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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Ash Wednesday- Sitting in the Last Pew

Psalm 103; Joel 2:1–2, 12–17;
2 Corinthians 5:20b–6:10; Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21
“We’re going to sit in the last pew because that way we don’t have to stay if
we don’t want to,” my mother whispered as we slipped in before the service
It was a simple comment in 1970. But on the Sundays thereafter, as we always
slipped into the back pew, I pondered it—and came to realize how true it was.
Sitting in the back of the church approximated our true level of commitment.
We were nice people and attended regularly, but we slipped in on Sunday
mornings and slipped right out again. We gratefully partook of the worship
community without ever giving back.
Sitting farther forward in the nave would have translated to entanglement, to
committees, to commitments . . . and who knows what else? So we never did.
The Spirit moved us in recent years, though. My elderly mother—who sat us
in the back those many years—recently told me that she had been elected as
a church deacon. Even in light of her stroke a few years ago, she was willing
to serve. “You can’t sit there in the last pew all of your life,” she whispered
without a trace of irony. “You have to do something.”
So we do. May this Lent be your opportunity to move forward, both with
God—and in His church.

–Sandra Hackworth

Last Pew


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