Episcopal Shield

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
invites you
into Urban Ministry

The Spirit of God is upon me, because God has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of God's favor.  Luke 4:16-21

Bishop Sutton in Baltimore June 29, 2008

God of This City - Chris Tolim

Read "The Decade of the Lost Children" Charles M Blow's column in the New York Times on August 6, 2011. Blow writes, "We risk the creation of an engorged generational underclass born of a culture that has less income equality and fewer prospects for mobility than the previous generation.
It’s hard to see how we emerge from this downturn and its tumult a stronger nation if we allow vast swatches of our children to be lost."

Learn about Urban Ministry - Attend an Urban Ministry Conference

  • Episcopal Urban Caucus (EUC) The most recent assembly was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania February 23 - 27, 2011. The 2012 Assembly will at the Holiday Inn Atlanta Capitol Conference Center, 450 Capitol Ave, Atlanta GA, February 29—March 3 in Atlanta, GA. Check the EUC website for additional information.

    Statement of Solidarity 11/20/11

    The Council of Elders, a newly organized, independent group of leaders from many of the defining American social justice movements of the 20th century, declare today that we stand in solidarity with the national Occupy Wall Street movement and the committed young people who give guidance to this important quest for justice in the 21st century. We wish to explore every possible, helpful way in which we can connect together the continuing flame of the justice and democratizing movements of the 20th century with the powerful light of the emerging movements of the present time, reflected in the Occupy Wall Street initiatives.
    As veterans of the Civil Rights, Women's, Peace, Environmental, LGVTQ, Immigrant Justice, labor rights and other movements of the last 60 years, we are convinced that Occupy Wall Street is a continuations, a deepening and expansion of the determination of the diverse peoples of our nation to transform our country into a more democratic, just and compassionate society - a more perfect union. We believe that the rapidly expanding and racialized impoverishment of our population, the rise of mass incarceration, the celebration of the culture of war and violence all create the bitter divisions among the peoples of our nation and throughout the world. Indeed, we believe such developments among us ultimately diminish the quality of life for all humanity, beginning with our own children who watch as we lower the priority for their care and education.
    We applaud the miraculous extent to which the Occupy initiative has been non-violent and democratic, especially in light of the weight of violence under which the great majority of people are forced to live, including joblessness, foreclosures, unemployment, poverty, inadequate health care. Among the Council of Elders, we place the highest value on the role of compassion and non-violent action in our personal and organizational lives. From that hard-won grounding in the humanizing movements of the 20th century, we seek to support and join with Occupy Wall Street in Contributing to the dreams and vision of many in this nation for a beloved community, a multi-generational, multi-cultural, compassionate democratic society with equality, liberty and justice for all - always searching for partners in the creation of a more peaceful, sustainable world, a world with living, loving and growing space for our children.
    SHARING THE LIGHT This flame is the blending of the 20th Century Justice Movements with 21st Century Occupy Wall Street, a global movement combining both continuity and discontinuity: Yet one flame; one light!

  • Become an Urban Missioner.

  • 10 Things Your Congregation, Synagogue or Mosque Can Do To Help Workers
    from The Department of Labor Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnership

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    Baltimore in Summer

    the row houses are
    like paper dolls
    marching down the street.
    the yards are
    tramped by the feet
    of playing children.
    the humid air caresses
    the couples walking hand in hand
    under trees doomed for destruction
    by the city
    but, ignorant of their fate,
    leaf-covered and confident
    that there will be
    another year,
    another spring.
    and I
    sit on the porch
    in the creaky rocker
    and watch the bugs
    gather around
    the streetlights.

    ©Madeleine Beard

    houses in Charles Village Baltimore

    Madeleine+ grew up on Guildford Avenue in the Charles Village area of Baltimore and attended St. John's in the Village (then St. John's Huntingdon).  She currently lives in outside Washington DC.

    Share with us your poetry or prose about living in Maryland's cities and urban areas.

    Do Urban Ministry in Partnership

  • BRIDGE Baltimore Regional Initiative Developing Genuine Equality
  • The Gamaliel Foundation
  • BUILD Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development
  • Industrial Areas Foundation
  • PATH People Acting Together in Howard

  • Locate Resources to Aid your Urban Ministry
    in Maryland Metropolitan Areas

    Prison Ministry Resources

    Employment Resources

    groceries   Maryland Food Bank - a complete list of food banks

    MD Emergency Shelters and Transition Housing - State list of Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing

    Maryland Office of People's Counsel- Consumer Assistance Unit provides information needed to answer questions or solve a problem with electricity, natural gas, telephone or water service. 

    Maryland Community Services Locator - "connecting people to community services."

    UMD Community Services  University of MD Community Service-Learning - a useful resource for volunteers


    House of Ruth   The House of Ruth - help for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

                Statewide 24-Hour Legal Line 1-888-880-7884

    MD Network Against Domestic Violence

    The Polaris Project - works to combat human trafficking, both sex and labor.

    scales of justice  Maryland Legal Aid - legal assistance in family, consumer, housing, education, employment and income maintenance matters; also help for abused and neglected children, the elderly, nursing home residents, and migrant and seasonal farm workers.  13 offices around the state.

    Home Ownership Preservation Foundation - an independent nonprofit that provides HUD-approved counselors dedicated to helping homeowners. Through their 888-995-HOPE™ hotline, the Home Ownership Preservation Foundation has a single mission: to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

    Casa de Maryland - provides information to create strong, economically and ethnically diverse communities in which all people – especially women, low-income people, and workers – can participate and benefit fully, regardless of their immigration status.

    HealthCare for More Families
    Medical Assistance for Families will provide health care to many more parents and other family members caring for children.  Eligibility depends on family size and income. For example a family of four earning up to $24,600 per year or $2,100/month qualifies.  There is no asset test. Medical Assistance for Families will provide free health services including:

    Low-cost or free prescriptions
    Doctor visits
    Emergency room visits
    Hospital stays
    X-ray and lab services
    Many other services.

    Families will be able to apply at Local Health Departments, by mail, fax, online, or can call 1-800-456-8900 to request an application. More info and a printable application form can be found at   http://www.dhmh.state.md.us/workingfamilies/index.html

    Adults in households without children can get benefits through the PAC – Primary Adult Care Program, which includes primary care doctors, prescriptions, mental health treatment but no hospitalization.  
    For more information:  www.medicaidmattersmd.org

    Resources for Maryland's Families:   Marylanders can visit www.problemsolver.maryland.gov/ to find information on a range of services, from heating and energy assistance, to employment assistance, including job training and unemployment services. Seniors can also access services, as well as help for those living with disabilities. The webpage also provides a link to an assistance eligibility calculator, which helps Marylanders determine what services they may qualify for, such as food stamps, the Temporary Cash Assistance program, Medical Assistance, the Maryland Energy Assistance Program, and the Electric Universal Service Program, among others.

    Baltimore Specific Resources

    Baltimore City Shelters

    Baltimore City Soup Kitchens

    The Samaritan Community - Bolton Hill

    Cooperative Ministries in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area

    Environmental Groups and Resources

    MD Dept. of Nature Resources - Urban and Community Forests

    Partners for Open Space

    Trust for Public Land - "Healing America's Cities: Why We Must Invest in Urban Parks"

    Parks and People

    Farmers' Markets in MD - support MD farmers - where to buy locally grown food

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    Reflect on Urban Ministry 

    A Prayer for Cities
    Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that Holy City to which the nations of the world bring their glory: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth. Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life. Send us honest and able leaders; Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice, and oppression, that peace may prevail with righteousness, and justice with order, and that men and women from different cultures and with differing talents may find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
    (Book of Common Prayer, p. 825)

    Read The Maryland Church News  Maryland Church News Spring 2007   Spring 2007, "Urban Ministry" issue.

    The Order of Urban Missioners

    Theological Images of Urban Ministry

    Readings and Books on Urban Ministry

    Urban Ministry and Justice and Peace Web Sites

    Kids Count - The Annie E. Casey Foundation

    I am sending upon you what my Father promised;
    so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.
      Luke 24:49

    10 largest urban areas in Maryland ranked by population and US 2010 Census Data



    The 3 Baltimore photos on the left from livebaltimore.com and the photo on right of Hagerstown from wikepedia.com


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    Share with us stories of urban ministry.  What are your challenges and your successes.

    For further information, contact the Urban Deacon Liaison for Justice and Peace, The Ven. Lauren M. Welch.

    M.Beard+ webmaster

    Website hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of MD

    Updated December 24, 2011