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

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,, 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,


Mardi Gras at Emmanuel

The Urbanites are organizing Emmanuel's annual Mardi Gras celebration of food and music, including food from Sandy's Feast and live New Orleans style jazz by Tongue in Cheek. (Non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.)

The festivities will take place in the Gallery off of Read Street.

The cost is $15 in advance (or $10 for kids) and $20 at the door. Please follow the link below if you would like to buy tickets online:


Outreach Announcement

I am pleased to announce that, in 2017, Emmanuel has continued to demonstrate its commitment to outreach and the fight against social injustice - especially helping poor, vulnerable and marginalized populations in Baltimore and even around the world.  More than $30,000 was given to organizations who focus on these causes. 

These include: 

-No Boundaries Coalition (, $1000)

-Helping Oppressed People Excel (H.O.P.E)(, $4200)

-Manna House (, $4000)

-The Annual Ministries Appeal of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland (, $2500)

-The Samaritan Community (, $5000)

-The Intersection of Change (, $5000)

-St Luke's Episcopal Church (, $2500)

-Baltimore Outreach Services (, $4500) 

-The Episcopal Relief and Development Fund (, $2500).

      --Herschel Wade, Outreach Committee Chair

Book Club

Our next Book Club choices are two short books:  Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant that explores why "working class America has given up on liberalism," and New York Times best seller Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: a "visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive" work in the form of a letter by father to son. Those whose last names begin with an A through K, please bring something to share with the group.

2018 Stewardship Campaign

Dear Parishioners & Friends in Christ,

Each of you is made in God’s likeness and image and with God anything and everything is possible. Hence, as I begin my ministry with you, I am filled with anticipation and joy at the thought of all the great things that lie before us as a community. Our future together is full of promise, and I am reaching out to you now to ask you to make a pledge of support for Emmanuel Episcopal Church that will enable us to make this future a bright blessing.

Let us prayerfully move forward together by providing the support necessary to not only continue but to enhance the life and vitality of this community.

·      Our growing and diverse parish membership – As witnessed by the large number of new members invited to the welcome event in early September, we are blessed to have an expanding membership even after a long period of transition. The diversity in our pews continues to be enriched as we welcome and embrace people of all colors, backgrounds, sexual orientations, abilities, and economic circumstances.

·      Important transformations to our buildings for enhanced accessibility – Recent months saw the installation of an induction loop to provide a much improved worship experience for our hard of hearing congregants. Moving toward an even larger and highly significant project for the future of Emmanuel, the Accessibility Committee of the Vestry has recently accomplished extensive initial planning for major campus-wide improvements for accessibility, and the Vestry has recently selected a leading architectural firm to begin implementation of the project.

·      Renowned Music Program - Glorious music has been and will continue to be a hallmark of worship at Emmanuel under the leadership of music director John Repulski. Augmenting the extraordinary music provided by our professional choir, we have recently welcomed Organ Scholar Jordan Prescott under a cooperative project with Peabody Conservatory.

·      Community Outreach – Recognizing the central importance of outreach to Emmanuel Church’s mission, the Vestry recently created Outreach as a standing committee. Outreach endeavors will be a top priority for our new life together, as we reach out with love to provide services and support to those in need both here in Baltimore and throughout the world.

·      Wide-ranging Congregational Initiatives and Activities – It is exciting to join a community with such a variety of opportunities for learning, participation, and service, from the EEC Discussion Group about Racism to the Urbanites, the Adult Forums to Poetry Readings and Art Exhibitions, numerous Lay Ministries to Book Group and many others, this is a vibrant and active congregation.

·      Prayer and Action - A community who believes and practices the reality that prayer changes hearts, lives, and can make us courageous at changing the world.

We hope you will prayerfully consider your pledge for the coming year to support the ministry of Emmanuel Church in 2018. The campaign runs until November 30, 2017, so we hope you will make your pledge promptly. You may complete the pledge card you received recently in the mail or you may go to the Emmanuel website and click on the donate button to make a secure donation. We thank you for your contribution as we join together to spread God’s love in the world.

Emmanuel is a sanctuary where we can be still and know God is God. And with God in our midst, we, the Saints of Emmanuel, can share transformational ministry with each other and the people of Baltimore.


With my gratitude and prayers for all of you, in peace.

(The Rev.) Hentzi Elek



The Emmanuel Church Stewardship Committee:

Gregory R. Weidman, Chair

Laura Gillis

Liz Shaner

Martha Montgomery, Senior Warden

Demetreus Gregg, Treasurer



November Book Club

To meet at the home of Gail Milne, Tuesday, November 14 at 7:00 PM.

The November Book Club selection is People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. The inquisition, war and Anti-Semitism set the stage for the story of the disappearance of the Sarajevo Haggadah, an ancient Jewish text, and the fictionalized tale of its retrieval. Told by several narrators, the reader learns the details of its restoration by Hannah Heath and the compelling challenge of her task. Intrigue, romance, politics - it's all there! Please bring a sweet or a savory to share if your name begins with M to Z.

Calling All Children's Ministers!

The Rev. Wood & Roza Guillaume are putting together a children's ministry team for the coming program year. Ideally, we'd love to find 6 brave souls willing to share in this adventure with us, which would mean that each team of two would be responsible for about one Sunday a month. (We'll help with format and lesson plans.) If you have a passion for kids and would like to share what you love about our church with them, please e-mail Joseph,, to learn more.