5450 Massachusetts Avenue | Bethesda, MD 20816 | (301) 229-2960


The Trailblazer

Daily Message from St. Dunstan's: May 21, 2020

Posted 2:01 PM by
Daily Message from
St. Dunstan's
May 21, 2020

Dear friends,

Today in the life of the Church is the Feast of the Ascension, the day on which Christians commemorate the return of the risen Christ to His Father in heaven. Having walked and talked and eaten with His closest friends throughout the forty days since His Resurrection, Jesus' journey on earth has come, at last, to an end. It is a bittersweet moment - especially for the disciples, who have had Jesus back with them for just a precious few weeks before He is taken away again. It is a moment marked as much by human grief and longing as it is by divine triumph.

As a little girl I was fascinated by the Ascension story, largely because of an illustration in my children's Bible that depicted the scene rather spectacularly. It captured a groovy-looking 1960's Jesus "mid-flight," bathed in radiant yellow light as His feet hovered just above the ground while His disciples stood below, their mouths agape. That image made a big impression on my child's imagination, and I have never forgotten it in the decades since. In fact, I still have that Bible, and out of curiosity I looked at it again today and was amazed to discover that the picture is exactly as I remembered! Such is the power of the visual. I loved that illustration and the story it accompanied because Jesus seemed nothing short of magical to me. I didn't understand the sorrow of the Ascension; all I saw was a miraculous display of power and light.

Now that I am an adult another, very different, representation of the Ascension captures my imagination. I have shared the image below, in the event that you might find it as meaningful as I do: it is of a dove, rising to the heavens, having broken free of its earthly chains. The design is such that the eye can't help but be drawn upward, through the ruptured shackles, toward the light.

In this time in which so many of us are feeling constrained - literally, as captives in our homes, and figuratively, by the weight of difficult emotions - I offer this icon of the Ascension as a powerful visual. It reminds me (and I hope it will you, too) of God's ultimate triumph over all that binds us, all that holds us back, in this life.

I encourage you to spend some time with this image in the days to come. Enter into it. Allow it to shape your imagination. What might God have to say to you through it?

I wish you a peaceful, restorative night.



 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you...

~ Ephesians 1:17-18


Round 2!

Contactless Food Drive for Manna Food Center

Following on the enormous success of last week's contactless food drive for Manna Food Center, Alex Brown (a senior at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac) will stop by St. Dunstan’s again TOMORROW, May 22, to collect donations of non-perishable groceries.

If you would like to contribute canned or packaged foods to this collection, please leave your donations on the table or in the big box (labelled "For Manna Foods" - you can't miss it!) outside the glass doors tomorrow morning before 10:30 a.m. Please do not leave food before Friday. Alex will deliver the donated items to Manna on our behalf to help provide for those experiencing food insecurity in our area.

Time is Running Out!

Double your Gift to the Emergency Relief Appeal

Concerned about people suffering from hunger and other hardships during this pandemic, a generous member of the St. Dunstan’s community (who wishes to remain anonymous) is setting up a challenge for us. This donor will match our contributions to the Diocesan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Appeal, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $1,000.  These funds will go to congregational leaders to provide direct emergency assistance for their members in need, and for those in surrounding communities. 

If you would like to double the impact of your donation and take advantage of the matching fund challenge, please send your check to St. Dunstan’s (5450 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda 20816), with the note “COVID-19 Fund” in the memo line. The deadline to participate is TOMORROW, May 22.

For your prayers:

Mildred Alexander

Cindy Ault

Nancy Bancroft

Roy Barber

Phil Carroll

Bill Darnell

The Rev. Patricia Downing

Kenny Farnsworth 

Warren Green 

Stephanie Krawczyk

The Montalvo Family 

Julie Petersmeyer

Pam Plaisance

Curt Shively

Lina Verville

Don Wasseman


May they rest in peace, and rise in glory:

Emily Hoffman

(cousin of Walter Douglas)

Airman 1st Class Fred D. Abrams IV


This Week at St. Dunstan's

TOMORROW: Morning Prayer

Join us for Morning Prayer at 7 a.m. on Friday, May 22, via Zoom. To participate in the service, simply click here

Friday Afternoon: Community Fellowship Time

Come join your St. Dunstan's friends for an hour or so of connection and conversation! Use this Zoom link on Friday, May 22, at 5 p.m. Invite a friend!

Sunday Morning: Morning Prayer with St. Dunstan's

Please plan to join your sisters and brothers in Christ for Morning Prayer via Zoom and Facebook Live at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 24, 2020. To participate in the Zoom meeting, please use this link, which will go live beginning at 9:50 a.m.  Immediately following worship, stay online for Digital Coffee Hour! We will finish in time for those who would like to "attend" the 11:15 service at the Washington National Cathedral to be able to do so. 

Sunday Christian Formation Hour: “God is calling… What do we hear?”

Please join us the next two weeks after Sunday Worship and Coffee Hour for this Christian Formation series led by Robin Reed, with support from Jessica Ault and Patty Alexander. This week, we will look at our common call to serve as Christians, as well as God’s call to each of us for our vocation. Vocation is the place theologian Frederick Buechner calls "where our deep gladness meets the deep need of the world.” Come join us for lively discussion and reflection! 

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