Monday, October 6, 2008


I get a kick out of how we in the church come up with obscure titles for people's positions. I mean, people understand "facilities maintenance" so why do we call that person a "sexton?" Huh? Or "rector" for the pastor or "curate" for the assisting pastor. I think we Episcopalians must have some underlying need to elevate the magnificence of things by giving them obscure names.

As of yesterday, I have been called to be the Interim Rector of St. Luke's on Carey Street in southwest Baltimore. As Interim Rector I'm there to keep the spiritual ship of state afloat, so to speak, as they seek a permanent rector. The plan is to have someone at St. Luke's 1/3 time and also be working as an urban missioner for the diocese 2/3 time.

I preached and presided at yesterday's Holy Eucharist. Speaking of obscure words for things ... Eucharist means "Thanksgiving" and I'm not sure why we call our service "Holy Eucharist" at all. Why not just "Holy Communion?" That's what most Christian churches call it. You could go with "Holy Thanksgiving" ... but that might imply we're serving turkey and the trimmings as part of the service. Hmmm ... there might be a truth in advertising issue with that option. "Holy Communion" works for me.

I'm looking forward to working with the folks there for however long I'm there. Our whole family went down to the service and our girls just jumped right into the activities with the Sunday School. It was lively ... very lively. The kids are awesome. Andre, the Senior Warden, showed me some pictures of the after school program and the poetry slams on the third Fridays in the Crypt. Andre's working to get access to the web site so they can upload the pictures and update the site. I'd like to get some high res pictures of the stained glass in the church and put a virtual tour on the web site too.
Yeah Andre, I know you're reading this and if I hadn't told you my past life as a "web geek," well now you know! :-D
Austin Jones, the Treasurer of St. Luke's (ok, fair enough - we at least call the treasurer a treasurer), gave my husband the copy of St. Luke's 100th anniversary history booklet. This congregation has a remarkable history as one of the first Oxford Movement Anglo-Catholic parishes in Maryland (back when more Puritan minded Bishops labeled the Catholic appointments in this church as "papal abominations"). One of the first communities of nuns, the Sisterhood of the Good Shepherd, was attached to St. Luke's back in 1863, and St. Luke's started four missions in the diocese: St. Mary the Virgin in Franklintown, Holy Cross on Frederick Road (the suburbs back then), Chapel of the Nativity on Pratt & Oregon Streets, and St. Stephen the Martyr at North and Warwick Avenues. St. Luke's has a long tradition of having parochial schools and supporting education - which is reflected in today's ministry of after school tutoring to the neighborhood children. There is a holy history of Christ's presence here and a challenge to bring it into the future for the community around the church.

No comments: