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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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Living into Easter

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05.05.19

Living into Easter

Living into Easter

Series: Easter

Speaker: The Rev'd Emily Griffin

What comes after failure? What do we do after we’ve broken faith with someone we love, or after our silence has made their isolation or suffering worse? Is there a way to move forward to repair the damage, or are we stuck forever in neutral or, worse yet, reverse? Peter is about to find out. When last I left Peter, it was Good Friday. For that service, we break up the Passion story into sections and each preacher takes a couple of pieces. This year in the homily lottery, I got Peter’s denial. Most of you know this part. After Jesus’ arrest, Peter follows him up to the courtyard of the high priest. And there as he’s warming himself by the charcoal fire, while his best friend and leader is being beaten, Peter denies even knowing Jesus – not once, but three times.

It reminded me of a conversation I’d had in Sunday School just days before. We were going over the events of Holy Week, and I asked the class which part sounded most like us. One kid pointed to the Garden and its aftermath. “It’s the most realistic part,” he said. “We betray each other all the time.” He’s right, I thought. It might not be on the scale of a Judas; but with our silences, our inaction, our quiet desertions, we betray each other all the time.  

To twist the knife a little for Peter, Jesus had predicted it. It wasn’t premeditated betrayal, of course. Peter’s denial was borne out of weakness and fear. The drive for self-preservation kicked in, and in that moment – the need to survive crowded out courage, loyalty, friendship – seemingly everything Jesus ever taught him. After this, Peter is uncharacteristically silent. He’s noticeably absent at the crucifixion. He makes only a cameo on Easter; after Mary Magdalene tells him that Jesus’ body is no longer in the tomb, he checks it out and sees the discarded grave clothes, but having no idea what to do with that information – he goes home. Easter’s not really Easter for him yet.

We can assume he’s with the other disciples when Jesus makes his next appearances, when he shows his hands and side, when he makes his rather terse comments about forgiveness: “If you forgive the sins of any, they’re forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they’re retained.” We don’t know what Peter makes of this; for once, he doesn’t add his color commentary. We only know what he does. He goes home – again. Only this time, he really goes home – back to Galilee, back to what he was doing before he thought he could help Jesus change the world.

We’re not told in John why Peter and the disciples backtrack at this point. In Matthew and Mark, they’re directed back to Galilee - but not in John. Here we’re left to imagine why they made the 4-day journey. Maybe they missed their families. Maybe these country boys had just spent too much time in the city. Or maybe they simply didn’t know what to do without their leader giving them their marching orders; let’s face it, sheep without a shepherd either wander - or they go back to what they know.

We only get this next part of the story once every three years. My husband knows the Bible pretty well, and even he didn’t know about Jesus hosting a fish fry. Today’s Gospel story seems like a rather small moment; here Jesus isn’t appearing in locked rooms or disappearing into the clouds. That’s not always what resurrection looks like; sometimes, new life looks like a meal with friends and a long-awaited conversation.

If the beginning sounds familiar, it should. Luke tells us about how Peter first joined the Jesus movement – on this very Sea. After Peter and his buddies on the fishing boat caught nothing all night, Jesus told them to try casting their nets on the other side. They gave it a try, and the nets filled with fish. It was then that Peter first chose to follow Jesus. Maybe it was muscle memory that triggered his friend’s realization of who it was shouting advice from the shore this time.

It might have been this first turning point that Peter was thinking of as they ate breakfast that morning. Or maybe it was the last time they’d all shared fish and bread on this Sea – when Jesus took five loaves and two fish and fed thousands. I’m guessing, though, that the charcoal fire was bringing up a far closer memory. What use could he be to Jesus now? When his faith was actually tested, he failed. Had he disqualified himself with his cowardice? Was Jesus wrong to have ever trusted him?

It was in this swirl of self-pity and shame that he hears Jesus asking him a question. “Do you love me?” Peter might not know much else at this point, but he knows that much. “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” We’re not told why he’s asked the same question three times or given the same answer three times, but it’s easy enough to guess. For each time Peter denied Jesus, he’s given a chance to choose again differently, to let love mean more than failure. It turns out – it is possible to get it right after getting it wrong before. Our future isn’t determined solely by how we’ve behaved in the past. We can get up after we’ve fallen down. We too can rise to new life. Perhaps it’s only after realizing that that we’re truly prepared to lead.

So, what does this have to do with us? I think it speaks to the reality of having to live into Easter, of needing to choose new life not just once – but over and over again. There’s a reason this season lasts for fifty days. We don’t automatically know what an empty tomb means, or even what a risen Christ means. We might know that Easter has something to do with forgiveness, but we may have no idea what forgiveness actually looks like, or how that release can give us direction as we move forward.

Here we’re given some clues. Sometimes, as with Peter, we may need to look back and learn something from the past before we’re ready to move forward. We may need to remember how Jesus has strengthened us before, how he’s fed us – before we’re ready to feed others. We may, like Peter, need to bring our most shameful moments to light - so they can stop controlling us, so we’re no longer limiting ourselves by what we think they mean. We may need to get out of our own way and remember that self-pity and shame are not, in the end, what Jesus requires of us. He wants so much more for us than that. 

This story also reminds us that as comforting as it may be to think of ourselves as sheep, that’s not our only role. At some point, we’re going to be asked to step up and be shepherds, to lead and tend and feed and not just follow. Who are we, who betray each other all the time, to feed Jesus’ sheep? Who are we not to?

In the silence that follows, I invite you to think about what’s holding you back, what failure of courage you might need to be released from so that you’re free to move forward, free to make a new choice, free to live into Easter.  What new life is waiting to grow in you - once you clear the space and give it a chance? In the Name of the One who won’t stop asking us to feed his sheep, Amen.