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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

SUNDAY SERVICES (after Labor Day through May)
8:00 a.m.       Holy Eucharist: Rite I (spoken)

9:00  a.m.      Holy Eucharist: Rite II

                        Children's Chapel

11:15 a.m.      Misa in Español (Little Sanctuary)

11:15 a.m.      Holy Eucharist: Rite II (Rite I during Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter)

WEEKDAY SERVICES
Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday, 9:00 a.m.  Daily Morning Prayer

Tuesday, 7:30 a.m.                                    Holy Eucharist: Rite II

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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Easter Day 2016

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03.27.16

Easter Day 2016

Easter Day 2016

Series: Easter

Speaker: The Rev. Deborah Meister

 

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

   The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

Two days ago, during the Good Friday service, I was moving from one place to another when something on the ground caught my eye. It was a piece of the bread we distribute for Communion most Sundays, and by the time I picked it up, it had become hardened, shriveled, more like baked clay than like anything you’d want to put in your mouth. I put it in my pocket and then, later, took it outside and threw it on the grass: perhaps there was something it could still nourish — a bird, a mouse, a bug. If you were to tell me that that bread could rise again, that it could become fragrant and soft and whole, I would not believe you, any more than I would believe that what is most hardened in us — bitter and dry and fragile and unforgiving — could become tender and new and alive. But that is what we are celebrating today: that by the mercy of God, we and all this creation are given a second chance to live.

            The poet George Herbert asks, “Who would have thought my shrivel’d heart could have recover’d greenness?”[1] Certainly not the women who went to the tomb, or the disciples who sat dejected in Jerusalem, or Peter, alone with his shame after denying his friend three times. For them, it must have been clear: the time of blessing was over. 

            Perhaps that’s why none of them believed the resurrection when they saw it. We like to think that folks back then were credulous, unlike us with our sophisticated scientific understanding of the world, but the truth is, dead bodies stayed dead in the first century, too. And so, when the women found the body gone, the tomb empty except for its linen wrappings, they did not know what to make of it. They were perplexed, and the male disciples did no better: when the women came bearing the tidings the angels had given them, the women’s “words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.” (Luke 24:11) The two men traveling to Emmaus did not recognize Jesus, even when he walked and talked with them, and even after all these visions had been reported back to Jerusalem, when Jesus himself appeared to the eleven disciples at the end of the day, “they were startled and terrified.” (Luke 24:37) New life is hard to trust, like when you’ve broken your leg and the cast is cut off and you’re afraid to put your weight on it.

            But after all the loss and pain and confusion, something happened. Something happened, because suddenly they began to understand. First one believed and then another, then a small group, and then the word was running like wildfire through the city: He is risen! The one who was dead lives again; the horizon of heaven has been broken open; if this is possible, God only knows what else God can do. With God, all things must be possible.

            Listen! I once heard a story about an eminent naturalist who had been commissioned by a zoo to collect a couple hundred species of birds and animals.  He was out in a field when he came upon the ruins of an old stone cabin, which held a nesting pair of falcons. When he flashed on his light, one of birds plunged to his hand, sinking his beak savagely into the naturalist’s thumb, refusing to let go, buying time for his mate to escape. By the time the naturalist had his bearings, the female bird was long gone. The naturalist grudgingly put the male into a box and waited out the night, nursing his mangled hand.

            When morning came, he built a cage, then took the bird outside to confine it. The bird lay limp in his hand, all the fight of the day before vanished. It was no longer wild and free, just broken. It might as well have been dead.

            Without thinking, the naturalist relented. He stretched out his hand and laid the bird on the grass. For a long moment, it did not move, then without any clear transition, he was gone — vanished up into the crystalline blue sky. The naturalist could not even see him; the light was too intense. And then, against all odds, he heard a ringing cry, and straight out of the eye of the sun, the bird’s mate came soaring down, down out of the realm of light, down into the clear blue of the visible sky, down to where her mate was straining to rise. “And from far up” he said, ”ringing from peak to peak of the summits over us, came a cry of … unutterable and ecstatic joy…He was rising fast to meet her [now, and] they met in a great soaring gyre that turned into a whirling circle and a dance of wings.” They cried out once more, and then they were gone, “somewhere up into those upper regions beyond the eyes of men.”[2]

            So it is with us. When we were broken, weak, enslaved to sin and to death, God plummeted from on high to save us. Because Christ died and rose again, we do not enter death without hope. Rather, we enter it with trust: trust that the One we have known and served all our lives will not desert us now. In our time of helpless need, we go, not to darkness, not to just to a box laid in the earth, but to a light too bright to see, and we do not go there alone, but we will be met by the Savior who loved us even through the iron gates of death, who loved us in the dust of the tomb, who loves us and leads us beyond the eyes of women and men.

            And beyond, my friends, is where we shall find him. O, we are so tempted, we who love this earth, we who love our lives and our people and our things and our bodies, we are sorely temped to walk through life looking behind us, seeking the places where Christ once was. And that is no sin; it is an act of deep faithfulness to love the places where we have found God, to cling to the memories of the people who have given us love. We seek the living among the dead because it is a way of honoring Christ’s gift.

            But Christ walks always before us, and those hallowed groves of memory, which once gave us life, are so many empty tombs — places where Jesus once lay. And so, if you are looking for a blessing today, do not look into them, but into the world which is all around us. Look into the faces of the men, women, and children around you — those for whom Christ rose from the dead. Look into the sky, the trees, the ocean; look at the hope in the heart of the child in poverty, and in the love of the face of the man who dwells in the bombed-out ruins of his city. Look at the refugees seeking a new life, at the sick who seek a holy death, and the child drawing his first breath even as we gather here today.

            For in the resurrection, Christ’s Incarnation is made complete. God’s life came down from heaven into a frail body on Christmas, but now it rises from the room of the earth, rises imperishable, to make all things in its image again.[3] Blessing us, healing us, raising us toward the light, one day, one minute, one gesture at a time.      And so, as, the poet Jan Richardson urges us:

If it is
a blessing
that you seek,
open your own
mouth.

Fill your lungs
with the air
that this new
morning brings
and then
release it
with a cry. 

Hear how the blessing
breaks forth
in your own voice
how your own lips
form every word
you never dreamed
to say. 

See how the blessing
circles back again
wanting you to
repeat it
but louder 

how it draws you
pulls you
sends you
to proclaim
its only word: 

risen

risen

risen.[4]

           

 

 

[1] “The Flower.”

[2] John Claypool, “The Communion of Saints,” God is an Amateur, 1994.

[3]  Beatrice Bruteau, The Easter Mysteries.

[4] Jan Richardson, “Easter Blessing.”