St Mark's On The Hill Episcopal Church
1620 Reisterstown Rd.
Pikesville, Md. 21208
We are in talks with Rev. Julia Fritts (the Rector) and Margaret Schotto (the Parish Warden) at St. Mark's On The Hill in Pikesville, MD to define a co-congregation relationship with them. With all that is going on at St. Mark's, I am so grateful to Mother Julia and Margaret for their gracious investment in time and thoughtfulness as we work through the details.
The church and its grounds are gorgeous; however, the buildings are currently under major restoration and renovation. According to the plan, the church building will be usable again around Christmas.
Meanwhile, the congregation worships in the church hall which is also very nice. I attended Eucharist there this past Sunday and met many in the congregation. They are a very welcoming community and are very supportive of our desire to co-congregate.
Here is a summary of the proposal:
- They have Eucharist at 10:00 AM on Sunday mornings. We would have Mass at 6:00 PM on Sunday.
- We will negotiate the use of the facilities as needed for other events such as a weeknight prayer service, special events like weddings and baptisms, etc.
- We will have joint services on major feasts and solemnities like Christmas and Easter. We will also collaborate for other events e.g. The Annual Blessing of Animals.
- We will have storage and office space and may use meeting rooms.
- We will collaborate on fund raising and charitable projects. For example, St. Mark's runs a food pantry for the needy and can use our help.
- We may display a sign on the grounds and use St. Mark's address as ours.
The next steps are:
- Complete setting up our parish administratively, obtain 501c3 status, get a tax ID, etc.
- Acquire a general liability policy.
- Draw up a formal co-congregation contract that sets terms and a start date.
- A delegation from our parish should visit the St. Mark's facility and agree to the arrangement.
- Their vestry must formally approve the arrangement with us.
- Finally - move in to our new home!
The big question is the rent. We have proposed a graduated rent payment schedule, whereby initially for several months the rent will be very reasonable and below market standard, and then as we mature and grow, rent will steadily increase to the market rate. Then for a period thereafter, we'd pay in excess of market rate to reimburse them for their generous initial lower rate. Finally, once it all averages out, we drop back to the actual market rate. Stay tuned!
Please let me know if you would like to be part of the delegation to see St. Mark's and to meet some of their leadership team. I'd also love to hear your comments in general about these wonderful developments.
If all goes well, and all agree to the arrangement, we - and our dear Lady Undoer of Knots - could have a church home by the beginning of November.
Let's pray that all happens according to God's will.