February 9, 2015

Inside This Edition 


866th Presbytery Gathering 


Healthy Boundaries 


Music Fest 2015


2015 Pastors' Retreat


The Center Opportunity  


Earth Forum: 2015 Environmental Update


Tiffany Series: Tribute o J. Spencer Hammond 


Woods Mem'l PC Come & Follow Youth Fundraiser


First & Franklin PC Spire Series: Violinist Kurt Nikkanen


Joan Howe Pastel Landscapes on Exhibition at Woods Gallery 


Springfield PC Ruth Gosnell Fund


Woods Mem'l seeks Organist 


Christ Our King seeks Director of



Prince of Peace PC seeks Director of Christian Education


Advocacy Training Weekend: Breaking the Chains


The Center: Adult Mission Trip Opportunity




(Committee & Commission meetings will be held at the Presbytery's office unless noted otherwise.)


Investment Advisory Committee meets Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 3pm.


Personnel  Committee meets Tuesday, Mar. 3 from 11:30am. The meeting will include lunch. 


Commission on Thriving Congregations will meet Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 6:30pm.


BAD will meet again on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 9am to 3:30pm for a workshop and review of the Hispanic Ministry Report.  Members planning to attend, please RSVP to dschmidt@baltimorepresbytery.org.


Susquehanna Parish MG meets 12:30pm on Thursday, Feb. 19 for lunch at 1st PC of Bel Air.


Wild, Wild West MG will meet Thursday, Feb. 26. Location TBA.







Shared Ministry Pledge
Submit your Session's 2015 Shared Ministry Pledge On-Line. . .

Link to fillable form can also be found at www.baltimorepresbytery.org

Please pray for . . . 

On Sunday, February 22, 2015, please include a prayer for our state government in your prayers during your worship services.  Click here for Prayer.


Also, please continue to pray for the family of TGP Craig Palmer, who are coping with the separate illnesses of his mother and an adult daughter.  


Top Ten Reasons I'm Not Afraid Anymore . . .




by Sue Thompson, 

Certified Christian Education,

Towson Presbyterian Church


After spending five days with colleagues in educational ministry attending workshops in Baltimore at the National Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Annual Event entitled, "Fear Not," I am working on the fear factor in my own life.  Actually, I've never felt so good after a conference, and it may be because:


10. I have new resources for the coming year that are dynamic and creative (so many, that I had to have them shipped to my church instead of carrying them home!)


9. The format, narratives, and ideas for the wonderful Spirituality Center are available to my church simply by giving my E-mail address to Elisabeth Williams, 2015 APCE Spirituality Center Director.


8. The more than 130 pastors and educators from Baltimore Presbytery who attended the event all week or for one day were inspired by the workshops, worship, and plenary. They demonstrated to others from across the country that we are a Presbytery that values a "thinking, fear-less climate."


7. Baltimore was also well represented by a hard working local Committee comprised of educators and pastors, chaired by Rachael Cunningham (Educator at Brown Memorial Park Avenue) and Rev. Elizabeth Lovell Milford (Associate TE at Harundale Presbyterian).  The committee and co-chairs received admiration and gratitude for a flawless itinerary of pre and post events, creative worship, and handling logistics with ease.  Seven hundred and fifty participants fell in love with Baltimore.


6. Rev. Elizabeth Milford was awarded her certification as a Certified Christian Educator at the opening worship service.  It is heartwarming to know an ordained clergyperson values education so much to put such a concentrated effort into an additional, important credential. 


5. Dr. Brian Blount, President of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, inspired us with words of wisdom, countless videos and media clips, and even invited tweeting during his presentation.  We saw firsthand, how a dialogue of substance can take place using technology and critical thinking skills to good advantage.


4. I now have a delicious recipe for Communion Bread (gluten free) provided by Elizabeth Milford.


3. I reversed my thinking on storms.  While I'm not going to go out and search for a storm, I can now face one with a new attitude.  Storms are teachable moments.  It was revealing to look at why I am afraid of "storms." Dr. Blount also focused on the fear that came upon the disciples after Jesus calmed things down and suggested it could be because they would have to face the "next step."  He pointed to the ways Jesus modeled the "Good News" of the kingdom by his risk-taking behavior and asked his disciples to have faith to do the same.


2. I was reminded through the teaching of Dr. Blount and Carol Howard Merritt that this kind of "kingdom living" has social justice implications.  If good news is preached and taught prophetically, it will most certainly bring change.  Change can be unsettling.  It is going to mean crossing boundaries.  It requires a lot of hope, big dreams, and risk taking. (And thinking about this is making me a bit afraid again.)


1. But, after spending a week with committed, passionate, imaginative, and creative educators, I am motivated to try new ideas, embrace a storm or two, and work the problems.   I give thanks for all those "fear-less" educators who believe in the power of Christian Education.   After meeting 750 people who do their very best each and every day and having personally experienced the fruit of their labors, I am not afraid!


Take  noteTake Note /Act Now
Take Note/Act Now


Presbytery .  .  . and the Wider Church 



The 866th Gathering of the Presbytery entitled, "New Worshipping Communities" will be held 9am-4pm on Thursday, Feb. 12 at Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air.  Click Gathering to read the itinerary and register for a meal



Teaching Elders, Commissioned Ruling Elders, and Certified Christian Educators are invited to attend the "Healthy Boundaries" training program from 9:15am to 4pm on Feb. 26 at Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS), 956 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204 (located opposite Goucher College, inside the beltway  (410.4949.7161).  The program and lunch cost $65.  Payments is required in advance; register on the Baltimore Presbytery website.  Registration deadline:  February 20, 2015.  For more information contact Terrence Alspaugh, chairperson,  Sexual Misconduct Response Team (SMRT) Committee.  REGISTER HERE





Save the date!  The 2015 Pastors' Retreat will be held at Bon Secours Retreat Center from Wednesday Apr. 22 to Thursday Apr. 23.  Our featured presenter, TE Theresa Cho (Saint John's Presbyterian Church in San Francisco) will discuss how to integrate the arts in worship.  


The Center, a partnership of the Presbytery of Baltimore, is seeking applications for weekend and overnight program staff. Work will be on a contract basis, and as needed throughout the year. For more information or to apply, click here. Questions? Contact Kate Foster Connors or click here to read the announcement.





The next Earth Forum will be held at 2pm on Sunday, Feb. 15 at the First Presbyterian Church of Howard County. Come, be a part of the discussion, as the panelists--environmental professionals and leaders--share the highlights and results of their work in 2014 and their plans for 2015. The Earth Forum is free. Email earthforum@firstpreshc.org or call 410.730.3545.  See us at www.earthforumhc.org.

Brown Memorial Park Avenue's Tiffany Series presents a choral concert honoring longtime Douglas Memorial Community Church music director J. Spencer Hammond at 3pm on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church.   Tickets are $15 ($5 for students).  For details, click Hammond.


Come celebrate and support what God is doing in and through the lives of our young people at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church's Come and Follow 2015 program at the Youth and Their Families Ministry from 6-8pm on Saturday, Feb. 21.  This fundraiser for youth is a plain good time with great food, live music, a photo boot and countless auction items and plenty of ways to help raise our goal of over $30,000.  For details, click Youth.


The Spire Series, sponsored by First & Franklin Presbyterian Church, presents solo violinist Kurt Nikkanen, in an all-Bach concert at 8pm on Friday, Mar. 6. A Meet-the-Artist reception will follow the performance.  Tickets are $20 General Admission; $10 for students.  For details, click Nikkanen. 


Seaside dunes, vineyards, fields of flowers and verdant woods are some of the subjects depicted in Portrayals of Life, Light and Color, an exhibit of landscapes in pastel and oil by local artist Joan Howe, which is on display in the gallery of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park now through Feb. 15. Call Nancy Saarlas at 410.647.0135 for gallery hours.

Springfield Presbyterian Church's Ruth Gosnell Education Fund provides interest-free loans to full-time college juniors, seniors and graduate school candidates for the 2015-16 academic year.  Regardless of religion, all applicants will be given impartial consideration; and repayment of the interest-free loan does not start until 6 months after graduation.  Click Gosnell for an application.  Applications must be received by March 1, 2015 at the Springfield Presbyterian Church.  For questions call the church office at 410.795.6152.


ORGANIST needed at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park. Interim position starting immediately. Contact musicministry@woodschurch.org or call the church office at 410.647.2550.

Director of Music Ministry - Full Time for Christ Our King Presbyterian Church, Bel Air, MD  Great opportunity to lead an established music program in an active church.  This could be the best church job you'll ever have!   Please submit your resume for consideration to: dmmsearch@christourking.net.


Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church seeks a part-time Director of Christian Education.   The ideal person for this 20-hour a week job will be warm, outgoing Christian who loves children and has experience both in managing educational programming and in teaching. A full job description is available at www.popchurch.org. Contact Rev. Elizabeth McLean at 410.721.2313 if interested.





Register Now! Advocacy Training Weekend Apr. 17-20, 2015

Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation PC(USA) Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day  - Apr. 17 Ecumenical Advocacy Days - Apr. 17-20.

Adult mission trip opportunity  This summer, from July 11-18, The Center will offer a week-long mission experience exclusively for adults. Partnering with Ashland Presbyterian Church, this hands-on mission will focus on the Habitat for Humanity restoration on McCabe Ave. in East Baltimore. Participants must be at least 18 years. Opportunities include overnight or day-only mission experiences.  Interested? Contact The Center's director, Rev. Kate Foster Connors.



taff Directory

Craig N. Palmer
Transitional General Presbyter
 Deb Milcarek

Assoc. for Reconciliation


Susan Krehbiel

Dir. of Congregational Advocacy




William Nickels III

 Assoc. General Presbyter



Debbie Ingram Schmidt

Assoc. for Spiritual Leader Development


Wanda Morgan

Dir. of Events & Services  wmorgan@baltimorepresbytery.org 





Catherine Blacka

Judy Johnson

Ministry Group Staff




 Deborah Greene

Dir. of Communications