The peace of the Lord be with you! This past Sunday we heard Jesus offer these words to the disciples and to Thomas when he greeted them after his resurrection. It was probably comforting to see that their teacher and friend beat death on the cross and was alive. Yet, these words of peace were not meant to be used as proof or confirmation of his resurrection but rather to bless and reassure them that even in their fear and grief God is always present. That peace of the Holy Spirit was needed more in that room than proof. Why is peace so important then and especially now? The peace of God can calm and comfort our hearts and minds when we try to control things that are uncontrollable. And when we experience that divine peace that is stronger than our fear and worry, it makes those uncontrollable things more bearable. As that peace we feel gives us confidence in God’s unconditional love for us that will not abandons us to take on the world alone. My prayer for you right now is that you not only experience the peace of God but that you become that peace in this world that desperately needs it. How can we be an example of peace in this time of crisis? St. Francis gives us some ideas on how we can be peace in this world. May this prayer encourage you to be an instrument of peace in your relationships, in your correspondence with work, in your time with your kids and especially with yourself.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
May God’s blessings be upon you as we finish another week of social distancing and may the peace of God give you the strength and courage to trust in God’s redemptive and true love for us.
God bless always,
Rector’s Earth Day Message
Beloved in Christ,
God’s creation radiates with beauty and splendor. As we read in the Book of Genesis, we are stewards of God’s creation.
Such stewardship can only be carried out when we are mindful of our roles as beneficiaries of God’s wonderful abundance. We have been given the fruit of the earth to promote life.
In line with the adage, with much privilege comes responsibility, stewardship of creation also entails responsibility sustain the earth and her numerous resources being mindful that such sustenance is one aspect of our Christian vocation.
As we celebrate “Earth Day,” I draw your attention to a prayer for The Conservation of Natural Resources as found in the Book of Common Prayer:
Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth,
you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom
and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one
may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet
to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Happy Earth Day!
Yours in Christ,
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!
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.
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 May 11. 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
The Partners in Mission in Guatemala (PIMIG) Latrine project has entered its third year and celebrates by encouraging YOUR participation in honor of Mother’s Day. Please consider helping the Women’s Leadership Council of the village of Chujulimul to construct at least 40 more latrines this year. Total built to date is 104 (last two years). Each latrine and related training costs approximately $170; your gift of any amount is most welcome.
|Helping our Neighbors
St. Luke’s Food Pantry
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.