The Arkive: Ark and Dove's Newsletter

Ascension Sunday, 10:00 am!

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Message from Pastor Tim
Dear Friends and Members of the Ark and Dove Community,

Ark and Dove is a key church in ACT ( Anne Arundel Connecting Together) a nonpartisan, ecumenical, inter-religious organization made up of 28 organizations of which 26 are worshiping communities. Last week ACT polled the worshiping communities and some of our Jewish friends and found that none of us believe that this is the right time to open our buildings. Here is a link to the letter that ACT sent to the County Council. See Pastor Jon's letter below for some deeper insight into this matter. At the heart of my concern is the hope that when we gather in the building together that our church will be a safe place for all.

Along those lines, when Session met this week we did a devotions/discussion based on Colossians 3:12-17. Verse 14 reads like this, "Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." We then had a heartfelt discussion about what it is like to wear a mask in public and to see people wearing masks. They fog your glasses; you can't see smiles; some people wear weird masks; etc. Where we landed at the end was here: when you wear a mask in public you are protecting the vulnerable. When your wear a mask in public you are clothing yourself in love. To wear a mask is to live in harmony with our community.

It is highly, highly likely that when our building re-opens, we will clothe ourselves in masks; we will clothe ourselves in love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Who knows?  Masks may become a fashion accessory like ties and scarfs. Soon those cheeky signs at summer stores will read, "no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service."

Also our Session has decided that despite recent news headlines, we will live in love, and we will heed the strong advice of the Presbytery of Baltimore, and our building will not be open for in-person worship this Sunday. We are busy preparing livestream worship, and we encourage you to use the chat feature on the YouTube Channel to create community and harmony. My sermon title for Sunday is "The Church Is Open; The Building Is Shut."

Message from Pastor Jon
Dear Members and Friends of Ark and Dove,

Without undue haste or delay was the phrase repeating in my mind at the end of our Session meeting on Wednesday night. It is our practice to spend moments of prayerful silence at the end of a meeting reflecting on the movement of the Spirit among us. After a careful conversation about reopening our building in the coming months with our incredibly gifted leaders, I kept thinking about this phrase. It is one that pastors often give to those who ask when a baptism should occur. Without undue haste or delay, which means that it is not necessary to rush a baptism as if it is an emergency. The baptismal certificate is not a ticket into beloved communion. However, baptism should not be held off for no reason. It is a tangible sign of God's love, now and forever.

So why was this phrase about the timing of baptism bouncing around my head in reflection on reopening our building for worship? I think it might be a phrase we can apply to our strategy for reopening. We do not want to reopen for worship with undue haste. Sadly, several news sources have reported that congregations who have opened too quickly have spread the coronavirus in their gathering. We do not want to hastily open because this virus continues to spread, and we have much to learn about how to contain it. Leaders of this congregation are taking necessary time to develop a strategy (which will be made available to you) that is based in Presbyterian values, peer-reviewed research, denominational guidelines, state and county resources, the best and most current information available on COVID-19, and the particularities of our congregation. All of this is taking time. It cannot be done in haste. We cannot afford that.

We also have the other part of the phrase in mind. We want to open our building for worship without undue delay. On Zoom conferences, phone calls, and e-mail, I have heard how much in-person worship and fellowship is missed. When we have gone through a crisis in the past, we have gone to church and the embodied community has been a source of comfort and peace. During this crisis, we have not been able to do so. I know, for many of us, this is one of the hardest parts of this pandemic. For this reason, we do not want to delay gathering any more than we have to. When it is safe, when we have best practices in place, when we can (to the best of our knowledge and ability) ensure that the most vulnerable will not be put at further risk, and when we can faithfully gather, we will do so. It just might be a bit longer than we think.

We will gather in person again without undue haste or delay. Please continue to pray for the leaders of our country, county, denomination and congregation as they discern a safe way forward. It is a great privilege and honor to serve among all of you at Ark and Dove.

Verse and Prayer
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel? " He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight . While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
- Acts 1:6-11
Holy One of Heaven and Earth: help us to set our sight, not upward, but outward. Lead us to where we have not gone, to those we have not noticed, and to places others will not go. Gift us with what we need to be your witnesses wherever you guide us. Fill us with your Spirit, that we might be agents of grace, hope, and love for those in a world of hurt. Amen.
I'm looking forward to having the children present some music in worship in June. If you would like to participate, please let me know. You'll need a device that allows the children to hear me singing (phone, tablet, laptop), earphones, and a device to record them (phones are great!). Just drop me a line.


Director of Music
I am very excited to announce that we have purchased a new mixing board for the sanctuary that is going to help the recording process and streaming drastically. The previous board was quite outdated, so it was definitely time for an upgrade. This upgrade will last a very long time as well! Thank you to all those who are supporting the broadcast of Ark and Dove's services through their time and energy, and a special thanks to those who have generously donated to the streaming fund to allow for these hardware and software upgrades. It is helping immensely with streamlining our process and this new board is going to save me hours upon hours of work each week.

This week the band is presenting a special treat for the offertory. We had planned on playing a special service last week of all music by Gungor, but due to COVID-19 that was postponed. It is with great pleasure that we get to share one of those songs this week however. Our offertory anthem will be 'Beautiful Things' by Gungor.

God bless,

Director of Contemporary Music
DONATE ONLINE ! Samaritans Today fund, Streaming Services fund, one-time and recurring!

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You will be enriched in every good way for your generosity….
- 2 Corinthians 9:11
Ascension Sunday
All are invited to join livestream worship at 10:00 am.

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Calling All Graduates
We Want to Celebrate Your Achievements!
If you or a family member recently graduated from high school, undergrad or grad school, let us know (! We understand that it has been very hard to complete programs without the traditional endings and celebrations. We want to celebrate your achievements, especially under these circumstances. Please include the graduate's name, school and, if applicable, degree. Graduates will be included in the prayer list, formally acknowledged in the June 21 bulletin and celebrated by the Ark and Dove community.
Healing Through Grief
Healing Through Grief During Quarantine
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

Pastor Tim and I will be co-facilitating the next  Healing through Grief group on Tuesday, May 26, 7 pm, again as a Zoom meeting . The Healing through Grief small group is open to anyone attending Ark and Dove and their family, who have experienced the death of a loved one, whether it is recent or a long time ago. While quarantining during COVID-19, many have found grieving for lost loved ones, even from years ago, a difficult thing to bear. There will be another meeting on June 10. Questions? Please contact Pastor Tim Stern at or 410-674-6400 or Linnie Girdner at or 410-999-7892.
Adult Education Opportunities
May Book Club
Join us as we read Naamah by Sarah Blake, a contemporary re-telling of the Flood Narrative in Genesis, told from Naamah's point of view, the wife of Noah. We will gather virtually on the evening of Tuesday, May 26, 7 pm , to discuss the book. Please let Pastor Jon know if you plan to join (
Outreach and Connections
Parent Group
You are invited to meet via ZOOM on Friday, May 29, 6:30 pm . Join other parents/guardians of children from ages 0 to 18 for informal discussion. Looking forward to connecting with you! Nicole Howe,
Equipping the Saints
Structured Decision-Making
Leadership at Ark and Dove is tasked with making countless decisions covering a myriad of topics such as long-range plans, budgets, mission and ministry programs, and so much more. Structured decision-making can be a helpful tool in this endeavor. What is structured decision-making? Structured decision-making is a general term for carefully organized analysis of problems in order to reach decisions that are focused clearly on achieving fundamental objectives. In our next Equipping the Saints class, our own Pat Devers will help us delve into how this approach to decision-making can better equip leadership at Ark and Dove to make good and effective decisions that align with our core values and accomplish objectives. Join us via Zoom on Wednesday, June 3, 6:30 pm. Please contact Pastor Tim to receive an invitation.
Send Us Your Selfies!
Although Gov. Hogan has cautiously announced that parts of Maryland are entering phase 1 of reopening, Ark and Dove will continue livestreaming (please see County Executive Steuert Pittman's executive order). We all miss seeing each other, so please submit selfies of you and your families, so we can share during worship. We especially love seeing how you are worshiping! In front of the TV? On the phone at the kitchen counter? Little ones in jammies? Please send photos to Ellen Makar, Worship Elder,
The Lobby
Tune in to worship a little early and catch up on church life! We are streaming a short video, The Lobby , every Sunday morning around 9:50 to fill you in on what's happening around Ark and Dove, outside of Sunday worship. Turns out, it's a lot! Join Brian Boudreau and other church leaders to catch up in The Lobby . On the Ark and Dove YouTube channel . Ellen Makar, worship elder,
Christian Education
Zoom Games and Bible Lessons
We hope children and youth will join us for our opportunities to play zoom games and share lessons of faith.
  • Senior High Fellowship, Sunday @ 5 pm
  • Middle School Fellowship, Tuesday @ 5:30 pm
  • Kindergarten through 5th Grade, Wednesday @ 5 pm
Please check your e-mail for the zoom links. For security reasons, we will not post them publicly. Any questions? Email Pastor Jon ( or Julie Devers (
Godly Play
Godly Play, our Sunday school program for Kindergarten through 5th grade, takes place via zoom on Sunday mornings at 9am. Amy Tardiff leads our Godly Play program. Our host welcomes the children; the storyteller tells a story and then leads the children in reflection and wondering. If you have any questions about Godly Play or would like to be put on our list to receive zoom invitations, please contact Julie Devers, Christian Education Elder, at
Tea at Three
Friendly Seniors
Thursdays at 3:00 pm on Zoom. Please contact Pastor Tim ( to receive an invitation.
Streaming Services Fund
Livestream Equipment, Subscription and Services Fees
The streaming services fund connects us during our most trying times through livestream and Zoom. Worship services and programs can now be viewed through livestream and Zoom when in person participation is not possible. Thank you for contributing to this crucial fund that strengthens our church home and our whole community. Please donate online or text an amount followed by stream to 410-983-3481.
Prayer Requests
Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:

PRAYERS OF HEALING AND SUPPORT for Hollis Butterworth’s daughter, Rachel Mershont; Amanda Wehage’s mother, sister and father, Dave; Bruce and Debbie Arey; Ben Rollins’ sister, Caroline; Zach Murray’s father, Kelly Murray; Becky Marcus; Fred Barrow; Carlton Jackson; Sabonna Keeney’s mother; Pattie Plander; Richard and Edie Budd; Daryl Sensenig; Amy Grimm’s sister and grandparents and Amy’s father; Joan and Merlin Berry; Adell Gaurin; John Rolewicz; Laurie and Fred Barrow’s niece, Hope Simeone, nephew, Samuel, and Fred’s aunt, Lee; Bernabe Solano; Griselda Solano's sister, Irma; Kathy Miller’s sisters, Patty and Beth; Dotty Kaufman, her son, Bill, daughter-in-law, Carol, and granddaughter, Sarah; Ellen Makar’s uncle, Carl Erickson; Greg and Diane Makar’s aunt, Adeline Makar; Barbara Reynold’s sister-in-law, Kay Campbell; Laura Doughty’s brother-in-law, Carl Hahn; Bob Johns; Hollis Butterworth’s brother-in-law, Brian Smith; Cindy Knott’s mother, Madeline; Debbie Saylor’s two friends and her uncle, Wayne; Laura Willoughby's father, Norman and Laura’s friend; Bill Ruble’s mother, Mary Jane Weathers, Shane and Aubrey Ard and Ashley Ruble; Stan Houck and Ann Hirschy; Christina Nelson’s grandmother, Pat Dole; Chip Burnett; Kelly Burnett’s nephew, Justin; Debbie and Bruce Arey’s daughter, Allison; Debbie Arey’s aunt, Linda Rose; Dot Forloines; Dorene Chen’s family; Lewis Shorter and niece, Jennifer Schwandt-Gayle; Archer and Honor Bauman’s grandfather, Larry; the Tardiff family; Brian Boudreau’s cousin, Valery Householder; Kameron and Kamarii Miller; Cheryl Walcutt’s mother, nephew, and sisters, Judy Walsh and Lori Henninger and Lori Johnson; Ylonda Fauntleroy's aunt, Bernice Taylor; Brooks Emrick and her sister, Susan; Vaughn Brown; Frances Keyes; Julia Kirby's mother, Margaret Floyd, cousin, Judy, niece Amy Heiny, and friend Barb Cleland; Erika Sealing's son, Trip, and grandmother, Margaret Schade; Amy Benson's family and Amy’s friend, Brian Shriner; Lou Kareha’s friends, Thomas and Judy Kochis, Nellie Eboli, and Jim Zaranosky; Margaret’s friend, Kim Nolet; Michelle Schoonmaker's friend Amaris Wallace; Linnie Girdner and Jan Hof’s friends, Grace Ligon and Skip Dorrell; Michelle Schoonmaker’s friends, Patriceo Green’s brother and sister; Jane Biondolillo’s sister; Tracy Churchill’s friend, Tammy; Jerri Webb’s friend, Chuck Mabry; Jennifer and Shawn Ralston’s niece; the Yeagers’ older neighbors; Connie Kinnick’s friend, Robbie Heverling; Amy Hagemann’s friend, Gayle Medford; and Doug Mattingly’s mother.

PRAYERS OF LOVE, SUPPORT AND PROTECTION for all hospital staff, patients, clinics, grocers, essential workers and hourly workers around the world, who are working bravely and arduously to protect our loved ones and our communities. Including: Becca Distad; Jack Burnett; Emily Sanders; Audrey Miller; Linda Jordan’s nephew, Russell; Diane Johnson’s grandson; the Ralston’s family members and friends; Simone Stiegler’s friend, Jean Marie; Mike Stiegler; Amy Grimm’s mother; Jeff Grimm; Amy Goldberg’s brother, Joseph Alexander, and parents, Michael and Maryann Cooper; Judy Cooper’s daughter; John Mikeska’s son, Jonathan; and Hollis Butterworth’s sister-in-law, Cyndie.

THE LOVE AND PRAYERS OF THE CONGREGATION go out to the families of those who are battling COVID-19: Emily Dellinger’s sister; Laura Willoughby’s friend, James Carberry; Cliff and Wendy Wellington’s neighbor’s daughter, Lisa; Deborah Dingle’s daughter’s fiancé, Sergio; and Michelle Schoonmaker’s friends, Sarah and Lloyd Russ.

PRAYERS OF LOVE AND SUPPORT for those on the frontlines; those experiencing domestic abuse; those who are furloughed or laid off; for the children who are scared and lonely; for those going through marital stress; and for those challenged by mental illness.

If you have prayer concerns or blessings that you would like to share, please contact Deacon Patriceo Green at and he will add your concern to the prayer partners email chain.
Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church | 410-674-6400 | | | 8424 Piney Orchard Pkwy. Odenton, MD 21113