The day began hot and humid with a threat of more thunderstorms in the afternoon. But it began with Casey Johnston's coffee from Anchor Coffee Roasters in Baltimore which can't be beat! Thank God Pope Clement VIII declared coffee, something brought to Europe from our Muslim friends in the middle ages, something we can all enjoy (read about that here).
St. Peter's is not accustomed to being surprised by reporters. While the media were very present the first few days, now we were dealing with a random truck showing up unannounced and approaching people in the parking lot. Mtr. Anjel worked with our diocesan communications staff and an old friend of St. Peter's, The Rev. Dan Webster, to come up with a media protocol to help balance the need of the media to get the story while respecting our community members who have been traumatized by this crisis.
St. Peter's Ellicott City
In order to balance the mental and spiritual health needs of our community in the aftermath of this flood, we are asking the media to abide by the following protocol:
DO NOT show up unannounced. To schedule a time to cover the story, please text the people on our list provided to all media outlets.
Once you have set up a time to come to St. Peter’s, enter the campus and park on the SOUTH side of the church (just past the preschool playground). If that parking area is full, pull around to Smith Avenue and park along Smith Avenue and walk in. Please keep the back parking lot open for residents to park and receive aid.
Enter the Press Room from the door just below our Preschool’s playground (facing the parking area on the south side of the building). It is marked PRESS ROOM. You will be met by a volunteer who will then summon one of the above contacts to come and meet you.
If you want to interview residents, DO NOT approach directly to ask – let our volunteers do that for you. The initial shock has now worn off, these folks are exhausted, and we are seeing serous signs of mental stress. A famous person in a logo shirt carries authority and may cause some to say “yes” to an interview when they are vulnerable. We believe you share our concern to not add to the distress they are already under so please do not randomly approach people with your camera crew.
We will help you get the shots and interviews you need and want for your stories. All of the people above are authorized to speak to the media and can help you. We want the story out there and hope you will come back in the weeks to come while our operations are still going – this will be a long term effort and we don’t want the community to forget us. You are very important to that effort!
Finally, we are blessed to have a licensed acupuncturist on site (her hours vary) who is offering trauma release treatments for those affected by the flood. This includes your reporters and camera operators! You are on the front lines of seeing traumatic events every day and we care about your health too. If Sara Beth is onsite, please feel free to take 15 minutes for an acupuncture treatment.
Thank you for understanding our community’s need for space and boundaries during this difficult time.
The Rev. Anjel Scarborough
Priest in Charge
St. Peter’s Church
3695 Rogers Ave, Ellicott City, MD 21043