Muldoon Concert on Sunday, October 22 at 4:00pm

Please join us Sunday, October 22 at 4:00pm for a free performance by professional singer Madeline Miskie, who presents a program called “Into the Light: Songs of Transformation.” The common thread woven throughout the program is transformation, exploring critical moments in time when the truth cannot be unseen and change is inevitable. Spanning the genres of plainchant, baroque, folk, art song, contemporary musical theater and pop, this program promises wide range of vocal colors and musical soundscapes.

The Muldoon Memorial Concert Series was established in 1990 by the Muldoon Family in memory of long-time choir members Ken and Hulda Muldoon. The series offers several concerts during the church year, and remains free and open to the public, thanks in part to an Endowment Fund. For more information about the concert series, and upcoming concerts, click here.

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.

 

2023 Strategic Plan Update

For every organization, be it a business, a charity or a church, planning is essential to success.

As mentioned at St. Alban’s Annual Meeting this spring, your vestry is working on three-year strategic plan that will serve as both an audit of current activities and a roadmap to prioritize future endeavors. With the overarching goals of expanding our parish membership, enhancing their spiritual growth and development, and impacting the community, the plan embraces five main pillars of focus to coordinate our activities within:

  • Expand Spiritual Growth and Renewal
  • Support Discipleship/Christianity
  • Embody Service and Community
  • Remain Vibrant and Relevant
  • Enhance Christian Education and Learning

When auditing current activities, we looked at a number of factors, including implementation resources (both human and financial) and current parishioner engagement. We took the time to evaluate what we believe St. Albans does well. Which is considerable! We also looked at where we struggle to provide services due to lack of human or financial resources, what our church should keep doing and areas where we believe resources could be redeployed to help us better serve our parishioners and the community.

When looking at future initiatives/ideas, we used a similar lens, focusing on what we believe would deepen our worship, and enhance our spirituality, provide a strong return on investment to strengthen the church financially, increase our engagement in the community and continue to grow in number.

In addition to our Vestry members, we offer special thanks to a working group of St. Alban’s parishioners who have been helpful in providing input on the strategic plan. Members include Vestry members Monique Clark, Debra Becker, and Alison Dilworth, and parishioners Pam Mathes, Mark Deal, and Chuck Blanchard.

Please click here to review the proposed 2023-2025 Strategic Plan. We welcome your feedback as we continue our work of being a vibrant source of faith, hope, renewal to all who engage with us.

Bob Ensinger and Chris Murphy Peck
Co-Chairs, St. Albans Strategic Planning Task Force

Dr. Kimberly Marshall in Concert on May 14

On Sunday, May 14 at 4 PM, prominent performer and pedagogue Dr. Kimberly Marshall will present an organ recital program at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Annandale, entitled “Songs and Dances at the Organ.” Part of the Muldoon Memorial Concert Series, the program will feature compositions by Renaissance and Baroque composers from all over Europe, including J. S. Bach, Buxtehude, and Purcell.

Dr. Marshall and her program are perfect for St. Alban’s sensitive mechanical action organ (John Leek, Op. 1). Please plan to linger after the performance for a brief reception where you can meet the artist.

Donations to support the Muldoon Memorial Concert Series will be gratefully accepted at the door. For more information, please contact Adam Detzner, Minister of Music and Organist, at [email protected].

Summer Exploratory Book Journey: Reading the Bible from the Margins

Last year we explored an Education for Ministry (EfM) Interlude Book: The Dream of God By Verna J. Dozier

Join us this year for another exploratory book journey into:

Reading the Bible from the Margins By Miguel A. De La Torre

Or, in other words, how to read the Bible from perspectives that are often ignored; for example, from the perspective of the victims of discrimination.  The author shows how “standard” readings of the Bible, and interpretation by the dominant culture, are not always acceptable to people on the “margins” of that dominant culture.

A comment by Cain Hope Felder, author, Troubling Biblical Waters: “This innovative resource is filled with considerable multicultural capital that can help many better understand the sad persistence of many ‘great divides’ in a nation that is so ready to proclaim to the world, ‘United We Stand!’”

We will explore together this timely and challenging book over 4 Wednesday evenings this summer:  July 12, 19, 26, and August 2. Join us from 6:30 to 7:30 pm to discuss and share thoughts about the important messages provided by this author. Participants may gather personally in Room 11 of the Church or may participate remotely via ZOOM.

An excerpt from the author’s Introduction: “All football players are damned!  According to the Scriptures, anyone who plays football is cursed by God and will spend eternity in hell.  The Bible is very clear about this.  According to Deuteronomy: ‘The pig, because its hoof is divided and it does not chew its cud, is unclean.  You shall not eat its flesh, nor touch its dead skin’ (14:8).  So anyone who touches a ‘pigskin,’ another name for a football, is cursed.  . . .  Yet my understanding of Deuteronomy 14:8, regardless of how legitimate and logical it may be to me, is still rejected by the majority of Christians.  Why?”

Got your attention?  If you would like to join us in this journey, please email Pam Matthes at [email protected]  by June 28, 2023.  [The first 5 to sign up will receive their books for FREE!]

Annandale Christian Community for Action: Call for Food Donations Support

Help Our Hungry Neighbors

Due to the end of COVID assistance, families across the US struggle with their reduced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. As a result we have seen a huge increase in demand for food from our food pantry here in Annandale!

Our food donations for February were 8,905 lbs. an amount twice as high as January 2023 thanks to the Stuff-the-Bus Campaign as well as the Stuff-the-Cruiser Campaign, both of which brought in over 2,000 pounds of food.

In February the ACCA Food Pantry provided food for 106 households and 369 individuals, which was very close to the same numbers we had for January, so the need for food assistance remains extremely high. Pre-pandemic we had approximately 8 deliveries a week now we are doing closer to 30!

With this increase in demand our shelves are BARE!!

Some of the Items Needed Include:

Bar soap, Beef stew, Canned Beans including Kidney, Black, Pinto. Baked, Garbanzo (chickpeas), Baked, Canned Chicken, Canned vegetables, Canned fruit, Cereal, Coffee (Instant preferred), Cooking oil, Diced Tomatoes, Dish soap, Dry Black Beans, Dry Red Beans, Diapers all sizes, Feminine napkins, Flour, Juice, Jelly/Jam, Laundry Soap, Macaroni & Cheese, Maseca/Masa, Mayonnaise/Ketchup/Mustard, Oatmeal, Pancake syrup, Paper Towels, Rice (1 or 2 lb. bag) , Shampoo, Soups (Chunky), Spaghetti Sauce, Sugar, Tea, Toilet Paper, Tomato Sauce, Tooth brushes, Tortillas, Tuna.

PLEASE HELP!!

1) Donate Nonperishable foods – We will be collecting food donations Tuesday-Friday afternoons from 1:30-4 pm, with the exception of County Holidays and other scheduled closings. The ACCA food pantry is located at 7200 Columbia Pike (trailer separate from the day care center) in Annandale. Please do not drop off food if a volunteer is not available.

2) Donate Cash to purchase fresh foods. Donate through the Catalogue for Philanthropy at https://www.cfp-dc.org/cfpdc/checkout_onestep.php?charity_id=94251

3) Volunteer to schedule and make deliveries – fill out the volunteer interest form at https://accacares.org/volunteer-interest-form/

ACCA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

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.

Holy Land Pilgrimage: October 5-15, 2023

The Holy Land is often called the “Fifth Gospel”: testifying to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in its own vivid, unforgettable way. Our parish pilgrimage will be based at St. George’s College in East Jerusalem, on the grounds of the Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr, located just a few blocks from the Old City.

We will participate in the Footsteps of Jesus pilgrimage course, which includes visits to all of the major sites in Jesus’ ministry:

This pilgrimage will enable you to

  • Explore Jerusalem’s Old City, its four ancient quarters and lively markets
  • See the Church of the Resurrection (a.k.a. the Holy Sepulchre)
  • Kneel at the site of Christ’s birth at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
  • Visit Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth
  • Ascend to the Church of the Transfiguration at Mount Tabor
  • Experience a calm ride on a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee
  • Meditate and pray in the Judean Wilderness
  • Remember your Baptismal Vows at the Baptism of Jesus site on the Jordan River
  • Walk the route of the Palm Sunday Procession
  • Walk the Way of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa
  • Worship with Palestinian Christians in a local parish
  • Reflect on the complex political realities in the Holy Land, with diverse Israeli, Christian and Arab speakers

Room and board for full ten days, course transportation and admission to all sites: $2600. (Airfare and travel insurance not included.) Some scholarship funds may be available through supporting organizations. A $500 deposit is due to register. (The remaining course fee is not due until 30 days before the course begins.)

For more information, talk to Fr. Paul: [email protected].

The course is still quite open, so there is time to join! The course size is limited to 38 participants; so, once it’s full, it’s full. Open to parishioners and friends of Saint Alban’s parish.

More details here: Holy Land Pilgrimage Information

I can speak from experience, having been twice before: your faith, and your life, will never be the same after visiting this sacred and challenging place.

-Fr Paul