Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Engaging a changing world with
an enduring faith in Jesus Christ

News & Features

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

Out of the Archives: Adult Education Classes

September 26, 2019

The Rev. Dr. Harrison Owen, associate rector at St. Margaret's Church, leads an adult education class - picture from Washington Diocese magazine, March 1966

The program year has begun in churches throughout the Diocese! In today’s world, lifelong learning opportunities to explore our Christian vocations are offered for all ages, but that wasn’t always the case. Back in 1966, the March edition of the “Diocesan Newswire” column in Washington Diocese magazine, reported on a new phenomenon:

Groups of churchmen and women are gathering informally in increasing numbers to give hard thought to ….. perplexing problems. Some come under the label of “adult education classes” like the one meeting Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. with Harrison Owen, the young associate rector at St. Margaret’s Church.  There was literally “no room” for them in the church. They gather in the Sirloin and Saddle room of the Hot Shoppes just opposite on Connecticut Ave. N.W., and drink coffee as he propounds profound and broadly liberal truths of the life, death and resurrection of daily life. More come each week. He does not view God as a “pale reflection of humanity with a long white beard” but views Him as a God of love whose outreach embraces all humanity and who meets us supremely in the life of Jesus Christ. Lively discussion follows.

Recently, I spoke with the Rev. Dr. Owen about the origin of these new “adult education classes.” When asked to name the class he would teach, Dr. Owen came up with “Faith to Live By.” At first, he had no idea what the content would be. Eventually the focus developed into the dilemmas that people face every day, with one aspect of the discussion centering on the tensions of the Ten Commandments. All these years later, Dr. Owen recounts the success of his adult education experiment with humble amazement, still awed by the fun and excitement. 

If you need resources to assist your leaders in educating any age, I encourage you to check into Department of Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary. The staff host webinars, provide consultations, crowd-source ideas, and more. Then you, too, could take over the dining room of the closest restaurant!

Mrs. Susan Stonesifer
Diocesan Historiographer


Category: News

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.