Wading In, Washing Off Muck

 Scott Slater is a member of our ESC-MD Advisory Board. He was part of the founding group, rotated off what became the Advisory Board and missed us so much he returned to this work. In this photo you can see him leading a talk at Happening this past weekend- with nearly 90 teens at The Bishop Claggett Center, our Diocesan camp and conference center.   https://frsnot.wixsite.com/website/home/_muck is his reflection on that important work with Diocesan youth, and one of the many ways in which our Canon to the Ordinary (someone who works directly for the Bishop) continues a ministry so important to him and to the Church.  Scott spent two years in his earlier life with a young adult year of service program, one which changed his own life, and he works hard with ESC-MD and in other ways, to ensure that other young lives may change so that they in turn may help change the lives of others.

God, Decisions, Grace’s Life

Grace Santandreu ESCMD 2016-17

What has been most formative in your life? You might think of some amazing moments, eye opening hardships, and relatable interactions with people closest too you. This post is a shout out to the Episcopal Service Corps and its hand in forming me into the person I am now, 18 months after finishing my year.  I learned a lot about myself, and continue to learn, especially on my approach to group dynamics and my outlook on life decisions and important relationships, and also my relationship to God. Maybe I learned more about my own name.

In Reflections we used some different personality indicators to show us where we fell on spectrums. One that gave me a lot to think about was one that showed strengths and weaknesses in group decision making. I had known that I am a strong listener and collectively take in individual perspectives of a group before a decision can be reached to effectively benefit everyone. I also learned that my accommodating nature that would lend my opinions a back seat during group decision making. My housemates gave me a chance to grow into a more effective communicator while taking my personal style into perspective.

I also expected my time with ESCMD to show me two things-about my relationship with God, and a way to making life decisions- all by the end of the year. During my ESC year, I was exposed to more social justice, racism education and environmental farm practices than all previous years, and learned I needed more time to reflect.  What I learned in my eye-opening year is that a relationship with God is very much a living thing, not a static thing. I learned from mentors that focusing, and re-focusing, on what truly matters is the important part.  I realized was that I needed more time to even decide about next academic steps, so took a job totally un-related. Now I am getting ready to take that next step forward in surprising ways. It’s not always what I want, but what community needs and God wants.

Formation of who you are comes from many different experiences, and how you respond. I am glad to have had my experience with ESCMD as it has taught me important lessons to carry with me beyond this year of service. Thank you to all who had supported me through my ESC year. Let’s see what the following chapters of life have in store!

Gileads tabling at Diocesan Convention

Supporting Team ESCMD – Baltimore Running Festival

Reflections on site at Great Kids Farm, Creation prayers, stream clean-up


Great Kids Farm media campaign with supervisor Beth


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 http://episcopalservicecorps.org/esc-application/

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.