The Word

 News from St. John’s, Lafayette Square

 The Week of Sunday, March 19

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This Weekend

The Fourth Sunday in Lent

7:45 a.m.

Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Rob Fisher

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. Rob Fisher

10 a.m.

Speaker Series (Sanctuary; see below)

Coffee Hour (Plaza, weather permitting, or Togo West Parlor)

Church School (Parish House Second Floor)

Youth Group (Parish House Second Floor)

11 a.m.

Choral Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Rob Fisher (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)


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:

March 19: Dr. Anthony S. Fauci (pictured), who served as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from 1984 to 2022 and was Chief Medical Advisor to the President from 2021 to 2022, will speak about his role in responding to COVID and other pandemics over the course of his long and distinguished career. Please note: This presentation will be held in the Sanctuary.

April 23: Evan Osnos, staff writer for The New Yorker, will speak on his 2020 biography of President Biden. Osnos won the National Book Award for his most recent book, Age of Ambition, about economic, political, and social change in China, and he shared a Pulitzer Prize for his investigative reporting at the Chicago Tribune.

April 30: Pierre Thomas, Chief Justice Correspondent for ABC News, will speak about his work for the network, which he joined in November 2000. Thomas reports for “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” and all platforms including ABC News Radio and digital.


This Sunday through March 26

Every Sunday in March, we will be collecting diapers and related supplies at a table on the plaza in front of the church, beginning after the 7:45 a.m. service, and continuing between services until shortly after the last service, about 12:30 p.m. In case of rain, you will find the table under the portico of the church facade.

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 also be accepted at the home garage of Holly Sukenik by appointment through April 1. Contact Holly for more information.


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 lunch is hosted by Debby Hailey and Ed, Lacey, and Paul Szczepanik.


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 Busch.

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.

Please note: There will be no Church School on Palm Sunday or Easter Day.


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 Palm Sunday or Easter Day.


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 Adult Bible Study this Sunday. All are encouraged to attend the Speaker Series in the Sanctuary, featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci (see announcement above).


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.

Of Special Note


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

Would you like to be baptized, confirmed, or received as a member of the Episcopal Church at St. John’s? Are you interested in learning about the sacrament of baptism? If so, please join the Spring Adult Inquirers’ Class. This two-day class will meet on Saturdays, March 18 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.


Meeting with Councilmember Charles Allen: Saturday, March 25, at 11 a.m.

Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol Street, NE

Learn more about Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) and help lift up WIN's priorities for a cleaner climate, safer affordable housing, increased Black homeownership and public safety in DC just through your presence. Together, WIN volunteers will ensure the upcoming DC budget reflects what we value most. For more information, contact Sarah Wood. There is no need to reside in Ward 6. Register here.


Great times await!

Inclusion is important at St. John’s, and we want to ensure that every member has an opportunity for fellowship and to amplify their voice, while supporting one another and

the mission of the church. In the past, St. John’s has participated in the Capital Pride Parade, and with this group we hope to do much more. Come enjoy camaraderie and brainstorm ways to further inclusion at St. John’s. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Anthony Pegues by Friday, March 24.


Thanks to all who have pledged to date. As of March 13, we have 307 commitments totaling $1,035,416 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

Lent at St. John’s


“Pathways through Lent” is a daily email giving you Bible readings, a prayer, and a reflection to help with your Lenten practices. It is published every weekday morning through Good Friday, April 7. If you would like to be added to the distribution, you may subscribe here. On Saturdays and Sundays during Lent, we encourage you to read the “Reflection” that our clergy send to remind us of the Sunday services, and, of course, to participate in worship either in person or via livestream at


An Illustrated Lent for Families: This is My Body

This Lent, we’re offering a resource for families to use at home. Each weekly devotional includes scripture, a short reflection, questions and discussion questions, a coloring page, and suggested activity. It is aimed at families with children of all ages, with the goal of supporting families in finding simple, meaningful ways to walk through the season together. Pick up a hard copy at the church or, for a digital copy, please contact the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell.

Holy Week and Easter at St. John’s


Sunday, March 26, at 10 a.m.

Families with children from birth through grade five are invited to gather with the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell in Togo West Parlor for a preview of what happens during Holy Week. Interactive stations will be set up to help kids (and parents) learn about the significance of what happens between Palm Sunday and Easter Day. Why do we wave palms on Palm Sunday? Why do people get their feet washed on Thursday? What’s “good” about Good Friday? The hope is this will prepare families for their participation in the liturgies of Holy Week and provide ways that they might mark these special days at church or at home.

Palm Sunday—April 2

7:45 a.m. Eucharist with Blessing of the Palms

9 a.m. Choral Eucharist with Blessing of the Palms and Passion Reading

11 a.m. Choral Eucharist with Blessing of the Palms and Passion Reading

Please note: There will be no Church School or Youth Group on Palm Sunday.

Wednesday in Holy Week—April 5

12:15 p.m. Midweek Music: Holy Week Concert (see below)

Maundy Thursday—April 6

Noon Choral Eucharist with Foot Washing

5 p.m. Family Service with Eucharist, Foot Washing, and Stripping of the Altar (see below)

7 p.m. Choral Eucharist with Foot Washing and Stripping of the Altar

Good Friday—April 7

12 p.m. Good Friday Service with Communion from the Reserved Sacrament

Easter Day—April 9

7:45 a.m. Eucharist with Hymns

9 a.m. Choral Eucharist with Brass and Percussion

11 a.m. Choral Eucharist with Brass and Percussion

Please note: There will be no Church School or Youth Group on Easter Day.


Wednesday, April 5, at 12:15 p.m.

Our monthly lunchtime concert series continues with a special offering for Holy Week by sopranos Kaitlyn Brown Jackson and Amy Broadbent, who will be joined by organ and cello in a performance of François Couperin’s poignant Leçons des Ténèbres. 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.


Thursday, April 6, at 5 p.m.

St. John’s will hold our first family-centered Maundy Thursday service, including a story and homily by the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell. We will share the bread and wine of the Eucharist, have an opportunity to wash one another's feet, and strip the altar to prepare for Good Friday. All are welcome!


Holy Week is the most important week of our liturgical year and is made more special due to several extra musical offerings including a trumpeter on Palm Sunday and a concert performance on Wednesday afternoon. If you wish to make a contribution of any size to help support these or other special musical offerings, please contact Brent Erstad.


The deadline for inclusion in Easter Day bulletins is Monday, April 3.

The flowers that enhance the beauty of the church and parish house are given by parishioners as memorials for those who have died and as thanksgiving for those who are living. Please consider remembering those who are important to you. The suggested donation is $55 per name. Your support of this important ministry is greatly appreciated.

To pay by check, please complete this form, enclose it with a check payable to St. John’s Church, and bring it with you to church on Sunday to place in the offering plate.

You may also pay online. Choose “Special Flowers” in the dropdown menu. Under memo, list the name(s), and indicate whether your gift is in memory of or in thanksgiving for.

Upcoming Events


Wednesday, April 12, at 7 p.m.

Join the Latrobe Young Adult Fellowship for a celebratory wine tasting. We will begin in the church at 7 p.m. with a service of Holy Eucharist and then will gather in the Togo West Parlor to sample a variety of wines (non-alcoholic beverages will also be available). A $10 donation is suggested, and all are welcome! For planning purposes, we ask that you RSVP. The Latrobe Young Adult Fellowship is an active and engaged group of adults, primarily in our 20s and 30s. We gather at St. John’s at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month. For more information, contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.


Thursday, April 13, at 6:45 p.m., via Zoom

Please join us Thursday, April 13, at 6:45 p.m. for a discussion via Zoom of Horse by Geraldine Brooks. Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thorough­bred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism. During the Civil War, an enslaved groom and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. Set also in New York City and Washington, DC, this fictional novel tackles the legacy of enslavement and racism in America. For more information, please contact Janet Edmond.


Saturday, April 15, at 10 a.m.

Come enjoy a springtime walk in the National Arboretum in celebration of Earth Day. Full details to follow. Please save the date and plan to join this family-friendly event organized by the Care of Creation ministry at St. John’s.


Sunday, April 16, at 10 a.m.

While the Episcopal Church does not officially celebrate a child’s first Communion, many families see this as a special rite of passage. Our tradition holds that once you are baptized, you are a full member of the church and may receive the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Whether or not your child already receives Communion, they likely have questions about why we do what we do. This is the class for you! Parents and children are invited to bring their questions and curiosities. RSVP to the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell.


Wednesday, April 19, at 5:30 p.m.

Steeped in the beauty of the Anglican tradition, Evensong meets us at the even point between the active day and the restful night. Evensong will be sung by the St. John’s Choir on the third Wednesday of each month through May, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Parking validation is available in the C & C Parking Garage at 818 Connecticut Avenue, NW. A validation ticket can be obtained from an usher before or after the service. Mark your calendar and plan to join us. The service will also be available via livestream. Mark your calendar and join us.

Important Reminders


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

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.)

Sunday, November 5, 9 a.m. (Class: Saturday, November 4, 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, 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.


March 19—Debby Hailey and Ed, Lacey, and Paul Szczepanik

March 26—RJ Lyerly

April 2—Palm Sunday: No Parish Lunch

April 9—Easter Day: No Parish Lunch

April 16—

April 23—

April 30—

May 7—

May 14—Mothers Day: No Parish Lunch

May 21—The Refugee Committee


Whatever your interests—worship, outreach, Christian formation, music, pastoral care—we always have room for more volunteers. If you feel drawn to serve at or through St. John’s, please check out the various ministries on our website and reach out to the coordinator—or, if none is listed, contact Lisa Koehler.


On the third Saturday of every month, St. John’s and Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown, partner to provide a healthy and delicious meal for those who need it. Grace’s Table also fosters community space for people experiencing homelessness around the Georgetown neighborhood. Volunteers can provide the food being served or be present for service and interaction with the guests. For more information or to get involved, please contact Elizabeth Field.


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: Ralph Olson and Jocelyn Tichenor.

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), Wendy Addiss Dellar (Joanne Hutton), Sharon Diehl (Alex Stolar), Reagan Eudy (Alfred Thesmar), Pamela Evelyn (Shawn Evelyn), Carter Faris (Lisa Koehler), Janet Fischer (Ann Gardner), Grace Grifferty (Kerri Stelcen), Linda Young Gsell (Rick Young), Jackie Hanson (Brent Erstad), Margaret Harrell (Bud Harrell), Doug Holy (Joanne Hutton), Charles and Latithia Jones (GeeGee Bryant), Jim Kasson (Rob Fisher and Sarah Wood), Olivia Kehoe (Kat Kehoe), Kathy Devlin Kelly (Wendy J. Fibison), 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), Britt Neff (Julie Neff-Lippman), Jenny Newlson (Michelle Mangrum), Hope Rigby (Hap and Nora Rigby), Cawley Scott (Robyne Johnston), Scott (Marta Cook and Cal Trepagnier), William Singer (Emily Lucio), Joyce Stephens (Wande Johnson), 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) and Samuel S. Spaulding (Diane Spaulding).


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: Keith Carlson, March 9 (Kim Carlson).


Paul Barkett, Mark Cardwell, Ashley Coxe, Stephen Crochet, Blair Ewing, Anne Field, Carolyn Gardner, John Gardner, Thomas Hailey, Patrick Hanniford, Janet Helgert, Amanda Hoover, Iona Lagera, Mila McGregor, Brandon Montgomery, Scott Raab, Katherine Rawlings, Graham Singer, Peter Spaulding, Amy Stulman, Chris Tipler, and Sang Yi. 


Emily and Paul Kallaur, and Bonnie and Charles Dewitt. 


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.

Do you need to publicize a parish event or a parish-wide notice? Click here for our online submission form. Please submit information three weeks in advance of the event to allow adequate time to spread the word.

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