Welcome to St. John's Church, Lafayette Square—a vibrant historic Episcopal church located across from the White House. We invite you to join with us for worship, Christian fellowship and outreach.


From our organization as a parish in 1815 to today, St. John's Church has provided a powerful symbol of faith in the heart of our nation's capital.


At St. John's, we believe Christ is calling us to be a renewed church in a changing world. In worship, education, parish life, and social action, we seek to expand our horizons by serving God by loving one another.

Clergy, Staff, & Vestry

Meet St. John’s diverse and engaging clergy, vestry and staff.

Directions & Parking

Located at the corner of 16th and H Streets in Northwest Washington, St. John's is near the McPherson Square and Farragut North Metro stations. Limited street parking is available; free valet parking is offered for certain hours.
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At the February 3 Annual Meeting of St. John’s Parish, the following candidates are standing for election to the Vestry. Richard Metzger is standing for Senior Warden, Paul Barkett for Junior Warden, and the remaining are standing for election to be members of the Vestry, with three seats available.

Richard Metzger, Senior Warden

Richard Metzger has been a member of St. John’s Church for more than 25 years.  He currently serves as the Senior Warden and is a member of the Properties Committee. He previously was the Chair of the Investment Committee, which assists the Vestry in supervising the management of the church’s endowment.  Richard also serves as an Assistant Head Usher at the 7:45 and 9:00 a.m. services.  He was a member of the Vestry between 2006 and 2010.

Richard is a member of the law firm Lawler, Metzger, Keeney & Logan, LLC, which specializes in advising and representing clients regarding matters pending before the Federal Communications Commission.  Richard is a graduate of Williams College and Georgetown University Law Center.  

Paul Barkett, Junior Warden

A member of St. John’s church since 1984, Paul previously served on the Vestry from 2005 to 2007 and as warden from 2007 to 2012.  Over the years, Paul has served as a crucifer, lay reader, chalice bearer, Lay Eucharistic Minister and as a member of the Church Growth Committee, the Flower Committee and the Music Advisory Committee.  Paul is a past chair of the Flower Committee, and most recently a co-chair of the Bicentennial Planning Committee.   Paul currently serves as treasurer of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

Paul earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The George Washington University and is employed as the Director of Administration at Christ Church, Georgetown Parish.

Desirée Davis Stolar

Desirée Davis Stolar has attended services at St. John’s with her husband Alex since 2015. She sought a church home with a welcoming, service-minded community and timeless sermons. After years in Boston, Tampa, and Los Angeles, Desirée and Alex saw their future in Arlington, and at St. John’s. The Rev. Luis León baptized their son William in 2017. Desirée is an usher and a greeter for the 9:00 a.m. service and will co-host the annual Parish Reception in February.  

Desirée spent several years as a brand strategy consultant to media, tech, and nonprofit organizations. She is currently the director of alumni engagement and gala initiatives at Management Leadership for Tomorrow, which is a national nonprofit devoted to career acceleration from college to executive levels. She is also the CEO of a Shark Tank-winning household good distributed in the U.S. and abroad. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Business School, serving both schools’ recruitment and alumni initiatives.

Lauren Edwards 

Lauren Edwards has been a member of St. John’s since 1996. An active duty Marine lieutenant colonel, she has served in Okinawa, Iraq, Afghanistan, and across the continental United States. She has had the honor of commanding Marines at every rank to include as the first female commander of a Marine Engineer Support Battalion. At St John’s, Lauren serves as a lay reader and chalice bearer. She was a member of the 2005, 2008, and 2015 South Africa pilgrimages and remains an avid Kwasa Centre donor. She previously served on the Vestry from 2005-2007. Lauren is very grateful to St. John’s for its steady presence in her life, and Vestry service would help her pay that back.    

Lauren earned her Bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University and her Master’s degrees from Marshall University, Naval War College, and National War College. She is currently stationed at the Pentagon for a three-four year assignment.    

John Herzog

John Herzog has been an active member of St. John’s since 2006, serving as an usher, church school teacher, Sandwich Sunday coordinator and member of the Investment Committee which assists the Vestry in supervising the management of the church’s endowment. John and his wife, Laura, who were married at St. John’s in 2009, traveled with St. John’s to South Africa in 2008 and the Holy Land in 2010. John credits those trips with deepening his faith and expanding his church family. 

A Mississippi native, John moved to Washington in 2004. After 5 years serving in the U.S. Senate and White House, he moved to the private sector. He currently serves as Vice President of Government Affairs and Political Strategy at Kimbell & Associates. 

John and Laura and their two children, Jack (6) and Lucy (4), live in Wesley Heights. John is active in the community, volunteering with several organizations and coaching youth sports. 

Nora Rigby

Nora Rigby is a lifelong Episcopalian and has been attending St. John’s regularly since around 2006. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Nora graduated from Tulane University and Vanderbilt University Law School.  She and her husband Hap have lived in DC since 2004 when they moved to Washington with the plan to stay for “a couple of years.” Nora and Hap attend the 11:00 a.m. service and live in Northwest DC with their two children, Powe (age 10) and Lizzie (age 7), who were both baptized at St. John’s.   

At St. John’s, Nora has been a member of the Usher Guild for many years and is currently serving as an Assistant Head Usher. She has also taught church school class for several years to preschoolers (Godly Play) and is currently teaching the teen Confirmation Class for the first time. In her professional life, Nora was a litigator at two D.C. law firms before retiring from litigation and taking up regulatory law at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau six years ago where she is now Senior Counsel. Nora has also served as both President and Vice President of her children’s public school PTA. In her (dwindling) free time, Nora enjoys seeing rock concerts, stand-up comedy, reading contemporary fiction, running, and playing tennis.

Chase Rynd

Chase Rynd has been a member of St. John’s Church for over 15 years. He served as Chair of the Design Committee for the renovation of the Church, as Co-Chair of the Parish House Renovation Committee and has previously served on St John’s vestry. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Chase’s career has included leadership roles in a number of museums around the country. He has been the Executive Director of the National Building Museum since 2003 and serves on a number of civic and cultural organization boards.

Leila Taaffe

Leila has been a member of St. John’s since she and her husband, Art Kellermann, moved to Washington in 2010. Born and raised a Roman Catholic, she joined the Episcopal Church 36 years ago. She and Art have one adult son. Leila loves the preaching, the music, and the Forum at St. John’s.

Since joining St. John’s, Leila has been active in the parish. She founded the St. John’s Book Group and has been involved in the Refugee Committee since its inception. In 2016, she organized a church workshop entitled, Being Mortal—A Deeper Exploration of End of Life. She is committed to building connections within the church and with the wider metropolitan community. 

Leila practiced law for 29 years, primarily as an employment attorney for local governments. She directed the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution for 6 years. In retirement, she teaches ESL to adult immigrants and refugees.  


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