Life Changing Year

“Participating in a year of service with Episcopal Service Corps in Baltimore was life changing for me. If you need a change, some work experience, time to decide what you want to do, knowledge about social justice issues, a community… and really so much more, consider a year of service.” Jessica Berry Gilead of 2103-2014. Great Kids Farm was her service site, working with the Farm Educator, and fellow Gilead Walker Smith.   Link for application is on our home page. And also right here

Sorority sisters Jess and Kelly, and Gileads a year apart

Jess P, Bishop Sutton, Jess B, Kate R

Walker and Jess on their last day at Great Kids Farm

Field trip! Introducing Great Kids Farm green house work to fellow Gileads

Best work ever! welcoming a Baltimore City School class for a field trip

Giving Thanks Over and Over Again

This past week I have been so thankful for all of the blessings in my life! One of my many blessings has been coming up to Baltimore through the Episcopal Service Corps! This past year I gained true friends, loving mentors, and a place to call home. Please consider giving so that more people can experience this blessing! Hannah Hutchens, Gilead 2017-2018, and also current House Member.

 #givingtuesday #wechangebaltimore #ESCMD


I’m so thankful for the Episcopal Service Corps Maryland. I would not be the strong, confident person I am today without the unending love, support, and community ESC-MD has provided. You can play a part in continuing the growth of this community by giving a gift on #GivingTuesday. Jessica Pandolfino (with some of the other Gilead women of 2013-2014). Lend your support as #wechangeBmore…

Gilead Community

We continue to change Baltimore as ESCMD House Members! While working in our city, these Members are living as community in the Gilead  Residence.

Here are the words of their painted Covenant:

Living in Community is more than just sharing a roof. It’s participating with each other in life. It’s fostering an understanding for our differences. It’s cooperating for the common good. Welcome to our home!

Kait is Ministry Associate with the Cathedral of the Incarnation.  She hails from Rhode Island and came to Baltimore last year for a Gilead Year, for a year of service with the Cathedral- she liked it so much and they liked her so much that she is now on staff continuing to change lives in the city. She has even joined the Choir!  In time off she loves to bake, and also volunteer with Diocese of Maryland Youth programs.

Hannah is Director of Youth and Community Engagement at Memorial Church (our Housing Partner.) She came to Baltimore last year for a Gilead Year, for a year of service with Project PLASE.  Memorial became her church home while she was an Episcopal Service Corps Member and is now on staff to broaden the ministry scope of the parish with children and youth, and through engaging the neighorhood in a variety of ways.

Kevin is on staff at Mountain Manor Treatment Center. He came to Baltimore to continue his work as a clinical psychologist, and to be close to his significant other. He says this about living in the Gilead Residence:” Living here is an excellent fit for me as I enjoy living with others who share my values of service, community, and loving your neighbor. This year I hope to deepen my understanding of my shared humanity and common connections with the folks in Baltimore. ” 


Food System Ownership

During her 2015-2106 year in Baltimore Natalie Strait worked with Great Kids Farm. Here’s what she says about that year: “I knew I wanted to explore urban agriculture and food justice, but not especially clear what I meant, other than that I like gardening and vegetables and cities. A clearer picture grew as to where my passions and skills met while working at Great Kids Farm, volunteering with my housemates at Baltimore Orchard Project, talking with folks while weeding and harvesting at The Red Shed Garden & Events Space, going on work field trips with GK farm staff, visiting farmers markets, caring for the land trust garden at my church Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Baltimore, and seeing all the amazing things happening in Baltimore City food-wise. Being engaged in all these different communities gave me access to a completely different type of education than I had expected, and I began to discover what I really meant when I said I wanted to work in urban agriculture and food justice.”

Now Natalie uses her community relationship skills, her passion for raising new leadership, her organizing skills, and dedication working on the Girl Scouts River Valleys Product Program team coordinating southern Minnesota’s Girl Scout Cookie Program, She is applying to grad school for Urban and Regional Planning. “I have seen the power communities have to take ownership of their food systems when they find their voice and someone to listen, and I want to be there to help that happen.”


Doors Opened

During Patrick Kangrga’s year with ESCMD 2012-13 he interned with Epiphany Episcopal Church of Timonium, MD as a youth worker both within the congregation and outside making neighborhood connections. With some other positions along the way, now he is the Associate for Youth Ministries with Trinity Church in Menlo Park California. Here’s what Patrick has to say about his time with ESC: “ESCMD opened doors for me that I could never imagine being unlocked or even existing. Though that year was one of the hardest/ most challenging time of my short life, several years out now I can see how God was shaping me into,calling me to be the human I am right now. I wouldn’t be this person, I wouldn’t have the life-giving job and ministry I have, I wouldn’t have met the inspiring people I’ve met or seen the amazing places I’ve seen without the kick-start that ESCMD provided. I am so grateful.” 


RUN ESC at Baltimore Running Festival

Some photos from #RunESC. 5K runners/walkers Suz Jones-Hochmuth, David J. Southern, Katrina Grusel,l Margaret Scheitheir Schotto, and Jan  Hamill went the fastest. Relay runners Dina Van Klaveren, Deanna Sebastian, Jennifer Birsa, and Brent Birsa went the farthest. Suz Jones-Hochmuth raised the most friends and the most funds! Together we raised over $3600! And all together we had a lot of fun.





Best Friends and Favorite Memories

A year ago I had no idea what this year would bring. I cannot give enough thanks to ESC for giving me some of my best friends and favorite memories. I am thankful to everyone that put up with my southern sass! I am thankful for Demi Lovato concerts, youth events and St. Paddy’s day! I am also thankful for my family and friends that loved me through this year. Their support means more to me than I can ever express! I love that ESC lead me to new heights in my spirituality and introduced me to a beautiful community along the way. I am blessed because this year has shaped me and helped me rekindle my passion. With more love than I can express, thank you, thank you so much.



A Time for Reflection

ESCMD’s Advisory Board announces a year of reflection during the 2018-2019 program year which began August 1. In the coming year, the Advisory Board will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the gift God has given us in the Gilead program. Nearly fifty Gileads have participated in the transformational program since its first class in 2011. After seven years, it is appropriate to reflect on its successes and determine where the program can grow as it seeks to promote justice and change in Baltimore.

During the coming year, the Gilead Residence remains open as an intentional community. The Advisory Board and Director are already at work reflecting and evaluating as they prepare for the eighth incoming class in August 2019. This winter, another six or seven young adults will be selected as Gileads to serve in Baltimore for the 2019-2020 program year.

Our national ESC network this year, at the invitation of General Convention, is becoming part of the Presiding Bishop’s Office of Formation. This will bring exciting new ways of recruiting and support to the entire ESC network, as we raise faithful leaders committed to community, justice, prayer, service, vocation.

ESCMD Class #7 has completed their year of service. They join forty-one other alumni of ESCMD as they now head to new ministry and work as varied as parish ministry in Baltimore to teaching English in Thailand. Some are discerning calls to ordained ministry; some are certain their call is to lay ministry. All know they are called by God to continue the work of Beloved Community wherever they go.

For the coming year, ESCMD will look a little different. Your support is more essential than ever. In order to adequately review the program, develop partnerships, and recruit the next class, your financial help and prayers are necessary. Please consider making a contribution to ESCMD. Add ESCMD to your prayer lists. Our Team ESCMD runs again and we hope you’ll join us! Follow us on Facebook and check our website for regular updates as ESCMD strives to fulfill its mission.

Jan Hamil
Director, ESC-MD

Journeys, Challenges, and Saying Thank You

In the Gilead House, we talk a lot about journeys. We talk about learning more about ourselves through serving others, and about discerning what God has planned for us next. Now, at the end of my service year, I have been looking back and admiring my journey from last August until now. How far I have come! Since I made the decision to follow my call to ministry at the beginning of this year, I have felt God preparing me for ministry in different ways. My journey has been about God preparing my heart, mind, soul, and body for what comes next. I’m a big picture kind of person, and I truly believe that all of the challenges, all of the stress, and all of the blessings in this year have been given to me to prepare me.

I like challenges. Ask anyone I know. In January, I decided to begin a path to health and wellness. I had been walking on the treadmill at the gym, but I wondered what would happen if I started jogging. I didn’t die! Long story short, I decided to challenge myself. No surprise there. I decided to train myself for my first 5K and register to run as a part of team ESC-MD for the Baltimore Running Festival in October. I had never been a runner before. Little did I know, this training became a major part of my self-care routine. I always feel more powerful and strong after a solid run and my mood is always lifted. I sleep better. I feel better about my body and myself. Could it be that this is all a part of God’s plan to prepare me for ministry? Helping me to learn how to take care of myself better? Who knows. It certainly doesn’t hurt. I believe everything I do is a learning experience. God is constantly giving me tools for my toolbox.

Other than for health, self-care, and a challenge, running for ESC-MD is a way to say thank you. I was raised to write thank you notes to people who did things for me or to just make sure my gratitude was shown in some way. This is a way I can show my gratitude. I am still very much digesting how much this year has meant to me, and I will probably be doing that for some time. For now, I can run for the program that I love so much, that I hope will provide many other young adults with the experience that I have had. I run to raise funds for ESC-MD, and hopefully represent our program well. Also I get to wear a cool t-shirt! Will you cheer me on to the finish line?

Donate here.