The past few weeks have seemed like a dystopian novel. As this novel unfolds, I often feel like a helpless by-stander. I long for the day where we are able to gather together in our beautiful sanctuary lifting our voices rejoicing in God’s mercy. Yet, for now, as I mentioned on Sunday, we are called to “stay in place.”
I reflected on staying in place using the lectionary text assigned for the fifth Sunday in Lent. The lesson from the Hebrew scriptures focused on Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones. Written in the context of Judah’s exile in Babylon, the prophet speaks to a people who witnessed the horror of the destruction of the center of their religious and cultural identity. Jerusalem had been overrun and the temple defiled and destroyed. With crushed spirits, they wondered whether they could worship God in a foreign land. Amidst their despair, Ezekiel offers the vision that God will breathe the breath of life on their dry bones and will plant them anew. It is a vision of resurrection – an image that translates into our understanding of Christ. Jesus claims to be the resurrection and the life. He awakens Lazarus from the slumber of death. In order to awaken Lazarus, Jesus had to “stay in place” for two days in order to regroup and prepare himself for the potential battles that awaited him.
Staying in place is difficult. However, in order to meet the challenges that lay ahead, staying in place is a cross we are called to bear. While some Christians have called this period an extended lent or a prolonged journey in the wilderness, I see this liminal time slightly differently. In many ways, we are more pastorally attuned than ever before. We are learning to use technology in order to gather for daily prayer, study scripture, find ways to mobilize volunteers, and sing songs in the foreign air of a digital world. Certainly, we have seen our parish rise to the challenge. At the same time, it is my prayer that we will be able to gather face to face soon! What sustains my prayer is the hope of the resurrection – a realization that life reigns over death.
So, for now, stay in place… stay tuned in… stay healthy…
Your Servant and Pastor,
Welcome Our New Staff Members
It is my honor and privilege to welcome two new members of staff at St. Anne’s. These appointments have been made in consultation with the Rector’s Human Resource Advisory Committee, chair of the Facilities Committee, and staff input.
Caprice Turano, who currently serves as Associate Director of the Preschool for the Arts at St. Anne’s has agreed to assume the responsibility of serving as our Director of Buildings and Grounds. In this part-time role, she will be the primary staff liaison to the Facilities Committee and supervise the execution of the facility related contracts at our properties. Caprice will continue to serve as Associate Director of PASA and is elated to expand her connection to St Anne’s in her capacity as a steward of our property. In Caprice’s own words: “Every day is a joy, being surrounded by awesome preschool students and families, all the incredible preschool teachers, and the wonderful St. Anne’s clergy and staff.” Caprice enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, reading a good book, and being a part of her local Walking With Purpose Bible study group. She can be contacted through e-mail.
Paul Manning has accepted my invitation to serve as Sexton. His experience as an independent contractor and as a graduate of the Lighthouse Shelter’s Building Employment Success Training (B.E.S.T.) program will be a blessing for us. Paul was born in Washington, DC and worshiped at 10th Street Baptist Church. He attended DC Public Schools until his family moved to Montgomery County. Afterwards, he attended Howard University and University of the District of Columbia where he studied Architectural Engineering. Paul writes “my hobbies include woodworking, grill master, gardening and restoring antique cars.” In his spare time, “I enjoy listening to Jazz music, especially John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and am a fan of the Oakland/Vegas Raiders and LA Lakers and watching educational documentaries.” Paul and his wife Beverly have one daughter, Lauren and they live in Crofton, Maryland.
I am grateful to Michael Thaxton, Tom Calo, Carrie Dana-Evans, Carrie Grimes, Ed Hartmann, Townsend McNitt and Bill Wilbert for assisting me throughout the process of Caprice’s and Paul’s appointment to staff.
Your Servant and Pastor,
In these extraordinary times, we are excited to continue worshiping together virtually! Our Sunday morning 9:30 services and Daily Evening Prayer are just some of the virtual offerings at St. Anne’s. For more information on these services, click here.
For Palm Sunday, we encourage you to gather branches from your yard or garden as a symbol of the praise Jesus received on his journey into Jerusalem.
During this difficult time for us all, we would like to send some signs of hope from our cemetery. These pictures of our blooming Star of Bethlehem plants and the lilac bush were taken last Wednesday. The Star of Bethlehem bulbs were brought from Europe for gardens here in America and they seem to have been purposely planted on graves throughout our cemetery. While considered more of a weed these days, they are a lovely reminder that rebirth is occurring throughout our natural world.
Another sign of rebirth in our cemetery is an ancient lilac bush that was covered with ivy last spring, but with the help of our team of volunteers, we were able to free the sad little bush and this year it is blooming again. Please remember that our cemetery remains open for those of you who need to get out and take a walk in the beauty of nature keeping social distancing, of course.
Easter Memorial Flowers
We appreciate all who have made donations for Easter memorial flowers. Since we only received a few donations and want to make sure everyone has the ability to honor their family members, we will not be including the memorial list in our Easter bulletin. Instead, we will publish the list when we are able to worship together in the beauty of our church decorated by the Flower Guild.
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 email@example.com. If you would like to participate in a small group discussion after your experience with one of these offerings, contact Jess Sexton at firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups that form will meet over Zoom with guidance to connect as needed.
Information on these offerings will soon be available on our website.
Ideas for Lenten Discipline from the Environmental Ministry
- Give up plastic grocery bags. Tie a ribbon onto your steering wheel to remind you to take a recyclable bag with you when you go into the grocery store.
- Give up plastic straws. Ask your waiter if the restaurant uses plastic straws. If they don’t, do without.
- Take a bag with you when you take walks and pick up any trash that you find along the way. This will keep the trash out of our waterways.
- Take your own travel coffee mug into the coffee shop with you.
- Don’t forget to drop off your wine corks at the parish house. The box is empty as of this week.
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
Virtual Sycamore Tree and Children’s Discovery
Connie Saeger-Proctor, Minister for Congregational Life will be offering Sycamore Tree on Sunday, March 29, at 10:30 AM and Children’s Discovery on Wednesday, April 1, at 12:30 PM using Facebook live. For information on how to access these offerings, click here.
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 will be available on line in March 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Partners in Mission in Guatemala
Calling all parishioners – all ages, especially our youth – to join the St. Anne’s team for a week-long adventure with our brothers and sisters in Guatemala: July 31 – August 7. Get to know our local partners and help check on current St. Anne’s-funded projects underway – latrine construction, schooling, medical training. Please contact Kevin Hays (email@example.com) soon for more information. Please note – the cost of the adventure is about $1,000. Spanish fluency is not required!
Current Volunteer and Service Opportunities
In this season we are aware that there are many people who will be short on funds or out of jobs and unable to have enough food to eat. St. Annes is identifying ways that our church community can help in tangible ways to the Annapolis community and Ann Arundel County during this time. We have listed 3 opportunities below to stay informed, make food donations, or make funding donations to important organizations seeing to fill the gap for many families so that children and families do not go hungry. We welcome your involvement and your feedback.
- Advocacy: No Kid Hungry is a great resource to stay on top of the hunger crisis in our country. If you sign up to get their periodic emails you will be asked upon occasion to email a form letter or call your Congress person about bills being passed to ensure that all children in the US have food, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis. You can also donate to this cause that is helping the public schools, shelters, and food banks across the country. https://www.nokidhungry.org/?_ga=2.28149243.678246383.1584633236-1355765753.1584633236
- Light House Shelter Lunches: The Lighthouse Shelter has asked for any assistance that we might be able to provide. They are desperately low on bag lunches due to the increased demand from people who have lost their income and jobs. You can click onto the “needs” link below to see what their priorities are. You may also make a contribution online. See a partial list of current needs below. There is no crisis at The Light House at this time. However, please read the statement from the executive director, Jo Anne Mattson, as posted on the Lighthouse website.
|Cases of Bottled Water
Canned Fruit (in fruit juice)
Canned Vegetables (Low sodium)
Fruit Juice (100% fruit)
Jam/Jelly (30oz or smaller)
Canned tomato products
Soup (Cans or pouches/boxes)
Cereal (low sugar/whole grain)
Canned Meats (tuna/chicken/ham)
Brown rice or rice products
Pancake Mix (just add water)
Lysol Disinfectant Spray
Laundry Detergent PODS
Boxes of Tissues
Adult Male Backpacks
- Stanton Center: Feel free to drop food off at the Stanton Center. Here’s the list that was suggested:
Mac n cheese
Soups and stews
Cheese (American, Velveeta)
Soap (bar or liquid)
Please feel free to send additional updates, sources, and information to The Rev. Jess Sexton (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kimberly Jillson (email@example.com) as you learn of food needs in our community.
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
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.