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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 - The Tree vs. the Tent

The Tree vs. the Tent

Posted by The Rev'd Emily Griffin on

It's harder for some of us to put down roots than for others. One of the Bible's enduring images of faithfulness is a tree planted by streams of water (Psalm 1). In the words of the old Gospel lyric, "Just like a tree that's planted by the waters, I shall not be moved." Given the mobility of many of our lives, this image can sound like either a lovely metaphor or a hopeless fantasy.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, in his book The Wisdom of Stability, explores this image in greater depth. He talks about a tree's "drip line" - that is, the ring formed around a tree by its canopy when it sheds water. We can use the drip line to get a sense of how far a tree's root structure goes. Generally, the extension of a tree above ground will not exceed its growth below. A tree's capacity to reach out its limbs and bear fruit is limited, in part, by the breadth and depth of its roots. (I'm not a tree expert, so one of you will need to tell me if he's getting any of the science wrong.) In other words, the more time we have to put down roots, the better chance we have of extending our reach and bearing fruit.

He then uses the drip line image to suggest some boundaries for our lives. Drawing on Psalm 16 (one of the psalms appointed today for Morning Prayer), he wonders what limits we might set on our mobility for the sake of our spiritual growth. "My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; indeed, I have a goodly heritage" (Psalm 16:8). How might we set those boundaries - or allow those boundaries to be set for us?

In Wilson-Hartgrove's case, after an itinerant life as a young adult, he found himself putting down roots in the same region his parents and grandparents did. It was a tangible way for him to tap into a root system that already went quite deep. He speaks movingly of the things he's since learned about himself and his community with the hard-earned wisdom of generations backing him up.

It's a compelling vision, but fortunately, it's not the only biblical vision of a faithful life. For many of us, especially inside the Beltway, our educational and professional lives have taken us far from our ancestral homes. Our roots, if anywhere, are elsewhere. In my case, the land of my parents and grandparents is Central New York, and so far I haven't been called back "home," at least not in that sense.

In trying to discern a pattern to the Spirit's movement in my life, I draw my inspiration less from the life of a tree and more from the life of Abraham. Faithfulness for him was not about staying put and putting down roots; it was about following God's lead and moving when God said to go. It was about a willingness to live in tents for as long as it took until he got the signal to stop. By the time he died, the only property he owned in the Promised Land was his and Sarah's burial plot. For some of us, faithfulness takes more the shape of a tent than a tree.

The beauty of a faith community like St. Alban's is that we have both "oaks of righteousness" (Isaiah 61:3) and tent dwellers in our midst. By committing to this group of people in this place and time for however long the Spirit calls us to remain, we tap into traditions and faith practices that precede us and will hold fast long after we're gone. We tap into a root structure that is thousands of years old.

Some of us may even find our definitions of "home" shifting the longer we're here. In the case of today's psalmist, "home" was less about where he was and more about where God is. He writes: "O LORD, you are my portion and my cup; it is you who uphold my lot...You will show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore" (Psalm 16:5, 11). May we find ourselves on the path of life this week, no matter how far we are from where we started.

Peace,

Emily+

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