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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God is a Surprise

by Laura Herzog
The Second Tuesday of Lent
[James De Koven, Priest, 1879] Jeremiah 2:1-13 Psalms 61, 62, 68 Romans 1:16-25 John 4: 43-54
Growing up, one of our favorite Sunday school songs was “God is a Surprise.” The irreverent lyrics describe the Lord working in mysterious ways and through unlikely heroes, from Moses’ burning bush to Peter and the “straggly little band” of disciples. The chorus is:
Well, surprise, surprise, God is a surprise,
Right before your eyes.
It’s baffling to the wise.
Surprise, surprise God is a surprise,
Open up your eyes and see.
My husband, John, and I went with other St. John’s pilgrims to the Holy Land in October. As we made our way through the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem’s Old City, we passed a shop called Alabama: Heart of Dixie. (According to a Birmingham News article, the owner lived in Alabama for 10 years and felt homesick when he returned to Jerusalem. When given the family business to run, he named it Heart of Dixie to keep Alabama on his mind.)

Night in the Streets of Jerusalem (Photo by Mike Angell)
Needless to say, we were surprised by this nod to Southern culture. It was particularly meaningful because my late brother, Trey, was a huge Bama fan. I expected to be reminded of Trey in the Holy Land. (As C. S. Lewis wrote of his late wife in A Grief Observed, “Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”) But I did not expect it to be relevant to Alabama!
This reminds me that we can see God’s hand in surprising places and people. We must only open up our eyes and see.


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