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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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Fruit that Lasts

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05.06.18

Fruit that Lasts

Fruit that Lasts

Series: Easter

Speaker: The Rev'd Emily Griffin

Imagine you’re hearing today’s Gospel reading for the first time. For some of you, this isn’t much of a stretch – it is the first time you’re hearing it. For others, if you haven’t heard it before, it feels like you have – nothing seems shocking or earth-shaking. Love each other. Of course, Jesus would say that. It’s a noble thought, but not so specific that it has any real bite. It doesn’t mention the classmate or colleague everyone finds annoying, or the Op Shop customer who feels no need to observe proprieties, or the elderly relative who’s not acting grateful at all. It doesn’t specify ex-spouses here or the addicts in our lives or the “undeserving” poor. As long as we can keep love an abstraction, we’re fine.

It is a little odd to think of being commanded to love, though. Can love really be commanded? I think of love as a gift, and if a gift is commanded – well, it’s no longer a gift. It’s payment. And to be honest, I’m not used to thinking of myself as someone who responds readily to commands; I’m not a dog. Nor am I in the military, where following the chain of command can mean the difference between life and death. At the very least, a relationship based on command and response doesn’t feel like what I know of as friendship or how grown-ups are supposed to function in the world. So what’s really going on here, and what does it have to do with a life worth living?

Those of us who have heard this passage a few times could add some details that might help. It helps to know when Jesus is saying these words and the people he’s saying them to. We’re at the Last Supper on the night before Jesus is executed, just hours before he’ll be betrayed and deserted by his friends – these friends, in fact. In John’s version of the story, he’s with his closest followers (not just the twelve disciples, but certainly including them) – and he’s just washed their feet as an example of how they’re supposed to take care of each other when he’s gone. No one in a Christian community is above the most humbling acts of service. Changing diapers, washing feet, serving food, cleaning up afterwards – all of it is on the table as to what they might be called to do as followers of Jesus.

That might have been a bit shocking for his first audience. He’s talking to the people who have been with him for the last few years, who’ve heard him teach and seen him preach, who’ve been taught how to heal body and soul in his name. They’re the ones who expected to get positions of rank and title in his new administration. They’d showed up to lead, and here Jesus is telling them how to serve – as if service and leadership are never really that far apart.

John, our Gospel writer, uses this moment to throw in all kinds of final instructions. Everything we want to tell our loved ones as they’re facing a huge transition – whether it’s graduation or marriage or our own impending death – everything we want them to remember when we’re no longer by their side to shield them – that is what John’s Jesus is trying to communicate here. He’s not married after all; he doesn’t have kids. He has no property to pass down, no pile of possessions to prove that he was here. He didn’t start a company or a school; he didn’t even write his own ideas down. This motley group of friends – the words they write about him and the acts of compassion and grace given in his name – that, in a sense, is his legacy.

So what does he tell them? Part of me wishes we could drop the commandment language all together, but I’m not sure that does justice to the seriousness of his words – or the weight they carry if he is who he says he is. Loving each other is, for Jesus, a matter of life and death. And I’m not talking about the sentimental affections that get stirred up by holidays and Hallmark cards here. Jesus defines the kind of love he’s talking about: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.” Considering the painful death Jesus is about to face, one wonders what kind of love this is. It’s not a love that protects us from all harm at any cost; it recognizes that there are some things – like justice, like good news for the poor – that are actually worth living and dying for. It’s not a possessive, isolating, zero-sum kind of love where there’s only so much to go around – where my loving you makes it less possible for me to love someone else. The love of God makes us more generous with our love and stretches our capacity to give of our time or our money, whichever we find most valuable. It’s not a smothering, infantilizing love that insists we remain as children with children’s responsibilities; it gives us adult-sized power to impact other people’s lives with our choices and expects us to use that power for good.

If we’re going to reduce what Jesus asks of us to just one thing, here it is: “Love one another as I have loved you.” This is a love that calls us out of the shadows into leadership, that sees more in us than we see in ourselves. It doesn’t pretend that we’re innocent, and it doesn’t always protect us from the consequences of our actions. It’s a love that sees our faults clearly – our ignorance and stubbornness and cowardice - and asks us to serve and lead anyway. It wills good to those who’ve harmed us – even if we can’t actively be part of that good anymore. The love of Jesus doesn’t hide the costs of compassion or forgiveness or justice; that’s why we’re no longer servants, but friends. It lets us know up front that our lives are at stake – and that self-giving love is the only way to a life worth living.

Without love, nothing we accomplish means anything. As songwriter Jon Brooks puts it, “If it’s not love, we can’t take it when we go.” Memories fade; words and actions are forgotten; buildings burn; books collect dust on the shelf. Our bodies, no matter how carefully we’ve maintained them, will one day return to dust; even our children have a limited shelf life. The way of life Jesus offers us here is not cheap or easy, but it is the only way I know of to bear fruit that will actually last. If God is love, and love is eternal, then every relationship based in love will ultimately prove itself stronger than evil, stronger than memory, stronger even than death.

In the silence that follows, I invite you to think about what lasts and what doesn’t – and who in your life has shown you what a non-possessive, generous love might look like. Who has reflected the love of Jesus to you and given you room to grow up, whether you knew what they were doing at the time or not? When has love brought you joy and strength at the same time, and who can you thank out loud for that? In the Name of the One who makes love more than a toothless abstraction, who embodies it and gives us what we need to do the same, Amen.