May 9, 2016
Inside this Edition

871st Gathering: Singing for a Change 

Gathering 224th OGA Hosted in Baltimore

Order of the Day

Ferguson Scholarship Deadline

Towson PC Hosts Dr. Mary Bringle at Hymn Fest

Catonsville Concerts at 3: Quintaero: French Chamber Music in Concert

West Side Ministry Group: Neighborhood Workshop 

Free Saxophone Concert at Faith 

Knox seeks Church Administrator

1st of Cumberland seeks Director of Music Ministry

World Refugee Day - Join the Movement!

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

Steering Cabinet will meet at 1pm on Wednesday, May 25

Investment Advisory Committee  will meet at 9am on May 11

Committee on Preparation for Ministry will meet at 3pm Wednesday, May 11

Commission on Spiritual Leader Development  will meet at 10am on Tuesday, June 7 

Commission on Reconciliation will meet at 6:30pm on May 25

Commission on Thriving Congregations meets at 6:30pm on Tuesday, May 17 

The Bay Area Disciples MG will meet at 6pm on Tuesday, May 10 at Ark and Dove PC.

Cuba Partnership will meet at 2:30pm on Wednesday, May 18 in the library of Hunting Ridge PC

Our Shared Ministry 2016 

Thank you to the following congregations who have pledged toward Our Shared Ministry 2016. We have now received $148,507 in pledges.  Our aim is not just to reach a budget goal of $225,000 but also enlist the participation of all of our congregations. And, we believe that this can happen.

Ark & Dove
Brown Mem'l Woodbrook
Christ Our King
First & Franklin
1st of Annapolis
1st of Bel Air 
Good Shepherd
Havre de Grace
Hunting Ridge 
Light Street
Mount Paran
Prince of Peace
Roland Park
Woods Mem'l

Clerks of Sessions
Annual Review  
You are invited to bring your session minutes, rolls, and registers to one of the following annual meetings to review session records.    Click here.

Western Maryland
Saturday, May 21, 2pm
Hancock Presbyterian Church, Hancock

Anne Arundel
Sunday, May 22, 2pm
Harundale Presbyterian Church, Glen Burnie.

North Baltimore City/County
Monday, May 23, 7pm
Babcock Presbyterian Church, Towson

Harford County
Wednesday, May 25,7pm
Christ Our King Presbyterian Church, Bel Air


Please join the Rev.  David C. Harris and the cong regati on
 of First & Franklin Presbyteri an Church as they celebrate his retirement and the conclusion of his interim pastorate at a 10:30am worship on Sunday, May 22, followed by a reception. 

by  Vonna Laue 

If your car isn't running properly -- or running at all --  wouldn't you like to know that the mechanic has been trained to diagnose the problem accurately and efficiently? Everyone, from tax preparers and mechanics to doctors and surgeons, needs to receive ongoing and informed training to do their job well. So why should it be any different for those who are responsible for the financial matters in your church?

Ministry is what church is all about, but it can't happen effectively if finances collapse. Many effective ministries have been minimized or closed because of poor financial decisions. Good decisions require good information, and providing staff with adequate training about church finance will help ensure such information is available.  Here are some key elements to consider:

Software Some churches still use handwritten spreadsheets. Whether you have a small church or a large, complex ministry -- employing inexpensive basic accounting software can minimize errors and speed up various processes such as bank reconciliations.

Internal Controls Policies and procedures serve to protect the church as well as individuals such as pastors, staff, volunteers and church members. Train staff or volunteers on the operations of the accounting department, policies and internal controls.  It is also beneficial to have someone help you consider your operations' potential weaknesses.

Regulatory Environment New regulations are created frequently. These are often related to employment matters, and failure to comply could result in significant fines or penalties. The individuals responsible for these matters in your church should receive training to stay current and compliant.

Training Resources There are a variety of methods you can use to provide training to your staff, including low-cost webinars and  online training classes. Some college education options are still beneficial for those involved in accounting for a church. You can also obtain practical hands-on training by networking with others in similar positions, being mentored by more seasoned professionals or investing in training from consultants or accountants who specialize in the nonprofit arena. 

Focused, effective training can often be done in small increments of time over a longer period.
Training usually makes it into the initial budget, but it is one of the first items cut when expenses need to be trimmed. Remember the phrase "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? Training is prevention. It prevents frustration, burnout, errors, and poor decisions. Invest not only in your church's ministry, but also in the  people and processes that are so important to its success. Training resources are available from the Church Law & Tax Store, including:

This article was adapted from "H ow to Train Church Finance Department Workers" written by Vonna Laue, Church Law & Tax, April 2016. Read the full article here. Vonna Laue is an editorial advisor with Christianity Today's Church Law & Tax Team. She has published articles in national publications and is the co-author of the book Essential Guide to Church Finances (Christianity Today, 2009).

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Take Note/Act Now

Presbytery  .  .  . and the Wider Church   

The Presbytery of Baltimore will come together for the 871st Gathering , "Singing for a Change," on May 14 at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Joppa.  Registration begins at 9am.  For details, click Gathering.
Something BIG is coming to Baltimore in four years:  
The 224 PCUSA General Assembly!   The bi-annual assembly will bring thousands of Presbyterians to Baltimore and it is OUR job to be the "hosts with the most," providing hospitality, arranging transportation, gathering the hundreds of volunteers needed, offering side trips to local and regional attractions . . . you get the picture.     If YOU are interested or if you know someone you think might be good, especially those with great organizational skills and creative planners, please email your name and contact information to  Wanda Morgan .  
The next "Order of the Day"  will be held 4pm on Thursday, May 19, at Ryleigh's Oyster (22 Padonia Rd., Hunt Valley). Pastors, join your colleagues in ministry for a refreshing beverage and some good old fashioned fellowship. This is a great way to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and strengthen the ties that bind us together.

The deadline to apply for the Robert F & Rosa M. Ferguson Scholarship is May 15. This $5,000 Scholarship provides financial assistance to deserving high school students who wish to further their education at an accredited college or university. Select application by clicking here; and, send to D ebbie Schmidt at the presbytery office: 5400 Loch Raven Blvd., Balto. MD, 21239.


Towson Presbyterian Church will host Dr. Mary Louise (Mel) Bringle for a weekend of music and learning May 13-15. Dr. Bringle will be featured as theologian and hymn writer in a Hymn Festival that begins at 7:30pm.  for details, click Towson Hymn Festival.

Catonsville Concerts at 3 presents Quintaero on May 15, 2016 .  This talented woodwind quintet will present a concert of French chamber music at Catonsville Presbyterian Church .  The concert begins at 3 pm and is free to the general public. For more information, call 410.747.6180.  

Catonsville Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian of Howard County will join together at 6:30pm pm Thursday, May 26 for a dinner and workshop entitled Engaging in Your Neighborhood: How Your Congregation Can Get to Know Your Neighbors and Get Involved in Your Local Community.  All West Side Story churches are invited to participate.

Faith Presbyterian Church is hosting a free saxophone concert featuring Seychelle Dunn-Corbin (saxophone) and Lucia Del Guerzo (piano) at 4pm on Sunday May 15 in the church sanctuary.

Knox Presbyterian Church seeks a   Church Administrator . For a job description and salary information.

The First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland seeks a Director of Music Ministry .


In the midst of a refugee crisis and with  World Refugee Day approaching on  June 20 , Presbyterians across the U.S. are working to provide a vibrant welcome to refugees, and to encourage our national and local leaders to honor this nation's robust refugee resettlement history Please register for The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) #WeChooseWelcome for Refugees of All Faiths and Nations Strategy Call  at 4pm on Wednesday, May 18 EDT.  

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 Mary Gaut
Interim 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
Deborah Greene  
Dir. of Communications

Catherine Blacka

Judy Johnson
Ministry Group Staff

 Wanda Morgan
Dir. of Events/Services