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.
2020 Update.jpg

April 6, 2023, Maundy Thursday

Last year, between the two Maundy Thursday services at St. John’s, I took the metro over to Christ Church, Capitol Hill. I met my wife, son, and father inside on a drizzly afternoon. We were there for a Family Maundy Thursday service. The space and people gathered were new to me. I had met the clergy before, but didn’t really know what to expect. What unfolded over the next 40 or so minutes, though, opened my heart.

We listened to the story from John’s gospel about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Then kids and caregivers were invited to wash one another’s feet. Parents washed the feet of their children. Children washed their parents’ and siblings’ feet. Some people were nervous, while others were eager. Water was spilled. We laughed. It was holy.

Then we gathered around a small altar to share in the Eucharist and remember Jesus’ last meal with his friends. It was intimate and poignant. Finally, after we closed with prayers and a blessing, children were invited to help clear the altar. In my head, I immediately thought, “This could go poorly,” knowing my very wobbly 15-month-old should not go anywhere near the candles. My hesitation eased as I saw kids come forward quietly to carry out items one by one. They took on their roles with reverence and responsibility. We ended with an empty table, and I left with my heart filled, ready to face Good Friday.

This was the inspiration for our first Family Maundy Thursday service at St. John’s. It will take place tonight at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary. While it is geared toward children and families, all are welcome. We will hear a story, wash one another’s feet, share Communion, and strip the altar. Will it go smoothly? Maybe. Will it be messy? Probably, a little. Will God be praised? Most certainly.

However you observe this day, remember Jesus’ “mandatum” or mandate, which is at the core of our observance: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” [John 13:34]

The Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell, Associate for Children & Family Ministries

Links to the appointed readings and prayer for today:



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