June 1, 2015
Inside this Edition

Self-Development of People Hold Regional Meeting in Baltimore


Healthy Boundaries Training: Unpacking the Boundaries 


Justice Conference at Central PC 


Grace PC Flea Market


Springfield Concert


Hand Bell Concert at Havenwood PC


Second PC Seeks Dir. of Education & Congregation Life


Ashland PC Seeks Dir. of Christian Education


Hurricane Katrina Anniversary "Blitz Build"


Become a Food Service Site for Children this Summer


Big Tent! 


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

Committee on Ministry meets Wednesday, June 3 @ 3pm

General Presbyter Search Committee meets 9am on Wednesday, June 10

Thriving Congregations Commission will meet 6:30pm Tuesday, June 16

Reconciliation Commission meets 6:30pm on Wednesday, June 24


In the Loop MG

will meet 6:30pm on
Wednesday, June 3 at  Trinity Presbyterian Church, 6:30pm.

The BAD MG will meet 7pm on Tuesday, June 9 at Prince of Peace PC.

Susquehanna Parish MG will meet 12:30pm on Thursday, June 18, at First PC of Bel Air.


Praise & Prayer
Rev. Mark Medina

Praise God for the ministry of the Rev. Mark A. Medina, who began last month as Interim Pastor of Towson Presbyterian Church.  Rev.  Medina is a native of Alamosa, CO and the son of a Presbyterian pastor. He has served congregations in the midwest and, most recently, as Interim Senior Pastor at the Presbyterian Church of Falling Spring in Chambersburg, PA.


Rev. Medina received a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary and later concentrated on Ethics and Christian Education at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Missouri Union Presbytery ordained him on May 26, 1985.


We welcome Rev. Medina and his wife, Judy, to the Presbytery of Baltimore.




Thank God for the ministries of The Rev. Todd Smith, who will be installed as Pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church at 4pm on Sunday, June 7; The Rev. Jonathan Nelson, who will be ordained and installed as Associate Pastor of Ark & Dove Presbyterian Church 4pm on Sunday, June 21  Presbyterian Church; and, The Rev. Stephen Melton, who will be installed at 4pm on Sunday, June 28 as Pastor of Churchville Presbyterian Church.  

Being in a Safe Place, 

A Safe Sanctuary



by Rev. Judy Johnson,  

Coach for the Wild, Wild West Ministry Group


Does your church ever have a child or a youth in the building? (Or wish there was one?)


As people of faith, we believe each one of us, regardless of age, is loved and cherished by God. We especially want each person, young or old, to feel safe and welcome in the church.  "Safe in the arms of Jesus," so to speak.  And safe in the arms of those who guide and teach our children, youth and vulnerable adults.


According to the three companies*  that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America, they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members. 


"It is common for a congregation to think, 'It can't happen here. We're small and everyone knows everyone,'" one expert said. "That is not sound thinking when it comes to child sexual abuse. Most abusers are known to the child and trusted by the congregation. Child sexual abuse occurs in churches of all sizes and denominations and in all parts of the country - urban and rural."


According to an article in Children's Ministry Magazine, church volunteers commit 50% of all incidents of sexual abuse in churches, paid staff commit 30%, and other children commit 20%. Perpetrators are looking for easy access to vulnerable children, youth, senior citizens, and people with disabilities.  Does your church have a policy in place (and followed) that provides guidelines to help minimize risks to children, youth, staff and volunteers? Do you do background checks on all volunteers and staff? According to the Children's Ministry Magazine article, "The Volunteers for Children Act signed in 1998 states that you can be sued for negligent hiring if you have an incident with one of your volunteers or employees and you didn't conduct a national search for a previous criminal record."


What is your policy to review safe sanctuary guidelines? Do you know what the two-adult rule is? (Two adults present for any activity involving children and try to avoid being alone with a child.) How are children released out of the nursery or classroom? Where are your fire extinguishers and first aid kits? Have you ever had a fire drill during Sunday School?

During the baptism of a child, we, the congregation, promise, to nurture the child in faith and to provide a community in which to [safely] grow in that faith. May you be blessed in your ministry with children, youth and vulnerable adults. 


*Church Mutual Insurance Co., GuideOne Insurance Co. and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co.


Take  noteTake Note /Act Now
Take Note/Act Now


Presbytery   .  .  . and the  Wider Church 


The national office of
Self-Development of People will hold its  regional meeting on Friday, June 26 at the Druid Heights Community Development Corp., 2140 McCulloh St. 21201. Come and engage in conversations with community, faith-based and government leaders about ways to improve life in the city; then stay for lunch and later learn how to apply for grants (Up to $20,000) from SDOP. Groups eligible to apply must: 
  • be oppressed by poverty and social systems;
  • be working on projects to address community issues;
  • consist of low income members;
  • have control of their program and be engaged in efforts that benefit themselves. 
During Baltimore City's recent state of emergency, two of our SDOP partners -- No Boundaries Coalition, a resident-led initiative to reconstruct community across neighborhood boundaries and 
Walks of Life a group of formerly incarcerated citizens engaged in urban farming -- stepped-up to address the needs of the West Baltimore communities they serve.  If you're still asking "What can we do to help Baltimore City?" you should attend this meeting.  For details, click SDOP.


Teaching Elders, Commissioned Ruling Elders and Certified Christian Educators who work or live within the bounds of the Presbytery of Baltimore are invited to attend "Unpacking the Boundaries," a three-hour training program offered by the Sexual Misconduct Response Team (SMRT).  The program will be offered for $15 from 8:45am to 12pm on Thursday, June 18, at  Central Presbyterian Church, 7308 York Road, Towson, MD 21204.  Payment must be made on-line by clicking Healthy Boundaries.





On Saturday, June 6, Central Presbyterian Church will be hosting a local
simulcast of The Justice Conference from 10am to 9:30pm. This is an international event that
brings together world-class speakers and artists with a focus on biblical

and social justice for the 21st century. For details, click Justice.


Grace Presbyterian Church will sponsor a flea market from noon to 4pm on Saturday, June 6.  


Springfield Presbyterian Church's last concert of the season will feature classical guitarist William Feasley, will be held at 3pm on Sunday, June 14. The Washington Post described William Feasley's guitar as "sounding, in the words of Segovia, like a small orchestra in its variety of colors..."  The concert is free.  Please join us for an intimate concert and wonderful reception afterward. For details, click Springfield.

Havenwood Presbyterian Church in Lutherville is proud to present the Bells of the Bay Volunteer Choir of hand bell ringers from Talbot and Caroline counties at 4pm on Sunday, June 7 in the church sanctuary.  There is no admission charge.  A free will offering will be accepted.


Second Presbyterian Church seeks a Director of Christian Education and Congregational Life.  Click here for details.


Ashland Presbyterian Church seeks a Director of Christian Education. Click here for details 





Presbyterian churches in the Baltimore area played a huge role in helping rebuild communities along the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.  This August will be the 10th Anniversary of Katrina and we will once again return to the coast to "blitz build" several houses for those in need. Aligned with Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders (FCDR), an ecumenical Christian organization, we will be working in Biloxi, MS from Aug. 23 to Aug. 29 -- although, volunteers are needed before and after that time. For details, visit http://pda.pcusa.org/page/work-teams-locations/#ms or www.fullercenter.org/disaster-rebuilders or contacting Pete Berlowitz  Individuals and/or churches are also welcome to help support the build at http://www.gofundme.com/s6e6eb3bg


Your Church Can Serve as a Food Service Site for Children this Summer 

The Family League of Baltimore City, Inc. is participating in a federally funded Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The program in Baltimore City works with approved sites (i.e. churches) to distribute suppers free of charge to eligible children, 8-18 years of age.  Churches must apply to the program and complete training to become an authorized site for distributing the meals supplied by the Family League.  The Family League will refer churches outside of the city to similar programs in other jurisdictions that may also offer lunch and breakfast.  For details, contact Melissa Moore at The Family League of Baltimore City via email MMoore@familyleague.org; by phone 443.423.0912 or visit www.familyleague.org.


Big Tent 2015 registration is up and running and everyone is excited about what it will bring.  You can watch the Big Tent video or read more information about this event on the Big Tent web site


taff Directory


  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

Terry Jackson
Dir. of Finance


Deborah Greene

Dir. of Communication


Catherine Blacka

Judy Johnson

Ministry Group Staff




 Wanda Morgan

Dir. of Events/Services