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.

Updates from the Holy Land pilgrimage group

When in Jerusalem, we are mostly sheltering in place with minimal ventures out for necessities like pharmacy needs. We can eat, relax and pray within the cathedral walls. The neighborhood is quiet as some businesses are operating fewer hours — mostly because shopowners and employees who live in the West Bank can’t get through checkpoints easily if at all. Palestinian Muslims especially have to be careful out of fear of retribution by Jewish extremists if they are in the wrong place; so some busineses are on a skeleton crew.  In the meantime we are being cautious, and prudent; and all of the activities near or in the West Bank have been cancelled.

Everyone is grateful for all the support, love, and care coming from home. We continue to pray for a resolution to the situation—and peace in the Holy Land.

October 10, 2023 – Galilee

Today we ventured out of Nazareth to Galilee, visited the Church of the Multiplication, Capernaum, and held a mass on the lakeshore. We swam a little late this afternoon. All is business as usual up here in Nazareth. We plan to return to the cathedral close in East Jerusalem tomorrow.

There have been many blessings in the midst of this situation, and we are determined to make the best of it. Our leaders and hosts are very candid, and we have at least two open conversations per day assessing the information we have at the time. Those who have tried to leave in the past couple of days have had some challenges getting out.

Thank you for your prayers.

October 9, 2023 – Nazareth

Greetings St Alban’s! We are coming to you from beautiful Nazareth, where we are staying at the Sisters of Nazareth Convent.

Our day started with a two hour drive up the west coast of Israel to Caesarea. The original city was built by Herod the Great starting in 30 BCE and is situated on the Mediterranean Sea. It became a great commercial city and by 6 BCE was the headquarters of the Roman government in Palestine. It is now a beautiful archeological national park. We walked among the ruins of the theatre, promontory palace, amphitheater (used for chariot racing), and impressive harbor. The site was not crowded due to the unrest so we were able to take our time as we followed our wonderful guide Rodney from site to site. We felt so lucky to be in such a beautiful place with the gorgeous Mediterranean beyond the ruins. We had free time for lunch and further exploration. Fr. Paul even took a swim in the water! We closed out our visit with ice cream and boarded the bus for our second activity.

Closer to Nazareth, we visited another archeological park on the site of the city of Sepphoris. After the death of Herod the Great, his son, Herod Antipas, was made governor of the area and rebuilt the city, proclaiming it the “Ornament of Galilee.” I believe it was considered at that time to be the capital of Galilee. Given its close proximity to Nazareth, it is possible that Jesus and his father might have come to the city for work. It is also believed by some that this was where Mary was born and where her parents resided. We saw a Roman theatre, a 5th century Byzantine synagogue, a Roman villa dating back to 200 AD, and 12th century Crusader tower. There are over 60 mosaics dating from the 3rd to 6th century AD. The most famous of these is of a young g woman that has been dubbed the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee.”

After a full day, we boarded the bus one more time to make our way to the Convent. Before enjoying a delicious meal of soup, chicken, potatoes, and beans, we camped out in the courtyard and sang along to The Beach Boys and Bob Marley. We feel very safe with our St. George’s team and they are doing a great job of rescheduling our itinerary due to the current situation.

We look forward to seeing you soon and appreciate your continued prayers.

October 8, 2023 – Calvary

October 6, 2023 – The Wilderness

October 2, 2023 – Petra

Inhabited since prehistoric times, Petra is situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea and was an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia. Petra is half-built, half-carved into the rock, and is surrounded by mountains riddled with passages and gorges. It is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites.

2023 Youth Mission Activities

For 2023 the St. Alban’s Youth Group stayed local for their summer mission work.  This year the group spent a week learning about need in the local community, and how we can help meet those needs.

The group is ready to do their part to clean up Sleepy Hollow Rd.

On Monday the group took a walk into Annandale to talk about how the area’s infrastructure (lack of sidewalks and inconvenient bus service) creates problems for those in our community without transportation, or with
inadequate transportation.  Later the the group spent time giving back to the community through a road-side cleanup on Sleepy Hollow Road.  On Monday afternoon, the group traveled to the Samaritan Ministry Anacostia office to find out how our ministry partner organization helps others get a second chance and a new start in life.

On Tuesday, the group helped out at the Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA) Child Development Center.  In the morning the team helped the kids build and fly paper airplanes, build a 3′ tall rocket and helped unload a delivery of supplies for the school.  After lunch the group returned to spend the afternoon on the playground with the kids.

Cole shows a new friend the proper technique for folding a paper airplane.

On Wednesday to Youth Group traveled back to Anacostia, this time to Martha’s Table to help set up and run their daily “Martha’s Table

Unloading fresh produce for Martha’s Table Market.

Market,” a farmer’s market for households in need.  Twice a month, families can “shop” at the free market for fresh produce, meat and non-perishable food items.

Just finished repackaging 15 crates of collard greens.

The week will end with a jaunt into West Virginia to spend time together, do some team building, and spend a day canoeing on the Cheat River.

Our group: Zach, Fr. Jeff, Alison, Cris, CC, Fr. Paul, Debbe, Sam, Cole, Heath, Harry.


Adam Detzner in Alkmaar!

Adam Detzner, our Minister of Music, organist and choir director, is competing in the 15th International Schnitger Organ Competition in Alkmaar, Netherlands.  Again this year, Adam is the only American selected to participate in this important competition.

Adam competed in the first round of competition on June 23rd and was one of six selected (out of the nine competitors) to progress to the second round.  Round 2 will be on Monday, June 26th and will reduce the field to three competitors.  The final round will be on June 29th, when the three finalists will compete for the grand prize.

Please keep Adam in your prayers!

Help earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria

The devastating news of a major earthquake in Turkey and northern Syria is heart wrenching.  News of rescues and recovery leave one wondering what we can do in the midst of such tragedy.

Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is a four-star rated charity and a reliable way to get funds to those most in urgent need.  This link will take you to Episcopal Relief and Development’s earthquake support page where you can help provide critical relief to communities in Turkey and Syria impacted by the earthquake.

We can offer prayers for those who lost their lives and pray for the grieving families and loved ones.  We can pray for those who lost homes and have inadequate shelter in the face of winter’s cold winds.  But we can also provide financial assistance – a concrete offering to help those who are suffering.

God, our times are in your hand. In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your never-failing grace as we seek to be agents of healing and hope. Walk with us through difficult times; watch over us in danger; and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn. And finally remind us that you have promised never to leave us so that even in the valley of the shadow of death your love may be felt, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

– The Rev. Lyndon Harris, from the Episcopal Diocese of New York disaster preparedness plan

Watch Party for Sacred Ground Fall Kickoff Webinar

Sacred Ground Fall Kickoff with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

On September 15, 2022, Presiding Bishop Curry will hold a webinar session with the Church to share his vision for racial reckoning and justice ministry for the next two years. We will be holding a watch party  at St. Alban’s for anyone who would like to join us for this special webinar!

Following our time with Bishop Curry, we will:

1) learn from leaders skilled at welcoming new (and perhaps skeptical) people into race conversations; and

2) explore strategies for transitioning into action and community engagement (including organizing groups for the new Sessions 10 and 11!)

Who: Fellow Sacred Ground facilitators, participants, and all Episcopalians interested in learning more about this dialogue series.

What: Bishop Curry will share his vision for racial reckoning and justice ministry over the next two years and how to engage using the Sacred Ground curriculum.

Where: St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Room 11.

Snacks and drinks will be provided at the St. Alban’s Watch Party.

When: Thursday, September 15th, at 1:30pm or you can watch it at home by registering for this special event via zoom. The webinar will be from 1:30pm to 3pm (EST). To register to watch it at home, please use this link.

School supply collection

Rising costs and the end of pandemic stimulus checks have stretched the resources of many families in our area to the limit. There are less than 20 days until the new school year begins in Fairfax County, and local agencies are seeing a daily increase in the requests for help for school supplies.
FACETS (Fairfax Area Christian Emergency & Transitional Services) is collecting backpacks and school supplies through August 9th with a goal of providing 400 backpacks across Fairfax County.  A list of needed school supplies can be downloaded here.

You can leave your donation this Sunday (8/7) in the “School supply” bin in the narthex, or deliver them to FACETS by August 9th at

10700 Page Avenue
Building B
Fairfax VA  22030

Mason District has some of the neediest areas in Fairfax County – AnnandaleToday.com

According to an online article at annandaletoday.com, “the 2022 Needs Assessment recently published by Fairfax County confirms that some of the neediest areas are in Bailey’s Crossroads and Annandale.”

The 2022 Needs Assessment report is a bit cumbersome to read, however, the article from AnnandaleToday.com shines a light on the poverty, need, and disadvantage in our own backyard.

God Has a Dream and We Are the Realization of That Dream

We are excited to offer an exploratory journey on the road of awakening our sense of calling as God’s people in our community.  Explore the possibilities offered by Verna Dozier through her adept storytelling and study in her empowering book, “The Dream of God.”  Verna Dozier was a Washington, DC laywoman who through her books and lectures speaks with love and excitement about “The Dream of God” and what role we have in keeping that dream alive and meaningful.  She is known all over the country and throughout the world for her incisive work with lay groups in the church to strengthen their sense of “calling.”  In this particular book, Verna Dozier takes a fresh and challenging look at the people of God, their church and our collective journey in asking questions and seeking answers through our faith.

Each week we will read individually, then gather for a group discussion about one of the five chapters of “The Dream of God: A Call to Return” starting the week of July 10.  We will examine together the possibilities she opens to our hearts and minds.  St. Alban’s will provide copies of the book to anyone interested in taking this collective journey.  Depending on interest, St. Albans’ will host Zoom meetings on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm and/or Sunday afternoons at 2 pm.  To express interest in participating, to indicate your preference for meeting day, or for more information, please contact Moira Skinner or the church office.

Slate of Nominees for XIV Bishop of Virginia Announced

Diocese of VirginiaThe Standing Committee of the Diocese of Virginia presents the following slate of nominees for the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia (in alphabetical order by last name):

  • The Rev. Joseph Hensley Rector, St. George’s, Fredericksburg, VA
  • The Rev. Canon Alan James, Interim Canon Missioner, Diocese of Western Michigan
  • The Very Rev. Gideon Pollach, Rector, St. John’s Church, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
  • The Rev. Canon Mark Stevenson, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry within The Episcopal Church

You may find additional information about each nominee at  www.virginiabishopsearch.org.

The Petition Period is now open and will close at midnight on Friday, April 8. The instructions and forms are all available at www.virginiabishopsearch.org. The Standing Committee will announce to the Diocese, after completing a rigorous evaluation process, any qualified petition nominees. 

A Special Convention, called by Bishop Goff, will be held on Saturday, June 4 th  at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria VA. Convention attendance is limited to voting delegates. The event will be live-streamed. 

The Transition Committee will hold Meet and Greet sessions around the Diocese May 20-24. Some, if not all, of these Meet and Greets will be live-streamed. The Standing Committee strongly encourages members of the Diocese to submit questions to the Transition Committee at  [email protected]  using the subject line “Meet and Greet Questions”. These questions will aid in the development of these sessions.