News & Features
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
November 01, 2018
The diocese mourns the death of one of its most dedicated lay leaders, Ms. Jo Ricks. A member of Standing Committee and former delegate to convention, Ms. Ricks was an active member of St. George’s, Valley Lee.
Jo was already on Standing Committee when The Rev. Sheila McJilton was elected to join that group: “From Day One, she welcomed me and encouraged my expression of thought about our deliberations. Before anyone else mentioned it, she told me, ‘You need to be the next President of Standing Committee.’ So when someone else articulated that request, I smiled, knowing that Jo had been, in some small way, a prophetic voice….Jo was unfailingly optimistic, deeply grounded in her faith, and joyful. Even when she had to wear a wig, her joy was undiminished. Her presence on Standing Committee was, indeed, a light in our midst, and we already miss her.”
The Rev. Greg Syler, her rector at St. George’s, further reflects, “Like that song she sang growing up in her North Carolina Methodist church, Jo let her light shine. She was a great friend and charming host. At various pool parties or with Jo and Jeff, her husband, in their comfortable "Island House" -- the home they made on St. George Island -- Jo would keep conversation alive, ask interesting questions, play in the pool with our daughter, and connect the most interesting people to one another. That light, her light, allowed others to shine in its reflection. She helped me better understand D.C., too -- their primary, or, other residence -- and I loved stories of "Jo Jo" in her glory in the 70's, and found it hard to believe that Logan Circle was ever anything unlike the posh neighborhood it is today, and has become -- in large part thanks to Jo's pioneering work in D.C. real estate. Her light, as it turns out, truly was God's light -- and she had a special place in her heart for all sorts of people; remembering back to her early days in a more gritty D.C., especially those marginalized and considered ‘other’.”
“In fact,” Rev. Syler continues, “One of Jo's greatest surprises came at the very end -- when her obituary was published this week in The Washington Post. ‘I had no idea she did all those things!’ I've heard all week, time and again. Indeed, no one knew. She was, very simply, a great friend to so, so many and a brilliant, radiant light.”
As a diocese, we affirm that Ms. Ricks was a faithful servant of Christ and His church, and with a heart full of thanksgiving, we say, “Well Done, you were a good and faithful servant, rest well in the joy and presence of the Lord. Alleluia! Amen!”
August 30, 2018
This summer, the Youth Group from St. George's Episcopal Church, Glenn Dale went on a mission trip to Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Below is a reflection of their time there, in their own words.
Looking back now, none of us anticipated how life-changing and impactful our 2018 mission trip would be. For several years St. George’s Youth Group discussed going to Puerto Rico, but the amount of money required discouraged us. When Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017, we feared that chaotic events occurring on the mainland would overshadow the devastation taking place in Puerto Rico the following months. We then decided we were going to make reaching Puerto Rico a priority. To bring all 11 members, we needed to raise $10,000. At first, this number was daunting, but the generous support from our Parish amazed us all. Throughout the year, we worked to put together several fundraising events which displayed just how compassionate our parish is as a community and a family. Events included raking leaves, putting on a pancake supper, selling flowers for Mother’s Day (and many more). Our most successful event was the post-trip dinner which 100 people attended, including the bishop.
When we first arrived in Puerto Rico, we were taken aback by the lack of progress, because we came 7 months after Hurricane Maria. We were anxious to help with the rebuilding process; however, we learned once we arrived in Arecibo that we would be split into different groups, some helping with manual reconstruction and others with emotional and relational work. At first, those who were sent to relational work sites were afraid that we weren’t contributing enough, but as the week progressed we formed incredible relationships that would change our perspective. It was amazing to see how, in such a short time, we were able to create unforgettable bonds with the children. The group who worked at the manual labor sites not only helped construction, including repairing the sanctuary in an Episcopal Church, but also built meaningful relationships with the congregation and construction workers at their sites.
During our trip, we witnessed genuine happiness in a community that we expected to be disheartened. It was uplifting to see the community’s positivity despite their circumstances and taught us that the strength of faith would overcome even in the darkest of times. Throughout our experiences, we learned many things, but the people of Puerto Rico taught us one of the most meaningful lessons, which is to persevere and remain compassionate. We came back from the trip being more appreciative both of what we have and the significance of our faith. We all anticipated that this trip would bring us closer to God, but our expectations were surpassed. It is easy to feel a connection with God through the action of service but what surprised us was that we saw the face of God more through the people we encountered. In a quote by Staff member and friend, Danny, “Different languages may divide us, but our hearts speak to us as a universal language.” We were struck by how much this quote resembled our experience. Despite the language barrier, our love and faith in God are what ultimately brought us together. No matter how different we may be, God will always connect us in unexpected ways.
Marilyn Prosser Yang
Speaking on behalf of the St. George’s, Glenn Dale Youth Group
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.