Category Archives: Articles

Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre Update

On Sunday, April 23. 2017. St. Mary’s was delighted to welcome Ibrahim Faltas, Executive Director for the Jerusalem Princess Basma Centre for Disabled Children to speak at its Adult Forum. Centre for Children with Disabilities, is a charitable, non-governmental, non-profit institution entrusted under the Anglican Episcopal church. The Centre provides services for children with disabilities in Palestine.

Click here to download a slide handouts from the presentation.

2017 Palm Sunday Reflection by Paul Douthit

La Iglesia Episcopal de Santa Maria Palm Sunday Reflection
Nine parishioners from St. Mary’s Arlington worshipped with our neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ at Santa Maria Episcopal Church in Falls Church. It is a mission church; the service is in Spanish, and the congregation is predominately from the large Bolivian diaspora in the Northern Virginia area. It was a delightful experience for all of us at many different levels, from witnessing a very different worship tradition from St. Mary’s to the fellowship afterward and meeting leaders of the church. We already plan to meet for a dinner on April 26 and have parishioners from Santa Maria join us for Sunday worship.
Here is my reflection on the experience. I did not look like I belonged compared to the hundreds gathered that day. I dressed differently and my skin is paler. The people of Santa Maria graciously and genuinely welcomed me as a visitor. The entire service is in Spanish and I don’t know Spanish. It followed the Book of Common Prayer so I knew the order of the service, the prayers being said, the celebration of the Eucharist, and when to pass the Peace.
The cultural identity of the congregation is expressed in the music, prayer, and other traditions that bind the people and the faith together. An acoustic guitarist and conga drummer lead the singing. The songs are more like ballads and folk songs than hymns. It accomplishes the same – to praise God and give Him glory. During the Lord’s Prayer, which is mixed with a song of thanksgiving to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence (maybe they borrowed the tune), everyone stands, holds their neighbors hand or touches a shoulder so everyone is physically connected, as the one Body of Christ, and sings together. At the end before the final blessing, Fr Roberto calls for anyone celebrating a birthday to come forward and receive a special blessing.
It is a large, growing and vibrant church. As I have discovered, the two St Mary’s have a history together but on a smaller and more formal arrangement. As far as I know, this is the first time this many from St Mary’s have actually visited and worshiped at Santa Maria. How appropriate on Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, when we prepare for the Resurrection and enter into new covenant with God. 
Something good is happening. We don’t know what exactly. That is the mystery. The Holy Spirit is leading us and so far we are going where we are led. First He lead us to worship together. Second He is leading us to join together in a fellowship dinner on Wednesday, April 26, and third to discuss together how to strengthen the relationship between us and the greater community within which both exist through continued worshipping together and discussions.

Sunday Reflection by Linda Kunder

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas just like the ones I used to know.” So the song goes.

Too often at this time of year, we engage in a kind of nostalgia for the way things used to be or should be. And so we set impossible expectations and grow anxious and stressed in reaching for perfection. We are often disappointed with results: the decorations are not perfect, the meal disappointing. If we focus on what is missing or wrong, we are sure to be disappointed.

As Fr. Malone described in today’s sermon on the scripture readings, Joseph has to make a decision about how to handle a painful, complex situation. According to the law and the culture, he has the choice of denouncing Mary either publically or privately. He sees only the two alternatives. Then the angel appears to him and tells him to “fear not to take Mary thy wife.” And Joseph is responsive to the angel’s message.

In his book Crazy Christians, Michael Curry writes: “If we live only in the context of the way things are, we are condemned to live according to the vagaries of the present time and the dictates of the status quo. But if we live in the context of that which is greater than ourselves, we become open to the possibility of action and transformation.”

This season is a time to reflect upon and give great thanks for what we have been given through Christ’s birth. It is a time to let go of our unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others and to grasp the possibilities that can be. I pray for us to rejoice in our many blessings and possibilities, not just at Christmas but throughout our lives.

How might you begin to explore new possibilities in your life?

Media Release: St. Mary’s Parishioner Honored with 2016 Faith & Forum Award

Contact: Diane Kopasz, Minister of Communication, 703-527-6800

Download or Print Release; High Res Photos:


ARLINGTON, VA — St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is pleased to announce that long-time parishioner Margaret (Peggy) Adams Parker has been selected for an Honor Award by Faith & Form, the journal of the Interfaith Forum for Religion, Art, and Architecture for her bronze sculpture Mary as Prophet – He has filled the hungry with good things.

Commissioned by Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), Mary as Prophet offers a radically new interpretation of the Visitation. The sculpture depicts Mary tense with prophecy, her focus turned inward. Elizabeth moves toward her, bending and reaching forward to support her. Shown as African women, Mary and Elizabeth embody the Seminary’s ties with churches in Africa and reflect the composition of the Anglican Communion. And this depiction of Mary and Elizabeth as ordinary (rather than idealized) women, reminds viewers of the church’s call to “lift up the lowly.”

“St. Mary’s is delighted that Peggy has been recognized for her work, which echoes the Church’s prophetic mission to fill the hungry with good things,” says the Reverend Andrew T.P. Merrow, Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.  “We are thankful for VTS’ commitment to commission such public works of art that have the unique ability to move, impassion, and uplift.”

The sculpture sits on a terrace against the walls of VTS’ 1881 chapel (preserved as a sanctified space after a 2010 fire) and within view of the 2015 chapel.  The figures are a significant presence on the VTS campus, an axis linking old and new:  old chapel and new; old age and youth; Hebrew Scripture and Christian New Testament.  Their prominent location underscores one of Dean Ian Markham’s goals for the commission: to honor the significance of women’s ministries in the church.

Parker’s work, which often deals with religious and social justice themes, is in the collection at U.S. Library of Congress and featured at Washington National Cathedral’s Cathedral College, Duke Divinity School and at churches across the country, including St. Mary’s.  Parker has taught as VTS adjunct faculty since 1991.  To learn more about Parker and for additional photos visit

Parker will be presented her Honor Award at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Institute of Architects in Orlando, FL, on April 27.

About St. Mary’s
Founded in 1926, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church’s mission is to worship Christ, love our neighbors and serve the poor in our midst. Led by the Reverend Andrew T. P. Merrow, who serves as St. Mary’s Rector, the church has grown to include more than 600 households. For the past 30 years, the church has faithfully committed 25 percent of its annual operating budget to support outreach agencies in Arlington and abroad. In response to God’s unconditional love for all people made known to us in Jesus Christ, St. Mary’s is committed to be a welcoming and affirming community. To learn more about St. Mary’s ministries, visit

About the Annual Religious Art and Architecture Design Awards
The Awards program is co-sponsored by Faith & Form Magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA), a knowledge community of the American Institute of Architects. The awards program was founded in 1978 with the goal of honoring the best in architecture, liturgical design and art for religious spaces. The program offers five primary categories for awards: Religious Architecture, Liturgical/Interior Design, Sacred Landscape, Religious Arts, and Unbuilt Work. Read more at


2016 Christmas at St. Mary’s

Did You Know…

Christmas is actually a season that lasts until the Epiphany, January 6th. Remember the song, The 12 Days of Christmas?

While not every day of the 12 has a major feast associated with it, there are several days you can and are welcome to celebrate Christmas at a worship service at St. Mary’s.

Mon., Dec 26: St. Stephen, Deacon, and Martyr

  • 10:30 am – 11:00 am Holy Eucharist

Tues., Dec 27: St. John, Apostle & Evangelist

  • 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm Holy Eucharist

Wed., Dec 28: The Holy Innocents

  • 6:30 am – 7:00 am: Holy Eucharist

Sun., Jan 1: Holy Name Day

  • 10:30 am – 11:30 am: Holy Eucharist

Tues., Jan 3

  • 12:00 pm – 12:15 pm: Noonday Prayer

Wed., Jan 4

  • 6:30 am – 7:00 am: Holy Eucharist

Thurs., Jan 5

  • 11:00 am – 11:45 am: Healing & Holy Eucharist

Fri., Jan 6: The Epiphany

The Epiphany follows the Twelve Days. It is the feast that commemorates the coming of the Wise Men to Jesus, following the star. The Feast of the Epiphany both closes the Christmas season and opens the Season after the Epiphany.

St. Mary’s will host a worship service of readings and hymns, and will be led by St. Mary’s Youth with St. Mary’s Men & Boys Choir in celebration of Christ’s light in the world.

  • 8:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
  • 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm: St. Mary’s Feast of Lights

Note, an Epiphany Reception follows from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. in Paca Hall.