Copy of Memorial Christmas Pageant 2018

Hello!

I hope this email fills you with excitement! This year Memorial Episcopal Church will be having a Christmas Pageant during the family service on Christmas Eve. We will be rehearsing on Sundays from 9:30 to a little after 10. The rehearsals are to get a feel of how many children would like to be involved and to give out speaking roles. There will also be costumes so coming to the first rehearsal will be crucial in making sure that everyone can receive their role. If you would love to participate and volunteer with your child that would be great. Please email me and let me know if you would be willing to stay and help. 

This is an open invitation for the community. If you have children and they like to sing and be part of a community then they are welcome. We are also having a Children's Service December 16th and would love for as many kids as possible to be there.

Please feel free to email me with any questions.

Rehearsal Schedule 

  • December 2nd 9:30-10:15

  • December 9th  9:30-10:15

  • December 16th 9:30-10:15

  • December 23rd 9:30-10:15

  • December 24th 5:00 Performance during Church Service

I hope to see Y'all this Sunday!

-Hannah :)

Linden Park Holiday Party!

This past Sunday Memorial Episcopal Church went over to Linden Park Apartments and spread some holiday cheer! We listened to some joyful music as we served around 80 residents food. Thank you so much to those who volunteered their time and cooking skills! The food was delicious and the happiness felt in the room was incredible! Please enjoy these photos of joy!

Copy of Blue Mass - Wednesday, December 19 @ 6:30 pm

On December 19th, join us for ‘Blue Mass’ a service of healing and remembrance for all those who have lost someone this year or who struggle in the Holiday season with grief, loss or depression. Memorial offers this service so that all those grieving have a place to reflect on those they have loved and lost, to celebrate their lives and to find new ways to approach the Holiday season.

Come help us "Green" the Church!

After Church on Sunday December 23rd we will be putting up all of the Christmas decorations and we could use your help! Paul Seaton has graciously volunteered to bring some Chili to warm up the volunteers! Some of the jobs will be to add some greens to the candles in the windows and to put up the Christmas trees! If you are looking for something to do with your family we would love some help setting up the creche! Of course we will also be hanging some wreaths around! We would love to have your help! See you there!

If you have any questions please email Hannah- youth@memorialepiscopal.org

The View from Bolton Street

Logo Change

What’s in a...Logo?

You will, I hope, notice something slightly different about this week’s E-News.  That’s right, Memorial’s early Christmas present is a refreshed logo and design! The impetus came from our staff and volunteers who have had an increasingly difficult time getting our old logo to work, because the image was so downgraded that it was difficult to use it in a lot of places.

As a result our overall messaging and image suffered (not to mention the extra gray hairs for Jamie and Hannah as they tried to make it work!)

MEC Logo.PNG

While it seemed a little pre-mature for a complete makeover, we were able to find an Episcopal graphic artist who could ‘refresh’ our logo and produce a wide variety of materials for us.  This has been reviewed by the communications and worship teams, as well as the vestry and after a few rounds of edits I think we have a really wonderful product that we can be proud of.

As you see to your right, the logo is an image of the Memorial Cross, overlaid on the Baptismal font (the clover shaped image behind).  This visualizes the unity of the font and the table, of Baptism and the Eucharist, as the two sacraments that identify us as Episcopalians and symbolize our relationship with Jesus.

The light red color is the color of the exterior door of the Church - signifying our commitment to welcome and the brown matches the brown exterior of the Church - acknowledging our historic place in the community.

Most importantly - the image is translucent - so when placed on top of another image, you see right through it (as on the top of this email) which, just like the actual memorial cross, allows all of us to see ourselves and each other in the resurrection story.   

We will be using a few different versions of the new logo in our messaging, but this will be the primary logo. And of course if you have feedback please do let the office know.

For more on the artist, Dr. Christopher Corbin:
The Rev. Dr. ChristopherCorbin is the Missioner for Transition and Leadership Miniseries for the Diocese of South Dakota. He is also the Diocese’s communications director and a freelance graphic designer. He is currently working with Forward Movement on a new series of informative (and hopefully entertaining!) infographics on various aspects of church teaching and practice. His main research focuses on Anglican history and theology, early evangelicalism, and English Romanticism. He has a book with Routledge press called The Evangelical Party and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Return to the Church of England coming out at the end of this month. Chris lives in Lead, SD with his wife, the Rev. Portia Corbin (South Dakota’s Missioner for Camping and Retreat Ministries), their daughter Louisa, and three cats, Scout, Boo, and Jem.”

Ministry Spotlight- Green Team

On November 16th, Memorial Episcopal’s Green team joined students and staff from Mt. Royal Elementary to dedicate the new pollinator Garden and Outdoor classroom generously supported by Memorial Episcopal Church.  A large group of kids packed the garden on a very cold day to lay the final ‘stepping stones’ in the Garden, to hear from Green Team Chair Dick Williams, from School Principal Skeen, and PTO President Kim Canale, along with other supporters including Blue Water Baltimore and interfaith partners for the Chesapeake. 

This outdoor classroom offers a new way for students to engage with their science curriculum and with the natural world.  It is a tremendous gift for all the students at Mt. Royal and they had a great day celebrating. Here are some pictures from the big event, including the Mayoral Proclamation Dedicating the Garden! 

The View from Bolton Street

“On Jordan’s Banks the Baptist’s Cry”


This week in the Gospel of Luke we are reminded of John the Baptist’s Ministry with his famous line ‘you brood of vipers’.  Not everyone is very comfortable with John, and honestly that makes sense. He is a bit of a wild man, he has no problem calling out the truth and he sees them, and despite all the bathing a ‘Baptist’ would do — he does sound like he’s probably a little smelly.


But this week John is there at the Jordan proclaiming the following:

"Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."

We could use a few more John the Baptist’s these days, if the news headlines are to be believed, couldn’t we?  Someone to call out corruption, to call out inequality, to call out poverty and to instruct us to share our food, or clothes and our wealth with each other. And not just on the Jordan River either. But on the Mississippi, the Colorado, the Potomac and even here on the Patapsco River and the Chesapeake Bay.   


Instead we often get the opposite.  Wealthy businessmen saying we should arrest panhandlers; The Governor seeking to give away park land for a football stadium; political leaders looking the other way while corruption and self dealing becomes more and more of a reality in Washington; a local police department that continues to push back against any kind of civilian oversight.


As followers of Jesus, we should remember that Jesus was a follower of John the Baptist.  And if there is no one to cry on the banks of the Patapsco about land give-always, or on the banks of North Avenue about the treatment of the poor, then perhaps it is on us to do it?  To bring fresh eyes, fresh hopes and fresh dreams to places that is sorely lacking in all three.

Advent may be a good time for you to find your own river to cry over. Your own ministry to bring about.  Your own dream to fulfill.

 


The View from Bolton Street

“How the faithful city has become like an unfaithful spouse, wanton and astray from God. 

She that was full of justice, righteousness lodged in her — but now murderers!”

Isaiah 1:21

Isaiah does not pull punches. The language here is very harsh (see note below), BUT I encourage you to read this whole section of Isaiah (link http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=410940080) because perhaps Isaiah is speaking not just to Jerusalem, but to Baltimore as well. “Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts.” “They do not defend the orphan.” “Your silver has become dross.” It does seem when we read the local headlines that things are getting worse and worse, doesn’t it? A Good Samaritan stabbed at a stoplight. Five-year old-children shot in the street. Teachers attacked in schools. Neighbors shaken down for pocket change. Police absent. Leadership unresponsive, more interested in parties and fundraisers than confronting the problems we see every day. The call of “Come, Lord Jesus” sounds better every day, doesn’t it?  

If your everyday reality feels like your worst day, if the struggle for existence finds you confronting the powers and principalities of government large and small, then the promise of Advent, of the second coming of Christ, is a hopeful one. 

And if you live in a city that seems beset by a never-ending stream of bad news, bad actors, and little hope, then the Advent promise is Good News. 

And the promise of Isaiah is also good news. Isaiah does not leave us alone in the broken city. “Afterwards you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness.” God promises that those of us who remain faithful to God’s justice, who seek to embody it in our lives and who seek to make it a reality on the streets we walk will indeed enjoy the fruits of the faithful city. And Zion, Jerusalem, and Baltimore will all look more like the Kingdom of God sooner than later. 

But for many of us, this may not look like Good News. It would be easier to leave Baltimore. It would be easier to go somewhere “safer.” To not have to answer the questions from family and friends ... “Baltimore, is it safe?” Many of you have expressed to me how frustrated you are. How heartbroken you are with the state of affairs in the city.  And I am, too. I am tired of feeling that I’m always looking over my shoulder. Tired of wondering when the heat will be fixed. When the playground will get rebuilt. When the water will be drinkable. 

In Isaiah our attention is drawn to the important distinction between “waiting” and “preparation.” We do “wait” for the coming of Christ, but we can’t JUST wait.  If we aren’t actively working to clean up our act, our neighborhoods’ act, and the act of our whole city —  then we are waiting for naught. We will be thrown out with all the other rebels and sinners that Isaiah condemns.     We can’t just wait! We have to be involved in the change. Be involved in the preparation for what is to come. 

You are tired of waiting. 
So let’s stop waiting and start preparing.  After all Advent is a season of preparation. 

How can we prepare for a police commissioner that takes reform seriously? By engaging with groups like the No Boundaries Coalition that are working to create safe neighborhoods and better relationships between institutions and neighbors block by block, person by person. 

How can we prepare for a school budget that adequately serves our kids? By engaging with PTOsand the city to hold leadership accountable for the money they do manage and to proactively do the little things we can do to improve schools. How much would it cost to bring clean water to one school? Two schools? Ten? 

How can we prepare for a city that takes ending 21st-century segregation, inequality and white supremacy seriously?  By serving as an example in our own neighborhoods and micro-communities. By seeking to grow a church that intentionally diverse along race, class and identity lines. By developing relationships with Black and Hispanic churches, with synagogues and mosques that may be just as homogeneous as we are and looking to demonstrate a better way to show God’s love. 

We can prepare for a better Baltimore by working to make what we can better. Because there is a lot of good here.  We have vibrant communities and strong community leaders who are improving schools, fighting food desserts, and investing in children and returning citizens. We have thriving businesses and committed business owners  who invest in this city and its people. We have top flight medical and educational institutions, historic homes and neighborhoods, and a beautiful waterfront. A lot of the preparation is already done for us!  But there is still more to do. 

This Advent I encourage you to begin to put into action your own preparation for a better neighborhood, a better Baltimore, and the better world to come. 

 

NOTE: Isaiah is translated as using the word “harlot,” which is archaic to our ears, or “whore,” which is vulgar and offensive to our ears, to refer to Jerusalem. Following some other scholars, I have retranslated this term as “unfaithful spouse wanton and astray from God.” I hope this gets at the meaning without stigmatizing those who must monetize their bodies. Isaiah and other prophetic texts frequently use this metaphor of “the city as a prostitute,” which is effective but problematic imagery.  If this bothers you, I apologize.  

Here is a twitter thread which gets at this issue more directly: https://twitter.com/carolhoward/status/1069991973170409473?s=21