News & Features
April 04, 2019
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
In Genesis 12, God commands Abraham and Sarah to go “to the place I will show you.” Abraham and Sarah struggled, as anyone would, with not being aware of the destination, after all they didn’t have Google maps or Waze! All they had was faith. They set out on their journey, by faith, one step at a time until they realized the promise God made to them. Like our spiritual forefathers and foremothers, God has led the Diocese of Washington on a journey to Become Good Soil and our response to God’s call mirrors that of Abraham and Sarah--by faith--one step at a time.
We know God’s preferred future for us will result in greater fruitfulness in spiritual growth, vibrant congregational life, more confident evangelism and deeper engagement in our communities, in faithfulness to Jesus and his mission of love. We get there by taking One Faithful Next Step.
As Bishop Mariann has expressed, there is no need to wait until the end of the Diocesan planning process to move forward strategically within parishes and regions. One Faithful Next Step that parish leaders can take to sustain momentum is to sign up for the Unstuck Course. Covering 12 core issues, this course will help you learn principles and practices that break down barriers to church health and growth.
Through this course you will gain the ability to help your church:
- Find clarity around mission, vision, values, and strategy
- Grow by expanding the “front door”
- Learn the best ways to close the “back door”
- Discover practical ways to enhance weekend services
- Build a plan to develop more leaders
- Learn to build teams & increase volunteer engagement
- Develop a Senior Leadership Team that works
- Learn how to staff for growth
- Clarify roles for the board & staff
- Improve communications at your church
- Learn how to establish healthier finances
- Build tools to monitor health & growth
Each lesson contains eight sections: overview (read), the big idea (watch), consider this (read), picture this (to-do), talk it out (to-do), dive deeper (to-do), self-evaluation, and leadership appreciation (to-do). Each of the eight steps takes approximately 3-4 weeks, so the entire course could be done in 8-12 months. There is a PDF accompanying each lesson that can be shared with the team.
To sign up for this course and receive more information, contact Mildred Reyes, missioner for Formation.
One more Faithful Step is for your prayers as we continue the work of Becoming Good Soil. The Rev. Joseph Constant, rector of St. John's, Beltsville, wrote a collect for the Becoming Good Soil process.
Gracious God, thank you for your love and faithfulness toward us. Your Son Jesus Christ commissioned the Church to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. We come to you as members of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington asking for your guidance as we engage in our Strategic Planning Process. Give us wisdom to discern your vision for the diocese and courage for our churches to implement the vision through programs and ministries. We pray for our sister, Bishop Mariann, and members of the diocesan staff as they provide inspiration and guidance to our churches. Open our hearts to your Holy Spirit and lead us to follow the Way of Love with creativity and purpose. We offer our prayer and petition in the name of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
April 04, 2019
“Why should faith communities care about justice?”
“What tells us more about the values of a community than what it spends money on?”
“In order to get from the world as it is to the world as we want it to be, we need power.”
These snippets can be heard on Thursday afternoons at The Epiphany Power Hour, a new social justice conversation series held weekly at The Church of the Epiphany in Washington, D.C. (map) Each week, we discuss systemic injustices, and ways we can affect change.
For years, Epiphany has operated homeless services such as The Welcome Table and Street Church - programs that provide meals, supplies, opportunities for creativity, and ministry to the downtown poor. Like many churches, we have operated within a paradigm of charity; that it is our duty, as people of God, to serve those who are perceived as “less fortunate” and “underprivileged.” Meals, extra socks, and a few hours of shelter are necessary for those surviving day-to-day, but they do little to combat the root causes of widespread poverty. “We believe that it is our duty to shift the charity paradigm toward one of agency and justice.” says The Rev. Glenna Huber, rector of Epiphany and host of the Power Hour.
We have an obligation to come together as a community, as people of God, to address the issues that threaten our common humanity - systemic poverty, ecological devastation, racism and militarism. These myriad overlapping issues come down to the question of power - who has it? How is it acquired? What are the best ways to empower those at the margins who are routinely left out of the conversation?
The Power Hour explores these questions each week. We regularly feature local faith leaders, nonprofit workers, and community organizers to bring their experience and wisdom; in April, we will have Nisha Patel of Robin Hood, the D.C. chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign, and Ed Lazere of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. Check out Epiphany’s website for upcoming events, and come join the conversation on Thursdays at 12:10 for education, empowerment, and community.
Epiphany, D.C. received a Congregational Growth Grant from the diocese to launch The Epiphany Power Hour.
March 14, 2019
People from the village of Adot, South Sudan, celebrating the new well
After reading the novel, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park in the winter of 2018, the sixth grade class at Christ Episcopal School in Rockville, Maryland was inspired to have a positive, lasting impact in the world. The novel portrayed the true story of Salva Dut, a Sudanese lost boy, who faced extreme challenges as he fled civil conflict in his South Sudanese village. The novel also told of the difficulty Sudanese families have in gaining access to clean water.
Galvanized by compassion for these suffering families, the CES 6th graders decided that they wanted to help get clean water to more families in South Sudan. This began a three-month campaign to raise money for Water for South Sudan, a non-profit created by Salva Dut. Their hope was to have the ability to co-sponsor a well in South Sudan. In order to realize their dream, the students needed to raise $5000—a lofty goal. The class was highly motivated and leveraged social media, as well as, a marketing campaign they developed and used throughout the school and church community. As part of the marketing, the students pooled their own money to design and sell bracelets that said “Water for South Sudan” and included the web address for the on-line, crowdsourcing web site that they created to collect donations.
The project soon exceeded expectations. By April, 2018, the students had raised over $15,000 from both the CES community and their extended network. This meant that rather than co-sponsoring a well with other schools, CES would sponsor one additional well in its entirety. In February, 2019, Christ Episcopal School received word that the well had been built! CES received pictures of the well surrounded by people in the Adot village waving their thanks and holding a sign recognizing Christ Episcopal School’s and Church’s sponsorship.
Christ Episcopal School's students are truly overwhelmed with what they have achieved. They have thrown their hearts into this project, feeling a strong connection with the plight of the Sudanese people. The generosity of the CES community has left a lasting legacy for the families in the Adot village and the students at CES. It is a legacy that is bound to create positive change in the minds, hearts and spirits of all those who have been touched by this project. The entire CES community--and the people of the Diocese of Washington--are proud of these students who on their own embraced the spirit of the Christ Episcopal School motto, “Minds to Learn, Hearts to Love, and Hands to Serve.”
February 28, 2019
Get your Ashes-to-Go on March 6 at these locations around the diocese:
- Shady Grove Metro station (map), courtesy of Ascension, Gaithersburg, 7:00 - 9:00 a.m.
- Tenleytown Metro station (map), courtesy of St. Columba's, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. and 5:15 - 6:00 p.m.
- Chapel of the Incarnation, Brandywine (map), courtesy of St. Thomas', Croom, beginning at 1:00 p.m.
- UPDATED START TIME Courthouse Steps in Upper Marlboro (map), courtesy of St. Thomas', Croom, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
- CANCELED DUE TO ANTICIPATED LOW TEMPERATURES Silver Spring Metro station (map), courtesy of Grace, Silver Spring, 7:00 - 9:00 a.m.
- Metro Center Metro station at 13th at G Streets (map), courtesy of Epiphany, D.C., 7:45 - 9:00 a.m.
- Montgomery Mall Transit Center (map), courtesy of St. Luke's, Bethesda, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
- Grosvenor Metro station (map), courtesy of St. Luke's, Bethesda, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
- Corner of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street in Georgetown (map), courtesy of the collaborative efforts of Grace, St. John's, and Christ Churches, Georgetown, 7:00 - 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
- Laurel MARC train station on Main Street (map), courtesy of St. Phillip's, Laurel, beginning at 7:00 a.m.
- SIP at C Street Flats in Laurel (map), courtesy of St. Phillip's, Laurel, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
- More Than Java Cafe in Laurel (map), courtesy of St. Phillip's, Laurel, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
- Capitol South Metro station (map), courtesy of St. Mark's, Capitol Hill, 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
- Dupont Circle Metro station (map), courtesy of St. Thomas', D.C., 7:30 - 8:15 a.m. and 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
- On the Suitland Road outside of Timothy's Church (map), 7:30 - 10:30 a.m.
- At the Safeway on Alabama Avenue SE (map), courtesy of St. Timothy's, 7:30 - 10:30 a.m.
- Burtsonville Crossing Commuter Lot/Park & Ride (map) - U.S. 29 and MD 198 behind the old Giant Food, courtesy of Transfiguration, beginning at 6:30 a.m.
- "Drive Thru" at Transfiguration, Silver Spring (map), 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
- Christ Church Clinton parking area in front of church, Clinton, Maryland (map), 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
- Indian Head Pavilion off Route 210 (Indian Head Highway) (map), courtesy of St. James', Indian Head, 6:00 - 8:00 a.m.
- Whalen Commons in Poolesville (map), courtesy of St. Peter's Church, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
- Union Station, main level, west end (map), courtesy of Calvary Episcopal Church, 7:00 - 9:00 a.m.
- 6th and H Streets, NE (map), courtesy of Calvary Episcopal Church, 10:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.
- Waterfront Metro station (map), courtesy of St. Augustine's Church, beginning at 8:00 a.m.
Can't wait until tomorrow? Try an evening option TONIGHT, March 5 at All Souls Church (map), 8:00 - 9:00 p.m.
November 07, 2018
The Southern Maryland Episcopal clergy will host an Advent Quiet Day for Clergy facilitated by Dr. Kathy Staudt, noted poet and spiritual director, on Tuesday, December 4 at Loyola-on-the-Potomac, in Newburg, Maryland (map).
The theme is The Poetry of Luke’s Gospel. We will spend the day reflecting and meditating with poetry and stories from the opening chapters of Luke, exploring such Advent themes as Annunciation, prophecy, promise, and hope, and dwelling with poetry inspired by this gospel.
There will be time for silence and for worship, writing and sharing, including an invitation to listen afresh to the familiar canticles that the church draws from the gospel of Luke.
The cost is $45/person for the day, and includes lunch. You can bring check made out to Loyola-on-the-Potomac, or mail a check in advance to Kate Heichler (Christ Church La Plata, P.O. Box 780, La Plata MD 20646).
Please register here by Monday, November 26th.
Separate donations toward the honorarium for Kathy Staudt will be much appreciated. Please be in touch with Peter Antoci, as we'll route the honorarium through St. Thomas' Croom.
All clergy are welcome; please spread word among your friends and colleagues.
Dr. Kathleen Henderson Staudt (Kathy) works as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in our area, including Virginia Theological Seminary and Wesley Theological Seminary. Her classes focus on writing, literature, spirituality and explorations of vocation. Kathy offers retreats and workshops at churches and retreat centers, including the annual Evelyn Underhill Day of Quiet offered in Washington each year in June, as well as courses and retreats on poetry as spiritual practice. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in Weavings, Christianity and Literature, Sewanee Theological Review, Anglican Theological Review, Ruminate and Spiritus. She is the author of a scholarly study of the artist and poet David Jones, and she has published three books of poems, most recently Good Places.
Questions? Contact The Rev. Kate Heichler
Sharing Faith cards can be printed (double sided) from the document located here: Faith Cards Avery 8387. They are on Avery 8387 postcard stock and need to be cut in half once printed.