St. Mary’s Blog

Can We Count on You to Help in a Medical Emergency?

December 2nd, 2019|Comments Off on Can We Count on You to Help in a Medical Emergency?

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Everyday Toiletries Drive for Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington

May 28th, 2019|Comments Off on Everyday Toiletries Drive for Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington

Donate Now Thru Sunday, June 16

St. Mary’s is collecting new everyday toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, etc.) as well as $25 gift cards in support of men and women in Samaritan Ministry’s Next Step Strive Program. Thank you for assisting a good cause and loving your neighbor. As this drive concludes on Father’s Day, consider making your donations as a way to honor your father.

Click Here to Download Needed Items:

  • $25 Gift Cards from Giant, Safeway, Walmart, Target, VISA and MasterCard
  • African-American Shampoo and Conditioner (Shea Moisture brand products are sold at CVS and other local stores)
  • Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
  • Body Wash
  • Dental Floss
  • Deodorant (full size)
  • Disposable Razors
  • Lotion (full size)
  • Sanitary Pads
  • Shaving Cream/Gel
  • Soap (full size)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste (full size)

Drop off donations in marked bins at church entrances. 

Questions? Email

Godspeed & Best Wishes to Seminarian Christopher Exley

May 16th, 2019|Comments Off on Godspeed & Best Wishes to Seminarian Christopher Exley

Chris Exley with his Discernment Committee L-R: Abby Reynolds, Caroline Ketchum, Chris Exley, Sarah Gregg, and Jay Nolan (Reggie Upshaw was out of town)

Last Sunday, May 12, St. Mary’s hosted a reception in Paca Hall after our 9:00 a.m. worship for Christopher (Chris) Exley, who first came to our parish as a middler seminarian in 2017. Special thanks to Chris’ Discernment Committee for providing feedback and support during his two-year relationship with St. Mary’s.

The Discernment Committee organized his “Godspeed” reception, conveying our prayers and well-wishes as he continues his spiritual path towards priesthood. At the reception, his Committee presented a handmade stole featuring sheep, in hopeful anticipation of Chris’ ordination as a deacon. (The stole is a vestment that marks recipients of Holy Orders.)

Chris will be ordained on Sat., June 8, in the Diocese of Philadelphia  His ordination to the diaconate will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Sat., June 8 at Philadelphia Episcopal Church Cathedral,19th Street South and 38th Street, Philadelphia, PA  19104.

If you’d like to stay in touch with him, call St. Mary’s Parish Office at 703-527-6800 or email for Chris’ forwarding address and contact information.

Following is a note from Chris Exley to St. Mary’s.

Dear Friends in Christ,  

When I arrived in the fall of 2017, I was determined to make this my church home.  In the swirl and confusion of seminary life and being geographically separated from my family, I needed an anchor for my spiritual life.  You have provided that place to me with grace to spare.  You didn’t treat me as someone who was just going to leave in a couple of years but instead you brought me in and made me one of you. 

St. Mary’s is an amazing parish.  Your commitment to Jesus Christ is evidenced by your worship, your love of each other and your love of the community—especially by your care and feeding of wayward seminarians.  I would be remiss if I didn’t lift up my Lay Committee:  Caroline Ketchum (Chair), Sarah Gregg, Abigail Reynolds, Jay Nolan, and Reggie Upshaw.  They have shepherded me through these last two years, and I would have been really lost without them.  I thank Mother Amy and Fr. Chris for their gracious and patient response to all my questions and mistakes.  Fr. Andrew is a remarkable mentor and supervisor; I am deeply indebted to him for his guidance and wisdom. 

Friends, I am incredibly thankful that I have been able to walk alongside you.  A mere “thank you” can never express the depth of my gratitude for this beautiful community.  Please know that the people of St. Mary’s will be in my heart and in my prayers wherever God calls me to serve.  I won’t say “goodbye,” but instead, “see you later.”  Whether in this world or the next, I know that we will be reunited again.  May God continue to bless you.  I love you all.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

In Christ,

Chris Exley

Sunday Adult Forum on Dignity: The Bedrock of Loving Self

March 14th, 2019|Comments Off on Sunday Adult Forum on Dignity: The Bedrock of Loving Self

This discussion will focus on defining dignity as inherent in loving self. Dignity, although sometimes thought of as respect or merit or self-worth, is so much more. The dignity of each human being is rooted in his/her creation in the image and likeness of God—Imago Dei.

Thus, dignity is a God-given gift to each of us from creation through now and into eternity. Scripture is filled with the theological underpinnings of dignity from the Imago Dei to Proverbs “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come” to Jesus’ honoring the intrinsic dignity of taxpayers, lepers, and harlots to Paul’s letter to the Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

We are all equal in this universal and indestructible gift.  It follows then, as we honor and accept this loving gift from God, that we love ourselves as we live in inborn dignity (and lead with dignity to our neighbor).

We will explore, affirm, and celebrate this profound truth together.

Dr. Joan Turkus Speaks Sunday, Mar. 17 at 10:15 a.m. in Paca Hall—Join Us!

Doorways Lent 2019

February 27th, 2019|Comments Off on Doorways Lent 2019

St. Mary’s is honored to partner with Doorways for Women and Families. Doorways envisions a community where all people live free of violence and have safe and stable housing. The organization works to transform the lives of women, men, youth, and children who are facing homelessness or suffering abuse in our community.

This Lent, St. Mary’s is calling parishioners to purchase household supplies in support of the families in the Doorways program. Click here to download a copy of the flyer. You do not need to purchase every item listed; pick a few items and bring them back to St. Mary’s by Sunday, April 7.

Questions? Contact St. Mary’s Lay Leader for Doorways, Carmen Oviedo by email at

Make outreach an intentional act of love this Lent. In addition to the invitation to go help Doorways, you can learn about additional outreach invitations on Sundays from our Lay Leaders during worship announcements and on our Lent 2019 page.