September 8, 2015
Inside this Edition


868th Gathering of the Presbytery of Baltimore


Healthy Boundaries  


Granite PC Blessings for  Bikers


Mt. Paran PC 300th Anniversary


Churchville PC Family Fun Golf Night


Congressman Elijah E. Cummings & BSO OrchKids at BMPA


Catonsville Concerts at 3: Jazz to Ragtime


Light Street PC Federal Hill Farmers' Market


Light Street PC Fall Community Yard Sale


Cross-Cultural Learning at New Life Korean PC


Woods Mem'l PC New Counseling Groups


Madison Ave. PC Bull Roast 


Brown Mem'l Woodbrook seeks Organist/Choir Director


Being the Church in the City Summit 


The Center seeks Part Time Administrative


Just Food Conference at Princeton Theological Seminary


PWP Fall Gathering


Health System Transformation


Spanish Language Classes


October is Pastor Appreciation Month


Prayers for Peace in the Middle East


Committee and Commission meetings will be held at the Presbytery's office (unless noted otherwise.) 
Steering Cabinet  will meet 1:30pm on Wednesday,  Sept. 9


Ministry Group Conveners Lunch will be held at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 9 

BAD Ministry Group will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 6pm at Ark & Dove PC


New Beginnings Event will be held at noon on Friday, Sept. 11 at Brown Mem'l Woodbrook
Praise & Prayer 
Please pray for TE Terry Schoener's wife, Brenda, as the couple cope with her serious medical condition; and, also pray for the daughter of Craig Palmer, the former Interim General Presbyter, as he and his wife continue to care for their ailing daughter, Laura. 


Praise God for the 300th Anniversary of Mt. Paran PC celebrated this month and the 160th Anniversary of Grace PC, which will be celebrated in October.
God Bless!
Our Shared Ministry 
Our Shared Ministry provides vital support to our Ministry Groups, Partnerships and Commissions.   As of this date $106,880.12 has been received toward the   $220,000 budget for 2015 Shared Ministry We are grateful to the Sessions of the following churches who have already made part or all of their 2015 contribution :

Ark & Dove 
Brown Mem'l Pk Ave.
Christ Our Anchor 
Christ Our King 
Dickey Memorial 
1st of Annapolis
1st of Bel Air
1st of Cumberland
1st of Frostburg
1st of Howard County
Good Shepherd 
Hughes Memorial 
Hunting Ridge 
Mount Hebron
Mount Paran
Prince of Peace 
Roland Park 
Woods Memorial   

God Bless!
Covenant Clergy Support Groups Starting Fall 2015 

by Rev. Dr. Stephen Melton, Pastor
     Churchville Presbyterian Church 

In my thirty years of ministry, the decision to join a particular clergy 
grou p was one of the best decisions I made. From 2002 to 2010, the secon d Tuesday of each month, I sat down with eight other mi nist ers and shared my life and they shared theirs. I had tried oth er clergy groups in the past and they left me discouraged, but this one was unique. 

We were not there to fix one another, correct theology, or advocate for positions. We came together in the best sense of Christian community. We bore one another in love. We did this primarily by listening and giving one another a place to be brutally honest. In the tradition of a spiritual discernment group, we gathered believing God was there already just waiting for us to s top the business of our ministry long enough to be ministered to ourselves.  Like you who may be reading this now, I was suspicious of joining any kind of clergy group. I recall a Christian Century article that articulated the resistance. Although ministers often suffer from loneliness, the idea of another meeting is not altogether attractive.  

At most clergy gatherings, when pastors report on their ministries, they only skim the surface   and they tend to paint a rosy picture, especially if a denominational executive is present who has influence on pastoral placement. Some personal sharing might go on, but it usually revolves around complaints about workload, the stresses of ministry, the state of the church or the dysfunction of the denomination.

If some brave soul is vulnerable and speaks honestly about the challenges of ministry, the other pastors inevitably rush in to offer advice and recommend a solution....Pastors come away from such gatherings feeling vaguely dissatisfied and cynical...disappointed that in one way or another they had again missed a chance to offer one another support in ministry. [1]
This had been my experience as well. For years I avoided clergy groups because they seemed weighed down with meaningless talk or dominated by a few members. Like many ministers, I often feel alone in the ministry, but I am wary of being transparent. I value the support of my peers, but I don't need another meeting to talk about nothing.
All that changed in 2002 when I was invited to join a clergy group in the Presbytery of Carlisle. This covenant group was intentionally different. The leaders had been trained with resources from the Alban Institute. In particular, they used "How to Build a Support System for Your Ministry" by Roy Oswald.  As I read over the material, I felt drawn to the group. I was gratified when I was invited to join. For the next eight years I only missed three meetings - it was that important to me.
Beginning this fall we hope to start a similar group in the Presbytery of Baltimore. We will have an organizing meeting during the "Open Space" portion of the presbytery meeting at Central Presbytery Church, Thursday Sept. 17, beginning at 12:45pm. Another information meeting will be held a 2pm on  Tuesday,  Sept. 29 at Churchville Presbyterian Church.We will hand out materials and talk about the covenantal nature of the group. We hope you will join us and become part of one of our new clergy groups. Please contact me if you have any questions: Rev. Dr. Stephen R. Melton, 410.734.7344,

Pastor and Member of the Commission on Spiritual Leader Development

[1] "Peer Power," Christian Braudaway-Bauman, The Christian Century, January 11, 2012, p. 22.
Take  noteTake Note /Act Now
Take Note/Act Now

Presbytery   .  .  . and the  Wider Church 

Granite Presbyterian Church will host a "Blessings for Bikers" event at the Woodstock Inn (1415 Woodstock Road, Woodstock Md.) from 1-2pm on Sunday, Sept. 13.  Rev. Terrence Alspaugh will officiate.   All are welcome.

Join  Mt. Paran PC  for a weekend of celebrating 300 continuous years of faithful worship, service to the community and sharing the gospel.  Events are planned from Friday, Sept. 18 thru Sunday, Sept. 20.   Click:   300th Anniversary Celebration.

Churchville Presbyterian Church will host a Family Fun Golf Night at 6:30pm on Friday, Sept. 18.  Come on out and play a round of Putt Putt, and enjoy the fellowship and laughter we always have!! This is a fun evening for all!

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings will speak about "Building Baltimore's Future," preceded by a short BSO OrchKids performance at 3pm on Sunday, Sept. 27 at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Bolton Hill. A donation of $15 ($5 students) is suggested to attend this Tiffany Series event. or details, call 410.523.1542 or visit

First & Franklin Presbyterian Church's Spire Series presents Linda Loving in a compelling one-woman portrayal of Julian of Norwich, a 14th century spiritual figure described by Thomas Merton as the "greatest theologian for our time" at 8pm on Friday, Oct. 2 at the church. 

Catonsville Concerts at 3  is kicking off its 17th season of presenting free, live musical concerts in the Catonsville community!  Please join us at Catonsville Presbyterian Church at 3pm on Sunday, Oct. 11 when we present the eclectic jazz, ragtime, Dixieland and swing sounds of the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble. For details, call 410.747.6180.

Light Street Presbyterian Church's Session has approved plans to host a weekly Farmer's Marke t in Federal Hill.   Plans for the Federal Hill Farmers'Market include hosting 6-12 vendors weekly throughout the year. The market will open on Saturdays, from  2:30 - 5pm, beginning Oct. 24.
Light Street Presbyterian Church will also host its annual Fall Community Yard Sale from 9am to 3pm on Saturday, Oct. 17.  DONATE your unwanted  h ousewares (NO used clothing ,please!); VOLUNTEER to sort and  price items; R ENT a space for $25 ; and, SHOP for some real  bargains while supporting  the church's mission.  For details, call t he church office a t 410.539.0125 or email

Would you enjoy serving and learning cross-culturally this fall?   New Life Korean Presbyterian Church on Rolling Road has a group of younger, engaged English-speaking members who meet weekly Sunday afternoons. For a couple of months this fall, the group would welcome some help with leadership and facilitation.  To learn more about this opportunity, contact Rev. Jeong Han, New Life's pastor, at 410.744.5711.  

Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church's Counseling and Care Center is pleased to offer three new fall group classes to support families in the process of a divorce or bereavement.  These groups will be facilitated by Aaryn Frick, LCSW-C, la state licensed therapist. Click Woods Counseling

Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church will host a Bull Roast from 2-6pm on Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Forum Caterers, 4210 Primrose Ave in Baltimore. Donation - $55 per person.  For details, click Bull Roast

Brown Memorial Woodbrook is see king an Organist/Choir Director for one weekly service and 1 weekly choir rehearsal preceded by a handbell rehearsal.  For more information please contact  Alex Short,   or 410.323.6519.

The Center ( is seeking a part-time worker to help with administration and logistics - 10 hours/week for 6 months at $15/hour; work can be done from home.  If interested, please submit a resume to Miss Good at Deadline to apply is Sept. 21.

From Sept. 24-26 -- Princeton Theological Seminary will host its first Just Food Conference to cultivate conversations around food justice, food scarcity, the environment and opportunities for the church to engage in meaningful ways.  Folks who come will also have an opportunity to visit the seminary's new Farminary!  Or details, click Just Food Conference.

Presbytery Women in the Presbytery will sponsor its Fall Gatherin g from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, Nov. 14 a at First Presbyterian Church of Howard County . Read about this event and other PWP news in the fall edition of PresbyTiding s.

After months of sponsoring forums across the state about health care access - the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative has released a report on Health System Transformation and is now seeking public comment on the report.

Do you work with the Hispanic community in parishes, schools, hospitals or other settings? Join Notre Dame of Maryland University for Spanish Language and Culture Part 1 classes on Tuesdays from September 22 through Nov. 24. For more information, contact Linda Stilling, SSND, at 410.532.5306, send an e-mail to  or visit 

October is "Pastor Appreciation Month." The Presbytery's Clergy Care Team encourages all congregations to recognize their pastors in some way during October. Some ideas can be found here:

A Day of Prayers for Peace in the Middle East will be held at the Memorial Chapel, University of Maryland College Park on  Oct. 18 from 3pm to 5pm. Click  Peace for more information. 

taff Directory

 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


Terry Jackson
Dir. of Finance  


Deborah Greene

Dir. of Communication 


Catherine Blacka


Judy Johnson

Ministry Group Staff



 Wanda Morgan

Dir. of Events/Services