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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 

Weekly In-person Sunday Service Schedule (Please note: Service times may be changed during the seasons of Christmas and Lent and during the summer. Please refer to our calendar to confirm the times.):

8 a.m. (English) in the Church
9 a.m. (English) in the Church
11:15 a.m. (English) in the Church
11:15 a.m. (Spanish) in Nourse Hall (same building as the Church)

Communion in one kind (i.e. wafers) will be offered at the main altar, although we will happily bring communion to those for whom steps are challenging. 

Weekly Live Sunday Services are live-streamed on our Youtube channel (St. Alban's DC) at 9 a.m. every Sunday, as is our Spanish service at 11:15 a.m. 

Evening Prayer Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. via Zoom, join us for a time of reflection and sharing at the close of your busy day. Contact Paul Brewster for the link. 



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, we believe that a child’s spiritual growth is just as important as their physical and intellectual growth. Our goal is to help children name and value the presence and love of God in their lives. We do this through a variety of means – by providing stable and consistent adult mentors, encouraging strong peer relationships, and supporting parents in their families’ faith lives at home.

Worship: This Fall, Children's Chapel meets during the first half of the 9:00 a.m. service in Nourse Hall (a spacious parish hall in the same building as the main worship space.) Kids and families join "big church" at the Peace so everyone can receive Communion together. To learn more, contact the Rev’d Emily Griffin.

Education: We've resumed our formation programs for the 2022-2023 period. Here’s everything you need to know:

  • Sunday School and Youth Group Classes are from 10:15 to 11:05 a.m.
  • Nursery, 2s & 3s, PreK to 1st Grade, 2nd to 3rd Grade, and 4th to 6th Grade all meet upstairs in Satterlee Hall. Youth classes meet downstairs in Satterlee Hall.
  • If you haven’t registered your child or teen yet, it’s not too late. Register in person at the start of class or click here

Questions? For children, contact the Rev’d Emily Griffin at . For youth, contact the Rev’d Yoimel González Hernández at .

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.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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Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

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Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Series: Pentecost

Speaker: The Rev. Deborah Meister

Tags: christian, episcopal, sermon

             My third year in seminary got off to a rocky start, largely because I had no money. I had been awarded a partial scholarship by the Diocese of Los Angeles that year, but they were going to send it to the seminary after my tuition was due, so I had to pay in full, then wait to be refunded the extra money that the Diocese sent in. Usually, this was a quick process, but this time, it took weeks. Classes began, and I had no refund. Textbooks had to be purchased, and I had no refund. I went to speak with the divinity school’s bursar, but she refused to release the funds, explaining that she had more important things to do than help the students. I pointed to the sign on her desk, which read “Student Support,” and reminded her that  her job was to help students. This did not help me or the other couple hundred who were waiting. (It later turned out that she was embezzling funds, and that the holdup with everyone’s tuition refunds was part of an attempt at a coverup.) In the meantime, I had twenty dollars in my bank account, and three weeks before there would be more.

            About ten days in, an envelope arrived in my mailbox. When I opened it, I found a letter from the Episcopal Church Women in Los Angeles, explaining that they had raised funds to help seminarians and were sending me a gift with their good wishes. The enclosed check was small -- a couple hundred dollars -- but it would allow me to buy food. The thing was, I had not applied for help or for a scholarship. I did not even know more than one member of that ECW. That check arrived as sheer gift, a blessing from strangers who sent it out of kindness, and it gave me more than food: it gave me hope.[1]

            This week, we are entering what I usually call, with some sarcasm, the Summer of Bread. You see, the Jesus who appears in the Gospel of John is as verbose as the Jesus of the other gospels is concise, and, early in his ministry, he gives a long talk about bread, wine, body, blood, and faith. And so, for the next five weeks, we are going to hear Gospel readings about bread. As you can imagine, this is a nightmare for the preacher: you can talk about hunger, Eucharist, yeast, and then you still have two more weeks to fill. Fortunately, that’s when we have other preachers taking over!

            So I’d like to start this series by talking about gift. Not the gifts you give and receive at Christmas, or on your birthday or your wedding anniversary. I’d like to talk about the gifts that come unexpectedly when we are desperate for a bit of hope. Those gifts: the ones that point us straight toward the grace of God.

            This summer, some of us in the parish are reading together a book called Enrique’s Journey, which tells the true story of a boy named Enrique who travels alone from Honduras to try to join his mother in the United States. Like many of the children who were streaming across our border last summer, Enrique tried to ride the trains north, nine hundred miles, risking his life and his health to avoid bandits, thieves, hostile strangers, and immigration agents, not to mention the routine dangers of being shot by police or dragged under the wheels of the train. Over and over, he tries to get through the state of Chiapas, which is known as “the Beast” for its relentless hostility to migrants. On his eighth attempt, he manages to break through and travel on to Veracruz, where some strangers run up to the train and cock their arms to throw something at him. Enrique flattens himself on top of the train to avoid the rocks he is expecting (because that’s what people were throwing in Chiapas), but instead the strangers call out to him and press bundles into his hands: bread, water, clothing. It is the first time in weeks that someone has shown him kindness.

            I want you to hold that story in your mind as we turn to John, where Jesus is preaching to a large crowd. The scene is one of a significant disconnect. Jesus climbs a mountain and sits down with his disciples, just as he does in Matthew when he is about to give the Sermon on the Mount. The crowd, however, are not seeking words of wisdom. They’re going after healing and food. What they want is only the smallest fraction of what Jesus has to give: they are cut off from the fullness of God by the smallness of their own desire.

            And yet, Jesus does not disdain their need. Let me repeat that: Jesus does not disdain their need. What they want is small, ordinary; it won’t save their souls, but Jesus does not turn away. Rather, he looks to the disciples and wonders how to feed the crowd. And when Philip points out that they haven’t got resources to do it, Andrew notices a small boy who has some food -- just a few loaves and a couple fish, and Jesus knows that will be enough. It will be enough because the boy is willing to share them.

            In the community of migrants who ride the trains, Veracruz is legendary for its generosity. In the year 2000, 42.5 percent of Mexicans lived on less than two dollars a day, and, in rural areas, thirty percent of children had so little to eat that their growth was permanently stunted.[2] Nonetheless, in Veracruz, it is the poorest of the poor who feed the migrants on the trains. They feed them because they know what it is to be hungry. They feed them because their own children are migrants, and they are hoping to pay it forward. They feed them because their bishop emphasizes charity toward strangers and urges them to shelter migrants. They feed them as an act of protest against a culture of brutality in which migrants and others are routinely beaten or shot by police. They feed them, not from time to time, not even monthly as we do when we make casseroles for SOME, but three and four times each day, taking bread from the mouths of their own children to help strangers. When the children on the trains realize what these strangers are doing, they often break down and cry.

            The thing that prepares us to give is not our superfluity. The thing that prepares us to give is our experience of need. Over and over I have seen it: the poorest member of a parish works long hours to help those who are also in need. The man whose father is in jail will comfort those who have just been released. The woman who is struggling with cancer reaches out to support the person newly-diagnosed. The one who has been a stranger helps the newcomer make friends in town.

            You see, feeding is about more than bread. It’s about the kindness of God, who made us because he delights in us, and meets our needs just because they exist. Kindness does not calculate; it does not weigh immediate action versus future need; it does not focus on the resources of the giver, but on the humanity of the person in front of us. It does not require forms and procedures; it just offers what it has, one human being to another. That’s why it shows us who God really is. In the other gospels, the evangelists note that the people are far from home and need bread for the journey, but John says no such thing. It’s not even clear that the people really need food. But Jesus works with the request they are willing to make, showing his generosity, because the thing about gift is that it opens the heart.

            A number of years ago, a group of Christians had been taken prisoner in South America. They had been imprisoned for their faith, and were strictly forbidden to pray, to read the Bible, to live in any way that marked them as Christians. As Easter drew near, they longed to take Communion, to share the bread and wine one more time before the unfolding of future they did not know and could not trust. And so they gathered that morning in the prison, surrounded by a large group of their fellow inmates, who had offered to laugh and chatter and play cards and to make so much noise that the guards could not tell what was going on.

            And the Christians bowed their heads and prayed; they prayed for those they loved and for one another. They prayed for those in prison and for all who were trapped or wrongly accused or condemned to death for no reason. And when the whisper of names had faded to silence, the priest who was among them prayed the Words of Institution. He had no bread, no wine, and so when he came to that part, he just stretched out his empty hands and said, “This is my body, given for you.” And he passed the imaginary Host from one palm to another, hand on hand, and then he lifted an imaginary chalice, saying, “This is my blood, given for you.” And they had nothing -- nothing! -- except the body and blood of Christ, not found that day in bread and wine, but made real in the bodies it had nourished, made real in the determination of a few souls to honor their God with whatever they had, even if that was only their bare selves.[3]

            Three weeks from now, we are going to be visited by a woman named Ruby Sales. When she was sixteen, she was jailed for participating in a civil rights demonstration, then unexpectedly released in a town called Hayneville in Alabama. She and a few of the others went into a store to get a Coke because it was a hot day, when a man appeared with a gun, and one of the other demonstrators, an Episcopal seminarian named Jonathan Daniels, took the bullet for her and died to save her life. Ruby has lived fifty years in the shadow of that self-offering, but the thing is, so have we. Every one of us has been died for. Every one of us has been fed with the body of Christ, given willingly on the cross for us.

            St. Paul writes, “I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:18-18)  What would our lives look like if we received that gift, not as a theory or as a doctrine, but as bread for our hungry souls? What peace, what freedom would we find? And what offering would we be able to make to those who stretch out their hands to us?


[1] Last winter, when we were experiencing a tight budget situation, a number of you increased your 2015 pledges to enable the church to have a balanced budget. Those gifts also gave me hope. Thank you.

[2] Sonia Nazario, Enrique’s Journey, p. 105.

[3] [3] John Poulton, The Feast of Life. Geneva: World Council of Churches,1982.