The Word

News from St. John’s, Lafayette Square

The Week of Sunday, November 19

Saint_John_s_Eagle White.png

Please note that the Parish Office will close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22, and will remain closed for the remainder of the week in celebration of Thanksgiving. There will be no noon service on Thursday or Friday, November 23 and 24, but we invite you to our Thanksgiving Day Choral Eucharist on Thursday at 10 a.m.

This Sunday

The Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

7:45 a.m.

Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Rob Fisher

8 a.m.

Parish Choir (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.

Coffee Hour (Plaza, weather permitting, or Parish House First Floor)

Speaker Series (Togo West Parlor; see below)

Communion Class for Families (Sanctuary; see below)

Youth Group (Parish House Second Floor)

Bible Study (Parish House Third Floor)

St. John’s Choir (Parish House Fourth 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 (Parish House Lower Level)

Parish Lunch (Parish House Lower Level; see below)

Church Tour (Meet guide Richard J. Price at the front of the church near the baptismal font.)


The Speaker Series is held most Sundays from September through May 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.

November 19: Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe within the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, will speak on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its transformation into a war with global ramifications.

The presentation on Communities in Schools originally scheduled for December has been moved to January 21.


This Sunday at 10 a.m.

This interactive offering aims to help adults and children have a more meaningful experience of Holy Communion. Whether or not your child already consumes the bread or wine during services, all are encouraged to attend to deepen their understanding of what happens when we participate in the Eucharist. This one-session class, held in the side chapel of the sanctuary, takes the place of Church School.


This Sunday at noon

Sunday lunch at St. John’s is a longtime tradition in which every member and every visitor can participate. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones—a time for fellowship and for hearing another’s story. The lunch is held most Sundays in the Parish House. Contributions of $5 for adults and young people 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 the Sisters at St. John’s.

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 most Sundays during the sermon at the 11 a.m. service. 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., 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.

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

For more information about opportunities for youth, please contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.


Sundays at 10 a.m.

This group gathers most Sunday mornings, 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.


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)

Give to St. John’s

Submit a Parish Announcement (Deadline: Mondays at noon)

Add a Name to the Parish Prayer List

Visit for more information.

Find us on YouTube and Facebook.

Of Special Note


Deadline: Monday, December 4

The Vestry Nominating Committee will meet in early December to select the slate for Vestry elections to be held at the Parish’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 4, 2024. The role of the Vestry Nominating Committee is to select, from all those nominated, the six candidates who will stand for election; three candidates will be elected. Nominees should be pledging members of the congregation, attend worship regularly, and be active in the life of the parish.

Click here to nominate someone for this important service to the parish.


The annual Christmas Gift Drive is here! We are partnering with Advocates for Justice and Education, the Bishop Walker School, Cardozo Education Campus, DC Dream Center, and St. John’s Community Services to bring joy to children and adults in need this holiday season. Each recipient has provided a wish list of toys, books, or clothes that they are hoping to find underneath the Christmas tree.

You can help by picking up an angel with a wish list from the tree in the Parish House. Please deliver unwrapped gifts to the church by Wednesday, December 6, to facilitate timely distribution starting the following week.

Not able to pick up gifts? You can select books for students at Bishop Walker School online here. You can also help us wrap gifts on Saturday, December 9.

Contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn with questions or to help with this year’s effort—and thank you in advance for your generosity this holiday season!

Thank you very much to those who have already pledged for 2024! As of Wednesday, November 15, we had received 185 pledges, for a total of $777,318. By making a pledge, you are helping ensure that the vestry and rector will be able to plan for another great year of ministry, music, outreach, and fellowship. We welcome all pledges, large and small—and, of course, if you are able to increase your pledge this year, it will make a big difference as we grow our programs to better serve our diverse parish community. If you haven’t already done so, you can register your pledge by returning the completed card that you received by mail last month or you can pledge online here. Thank you!

—Toby Stock, Chair of Stewardship


Here’s how to make your gift to St. John’s do a bit more

Many employers in the area want to make a positive impact in the community by offering matching gifts for various charitable programs. Matches are mostly focused around community support, education, and other 501(c)(3) entities, with gifts handled through portals such as Benevity, DoubleTheDonation, Global Giving, and YourCause. Employers have different requirements and maximum match amounts (for example, Booz Allen offers a 1:1 match of up to $500, while Boeing offers up to $25,000).

To find out whether your organization has a matching gift program, please contact your company’s corporate giving officer, who can also help you navigate the gift portal and make sure that St. John’s is listed as a verified recipient. (You can also contact the Parish Office for assistance.)

Using your company’s matching gifts program is a wonderful and easy way to make a meaningful difference through something you are already doing for St. John’s and the community we serve.

—Alfred Thesmar


You can direct some or all of your Required Minimum Distribution from an IRA to St. John’s before year’s end

We are grateful for all of the ways St. John’s members give to the church. If you are in a position to give from your retirement account, now may be a good time to consider directing some or all of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to a charity, including St. John’s as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) as part of your annual giving or as a one-time gift. If you are interested and would like to learn more, please contact the Parish Office.


The parish lunch tradition relies on volunteers to prepare and serve a meal. We encourage individuals, families, groups, and ministries to sign up to host just once between now and the end of May. Hosts may be reimbursed for expenses or receive a tax receipt. Not sure what’s involved? Want to claim an open date? Contact coordinator Holly Sukenik.

November 19—Sisters at St. John’s

November 26—No Lunch: Thanksgiving Weekend

December 3—Stewardship Committee

December 10—St. John’s Book Group

December 17   

December 24—No Lunch: Christmas Eve

December 31—No Lunch: New Year’s Eve



Sunday, December 3, at 10 a.m.

Join in this fun and meaningful annual tradition at St. John’s that’s suitable for all ages. Using seasonal greens, we will make decorative wreaths that also double as a devotional aid in the Advent season. Materials will be provided for each household to make one wreath. You’re encouraged to bring your own clippers if you have them. A few “take and make” bags will be available for those who cannot stay to make a wreath. Contact Sarah Akes-Cardwell with questions. This activity will take the place of Church School.


Sunday, December 3, at 5 p.m.

You are cordially invited to join us in the Togo West Parlor for an evening of holiday revelry, including decorations, food, music, and a carol sing-along. Special activities and food will be provided for children. For planning purposes, we ask that you RSVP here.


Wednesday, December 6, at 12:15 p.m.

Our monthly Midweek Music concert series continues with “Songs of the Season,” a festive program offered by soprano Abigail Chapman and organist Lyn Loewi. Midweek Music performances take place during the lunch hour on the first Wednesday of each month from October through May and are open to the public free of charge.


Wednesday, December 6, at 7 p.m.

The Latrobe Fellowship is hosting its annual Christmas Party. All are welcome to a short service of Compline followed by a light holiday dinner, with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options, and a white elephant gift exchange in the Togo West Parlor. Please bring a small, wrapped gift (up to $15 in value) with you—either silly or serious. If you forget, we will also have several gifts available for purchase at the event. The Latrobe Young Adult Fellowship is an active and engaged group of adults, primarily in their 20s and 30s. We gather at St. John’s at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month. Questions? Contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.


Thursday, December 7, at 7 p.m.

Join us in person at the church or via Zoom to discuss Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon. This personal narrative explores the challenges and heartaches of growing up Black in Mississippi and examines the impact that a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception has on a Black person, their family, and the surrounding community. The book group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Janet Edmond.



Saturday, December 9, at 10 a.m.

In the spirit of our Christmas gift drive, we will have a special gift-wrapping event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for all of our Angel Tree Gift Drive donations. Whether you are great at wrapping gifts or not so good with your hands, come along. This will be a fun gathering with food and music to help us prepare to distribute gifts and make someone’s Christmas a little extra special this year. RSVP to the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.


Sunday, December 17, at 5:30 p.m.

Join the combined choirs of St. John's for one of our most beloved holiday traditions. Sung in the beauty of a candlelit church, the service begins with the singing of "Once in royal David’s city" followed by nine lessons interspersed with carols and choral anthems. Complimentary valet parking will be available starting at 4:45 p.m. The service will be followed by a reception in the Togo West Parlor. Invite your friends and family to join us for this special holiday offering. The service will also be livestreamed for those who cannot be with us in person.



Third Thursdays at noon: Next meeting, December 21

This lectionary-based Bible study for men of all ages is convened by parishioner Carter Keithley, who holds a master’s degree from Virginia Theological Seminary. The group meets on the third Thursday of every month for a brown-bag lunch with fellowship and a wide-ranging, scripture-based conversation. Contact Carter for more information.

Important Reminders


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

Sunday, January 7, 2024, at 9 a.m. (Class: Saturday, January 6, 10 a.m.)

Sunday, February 11, at 9 a.m. (Class: Saturday, February 10, 10 a.m.)

Sunday, April 7, at 11 a.m. (Class: Saturday, April 6, at 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.


We typically offer the following midweek services, except when precluded by a special event, funeral, federal holiday, or office closure:

Mondays and Fridays at 12:10 p.m.: Noonday Prayer

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 12:10 p.m.: Eucharist

Please Note: On Thursday, November 23, we will offer a Thanksgiving Day Choral Eucharist at 10 a.m. There will be no noon service either Thursday or Friday, November 23 and 24.


Want to get more involved at St. John’s? Hoping to make some new friends? Check out our ministries at and contact individual leaders from this list for more details or to sign up.


The flowers that enhance the beauty of the Church and Parish House are made possible by gifts from our community and are often dedicated to the memory of a loved one or to mark a birth or birthday, a wedding, an anniversary, a graduation, or another special event. To make a dedication, pick up a flower card at the entrance to the Church.


A pledge is a commitment of financial support over the course of a year, to be paid weekly, monthly, or on another schedule. By making a pledge to St. John’s, you enable us to plan for the work we will undertake in mission and ministry. It’s easy to make a pledge commitment online on our website. Thank you!

Prayer List

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


From our parish: Carl Raether and Mary Raether.

Friends and family of our parish: Martha Brame (Frances Tyler), Barbara Virginia Abalos Branes (Joanne Hutton), Bob Brow (Lauren Moriarity), David Cannon (Kat Kehoe), Billy Beardsley Conderman (Margo Arnold), Rhys Conlon (Frances Tyler), Bruce D’Innocenzo (Jim and Michele Mullins), Ed Eder (Joanne and Powell Hutton), Oliver Evans (Casey Evans), Reagan Eudy (Alfred Thesmar), Elaine Gravatt (Margo Wiegenstein), Grace Grifferty (Kerri Stelcen), Linda Young Gsell (Rick Young), Jackie Hanson (Brent Erstad), Morgan Hickenlooper (Livy More), Doug Holy (Joanne Hutton), Jack (Marta Cook and Cal Trepagnier), Latithia and Charles Jones (GeeGee Bryant), Charlotte Crowley Junilla (Margo Arnold), Jim Kasson (Rob Fisher and Sarah Wood), Olivia Kehoe (Kat Kehoe), Lynne Kessler (Mary and Carl Raether), Lori LaPoint (Brent Erstad), Elizabeth Lee (Clayton Crawford), William Markiewicz (Matthew Taylor), Jim Martella (Livy More), Tammy McCleaf (Matthew Taylor), Ann McClellan (Frances Tyler), Barbara and John McGraw (Mary and Carl Raether), Katy Montgomery (Nora Rigby), Bruce Mortimer (Nancy Mathis), Kathy Mullins (Jim and Michele Mullins), Cecile Richards (Livy More), Ann Owens (Debby Hailey), David Row (Livy More), Scott (Marta Cook and Cal Trepagnier), Lou Thesmar (Alfred and Hilary Thesmar), Sallie and William Wilkie Thompson (Cecelia Thompson), Theresa Weber (Kerri Stelcen), Edward Leland Williams II (Virginia Bader), and Linda Woolley (Blount and Charlotte Stewart)


Friends and family of our parish: Carol Bradley (Larry and Krista Bradley), Henry Farrington (Wendy J. Fibison), and Lisa Peña (Autumn Brown).


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

Friends and family of our parish: George Corbin (Shawn Evelyn), Wilma Daubs (Kay Gilley), Pat Morris (Will Morris), Cawley Scott (Robyne Johnston), and Carl Wright (Frank and Nancy Klotz).


Lara Kanitra, David Kirchenbauer, Robert Kirchenbauer, Evan Lyerly, Chip Sherrill, Holly Sukenik, and Emma Wilson


Doug Estes and Sylvia Martin Estes, Becca Brown Todd and Roderick Todd, Kristin Gavaza and Carl Ward, Chip and RJ Lyerly, Jennifer Agiesta and Paul Hortenstine, and Ann and William Hughes.



Friends and family of our parish: Janie Abernethy (Elizabeth Lewis and David Abernethy) and Philip L. Faris (Caroline and Steve Faris)

Please click here to add, remove, or change the status of someone on the prayer list.

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.

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram