The Bishop's Blotter

reflections from Bishop Bill Gohl
Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me –John 14:1
Anthonius Estrella Magturo
1967 - 2022
Tony Magturo, an important lay leader in our shared Delaware-Maryland and Metro Washington DC Synods Youth and Family Ministry, died in Christ after having been hospitalized for an infection.
I knew Tony as a consummate Youth and Family mentor, supporter, chef, and colleague. He and I had agreed, in fact, to be the kitchen crew for our upcoming Middle School FreeRide Retreat at Camp Letts (no worries, Camp Letts has subsequently put together kitchen staff). Tony (almost) always said “yes” whenever there was a need in service to Christ, our synods, and the students he loved so very much.
A former member of the United States Air Force, Tony had a tremendous heart, was happiest cooking a meal for 50+ (and had a penchant for competitive trivia)! Professionally, he served as youth director at a number of congregations in our two synods, volunteering at St. Luke’s (Derwood) and on the staff of Good Shepherd (Frederick). He was also a well-loved and appreciated professional dog walker and house sitter, too.
In our Lutheran Youth Organization, we don’t use the term “president” or “chairperson;” instead we use the language of “Leader among Leaders.” Tony embodied that egalitarian spirit of leading among leaders, affording deep respect to student and adult leaders, alike. He was beloved – and his death is loss for a generation of our LYO alumni.
Pastor Dave Simpson wrote to Good Shepherd earlier this week: “Tony knew that God's promises in baptism are for this life and forever. As we grieve, we can hold onto God's promises for Tony and for us, and hold onto our God who always keeps promises. Those of us who will miss Tony can also hold onto each other. We do not grieve alone.”
Funeral arrangements are pending, and are expected to be scheduled for early December, at the convenience of his family.
Rest in peace, Tony. Beloved child of God, you taught us well, you embodied the way, and we’ll not forget you.

Christmas In DEManD

Is your congregation or ministry hosting a Christmas-themed event this holiday season? All such events will be listed in a special edition of our weekly newsletter, In DEManD, to be released on Friday, November 4. You can submit them on the special form on our website by Tuesday, November 1.

Christmas events hosted by congregations, ministries, and other organizations will not appear in the regular weekly newsletter. Please note that we are unable to include Christmas Eve or Christmas Day worship services.

Here's what's happening in our synod!

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

Register for FreeRide Now!

All the information you need to register your middle school youth for FreeRide is now available online! On our website, you'll find information about the event, our scholarship form, a registration worksheet, links to register online, and more. Come to Camp Letts, November 18-20, to experience this great event for 6th-8th graders.

Sacred Time Advent

This Advent, you are invited to spend time in Scripture through Sacred Time Advent: Look Beyond - an online national movement of people who follow Jesus reclaiming Advent as a sacred time for Biblical reflection, conversation and prayer. You can learn more on our website, and register online - make sure to check our website for the discount code, as our synod has covered your registration fees.

Celebrating Martin Luther's Birthday

The Eric W. Gritsch Fund is hosting an evening get-together to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther on Saturday, November 12 from 4-6:30 p.m. at Zion Church of the City of Baltimore (400 E Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD 21202). They will screen the film Luther (2003), starring Joseph Fiennes, and provide some beer and light refreshments. The film will be followed by a brief Q&A, and they will have on view a few original Lutheran pamphlets and works as well. These efforts go toward the funding of Gritsch Fellowships and other charitable activities. Please RSVP by November 10 to Bonnie Brobst by email or at 410-342-0643. The cost is $15 per person (cash or check to: Eric W. Gritsch Memorial Fund).

CLAIM Cooking Class

The Coalition of Lutherans Advancing in Mission invites you to an in-person or online cooking class, Taste & See, on Friday, November 4 at 6:30 p.m. The in person class will be held at St. John's Lutheran Church (4403 Pimlico Road, Baltimore, MD 21215) or you may join on Zoom. The $30 registration fee includes the class, led by Certified Health Coach Cheryl Marshall, as well as the ingredients you will need to cook one serving of a vegan dish. For more information, to register, or to make a donation to CLAIM for their continued work, visit our website.

ELCA Draft Social Message

The ELCA's Draft Social Message on the Climate Crisis is posted for public comment, now through December 2. Social messages are ELCA social teaching documents on specific social topics; these documents shape ELCA policy and help members discern how to respond to an issue. Public feedback helps the drafters know how the document could be more clear, helpful and faithfully Lutheran. You can find the draft message here and the accompanying survey here. Questions or longer responses may be submitted by email.

Dunning Lecture

St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute's 2022 Annual Dunning Lecture will feature Rev. Edgardo Colón-Emeric, Ph.D., Dean of Duke Divinity School, on the topic: "Romero and the Preferential Option for the Poor: An Ecumenical Praxis.” The lecture will be held on Thursday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Laubacher Hall (5400 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210) and will be broadcast by Zoom. Event is free to join in person or online, but registration is requested.


The Rev. Charlene Curtis will be installed as Chaplain of The Village at Rockville (9701 Veirs Drive, Rockville, MD 20850) on Saturday, October 29 at 3 p.m. Pastors, Deacons and Members of the Order of St. Stephen are invited to vest and process, red stoles. 

The Rev. Dr. Paul Baglyos will be installed as Lead Pastor of Evangelical Lutheran Church (31 E Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701) on Saturday, October 29 at 5:30 p.m. Pastors, Deacons and Members of the Order of St. Stephen are invited to vest and process, red stoles. 

The Rev. Matthew Pensinger will be installed as Senior Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church (21 Carroll Street, Westminster, MD 21157) on Sunday, October 30 at 3 p.m. Pastors, Deacons and Members of the Order of St. Stephen are invited to vest and process, red stoles.

Your Neck of the Woods

events happening in local congregations

The Colgate Community Ministry @ St. Peter and New Light Lutheran Church invite you to celebrate Reformation Day with Beer and Hymns at Dundalk's favorite brewery, Key Brewing (2500 Grays Road, Dundalk, MD 21222), on Sunday, October 30 from 3-5 p.m. An offering will be collected to support ongoing disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Florida. Non-alcoholic beverages and snacks will be provided. You can learn more and RSVP on the Facebook event.

The Generosity Corner

Building Puentes

We are so grateful for your support of Building Puentes in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. Bishop Gohl is requesting that a special offering be taken by the congregations and worshiping communities in our synod for this special need on Reformation Sunday, October 30, 2022. You can download a bulletin insert to use here.

Building Puentes is a partnership with the Metro D.C. Synod and the Caribbean Synod to give support, aid and relief to the people and ministries who need financial support now more than ever. Not one penny of this special offering will stay within our synod - every bit of the total gifts collected will go to the Building Puentes ministry fund. Thank you for your continued generosity in supporting our siblings in Christ in the Caribbean Synod.
Give now!

Save the Date!


Bookkeeper | Christ the King Episcopal (Woodlawn)
Music Minister | St. John's (Essex)

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 Maya and Alexis Brady, daughter and daughter-in-law of Michael and Pastor Stacey Brady (Lutheran Social Ministries of Maryland), who were married over the weekend, and Pastor Stacey had the privilege and joy of officiating!; 

for Pastor Lynell Aljoe-Thurman (St. John, Pimlico), at home, recovering from pneumonia;

for Virginia Clarke, mother of Cindy Redman (Synod Staff), who has had a series of falls and is receiving home care;

for Jeremy Magoon, spouse of Pastor Tara Magoon (Grace, Hockessin), anticipating a surgical procedure tomorrow;

for Cheryl Roberson Donovan, spouse of Pastor Joe Donovan (retired), anticipating a surgical procedure;

for Pastor Gordon Narvesen (retired), anticipating a surgical procedure;

for Ben (a friend of the bishop) who has experienced a relapse and is receiving treatment, and who asked for our prayers;
for Bob Sutliff, Edna Rau, and Pastor Richard Stewart (Professor Emeritus, United Lutheran Seminary/Philadelphia Campus), receiving palliative care at home;
for the family and friends of Tony Magturo (Youth Director, Good Shepherd, Frederick), who died in Christ on Monday. Arrangements are pending;
for the family and friends of Wallace Swanson, father of Pastor Daniel Swanson (Christ, LaVale), who died in Christ this afternoon. Arrangements are pending;

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 the Hamilton family, Marilyn Hembrock, Theresa Carr, Scott, Matthew, Abby, Grace Planalp, Sallie Gartside, OSSD, Debbie, Casey, Ryan, Gail Wilson, OSSD, Alexa, Debbie, Pastor Lura Groen, Ana Porres, Lindsay, Linda Asplin, Matthew Herzberg, Kathy, Cora King, Pastor Harry Wolpert, Thomas, Tybron, Patricia Magwood Gambrill, Alex, Virginia, Lee, Alicia, Bobbie, Ashley Brocious, Joshua Lafferty, Elfriede Kiesling, Doris Anderson, Eli, and Deacon Laura Heller.
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