Eastern Shore Episcopalian - Christmas 2019

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CHRISTMAS EDITION <strong>2019</strong><br />

In Your Light<br />

We See Light<br />

Psalm 36:9<br />

a publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton<br />


Contents:<br />

Advent Clergy Luncheon<br />


Nine counties, 42 worshiping<br />

communities, and more than<br />

5,000 people engaged in living<br />

out our call to welcome all, share<br />

Jesus’ love, and serve the world.<br />

BISHOP<br />

The Rt. Rev. Santosh Marray<br />

Welcome All<br />

Share Jesus’ Love<br />

Serve the World<br />

02<br />

04<br />

04<br />

Bishop’s <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

Message<br />

“Christ’s birth is the bridging of<br />

two realities that shows that God<br />

is not just the God of heaven but<br />

Lord and Creator of the universe.”<br />

Why Bother?<br />

“Can I make a difference that<br />

just might get me and my family a<br />

little closer to the vision?”<br />

Advent Light from<br />

Christ Church<br />

Parish<br />

”As the oldest Christian<br />

Community in Maryland, we rely<br />

on the Light of Christ to guide our<br />

steps. “<br />

In This Issue:<br />

01 Pictures from the Advent<br />

Clergy Luncheon<br />

02 Bishop’s <strong>Christmas</strong> Message<br />

God’s Divine Love Permeates<br />

for a Broken World<br />

04 Why Bother?<br />

Reflections on past, present,<br />

and going to church.<br />

06 Advent Light from Christ<br />

Church Parish, Stevensville<br />

A peek into the life of our<br />

2020 Convention host church.<br />

08 Bishop’s Institute Launch<br />

Join us on January 4th.<br />

Cover Photo:<br />

Courtesy of Scott Law Photography.<br />

www.scottlawphotography.com/<br />


A publication of the Bishop and Diocese of Easton<br />

Copyright <strong>2019</strong> The Bishop and Diocese of Easton<br />

Published Quarterly<br />


<strong>Eastern</strong> <strong>Shore</strong> Episcoplian (ESE)<br />

314 North St., Easton, MD 21601<br />


314 North St., Easton, MD 21601<br />

410-822-1919 dioceseofeaston.org<br />

joanne@dioceseofeaston.org<br />

The Right Reverend Santosh Marray<br />

Bishop of Easton<br />

Joanne Fisher<br />

Director of Communications,<br />

Senior Editor & Creative Designer<br />

The Reverend Loretta Collins<br />

Deacon, Editor<br />


Bishop’s <strong>Christmas</strong> Message<br />

2<br />

God’s<br />

Divine Love<br />

Permeates for a Broken World<br />

By Bishop Santosh Marray<br />

“They shall name Him Emmanuel”<br />

which means, “God is with us”.<br />

(St. Matthew 1:23)<br />

PHOTO: Bishop San & Lynn’s new grandson, Jace, is ready to celebrate <strong>Christmas</strong>.<br />

<strong>Christmas</strong> is the solemn gathering of the faithful to<br />

celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus and the world’s<br />

Messiah or Anointed One. As we commemorate his<br />

birthday, I feel compelled to remind the diocesan<br />

family that God became human like us so that we might<br />

become God. The Lord of the angels became one of us so<br />

that we could eat the bread of angels. What a stunningly<br />

beautiful and awesome way to sum up the <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

message.<br />

The center of attraction is the manger, the child Jesus,<br />

by coming among us offers God’s healing and love<br />

to our broken and hostile world. As I reminded our<br />

family some years ago, believing and receiving him<br />

means putting him first, far ahead of the fading glory<br />

and shifting hopes offered by this world. Also, Jesus<br />

offers humanity a personal way of knowing, loving and<br />

relating to God our Father in heaven, and our fellow<br />

neighbors.<br />

Christ’s birth is the bridging of two realities that shows<br />

that God is not just the God of heaven but Lord and<br />

Creator of the universe. <strong>Christmas</strong> is God’s incarnation,<br />

that is, God taking human flesh and becoming one like<br />

us. God became human, not just to save the world, but to<br />

bless the world, to bless being human, to endorse being<br />

human, to join us in our humanness. In this holy and<br />

joyful season Jesus invites us to come to him as a child<br />

embodying all the characteristics manifested in children<br />

- from the purity of innocence to the openness toward<br />

people of different cultures, ethnicities, nationalities,<br />

social or economic status and skin color.<br />

Second, when we look around, and see the children in<br />

their many <strong>Christmas</strong> presentations, that excitement<br />

and thrill go a long way in helping to lay aside, even for a<br />

moment, the realities of daily struggle. For children, all<br />

the experiences of life are new and thrilling adventures.<br />

They take them in and take them on willingly and<br />

eagerly. Adults will do well to adopt this attitude of<br />

childlike innocence at <strong>Christmas</strong>, and for once give the<br />

gift of this sacred birth we celebrate a chance to fill us<br />

with PEACE! JOY! LOVE!<br />

The timeless incarnational truth in this message is<br />

God’s invitation for us to participate in the holy work<br />

of salvation. We are co-responsible for our salvation by<br />

embracing and incarnating Jesus’ call to ‘come unto me’<br />

and ‘live in me as I live in you’.<br />

My beloved, the birthday of Jesus marks our own<br />

birthday. Our baptism into Christ fundamentally draws<br />

us into a shared intimate relationship with him. This<br />

accounts for the reason why over the centuries the<br />

practice of gift sharing had become so popular. In truth,<br />

we are all celebrating this birthday with Jesus which<br />

gives us every reason to exchange gifts during this<br />

happy season.<br />

In the spirit of the season, I wish to personally thank our<br />

generous diocesan family for donating to date $30,000<br />

to the Bahamas Hurricane Relief. The enormous task<br />

of rebuilding and restoring over three hundred years<br />

of livelihood for the Bahamian people on the islands<br />

of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama is a daunting<br />

proposition. Let us continue to be generous and caring<br />

in our support in this <strong>Christmas</strong> tide. My beloved, my<br />

heartfelt gratitude goes out to you for supporting one of<br />

my and Lynn’s adopted countries.<br />

However, as we do so we are reminded to spare some<br />

time in our celebration to invite the Christ child of<br />

Bethlehem stable, Jesus the Lord and Savior, into our<br />

lives and to give him the freedom to lead us where he<br />

wishes - recommitting our lives to the guiding principles<br />

of love for all, peace, joy and Christian harmony.<br />

Finally, our beloved family, Nalini ‘Lynn’ and I are<br />

conscious of the gift we have received from God in<br />

allowing us to share ministry and companionship with<br />

each and every one of you. You have all made our life in<br />

the diocese a truly remarkable and holy experience. We<br />

love you with our heart, mind and soul! As the angels<br />

remind us, “God is with us”.<br />

Every blessing, joy, happiness, peace and goodwill to you<br />

and your beloved family members on this <strong>Christmas</strong><br />

season!<br />

+San & Lynn<br />


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

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

Why Bother?<br />

by Bobby Gallian, Parishioner at St. Luke’s Church Hill<br />

I ask myself “Why are the sidewalks vacant”; “Why don’t I<br />

know the names and stories of my neighbors”; “Where is<br />

everyone”; “Is this really what I want”? I came to this town<br />

because I wanted something better, better for me, better<br />

for my family. I knew I likely would not find the “small<br />

town, America” that Norman Rockwell depicted in his<br />

many illustrations in the Saturday Evening Post so many<br />

years ago. But I did want a better way of life, where the<br />

news of the day was a bit more balanced, and somewhat<br />

more positive. Have I missed something? Did I do all the<br />

things I should have done, so to realize my hopes? Is there<br />

something I can do now? Can I make a difference that just<br />

might get me and my family a little closer to the vision? I<br />

am after all only one person, and surely it will take much<br />

more than just me to make a meaningful difference. Oh<br />

why bother?<br />

The news today told the story of yet another young person<br />

who in an instant, physically hurt several of his peers, and<br />

emotionally hurt exponentially more. And once again,<br />

those who survived the carnage were briefly interviewed<br />

by journalists, and once again the feedback included<br />

comments like “Why?”…”Why here?”…”Why now?”…<br />

and “I never thought something like this could happen<br />

here!” I am not a physician, nor a psychologist, nor a first<br />

responder. I am just one person and surely it will take<br />

far more then me to swing the needle to a more positive<br />

chain of events. But I do have a very modest suggestion<br />

for consideration. I place before myself the notion of<br />

community. Is it possible that empty sidewalks and mass<br />

shootings are tied together? What are the chances that<br />

the Norman Rockwell vision NOT BEING REALIZED is<br />

somehow linked to the frequent terrible news of people<br />

hurting people BEING REALIZED?<br />

may just lose a sense of a real community, while they search<br />

to be part of or gain membership in a virtual community.<br />

Their perception may become their reality. I suggest that<br />

being isolated may lead to depression, and that virtual<br />

reality is a very poor substitute for real community. I<br />

suggest that repetitious overdosing on internet trolling, or<br />

video gaming, or social media, or even television may lead<br />

to empty sidewalks, anonymous neighbors, ghost towns,<br />

and physical harm.<br />

Human kind is nurtured by fellowship, and fellowship<br />

is nurtured by community. And community starts with<br />

individuals, who having each decided to share, come<br />

together. In church there is a practice called “Holy<br />

Communion”, whereby individuals decide to come<br />

together, to be part of something greater than anything<br />

they can do themselves alone, and in this coming together<br />

they hope to be closer to the Creator, the Sustainer, the<br />

Savior, the King, the Comforter, the Alpha, the Omega.<br />

This modest gathering is a community. The effort made<br />

to participate is as simple as making the decision to share.<br />

The practice of stepping away from the virtual world, so to<br />

come together in the real world, may just be the key to make<br />

positive change. To enjoy the smiles, handshakes, hugs,<br />

and good news may just be enough to fill the sidewalks of<br />

small towns, and to rescue young people from isolation,<br />

depression, and explosion.<br />

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

land of a small town named Church Hill. Indeed the town<br />

is named after the church on the hill. The lovely but modest<br />

structure there was built by craftsmen centuries ago, in<br />

hopes of hosting such a holy communion, and offering<br />

fellowship to those who make the decision to share.<br />

The high ideal of community can be found there. And<br />

so I decide to step away from the screen, stroll along the<br />

sidewalk, meet the neighbors, and join in the community.<br />

Such a place and such a community may help steer those<br />

otherwise isolated, and help nurture young people who<br />

simply wish to belong. This may be a step towards the<br />

vision I had hoped for. Why bother? Because I can make<br />

all the difference, for me, for my family, for my neighbors,<br />

and for my small town in America.<br />

Depression is certainly a very powerful state. When young<br />

people grow up connected to a VIRTUAL reality to such a<br />

degree that they become disconnected from REAL reality,<br />

they may lose a sense of community. And the flesh and<br />

blood people around them may become perceived as fake<br />

holographic images, while the virtual people found on the<br />

internet or video screen may become perceived as more<br />

like themselves. They may become disconnected from<br />

human beings and connected to animated images. They<br />

4 5

Advent Light from Christ Church Parish<br />

by the Rev. Mark Delcuze, Rector of Christ Church Kent Island<br />

Christ Church Parish, Kent Island is<br />

excited to be preparing to host the<br />

152nd Annual Convention of the<br />

Diocese of Easton. We also join with<br />

everyone in Advent Preparations.<br />

Advent is a time for turning towards<br />

the light. This fall the Vestry has<br />

directed our attention to: Forming<br />

Christians, Serving our Community,<br />

and Welcoming our Neighbors.<br />

their year by walking the Stations of<br />

the Nativity. The Christ Episcopal<br />

Church Day School, which will<br />

soon be celebrating its 50th year, has<br />

more than 60 children enrolled.<br />

Serving our Community<br />

More than 800 people move through<br />

our buildings on Kent Island every<br />

week. We host six different scouting<br />

groups for boys and girls, including<br />

Boy Scout Troop 1631 which was<br />

recently honored to lay a wreath at<br />

the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier<br />

at Arlington. Recovery Groups<br />

call our parish home three days<br />

a week. We are also delighted to<br />

provide year-round facilities for the<br />

Kent Island Farmer’s Market every<br />

Thursday. Our Backpack Program<br />

sends home healthy weekend meals<br />

to 90 children in local elementary<br />

schools each week. We also donate<br />

non-perishable food twice a week to<br />

the Grasonville Community Center.<br />

Welcoming our Neighbors<br />

Two big annual events serve<br />

as centerpieces for Advent<br />

Preparations. The Westminster<br />

Ringers will join un on December<br />

7, bringing more than 100 hand<br />

bells and a dozen ringers. The<br />

music of this community event<br />

puts everyone in the spirit. Because<br />

we also know that holidays can be<br />

difficult for some people, we will<br />

offer our Seventh Annual Service of<br />

the Longest Night on December 18.<br />

This candle-lit prayer service offers<br />

Scripture, music, and a chance for<br />

personal prayer.<br />

Christ Church Parish generously<br />

feeds all our neighbors. In<br />

November, we hosted our fourth<br />

Free Community Dinner and Game<br />

Night. More than 80 people from<br />

our communities came to share<br />

three kinds of chili and homemade<br />

dessert at no cost.<br />

Minister of Music Gary Van Essen,<br />

provides a diverse program and<br />

directs the Praise Band. He also<br />

welcomes other musicians including<br />

oboe and bassoon! We have prayed<br />

daily Evening Prayer more than<br />

1200 times since Fr. Mark arrived<br />

in 2013 and in this holy season the<br />

daily lighting of the Advent Wreath<br />

guides our steps towards the manger.<br />

are welcome to receive: through<br />

food and fellowship, learning and<br />

recovery, devotion and praise.<br />

We look forward to joining with the<br />

other congregations of the Middle<br />

Convocation to welcome the whole<br />

Diocese to be with us for our 152nd<br />

Annual Convention March 7, 2020.<br />

Forming Christians<br />

Christ Church Parish, Kent Island<br />

is Grounded in Christ. As the<br />

Our new Coordinator for Christian<br />

oldest Christian Community in<br />

Formation, Lisa Pinkham will gather<br />

We Also Worship Regularly<br />

Maryland, we rely on the Light of<br />

children and youth around the<br />

All of this activity happens in the Christ to guide our steps. We are<br />

Godly Play stories during Advent<br />

context of prayer. Our Sunday Growing in Faith. More than four<br />

with the help of St. Nicholas and St.<br />

Choir grows stronger as additional dozen households have joined<br />

Lucy. Our Education for Ministry<br />

“Advent Singers” join in preparation our congregation in <strong>2019</strong>. And<br />

class reaches the halfway point in<br />

for the celebrations of <strong>Christmas</strong>. we are Giving in Community. All<br />

6 7

“Equipping the saints for the work of ministry...”<br />

Ephesians 4:12<br />

Bishop’s Institute<br />




Diocese of Easton’s<br />

Bishop’s<br />

Institute<br />



JAN.4<br />

About This Publication<br />


quarterly news magazine of the Diocese of Easton. It<br />

includes feature articles, columns from the bishop, stories<br />

about ministries and parishes, and information about<br />

upcoming diocesan events.<br />

DEADLINES: The deadline for the ESE is the 20th of<br />

the month preceding release. January *20th, May 20th,<br />

August 20th, and November 20th. *Deadline may vary<br />

for pre-convention issue.<br />

DISTRIBUTION: We try to publish and distribute the<br />

<strong>Eastern</strong> <strong>Shore</strong> <strong>Episcopalian</strong> on a quarterly basis. The<br />

magazine is created in Adobe InDesign, saved as a PDF,<br />

and published online via a service called Yumpu. Once<br />

the issue is completed, a link is posted to our website and<br />

the same link is emailed to our Enews distribution list.<br />

We also mail hard copies to churches who requested them<br />

according to a list linked here.<br />

Based on the ebb and flow of the busy seasons we try to<br />

adhere to the following schedule:<br />

February: Pre-Convention Edition<br />

June: Summer Edition<br />

September: Fall Edition<br />

December: Abbreviated <strong>Christmas</strong> Edition<br />

GUEST ARTICLES may be submitted for consideration<br />

but are included only if the following criteria are met:<br />

1. The article is 300-600 words and includes 1-6 photos.<br />

2. There is room for the article in an upcoming magazine.<br />

3. The article is NOT an event synopsis or advertisement.<br />

4. The Bishop approves the content and inclusion of the<br />

article.<br />



• Hear from some of our Churches<br />

• Convention Preview<br />

• Submit for Consideration to:<br />

joanne@dioceseofeaston.org<br />


January 4<br />


Join us for a special Eucharist and celebration of the launch<br />

of the Bishop’s Institute.<br />

January 10-12<br />


Join thousands of 6th-12th graders from around the region<br />

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

February 10th<br />


Shrewsbury Kennedyville @ 7pm<br />

The second of two business meetings leading up to<br />

Convention.<br />

February 11th<br />


Christ Church Cambridge @ 7pm<br />

8<br />

@11:00AM<br />

with Reception to follow<br />

Installation of the Canon eologian,<br />

the Rev. Dr. Daniel Dunlap, Rector Old Trinity Church Creek<br />

Commissioning of the Advisory Board<br />

Commissioning of the Bishop’s Committee<br />

St. Paul’s Hebron<br />

8700 Memory Gardens Lane<br />

Hebron, MD 21801<br />

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: We encourage the<br />

submission of articles and pictures. We reserve the right to<br />

edit material offered for publication. All submissions must<br />

include name, phone and email address for verification.<br />

• One full page article with pictures = approximately 300-<br />

600 words<br />

• Name of the author should be at the top of the article<br />

• A short tagline should be at the end of the article,<br />

including contact information for author Example: John<br />

Doe serves as music director at St. Swithin’s. Contact him<br />

at jdoe@stswithins.org.<br />

• Include a headshot if possible<br />

• Pictures should be high resolution .jpeg files (min. 300<br />

dpi) to ensure print quality (send as separate attachment,<br />

not in body of the article)<br />

• Please select a significant point in your article (call out)<br />

and highlight this text in the article<br />

Submit stories & photos to joanne@dioceseofeaston.org<br />

February 13th<br />


Holy Spirit Ocean City @ 7pm<br />

March 7th (Rain Date March 14th)<br />


Christ Church Stevensville<br />

The Episcopal Church of the <strong>Eastern</strong> <strong>Shore</strong> of Maryland<br />

gathers once a year to govern the parishes that make up the<br />

Diocese of Easton. We worship, we celebrate, we listen, we<br />

speak, we debate, and we vote.<br />


dioceseofeaston.org<br />


The Episcopal Diocese of Easton<br />

314 North Street<br />

Easton, MD 21601<br />

410-822-1919<br />

dioceseofeaston.org<br />

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the<br />

world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness<br />

but will have the light of life.’”<br />

John 8:12<br />


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