WELCOME TO SAINT JOHN’S CHURCH

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.

History

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.

Mission

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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Education

During the pandemic, please check our Worship & Classes page for our current education offerings for children, youth, and families. The other offerings on this page will resume when we are able to regather in unrestricted, indoor settings.

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Baptism

Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. Each candidate for baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons (p.298, BCP). If you are interested in having a child baptized, or in baptism for yourself, please contact Kaye Edwards, Assistant for Church Growth. Please note that the parents or grandparents of children being baptized must be active, pledging members of St. John’s. Adults interested in baptism for themselves must attend the Rector’s Adult Inquirers’ Class and be active, pledging participants in the life of the parish.

Eucharist | Holy Communion

The Episcopal Church welcomes all baptized Christians to receive bread and wine in Holy Communion and classes are not required. This is reflective of the belief that our whole lives are sites where we learn to welcome this holy mystery whether or not we think we understand it.

The practice at St. John’s is that anyone who wishes to receive the bread and wine may do so, whether or not they are baptized.

One way that children begin to learn how to receive Holy Communion is through participating in an Instructed Eucharist, which is led by the clergy periodically. This allows families to understand more about each part of the Eucharist in an engaging child-friendly way. 

Confirmation

Age 14+

At Confirmation, the baptized make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to live out their Baptismal promises (BCP, 412). Confirmands go through a period of learning, prayer, and discernment leading up to the service where a bishop will lay their hands on them and confirm them. We host confirmation classes that begin in September and last through May, including a weekend retreat for the youth confirmand.

Liturgy

The work of the people.

Acolyte (Age 10+)

The word “acolyte” means “follower” or “helper.” This has been a role in Christian worship for thousands of years. At St. John’s, we invite younger children (age 10+) to be torch bearers and older teens or adults to be the crucifer. Vestments and trainings are provided by the church.

Lector | Reader (Age 11+)

Youth are welcome to go through training to become a lector, reading scripture in the Sunday service.

Usher (Age 15+)

Youth ushers help support the service logistically, welcome people to worship, and present the gifts of bread and wine to the altar.

If you or your child are interested in participating in one or more of these roles, please contact the Rev. Savannah Ponder, Associate Rector.

Children in Liturgy + Children’s Chapel

Growing in faith through worship.

Children in Liturgy

Children are welcome to participate fully in every service and remain in the nave for the entire service. We encourage families with young children to sit close to the front or on the front row of the balcony so it is easier to see. Parents are welcome to quietly explain what’s happening so that children may gain understanding in worship. We are blessed to have the opportunity to worship with children.

Liturgy Bags

Greeters will have liturgy bags for young children to use during the service. These bags will have coloring pages and quiet activities for children to work on relevant to the prayers, scriptures, and liturgical events of the day.

Children’s Chapel

During the Gospel gradual hymn at the 11:00 am service, children will be invited to process behind a cross from the pews to the parish house chapel room. During this time, they will hear a children’s sermon on the readings for the day in a developmentally-appropriate way. They will join the congregation again during The Peace.

Christmas Pageant

The feast of the Nativity of our Lord.

This event is a major highlight of the year. We come together to tell the story of the birth of our Lord through song and story telling. Teens typically take on more leadership as principal roles or narrators. Children age three and above are welcome to join the cast as angels, friendly beasts, or shepherds. All costumes are supplied by the church.

Music

Singing praises to God.

Parish Choir

High school youth are welcome to be full members of the Parish Choir. To join, a youth must have enthusiasm for choral music and meet with the Director of Music for a voice check. Required rehearsals take place on Thursdays at 7:00 pm. The Parish Choir leads music at the 9:00 am service every Sunday.

Children’s Music

Children with or without prior music experience welcome. Children will learn stories of faith through song and will grow in their sense of belonging in the family of God. Children ages three and above are welcome to join independently. Infants to age three are welcome to join with parent/guardian. There are no performance goals for this group at this time.

Newborns + Nursery

Welcoming new life.

Cradle Care Ministry

Please let us know if you have recently welcomed a child into your family. We offer prayer, support, and a Lay Eucharistic Minister to visit you if requested.

Nursery

Infants and toddlers are always welcome to remain in the nave for the entire service. Additionally, every Sunday morning, we have three outstanding, caring, trained professional nursery attendants to accompany children under age three. A pager will be provided to you in case of an emergency. In nursery, children are welcome to play, sing songs, and listen to storytelling. If you would like to have your child present for Holy Communion, you are welcome to retrieve them from the nursery.

The Nursery will be open from 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the lower level of the Parish House.

Formation Hour + Church School

Sundays at 10:00 a.m.

On Sundays, St. John’s children meet for a Formation Hour that takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. This runs concurrently with the Speaker Series so that there is an event for every age. Children ages three-grade five meet for regular church school classes during this time. They engage in contemplative reflection on liturgical actions, parables, and sacred stories through Godly Play. Godly Play is an imaginative approach to religious education, centered around creative storytelling and response.

Youth Gathering

Every Third Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

Youth in grades six through twelve are welcome to participate in the Speaker Series with adults in the parish. In addition, every third Sunday at 10:00 am, a youth class will meet for Donuts + Faith in Real Life. This is a space for prayer, growing in faith, and open and honest conversation. Once per month, a service activity will be organized for youth. Please refer to announcements for updates on these events.

Outreach

Seeking the face of Christ in neighbors near and far.

Third Saturday with Grace’s Table

Families are invited to serve a meal, pray, and fellowship at Grace’s Table on the third Saturday of the month. Grace’s Table fosters community space for persons experiencing homelessness around the Georgetown neighborhood.

Annual Sandwich-Making Day for Martha’s Table

At least once during the Formation Hour programming, children and youth learn about the work of Martha’s Table and are invited to make sandwiches for families that are experiencing food insecurity.

Inclusivity Statements

St. John’s is committed to maintaining boundaries that enable faith formation to happen in a safe and nurturing space.

Diversity

We are committed to welcoming families of all abilities, all racial/ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQ+ families, foster families, one or many parent families, families of all economic stations, and families of all ages. Children and youth whose families do not worship here are also welcome to participate in formation.

Safeguarding

We are in compliance with diocesan-wide Safeguarding standards for preventing child abuse. We ensure that there is a leader with Safeguarding Training present at all formation events with children and youth. All clergy and staff maintain up to date Safeguarding certificates. This training is provided to all volunteers, along with guidelines for appropriate affection.

Accommodations

If you and/or your children are in need of accommodations, whether it be intellectually, emotionally, physically, or otherwise, we welcome you. Please contact Savannah Ponder directly to discuss how we can provide the support you need to engage in formation ministries.

Questions? Contact the Rev. Savannah Ponder, Associate Rector.

Charters

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Speaker Series

The Speaker Series is an adult education program at St. John’s Church held on select Sundays. We hear from scholars, poets, and leaders in our world, and in the world of faith.

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Book Club

The St. John’s Book Club gathers monthly to discuss current works of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, that have ethical, humane and more often than not spiritual themes for reflection. The group is a respectful, open and welcoming forum for St. John’s readers who share a passion for reading. The monthly book selections are chosen by group members. Please join us the next discussion on the first Thursday of the month at 6:45 p.m. on Zoom.

For more information and for links to participate, contact Janet Edmond.

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Holy Habits Podcast

The Holy Habits podcast is a new Christian formation program that has had two seasons–Advent 2020 and Lent 2021. In these 30-45 minute conversations, our Associate Rector, the Rev. Savannah Ponder, interviews lay people, deacons, priests, bishops, and seminary professors to talk about various spiritual disciplines. This is an exploration into the shape of a life well-lived, that is, a life oriented to receiving the gift of belonging to God.


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