March 18, 2019
How Safe Are You in Your Place of Worship?
People tend to feel safe worshipping together – seemingly, comforted by pious rituals, religious surroundings and holy things. However, growing concern for the well-being of those who visit and worship in religious spaces has inspired some in the Presbytery of Baltimore to undertake medical and safety training to ensure that churchgoers receive proper care and protection in the event of an emergency.

The Rev. Andrew Gathman, pastor of Chestnut Grove Presbyterian Church , said parishioners – particularly, those in small congregations – have a false sense of security just because they worship together on Sundays and are familiar with each other. “Our sense of comfort, warmth, welcome and knowing everyone can lead to [an atmosphere of] complacency about risks and dangers that just aren’t high on our radar until something happens,” he said.

A recent safety assessment revealed that Chestnut Grove, like other congregations, should establish security protocols for external threats such as a violent intruder; yet, the greatest crisis the church faced when its members gathered as a community was internal: the risk that someone might suffer cardiac or respiratory failure without trained medical assistance nearby. As a result, church leaders purchased Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and trained 20 people – which included elders, members, Christian educators, pre-school staff, staff and faith leaders – to operate the devices and perform Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The church also designated one of its members, a medical professional, as its public health and safety advocate.

‘Our church is heavily used by the community,” explained Rev. Gathman. “It wasn’t a matter of could there be a medical event during worship but, could there be a medical event at any of the times our facility is being used. We wanted to make sure to have someone on site to know how to use the devices should there be a problem,” he said.
Scott Kuhlman, a veteran first-responder whose company, Heart to Beat LLC , provided the training for Chestnut Grove said “people need this training in order to survive. Children can have respiratory emergencies that could cause them to go into cardiac arrest; adults are more likely to have cardiac problems. Every minute you delay CPR or don’t use an AED reduces survival for the victim by seven to 10 percent. That’s crucial," he explained, "when you consider that, according to the national average, it takes 911 responders 11 minutes to arrive.”

Taught by health professionals and first responders, Heart to Beat guides participants through cardiac and respiratory emergencies using digitally-engineered manikins that breathe, bleed and respond to rescue efforts as if they were real patients. “We want you to know what is going on in the body and why you are doing what you are doing,. Training builds confidence and camaraderie when everybody works together as a team to learn how to save lives,” Kuhlman said. Heart to Beat has also provided training for Towson Presbyterian Church, where Kuhlman is a member. He will facilitate another training Sunday, Mar. 24 at Granite Presbyterian Church , which is open for registration to anyone in the Presbytery. Mr. Kuhlman is certified to provide security training for churches, as well.

Rev. Gathman said church safety and security is not just a necessary reality but a part of the vision for growing churches like Chestnut Grove. “We see this as a means of blessing our community and recognizing that this is something that could save a life. We are seeing new people in our church, young families and millennials, and these are the things they care about. They want to know if the church is, inherently, a safe place.”
Praise & Prayer
Please pray for The Rev. O. Morton Harris (First PC of Howard Co.) who is recovering at home after suffering a mild heart-attack last week.

The Rev. Harold Cahill, H.R., who is recovering at home after being hospitalized for a collapsed lung.

Former COM Chair Pat Turner, whose health continues to improve after successful heart surgery in February.

And . .

The families of victims killed in terrorist attacks in New Zealand and Australia, as well as, the families of those who died in natural disasters in the U.S. and abroad .
Presbytery & Church-wide
Confirmed Dates for the Dismantling Racism Training in 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019 at Chestnut Grove PC
(3701 Sweet Air Road, Phoenix, MD 21131), 8:30am to 5pm.
Morning refreshments and Lunch are provided
Registration Fee is $20. Registration Opens in March
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. Location TBA.
Registration opens in August 2019.


Govans Presbyterian Church Named Earth Care Congregation
Congratulations to Govans Presbyterian for completing the certification process for becoming an Earth Care Congregation. With this recognition Govans joins seven other congregations in Baltimore Presbytery to have achieved this honor.  “It is exciting that Baltimore Presbytery is home to 8 of the 232 churches that chose to dedicate themselves to intentional care of God’s earth this year. The congregation’s activities and commitment will inspire others to respond intentionally to God’s call to care for the earth,” says Jessica Maudlin, Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

A group of interested people representing multiple congregations in our presbytery has been formed to imagine and develop ways for Environmental Sustainability to become more deeply rooted in the life of the presbytery. If you are interested in being part of this effort contact Mary Gaut at the Presbytery office. For more information on the Earth Care Congregations program visit
The Endless Night: A Passion Play
The Endless Night imagines what it was like to be standing at Jesus’ crucifixion. Through a series of monologues and popular songs, we step inside the thoughts and feelings of those deeply impacted by Jesus’ love, still unsure of what His suffering means for them. The Endless Night connects this ancient story to our modern lives to feel the power of a life lived in love; the power of a life given in sacrifice.
Friday, Apr. 19 at 7:30pm
Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church
Book Sale at Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church.
Prince of Peace in Crofton seeks donations for its annual Used Book & Media sale, to be held the last weekend of April. Donations of books, CDs, DVDs, computer games, and audio books can be dropped off on the church's front walkway at any time (1657 Crofton Parkway).
he sale itself will be held on April 26 (5 - 9 pm) and 27 (8 am - 4 pm) at the church. On Saturday, the church also hosts a yard sale, bake sale, and pit beef sandwich sale. Just next door is Crofton's Festival on the Green.

Please call the church office, 410-721-2313, with any questions.
Towson Presbyterian Church Community Fair
Towson Presbyterian Church is hosting a Community Environmental Information Fair at 11am on Sunday, mar. 31. connect with: wind providers, local CSAs, rooftop solar, farmers' markets and more . . .

Spire Series: R esponding to Gun Violence
At 2:30pm on Sunday, Mar. 24 -- First and Franklin Presbyterian Church will host a concert to honor those who have died as a result of gun violence this past year. The concert will feature Faure's Requiem, a premier of a new composition by Dr. Mark Hardy, as well as other works. The concert supports the work of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development ( BUILD). 
In Loving Memory . . . Stained Glass Panes Dedicated to Loved Ones
At Highland Presbyterian Church, Elder Sam Tharpe, Jr. commissioned a stained-glass artist to design four panes, now positioned at the church's main entrance. The decorative window panes are called "In Loving Memory", a tribute to Tharpe's mother and cousin who are deceased; and, to his father who is still alive. The scene is inspired by a photograph of two of his young relatives. During the dedication of the panes, Tharpe asked members of the congregation to bring photographs of those they would like to remember and display them beneath the window. Additionally, scraps of leftover colored glass were passed out to worshippers to place on the ledge of the windows as "stones of remembrance" in memory of loved ones.

-Rev. Ray Meute, Pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church  
Acts4Youth Urgently Needs Meals
Acts4Youth is a Christian ministry providing mentoring for at-risk Baltimore City youth. The program meets with nearly 100 students weekly outside of school to provide a spiritual foundation and share a hot meal designed to nurture the students physically and strengthen community. This year Acts4Youth has seen a slowdown in the number of meals it is receiving. Meals are needed on Tuesday evenings at Second Presbyterian Church; and, Wednesday evenings and Saturdays for lunch at Central Presbyterian Church.


TE Jenny Williams will facilitate a 6-session time of prayer and reflection Monday evenings, 3/11/19 through 4/15/19, 7pm to 8:30pm at the Church of the Redeemer. Guided by the work Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life by Henri Nouwen and with a focus on Lenten themes, the sessions are designed to encourage the intentional creation of a time for contemplation and reflection in our daily life and to share the same in a weekly community practice. This is a program of Inner Harbor Wellness. Contact Jenny if you would like to attend: or all 410.523.3961.
Presbytery of Baltimore | (t) 410.433.2012 | (f) 410.433.2066| |