February 1, 2016
Inside this Edition
Thank You for 2016 Pledges 

Jubilee Fund Scholarships

Guatemalan Mission Trip 

Grant Assistance for Churches Damaged in Blizzard

Irish Music Vespers at Granite 

ICJS: "Imaging Justice in Baltimore: A Christian Perspective

ELG Prayer Breakfast

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

Committee on Ministry
(Leadership Team) will meet at 10am on Wednesday, Feb. 3

Transitions Team will meet at 2pm on Wednesday, Feb 10.

Commission on Spiritual Leader Development will meet at 10am Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Commission on Thriving Congregations will meet at 6:30pm on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The General Presbyter Nominating Committee   will meet 9:30am to 12:30pm on Wednesday Feb. 17.

Ministry Group Conveners meet at noon on Wednesday, feb 3

Interim Pastors will meet at Hope PC at noon on Tuesday, Feb, 2.

Healthy Boundaries workshop will be held at 9am on Thursday, Feb. 4 at Central Presbyterian Church

Baltimore Dakota Partnership will meet at 7pm on Tuesday, Feb 9.

Cuba Partnership will meet a 1pm on Wednesday, Feb. 17

ELG Prayer Breakfast

Our Shared Ministry 
As the Presbytery of Baltimore welcomes a new year, we look forward to the possibilities that are before us.  Much of what comes next will be rooted in the good work of the past years. We praise God for the continued support of the following congregations who generously contributed $216,086.94 to Our Shared Ministry in 2015:  

Ark & Dove 
Ashland 
Barrelville
Brown Mem'l Pk Ave.
Brown Mem'l Woodbrook
Catonsville 
Central
Cherry Hill
Christ Memorial 
Christ Our Anchor 
Christ Our King 
Churchville 
Covenant 
Dickey Memorial 
Faith 
Fallston
First and Franklin   
1st of Annapolis
1st of Bel Air
1st of Cumberland
1st of Frostburg
1st of Howard County
Franklinville
Frederick 
Good Shepherd 
Govans
Grace
Granite 
Grove 
Hagerstown 
Hancock
Harundale 
Havenwood
Highland
Hope
Hughes Mem'l 
Hunting Ridge 
Kenwood
Light Street 
Lochearn
Maryland
Mount Hebron
Mount Paran
Northminster
Prince of Peace 
Roland Park 
Second
St. John United
Springfield
Towson 
Woods Memorial    
FREE BOOKS!
The Presbytery is eliminating
its resource library and offering books free to anyone who would like them. Please contact Wanda Morgan to make an appointment to review them. 
Gathering Workshop Explores Unconscious Bias and Racism 

by TE Michael Moore               
Knox Presbyterian Church
TE Micheal Moore

The Presbytery of Baltimore continues its year-lo ng focus on Race, Class & Poverty with a large group workshop on  U nconscious Bias. The workshop serves as a thematic point of focus for our 870th Gathering on Feb. 11 at Faith Presbyterian Church in Baltimore.  Also featured during the Gathering will be a sermon on  Unconscious Bias  by the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness.  And later, during Decisions & Discernment, the presbytery will discuss an overture to the 222nd General Assembly that encourages churches within our denomination to seek racial atonement and reconciliation.

Traditionally, discussions about racism ave led to painful and guilty emotions  that result in divisive and defensive reactions. However, we'll start our discussion at a different place during the next week's Gathering workshop. Unconscious -- or implicit -- bias is a relatively obscure subject within the church. Derived from the latest scientific research in brain function, the term unconscious bias suggests that everyone has a reservoir of learned and ingrained biases or prejudices that affects decision making, attitudes and behaviors -- positively and negatively.

Unconscious bias suggests a deeper issue: that racism is a spiritual matter that does matter. We'll go beyond science to address racism through scripture and the powerful statements our savior, Jesus Christ, makes about racial biases that are as ever important today in our country and for the Church.  

Our workshop discussion will begin with the impact of the civil unrest that erupted in Baltimore last April , which many contend was the result of the pain and anger fueled by a long history of institutionalized racial practices.  In the midst of that turmoil Teaching and Ruling Elders and of the Presbytery of Baltimore gathered at Trinity Presbyterian Church for a prayer vigil.  Some even took to the streets to calm protesters and spread the word of God.  

Those turbulent days led many within the church to questioned whether we, too, harbored racial prejudices -- or, are we just naive (unconscious) about a biased system of racial oppression embedded in our community. Join me next week, Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Gathering, as we explore how spirituality can help us become more consciously aware of the racial biases that surround us . . .  and , how we can work together toward reconciling them.


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Take Note/Act Now

Thank you . . .

. . . to the congregations who have already sent in your Shared Ministry Pledges for 2016.  We have received pledges from 19 congregations so far and are 25% of the way toward reaching our goal of $225,000 in Shared Ministry funding.  

This is fabulous!  Your contributions continue to make wonderful things happen within the bounds of our presbytery. Our goal this year is for 100% of our congregations to participate and we believe it can happen.  Even if your congregation is only able to contribute a small amount you can do something to be part of supporting our collective mission.  Be part of the "team" this year and send in your shared ministry pledge.  
 
Interim General Presbyter


Presbytery  .  .  . and the Wider Church 

The Synod of Mid-Atlantic's Jubilee Fund is offering $2,500 Scholarships in four categories to congregations seeking to: (1) recruit African American clergy; (2) develop African American Christian education; (3) develop African American Congregational leadership; and, enhance African American youth ministry.  he deadline for applications is Feb. 15, 2016.  For details, call Ledonia Kimball at 410.448.9164 or  visit:   http://www.synatlantic.org/funding/jubilee-trust-fund/ org.

GUATEMALA MISSION TRIP - Join others from the Presbytery on an intercultural encounter April 11-16. Learn about the work of CEDEPCA, the presbytery's mission partner in Guatemala, and experience first-hand the diverse culture of this country. The cost is $1500, with scholarship help available. Registration and $500 deposit are due Feb. 19. Click here for details.

Churches who have sustained weather-related damage to buildings or property during the 2016 blizzard may be eligible for up to $7500 in financial assistance (repair grant) from the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance . For details, contact the Presbytery at 410.433.2012.


Churches

Granite Presbyterian Church will be holding an Irish Music Vespers on Sunday, February 21 at 5pm.  This event will feature the music of Rigadoo with Shawn Cassady.  Granite Church is located at 10637 Old Court Rd. in Woodstock.  For more information please contact Frank Owens at fjowens@hotmail.com.


Other

The Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies will host  "Imagining Justice in Baltimore: A Christian Perspective"
p resented by Dr. Robert Franklin, a scholar and Director of the Religion Department at The Chautauqua Institution at 7pm on 
Thursday, Feb. 11 at the  Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. 
.  

Ecumenical Leaders Group of Maryland
will sponsor a
Prayer Breakfast for Clean Energy
in support of the 
MD Clean Energy Jobs Act and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act .



A Message from the Interim General Presbyter:

A PERSPECTIVE ON THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

As the presidential campaign heats up many members of the PCUSA and the Presbytery of Baltimore have expressed grave concern over Donald Trump's remarks about immigrants. It is important to remember that, though he was baptized and confirmed in a PCUSA church he is no longer on their roll.  He now claims membership at Marble Collegiate Church, part of the Reformed Church in America.  But church officials there say he is not an active member.  Nevertheless, Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the PCUSA issued a statement last fall, in the form of a letter to Trump, that Trumps comments on immigration are at odds with the denomination's policies on immigration.


If

taff Directory

 Mary Gaut
Interim General Presbyter
mgaut@baltimorepresbytery.org


  Deb Milcarek
Assoc. for Reconciliation
dmilcarek@baltimorepresbytery.org 
 

Susan Krehbiel
Dir. of Congregational Advocacy
skrehbiel@baltimorepresbytery.org
  

William Nickels III
 Assoc. General Presbyter


Debbie Ingram Schmidt
Assoc. for Spiritual Leader Development
  
Deborah Greene  
Dir. of Communications
dgreene@baltimorepresbytery.org
 



Catherine Blacka

Judy Johnson
Ministry Group Staff


 Wanda Morgan
Dir. of Events/Services