In the two weeks leading up to the presidential inauguration, the Washington National Cathedral will offer brief online prayers for our nation, together with our interfaith and ecumenical colleagues, each day at 5:00 p.m. The Cathedral staff invite you to spend five minutes in prayers for safety, solace and national unity.
Lord God Almighty, who has made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer
St. Alban’s will begin its second Sacred Ground Circle on Thursday, January 14 at 6pm using Zoom. Contact Deacon Theresa by Sunday, January 10 if you have questions or would like to participate. The 10-week film- and reading-based series 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. For more information about Sacred Ground, see the January/February edition of The Word or visit the Sacred Ground Website.
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.
- Click here to access the video on YouTube
- Click here to download the complete program (PDF)
- Click here to download the program notes (PDF)
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.
On Saturday, June 20, you are invited to participate with The Episcopal Justice Assembly for The Poor People’s Campaign Moral March on Washington Digital Gathering. Register using this link to receive more information. The Poor People’s Campaign is a non-partisan, interracial, intersectional, gathering of impacted people, religious and social justice partners building on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign. Learn more about the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival. Questions? Contact Deacon Theresa.
Saturday, June 6, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dear Friends in Christ,
When people of faith are thrown into the wilderness of hurt, fear, anger and pain, one of our first impulses is to pray. Our biblical witness is full of the cries of God’s people, some of them quite eloquent, some little more than inarticulate screams from the heart.
God, help us!
How long, O Lord?
Answer me when I call, O God!
Give ear to my cry, O Lord!
We pray because God puts it into our hearts to do so. God desires to be in deep communion with us, and prayer builds that communion. Prayer draws us close to the beating heart of God.
We pray because we have seen and experienced that prayer is concrete action for the sake of the world. God hears our prayers, and God answers. Our words do not return to us empty, but prepare a way for God to do in the world all that God intends.
We pray because at times we can do no other.
We pray knowing that it is risky to pray. God may well answer our prayer by sending us out to be what we want to see in the world. God may well choose to change us and use us according to the prayers we have uttered.
We take the marvelous risk of praying for justice in our world now, opening ourselves to God for the sake of a world so in need of God’s presence, God’s love, God’s transforming power.
I am grateful to the community of Deacons in the Diocese of Virginia for calling us to this 12 Hour Virtual Prayer Vigil for Justice, Reconciliation and Peace. It is part of the role of a Deacon in worship to call God’s people to prayer, and our Deacons are faithful in calling us from our individual congregations to a wider community of prayer together.
There are a variety of ways to participate in the vigil:
- You may sign up for 30-minute prayer slots. There is no limit to how many people can sign up for a single time slot. The more people praying together, the better!
- You can set a time to pray alone or with members of your household.
- You can host an online prayer vigil for your small group, congregation or faith community.
- You can tune in to the prayer time live on the Diocese of Virginia’s Facebook page Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
The diocesan Deacons have composed this prayer booklet for use as a resource during the vigil. Use whatever is helpful to you. Add a song as you are called. Read some of the Psalms, which are quintessential cries of the heart. Follow the ways that God is leading you.
May God’s blessing fall richly upon you as you share in this time of vigil. May God bless us all as God works in and through us in the power of prayer.
Your sister in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff
Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority
Dust off your crock pot and your recipe book because the Annual Chili Cook-off is coming up Saturday, February 1st, starting at 5pm in our Parish Hall. This annual St. Alban’s tradition promises a good and tasty time for all.
Anyone can enter, but if you’re not a chili or cornbread chef, come anyway and try some amazing chili and awesome cornbread – everyone helps judge the competition!
New for 2020: there are our usual chili and cornbread categories, but we are also adding a new prize for Best Brownies — so get ready to wow us with your best baking skills.
It’s easy to enter: just send in your name along with the name of your chili, cornbread, or brownie entry to Tammy in the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org. But hurry, there is limited space available! We look forward to seeing everybody there (invite your neighbors and friends!), and big thanks to our Parish Life Committee for hosting the annual feast.
Today and tomorrow (November 15 & 16) your clergy and three delegates are seated on the convention floor at our annual convention, representing you as our St. Alban’s delegation. It’s awe-inspiring to think that we are part of a tradition that has continued for over 250 years.
Our convention is an annual gathering of clergy and lay representatives from all 180+ parishes in the Diocese of Virginia. So, what happens at our annual convention? It begins with an inspiring pastoral address by our bishop, this year by our suffragan bishop in the absence of a diocesan bishop. Typically there are addresses by guest speakers, too. This year we heard from Mr. Brian Sellers-Petersen, Agrarian Missioner from the Diocese of Olympia in Washington, who spoke about care of creation.
An interesting part of convention is hearing “stories of the diocese,” inspiring stories of how parishes, big and small, are engaging with their community, reaching out, bringing new life to their congregation by carrying out Jesus’ Gospel imperatives to serve others.
At Convention we elect representatives to Standing Committee, a 12-member elected council of advice to the bishop who also can serve as the Ecclesiastical Authority in the absence of the Bishop. We elect delegates to our triennial national General Convention and hear reports from different diocesan committees and task forces. Essentially , we conduct the business of the church as an assembled council.
For me, the highlight of Convention is the Eucharist – where we all gather in worship, sing the praises of God, and share in the Body and Blood of Christ.
Convention is a great opportunity to see the Church in a new way and in a new light, and it looks very different than Sunday morning at St. Alban’s. Every March we call for nominations for lay delegate to Convention. Delegates are elected by the Vestry, and must be pledging members in good standing of our parish. If you are interested in serving, you don’t need to be nominated by someone else… let your clergy or a member of the Vestry know.