As Christians, we are called to seek and serve Christ in all persons by loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. Fulfilling this commitment necessitates that we take steps to protect those most susceptible to COVID-19 by “social distancing.” Thus, in these unprecedented times, I am writing to inform you of some measures we are taking to “flatten the COVID-19 curve.”
a. Liturgy & Music:
i. Sunday Worship Services will be held on-line at 9:30 AM until May 16, 2020 (per the directive of The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, Bishop of Maryland.) Instructions to access the on-line worship format is included in this e-blast. Sermons will be available through our website.
ii. Palm Sunday and Holy Week Services will be live-streamed. We are diligently working on a plan to distribute blessed palms. Details regarding our liturgical life are forthcoming.
iii. Daily Evening Prayer will be broadcast via ZOOM.
iv. Sacred Music recordings are being developed by our Music Director, Ernie Green and will be linked to our on-line platforms.
b. Outreach: We are given an opportunity to look beyond ourselves and to help others. This e-blast contains information regarding volunteer opportunities.
c. Christian Formation for all ages is being developed for on-line access.
We are relying upon God for God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be moved, and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea. (Psalm 46: 1-2) Being calm (the opposite of fear) entails the exercise of prudence in heeding the advice of Public Health experts by finding ways to take care of our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Calm amidst the pandemic is also about being mindful of the needs of others. As the church in the circle, we are in constant communication with civic and ecumenical partners offering our help to address needs in the Clay Street and wider Annapolis community. Some ways to help are found in this e-blast. More opportunities for us to live into our Christian faith during this crisis are being explored.
In the meantime, please remember that in order for us to sustain our mission, we continue to need your prayerful support and continued generosity.
The Rev. Dr. Manoj Mathew Zacharia
On Sunday, we offered this prayer attributed to the St. Gregory:
“Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul.”
As I meditated upon these ancient words, I kept asking: if I realize that I have no power to help myself am I to despair?
In asking myself this question, I recollected an essay by C.S. Lewis entitled “On Living in an Atomic Age.”
With the image of World War II still looming, this 1948 essay draws on an era of fall-out shelters, conflict between super-powers and the fear of humanity’s extinction through nuclear annihilation.
Life’s very marrow was sucked dry because of fear.
While Lewis poses the question “How are we to live in an atomic age?”
for us, the question is “how are we to live in a COVID-19 age? Lewis offers insight:
“Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year,
or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night;
or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids,
an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents. In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation….
We were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented, or in our case the COVID-19 virus discovered: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
Lewis suggests that we are to pull ourselves together. He continues,
“If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, and listening to music.” We are not to be huddled together like frightened sheep thinking about bombs/viruses. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
I miss the fact that we are not together in one physical space rejoicing in the gift of life that God has made Real and Present in Jesus.
We can either despair or, in the words of Lewis, pull ourselves together.
We pull ourselves together by drinking from the fountain of eternal life, Jesus.
Since we do not have power in ourselves to help ourselves, God through Jesus gives us sustenance.
Sustenance through the water of baptism, parts the turbulent waters of life, and allows us to journey on its riverbed moving from despair to hope. Remember, the Font of Life is not found in a specific geographic place or a building, but in a leap of faith – a deep reliance on God who is disclosed when worshipped in spirit and truth. Worshipping in spirit, wherever you are, connects us to the One True Font and allows us to receive wisdom from that Very Source of Truth. Our soul’s thirst will only be quenched when we open ourselves to the Ultimate Truth – the Life Spring whose effervescences emanates genuine insight and meaning.
The hope of the promised Land continues to inspire discoveries and advances in science and technology. Such scientific and technological insights, when used for the common good, draw us into further connection and wholeness.
Let us pray, that God, who calls the church to pull ourselves together by relying on the Ground of All Existence, continues to brood over our minds so that our book knowledge and experiments, may turn into Divine Inspiration and Godly wisdom…. so that we are able to confront any and all our adversities with eyes fixed on the resurrection of Jesus.
Take care of yourselves, for your body is the temple of the living God, continue to work in care for one another and the community being mindful of the needs of those who are the most vulnerable in this situation…
May the words of our collect continuously be our prayer during this epidemic:
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves;
Keep us both outwardly and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; Amen
 John 4:
 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
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
Middle and High School Mission Trip to Appalachia
If you have a middle or high school young person who would feel good about repairing a home for a family in Appalachia, please join us Sunday, March 15 at noon. You will learn about Appalachia Service Project, and how you can be the hands and heart of Jesus by making a difference in the quality of life for one family. This meeting is for parents and young people. The trip will provide fun, prayer, and work with other young people from around the country. Together we will look at our calendars and plan the date. Please RSVP to Connie Saeger at email@example.com or 443-808-1361.
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 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.
|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.
|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.
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
St. Anne’s and the Men’s Bible Study group provide and serve the evening meal at the Light House the first Wednesday of every month.
On March 4 we served one of the resident’s favorite meals – fajitas. Thank you John Merrick, Nancy Steere, Dona Weingarten, Glenn and Lynn Mortoro, Ron Ricketts, Linda Silva, Harry and Jean Jaecks, Kathy Allen, Page Lyon, Wayne and Linda Adamson, Gail Fowler and Nancy Greeley
For Wednesday, April 1, we are serving meatloaf. We need 3 volunteers to make a meatloaf using 3-4 pounds of ground beef, tossed salad, two people to provide about 4 dozen small roasted potatoes, 5 dozen dinner rolls and a tub of butter/margarine, frozen green beans (about 5 large bags or 140 oz), 2 jars of juice and dessert. We also need a half gallon milk and a dozen eggs for shelter use.
Family Cooking at the Light House
Nearly 20 years ago our community began as parents and young children cooking dinner joyfully in the parish hall kitchen for residents at the Light House in its first dedicated building on West Street. We gathered once a month to create the meal and carried it to the Light House to serve. Since then, we have grown into a community of parents, teens, children, singles, friends, and grandparents cooking onsite at the Light House on Hudson Street, all with the same joyful and loving intention of cooking and serving family as family.
St. Anne’s is inviting all who may be interested in this ministry to consider guiding our community along the future path, offering loving relationship with our neighbors at the Light House. There are many ways to engage. For more information about cooking in community or about joining in the next cooking/serving days, on Monday, March 16, or April 20, contact Dave and Heather Strang at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-995-3820.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, and I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. ..’Amen, I say to you, as much as you have done to one of these my little brothers, you have done that to me.” Matthew 25:35, 40
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.
Personal Prayers During the Offertory
During the Offertory at each Sunday morning service, someone from St. Anne’s Prayer Ministry will be at the Holy Family Chapel ready to pray with/for you or a loved one – for healing, hope, thanksgiving, intercession, small requests, large requests and/or a blessing and anointing. All prayers are confidential. If you feel like coming to the Chapel but don’t know why, come anyway, come for a prayer – we are a praying community and all are welcome.
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 email@example.com 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
If you are to be a patient at AAMC, please give the office a call and let us know! Or contact Dion at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-450-2801. And say yes, when the admitting person at AAMC asks if you would like a pastoral visit from someone from your preferred religious affiliation.
Pastoral visits by our Hospital Visitors are a great benefit of being part of St Anne’s parish. Our visitors are compassionate, respectful and faithful. And they are all trained as Eucharistic Visitors.
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.