Copy
Stewart's Stewings

This morning I was asked to join Carolyn Surrick and several others to speak at a Vigil to convince Maryland State Senators to bring the Hidden Predator Act to a vote. Senate Bill 134 will give survivors access to justice and help protect children from sexual abuse by bringing predators to light. The bill eliminates the civil statute of limitations going forward. It would also create a lookback window for those victims who have been previously barred by the statute of limitations, allowing them to file suit for a period of two years. Powerful lobbyists have done their best to keep the bill in committee.

Protests and vigils and rallies are not my thing. They make me uncomfortable. And yet how can we avoid speaking up when justice is not being served? When we have advantage, privilege, influence and energy, how can we shy away from speaking the truth in love when greed and power are otherwise the only voice being heard?


In the midst of so much injustice in our country and our world, where are you being called to act? When you renew your Baptismal Vows, where is your passion? How are you called to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God?

We are not all called to protest and speak up in public. There are little acts. There are letters to write to let our representatives hear our voice. There are checks to write. There are books to read. There are prayers to say. We do not all have to do it all, but enough of us do have to speak up and act in order to bring change. The gospel depends on us.

Stewart+
Read more about the Hidden Predator Act here.
More on the vigil in the Baltimore Sun here.

Scroll down to find other ways to use your voice to Eliminate Racial Discrimination.


Lenten Series 

Join us for our discussion tonight of chapters 9-10.

Click here to Join Zoom Meeting March 17 @ 7:30 pm on Chapters 9-10 of Bishop Curry's Book Love is the Way.

Meeting ID: 832 7309 6667.  Passcode: Lent
+13017158592,,83273096667# US (Washington DC)

Questions for the week:

Scripture References: Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 3:28

  • Do I have to love even my enemy?
  • How can love overcome what divides us and move us forward together?
  • Bishop Curry wrote these words before we knew COVID19 was a thing.  How do they resonate now as we struggle together to fight a global pandemic?
  • What are the tools, skills or resources you’ve seen or used that have helped bridge differences that challenge us?
  • What are the steps we can take together away from the nightmare toward the dream?
  • What are the healing stories we need to hear and to tell:  in our churches, our diocese, our communities, and our nation?
  • How can we work together to be agents of change on the side of the kind of love Bishop Curry is calling us to?
     

Leaders: Rev. Jean Paul Makano, Mountain of God and Mydea Karpeh, Peoples’ Community

 
 
Statement for the International Day
for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
 
CHICAGO (March 17, 2021) — The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church have issued a statement in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21.

 
Statement for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 21, 2021
 
From Churches Beyond Borders: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 
 
In Advent 2020, Churches Beyond Borders expressed a commitment to dismantling racism, combating white supremacy and actively seeking opportunities to engage more deeply on these important issues. In this season of Lent, we continue our journey as we join together in observing the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This is an annual day of recommitment in remembrance of the day police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in 1960. (
www.un.org/en/observances/end-racism-day) Recognizing that the March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is a calling to be lived out every day, we offer this reflection as encouragement to continue the journey with renewed determination.     
 
I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them
(Exodus 3:7-8a, NRSV) 
 
How do we lament the sin of racism? 
 
Racism and xenophobia have a painful, violent, deadly history that traverses all borders. The institutional church shares in the complicity of the legacies of the Doctrine of Discoverycolonization, forced removal and genocide of Indigenous people, the enslavement of African and Indigenous Peoples and injustices  perpetrated against all people of color. The sin of racism is structural, institutional, interpersonal and internalized. It lives in communities inside and outside the church; it continues to inflict harm on a daily basis and generate new history. How do we repent of all of this?  
 
At the burning bush, Moses hears God say, “I have heard the cries of my people.” We who follow the God of Freedom must also hear the cries of God’s people, of each other, and especially those among us who live under the constant threat and violence of racism and white supremacy. For those of us who have the privilege of closing ourselves off, we need to open ourselves to feel the painful truths of the sins of racism and white supremacy in our hearts and bodies and minds and souls. We must create spaces and structures that welcome and include the voices of those most directly impacted by the sins of racism. This message is being shared during the season of Lent, a period of self-examination, reflection, and making amends. We need to lament, repent and be transformed.  
 
Moses is told to take off his sandals. We need to lament in worship: to remove our shoes, to stand in humility, to feel the ashes on our foreheads, to be honest in the presence of God about our sins and shortcomings. Holy Ground is a gift that supports lamentation, repentance, transformation and discernment. 
 
Moses is sent to work for the freedom of people. Oppression is not inevitable or insurmountable. Things can change. Challenging racism and white supremacy calls each of us to deep and honest consideration of perceptions, biases, behaviours and systemic patterns. We echo the United Nations call to take the strongest possible stand against racism, discrimination and intolerance of every kind, to spread the word to fight racism and to take stock of the state of human rights and hate speech today and reflect on how each of us can stand up for rights. In lamentation and repentance, we hear God’s call to act for the dismantling of racism. 
 
Moses admits his own fears and reluctance. God directs Moses to connect with his siblings. God provides Miriam and Aaron to make up for Moses’ weaknesses and to enhance his strengths. The journey is long and the work is hard, crossing many difficult borders in our lives, communities, and our churches. We give thanks for the gift of community on this journey and in this work.
 
We invite you to join us in prayer: 
God of Holy Ground, move us to lament and repent. Open our hearts, bodies, minds and souls to the cries of your people. Transform us by your presence. Drive us into action for the dismantling of racism in relationships, communities and societies. Bless us with companions who support us, challenge us and help us keeping going. We pray for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In the name of Jesus. Amen. 
 
 
We commend to you these resources for further reflection and discernment:
 
Suggested action from the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights to #FightRacism 

Fight Racism | Stand up for human rights | UN Human Rights (standup4humanrights.org)
 
Explanation of the Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent

https://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Slavery_Apology_Explanation.pdf?_ga=2.160292863.337082937.1614267858-176581130.1609883917
 
“Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen lands, Strong Hearts” is a film about a devastating decision, made over 500 years ago, which continues to profoundly impact Indigenous and Settler people worldwide. 
https://www.anglican.ca/primate/tfc/drj/doctrineofdiscovery/
 
Call to Racial Reconciliation: “Litany of Repentance” and “Commissioning for the Ministry of Justice and Reconciliation” from the “10th Anniversary Celebration of Full Communion” between the Episcopal Church and the Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bTb_fguBnZJO2xLiPjwpLmSLWYeihNnA/view
 
Sacred Teachings Podcast: Indigenous Elders all across Turtle Island share teachings, languages, traditions and stories of the Ancestors. 

https://www.anglican.ca/im/podcasts/
 
The Ecumenical Conversation on the International Decade for People of African Descent
Recordings of November 26, 2020 online event and companion study guide.  
https://www.interculturalleadership.ca/news/study-guide-recognition-justice-and-development-peoples-of-african-descent-and-canadian-churches
 
“With Love Before Us, We Are Walking” recoding of Gospel Jam 7 (February 13, 2021) with Archbishop Mark MacDonald and special guest Bishop Michael Curry

https://www.anglican.ca/im/gospeljam/
 
ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
 
Episcopal Church Report for the House of Bishops from its Theology Committee: White Supremacy, the Beloved Community, and Learning to Listen (Fall  2020)

https://www.episcopalchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/11/bbc_hob_theo_cmte_report_on_white_supremacy.pdf          
 
Anglican Church of Canada House of Bishop’s Statement on Confronting Racism

https://www.anglican.ca/news/our-own-house-is-not-in-order-bishops-issue-statement-on-confronting-racism/30026802/
 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Pastoral Letter regarding the ongoing sin of Racism. 

https://www.elcic.ca/news.cfm?article=570
 
 
In Christ – Shalom,  
 
National Bishop Susan C. Johnson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
 
Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls
Anglican Church of Canada
 
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry
The Episcopal Church

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
 


 

Holy Week Notes

  • We will be worshiping virtually in Holy Week. Palm Sunday with the Passion of our Lord will be at 10:30 am. If you would be willing to help record the Passion ahead of time on Zoom, please email Pastor Stewart.
  • We will gather for worship in Holy Week Online at 7:30pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.
  • There will be a "Holy Week Bag" with communion elements that you may pick up that week. We will also be doing dinner orders to go again on Maundy Thursday. Stay tuned.
  • To donate flowers for our Easter Altar, please fill out this form online. Or a paper version will be in the BT Times next week. Suggestion donation is $15.

 

 

Food Pantry Needs
 canned tuna and salmon, pasta, and spaghetti sauce, dish soap & laundry soap, toilet paper, baby wipes & diapers (size 5 & 6), adult diapers (women's large sizes)

 

Thursday Morning Bible Study

Pastor Don begins a study of Jesus' Parables this Lent. Join the conversation at 11am starting this week. Click for Zoom link or call 1-929-205-6099 then enter 88586024640#  
March 18 Wicked Husbandman, Unjust steward, Burglar, Unmerciful Servant, Two Debtors
March 25 The Narrow Door Luke, Doorkeeper, Seine Net / Treasure in Field /Pearl of Great Price

Here is our worship from Sunday, March 14, 2021
with guest preacher Deacon Natalie Conway
Be Still and Know....
We gather on Thursdays from 7:30 pm to 8:15 pm. This will be a very relaxing meditation; turn off your video and listen to my voice. This class is my way to give back to our Church community, while helping us all strengthen and unite together. Join us as wel focus on our breath, bring our minds too stillness, so that we can go inward and feel the grace and peace that lies within us all.    Linda Mcgill
Join Zoom Meeting.   Meeting ID: 410 236 9650.  Passcode: yoga
One tap mobile +13017158592,,4102369650# 


Here is Thursday's Meditation.
Here are all the Zoom links for our online activities.
These links should remain the same each week.

Sunday Worship @ 10:30 am
Followed by Coffee Hour

Click here to join or call in +13017158592, 81549645294#.
You can also watch the live on 
YouTube.


Monday Chair Yoga @ 10:00 am
Click this link or call 1-301-715-8592 then enter 4102369650#
Leader: Linda Mcgill, 410-235-3612 or 410-236-9650 or 
email.

Wednesday Healing Prayers @ 10:30 am
Click this link or call 1-301-715-8592 then enter 87331904395#

Wednesday Night Live @ 7:30 pm
Compline Evening Prayers and Conversation

Click this link or call 1-301-715-8592 then enter 82573335080#.

Thursday Morning Bible Study @ 11:00 am
Click here to join  or call 1-929-205-6099 then enter 88586024640#

Thursday Evening Meditation Group @ 7:30 pm
Join Zoom Meeting.   Meeting ID: 410 236 9650.  Passcode: yoga
One tap mobile +13017158592,,4102369650# 

Leader: Linda Mcgill, 410-235-3612 or 410-236-9650 or email.
 

The Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA has worship here.
The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland worships Sundays at 11am.
Watch Washington National Cathedral's worship here.

 

The Church of the
Nativity and Holy Comforter
419 Cedarcroft Rd.
Baltimore,  MD 21212
410-433-4811

www.nativitycomforter.org   
office@nativityc
omforter.org
Make a donation now
Facebook
Twitter
Link
Website
Copyright © 2021 The Church of the Nativity and Holy Comforter, All rights reserved.