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U Street Corridor


the Rev. Dr. Marcia Co

Congregation Size

189 families

Service Length

90 minutes

Sample Worshipper Dress

festive red-and-white snowflake sweater, gray slacks

String Quintets



Congregational Fervor

As stated in the service program, “[i]t is the purpose of Augustana Lutheran Church to engage as many persons as will share its confession of faith in a fellowship of worship.” The church subscribes to “Reconciling in Christ,” a national ministry welcoming gay and lesbian worshippers. The services are well-attended by people reflecting all facets of the neighborhood, very few of whom are shy about singing such hymns as “Fling Wide the Door.”

Food for the Soul

Throughout a recent service, a string quintet hired for the advent season performed selections from Handel’s Messiah, along with the regular choir. During her sermon, Cox sought to explore the idea of “wilderness” in the service’s first scripture reading (Isaiah 40:1-11). “Our antenna should go up at such a powerful concept. There, nothing comes between you and God.”

Food for the Body

A recent post-service spread included a variety of Entenmann’s cakes but, according to several attendees, was less ambitious than the typical brunch. “This is fine, but usually people make something at home,” one said.


Overall Worship Power Rating

At the close of the service, many Augustana worshippers make a point of introducing themselves to visitors. According to longtime congregation member Louise Anderson, the welcoming spirit is nothing new. “It’s a friendly church now,” she says. “I wanted you to know it’s been a friendly church since I started attending back in 1941.”


—Aaron Leitko