GLAD TIDINGS - The Churches of the Nativity and Holy Comforter



GLAD TIDINGS - The Churches of the Nativity and Holy Comforter
The Church of the Nativity
August 2015
Moving In Together?
Dear Friends in Christ,
Summer Worship
8:00 am
Holy Eucharist, Rite I
Coffee Talk Follows
10:30 am
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
11:30 am
10:30 am
Healing Service with
Holy Eucharist
11:30 am
Brown Bag Lunch and
Bible Study
7:00 pm
Bible Study Resumes
September 9
In May I began telling you about a potential partnership with the
Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter in Govans. We invited them
to join us for worship celebrating the feast of Pentecost on May 25 and
shared a lovely luncheon in Hart Hall. The day was such a success that
they invited us to worship in June, and they came back to us for our
Mass on the Grass in July. Our conversations about ‘moving in
together’ quickly became very serious.
Their church building is for sale, but like Nativity, their ‘church’ is a
dynamic diverse group of people that can worship and be the body of
Christ in any building. The similarity between our congregations is
more than coincidental. I believe in my heart of hearts and in the
depth of my prayer life that the Holy Spirit is calling Nativity to
welcome the Church of the Holy Comforter into our corporate life
And so your vestry and their council have met, and two smaller
committees have met to talk about what this partnership might look
like in the future. I know that as humans we like a life that we know
and understand. It is easier to have all the answers. We like things to be
the way they have always been. It is comforting to know what we will see,
hear, and say in prayer when we come to church every Sunday.
As we move ahead though, we must consider carefully this opportunity to
join with Holy Comforter. We know that things will change. What are the
things that are most important to you? What changes will be hard? What
changes will be easy? The vestry and I need to hear what you have to say.
So join us for two opportunities to chat about this important decision on
Sunday, August 16 at 8:45 or 11:45 am in the church. This is a time
when we need to summon the courage to be honest and open with each
other, and to allow for everyone’s concerns to be heard. If you will not be
here that day, please call me. I’ll make time to hear what you have to say.
The thinking and talking that we do now before decisions are made is
critical. (Please read more of the details about this partnership on the page
I am so grateful to be your rector and look forward with great excitement
to what God is dreaming up for our community.
The Church of the Nativity
August 2015
Below is a summary of the Memorandum of Understanding that the Nativity Vestry and Holy Comforter
Council approved at a joint meeting on July 21. Holy Comforter’s Council has called a special congregational
meeting on Sunday, August 23 at which a final, formal proposal for partnership will be presented for their
members’ approval. At Nativity, the authority to make such a decision rests with the elected vestry, which
would take place at a meeting on August 24. Both our Episcopal and Lutheran bishops enthusiastically support
this partnership.
Memorandum of Understanding
The clergy and lay leaders of The Lutheran Church of The Holy Comforter, on behalf of Holy Comforter’s
congregation, seek to open discussion with leaders of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Cedarcroft on the
structure for a potential partnership. The Memorandum of Understanding, developed by the Episcopal
Diocese in consultation with the Delaware-Maryland Synod-ELCA prepares the way for an agreement to be
reached between our respective congregations on certain fundamental elements of the form and structure of
our possible alliance. The document offers a useful structure by which we can reach understanding on key
elements by which we might be Better Together.
We believe that it is more than sheer coincidence that our congregations have come together as they have thus
far. We believe the Holy Spirit is guiding a process by which the strengths of our respective congregations are
enmeshed to offer an innovative approach for carrying God’s Word and saving grace to more residents of
Baltimore. Based on our wonderful experience of worshipping together three times, as well as preliminary
discussions among our clergy and lay leaders, we believe the stage is set to take our discussions to the next level.
Clarity of our vision is critical. Pared to its essentials, we propose collaboration under which:
• Holy Comforter moves from its present location at 5513 York Road to share space at Nativity,
Cedarcroft at 419 Cedarcroft Road.
• The congregations of Holy Comforter and Nativity would
remain separate, independent legal entities that worship
jointly, interspersing liturgical elements and traditions
from the Episcopal and Lutheran churches, with the
clergy and lay members working together.
Holy Comforter will make a monthly contribution to be
negotiated for the shared operations of our partnership.
Every effort is taken to implement this alliance by late
Fall 2015, prior to the winter heating season. The
proposed start date of combined worship is November 1,
Members of the two congregations work together to
further Christ’s Mission in Baltimore and beyond – via
joint efforts for worship and music, evangelism,
stewardship, social ministry, Christian education, and
maintaining Nativity’s property.
Both congregations continue this alliance indefinitely,
while remaining open to changes that might be deemed
more appropriate in the future.
The Church of the Nativity
August 2015
Welcome Home Mark Hollis
Colonel Mark Hollis, son of Tony and Linda, will be home briefly after his recent service in Israel as a
trainer for Palestinian Police. He has graciously agreed to share his insights into the situation in Israel,
Palestine and Jordan on Sunday, August 16 at 9:30am in the Library. We know this will be a great
conversation. Mark and his wife and daughter are headed to Estonia soon.
Thanks to Sam Dowding!
In the Fall of 2011, Sam Dowding took on the mantle of Nativity Adult Forum Coordinator. For these four
years he has hosted and recruited many presenters from a variety of backgrounds. Contributions from
parishioners in the recent 2 years, initially through the PIC-ture this! sessions and latterly the Rector’s
Forum, were also sincerely appreciated for the new perspectives, topics and passion for ministry that were
communicated. Together we have delved into those difficult social issues that seem to generate more heat than
light in our discussions.
Sam writes: “I want to thank you, most sincerely and from the bottom of my heart, for your support to me in
the role, in so many ways, over the years. I was particularly gladdened by the way many of you volunteered to
prepare and lead sessions. Sharing your holiday travels, jobs, avocations, and how those influence your faith
journey was on each occasion truly inspirational! I recall Jack Windsor’s eagerness to prepare and lead
presentations, using electronic media, and the overwhelming participation of his family at those
presentations. It is a poignant memory today, and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to have these
additional glimpses into each of our lives through your willingness to share at the Forum. I would not have
been in the role, in the first place, had not some of you expressed interest in hearing about the work that I did
during my travels in Southern Africa in 2010. Deep, deep appreciation too for putting up with my quirky ways
of seeing and finding in Gospel in strange places, people and things (e.g. music & games!) Thank you so
Sam has discerned that he would like to move into a different direction with his ministry and is stepping back
from organizing the Forum. The Forum will continue though at its regular 9:15am time in Hart Hall. If you
would like to lead a session or have a speaker in mind that would be enlightening, please speak to Stewart.
Sam, we are so grateful for your dedication to this amazing ministry. We look forward to your monthly
presentations and discussion starters in our Wednesday night Bible Studies’ beginning in September.
The Church of the Nativity
Sunday School resumes September 13
Our children meet at 10:30am and
rejoin worship at The Peace so we are
all together for Holy Eucharist. Please
consider becoming a teacher. We
currently have three teachers, but six or
more teachers make volunteering easier.
We use Sunday school material for
single classroom for ages 5-12 years of
age. Because we hold Sunday school in
the large Cedarcroft playroom, younger
siblings can join us with big sister or big
brother help.
Lessons follow the one of the readings
for the Sunday so parents and children
are hearing the same lesson and at
home conversation can continue
between parents and children.
August 2015
Saturday, October 3 rd
Saturday, September 12 we will hold a
Sunday school teachers breakfast
meeting at 9 AM to learn where
materials are kept and discuss Sunday
school lessons through December.
Speak to Deacon Linda to help!
The Church of the Nativity
August 2015
Music Series Begins
The Church of the Nativity’s budding
Music Series kicks off with an
extraordinary concert performance of
Handel’s Acis and Galatea on Sunday,
October 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm. With
period instruments, Grammy Awardwinning singers, and with historically
informed performance practice, the
concert version of this Baroque opera
will be stunning.
Mountainside Baroque, the early music collective based in Cumberland, MD, will be bringing its first concert
of the 5th anniversary season to Baltimore. And in a strange twist of fate, the site of this performance was also
originally from western Maryland. In 1913, the building that is now the Church of the Nativity, Cedarcroft
was moved from its home, sixty-eight miles west of Cumberland, to its current location at the corner of York
Road and Cedarcroft Road.
The building itself is perfectly suited for performances of Early Music. With an all-wood interior, and post and
beam construction, the acoustics inside the sanctuary are resonant but not overly reverberant. With
harpsichord, baroque violins and cello, baroque oboe and recorders, and lute, the sanctuary will be filled with
the sounds of period instruments and voices.
Rarely has Baltimore seen this many all-star Early Music performers on one concert stage. The performance
will feature two Grammy winners in the lead roles: tenor Aaron Sheehan in the role of Acis, and soprano
Estelí Gamez in the role of Galatea. Other soloists include bass David Grogan who will be coming from Dallas,
Texas, to sing the role of Polyphemus, and tenor Bradley King, currently residing in the Washington, D.C.
area, who will perform the role of Damon. Baroque violinist and Julliard faculty member Cynthia Roberts and
oboe/recorder player Kathryn Montoya will head the string and wind sections of the orchestra. Lutenist Lyle
Nordstrom, who is co-director of Mountainside Baroque, and who has been performing, directing and
recording Renaissance and Baroque music for over 50 years, will conduct.
Ticket information will be forthcoming in future publications, but please mark your calendars!
The Church of the Nativity
August 2015
Your vestry has been very busy over the past
few months listening and discerning a future
partnership with Holy Comforter. Hence we
are grateful that your continuing generosity
and current pledge payments have meant that
financial matters have not been a great
We have recently consolidated and transferred
our endowment funds to a new broker,
Vanguard. We are planning to continue to
decrease our dependence on these funds as
giving continues to be strong, even in the
This June financial statement shows a large
surplus because funds came in to replace many
of our windows, but that expense was not paid
until July. The windows look great! In
addition, you will notice our sidewalks have
been repaired and widened by the Day School
and Cedarcroft sidewalk entrance. This was
made possible through previous surplus funds.
Thank you again for your generosity. If you
have questions, please speak with me at any
Margaret Dowding, Treasurer
Sarah Knowles, 1
Harold and Maria Hardinger, 4
Colin and Jackie Eversley, 11
LaVonne Neff, 12
Amanda Cunningham, 19
Pat Kimmel, 20
Anderson and Deborah Inniss, 21
Judy Daniel, 21
Liz Buxton, 21
The Church of the Nativity
August 2015
The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop-elect
"The Libera tion of Love" The Chapman Dialogues: Conversations on Faith, the Claggett Center, and the
Episcopal Diocese of Maryland proudly present The Right Reverend Michael B. Curry, bishop of North
Carolina and recently elected Presidien Bishop as the keynote speaker and presenter of a three-day retreat
designed to inspire, enliven, and educate. Clergy and laity of all faiths are invited to the rolling hills near
Frederick, Maryland, to participate in this meaningful exchange of ideas that focus on the challenges of faith in
contemporary society. The program includes plenary sessions with Bishop Curry, workshops, and additional
opportunities for learning and leisure. The conference begins on Sunday evening and ends on Wednesday
Registration Fees
$420 - Single Occupancy in Christiane Inn
$380 - Double Occupancy in Christiane Inn
$350 - Cottage lodging
$245 - Commuter (excludes breakfast and lodging)
Reading Camp
“Readers in our Neighborhood”
Reading Camp is from August 17 thru 21; 8:30
AM to 3:30 PM for struggling readers in the Remington Neighborhood going into grades 2 thru 4. Breakfast
and lunch is served, plus 2 snacks.
The mornings are filled with the 6 small group reading skills areas of sight words, phonics, strategies,
comprehension, writing and leisure reading. Afternoons are games, playground, swimming and a trip to the
B&O Train Museum.
The Diocesan Deacons are running 5 Reading Camps this summer: Calvert County, Southern Anne
Arundel County, Glen Burnie, St Luke’s Carey Street and Remington.
Please contact Deacon Linda if you want to sign on. 443-564-6225
The Church of the Nativity
August 2015
June Fair Fun

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