Be it ever so humble, there's no sewage in the Thrift Shop

There was a toilet. Then there was a hole in the ground.

This is not the exciting news some of you were told to expect this week. But it is still exciting! Working with Stephen J Tant Plumbing and with support from many of you in Remington and the wider Guardian Angel family, we now have backflow prevention valves on both of the main drain lines serving the church building and Kromer Hall.

This past fall, after 100 years with no record of sewage backups on the property, Guardian Angel experienced three major sewage floods within a couple of months. Thousands of gallons rushed up through the toilets from the sanitary sewer during heavy rainstorms, filling the Thrift Shop as deep as 5 inches in some places, as well as the green room of the Undercroft, the arts collective we're thrilled to host in our undercroft. The damage was more $30,000, though thankfully it was covered by our insurance other than a deductible, plumbing work, and some Thrift Shop items.

Department of Public Works crews, at the urging of City Council Rep Mary Pat Clarke, worked hard but struggled to find the underlying problem. After many attempts, a private crew hired by the city found a problem in the lines downstream of the Thrift Shop, under the street at the corner of Huntingdon and W. 27th. Between that and regular storm drain clearing, we've not had another incident. That was not a comforting resolution!

The junior warden's blood pressure went down when that part went in,
that's the backflow prevention valve.
But now we have one-way valves on both of the affected drain lines. In the Thrift Shop, they had to tear up the concrete men's room floor and move the toilet to make room for the backflow valve. But it's done, and we can now revel in the rain as a blessing from God instead of flinching and dreading our next visit after a storm.

In addition to Stephen Tant's crew, we'd also like to thank Metro Mechanical for their work on the Undercroft and gratefully acknowledge their donations made in connection with this project. We also thank the many people who donated to the Thrift Shop Restoration Fund; money from that fund paid for part of this work and for some replacement equipment for the Thrift Shop volunteers.

It remains a ... utilitarian space, the restroom. And we would love to renovate both bathrooms to modern standards of comfort. If that project strikes your fancy, it is still in the visioning stage and we would welcome your involvement. We also aspire to add air conditioning in the main thrift store space, an improvement we estimate at around $8,000.

Good as new? Perhaps not. Better than it was though? Yeah! And safe now. Safe is good.
The Thrift Shop is closed for the duration of the COVID-19 public health crisis. It will open back up when other retail opens, at the discretion of Sarah, Max, Val, Barb and the other volunteers. We are so grateful for all they do every saturday from 10am to 2pm, supporting the Food Pantry with their proceeds, providing affordable home goods and clothing to the neighborhood, as well as building and maintaining a loving community.

Remembering Pastor Alice

Today marks six months since our wonderful Pastor Alice died. We would love to invite her friends to walk the neighborhood, remembering the many places that were sacred to her, and which she made special by her presence. As we cannot meet together, please join us for this virtual walk from Palm Sunday 2017. Or, if you able, go for a walk today to celebrate Alice. Have a (take away) life-saving latte, say hello to a good doggie, give thanks for the wonders of creation, bless a stranger, keep the faith.

Please fill out your census, now!

Guest post by by Jennifer J. Mielke

Neighbors, and friends, stakeholders, please complete your census!! The current response rate in Baltimore City is 44% which is devastating. The below provides a good summary and includes lots of resources to share, so we can increase this number!! 

I know these are difficult and challenging times for everyone and filling out the 2020 census form and encouraging others to do so may be last on your mind, but WE ALL NEED TO BE ADVOCATES RIGHT NOW. 44% response rate is not enough and a lot is at stake. We all know the tremendous impact COVID-19 is having on residents, businesses and communities right now and that is with the funding that we do have. Imagine if we have less money and representation? Please be advocate for the census with your networks, families, and communities.  

The Baltimore City Planning Department has a 2020 Census page with helpful information and resources on the 2020 Census, including how to complete the census:            

What's At Stake?
Four Reasons that the Census Matters to Baltimore:
  1. Financial Resources - $900 million annually to Baltimore through Federal Assistance Programs.
  2. Planning and Policy Guidance - population data used by almost every City Agency to set priorities.
  3. Social and Racial Equity - Baltimore must continue to ensure that the most vulnerable residents are counted - so that the city does not miss out on critical programmatic funding.
  4. Updating Council Boundaries - Ensure fair and equal representation across all 14 districts.
The graph below documents the programs affected by the Census:

Jennifer J. Mielke is the Director of Local and Community Affairs and Government and Community Affairs at Johns Hopkins University & Medicine

Easter worship - 2020

In this this time of isolation, Guardian Angel is still a community of prayer and worship. Though we cannot gather in person, please enjoy--and join in if you'd like--with some hymns performed by Guardian Angel's music director, Noah Stone. 
Christ is risen! And though it may feel like we are buried, he is there with us. And we will emerge. "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20 
Note: Noah continues to receive his normal pay from Guardian Angel, but that's only a couple of hours a week of work. Busking and other public performances, a cornerstone of many musician's professional lives, are not currently allowed. If you'd like to support Noah's musical ministry, you can do so directly via cash app, username $nostonec, or by making a donation to Guardian Angel ( with the note "Support for musical ministry."

Easter vigil 2020

Guardian Angel music director Noah Stone

Palm Sunday Liturgy - 4/5/2020

Visiting priest Carol Burnside, who is walking with us through this Lenten season and Holy Week, celebrates the Palm Sunday liturgy at the Church of the Guardian Angel.

During the current crisis over COVID-19, we cannot meet in person for our regular weekly services and activities, though the Wednesday morning Food Pantry continues in a modified form (9am-10am). But Guardian Angel, the people and building, will continue to be dedicated to prayer, worship, and service in the name of Christ.

In-Person Worship Services Suspended till May 16

The suspension of public worship for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has been extended to May 16th. Although we cannot meet together, we continue to pray for the people of Remington, and to seek ways in which we can love and serve. We are deeply touched by all the support neighbors are giving to one another at this time.

The Food Pantry continues to open on Wednesday mornings from 9-10am.

Please note the Thrift Shop is closed for the health and safety of all our community.

The Cathedral of the Incarnation will livestream Sunday morning worship (March 29th, at 11am). All are welcome to join in! This Sunday the Gospel reading is John 11:1-45 and the Psalm is 130.
“I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for him; in his word is my hope.” (Psalm 130)