The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
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!
10 Things Your Congregation, Synagogue or Mosque Can Do To Help Workers
from The Department of Labor Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships
Pray for all workers.
Encourage your members to advocate for public policies that seek justice for all workers, including fair living wages, safe and healthy workplaces, and health care benefits for all workers.
Encourage your members to talk about how they practice their faith on the job. Most workers face challenging ethical questions at work. Structure opportunities for your members to talk about their work lives and find support for ethical dilemmas.
Seek to ensure that all the workers employed by your congregation/synagogue/mosque are paid a fair living wage and health care benefits.
Educate your members about workers' rights. Information is available at We Can Help (http://www.dol.gov/wecanhelp/), the National Employment Law Project (http://www/nelp.org/), Interfaith Worker Justice (www.iwj.org) — and other sites.
Get involved and become a member of a local worker center or with organizations like Interfaith Worker Justice (www.iwj.org), Jobs with Justice (www.jwj.org), National Day Laborers Organizing Network (www.ndlon.org), and National Domestic Workers Alliance (http://www.nationaldomesticworkeralliance.org/).
Join or form a local interfaith committee for worker justice.
Invite a labor speaker or have one of your leaders speak about worker justice during Labor Day weekend or at an appropriate time. Appropriate worship resources are available from the Interfaith Worker Justice's, "Labor in the Pulpit, on the Bimah, in the Minbar" (www.iwj.org).
Invite someone from the Department of Labor to speak to workers in your congregation about worker rights that are protected under state and federal laws. Many workers, especially low-wage workers, don't know their rights.
Participate in Labor Day events sponsored by your local labor community.
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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
sit on the porch
in the creaky rocker
and watch the bugs
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
Locate Resources to Aid your Urban Ministry
in Maryland Metropolitan Areas
Prison Ministry Resources
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."
University of MD Community Service-Learning - a useful resource for volunteers
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.
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
Emergency room visits
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 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
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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.