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

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

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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