The Rev. Todd Thomas
We’re excited to share that the Vestry of St. Timothy’s Church in Southeast DC has called the Rev. Todd Thomas, EDOW Missioner for Congregational Vitality as the congregation’s 8th rector. Todd begins his ministry at St. Timothy’s on September 1. His last day on the EDOW staff will be July 31.
We have been anticipating this move for some time. When Todd joined the diocesan staff, he told us that he would gladly serve for 2-3 years, but that his heart was in parish ministry. Last fall he began in earnest his search for a new call, which is when we also reorganized our staffing structure resulting in the call to the Rev. Anne-Marie Jeffery as Canon for Congregational Vitality.
Bishop Mariann writes, “We’re thrilled that Todd will remain in the diocese as part of the clergy team of the South DC Region and that St. Timothy’s has a new rector passionate about congregational vitality. The congregation is poised for a new season of mission and ministry, and Todd will be a faithful, visionary, and Christ-centered leader and partner on the journey.”
“Coming into the Episocpal Diocese of Washington has been a journey of ordination, discovery and growth, and my time with the Bishop’s staff has given me the chance to meet so many in the diocese and to begin what I hope are life-long friendships,” shares Rev. Todd. “I’ve often said in regional gatherings and meetings that this is a great time to be in our diocese, and I still believe that! I cannot wait to see what God will do with our shared ministry and passion at St. Timothy’s, to continue serving in our diocese as a rector, and to keep becoming a Beloved Community in this Episcopal corner of Christ’s church.”
Todd initially joined diocesan staff two years ago as the Missioner for Young Adult and Campus Ministries. As the diocese embarked on the strategic planning process, Todd’s affinity for parish vitality became apparent and his portfolio expanded to include congregational revitalization. After a collaborative development process calling on the talent and wisdom of leaders from across the diocese, Todd introduced the Vital Signs of Parish Health last fall. A key tool for parish vitality, the vital signs can be used as a lens through which parish leaders approach their decision-making process. During the pandemic, Todd convened a weekly online Bible study with young adults in the diocese, providing a pastoral space for deepening faith during the crisis.
Founded in 1944, St. Timothy’s is a landmark in the Hillcrest neighborhood of the District of Columbia. The St. Timothy’s is involved in the life of its community and has served hundreds of families though its Child Development Center over the course of four decades.
St. Timothy’s has been selected as one of the parishes in the first cohort of the Tending Our Soil Thriving Congregations initiative that launches in September.
Bishop Mariann and EDOW’s senior staff are discerning how best to round out diocesan staff leadership as we emerge from the pandemic and will provide an update on the process later this summer.
For now, please join us in congratulating Todd and St. Timothy’s.
Happy Summer 2021!
We are in the circling process of social change that is sweeping across the globe. As followers of Jesus and his Way of Love, we are called to be a part of that change and keep our eyes and energies fixed on addressing the root causes of systematic racism and white supremacy in all its forms.
As a diocese, we are committed to bravely uncovering, understanding, reckoning with and acting to dismantle racism within ourselves, our faith communities, the Diocese and our localities.
Here are a few books to help us engage in this work this summer.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
- Author: Austin Channing Brown is a writer, speaker, and practitioner who helps schools, nonprofits, and religious organizations practice genuine inclusion.
- Suggested use: solo read to go along with other personal narrative style books.
- Good book to explore how white christianity has participated in racial injustices and ways that we can recognize God’s call for us to work toward justice.
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies
- Author: Resmaa Menakem is an expert on conflict and violence. He works as a Community Care Counselor and teaches workshops on Cultural Somatics.
- Suggested use: small group study/discussion
- The First Unitarian Church of Baltimore has put together a comprehensive study guide that includes key questions for each chapter, meditations and so much more.
Reading the Bible from the Margins
- Author: Miguel A. De la Torre is a Cuban American who teaches at the LLif School of Theology and is the co-author of introducing Latino/a theologies.
- Suggested use: bible and small group study
- Feel free to follow the scriptures within each chapter.
- Draft mini sermons to accompany new theological findings.
The Church Cracked Open
- Author: Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers spearheads Episcopal efforts to follow Jesus’ Way of Love and to grow loving, liberating, life-giving relationships with God, each other and the earth.
- Suggested use: bible and small group study
- Free Reflection & Action Guide features bible study, small group curricula and prompts to go from reading to real life.
- Request the guide.
The Search for Common Ground
- Author: Howard Thurman was a spiritual mentor to many in the global civil rights movements and leaders of the 20th century.
- Suggested use: solo read or an accompanying book to Sacred Ground circles
- Howard Thurman writes about building community. He calls us at once to affirm our own identity, but also to look beyond that identity to that which we have in common with all of life.
A final note: While some of us will undoubtedly dive into reading each suggested item, you needn’t think you must read them all over the course of a single summer. The work of antiracism is a marathon, not a sprint. The important thing is to start somewhere.
Happy reading! Happy reflecting! Happy communing!
Hazel Monae, Missioner for Equity and Justice
If you have some spare time this summer, but find your what-to-try list either empty or running amok, check out our curated list of things to read, listen to, watch, and game. Your diocesan staff offers up a bit of everything — from the heartwarming (Ted Lasso) to the thought-provoking (Jesus and John Wayne) to the blood-pumping (Soca 2021 Latest Hits). There’s sure to be something here to help you catch up on your much needed R & R.
What we’re watching
Ted Lasso (AppleTV, season 1 available, season 2 starts July 23)
Mare of Eastown (HBO Max)
In the Heights (Hurry! Leaves HBO Max July 11)
Mythic Quest (Apple TV)
Workin’ Moms (Netflix)
Death in Paradise (Netflix)
Hamilton (Disney+) then the original 1776 (Amazon Prime or iTunes)
The Summer Olympics (NBC and NBC affiliated channels)
Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)
Great British Baking Show (Netflix)
Peaky Blinders (Seasons 1-5 on Netflix)
what we’re watching, second inning: Can’t forget baseball!
A League of Their Own
For the Love of the Game
What we’re reading
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace – Anne Lamont
Think Again – Adam Grant
Digital Minimalism – Cal Newport
Jesus and John Wayne – Kristin Kobes Du Mez
Dear Church – Lenny Duncan
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent – Isabel Wilkerson
Looking for God in Messy Places – Jake Owensby
Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time – Marcus Borg
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry – Fredrik Backman
Anxious People – Fredrik Backman
The Testaments: A Novel – Margaret Atwood
The Book of Longings – Sue Monk Kidd
The Girl With the Stars in Her Eyes – Xio Axelrod
A Grain of Wheat – Ngugi wa Thiong’o
What we’re listening to
Rising Appalachia (Youtube)
Jon Batiste (Youtube)
Why Don’t We Go to Italy, I Am a Town and Down at the Twist and Shout – Mary Chapin Carpenter (All Spotify)
Sounds of Summer (with Slightly Stoopid) – The Movement (Spotify)
Todo se transforma – Jorge Drexler
Palm Beach – Vicente Garcia
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Ruthie Foster’s Let it Burn (esp. 1st track Welcome Home)
Strunz and Farrah’s Americas
In the Heights
Soca 2021 Latest Hits
90s Country Music
Jazz Guitar Classics
Mozart Summer Classical
Swirlyfoot’s EDM Favs
Swirlyfoot’s Acapella Favs
Swirlyfoot’s Fav Jazz Covers
Swirlyfoot’s Disney Favs
Uplifting Soul Classics
Unlocking Us with Brené Brown
Under the Influence with Jo Piazza
Smartless with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett
Game of Thrones (series) – George R.R. Martin
The Vorkosigan Saga (series) – Lois McMaster Bujold
Dating Makes Perfect – Pintip Dunn
What we’re gaming
Animal Crossing New Horizons (Rev. Todd’s Nintendo friend code is SW-8240-3424-0441!)
Dadish, in which a dad (who’s also a radish) must defeat various obstacles and fast food villains to regather his angsty and scattered radish children.