Dear all,

It may only be the fourth week of Lent, but I would like to formally invite and encourage you to join us for as many services of the Triduum during Holy Week as you can manage.

The Triduum is the series of three services that make up the end of Holy Week: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. (I encourage you to come on Palm Sunday and include Easter morning, too, but those happen on Sunday mornings, so attendance might already be in your plans.) Many in the church see these services not as separate from one another but as one continuing service, telling the story of the last days, death, and resurrection of Christ together as a whole. They take us through a unified emotional and narrative arc, beginning at the Last Supper and ending with the resurrection. And, as an added bonus, the Vigil contains the story of salvation history within its readings and our congregational renewal of our baptismal covenant. Plus, there’s fire!

This year, especially, I am longing for the way the Triduum captures so much of Jesus’s humanness, and our own, and in that humanity draws us closer to God. We are reminded of the ways that we are called to care for one another, and to receive care ourselves on Maundy Thursday, as we share a meal and honor Christ’s New Commandment: that we love one another as he has loved us (John 13:34). I knew a parish that had an extensive ministry with folks experiencing homelessness. Their Maundy Thursday service included not only a foot washing during the liturgy, but a foot health clinic with medical professionals to tend to the needs of people’s feet. Volunteers ran a foot washing station in hourly shifts as members of the community came through to be cared for and tended to in the most amazingly real and tender way.

On Good Friday, we remember and relive Christ’s passion. Indeed, we join together to condemn him to death. “Crucify him! Crucify him!” we shout. It is ugly and painful and it is part of us. It reminds us that even at our worst – since those instincts for violence, vengeance, and blame were not left behind in the first century, and since even when we strive to keep them at bay, they lurk in the depths of all of us – even when we turn as far from God as we can manage, we are, somehow, incredibly, still part of the family of God. What does that kind of grace and mercy mean? Our world is full of moments of unjust condemnation, of the weaponization of power: we are invited to remember again the dreadful harm that it does, not at arm’s length, but up close, as we send to death the one who came to save us. This year on Good Friday we also have the opportunity to move in our bodies with Jesus through the stations of the cross, using not only our minds, but our physical selves as well, to experience with Christ his slow journey to death. What does it mean to experience Christ’s journey to the cross as part of the crowd, calling for his death, and alongside him, moving with him in compassion and grief?

Finally, at the Vigil, we are all reborn into new life in Christ through the resurrection. This year we have three baptisms at the Vigil, but even on years we don’t, part of the service is the reaffirmation of our baptismal covenant. We remember the ways that in dying with Christ we are reborn with Christ; that just as Christ died and conquered death, and bringing about eternal life through him in God, we too are invited to partake in that everlasting life as members of God’s great, wild, messy, rambunctious family. The use of light in the service plays this out: we begin in the dark, setting out like Mary and the other women on their way to the tomb, and experience the miraculous light and praise as we proclaim Christ risen. There is fire, there is chanting, there is water and dark and light – death, birth, and new life, all together. What could be more human, more divine?

It’s not always possible to make it for each of these services. But if you can find the time and space in your Holy Week, I encourage you to try. And, if you can make it, I invite you not to keep the emotions, invitations, and stories of these liturgies to yourself. They shape us so that we might offer ourselves, changed, strengthen, humbled, renewed, to the world, to do what Jesus called us to do: to love it and one another as he loved us. And I think we could all use more of that love this year.


Over the last two and half years, over 100 Redeemer parishioners have engaged in anti-racism work by participating in Sacred Ground dialogue circles. Parishioners in small groups have spent several months learning about and reflecting on our national history and our faith, to come to a deeper understanding of ourselves and racism’s deep roots in our country.  After completing Sacred Ground, many have asked “What’s next?”

To move further toward racial healing and the embodiment of justice, the national church envisions four dimensions of work, four important next steps patterned on the quadrants of a labyrinth: telling the truth, proclaiming the dream, practicing the way of love, and repairing the breach. The promise is that by walking this way together, we will become a community of reconciliation.

To begin to answer the question of what’s next for Redeemer, the Vestry passed a motion at our February 2022 meeting to create a working group to research the history related to Redeemer’s land, buildings, and actions over time. We proceed with humility and in thanksgiving for the native people who once lived here, for the Perine family and our other foundational benefactors, mindful of the shoulders on which we stand. By researching and documenting the history of our church, we can know our family narrative and gain insight into the mission and pathways ahead for our parish.

The motion as unanimously approved reads:

Resolved that a working group be appointed by the Rector to research the relationship between The Church of the Redeemer and (1) the institution of slavery, (2) the adoption of Jim Crow laws, and (3) other practices in Maryland that disenfranchise communities, and report to the Vestry within 18 months the effect of these relationships on the holdings, wealth, character, and mission of The Church of the Redeemer.

This working group is charged with research and discovery and to report to the congregation what the group has learned, inviting discussion and response.

The Vestry invites you to participate in this important truth-telling by joining this workgroup.  So far the group includes Sean Goldrick, Nancy Bowen, Doug Riley, Keri Frisch, Dixon and Janet Harvey. Please reach out to Keri Frisch if you would like to learn more. This isn’t easy work, but it does allow us to fully live out our faith and follow the way of Jesus.

Keri Frisch
Senior Warden

We, you and I as human beings, are more of a mystery than we could ever know.  There are other dimensions of our humanity of which we are often unaware.  “Ignorance does not always equal bliss,” if it ever did.  Most of us think of healing as a physical or psychological “thing.”  I know because I used to think that way myself.  Now, I know there is way more to be-ing human than meets the eye.

Take forgiveness, for example.  No matter how often I would say, “I forgive you” and sincerely mean it, my ability to forget and move forward was usually difficult and almost impossible.  When I was feeling particularly low, for whatever reason, the old forgiven situation would rise from the ashes of my memory to settle back in again.  Recently, though, I’ve learned something new and want to share it with you.

Sometimes our unforgiveness of “the other” is strongly, but unconsciously linked to unforgiveness of ourselves.  We were hurt or humiliated or whatever-the-case-may-be because we forgot the truth of our own power, the essence of our true self, and succumbed to the other’s power as power-over-us.

This unspoken, often unconscious occurrence can happen in both large and small ways.  Sometimes it takes prayerful, honest reflection to get to the crux of the matter; and that is often rooted in fear. Fear is the great crippler which imprisons the soul from being and becoming all it is meant to be.   Once I can understand the fear that drove me to respond or react in an unforgiveable manner, I can begin to let go and forgive myself and thereby allow healing to take root within my soul.

Forgiving myself is the first step towards forgiving the other.  Once I can forgive myself, I can see them for who and what they truly are: another human being…just like me—learning, falling, failing and starting over again in Earth School.  Consider the toddler who is developing their balance and finding their legs can carry them where they want to go but only with an occasional fall or misstep along the way.

Forgiveness comes in many forms and is unique to each one of us and to our individual situations.  Only we and the DIVINE ONE within us really know all the roads into and out of our hurt, humiliation, or pain.  If you find yourself unable to forgive, ask for HELP.  That ONE within you is ready to empower you from your fear and unforgiveness of self into the TRUE YOU!  We were created to be at PEACE within which then flows out into the rest of the world.

With Prayers for Peace & Self-forgiveness,
Freda Marie+

Dear all,

Yesterday, Freda Marie+, David+, and Cristina+ invited us to join in an observance of a Holy Lent. We began our journey through the season with the imposition of ashes, a gritty, earthy reminder of our mortality. A reminder that we are all made of the same stuff and that we will all become the same stuff.

During chapel at PDS, we also talked about the beginning of Lent. Lent, we discovered, is the season of the color purple – a royal color, a serious color. Something serious is going to happen to Jesus, the king. Something serious, something sad – but also something mysterious and full of joy. All during Lent we prepare for the mystery of Easter, and our preparations draw us closer to God. After we offered our birthday blessings, anyone who wished was able to receive ashes on their foreheads, receiving that same gritty, earthy reminder.

Perhaps this Lent feels extra serious to you. Perhaps you continue to feel like we have been in a very long Lent, a Lent that has lasted for the last two years. I wonder – what will it be that draws you closer to God this season?

A previous parish I belonged to was very enthusiastic about one particular practice – Lent Madness (they did other stuff, like pray, too, I promise!).  Lent Madness – much like March Madness, of NCAA basketball fame – is a bracketed competition in which a selection of the saints, members of that great cloud of witnesses, are pitted against each other for rounds of fierce voting and debate. It is delightfully silly.

The Rev’s Tim and Scott, the priests who organize Lent Madness, wrote in an email today that it might seem like an incongruous year to engage in an exercise that appears so trivial, so not-serious. “Headlines are filled with news of a powerful nation seeking to use might to exert its will over an unwilling people,” they wrote. “Here in the USA, people of all political persuasions can at least agree that our political system is broken. Social, racial, and economic divisions run rampant. Is there room for a silly approach to Lent?”

But the email from Tim+ and Scott+ reminded me that there is a deeper truth buried in Lent Madness. Recalling the sometimes very messy lives of the saints “reminds us that God does extraordinary things in the lives of ordinary people. People of all sorts and conditions can be bearers of Christ’s light in the world if they but open themselves up to God’s transforming grace…If Christ’s light can burn brightly in their hearts, might there be room for Jesus Christ to shine from our lives?” We are all made out of the same ashes, the same dust.

During Lent, our serious, purple season, we journey with Christ on the path towards Jerusalem – the path to Christ’s Passion, death, and resurrection. Each of us will take this journey in our own way, drawing closer to God in our own ways. And yet we do not make this journey alone. We travel together, as a community of faith, and with all the Christians who have come before us, making this journey in their own way and time. However you make the trip, whether it’s learning something new and cheering along your favorite saints in Lent Madness or not, I pray that you find yourself drawn even closer in to the embrace of God, reminded that we are made from the same stuff and called to shine for the same light.