Welcome to OC.net and most importantly, welcome to the Orthodox Church.
I am a former resident of DC. During my time there, I was blessed to belong to St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring, MD (UOC of USA) - http://www.standrewuoc.org/
. An excellent and active parish with great clergy and very nice parishioners. Everyone was getting along well regardless of nationality, etc. One of the most excited things in Orthodox parishes in DC - togetherness and cooperation of various parishes of different jurisdictions. Another strong point - many new parishes opened up and strengthened in DC, Virginian and Maryland in last (20) years or so. Please check this site out: http://www.oevents.com/
Fortunately, I visited all Orthodox parishes in DC, and many of those in surrounding areas of VA and MD. Impressions are very good about all of those
on all counts. Very welcoming. And yes, my list
includes all communites of DC mentioned in this list so far.
(2) others, where I frequented:
St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church, Falls Church, VA (GOA) - http://www.saint-katherines.org/index.asp
St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, Washington, DC, (OCA) - http://www.stnicholasdc.org/
My experience concentrates on English services and Georgian akathistos hymns at the latter one.
Having said that, I would like to add my signature to the advice of FatherHLL, Username!, Ialmisry and Second Chance. Look for a canonical parish, which will look optimal for you.
Another advantage of DC parishes - services start at different times at different churches. So if you have possibility of commitments during the week end (family, work schedule, school, etc.), you have a range of options with Divine Liturgies with starting times from 7:45 to 11:00 AM at diverse locations.
I don't see one as being "better" than the other; just different. I see it as different dimensions of the same diamond that is Orthodoxy.
Lets no forget my parish, Holy Apostles in Beltsville. All English, convert Priest, Rocor. We were just given a new Church building that is being restored ( built in 1880). Lots of students and grad students, a few cradle Orthodox but mostly all converts.
I am very glad to learn good news about a new building. Marc1152, congratulations!!!
It looks beautiful on a picture - http://www.holyapostlesorthodoxchurch.org/
. Please give my congratulations and best regards to Fr. George and Presbytera. They belong to a heroic category of people, capable to start a new parish from a scratch.
Another nice mission, which also started from a scratch by another wonderful couple, Fr. Gregory and Presbytera Chloe Czumak, very recently also found a new home. Four Evangelists Orthodox Church, Bel Air, MD (UOC of USA) - http://www.4evangelists.org/
. All service take place in English language. A very nice crowd as well. On coming Sunday, 06/28/2009, His Eminence Archbishop Antony will visit the parish. He is an excellent Hierarch, very mission-oriented. I would recommend you to visit the Hierarchial Liturgy. You can also approach and speak to His Eminence after the service.