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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

Beginning on Trinity Sunday, May 30, 2021, worship will be open to anyone without pre-registration or distancing requirements. We will continue requiring that worshippers be masked for now. 

Our schedule of services will remain the same throughout the summer:

 - 9:00 a.m. (English) in the church

 - 10:30 a.m. (English) in the church

 - Noon (Spanish) in Nourse Hall

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. 

Masked hymn singing both indoors and outdoors will be permitted, and music will be supported by a soloist and organ. 

On-line worship services in English and Spanish are available on Sundays beginning at 8:00 a.m. on our YouTube channel.

 

 

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, 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: Children’s Chapel meets at the start of the 9:00 a.m. service. Starting in September 2021, Children’s Chapel with Communion will be held outdoors on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month at 9:00 a.m. To learn more, contact the Rev’d Emily Griffin.

Education: All church school classes resume the Sunday after Labor Day with our annual Open House. Instruction starts the following Sunday.

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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The Law of Love

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10.25.20

The Law of Love

The Law of Love

Speaker: The Rev'd Emily Griffin

We know the rules; we just don’t want to follow them. “Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself.” When asked in today’s Gospel to prioritize among the 613 laws Jews were commanded to observe, Jesus was brief and to the point for once. I often accuse Jesus of being a lousy marketer, what with his confounding parables and lengthy discourses and unpopular calls to self-sacrifice, but this time he’s at the top of his game. Any communications expert would tell you. Whether you’re crafting a political slogan, developing a vision for your company, or creating your own personal mantra, the advice is usually the same: It should fit on a t-shirt and be understood by a 5-year-old. Anything else is just a word game. If we want to ignite meaningful change, the message needs to be short, memorable and unique. 

At least on the first two criteria, Jesus passes. As potential Christian brands go, “Love God – Love your Neighbor” is an excellent contender – except that it’s not original to Jesus. He’s quoting from the Old Testament; first Deuteronomy, then Leviticus. These are sacred Scriptures to half the world’s population - Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. So, if it needs to be new or unique to be true or helpful, then I’m afraid “Love God – Love your Neighbor” doesn’t cut it. 

If only that were our only objection. But it’s not. Any time we’re faced with a rule we think we can’t follow, we start looking for loopholes. What does “love” mean? Who exactly is my neighbor?  Let’s start with the first question. “Love” here is not primarily an emotion; it’s a demonstrated commitment to another’s good over time. Let’s face it - our feelings are ungovernable. They’re unsteady; they may bear no relation to the facts. “The heart wants what it wants,” right? Anything that can change with the weather or an empty stomach is no basis on which to build a life. 

Fortunately, that’s not what Jesus is advocating. His frame for understanding love is the love God has for us – a love that is steadfast regardless of circumstance. It keeps its promises and won’t lie to us, even when a lie is easier. It’s freely given, unmerited, and unconditional. It’s a demonstrated commitment to our good over time.

If that’s the standard, then no wonder so many of us want to narrow the scope. Perhaps we can imagine loving a God who loves us like that. But people? No one else can love us that fully or unselfishly. So, who can we take off the list? Whose needs can we rank below our own? To the text’s original audience, a “neighbor” was a fellow Israelite. The bounds went well past family and friends – but they stopped at the nation’s border. Keep reading in Leviticus, though, and we hear this: “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” (One wishes that those who claim to take the Bible literally would take this literally too, but I digress.) 

The rest of Leviticus spells out what that love and holiness might look like in every facet of life. Leviticus has a bad reputation; it’s considered boring and dangerously obsessed with purity. And it’s true, some of its laws do seem bound to a particular culture and time. They need to be seen and reinterpreted by the law of love. But there is a beauty that gets missed here as well. For the ancient Israelites, love for God and love for neighbor affected every area of their lives. It affected what they ate, what they wore, how they gave, how they worshipped. It also rippled out beyond home and family to the public realm. 

We hear that in today’s reading. Here there aren’t two standards of behavior – one public and one private. In Leviticus, we don’t get to justify our ruthlessness at work by being a nice guy at home. Or as novelist Kurt Vonnegut once put it, “we are what we pretend to be.” Love for God and love for neighbor (or their opposite) are lived out in our schools and our workplaces, in the courts, in the press and yes – in the voting booth. We never get to leave love for God or neighbor behind. It is the lens through which we are called to see and interpret everything else. 

That is a high standard to meet and Jesus only raises the bar higher. In the Sermon on the Mount, he makes it clear. Loving our neighbors does not mean that we can hate our enemies, however we might define them. We owe even them a demonstrated commitment to their good over time – even if they don’t acknowledge it, even if they don’t give it back in return. And just in case we were tempted to keep the line between us and them at the border, Jesus erases that too. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus redefines “neighbor” as anyone in need – regardless of nation or immigration status or creed.

“Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself.” There are worse ways to brand the Christian life. It’s short. It’s memorable, and while not unique, it’s easy enough to understand – at least in theory. There are times when the two seem to be in conflict, when loyalty to one seems to do harm to the other – but the God revealed in Jesus has no desire to make us choose. We love God by loving our neighbor, by demonstrating our commitment to the good of anyone in need, by seeking the image of God in them and treating them accordingly. This law of love doesn’t make everything easy or clear, but it does give us a lens that can ignite meaningful change – in what we eat, what we wear, how we give, how we worship, how we work, and yes, how we vote. 

In the Name of the One whose love this election season can do more than we can ask or imagine– Amen.