News from the Delaware-Maryland Synod
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things – Philippians 4.8

Today marks a number of changes in the life of our Delaware-Maryland Synod:
Karen Johnson Kretschmann is observing her last day in the office, and has a few more responsibilities to discharge in the next two weeks, but is concluding her ministry as our Director for Evangelical Mission. Though we had a marvelous celebration of Karen’s ministry on Saturday, the sense of gratitude and loss I feel at her leaving is tremendous! She is an empowered lay leader in this church who has capably led other leaders – lay and ordained – around vitality, generosity, and new mission. Many of us thank God for her friendship and ministry, and pray blessings on the next season of her life and leadership!
Adam Fairchild, our synod’s seminarian at Princeton Theological Seminary, has been our acting/interim Coordinator for Communications, and for a time Youth+Family Ministry, over the last year. He has served conscientiously both on-site and remotely, and edited this eLetter that you are reading right now! He will lay down this work and return to studies and field education, but it would be hard to put into words how proud I am of Adam, a leader among leaders raised up in our synod, and thankful for his heart to serve.
Deacon Julie Stecker has returned to work on a part-time basis and is taking up former responsibilities for communications. She is laying down her Youth+Family work for a season to tend to her family, but is working both on-site and remotely as our Coordinator for Communications, it is a joy to welcome her back to the office!
Soon-to-be-Deacon Nicole Roop is taking on part-time responsibilities for Youth+Family Ministry in both Metro D.C. and Delaware-Maryland. Dr. Roop is a full-time administrator at the University of Maryland – College Park, served her internship at our synod’s shared Campus Ministry – The Humble Walk – with Pastor Ray Ranker. Bishop Ortiz and I are so grateful she has joined us for this season, and I want to say a special word of thanks to Adam Fairchild, Pastor Christine Parker and Pastor Mark Parker, as well as our LYO Student Leaders and Mentors, for having stepped-in and stepped-up to lead during Deacon Julie’s sabbatical, maternity leave, and then emergency family medical leave.
Pastor Alejandro Mejìa is stepping into an expanded role as Interim Director of Evangelical Mission while we work with our churchwide organization in our discernment about the missional needs of our Delaware-Maryland Synod for these next years. I expect that Pastor Alejandro will serve in that role for at least the next four months, and is spending some time with Karen Kretschmann for handing-off information. Pastor Alejandro is a former mission developer himself, and I believe will bring gifts to this work which will be supported by Pastor Micah Krey, our Congregational Vitality Team chair; Pastor Mark Walters, our Coaching Coordinator; and Ron Fairchild, our Discipleship Team Leader.
Today also marks the last day of my first term as bishop of our synod. All of these changes remind me that God is faithful and that God raises up leadership for God’s Church. I continue to believe that the best is still to come!
Connected in God's Creation: Fulfilling our Call as Christians Event
Join us for a day together working toward God’s peace for all, through economic, environmental, racial and social justice. 

Our Connected in God's Creation in-person event has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2022 as we gather folks together from across our Synod to build relationships and join in kindling respect for nature, human rights, justice and peace. The event will be held at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Baltimore from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The day of learning will include a plenary, workshops, worship and of course fellowship and time to connect!

Registration is still available, and can be accessed here. If you previously registered for this event before prior postponements, please make sure to register again. Make sure to consult the link at the top of the registration form to view the workshop offerings!
Cody Danner, will receive the Church’s gift of Ordination to Word and Sacrament Ministry on Saturday, 3 September at 11am. The Liturgy will be celebrated at Hope Lutheran Church (4131 Lehigh Drive, Cherryville, PA 18035). Pastors, Deacons and Members of the Order of St. Stephen Deacon are invited to vest and process, red stoles. Cody has been called by the Synod Council to a term-call as Associate Pastor of Grace (Westminster).
Carolyn Lawrence, will receive the Church’s gift of Ordination to Word and Sacrament Ministry on Sunday, 18 September at 4pm. The Liturgy will be celebrated at Salem (Catonsville). Pastors, Deacons and Members of the Order of St. Stephen Deacon are invited to vest and process, red stoles. Carolyn has been called by the Synod Council to a term-call as Associate Pastor of Salem (Catonsville).

Charlie Frekot, will receive the Church’s gift of Ordination to Word and Sacrament Ministry on Saturday, 24 September at 3pm. The Liturgy will be celebrated at New Hope (Columbia). Pastors, Deacons and Members of the Order of St. Stephen Deacon are invited to vest and process, red stoles. Charlie has been called to the South Mountain Cooperative, Bethany (Brunswick) and St. Paul’s (Burkittsville).
The Rev. Dr. Eric T. Campbell will be installed as Chaplain of The Village at Augsburg on Sunday, 25 September at 3pm. Pastors, Deacons and Members of the Order of St. Stephen Deacon are invited to vest and process, green stoles.
Party for the Planet, Hosted by our synod's Creation Care Committee!
Free community Party for the Planet at First English Lutheran Church (3807 N. Charles St) on Sunday, September 11 from 2 – 4 pm. There will be a puppet show, information about creation care, snacks, crafts for the little ones, and music. Come learn about the Earth Charter and have some fun. We will be meeting outdoors on the 39th Street side of the church. Sponsored by the Creation Care Committee of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA. Join us!.
Mar-Lu Ridge: Upcoming Events
Walkathon: Mar-Lu-Ridge invites you to our annual Walkathon, Sept. 25 from 1-5 p.m. All are welcome to this family-oriented day on the Ridge. Enjoy the beautiful fall colors, a community meal, and walk at your own pace as we raise funds for programming and facilities.
This event is free of charge, with donations appreciated. Registration begins at 1 p.m. at the pavilion, and the walk begins at 1:30 p.m. Cookie Run: This exciting 5K returns to an in-person run on Sept. 25 beginning at 2 p.m. Please register by visiting Stay and enjoy the community meal and worship when the run is over.
All participants receive a handmade cookie medal! You are also welcome to register and participate anytime during September in the comfort of your own neighborhood.
Colgate Community Mission (Eastpoint) Flea Market
Colgate Community Mission at St. Peter's (Eastpoint) will be holding a flea market on September 24, 2022, from 8:00am-12:00pm. You are invited to participate, and can learn more here.
Annual Fall Fest: Calvary (Mt Airy)
You are invited to join Calvary's Annual Fall Fest, held on September 24 from 8:00am - 2:30pm. This event will feature baked goods, jams, jellies, cider, pumpkins and our famous apple dumplings. Yard sale spaces are available, music will be provided by Jenny Terry and her band. To learn more, call 410-489-5280. 
Epiphany (Baltimore) Bag Bingo: You're Invited!
Designer Bag Bingo at Epiphany: Sunday, September 25th.
Tickets:  $25 in advance or $30 at the door.  Includes 20 games of regular bingo and door prizes.  Prizes are name-brand pocketbooks with surprises inside!  Early bird bingo, specials, raffles, 50/50 are available at an additional cost.  Lunch and beverages are available for purchase.  Doors open at 12 noon and games begin at 1pm.  For advance tickets:  Linda Gruzs at 410-325-5216 or Pat McGowan at 410-262-4059. Epiphany Lutheran Church, 4301 Raspe Ave. 21206.
St. John's (Pimlico) Upcoming Events
You are invited to various upcoming events at St. John's (Pimlico)! See the links below for flyers with more information about each event.

Sight and Sound Theater Event: September 8
Living in the Presence of God Retreat: Dec. 2-4, 2022 at Mar-Lu-Ridge
“ Do Not Be Conformed to this World, but Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Minds…” (Romans 12: 2)

As people of faith, we are called to live in the world but not of the world. To live alternatively, through social justice work, healing work, work in our family, and community of faith - we will need support. To be change agents or be changed ourselves we need to be led by the Spirit and live out an inward journey as well as the outward. In this retreat we will explore contemplative gifts which lead to transformation – contemplation itself, the Spirit, Lectio Divina, and devotional writings about transformation and viewing nature photography. We will do this through body prayer, guided meditation, silence, Listening to Scripture, communal conversation, artwork, singing, journaling, and opportunities to walk in nature and rest. Come, refresh your body, minds, and spirit and explore God’s presence within you. 


  • Beginning in Silence
  • Body Prayer
  • Introduction of the Theme
  • Reflection
  • Sharing
  • Closing Prayer
The cost is $195.00 for 2 night’s lodging and 6 meals

The Leader – Pastor Cathy Feil has led many retreats. She has completed The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation’s Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats and Group Spiritual Direction.

For registration please contact: Cathy Feil, 484-636-4021 or

Online ELCA Vital Congregations Training
Does your congregation care about living as disciples, seeking justice in Jesus name, engaging and growing leaders and walking along side your neighborhood? Ready to take steps toward renewal and vitality? Eager to try new things, share ideas, gain clarity on mission, and find new allies from others across our church? Then, join the 2022 Fall Session of the ELCA Vital Congregations Training. Core principles to be explored are: living as disciples of Jesus; focusing on Jesus and justice; being expectant of the Holy Spirit; multiplying leaders who are young, diverse and bring fresh insights; and aligning with purpose and core values.

This is a fast paced co-creative and co-experimental training facilitated by leaders with deep experience in renewing congregations. Pastors and congregations are encouraged to come as teams of 3–5 people for a time of inspiration, learning, planning, sharing, experimenting, visioning, and implementing. The training is a four-session series.  There are two different times per day from 1:30-3:00 p.m. (eastern time) or from 7:30-9:00 p.m. (eastern time) on October 6th, October 20th, November 3rd, and November 17th. You may choose the best time each day that works for you. All sessions will be recorded and available to all registered participants. NOTE: This training is for people who did NOT attend the Vital Congregations Re-BOOT Camp in Spring 2022 or 2021. Register here!

Administrative Assistant | 
St Paul (Jefferson, MD)
Musicians | Epiphany (Baltimore, MD)
Afterschool Coordinator | Epiphany (Baltimore, MD)
Organist and Choir Director | St. Martin's (Annapolis, MD)
Worship Musicians | St. John's (Hagerstown, MD)
Lead Teachers | Prince of Peace Creative Learning Center (Baltimore)
Religion Teacher | St. Martin's Lutheran School of Annapolis
Sexton | Zion (Baltimore)
Director of Worship Music | St. Paul's (Lutherville, MD)
Communications Assistant | St. Paul's (Lutherville, MD)
Teachers and Pre-K Aide | St. Peter’s (Fullerton, MD)
Keyboard Player | St. Mark's (Hagerstown, MD)
Music Director Our Shepherd (Severna Park, MD)
Digital Ministries Coordinator | New Hope (Columbia, MD)

To read more about these positions, please visit the Classifieds page on our synod's website.

Prayer Concerns
for domestic and global COVID infection rates, frontline workers; for the people of Ukraine, Russia, and the surrounding countries receiving refugees, for relief workers and refugees, the witness of the church, and our service personnel that 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 Matthew (recovering from surgery) and Abby (anticipating surgery tomorrow), Buddy (recovering from a broken bone), children of rostered ministers in our synod;
for Pastor Linda Fernandez, St. Mary (Silver Run); Sallie Gartside, OSSD, Good Shepherd (Bel Air), recovering from a surgical procedure, and Gail Wilson, OSSD, retired, anticipating a surgical procedure;
for Bob Sutliff and Pastor Richard Stewart (Professor Emeritus, United Lutheran Seminary/Philadelphia Campus), receiving palliative care at home;
for the people of Luther Chapel (Petersville), who are in a time of discernment;
for the family of Dan Goemmer, cousins of the Gohl children, who died in Christ;
for the ELCA Conference of BishopsPresiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, for Pastor Amy Thoren and the St. Andrew’s Chapel and Student Center, for Pastor Nelson Rabell and the Iglesia Luterana Santa María Peregrina Community, for Pastor Hazel Salazar-Davidson, for Pastor Megan Rohrer, for the Sierra Pacific Synod and Bishop Claire Burkat; 

and for the ongoing health, peace and healing of Debbie, Dave Kretschmann, Jeremy, Pastor Lura Groen, Ana Porres, Lindsay, Theresa Carr, Matthew Herzberg, Kathy, Lee, Sam, Rich Shuster, Pastor Harry Wolpert, Thomas, Tybron, Patricia Magwood Gambrill, Alex, Virginia Lee, Pastor Gordon Narveson, Alicia, Bobbie, Ashley Brocious, Joshua Lafferty, Grace Schafer, Elfriede Kiesling, Doris Anderson, Eli, Barbara Harant, and Deacon Laura Heller.

With my love and prayers,

William (Bill) Gohl, Jr., Bishop
Delaware-Maryland Synod, ELCA
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