“With what shall I come before God, and bow myself before God on high? God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does God require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Sometimes an open door is all you need. You’re not looking for a church to tell you its own version of right and wrong. You’re not looking for a church that has all the answers. Or a church that includes only the right kind of people.
You’re looking for a church where you can bring your doubts, your questions, your fears, and find a welcoming, open community willing to share them. The doors to our churches are always open, spiritually, if not physically, and within, you will find a quiet place for prayer and a nurturing community ready to help you find your voice and your vocation to the world in Christ’s name. Come and see.
Welcome to the new and improved Webpage of The Episcopal Church in Garrett County. Thanks to parishioners Mark and Kendall Ludwig at CurlyRed Design for their hard work in getting this site up and running quickly so that we are able to keep our church community connected, informed, praying and functioning in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our world has been turned upside down and we are in the process of re-orienting ourselves to the new,harsh realities of life in this moment. The most important thing we can do for ourselves and for each other is to remain community, reaching out, caring, and supporting one another during this crisis.
In this day and age we are blessed to have the technology to accomplish that in an environment where the close contact we have become accustomed to is no longer safe. Our ministries will continue - in different ways; our fellowship will continue - in different ways; our community will endure, guided by the Spirit of Love which binds us all together. All of this is happening quickly and changing constantly. My colleagues in the Diocese of Maryland and I are working to find innovative ways for our congregations to stay connected and to continue the work we have been given to do…and there is still work to do.
First and foremost, stay safe. Observe all of the procedures that have been given to us – hand washing frequently, social distancing, covering up when we cough or sneeze, among other things.
Secondly, as Christians, our history has been that we find ways to reach out to one another in good times and in bad, in spite of hardships. Obviously, this is one of those really bad times. We’re all scared, we’d all like this to go away, and we worry about family and friends.
We are human. This is how we are supposed to react, initially. Then, with an openness to Spirit, we begin to seek ways in which we can connect and check up on each other, how to get food to someone who can’t get out, how to bring comfort to someone who is more afraid than we are, or any of a number of other things that can’t be thought of right now.
Finally, pray. We are a faith community. Now, particularly, we are a faith community truly in a Lenten wilderness, seeking a way back to communion with God and each other. Daily prayer, in your own way and time, will help to bolster the foundation upon which you stand in the face of the storm. Prayer, in community, will help to bolster the sense that you are not alone in this. To that end, on this website, you will find links to our daily Morning Prayer podcasts and also a viewer for our YouTube channel, which will livestream Sunday morning services from St. Matthew’s at 8AM and 10:45AM. Our 8AM service is also broadcast live on WMSG-AM 1050 and WKTZ-FM 95.9 in Oakland. We are looking at other online ways for us to be together from time to time. We will announce them as soon as they are in place.
At all times, remember this - My prayers and the prayers of this community are constantly with each of you. If you have a need, let us know. We will help you resolve it. If you have an idea that would be helpful to your brothers and sisters, let us know. We will pass it on in the ENews. If you are not receiving the ENews, subscribe using the button on this site. Together, we will get through this.
There are signs of God’s presence all around us. We just don’t see them! The reasons why abound, especially in these four weeks leading up to Christmas. This is the season of Advent – time the church has set aside for us to prepare for Christmas. Not with pre-dawn Black Friday frenzies at Walmart, accompanied by pepper spraying, fist wielding shoppers battling to get to the limited supply of whatever is on the shelves, but with a concerted effort to slow down and wait.
Advent is about the joy of anticipating Christmas, preparing our homes and our lives for the coming of the One who will reconcile all things to God. It is an expectant, hopeful, joyful time. The enjoyment of a journey is certainly about anticipating the arrival at the destination, but is so much more enhanced when we pay attention to the places and people we meet on the way, to things we experience that change us and fill us with joy and awe in each moment of the trip, so that we arrive at our destination prepared for a deeper appreciation of that moment with joy to spare and share. The journey through Advent to Christmas is like that; enjoying the people, the quiet moments, and the visions of God we discover along the way so that when we finally arrive at Christmas Eve, we will have quieted our souls and shared our hearts enough that sharing the joy of the heart of the Child who was born for us will be effortless. The world can wait. Hearts cannot. There is joy, and peace, and hope enough for all, everyday, if we slow down, watch, and wait.
While our two churches are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can access the broadcasts on WMSG-AM 1050 and WKTZ-FM 95.9 at 8AM and watch live online at 8AM and 10:45AM by visiting our YouTube Channel.
The opportunities for us to be together at a time when being together is so traditional and important seem to be non-existent because of the sudden increase in Covid infections in Garrett County. Our usual Advent and Christmas activities are either curtailed or cancelled. Our Christmas Eve services will be radically different. Information to come.
Advent is the season of preparation for the coming of Christ. Rev. Anne has produced a short video on a family project to create an Advent Wreath along with a short description of its meaning down through the ages. Clicking on the PDF link here will take you to a pamphlet with activities and readings for each of the four weeks of Advent.