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. Our next service will be this coming Thursday, July 9, at 5:30 PM. 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.
JUNE VESTRY NEWS
From senior warden Ken Patterson
The main business of the meeting was continued discussions around the timing and form of re-gathering. Vestry members had been asked to review three sources, and to come to the meeting prepared to share their hopes and wishes about how re-convening in person. The resources we reviewed, which may be of interest to parishioners are found at:
It was acknowledged upfront that, given reports of current levels on COVID-19 levels and anticipated surges, this is a moving target. In addition, doctors and scientists offer a range of evolving opinions on how to manage the risk of becoming infected. Vestry members offered a number of views that I will present as questions (be advised that I do not claim this list to be exhaustive of the many ideas floated):
- The Diocese led the way in shutting down public worship early, erring on the side of caution; should churches, and ours in particular, consider being among the last to re-convene?
- Is a later re-gathering that can involve all of us “safely” better than a gradual opening that involves multiple smaller services or other measures that promote social distancing?
- Should we focus our energies on outdoor worship (smaller gatherings around the Peace Cross, use of the amphitheater as available from the Cathedral)?
- Isn’t re-gathering the best way to enable the personal connections with church family that are integral to the experience of many parishioners? The longer we wait to re-convene, how much is the fabric of what “makes church church” damaged?
- On the other hand, if we are masked, and cautioned against any physical contact, and gathering in smaller groups, is that much better than virtual services?
While we consider these and multiple issues, I offer these updates:
- Our average attendance for the English and Spanish virtual services is around 350 persons.
- We now have the technology to livestream services from the Nave and Nourse Hall when we are ready to move to that approach.
- There is wide acceptance that, regardless of the timing of re-gathering in person, we should continue to make our services available virtually into the future.
- The Op Shop continues to make progress in evaluating the best way to continue their essential mission.
- The Vestry continues to offer our immense gratitude to our Clergy, Matthew Steynor, Charles Porter, Deborah Potter and others I no doubt missed who continue to provide us with the beautiful online services; this is an immense undertaking.
The Vestry unanimously approved the appointment of David Ridenour as Chancellor for a term beginning immediately and lasting until the Vestry takes up nominations for all officers in 2021.
The Treasurer’s report indicated that St. Alban’s is in a strong position from an operating standpoint. Pledges continue to be fulfilled, we are benefiting from very good contribution levels online, and the endowment is again over $5 million at the time of this report. Of course, the Vestry will continue to monitor our financial health but should pledge and online support continue as it has, we should be able to meet our operating needs and fulfill the Christian-Social Ministry outreach obligations that were budgeted for at the beginning of 2020.
Finally, as Senior Warden I will be expanding the group evaluating various options for re-gathering by establishing a Re-Gathering Task Force made up of Clergy, church leaders and parishioners. Please be open to serving on this group if asked.
The full June report is available here.
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.