In the news
- Restraining Order Allows Work to Resume at St. Thomas Church Development in Dupont Circle
- DCCA doesn’t speak for Dupont
- Stop-work order under review for Dupont Circle project in the wake of court ruling
- St. Thomas’ Parish breaks ground for new building
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the project.
Why are building
St. Thomas’ Episcopal Parish is a community of 120 members living mostly in and around Dupont Circle proper, but drawing also from the surrounding DC Metro Area. Throughout its history St. Thomas’ has sought to serve the DuPont Circle neighborhood—it is a “parish” with a strong sense of geographical location and commitment.
- We are building a new structure for worship, learning, community engagement, and the arts.
- More importantly we’re building the foundation for our future, based on a vision of a sustainable congregation living out our calling to serve with hospitality and compassion the neighborhood around us.
- Originally an upper class “church of presidents,” the first home of St. Thomas’ Parish was an English Gothic treasure facing 18th Street. Even that community began to reflect the shifting demographics of Dupont Circle in the 1960s and 1970
s by embracing peace and justice advocates opposing racism, poverty, and war.
- Then after our first home was totally destroyed by fire, St. Thomas’ took up ‘temporary quarters’ in our second home: the 1920s service building that had been constructed to provide offices and support facilities for the original church. In the 1980s and 1990s, as DuPont Circle became a center of the LGBT community in Washington, the parish came to reflect that community, too, as we even more intentionally embraced all persons as equal members of our community.
- Now we are hard at work to make possible the third home for St. Thomas’ Parish. Currently as both young adults with children and empty-nester boomers are moving back into DuPont Circle in significant numbers, our congregation has more and more infants and children, as well as seniors joining our parish family. We always have been, and always will be, a reflection of our neighborhood and its people. It is time for us to build a new structure from the ground up that can serve the changing world around us.
Throughout all the changes in our physical plant and neighborhood demographics, our mission has remained constant: To be the face of Christ’s all-embracing love, acceptance, and compassion, centered on our worship life. We seek to be a place for all to meet Christ and then to be equipped to go out and be the face of Christ for others.
To be a church for us means also to be stewards of a facility that is available and accessible to all who need places to gather, teach, learn, celebrate, and mourn. That is why the community of St. Thomas’ is re-establishing the prominent 18th Street visibility enjoyed by the parish for over three quarters of a century. Reclaiming our historic site will make it possible for us to reach out more effectively into the community to be a visible, active, life-giving, and healing presence for our neighborhood and city.
We are excited to have this once-in-a lifetime opportunity to expand our capacity to host the life of our neighborhood—the lectures, exhibits, concerts, weddings, receptions, and funerals that weave together the fabric of the community we share. And we anticipate with great joy the prospect of expanding and deepening the relationship we have with groups such as AXIOS, GAMMA, OA, AA, and other twelve-step programs.
St. Thomas’ invites you to explore with us these and other possible ways that our new parish home can serve the common-good, not just our parish-life. These are for us two sides of the same coin, two ways of bringing to expression what our mission will look like for the next generation, not just our own. We’ve been responsible property owners and constructive citizens here since the 19th century, then through the 20th, and now well into the 21st. Rooted in the history of Dupont Circle, we are committed to and confident about its future, and we hope you will join with us to be part of the process of living into that future together.
Use the button below to donate to our capital campaign.