The Arkive: Ark and Dove's Newsletter

All are welcome!

This Sunday! 10:00am, livestream worship!

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

Thank you for your generous support of our community. Thank you to 130 of you who filled out the Church Assessment Tool. Statistically speaking, we definitely have way more than the minimum to give us an accurate assessment about how you the community of Ark and Dove view the ministry we undertake together.  Thank you to our Long Range Planning Team and our Session who undertook a three hour review of all the information collected. We were led by our consultant Michelle Snyder last Sunday.

The words that most caught my attention came towards the end of the three hour meeting. Michelle said something like this. “Of the 400 churches with which I have worked, the Ark and Dove Community is, if not the healthiest church I have ever worked with, in the top three.  That is high praise for all of you and especially, our elders, our deacons, our staff, our team and worship and children’s and youth leaders.  You make a difference, because 84% of our community thinks you are doing a wonderful job.  Compared to thousands of other churches that is a very high percent. Yes of course we can always improve our ministries and you have provided us with some direction.

Here are your top four goals:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.
  • Create more opportunities for people to form meaningful relationships (small groups, nurtured friendships, shared meals).
  • Develop the spiritual generosity of the people to financially support the mission of the church.
  • Enlarge or expand the physical facilities to expand and enhance our ministries.

In comparison to other churches, you are also very strong on:

  • Expanding outreach ministries that provide direct services to those living on the margins of society (eg. homeless, immigrant, transient persons).

Chris Fox, the chair of Long Range Planning has prepared a two page summary of the Church Assessment Tool and you can find additional super interesting nuggets here:   CAT Summary. Also located under Ministry on the Ark and Dove homepage.

In thanksgiving for your ministry,
Message from Pastor Jon
Dear Friends and Members of Ark and Dove,

As we step into the fall, there is particular uneasiness and uncertainty. The normal programs are not as they have been and that adds a degree of anxiety. For families, children, youth, and young adults entering school, there is general apprehension and frustration. This season is a particularly hard season for many of us, really all of us, as we face an acrimonious election season, lasting pandemic, and social unrest.

Given all of this, I am proud to work with so many team leaders, elders, deacons, and staff who are preparing services, events, and classes to help us walk in the way of Jesus Christ through difficult times. Just in terms of Christian Education, Godly Play teachers are preparing for lessons, LOGOS leaders are working out the details of a new program to meet the needs we have heard, youth leaders are devising plans to minister to youth, and Adult Education teams are planning courses to help us think, pray, and love as Jesus taught us. Be sure to scroll through some of the offerings listed below.

I want to highlight two upcoming opportunities. Beginning next Wednesday, we are starting a series of conversations I am calling Campfire Quarrels. On the second Wednesday of the month, we will gather around a fire here at church (socially distanced, of course) to discuss a controversial topic in a healthy way. In addition, Katie Nilsen Johnson and Grant Johnson are planning a course on conflicts big and small. With these offerings, we intend to practice healthy conversations because healthy conversations on controversial topics are rare. These are just two ways we hope to support each other through the conflicts and controversies that burden us this season.

I hope you will join us in the many Christian Education offerings we will have this fall.

Verse and Prayer
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
-Matthew 18:20
O God Almighty,

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Grant us, we pray,

to be grounded and settled in your truth

by the coming down of the Holy Spirit into our hearts.
That which we know not, reveal;

that which is wanting in us, fill up;
that which we know, confirm;

and keep us blameless in your service;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Clement of Rome (1st century)
This week's musical offering was originally put together for the memorial celebration of a dear friend's father. He had requested that It Is Well be sung at his funeral and because of Covid-19 precautions, the venue shifted to an online event. The words to the hymn were written by Horatio Spofford after a series of tragic events occurred in his life and set to music by the itinerant music teacher and evangelist, Philip Bliss. The music for this version combines Don Wyrtzen solo piano arrangement with a soloist, adds a verse in four part harmony and also features a treble singer on the last refrain.

Director of Music
This week the theme of our sermon and service is community. The band chose Gather at the River as our hymn. Although we don't have any baptisms this week, gathering together in love and forgiveness is the message of the song. I hope you are all well and I can't wait to be able to gather at our river all together. The guitar piece is by a Polish composer. It's from a larger work, but the movement I chose is a lovely, lyrical Sarabande. The sarabande is a French dance in three that contains a stronger emphasis on the second beat compared to other pieces in three like a waltz that has a strong first beat.

God bless!
Director of Contemporary Music
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- 2 Corinthians 9:11
Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost
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Healing Through Grief
Healing Through Grief During COVID-19
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Pastor Tim, Deacon Cathy Debus and Linnie Girdner will be co-facilitating the next Healing Through Grief group on Wednesday, September 9, 7 pm, on ZOOM. 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.
Please let us know if you have the slightest inclination to attend on September 9, so that we can send you the link to the ZOOM meeting. If you change your mind later, no problem. Also, let us know if you have not used ZOOM before, so that we can provide you with some information in advance. Any questions, contact Pastor Tim Stern at or 410-674-6400 or me, Linnie Girdner, at or 410-999-7892.
Let's be there for one another in our healing through grief. If you need to talk with someone prior to that date, please feel free to give Linnie Girdner a call or contact your Deacon. (Linnie is happy to provide referrals to other community resources.)
Adult Christian Education
CONFLICTED: Exploring Conflict and How it Might Help Us Today
We are embroiled in conflict. As a nation, we are at odds with others and our own. As citizens, we are polarized. As a Church, we differ from one another. As families, we fight. In this pandemic, international and national conflicts have increased. During this racial reckoning, divisions have widened. How do we handle these conflicts?

Join us for a 5-week course addressing biblical and contemporary conflicts from the international to the interpersonal. Each week, we will study certain conflicts to see how we might deal with the ones we face today.

  • Week One: International Conflicts (Indian Independence and Israel’s Exodus)
  • Week Two: National Conflicts (The Tulsa Massacre and the Genocidal Scheme against the Jews)
  • Week Three: Local Conflicts (Resource Disputes and Tax-Collectors)
  • Week Four: Church Conflicts (Inclusive Christianity and Gentile Christians)
  • Week Five: Interpersonal Conflicts (Political Arguments and Family Disputes)

This class will be co-led by Katie Nilsen Johnson (who recently earned a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies), Grant Johnson, and Pastor Jon. We will begin at 7:30 on September 15. Please contact Pastor Jon for a Zoom link (
Being Grateful in Difficult Times
Coming in October!

We all know the joy of a surprise gift, good news, or a great achievement -- all of those things eliciting feelings of gratitude. But these days, full of grief, worry, and uncertainty did not easily nurture a sense of thanks. Indeed, they seem to be gnawing away our hearts and our hopes.

So what of gratitude now? When we don't feel grateful? In a 6-part course based on her recent book, Grateful, Diana Butler Bass takes us into a journey to understand what gratitude is, how it can strengthen us as individuals and in community, and the surprising ways in which it subverts hopelessness and injustice. In addition to lectures and mini-practice sessions, Diana will be joined by other writers in conversation about how giving thanks has made a difference in their own lives.

Join us for this course wherein, we will watch brief videos and have discussion over the content. Purchasing Bass’ Grateful, will be helpful but not necessary. Class size is limited to 25. Please contact Kim Champagne to sign up (
Campfire Quarrels
Join us around a campfire on church grounds the second Wednesday of the month for a healthy conversation over the controversies of our times. Bring a chair, non-alcoholic beverage, and s’more supplies (if you like), bug repellant, the intention to social distance, and we will enjoy each other’s company as we create faithful responses to the conflicts of our time. We will meet from 7-8:30 pm.

  • September 9: Riots and Property Damage
  • October 14: Cancel Culture
  • November 11: Presidential Support/Opposition
  • December 9: Capitalism and its Alternatives

Please RSVP with Pastor Jon ( as we have limited space to maintain social distancing around the fire.
Lectionary Bible Study
Every Wednesday at 10 am, we gather online for fellowship, Bible study on the upcoming Sunday scriptures, and prayer. This has been and continues to be a great way to deepen friendships and faith. Please join us, there is no commitment or homework. Contact Pastor Jon for the Zoom invitation (
Christian Education
Outdoor Movie Night
Several middle school youth read Stamped this Summer in order to help us understand the racial reckoning of our time. Next Friday night, September 11 at 7:30 pm, we will host a viewing of Just Mercy on church grounds. Those who read Stamped are invited, but the invitation is also open to youth of the congregation in general. We need to know if you plan to attend, so we can meet safety measures and comply with restrictions. In addition, youth will be asked to sign a covenant that covers precautions we will take that night. Contact Pastor Jon (
Senior High Youth Group
High School youth group (9th-12th grade) will kick-off on September 13, 4:30-6 pm. Our first gathering will be outside in the field, but we will have a mix of online and in-person gatherings going forward, as safety permits. All youth wishing to gather in-person outside will be asked to sign a covenant that outlines our safety precautions. We will send that to you next week. Please contact Pastor Jon for any questions (
Godly Play
Our Sunday school program for grades K-5, will begin on Sunday, September 13. Classes take place via Zoom each Sunday from 9:00- 9:40 am. Our host welcomes the child(ren), the storyteller tells a story and then leads the children in reflection and wondering. Normally, our class would involve a work/creative response time as well, so our Godly Play team is putting together response bags containing art supplies and other materials for the children to keep at home for personal use. If you are interested in getting a bag for your child(ren), they will be available in the church parking lot for pickup (please wear a mask) on Wednesday, September 9, 5:30- 6:30 pm, and Saturday, September 12, 10:00- 11:00 am. We can also make arrangements to have a bag delivered to you. 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
Please join us online for a LOGOS parent's info session on September 15 at 6pm. LOGOS is Ark and Dove's midweek intergenerational experience for children and youth up to 8th grade. It is a time for all ages to come together to learn about God and grow in their relationships. At the meeting, you can hear about how we will be doing things differently due to Covid-19 this year and have your questions answered. Unlike previous years, we will not be meeting in the church building. Instead, each week will have a different family-centered activity to do either at home or outside at church. There will also be opportunities to connect and build relationships with others in our church community. Sign up here to receive a login link for zoom or get on our mailing list. For any questions or if you're interested in connecting, contact Jen Roman at
Peace and Global Witness
Confronting Hopelessness, Thwarting Division
This month we begin collecting for the Peace and Global Witness Offering. This offering will be used to support ACT (Anne Arundel Connecting Together) as we support peace in Anne Arundel County. The 2020 Peace and Global Witness Offering encourages the church to cast off anxiety and fear, discord and division, and embrace God’s mission for peace for those just around the corner.
Shaping a foundation for peace starts with honest conversations and shared experiences. When we share, we carry each other’s burdens, advocate for one another, and share each other’s hopes. Faith groups around Anne Arundel County have come together to share what is important to residents of Anne Arundel County. The Peace and Global Witness Offering unites our church with other faith groups and partnerships as we reach out to people who long for peace and reconciliation. Blessed are the peacemakers.  Please give generously as we promote peace in Anne Arundel County. You may donate on line, text, or by check. With sincere thanks, Cheryl Schafer, Mission Elder,
Outreach and Connections
Crafting Group
Calling all knitters and crocheters! Please join us for a virtual get together and bring whatever project you are working on. We are a laid back group that hopes to support and inspire creativity during these times of social distancing. We meet on the first Wednesday and third Monday evening of each month from 7:00- 8:00 pm. All skill levels and handcrafts are welcome. If you are interested in joining our next meeting please contact Amy Tardiff at!
Sunday Fellowship!
Sunday Fellowship after the live-stream church service continues! Via a ZOOM meeting, of course. If you'd like to join in for some light conversation and have a chance to see some familiar faces, simply send an email to to request an invitation. We will then send you a link to the Zoom meeting. You only need to do this one time, and you can use the same link each week. The meetings begin around 11:15 each Sunday. It will be great to "see" you! Nicole Howe,
Tea at Three
Friendly Seniors
Thursdays at 3:00 pm on Zoom. Please contact Pastor Tim ( to receive an invitation.
Codenames Over Zoom!
If you are looking for some fun on Saturday night, join the Deacons to play Codenames over Zoom! Codenames is like a board game that is very easy to play virtually--it's not a video game. Get an invitation to the Zoom meeting from Get the game at There is no sign up, download, or registration. You will need to tile your screens, to be able to see Zoom and the game at the same time. It is best to play on a computer, for size. Saturdays at 8 PM.
Prayer Requests
Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:

PRAYERS OF HEALING AND SUPPORT for Dick Paronto; Camille Dubois; Deborah Dingle; Dot Forloines’ family and her great-grandson Luke; Dot Bruno’s son, Deante Musgrove; Jess and Adell Gaurin; Debbie and Bruce Arey’s daughter, Allison; Linda Jordan; John Mikeska; Ylonda Fauntleroy’s husband, Tony Schoonmaker and friend, Tanya; Jesse Pennabaker; Michelle Schoonmaker's Auntie Bernice; Diane Johnson's Uncle Ed, Aunt Janet, and cousin Richard; Shelley Franklin's father; Hollis Butterworth’s daughter, Rachel Mershont and brother-in-law, Brian Smith; Amanda Wehage’s mother, sister and father, Dave, and friend; Zach Murray’s father, Kelly Murray; Becky Marcus; Fred Barrow; Carlton Jackson; Sabonna Keeney’s mother; Pattie Plander; Richard and Edie Budd; Bernabe Solano; Griselda Solano's sister, Irma; Kathy Miller’s sisters, Patty and Beth; Dotty Kaufman, her son, Bill, daughter-in-law, Carol, granddaughter, Sarah, and grandson Nathan; Laura Doughty’s brother-in-law, Carl Hahn; Bob Johns; Cindy Knott’s mother, Madeline; Laura Willoughby's father, Norman; Bill Ruble’s mother, Mary Jane Weathers; Ann Hirschy’s Aunt Cindy and brother; Christina Nelson’s grandmother, Pat Dole; Chip Burnett; Kelly Burnett’s nephew, Justin; Dorene Chen’s family; Lewis Shorter and niece, Jennifer Schwandt-Gayle; Patriceo Green’s brother and sister; Jennifer and Shawn Ralston’s niece; Archer and Honor Bauman’s grandfather, Larry; the Tardiff family; Cheryl Walcutt’s mother, nephew, and sisters; Brooks Emrick and her sister, Susan; Vaughn Brown; Frances Keyes; Julia Kirby's mother, Margaret Floyd; 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; Margaret McGillivray's friend, Kim Nolet; Kim Young's friend, Joyce Miller; Linnie Girdner and Jan Hof’s friend, Grace Ligon; the Yeager’s friend, Karen Schell; Steve Debus’ cousin-in-law; Lori Kronser's friend, Barbara Noonan; and Doug Mattingly’s mother.
PRAYERS OF HEALING for those with COVID-19: Mary Benson’s brother, Alan Benson, and a member.
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: Tricia Gray’s mother; Becca Distad; Jack Burnett; Caitlyn Bussey; 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.

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.
The church offices will be closed Monday for Labor Day. Please stay safe.
Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church | 410-674-6400 | | | 8424 Piney Orchard Pkwy. Odenton, MD 21113