Fall prayer walks to remember victims of gun violence in Baltimore

The dates for of the fall prayer walks in the the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland have been published. All are welcome to join us on these pilgrimages as we walk the streets of Baltimore to honor and pray for those who have died. The location and time for each prayer walk is listed by the dates below. Please follow the events on Facebook and share with your communities.

  • Sat Nov 3 | 1:00-3:00 PM | gather at Cathedral of the Incarnation | 4 E. University Pkwy
  • Dec 31 | 4:00 PM | (remembering all by name that have died in last year)| gather at Cathedral | walk east to 4000 Old York Rd. | pray for all 2018 victims by name.
  • Sat Feb 2 | 10:00 AM-Noon | gather at St. Katherine of Alexandria | 2001 Division St.
  • Fri Apr 26 | 9:00 AM-Noon | Good Friday walk | begin at Cathedral | end at St. Luke’s | 217 N. Carey St. (5 miles)
  • Sat May 11 | 4:00-6:00 PM | gather at  Iglesia de la Resurrección | 2900 E. Fayette St.
  • Fri June 21 | 5:30-7:30 PM | gather at Collington Square Elementary School | 1409 N. Collington Ave.

From the Archives: Lambeth Conference, 1948

 

By Mary Klein, archivist

As Bishop Noble Powell made plans to attend the Lambeth Conference of 1948, the Standing Committee of the diocese surprised him with the announcement that a fund to send not only the bishop, but his wife to England had been established. Mary Rustin Powell accompanied her husband aboard the U.S.S. America, leaving New York on June 23 and departing from England on August 13. After the trip Mrs. Powell wrote the ladies of her home parish, Emmanuel Church, Baltimore, who had contributed generously to the purse making her adventure possible. That letter was published in the Maryland Churchman so that all you had contributed to the purse could glimpse the exciting journey. Following are excerpts from Mary Powell’s reminiscences of her nearly two-month sojourn abroad. Among the notable events shipboard, she wrote, “Those were six wonderful days enjoyed to the full, especially by me, perhaps, for never in the 24 years since I’ve been married have I known just where I could find my husband.”

Remarking on the scarcity of food and consumer goods in England, even three years after the end of World War II, Mrs. Powell noted, “I don’t understand how they can be so cheerful eating such rations year after year. In fact, we Americans are spoiled in every way. I can think of nothing I would rather do than send everyone I met a nice box of food and clothes.” The sight of the ruins in London touched her deeply, and at her first sight of Canterbury she observed, “I walked under the beautiful Cloister Gate, and as we climbed the steps I noticed some snapdragons growing out of ruins. There was no earth to be seen, just the stone; yet flowers were growing. I couldn’t help feeling it was typical of the British spirit – flowers growing out of ruins.”

Thrilled by the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, Mary Powell made some observations, “The Princess Margaret came our way. She is quite small and lovely looking in a pretty robin’s egg blue taffeta suit, hat and shoes to match. The Shah of Iran was there with his retinue; several Indian potentates with their lovely wives exquisitely dressed – their clothes floated around them. Probably the most interesting people were the former Prime Minister and Mrs. Churchill. He was jolly and gallant to everyone – seemed to know everyone and never stopped smoking his cigar. When they left everyone cheered, and I wondered if Mr. Atlee were around and what his feelings were.”

In closing to her friends at Emmanuel and throughout the diocese, the bishop’s wife wrote, “And so my trip abroad is over, but the memory of it will always remain, and with it my gratitude for your generosity in making it possible. Thank you again for these thrilling weeks.”

The Protestant Episcopal Brotherhood, Diocese of Maryland, 1851-1966

By Mary Klein, diocesan archivist

The Protestant Episcopal Brotherhood was “an organization of churchmen founded for benevolent purposes” in 1851. In the preamble it is stated that their purpose was to “associate ourselves for the purpose of mutual benefit in times of sickness and distress, for the promotion of Christian fellowship and love, and for the dispensation of temporal and spiritual aid and comfort to all who are in need of sympathy.” Those who were eligible included “every clergyman of the Church, a resident of the Diocese of Maryland, and every layman, baptized or confirmed, or a communicant in the Protestant Episcopal Church, if a resident of the Diocese of Maryland…” The dues were steep: three to five dollars to join, depending upon age, and two dollars every quarter. In return, a member who could not work received $5 dollars a week disability for the first 13 weeks, $3 per week for the next 13 weeks, and $2 per week for the remainder of his illness. (One man’s benefits went on for 179 weeks!) There was also a payment of $100 toward funeral expenses, as well as a $20 payment upon the death of a wife. A Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund also existed, as well as a Charity Fund.

In a day when unemployment insurance was unheard-of and unions were not prevalent in Maryland, a mutual benefit association which would provide some assistance while a man could not earn a living, was a God-send. Destitution could haunt a family quickly if the bread-winner were incapacitated; so the safety net provided by the Brotherhood, the vast majority of whom lived in Baltimore, probably spared many families the horrors of poverty.

The membership application form asked several interesting questions: “Are you temperate in all your habits?”, “Will you endeavor to increase the membership for the Brotherhood and promulgate its interests?”, “Are you able to earn a livelihood?”. The rector of the applicant’s parish had to be named and three Brothers had to recommend the applicant. There was also a medical examination required, a printed form appearing in about 1900. A physician examined the applicant and reported on his height, weight, heart and lungs. An interesting question was, “Are you ruptured, and if so, will you wear a truss?” That must have been a big problem, if it showed up on a medical exam form! The applicants were all men, at least 18 years of age, and looking at the height and weight figures is interesting to us a century later. The forms from 1903 until 1907 indicate that height ranged from 5’ 4 ½ “ to 5’ 11”, and the weight from 110 pounds (on a man 5’8”) to 156 pounds on a man 5’7”.  Ages of the men applying ranged from 18-42, and most were shorter than today’s man and much lighter in weight, the average height being 5’8” and weight 134 pounds. Diets and work habits apparently make a huge difference in determining weight and height.

Occupations of applicants are also interesting to study. Of course there were clergy, as well as bookkeepers, students, salesmen and real estate brokers, but the vast majority seemed to clerks.

The prevalence of corner stores meant lots of clerks were needed. There was also a Supreme Court bailiff, a music teacher, a proofreader, a draughtsman, and a boilermaker. Machinist’s helpers, apprentices, telephone operators, attorneys, and stonecutters also applied; as did a car repairer, a confectioner, a post office clerk, a dentist, a stenographer, a paperhanger and a sexton. Merchants, bank clerks, laborers, as well as a moulder, a “general collector” and a glassmaker round out the occupation list. The list itself gives us a glimpse into the social structure of turn-of –the-century Baltimore, as well as the job market.

Receiving sick benefits didn’t happen just as a matter of course. A member on the Relief Committee paid the sick Brother a visit to verify that he was ill and deserved the payment. A physician also had to send a note to the Brotherhood stating that the member was under his care and was unable to perform the duties for the carrying out of his occupation. In about 1900 a standard form was available for the application for sick benefits, requiring the physician to determine if the illness or injury was “caused by intemperance or any immoral conduct.” Diagnoses may appear strange to modern ears.  Nervous prostration, lumbago, sciatica, acute mental aberration, pleurisy, malaria and typhoid were all reported. Injuries included being fallen upon by a sleigh, sprained ankles, poisoning, broken ribs, mashed hands, dislocated hips, broken wrists, puncture wounds, and run-away horse accidents. Rheumatism and pneumonia were common, as were stomach troubles, tonsillitis, and bronchitis. “La grippe” was reported often; we know it today as the flu. One man was diagnosed with “locomotor ataxia” and nervous exhaustion and was later confined to a mental institution.

During the years 1891 to 1903, one Maryland clergyman received benefits often. Born in 1835, aging and apparently prone to accidents. He was 66 years old in 1901 when he filed a claim saying that he was prevented from performing his usual duties because he had been injured by a run-away horse. In 1902 he was injured again (this time the cause was not given), and in 1903 he was diagnosed with “printer’s arm”, whatever that might be. He also filed claims in 1891, 1892, 1894, and 1895.

Another clergyman seemed to have been plagued with nervous disorders, as well as other problems. Although he left the diocese in 1886, he continued to belong to the Brotherhood, pay his dues, and receive sick benefits. In 1892 he was diagnosed with “herpes zoster”, what we call shingles; in 1893 his sleigh fell on him, causing several weeks of disability, and in 1895 he was diagnosed with malaria. Advent and Christmas must have been overwhelming for him, because the doctor’s report filed on December 25, 1901 said that he had a breakdown caused by overwork and nervous prostration. This diagnosis was repeated in 1902, and he died December, 1902 at the age of 60.

Modern insurance possibilities made inroads into the Protestant Episcopal Brotherhood’s stance as the sole help of many disabled workers in the Diocese, and the Brotherhood dissolved in 1966. There were forty members remaining and each received $200.00 at the dissolution. The Brotherhood’s resources of over $10,000.00 were turned over to the Diocese, thus bringing to an end a century-old experiment in relief, disability insurance and fellowship.