Beloved in Christ,
Sounds of the howling wind and the patter of the torrential rainfall hitting the pavement are my background orchestra as I write this letter to you.
As I write this on Easter Monday, I have noticed that there are times when light breaks through the gloomy grayness of the sky.
I have always experienced the radiance of light as a symbol of hope.
Jesus says of himself in the Gospel of John, “I am the Light of the World.” Jesus also says that we are the light of the world.
In other words, Jesus is the true light that breaks through the grey skies and we, as followers of that true light, reflect that very light to the world. We see God through the “Light” that is Jesus and the world sees and experiences God through the light that we reflect in our lives.
Today, I share with you one my favorite hymns/poems from Ephrem the Syrian, a fourth century saint.
As you reflect this week, I invite you to ask yourself: where do you see God in this time when we are “social distancing?”
Remember, God is at work even in the midst of grey skies — allowing the light to pierce through those dark skies so that we can know that God is at work even in the encircling gloom…
You are a blessing and I just want to say, I love you!
Your Servant in Christ,
Hymn to the Light
The Light of the just and joy of the upright is Christ Jesus our Lord.
Begotten of the Father, He manifested himself to us.
He came to rescue us from darkness and to fill us with the radiance of His light.
Day is dawning upon us; the power of darkness is fading away.
From the true Light there arises for us the light which illumines our darkened eyes.
His glory shines upon the world and enlightens the very depths of the abyss.
Death is annihilated, night has vanished, and the gates of Sheol are broken.
Creatures lying in darkness from ancient times are clothed in light.
The dead arise from the dust and sing because they have a Savior.
He brings salvation and grants us life. He ascends to his Father on high.
He will return in glorious splendor and shed His light on those gazing upon Him.
Our King comes in majestic glory.
Let us light our lamps and go forth to meet Him.
Let us find our joy in Him, for He has found joy in us.
He will indeed rejoice us with His marvelous light.
Let us glorify the majesty of the Son and give thanks to the almighty Father
Who, in an outpouring of love, sent Him to us, to fill us with hope and salvation.
When He manifests Himself, the saints awaiting Him in weariness and sorrow,
will go forth to meet Him with lighted lamps.
The angels and guardians of heaven will rejoice
in the glory of the just and upright people of earth;
Together crowned with victory,
they will sing hymns and psalms.
Stand up then and be ready!
Give thanks to our King and Savior,
Who will come in great glory to gladden us
with His marvelous light in His kingdom.
Gospel of Matthew Bible Study
Join me on-line for a deep dive into this year’s premiere gospel. We’ll meet in cyberspace via Zoom on Wednesdays at 6:00 PM. Below you will see a schedule for our nine-week journey. The sessions might change as we go along. The Holy Spirit is often prone to lead us in ways we had not expected.
As luck would have it, the Visual Bible’s word-for-word dramatization of the Gospel According to Matthew is available on YouTube. The film along with the Bible and our own inquiry will be our essential tools. There is no end to the commentaries on Matthew, but that won’t stop me from passing on some insights from scholars who have mined this gospel.
One book you might consider buying is “A Journey with Matthew,” by the Rev. Marek P. Zabriskie. It is a 50-day devotional with commentaries by some of our leading contemporary thinkers. It is available on Kindle and paperback through Amazon, Forward Movement Publications and elsewhere.
Be on the lookout for updates and more on our website and on Facebook. As our Lord Jesus Christ said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Here is our schedule.
April 22 — Week One Prelude and Beginnings Chapters 1 – 4
April 29 — Week Two The Sermon on the Mount Chapters 5 – 7
May 6 — Week Three The Son of Man is Lord Chapters 8 – 11
May 13 — Week Four Teachings Along the Way Chapters 12 – 15
May 20 — Week Five Encounters Chapters 16 – 17
May 27 — Week Six The Kingdom is Like … Chapters 18 – 20
June 3 — Week Seven Jerusalem! Chapters 21 – 23
June 10 — Week Eight How Shall We Live Chapters 24 – 25
June 17 — Week Nine The Passion & Commission Chapters 26 – 28
I’ll leave you with what has become one of my guiding quotes. It is from Gregory the Great, a Church Father of the sixth century.
“You will progress in understanding the Holy Scriptures only to the degree that you yourself have made progress through contact with them.”
I hope to see you soon in cyberspace!
Partners in Mission in Guatemala – Letter of Solidarity
St. Anne’s Episcopal Church- Annapolis Maryland
Brothers and members of the church receive warm greeting from the community of Chujulimul, scholarship and the students of English Program. We hope you are great and healthy at your home.
We know the situation of the world about Coronavirus disease (COVID19) that’s why we stand in solidarity with your country United States, special with St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, we hope that God protection everyone of your family and we trust in God that this situation will be better.
We recognize that this is worldwide situation, and in our country of Guatemala is not the exception, since the cases are increasing day by day, that’s why all the activity are suspended and our English class too, to protect us and respect the rules of the President of Guatemala and health authorities, to prevent the spread of the virus.
We give thanks to God because we don’t have cases in our community Chujulimul, since all people are complying with their quarantine.
Blessings to all, that our prayers not fail to ask God for this pandemic ends soon and to pray for the sick in the hospital, doctors, and authorities who are working to watch for us.
See you soon.
English class students.
In these extraordinary times, we are excited to continue worshiping together virtually! Our Sunday morning 9:30 service, Holy Week services and Daily Evening Prayer are just some of the virtual offerings at St. Anne’s. For more information on these services, click here.
Coffee, Fellowship and Conversation
Missing conversations with your St. Anne’s community? Join us this Sunday, April 19 at 10:30 AM, for Coffee, Fellowship, and Conversation. St. Anne’s clergy will join us and you can engage Rev. Jess in conversation about the sermon. We will use Zoom to host our time. Bring your coffee, tea, or water bottle, and click here to be welcomed into the conversation.
Resources for Spiritual Nourishment
The offerings are provided without charge by the centers and churches listed in compassion for what we share during this time of uncertainty and separation. If you have any questions or thoughts about this page, or these spirituality offerings, please contact Heather Strang at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to participate in a small group discussion after your experience with one of these offerings, contact Jess Sexton at email@example.com. Groups that form will meet over Zoom with guidance to connect as needed.
Information on these offerings will soon be available on our website.
St. Anne’s Cemetery: Year of the Woman
Catherine Brewer was the wife of Judge Nicholas Brewer, who owned land throughout the city of Annapolis*. While they were a staunch Unionists, as were four of their sons, three of their sons joined the Confederate forces. Isaac was a lieutenant in the Washington Artillery of New Orleans and was killed in 1862 at the Battle of Rappahannock Station. He is buried in the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Major Richard Brewer was a West Point graduate who was wounded at Piedmont, Virginia in 1864 and died of his wounds. No burial place is given. The third Confederate son, Charles, served as a surgeon and survived the war but never came home. After the war he moved to New Jersey and died there in 1909. Before his death in 1864, Nicholas changed his will to include Charles as an equal recipient of his estate, thus extending his love for his son. All of their Union sons survived the war. Catherine may never have known what happened to her Confederate sons because she died in 1862, but the divide in her once-close family must have broken her heart.
As the war began, Dorothea Dix, who was famous for championing the disabled and the mentally ill, returned from England and was named Superintendent of Nurses for the Union. Her job was to recruit nurses and set up training programs for them throughout the northern states. After Miss Dix visited Annapolis, Catherine began to organize her neighbors to bring food and bandages to the soldiers in the hospitals here. She delivered food from her own garden and her orchards on Presidents Hill. With her encouragement, the ladies of Annapolis delivered fruits and flowers to the wounded and sick housed in the hospitals throughout the city, independently and through the U.S. Sanitary Commission. Catherine also volunteered as a nurse at the Naval Academy Hospital until she contracted her fatal illness. Catherine’s death can be considered yet another of the family’s causalities of the Civil War.
*The Brewer properties included the land that the Stanton Center occupies today as well as Brewer Cemetery and the Annapolis National Cemetery. Locus Grove Cemetery, which is now a part of the St. Anne’s Cemetery, was also owned by the Brewers. Catherine is buried in the old Locus Grove part of our cemetery along with Nicholas and many other members of her family.
As we follow the request that ministries refrain from meeting, I share a recent Contemplative Outreach posting, which a few of you have already received.
Blessings on you during this desert time, that you may sink deeply into the interior self, welcoming the holy in surrender. May the Lord release our resistance. May He feed our humility and our yearning for Him. May He remind us again of how deeply he hungers for us. May we each find, in the tumult of upended plans and schedules, the treasure that He has waiting for us…somewhere…if only we will allow it.
Love, light and every hope in Jesus,
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar, Pandemic, March 11, 2020
Children and Youth Ministry
Children and Youth Events
Feeling the need to connect your children with their St. Anne’s friends? We know we cannot meet in person, so let’s add some fun things for us to do. Download a flat Jesus, color him, and cut him out. As you go through your daily activities, take a picture of where you have invited Jesus to be with you. My flat Jesus will be with us in the Sycamore Tree on Sunday at 12:30 PM. Send your pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them on our website. If you are cautious about your child’s identity use flat Jesus in a picture without your child and his or her first initial with a description of where Jesus was invited.
Would your child or young person like to help us reflect on Scripture in daily life? We are looking for those who are willing to read an assigned (short) Scripture and reflect on what it means to him/her. This may be done on a video or printed. Children may also be recorded saying a prayer. Reflections and prayers will be posted on our website. Contact Connie Saeger at email@example.com if you are interested in participating.
High School Seniors Harrison Sayre Award
Graduating high school seniors can apply for the Harrison Sayre Award. The award is given annually to a high school senior who has been active is some aspect of St. Anne’s life (choir, acolyte, youth group, outreach ministries, etc) and is planning on attending a two or four year college or university the following fall. The award money is intended to help defray the cost of college textbooks. Applications are available here and should be submitted by April 20. The award will be announced at a church service to honor all graduating seniors. If you have any questions, contact Nancy Greeley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harrison Sayre was a long time active member of St. Anne’s Church. When he died in March 2005, friends, family and fellow parishioners donated money to set up an award in his name. Mr. Sayre was interested in young people and their education. A committee made up of a clergy member, a member of the memorials committee and members of the Sayre family will select the recipient. The award will be announced at a church service to honor all graduating seniors. If you have any questions, contact Nancy Greeley at email@example.com
Very Big Story Camp
Join us for a week of spirit-filled fun as St. Anne’s & First Presbyterian churches partner for Very Big Story Camp exploring the theme: You Are a New Creation in Christ. July 6-10 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM with option of an extended camp until 4:00 PM. Children between the age of 4 through rising 5th graders will learn about the transformation of butterflies and explore how Christians are a new creation in Christ. Morning camp will run from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and is free to all families The extended camp will run from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM at a cost of $175. Register here: https://preschoolforthearts.wufoo.com/forms/very-big-story-camp/. The deadline to register is Wednesday, June 24. For questions, please contact Connie Saeger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-808-1361.
To register, please click here. The deadline to register is Wednesday, June 24.
We are still serving our Backpack Buddy families by providing food and gift cards to the Stanton Center where those donations are provided to many of the same families in the Clay Street Neighborhood. We will continue to distribute food and need your help!
If you would like to purchase food directly, these items would be great: pasta, ramen noodles, rice, cereal, canned pork and beans, canned chicken or tuna fish, soap, detergent, toilet paper and cleaning products.
We’ve also been giving grocery gift cards to allow the families to get what they specifically need. We would love any donations from St. Anne’s! More information on donating can be found by emailing AnnapolisElementaryPTA@gmail.com.
You can also purchase gift cards from Giant or Safeway in $10, $20 or $50 denominations and drop them off to Paulette at the Stanton Center–92 West Washington St.
For questions or more information, please contact Townsend McNitt at email@example.com.
|Partners in Mission in Guatemala
Current Volunteer and Service Opportunities
The Light House
The Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center has served the community as a basic needs provider of food, shelter and support services for over 30 years. They rebuild lives with compassion by providing shelter and services to prevent homelessness and empower people as they transition toward employment, housing and self-sufficiency.
If you have never volunteered with Light House and would like to learn more please visit their website at http://www.annapolislighthouse.org/volunteer. Thank you for your support!
Cooking for The Light House
Love Heals – A Prayer from the Stephen Ministry Team
Bless us almighty God during our time of need. Fill our bishops, clergy and churches with compassion and the power of the Holy Spirit. Give our leaders the wisdom to bring us through the Covid-19 crisis. Break down all barriers and unite them as they govern are nation. Loving God, support and protect all healthcare providers as they care for the afflicted. Help us to live out your greatest commandment to love each other, and so strengthen us to care for others in their time of need that we may commend their healing to your infinite mercy. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Anne Arundel County Department of Aging & Disabilities
The Caregiver’s Voice
A Newsletter Specifically for People Caring for Family, Friends, & Neighbors
The Caregivers’ Voice is a quarterly publication of the AA County Department of Aging and Disabilities’ National Family Caregiver Support Program. Contact us at: (410) 222-4336/4339 or at Caregiver Support.
Click here for the 2020 Support Group Schedule.
Click here for the latest version of Caregiver News and Updates.
Did you know? Once trained and commissioned, Stephen Ministers meet twice a month to give and receive peer supervision, which is necessary to help them provide quality care and grow as caregivers. .St. Anne’s Stephen Ministry is inviting the men and women of St.Anne’s to explore serving as a lay Christian caregiver. Training will be provided from September, 2019 through March, 2020. If you are interested in journeying with someone who needs confidential spiritual and emotional support, this may be the right caring ministry for you. For further details please contact: Chip Tucker: 443-852-1779 Patricia Jennings: 203-313-4665
The logo Stephen Ministry congregations use consists of a cross and circle, together with a broken person and a whole person. The broken person stands behind the cross, symbolizing the brokenness in our lives as a result of our sin. The whole person stands in front of the cross because it is through the cross of Jesus that we again are made whole. The circle symbolizes both the wholeness we receive through Christ and God’s love for us.
If you would like to receive care from a Stephen Minister or know of someone seeking care, please contact Rev. Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Leach, 410-263-1752.
Pastoral Care at St. Anne’s
Our weekly prayer letter gives you a chance to mention by name those who have asked for our prayers. Copies are available for you to take home and include in your daily devotions. Patricia Spencer coordinates this effort and would love to hear from you if you have questions or concerns. You can reach her at 301-751-0555, or email@example.com
You are the wind in my sails.
You guide me as I steer and find direction.
You give me the strength to keep on going.
You watch over me as I navigate stormy
You are the harbor where I stop for rest.
You are my encourager when I lose hope.
You are the lighthouse that keeps my path
You are with me always. Thank you for your
protection and care.
St. Anne’s has a hearing loop to better serve the 57% of people over 60 who have significant hearing loss. The Hearing Loop provides clean, clear sound without a headset and sends the voices of clergy and readers directly into the hearing aids of people sitting in the pews. If you have hearing loss but no hearing aids, ask an usher for a Loop Receiver with earbuds which you can use during the service.