PLANS FOR FALL 2020
From the Rev'd Geoffrey Hoare
It looks as though the spread of coronavirus will preclude us from opening our buildings early this fall. For that reason, we are planning offerings and classes online. Here's the current plan:
- Children's Chapel and Godly Play will take place on Zoom.
- Youth confirmation will continue, as will our regular youth group classes.
- Bible studies and Adult Enquirers classes will be held online on Sunday and Wednesday mornings.
- We are exploring what adult forums might look like--both sharing our own stories with one another as well as inviting various guests to join us from time to time, online.
- Our adult choir and youth choristers will rehearse online and sing in our recorded Sunday worship services.
We will ensure that all these offerings provide time for us to connect with one another, and I hope you will join as you are able. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks to come.
AUGUST VESTRY NEWS
From Senior Warden Ken Patterson
Finances: Treasurer Hollis McLoughlin shared encouraging news that July pledge income bounced back after a slower June, and all indications are that 2020 pledge income will allow us to have a balanced budget. Reductions in “plate” offerings, special offerings and Op Shop income have been balanced out by some reductions in operating expenses due to closed buildings, as well as our forbearance in hiring a new Parish Administrator until the buildings do reopen.
Youth: Glenn Davis praised Associate Rector Yoimel’s efforts to sustain activities for our youth. For the fall, there are plans for a new pandemic-sensitive Grate Patrol. Barbara Manard reported plans to routinely prepare 120 Grate Patrol “supper bags” in individuals’ home kitchens that will be delivered to masked volunteers on Lychgate Road and retrieved from folks’ car trunks. St. Alban’s will thus be able to help address the ever-growing hunger needs in our community with nominal exposure to volunteers and no use of our buildings. This effort is currently more than adequately staffed by parishioners and neighbors of St. Alban’s, but as needs arise Barbara will keep us posted.
Stewardship Campaign: The chairs of the Annual Appeal, Rachel Colson and Lisa Garnett, provided an update on the plans to begin this stewardship drive late in September. These plans include calls to parishioners by Vestry members and other volunteers, and testimonies about the joy and fulfillment of giving back during our virtual worship services. Parishioners are reminded that paying one’s 2021 pledges in 2020 (to take advantage of the CARES Act temporary elimination of a limit on the deductibility of charitable contributions) is welcomed.
Regathering: I was pleased to report that StART (St. Alban’s Regathering Team), comprised of approximately 30 clergy, staff, Vestry persons and other parishioners, is up and running. Please contact any of the following subcommittee chairs should you wish to become involved or want to provide input in a particular area: (Worship: Dudley Winthrop; Music: Matthew Steynor; Technology: Deborah Potter; Facilities: Ted Swett; Op Shop: Robin Rudd; Kitchen Use: Barbara Manard; Christian Education: Emily Griffin and Jim Quigley; Communications: Megan King; Parish Life: Megan King; and, Finance: Hollis McLoughlin). Overarching issues currently include timing of re-gathering in person, the capacity of our buildings’ air-handling system to bring in fresh air, and ensuring that those who are allowed to use the building acknowledge the risk and promise to hold the church harmless.
Property: Junior Warden Ted Swett reported on an ongoing engineering analysis of the extent to which our various heating systems recirculate indoor air. There is a likelihood that our HVAC systems will not achieve a clean bill of health (so to speak) with regard to bringing in fresh air. Therefore, it is much more than likely that in-person worship or other large indoor gatherings at St. Alban’s will not occur any time soon. Your parish leadership will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our beloved over all things, including our collective, understandable desire to be physically together.
Updates: Given that it may be some time before we see one another without a computer screen between us, many of you are like me and know it’s much harder to connect with your church family when you don't see each other at least once a week. But one way to keep in touch is our Alban Life blog. The blog is updated about once a month with news and stories from the parish. If you subscribe (and I hope you will), you’ll get new posts by email. Want to suggest a topic? Contact Deborah Potter.
A full report and notes from previous Vestry meetings are here.
Are you missing your favorite hymns? Not to mention the chance to sing them out in the company of your St. Alban’s family?
That is how we were feeling. And, if singing together in the church is about the last thing we’re going to do, why not sing together while we’re still apart?
Join in the fun on Zoom on Wednesday, August 19, at 5:30 p.m. We won’t be long. Just long enough to sing five or six hymns. And/or maybe some old favorites not found in the hymnal. Just for the fun of it.
If it works, and you like it, we might keep doing it every couple of weeks. Since, in addition to missing the hymns, we’ve been missing you. So, we hope you’ll come along.
Click here for a pdf of the words and music we have lined up. Contact Marcy Fisher for the Zoom link.
WORSHIP AT HOME
Ever since our church buildings were forced to close due to COVID-19, we have been joining together for online services. All are welcome at any time to worship with us. Video of our services in English and Spanish are freely available on our YouTube channel.
On Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time, we publish that week's service. You'll find links on the home page of our website on Sundays.
YOUTH BIBLE STUDY
To join and receive the Zoom link, contact the Rev’d Yoimel González Hernández.
DIALOGUE ON RACE
If there were such a thing as a perfect faith-based curriculum on racism (for adults or for children), 1) we'd probably have used it by now, and 2) we might be living in a country where power and privilege were passe. But (on both counts) we gotta start somewhere...
Sacred Ground is a film- and readings- based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith. Published by the Episcopal Church, the Sacred Ground curriculum "invites small groups to walk through chapters of America's history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity."
Before recommending this curriculum to small groups throughout the parish, your clergy are hoping to identify a small number of individuals who are willing to serve as test pilots for the program. If you are interested in learning more, please contact The Rev'd Jim Quigley. When replying, please note that Sacred Ground is a ten-week curriculum and also that we'd like to get started soon.
EVENING PRAYER CONTINUES
St. Alban's is continuing its lay-led Zoom service of Evening Prayer on a trial basis on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Our intent is to offer a time of reflection and sharing at the conclusion of a busy day.
The order of service for the Rite II liturgy can be found in the Book of Common Prayer starting at page 115. It is also available in a pdf version to download here. If you would like to join the service or share as either a leader or a reader, please contact Paul Brewster or Emily Griffin.
Were it not for the coronavirus, we'd be celebrating this Sunday, May 24, with strawberries, ice cream, whipped topping and community at St. Alban's. It's unfortunate that we can't enjoy our fourth annual Strawberry Sunday together in person but we can keep the tradition alive on video. If you'd like to join a Zoom call at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning, contact Deborah Potter for details. If that doesn't work for you and you still plan to celebrate, send Deborah a selfie with strawberries in the picture so she can include you in a social media post on Facebook or Instagram.
UPDATE FROM THE RECTOR
I hope and trust you are staying well and will let your church know if that changes!
I wanted to bring you up to date on a couple of matters important for our common life. Our Vestry has begun a conversation not only about how we will open our buildings when that becomes possible, but also about what changes we can anticipate as a result of what we are learning in these strange days. We know, in one example, that an expanded online presence will be in our future as a way of expanding our reach and expanding the community of Jesus. I will let you know more whenever we know more about the immediate future.
In the meantime, we continue to monitor our finances and thanks to your continued generosity we have committed to paying our full staff at least through the end of the year. We have also wanted to share our good fortune with the neediest in our diocese and our city. To that end we have made a discretionary gift of $10,000 to our Bishop’s COVID-19 Relief Fund and are making additional gifts as necessary to support applications to the fund from our own parishioners in need.
In addition, I am delighted that those charged with oversight of funds raised for WSA from the Opportunity Shop were able to suspend their usual processes and allocated more than $35,000 to local centers that are providing food and shelter to the neediest among us. Those include Thrive DC, Charlie’s Place at St. Margaret’s Church, The Welcome Table at the Church of the Epiphany, Loaves & Fishes, a ministry of St. Stephen and the Incarnation, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, Calvary Women’s Center, Mary House, and Joseph’s House. I am particularly proud that we are supporting vital ministries being carried out by brothers and sisters in our own Diocese.
Every one of us has plenty of opportunities to continue our spiritual practice of generosity in these days, but I learned of one more creative outlet recently. The restaurants of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group in DC are working with both World Central Kitchen and Feed the Fight to prepare meals for hospital workers and others directly impacted by the pandemic. You can learn more or donate here.
Your wardens, clergy, staff and Vestry are continuing to ‘pivot’ as we can to be of service to the community in the name of St. Alban's thanks to each and every one of you. The building is closed, but the Church is indeed open and alive.
Wishing you every blessing,
As you know, we aren't able to hold services at St. Alban's due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we're still managing to worship together. Every Sunday since mid-March your clergy have been recording services in the sanctuary in English and in Nourse Hall in Spanish. (We acquired and installed a small remote-controlled camera in the sanctuary for this purpose, giving us the option to livestream services in the future.)
Music director Matthew Steynor has worked with our choir members to record anthems and motets, as well as hymns with on-screen lyrics so you can sing along, even if you don't have a hymnal at home. He wrote about the experience on the Alban Life blog.
We are grateful to our flower guild for continuing to create beautiful arrangements for the altar.
The services can be accessed from our home page on Sundays by clicking the "Worship from Home" image. All services are posted to our YouTube channel and remain available there, so it's never too late to join us in worship.
We also want to thank you for supporting St. Alban's Church. Whatever motivates you to give, please know that every contribution and every pledge payment made while the church is closed (as well as when it reopens) is genuinely and deeply appreciated. You can pay by check, mailed to St. Alban's Church, 3001 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20016, or by credit card by clicking the link here to a secure site. Thank you.
CARING FOR EACH OTHER
This has been a trying time for many of us. As we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, we want to know how you are doing. If we have your telephone number, you either have heard or will soon hear from someone on a team of callers from St. Alban’s as we attempt to connect with every person in the parish. If we don't have your phone number, please send it to Marcy Fisher. If you want to reach a member of the clergy, call the church at 202-363-8286 and you will be prompted to the person on call. Prayer requests may be sent to the Rev'd Jim Quigley.
GIVING TO ST. ALBAN'S GETS EASIER
There are two easy ways to give to St. Alban’s during these uncertain times. The first is to simply mail your contribution check to the church’s street address: 3001 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016. Although the church is closed, mail is still being received somewhat sporadically. The second way to donate is by credit card. Click the link on this page. You’ll be taken to a secure and confidential page where you can make your donation. You’ll need to enroll your name, address and credit card information. The whole process should take no more than two minutes.
Whatever motivates you to give to St. Alban’s Church, please know that every contribution and every pledge payment made while the church is closed (as well as when it reopens) is genuinely and deeply appreciated.
MISSION TRIP CANCELED
It is with regret, but for obvious reasons, that we have decided to cancel our parish mission to Irvine, Kentucky, this June. We will hope to offer such an opportunity next summer.
HOLY WEEK FROM HOME
The liturgies of Holy Week and Easter express the core of our Christian faith. They are designed to be participatory and embodied in a way that we cannot recreate on film. Imagine, for instance, trying to make a procession to the Bishop’s Garden for Maundy Thursday work without the benefit of your presence or a professional film crew! We will miss sharing in person our normative three-hour service of music and meditations on Good Friday. On Easter we will miss the stunning array of flowers decorating the entire Nave and the sounds of all your voices as we sing and pray together. Your clergy, staff and musicians have worked hard to capture the essence of these liturgies given our current limitations.
We will offer recorded services each day of Holy Week on the parish website (www.stalbansdc.org) and on our YouTube channel starting at 8:00 a.m. (As always, you may donate online by clicking here.)
Here is what you can expect:
- April 5: PALM SUNDAY/SUNDAY OF THE PASSION. We will begin with the Liturgy of the Palms which will include a meditation, followed by a reading of the Passion Gospel according to Matthew, music and prayers before the Great Thanksgiving. The service will end without a dismissal to mark our carrying our worship into the week that follows. The full set of readings in English are here. The Order of Service bulletin in English is here. Here is a link for some children’s activities especially for this week's scripture readings. (Please Note: Given that we are all under strict stay at home orders, we are not able to distribute palms this year and cannot encourage you to come to the church to pick them up. Our apologies!)
- April 6, 7 and 8: MONDAY TO WEDNESDAY. Each day will be marked by a brief service including the Gospel for the day, a reflection by one of the clergy, prayers and music.
- April 9: MAUNDY THURSDAY. We will offer a modified liturgy of the Word with prayers and music. Meditations will be offered after each of four Scripture readings reflecting on Passover, Communion, Foot Washing and the Garden of Gethsemane.
- April 10: GOOD FRIDAY. We will essentially follow the liturgy as given in the Book of Common Prayer, with the Passion Gospel according to John separated into four parts. Each section will contain a meditation, music, and prayers for people everywhere according to their needs.
- April 12: EASTER DAY. Those who wish to begin the day with a VIGIL will have a service of four Scripture readings, each followed by a meditation, music and prayer, ending with the renewal of our baptismal vows. This will be available starting at 6 a.m. It will be followed later that morning by a Festive Eucharist-like service beginning with the Easter Acclamation, including some hymns and other glorious music.
We know we are living in fearful, anxious times and pray that these opportunities will help you draw strength from the reasonable and holy hope made known to us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE CANCELED
The planned pilgrimage to the Holy Land has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The tour operators have informed us that they have no availability in 2021 so we are not able to simply postpone our trip. They are able to refund half of each person's deposit. The remainder, or the entire deposit, can be donated, if pilgrims wish. We have decided to use those funds to support the work of the Episcopal Church in the Middle East by issuing a check to the American Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem. If you have questions, please contact Jim Quigley.
CHURCH IN A TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
La versión en español sigue después del inglés.
We are slowly adjusting to life in the age of coronavirus. Our vestry has met via Zoom, as have enquirers’ classes, GIFT and other groups. We are slowly becoming more adept at using technology, but we live aware that it can all come to a halt when one or more of your clergy and staff have to self-quarantine.
For this week we have added music to our English liturgy posted on the website and will be adding a platform--our YouTube channel--that might work better for those of you without strong WiFi connections. We are thinking ahead as to what we can offer for Holy Week, Easter and beyond.
With every conversation I become increasingly aware of two emerging themes of our experiences of social distancing thus far. One is that for every one of us there is a measure of loss: loss of worship, loss of gathering, loss of touch, loss of things we take for granted like going to a restaurant or watching a sporting or artistic event. Our loss is real and can lead to an intensity of feelings that would otherwise not be our experience. Being aware of this reality can be helpful in those conversations that we do have and is related to the second theme that I am observing.
The second theme is that all around us people are stepping forward with acts and offers of kindness, whether it is an offer to go shopping or setting a Go Fund Me account to support restaurant workers. In our fast-moving and fast-changing reality all of these acts and offers are founded in kindness or charity--love in action. It is worth keeping in mind that for those of us who do not live alone, that such forbearance and kindness can be shown to those closest to us, especially on those days when the joys of togetherness wear thin!
Blessing to all of you and when I or your church can be of service, please let us know.
Nos estamos adaptando lentamente a la vida en la era del coronavirus. Nuestra junta parroquial se ha reunido a través de Zoom, al igual que las clases de los solicitantes, GIFT y otros grupos. Poco a poco nos estamos volviendo más expertos en el uso de la tecnología, pero somos conscientes de que todo se puede detener cuando uno o más de su clero y personal tienen que ponerse en cuarentena.
Para esta semana hemos agregado música a nuestra liturgia en inglés y usaremos una plataforma que podría funcionar mejor para aquellos de ustedes sin fuertes conexiones Wi-Fi. Estamos pensando en lo que podemos ofrecer para la Semana Santa, Pascua y más allá. Con cada conversación me hago cada vez más consciente de dos temas emergentes de nuestras experiencias de distanciamiento social hasta el momento. Una es que para cada uno de nosotros hay una medida de pérdida: pérdida de adoración, pérdida de reunión, pérdida de contacto, pérdida de cosas que damos por sentado, como ir a un restaurante o ver un evento deportivo o artístico. Nuestra pérdida es real y puede conducir a una intensidad de sentimientos que de otra manera no sería nuestra experiencia. Ser consciente de esta realidad puede ser útil en esas conversaciones que tenemos y está relacionado con el segundo tema que estoy observando.
El segundo tema es que a nuestro alrededor la gente está dando un paso adelante con actos y ofertas de amabilidad, ya sea una oferta para ir de compras o establecer una cuenta Go Fund Me para apoyar a los trabajadores de restaurantes. En nuestra realidad de rápido movimiento y cambio rápido, todos estos actos y ofertas se basan en la bondad o la caridad, el amor en acción. Vale la pena tener en cuenta que para aquellos de nosotros que no vivimos solos, esa paciencia y amabilidad se puede mostrar a las personas más cercanas a nosotros, especialmente en los días en que las alegrías de la unión se agotan.
Bendiciones para todos ustedes y cuando yo o su iglesia podamos estar de servicio, háganoslo saber.
Our J2A youth group cooked up two massive batches of delicious chili, both meat and vegetarian, for Super Bowl Sunday. Thanks to them for their handiwork in the kitchen and to all members of the parish who bought or donated quarts of chili and cornbread. More photos are in this gallery.
The proceeds from the annual chili sale helps to fund the J2A pilgrimage. Stay tuned for this group's decision on where they plan to go in 2021.
The following were elected by voting members of the parish on Sunday, January 26, 2020.
Trevor (Ted) Swett III
Vestry Members (three-year terms)
Carol A. Aschenbrener
We are deeply grateful to these parishioners and to all who agreed to stand for election.
Looking for something you once found on this page? Want to take a look back at previous events or announcements? Check the news archive page.