Father Jeff

Father Jeff

The Rev. Jeff Shankles came to St. Alban’s in 2005 as assistant rector, and eventually became rector in 2013. He and his wife, Kate, have two adult children, Audrey and William.

Hosts needed for our Virtual Coffee Hour!

Has the thought of baking cookies and preparing coffee for 75 put you off being a Sunday morning Coffee Hour Host in the past?

Now, with “Virtual Coffee Hour” anyone can be a Coffee Hour Host!

Coffee Hour has long been a staple of most Episcopal faith communities.  For me, there is nothing sadder than to walk out of church and directly to my car.  No socializing, no catching up on so-and-so’s latest travel; no opportunity to meet the new family or the visitors brave enough to come to Coffee Hour (I mean, let’s face it, it does take some courage as the “new person” to willingly walk into an already established community of friends and family.)

Coffee Hour is a ministry of hospitality, a ministry of welcome, and a ministry of relationship building, and even though we’re not physically meeting for Sunday worship, we still gather together following worship for our Virtual Coffee Hour.

For the past few months, clergy and Vestry have served as Coffee Hour Hosts: starting the Zoom meeting after the 10:00 am worship video, monitoring the “Zoom waiting room” and admitting guests, and in general just being a welcoming presence.

Now we’d like to invite all of YOU to join us in this ministry of hospitality. 

Being a zoom meeting host is really not that difficult, so if you have any questions or concerns, a member of the clergy or Vestry will reach out to you and walk you through how to host a Zoom meeting and, just think – you can amaze your grandkids with your new computer skill!

You will use the church’s Zoom account, so all you need is a computer or laptop and a warm, welcoming smile!  You will receive an email with login instructions prior to your hosting date.

Coffee Hour Host is a ministry of “community building”.  It helps us keep our community together, and helps our community grow.  Please sign up to be a Coffee Hour Host at this link.

2020 Annandale CROP Hunger Walk

The 2020 Annandale CROP Hunger Walk will be a VIRTUAL CROP Hunger Walk because of the need for social distancing to prevent spread of disease. The Annandale CROP Hunger Walk raises funds for Church World Service (CWS). Walkers collect donations to CWS from sponsors either online or by check. CWS will share part of the funds raised with ACCA. Walkers may walk at a time in October of their choosing and can choose their own routes to walk safely. A send-off for walkers will be held October 17 at 9 a.m. by Zoom call. Youth through grade 12 are invited to make posters about the CROP Hunger Walk and fighting hunger. Please submit a photo image of each poster to accacrop@gmail.com by October 15. Please include the artist’s first and last name, age and church in the email. Posters will be displayed on our Annandale walk Facebook page.
While the walk will be virtual, the needs are very real. CWS works with Christian organizations around the world to sponsor programs for hunger, disaster and refugee relief, and sustainable development programs to help improve peoples’ lives. In the U.S., CWS responds to natural disasters, supports refugee resettlement and works with local poverty organizations. For information on the Annandale Walk or to donate, click here or email Camille Mittelholtz.

Chatting Fingers handmades for sale – a great way to support St. Alban’s!

Chatting Fingers, the group that makes handmade items for sale at the bazaar, has been meeting via Zoom since April. Besides keeping up with our main mission of chatting to keep in touch, we have made more new items and have put together a catalogue in pdf file format. We have knits, fabric arts, beaded necklaces, ceramics, seasonal wreaths, cards, and even Christmas-themed face masks!  If you would like to receive a copy (updated once a week) please email Betsy Anderson at betsy.anderson@me.com. The catalog includes instructions for how to pay for and pick up any items you buy. If you would like to join the group Tuesdays at 10:00 am, please email Betsy to request the Zoom link.

No matter how far apart two sides are, there are effective strategies to bring people together…

How many of us have ever prayed, ‘Lord make me an instrument of your peace,’ then found ourselves in complex and polarized situations that made peace seemingly impossible?

Make Me an Instrument of Peace is a 5-week course designed to help us bridge the divides that keep us from moving forward.

Designed by the Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church, and combining conversation, discussion and short videos, this course is ideal for those who want to take dialog between polarized people or parties seriously.

The first session will begin on Sunday, October 4 at 9:00am and run for about 50 minutes on Zoom. The remaining sessions will be held on October 11, 18, 25 and November 1 (all at 9:00 am). Each session will be led by St. Alban’s clergy, but will be ‘taught’ by a team of experts in civil discourse. This course includes these five sessions:

If you would like more information about the program, please contact Deacon Theresa or register below (we ask that you register so that we can send you the participant’s guide):

Diocese-wide Worship Service – Sunday, September 6, 2020

Mark your calendars for an online worship service with the 60,000+ members of the Diocese of Virginia, and many friends, families, saints, and seekers. Your St. Alban’s Clergy encourage you to join in this historic worship service led by your bishops on Facebook and YouTube. In unity with the 180+ parishes of the diocese, this service will be held in lieu of our usual Sunday morning YouTube worship offering on September 6th. I hope you will all take advantage of this rare opportunity to be part of something much bigger than ourselves, and certainly much bigger than St. Alban’s!

Click here for more information.

It is a Christian obligation to vote…

Our Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, reminds us that, as Christians, we have an obligation to vote.  Bishop Curry goes on to say that we must cast our vote, not on a partisan basis, not based on our biases, but based on our values – the values of human dignity and equality.

Vote the values of the rock on which this country was built. Vote.

With the ever-looming threat of COVID-19 hanging over everything we do, please begin thinking now about how you will vote this year.  If you are concerned about being in a crowd, or don’t want to stand in line, I encourage you to vote absentee, either in person or by mail.  You no longer need a reason to vote absentee in Virginia.  Please note these important dates for absentee voting for the 2020 General Election:

  • September 18: First absentee ballot mailout
  • September 18: Early voting/absentee in-person voting begins at the Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Pkwy., Fairfax, VA
  • October 13: Voter Registration Deadline (In Person/By Mail) 5:00 p.m.; online: 11:59 p.m.
  • October 23: Deadline to apply to receive an Absentee Ballot by mail, fax and online: 5:00 p.m.
  • October 31: Final day to vote absentee early/in-person, 5:00 pm
  • November 6: Deadline to return your absentee ballot to the Office of Elections: 12:00 noon. Ballot must be postmarked by November 3

Other times and locations in Fairfax County for in-person absentee voting have yet to be announced.

Helpful links:

Loving God, we give thanks for the right to vote. Help us to hold this privilege and responsibility with the care and awareness it merits, realizing that our vote matters and that it is an act of faith.  Amen.

Cloth Masks for Annandale Healthcare Center (AHC)

Annandale Healthcare Center has experienced a large number of COVID-19 infections and deaths. They have asked for reusable, washable cloth masks. This is a great chance to help the residents and staff stay healthy. Deacon Theresa will offer contact-less pick-up from your home or from church. Email Deacon Theresa to arrange pick-up. We’ll deliver masks to AHC beginning July 13. We encourage you to pray for who will wear them as you sew.
Don’t sew? Consider purchasing masks made by refugee women working with Lutheran Social Services.
Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area is connecting refugee seamstresses with the Northern Virginia community. Support local refugee women and families during these difficult times by purchasing homemade face masks. Masks are $8/each (cash preferred), with optional tip, and 100% of the profits go directly to the seamstress who made the masks. Contact-less pick-up and delivery of finished masks is available, and orders are generally completed within 1-2 days. For all questions and order requests, please email Netra Anand, Refugee Health Liaison.

An update from Second Story

St. Alban’s is a long-time supporter of Second Story, a youth services organization based in Northern Virginia that offers children, youth, and families hope for brighter futures by providing counseling, shelter and neighborhood-based support. Check out some of the work they are doing in the midst of COVID-19 through the eyes of one of their volunteers and donors here:

ACCA Food Pantry Collection

The food needs at Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA) are constantly changing. Donations of food or cash are always welcome. In order to provide complete meals to families, a team of shoppers checks the inventory at the pantry then goes to several stores to get what is needed most at the lowest price. To assist with this, monetary donations are always welcome. A check can be written to ACCA Inc. and mailed to

ACCA
7200 Columbia Pike
Annandale VA 22003

We will continue to collect donations on Saturday mornings from 9 am. – noon through July 25 at the food pantry located at 7200 Columbia Pike (trailer separate from the day care center) in Annandale. Weekday food collections will take place from 1-5 p.m. Pantry volunteers are following social distancing guidelines while volunteering at the pantry and we encourage visitors to keep the health and safety of our volunteers in mind while donating.

These are the most-needed items right now. Please share with your friends and neighbors.  Follow ACCA on Facebook for the latest needs.

Sacred Ground: A Film-Based Dialogue Series on Race & Faith

St. Alban’s is pleased to offer Sacred Grounda film- and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith. Small groups are invited to walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity. The 10-part, facilitated series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories. Sacred Ground is part of Becoming Beloved Community, The Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society. Designed specifically to help white Episcopalians build a stronger foundation to engage in ongoing interracial dialogue in other spaces, the series is open to all.

St. Alban’s Sacred Ground circle is scheduled to start on Zoom the week of July 8. Commitment to the full series and preparation before each session is expected. We ask that you pray and discern if this is the right time for you to participate in this dialogue. Contact Deacon Theresa by July 1 to discuss the program or to register to participate.