The Bishop's Blotter

reflections from Bishop Bill Gohl
“May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from Christ’s glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks…” –Colossians 1:11
It’s good to realize that you – each of you and all of us – are not God. History would have been eminently more peaceful and productive if only its leaders would have discovered the same lesson. Throughout history, rulers were considered divine since, like God, they held the power of life and death over their subjects. Rome’s emperors proclaimed that indeed they were living gods. Europe’s queens and kings lorded over their subjects by “divine right” – something that has been made fodder for my imagination by having watched The Crown on Netflix these last five seasons – and the recent accession of King Charles III.

In 1925, Pope Pius XI established this Feast of Christ the King, realizing that Europe’s royal reigns would soon become the stuff of fairy tales. But the Pope was convinced that the new rulers of such kingdoms as socialism, communism, and fascism eventually would not save people because these modern “isms” would also lord it over their subjects and rob them of their freedom as children of God. 

Despite the Feast of Christ the King, or Reign of Christ as it is called in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, emerging from such a particular political scene; at the corner of church and state, it seems an especially relevant feast for Americans to observe, as well. The Church declaring to all: you are not God.

I don’t want to make trouble for you, but friends, we surrender our souls whenever we fail to speak to those in authority – to our leaders – whether they are communists or congresspersons, parents or bosses, bishops, pastors and deacons. We become complicit whenever we remain silent when those who have authority over us forget that they are not God. We feel so power-less ourselves over forces we cannot control, and yet the scripture reminds us: “All things were made through Christ and for Christ.” 

And so, we gather our voices anew, living and giving witness that God is God, and we are not; sacrificing something of ourselves to act out of love for our sovereign Christ and our neighbor in need.

Here's what's happening in our synod!

(and you can click here to submit a new announcement)

RoadTrip Registration is OPEN!

Middle school students from across our synods are gathering at FreeRide this weekend, but their high school friends won't have to wait much longer for their chance to spend a transformative weekend at a youth event. RoadTrip will be held January 20-22, 2023 at the Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley (245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031), and online registration is now open! For more information, check out our website or contact Deacon Nicole Roop.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Service 2023

Mark your calendar for Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 3 p.m. to commemorate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The service, which is sponsored by our synod's chapter of the African Descent Lutheran Association, will be held at Peoples' Community Lutheran Church (6200 Loch Raven Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21239) and will feature guest speaker Dr. Tracey Durant, Executive Director of Equity with Baltimore City Public Schools. You can download the flier for more information.

Christmas at Sea

Seafarers International House will begin distributing Christmas at Sea bags to sailors who come to the Port of Baltimore, beginning this month through the 12 days of Christmas. More than 600 bags have already been assembled and delivered to the Baltimore International Seafarers Center thanks to congregations in our synod. If you would like to support this ministry, you can send a donation to Seafarers International House (123 E 15th Street, New York, NY 10003-3557), Attention: Support for Port of Baltimore Chaplain. For more information about Christmas at Sea, or to start preparing for the Valentine Cookies project, please contact Pastor Bob Schmitt, Port Chaplain.

Ecumenical Institute Courses

St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute in Baltimore is offering an exciting range of graduate-level courses open to new students this Spring, including C.S. Lewis: Theology and Fiction, Introduction to Spiritual Care, and The Book of Revelation & Its Interpreters. All courses are available wherever you are: on campus, and by synchronous Zoom. Applications are also being accepted for Spring admission into the Doctor of Ministry program. Guest lecturers for the Spring DMin class include the Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen, Archbishop Wiliam E. Lori, and Bishop Walter Scott Thomas. Contact Galen Zook for more information.

Retired Rostered Minister Luncheon

All retired rostered ministers and a guest are cordially invited to an Advent Luncheon with Bishop Gohl on Thursday, December 8 from 12:15-2:15 p.m. at Carroll Lutheran Village (300 St. Luke Circle, Westminster, MD 21158). Please RSVP by Tuesday, November 29 to Carol Lettrich, who is helping to coordinate the event, by email or at 410-804-4565.

Movie and Faith Discussion

Join the Delaware-Maryland Synod Racial Justice Ministry Team on Zoom on Wednesday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m. for a Movie and Faith Discussion on the comedy drama film "Smoke Signals" during Indigenous Peoples' and Native American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month. You can watch the movie free before the event on The Internet Archive, borrow it through some public libraries, rent it from Amazon or YouTube, stream it with a free trial of Showtime Prime or on Showtime Anytime, or watch it on FLiX or Showtime Family through your TV provider. You can learn more about the movie here. To sign up and receive the Zoom link and discussion guide, email Janet DeVinney


Daniel Collins and Amelia Pakarati Collins will receive the Church's Gift of Ordination to Word and Sacrament Ministry on Saturday, November 26 at 11 a.m. The liturgy will be celebrated at Salem Lutheran Church (905 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD 21228). Rostered Ministers are invited to vest and process, the color of the day is red. The Collinses have been called to serve in the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod.


The Rev. Jimmie Schwartz will be installed as Chaplain Emeritus of Carroll Lutheran Village (300 St. Luke Circle, Westminster, MD 21158) on Tuesday, November 29 at 10:30 a.m. in the Krug Chapel Auditorium. Please RSVP by Wednesday, November 23 to Pastor Stacey Brady at 443-974-8652.

Your Neck of the Woods

events happening in local congregations

On Saturday, December 3 from 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., Grace English Lutheran Church (6801 Valleyfield Road, Lutherville, MD 21093) will host a fashion sale featuring TaylorMarie's Apparel. Department store quality clothing from brands like Ruby Road, Erin London, Alfred Dunner, and Southern Lady will be available, along with jewelry and scarves. A mini fashion show will be held at 1 p.m. Cash, check, and credit cards (with a Maryland license) will be accepted, and you are encouraged to bring a toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
Join St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church (1301 N Broom Street, Wilmington DE 19806) on Friday, November 18 at 7 p.m. for "Classical Selections for the Piano," the first concert in their third season of Concerts at St. Stephen's! This concert features Music Director Claudio Espejo, a Chilean pianist. He will perform works by J.S. Bach and a mix of compositions and improvisations. The concert is free. Donations are appreciated. All are welcome.
On Friday, November 18, the Men and Women of the ELCA at St. Luke Lutheran Church (1803 Dundalk Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21222) will hold their annual Basket Bingo. Games are $15 in advance and $17 at the door, featuring 20 games with prizes. For more information, contact 410-633-2526. Proceeds will benefit outreach projects.

St. Luke will hold their Thankoffering and Blanket Sunday Service on Sunday, November 20 at 10 a.m. The Helping Up Mission Choir will perform during the service, and there will be a potluck afterward. For more information, contact the church office at 410-633-2526.
St. John Lutheran Church (226 Washburn Avenue, Brooklyn, MD 21225) is hosting the Canterbury Ringers, a community based handbell group, on Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m. A freewill offering is welcomed. Parking is available on the church lot. For more information, call the church office at 410-355-7295.

The Generosity Corner

Mark your calendars: #GivingTuesday!

November 29 is #GivingTuesday!

We invite you to consider a special gift on Giving Tuesday as we continue to build the future together. This day is after the "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" rush. It is a day that has been set apart to pause and reflect - a day that has led to a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world! And making a gift towards our ministry together here in the Delaware-Maryland Synod you can participate! Mark your calendar for 11/29/2022, more details to follow.
Give now!

Save the Date!


Minister of Faith Formation | St. Peter's (Fullerton)

To read more about these positions or items, please visit the Classifieds page on our synod's website.
We pray together...

for the work of Lutheran Disaster Response, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and Lutheran World Relief;
for the people of Ukraine, Russia, and the surrounding countries receiving refugees, for relief workers and refugees, and our service personnel who are deployed or on alert;
for the people of Afghanistan, Haiti, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Belarus and the Church in the Holy Land – particularly Jerusalem, for all who pray alongside family and friends who are living in the midst of fear and uncertainty;
for our Delaware-Maryland Synod and Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod Middle School Students, LYO Student Leaders, and Adult Mentors gathering on retreat this weekend; 

for Juan Andrés Guzmán Ortiz and Bishop Leila Michelle Ortiz Torres (Metro DC Synod), who were united in marriage over the weekend;

for Seminarian Adam Fairchild (Princeton Theological Seminary), a member of Grace (Westminster) and a candidate for Word and Sacrament ministry under the care of our Delaware-Maryland Synod, and Miriam Hanson, who became engaged to be married this last week;

for Pastor Lowell Thompson (retired), hospitalized and undergoing testing;

for Pastor Don Sause (retired) receiving rehab after a hospitalization;

for Deacon Ron Thurman, Sr., spouse of Pastor Lynell Aljoe-Thurman (St. John, Pimlico), anticipating a surgical procedure;

for Pastor Gordon Narvesen (retired), recovering at home after a surgical procedure; 

for Pastor Michael Adams (Christ, Trenton), anticipating a surgical procedure;

for Pastor Richard Michael (retired), anticipating a surgical procedure;

for Melita Kaplan, daughter of Pastor David Kaplan (retired), anticipating a surgical procedure;

for Dale Kidd, brother of Pastor John Kidd (retired), receiving hospice care;

for Virginia Clarke, mother of Cindy Redman (Synod Staff), receiving home hospice care;

for the family of Pastor Richard Stewart (Professor Emeritus, United Lutheran Seminary/Philadelphia Campus), who died in Christ this week. Arrangements are pending;

for the family of Michael Moles, son-in-law of Becky & Pastor Mike Adams (Christ, Trenton), who died in Christ. Services will be held later this week.

for the family of Kimberly Ann Weber (1967-2022), sister of Vicar Joe Herb (St. John, Thurmont and Bethel, Frederick), who died in Christ last week. Services were held on November 5;

for the people of Luther Chapel (Petersville), who are in a time of discernment;
for the Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, for Pastor Nelson Rabell and the Iglesia Luterana Santa María Peregrina Community, for the Sierra Pacific Synod and Bishop Claire Burkat;
and for the ongoing health, peace, and healing of Cora, Cheryl Roberson Donovan, Pastor Paul Winters, Paul Rinehart, Linda and Pastor Tom Perry, Shirley Lewis, Gary, Matt, the Hamilton family, Dave, Theresa Carr, Scott, Matthew, Abby, Grace Planalp, Sallie Gartside OSSD, Debbie, Casey, Ryan, Linda, Gail Wilson OSSD, Debbie, Pastor Lura Groen, Ana Porres, Lindsay, Linda Asplin, Matthew Herzberg, Kathy, Benjamin, Pastor Harry Wolpert, Thomas, Tybron, Patricia Magwood Gambrill, Alex, Lee, Alicia, Bobbie, Ashley Brocious, Joshua Lafferty, Elfriede Kiesling, Doris Anderson, Eli, and Deacon Laura Heller.
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