Reverend David G. Showers
Rector of Middleham Chapel, Lusby & St Peters Church, Solomons
To finish my series featuring many of the fine clergy of Calvert County over the Christmas Season, my guest personality this week is a delightful and enthusiastic Episcopalian Priest, The Reverend David G. Showers. When I decided to highlight religious leaders in this space several weeks ago, I was told I really should meet this padre because he, as the others, is truly loved by the members of his parish. And once more, my friends were absolutely on the mark! Father David proved to be an extremely interesting leader and shepherd. We had about 45 minutes to chat, but had he the time, our conversation would have gone on for a couple of hours or more!
So let’s get started. Father David hails from Michigan where he was raised a Methodist as his dad was a Methodist minister. He decided to become a minister himself due to his father’s example of always caring for others. One of the first things his dad told him as he started his ministry is to “always visit all of your shut-ins first before unpacking whenever you assume a new position”! He learned early on of the great joy that helping people brings to those that serve others! We agreed it has been both of our experiences that in taking care of those less fortunate than ourselves, we are undoubtedly happier, if not healthier for our efforts. And just maybe we can look forward to an even longer, more enjoyable life!
As with several of the other clergy that I have interviewed this past month, Father David is affiliated with a Christian faith that is different than the religion in which he was raised. I was curious to his decision and he stated he decided more than forty years ago that he wanted to become a priest. He spent five years in training for this transition before being ordained in 1971. Prior to assuming his current role, he served as Pastor for the Asbury community in Solomons for 5 years. He loves his role here in Southern Calvert where he now leads more than 400 communicants at three sites in three services each week, St. Peter’s in Solomons, Middleham Chapel and the Great Hall here Lusby. He pointed out the historical nature of the Middleham Chapel which was founded in 1634 as one of the first Episcopalian places of worship in Maryland. Given the date of its founding, I would expect this church could be one of the first in the “New World” and possibly established by those Pilgrims, both Catholic and Anglican, who left England in pursuit of religious freedom.
Father David is so full of energy that I had to ask about this enthusiasm he displays for his work given the fact he is responsible for three places of worship. He immediately responded “it isn’t about me, it’s about the community”! He went on to say “he seeks to connect with people wherever they are on their spiritual journey – all are welcome to receive the bread and wine of the Lord for after all it is God’s feast”. I was thoroughly impressed with his sincerity and devotion to providing the Lord’s work for others. And he readily exudes a deep spirituality that reveals his love of the Lord and a real love for his work. One other trait I picked up on almost immediately, the Reverend smiles all the time! He genuinely enjoys what he is doing as he goes about his rounds!
I asked my new friend of the work his flock is currently accomplishing in the community. I learned there are many outreach programs underway. One is called “Helpful Harvest” and is an effort to provide food for the hungry through S.M.I.L.E. the wonderful ecumenical organization here in Lusby that has been caring for the needy for many years now. Not only do they provide food, but they also take care of most of the necessities of life including clothing and financial aid through their large facility that resells donated furniture, appliances, and all sorts of items people bring them every week. The Rector takes great pride in saying his group was one of the founding charter members of local churches that came together to create S.M.I.L.E. I believe it is the model program and an excellent example of how all of us of many faiths can come together and unite in the common purpose of taking care of our of our fellow man.
The good padre spoke of his parish’s program “Big Conversation”. Each year the parish through then Christian Formation Committee examines in depth a topic of national interest. Last year it was veterans. The parish came together to discuss current needs of local vets to determine how can they help e care for their greatest issues and provide means to better support this segment of our society. This year it is about Economic Inequality. They are also heavily involved in Project Echo, the homeless shelter in Prince Frederick, Homes for Habitat, and Safe Nights. They also have sponsored a school nurse in Haiti for the past 4 years, providing school supplies and other means of support for this poor part of the world.
Finally, I learned from others of Reverend David’s recent appointment to the Calvert Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, an extremely important role that he is well prepared to handle. He credits his good friend Father Peter Daly at St. John Vianney’s Catholic Church for his recruitment. He says he gained the training and experience for this position through his work at Asbury- Gaithersburg learning to become a Chaplain working with the ill and the aged members of the community. I know from our short time together, he must bring a ray of sunshine into the lives of these people when he provides for their spiritual needs. He seems to just radiate good feelings with his vibrant, positive outlook.
Father David shared with me that he is married to his longtime partner Bruce and he has a son, daughter in-law, and a grandson. Reverend, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. You were everything the members of your congregation told me you would be. Thank you for all you do! And Happy New Year and all the best to you in your efforts to make Calvert a better, happier, and holier place.
Dave Spigler resides in Lusby and has been a resident of Calvert County since 1979. He has been recognized many times for his years of community service. He received the “Calvert You Are Beautiful Award” for 2013 and recognized by the Knights of Columbus as the “Maryland Citizen of the Year” in 2011. He was a member of the HOGETTES, the Washington Redskins “Biggest Fans” for 22 years. If you know of an unsung citizen of Calvert County, please contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.