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February 25, 2020
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Ash Wednesday 2020:  Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21:  These verses in Mathew, from the Sermon on the Mount, are read at the beginning of the Lenten season on Ash Wednesday.

Yet we do well to ask whether it is really a Lenten text. Those planning worship will often send signals to the congregation that the seasons have changed. The paraments will change to purple. People will be listening to this sermon midweek, rather than on a Sunday. And in many congregations the service will follow a different format. The message is clear: we are making the start of a new season. Yet this is what makes preaching the Sermon on the Mount so challenging: It is a word that knows no season—and that can be quite helpful.

First, this word is not really about you and the season. The passage includes no references to a journey that starts on Ash Wednesday and culminates on Easter Sunday six and a half weeks later. There really is no mention of movement at all. It deals with life in the presence of God, and that is ongoing.   Click to continue reading.


LAST CALL TO REGISTER FOR POST CONVENTION DINNER AT CAMP WRIGHT: Gather with other delegates and friends, learn more about Camp Wright and enjoy the sunset and a delicious meal. The event will begin immediately following the business meeting with dinner served at 5:30 pm.  Appetizers, dinner, beverages and CW made desserts will be served.  Register here. Contact Julia Connelly with questions, director@campwright.com

Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday: The Bishop has designated March 22nd as ERD Sunday. Please use this Fourth Sunday of Lent to highlight the work of ERD and invite everyone to give generously to this noble effort. Read Bishop San's message here.

Bishop's Blog: The Bishop was in Alabama to preach and celebrate the life and work of Absalom Jones on Saturday, February 15th at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham.  The Union of Black Episcopalians celebrates annually the life of Absalom Jones who was the first African-American abolitionist and clergyman in the Episcopal Church.  Bishop San was instrumental in starting the Alabama chapter of The Union of Black Episcopalians.  Following is an excerpt from his sermon: Commemoration of the Reverend Father Absalom Jones  - Diocese of Alabama, February 15, 2020.
“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm…” Galatians 5: 1
By way of a personal confession, I wish to categorically state that the African American religious experience is one that I feel most unqualified to speak on with any degree of competency. However, I am a global missionary of Jesus who has been called to engage every missional experience within the context of many complex and varied missional fields, and to preach the gospel at all times for every season. So, please forgive me if I neglect to preach specifically on an experience that is near and dear and quite frankly personal to so many.
However, as much as we should be focusing on the many pioneering and evolutionary attributes of this notable and reverend “Man of God’s Own Heart”. A title given by God to King David. In my personal conviction, and humble opinion and, I believe Father Absalom would wish for me to do so and, that is, I would much prefer to ask the overarching question. What was the motivation of this pioneering servant of the faith, this abolitionist of exceptional conviction and love for Jesus to act the way he acted in the 18th century Christian Church; in an American culture which at that time was inundated with racial prejudices, and irreconcilable discrimination? 
What may be his message and expectation for us Christians in the Church of the 21st century; a message we may need to focus on in today’s Church? So, I invite you to journey with me for a few minutes as we seek to peek into the heart of this Christian protagonist we honor, commemorate and celebrate.  Read the Bishop's full sermon here.

Convention Registration Extended:   There is still time to register and join us for the 152nd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Easton "Becoming Better Disciples of Jesus" scheduled for March 7th at Christ Church Kent Island. Snow Date – Saturday, March 14, 2020.  Registrations must be submitted online.     Read More & Register.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT OUR CONVENTION 2020 NON PERISHABLE FOOD DRIVE!!  Convention attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to Convention 2020 to help the food pantry at St. Andrew's Church in Hurlock. Congregations are also invited to participate by hosting a food drive and sending the collected items with their delegates to Convention.  Items  from the "most wanted" donations list include: Cereal, Canned Goods, Mac & Cheese and other non-perishable basics.  They are also looking for Toiletries, Tissues, Toilet Paper and Feminine Hygiene Products.  Please no fresh items (including bread) or any outdated items.  Let's work together and fill those shelves!


Episcopal Youth Event 2020 (EYE2020):  The Episcopal Youth Event is a gathering of over 2,000 young Episcopalians that happens only once in a triennial! The event is open to all current high school students. Visit our website for more info and to register - registration closes March 8th.
 
Bishop San's Luncheon Lenten Series: Bishop San will be leading a Lenten Luncheon Series on Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “No Future Without Forgiveness: A Lost Discipline in the 21st Century Church.”  
March 3rd - St. Mary Anne's, North East 11:00 am
March 17th -  St. Mary Anne's, North East 11:00 am
March 24th - St  Andrew's, Princess Anne 11:00 am
March 31st - Holy Spirit, Ocean City 11:00 am

Click here for more info.

Wardens, Treasurers and New Vestry Members Conference, Miller Hall, Trinity Cathedral on Saturday, March 21st, beginning at 10am.  Don’t miss out on the excitement, we already have over 35 people registered.  This is your chance to meet other leaders from across the diocese and to learn about: the responsibilities of being an employer, a calendar timeline of important annual Vestry responsibilities and a presentation about a program that can help congregations find and coordinate with contractors in the event of an emergency.  We are inviting parish officers and all Vestry members to this event.  Lunch will be provided.  So that we can order enough food for everyone, please register for this event no later than 12noon on March 12th, by contacting Patrick in the Bray House – 410.822.1919 or patrick@dioceseofeaston.org
Click here for conference agenda.  Click here for conference flyer.
 
St. Peter's, Salisbury - Planned Giving/Endowments Workshop, March 21st  Parish leaders in the Diocese of Easton and Diocese of Delaware are invited to register for a workshop on Planned Giving/Endowments presented by Jim Murphy, Managing Program Director for Financial Resources at the Episcopal Church Foundation.  The workshop will be held Saturday, March 21st from 9am to 3pm at St. Peter’s Church, 115 St. Peter’s Street, in Salisbury, MD.  Parishes with an existing Planned Giving ministry and/or an Endowment, as well as those without one, will benefit from this workshop.  This workshop reviews best practices and empowers leadership to be able to take the best, next steps for their congregation.  Topics to be covered:
  • Are you ready for the future of giving at your congregation?
  • Setting Up a Planned Giving Program for Your Parish.
  • Developing relationships and building trust with donors.
  • Importance of Endowment Structure.
  • Creating a Legacy Society and using Planned Giving on Demand for Your Parish.
Advanced registration required – Deadline to register – March 16th.  There is a $15 fee for lunch, payable on the day of the event.  Read More.
 
United Thank Offering 2020 Annual Grants -  Application deadline is March 6th.  These grants are awarded for projects in The Episcopal Church and throughout the Anglican Communion, each year with a different focus. For 2020, the focus is Bless: Share faith, practice generosity and compassion, and proclaim the Good News of God in Christ with hope and humility.  More info here.

Small Church Summit 2.0 - The Conversation Continues 
Following up on the discussion which began last year, we will be holding a series of three (3) small church summit gatherings, one for each convocation.  The purpose of these gatherings will be to deepen our conversations at the local level and allow parish leaders the opportunity to review the information that was presented but more importantly to talk with each other about ways in which our small congregations might work together on many different mission initiatives, including clergy leadership.  Please see the attached flyer for the meeting in your convocation.  Please register with Patrick two weeks prior to your event: 410.822.1919 or patrick@dioceseofeaston.org
 
Southern Convocation - May 2, 2020
St. Paul’s Episcopal Center, Hebron, MD

Middle Convocation - May 9, 2020
Trinity Cathedral, Miller Hall, Easton, MD

Northern Convocation - May 16, 2020
St. Stephen’s Church, Earleville, MD

All sessions 10am - 2pm
  

Around the Diocese


Church of the Holy Trinity, Oxford - The American Spiritual Ensemble will be conducting choral workshops for youth and sharing a public concert the evening of Friday, February 28, 2020.  The Church of the Holy Trinity will be hosting morning choral workshops for public school choirs.  Three choirs will come from Dorchester County Public Schools, one choir from Talbot County Public Schools, and a local women’s ensemble will participate in the seventy-five-minute workshops led by Ensemble members.  This is a once in a lifetime experience for our area youth and musicians.  They will see and experience that they too can follow their dreams and make music a significant part of their lives.  The workshops will be hosted at several venues throughout Oxford and lunch will be provided by community businesses. On Friday evening, The American Spiritual Ensemble will present a public concert for the public at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary.  All are welcome to attend.  If you have never experienced The American Spiritual Ensemble in concert, you will be amazed at the incredible music they share.  A freewill offering will be taken to defray the Ensemble’s expenses.  For further information please contact 410-226-5134 or office@holytrinityoxfordmd.org.  Read more here.  Click here for flyer.

Join Christ Church, Easton at Washington Cathedral for J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on Sunday, April 5th at 4:00 pm.  Regarded as one of finest of all masterpieces, the Saint Matthew Passion tells the story of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.  Performed on Palm Sunday, a day when the Christian faith commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and His journey to the Cross, acclaimed tenor Rufus Muller, the Cathedral Choir and Orchestra against the backdrop of the grandeur of the Washington National Cathedral make this an event not to be missed!  To make your reservation, email weslockfaw@christchurcheaston.org or call 410-822-2677 no later than March 5th.  Following the performance, join them at Maggiano’s just blocks away from the cathedral for a wonderful evening of great food and fellowship!
 
Ticket Prices (Includes a 20% discount)
Premium Nave $76
Mid Nave $48
Rear Nave $32
North/South Balcony $48
West Balcony $36
North/South Transept West $48
North/South Transept East (partial view) $20
$15 Student tickets available in all sections except Premium Nave.
 
Dinner (Includes Food, Non-alcoholic Beverages, tax and gratuity)  
Adults $55  Children (8 and under) $27.75

 
Christ Church, Easton - Calling All Singers! Celebrating Louis Vierne at 150  On Sunday March 22nd, the Members of the Mid-Shore MD Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and regional musicians will gather to pay tribute to Louis Vierne whose 150th birthday is this year!  Included in the performance will be organists Dale Krider, Kenneth Brown, and David Lang, a mass choir under the direction of Wes Lockfaw, and an audiovisual presentation on the life of Louis Vierne and the organs of Notre Dame.  Vierne, legally blind from birth, was the primary organist for Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, a position he held from 1900 until his death in 1937.  As a part of this 150th birthday observance, singers are invited to join a mass choir that will sing two movements from Vierne’s Messe Solennelle.  There will be one rehearsal on the morning of March 21st beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Christ Church Easton.  While there is no cost to participate, singers are asked to contact weslockfaw@christchurcheaston.org  as soon as possible to ensure that enough music copies are procured. 

St. Philip’s, Quantico - The 3rd Thursday Guest Lecture Series continues They begin at 2 :00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Rain or shine.  These events are free, but registration is appreciated (reply to 410-742-1837). Coffee and tea are provided.
March 19th “Better Writing” Improve any kind of writing from poetry of love to letters of complaint. The instructor is Elaine Wallingford, retired Advanced Placement English Teacher and writing consultant. Guidelines and practice will be provided.
April 16th “Favorite Book Discussion” Bring the best book you have ever read and share its import. You will be asked to share a  line or two or a paragraph. Length of time to share depends on number of participants. Call in title and author ahead of meeting (410-742-1837) to help create a FAV Book Library List. Organizer Elaine Wallingford.
May 21st “Writing and Publishing a Novel” with author Pat Cavanaugh (Beneath the Quince Bush- a Civil War novel of revenge). Pat will discuss the process of writing and publishing with great humor. His methods and experience are clear and tested. 
June 18th “How to be a Pilot and How a Plane Works” with pilot and priest
 Father Ken Thom. He will give direction on how a pilot and a plane work together.  Father Ken is a licensed pilot and retired from NASA, Greenbelt. 
For any questions, contact PR Liaison: Elaine T. Wallingford ewallingford2004@yahoo.com 410-742-1837.

Beyond the Diocese


Lent 2020: A Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Repentance Leading to Action - An Invitation from Presiding Bishop Curry to Turn and Pray on Behalf our Nation: As the season of Lent approaches, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry invites Episcopalians and people of faith to turn and pray on behalf of our nation:
 
“In times of great national concern and urgency, people of faith have returned to ancient practices of repentance, prayer and fasting as ways of interceding with God on behalf of their nation and the world. This is such a moment for us in the United States.  

On Ash Wednesday I will join with other Christian leaders observing this Lent as a season of prayer, fasting and repentance on behalf of our nation, with continued fasting each Wednesday until the Wednesday before Advent begins."  Read letter & view video message here.  "


Presiding Bishop Michael Curry calls for Good Friday Offering to support ministry in Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East:  “Love is at the foundation of the Good Friday Offering of our Church which provides an opportunity for every parish throughout our Church to be connected with the ministry of love and compassion carried out by our Anglican sisters and brothers throughout the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East,” Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry wrote to the bishops and clergy of The Episcopal Church. “Love is at the heart of the meaning of the cross.  Love is at the heart of the life Christ calls us to live.  Love is at the heart of the movement Jesus began and which we live in our own time.”

In his Good Friday letter, Presiding Bishop Curry asks each Bishop and congregation to consider providing assistance for the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.  Read Presiding Bishop Curry's letter here.

Habitat for Humanity Choptank is presenting “FOREVER HOME”, a huge fund raiser on June 6, 2020 at the Habitat Choptank Restore on Commerce Drive in Easton.
The Woman Build Team is constructing a 10’ x 14’ “She Shed” to be raffled on that evening.  It will be furnished with a lovely seating area, a large storage/shelving hutch, a craft/desk/work bench and ample studio space for art, sculpting, weaving, quilting, gardening or any desired pursuit.
They hope to raise $20,000+ for Habitat. You are invited to donate generously to purchase the building materials for the “She Shed” by sending a check to: Habitat for Humanity Choptank , 29349 W. Maple Ave., Suite 3, Trappe MD, 21673. Please add to the memo “She Shed” account. This is a 501c3 organization and you will receive acknowledgment for your tax records.  This is your chance to make a difference in the life of a hard working family!
Many thanks, Sandy Wrightson, Chair for the She Shed Project


Resources available for the Way of Love in Lent and Easter  The journey through Lent into Easter is a journey with Jesus. We are baptized into his life, self-giving, and death, then we rise in hope to life transformed. This Lent, faith communities will be invited to walk with Jesus in his Way of Love and into the experience of transformed life.

Updated and expanded Way of Love resources for Lent and Easter are available here and include: a series of Adult Forums, a Quiet Day curriculum, a customizable publicity poster, and a daily calendar.  Read more here.

Living Well Through Lent 2020: A Living Compass Seasonal Resource Practicing Courage With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind  Designed for use as an individual reflection or for group study, this daily devotional provides a foundation for seeking a deeper experience of Lent, an experience that will help prepare us for the true meaning of Easter.  Read more here.

The Episcopal Church Joint Standing Committee for Nominations for General Convention has issued a call for nominations for Episcopal Church positions, committees, and boards. Elections will take place at the 80th General Convention, to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, June 30 – July 9, 2021. The deadline to submit applications is March 31, 2020.  Read more here.

Updated Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs now available  The Canons of The Episcopal Church set forth the general responsibility and accountability for the stewardship of the Church’s money and property. Title I, Canon 7 specifically addresses the business methods prescribed for every diocese, parish, mission, and institution subject to the authority of the Episcopal Church.  Read more here.

Embracing Evangelism video series and resources coming in Spring 2020 Participants at the Rooted in Jesus conference in Atlanta, Georgia, were introduced to Embracing Evangelism, a new six-part evangelism video course provided by The Episcopal Church and Virginia Theological Seminary. Each episode features teachings on Episcopal evangelism, class discussions and prompts, and exercises to help Episcopalians understand the ministry and call to evangelism. Read more here.

 

POST YOUR EVENT!
Send an email with a short description plus links or attachments to Joanne.  Churches are also encouraged to add joanne@dioceseofeaston.org to their local enews as she will occasionally pull events from those sources.

Bishop's Spotlight:

The Bishop had the opportunity on February 16th to visit Camp Wright and survey the property. Later that same day the Bishop headed to Kennedyville to conduct the first annual general meeting of La Sagrada Familia de Jesus. He was excited to share in this experience where the joy and gratitude expressed by the members was both holy and infectious. The Bishop will return to La Sagrada Familia for his annual visit on the afternoon of Palm Sunday (4pm) during which ten confirmands will be presented for Confirmation.

Bishop San visited with St. Paul's, Berlin and commended the parish for allowing their Rector, The Very Reverend Michael Moyer, to take on the new ministry of Dean for the Southern Convocation.  He also highlighted the fact that the parish has pledged their full apportionment for the year 2020.  Bishop San had a very fruitful and inspiring visit with the faithful members of St. Paul's, Berlin.

Camp Wright Corner:


LAST CALL TO REGISTER FOR... Post-Convention Fellowship and Dinner  - March 7th 5:30pm.  Register here.
 
Open  House - May 9th
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Silver Camp - June 13th

Camp Wright's 90th Anniversary Celebration
July 25th, 10am

Summer 2020 Dates, rates & registration are now available!!

Check out the camp website
Retreat House Happenings:
 
Retreat House on the Road offers workshops and trainings that can be customized specifically for your community or parish.  More info here.

The Retreat House gates are always open --please come anytime for a peaceful walk. We would love to hear from you. Call us at (410) 364-7069 or visit our website or contact Francie Thayer.

Pastoral concerns:


We pray for continued healing and comfort for the following people and their families:

The Rev. Kevin Cross, Rector,  Church of the Holy Trinity, Oxford.

Sandra Marray, Sister of Bishop Santosh Marray

The Rev. Pete Stanton

Dee Rinehart, Director of the Bishops Institute

Art Leiby



Submit prayer requests to joanne@dioceseofeaston.org. Names are listed for four weeks unless otherwise specified. 

Diocesan Prayer Calendar:


First Sunday in Lent (March 1st): Gracious God, guide and sustain your faithful people in your church in the Diocese of Easton as we gather for our 152nd Annual Convention. Lead us to be your light and vessels of compassion and mercy, hospitality and reconciling presence. Inspire your church in this convention and beyond with a grateful heart and thankful spirit.

Second Sunday in Lent (March 8th): We give thanks for the witness of God’s people at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea, Ocean City, and for their Rector, the Rev. Matthew D’Amario, and his spouse, Craig.
We also celebrate the life and mission of Harriet Ross Tubman.

For additional weeks, please visit our website.
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Easton, MD 21601

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Episcopal Diocese of Easton · 314 North Street · Easton, MD 21601 · USA

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