What’s Up @ St. Alban’s (April 28, 2019)

Alleluia, Christ is Risen! St. Alban’s was the site of a powerful Holy Week that led up to a joyous Easter celebration. Check out some selected photos from Easter, and many thanks to the dozens of parish volunteers who made the whole week so meaningful.

The Wired Word: Join us on Sundays at 9:15am in the Lawlor Library for a discussion on current events from a Christian perspective. This week’s download: Easter Services in Sri Lanka Shattered by Bombs.

Choir Taking a Break: Reminder, the choir is taking a well-deserved break this week following their hard work during Holy Week.

Caregivers’ Support Luncheon: If you provide physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual support for a loved one, please join us on April 28 at noon in Room 11 for resource sharing, support, and lunch. RSVP to the parish office or Deacon Theresa.

Benefit Concert is Next Week: Our concert fundraiser is happening Saturday, May 4, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm in the Parish Hall. It’s going to be a great time for a great cause, as all proceeds will go to support victims of last year’s hurricanes, wildfires, and floods. We are also still seeking some help in the kitchen, as we will also be selling hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks. If you can help out for an hour or so, please contact Fr. Jeff.

Episcopal 101: Find out everything you wanted to know about Episcopalianism but were afraid to ask! Our Episcopal 101 series of classes will be held on Sundays in May, starting May 4, at 9:15am in Room 11.

Trip to the National Cathedral: On May 5, parishioner Debbie Rosse will be leading a group of kids and adults on a trip to the National Cathedral in Washington. It is expected to last from 9am to 3pm, and will include a tour, service, and lunch. Contact Debbie if you would like to attend or want more information.

What’s Happening: Keep up to date by keeping a close eye on our Calendar of Events.

Serving Schedule: Here’s the current two-week serving schedule.

Readings for April 28:

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2019 Easter at St. Alban’s

Alleluia, Christ is Risen! St. Alban’s was the site of a powerful Holy Week, culminating in a joyous Easter celebration last week. Many thanks to the dozens of volunteers who made the week such a success!

Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(Photos by Barbara Hallman)

What’s Up @ St. Alban’s (April 21, 2019)

Holy Week Continues: Today, April 19, is Good Friday, with two services of Holy Eucharist at noon and 7pm. Tomorrow, April 20, is the Great Vigil of Easter at 7pm. (Father Paul explains why you should attend the Great Vigil here.) And Sunday, April 21, is Easter Sunday with Holy Eucharist at 8:15 and 10:15; the 10:15 service features choir and brass.

Bring Your Basket: Our annual Easter Egg Hunt happens after the 10:15am service on April 21. Join us in the Parish Hall, and don’t forget your basket!

Caregivers’ Support Luncheon: If you provide physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual support for a loved one, please join us on Sunday, April 28 at Noon in Room 11 for resources sharing, support, and lunch. RSVP to the parish office or Deacon Theresa.

A Lot Going On: Check our Calendar of Events and make sure you don’t miss anything.

Benefit Concert: Don’t miss the 2nd Annual St. Alban’s Benefit Concert on Saturday, May 4, from 1 to 5 p.m.in the Parish Hall. Our musical lineup includes a wide range of musical styles, from classical piano to gospel to rock — even a balalaika solo. Admission is by donation, and we will have opportunities to contribute even more in the form of tips for acts or numbers you particularly like. We’ll also be selling food and drinks. All proceeds benefit victims of last year’s hurricanes, California wildfires, and Midwestern floods.

Last year’s concert raised $3,000. Can we top that this year?

Can You Help?: As noted above, we’ll be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, and cold drinks during the May 4 Benefit Concert, and we need volunteers to take orders, serve, and work the grill. If you can help out, perhaps for an hour or so in the afternoon, please contact Fr. Jeff.

Readings for April 21

The Great Vigil of Easter: Un-bury the Alleluia!

Most people are familiar with Easter Sunday, with its familiar readings and hymns, and its feeling of joyful celebration. Along with Christmas Eve, it’s one of two services that are attended even by people who almost never go to church the rest of the year.

Less well known, though, is a very important service that takes place the evening before Easter, which we call the “Great Vigil.”

It begins in darkness, with lighting of the New Fire, from which the Easter (Paschal) candle is lit. That one small flame grows as it is passed from one person to another, and the first part of the service happens by the light of many candles, during the gathering dusk.

Through readings from the Old Testament, the Vigil tells the whole story of salvation, beginning with the creation in Genesis; and continuing with the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, as well as memorable words from Hebrew prophets.

The early Christians welcomed new converts through Holy Baptism primarily during the Easter Vigil. This year, we will continue that tradition — it’s always a joy to welcome a new person into the family of God! And we will all renew our own baptismal vows, and be sprinkled in Jordan River water.

Part of what makes the Easter Vigil fun is the fact that the service rarely stays in one place for long. Here at St. Alban’s, we start by lighting the New Fire in the Memorial Grove, and then the Old Testament readings and baptism happen while we gather around the font in the center of the church.

After the Resurrection is joyfully announced, we will all ring bells, the brass will play, and we will sing the Gloria in Excelsis for the first time since Lent began. The focus of the service then moves to the front of the chuch, where we celebrate the first Holy Communion of the Easter season.

Way back at the start of Lent — on Ash Wednesday — many of the children of St. Alban’s attended the children’s service, in which we “buried” the Alleluia under the Altar at the front of the church. At the Easter Vigil, we hope many of the children of St. Alban’s will come and help to UN-bury the Alleluia! And the children will help the celebrant announce the joyous moment when we recognize the resurrection of Jesus.

The Great Vigil of Easter includes a lot of memorable elements: fire, flickering candles, sprinkling of baptismal water, joyful music with a brass ensemble and choir, fragrant incense … and, of course, meeting the Lord at the altar in the consecrated bread and wine of Eucharist.

The Great Vigil is truly worship for all the senses.

I hope that you and your family will consider joining us this year for the Easter Vigil. It’s my favorite service all year long. You might just find you agree with me!

The 2019 Great Vigil of Easter begins at 7pm at St. Alban’s on Saturday, April 20.

Choir Notes: Holy Week

by Clarence Zuvekas

Sunday, April 14

At the beginning of the Palm Sunday service, we will sing Ride On, Jesus, a traditional spiritual arranged by Jens Klimek (b. 1984), a prolific German choral composer and director. Our anthem will be O Mortal Man—the traditional Sussex Mummers Carol—arranged by John Scott (1956-2015). Scott spent 26 years at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, where he was named organist and director of music in 1990. In 2004 he moved to New York to occupy the same posts at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue.

Thursday, April 18

On Maundy Thursday we will be singing Anthems at the Mandatum, composed by Nicholas White (b. 1967) specifically for the foot washing on this day. Mandatum is the Latin word for commandment. The text of this composition is from the 13th Chapter of St. John’s Gospel and Psalm 85.

Born in London, White moved to the United States in 1989. One of his posts was assistant organist and choirmaster at Washington National Cathedral (1994-98). In addition to composing, White has been active as a conductor, singer, organist and pianist.

Friday, April 19

Our anthem for Good Friday is Crux Fidelis, the text of which is attributed to the Italian poet Venantius Fortunatus (c. 530/540-c. 600/609). The music is thought to be composed by King João (John) IV of Portugal (1604- 1656). When not busy seeking alliances (especially with France) to preserve Portuguese independence from Spain, John IV busied himself with hunting, music and other artistic pursuits.

The music for Crux Fidelis was edited by the English conductor and composer of church music, John Rutter (b. 1945).

Saturday, April 20

Christus Vincit (“Christ Has Conquered”), by Joseph Noyon (1888-1962). is our anthem for the Easter Vigil Service. Noyon served as organist and/or choir director at several Parisian churches and also directed the choirs of French Radio and Television Broadcasting. His Christus Vincit has been arranged by the American organist, choir director and composer, Gerre Hancock (1934-2012).

Sunday, April 21

Our Easter anthem is He Is Risen, by the English organist and composer Percy Whitlock (1903-1946). Whitlock’s goal was to be a cathedral organist, but as an organist in Bournemouth (from 1930), he is remembered more for “pops” performances in a municipal series than for his post at St. Stephen’s Church. Likewise, as a composer he is known mainly for “light” music, although he wrote a symphony for organ and orchestra and other more substantial works. As usual, we will close the service with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

Sunday, April 28

The choir will take its traditional post-Easter break.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Episcopal Church

What does it mean to be an Episcopalian? What does it mean to be an Anglican? How do we differ from other Christian denominations or faiths? What do we believe? Why do we worship the way we worship?

We’ll tackle these, and all your questions, during our Episcopal 101 series beginning Sunday, May 5th, and continuing through Sunday, May 26th. Episcopal 101 meets during Sunday school time at 9:15 in Room 11.

Whether you’re new to the Episcopal Church, or you’ve been around a long time and are still puzzled by what we believe or the way we do things (or wondering what everybody is doing up at the altar during the Eucharist), you’ll find these sessions both worthwhile and fun.

May 5, 2019
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi” … prayer shapes our belief. An introduction to the Book of Common Prayer.

May 12, 2019
The Eucharist … spiritual food and drink.

May 19, 2019
What does it mean when we say, “Holy Scripture is the Word of God, and contains all things necessary to salvation … ”

May 26, 2019
The Anglican Communion … one big happy family?

Why Redo Our Kitchen?

“Your building is either advancing your mission… or a drain on it.”

That’s a quote from one of the architects who produced the design for our new kitchen. That architect very succinctly described our situation. I know that there are some who have concerns about the project – concerns about the cost, concerns about the complexity and there are, perhaps, other unvoiced concerns.

A member of the St. Alban’s Vestry, Jim Kilby, shared some thoughts on the project with me, and I’d like to share them with you. — Fr. Jeff

From Jim Kilby:

Jim KilbyOver the past few weeks, I have heard that some members of our congregation question the high cost and need to undergo the kitchen renovation project. While initially I shared this opinion, I now have a greater understanding of the scope of the project.

Much of this was gained through reading the Case for Support of the Kitchen Project, participation on the Capital Campaign and through talking to some of our primary kitchen users. I am now onboard, completely.

Simply put, our kitchen is not a commercial grade kitchen, but it should be.

If the sole use was supporting coffee hour, I might be swayed against the project. However, our kitchen is not adequate to support our mission of community outreach (Poe Middle School after-hours meals program, Belvedere Elementary weekend food program and Hypothermia Project), nor our larger parish meal requirements.

Furthermore, if we do anything to our kitchen, we need to bring it up to code. This will require significant below-foundation plumbing work as well as other modifications.

I believe the bathroom remodel is a related project which would be prudent to undertake in conjunction with the kitchen. I use the “I’m changing your water pump, so It would be smart to change out your timing belt since you are approaching 90k miles” analogy.

Finally, adding a shower and laundry will be a significant upgrade to help us in executing our Hypothermia Project Mission, as well as helping the Altar Guild with linens and other requirements.

In my life in the Navy I have found it useful to use a command philosophy to center the crew on “the main thing.” I’ve found an open discussion of the difference between “ownership” and “stewardship” is helpful in this regard.

Ownership vs. Stewardship

If I “own” something, I have choice to care for something as I am moved to (example: I don’t have to change the oil in my car, even though I know that I should). If I am a “steward” of something, I no longer have that latitude. I am entrusted with the care of that object. It is a matter of trust and obligation. It is different.

As members of St Alban’s, I believe we are stewards of our property, stewards of our mission that positively impact our community. It is truly a higher calling. I am committed to this project and strongly believe that this is a “must do.” I am optimistic that the feasibility study will determine that we have the congregational resolve and fiscal means to make this investment in our church. Let’s get to it!


Jim Kilby
Member, St. Alban’s Vestry

Capital Campaign: Exciting Times for St. Alban’s

As Fr. Jeff has extolled, these are exciting times at St. Alban’s!

The Vestry has approved the hiring of a capital campaign consultant and we are in the final contract negotiation phase.

The consultant will be CCS Fundraising of Falls Church, who was the unanimous top choice of the interview panel and has extensive local and national experience with Episcopal church capital campaigns.

So, what should the congregation expect?

In April, the CCS Study Coordinator will arrive at St. Alban’s and embed with our church staff full-time to support the four-week Feasibility Study. A study steering committee will be empaneled, consisting of Fr. Jeff, Nancy Harrell, Bill Calvert and one or two other church members.

With the CCS coordinator, the committee will finalize the Case-for-Support. Additionally, the committee will mail invitations to 50-60 potential donors for confidential interviews with the CCS Coordinator(s).

These interviews will allow CCS to assess the donors’ feelings about the direction of St. Alban’s, the kitchen project itself, and the interest to both financially support the project and volunteer, should St. Alban’s undertake a full capital campaign.

An e-survey will be made available to congregants who are not interviewed.

From the interviews and e-survey, CCS will assess the likelihood that St. Alban’s could reach a campaign goal of $1.1 million, and will identify any potential issues regarding leadership or volunteerism for a capital campaign. This information will be documented in a formal report and presented to the Vestry by the CCS V.P. in late May or June.

From there, the Vestry will decide if St. Alban’s should proceed with a formal capital campaign and the ramping up of the pre-construction processes.

Please feel free to contact Bill Calvert, Betsy Anderson, Fr. Jeff or any vestry member with your questions or comments.

These are exciting times in the life of our parish family. The future is bright, the Spirit is active, and we are engaged in the work Jesus has given us to do.

Bill Calvert
Capital Campaign

Betsy Anderson
Kitchen Committee