Like the quilt that hangs in our sanctuary to commemorate our 100th anniversary,
the congregation of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church reflects the diverse ethnic and
cultural influences in today's urban community. We are African-, Hispanic-, Asian-,
and European-American, Indian, African, Australian, and Russian. We are
elderly people, adults, families, young couples and singles, youth, children,
and babies. We are welcoming to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals
through our More Light commitment.
The best way to experience the variety and warmth of
our members is to attend a service on Sunday!
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Who is TPPC's pastor?
What are Pastor Mark's office hours?
Who worships at TPPC?
What type of community is Takoma Park?
Where is TPPC?
Are families welcome during worship at TPPC?
Who else uses the Church Buildings?
What is Session?
What are the Deacons?
Does TPPC have a Child Protective Covenant?
What was the TPPC Listening Campaign?
The Reverend Mark Greiner is the pastor of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church. To contact Rev. Greiner with a pastoral concern, please call the church office at 301-270-5550, or contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on Rev. Greiner is available on this website. Pastor Mark has made a page of web resources (PDF file) available on this website.
TPPC curently has a Parish Assistant (Damaris Christensen) and a Parish Associate (the Rev. Carolyn Tilley (PDF)).
Usually, Pastor Greiner can be found in the church office on Monday to Thursday in the mornings. Most weeks, Mark will spend Monday afternoon on Sermon and worship preparation - we will generally be unavailable to visitors at that time. On afternoons from Tuesday to Thursday, Mark usually schedules Pastoral visiting, and is often outside the office at that time. Friday is a day Pastor Griener keeps Sabbath, and will be out of the office.
There are approximately 200 members and friends of the congregation of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, of which approximately:
The congregation includes families and individuals originally from Canada, Cameroon, the Congo, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Russia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Trinidad.
Takoma Park is a small town, early suburb bordering Washington, DC. On the train line, and now the Metro system, Takoma Park started in the 1880s as a new railroad suburb. The Takoma Park Presbyterian Church is nearly as old as the community, starting in 1890 as part of a Union Chapel (site of current TPPC Education Building) along with Methodist and Episcopal congregations who moved on to new sites before the turn of the century. For more information on the history of Takoma Park, as well as information on public schols, colleges, government, the annual Takoma Park Folk and Jazz Festivals, the Takoma Park Farmers Market, and community organizations, visit the city's web site at www.cityoftakomapark.org.
While some things have changed in the past ten years, the words of the last Pastor Nominating Committee in 1990 still ring true: Takoma Park is populated by a diverse mix of people including artists, crafts people, writers, environmentalists, political activities, normal people, and various eccentrics. There is a small downtown and great civic spirit and pride. Takoma Park was one of the fist nuclear-free zones in the United States; there is an active recycling program; and there are three community festivals each year: a folk festival, a Fourth of July parade, and a street festival. Takoma Park is a somewhat eccentric, activist, and overall wonderful community.
Takoma Park is also a diverse community, as are closely surrounding areas. There is a mix of single family homes and both high rise and garden apartment buildings. Both the city and the schools are racially diverse, and in the last two decades, a rising number of immigrants from Central America, south and southeast Asia, and Africa have come to call the area home. Takoma Park is also home to a large gay and lesbian community. Takoma Towers, a high rise a few blocks from the church, provides residential housing for the elderly including several church members. There are two colleges Columbia Union, an Adventist school (Takoma Park was formerly the national headquarters for the Seventh Day Adventist Church) and the Takoma Park campus of Montgomery Community College. The main campus of the University of Maryland is located just 6 miles away in College Park. Other congregations in Takoma Park and neighboring Takoma, DC include Takoma Park Seventh Day Adventist, Sligo Seventh Day Adventist, Takoma Park Baptist, Trinity Episcopal, Grace United Methodist, Chinese Christian, Takoma Park Friends, Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic, and a Jewish-Christian Interfaith community. The Seekers congregation of the Church of the Savior will be moving from downtown DC to Takoma next year.
The church is located 3 blocks from the Takoma Metro (subway) stop, 3 blocks from downtown Takoma Park, and one long block
from the Takoma Park Municipal Building, library, and two of the elementary schools. There are three buildings on the church property,
which has street parking but no parking lot. The How to find TPPC page has more
The Sanctuary (finished in 1922) is built on the Geneva Plan, with a pulpit at the front (with choir area and organ behind) and oak pews. There
are alcoves at either side to the rear (one of which is open and known as the Gathering Place), with balconies above (generally unused).
Below the sanctuary is a large Assembly Room with a small stage, an adjacent kitchen, a classroom, the church library, and two
The Education Building (finished in 1950), connected physically to the Sanctuary), has three floors. The ground floor has classrooms used
primarily by the Takoma Park Child Development Center, originally a project of the congregation and now a separate entity. The first
floor contains a small chapel (with pews, electric organ, piano), a parlor, a large classroom with satellite rooms, and restrooms. The
second floor has one very large classroom with satellite rooms (until recently rented out to an interfaith resource center but now
returned to church use) and three classrooms.
The Fellowship Hall's (finished in 1962) ground floor holds the Church Office and Pastor's Study,
a large room used by the Boy Scouts and
rented out to other congregations and community groups on a regular basis, two rooms used by the Child Development Center, and the
offices of Casa de Maryland, a Central American social service and advocacy group.
Above is a large gymnasium with a stage at one
end and a kitchen and restrooms at the other.
A courtyard between the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall is used as a playground by the Child Development Center and the Sunday School.
TPPC welcomes families with infants and children to our worship services. The following are options for families:
A Nursery is available for infants through 3 years old, 9:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. in the Teddy Bear Room on the lower level of the education building (our greeters/ushers will direct you there.) Your infant or small child is welcome to stay with you in worship. If the child becomes uncomfortable and needs care during the service, feel free to leave the sanctuary. There is a changing table and rocking chair in the room next to the rest room just outside the sanctuary.
All children are invited to come forward for the "Time with Children." Afterwards, children 4 to 8 years old are invited upstairs in the education building in the K-1 Sunday School room, for the Peace Club. If older children want to be helpers, they are welcome. Your infant or small child is welcome to stay with you in worship. Books to share with your children are in your pew.
In addition to the Child Development Center, the Boy Scouts meet weekly on Thursdays. Five support groups (AA, NA, CODA, etc.) use rooms weekly. Tai Chi and Karate classes are taught on a weekly basis. A Suzuki violin class uses space on Saturdays, and from time to time organ and piano lessons are given in the sanctuary. The gym is rented out periodically by school and community groups, and the Assembly Room is used for a variety of family and community functions.
A form (PDF) with rates and policies for room rentals at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church is available on this website for downloading. We ask that you contact the Church Office at 301-270-5550 or email email@example.com to formally schedule your space.
Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, like all Presbyterian Churches, is governed by a Session, or an elected body of persons who are ordained to the office. These persons are also referred to as elders. The Greek word in the New Testament for elder is Presbytos. Thus, the name of the denomination reflects its method of governance.
According to the constitution of the denomination, the Session is responsible for the governance and mission of the church, along with the pastor. The Session is responsible for leading the church to be faithful to God's will as it exists in a particular time and place.
To contact the Session of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, either send a letter to the Stated Clerk of the Session care of the church, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A PDF file with email addresses for TPPC church committees is available from this website. Sending an email to one of these email addresses will connect you to a committee member who has chosen to be a contact for that committee.
The mission of the Board of Deacons of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church is to be a channel of God's strength, love, and energy by:
In the words of John Calvin:
We are all so united in Christ that as we are dependent on one head, we also grow together into one body, being joined and knit together as are the limbs of a body. We are made truly one since we live together in one faith, hope, and love, and in the same spirit of God.
Note that the Deacons recently organized an "End of Life" series at TPPC. Some resources from that class are available from our website: a personal information sheet that can help our church office contact your loved ones in case of an emergency, and a planning sheet for funeral arrangements.
To contact the Board of Deacons of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, either send a letter to the Deacons care of the church, or email email@example.com.
To make a special prayer request, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Since 1997, the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church has had a child protective covenant. At the November 2004 meeting of the TPPC Session, a revision to this covenant was approved. All employees and volunteers who work with children and youth in our church must sign and abide by this covenant.
The Child Protective Covenenat (PDF) can be accessed from this website.
TPPC has conducted a Listening Campaign to deepen ties of community and friendship while deepening our faith and determining how we will walk together in mission for the coming years. The campaign occured from February to May, 2011, with a different topic for discussion each month culminating with a new list of mission priorities for the church.
A summary of what we learned from the campaign appears below.
We as a church community yearn to:
Be shaped and changed by God
Engage our children and youth in church life
Address inequalities in our local and global communities
Care for our environment
Deepen our connections to each other
More information on what was done during the listening campaign can be found on this website.
TPPC was an early adoper of the Charter for Compassion. Our congregation sent the international Charter for Compassion to our denomination's General Assembly, and the General Assembly voted to become the first "mainline denomination" to sign on to the Charter.
A YouTube video on the charter is available. For more information, access the article on the Charter in TPPC News.
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