The Word

 News from St. John’s, Lafayette Square

 The Week of Sunday, September 25

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This Sunday

The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

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.

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

Church School (Parish House Second Floor)

Youth Group (Parish House Second Floor)

Adult Bible Study (Parish House Third Floor)

11 a.m.

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

Children’s Chapel (Children begin in church; see below)


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


This Sunday, September 25, after the 9 and 11 a.m. services

The Ministry Fair is a festive event offered to highlight St. John’s ministries, to meet lay leaders and clergy, and to recruit new members. Please join us to learn about the many ministries of this church!


Children are welcome at all worship services.

A nursery for infants and children up to age three is available on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Godly Play Classroom #2 on the second floor of the Parish House. You may register children ahead of time here.

Children in pre-K through fifth grade may participate in Church School on the second floor of the Parish House, on 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 Sundays. Parents may accompany their children, and are encouraged to do so for those younger than three.

Click here for Children’s Bulletins with coloring pages of stories from this Sunday’s scripture readings.

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


On Sundays from 10 to 10:50 a.m., all middle and high school youth are invited to 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.


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 Luke. Conversations explore the connections with the Sunday lectionary lessons and sermons. To receive class notes and Zoom login information, please contact Jack Reiffer.


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

Directions and Parking

Sunday Livestream and Bulletins

Current Masking and Communion Practices

Give to St. John’s

Visit for more information.

Find us on YouTube and Facebook.

Of Special Note


Just as we now start the new program year at St. John’s, welcoming a new priest and regathering for worship, our 2023 Stewardship Campaign also begins. This past year, through the generosity of so many St. John’s members, with one-third of our members increasing their pledges over the prior year, we surpassed our goal and ended up with more than $1.075 million in pledges, from 365 people. Thank you so much for your giving to St. John’s!

This coming year we are asking you to once again pledge as much as you are able, as our church is facing an inflationary environment even as we are doing more to serve the needs of our parishioners and the community beyond. We have welcomed two new fabulous priests, made our music director a full-time position, enhanced our offerings for children and families, and are close to finishing the long process of restoring our building exteriors after the damage from the protests. We continue to develop new offerings for learning, fellowship, and outreach. This fall we are poised to enter an exciting new chapter for our church.

Our 2023 goals are ambitious but achievable. We are seeking to increase the number of pledges to 400 (up from 365) and the pledged dollars to $1.125 million. Any pledge you can make will make a difference—and if you are having a good year and are able to stretch a bit, we would very much appreciate it.

Thank you for being a part of St. John’s. We are pleased to be serving with you this year!

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


Youth in 6th grade and above are welcome to participate in this vital worship ministry. Acolytes assist 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.


After a long season of isolation, everyone is eager to reconnect—and St. John’s community events are a chance to do just that. We offer these events as an opportunity to get to know our clergy better, as well as fellow parishioners. As in the past, events are arranged by parishioners and may be potluck suppers, brunches, cocktail parties, happy hours, picnics, playground gatherings, nature walks, or anything else you might envision.

Would you be a host for a St. John’s community event?

•   Hosts determine the date and the type of activity.

•   Hosts also establish and advertise the number of guests they can accommodate.

•  If you are interested in hosting an event, please contact Holly Sukenik.

Mark Your Calendar


Saturdays, October 1 and October 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you would like to be baptized, confirmed, or received into membership in the Episcopal Church at St. John’s, join the Fall Adult Inquirers’ Class. The two-day class will meet on two Saturdays, October 1 and October 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Rev. Rob Fisher, Rector, will lead the sessions. Anyone—newcomer or longtime parishioner—interested in learning more about our Christian faith and life, the Episcopal tradition, and the ministry of St. John’s Church is encouraged to attend. For more information or to register, contact Kaye Edwards. Those who participate in this class, or have completed another inquirers’ class, may attend the Service of Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows at Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, October 15.


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 Dining Room, located on the lower level of 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. 

This tradition relies on volunteers to prepare and serve the meal. We encourage individual members, families, groups, and ministries to sign up to prepare a meal. Hosts may be reimbursed for expenses or receive a tax receipt. At this time, we are still seeking hosts for Sundays, October 9 and 23.

To sign up as a host or receive a list of guidelines, please contact Holly Sukenik.

Not sure what’s involved? RSVP for this on-the-job tutorial:

“Lab Practicum": First Lunch of the Year

October 2, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Lunch is served at 12:15 p.m., following the 11 a.m. service.

Join Holly and a team of other parishioners seeking a supervised experience in preparing and serving Parish Lunch by hosting the first lunch of the year.


The Speaker Series for the new program year will be held Sundays at 10 a.m. in the Togo West Parlor on the first floor of the Parish House. Upcoming speakers and topics include:

October 2: Andrew O'Shaughnessy (pictured), Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and a professor of history at the University of Virginia, who will speak on his book The Illimitable Freedom of the Human Mind: Thomas Jefferson’s Idea of a University.

October 9: Brent Erstad, St. John’s Director of Music and Organist, who will speak on Bach’s motet, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Sing to the Lord a New Song), BWV 225, which will be included in the 11 a.m. service that day.

October 16: Susan Behrends Frank, Curator, The Phillips Collection, who will speak on the recent exhibit of paintings from Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period.

October 30: An Afghan Family Reflects. More than a year ago, the world watched as Kabul fell to the Taliban, and many in our church asked how we could help. Since February 2022, St. John’s has partnered with two other churches to support a resettled Afghan family through the Sponsor Circle program. Join us for a conversation with the father of this family about his life in Afghanistan and the family’s experiences settling in northern Virginia. This conversation will be a personal reflection on what it was like to be evacuated from Kabul and rebuild life in the United States.

November 13: Mike Molina, Head of School at the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys in Southeast Washington, will update St. John’s on the resilience of the school during the pandemic, the school’s plans for the academic year, and highlights of the school’s impact through its first graduating class—kindergartners from the school’s inception who completed high school last spring. St. John’s plays an active role in the development of the school through financial support and the school’s annual Christmas book drive. Several St. John’s parishioners serve as BWS Board members, partners, and staff.

December 4: Jake Flack, Associate Director for Museum Education, Ford’s Theatre, will talk about the history of the theater, Lincoln’s assassination, and the theater’s current programming.


Sunday, October 2, at 2 p.m.

Humans of all ages and pets of any variety are welcome at the annual Blessing of the Animals. We will have a short worship service on the Plaza to celebrate all creatures great and small. Stuffed animals or pictures of animals are also welcome. The Blessing of the Animals is often held in early October to coincide with the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4), who is the patron saint of animals and the environment.


Wednesday, October 5, at 7 p.m.

Mark your calendars for Latrobe’s next meeting. We’ll begin with a short Eucharist in the church followed by fellowship together. The Latrobe Young Adult Fellowship at St. John’s Church 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. For more information, contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.


Thursday, October 6, at 6:45 p.m., via Zoom

The St. John’s Book Group will meet virtually on Thursday, October 6, at 6:45 p.m. to discuss Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. This fictional novel is dedicated to “the librarians then, now and in the years to come.” Three intertwined stories feature children on the cusp of adulthood in three different times and places: 15th-century Constantinople, a small town in present-day Idaho, and an interstellar spaceship decades from now. For more information, please contact Janet Edmond.


Sunday, October 9, at 11 a.m.

On Sunday, October 9, the St. John’s Choir will offer J.S. Bach’s motet Singet dem Herrn ein neues lied (Sing to the Lord a new song) as part of our 11 a.m. worship service. Among the most ambitious of Bach’s motets, Singet dem Herrn is written for double choir in three movements. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was reportedly so deeply moved upon hearing the work on a visit to Leipzig in 1789 that he requested permission to see the music and proceeded to copy out the parts to take back to Vienna. The service will be preceded by a special Speaker Series at 10 a.m. led by music director Brent Erstad and members of the St. John’s Choir.


Sunday, October 16, at noon

After 23 years on staff at St. John’s, Kaye Edwards, St. John’s beloved Assistant for Church Growth, will retire next month. But fortunately for everyone, she will remain with us as a member of the parish. No one can replace Kaye, but we are also fortunate that Lisa Koehler will be taking on many of Kaye’s duties. Please join us for a reception on Sunday, October 16, at noon to celebrate Kaye and her many years of service to St. John’s.


Wednesday, October 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. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for this special offering.


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

Sunday, November 6, 11 a.m. (Class: Saturday, November 5, 10 a.m.)

Sunday, January 8, 2023, 9 a.m. (Class: Saturday, January 7, 10 a.m.)

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 first attend an Adult Inquirers’ Class (see above) and be active, pledging participants in the life of the parish.

Prayer List

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


From our parish: Ezra Lagera George, Robert Kirchenbauer, John More, and Glenn Reichardt.

Friends and family of our parish: Sarah Baker (Pamela Venzke), Barbara Virginia Abalos Branes (Joanne Hutton), LaKeshia Bryant (GeeGee Bryant), Jackson Bryce (Livy and John More), Burleson Family (Susan Welch), Billy Beardsley Conderman (Margo Arnold), Charlotte Crowley Junilla (Margo Arnold), Harry Davis (Carl and Mary Raether), Wendy Addiss Dellar (Joanne Hutton), Sharon Diehl (Alex Stolar), Reagan Eudy (Alfred Thesmar), Pamela Evelyn (Rev. Shawn Evelyn), Janet Fischer (Ann Gardner), Linda Young Gsell (Rick Young), Jackie Hanson (Brent Erstad), Charles Jones (GeeGee Bryant), Olivia Kehoe (Kat Kehoe), Lori LaPoint (Brent Erstad), Chase Lasbury (Garrett Russo), Melanie Markiewicz and William Markiewicz (Matthew Taylor), Tammy McCleaf (Matthew Taylor), Kathryn McGraw (Mary and Carl Raether), Lynda Michaelis (Wendy Fibison), Britt Neff (Julie Neff-Lippman), Judy Nicola (Cynthia Walker), Carl Raether, Jr. (Allie Raether), Cawley Scott (Robyne Johnston), Scott (Marta Cook and Cal Trepagnier), Samuel S. Spaulding (Diane Spaulding), Lou Thesmar (Alfred and Hilary Thesmar), Carole Walker (Pamela Venzke), William Wilkie Thompson (Celia Thompson), and Marsha Walston (Robert Carroll). 


From our parish: Elizabeth Thompson.


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


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


Clayton Depue, the Rev. Shawn Evelyn, Juliet Folger, Diane Hauslein, Lydia Hornbaker, Christine Kennedy, Larry Lecompte, Jett Lyerly, Andrew McKinnon, Michael Mengel, Nicolette Neufeld, Gay Pasley, Lucy Smith, Jocelyn Tichenor, Thomas Wade, Kate Walker, Susan Welch, Gail West, and Alexander Williams. 


Christian and Liz Davis, Joe and Andree Leonelli, Michael and Nicole Neufeld, Bob and Gay Pasley, Nancy and Randall Roe, Andrew and Laurel Tierney, and Alyssa and Andrew Tomlinson.


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

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

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