FROM THE EDITOR
Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven."Matt 18:21-22
Maryland: A tragedy turned transformational
Frank Kohn says he didn't have to search for ways to forgive his sister's murderer, but only to remember how she'd lived her life. His sister, the Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn, co-rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ellicott City, Maryland, was shot in May 2012. Also killed were the parish administrator, Brenda Brewington, and the shooter, Douglas Jones, who killed himself.
"Apparently, he was a frequent visitor to the church's food pantry and nobody knows what really happened because there aren't any living witnesses," Kohn told ENS. I didn't know this person and was angry that somebody would do something like that to my family, but I'm pretty certain that's not the way my sister would have dealt with it" he said. "She would have understood the situation he was in." His sister was seven years his senior. She'd dedicated her life to ministry to the marginalized and those affected by trauma, said Kohn. When the shooting occurred he headed to Baltimore where "the whole parish and community support enveloped me, and they were wonderful. As a result I have become very good friends with some of her close friends" he said.
More than a month after the funeral, on another trip to Baltimore, he met members of Jones' family. "They were actually renting a house adjacent to the church property. So the parish and this family knew each other well" Kohn said. "It was apparent how much suffering his family was going though because of what happened" he said. "They were victims and they had nothing to do with what their brother and brother-in-law did." Extending forgiveness was immediate, Kohn said. "I said I didn't think they had done anything to be forgiven for, but it was obvious it was like a huge weight off their shoulders. I had a chance to express our sympathy and understanding for what they were going through as well."
The Rev. Tom Slawson, St. Peter' vicar, said the church renovated the space where the shootings happened, enlarging a hall which has been dedicated in commemoration of Kohn's ministry there. The shootings also sparked an almost collective repentance among the previously conflicted congregation. Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton said the entire diocesan community has focused on cultivating a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. "The church constantly announces the kingdom has come with a spirit of reconciliation, compassion, forgiveness, justice and peace, and nobody else is saying that. The church is the institution that's going to get us there" Sutton said.
See you in church.
Treasurer’s report for March:
Check book balance of $13,401
minus pass-through and memorial fund =$11,531.
*Vestry approved the Treasurer’s report and minutes.
*New Business: Pot-luck Luncheon on May 10th for Ascension Day.
*Work Day on May 17th after church.
*On-going planning for fund raising.
*Triple blessings- large paper plates and kitchen bags.
*Donate coffee not sold to food pantry.
*Old Business: Cindy and Sallie working on directory list.
*Sr.Warden: Lemonade Retreat June 29-July 3. Need parishioners to bring in lunch food and snacks.
*Jr.Warden: Not present.
*Fin/Steward/Hosp.: Marge, Byram, and Jansje to do audit before mid-July. *Worship/Fellowship: Becky and Sallie will decorate for Pentecost. Remember to wear red.
*Outreach: Gateway teens were here for Easter.
*Christian Formation: We will all spread the word that Byram is doing an exceptionally good job teaching Sunday school, so hopefully more people will join us.
*Next meeting: WEDNESDAY, MAY 13 at 6PM.
DAUGHTERS OF THE KING
DoK will hold their regular meeting on May 3 after church. All Daughters and anyone interested in finding out more about the order are welcome to attend.
The annual Derby party will be held at Darren and Martha Payne's on May 2. Bring whatever food you choose; we start to gather at 3:00PM and eat after the race.
The annual ESW retreat will be held at the Domain from 15 to 17 May. Rev. Jeff Queen of Covington and his wife, director of Forward Day by Day, will conduct a program of “voices of women from scripture”. See Pat Farnell for details.
TRIPLE BLESSING PROGRAM
Thanks to everyone who brought items for the month of April. For May, we are asking people to bring in large paper plates and large kitchen trash bags.
ASCENSION DAY OBSERVED
We will celebrate Ascension Day on May 10, the transfer date for the feast of our namesake. Please invite any former members you know to come celebrate with us. We will have a pot-luck luncheon.
CELEBRATION OF MINISTRY
On June 21, the Diocese of Lexington will celebrate the ministry of Kay Collier-McLaughlin at Christ Church Cathedral on the occasion of her retirement. Please come and help celebrate the ministry of this remarkable woman.