Summer R & R List – Diocesan Staff Recommendations

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)
Special (Netflix)
Death in Paradise (Netflix)
Messiah (Netflix)
Hamilton (Disney+) then the original 1776 (Amazon Prime or iTunes)
The Summer Olympics (NBC and NBC affiliated channels)
Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)
Loki (Disney+)
Great British Baking Show (Netflix)
Peaky Blinders (Seasons 1-5 on Netflix)

what we’re watching, second inning: Can’t forget baseball!

The Natural
A League of Their Own
Bull Durham
For the Love of the Game
The Rookie
The Babe

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


Masego (Youtube)
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 

Spotify Playlists

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 
Billy Joel
Harry Chapin
Jim Croce
Cat Stevens
Sunshine Reggae
Uplifting Soul Classics


Unlocking Us with Brené Brown 
Under the Influence with Jo Piazza 
Smartless with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett

Audio books

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. 

Celebrating Black History Month Around the Diocese

Celebrating Black History Month Around the Diocese

Young musicians from East of the River Steelband at the recent More Jesus, More Love revival service

In honor of Black History Month, a number of parishes in the Diocese of Washington will host events and services uplifting the contributions and culture of African-Americans in U.S. society and our local communities. From a play about Rosa Parks to a celebration of Gospel music to an exploration of the role race has played in the Episcopal Church,  you’re invited to participate. 

  • The D.C. Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians and St. Andrew’s, College Park  invite you to a Commemoration of the life and legacy of Absalom Jones, the first African American ordained priest in the Episcopal Church on Sunday, February 9 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Andrew’s (map) Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, celebrant; the Rev. Absalom Jones (Dr. Anthony Alexander), preacher. Clergy are asked to vest, process, and wear festive stoles. 
  • St. Augustine’s, DC  (map) will host leaders from Virginia Theological Seminary, Empower DC, and Howard University for three discussions (February 9, 16, and 23) highlighting Black History. Come hear about Verna Dozier, the Rev. Alexander Crummel, and African-Americans and the Vote. All are welcome.  Learn more

  • St. Thomas’, Upper Marlboro (map) celebrates Black History Month with a Celebration of Gospel Music on Sunday, February 23 at 11:30 a.m. The history of Gospel Music from African Spirituals to today’s modern Gospel will be featured through dance, poetry reading and gospel choir singing. 
  • The center of many African-American family gatherings is sharing food. the Episcopal Church Women of Church of the Atonement, DC (map) invite you to join them as they share their favorite Traditional Soul Cuisine in celebration of Black History Month on Sunday, February 23 at 11:30 a.m. Wearing Afrocentric attire is strongly encouraged.
  • The D.C. Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians invites you to explore the role race has played in the Episcopal Church. The Rev. Vincent P. Harris will facilitate a conversation on Saturday, February 29 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at St. Luke’s, DC (mapLearn more and register for this free discussion
 Is your church planning a service or event celebrating Black History month? Let us know


Go Witness Build: Dusk 2 Dawn Youth Overnight

Go Witness Build: Dusk 2 Dawn Youth Overnight

Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry dropped in at the youth overnight, one of the many events that made up the More Jesus, More Love revival weekend. The theme — Go. Witness. Build. — was inspired by the Way of Love, the Episcopal Church’s rule of life. 

Bishop Mariann listens in on one of the small group discussions. 

Hanging out between sessions. The overnight took place at the Bishop Walker School.

Selfie with the PB? Yes, please! 

Deepening friendships while deepening faith. More Jesus and more love in action. 

Reflecting on lessons learned and next steps. What are YOU called to do? 

Scenes from An Evening with Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and EDOW Young Adults

Scenes from An Evening with Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and EDOW Young Adults

On Friday, January 24 at St. Thomas’, Dupont Circle, Presiding Bishop Curry gathered with young adults from all around the diocese for conversation and worship. 

Bishop Curry asks a question.

The group responds.

Bishop Mariann, Presiding Bishop Curry, and the Rev. Todd Thomas, missioner for Revitalization and Young Adult Ministry

Bishop Curry leads the worship service.

Young adults engaged and enjoying each other’s company.

Photos from More Jesus, More Love Revival Service

Photos from More Jesus, More Love Revival Service

Parishioners from Ascension, Gaithersburg showing us what it’s all about: Más Jesús, Más Amor (More Jesus, More Love)

Ms. Patricia Johnson, senior warden at St. Timothy’s, D.C. and the Rev. Joseph Constant, rector of St. John’s, Beltsville, arriving at the arena in good spirits and ready for More Jesus and More Love.

The Rev. Stephanie Spellers, Canon for Evangelism on the Presiding Bishop’s staff; Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde; and Deacon Susan Fritz on the dais. 

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde welcomes the crowd.

Ms. Jennifer Amuzie sharing one of the many personal testimonies given–and received–at the revival

Mr. Jason Crighton of St. Thomas’, DC offers his testimonial.

The Trinity, DC choir.


Julio Cuellar invites us to sing with him. 

The music from the Raymond Reed & Friends Ensemble got folks on their feet. 

Open to the message: More Jesus, More Love. 

East of the River Steelband, hosted at Church of the Atonement 

Attendees focused on Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry’s electrifying sermon. 

Presiding Bishop Curry had us laughing, crying, and eager to love as Jesus loves. When he says, “More Jesus!” We say…

A Call for Champions

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Luke 10:1-2, NRSV

How about them Nats?!!! Whether or not you’re a baseball fan, the story of the Washington Nationals quest to become the MLB’s 2019 World Series Champions is compelling. The Nationals started out the season poorly, and as Nationals Manager Dave Martinez said in his post-game interview, “Guess what? We stayed in the fight. We won the fight! …We were down and out. We were 19-31. We didn’t quit then, we weren’t going to quit now.”

As a die-hard sports fan, and a native Washingtonian, I’ve been longing for some championship teams for some time. Yet, in 2018 and 2019, our blessings were abundant. The Capitals winning the Stanley Cup last year, the Mystics winning the WNBA Championship earlier this month, and the Nationals winning the World Series last night just fills my sports junkie heart with joy, and I dare say, joy abounds in the DMV today.

But, as a die-hard cheerleader for the Diocese of Washington, I can’t help but wonder how we can translate that winning, never-quit attitude to our efforts to spread the love of Jesus and build up the Body of Christ in our diocese. 

The Diocesan Strategic Plan was approved in early October, after months of meeting with faithful people of God all across the Diocese.

From these efforts, we identified three areas of focus for our collective work over the next five years: 

  • Revitalize our churches to grow the Jesus Movement

  • Inspire every person to grow in faith & equip our leaders to lead well

  • Partner in ministries of service & justice for greater impact in our communities

We then chose three specific measurable objectives to accomplish in the first 12 months of Strategic Plan implementation, one under each area of focus.  

Those objectives are:

  • Church Revitalization — We will provide church health assessments and revitalization strategies, and introduce these strategies to ten representative congregations.  

  • Spiritual Formation — We will establish a school for Christian leadership.  

  • Justice — We will work with each region to identify a primary ministry of justice on which to collaborate for greater social impact. 

As Jesus appointed the 70 to go out, we are seeking “champions,” people passionate about Church Revitalization, Spiritual Formation or Justice and willing to invest their time, talent and expertise in tilling the soil of our potential so that we may harvest the bounty we believe God has in store for the diocese. To that end, we have started putting together leadership teams of lay and ordained people who can help us advance in our first three ministry objectives. 

If you are excited about our Diocesan initiatives, and are fired up by our mission, “To draw people to Jesus and embody his love for the world by equipping faith communities, promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice,” we’d like to talk with you further about serving on one of our teams of champions and we invite you to complete this brief online form by November 30.  

We plan to announce and commission these Strategic Plan leadership teams at Diocesan Convention, January 25, 2020.  

We are excited about what God has in store for the Diocese of Washington. God calls us to “stay in the fight” for our church, God’s people, the nation and the world. We believe that with the support of Church Revitalization, Spiritual Formation and Justice champions, we will gather a joyous harvest.