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Clergy Epistle

Getting to the other side…. Growing…. (What I didn’t say in my sermon…. Matthew 14:22-33)

As disciples. Jesus invites us to go to the other side.

One area underlying Carol Dweck’s seminal work: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, is exploration into perceptions of success. There are those who believe that success is based on innate ability. Others believe that success is based on hard-work, learning, and training.

While one may not be aware of which mindset one has, one’s mindset becomes evident through one’s reaction to life’s situations and setbacks.

In Matthew 14:22-33, Peter exemplifies someone who struggles between two mindsets.

Peter says, “Lord, if it is you command me to come to you on the water.”

Jesus does just that! At the invitation issued by the Lord, Peter gets out of the boat and starts “walking on the water.” As a rational human being with intimate knowledge of the sea, he knows that his challenge to Jesus is ridiculous.   Yet, the initiative to walk on the water demonstrates Peter’s willingness to grow amidst a challenge. However, when he loses focus on the challenge and notices the wind, Peter’s fear grips him and he begins to sink. Upon reading the pericope, you will realize that the wind did not just develop.  There had been strong winds throughout the night and into the dawn.  Peter allowed his glaze to slip falling back into his foreknowledge and fear rather than trust in the Lord who made the impossible quite possible.

By allowing the impossible to become possible, Jesus made Peter’s ability to walk on water experiential. The experience of walking on water for Peter was an expression of a growth mindset.  In contrast, relying on his foreknowledge represents reliance on innate ability and skill sets.

The lesson for us is that solely relying on innate ability and perceived skill sets limits our ability to grow. Jesus invites us to “grow.” Growth occurs when we are able to face our fears.  Jesus said, “Take heart; it is I, do not be afraid.”  To face our fears, we must confront that our innate ability can be quite limiting. When we acknowledge our fears and submit those concerns to God, we are assured that we will never be alone.

As your rector, I must admit to having two mindsets like Peter. At the beginning of the pandemic, I wondered about the impact of the church and whether the shift to online worship, meetings, and functions would curtail our mission as a parish.

There have been many sleepless nights full of anxiety and patiently waiting on the Lord knowing that our entire world is in the same “boat” (please excuse the pun.)

Yet, due to the work of the Holy Spirit through you, we continue to grow thereby challenging my previous experiences.

Through your generosity,

  1. We have been able to make an impact by assisting families with food, utility, and even mortgage payments through direct outreach and the Good Samaritan Fund;
  2. We have grown in our capacity to use technology as a means of building fellowship and community;
  3. We have grown our offerings of formation classes;
  4. We have developed musical offerings and developed a partnership with Live Arts under the leadership of Ernie Green.
  5. We have actually seen growth, based on the formula that we have been given to measure attendance, in participation (year over year) in our liturgical offerings;
  6. We are growing our mid-week formation offerings to focus on Lifelong Christian Formation beginning in the fall.

All of you have been part and parcel of this growth through your sustained generosity. You have demonstrated that despite the winds of the civil unrest and the pandemic, our parish is vital and growing!

My experience with you has taught me not to rest on “innate” ability or prior experience, but to trust in Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit for we will get to the other side together!

I am sure that I am not alone in my struggle to rely more on Jesus and attending to the prodding of the Holy Spirit.

So, I invite you to go deeper in your faith life:

  1. Read Matthew 14:22-33
  2. Reflect: As Jesus invited Peter to come towards him as a mark of growing faith, in what areas do I need to grow?
  3. Pray: “O spirit of the living Christ, do overtake us on our way; reveal to us the meaning of the strange and perplexing events through we must move; open our eyes to recognize your presence in every form of life and love; and help us at the end of the way to understand afresh that the meaning of life is to be found in the breaking.” (Rev. Theodore Parker Ferris)

 

Your Servant in Christ,

Manoj+

View last Sunday’s service here.

 
COVID-19 Update
 
How Can I Worship?We have temporarily modified our worship schedule in order to accommodate the much-needed cleaning of the church per the Diocesan guidelines. It is our hope to resume the pre-Covid 19 Sunday worship offerings as soon as we are able. We profusely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. If you are healthy, please consider registering for the Rite I service at 11:15 AM or the Holy Eucharist service at 5:30 PM. Registration links are in the Sunday morning eBlast and on our website. We will continue to offer the Live Stream Eucharist at 9:30 AM via YouTube. Please bear with us as we migrate towards implementing much-needed technical upgrades that will facilitate enhanced streaming.
 
 
Virtual Worship

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.

 

Get Involved at St. Anne’s

We would love to hear from you! During this time, if you are discerning to further your commitment to St. Anne’s by actively engaging in a ministry area, please contact Connie Saeger-Proctor. We would love to connect you to a ministry that is geared towards Outreach, Liturgy, or Christian Formation.

 

Coffee, Fellowship and Conversation

Missing conversations with your St. Anne’s community? We are returning to church and with our new worship schedule is a new time for fellowship. Through the summer months, from 10:15 AM to 10:45 AM, Coffee, Conversation, and Fellowship will be held via Zoom after the 9:30 live-stream service. Bring your coffee and click here to attend Coffee, Conversation, and Fellowship. For questions, contact Connie Saeger clsaeger@stannes-annapolis.org.

 

Prayer for the Week

Father of goodness and love, hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all who are in need. Amid mental and physical suffering may they find consolation in your healing presence. Show your mercy as you close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole and free downcast spirits. May these special people find last health and deliverance, and so join us in thanking you for all your gifts. We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed. Amen.

A Prayer As I Put On My Mask
Creator,
as I prepare to go into the world,
help me to see the sacrament
in the wearing of this cloth –
let it be “an outward sign
of an inward grace” –
a tangible and visible way of living
love for my neighbours,
as I love myself.
 
Christ,
since my lips will be covered,
uncover my heart,
that people would see my smile
in the crinkles around my eyes.
Since my voice may be muffled,
help me to speak clearly,
not only with my words,
but with my actions.
 
Holy Spirit,
As the elastic touches my ears,
remind me to listen carefully –
and full of care –
to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth be
shield and banner,
and each breath that it holds,
be filled with your love.
In your Name and
in that love,
I pray.
May it be so.
May it be so.
 
  ~ Richard Bott
(Moderator of United Church of Canada)
Healing Social Injustice Through Contemplation and Action

Saturday, September 19, 2020, 9:00 AM to Noon via Zoom
 
 
Dear St. Anne’s Friends,

All are welcome to join me in a wonderful  half-day prayer retreat on Zoom. We will share in the parables of Jesus with times of prayer as we open ourselves to the invitation God has for us in the healing of social injustice in our community and world. For more information about the retreat, Centering Prayer or Zoom, please contact me at Carollleach@gmail.com.

During these unprecedented times we are called to examine our role to play when we experience social injustice. Apart from three 30-minute periods of centering prayer the 1/2-day retreat will include a presentation starting with the parables where Jesus always identified with the weakest segments in the society: the sick, the poor, and the outcast. This will be followed by views on social injustice, in particular racial injustice, by contemplative and religious leaders such as Thomas Keating, Richard Rohr, Howard Thurman, and Barbara Holmes. It will be discussed how contemplative practice, such as centering prayer, strengthens in a fundamental way the effectiveness of our action. We will discuss what kinds of actions might follow from the grounding of our contemplative practice and our roles and responsibilities for healing the wounds of racial injustice.
 
 
Click here to register. Zoom information will be provided via email after you register.
 
 
If you would like to make a Goodwill Offering, please do so by clicking here. If by check, please make the check out to COMW and mail to Kathleen Blank Riether, COMW Treasurer, 5265 Winter View Dr., Alexandria, VA, 22312. Suggested half day retreat offering $15.
Cemetery Spotlight

Are you getting bored with staying at home? Are you looking for a safe way to get out of your house and help a worthy cause while safely social distancing? If so, come join us in St. Anne’s Cemetery on Thursday mornings for the rest of the summer from about 8:30 to about 10:00. We are weeding the entrance gardens, cutting ivy from decorative trees like red buds and cherry trees, and cleaning headstones. You can pick your interest and stay as long as you want. If you want to cut ivy, please bring your own clippers but we have everything you need to clean the headstones. Bring a sit-upon or stool to sit on if you want to for the headstones. Ginger DeLuca will give a short tutorial for cleaning if that is your calling. No need to let us know since what we are doing is individually accomplished. We will skip our work if it is raining, of course. Bring your teen-aged children if you would like.

Thank you for any help that you can give us.

Men’s Bible Study – Beginning Study of the Parables on September 12

The Men’s Bible Study would welcome the participation of men of St. Anne’s to our Bible study via Zoom on Saturday mornings from 9:15 till 10:30.  We get together almost every Saturday throughout the year except for holidays.   On September 12, we will be starting a study of the parables using a book that was recommended by our Rector.   This study will last for a period of probably 12 or more Saturday morning sessions.  Our format is typically an open forum discussion using prepared discussion questions and making use of the comments of the author of the book as a guide.  Please give Wayne Adamson 410-269-7538 or Bob Sherer 410-266-1334 a call if you would like to join.  We will provide you with the details of the book for purchase from Amazon and provide you with the Zoom URL so you can join us for some lively discussions.

St. Anne’s Cemetery: Year of the Woman

Emily Holland Peake was born in Annapolis on January 6, 1927 to James and Selina Curry Holland. Both parents came from old Annapolis families. When Emily was about 6, her father left her mother, who became the sole support of her three young daughters. Selina found work in the taproom at Carval Hall, a hundred-fifty room hotel whose owners were from New Jersey. The liquor laws at the time required a local resident to hold the liquor license for the taproom and Seline filled that bill. She worked there most of Emily’s young life and was friendly with many Annapolitans. One can imagine that Emily spent many hours with her mother listening to her customers exchange stories about their lives in Annapolis. When she was about 8 or 9, Emily discovered post cards and fell in love with collecting them. As an adult she helped to start the Annapolis chapter of the Postcard Club and amassed a large collection throughout her life. She graduated from Annapolis High School in 1944 and was active in arranging reunions for graduating classes at the High School.  

Emily married Joseph Peake when she was 19 and had two sons by him. James was born in 1946 and John Curry was born in 1958 but drowned in a boating accident on the South River when he was 13. Joseph died in Rockville in 1984, having been separated from Emily for many years. Her son James also predeceased her and is buried with Emily, Selina and John in St. Anne’s Cemetery. 

Despite her losses, Emily had a full and productive life.  She was a postmistress of the Riva Post Office, retiring in 1993 when she embarked on her second career as a local historian, fulfilling her lifelong dream of researching and writing about history of all kinds. She wrote a book of cemetery inscriptions entitled Crownsville Cemeteries published by Longview Cottage Publications, provided a history of Harwood for the Harwood Civic Association, was a columnist for the Annapolis Evening Capital and taught at the South County Center. She was a charter member of the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society, served two terms as its president and was the editor of its newsletter, The Speaks. She was also a member of the Annapolis History Consortium and was awarded the Marjorie Murray Bridgman Award by the Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation. Her love of post cards continued until the end of her life. She would travel to post card shows to trade with other enthusiasts and did presentations about the cards at venues throughout Annapolis.  

Emily was a lifelong member of St. Anne’s Episcopal Parish and her personal quest became documenting the history of St. Anne’s Cemetery through its tombstone inscriptions. Her favorite inscription was:  Listen young man, as you pass by/As you are now, so once was I/ As I am now, so will you be/ Prepare yourself to follow me. Her fascination with inscriptions led Emily to document the inscriptions on the stones at St. Anne’s Cemetery which are contained in a 165-page book entitled Anchored in Heaven. In it she not only recorded thousands of inscriptions but also delineated where each stone can be found. Without her work, it would be almost impossible to find specific graves in our cemetery and to read many of the inscriptions that have deteriorated since she recorded them. Her love of the cemetery continued into her death in 2016 when she bequeathed enough money to replace a 100-foot section of the old, perimeter wall. 

Ginger DeLuca

Centering Prayer Group Moves to Zoom!

Our Centering Prayer group is now gathering together via Zoom and you all are welcome to join us the first and third Tuesdays of the month 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.  If you are new to Zoom, I will walk you through how to join for free and meet with us.  The source of Centering Prayer is the indwelling Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ.  It builds communities of faith and bonds the members together in mutual friendship and love.

Please email me if you’d like to join us:  carollleach@gmail.com

Women’s Retreat

Outreach

Living into My Faith Through Giving

Dear Beloved Community. We need your help! Every year, the St. Anne’s Back-to-School Backpack Program serves the community of Annapolis Elementary School (AES) by generously providing backpacks and school supplies for the children to use at school. This year, the county will be contributing those resources for the children. We will be meeting with the AES principal to determine what additional financial needs these children will have. Additionally, the Backpack Buddies Program has had to change their original plan of distributing food in backpacks to the children for their weekend use. Instead, that ministry is now serving the Clay Street community with a food pantry. The immediate needs at this time include diapers and gift cards to the residents in need. We all know these are uncertain financial times for many. Would you consider making a donation and contribute to the Back-to-School Backpack Program or the Backpack Buddies Program? Any gift of any amount will allow us to make a specific difference for both of these communities. Please visit our donation page with an indication that your donation is to go to the Good Samaritan Fund. Or, contact The Rev. Kathy Shahinian at kshahinian@stannes-annapolis.org or 443-253-6191 to talk about how you can get involved. Together we can make a difference! 

 

Stanton Community Center

This Fall, the Stanton Community Center will be starting additional activities for the children that attend the Homework Club as well as other youth in the Clay Street neighborhood. A sewing class and a woodworking class will be offered each week. Volunteers with expertise in sewing or woodworking are needed to offer instruction to the children. You can volunteer for the whole semester or just a class or two. Classes will be offered when volunteers are available in the evenings or the weekend. Please contact Townsend McNitt at: Townsendmcnitt@gmail.com  for more information

Women’s Retreat

Current Volunteer and Service Opportunities

The Light House

Walking with Friends at the Light House 

“Do you love me?” Jesus said to Peter for the third time. “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said,”Feed my sheep.” John 21:17

Thank you St. Anne’s friends for your loving support recently in providing dinner for our brothers and sisters at The Light House.  St. Anne’s Cooking at Light House and Family Cooking for Light House invites you to join us as we walk with the individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty who are most vulnerable during this crisis to learn more about the fruits of partnering in this loving and sustaining way. While safety advises that meals be prepared in house only,  we can provide the necessary grocery money for a sustainable operation. The best way to stand with our vulnerable community of Lighthouse residents at this time is to consider making a gift to support their grocery bill for meals — you can do so by clicking here. For a list of the most urgent pantry food needs for drop off, click here.

St. Anne’s ministries have a long and loving history of sharing in partnership with many churches and groups in our town, and the need is even greater now during the current COVID-19 crisis. Please consider sharing in a way that nourishes our neighbors experiencing homelessness and poverty, those most vulnerable during this crisis.

While we cannot cook and serve in the Light House kitchen, a sustainable and abundant option for helping has opened up.

With the onset of stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, Light House transitioned from a volunteer-supported food program, to one overseen entirely by staff.  Shortly after this challenging transition, leadership at the Light House Bistro stepped in to prepare and deliver boxed meals daily to Light House residents in the shelter, in off-site hotel rooms, and at their transitional housing properties. Light House Bistro has also been organizing thousands of pounds of perishable and non-perishable pantry food each week, distributing it during Light House pantry hours, and delivering it to other food distribution locations throughout the county. Boxed meals, pantry bags, and basic needs kits are also being prepped by Light House Bistro and taken by case managers to local homeless tent encampments in the area.

Light House Bistro may have temporarily closed its doors in March, but this social enterprise developed by The Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center has been hard at work. The mission of this full-service restaurant and catering social enterprise is to change lives one meal at a time by providing training and job opportunities for graduates of Light House programs. Now they are also changing lives during the COVID-19 crisis by providing our most vulnerable neighbors with hot meals and pantry items.  For a fuller story, click here.

For more information, please contact, Nancy Greeley, at momgreeley@aol.com, or Heather and Dave Strang at thestrangs@verizon.net.

Women’s Retreat

Pastoral Care

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.

Ministry of Prayer at St. Anne’s

James 5:16: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
 
 
A group of St. Anne’s parishioners dedicated to daily intercessory prayer is looking for like-minded souls to join them in this ministry. Previously known as the “prayer chain,” the ministry will bring an added dimension to the prayer life of St. Anne’s. If you feel the Holy Spirit may be calling you to this ministry, please spend some time in discernment and listen for the “still, small voice.” For more information, reach out to Fr. Dion at dthompson@stannes-annapolis.org or Adela Rose at adelarose41@aol.com, or telephone/text 443-924-1726. If no one answers, please leave your name and number. You will be contacted. As we go forward, know that all prayer requests brought to the group will be held in the strictest confidence, and that no request is too small for God. We look forward to hearing from you!
Stephen Ministry

The COVID-19 virus has changed our church-life, as well as other areas of our lives, due to efforts to keep us well and safe.  Please know that St. Anne’s Stephen Ministers have continued to faithfully meet with their Care Receivers by phone every week to give emotional and spiritual support to those in need.  All conversations are always confidential. The daily reports of increases in the number of virus cases across the country, the negative effects on businesses, schools, jobs, etc. make us wonder when will it end?   The stress caused by worry and fear of the unknown can slowly build and negatively affect us physically and mentally.  It often helps to talk to someone who will listen without judgement or advice, a compassionate ear and heart, someone who really hears what one is saying, thinking and feeling.  If you are experiencing any of the stress related issues below or would like to speak to someone about a different issue, please know our Stephen Leaders and Ministers welcome talking with you on the phone.

+  Anxiety                  + Difficulty sleeping             + Financial worries

+ Feeling sad             + Lack usual energy              + Fears about health

+ Loneliness              + Fear of the future               + Marriage difficulties

+  Job concerns         + Poor concentration          + Anxiety leaving your house

If you would like to receive care from a Stephen Minister or know of someone seeking care, please contact Rev. Thompson dthompson@stannes-annapolis.org or Carol Leach, 410-263-1752.

Pastoral Care at St. Anne’s
 
 Prayer Letter
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 spencerpatricia1968@gmail.com
For more information on Pastoral Care, click here.
Hearing Loop
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.