Many D.C. churches observe a tradition of allowing candidates for city office to seize the pulpit for a few precious moments. It works out well for the office-seekers, who get to speak of their religious devotion before an audience teeming with registered voters—and they don’t have to respond to sniping from opponents, a constant annoyance at candidate forums.

So why didn’t mayoral hopeful Linda Cropp stand up on Sunday and preach her gospel of fiscal savvy and experienced leadership to the congregation at Dupont Circle’s Foundry United Methodist Church?

“It’s our general policy for that not to happen,” said a church official. Although Cropp was introduced at the beginning of the 70-minute service, she had to wait until coffee hour to get her message across. The Catholic chairman of the D.C. Council was last seen telling Senior Minister Dean J. Snyder, “It was so nice worshipping with you.”