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


The Trailblazer

"Stewards, not owners": Daily Message from St. Dunstan's: May 19, 2020

Posted 1:12 AM by
Daily Message from
St. Dunstan's
May 19, 2020

Dear friends,

Our liturgical calendar designates today as "Rogation Tuesday," one of three days this week during which we are invited to reflect on our call to be custodians of God's world. From the Latin rogatio ("asking"), the Rogation Days are a time for us to give thanks for - and ask God's blessing on - all that God has given us. During these days we pause to remember that everything we have comes from God: we are stewards, not owners, of Creation.

In the Church of England, one centuries-old Rogation Day tradition is for the Vicar to "beat the bounds" of the parish. He or she literally walks the geographical contours around the church, praying and reciting psalms and hitting the boundary markers with branches to acknowledge that the area has been entrusted to the people by God. (So if you happen to see me out on Massachusetts Avenue one day carrying a big stick and seemingly muttering to myself, please don't call the authorities...I'll just be invoking my English heritage and claiming our neighborhood on behalf of St. Dunstan's!)

While the definition of the parish church in America is less tied to a specific geographic jurisdiction than it is in England, I think that the image of "beating the bounds" of our surroundings is helpful, just the same. It is a visible reminder of our responsibility to care for our immediate vicinity in God's Name. That stewardship certainly includes our beautiful grounds, as well as our buildings and other physical properties, and it also extends to the community around us. God has entrusted us to one another and - as we have been reminded amply in these past many weeks - we need each other in order to thrive.

On this Rogation Tuesday, I encourage you to spend some time in prayer reflecting on all the ways in which God has blessed you richly - be it with material goods, or health, or meaningful work, or loving relationships that nurture you. In light of our bountiful blessings, how can we be good stewards of our greater community? How can we help provide for those whom God has entrusted to our care?

If you would like to express your gratitude to God in this time in which many are struggling, I especially commend the two opportunities advertised below: the upcoming contactless food drive for the Manna Food Center, and the challenge match for the diocesan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. These are tangible and immediate ways to make a tremendous difference in the lives of our neighbors in need.

I thank you, in advance, for your generosity!

Joyfully and gratefully,

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 this Friday morning, 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 in the big box (labelled "For Manna Foods" - you can't miss it!) outside the glass doors on Friday 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 next Friday, May 22.

 The Collect for Stewardship of Creation 

O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever, Amen.

~ The Book of Common Prayer, p. 259

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 she rest in peace, and rise in glory:

Emily Hoffman

(cousin of Walter Douglas)


This Week at St. Dunstan's

Wednesday Morning: Bible Study

Our weekly Bible Study of the Gospel of John continues via Zoom this Wednesday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m.  If you would like to participate, please just click on this link. Grab a Bible (or just refer to the online link that will be projected on the screen), grab a cup of coffee or tea, and come join the conversation. All are welcome!


Wednesday Afternoon: Children's Message

Children - and their parents! - are invited to join Robin Reed and me for our weekly Children's Message on Wednesday afternoon, May 20, at 4:30 p.m. In order for your children to participate, just click on this Zoom link. Robin will lead us in a brief time of conversation, story, and prayer, which is a great way for them to stay connected to St. Dunstan's and experience the love of Jesus in community.


Wednesday Evening: Compline

Compline, sometimes referred to as the "Goodnight Prayer of the Church," is said every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., and you are warmly invited to join us! The Zoom link for Compline may be found here, and the Order of Service is here


Friday Morning: 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: Sunday Worship with St. Dunstan's

Please plan to join your sisters and brothers in Christ for Morning Prayer via Zoom and Facebook Live next 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 Virtual 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. 

Click below to read the minutes
of the April 27, 2020 St. Dunstan's Vestry Meeting:

© 2015 St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church | All Rights Reserved.

Website Design & Content Management powered by Marketpath CMS