Episcopal Diocese of Washington

To draw people to Jesus and embody his love
for the world by equipping faith communities,
promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice

News & Features : Archives October 2019

A Call for Champions

October 31, 2019

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Luke 10:1-2, NRSV

How about them Nats?!!! Whether or not you’re a baseball fan, the story of the Washington Nationals quest to become the MLB’s 2019 World Series Champions is compelling. The Nationals started out the season poorly, and as Nationals Manager Dave Martinez said in his post-game interview, “Guess what? We stayed in the fight. We won the fight! ...We were down and out. We were 19-31. We didn't quit then, we weren't going to quit now.”

As a die-hard sports fan, and a native Washingtonian, I’ve been longing for some championship teams for some time. Yet, in 2018 and 2019, our blessings were abundant. The Capitals winning the Stanley Cup last year, the Mystics winning the WNBA Championship earlier this month, and the Nationals winning the World Series last night just fills my sports junkie heart with joy, and I dare say, joy abounds in the DMV today.

But, as a die-hard cheerleader for the Diocese of Washington, I can’t help but wonder how we can translate that winning, never-quit attitude to our efforts to spread the love of Jesus and build up the Body of Christ in our diocese. 

The Diocesan Strategic Plan was approved in early October, after months of meeting with faithful people of God all across the Diocese.

From these efforts, we identified three areas of focus for our collective work over the next five years: 

  • Revitalize our churches to grow the Jesus Movement

  • Inspire every person to grow in faith & equip our leaders to lead well

  • Partner in ministries of service & justice for greater impact in our communities

We then chose three specific measurable objectives to accomplish in the first 12 months of Strategic Plan implementation, one under each area of focus.  

Those objectives are:

  • Church Revitalization -- We will provide church health assessments and revitalization strategies, and introduce these strategies to ten representative congregations.  

  • Spiritual Formation -- We will establish a school for Christian leadership.  

  • Justice -- We will work with each region to identify a primary ministry of justice on which to collaborate for greater social impact. 

As Jesus appointed the 70 to go out, we are seeking “champions,” people passionate about Church Revitalization, Spiritual Formation or Justice and willing to invest their time, talent and expertise in tilling the soil of our potential so that we may harvest the bounty we believe God has in store for the diocese. To that end, we have started putting together leadership teams of lay and ordained people who can help us advance in our first three ministry objectives. 

If you are excited about our Diocesan initiatives, and are fired up by our mission, “To draw people to Jesus and embody his love for the world by equipping faith communities, promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice,” we’d like to talk with you further about serving on one of our teams of champions and we invite you to complete this brief online form by November 30.  

We plan to announce and commission these Strategic Plan leadership teams at Diocesan Convention, January 25, 2020.  

We are excited about what God has in store for the Diocese of Washington. God calls us to “stay in the fight” for our church, God’s people, the nation and the world. We believe that with the support of Church Revitalization, Spiritual Formation and Justice champions, we will gather a joyous harvest. 
 

Category: Events

Out of the Archives: EDOW and Major League Baseball

October 31, 2019

EDOW Goes to the Birds, September 2004

Congratulations to the Washington Nationals for achieving the #finishthefight status that has decorated t-shirts throughout the DC area in recent weeks. Go team! 

A search of Diocesan Archives found no references to World Series appearances by the Senators in 1924 and 1933, but in 1961, the Washington Diocese magazine did begin running features on Episcopalian Nights: “The night game between the Senators and the Baltimore Orioles will be promoted by the Church of the Holy Communion as a fund-raising event for the site-purchase program. Each parish will be asked to sell blocks of tickets at the usual $1.50 grandstand seat price. Of this amount, 50 cents will go into the special fund.” 

Parishes were asked to send representatives to a final plan meeting in July, before the August 18 game. The May 1963 magazine advertised the third annual “Episcopal Night” for June 7, “when the Washington Senators play the Cleveland Indians in the new D.C. Stadium.” This time the recipients of the largesse of the 50 cents from each ticket was the Department of Missions program for a total of $1700. The Diocese of Virginia had joined the group the previous year and their donations of $800 went for its advance work. In 1967 the Diocesan Department of Information Service sought an individual or group with time and energy to organize the event.  The appeal advises, “The time commitment would be considerable as the event nears.” No one must have stepped up to the plate because that is the last mention of the Senators and the Diocese in the Diocesan magazine or newspaper.

When the Senators left Washington in 1971, there was a drought of EDOW baseball events until Bishop John Chane’s arrival. While Bishop Chane was a stalwart Boston Red Sox fan, the Diocese went to a September 2003 game of the Orioles vs. the Seattle Mariners. Not only were there almost 550 Episcopalians there, their center field seats also came with home run balls from Ichiro Suzuki and B.J. Surhoff. There was also “free” baseball, since the Mariners ended up winning, 6-4, in 13 innings. 

The Rev. Canon Nan Peete, formerly on Church House staff, receives a handshake and a baseball

Newly named “EDOW Goes to the Birds”, the second annual trek to Camden Yards brought both the New York Yankees and 900 parishioners on I-95 in September of 2004. Runs abounded as the O’s beat the Yanks 14-8. Jim Naughton, the Diocesan Director of Communications and organizer of the events, said he “would happily promise Orioles owner Peter Angelos that EDOW would go to the Birds again next season if Angelos would drop his opposition to locating a major league team in the District.”

The next year brought EDOW back to RFK (DC) Stadium for the inaugural season of the Washington Nationals. That September game saw the Nats come from behind to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-6. More than 40 of the then 93 parishes bought 1,550 tickets for the event, larger than the two previous years combined and was one of the largest groups that the Nats hosted for the first season. Naughton requested assistance with organizing future trips, especially in light of accessibility issues for the upper deck seats that are usually assigned to groups. Unfortunately, no one was in the on deck circle, although I have seen individual parishes listed on the list of groups attending games over the years at Nationals Park.

And, in case you weren’t sure about the connection between Major League Baseball and the Episcopal Church, read this archived column from the Episcopal Cafe. Written by the Rev. Andrew Gerns and shared worldwide, please especially notice the date of the article.

Mrs. Susan Stonesifer
Diocesan Historiographer

Washington Nationals mascot, Screech, hanging out with some young Episcopalian fans

Category: News

A Weekend of Healing

October 23, 2019

Trees ablaze with fall color at the Claggett Center

On a recent October weekend, parishioners from across the diocese gathered at the scenic Claggett Center for the Visions of Healing Fall Weekend Retreat. The Rev. Dr. Robert Philips, Director of Leadership Development and Congregational Care for the diocese, led participants through a program that addressed healing from personal brokenness using the Lament Psalm structure, empathic communication techniques, and introspective exercises.

Retreat participants put learning into practice in one-on-one listening sessions

Some of the creative healing activities included walking the labyrinth, meditation, and the opportunity to practice active listening skills in a series of one-on-one small group sessions.

The labyrinth (photo courtesy of the Claggett Center)

“It was a transformative experience,” says Rev. Philips. “Some folks came not knowing what to expect and left feeling energized and encouraged to navigate some of life’s more challenging roads.”

Learn more about the purpose of these retreats

Fog and rain on Sunday helped set a contemplative mood for the group

Category: News

Washington Episcopal School Blessing of the (Stuffed) Animals

October 10, 2019

Bishop Mariann with students, staff, and members of the beloved (stuffed) animal community of Washington Episcopal School (adults  from left to right: Trina Curtis-Belote, first grade teacher; Bishop Mariann Budde; the Rev. Kristen Pitts, chaplain at WES; Danny Vogelman, head of school)
 
Wednesday morning, October 10, Bishop Mariann visited Washington Episcopal School to lead a Chapel service and offer a special Blessing of the Animals for the students' pets, stuffed animals and favorite animal friends. "The WES community was so grateful to have Bishop Mariann," says the Rev. Kristen Pitts, chaplain at WES. "The students were very excited to bring their pictures and stuffed animals to Chapel for the blessing and to learn more about St. Francis and how he taught others to, 'Be kind' -- which is the WES motto!"

A dog and a tiger were among the blessed!

A girl and her bear...

The bishop blesses a panda and his boy

Students with the Rev. Kristen Pitts, chaplain at Washington Episcopal School, and Bishop Mariann

Category: News

Evensong to Welcome Bishop Chilton Knudsen

October 09, 2019

Bishop Chilton Knudsen and Bishop Mariann Budde / all photos: Donovan Marks

On Sunday, October 6, the diocese gathered to welcome The Rt. Rev. Chilton Knudsen as Assisting Bishop of Washington at Evensong at Washington National Cathedral. Bishop Chilton began sharing her many gifts throughout the diocese in February and quickly won the affection, admiration, and gratitude of all she meets and works with. We are grateful for her presence among us! 

Of the event, Bishop Chilton says, "The service was wonderful beyond all my expectations. Many of you were able to be there. Others sent dear notes and kind thoughts. I've done a lot of hello-ings and goodbye-ings in our church, and this was one of the best!"

Clergy from the diocese gathered in celebration of Bishop Chilton

  Bishop Chilton in the Canterbury pulpit

  Bishop Chilton Knudsen, The Rev. Canon Paula Clark

Category: News

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