Palm Sunday palms are here!

Waving palms branches on Palm Sunday to reenact Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is an ancient and cherished tradition.  While we won’t be gathering again this year for our Palm Sunday procession, blessed palm fronds are available in front of the narthex doors at St. Alban’s.

Come pick up palms for your household as a reminder that Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week and Jesus’ passion.  (For those allergic to cats, Clark did not touch any of the palms, and he may or may not be present.)

Palms will be available until 5:00 pm Saturday evening, and from 8:00-5:00 Palm Sunday.  If you are unable to come to St. Alban’s, please let me know via email and I will deliver them to your home.

Click here for easy instructions to make your own palm cross.

 

A chance to make a new friend, and to give generously!

Hi, I’m Margaret Pendley, a member of St. Alban’s (originally of the 110:15 service persuasion), and I was recently challenged to make lemonade from a lemon.  You see, last month I broke my right foot in NINE PLACES, and will be wearing a series of casts for the next 8 weeks (the lemon).  I decided to sell advertising space on these casts to raise funds for the St. Alban’s Clergy Discretionary Funds (the lemonade).

Fr. Jeff, Fr. Paul, and Deacon Theresa receive a small stipend each year in the budget to use at their discretion to answer the needs of God’s children, both inside and outside of our church.  I myself have been the recipient of its bounty when Fr. Jeff sent me an amazingly relevant book when I was going through a rough patch.  These stipends are usually supplemented over the year by donations that they receive for officiating at weddings, funerals, and other religious services.  Well, as you can imagine, COVID has put a serious dent into this ministry for them, so I thought it would be a grand thing on our part to help them out.

Below is a partial shot of the first cast, with parishioners’ signatures, and the latest edition with LOTS of open space.

You can either come to my house and sign it yourself, or send me your signature request via email or snail mail. Minimum requested donation is $1, but feel free to give more!  As a bonus, if you’re in the mood to hear some of the hilarious stories of how some of these signatures got on these casts, you can give me a call!  My contact information is:  stonepony@cox.net,.

Come enjoy a lovely glass of lemonade with me!

Stay current with news from The Diocese of Virginia

Diocese Coat of ArmsIn our continually evolving circumstances, we’ve all been anxious to have the most current status updates, especially the status of worship protocols and regathering for public worship. Many of our policies are guided by the Office of the Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia.

While St. Alban’s will always communicate the latest information from the Bishop’s office, you are eligible to get these updates directly from the Bishop’s office by subscribing to the diocesan e-news service.

There’s another important reason you should subscribe. Last year, the Diocese made the difficult decision to discontinue the printing of the quarterly magazine, the Virginia Episcopalian. In a time of decreasing budgets, a costly magazine was simply not a luxury that our church or the Diocese could afford to continue.

The good news is that the monthly diocesan newsletter, the eCommunique, will now be incorporating some of the great storytelling and features you enjoyed in the Virginia Episcopalian, but without the lag time and hefty price tag of a traditional print publication. By subscribing to the diocesan news service, you will receive the monthly eCommunique email plus announcements from your Bishops as they happen. Rest assured that the diocesan offices will never share your information with any other parties.

Please share this information with those who you think might not see it.

Wednesday Evenings in Lent (on zoom)

One of the most fascinating writings in all the New Testament is the Letter to the Hebrews. The words of Hebrews are deeply embedded in the Christian tradition. Yet, the Letter to the Hebrews is cloaked in mystery.

Hebrews presents a startling portrait of Jesus and his mission. He is not presented as a prophet, nor as the king, nor as the suffering servant, but instead as our One Great High Priest. Nowhere else in the New Testament is this designation used for the Son of God.

The powerful words of Hebrews were written to encourage an early Christian congregation which had lost sight of its direction and its purpose. In this Lenten presentation, we will listen to what the author of Hebrews teaches us about Jesus, and learn how these words can encourage us in our own life of faith.

  • 6:30-7:45 PM – Program – Walking the Walk while Talking the Talk
  • 8:00-8:20 PM – Compline *note new time* during Lent

No pre-registration is necessary. Have a Bible nearby!

2/17 – Ash Wednesday (view the Ash Wednesday service beginning at 12:00 noon on 2/17)

2/24 – “On homeless shelters and alien residences” (Hebrews 11-13)

3/03 – “Nothing but the best: On the superiority of Jesus” (Hebrews 1:1-3:6)

3/10 – “Rebellion and religion: Apostasy and holy rest” (Hebrews 3:7-6:20)

3/17 – “Now this Melchizedek…A new priesthood for a new day” (Hebrews 7:1-8:13)

3/24 – “Once for all: Jesus and Eternal Atonement” (Hebrews 9-10)

Join us for this fascinating dive into the Book of Hebrews, as we prepare our hearts for Holy Week.

Prayers for Our Nation: Each Day at 5:00 p.m.

Washington National Cathedral

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.

The prayer service can be viewed on the Cathedral’s web site or here on YouTube.

Statement from our Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Michael Curry

Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael Curry
Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael Curry

Today is January the 6th, 2021. It is the Feast of the Epiphany. And on this particular day at this particular moment, even as our nation’s capital is being endangered and assaulted, we pray that the Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that God, in his Way of Love, might prevail in all of our hearts.

The events at our Capitol today are deeply disturbing. We believe the actions of armed protesters represent a coup attempt. We are a democracy, with long-standing institutional norms that must be honored, foremost among them, following the processes laid out in the Constitution and Federal statute to facilitate the peaceful and orderly transition of power.
Today’s protesters pushed through police barricades and forced their way into Congressional chambers, and the Capitol building are now threatened, and threatening the safety of lawmakers, their staff, and others who work in the Capitol complex. This threatens the integrity of our democracy. The national security of our nation, the continuity of government, and the lives and safety of our legislators, their staffs, law enforcement, and all who work in the Capitol.
I therefore ask you now to join me in prayer for our nation, praying first from the prayers that accompany Morning Prayer:
Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
Govern and uphold us now and always.
Day by day we bless you;
We praise your name forever.
Lord, keep us from sin today;
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
Lord, show us your love and mercy;
For we put our trust in you.
In you, Lord, is our hope;
And we shall never hope in vain.
– Morning Prayer II, Book of Common Prayer, p. 98
Let us pray:
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered together under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one God and Creator of us all; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever.
– For Peace, Book of Common Prayer, p. 815
Oh God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your son. Look now with compassion on the entire human family; and particularly this part of the family, in the United States, and those in our nation’s capital; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– For the Human Family, Book of Common Prayer, p. 815
On this day and at this moment, we pray for our nation. We ask God to heal us, to show us the way to healing, to show us the way to be one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power and the glory,
forever and ever.
Amen.
And now, may the peace of God which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The blessing of God Almighty the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be on you and on this nation and on the entire human family and all of creation this moment and forevermore.
Amen.

A Prayer For Our Nation

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

The Nativity Scenes of St. Alban’s

According to legend, the tradition of displaying a crèche (a depiction of the Nativity scene) at Christmas was begun, or at least popularized, by St. Francis of Assisi in 13th Century Italy.  While visiting the village of Grecio at Christmas, St. Francis wanted to recreate the sense of awe and wonder he felt when he visited the site of Jesus’ birth in the Holy Land, and so St. Francis created a “living Nativity” in a cave outside the town.  The practice became popular throughout Italy and quickly spread.  To this day Nativity scenes are a visible reminder of the humble birth of our Savior.

Since we can’t be together this year, no holiday open houses or Christmas parties, we invited parishioners to send in photos of their home nativity scenes to share with everyone.

(Click on a thumbnail to view the photo and accompanying caption)

Christmas Services

Our Christmas Eve service will be pre-recorded and available for viewing beginning at 5:00 pm on December 24th.  Click here to go to our video worship service page.  Once there, look for the video labeled December 24, 2020 – Christmas Eve and click on it.

On Sunday, December 27th, St. Alban’s will not have a pre-recorded service, but instead we encourage you to join with the thousands of Episcopalians in the Diocese of Virginia for a Service of Lessons and Carols.  The service is available on YouTube or Facebook  starting at 8:00 am on December 27th.   A downloadable service bulletin is available here.

Join us for an informal service of Morning Prayer at 8:00 am Christmas morning on Zoom.

If you would like to watch the Christmas Eve service with family and friends who can’t be with you in person, there are several programs that allow you to sync up a YouTube video and watch it together.

This article, https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/watch-youtube-together/, suggests several programs you can use to synchronize your viewing with others, and provides some troubleshooting hints to help you get going.

We do not endorse, recommend or in any way provide support for these apps.

ACCA “Family Emergency Assistance” Volunteers Needed

The Family Emergency Assistance ministry is in need of 3 money captains.  ACCAs Family Emergency Assistance provides emergency financial aid to area individuals and families to help with medical expenses, rent, utilities, and other needs.

ACCA volunteers have worked hard and long through pandemic in support of our neighbors in dire straits financially and otherwise due to the pandemic.

Please email Marie Markey if you would like to volunteer with our Family Emergency Assistance ministry.