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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

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)

Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday, 9:00 a.m.  Daily Morning Prayer

Tuesday, 7:30 a.m.                                    Holy Eucharist: Rite II


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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The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

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The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

Series: Epiphany

Speaker: The Rev. Deborah Meister

Lent 2C; 21 February, 2016                                                       Rev. Deborah Meister
Gen 15:1-12, 17-18; Ps 27
Phil 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35           

            Good morning, St. Alban’s! And this is a good morning, because today we are celebrating the lives of four young people. Bella, Valerie, Foster, and Nathalie, you are moving out of childhood and onto the pathway to maturity. The Rite 13 ceremony is not a sacrament, but a rite of passage, a chance for you and for us to pause and to recognize what is happening in your lives: that you are changing, growing in independence, making more of your own decisions, facing bigger choices than you have had before. You are becoming teenagers, and if you believe your own hype, that means you are about to be irreverent, disrespectful, self-involved, glued to cellphones, pimply, smelly, funny, creative, snarky, temperamental, and difficult. And if that frightens you, even a bit, I can guarantee you it frightens your parents even more!

            Do not listen to the hype. Listen, instead, to the voice of your God, who spoke through the prophet Jeremiah: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jer 31:3) When your friends treat you badly, when your classmates are mean, when people are pressuring you to do things which you believe are wrong, when you can’t figure out who you are or what you want to do with your life, hold onto this truth: God loves you, and always will. It doesn’t matter if you’re perfect. (You won’t be.) It doesn’t matter if you’re good-looking. (God sees your heart.) It doesn’t matter if your friends think you are cool. God loves you, even when you don’t love yourself. God sees what is good in you even when you cannot. God sees the promise in you, even when you cannot feel it. God gives his grace to you, not because you don’t need it, but because we all do.

            Abraham began his encounter with God in a place of anxiety. God comes to him and says, “Don’t be afraid, Abraham,” and the only reason to say that is if Abraham was, in fact, afraid. But God says, I am your shield, I will defend you, I will bring you where you need to be and make you the person you need to be to face whatever comes. But Abraham says, God, what is my life to me? I don’t even have a child.           Let’s pause there for a moment. God promises Abraham heaven and earth, wealth and safety and peace, but all Abraham wants in his heart is son or a daughter. All Abraham wants, Bella, Foster, Valerie, Nathalie, is someone like you. Hold onto that, for the next few years. Hold onto it for the rest of your life. Abraham is the beloved of God: the one person out of all humanity God chose to call into relationship with God and become the father of the three great monotheistic religions. And the one desire of his heart was to have a child.

            What does that tell you about what you are worth? What does it tell you about how you are loved? It’s easy, in adolescence, to focus on your imperfections: your hair, your skin, whether you’re good enough as an athlete or a student. But beneath all that, you are a person who is greatly loved. Even when you’re being snarky, even when your parents snap back at you, they wouldn’t trade you for the world. Remember that. (Remember that, parents!) God speaks to us through the prophet Jeremiah and says, “ I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jew 31:3)

            And so God promises Abraham a child, and Abraham takes a whole bunch of livestock and cuts it in half, and he walks between the half of the heifer and the other half of the heifer, and between the half of the goat and the other half of the goat, and the half of the ram and the other half of the ram, and then he throws in some birds for good measure, and then falls asleep and when he wakes, he knows that God is real. And if you’re thinking, You gotta be kidding me, you ain’t alone!  You couldn’t make this stuff up, because if you did, you’d do a better job!

            This is one weird story. But it does ask an interesting question: how do you find God?   

I’ll be honest with you: I don’t know what to do with all that livestock. My teachers taught me it was just what they did back then in ancient Mesopotamia. But in one way, it does make a kind of sense: livestock were valuable, and growth is costly. You don’t get to move from being a child to being a grown-up (a real one) by staying where it’s safe, laying nothing on the line, and keeping your nose clean. You grow by taking risks. Not stupid risks — not driving drunk, not taking drugs — but real ones: you grow by risking your heart.

            What is the path, what is the price, that will let us see God’s face? St. Paul reminds us: our life is like a race: we’ll never get to the end we want unless we set our eyes on the finish line. When I was in high school, I spent a year on the cross-country team. One of our last meets that year was to take place at Episcopal High School, in Alexandria. It was a big race and we’d worked up to it with great energy, but on the morning of the race, I woke up sick as a dog. And so I missed the worst race in the history of our school. The problem wasn’t the runners. It was the course. (Kind of.) The race went through the woods, and so Episcopal High had stationed its students at key turns in the course, to ensure that the visiting teams did not get lost. The students, however, realized that they could ensure a victory for their own team if the visiting teams did get lost. And so they gently, confidently misdirected the runners on the other teams at almost every turn, creating a race in which my teammates crisscrossed the woods dozens of time, arriving at the finish line after dark, a full hour and half after the Episcopal High runners. (Of course, the discrepancy was so large that the coaches figured out what had happened.)

            The thing is, that race is a lot more like our lives than a normal track meet. At a track meet, we line up at the start, look straight ahead to the finish, and run like mad with no interruptions. But in life, we are constantly coming across other paths, and we need to make choices. On a good day, we can see which ones lead to Jesus; on other days, we can’t. And sometimes there are tempters standing at those corners, whispering to us, “Try this way. Don’t be stupid. This is what’s really important. Be cool. Eat fancy food. Sell out your friend to get the grade. This is how you’ll really succeed. This will get you what you want. That girl doesn’t really mean ‘no.’” And sometimes we manage to make a good choice, and other times we find ourselves wandering in a dark forest, wondering how we made such a mess of our lives.

            It happens even to the best of us. But here’s the thing: for us who love Jesus, “the worst is not the last.”[1] We can always begin again. We can always turn ourselves around, look for the right way, and walk in it. “This one thing I do,” writes Paul: “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13-14) Press on, but make sure the goal you’ve chosen is really worth living for.

            Mixed in with all our weird images this morning, we got to hear one of the great promises of Christ: “He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be made like the body of his glory.” (Phil 3:21) Now, today, we may taste humiliation. Often, our bodies refuse to do what we want them to do. Sometimes, our actions bring us shame. But by the grace of God, all of this is learning: our very disappointments teach us what will fail us and what we can trust, and point us in the direction of God.

            For many of us, that place is often a person or a group of people: the friends of your right hand, the ones you can turn to with anything — anything at all — and know that they will love you and support you and challenge you to be your best self. And when you fall down, they will pick you up and dust you off and set you on your way again (but they may tease you about it later!). Valerie, Foster, Bella, Nathalie — as you enter the years of your youth, be that place for one another. When everything is dark, when your friends feel lost, help one another to find new life again.

            So as you enter your teenage years, remember three things. 1) You are loved with an everlasting love. That love gives you family and friends, this community and one another. It is lifting you up, and pointing you forward, and turning you around, and asking you to take risks and learn new things and enjoy this great gift of life we have been given. 2) If you mess up, turn yourself around and begin again. God is on our side. Every day. The worst is not the last. 3) And love one another. Through everything. Because at the beginning of our relationship with God, Abraham asked God for a child, which was the greatest blessing he could think of. You are a blessing. You are God’s blessing to us. Amen.



[1] John Claypool.