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

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.)

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!

March for Our Lives

Dear Saints of Emmanuel,

I invite you to join other parish leaders and me as part of a diocesan contingent heading to the March for Our Lives on March 24 in Washington, D.C. As of now, the March's organizers have not posted time of day and locations details, so stay tuned as those logistics are clarified. (You can find out more about the Diocese's efforts here.) We will probably leave Emmanuel bright and early on Saturday morning, March 24--perhaps as early as 6:00 a.m. I'll update you as we know more.

With My Prayers and Gratitude, 

P.S. If you wish to travel down together, please contact me directly at helek@emmanueldowntown.org.

2018 Holy Week & Easter Schedule

Palm Sunday
March 25, 2018 **Given how cold it is, the 10:30 am will begin in the Narthex**

8:30 am, Holy Eucharist in Eccleston Chapel
10:30 am, Blessing of the Palms at Mount Vernon Square before processing back to the main sanctuary for the Holy Eucharist and a reading of the Passion

Holy Monday & Holy Tuesday
March 26 & 27, 2018

7:00 am, Holy Eucharist in Eccleston Chapel

Spy Wednesday
March 28, 2018

12:00 Noon, Holy Eucharist in Eccleston Chapel

Maundy Thursday
March 29, 2018

7:30 pm, Holy Eucharist with Foot Washing & Stripping of the Altar in the main sanctuary

Good Friday
March 30, 2018

7:30 pm, Choral Tenebrae in the main sanctuary

The Great Vigil of Easter
March 31, 2018
7:30 pm, Beginning in the narthex

Easter Day
April 1, 2018

8:30 & 10:30 am Festival Celebration of the Holy Eucharist

(The Easter Egg hunt returns to Emmanuel Church! In addition to a festive coffee hour, children will be given bags to collect brightly colored Easter eggs hidden throughout the church building. Please contact Joseph, jwood@emmanueldowntown.org, if you would like to help stuff plastic eggs, hide them or otherwise assist with this event.)

Flu Season & Services

Given concerns over this year's flu season, the staff here at Emmanuel would like to offer some general, gentle reminders.

  • During the passing of the peace, you can choose to shake hands, hug, or otherwise greet members of the congregation physically, but you're also more than welcome to greet people without touching--please do whatever is comfortable for you.
  • If you're worried about cleanliness and receiving the wine during communion, remember that partaking in either element is recognized as partaking fully in the Eucharist.* In short, you should feel free to stick to just bread, if you would prefer. (It may also be useful to note that intincting--dipping the bread into the wine--is actually much more likely to transmit germs than sipping directly from the chalice.) 

Thank you, and go (to services or otherwise) with our prayers for wellness and healing during these wintery months.


*In fact, the primary method for most laypeople to participate throughout the Middle Ages was "visual communion" or "ocular communion," based upon Late Classical understandings of the senses.

On Preaching and Celebrating

       Joseph and I have prayerfully agreed to share the Rota (schedule) of preaching and celebrating the Eucharist according to the following pattern.

       Per my request, we have entered into a cycle in which I preach three Sundays in a row and then Joseph preaches the next three Sundays in a row.

       This series of three successive Sundays allows the preacher to find common themes, patterns, and a rhythm that might better connect one week to another. It also allows the preacher to build some momentum and/or create an ongoing dialogue between text, listener, and preacher over time.

       Usually, the same priest preaches at both the 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services on any given Sunday. The Sunday preacher is usually also the Celebrant for the 8:30 a.m. and the Assistant for the 10:30 a.m. service.

       Similarly, one of us preaches and the other one celebrates at the Wednesday 12:00 noon Eucharist and Healing Service.

       We welcome your feedback on this pattern of sharing our priestly worship responsibilities.

       With my prayers and gratitude for all of you,


The Rev. Hentzi Elek,