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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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Test our Minds; Search our Hearts

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02.17.19

Test our Minds; Search our Hearts

Test our Minds; Search our Hearts

Series: Epiphany

Speaker: The Rev'd Jim Quigley

At the 9 and 11:15 services during this season after The Epiphany we’ve been using alternative versions of the Prayers of the People which are taken or modified from a new planning guide for worship published by the Episcopal Church.  These versions of the prayers always include versicles and responses gleaned from some portion of the scripture readings appointed for the day, most often the reading from the Old Testament.   

The versicle and response in the example appointed for today, the sixth Sunday after The Epiphany, was taken from the reading from the prophet Jeremiah.  After each petition in the prayers the litanist would say these words: “Test our minds; search our hearts,” to which the congregation would respond, “Hear our prayer.”  When working on this week’s form for the prayers, I consciously used a different versicle and response, the reason being that there was something in me that reacted quite negatively to the suggestion that we would actually invite God to do such a thing as that – test our minds and search our hearts – perhaps because of what my unconsciousness was telling me that God might find in each of us if our Lord were to take a good look, and what Jeremiah seemed to know so well:  “The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse – who can understand it?”  Let’s not pray for that!  I thought! 

In choosing a different versicle and response for the prayers of the people in this morning’s liturgies I successfully avoided what I later found to be inescapable as I began preparing for this week’s sermon, namely that today’s lessons portray a God that just doesn’t seem that appealing – a God who curses those who trust in mere mortals, in those whose hearts turn away from the Lord; a God who in the laments of the Psalter watches over the way of the righteous but allows the wicked to perish.  That kind of God seems just, perhaps, but also cruel and unforgiving. 

It seems to me that the compilers of our lectionary chose this particular text from Jeremiah because it so closely parallels the theme of the first Psalm, not to mention the reading from chapter six in Luke’s Gospel, yet another passage of scripture that in Jesus’ own words doesn’t provide people blessed by circumstance with power and privilege – people like us perhaps – very much relief from the supposed “angry God” of the Hebrew Scriptures: “Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.  Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.  Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.”   

Blessings and curses, these are called, and we can trace them from Jesus’ lips back to Moses and the substance and style of Deuteronomistic tradition and the Wisdom literature of the bible: “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting and strife.  A slave who deals wisely will rule over a child who acts shamefully and will share in the inheritance as one of the family.  The crucible is for silver, and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.  An evildoer listens to wicked lips; and a liar gives heed to a mischievous tongue.  Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who are glad at calamity will not go unpunished,” etcetera, etcetera. 

If there is any relief at all to be found in today’s scripture (you know that I don’t really mean this) one might look to Paul’s letter to the Corinthians and the odd debate about the resurrection from the dead, an argument that to me has as much to do with how one makes one’s way in the temporal world as it does with inheriting eternal life after death:  Saul himself was one who prospered in the way of the wicked until he was knocked off his high horse on his way to Damascus and by God’s grace and forgiveness was given not only a new name but a new life.  He, by virtue of the resurrection, was raised from death to life.  That’s a notion that comes from Deuteronomy too! 

We too, by virtue of the resurrection, fact or metaphor, are also raised to new life in Christ, and yet this reality doesn’t relieve us from the responsibility of ethical living, and of the covenant made in our baptism – of our own dying and rising to new life in Christ – in our striving of and for peace and justice for all people; in our respecting of the dignity of every human being; in our renouncing  - as well as acknowledging – “the” Satan and all the spiritual forces that rebel against God; in renouncing the evil powers in the world and all that which destroys the creatures of God (including the creation itself); and in our turning, our accepting, our trusting and in our promising:  In our turning to Jesus; our accepting of Christ as our savior, in our trusting in God and God’s grace and love and by our promise of discipleship, despite what heretofore we have left undone, and all while knowing that God’s anger and God’s grace are not mutually exclusive, both are necessary components of the divine will and of our call to and need of conversion or transformation.    

More and more in the coming months and years members of St. Alban’s will become familiar and hopefully be able to articulate in their own words, the phrases Geoffrey has been planting in our ears since his arrival; we discussed this at our annual Vestry retreat last week:  Christian formation is not merely a matter of obtaining information; there is no grace, nor is there forgiveness, in even the best of this or that church program, but there is grace and there is forgiveness in turning toward that which is good, to what really matters, to a life worth living and a life defined by and devoted to prayer, and service, and the personal and corporate generosity of and in our hearts, our minds, our spirit and our financial resources.  And because our minds do play tricks on us, and while hopefully for none of us is this a supreme reality beyond all else – the bible is nothing if not hyperbolic – our hearts can be devious Lord… so “test our minds and search our hearts,” and listen to our prayers:  Heal us and remake us ever more in your image. 

Hopefully you have noticed the small (?) change in the beginning of our celebrations of Word and Sacrament at St. Alban’s.  We no longer join together to recite The Collect of the Day, the prayer which contextualizes the day’s lectionary readings, but instead, we begin the service by acknowledging the blessed TRINITY and then saying together the beautiful prayer otherwise  known as the Collect for Purity:  Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid:  Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts and minds by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ our Lord.  With regular attendance at worship, one of our lifelong endeavor as Episcopalians, before long your sometimes-devious hearts will know this prayer like you do the Lord’s Prayer – by heart that is! – heart being a word that biblically speaking – lav in Hebrew and kardia in Greek – refers not so much to the biological organ but rather to what we call imagination.  The biblical meaning wonderfully illuminates the use of that word in in the Eucharistic liturgy: “Lift up your hearts.”   While beginning the service by confessing that to God all hearts are open from whom no secrets are hid, at the Eucharist and by God’s amazing grace we are called to lift our hearts; to lift up our imaginations, open them toward God (Davis and Hayes – The Art of Reading Scripture). 

In our customary time of silence in response to Holy Scripture, use this time as you will, perhaps we can open our hearts toward God and with the Holy Spirit as our guide, imagine our way into a holier way of living; a more devoted life of prayer, service and generosity, a strengthened striving for justice, peace, and a more radical commitment to our care and conservation of the natural world.  Farewell for now, and let us pray: 

May God bless you with a restless discomfort 
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may
reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator,
Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour,
and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you
and remain with you, this day and forevermore.

AMEN.