Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thoughts from Bishop Jake

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I'm writing you from the Roslyn Conference Center in Richmond, Virginia. This note will be brief to honor my commitment to participate fully in this installment of the New Bishops' School offered by the College for Bishops.

All bishops elected in 2012 form a class. We will gather for sessions over the next three years dedicated to helping us with the steep learning curve of being a bishop. Just as importantly, the program helps us form a spiritual, mutually supportive community.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Souper Bowl of Caring

On Sunday February 3rd, 2013 140 million Americans will tune in to the Super Bowl football game.  There will be parties with abundant food, friendship and fellowship. At the same time, there will be people worrying about staying warm, finding shelter and a warm meal.  Please join St. Alban's youth and young people around the country as they demonstrate God’s love by loving their neighbors through the Souper Bowl of Caring.  It’s a simple, yet significant act of caring for others.  Drop $1 (or more) in the soup pot as you leave church this Sunday! Our young people will be in the narthex will big soup pots following the Eucharist to accept your donations.

All the moneys collected will be given to the Refuge of Hope and be reported to the national Souper Bowl of Caring website to be included in the 2013 total. For more information on the Souper Bowl, visit the website at

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kneeling Needlers

Hope Young of The News Star has a wonderful article about St. Alban's Kneeling Needlers and their blanket project in the Saturday, January 26 edition. The article is in the Faith and Values Section (Section D, page 1 and 2).

An online version of the article is available here and includes a great video. Congrats to our wonderful Needlers! But then, we already knew they were great.

The photo above is by Margaret Croft of The News-Star and is available for purchase at the link above.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thoughts from Bishop Jake

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Democracy is at once a gift and an achievement. Our forebears have given us the gift of freedom and equality, but in each generation we are charged with maintaining and perfecting that gift.

When we govern ourselves, we do so by giving voice to a wide array of perspectives and interests. We speak our minds, whether we are well-informed or ill-informed. We speak our hearts, whether those hearts beat with hope or fear, love or hatred.

This messy process culminates in a vote, and we agree to adhere to the will of the majority. No majority vote is a final decree about an eternally valid way of doing things. Instead, it is a temporary agreement to commit to a certain set of strategies for navigating the challenges of our common life. Democracy is a trial and error process.

Louise Altick

Louise Altick died late last night, Wednesday, January 23. 

Visitation will be held at Kilpatrick Funeral Home (Lamy Lane) from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 25. 

The funeral will be held at Grace Church at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, with The Very Rev'd T. Whitfield Stodghill, III officiating.  Archdeacon Bette Jo Kauffman, Ph.D. and The Rev'd Canon William R. Bryant will assist.

Interment will follow at Mulhearn Memorial Park with a reception afterward at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. 

Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither signing, but life everlasting.

Monday, January 21, 2013

No Women's Study Group - January 23

Grace H. will be away at the funeral of her sister-in-law, Mary, this Wednesday, January 23. So, we will not have our Women's Study Group this Wednesday.

 It will resume on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. in the conference room at St. Alban’s.

To keep the study from getting too far behind, Grace requests that members try to read the second chapter as well, so the group can start on that if time allows. Grace says, "I don’t want to rush through any of our discussion but will try very diligently to keep us moving forward."

Please make a note of this change on your calendar...

Being Different...

So what if you are different? Being different means that you are being the most like who you really are and the most like God created you to be!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Womens Study Group - New Time!

The St. Alban's Womens Study Group (for more info click here) will now meet each Wednesday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. This will make it easier for the group to attend the 5:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist and Unction.

The Group is reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. For more info, contact the office or Grace H.

Image from

Thoughts from Bishop Jake

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

At one time or another we have said, or at least have heard it said, "I am a creature of habit."

When we take the habitual route to work instead of heading for the grocery store as we intended, we may be admitting that we are distracted or absorbed in our own thoughts.

If we have trouble acquiring a new way of accomplishing old tasks or find ourselves resisting an innovation, we say it to admit that we have trouble adjusting to change.

We frequently speak of our eating habits, our exercise habits, or our television habits as something we want to change, since the habits we have accumulated are diminishing our sense of vitality.

Given our usage of the word "habit" you might think that habits are bad. While some habits do in fact decrease our enjoyment of life, habits themselves are not bad. Habits are an essential element of happiness. We are indeed creatures of habit, precisely because God created us this way. God created us to accumulate the habits that draw us close to him and close to one another.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Annual Meeting Reminder!

St. Alban’s Annual Meeting, Sunday, January 20, 2013 following the 10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist. Join us as we elect new Vestry Members, Convention Delegates and approve the 2013 Budget. A Parish Potluck luncheon after meeting. John will provide the BBQ and we will bring the rest. 

Make plans to attend!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

E.Y.C. Hoop Fun

The E.Y.C. - Episcopal Youth Community - had a great game day today at Grace Episcopal School's Gym. We played basket ball and had a great lesson on getting along with one another by Ms. Dee. Daniel brought delicious cake and and drinks for everyone.

Will and Halley's teams battled to 6-6 tie in our half-court b-ball game - at least according to Fr. Whit's count...No cheating was allowed.

Photo by Ms. Dee...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Bishop's Ball

As I post this, the Bishop's Ball is under way at St. Timothy's in Alexandria. Bishop Jake and Joy throw a mean party - great food, music and people! Photo by Whit+

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bishop Justin Welby Becomes Archbishop of Canterbury-Elect

On Thursday, January 10, 2013 the Rt. Rev'd Justin Welby became the Archbishop of  Canterbury-Elect. The full story from the Episcopal News Service is here.

Bishop Welby will not be seated at Canterbury Cathedral until March 21, 2013. Until that time, we will include him in our prayers as the Archbishop-Elect.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thoughts from Bishop Jake

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

How can I help? We have had more occasion to ask that question recently than we would wish. 
As last year was winding down, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the northeast, especially parts of New Jersey and New York. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School happened as we were preparing to celebrate Christmas.

There are many worthy ways to provide aid and comfort. Among them is Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD). Nearly 90% of each donation goes directly to the intended recipients. Costs for administration and for fund raising take up the rest. This is a remarkable ratio in the world of charitable giving.

You may certainly give to ERD as individuals, but let me suggest that you help lead your congregation to become a contributor to ERD. Whether you do this as need arises or you sustain the ongoing work of ERD in our nation and around the world, giving to ERD is a highly effective way to put the Gospel into action.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Go See This Movie!

Les Miserables, a book by Victor Hugo, has long been a successful stage musical. The musical has now been made into a motion picture starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and and Anne Hathaway. It is now playing.

Hugo says of his work, "The book which the reader has before him at this moment is, from one end to the other, in its entirety and details ... a progress from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsehood to truth, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from corruption to life; from bestiality to duty, from hell to heaven, from nothingness to God. The starting point: matter, destination: the soul.  The hydra at the beginning, the angel at the end."

It a movie that has much to say about our faith as Christians and how we should live that faith. After you've seen it, let me know what you think.

Note: The film is rated PG-13 and does have adult themes.

Thoughts from Bishop Jake

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Happy New Year!

Some of us have made resolutions for the coming year, many of which aim at self-improvement. We intend to eat less and to exercise more. Replace watching TV with reading. Learn a foreign language or be more patient.

We all need to make life-adjustments from time to time, and resolutions can play a worthy role in that process. But I find that resolutions often focus merely on the periphery of our lives. They rarely dig into the deep core of our values.

Before we get too far along in this year, let's take a little time to reflect on what we make the center of our universe. Think about these questions, or something like them:

What am I really about in this life? On what do I depend for my sense of significance? Where do I seek security?

Now, let's remember what Jesus taught us:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

St. Alban's Women's Study Group

Looking for some fellowship and study in the new year? A new Women's Study Group will begin on Wednesday, January 16, 2013. 

The group will gather in the Conference Room and meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m. each Wednesday. Grace H. will lead the women as they study Joanna Weaver's book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World and the course will last 12 weeks. 

For more information contact Grace H. or the church office.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Archbishop Rowan Williams' Final New Year Message

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams pays tribute to the silent and often invisible church volunteers who make a difference to other peoples' lives. In his final final New Year message before stepping down he says religion should not be seen as an "old-fashioned embarrassment" but instead a "wellspring of energy."

The 62-year-old Williams has now officially departed as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury or leader of the Church of England and spiritual head of the 77-million-strong Anglican Communion world-wide. Williams left on December 31, 2012 following a 10-year tenure.

He will go on to take up the posts of master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and chairman of the board of trustees of Christian Aid, the international development agency.

Williams will be replaced by 56-year-old former oil executive the Rt Rev Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, who will be consecrated in March at Canterbury Cathedral as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

St. Alban's Annual Meeting

St. Alban’s Annual Meeting
Sunday, January 20, 2013
following the 10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist.
Join us as we elect new Vestry Members,
Convention Delegates and approve our Budget.
There is a Parish Potluck luncheon after meeting.
John will provide the BBQ and
we will bring the rest.
Make plans to attend!