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

United Thank Offering Announces 2020 Grant Awards

June 17, 2020

United Thank Offering (UTO) announced the grant recipients for the 2020 granting year, and we are excited to share that the Episcopal Diocese of Washington will receive a companion grant of $66,868 with the Diocese of Masasi, Tanzania. The grant will fund the completion of St. Catherine’s School for Girls in Namasakata, Tanzania. The focus of this year’s granting process was ‘Bless: Share faith, practice generosity and compassion and proclaim the Good News of God in Christ with hope and humility.’

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, Maryland and the Diocese of Masasi have worked together for over forty years to improve the lives of people in the region by meeting basic needs for water, health care, agriculture, and education.  Bishop James Almasi, of the Diocese of Masasi, believes the greatest need in the region is the education of girls in a safe Christian environment. This $66,868 grant will support the new boarding school owned and operated by the Diocese of Masasi. Providing a safe and healthy school climate for girls will enable them to improve their lives and enrich their families’ futures. 

After visiting the planned site of St. Catherine’s in August 2019 and meeting with numerous villagers, a group from St. John’s Olney and African Palms, USA, a ministry of St. John’s, felt strongly called to become involved in this specific project.  The school will be the region’s first boarding school for girls. This UTO grant will allow the Diocese of Masasi to complete construction and obtain operational status in 2021.

The UTO Board received almost $3.4 million dollars in requests in 2020. With gratitude for the generosity of those who contributed through Blue Box donations, UTO awarded over $1.5 million in grants. The UTO is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. All UTO collection supports innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

The Diocese of Washington with St. John’s Olney and African Palms, USA are honored to partner with UTO to improve the lives of families in Masasi, specifically girls who have a great deal of talent and potential.  As The Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde wrote, “This grant will support the 2020 UTO focus by sharing our abundance and compassion for the lives of very vulnerable girls.  The school will be a blessing for the lives of girls who have not been able to successfully pursue a secondary education due to unsafe living accommodations near their schools… The school’s curriculum will teach Christian principles, ethics and morals and share its faith, generosity and compassion.  Thus providing the girls opportunities to know personally the Good News of God in Christ.”  With so many critical global issues right now, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington team feels there has never been a better time to invest in the education of young women.

Category: News

Oh Dios nuestra ayuda en tiempos pasados

June 04, 2020

"Oh Dios nuestra ayuda en tiempos pasados;
Nuestra esperanza para los años venideros
Nuestra refugio de la tormenta feroz
Y nuestro eterno hogar !"

Escrito por Isaac Watts (1708)

Dios de Amor,

Venimos ante ti como un pueblo necesitando refugio. Un refugio que nos defiende de las tormentas del racismo y de la injusticia. Y un refugio que tranquiliza nuestras almas en medio de un mal desenfrenado.

Anímanos para poder unir a las comunidades con una armonía de dignidad y respeto. Muévenos para difundir tu mensaje de amor a través del mundo comenzando con nosotros.

Has estado presente a lo largo de nuestro pasado doloroso y nos mantenemos firmes en nuestra fe revolucionaria que continuarás otorgándonos la esperanza de soportar las tormentas de este tiempo para finalmente conducirnos con alegría a su eterno hogar! 




Category: News

In Gratitude

April 09, 2020

Diocesan staff during a morning check-in and following Jesus' teaching to love one another.

Like you, those of us on diocesan staff have spent the past several weeks trying to figure out “the new normal” and, boy, it feels like that changes every day. Like you, we’ve pivoted from in-person meetings to All Things Zoom--with plenty of texting, phone calling and emailing to fill in the gaps. We’ve figured things out by trial and error; laughing, crying, worrying, and finding joy in precious moments of connection. We’ve done a lot of that together each weekday morning during our staff check-ins. During this Holy Week, like you, we’ve followed Jesus’ walk to Jerusalem in our daily Bible study. Each Scripture passage grounds us, reminding us why we’re here, why we serve the good people of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and why we love God.


Category: News

Con Agradecimiento

April 09, 2020

Personal diocesano durante una reunion de la mañana y siguiendo la enseñanza de Jesús de amarse unos a otros.

Al igual que ustedes, aquellos de nosotros en el personal diocesano hemos pasado las últimas semanas tratando de averiguar “la nueva normalidad” y, caramba, se siente como que cambia cada día. Al igual que ustedes, hemos girado desde las reuniones en persona hasta todas las cosas en Zoom--con un montón de mensajes de texto, llamadas teléfonicas y correos electrónicos para llenar los vacíos. Hemos descubierto las cosas por prueba y error; riendonos, llorando, preocupándonos y encontrando alegría en momentos preciosos de conexión. Hemos hecho mucho de eso juntos cada día de semana por la mañana durante las reuniones regulares de nuestro personal. Durante esta Semana Santa, como ustedes, hemos seguido el camino de Jesús a Jerusalén en nuestro estudio bíblico diario. Cada pasaje de la Escritura nos fundamenta, recordándonos por qué estamos aquí, por qué servimos a la gente buena de la Diócesis Episcopal de Washington, y por qué amamos a Dios.

Category: News

Copyright Best Practices

April 09, 2020

The new realities of doing church online have brought questions regarding copyright for both print and webcast to the forefront for those creating bulletins and recorded or live streamed services. 

In 1976, a lawsuit against a Roman Catholic Archdiocese brought to light the common practice of churches printing materials without copyright permissions, especially music. After a guilty verdict was reached in 1990, the Archdiocese paid out over 4 million dollars. For a time, this raised awareness of the need to purchase licenses and acknowledge in print materials the creators of the music and texts used.  

Since then however many in the church have grown lax in their practices of acknowledging copyright. Added to that are some common misunderstandings about copyright, the most popular being that, if we have copies of the material in the pew, we can print that many copies each week.  

Over the last year of serving as the diocesan liturgist, I have seen copyright violations in almost every bulletin from the smallest to the largest churches in our diocese. 

Copyrights are not there to produce headaches for church administrators and clergy, but rather to give credit--and compensation--to church poets, musicians, and liturgy creators for their work. This is a justice concern and one the church should get correct. 

The wonderful news for all of us is that many of the licencing companies have made reporting and finding copyright for music and texts simple. 

Even better, if we are producing works in print or online on a regular basis, the weekly costs are reasonable and based on weekly attendance records, soo smaller churches pay less. And best of all, the two  major copyright licensing companies for church music--OneLicense and CCLI--have agreements with multiple individuals and publishing houses so most of us no longer have to seek individual copyright permissions through multiple publishers.

Some things to keep in mind as you produce materials for your congregations:

  1. All materials have been created by someone--even those in the public domain--and as such an acknowledgement should be noted in your work whether it is in print or online. 
  2. When material is not in the public domain, permission for use must be obtained. 
  3. In your copyright acknowledgement, always state the origin, creator, copyright date, and publishing house for each of the liturgical text(s) and music pieces used. 
  4. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer is public domain, but not all material produced by Church Publishing is--so check for copyright (and remember point 1 above).
  5. Licensing statements for podcast/live streaming must be posted near the links to your online offerings on your website. 
  6. If you post content with copyrighted material to a YouTube channel, you must include any copyright acknowledgement in the description. If you use another platform (Facebook, Vimeo, etc.), research and follow the best practices for copyright adherence for that platform.
  7. Most purchases of music for choirs and instrumental works include a performance clause and do not need copyright acknowledgement when sung or played, but follow point 3 above in your productions whether in print or online. 
  8. Report usage of all materials to the licensing company that grants your permission for use. 
  9. Assign a troubleshooter to monitor any live productions for issues that might arise.

For more information about copyright and licensing companies, check out the Liturgy and Music section of our Worship and Pastoral Care page on the website

I welcome your questions and am happy to guide you through the process of selecting which company is better for your congregation, what kind of a license you may need, how to do acknowledgements and report usage for your congregation’s  licensing company. 

I promise, once you have done it a few times, this process gets easier. 

The Ven. L. Sue von Rautenkranz, archdeacon and diocesan liturgist


Category: News