What can I expect when I come?
You can expect to be greeted as a welcome guest when you come to St. Peter's. The congregation truly believes in seeing Christ in all people and extending hospitality to all who come. We know worship in the Episcopal Church can be a little challenging for those who are new to it so we try to make our worship easy to follow with our bulletin. Don't worry if it feels a little awkward at first - we've all been new to this at some point in our lives! It's perfectly fine to just let us carry you in the worship and participate as you feel comfortable.
Do I need to dress up?
St. Peter's is a casual atmosphere in spite of our traditional worship style. If you want to dress up, by all means do. If you want to come dressed casually, that's fine too. After all, Jesus basically wore a toga and sandals, so if he could dress casual so can his friends.
Where do I park?
When you arrive, come up the drive and bear to the left. The handicap parking is the first small lot on your right and there is a ramp into the church from that lot. The general parking is behind the church and around the right side. See the campus map below.
How do I get in the building?
Admittedly, St. Peter's is a little confusing to get around. If you arrive before the worship begins, you can enter from:
the back parking lot at the double doors between the preschool and the office wing OR
the handicapped parking immediately on the right as you come up the drive way. There is a ramp to the worship space.
the front parking lot through the corner entrance where the preschool wing and church meet.
If you arrive after the worship begins and you want to enter from the back of the church, enter the double doors from the main parking area and go straight through the hallway, turning left at the stairs and go down to St. Joseph's Hall. Walk to the rear of St. Joseph's Hall and up the stairs into the rear of the church.
My kids are kind of wiggly. Will I get a dirty look if they get fussy?
No way! Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me." God put the wiggle in your kids and it's ok if they make a little noise.
Children are natural mystics. That's probably why Jesus told us we had to become like children to enter the Kingdom of God. Because of this, children are welcome and encouraged to be at mass with us because this is how they learn to "do liturgy."
We do know that parents sometimes need a little break, though. If your children are 6 and younger, you might want to put them in the Cribbery with our licensed day-care provider for a little play time with younger friends during the first part of the service. At the Peace, our children come up into the chancel near the altar with their parents to be up close for the Eucharistic prayer and to receive Communion first.
I'm gay/lesbian. Do you welcome same-sex couples?
Yes we do! We are an affirming parish in the Diocese of Maryland and a BelieveOutLoud congregation. As such we affirm God's belovedness of our LGBTQ family. You are welcome here - no exceptions!
I'm trans/non-binary/gender nonconforming.
Will I be welcome?
Yes, you will be welcome at St. Peter's, no matter where you are in your transition. Feel free to let us know what pronouns you prefer and if we get it wrong, please let us know! We are firmly committed to living into our baptismal vows of "seeking and serving Christ in all persons" and "loving our neighbors as ourselves." As such we hope you will find a spiritual home here where you can be fully who you are and discover the vocation God has for you.
I'm divorced. Can I receive the Sacraments?
Yes! The Episcopal Church welcomes all baptized Christians to receive the sacraments. We believe people who marry have every intention of being together "until we are parted by death." But we also know our human frailties and how hard living into vows can be. We know there are many reasons marriages break down and very good reasons they must end in order for healing to occur. Being divorced is no reason for the Church to separate you from the grace received in the Sacraments - in fact, it is a time when you need that grace even more. St. Peter's welcomes you to receive the Eucharist here.
I'm not so sure I believe in God, let alone Jesus. Is that OK?
Absolutely! St. Peter's welcomes all no matter where you are on your spiritual path. Come and participate to the extent you feel comfortable. We have a saying in the Episcopal Church: All may, some should, none must. That means all are invited to participate, some really should as the Spirit moves them, but no one must. There's a relaxed welcome and no pressure here.