“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 Episcopal Church in Garrett County - St. Matthew’s, Oakland, and St. John’s, Deer Park. We don’t take that word “welcome” lightly. We prize the uniqueness of all persons as Children of God. We welcome all people, regardless of color, gender, religious experience or lack of it, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social or economic class, or nationality. Jesus sought out and welcomed all people into the Kingdom of God — the gentile as well as the Jew, women as well as men, the poor as well as the wealthy, the slave as well as the free, the infirm as well as the healthy. We do so, as Jesus taught us, seeking and serving Christ in all persons, striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of all human beings.
Now, as we navigate through the vestiges of the COVID Pandemic, we are a faith community truly in a wilderness, seeking a way back to communion with God and each other, coming to realize that church and faith community as we once knew them will never be as they were. 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 has happened quickly and changes 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 yes, there is still work to do.
Daily prayer, in your own way and time, will help to bolster the foundation upon which you stand in the face of this wilderness. Prayer, in community, as we slowly begin to return to worship in our churches, will help to bolster the sense that you are not alone in this. Some are not yet ready to return. To that end, on this website, you will find links to our daily Morning Prayer podcasts and also 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.
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. If you are not receiving the ENews, subscribe using the button on this site. Together, we will discover new ways to be the church in Garrett County and the world.
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 the 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.
The Nearly New offers gently-used clothing for kids, women, and men, as well as kitchenware, decor, bedding and linens, toys, and books. Staffed by volunteers, the Shop’s proceeds support the community outreach of the Episcopal Church in Garrett County.
Established in the 1950s, our volunteer-staffed resale store offers good quality, attractively-priced merchandise to a wide range of customers, locals and visitors alike. We welcome donations of clothing, housewares, toys, and books that are in very good condition. Donations may be made when the shop is open (10 am to 2 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays as of June 1, 2021). Donations left by the front door can be damaged by the weather; please bring your items to us when we are there to receive them properly.
You can access the broadcasts of our services 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.