Carrie Rose and Szu-Yi Li in Concert

Join us for our first Muldoon Concert of the season on Sunday, October 23, at 4pm in the St. Alban’s Parish Hall!

Carrie Rose, flutist and Szu-Yi Li, pianist combine liquid phrasing and musical sensitivity to interpret the delicate Morceau de Concours by Fauré, the dark and complex Sonata in E Minor by J. S. Bach, the frothy Cantabile et Presto by Enesco, and the fireworks of Poulenc’s Sonata. Szu-Yi will interpret Schumann-Liszt’s Widmung for solo piano.

There is no fee for admission – all are welcome and encouraged to donate to support the Muldoon Memorial Concert Series. A brief reception will follow the concert.

Caroline Robinson in Concert on April 3

Dr. Caroline RobinsonDr. Caroline Robinson, concert organist, will present a full length solo recital on the fabulous mechanical action organ (John Leek, Op. 1) at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Annandale on Sunday, April 3 at 4pm. Her program will feature music by composers like J. S. Bach and Dietrich Buxtehude, as well as dance music old and new.

Dr. Robinson serves as the Associate Choirmaster and Organist at St. Philip’s Episcopal Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the laureate of a number of important organ competitions, including the AGO National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance in 2018. She holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, and studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Toulouse, France.

Dr. Robinson is widely recognized as one of the great performers of her generation – you don’t want to miss this! A festive reception will follow. For more information, contact Adam Detzner, St. Alban’s Minister of Music and Organist, at [email protected].

1st Annual Bach Birthday Marathon

Join us on Sunday, March 13 for the inaugural Bach Birthday Marathon at 4pm.

Five talented, local Episcopal Church musicians will perform twenty minutes of Bach apiece. This year’s performers are:

  • Jinsun Cho (Epiphany, DC)
  • Adam Detzner (St. Alban’s, Annandale)
  • Karl Robson (St. John’s Norwood, Chevy Chase)
  • Samantha Scheff (Grace, Alexandria)
  • Julie Huang Tucker (The Falls Church Episcopal)

A reception will follow around 6:00 pm with German food and beer. Come when you can – leave when you must!

This event is part of the 2021-2022 Muldoon Memorial Concert Series.

Find Peace in a Chaotic Time

During Lent, we are encouraged to come away from our routine, to make space for quiet reflection and for prayer.

We are making a quiet space at St. Alban’s for you to step away for a time. On March 5th at 8:30am, join us and experience a quiet morning.

This time is intended to be a mini-retreat. It will be a morning of space, a morning of peace. You can come for the whole time (until 1pm) or just for part of it. You can bring something to read or use for reflection, or you can just come sit and pray. You may choose to walk a labyrinth or use art or poetry to support your reflection.

Some time will be spent together to pray or hear a Lenten reflection, but most of our time will be spent in silence. Our morning will end with Eucharist and a light lunch.

 

Where Is God Calling Us (and You) to Go?

empty concrete road covered surrounded by tall tress with sun rays

When Jesus was asked by a lawyer to identify the greatest commandment, he responded with two: to love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

Here at St. Alban’s, we have a long history as a mission-oriented church, with numerous outreach and community ministry programs aimed at providing food, comfort and spiritual support to our neighbors here in Annandale and around the world. Even during the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all been overjoyed to see how many of our parishioners have given their time and energy toward helping others – toward “loving our neighbors.”

But, what does it mean to “love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind”?

This past summer, your Vestry resolved to make spiritual growth and discipleship a priority for our parish. We are working with an organization called RenewalWorks (part of Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church) to identify the best way to develop a discipleship program that will meet the needs of our parishioners, wherever each of us may be on his or her Christian journey.

The first step will be to figuring out where we are right now on that journey. In mid-September we will be sending a link to an electronic survey (print surveys will also be available) that we hope every one of you will take.

This survey, called a “Spiritual Life Inventory,” will take about 30 minutes to complete. I know that sounds like a lot, but it is very important! Your direct input through this survey will drive all our decisions about new programs and resources designed to help us, as individuals and as a community, grow closer to God in our daily life.

You will be hearing a lot more about the RenewalWorks program, the survey, and discipleship in general, over the next weeks and months, as we seek to discern God’s call for the future of St. Alban’s. Your participation is immensely valuable. Keep watching for the survey link later this month, and please participate as soon as possible (the survey will be open for only a short period of time).

If you have any questions about the RenewalWorks program, please speak with Fr. Jeff, Fr. Paul, Kevin Holland or Chris Martin.

Holding On to Hope: A National Service for Healing and Wholeness

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will lead a live-streamed prayer service from Washington National Cathedral, Holding on to Hope: A National Service for Healing and Wholeness, on All Saints Sunday, November 1, at 4:00-5:30 p.m. EST.
In the midst of a pandemic, racial reckoning, and a historic election, the live-streamed service will gather Americans for prayer, song, lament, hope, and a call to love God and neighbor. The event will be simulcast in English and Spanish.
In addition to Bishop Curry’s sermon, the service will include reflections from Father James Martin, a noted Roman Catholic commentator on American life and values, and Valarie Kaur, an inspiring Sikh author, filmmaker, and civil rights attorney. The gathering will be officiated by Washington’s Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, Cathedral Dean Randy Hollerith, and Reverend Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop.
Learn more and watch on Facebook here, or at the Episcopal Church website here.

Muldoon Concert: A Musical Journey Through the Church Year

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Muldoon Concert Series is back — virtually! Join us on Sunday, November 8, at 4pm Eastern for a brand new online concert from organist Dr. Jason Farris. This special event will showcase works from composers including Bach, Langlais, Durufle and more, as Dr. Farris leads us on A Musical Journey Through the Liturgical Year. The video will premiere on the St. Alban’s YouTube Channel.

About Dr. Jason Farris

Jason Farris is the Director of Music at Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains, VA.  He plays the organ for all worship services, conducts the Grace Church Choir, and serves as the Artistic Director of the Grace Church Concert Series. He also currently serves as the interim organist at St. Alban’s, providing music for our Sunday online services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jason was previously employed by The University of the South in Sewanee, TN. As a visiting assistant professor of music, he taught applied organ lessons to both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as undergraduate courses in music theory and a graduate-level church music course. As the Associate University Organist and Choirmaster, he directed the music programs in two campus chapels and conducted the University and Seminary Choirs. Prior to this position, he was the Assistant University Organist at the same institution. In addition to playing for campus-wide liturgies in All Saints’ Chapel and the School of Theology’s worship services in the Chapel of the Apostles, he also accompanied the University and Seminary Choirs.  In 2011, he was the organist for the University Choir’s residencies at the Anglican Cathedrals of St. Alban, Rochester, and Canterbury, and is featured on the choir’s latest recording, “O Praise God In His Holiness: A Three Cathedrals Tour.”

He was awarded the doctor of musical arts degree in organ performance at the University of Houston where he studied with Dr. Robert Bates. He earned bachelor and master of music degrees at Baylor University as a student of Dr. Joyce Jones. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and Alpha Chi academic honor societies, and was the second place winner in the graduate division of the 2003 William Hall Organ Competition (San Antonio).  On separate occasions, he was awarded scholarships to attend the British Organ Music Seminar in London, England and the French Organ Music Seminar in Paris, France. Active as a collaborative artist, he accompanies vocalists and instrumentalists at the piano, and has performed with multiple church and university choirs at the organ. Previous organ recital engagements include Christ Church (Episcopal) in Cranbrook, MI, the Philadelphia Cathedral (Episcopal), Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal) in Nashville, TN, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, TN, and the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic) in Houston, TX.

About the Program

On November 8, Dr. Farris will lead us on A Musical Journey Through the Liturgical Year, highlighting musical selections from each season as celebrated by the church. Download a copy of the complete program here.

Watching the Concert

Join us at 4pm on November 8 as we premiere the video concert on the St. Alban’s YouTube page.

 

COVID-19 and Our Kitchen Campaign

With everything going on related to the pandemic and “social distancing,” we’ve had lots of questions about the Kitchen Campaign — and yes, things are still moving! Below are answers to some of our frequently asked questions about the new kitchen related to COVID-19 circumstances (and you can see all of our FAQs here).

Is the kitchen project on hold due to the Coronavirus?
Thankfully, no! The Kitchen Committee is working hard on the project, meeting biweekly and making decisions about equipment and infrastructure. However, with Virginia on a stay at home order through June 10, there are still a lot of unknowns at this point.

What is the current stage of the project?
As of March 31, the project is in the Detailed Drawing stage. The architects and engineers are working on the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing designs.

What is the next stage?
The architects plan to submit the drawings to the County for permitting very soon. As of March 31, the design is not quite ready.

Will the County permitting process be slowed by the Coronavirus?
Not necessarily. Drawings are submitted electronically, and our architects have informed us that they have received feedback from the County on other projects in their pipeline. However, the time it takes for permits to be issued is unpredictable, even without a pandemic.

Has the Committee chosen a general contractor?
Yes. The Committee chose Whitener and Jackson, a local firm that has been in business 73 years and has extensive experience with church projects, including several Episcopal churches in our area.

Do we have a bid on construction costs?
No. Since the General Contractor will seek bids from subcontractors for work on the various trades, we decided to hold off on the bidding process until closer to the time the permit will be issued.

Will St. Alban’s have a choice of subcontractors?
Yes. The General Contractor will solicit pricing from a minimum of 4 subcontractors in every trade. The General Contractor takes an open book approach to reviewing pricing and will work with the Kitchen Committee to select the best, most responsive subcontractors for the scope of our project.

Are we still on track to do construction over the summer?
It is hard to tell. When we met with the General Contractor on March 9, Vice President Kevin Jackson cautioned us that our timeline was optimistic. We knew that our start date would depend on when we get the permit. Since March 9, the world has changed. We don’t know yet how the availability of supplies and labor will affect the timing of our project. Our approach is to move forward, in faith that God is calling St. Alban’s deeper into our mission of food in our community, and to move forward with diligence so that we are ready to start when circumstances permit.

COVID-19: ACCA Needs Your Immediate Help

During the COVID-19 crisis, ACCA is continuing to help our low-income neighbors with both food and rent assistance. The fastest and safest way to help their great efforts is to donate to ACCA on-line. ACCA will use your donation to provide rental and food assistance to your needy neighbors.

Please follow these steps to donate online to ACCA:

  • Go to ACCA web site – https://accacares.org/
  • Click on the blue “Donate Now” button at the top of the home page.
  • This will bring you to ACCA’s donation page on the Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy website. The Catalogue is a nonprofit partner that processes donations to ACCA through PayPal, and no cost to you or ACCA.
  • In the box next to “Amount $,” please enter the amount you wish to give.
  • For now, please do not designate a specific donation category, so that it is easier for ACCA to apportion your donation quickly to the greatest need, as this crisis unfolds.
  • If you wish to become an ongoing (“recurring”) online donor, then please click on the blue text that says ”Dedication? Anonymous? Recurring?” Then select how frequently you wish to automatically donate.
  • Click on “Add to Cart and Proceed to Checkout” and finish your payment process on the secure page.

Of course, you can always donate to ACCA by sending a check to:

ACCA, Inc., 7200 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003

Thank you for continuing to share Christ’s love in your community.

Lent Madness – The “Saintly Smackdown” Returns!

“What are you doing for Lent?” In the run-up to the church’s holy season of repentance and renewal, this question echoes in parish halls and dining rooms, pews and study halls.

One exciting answer to the proverbial question is … “Lent Madness!” That’s because, for the eleventh straight year, people of faith the world over are filling out brackets and gearing up for the 2020 “Saintly Smackdown.” 

With its unique blend of competition, learning, and humor, Lent Madness allows participants to be inspired by the ways in which God has worked through the lives of saintly souls across generations and cultures. Throughout Lent, 32 saints will battle to win the coveted Golden Halo. Based loosely on the NCAA basketball tournament of a similar name, this online devotion pits saints against one another in a bracket as voters choose their favorites throughout this penitential season.

Here’s how to participate: on the weekdays of Lent, information is posted at www.lentmadness.org about two different saints. Each pairing remains open for 24 hours as participants read about, and then vote, to determine which saint moves on to the next round. 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; 8 advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the Golden Halo.

The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move into the area of saintly kitsch.

This year, Lent Madness features an intriguing slate of saints ancient and modern, Biblical and ecclesiastical. This year’s saints include heavyweights such as Patrick, Harriet Tubman, Clare of Assisi, Hildegaard of Bingen, Joseph, and Jude, along with many lesser known yet equally inspiring people of faith. The competition kicks off on “Ash Thursday,” February 27, with an epic battle between Thomas More and St. James the Less.

The full bracket is online at the Lent Madness website and, while not necessary to participate, we have copies of The 2020 Saintly Scorecard in the St. Alban’s narthex. This companion guide includes biographies of all 32 saints, a full-color bracket, and information about how to fully participate.

Why focus on saints during Lent? Like us, their vision may not have been perfect — and they had their share of blind spots. But what binds them together, is a strong faith in Jesus Christ and a willingness to serve him amid the circumstances of their own day. They saw the face of God with perfect clarity and shared God’s love for the world in their own ways. If we allow them into our lives, the saints can serve as a deep source of spiritual inspiration. 

This year’s Golden Halo winner will join illustrious company. Previous winners were:

  • George Herbert, 17th century English poet, 2010;
  • C. S. Lewis, 20th century British writer and theologian, 2011;
  • Mary Magdalene, disciple of Jesus, 2012;
  • Frances Perkins, 20th century American public servant, 2013;
  • Charles Wesley, 18th century English preacher and hymn writer, 2014;
  • Francis of Assisi, 13th century monastic and advocate for the poor, 2015;
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 20th century German theologian and activist who was killed by the Nazis, 2016;
  • Florence Nightingale, 19th century nurse and social reformer, 2017;
  • Anna Alexander, the first African-American Deaconess in the Episcopal Church, 2018; and,
  • Martha of Bethany, the Biblical sister of Mary, 2019.

If you’re looking for a Lenten discipline that is fun, educational, occasionally goofy, and always joyful, join the Lent Madness journey. Lent needn’t be all doom and gloom. After all, what could be more joyful than a season specifically set aside to get closer to Jesus Christ?