Serving Our Community
St. Alban’s is committed to serving our community, with a special heart for those in need throughout the Annandale area. We believe that following Jesus means we must give of ourselves and what we have to those who need it most.
We provide food for children, offer worship services for nursing home residents, keep local roads clean, support shelter and housing services, and are deeply involved with the Annandale Christian Community for Action along with other local organizations.
Whether you have 30 minutes, two hours, or you’d like to serve on a committee, you’ll find a wide variety of activities that can fit in your schedule while making a difference here at St. Alban’s. Learn more about our community outreach programs below. Want to get involved? Contact us today!
Poe Middle School Meal Program
St. Alban’s now serves a hot meal twice a month for those students who participate in Poe’s after-school program. This provides them with opportunities for academic support and enrichment, youth development, sports and recreation, performing arts, and community service. During 2017-18, we fed an average of 300 students each time.
Belvedere Elementary School Backpack Program
Every month we stuff backpacks full of food for a growing number of Belvedere Elementary students to take home, so that they have enough nutritious food to eat over the weekend.
Nursing Home Ministry
For more than 50 years, St. Alban’s has provided services on Sundays and other Holy Days for residents of the Sleepy Hollow Healthcare Center — over 55 worship services a year. Through this ministry, 40+ residents are able to attend services relatively similar to what they experienced in their earlier lives: hearing Scripture, singing hymns, and receiving communion once a month. Our services follow the Book of Common Prayer, and for many of the residents, our service is the only activity in which they participate during the week.
Annandale Christian Community for Action
St. Alban’s is a founding member of the Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA), a coalition of 27 churches in Annandale and nearby jurisdictions providing a variety of social services. ACCA volunteers join others in human services ministries, especially delivering emergency food and sanitary items to needy individuals and families, providing emergency assistance for rent and utilities, and providing furniture to needy households moving into the area. In addition, ACCA’s nationally recognized Child Development Center provides subsidized quality childcare and early childhood education to over 200 children from six weeks of age through pre-kindergarten.
In winter, the Bailey’s Crossroads Shelter sometimes doesn’t have enough room for all who need a warm place to sleep. Several churches and mosques in our area open their doors to the Shelter’s overflow. St Alban’s hosts the homeless in our Parish Hall for a week during the winter every year, usually Christmas week. We feed our guests (as many as 40 people or more) a simple meal each night, and we always need cooks, servers and cleaner-uppers.
Bethany House of Northern Virginia is a non-profit, faith-based organization providing shelter and other supportive services to the victims of domestic violence (women and their children) — some 46 family units a year. St Alban’s supports the program with individual donations of money, household items, school supplies, personal care items, and items for children, as well as with volunteers to aid the program in various ways. Two of our major activities are a school supplies collection each August, and Christmas gift collection each November and December.
St. Alban’s has “adopted” a one-mile stretch of Sleepy Hollow Road, from Columbia Pike to Tansey Drive. We conduct trash pickups four times a year. We also reach out to neighbors along the road and show them we are a caring part of our local community. Volunteers must be over 10 years old and wear bright orange safety vests (provided!).
Lockwood House & Elmwood House
Lockwood House and Elmwood House are two apartment communities for low-income seniors located near Seven Corners Shopping Center. The two houses were opened under the guidance of Rev. John R Frizzell, former St. Alban’s Rector — Lockwood in 1985 and Elmwood in 1995. By tradition, St. Alban’s Rector and parishioners serve on the Board of Directors for the houses, and each year, St. Alban’s parishioners donate, cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to residents.
Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington
Samaritan Ministry works with more than 800 people who are ready to change their lives by identifying and taking their own next steps. St. Alban’s is a founding partner and supports Samaritan Ministry through our financial gifts, special activities, participation on the partner council, and through our prayers. We host the Christmas party for Northern Virginia program participants, and a coordinator works with Deacon Theresa to organize the meal.
Missions: Honduras, Haiti, Hurley
In addition to our own backyard, St. Alban’s takes an interest in the wider world with both financial and prayer commitments to Our Little Roses, which rescues girls from lives of risk in Honduras and prepares them to be integral members of society, and Holy Trinity School in Haiti. In addition, every year our youth group spends a week in Hurley, Virginia, helping build and repair homes for families in the Appalachians.
Serving Our Parish
Our parish depends on the efforts of committed volunteers to run smoothly and provide the rich spiritual community on which all of our parishioners depend.
From ushering to intercessory prayer; from lawn mowing to setting the Lord’s table; from chili cookoffs to retreats in the woods — we’re a “roll up your sleeves” kind of church, where everyone (including you!) has the talent and ability to make a difference.
St. Alban’s parish ministries provide fun, friendships, and a fuller faith. Learn more about our parish life below. Want to get involved? Contact us today!
Parish Life Committee
The Parish Life Committee works to foster a feeling of family within the parish by hosting various fellowship events. We organize such events as the annual parish picnic, the ice cream social, the Chili Cook-off, and Oktoberfest — all fun gatherings of parishioners to celebrate the seasons of life at St. Alban’s.
Do you want to meet other parents and kids at St Alban’s? Do you have questions about sports teams, schools, parks, community events and child care? Come join us as we fellowship together and get to know one another at monthly Family Dinners and social events throughout the year.
The Altar Guild works invisibly behind the scenes, so that worshipers notice only that the scene before them is familiar and in order. The Guild sets the Lord’s Table for each Eucharist; changes the Altar hangings for the seasons of the church year; and, purchases and cares for vestments and all the Altar linens, bread and wine, candles, silver and all other elements used for worship.
This new ministry explores the many ways that contemplative prayer can enrich and deepen our relationship with God. They plan field trips to experience centering prayer, labyrinth walks, and other related opportunities. This ministry also provides Quiet Mornings during Advent and Holy Week; facilitates the Maundy Thursday Vigil during Holy Week; provides prayer support for the Youth and Adult mission trips; and provides labyrinth walks for the Vacation Bible School and Sunday School classes. All those interested in Centering Prayer meet each Wednesday in the Chapel of Repose. All are welcome!
Handmades (Chatting Fingers)
Do you knit, sew, paint, glue or otherwise craft? Would you like to? The Chatting Fingers group meets at St. Alban’s on Tuesday mornings from 10 to noon, for crafting and fellowship, and the crafts are sold at the annual Christmas Bazaar.
Saint Alban’s Acolyte Corp is made up of youth and adults. Each member provides liturgical leadership to our parish as she or he assists in worship during Sunday services and other special events. All participants develop self-confidence and ownership in worship, as they take a visible role in the life of the church. In addition, older youth develop leadership skills through their responsibilities supervising Sunday-morning teams of acolytes, and as they mentor and train the younger youth.
Lectors & Intercessors
Lectors and Intercessors (those who read the prayers) participate in church services by assisting in delivering the readings for the day. A desire to read and share the Lord’s word, a strong voice, good delivery, diction, and a willingness to commit to be present for services on the day you are scheduled are all that’s needed!
Lay Eucharistic Ministers
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMs) assist our priests at the altar during church services with the serving of the wine. There are also Lay Eucharistic Visitors, who deliver home communion to our parishioners who are homebound.
Our Ushers help everyone, including newcomers, feel welcome and comfortable at our worship service. They begin the services early, welcome all and hand out bulletins at every service, provide or get special support for those whose needs are made known, and play key roles in offertory collection and communion.
Golden Rule Guild
The purpose of this compassionate ministry is to provide comfort and support to fellow St. Alban’s families during a difficult time, by providing a meal for the family. Often when a family faces a challenge, such as a death in the family, an illness, or even the blessing of a new baby, the simple gift of a prepared meal makes the day go a little bit easier.
All Saints’ Guild
The All Saints’ Guild was created to provide receptions following funerals and memorial services at St. Alban’s. It is the last gift that we can give to a parishioner, or parishioner’s loved one, who has died. When St. Alban’s is requested to host a funeral or memorial service, volunteers are needed to provide food, help with set-up, serving, providing flowers and cleaning-up after the service.
Parish Committees & Other Volunteer Opportunities
To learn more about any of these programs (and maybe even join in their efforts — volunteers are always welcome!), please contact us.
Annual Christmas Bazaar
Our annual bazaar is a highlight on the Annandale area calendar! Each year we offer a large variety of items for sale along with homemade food and desserts, raffles, and lots of fun activities for the whole family. Learn more about the Bazaar here.
Buildings & Grounds
A very industrious group of men and women who keep our church building and grounds looking beautiful. Many hands make light work!
As Episcopalians, we take Coffee Hour seriously. A faithful group of volunteers works on a rotating basis to make sure we have our coffee, tea, and delicious snacks after each Sunday service.
This group of volunteers helps spread the word about St. Alban’s and our activities through our website, social media, email newsletters, and other programs.
The Finance Committee, including the Rector and Treasurer, offer assistance to the Vestry and the Wardens as requested. They review and discuss financial statements produced by the Treasurer, as well as the statements of invested assets of the church.
Intercessory Prayer Group
Each day, this group prays for over 100 individuals, that they may know God’s strength and protection, and that we love them. Although our parishioners request the prayers, about two-thirds are not parishioners of St Alban’s themselves. The group also sends cards to about 50 people each month.
Memorial Grove Committee
The Memorial Grove Committee, in coordination with the Buildings & Grounds Committee, oversees the care of the garden, lawn, and woods behind the sanctuary. All work is done by volunteers, including planting, pruning, weeding, mulching, raking, and watering.
The Memorials Committee assists the clergy with the allocation of funds contributed to the St. Alban’s Memorial Fund. Our Memorial Fund exists to provide the Parish and others an opportunity to make a gift to the church. These gifts may be for a personal blessing, “in memory of”, “in thanksgiving for”, “in honor of” — but always to the glory of God.
The Stewardship Committee organizes the Annual Giving campaign, provides information about Planned/Creative Giving, and supports the Rector and Vestry in fulfilling the mission and ministries of St Alban’s.
The Vestry is the lay committee that assists the Rector in running the parish. A term is three years, and the congregation votes four new people onto the Vestry each year. The election takes place at our annual meeting early in the year. Learn more about the Vestry here.
The worship committee, which includes Ushers, members of the Altar Guild, and Choir members, works with the clergy to ensure that we have meaningful and inspiring worship during all our services throughout the church year.