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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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The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

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10.04.15

The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Series: Pentecost

Speaker: Samantha Gottlich

Tags: christian, covenant, episcopal, sermon

Come, Holy Spirit, and be present among us. For if you are here, nothing else matters, and if you are not, nothing else matters. Amen. 

‘Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ Phew. That’s a pretty lofty mandate. Leave it to the new seminarian to preach on marriage, divorce, and the immutability of God’s will. Let’s start there…the new seminarian…that’s me! 

My name is Sam, and I am a statistic. I am part of roughly 50% of the world that is female, and I am part of the 8% of the world with hazel eyes. I am one of 27 million people that call the great state of Texas home. I am part of the 90% of the population that is right handed.  I am in the 80th percentile for my height. And I am part of roughly half the population as a daughter of divorced parents. I am a statistic. I am many statistics. Unfortunately, the way I experience my life means that pie charts and bar graphs and data plots just don’t quite express my reality. My hazel eyes mean I almost never go outside without sunglasses, being from Texas means I often wear boots and say ‘y’all’ more than any other word in my vocabulary, and having divorced parents means, apart from some of the more obvious thoughts about pain and separation, that this passage makes me very uncomfortable. 

So, what does God intend for us in marriage? Jesus takes us straight back to Genesis and creation in his rebuttal of the Pharisees. What can creation tell us about the nature of the relationship we are entering into in marriage? The narratives of our ancestors - Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob -  tell us the story of covenant. Covenant, as introduced to us in the Old Testament, means a coming or binding together. It requires at least two equally met parties to uphold the bond that is formed through shared roles and responsibilities. And over and over again, from the beginning of creation to today, we discover a God who wants desperately to reveal the meaning of covenant, intends for us the deepest bonds of covenant with each other, and even desires, desperately, to enter into covenant with us. 

Our human condition, however, means that we are flawed. We, all of us, are imperfect. We are broken by the changes and chances of this earthly life. Our human condition creates separation from God. That means that God’s hopes and intentions for us in covenant relationships, any covenant relationships - marriage, partnership, friendship, our personal relationship with God - often go unrealized. We fall short. We fail. And in those moments, separation occurs. Divorce. Loss. Pain. Loneliness. Leaving the church. It can look like many things. In the OT, as far back as creation, we can see the complicated and often painful consequences of separation because of the human condition. 

But is separation always a negative thing? In the Gospel today we hear Jesus tell us “what God has joined together let no one separate.” We love our NRSV in the Episcopal Church, but that particular verse leaves a certain sense of vagueness. Here I think it especially poignant to dig a little deeper. The Common English Bible says “Humans must not pull apart what God has put together.” and the New International Version says “what God has joined together let man not separate.” Friends, separation is hard. It is painful and grief-ridden and messy. But I would argue that it can also be beautiful, healthy, and even life-giving. Let’s go back to creation.

“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.” 

God created the world by separation. God created. Our universe exists because God separated light from darkness, day from night, water from water, and even male from female. Separation can be an act of creation. Our Gospel today isn’t condemning a failed marriage, friendship, or faith journey. It is offering us an opportunity to see the work of the Kingdom of God in the world. It is here, all around us. God’s intended world for us, despite our human condition, is on the edges of our vision. And in our Gospel today, Jesus even gives us a hint at how to see it more fully. 

“Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” Do you remember what you thought the world was like as a child? Do you remember believing in fairy tales and prince (or princess) charming? Do you remember happily ever after? Yes, maybe those notions are idyllic and fantastical and whimsical - but I would argue that it is actually closer to the truth of what God intends for us in covenant relationship than we are willing to give it credit for. Let me be clear, you do NOT have to find God as an actual child in order to receive the Kingdom of God. But I do think having a faith as a child has faith, without concern for the world or what is possible according to human law or human understanding, gives us the most complete vision of the Kingdom of God on earth. It is vulnerable, it is inquisitive, it is passionate and irrational and whimsical. And most importantly, it is far less jaded by the changes and chances of this earthly life than adulthood. It is not dictated by patterns and properties and statistics. 

We are all statistics. We are all the things that categorize and systemize and prioritize us. But God is not calling us to a kingdom of statistics, God is calling us to a Kingdom of wholeness, completeness, fulfillment, and relationship. We are so much more than the things that describe us. We are our experiences - our thoughts and feelings and dreams. And God intends for us the most wonderful bonds of relationships. Let us dream of those through our childlike faith, allow the work of the Holy One to enter into our lives, and live into the Kingdom of Heaven as best as we can. God is with us, here and now, in our friendships, in our marriages, in our partnerships, and in our faith journey. God is with us in the union, and God is with us in the separation, even when the darkness tells us we are alone. God can overcome the human condition, and God can transform any shortcoming, pain, or loss into the life-giving work of creation. Thanks be to God. Amen.