sources of theology."   

Here's a photo of Jacob's Dream that I took last week:

Jacob's Dream by Isaac Witkin 

 

Thank you for wrestling with your dreams, Isaac, and for a glimpse of God.  May your soul and the souls of all the departed, rest in peace.

Happy Monday,

Jim+

  

Comments

James Tate August 30, 2016 10:08am

Nice choice of words, Jim - irenic.
When used as a formal adjective, it means "aiming or aimed at peace." Something we could use more of at St. Albans. Haven't seen much of that lately, but like art, I will know it when I see it.
When used as a part of Christian theology it is concerned with reconciling different denominations and sects. Perhaps what we have here is a difference in denominations: is it art or is it porn?

Judith Farr August 30, 2016 3:44pm

Rev. Quigley's beautifully thoughtful essay reminded me that the story of Jacob's dream lives at the heart of several of Emily. Dickinson's poems. Of creating in "a transformative state," she wrote in 1886, "I cannot tell how Eternity seems. It sweeps around me like a sea while I do my work."

jim August 30, 2016 8:00pm

Thank God for those sweeps like seas. And thank you Judith Farr

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