Eastern Shore Episcopalian - Christmas 2019

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CHRISTMAS EDITION 2019

In Your Light

We See Light

Psalm 36:9

a publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton

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Contents:

Advent Clergy Luncheon

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH ON THE EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND

Nine counties, 42 worshiping

communities, and more than

5,000 people engaged in living

out our call to welcome all, share

Jesus’ love, and serve the world.

BISHOP

The Rt. Rev. Santosh Marray

Welcome All

Share Jesus’ Love

Serve the World

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04

04

Bishop’s Christmas

Message

“Christ’s birth is the bridging of

two realities that shows that God

is not just the God of heaven but

Lord and Creator of the universe.”

Why Bother?

“Can I make a difference that

just might get me and my family a

little closer to the vision?”

Advent Light from

Christ Church

Parish

”As the oldest Christian

Community in Maryland, we rely

on the Light of Christ to guide our

steps. “

In This Issue:

01 Pictures from the Advent

Clergy Luncheon

02 Bishop’s Christmas Message

God’s Divine Love Permeates

for a Broken World

04 Why Bother?

Reflections on past, present,

and going to church.

06 Advent Light from Christ

Church Parish, Stevensville

A peek into the life of our

2020 Convention host church.

08 Bishop’s Institute Launch

Join us on January 4th.

Cover Photo:

Courtesy of Scott Law Photography.

www.scottlawphotography.com/

PUBLICATION INFORMATION

A publication of the Bishop and Diocese of Easton

Copyright 2019 The Bishop and Diocese of Easton

Published Quarterly

SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO:

Eastern Shore Episcoplian (ESE)

314 North St., Easton, MD 21601

OFFICE AND MAILING ADDRESS

314 North St., Easton, MD 21601

410-822-1919 dioceseofeaston.org

joanne@dioceseofeaston.org

The Right Reverend Santosh Marray

Bishop of Easton

Joanne Fisher

Director of Communications,

Senior Editor & Creative Designer

The Reverend Loretta Collins

Deacon, Editor

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Bishop’s Christmas Message

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God’s

Divine Love

Permeates for a Broken World

By Bishop Santosh Marray

“They shall name Him Emmanuel”

which means, “God is with us”.

(St. Matthew 1:23)

PHOTO: Bishop San & Lynn’s new grandson, Jace, is ready to celebrate Christmas.

Christmas is the solemn gathering of the faithful to

celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus and the world’s

Messiah or Anointed One. As we commemorate his

birthday, I feel compelled to remind the diocesan

family that God became human like us so that we might

become God. The Lord of the angels became one of us so

that we could eat the bread of angels. What a stunningly

beautiful and awesome way to sum up the Christmas

message.

The center of attraction is the manger, the child Jesus,

by coming among us offers God’s healing and love

to our broken and hostile world. As I reminded our

family some years ago, believing and receiving him

means putting him first, far ahead of the fading glory

and shifting hopes offered by this world. Also, Jesus

offers humanity a personal way of knowing, loving and

relating to God our Father in heaven, and our fellow

neighbors.

Christ’s birth is the bridging of two realities that shows

that God is not just the God of heaven but Lord and

Creator of the universe. Christmas is God’s incarnation,

that is, God taking human flesh and becoming one like

us. God became human, not just to save the world, but to

bless the world, to bless being human, to endorse being

human, to join us in our humanness. In this holy and

joyful season Jesus invites us to come to him as a child

embodying all the characteristics manifested in children

- from the purity of innocence to the openness toward

people of different cultures, ethnicities, nationalities,

social or economic status and skin color.

Second, when we look around, and see the children in

their many Christmas presentations, that excitement

and thrill go a long way in helping to lay aside, even for a

moment, the realities of daily struggle. For children, all

the experiences of life are new and thrilling adventures.

They take them in and take them on willingly and

eagerly. Adults will do well to adopt this attitude of

childlike innocence at Christmas, and for once give the

gift of this sacred birth we celebrate a chance to fill us

with PEACE! JOY! LOVE!

The timeless incarnational truth in this message is

God’s invitation for us to participate in the holy work

of salvation. We are co-responsible for our salvation by

embracing and incarnating Jesus’ call to ‘come unto me’

and ‘live in me as I live in you’.

My beloved, the birthday of Jesus marks our own

birthday. Our baptism into Christ fundamentally draws

us into a shared intimate relationship with him. This

accounts for the reason why over the centuries the

practice of gift sharing had become so popular. In truth,

we are all celebrating this birthday with Jesus which

gives us every reason to exchange gifts during this

happy season.

In the spirit of the season, I wish to personally thank our

generous diocesan family for donating to date $30,000

to the Bahamas Hurricane Relief. The enormous task

of rebuilding and restoring over three hundred years

of livelihood for the Bahamian people on the islands

of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama is a daunting

proposition. Let us continue to be generous and caring

in our support in this Christmas tide. My beloved, my

heartfelt gratitude goes out to you for supporting one of

my and Lynn’s adopted countries.

However, as we do so we are reminded to spare some

time in our celebration to invite the Christ child of

Bethlehem stable, Jesus the Lord and Savior, into our

lives and to give him the freedom to lead us where he

wishes - recommitting our lives to the guiding principles

of love for all, peace, joy and Christian harmony.

Finally, our beloved family, Nalini ‘Lynn’ and I are

conscious of the gift we have received from God in

allowing us to share ministry and companionship with

each and every one of you. You have all made our life in

the diocese a truly remarkable and holy experience. We

love you with our heart, mind and soul! As the angels

remind us, “God is with us”.

Every blessing, joy, happiness, peace and goodwill to you

and your beloved family members on this Christmas

season!

+San & Lynn

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Church Hill, MD was a thriving town 50 years ago. There was a busy hardware store, sub shop, gas station,

theatre, and more. Now the activity has diminished. Rarely do I see anyone on the sidewalks...

Why Bother?

by Bobby Gallian, Parishioner at St. Luke’s Church Hill

I ask myself “Why are the sidewalks vacant”; “Why don’t I

know the names and stories of my neighbors”; “Where is

everyone”; “Is this really what I want”? I came to this town

because I wanted something better, better for me, better

for my family. I knew I likely would not find the “small

town, America” that Norman Rockwell depicted in his

many illustrations in the Saturday Evening Post so many

years ago. But I did want a better way of life, where the

news of the day was a bit more balanced, and somewhat

more positive. Have I missed something? Did I do all the

things I should have done, so to realize my hopes? Is there

something I can do now? Can I make a difference that just

might get me and my family a little closer to the vision? I

am after all only one person, and surely it will take much

more than just me to make a meaningful difference. Oh

why bother?

The news today told the story of yet another young person

who in an instant, physically hurt several of his peers, and

emotionally hurt exponentially more. And once again,

those who survived the carnage were briefly interviewed

by journalists, and once again the feedback included

comments like “Why?”…”Why here?”…”Why now?”…

and “I never thought something like this could happen

here!” I am not a physician, nor a psychologist, nor a first

responder. I am just one person and surely it will take

far more then me to swing the needle to a more positive

chain of events. But I do have a very modest suggestion

for consideration. I place before myself the notion of

community. Is it possible that empty sidewalks and mass

shootings are tied together? What are the chances that

the Norman Rockwell vision NOT BEING REALIZED is

somehow linked to the frequent terrible news of people

hurting people BEING REALIZED?

may just lose a sense of a real community, while they search

to be part of or gain membership in a virtual community.

Their perception may become their reality. I suggest that

being isolated may lead to depression, and that virtual

reality is a very poor substitute for real community. I

suggest that repetitious overdosing on internet trolling, or

video gaming, or social media, or even television may lead

to empty sidewalks, anonymous neighbors, ghost towns,

and physical harm.

Human kind is nurtured by fellowship, and fellowship

is nurtured by community. And community starts with

individuals, who having each decided to share, come

together. In church there is a practice called “Holy

Communion”, whereby individuals decide to come

together, to be part of something greater than anything

they can do themselves alone, and in this coming together

they hope to be closer to the Creator, the Sustainer, the

Savior, the King, the Comforter, the Alpha, the Omega.

This modest gathering is a community. The effort made

to participate is as simple as making the decision to share.

The practice of stepping away from the virtual world, so to

come together in the real world, may just be the key to make

positive change. To enjoy the smiles, handshakes, hugs,

and good news may just be enough to fill the sidewalks of

small towns, and to rescue young people from isolation,

depression, and explosion.

There is a place, St. Luke’s Parish, which sits upon the high

land of a small town named Church Hill. Indeed the town

is named after the church on the hill. The lovely but modest

structure there was built by craftsmen centuries ago, in

hopes of hosting such a holy communion, and offering

fellowship to those who make the decision to share.

The high ideal of community can be found there. And

so I decide to step away from the screen, stroll along the

sidewalk, meet the neighbors, and join in the community.

Such a place and such a community may help steer those

otherwise isolated, and help nurture young people who

simply wish to belong. This may be a step towards the

vision I had hoped for. Why bother? Because I can make

all the difference, for me, for my family, for my neighbors,

and for my small town in America.

Depression is certainly a very powerful state. When young

people grow up connected to a VIRTUAL reality to such a

degree that they become disconnected from REAL reality,

they may lose a sense of community. And the flesh and

blood people around them may become perceived as fake

holographic images, while the virtual people found on the

internet or video screen may become perceived as more

like themselves. They may become disconnected from

human beings and connected to animated images. They

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Advent Light from Christ Church Parish

by the Rev. Mark Delcuze, Rector of Christ Church Kent Island

Christ Church Parish, Kent Island is

excited to be preparing to host the

152nd Annual Convention of the

Diocese of Easton. We also join with

everyone in Advent Preparations.

Advent is a time for turning towards

the light. This fall the Vestry has

directed our attention to: Forming

Christians, Serving our Community,

and Welcoming our Neighbors.

their year by walking the Stations of

the Nativity. The Christ Episcopal

Church Day School, which will

soon be celebrating its 50th year, has

more than 60 children enrolled.

Serving our Community

More than 800 people move through

our buildings on Kent Island every

week. We host six different scouting

groups for boys and girls, including

Boy Scout Troop 1631 which was

recently honored to lay a wreath at

the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

at Arlington. Recovery Groups

call our parish home three days

a week. We are also delighted to

provide year-round facilities for the

Kent Island Farmer’s Market every

Thursday. Our Backpack Program

sends home healthy weekend meals

to 90 children in local elementary

schools each week. We also donate

non-perishable food twice a week to

the Grasonville Community Center.

Welcoming our Neighbors

Two big annual events serve

as centerpieces for Advent

Preparations. The Westminster

Ringers will join un on December

7, bringing more than 100 hand

bells and a dozen ringers. The

music of this community event

puts everyone in the spirit. Because

we also know that holidays can be

difficult for some people, we will

offer our Seventh Annual Service of

the Longest Night on December 18.

This candle-lit prayer service offers

Scripture, music, and a chance for

personal prayer.

Christ Church Parish generously

feeds all our neighbors. In

November, we hosted our fourth

Free Community Dinner and Game

Night. More than 80 people from

our communities came to share

three kinds of chili and homemade

dessert at no cost.

Minister of Music Gary Van Essen,

provides a diverse program and

directs the Praise Band. He also

welcomes other musicians including

oboe and bassoon! We have prayed

daily Evening Prayer more than

1200 times since Fr. Mark arrived

in 2013 and in this holy season the

daily lighting of the Advent Wreath

guides our steps towards the manger.

are welcome to receive: through

food and fellowship, learning and

recovery, devotion and praise.

We look forward to joining with the

other congregations of the Middle

Convocation to welcome the whole

Diocese to be with us for our 152nd

Annual Convention March 7, 2020.

Forming Christians

Christ Church Parish, Kent Island

is Grounded in Christ. As the

Our new Coordinator for Christian

oldest Christian Community in

Formation, Lisa Pinkham will gather

We Also Worship Regularly

Maryland, we rely on the Light of

children and youth around the

All of this activity happens in the Christ to guide our steps. We are

Godly Play stories during Advent

context of prayer. Our Sunday Growing in Faith. More than four

with the help of St. Nicholas and St.

Choir grows stronger as additional dozen households have joined

Lucy. Our Education for Ministry

“Advent Singers” join in preparation our congregation in 2019. And

class reaches the halfway point in

for the celebrations of Christmas. we are Giving in Community. All

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“Equipping the saints for the work of ministry...”

Ephesians 4:12

Bishop’s Institute

RENEWED MINISTRY.

RENEWED JOURNEY.

RENEWED CHURCH.

Diocese of Easton’s

Bishop’s

Institute

JOIN US FOR OUR

LAUNCH SERVICE

JAN.4

About This Publication

The EASTERN SHORE EPISCOPALIAN (ESE) is the

quarterly news magazine of the Diocese of Easton. It

includes feature articles, columns from the bishop, stories

about ministries and parishes, and information about

upcoming diocesan events.

DEADLINES: The deadline for the ESE is the 20th of

the month preceding release. January *20th, May 20th,

August 20th, and November 20th. *Deadline may vary

for pre-convention issue.

DISTRIBUTION: We try to publish and distribute the

Eastern Shore Episcopalian on a quarterly basis. The

magazine is created in Adobe InDesign, saved as a PDF,

and published online via a service called Yumpu. Once

the issue is completed, a link is posted to our website and

the same link is emailed to our Enews distribution list.

We also mail hard copies to churches who requested them

according to a list linked here.

Based on the ebb and flow of the busy seasons we try to

adhere to the following schedule:

February: Pre-Convention Edition

June: Summer Edition

September: Fall Edition

December: Abbreviated Christmas Edition

GUEST ARTICLES may be submitted for consideration

but are included only if the following criteria are met:

1. The article is 300-600 words and includes 1-6 photos.

2. There is room for the article in an upcoming magazine.

3. The article is NOT an event synopsis or advertisement.

4. The Bishop approves the content and inclusion of the

article.

NEXT ISSUE

SERVE THE WORLD:

• Hear from some of our Churches

• Convention Preview

• Submit for Consideration to:

joanne@dioceseofeaston.org

NOTABLE DATES

January 4

BISHOP’S INSTITUTE LAUNCH

Join us for a special Eucharist and celebration of the launch

of the Bishop’s Institute.

January 10-12

OCEAN CITY YOUTH RALLY

Join thousands of 6th-12th graders from around the region

at this year’s youth rally “Inseparable” (Romans 8:38-39).

February 10th

NORTHERN CONVOCATION MEETING

Shrewsbury Kennedyville @ 7pm

The second of two business meetings leading up to

Convention.

February 11th

MIDDLE CONVOCATION MEETING

Christ Church Cambridge @ 7pm

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@11:00AM

with Reception to follow

Installation of the Canon eologian,

the Rev. Dr. Daniel Dunlap, Rector Old Trinity Church Creek

Commissioning of the Advisory Board

Commissioning of the Bishop’s Committee

St. Paul’s Hebron

8700 Memory Gardens Lane

Hebron, MD 21801

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: We encourage the

submission of articles and pictures. We reserve the right to

edit material offered for publication. All submissions must

include name, phone and email address for verification.

• One full page article with pictures = approximately 300-

600 words

• Name of the author should be at the top of the article

• A short tagline should be at the end of the article,

including contact information for author Example: John

Doe serves as music director at St. Swithin’s. Contact him

at jdoe@stswithins.org.

• Include a headshot if possible

• Pictures should be high resolution .jpeg files (min. 300

dpi) to ensure print quality (send as separate attachment,

not in body of the article)

• Please select a significant point in your article (call out)

and highlight this text in the article

Submit stories & photos to joanne@dioceseofeaston.org

February 13th

SOUTHERN CONVOCATION MEETING

Holy Spirit Ocean City @ 7pm

March 7th (Rain Date March 14th)

ANNUAL DIOCESAN CONVENTION

Christ Church Stevensville

The Episcopal Church of the Eastern Shore of Maryland

gathers once a year to govern the parishes that make up the

Diocese of Easton. We worship, we celebrate, we listen, we

speak, we debate, and we vote.

SIGN UP FOR THE BI-WEEKLY ENEWS

dioceseofeaston.org

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The Episcopal Diocese of Easton

314 North Street

Easton, MD 21601

410-822-1919

dioceseofeaston.org

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the

world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness

but will have the light of life.’”

John 8:12

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