WELCOME TO SAINT JOHN’S CHURCH

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.

History

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.

Mission

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

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.

Thursday in the Second Week of Lent

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.

They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.

It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green;

in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.

Jeremiah may have been the first to quote the wisdom found in Psalm 1, but he was certainly not the last. “Like a tree standing by the water, we shall not be moved” has lived in Spirituals and American folk singing for a long time. The lyrics likely stretch back to the slave era. Over the years, the song has been used for labor and civil rights movements as well as numerous sit-in protests as a show of resistance.

Also typical of many traditional folk songs, the lyrics for “We shall not be moved” have evolved through time to apply to the various causes about which the song has been sung. Because of the song’s structure, only one line in each verse needed to be refashioned to be appropriate for the new context. Maya Angelou titled a book of her poetry “I Shall Not Be Moved.” The title is a tribute to the defiant American folk song and the movements it has inspired and accompanied.

Some of the third lines that have been appropriated for different movements and contexts are:

  • The union is behind us…we shall not be moved.
  • We’re fighting for our freedom…
  • We’re fighting for our children…
  • We’re building a mighty union…
  • Black and white together…
  • Young and old together…
  • When my burden’s heavy…I shall not be moved.
  • The church of God is marching…
  • Don’t let the world deceive you…
  • If my friends forsake me…I….

In Jesus’ parable, Abraham says to the rich man, “Remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony….If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” Like trees planted by the water, we stand unmoved in our commitment to all who are marginal, all who are overlooked, all who need us as allies.

Jack Reiffer

Links to the appointed readings for today:

Jeremiah 17:5–10

Psalm 1

Luke 16:19–31


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