Transition Update

Dear Friends, 

After Sunday's exciting announcement about the call of Anne Marie Richards to be Emmanuel's new rector, I would like to give you a timeline for the next several months.

I will be at Emmanuel through April, including Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter Day.  My last Sunday is the Second Sunday of Easter (often called Low Sunday), April 28.  Later that week, Tim and I will head off for several weeks in Vienna (not Virginia).

The Parish Meeting is on Sunday, May 5, at which time members of the congregation will elect new vestry members to help lead the parish into a new season in its life. If you feel called to serve, please talk with either Rebecca Atwater or Matthew Crenson as soon as possible. (In accordance with our bylaws, we are hoping to publish a list of the candidates later this week.)

Joseph Wood will preside and preach at the services on May 5 and 12.

As is customary in the Diocese of Maryland, the Rev. Stuart Wright, Canon for Transitions, will be the preacher on May 19, the Sunday before the new rector begins.

The Rev. Anne Marie Richards presides and preaches for the first time as Rector of Emmanuel Church on Sunday, May 26.  It is a holiday weekend, but I hope as many of you as possible will be here to welcome her and take part in a festive coffee hour in her honor.

On the Feast of Pentecost (Sunday, June 9), the Rev. Joseph Wood completes his time as Associate Rector and bids farewell to Emmanuel.  Again, I hope as many of you as possible will be here to thank Joe for his splendid tenure at Emmanuel.  He has had three quite different "bosses," and I can say for myself that I could not have done what you asked me to do without his constant assistance.

June 9 also marks the last Sunday of the choir season, so you will have a chance to thank what I think is the best church choir in Baltimore and their director, John Repulski.

All of the above indicates the period of transition in which Emmanuel Church currently finds itself.  The Rev. Dr. Carol Pinkham Oak will lead two sessions on managing transitions on the coming two Saturdays, April 6 and 13, as part of our Lenten offerings.  (The program will run from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm in the Brent Room on both days.) It could not be a more timely topic, and Carol--the retired rector of St. John's in Ellicott City and a regular worshipper here at Emmanuel--brings real expertise to the subject. I would highly recommend attending.

--Jim Holmes
The Rev. James C. Holmes
Interim Rector

An Announcement from Our Senior Warden

Dear Friends:

It is my joy and honor to announce that the vestry has closed the directed search for a new rector with a unanimous vote to call the Rev. Anne Marie Richards to be the 15th rector of Emmanuel Church. I want to thank the diocese, members of the vestry, Jim, Joe, and everyone in the parish who has shared in this discernment as we live into Emmanuel’s future together. 

Anne Marie currently serves as the rector of Trinity Church in Newport, Rhode Island. When she was called to Trinity in 2010, she was charged with revitalizing and growing the historic parish following a period of upheaval. In the intervening nine years, the average attendance has nearly doubled, particularly among families with young children; they have undertaken a multi-million-dollar capital campaign; they have established extensive new community partnerships; and they have worked to increase the long-term sustainability of their stewardship. Previously, she served as associate rector at Trinity Church, Princeton, where her responsibilities included direct oversight of their outreach programs and the full range of ministry in a large parish, especially pastoral care. She received her M. Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2005, after extensive non-profit experience and receiving her B.S. in Organizational Development.

While the vestry is excited about the breadth of ability Anne Marie will bring to Emmanuel, we were first impressed by the candor and depth of the responses in her ministry portfolio. Here’s the short description she wrote of how she understands Christian community: “As disciples of Jesus Christ we gather together and are nourished in Word and Sacrament. And we are sent out to heal the world in ways small and large. And we return again. We live together in this ongoing, transforming rhythm of life and love.”

Outside of her official duties, Anne Marie grounds herself by singing every day, because she believes, alongside St. Augustine, that "[s]he who sings, prays twice." She loves to spend time with friends; her husband, Brook; and their two adult sons, Max and Malcolm—not to mention what she describes as her “fabulous, fun, large Irish-American family.” (She’s a Maryland native!) She’s also an avid traveler, constantly looking for the next new place to explore. Finally, she’s involved with a number of organizations in the wider Episcopal Church, including serving on the board of directors for the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) and as a member of an initiative to encourage and support young leaders in the church, the Gathering of Leaders.

Anne Marie’s first Sunday as our rector will be May 26, 2019. In the meantime, please give her and her family time to say good-bye to Trinity and move before we welcome them in full Emmanuel fashion. Thanks be to God, and welcome, Anne Marie!

With Peace & Gratitude, 
Rebecca Atwater
Senior Warden

Organ & Brass Recital

On Saturday, March 30, at 2:00 pm the Peabody Brass Ensemble (James Olin, Director); Brass of Peace (Sylvia Alimena, Director); and Mi Zhou, Organ, will be offering a free concert at Emmanuel. The program will include works by: Bach, Bruckner, Gabrieli, Gigout, Handel, Respighi, Strauss, and Widor. All are welcome!

Upcoming Outreach Opportunities

As we begin a new calendar year, here are some EEC outreach opportunities to consider:

  • Sunday, January 20: Resource bag assembly in the Gallery following the Q&A with Bishop Sutton and coffee hour

  • Sunday, February 10: St. Valentine’s Day card writing for patients at the VA hospital in the Gallery after coffee hour

  • Farther Out: assembling Easter baskets for our homebound parishioners…

Also, please stay tuned for more information about the Outreach Committee’s grants program and its revised schedule.

Advent Bible Study

As part of Emmanuel’s Advent devotions, we’re offering a Bible study on the Song of Songs, often called the Song of Solomon, as a brown bag lunch discussion after the Wednesday noon services. One of the most enigmatic books of the Bible—Is it love poetry? A discussion of the mystical union of Christ and the Church? Something else entirely?—we will move through the Song three chapters at a time, plus a little background along the way. All are welcome, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Rev. Wood if you have any questions.

A Note on Kneeling

A number of you mentioned after last Sunday’s 1892 service that you, in fact, like to kneel for parts of the service—particularly for the Great Thanksgiving, the Eucharistic prayer.  It is only recently that standing for prayer has become common in many Episcopal churches.   For some, this has become the preferred posture for prayer, while for others they do it so as to not be different.   There is an old Anglican adage:  “All may, some do, none must.”  This applies to posture at church.  If you are more comfortable kneeling, by all means kneel.*  If you are more comfortable standing, by all means stand.  Both choices have a long, rich history in Christian worship. I am just glad you are here.

--Jim Holmes

*Kneeling for communion is more problematic right now in our main sanctuary, but the Accessibility Committee hopes to address that when planning for a new platform.


Organ & Brass Recital

On Sunday, December 2, at 3:00 pm, brass ensembles from the Peabody Institute (directed by James Olin) will offer their winter recital right here at Emmanuel—accompanied on the organ by our very own Jordan Prescott. Admission is free, so we would highly encourage any and all to come and enjoy some glorious music to start off Advent right.

Armistice Day Service

This Sunday, November 11, will mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice which ended the hostilities of World War I. In honor of the Emmanuel members involved--including two who gave their lives--and the dedication of our Peace Chapel, we will commemorate Armistice Day with a 10:30 am celebration of the Holy Communion following the 1892 Book of Common Prayer, which would have been in use here 100 years ago. (The vote to adopt it was also held in our main sanctuary during the last time General Convention met in Baltimore.)

Taylor Daynes' Priestly Ordination

God willing and the people consenting, the Right Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan Probe, Bishop of Central New York, will ordain Taylor D. Daynes to the Sacred Order of Priests on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The service will take place at 1:00 pm in Anabel Taylor Hall on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY.

Taylor would love to have members of the Emmanuel community in attendance, but she recognizes that distance will make physical presence unlikely. She knows that we will be with her in spirit, and she sends her continuing gratitude for the role the parish has played in her formation. If you are able to attend and are interested in sharing in communal travel plans, please contact the Rev. Joseph Wood (jwood@emmanueldowntown.org) for more information by Sunday, 9/23. (The tentative plan is to carpool, departing around 10:00 am on Friday morning; rent a house or houses together; and start back around 3:30 pm Saturday afternoon.)


Some Dates to Watch Out for...

As Welcome Back Sunday approaches, the clergy & staff of Emmanuel Church would like to share the following plans for Fall 2018:

-Sunday, September 30th: St. Francis' Sunday & Blessing of the Pets at the 10:30 Service

-Sunday, October 14th: Emmanuel Day (start of our Annual Giving Campaign)

-Sunday, November 4th: All Saints' Day Celebration (including altars of remembrance)

-Sunday, November 11th: Armistice Day (in honor of the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, Emmanuel will be holding a special service following the 1892 Book of Common Prayer)

-Wednesday, November 21st: Thanksgiving Service at 12:00 pm (noon) in Eccleston Chapel

-Sunday, December 23rd: Lessons & Carols at the 10:30 service (no sermon or eucharist)

-Monday, December 24 (Christmas Eve): 4:00 pm Children's Pageant & Eucharist; 8:00 pm Festival Eucharist

-Tuesday, December 25 (Christmas Day): 10:00 am Holy Eucharist with Carols in Eccleston Chapel

Thank you very much, and we can't wait to share another program year with you!

Backpacks Are Back!

We're partnering again with our very own Antoin Quarles and his organization H.O.P.E. (Helping Oppressed People Excel) to provide schools supplies for children in need around Baltimore. Our goal is to raise enough money to fill at least 50 backpack--which cost about $40 each--and we'll bless the backpacks before they're sent out on Sunday, August 26. (Volunteers to help pack them the Friday before, August 24, are welcomed and very much appreciated.) Please e-mail the Rev. Wood,jwood@emmanueldowntown.org, if you can help or have any questions.

Summer Office Hours

The parish offices will be closing to the public at 1:00 pm starting on June 18 and will continue through August 31. This allows the staff to have more uninterrupted time together to prepare for the upcoming program year. If you're coming to the church after 1:00pm, please call ahead so that the staff knows to look for you at the door. (As part of this shift, the Wednesday Noon Eucharist will go on hiatus after June 13.)

The Poor People's Campaign

As part of its work this weekend, the 234th Convention of the Diocese of Maryland resolved to endorse "the principles and goals of the revived Poor People’s Campaign and encourage the participation of all clergy and laity and mission partners in the upcoming 40 Days of Action in Washington, D.C. and other state capitals, so as to achieve those goals." Since those Days of Action begin tomorrow, May 13, we invite you to look over the Poor People's Campaign website or Facebook and discern how you might be called to get involved.

Upcoming Concerts @ Emmanuel

2018 JOURNEY TOUR
The Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Vocal Department is on its annual Journey Tour and will be performing at Emmanuel on Thursday, April 5, at 7:00 pm. Please join us for this free concert! (Douglas Anderson School of the Arts--"Where ARTS and ACADEMICS meet in EXCELLENCE"--is a Duval County Public School, in Jacksonville, FL, for students in grades 9-12 with a desire for intensive study in the arts.)

A SPRING AWAKENING
Join New Wave Singers of Baltimore, the city’s  premier LGBTQ chorus, for their 2018 spring concert at Emmanuel on Sunday, April 8, at 4:00 pm. (Tickets are free for anyone 17 or under and $20 for everyone else—they can be purchased online or at the door.)

Inclement Weather

Due to the snow, the Emmanuel Church offices will be closed today, Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Due to the weather, the Emmanuel Church offices will be closed today, Wednesday, March 21, 2018. There will thus be no Noon Eucharist this week, and the Lenten series will be rescheduled as makes sense--the vestry meeting, however, will go forward as a conference call. Thank you for your understanding, and stay safe (and warm) out there!