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St. Luke’s, Eastport featured in Sojourners for work in creation care

From Grassroots to Government: A Climate Assessment Presents a Moral Opportunity

By Christina Colón12-03-2018

A recent U.S. climate assessment made headlines last week for its conclusion that the victims of climate change are no longer some future generation, but us — and we’re feeling the effects now.

Three days after the Trump administration published the report — on the biggest shopping day of the year — Katharine Hayhoe, one of the authors, appeared in a webinar hosted by nonprofit news network, Climate Central, where she stressed that climate change is real, serious, and the “window of time to prevent widespread dangerous impacts is closing fast.”

Climate change will not affect everyone equally, the report shows, but no one is slated to be left untouched.

In addition to more extreme temperatures and climate disasters such as fires and floods, the 1,656-page assessment projects increased risks or failures to “critical systems including water resources, food production and distribution, energy and transportation, public health, international trade, and national security.”

The Rev. Ramelle McCall to serve on Episcopal Church Interim Body

by The Rev. Ramelle McCall
I have been asked to serve on the Interim Body* addressing the State of the Church. This committee, appointed by President of the House of Deputies, Gay Jennings, has been asked to “to fulfill Resolution 2018-A053, which directs the design of a new parochial report ’relevant to the diversity of the Episcopal Church’s participation in God’s mission in the world.’ The rest of your time will be spent exploring how we can find new ways to foster the participation of all Episcopalians in that mission,” said President Jennings at our first meeting last month. “In order to receive fresh and new perspectives,” President Jennings commented, “I have appointed no Baby Boomers to this committee…” (Our oldest member is 50 yrs old).
This allowed us to begin with fresh, unique ideas and to feel less beholden to “what the Church use to be.” For three days at Maritime Institute Conference Center near Baltimore, Maryland, we brainstormed and organized our ideas based on common themes we articulated. For example, one theme we discussed was Leadership and our concerns about leadership, such as ‘How can we empower elected deputies to find their voices around legislating? We have power to change things.’ We also named ‘Power’ as a theme: ‘How do we actively dismantle systems of power in the Church that belittle, marginalize, oppress, and limit our imagination?’ Our committee realizes that turning these ideas into actions will cause some debate, but we also feel that we have been called at this time to do the work our church has asked us to do based on Resolution A053. Therefore, we do not feel micromanaged, but rather inspired to connect with younger people in our home communities and begin to create real data and solutions regarding what the Church will look like in the future. As we continue to this work within this triennium, I will keep you posted on our exciting work. Blessings!
*A term of convenience used to described the committees, commissions, boards, and agencies of the General Convention. It is not a canonically defined term. If a group was created by General Convention resolution, or if a group is constituted by Canon, Rule of Order, or Joint Rule, or if it is funded within the canonical section of the budget, then it is an Interim Body. The interim period is the time between General Conventions. The Interim Bodies of the General Convention were first listed in The Episcopal Church Annual 1997.

The Rev. Ramelle McCall

Urban Missioner/Priest-In-Charge
Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal), West Baltimore

Registration opens for Claggett Center adult programs

Registration is now open for:

  • Jan. 18-20, 2019 Weekend for Women
  • Feb. 1-3, 2019 Men’s Retreat
  • March 15-17, 2019 Women’s Weekend

The Claggett Center offers a variety of programs for adults. Early registration is encouraged due to limited space. Programs include an annual women’s retreats, men’s retreat, church musicians’ retreat, camp for high-functioning adults with intellectual disabilities, and a variety of unique offerings each year.

Questions on upcoming programs may be directed to Suzi  Warfield at

Weekend for Women
January 18, 2019 – January 20, 2019

The mission of the Women’s Weekend is to provide the women of the Diocese of Maryland with a time and space for renewal that is grounded in faith and filled… Learn More

Men’s Retreat
February 1, 2019 – February 3, 2019

Keynote speaker: Rev. Tim Grayson from Church of the Messiah in Baltimore
Special Music Guests: 3rd Sunday Band at St. Margaret’s Church in Annapolis.

Along with keynote presentations by… Learn More

Writer’s Retreat: Fanning the Ember of Creativity
February 25, 2019 – February 28, 2019

Save the date for this writer’s workshop to include keynote presentations, workshop sessions, and time to work on your writing. This retreat is designed for gifted writers and publishers, people who… Learn More

Women’s Retreat
March 15, 2019 – March 17, 2019

A bible-based retreat where women of different faiths and generations join together to study and discuss scripture related to the topic of resilient spirituality. There will be small and large… Learn More

Spiritual Practices Retreat
November 15, 2019 – November 17, 2019

Save the date for this Spiritual Practices sampler retreat to include many different workshop sessions teaching practices to enhance your prayer and spiritual life.

The retreat begins with dinner… Learn More

EfM = in-depth Christian formation

by David Boyce, a member of St. Margaret’s in Annapolis and a member of the Diocese’s Standing Committee.

Education for Ministry is a four-year program that I would dub “seminary lite”.  It is targeted at lay people who want to deepen their understanding of scripture, church history, philosophy and theology.  EFM is offered by many parishes, and I graduated from the program about 10 years ago at St. Margaret’s.

Like many, I had been a devoted church member for decades — worshiping, serving, and taking on leadership roles over the years.  But also like many, my understanding of Christianity’s history and development was somewhat shallow.  I wanted to change that and explore my faith in depth.  If you harbor that same yearning, EFM may be for you!

EFM’s first year focuses on the Old Testament; the New Testament fills the second year, church history the third, and philosophy and theology the fourth.  And the program is not for the faint-hearted.  There is lots of reading and some writing, but no tests!  Participants follow a proscribed curriculum, typically meet weekly as a group, and are led by trained mentors.

And when you study the Old and New Testaments, you don’t just read scripture.  You will learn who wrote what, their various sources, and about the scholarly debates over the meaning of our scriptures (Yes, committees decided things way back then even as they do now.).  You will learn new techniques for discerning what passages may mean.  All of this will deepen your faith some days, and profoundly challenge it on others.

My knowledge of church history was the weakest before taking EFM, and that year was most revealing.  Oh my, the tussles the church lived through, the evil it spawned in some cases, the hypocrisy.  But somehow the heart of our faith – love — survived.  My background in philosophy was pretty strong upon entering EFM, so I could help my fellow students with Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Descartes, Hume, Spinoza, etc.  But my background in theology was weak, and my fellow students helped me.  Therein lies the value in participating in a group.

You also will be asked to write a spiritual biography.  This task had great meaning for me, as I was forced to reflect on how my faith had developed, its twists and turns, the events and people who shaped me.  And one of the core elements  of EFM is the development of skills for theological reflection.  Participants learn to think theologically by examining their own beliefs, the relationship of those beliefs to our culture, scripture and the traditions of our faith.

Your experience in EFM will be determined by how seriously you take the work, the skill of your mentors, and the chemistry with your fellow students.  But I heartily recommend the program to all who want to get more serious about their faith and explore their calling as a light for Christ.

For more information on EfM, contact our Diocesan EfM Coordinator, Meg Kimble at, and visit the EfM website.

Lutheran and Episcopal Congregations Form Federation as ‘Lutherpalians’

Two North Baltimore Churches Take Next Step in Their Partnership

BALTIMORE – Three years after first entering into an unusual inter-denominational partnership of joint ministry and service to the community, two mainline Protestant churches in North Baltimore – one Episcopal, one Lutheran – have federated to become one combined congregation.  The church’s members now call themselves “Lutherpalians.”

The Church of the Nativity and Holy Comforter becomes the first such Lutheran-Episcopal federated congregation in Maryland and one of only a dozen or so of such partnerships that have been formed across the nation.

The two congregations first partnered in 2015, at a time when the former Church of the Nativity, Cedarcroft was approached by The Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter, its neighbor a half-mile south on York Road in Govans. The Lutheran congregation faced unsustainable costs to maintain an aging, deteriorating church building made worse by declining attendance. While Nativity didn’t face the same building or financial challenges, it recognized the need to increase the number of people worshipping there.

There were some inevitable glitches in bringing together two disparate church families, explained the Rev. T. Stewart Lucas, who was formally called to be the founding Pastor of the newly federated church at a congregational meeting Sunday.

“But it didn’t take long for us to realize that we truly are better together,” said Pastor Lucas. “There is new energy and a spirit of excitement. New members have arrived. Attendance on Sundays has more than doubled. The singing is more robust, more volunteers have stepped up to offer help and more people come to coffee hour to connect with others and share ideas.”

He noted that one member had characterized the partnership as “one big mash-up,” adding that “you wouldn’t be able to walk in the church on any given Sunday and know who was Episcopalian and who was Lutheran. We’re all there, participating in the liturgy, coming to coffee hour, washing dishes in the kitchen and sending our kids to Sunday School. It’s everybody doing things together.

Since the partnership was first launched three years ago, Holy Comforter’s pastor, the Rev. David W. Eisenhuth, was called to a Lutheran parish in Hagerstown, where his skills in developing creative partnerships will be critical. To maintain a Lutheran “presence” at worship, a retired Lutheran minister, the Rev. Donald L. Burggraf, was recruited to serve as pastoral associate.

Pastor Lucas credited the bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for permitting this experimental partnership to move forward. Already, other congregations considering similar partnerships, both locally and nationally, have reached out for advice and guidance.

“We want to be helpful to other congregations willing to discern whether they should partner with another congregation. We have lots to share from our successes and challenges,” he said. “We can’t solve all the problems ourselves, but we can be a model of how different groups can come together and be fruitful.”