Our associate rector Jim Quigley is on sabbatical until the end of May. He's spending time in the Holy Land and blogging about his journey, the people he's meeting and the places he's seen. He's also sharing beautiful photos on Facebook, like this one of the Church of the Transfiguration.
You can celebrate Jim's return on Sunday, June 2. Contact Deborah Potter to contribute to the reception. And hear all about his experiences at a forum on Sunday, June 9.
NEWS FROM HOPE AND RESURRECTION SCHOOL
One of the first women graduates of Hope and Resurrection School, which St. Alban's supports, is now the school's administrator. Deborah Awut Magok is featured in this interview marking International Women's Day.
MATTHEW STEYNOR TO BE MUSIC DIRECTOR
NEW LAY LEADERS ELECTED
The results are in from the annual meeting. The following were elected:
Senior Warden (three-year term)
Junior Warden (one-year term)
Lucy Fraser Cage
Vestry Members (three-year terms)
We are thankful for all who stood for election.
To our community Christmas dinner helpers: Thank you to all who planned, shopped, cooked, decorated, set up, welcomed, hosted, “kitchened,” served and, best of all angels, cleaned up. We served upwards of 150 meals and sent people home with over 50 clamshells of leftovers. While all is still fresh in memory, we would appreciate your feedback: what worked; what didn’t; what we needed more, or less, of; and any comments received or observations made – yours or others’. Email Phoebe Jane.
Thanks, as well, to our amazing flower guild for making sure St. Alban's looked its best inside and out during the Christmas season. Flowers on the altar, the font, the pulpit and lectern, and at St. John's chapel were gorgeous. Roping and bows throughout the sanctuary, wreaths on all of our red doors--all of it came together and lasted right up to Epiphany. Did you know you can see the flower guild at work and many of its arrangements in this photo gallery? If you're interested in joining the guild, contact Katie Wilson.
TUBMAN HOLIDAY SHOW
St. Alban's members who volunteer at Harriet Tubman Elementary School got a treat in December when the children performed their annual holiday show. Joy to the world!
Located just three miles from St. Alban's, Tubman serves children from three homeless shelters and two housing projects.
EVENSONG @ ST. ALBAN'S
St. Alban's hosted the Washington National Cathedral's weekly Choral Evensong, on Tuesday, November 14. The service featured the sublime voices of the Cathedral's Boys Choir under the direction of Brian Glosh (a St. Alban's parishioner). Our Rector Geoffrey Hoare was the officiant. Choral evensong is an enduring spiritual element of the Anglican tradition, and offers respite, contemplation and inspiration in the midst of our busy modern lives.
ROWAN WILLIAMS VISITS
On a crisp autumn morning, November 8, over a hundred people hungry for faith-understanding gathered at St. Alban’s to hear former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams speak about Christian believing and discipleship and then address thought-provoking audience questions. Parishioners have been reading two of Bishop Williams’ recent books, Being Christian and Being Disciples – slim volumes aimed at helping us work out the essentials of our faith. Since serving for a decade as primate of the Anglican Communion (2002-2012), Williams has been Master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University (alma mater of our Rector, Geoffrey Hoare), and continues to be a leader in the contemporary church’s progressive thinking, ecumenism, and interfaith reconciliation work. Listen here:
WHAT HAPPENED TO "WATER INTO WINE?"
Parishioners who are used to putting non-perishable food or items collected for our Water-into-Wine initiatives into the brown bins near St. John’s Chapel in the Nave may have discovered that the bins are no longer there. While we will still occasionally ask for donations for Water-into-Wine initiatives we will no longer be using the bins. When collections are announced, drop-off locations will be provided. In the meantime, if you have been placing non-perishable food donations in the bins, thank you! From now on, please put them in the wicker basket located in the Narthex.
THANK YOU, HEATHER
Children's Chapel has a new grand piano, a generous gift from St. Alban's member Heather Hunt, who died in September. Heather was a long-time music leader in Children's Chapel, a much-loved and cheerful presence in the lives of our youngest parishioners. Phoebe Jane played Heather's piano for the first time on Sunday, October 7, and it sounds amazing. In memory of Heather, the children came forward to touch her piano and thank her for her gift.
It's official! Geoffrey was formally installed as our rector on Sunday, September 16, at a glorious afternoon service. Bishop Mariann commended the Vestry's choice and affirmed the call, asking the congregation, "Are you, the people of St. Alban’s, ready to continue in your ministry, with Geoffrey as your rector?" The people responded with a loud, "We are."
The service, which also celebrated all the ministries of St. Alban's, was followed by a festive reception. Thanks to Susan Morris, who organized the party, and to all who helped to set up, contributed food and drink, served, and cleaned up.
THANKS BE TO JO
Sunday, September 9, was proclaimed "Jo Turner Sunday" at St. Alban's as we thanked Jo for her three years of service (without pay) as our pastoral care coordinator. Many at St. Alban's benefited greatly from the prayers, visits and home-delivered meals Jo helped to coordinate during her time on staff.
The Faith Talk blog that Jo has written for several years is taking a break. After some restful discernment, Faith Talk will resume on a less frequent schedule (she thinks).
YOUTH GROUP NEWS
Our J2A class (9th and 10th grades) began the program year this fall by preparing and serving supper to their parents and teachers. It was a fun, enjoyable evening. This year the curriculum moves toward more decision making and responsibility. The evening involved their being given the ingredients for a vegetarian spaghetti supper and no other instruction. They set the tables, divided the tasks, said grace, served and joined in the meal and then cleaned up afterwards. The evening concluded with a brief time of reflection as to how things went, what they might have done differently and what they did well. One particularly pleasing moment was when they were asked how things might have been different if they had done this exercise with their friends? Their response: "We are friends."
Jim Quigley will be on sabbatical in 2019 supported by a grant from the Lilly Endowment. Jim has started a blog for reflecting on the journey he plans to take. He's learning about blogging along the way, so if you are interested in reading what he calls "my ramblings" you can find and follow him here.
Our new director of music, Jeremy Filsell, has arrived at St. Alban's. His first Sunday was August 19. Jeremy is a composer and professor of organ at Peabody Conservatory who was previously music director at Epiphany Episcopal Church in DC. Jeremy will direct the St. Alban's Choir and the professional ensemble, which he has renamed Schola Cantorum. Learn more about Jeremy here and and contact him with any questions.
Our new music associate, Rebecca Kellerman, will work with children and youth age 7 through 12th grade using the Royal School of Church Music's highly respected VOICE for LIFE program. All children in the area are welcome to join, so please spread the word. Register here or contact if you have questions about the choristers.
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING IMMIGRANTS
The July Mustard Seed offering raised $1,478.72 for the Diocesan Immigrant Relief Fund. This fund will help families with economic support and legal fees if someone in our diocesan community is detained. Thank you for your concern and generosity. If you are so inclined, the fund remains open for donations.
2018 YOUTH MISSION TRIP
Seven St. Albanites spent a week in Kentucky in June, repairing homes and getting to know some of the people of Estill County. If that area sounds familiar, it's because the county is named for the Estill family; native son Bob was our Rector at one time.
The trip was our first to that area but it won't be our last. St. Alban's has a new partnership with St. Timothy's Episcopal Outreach Center and will send another team there in 2019.
Read more about the trip and what the participants say they learned on the Alban Life blog.
CONGRATULATIONS, GORDON AVERY
Celebrating the service of a longtime St. Albanite, Seabury Resources for Aging honored our own Gordon Avery at its annual "Celebration of Service" event at the National Cathedral. Each year, Seabury recognizes the contributions of older adults for extraordinary service in their church and the broader community. Dr. Avery’s years as a vestry member, junior and senior warden, choir member, lay reader, and musician at our Washington Home Sunday services are extraordinary indeed. A neonatologist, his many years at Children’s Hospital resulted in countless healthy babies. Lunch in Satterlee Hall followed the festive service at the Cathedral. Congratulate Gordon when you see him!
Renée Patrick has joined our staff as Parish and Youth Ministry Administrator. Renée comes to us with five years of experience in Episcopal Church administration. She was born and raised in Neptune, NJ (a mere 14 blocks from the beach). After completing her Bachelor’s in Business at Stockton State College, Renée relocated to the D.C. Metro area to continue her career. In her spare time Renée enjoys traveling, the beach, and amusement rides. She and her husband Ernest live in Columbia, MD, along with their two children and two dogs.
Renée will take on most of communications at St. Alban’s and will manage the church office, in addition to providing administrative support to the rector for our youth program.
With Renée joining the staff, Charles Porter has become our Director of Operations and will focus more of his time and energy on our property and facilities.
Justin Boyer, who has been our music director for two years, will be leaving St. Alban's this summer. Rector Geoffrey Hoare announced the change in a letter to the parish. "Justin has led our music with grace,
good humor, exquisite keyboard skills, and wonderful compositions through a challenging period," Geoffrey wrote, "and I hope you will join me in expressing appreciation to him over the next few months." Our new music director, Jeremy Filsell, arrives in mid-August. In addition to serving as organist and leading our choirs, he will launch a music program for children and youth beginning this fall.
YOUTH MISSION TRIP
This summer (2018), St. Alban's youth will have a new destination for their mission trip. They'll be working with the people of Irvine, Kentucky through St. Timothy’s Episcopal Outreach Center. Youth who are rising 9th graders and above, and any interested adults, will depart from the St Alban’s Day Picnic on June 24 and return the following Saturday, June 30. The cost per participant is $225.00. Scholarship assistance is available on request. Contact Rev'd Geoffrey for more information.
CHILD CARE UPDATE
We have successfully re-staffed our nursery and expanded our hours to include both the 9:00 a.m. service as well as the forum and program hour. Our new caregivers are Maria Arias and Ruth Rodriguez. Maria works for St. Charles Early Education Center in Arlington and has worked with the Teddy Bear Camp that is held here each summer. Ruth is a parishioner and who attends our Spanish service and is an anchor of that community. Please help us welcome them in their new roles. Our nursery is open from 9:00 to 11:05 a.m. for children up to age 3. Questions? Contact the Rev’d Emily Griffin.
THANKS FROM ST. SAVIOUR'S
John Lent, acting executive director of The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, spoke at a Sunday forum in February and sent word that St. Alban's is making a difference in the lives of children and their families at Saviour's school in Jordan, through scholarships for students from families that struggle financially, the purchase of modern Braille machines and general support of the school. "You are changing the opportunities and life trajectories for children in Zarqa," he wrote.
Lent also sent a letter from one of the teachers at St. Saviour's, who also expressed deep thanks for the Braille machine provided by St. Alban's.
ANNUAL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
by Laura Ingersoll, Senior Warden
At the 2018 Annual Meeting on January 28, Geoffrey Hoare reported on the state of the parish, noting that after a vigorous “scrub” of the parish rolls we have 1,316 baptized members (including children) who have expressed a commitment to St. Alban’s. He observed that only 450 are “confirmed members” and encouraged those who are not to join an Enquirers’ Class in preparation for confirmation or, if confirmed in another denomination, reception into the Episcopal Church. Geoffrey spoke of his vision for the parish’s near future, including the music and children/youth programs and the San Albano community.
Laura Ingersoll presented the Wardens’ Report, noting particularly that a first priority of the new Vestry would be discernment – together with Geoffrey and Bishop Mariann Budde – of a potential call to Geoffrey to serve as our Rector. She invited parishioners to convey to Vestry members their views on the matter. Treasurer Hollis McLoughlin reported on the solid state of the parish financial system, the strong performance of pledges for 2018 and our investments, and the balanced budget recently passed by the Vestry. These written annual reports are available on the parish website. Parishioner Paul Brewster, a Diocesan Council member, reported on the previous day’s Diocesan Convention, noting that its main features were diversity and unity. He joyfully announced that the Convention elected our parishioner Anton Vanterpool to serve on the Diocesan Standing Committee.
Geoffrey and Laura both expressed deep appreciation to the out-going elected leaders, and to the parishioners who had stood for election this year. Election results were announced the next day: Junior Warden: Diane Adams; Vestry: Walker Carter, Leo Coco, Glenn Davis, and Lucy Fraser (three-year terms), and Lara McCoy Roslof (one-year term); Diocesan Delegates: Barbara Manard and Heather Sondel; Amie Vandersluis (alternate).
Click here to read the Annual Reports.
There will be a called meeting of the new Vestry on February 7 at 7:15 p.m. for the purpose of meeting with Bishop Marianne regarding discernment of a potential Rector call to Geoffrey; it is expected that the meeting will largely be in Executive Session. The Vestry's first regular meeting will be on February 28.
NEW STEPHEN MINISTERS
Margie Delaney, Mary Beth Evans, Mercy Lightsey, Carol Aschenbrener, and Marcy Fisher have completed extensive training and are ready to serve. Our Stephen Ministers offer confidential one-on-one support to parishioners in life transitions such as illness, bereavement, divorce, unemployment, aging, relocation, caregiver stress and challenges within families. They are caring people of mature faith who can listen, pray and provide encouragement. Also commissioned as a Stephen Leader today is Ann Nix, joining Jo Turner in that role. Ann completed leadership training last summer. If you or someone you know might benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, contact Jo.
Children's pageant. Candlelit services. Community dinner. St. Alban's celebrated Christmas 2017 with great joy. Some 200 neighbors joined us at noon on Christmas day to enjoy a delicious feast of roast turkey, mashed potatoes and other vegetables and—always a crowd favorite--many homemade pies. The guests include elderly or homeless neighbors, celebrating together as a community of friends. Dozens of St Alban’s parishioners, members of the Washington Hebrew Congregation, and some local residents volunteered their time and talents to make this a bountiful, joyful occasion. Sincere thanks to each of you. Watch for a story about our Christmas season celebrations in the next issue of Alban Life. Subscribe to receive blog updates by email.
A large contingent of St. Albanites (19!) gathered at Memorial House in Rehoboth Beach on December 1 for the annual Advent retreat. The weekend, spent largely in silence, was centered around meditations on T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, led by The Rev'd Geoffrey Hoare. The retreat was nourishing and centering, providing respite from the daily barrage of news and the press of our individual agendas--a chance to worship, reflect and prepare for the coming of Christ. If you've never attended, consider going next year. Read more about it on our new blog, Alban Life.
COMBINED CHOIRS FOR ALL SAINTS SUNDAY
St. Alban's choirs sang excerpts from Gabriel Fauré's Requiem at the 9:00 and 11:15 services on November 5, marking All Saints Day. It was glorious. We'll be posting more videos soon on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe!
BISHOP BUDDE VISITATION
Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Diocese of Washington made her annual visit to St. Alban's in October. She preached about prayer, and then led a forum and discussion about spiritual traditions and change in the church.
NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN
Rich Turner (outgoing junior warden) – Chair
Eliot Edgar (outgoing diocesan delegate)
Ivan Fermin (outgoing vestry member)
Kristie Hassett (outgoing vestry member)
Hollis McLoughin (parishioner & current parish treasurer)
Kate McNamara (parishioner)
Ken Patterson (outgoing vestry member)
Virginia Schofield (parishioner)
St. Alban’s scholarship students at Hope and Resurrection School in South Sudan have sent thank-you notes to the parish. Deborah Athiei Malith (pictured) writes, “for the support you gave me (I) am glad and I pray that the Lord will help you in whatever you are doing, so that you help others who are in need.”
Mary Aweil Maker says, “I . . . appreciate you for the tremendous work you are doing, particularly for the big finger of generosity you have lifted to me.”
Both girls add that their parents are grateful for the financial aid provided their daughters. Click here to see their letters.
St. Alban's also pays the salary of assistant headmaster Dovico Kyabanawandi, who sent this thank you video by way of Hope for Humanity, the nonprofit that launched the school.
SECRETS OF ST. ALBAN'S ORGAN
Organ builder Michael Hart spoke at the fall OWLs luncheon and described the challenges of designing and installing the instrument we're lucky enough to listen to every Sunday. Did you know the organ is suspended from the roof of the church? And that it weighs about as much as two Honda Accords?
Learn more "secrets" of our unique instrument after Lacey Gude's introduction:
FIRST WEDNESDAYS ARE BACK
The Altar Guild hosted the first First Wednesday dinner of the fall, providing delicious food for one and all. These gatherings give us a chance to relax in fellowship with parishioners of all ages. A free-will offering is gratefully accepted. Mark your calendar to join us for an upcoming First Wednesday in Satterlee Hall.
WELCOME THE NEWLY BAPTIZED
The 9:00 a.m. service on Sunday, September 24, was a festival of baptisms as we welcomed six new brothers and sisters in Christ. Rev'd Geoffrey and Rev'd Emily took turns as the families and godparents of three infants and three young children being baptized gathered around the font.
We've added a gallery of wonderful photos (thanks to photographer extraordinaire John Thorne).
ST. ALBAN'S GETS AROUND
If you're out and about in your St. Alban's t, send a photo to Deborah Potter and she'll add you to the gallery. No names are mentioned in these posts but we do like to know the location.
NEWS ABOUT THE REV'D DEBBIE KIRK
This creative decision was driven by both a practical challenge (how to provide pastoral and liturgical leadership for San Albano) and ministry opportunity (the third leg of our vision for Global Mission) and is done with support of the leadership of God’s Work in the World and our Wardens and Vestry.
A contractor has installed a French drain in the raised flowerbed on the Wisconsin Ave. side of Nourse Hall to try to eliminate the water that has been seeping through the wall and damaging the plaster inside. On a related note – doesn’t that flowerbed (as well as others around the church and Satterlee Hall) look wonderful! Many thanks to Lucy Fraser and all of the volunteers who continue to offer their time and TLC to beautify our grounds.
A major cleaning and refurbishment is underway on our organ. The builders, DiGenaro-Hart, are removing, cleaning, and repairing all of the thousands of pipes, replacing some of the electronic and mechanical controls, and moving some pieces around to provide more flexibility in range and tone for Justin’s inspired performances. But don’t worry – the work is being done in phases and we have been assured that we will always have sufficient organ for services. The work is scheduled to finish by the end of August so the organ will be ready in all its glory for the beginning of the program year.
SOME SENDS THANKS
So Others Might Eat has sent a letter thanking St. Alban's for our 33 years of service to this ministry. Many of us provide casseroles and fresh fruit to SOME one Sunday each month and it all adds up. "We could not address the hunger crisis in our city without your support," the letter says. "The lunch we receive monthly from Saint Alban's for the men, women and children who come to SOME enabled us to provide 230,741 meals in our dining room and 51,645 meals in our housing programs last year."
Special thanks to Marty and Faye Kerns, the coordinators of this ministry!
ASP MISSION TRIP
St. Alban's sent a team of 13--eight youth and five adults--on the annual mission trip to work with the Appalachia Service Project in June, 2017. We traveled as a group with other churches in the Diocese of Washington to St. Paul in Southwest Virginia, and worked on a variety of projects. At a forum on July 16, our missioners shared a video about their trip.
GLOBAL MISSION REPORT
St. Alban's works with people in need around the world and with people from around the world who face problems in our community. These efforts are coordinated by the Global Mission Committee, which has just issued its annual report. Their work focused on helping our partner schools in Jordan and South Sudan, assisting refugees and immigrants here at home, and maintaining interfaith contacts and dialogue.
ANNUAL MEETING & ELECTIONS
The annual meeting was held on Sunday, June 4, in Nourse Hall. A quorum was present. No votes were taken. The Rev'd Geoffrey Hoare, Priest-in-Charge, reported on the state of the parish and discussed challenges and opportunities on the horizon. Read more.
Our new Vestry members, elected to three-year terms, are Jane Schubert, Michele Bond, Emily DiBari and Adrienne Allison. Our new Diocesan Delegate is Ted Swett. The Vestry expresses gratitude to these parishioners and to all who stood for election.
WE'RE SOCIAL AT ST. ALBAN'S
St. Alban’s loves sharing and we’re doing it in lots of new ways. You can now find us on Instagram and YouTube. We have an active, public Facebook page, where you can find out what’s happening at St. Alban’s. There’s also a Facebook group you can join to have conversations with fellow parishioners. Sermons are available on our website and mobile site, and as a podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, GooglePlay or wherever you get your podcasts. Please follow or subscribe to all of our channels so you’ll know when new content is posted.
Our first ever Strawberry Sunday on Memorial Day weekend 2017 was a huge hit. Thanks to all the volunteer berry slicers, whipped cream bringers, pie bakers and ice cream scoopers.
The weather couldn't have been better, so we all gathered on the columbarium patio. What a great way to celebrate our first-of-the-season 10 a.m. service.
Strawberry Sunday may just have to become an annual event!
THANKS, GARDEN GUILD
Thanks to all the volunteers who came out on Saturday, May 20, to help weed and add new plantings to the many gardens around our church buildings. Everything looks beautiful. If you weren't able to join us, here's a video glimpse of what you missed.
Our annual gala and auction dedicated to our Transforming the Lives of Children initiative was a smashing success. We raised more than last year for our three beneficiaries: Harriet Tubman School, Hope and Resurrection School (South Sudan) and St. Saviour's School (Jordan). Here are the details on how the money was used. Photos from the evening are posted here.
Thanks to everyone who attended, donated and bid on 2017 auction items, assisted with set-up, tending bar, serving and clean-up, and special thanks to the organizers: Julie Clements-Smith, Abby Davis, Dudley Winthrop, the auction guru, and Donna Palmer, who made the raffle possible.
Don’t be surprised if you see organ pipes in unexpected places over the summer of 2017. It has been nearly 20 years since St. Alban’s organ was rebuilt and installed into its current location. A major cleaning and refurbishment is beginning this month on this marvelous musical asset (the replacement value is north of $1M). DiGenaro-Hart, the builders of this latest incarnation, will be removing, cleaning, and repairing all of the thousands of pipes, replacing some of the electronic and mechanical controls, and moving some pieces around to provide more flexibility in range and tone for Justin’s inspired performances. But don’t worry – the work will be done in phases and we have been assured we will always have sufficient organ for services of any type. The work is scheduled to finish by the end of August so the organ will be ready in all its glory for the beginning of the program year. Questions? Just ask Junior Warden Rich Turner or interim music director Justin Boyer.
SPECTACULAR SHROVE TUESDAY
Thanks to our Rite 13 youth and leaders for a fantastic feast on Shrove Tuesday 2017. Trenbath was packed with parishioners and guests, including about 40 students from Paul Public Charter School in DC, who found out about our annual celebration on the church website. The crowd enjoyed three kinds of pancakes--plain, blueberry and chocolate chip--plus sausages and fruit salad. There were beads, masks and other traditional Mardi Gras decorations aplenty. More photos of the event are online here.
WELCOME OUR NEW PRIEST-IN-CHARGE
St. Alban's welcomed the Rev'd Geoffrey Hoare with an Evensong service and reception on February 26, 2017. Under the priest-in-charge model, he and the Vestry have agreed to a three-year commitment. At about the halfway point – in 18 months – we will mutually discern whether he should become our rector. Read more about Geoffrey here. More photos of the event are online here.
MUSIC ADVISORY GROUP REPORT
A Music Advisory Group, formed during the interim period and tasked with seeking a comprehensive understanding of the music at St. Alban's, presented their final report to the Vestry on February 15. The report may be viewed here.
A CHRISTMAS TO CELEBRATE 2016
St. Alban's sanctuary was packed on Christmas Eve, especially for the 4 p.m. service featuring the children's pageant. This year's program, The World Sings Noel, was produced by Amie Vandersluis, with the help of angels, shepherds and friendly beasts of all shapes and sizes. Special thanks to our narrators, Annie and Matthew! More photos are available here.
On Christmas Day, Satterlee Hall was filled with joy as we served a delectable dinner to our neighbors. More than 175 guests, friends and parishioners feasted on turkey with all the trimmings and pies galore. An impromptu chorus joined our guest pianist in song. Santa came too! Many thanks to all who helped, including the Mattheis, who organized, and kitchen captain Phoebe Jane Winthrop. It was fabulous all around! View more photos here.
OP SHOP SETS A RECORD IN 2016
Congratulations to all who pitched in to help our Opportunity Shop set a sales record in 2016. The shop raised $298,000 for charitable donations. Thanks to Op Shop manager Laura Ferrara and the many volunteers who accept and price donations, staff the shop floor and ring up the sales. Thanks to the many members of St. Alban's who donate amazing clothes, housewares, books and other goods to make the Op Shop THE place to shop in Northwest DC. And thanks to everyone who shopped at the Op Shop in 2016. Come on back as often as you like. They're open Tuesday through Saturday!