Dramatic reading recalls iron-willed pastor of the pastThe...


February 04, 1993

Dramatic reading recalls iron-willed pastor of the past

The Rev. Joseph G. J. Bend, rector of Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Baltimore from 1791 to 1812, was one of the "stars" this week in a celebration that concluded the 300th anniversary year of the parish. His strong opinions came alive Sunday in a dramatic reading that replaced the sermon at St. Paul's 10:30 a.m. service.

Of Thomas Jefferson's followers, this staunch Federalist had declared, "They are, I dare say, filthy Democrats, fit only to be citizens of degenerated France!"

But no man was more civic-minded than Mr. Bend, a narrator told the congregation. Among the rector's many charitable enterprises were these: "He joined with his friend, Roman Catholic Bishop Carroll, and leaders of other denominations in founding the Library Company, Baltimore's first public library; the Baltimore Dispensary; a society to advocate vaccination; and the Society for Promoting Useful and Ornamental Knowledge."

The drama was compiled by F. Garner Ranney, archivist of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. It was enlivened by other colorful reminders of the church's Colonial history, such as the Rev. Benedict Bourdillon, who in 1742 sold his family's clothes to meet expenses and wrote to his brother in England: "My family increases, my salary is ill-paid, and our settlement here has overrun me with debts."

The readers were Sara-Marie Carey, Jodie Johnson, the Rev. R. Douglas Pitt and the Rev. William N. McKeachie, rector of the church at Charles and Saratoga streets.

Prayer breakfast:

Baltimore City Councilwoman Sheila Dixon will be the host of a prayer breakfast at 9 a.m. Saturday at Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church, Dolphin Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The Rev. Frank Madison Reid III, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church, will speak. Information: 225-0748.

Jewish singles:

A worship service designed for single Jewish men and women -- described as "exciting, energetic and upbeat, and with lively music both traditional and new" -- will begin at 8 p.m. Friday in the Gordon Chapel of Temple Oheb Shalom, 7310 Park Heights Ave. It will be preceded by a traditional Shabbat dinner at 6:30 p.m.

The event is co-sponsored by Temple Oheb Shalom and the Jewish Community Center. For information about reservations, call Sharon Mond at 542-4900.

The temple's Jewish Singles Social Network, started in October as "a direct way for Jewish singles to meet each other," has more than 200 members who are 18 or older. For more information about membership: 358-5776.

Art and drama:

Six two-hour Sunday afternoon programs of drawing and craft classes, music and theater performances for boys and girls 8 to 16 will be conducted by the Acting Workshop at St. John's Episcopal Church, Kelly Avenue and South Road in Mount Washington, beginning at 2 p.m. Feb. 28.

Tickets will be $5 at the door or $25 for the series. Refreshments are included. For more information: 367-7287.

All night service:

The women of Payne Memorial A.M.E. Church are planning their annual Women's Day All Night Service Feb. 12 at the church, 1714 Madison Ave.

The continuous "preaching, teaching and praise," the organizers said, will begin at 7:30 p.m. that Friday and conclude with Communion and breakfast Saturday at 6 a.m.

Seven ministers will preach. They include the Rev. Sandra Moore Phillips, pastor of Union Bethel A.M.E. Church; the Rev. Cynthia Harvin, pastor of Mount Joy A.M.E. Church; the Rev. Eva Sapp of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church; and the Rev. Leah White of New Psalmist Baptist Church.

Men as well as women are invited to take part in the all-night worship. Among those planning the service are Eleanor Beverly and the Rev. Vashti M. McKenzie, pastor of Payne Memorial.

Information: 669-8739.

Ethics and politics:

"Ethical Action and Political Responsibility" will be the subject of the Baltimore Ethical Society's 10:30 a.m. meeting Sunday. The public is invited.

The society meets at the Bolton Street Synagogue, 1311 Bolton St. Information: 581-2322.

New organ:

The Roman Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington is installing a new Wicks pipe organ, manufactured in Highland, Ill., said Monsignor Nicholas Amato, pastor of the church.

Send religious news items -- about events, local personalities, etc., from Baltimore City and Baltimore and Harford counties -- to Religion Notes, c/o Frank Somerville, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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