Look Back: Thomas Sunday with the Jazz quartet

This year ‘Low’ Sunday was anything but!  

The Sunday after Easter Memorial was joined by Katherine Gorman, Isaac Chang, Lola Stevenson and Cameron Thomas - four students from Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA) who took us on a ‘Closer Walk’ so that we could ‘Wade in the Water’ with ‘St. Thomas’ and feel a little ‘Sunny’ in this colder than usual April. 

In many Episcopal Churches, the Sunday after Easter has low attendance, a guest preacher, and Some exhausted clergy and staff. 

But Memorial is not your typical Episcopal Church. Jazz Music, new hymns and service music from ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’, and an energetic sermon challenging all of us to ‘get Resurrected’ kept the hopefullness and the energy going after Easter Sunday. 

We are hopeful that ‘the BSA Quartet’ can join us again at least once more before the year is out. And if you couldn’t be with us on Sunday, a sample of their playing is included below. 

The View from Bolton St.

grey tearing up a bulletin.jpeg

Okay maybe I went a little over board.   It turns out we DO need a bulletin for some things. Like when the Priest needs to read of the special prayer intentions at the end of the service for example! 

But I am excited, because the energy that came out of the service, and the vestry report after on Worship and Culture, is generating a lot of positive conversation about how we worship and live together at Memorial.  From involving student artists and musicians more regularly, to increasing special services, to focusing more intently on how we pray and study scripture together, on Sunday Mornings and throughout the week.  And because, more importantly, I think we are in the beginning conversations about really examining the culture of Memorial to engage the question of ‘are we a welcoming congregation to our friends and neighbors?’ That is to say, are we a congregation that is intentionally welcoming to young children, people of color, and the millennial and post-millennial communities that are increasingly part of our surrounding communities.  It is my and the vestry’s hope that anyone who comes into our worship space can make the same journey the Disciples did in Sunday’s gospel — from fear to joy, from worry to hope, from despair to disbelief in how good God can be. 

For those of you who couldn’t be there this Sunday, don’t worry!  There will be many more times to engage with these questions. Beginning with our next worship committee meeting on May 2nd at 6:00 pm.  This meeting is open to any member of the congregation who is interested in being involved in our worship life.  Are you a fan of Jesus and punk rock karaoke? Do you love musicals as much (or more) than you love scripture? Does traditional Anglican Evensong transport you into a different realm? Do you have a love of the visual arts and aren’t sure how that fits into a Sunday morning context? Please join us.  If you would like to participate, but need child care, please email Jamie in the office so we can plan ahead. 

Erin Kelly, our worship committee chair, and I are excited about this new direction for the worship committee,  and about working to make the sunday morning experience a transformational moment in people’s weeks and people’s lives.  If this is interesting to you, I hope you will join us. 

If you would like to watch the full Sunday Sermon It is available Here:  https://www.facebook.com/MemorialEpiscopal/videos/1868666263155911/  

Special Guests!

On Sunday, April 29, at the 10:30 am service, we will have a special encore presentation for the Offertory Anthem. The children's chorus of Into the woods along with Kay-Megan Washington (the Witch) will be performing for us. As part of the wrap-up of Into the Woods, the performance will help connect the show's message with the church's message. You don't want to miss church on April 29!

Special "Into the Woods" Liturgy & Living

On April 29, after Coffee Hour, directory Stephen Deininger will join us to talk about Into the Woods. Stephen will share with us the changes he envisioned to turn Into the Woods into an intergenerational show, instead of trying to use a "junior" version. In addition he will talk about the themes of the show which drew him to direct it, and offer insight into how we managed to bring his vision to life on the stage. Whether you've seen the show already by the 29th or not, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the process behind our theater ministry, and Into the Woods particularly.

Earth Day at Memorial

Here’s what’s up at on Earth Day at Memorial, Sunday, April 22nd—a week from today! Please consider supporting with your presence and your questions one or both of these efforts. 


  •  12:10pm in Upper Farnham Hall (W. Lafayette St. entrance): Noted environmental broadcast journalist/author Tom Pelton will discuss Chesapeake Bay history as described in his new book, The Chesapeake in Focus: Transforming the Natural World.  Tom speaks boldly and knowledgably about the Bay and environmental challenges.  His publicist will have copies of the book for purchase and signing.


  • 1:30pm in the Rectory Building (1209 Bolton St.): At the “Into the Woods” pre-show reception, Lisa Schroeder, President & CEO of Parks & People Foundation, will tell us about the organization’s current initiative to connect everyone in Baltimore to nature, their communities and each other through vibrant parks and green spaces. The foundation is currently creating parks in 5 blighted neighborhoods to provide equitable access to safe, healthy green space for 65,000 people within a 10-minute walk. Next steps in striving to achieve that equity throughout the city will be offered.

JoAnn Trach Tongson, talented landscape architect with Mahan Rykiel Associates, will join parishioner/green team co-lead Dick Williams in discussing the pollinator micro-habitat/garden classroom now under construction at Mount Royal Elementary/Middle School.  (Copies of Tom Pelton’s book will be on hand for purchase there too.) 


The View From Bolton Street

Jesus Is Risen:  Now what? 

Happy Easter!  Now that the organ has cooled off, the incense died down and the horns from ‘Thomas Sunday’ have stopped blaring - you might be asking yourself ‘Okay, now what?’  Jesus Died. He rose again. So... now what? What does it mean for us? 

Do we just go back to the way church always was? To the way life always was?  

After all this does happen every year. What exactly is the Church supposed to do AFTER Easter? Where do we go from here. 

In the grand theological history of the Church, we would hope that each Easter brings with it a renewed focus on telling Jesus’ story, and inspiring a sense of resurrection and hope, that in turn produces new programs, efforts, ministries, and yes, even new believers.  The season of Easter, which ends with Pentecost Sunday, is a time of rebirth. It is why we read through the Book of Acts and remind ourselves of the birth of the Church, and work to find rebirth in our own communities. Which is why it is perfect this happens in spring when the world around us is being born anew. That would, of course, make more sense if spring would ever actually get here.  But even so - the fifty days of Easter are a time to make resurrection a reality in the Church and in the world. 

With an eye towards Easter and our own resurrection stories here at Memorial, the vestry has been discussing how our community might experience resurrection and rebirth.  We have felt the energy of new members, a renewed interest in social justice efforts, continued upgrades to the physical plant, and a worship experience that is restorative and energizing. During our vestry retreat we focused on how our community can create a more open and welcoming culture for prospective members and neighbors, and on who exactly our neighbors are. 

I hope you can join us this Sunday following the 8:00 am and the 10:30 am  services to hear more about the Retreat and the ‘Now What’ from our Vestry - and to hear how you can be involved in a little bit of rebirth at Memorial in the coming year.


See you in Church! 



Justice Committee Meeting

Just a reminder that the regular Justice Committee meeting (7 PM) preceded by the Justice Eucharist at 6:30 is scheduled for the second Wednesday of the month. That is next week  on April 11. We will meet at the church. I look forward to seeing you. 


In addition I want to bring to your attention a training opportunity with BUILD to be held this Thursday. The details are in the body of an email from Libby Cohen who is the BUILD organizer that works with Memorial...copied and pasted here. I know that Dick W. is going. All others who are able are encouraged to participate also.


"Hi Memorial-ites,
I wanted to make sure you all knew that we'll be gathering for our next citywide issue action team training, or 'Nehemiah' training, next Thursday, April 5th from 6:30 to 8:30 at Northside Baptist Church. 


Just as a quick reminder, we've divided into 4 issue action teams: youth trauma and opportunities (where Jessica has been helping us do great research work--thanks, Jessica!); policing and public safety; mental health and addiction; and jobs. Our police team has been doing great accountability work with the new commissioner, and they will lead us in a workshop on moving from 'problem to issue' and political judgment. We'll then break into our issue teams to apply what we've learned. **No worries if you did not make it to our first of these trainings in January; you are welcome to jump in now!"