Beloved in Christ,
One of my favorite baseball players was the late Tony Gwynn.
While he was never known for power hitting, he was someone who hit for a high average, stole a base, and played stellar defense. Certainly he, like most athletes, had some degree of “natural talent.” Yet, rather than relying on “natural talent,” Gwynn cultivated his craft with purpose by systematically reviewing and exerting himself through consistent practice. For example, in college, Gwynn was considered to be a poor fielder. Rather than bask in the greatness of his hitting prowess, he worked hard and practiced his defensive technique sacrificing leisure in order to perfect his defensive craft. Such practice and endurance led to five gold gloves as well as eight batting titles. In an interview, I remember Gwynn saying something similar to what Catherine of Sienna said in the fourteenth century – “nothing great is every achieved without much enduring.”
The pandemic has lighted many fissures and the fact that there are many who are food insecure, even in the most prosperous country in the world.
There are those who may have food but feel isolated and suffer from loneliness. We have all been impacted in one way or the other.
Do the words of Catherine make any sense in light of this plight?
I believe they can if we are prepared to open ourselves to some fundamental truths.
One, there are people who have been left behind economically and their plight has gotten worse.
Second, even with all the technological solutions that have heroically presented themselves to connect us with each other, there are many who are unable to access these solutions. Third, the use of these solutions does not alleviate the need for physical proximity.
If we are to learn lessons from this pandemic, what are they?
One lesson that I am learning is the relevance and need for the church.
Remember, the church created and developed institutions like hospitals and the modern university system.
These institutions have contributed significantly to the welfare of humanity.
While recognizing this fact, the church must not rest on its historic achievements but must find ways to meet human needs through the work of the Holy Spirit. If our call, as the church is to live into the call of Jesus to feed the poor, tend the sick, and be conduits of God’s healing, we must use this pandemic to reframe our vocation to the world based on the vision of God’s Kingdom.
Like the late Tony Gwynn, we are called not to rest on our “natural talent and assets” but build on them to inspire connectivity and moral responsibility. With God’s help, we will endure and come out of this pandemic. Concurrently, we must evaluate what our specific call is in light of the current pandemic. So, St. Anne’s, won’t you join me, your staff, and leadership in opening ourselves to discerning where the spirit may lead?
May this prayer, attributed to St. Benedict serve as a starting point in our collective discernment.
O Gracious and Holy Father
Give us wisdom to perceive thee,
Intelligence to understand thee.
Diligence to seek thee,
Patience to wait for thee,
Eyes to behold thee,
A heart to meditate upon thee
And a life to proclaim thee,
Through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 remaining schedule.
May 6 — Week Three:The Son of Man is Lord – Chapters 8 – 11 – Click here for more information on this week’s study.
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, May 3 at 10:30 AM, for Coffee, Fellowship, and Conversation. St. Anne’s clergy will join us and you can engage Father Manoj 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.
Adult Forum: The Eucharist and the Body of Christ Along the Way
Have you missed the Eucharist ? Why or why not? What does the Eucharist mean to us as the Body of Christ, especially in this time of pandemic? Join parishioner and former St. John’s College Tutor, Tom May, for a discussion on our Eucharistic practices and the history behind them this week during our Adult Forum at 11:00 AM on Zoom.
Prayer for the Week
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 seas.
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 safe.
You are with me always. Thank you for your protection and care.
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
Connect to Someone at St. Anne’s
Brighten someone’s day by choosing a card to send to a member of St. Anne’s family. Your card will be sent to someone in a nursing home, someone who is home alone or someone who needs to be cheered up. Templates for the cards can be found here. Once you have created your card, either scan and email them to Connie Saeger-Proctor at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to St. Anne’s office at 199 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.
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 email@example.com 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.
Older Children and Youth Reflections
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating.
High School Seniors Harrison Sayre Award
The Harrison Sayre Award is given every spring to a high school graduating senior planning to attend a 2 or 4 year university or college the following fall. The $1,000 award is to help with the cost of textbooks. The award is presented at a service in June when we honor all our high school graduating seniors. The recipient should be active in St. Anne’s and the community. Click here for application. Please ask an adult with whom you have served for a brief recommendation. The recommendation form can be found here. Applications and recommendations need to be completed by May 11, 2020. For questions or more information, contact Nancy Greeley at email@example.com.Graduating
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.
|Partners in Mission in Guatemala
The GUATEMALAN FOOD RELIEF effort continues — the St. Anne’s congregation is asked to share resources with a community that we have been in relationship with since 1992. Kevin Hays and Linda & Wayne Adamson are in almost daily contact with the local village committee that is hard at work, purchasing and distributing food. These three young people first have to hire a vehicle to take them to the bank and then the market, then back to Chujulimul to help the many, many families whose cupboards are literally bare. On Weds May 6, 136 families received food for 10 days, thanks to your support.
Won’t you join the others at St. Anne’s who have made a gift to help our Guatemalan friends in this time of crisis? Many of us are already supporting pandemic-related initiatives right here in Anne Arundel County – but let’s remember our strong bonds in Guatemala as well. Please consider a gift of any amount to this FOOD RELIEF. Honor a special Mom this year on Mother’s Day with your generosity.
|Helping our Neighbors
St. Luke’s Food Pantry
Current Volunteer and Service Opportunities
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
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.