Our Sesquicentennial Observance & Diocesan Heritage Month
The month of October was designated some years ago, ‘Diocesan Heritage Month’. As part of this year’s observance we are commemorating, Tuesday, October 9, “Diocesan Founders’ Day” honoring and remembering the “saints” of this church. They gave unselfishly of life, labor and sacrificial love to establish and sustain a diocese that, according to historical documents and sentiments, did not receive overwhelming support, enthusiasm or embrace accorded many other dioceses founded around the same time in the Episcopal Church. From what I have observed and heard, there still remains a lingering perception that some of those realities continue to permeate in the mindset of some of our people even into this era of its history.
The deeply divine inspirational evocation I am drawing from this sense of indifference may be characterized as such, although there was an obvious lack of support, interest and debate both in private and public on its viability and sustainability in earlier days, the diocese continues to persevere in perpetuity. It is clear from my personal spiritual reflection that the Diocese of Easton is God’s project. God designed it 150 years ago and continues to sustain its presence as a vital and vibrant instrument of God’s mission and vision on the eastern shore of Maryland. The time is now (Kairos-God’s time) for all of us to robustly claim it as our own. Let us be proud of our herculean efforts in laboring incessantly and devoutly in our walk with past generations of Episcopalians. We also have unequivocally and firmly committed to share in God’s vision for the church in the “land of pleasant living”. What a testament to “Grace Upon Grace”! (John 1: 16)
The historical and liturgical foundation of the body of Christ is rooted in anamnesis, our memory, our remembrance – Christ’s story of redemption. Christians are called into discipleship and missional living incarnating the memory of what Jesus did for the human family. As the baptized community, our faith and vocation mandate is to be the Redemptive Church proclaiming and exercising the gift of reconciliation, love, hope, new life and new beginning as we live into the Ezekiel Principle (Ezekiel 18: 21-32). Jesus is forever transforming his Church into something new and relevant and vibrant (Revelations 21: 5). This Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving recalls and invites the faithful of the diocese to a time of reflection and prayer for bishops, clergy and lay saints whose labor of love, faithfulness, sacrifice, commitment and dedication have given us this godly heritage and enduring legacy – the Diocese of Easton. And for that, we say thanks be to God!
In addition, I am encouraging every parish to designate any Sunday in October to be Diocesan Heritage Sunday. This recommendation is advanced to encourage every parish to celebrate and give thanks for the many blessings received over the 150 years of establishment. Also, to use Diocesan Heritage month to shine the spotlight, highlight and discuss what it means to be part of a diocesan family and the parish’s role in promoting collaborative and meaningful diocesan collegial and community formation initiatives. I sincerely welcome the intentional sharing of thoughts, insights, ideas and intimate stories. Also, the hope, vision and dream for how parishioners view the diocese going forward. Additionally, reflect on ways we may, as a diocesan family, draw closer and live even more deliberately and intentionally into the mission and vision of God for the Church on the Eastern shore of Maryland.
Download the History of the Diocese of Easton (PDF) – shared with permission
The History of the Diocese of Easton gives a detailed account of the diocese and was written by the Rev. David Michaud. It is provided for the online use of members of the Diocese of Easton. Prior written permission from the author is required for the reproduction and/or sale of this publication. Permission is granted by the author to use limited excerpts from this publication so long as the title of the publication and the author’s name are cited as the source.
Download Henry C. Lay, Pioneer of the Southwest (PDF) – shared with permission