Readers Respond


December 17, 2009

State is working on 'one-stop' assistance centers

Your editorial "Cut the Red Tape" (Dec. 8) properly highlighted some of the tough challenges Maryland faces in reaching out to people in need of food stamps and other benefits and streamlining what is often a burdensome application process. But one point deserves correction. The editorial said the state has not "partnered with local community organizations to create one-stop application centers where families could sign up for all the benefits they are eligible for at the same time."

In fact, the Maryland Department of Human Resources has been working for several months with the members of the One-Stop Shop Work Group that BGE convened this summer to help improve access to vitally needed human service benefits. Together we are working to recruit and identify community organizations to help eligible clients get the support they need. Our goal - which we share with the state of Maryland - is to reduce the barriers that keep people of limited means from accessing the kind of assistance that can help them move toward self-sufficiency.

The state has much work to do to provide accessible supportive services to all who are eligible. But it is reaching out to create new partnerships with willing community organizations, and it should be applauded for this.

David Conn, BaltimoreThe writer is the Energy Assistance Program director at BGE.

Anglican objections have no bearing on Rev. Glasspool

Matthew Hay Brown's fine article about the election of my colleague, the Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool, as a bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles ("Annapolis cleric's election is making waves and history," Dec. 9) adds to the joy felt by those of us those in Maryland who have been graced by her ministries since 1992. She will take office when approved by a majority of the other dioceses and consecrated by our presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori. Our loss is California's gain.

It is unfortunate that one element of her story has been made an object of controversy. She would not be the first woman, nor the first bishop living in a committed same-sex relationship, to be elected, but some Episcopalians in this country and many Anglicans elsewhere oppose her election.

There is no question of the canonical procedures having been observed in Los Angeles; it followed the constitution of our church as adopted in 1789. What many people do not know, and others choose to ignore, is the legal independence of the Episcopal Church from other jurisdictions. In fact, it was in Chestertown, Md., in 1780 that a convention of clergy and laymen began the process of making an American church separate from the Church of England, in the spirit of our declaration of political independence of 1776.

After that, the archbishop of Canterbury had no more legal jurisdiction in this nation than King George III, the "supreme governor" of the Church of England. So when Archbishop Rowan Williams says he regrets Canon Glasspool's election and urges the American church to reject her, he does not speak in any official capacity.

"The Anglican Communion" exists as a fellowship of very diverse national churches with a common English reformed catholic heritage. We join for conversations and consultations in "mutual responsibility and interdependence" as a community of faith in Jesus Christ rather than as members of a corporation.

The Rev. Kingsley Smith, TowsonThe writer is a retired priest who has been serving in the Diocese of Maryland since 1956.

Disappointed in Dixon

I am completely disappointed in Mayor Sheila Dixon. This woman has the nerve to continue with her smug attitude of entitlement and indifference - disgusting!

No matter how much her supporters say the charges and prosecution against her were petty, Mayor Dixon is what she is: a petty thief. She has completely forgotten where she came from, but we in Baltimore are not fooled.

I am tired of seeing her on television with these transparent publicity stunts. She needs to go away like Tiger Woods and let the city heal from this embarrassment.

Sheila Dixon appears to me to be an uninvited party crasher at Christmas where you better keep your eye on the Christmas stockings. The nerve of this woman! Her presence makes me sick.

Reginald Purdie

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