March 27, 2017
Inside this Edition
Presbytery Seeks Stated Clerk 

Presbytery Seeks Financial Administrator

Apostles & Disciples "7 First Sayings" Good Friday Event

Clergy/Church Leader Retreat

Healthy Boundaries (Rescheduled)


Harundale Presbyterian Church seeks a Part-time Book Keeper

Roland Park seeks Organist/Pianist

Spire Series Concert at First & Franklin PC

Cherry Hill Community PC Celebrates 70 Anniversary

International Conference on Aging and Spirituality

Verse + Vision Poetry Festival at National Capital Presbytery

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

*Presbytery Office will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday; and will reopen for business on Apr. 18.

Investment Committee will meet at 9am on Apr. 5

Commission on Ministry will meet at 10am on Apr. 5

Gathering Committee will meet at 12:30pm on Apr. 6

Personnel Committee will meet at 1pm on Apr. 19

The Committee on Preparation for Ministry will meet at 3pm at Catonsville PC

Steering Cabinet (Whole Group)  will meet at 1pm on Wed. Apr. 26

Transitions Team will meet at 2pm on Mar. 30

West Side Story Ministry Group will meet at 6:30pm on Tuesday, Mar. 28 

Baltimore Dakota Steering Committee will meet at 7pm on Tuesday, Mar. 28 
Praise & Prayer

Praise God for the nuptials celebrated this month for The Rev. Tim Hughes, Associate Pastor at Brown Memorial Park Ave Presbyterian Church and the wedding planned this fall for The Rev. Jennifer Barchi, Pastor of Dickey Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Please pray for the successful recovery of  The Rev. Ronnie Hankins , pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, who had back surgery last week and is recuperating at home; as well as , CRE LaJerne Cornish, also of Trinity, who is recuperating at home after her surgery.

Please keep in prayer
Susan Krehbiel, Dir. of Congregational Advocacy , as she and her family cope with news that her brother,
The Rev. Jeff Krehbiel , has metastatic pancreatic cancer.  Rev. Krehbiel, an active member of the denomination, served many years as a pastor of National Capital Presbytery and recently transferred to the Presbytery of Chicago. To follow Jeff's progress, visit: . Please no phone calls or emails to the family.  If you have any questions pertaining to Susan's presbytery work, please contact Deb Milcarek

Please pray for the Rev. James Hodge, a former pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Belair, and his wife, Carol, who are grieving the death of their son, Phillip Hodges, 39, who died Saturday.  Funeral Services will be held 2pm Wednesday at the church.

Please pray for the family of The Rev. Dr. Roger Shoup, who served as an interim of Govans Presbyterian Church in 2005. He died March 11 at the age of 78 at his home in Gainsville, Va.
Defending Those Who Fight Church Change:  An Open Window to the Other Side of th e Story

by TE Rev. Keith O. Paige, Pastor   
Cherry Hill Community Presbyterian Church 
Rev. Paige

Many of our churches today are in trouble.  Memberships are declining, budgets are shrinking and congregations are struggling to retain a past vibrancy that is ever so elusive.  Consultants and internet experts abound with various ways to either grow or revitalize existing congregations.  Many of these ways emphasize new, creative and innovative techniques for realizing either outreach or in reach potential.  Other methods stress the need to adapt the church's ministry to the needs of a changing world.  The experts would say that the church must be viable and relevant to the generational changes in our society.

The great desire for churches to grow brings forth a perennial stumbling block:  Churches have to change in order to grow and there are those in the church who resist change.  It is true that change and growth are "running buddies".  The church that wants to grow inherently needs to change.  Yet that simply does not figure into the psyches of many established church members.  Their idea of church growth is to teach the new generation "the way that we have always done it" and that generation will continue in this tradition that they have received.  Then, the older members can rest easy knowing that their traditions will be continued by future generations.  However, there is one problem:  It just doesn't work that way.  New members will stay in a church that they can make into what they want, not something that has been passed down to them.  When their new ideas are resisted by the established church membership, they either make the decision to either adopt these ways or find another congregation.  Most individuals and families do the latter.

So, here is the dilemma of churches: how can a church grow when any steps toward growth are met with so much resistance?  This question is jaded in that it casts those who want the church to grow as "the good people" and those who resist change as "the bad people".  Those who resist change in churches are often vilified as stubborn traditionalists who are simply negative toward church growth.  However, we don't take the time to understand more deeply the sources of their resistance.  We simply relegate them to a time long past, out of place in an ever emerging present.  Let's take a little time to see the church through their eyes.  

For example, there is a  member of my congregation who is quite advanced in years and asks only one thing of her family: that they get her to church if she is physically able.  In church, she sits, sings, prays, praises and and always leaves with a smile.  I realized that our church was life giving for her and for others in our congregation.  Here's the key: this church member receive LIFE from doing what they love.  

As many of us are aware, life is more than biological or psychological functioning.  Life is understanding our identity, community and vocation in the world.  When we find those things, there is a blessing from God that cannot be described.  Of course, it is different things for different church members, but the common denominator is life: a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning.  Moreover, this life that they receive is based on the church as it is, without change. Therefore, talk of change in the church is perceived as a threat to not only church tradition, but to a source of their life.  Older members in particular have dealt with nothing but change in their lives: their children have grown, their friends have either died or moved away and their neighborhood is changing.  They have no control over many of these changes and must adapt as best they can to the circumstances that they present.  In the midst of the vicissitudes of life, the church stands as the unchanging anchor; able to refresh and comfort souls tossed and challenged by the next new horizon.  As a fictional church member might say:
"No matter what happens in my life this week, I know that Sunday School is always at 9:30am.; Church is always at 11:00am; Uncle Joe is going to tell me how good I look regardless of how good or bad I look; and, Mrs. McGillicuddy, will always try to get my recipe for apple cobbler.  She knows she is not going to get it! But she will try every Sunday.  When all of these things happen, I will leave my church ready to face whatever tomorrow has in store."

These apparent "nay sayers" are not so much fighting change as they are seeking to affirm and hold onto that which gives them life.  What church leaders may not understand is that church change and growth may come at the cost of not just losing vital members, but also church members losing that which gives them vitality!  Some of these members equate tampering with church traditions with questioning their beliefs.  Others would read actions of change as "kicking them to the curb" because they are not able to keep up with society's progress!  Projecting this attitude would be violence "to the least of these" which is exactly what the church speaks out vehemently against!  So what do we do?  Do we let established congregations just fade to the last financially sustaining group?  Or do we continue to let the established traditionalists overrule and outvote the new energy of incoming members?  

This maelstrom is beyond taking sides of old verses new.  We are called to stand in a storm of God's people seeking the guidance and wisdom from the Holy Spirit teach us new ways and solutions that preserve life giving traditions as well as  open the door to new life.

taff Directory

Take Note/Act Now

Presbytery and Church-wide

Presbytery of Baltimore Seeks New Stated Clerk 

The Presbytery of Baltimore (PCUSA) is seeking to fill the position of Stated Clerk. The Stated Clerk serves as Secretary and Parliamentarian for the Presbytery and its Steering Cabinet. The Stated Clerk is elected by the Presbytery and reports to the General Presbyter. We are seeking a ruling or teaching elder of PCUSA who has good interpersonal relationship skills; strong organizational and computer skills with an emphasis on attention to detail; a commitment to a spirit of impartiality; a willingness to work collegially and collaboratively with staff and committee members, and knowledge of, or a willingness to learn, the Book of Order and the Roberts Rules of Order. This is a part-time position with the Presbytery.

Please send a resumé including three references that addresses your relevant service to the Presbyterian Church to Rae Jean Goodman, We will start reviewing applications on 31 March 2017 and will continue until a successful search is completed. A complete job description is available by clicking Stated Clerk.

Presbytery of Baltimore Seeks Part-Time Financial Administrator
The Presbytery of Baltimore seeks a part-time (19 hours/week) Financial Administrator for the PC(USA) denominational headquarters in the Baltimore, MD region (67 churches). The ideal candidate will have a college degree, experience with financial administration (preferably in a non-profit setting), and good communication skills. The working environment is purpose-driven and collegial.
Duties include creating and distributing financial statements and giving statements; managing loans, investment income distribution, third-party payroll service, and relationship with auditors; attending Trustee and other meetings as requested; and supervising the bookkeeper.
Please send a résumé including three references that addresses your relevant service to the Presbytery of Baltimore c/o Wanda Morgan, 5400 Loch Raven Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21239 or email  The Presbytery's personnel committee will immediately begin reviewing applications and continue until a successful search is completed (preferably by June 1). 

Mark your calendar for the 2017 Retreat for Clergy, CREs and CEs on Thursday, May 18 and Friday, May 19 at Bon Secours Conference Center in Marriottsville. This year, we welcome author Carol Howard Merritt who will explore spiritual woundedness as we find it among people who have been hurt by their experience of the church and among clergy who have had difficult relationships with their congregations. Plan to join us for stimulating discussions and collegial conversations.  Click here for registration or 


Consider using 
Eco-Palms in your Palm Sunday worship. Eco-Palms protect forests, local jobs, and sustainable living in the harvesting communities of Guatemala and Southern Mexico. By purchasing Eco-Palms, congregations demonstrate a commitment to environmental and social justice. Click Eco-Palms to learn more . . .

Working with a coalition of churches in celebration of Earth Day, The Center is sponsoring 2 mission opportunities on  Saturday, April 22nd, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  as a part of the Presbytery's Earth Action Weekend. Plant trees at Knox Presbyterian Church, or help out at the Clifton Park Free Food Forest. Register at

Catonsville Concerts at 3 presents the Canticle Singers, a select women's chorus, on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm.  They will be bringing us a bravura program with a variety of repertoire that spans the centuries and crosses the globe.  This free concert is at Catonsville Presbyterian Church, 1400 Frederick Road in Catonsville.  For more info, call 410.747.6180.

Harundale Presbyterian Church seeks a part-time bookkeeper.  FMI call the church at 410.766.4338.

Roland Park Presbyterian Church seeks a skilled organist/pianist to work in close collaboration with the Director of Music to begin on or about June 11, 2017.  This is a 8-12 hour per week 12 month position with 5 weeks  of paid vacation. Salary range of $13,500-$18,500 based upon experience.  Visit for more details or click here to view job description.  

As part of its Spire Series, First & Franklin Presbyterian Church will host a concert at 7:30pm on Tuesday Mar. 28 featuring Dariusz Skoraczewski on cello and Michael Sheppard on piano. 

Register now for the  7th International Conference on Aging and Spirituality scheduled for June 4-7 in Chicago, IL. This event is sponsored by the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network. Click here for general information and click here to register .

National Capital Presbytery will host Verse + Vision: A Festival of Poetry  on Friday, April 28-29, 2017 Washington, DC. Click here for more information .

taff Directory

 Jacqueline E. Taylor
General Presbyter 

  Deb Milcarek
Assoc. for Reconciliation 

Susan Krehbiel
Dir. of Congregational Advocacy
Judi Forrester
Financial Administrator

William Nickels III
 Assoc. General Presbyter

Debbie Ingram Schmidt
Assoc. for Spiritual Leader Development
Deborah Greene  
Dir. of Communications
Laura Mullen
Book Keeper

Catherine Blacka

Judy Johnson
Ministry Group Staff

 Wanda Morgan
Dir. of Events/Services

Kate Foster Connors 
Dir. of The Center