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The garden of the Diocese, the Clagget Center, featured at General Convention

by Lisa Marie Ryder
Co-Executive Director of the Claggett Center
The Claggett Center will have a presence at the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Austin! General Convention is a unique opportunity to promote the Claggett Center and market our facilities to national church groups. Claggett’s location and facilities are ideal for the many events, meetings, and various retreats that national groups host. Also, the Christiane Inn was not yet completed as of the last convention, so we are especially looking forward to spreading the word about our incredible new conference lodging that so many in the Diocese contributed to.
James and I, along with our son Fletcher, will be at Convention for part of the time to promote Claggett. The Claggett Center is one of the sponsors of the Episcopal Camps & Conference Centers booth in the exhibition hall. Claggett’s photographs and promotional materials will be highlighted in the ECCC booth throughout convention, and we will be stationed at the booth to talk with convention goers about Claggett.

Members of the Maryland deputation will also assist us in serving as Claggett Ambassadors. They will be decked out in Claggett branded items, including lanyards, t-shirts, and buttons. Deputies are also equipped with talking points to help share information about Claggett that may be most relevant to national church groups.

Our goal is to speak authentically and from the heart while inviting folks to visit Claggett and consider it for their next event. 

Together we can promote the Claggett Center and share the good news of the camp, retreat, and conference center facilities of the Diocese of Maryland!

Bishop Curry calls The Episcopal Church to follow the Way of Love

This morning marked the official start of the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Austin, TX. In a rousing opening sermon, Presiding Bishop Michael Bruce Curry talked about how The Episcopal Church can intentionally move forward in the Way of Love.

After lengthy conversations with his staff and other evangelists within The Episcopal Church, Curry came to the conclusion that we don’t need another program. The Church has plenty of good ones. The teachings of Jesus have been the resource for living the Way of Love for centuries, he remarked. Curry called for all involved in General Convention to “meditate of the life and teaching of Jesus” before stepping up to the microphone in legislative sessions, before heading into meetings and in all encounters. He also called for the whole Episcopal Church to adopt a way of living a Jesus-Centered Life, to commit to this life-giving Way of Love. To make this call a reality, The Episcopal Church has created resources to assist communicants in discerning how to live – The Way of Love: Practices for Jesus-Centered Life. The elements of this new “rule of life” are to turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go and rest.

For in-depth description and resources on the Way of Love, visit The Episcopal Church website here.

We can learn to follow this rule of life. It it a wonderful tool to help the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland build a Community of Love.

Summary Guide to major issues at General Convention 79

The 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church officially begins tomorrow, July 5. To understand the issues before the Church this triennial, see this summary guide to #GC79 prepared by The Episcopal Church. #edom #austin #episcoalchurch Episcopal Diocese of Maryland deputies began arriving in Austin yesterday to participate in legislative committee work. Our bishops, Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton and Bishop Chilton Knudsen, are heading up legislative committees this time. For more information on the work they are doing, see this post on the Diocese of Maryland General Convention blog: https://episcopalmaryland.org/diocese-of-maryland-adopts-i…/. To learn more about the work our deputies are doing, see this post: https://episcopalmaryland.org/announcement-of-legislative-…/. Keep The Episcopal Church and your Maryland clergy and deputies in your prayers.

Faith perspective – five dead after shooting in Capital Gazette building in Annapolis

By the Rev. Timothy Mulder, interim rector, St. Anne’s, Annapolis

This afternoon my phone began to buzz. “Are you OK?” Before I knew what had happened, I realized what had happened. Today, tragedy had not come to someone else’s town. Today murder came to ours.

I replied to my friends, “I’m OK,” but even in doing that I realized there would be other families tonight who will never be OK again.

The thing I’m beginning to realize is that any town is now our town, that other people are now our neighbors and family members and work colleagues. Someone asked tonight, “Where can we be safe if not here?”

So we are all feeling vulnerable, not just to the physical deadly violence, but to our psyches, to our souls, to our outlook on life.

I suppose it’s never really been different in any age. The issues have been different, but life is always fragile. Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I tell myself is that today is a gift.

I am in awe of those neighbors of ours: the police, the rescue squad, the fire company and so many others who are willing to put their lives on the line for the rest of us. Most of us individually are strangers to them, but collectively we are the community.

That’s one of the core values and messages of nights of pain and unnecessary violence like tonight. In an age of nobody seeming to care about anybody but themselves and their own, the essence of community is still a core value that transcends religions, political parties, ages, wealth groups. We need to care, with all our lives, not just for ourselves and our own, but for our whole community.

Jesus redefined the idea of neighbor. The system of his day wanted neighbors to be folk like us. Jesus turned it around and said that there is no one who is not our neighbor in the household of God. And if neighbor, then compelling of care, even at a personal cost.

I wonder what personal cost we, as a society, are willing to pay for the on-going ramifications of gun violence in our land? Then I have to take it down a level and wonder what cost we, as Christians, are willing to pay? What can we do? And then I need to bring it down to the personal, what about me in my own life, what can I do, what will I do, no matter the cost?

When the General Convention of the Episcopal Church meets in a week, a major topic will be gun violence. I have no delusions that we will solve the matter. But is it acceptable not to think, to talk together, to pray, to work in regard to something that is so regularly and increasingly stealing the lives of our neighbors, our family members, ourselves?
To say that our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims is true, while even in believing in the amazing power of prayer, it feels inadequate.

We cry out as the writers of the Psalms did, in lament. We ask, “How long, O Lord?” We are at a loss for words. No one wants this, but what to do?

I believe that what we can do is to stay together, as a town, as a community, as a church, as families, as friends, as colleagues. Talk about these things with each other. I said talk, not argue. Listen. Listen with care. Be humble. Be open to the Spirit.

The other day John Lewis, a member of Congress who marched with Martin Luther King, said that the struggle is not about just this hour, or this day or this season, but all of life. God calls us to be faithful day in and day out. God calls us to affirm life, our own and one another’s. God calls us to act for justice and fairness, realizing we may fail or fall at times.

To those of you hurting tonight, your pain is honored and shared. To those of you angry tonight, try to turn your anger into empathy and action. To those of you discouraged tonight, know that God will not let you or this creation go, and our prayer is still God’s kingdom will be on earth as in heaven. Even on nights like tonight…. May the peace of God, even in the midst of the storm, that passes all understanding, keep you, and all those who mourn, now and always.

In Christ,
Timothy Mulder
Interim Rector

On Friday, June 29, 7:00 PM, Annapolis houses of worship (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) will hold a prayer vigil at the Westfield Mall, Pottery Barn parking lot, across the street from the site of the shooting. All are welcome.

This Saturday, June 30, the 5:30 PM Eucharist at St. Anne’s, Annapolis, will be offered for the victims of this tragedy. All are welcome, no matter your faith, your politics; this is the house of God for prayer for all people. St. Anne’s is located at Church Circle in downtown Annapolis. Our clergy are available to talk with you on a private and personal level.

 

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and the African Republic of Maryland

By Mary Klein, diocesan archivist

On November 5, 1843, the Rt. Rev. William R. Whittingham confirmed nine people at St. James’ (First African) Church in Baltimore (now St. James’ Church, Lafayette Square). Always a meticulous record-keeper, the bishop noted in his book of confirmations “All late of Trinity Parish, Charles County, but about to sail for the Maryland Colony, Africa; being manumitted servants of the Rev. Henry B. Goodwin, by whom they have been prepared and are recommended for confirmation.” Read more