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.
Pathways Through Lent

Saturday in the First Week in Lent 2019

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:43-44)


In today’s divided world, Christ’s admonition in our reading from the Sermon on the Mount seems quite paradoxical to us. How are we supposed to love our enemies? How are we supposed to pray for them? What does loving our enemies even mean?

All three of our readings in the lectionary for today focus on following God with our whole heart—does that include loving others like God loves humanity? In his commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, R.T. France writes, “to ‘love’ (agapao) in the [New Testament] is not only a matter of emotion but also of an attitude which determines our behavior, acting for the good of others.” Loving your enemies is not thinking fondly of them or even merely being polite; it seems to be behaving in such a way that you actively seek what’s good for everyone around you.

In a sermon delivered at the 2014 Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace in Oklahoma City, former Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori said, “Enemy literally means ‘not a friend.’ Acting out of love begins to change that: it begins in our hearts in response to threat and stranger, and it moves out across families, communities, and nations.” If we act with the love of demonstrated by Christ, then perhaps we can heal the divisions in our lives and in our culture.

The readings here remind us that we best demonstrate that we are followers of Christ by seeking what is best for those around us—even those we may consider our enemies. As we seek to be reconciled to God during this season of Lent, may we be reconciled to our enemies—our not-yet-friends—through the Love of Christ.

Matthew Taylor

Appointed readings for today: Deuteronomy 26:16-19, Psalm 119:1-8, Matthew 5:43-48