June 26, 2017
Inside this Edition

Last Reading, This Year, of Church Rolls & Minutes 

Register for the 2017 Pulpit Supply List

Knox Presbyterian Church Celebrating 87th Anniversary

Mental Health First Aid Workshop postponed until July 29

Catonsville seeks Part-time Communication's Specialist

Theological Book Drive for Western Gambella Bethel Synod - Ethiopia

Massanetta Bible and Church Music Conference 

PCUSA Recommended Minimums for Church Insurance Coverage 

Leadership Institute/ Union Presbyterian Seminary Summer Courses

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

The Presbytery will be closed on Tuesday, July 4 in observance of the national holiday. 

Steering Cabinet will meet at 1pm on Wednesday, June 28; and, again on July 26.

Commission on Reconciliation will meet 6:30pm on Wednesday, June 28. 

Commission on Spiritual Leader Development will meet 1 pm on Wednesday, July 12.

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

Gathering Team will meet at 1pm on Thursday, July 20

Commission on Reconciliation will meet at 6:30pm on Wednesday, July 26

Praise & Prayer
Please pray for the continued recovery of TE Webster Brenner Jr., a parish associate at First Presbyterian Church of Howard Co., as he moves to Long Term Acute Care at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.  He has been hospitalized since November 2016 -- struggling with pneumonia and complications of myasthenia gravis. Prayers for encouragement, gracious patience, sustained hope, and the prayerful support from from his presbytery colleagues in Christ may be sent to: 
9169 Helaine Hamlet Way
Columbia, MD 21045-4057


Please pray for TE Tanya Wade, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, who is recuperating from a back injury.


Praise God for the ministry of
TE Tim Hughes who has been called to
 serve as the new pastor of Light Street Presbyterian Church in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. TE Hughes currently serves as an associate pastor at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church.  Having served there for five years, TE Hughes commented that "Brown has been an incredible place to learn and experiment and grow. Thank you for advocating for my ordination and believing in my ministry," he added. 

Enrich Your Church's Stewardship
Registration is active for the PC(USA)'s Stewardship Kaleidoscope 2017 Conference - the denomination's premier event for those seeking to help congregations strengthen their stewardship capacities.  The Conference features several inspiring and challenging speakers, dozens of practical workshops and access to resources participants will find immediately helpful in their ministry settings. 
This year's Conference is being held at the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete's Beach, Florida from Monday Sept. 25 to Wednesday, Sept. 27.  Scholarships to assist with registration fees are currently available. 
The Commission on Thriving Congregations' Stewardship Support Team endorses this conference enthusiastically and would love to see several from the Presbytery attending this year.  For a testimonial, contact the Team's leader, Ledonia Kimball
If You Want to Know What Christians Believe, Consider How We Worship . . . 

by The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck,
     Chapel Hill, NC

If you want to know what Christians believe, you study what we do and say in worship. And what we say and do in worship not only expresses what we believe, it also forms what we believe. And what we do.
Ideally, worship strikes a balance of awareness of both the immanent and the transcendent nature of God - that God is among us and forever beyond us. At its best, liturgy also forms our individual faith and forms us as a community of people, the church, for ministry in the world. I wonder if, in a world that is increasingly polarized and detached from the moorings of faith and meaning, God might be calling the church to consider anew how we can more intentionally form faithful people through worship to be witnesses in the world, a witness not just to the teachings of faith, but to the way of faith, engaging with others and offering an alternative to the dominant self-serving, profit-seeking narrative of the world and culture, helping others to find meaning and goodness. If so, how we might adjust our worshipping practices to strengthen people to engage faithfully with others out there?

We can start by finding ways to engage with each other in worship.
See and hear each other.  Anything we can do in worship to break free of the idea that we are there as individuals to get our own needs met and to worship God for our own sakes, will help us to be attentive and engaging in the space outside of church.
  • Pews facing forward can inhibit this move, but turning to face one another in occasions in worship can break things open during an exchange of the peace or welcome.
  • Processions provide another opportunity to see others and be pulled from our personal-needs-based worship. Processions are vastly underutilized in the church -- often limited to welcoming the choir or worship leaders or directing attention to the front of the worship space. What if we, on occasion, processed the whole congregation out of the church into the world, even if the world looks much like our own parking lot?
  • Hearing others can make also us more attentive to God and the other. Singing a cappella invites us to hear God in the voices of those around us; and, prayers from the congregation does too.
Pray for the laity in their life and work in the world.  Pray so they can hear it. Consider commissioning lay ministers, not just as Sunday School teachers and church board members, but as caregivers in the world, as people who work in business or government, or law, or the arts. Let the congregation say to them: "We commission you to this work and pledge to you our prayers, encouragement, and support. May the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen you, that in this and in all things, you may do God's will in the service of Jesus Christ."

Find opportunities to worship in the public square.
Take the liturgy to town. Be on the lookout for occasions to gather in prayer in public spaces, and to invite others to join. Any time we worship in a public rather than within the walls of a church building, our awareness of our identity as Christians and people of the Way, is heightened. Prayers in response to a natural or societal disaster can also be shared in public. While we may experience some discomfort in public expressions of faith, moving through it can be empowering and formative.
Let go of perfect worship and the perfectionism it models.  The downside of carefully thought out, even perfect, worship, is that it suggests that anything to do with faith and faithful living needs also to be carefully thought out, even perfect. This inhibits a whole lot of spontaneous faithful interaction outside of church. Many of us with liturgical sensibilities may fear a free-for-all. But the truth is, there is a whole lot of space between what we usually practice and what we fear. Without letting go of the reins altogether, we can show that it's okay to make mistakes, we can model the giving and receiving of forgiveness, and good humor, too.

Do we believe that our worship can empower us as a people to engage with the world for the common good? If so, let's consider how our worship might form us to make that known.

This adaptation of Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck's article "Formed by Worship to be in the World," was published on-line in its original form on Apr. 24 2017 by the Alban Publishing Institute. The article was reprinted today in Tidings with permission from Alban Publishing Institute. 

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Take Note/Act Now

Presbytery and Church-wide

Last Reading of the Rolls & Minutes: a final meeting this year to review church rolls and minutes will be held 7pm on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at First Presbyterian Church of Howard Co. Clerks who were unable to attend any of the May-June meetings should email the   statedclerk@baltimorepresbytery.org to reserve a place a this last meting of the year.

If you wish to be included on the 2017 Pulpit Supply List but have not yet responded, please contact Jim Schroll at jschroll@msn.com.


Please join  Knox Presbyterian Church  in our celebrating our  87th  anniversary   beginning at 10:30am on Sunday, July 16.  Our theme is  "Transformed and Renewed to Do Great Things in Christ and our speaker is the Rev. Michael L. Moore, Pastor.  A picnic lunch will follow the worship service. Dress is casual. 

The the Mental Health First Aid Course sponsored by Grace Presbyterian Church is postponed until Saturday, July 29, 2017. Click here to fill out registration form and email to Grace's Pastor, TE Tanya Wade
Catonsville Presbyterian Church seeks a part-time Communications Specialist  to help the church explore better ways to use technology to more effectively communicate CPC's ministry to our members, friends and the wider community. Duties include managing the church's website and social media sites and developing content, including video and audio assets. This person will also edit the monthly newsletter, and create other print media, such as program brochures and event fliers.  Interested? Please contact TE Ken Kovacs at 410.747.6180 or  kkovacs@catonsvillepreb.org .
St. Andrew's is collecting theological books for the Western Gambella Bethel Synod (WGBS) Jordan Bible School of the Mekane Yesus Church of Ethiopia (formerly the Presbyterian Church in Ethiopia).  The Bible school is the only school for training the church leaders who serve 500,000 Nuer people living in Ethiopia.  The school is currently upgrading the level of courses offered and expanding its capacity including improvement of the library.  Classes are taught in English since there are no books in Nuer.  Books covering Bible studies, theology, church history, ethics, philosophy, missiology, leadership, Christian education and Bible reference materials are needed.

St. Andrew's invites other churches to join us in the collection, sorting, cataloging and packing of these books for shipment to Ethiopia.  This could be a good project for church youth groups.   Contributions to help cover shipping costs are also welcome.  For more information about the Ethiopian Book Project contact Ed Pollock at (301.831.7223) or ed_pollock@comcast.net.


Come to the Bible Conference/Church Music Conference at Massanetta Springs, July 23-29 celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation... Remembering the Reformation: Reformed, Redeemed, RestoredE nriching worship services and all meals are shared across the two conferences, including a great program for youth. Our own TE Keith Paige will preach and lead several workshops throughout the week! Visit  http://www.massanettasprings.org/conferences/.

Does your Insurance coverage meet the PCUSA Recommended Minimum Standards? For  details, please contact Linda A. Senez, CPCU ( 443.345.1055 office / 410.409.5154 cell) Click here to learn more

The  Leadership Institute at Union Presbyterian Seminary will offer several summer courses that may be of interest to your church leadership.
  • Church Business Administration courses - July 18-27, 2017:  Click here for more information and registration. 
  • Church Business Administration CEU courses - July 22, 2017:  Click here for more information and registration (this is the same information/registration form as Church Business Administration). 
  • Mission Possible: Embracing the Task of Strategic Visioning - October 9-12, 2017Click here for more information and registration. 
  • Pathways to Learning and Leadership: For the course listing and descriptions, and registration, go to Pathways.  
Click here to learn even more . . .

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 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