The Word

 News from St. John’s, Lafayette Square

 The Week of Sunday, January 29

Saint_John_s_Eagle White.png

Acolyte training as part of the recent youth lock-in. See below for other ways young people can get involved at St. John’s, from a weekly youth group to periodic youth Sundays and more.

This Weekend

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

7:45 a.m.

Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell

8 a.m.

Choir Rehearsal (Parish House Fourth Floor)

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Nursery (Parish House Second Floor)

9 a.m.

Choral Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell

10 a.m.

Vestry Candidates Forum (Togo West Parlor; see below)

Coffee Hour (Parish House First Floor)

Church School Exploration Sunday (Parish House Second Floor; see below)

Youth Group (Parish House Second Floor)

11 a.m.

Choral Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell (Watch live on Sunday)

Children’s Chapel (Children begin in church)


Coffee Hour and Parish Lunch (Parish House Lower Level; see below)

Church Tour (see below)



This Sunday at 10 a.m. (Beginning on the Parish House Second Floor)

This Sunday, children in pre-K through grade five are invited on a musical adventure during the 10 a.m. formation hour. Dr. Lyn Loewi, our associate organist, will bring kids up close and personal with the organ. Then we’ll venture up to the fourth floor of the Parish House to meet members of the choir, see where they rehearse, and have a chance to ask questions. Parents are welcome to join the group. Exploration Sundays are offered in months with five Sundays and take the place of Church School classes when they occur. For more information, please contact the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell.


This Sunday during the 11 a.m. service

Every fifth Sunday of the month at the 11 a.m. service our youth take a greater role in leading our worship. Youth Sundays are a time to celebrate the youth of the church while enriching the quality of worship that St. John’s provides. For more information or for youth to request to participate, please contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.


This Sunday at noon

Sunday lunch is held most Sundays in the Parish House. Contributions of $5 for those 13 and over and $2 for children under 13 are requested to help defray the costs of the lunch. All are welcome. Valet parking hours are extended to 2 p.m. any Sunday with a parish lunch. This week’s hosts are “Sisters” of St. John’s.


This Sunday at noon

For more than 200 years our church has served as a place of worship for a growing and everchanging city and country. Its structure is a lasting testament to Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who, because of his training in both architecture and engineering, is considered by the American Institute of Architects as our country’s first architect. If you are interested in an in-person tour of St. John’s Church, meet at the front of the church near the baptismal font after the 11 a.m. service. Sunday’s guide will be Richard Price.

Sunday Reminders


Children are welcome at all worship services.

A nursery for infants and children up to age three is available most Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Parish House.

Children in pre-K through fifth grade may participate in Church School on the second floor of the Parish House, most Sundays from 10 to 10:50 a.m.

Children from birth through grade 5 are invited to participate in Children’s Chapel, a special liturgy just for them during the sermon at the 11 a.m. service on most Sundays. Parents may accompany their children, and are encouraged to do so for those younger than three.

Children’s Bulletins with coloring pages of stories from this Sunday’s scripture readings are posted here each week in time for Sunday services.

For more information about our children’s ministry, please contact the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell.


Most Sundays from 10 to 10:50 a.m., all middle and high schoolers are invited to Youth Group on the second floor of the Parish House for an exploration of life and faith with their peers. For more information about opportunities for youth, please contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.

Youth in sixth grade and above are also invited to join the Acolytes ministry. Acolytes assist with worship during the 11 a.m. service by serving as torch bearers or crucifers and by helping set the altar for communion. To learn more, contact Nora Haugh.

Please note: There will be no Youth Group on Sunday, February 5 (Annual Meeting).


This group gathers most Sundays at 10 a.m., using a hybrid approach, with some joining via Zoom and others in person. The group is studying the structure, audience, and themes of the Gospel of Matthew. Conversations explore the connections with the Sunday lectionary lessons and sermons. To receive class notes and Zoom login information, please contact Jack Reiffer.

Please note: There will be no Bible Study on Sundays, January 29 (Vestry Candidates Forum) and February 5 (Annual Meeting).


You are invited to take a blank prayer card from the narthex (the entrance of the church) and write down something or someone you would like to pray for. You can hand your prayer card to the ushers when they take the collection, and your card will be blessed and prayed over during the week.


We look forward to welcoming you to worship, either in person or online.

Directions and Parking

Sunday Livestream and Bulletins (Materials posted in time for the livestreamed service)

Current Masking and Communion Practices

Give to St. John’s

Submit a Parish Announcement (Deadline: Wednesdays at 9 a.m.)

Visit for more information.

Find us on YouTube and Facebook.

Annual Meeting 2023


Next Sunday, February 5, at 10 a.m.

At this year’s Annual Meeting we will elect Wardens (uncontested) and three Vestry members from six candidates (pictured below). We will also vote on updates to the church bylaws. Click the links below for full details, and please plan to join us in person or online. We will have a special reception later that day at noon in the Togo West Parlor.

Summary of Proposed Changes to St. John’s Bylaws

Amended and Restated Bylaws of St. John’s Parish

Vestry Candidate Bios

You will have the opportunity to hear from the candidates during the 10 a.m. education hour this Sunday, January 29.

If you are a member in good standing and need to vote by absentee ballot, please fill out a form at the front desk at the church, or print this online form to complete and return. Absentee ballots must be received at the church prior to Annual Meeting. We will have electronic voting during the meeting itself for those who will be attending remotely.

Clark Ervin, Senior Warden

Nora Rigby, Junior Warden

Kate Benner

Janet Edmond

Sylvia Martin Estes

Dr. Fruzsina M. Harsanyi

Matthew Taylor

Alfred Thesmar

Of Special Note


This year’s Women’s Retreat, entitled “Strength (and Joy) for the Journey,” will be led by the Rev. Maria Kane on March 3–5 at the A. Felix DuPont Memorial House in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Space is limited and fills quickly, so please complete the online registration and send your payment to the parish office to secure your spot. The cost ($350) includes housing and meals, and payment (not registration or email) secures your place at the retreat.

Full information about the retreat, including more about the venue and leader, can be found here. For those in need of financial assistance, scholarships are available; contact the Rev. Rob Fisher. For all other questions, please contact Lisa Kirchenbauer.


September 29 through October 11, 2023 (Deposit due by March 1)

In the fall, Christ Church, Georgetown, and Saint John’s Church, Lafayette Square, will co-sponsor a pilgrimage to the Holy Land led by the Rev. Rob Fisher. The voyage will offer pilgrims the opportunity to visit many of the major sites of our faith. The group will be guided by Iyad Qumri, a Palestinian Christian who has been leading pilgrims through this special place for more than 25 years. Click for more information and a sample itinerary. The cost of the land portion of the trip is $2,800. This includes all accommodations (double occupancy; a limited number of single rooms are available for an additional fee), meals, transportation, and entrance fees. Pilgrims will be responsible for their own airfare to Tel Aviv. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by March 1. For more information or to sign up, contact Paul Barkett.


Thanks to all who have pledged to date. As of January 24, we have 294 commitments totaling $1,023,258 pledged for 2023. Every pledge, large or small, makes a meaningful difference! If you have not yet done so, please consider what you might be able to pledge toward the mission and ministry of this parish ithis year and complete a pledge card, or pledge online here. If you would like to help reach out to people who have not yet pledged, please contact the Stewardship Committee.

—Toby Stock and Carter Keithley, co-chairs of the Stewardship Committee


Setting up automatic pledge payments on Realm is easy and convenient—but in order for us to know that you have made a pledge, we still need you to visit the “Make a Pledge” link on the website or turn in a pledge card. This will help us record your pledge promptly and accurately. Thank you for your support of the ministry of St. John’s!


The Speaker Series is held Sundays at 10 a.m. in the Togo West Parlor on the first floor of the Parish House. An audio recording will be available on our website the week after each talk. Visit the Speaker Series webpage for more information. Upcoming speakers and topics include:

February 12: Fred Ryan (pictured), the President’s former Chief of Staff and the current publisher of The Washington Post, will speak on the Reagan presidency. He is the author of Wine in the White House, published by the White House Historical Association in 2020; editor of Ronald Reagan: The Wisdom and Humor of the Great Communicator, published by Harper Collins in 1995, and Ronald Reagan: The Great Communicator, published by Harper Collins in 2001; and executive producer of the highly acclaimed video of the Reagan presidency titled The Reagan Years.

February 26: Sean Wilentz, Professor of History at Princeton University and author of The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974–2008, will speak on the Reagan presidency. Professor Wilentz studies U.S. political and social history. His book The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln was awarded the Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

March 5: Kim Sajet, the first female director of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, will speak about the gallery. Sajet is known for a cross-disciplinary approach that merges painting, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking with poetry, installation art, video, and performance, to make the past personal and deepen our understanding of how people have changed the course of history.


Saturdays, March 18 and 25 and April 1, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Would you like to be baptized, confirmed, or received into membership in the Episcopal Church at St. John’s? If so, please join the Spring Adult Inquirers’ Class. This three-day class will meet on Saturdays, March 18 and 25 and April 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Rev. Rob Fisher, Rector of St. John’s, will lead the sessions.

All are welcome, whether you are a newcomer or a longtime parishioner. This is an opportunity to learn more about our Christian faith, the Episcopal tradition, and the ministry of St. John’s Church. To register, please contact Lisa Koehler.

Those who participate or have completed another inquirers’ class are invited to celebrate with a Service of Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows at Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, May 20, at 10 a.m.

Mark Your Calendar


Wednesday, February 1, at 12:15 p.m.

Our monthly lunchtime concert series continues on February 1 with a performance by the Howard Gospel Choir. Founded in 1968, this choir is the first collegiate gospel choir of its kind in the world. They appear at St. John’s in a special performance to kick off Black History Month. Click for the full schedule of Midweek Music offerings. All concerts are open to the public without charge and run approximately 35 minutes. If you would like to make a donation to support future Midweek Music programs, please contact the church office.


Wednesday, February 1, at 7 p.m.

Join the Latrobe Fellowship on Wednesday, February 1, at 7 p.m., for a service of Holy Eucharist, followed by dinner in the Togo West Parlor where we will mark the beginning of Black History Month and learn more about Black history in our city. The Latrobe Young Adult Fellowship is an active and engaged group of adults, primarily in their 20s and 30s, that gathers at St. John’s on the first Wednesday of the month. For more information, contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.


Thursday, February 2, at 6:45 p.m., via Zoom

The St. John’s Book Group will meet virtually on Thursday, February 2, at 6:45 p.m. to discuss Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood by Cheryl Diamond. Wild, heartbreaking, and often unexpectedly funny, Nowhere Girl is an impossible-to-believe true story of a woman who didn’t know that she was born into a family of outlaws fleeing from the highest international law enforcement agencies, a family with secrets that would eventually catch up to all of them. For more information, please contact Janet Edmond.


Friday and Saturday, February 3 and 4

The diocese is excited to offer "Healing from Internalized Oppression," a workshop from the Episcopal Office of African Descent Ministries. The material was developed in the same room as the Sacred Ground program, but unlike Sacred Ground, the Healing from Internalized Oppression workshop is specifically for people of color. Sessions will take place on Friday, February 3, 6–9 p.m., and Saturday, February 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at St. Paul’s, Rock Creek. Click for full details, including registration.


Join us as we begin our journey through Lent

7:30 a.m.—Holy Eucharist and Ashes

Noon—Choral Holy Eucharist and Ashes

7 p.m.—Choral Holy Eucharist and Ashes

Ashes to Go (in front of the Church on 16th Street)

8:30–9:30 a.m. and 5–6 p.m.


Sponsored by the St. John’s Book Club

When members of the St. John’s Book Club members read Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending U.S. Poverty, most were surprised by simple resolutions with the potential to reduce poverty right here in our own communities. In particular, the authors point to the disproportionate impact on women created by a lack of disposable diapers and period products.

To address these challenges, the book club is sponsoring a diaper drive March 5–26. Items of need include diapers (especially sizes 1, 5, and 6), Pull-Ups (especially sizes 3T–4T and 4T–5T), wipes, diaper cream, baby wash, baby lotion, adult shampoo and conditioner, adult body wash, and period products, especially pads. You may also make donations by check payable to the Greater D.C. Diaper Bank (GDCDB) or by credit card at

Donations will be accepted at St. John’s on Sundays, March 5, 12, 19, and 26, or at the home garage of Holly Sukenik by appointment between March 5 and April 1. Contact Holly for more information.

Other Important Reminders


The next dates for Baptism and required pre-baptismal classes with the clergy at St. John’s are as follows:

Sunday, February 19, 11 a.m. (Class: Saturday, February 18, 10 a.m.)

Sunday, April 16, 11 a.m. (Class: Saturday, April 15, 10 a.m.)

Sunday, May 28, 11 a.m. (Class: Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m.)

If you are interested in baptism for yourself or a child, please contact Lisa Koehler. Please note that the parents or grandparents of children being baptized must be active, pledging members of St. John’s. Adults interested in baptism must also attend an Adult Inquirers’ Class, offered each fall and spring (see above), and be active, pledging participants in the life of the parish.


Parish lunch, held most Sundays in the Parish House, relies on volunteers to prepare and serve the meal. We encourage individuals, families, groups, and ministries to sign up. Hosts may be reimbursed for expenses or receive a tax receipt. Contact Holly Sukenik with questions or to sign up for an open date.


January 29—“Sisters” of St. John’s

February 5—Annual Meeting and Reception

February 12—St. John’s Book Group

February 19—

February 26—Care of Creation Committee

March 5—

March 12—

March 19—Ed, Lacey, and Paul Szczepanik

March 26—

April 2—Palm Sunday: No Parish Lunch

April 9—Easter Day: No Parish Lunch

April 16—

April 23—

April 30—


St. John’s Tour Guide Ministry is seeking new members to become part of an effort to share the history, architecture, and outreach of our church with visitors from around the United States and abroad. Leading tours is rewarding because of the people you’ll meet and the history that you will share. Training is provided by current tour guides and is done at your convenience. Tours take place following the 11 a.m. service during most of the year, and after the 10:30 a.m. service during the summer. Once trained, tour guides serve about once every six weeks. If you would like to experience what a tour is like, please consider taking a tour from one of our guides. For more information, please contact Rick Busch.

Prayer List

Our prayers are requested for the special needs and concerns of this congregation, especially:


From our parish: Ezra Lagera George.

Friends and family of our parish: Sarah Baker (Pamela Venzke), Barbara Virginia Abalos Branes (Joanne Hutton), Katherine Buchanan (Finley Buchanan), Tom Burkart (Pamela Venzke), LaKeshia Bryant (GeeGee Bryant), Billy Beardsley Conderman (Margo Arnold), Charlotte Crowley Junilla (Margo Arnold), Glenn Carlson (Kim Carlson), Wendy Addiss Dellar (Joanne Hutton), Sharon Diehl (Alex Stolar), Reagan Eudy (Alfred Thesmar), Pamela Evelyn (Rev. Shawn Evelyn), Janet Fischer (Ann Gardner), Grace Grifferty (Kerri Stelcen), Linda Young Gsell (Rick Young), Jackie Hanson (Brent Erstad), Margaret Harrell (Budd Harrell), Doug Holy (Joanne Hutton), Charles Jones (GeeGee Bryant), Olivia Kehoe (Kat Kehoe), Lynne Kessler (Mary and Carl Raether), Lori LaPoint (Brent Erstad), Chase Lasbury (Garrett Russo), Melanie Markiewicz and William Markiewicz (Matthew Taylor), Tammy McCleaf (Matthew Taylor), John McGraw (Mary and Carl Raether), Kathryn McGraw (Mary and Carl Raether), Lynda Michaelis (Wendy J. Fibison), Britt Neff (Julie Neff-Lippman), Judy Nicola (Cynthia Walker), Carl Raether, Jr. (Allie Raether), Linda Reppert (Lisa Koehler), Cawley Scott (Robyne Johnston), Scott (Marta Cook and Cal Trepagnier), William Singer (Emily Lucio), Samuel S. Spaulding (Diane Spaulding), Patsy and Cliff Swain (Margo Arnold), Evan Sweeney (Mary and Carl Raether), Lou Thesmar (Alfred and Hilary Thesmar), Carole Walker (Pamela Venzke), William Wilkie Thompson (Celia Thompson), Marsha Walston (Robert Carroll), and Theresa Weber (Kerri Stelcen). 


Friends and family of our parish: Pat Morris (Will Morris), Monica Notzon (Jill Dowell), and Amy Tejral (Jill Dowell).


Friends and family of our parish: Henry Farrington (Wendy J. Fibison).


From our parish: Eve Atkeson, Jack Kinsey, Barney Malloy, Marcella Odom, Becky Schergens, and John Whitmore.

Friends and family of our parish: Wilma Daubs (Kay Gilley).


Friends and family of our parish: Lynn McCartney Duse, January 11 (Abbott McCartney); Toddy Hartt, January 22 (Caroline Faris).


Justin Bouma, Gloria Burkhardt, David Dawson, Jennifer Egsgaard, Brent Erstad, Elijah Greene, Sandra Hackworth, Lisa Kirchenbauer, Jim Mullins, Audrey Michele Wood, and Harrison Yi. 


Randy and Sharon Deangelis, John Goheen and Haleigh Hildebrand, Jeffrey and Marisol Lovelace, and Brittany Prime and Will Rabbe. 


Friends and family of our parish: Janie Abernethy (Elizabeth Lewis and David Abernethy), Nathan Cobb (Livy More), Philip L. Faris (Caroline and Steve Faris), Yee Houston (Quin Woodward Pu), Marta Kochanska (Livy More), Amanda and Blake Tidwell (Willy Wolter), Bill Wolter (Willy Wolter), and Hugh Yeomans (Debby Hailey).

Please help us keep this list updated: Contact us with corrections, additions, and updates on status.

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram