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Central Maryland Ecumenical Council
A Christian Voice for Peace, Justice, Sustainability, and Equality  

CMEC’s accomplishments to-date in 2013 are significant. 

In January, the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council celebrated the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with a service at St Matthews Catholic Church. Fr. Joe Muth presided over the service and Bishop Wolfgang Herz-Lane, Delaware Maryland Synod of the ELCA, gave the homily. Members of the CMEC Board designed and participated in the service.

After Newtown, CMEC staff and Board members partnered with the Presbytery of Baltimore, on ecumenical outreach for the Presbytery’s “Let’s Ring out Justice in Annapolis” March 25 advocacy night supporting gun safety legislation. We worked with Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence to organize buses for a March 1st Rally in Annapolis to support gun safety legislation; CMEC brought 65 people to attend the rally. We promoted the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. Using our website we provided toolkits and registered 65 congregations who participated in the Weekend. And finally, CMEC staff is working with the Episcopal Diocese Committee to Prevent Gun Violence and serves on the Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence Board.

CMEC worked closely with Maryland CASE (Campaign Against State Executions) to repeal the Death Penalty in Maryland. With CASE, we organized area Bishops and Executives to speak at a press conference and testified in favor of the appeal in Annapolis. Governor O’Malley recognized the important contribution that CMEC and the faith community played in the successful repeal of the death penalty.

CMEC worked with the Ecumenical Leaders group and Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin to organize the ELG Advisory Group on the Environment, recognizing that care for the earth is a spiritual priority. The advisory group will work with congregations and individuals to lessen their impact on the earth. In February 2014, CMEC is organizing a retreat on the environment for the Ecumenical Leaders Group. Joseph Gill, Secretary for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will lead a morning session at the retreat.

CMEC has organized the CMEC Thursday Luncheon Series to expand discussion on issues from a faith perspective. September’s session was on “Affordable Care Act” by Matthew Celentano, of MD Healthcare for All, and in October we had a talk on “Violence, Children and Poverty” by Ralph Moore. November’s topic will be “Faith and the Sacred Earth” and in December’s “Building Ecumenical Relations.”

In June, we organized a Concert and Awards Gala commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. William Syndor composed and performed his original piece of music commemorating the 150 anniversary. At the celebration we honored The Reverend Dr. Vernon Dobson (presented posthumously) with our Ecumenical Lifetime Achievement Award. The Right Reverend Eugene Taylor Sutton, Episcopal Bishop of Maryland, received The Bryce W. Shoemaker Ecumenical Leadership Award; and the Viva House Catholic Worker Community received the Rev. Dr. Lorenzo Handy Ecumenical Service Award

In August, CMEC partnered with Bridge Maryland, Raise Maryland and Jews United for Justice to support Labor in the Pulpit services that lifted up increasing the minimum wage in Maryland. Clergy from over 50 congregations spoke from the pulpit in support of workers. In 

This October, CMEC helped organize the Clergy Beyond Border’s 2013 Maryland Caravan Of Reconciliation. The Caravan stopped in Hagerstown, Cumberland, Annapolis, College Park, Salisbury, Easton, Baltimore City, and Sunderland. The main objective of the Caravan was to build “Rapid Response Networks” (RRN) in the communities that were visited and initiate a statewide network. The RRN will respond to acts of discrimination and bigotry, and promote positive pluralism. We will facilitate in early December an organizing meeting to establish the Network.

In November, CMEC hosted our 11 annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Award Breakfast. This year the Agus-Shehan Award were given three outstanding individuals Dr. Hasan Jalisi of the Muslim Council of Maryland, Rabbi Gerald Serotta of Clergy Beyond Borders, and Fr. William Watters of St. Ignatius Catholic Community who worked to build understanding and relationship between faiths across Maryland. 

In December, we hosted with Clergy Beyond Borders, with support from Maryland Association of Conflict Resolution and the Center for Dispute Resolution UMD (C-Drum), an organizing meeting to develop a “Rapid Response Network’ (see November). Thirty people traveled, from across the state, working together in small groups to give shape to the Network. We take our next steps in January 2014.

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