Archives and History

From the Archives: St. Philip’s Church, Cumberland, Part I

In his 1892 parochial report detailing the events of 1891, the Rev. Clarence Buel, rector of Emmanuel Church, Cumberland, and a native of New York, noted the opening of a mission in south Cumberland, called the Memorial House of the Holy Cross, built in memory of Estelle Taylor Perry by her three children. He also added, “In addition to this work, the Rector has undertaken special services with the Colored people of the Parish and is greatly encouraged by the interest which has been aroused. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that it will result in the erection of a Chapel for the special use of the Colored people.”

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236th Convention passes landmark resolution committing one million dollars to reparations

On September 12, 2020, the 236th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland passed Resolution 2020-06, committing to creating a $1,000,000 seed fund for reparations 189 – 31, with nine abstentions – an 82.5% approval. The Rev. Dion Thompson of St. Anne’s, Annapolis, commented that “This is a bold, bold step… and this might be the first step in thinking of what we can do for the Native American community or other communities that are oppressed. We are trying to heal this nation.”

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From the Archives: Religion and Politics

In 1798, Thomas Contee wrote to Bishop Thomas Claggett, “I have heard it said that Church & State affairs should be separate, and that Politicks from the Pulpit were not proper. You or any other Clergyman mixing with the people and exchanging sentiments on Politicks are your right and as proper as any man.”

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From the Archives: Bishop Whittingham’s Questionnaire of 1844 – Survey Says…

What can be learned from examining the answers to a few questions posed in 1844? One obvious observation is that while white clergy did not seem to be opposed to baptizing, marrying, or burying African Americans, they were less committed to holding special religious services or teaching African Americans the faith. Preparing African Americans for confirmation and thereby including them as communicants of the parish, was even more rare

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From the Archives: ‘Episcopal Despotism’ and Bishop Whittingham’s Questionnaire of 1844

Shortly after taking up the position of Bishop of Maryland in 1840, the new prelate sent a questionnaire to all the parishes in the diocese. William R. Whittingham was a New Yorker by birth and residence and had not spent much time in Maryland before his election, and he was looking for a way to gather as much information as he could as he got to know his diocese.

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