Reclaiming Jesus, A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis

There are many Christian Leaders who feel that this is a perilous time in our nation with both the integrity of faith and the soul of our nation at stake. The Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and other faith leaders recently crafted a declaration titled Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis. Whatever your political leanings - this is a declaration that should be listened to by all - and all of us should remember:

"our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)."

Not all Christians are being silent. Church leaders drafted this statement because the soul of the nation is at stake. Will you join them? Visit ReclaimingJesus.org and #ReclaimJesus

Books and Brunch

The St. Anne's Book Club will meet on Saturday, June 30 at 11 a.m. at Jean Hampton's home for books and brunch. All are welcome.
 
All are welcome! Please RSVP to Jean at JeanMHampton@gmail.com by Wednesday, June 27 if you can attend.
 
The book: The book is "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats," by Jan-Philipp Sendker.

A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present.  When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.

Damascus HELP

As May is our month to collect food for the Damascus Help food pantry, the items below are in particular need at the pantry.  We will have a bin available this Sunday and plan to collect food through Sunday, June 10.  Thank you for your consideration in helping those in need in our local community.
 

  •   Canned Fruit
  •   Pork and Beans
  •   Canned Pasta
  •   Spaghetti Sauce
  •   Canned Meat (not Tuna)
  •   Jelly
  •   Coffee
  •   Rice
  •   Canned Chili
  •   Sugar
  •   Flour

The Sunflower Bakery Training Program for adults (18+) with Learning Differences

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Sunflower Bakery Program

 Sunflower Bakery and Cafe is a non-profit located in Montgomery County, Maryland. It offers training in the pastry arts and food industry for adults ages 18+, with learning differences due to diagnosed disabilities, as well as learning differences that are undiagnosed due to socioeconomic impacts or inadequate and/or inconsistent educational supports. Since 2010, Sunflower Bakery has served over 220 young adults and teens in our three programs. We have two programs serving young adults to help prepare for future successful employment, as well as our Summer Teen Baking Exposure sessions.  
               
The Pastry Arts Employment Training Program
Since 2011, Sunflower Bakery’s Pastry Arts Employment Training Program has graduated 57 students. New classes for the 26- week program begin approximately every 5 weeks and students work closely with our pastry chef  instructors. Located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the program prepares students for employment in bakeries, supermarkets, restaurants, catering companies and other food-related businesses. The training includes formal pastry instruction, ServSafe and employee development training, on- the- job training, paid internship in our production kitchen and assistance in securing employment. 
               
The Café Sunflower Employment Program
Located in North Bethesda, Maryland, Cafe’ Sunflower prepares 8 participants annually for jobs working in "front- of- house" environments. It consists of 3 months of customized, on -site training and 6 months of supervised employment at our Café. New classes start every quarter. Students focus on areas such as customer service and barista training, as well as ServSafe food handler certification.. Employee development training includes work ethic and attitude, communication, time management, goal-setting, resume development and job search skills. 
 
Summer Teen Baking Exposure classes
Four one-week sessions are offered at the end of June and during the month of July to provide job exposure and work experience to teens who are still attending high school. In 2017, 22 teens participated in these sessions. More information on these sessions will be forthcoming.
 
To learn more about the program and see our students in action we encourage potential candidates to visit Sunflower Bakery or Café Sunflower, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Please schedule a visit by emailing programs@sunflowerbakery.org.
 
If you know of anyone who may benefit from our program please contact Sara Milner at sara@sunflowerbakery.org for more information

Books and Brunch

The St. Anne's Book Club will meet on Saturday, May 5 at 11 a.m. at Judy Partlow's home for books and brunch. All are welcome.
 
All are welcome! Please RSVP to Judy at JudyPartlow@gmail.com by Wednesday, May 2 if you can attend.
 
We will discuss: I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith Under Fire, by Melba Pattillo Beals
 
In 1957, Melba Beals was one of the nine African American students chosen to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. But her story of overcoming didn't start--or end--there. While her white schoolmates were planning their senior prom, Melba was facing the business end of a double-barreled shotgun, being threatened with lynching by rope-carrying tormentors, and learning how to outrun white supremacists who were ready to kill her rather than sit beside her in a classroom. Only her faith in God sustained her during her darkest days and helped her become a civil rights warrior, an NBC television news reporter, a magazine writer, a professor, a wife, and a mother.
 
In I Will Not Fear, Beals takes readers on an unforgettable journey through terror, oppression, and persecution, highlighting the kind of faith needed to survive in a world full of heartbreak and anger. She shows how the deep faith we develop during our most difficult moments is the kind of faith that can change our families, our communities, and even the world. Encouraging and inspiring, Beals's story offers readers hope that faith is the solution to the pervasive hopelessness of our current culture.

Holy Week Explained

What is it and how is celebrated?

Is the reenacting the Passion of Our Lord

Dates:
Holy Week is the last week of Lent.

Colors:
In most churches, the decorations are red to symbolize the blood of martyrdom. Some churches remove all decorations on Good Friday, veiling anything that can’t be removed in black or purple. Holy water is also removed from the fonts in churches on Good Friday and Holy Saturday in preparation for the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil. This removal also corresponds to those days on which the Eucharist is not celebrated.

Days:
Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday) 
Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday) 
Good Friday
Holy Saturday
The time from sundown on Holy Thursday to sundown on Easter Day is also known as the Triduum, which is Latin for “three days.”

Some History

Holy Week observances began in Jerusalem in the earliest days of the Church, when devout people traveled to Jerusalem at Passover to reenact the events of the week leading up to the Resurrection.

Egeria was a Christian who traveled widely during the period of 381-385 and wrote about Christian customs and observances in Egypt, Palestine, and Asia Minor. She described how religious tourists to Jerusalem reenacted the events of Holy Week. On Palm Sunday afternoon, the crowds waved palm fronds as they made a procession from the Mount of Olives into the city. Of course, the observances must have begun quite a number of years before Egeria witnessed them, or they wouldn’t have been so elaborate. It’s just that Egeria’s description is the earliest we still have. The tourists took the customs home with them. Holy week observances spread to Spain by the fifth century, to Gaul and England by the early seventh century. They didn’t spread to Rome until the twelfth century.

The purpose of Holy Week is to reenact, relive, and participate in the passion of Jesus Christ. 

Holy Week is the same in the eastern and western Church, but because eastern Christians use the Julian Calendar to calculate Easter, the celebrations occur at different times. However, the following events in the week before Easter are the same, east and west, relative to the date of Easter:

• Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday), the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.
• Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday), the institution of Communion and the betrayal by Judas.
• Good Friday, the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ.
• Holy Saturday, the Sabbath on which Jesus rested in the grave.

Becoming Beloved Community

Becoming Beloved Community (1)

    “To help dioceses and congregations take on this lifelong mission, in the spring of 2017, the Episcopal Church released its “Becoming Beloved Community” vision for racial reconciliation efforts. General Convention in 2015 allotted $2 million to this work.

    “The release followed a year of listening, consulting and reflection by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings and the other officers of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies. They invited Episcopalians to study and commit to this mission.

    “The vision is four-fold, and more like a lifelong labyrinth rather than a chronological to-do list. The first part though, must be done before the others are possible, however, ...other racial healing activists say.

Telling the truth: “Who are we? What things have we done and left undone regarding racial justice and healing?” Church-wide initiatives include a census of the church and an audit of racial justice in Episcopal structures and systems.

Proclaiming the dream: How can we publicly acknowledge things done and left undone? What does Beloved Community look like in this place? What behaviors and commitments will foster reconciliation, justice, and healing? Initiatives include holding regional, public sacred listening and learning engagements, launching a story-sharing campaign and allocating the budget for lifelong formation of transformation.

Repairing the breach: What institutions and systems are broken? How will we participate in repair, restoration, and healing of people, institutions, and systems? Initiatives focus on justice reform, re-entry collaboratives with formerly incarcerated people returning to community and partnership with Episcopal Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

Practicing the way: How will we grow as reconcilers, healers and justice-bearers? How will we actively grow relationship across dividing walls and seek Christ in the other? This also involves the Becoming Beloved Community story-sharing campaign, as well as reconciliation and justice pilgrimages; multi-lingual formation and training; and liturgical resources for healing, reconciliation and justice.

    “What the presiding bishop and the officers hoped for was to offer up a framework, not necessarily a program, for racial reconciliation,” ...Episcopal News Service. 

    “Do your discernment. What does it look like to tell the truth about your church, who we are and who we have not welcomed over the year? Do your discernment over what it looks like to practice love, to be reconcilers and healers, what you need to do to repair the breach.”  (1)

 

I hope you find this respectful of you and your values and your contributions.

                    Robin Warfield

1)   Episcopal News Service.

March for Our Lives Update

On March 24, beginning at Noon, Episcopal youth and adults from around the country will be joining the March for our Lives march to end gun violence. This is the first of what is likely to be several updates as we get closer to the event for those of you who wish to join the the march.

If you plan to march in DC on March 24 and have not already done so, please RSVP at the March for Our Lives website here. This will ensure you get the most accurate information directly from the organizers of the march and will also help the organizers plan for the right number of people.

Yesterday the location and time of the march in DC was announced to be 12:00 noonon Pennsylvania Avenue, between 3rd and 12th Streets, NWHowever, because the announcement did not indicate at which location the event will begin, a gathering place for the diocese is still TBA.

As soon as the diocese announces our meeting spot, we will let you know. Remember that parking could be a problem and to carpool if possible.

Also, Washington National Cathedral will host an interfaith vigil on the eve of the march, Friday, March 23, at 7:00 p.m. Learn more or RSVP here.

For more information on the diocesan coordination or for answers to some frequently asked questions check out the diocesan March for our lives page.

Read Bishop Mariann's article on the March for our Lives.

March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns.  March For Our Lives believes the time is now. 

Coming Soon! REALM

What is Realm? Realm is a real ministry tool.

 

Realm is an online ministry tool designed for real time connection. It helps our church connect with you and you connect with us. If you consider yourself part of this church family, you’ll love it. Realm allows you to manage your personal information and who is allowed to see it, control your giving, and keep in touch with the groups that matter to you.

 

Why use Realm? Realm strengthens church connections.

 

Being the church doesn’t just happen at the church. Realm helps us serve you better and leads this church well between Sundays. Everyone can be connected from anywhere at any time, right from our mobile devices. It engages everyone in the life of our church by supporting the healthy relationships essential to our church’s mission. We’ll stay organized, and you’ll stay informed about all of the opportunities for fellowship. When we share life together, we will grow together.

 

What about my privacy? Realm is safe, private, and secure.

 

Your privacy is one of our greatest concerns. Realm is only made up of the people in your church, it’s not like a social network that’s open to everyone. Realm keeps your data safe and gives you control over what information you share and who can see it.

 

What about giving? Realm gives you control over your giving.

 

Giving should be easy, and Realm places giving right in the palm of your hands. You may set up recurring gifts, view your giving history, and make changes at any time. Realm automatically records all electronic gifts and adds them to your giving record making it easy for you to give, and easy for our bookkeeper to track.

More details will follow as we roll out REALM

Literacy for Lent

Our Lenten offering this year will focus on literacy through gifts of books. Our monetary offering will go to “Reading is Terrific.” This is a literacy program  for first graders at Title I elementary schools in Montgomery County. The vast majority of the students in these schools are minority, low-income, special ed., and English Students of Other Languages. Readers go into these classrooms once a month to read to the children and each child then receives a hard cover edition of the book. Take a moment to look at the smiling faces on the poster in the narthex. At the end of the school year each child will have a personal library of nine books! 1,100 books are distributed each month. Frank Ierardi, a longtime member of Saint Anne’s, is one of the coordinators of this non-profit organization. All donations go to books for the children.

In an article by Richard Cohen in The Washington Post, he states “Low-income minority children are already four months behind the national average in reading and math scores by the time they arrive in kindergarten.  There are many reason for this – too much television time, too few books in the home, the mother doesn’t read to her kids.” "The Reading is Terrific" program helps these children catch up by making reading fun, encouraging them to read, and by putting books in their homes. There are currently 37 first grade classes in the program. Please be generous in giving to these children. There will be envelopes for your offerings in the Sunday bulletin.

We are also collecting books and craft supplies for Remote Area Medical (RAM USA) –which provides medical, dental and vision assistance for free in high-poverty areas. There will be  two events this year: one in Emporia, VA, and one in Baltimore, MD. There will be a "reading section" or "kids corner" close to one of the waiting rooms. While parents are waiting for their numbers to be called for medical assistance, their children are entertained with stories and craft projects. They are given books to take home. As mentioned, craft supplies such as crayons, paper, glue sticks, glitter, rubber stamps and pads are needed. There will be a bin for your offerings in the narthex.  More information is available on the poster.
 
Judy Partlow and Joyce Mason

American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ)
is an independent organization of Episcopalians and some other people (e.g., other Christians, Jews, and non-religious people) who see the AFEDJ as a way to help the people of a diocese that includes the West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. That is, the diocese of Archbishop, Suheil Dawani, who supervises these projects.
 
Understanding the situation in the Palestinian “West Bank” today requires that we know how the West Bank came to be.
 
The Palestinian “West Bank” is demarked by the armistice line (AKA “The Green Line”) at the end of the 1948-1949 war between the Israel and Jordan. It includes the parts of Judea and Samaria east of the Green Line to the Jordan River, and the eastern part of Jerusalem.
 
In 1950, Jordan annexed this land, which it then turned over to the people who lived there, who are known now as the Palestinians.
 
In the 1967 war between Israel and the neighboring Arab nations, Israel conquered the West Bank and has had it under Israeli military occupation ever since.
 
International opinion holds that the Green Line is the official border between Israel and Palestine, at least until a peace agreement is reached between Israel and Palestine. Any land swaps would come only after a peace agreement and by mutual agreement of both Israel and Palestine.
 
During the past several decades, Israel has allowed and subsequently aided Jewish settlers in building over 125 permanent settlements of varying size all over the inhabitable land in the West Bank. (International law prohibits the use of a military occupation to move civilian settlers onto the conquered land.)
 
There are now about 212,000 Israeli Jewish citizens living in Palestinian East Jerusalem and about another 371,000 in other settlements scattered throughout the rest of the West Bank. The Palestinian population is about 2,785,000 people, who are crowded on into the areas between settlements. Most settlements were created by destroying the Palestinian homes and forcibly evicting Palestinians from the land they had occupied.
 
Israel has also built a network of roads connecting many of its settlements to Israel and to each other. Palestinians are not allowed to use these roads, nor to cross them except at checkpoints.
 
This limits Palestinian travel to secondary roads with military checkpoints, which often have long lines waiting for permission to cross over. I saw a line of Palestinian cars over a mile long waiting to cross, while our bus was waved through. Commerce is very difficult and much of the arable land is for settlement use only. Life is very difficult in the West Bank.
 
Unlike the Hamas government in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has worked more closely with Israel to ensure safety for the citizens of both countries.
 
Within the West Bank, the AFEDJ provides funds for the Penman Clinic, that is located in the undercroft of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Zababdeh, St. Luke’s hospital in Nablus, and a clinic in Ramallah for treating diabetes, a widespread health problem in Palestine. These facilities provide medical help to anyone in need, regardless of their religion. I have visited the first two facilities and was quite impressed by their dedicated staffs.
 
Assistance is also provided to West Bank schools in Ramallah, including: the Arab Evangelical Episcopal School (grades K-12); and the Episcopal Technological and Vocational Training Center with its Technology Program and its hotel vocational school. I visited all three and was very impressed by what I saw.
 
The teachers seemed to be very dedicated and the older students seemed to appreciate what they are getting. I spoke at length with a high school girl, who looked like she could be the twin sister of one of my granddaughters. She spoke very highly about how much the school meant to her.
 
There are five Episcopal parishes in the West Bank and 24 more in other parts of the diocese. There are about 7,000 Arab Episcopalian members in the diocese, some of whom claim ancestry as long ago as the Byzantine era.
 
The web site for AFEDJ is afedj.org and their email address is jlent@afedj.org   Their telephone number is 1-203-655-3575

Dana Grubb

March for Our Lives

On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.

March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns.  March For Our Lives believes the time is now. 

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington will be taking part and is inviting all who wish to join youth and adults from other Episcopal Diocese's around the country. The Diocese is currently making plans and as soon as things are finalized we will send out information on where and when to meet.

Becoming Beloved Community

Black History month continues to focus our minds:

 

The Episcopal Church’s Becoming Beloved Community vision – presented by our Church’s key leaders in May 2017...

“A Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice  (1)

"O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. – Prayer for the Human Family (Book of Common Prayer, p. 815) 

    “Jesus laid out the most basic Christian teaching of all when the young man asked him, “Which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He told him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.(Matthew 22:36-40). 

    “The Beloved Community is the body within which all people can grow to love God and love the image of God that we find in our neighbors, in ourselves, and in creation. It provides a positive, theologically and biblically based ideal that orients the work of racial healing, reconciliation, and justice. It is the end toward which the Jesus Movement points. 

    “The Episcopal Church’s Becoming Beloved Community vision – presented by our Church’s key leaders in May 2017 – frames a path for Episcopalians to address racial injustice and grow as a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers who share a passion for the dream of God. Because this is the work of spiritual formation, and not simply completing a training or implementing a set of programs, we encourage individuals and congregations to embrace the journey ahead as a long-term commitment. It may be helpful to imagine a labyrinth as you reflect, act, and reflect again. After all, on the road toward reconciliation and healing, we travel around corners, make sharp turns, pass fellow travelers, and double back into quadrants we have indeed visited before, each time discovering a fresh revelation or challenge. 

    “In particular, we anticipate that becoming Beloved Community will lead communities and individuals through four interrelated commitments, like quadrants of the labyrinth ... 

“Telling the Truth:Who are we? What things have we done and left undone regarding                     racial justice and healing? 

“Proclaiming the Dream How can we publicly acknowledge things done and left undone? What does Beloved Community look like in this place? What behaviors and commitments will foster reconciliation, justice, and healing? 

“Repairing the Breach :What institutions and systems are broken near us? How will we participate in repair, restoration, and healing of people, institutions, and systems? 

“Practicing the Way of Love How will we grow as reconcilers, healers, and justice-bearers? How will we actively grow relationship across dividing walls and seek Christ in the other? 

The Above is taken from a document referenced below.  It is a resource for churches trying to find a way to enter the larger Conversation on Race

It is being offered in conjunction with Black History Month 2018.

Robin Warfield

(1)Adapted for individual and congregational use from "Becoming Beloved Community:
The Episcopal Church's Long-term Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice" (May 2017, Presented to the Church by the Presiding Officers of the Episcopal Church in response to General Convention Resolution C019 [“Establish Response to Systemic Injustice”]