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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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Staying Afloat

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06.16.19

Staying Afloat

Staying Afloat

Series: Pentecost

Speaker: The Rev'd Emily Griffin

Say you’ve had a tough week. The waters are rising faster than you can keep up. It could be work that’s overwhelming, a bad diagnosis, a family crisis or just life in our news cycle that makes you feel like you’re reaching flood stage. How can our readings for today help? At first it seems like we’re sinking in a sea of abstraction. Wisdom, hope, truth…these can sound more like political slogans than places to stand. With stories, we can sometimes find a foothold. Here, though, we have to work harder to make connections with life on the ground. At least I do.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s fascinating to think about a feminine presence at the dawn of creation as we’re given here in Proverbs, to have Wisdom as a “she” on Trinity Sunday amidst all these “he’s”, to sense the fullness of what it means to be created in the image of God. But that’s reaching pretty far back to find cause for hope. What about the present, what’s here and now? Well, Paul speaks in the present tense in our reading from Romans – but in such a seemingly easy way about the productivity of suffering that it’s hard to know what he’s talking about. And then Jesus, in John’s Gospel anyway, I love him but he can bury the lead so thoroughly – we can barely glimpse the Spirit amidst all that swirling repetition. What can we actually hold onto here – what might help us to stay afloat?

Let’s start with wisdom. My Jewish Study Bible defines it as “knowledge translated into action.” That means wisdom is less about mastering floods of information; it’s more about riding the waves so they don’t drown or paralyze us. To take the water image a little further, wisdom is kind of like the river guide in a raft – the one who knows the flow well enough to keep us in it, who can tell us when we need to rest and when it really is time to paddle hard. Wisdom is what helps us to set direction and move together to get there.

But it’s not all about knowing the terrain in advance. Wisdom also helps us to handle new situations that we’ve neither predicted nor prepared for. We can’t measure it by our ability to write a paper or take a test (I know – here in DC – also known as “Hollywood for Nerds,” that’s a tough pill to swallow.) Wisdom isn’t about intellectual feats of strength; it has to do with what we learn from our elders and from our own experience – and how that comes out in the works of our hands, in the ways we treat each other, in our capacity to respond with calm and grace when anger and judgment are so much easier. 

So where do we find her – wisdom, that is? According to our first reading, wisdom calls out to us. She raises her voice not just on the heights, but at the crossroads. In other words, wisdom isn’t found just on mountaintops or monasteries or on mission trips, for that matter; she lives where we do. And we’re told her cry is to “all that live.” Wisdom is not the property of any one nation or religion or century. It doesn’t reside within the walls of the church alone; it’s not found within Scripture alone. Wisdom speaks in our Monday to Saturday world - sometimes in the voices of people who’ve never heard church talk. Wisdom may have been with our Creator back in the beginning, but she certainly didn’t stay there. Wisdom is available to us here and now. For once, the issue is not access. It’s not that wisdom isn’t speaking; it’s that so many other voices are speaking too – more loudly and, apparently, more persuasively.

So where does our reading from Romans fit into all this, with all its specialized God-talk? Is there any way that wisdom grounded in experience can actually lead to hope? Paul’s reflections here don’t replace the insights given in Proverbs so much as they come from a different stream. Wisdom is not the exclusive property of the church or the Bible, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn valuable things here. In Paul’s view, the experience of the risen Christ in our lives changes everything. The flow of the river will never be the same, so we need new words to articulate that. Our God-given wisdom is deepened, in his view, when we let ourselves be part of both of these streams of tradition – when we let the words and images, the rituals and practices flow over us and become ours.

With time, we begin to make more sense of Paul’s words. Of course, we know that suffering isn’t always a means to some discernible end. Suffering doesn’t automatically produce endurance, much less character or hope, but we do have a better shot at all of the above when we’re surrounded by others who’re willing to share their experiences of Jesus’ love and stay with us. Over time, as we practice this Christ-shaped life in community, as we give and receive grace, as we find the new life that only emerges after death – all of these things gradually give shape to our hope. They ground it in something far greater than wishful thinking or optimism. It’s this Christ-shaped hope that helps us to know who to hold onto when there is no place to stand, when all we can do is go with the flow.

It might be nice if we had an instruction manual for “what would Jesus do” in every possible situation, if we could craft a Christ-shaped life in 9 easy steps, but that’s not what we’re given. We have a limited set of stories, a few key sermons, and the example of his life. We don’t see him get married or have kids; we never see him struggle with a long illness or grow old. We don’t know exactly what he would do in our circumstances. That’s part of why we have the Holy Spirit with us now – or what Jesus in today’s Gospel calls “the Spirit of truth.”

We’re told that the Spirit will guide us into all the truth, and I for one find that deeply reassuring. First, it means that for all the wisdom available to us, we don’t have all the truth now. We can’t base every decision on today’s horizon; that means there’s reason for hope beyond what we can see. It also means there are things we won’t be able to predict or prepare for, and that’s not necessarily a failure on our part. Second, it means that we’re not left to navigate the waters on our own. We have a guide, someone who knows the flow – who can help us find our way when the path we thought we were on is blocked, who can show us our choices when there is no one right way to go, who can talk us through those moments when we find ourselves out of the raft altogether. I’m not an expert on whitewater rafting by any means, but I do know that when we find ourselves out of the raft and in the water – the last thing we should do is force ourselves to stand. There may not be a place to stand for quite a while. Sometimes our best option is to stop thrashing and let ourselves float – until we’re either hauled back in or someone who sees more than we do can point out a resting place.

In the silence that follows, I invite you to think about the waters you find yourself in today. What might it look like to go with the flow and let yourself be led for once? Might that somehow be the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of truth trying to speak? In the Name of the One who knows where we’re going even when we don’t and who can be trusted to guide us there – Amen.