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

Most of us have come to associate Lenten disciplines with ash-smeared faces; straining to give up cocktails, caffeine, candy, or calories; boycotting meat at meals; or rising an hour earlier for prayer. One of the consequences is that we often reach the end of Lent like runners gasping across the finish line, exhausted by the effort and exhilarated at having mastered the challenge. But rarely are such practices life-changing. Our ancestors wondered why God seemed to take no notice of our efforts. Perhaps these are related: God, who knows all things, knows when we amend our lives, and when we do not.
Followers of John the Baptist came to Jesus to ask why his disciples did not fast, and Jesus explained to them the futility of putting new wine, still fermenting and aging, into brittle, old wineskins that could not expand to contain it. New wine needs new wineskins.
Luke tells us that when Jesus called Levi, the tax collector, to follow him, Levi threw a party! While others paraded around in sackcloth and ashes, bemoaning their sins, Jesus sat at table with tax collectors, enjoying the food, drink, and laughter. When the scribes and the Pharisees complained, Jesus very matter-of-factly explained the obvious: I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.
The observance of a holy Lent is intended to rescue us from individualistic piety, from sentimentality, and from the futility of attempting to save ourselves. During this season of the year, we stand in solidarity with those who will be admitted to the Body of Christ at the Great Vigil of Easter, and with penitents who are being restored to the community of faith.
Lent calls us to prepare for the great party that awaits us in Paradise, by renewing our ties with the community of the faithful and with the communion of saints, and by deepening our relationship with the incarnate God we meet in our companionship with others.

                                                                                                                                                                             Carol Cole Flanagan

Appointed readings for today: Isaiah 58:1-12, Psalm 103, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21


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