The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion – A message from Bishop Knudsen

Dear Maryland Episcopalians,IMG_7719The sky is not falling! You may have heard news reports the Episcopal Church has been sanctioned by the Anglican Communion. In truth it was the primates and presiding bishops from the 38 autonomous churches meeting in Canterbury that voted to suspend us from serving on committees within the organizational life of the Communion.The Anglican Consultative Council is the body that can take such actions, not the primates. This is not the first time that we have been asked to refrain from participating in the governance of the Anglican Communion.

Please read or watch our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s message on the meeting. He reminds us, “…the Anglican Communion is a network of relationships built on mission partnerships.”

That means St. John’s-Mt. Washington’s relationship continues with a ministry in Uganda as will other parishes who have similar mission partnerships within the Anglican Communion. And it means our efforts will continue with the Diocese of Nakuru, Kenya, to support a joint ministry at St. Andrew’s International Community Church/Anglican-Episcopal in Baltimore.

We will always seek to build and strengthen our mission partnerships throughout the Anglican Communion. Differences in conviction have no power to threaten the unity given us within the Body of Christ.

Let us focus on Bishop Curry’s conclusion in today’s statement: “We are part of the Jesus Movement, and the cause of God’s love in this world can never stop and will never be defeated.”

Faithfully,

+Chilton R. Knudsen
Assistant Bishop of Maryland

Advent, Christmas & Epiphany…hope in uncertain times

My dear fellow Episcopalians,

We are blessed by God to be moving through these holy seasons. Advent is our time to prepare for the ultimate mystery of the Incarnation. How is God-becoming-human going to change our lives this year?
ETS-Brides-PorchChristmas Day begins a 12 day season of giving. We give in gratitude for many things. It’s also a time for us to ponder God’s gifts to us and how we might return thanks. That season ends with Epiphany, traditionally the revealing of Jesus to the Gentiles represented by the magi. After their encounter and a vision in a dream, they return home by another road. That’s the feast where we really should ask, “how are we going to change the direction of our lives?”

It’s too easy for us sweeten this story. The crèche. The sweet carols. The beautiful cards and wrapping paper. These are all distractions from the real story.

Jesus was born into a world of uncertainty, oppression, injustice; an occupied land in an empire known for its ruthlessness. Let’s not forget the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt and the murder of the innocent children in Bethlehem.

This was the time God chose to enter the world. It also was in that time that the world changed. A new way living and interacting with others began. It began a time of living by the law of love; of working for peace and justice, and loving one another as Jesus loved us.

We began this year in grief and heartache. We have had to respond to events we never expected. This season we need to pray for all those who will be without a loved one for the first time or who lost someone in their life around this time of year. I ask your prayers especially for the family of Tom Palermo.

I also ask your prayers for all those in 12 step recovery and that includes Heather Cook as well as her family. These holidays are particularly difficult for recovering alcoholics and addicts.

We are blessed to know that God loved the world so much that the time chosen for the miracle of the incarnation was an uncertain and dark one. Many are saying we live in dark and uncertain times; that fear is motivating us more and more. I take great comfort knowing that God is with us. As we sing the hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” let’s remember that Emmanuel means, “God with us.”

I find great hope in that. And that is my wish for all of you.

Faithfully,

eugene-2

Watershed Restoration Project Announced

St. Luke’s Church, Annapolis, is pleased to announce construction will begin next year on its comprehensive watershed restoration initiative on Back Creek in Annapolis. The project DNR preservation-2is enabled by two grant awards from Maryland’s Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund totaling $1,115,770 and our implementation partners, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Underwood & Associates.

St. Luke’s raised matching funds through St. Margaret’s (Annapolis) Episcopal Church Mission Grants, Severn River Association, Unity Gardens, Willis Bilderback Memorial, Annapolis Subaru, Watergate Pointe Marina, and church fundraisers in support of its Bay restoration project.

The project will treat 27 acres of storm water in support of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s goals for clean water, habitat for flora and fauna, quality community green space, and accessible best management practices that promote environmental stewardship. St. Luke’s is supported in this work by RiverWise Congregations, a partnership working to involve communities of faith in watershed restoration, which includes Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy, and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake.