About Us



If you ask the average parishioner at St. Peter’s in the Woods why they are here, some for decades, some for just a few months, they’ll tell you: the welcome is real, the community is genuine, and the worship designed to nurture and empower disciples to serve the world in Jesus’ name. We welcome folks where they are on their faith journeys and offer opportunities to grow deeper through small groups, mission and service opportunities, and simply walking together in love. I hope you will take a minute to browse our site and learn more about our mission and ministry. Whether you are looking for a place to worship, a spiritual home, or a caring group of people who actively support and encourage one another, St. Peter’s in the Woods has much to offer. I invite you to come and see God at work in our midst and join our journey of faith!


The Rev. Susan Hartzell, Rector

St. Peter’s in the Woods is an Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia. At St. Peter’s in the Woods our vision is Joyful Worship, Faithful Service.

We were founded as a mission church in 1988 by the Church of the Good Shepherd in nearby Burke. As a mission church, we were financially supported by the Diocese while we grew our ministry. Services began in 1989 in Bonnie Brae Elementary School, which remained our place of worship until we moved into our current building in Fairfax Station in January, 1998.

In 2013, St. Peter’s in the Woods achieved status as a full parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, meaning we are now a fully independent and self-supporting parish.

At St. Peter’s in the Woods, you will discover:

A warm welcome

We are a caring group of people who actively support and encourage one another and will welcome you in.

People wearing a variety of styles.

From blue jeans to coats and ties. We’re casual about what to wear. Please wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.

A joyful, warm and caring nursery

For babies and children up to 4 years old, supported by our professional caregivers. Learn more.

Vibrant programs for children and teens

Learn more about our Children’s Ministry and Teens Ministry.

Faith education

A casual discussion hour for adults to explore and share their faith journeys. Learn more.

Small conversation groups

for deepening relationships with God and each other. Learn more about Wednesdays in the Woods.

Delicious coffee

And refreshments and conversation after worship.

A commitment to transforming lives

Through worship and service to others.

Join us for Worship

At each of our Sunday Services we celebrate Holy Eucharist (Communion.) We welcome all people, children and adults alike, to meet Christ in the sharing of our sacred meal.

  • 8:00am Traditional

    A traditional service without music and with a quiet, contemplative focus

  • 10:00am Rite II Blended Choral Eucharist

    A service for all ages with a blend of traditional and contemporary music

  • 9:00 – 9:45am Faith Education (Sep – Jun)

    Faith Education for adults and children

We also offer a Wednesday Evening Prayer Service at 7:00 pm.

Sign-up to receive our regular eNewsletter.

Our Leadership Team

View all staff

  • Susan Hartzell


    The Reverend Susan Hartzell was named Rector at St. Peter’s in the Woods in June of 2018. Read more.


  • Marlene E. Forrest

    Assistant Rector

    The Reverend Marlene E. Forrest began serving as the Assistant Rector at St. Peter’s in the Woods in July of 2018.  Read more.


What People Say About Us

  • One of the first things that drew me to St. Peter’s in the Woods was the Choir ministry. I saw a place where I could worship, contribute and learn musically. There is so much shared talent. Also, I was impressed with the clergy. The level of knowledge, compassion, communication skills and leadership. As a result, I find much joy in our spiritual community.



  • St. Peters in the Woods is a growing and vibrant Espiscopal church.  We have been worshipping here for almost three years and were made to feel like we were part of the church family from the moment we walked in the door. The messages are engaging and easy to understand, and the ministry is reaching more people every week. St. Peters in the Woods is an exciting place to worship!

    Ryan D.

    Ryan D.

    Burke, VA on Yelp.com

  • After attending and visiting several churches in the area, we were still looking for the best fit for our family. One visit to St. Peter’s and we knew we had found what we were looking for. St. Peter’s is a warm and welcoming community that offers a diverse array of programs and services for all ages.
    One thing that struck us at St. Peter’s was how friendly and welcoming everyone was. Whether it is your first time visiting or you have been attending services there for years, you are made to feel welcome and leave each week wanting to return. The St. Peter’s community is just that – a true community comprised of people from different walks of life all coming together to serve God and our neighbors. It’s also a place where you can get involved at a level that meets your needs and desires.

    Rob, Sarah and Graham

    Rob, Sarah and Graham

  • A little over a year ago a friend of mine recommended St. Peter’s in the Woods to me, so I decided to visit a few services. The sermons were so inspiring and the music was so uplifting that I initially felt it was a good fit for me. This past year my family has enjoyed the special activities and programs for kids, like Sunday School, Youth Group, Fall Festival, and Vacation Bible School, and I have especially loved participating in the Music Ministry.
    A year later I feel like I couldn’t have made a better choice. The welcoming atmosphere and sense of real community are just a few of the things that have kept me coming back. There are so many opportunities for fellowship and ways to serve that I recommend it to all my friends. I am happy to say that St. Peter’s in the Woods is my parish home.



  • After retiring from a military career, we were simply unable to find a church in which we felt the sense of community, reverence, and joy we had so often experienced in our military parishes. We had reluctantly abandoned the search by the time we moved to Fairfax Station a couple of years ago. The wonderful owners of the home we purchased introduced us to St. Peter’s in the Woods and we were welcomed, prayed over, and enveloped in a genuine Christian embrace. We are home again.