January 5, 2015

Inside This Edition 


Remittance Deadline: 
Jan. 12, 2015


2015 Pastors' Retreat


IRS 2015 Mileage Rate 


The Center Leadership 


Shared Witness in Annapolis


Chamber Music Concert at Catonsville


In Plain Sight Film Viewing at Woods Mem'l PC


Trees for Sacred Places 


Faith & Racism Discussion


2015 Big Tent in Knoxville, TN




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


The Commission on Spiritual Leader Development meets Tuesday, Jan. 6 @ 6:30pm.


Gathering Team meets Thursday, Jan. 8 @ 1:30pm.


Transition Team meets Thursday, Jan. 8 at 2pm.


Administration meets Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 11am.


Steering Cabinet meets Wednesday, Jan. 28 a 1pm.


Baltimore Dakota Learning Center meets Tuesday, Jan. 13 from 7pm at Catonsville PC.


Susquehanna MG meets Thursday, Jan. 15 from 7pm to 9pm, location TBA.


Praise & Prayer . . .

Please pray for the Congregation of Lakeland Presbyterian Church

which will close its doors after 105 years of ministry. 




Let us pray for you . . .  or lift-up your congregation's next event in prayer and recognition. Submit prayers, notices and event pictures to Tidings, email:

Lakeland Closes After 
105 Years of Ministry


Yesterday would be the last time members of Lakeland Presbyterian Church gathered for Sunday worship in the old stone church, a spiritual pillar for many of the 105 years that it had been a part of this blue-collar, South Baltimore community.  Although a damp haze hung low in the sky, inside the church, a warm glow filled the sanctuary from the pews to the heavy rafters as an air of resolve seemed to settle upon well-wishers and a handful of longtime members who had come to bid farewell.


Last Communion

Last winter, as a result of a New Beginnings assessment, Lakeland's 37 members made the "faithful choice" to dissolve the aging congregation and close the church's brick red doors for good on Jan. 4.  But that decision- made in a deliberate and intentional way - "doesn't make the hurt any less; our hearts still ache," said Rev. Roger Powers, the church's Stated Supply pastor for the last five years.

"It has been hard to watch the congregation's membership and worship attendance decline through the years, the energy of members has diminished, financial reserves have dwindled and the church building has been difficult to maintain.  Without the human or financial resources to turn the church around the congregation made the decision to close," Rev. Powers explained.  Even after making that final decision more than a year ago, he said the congregation still needed "time to grieve the loss we all feel and celebrate the good ministry that Lakeland Church has done here in this place for over 105 years."


Lakeland Presbyterian Church began as a house church in 1909.  Worship services and Sunday School classes were first held in the home of Mr. William Brohawn, with the help of the Rev. J.H. Dudley, the pastor of the Relay Presbyterian Church.  They soon realized that they would need to build a chapel.  Property along Brohawn Avenue was donated and the church's first chapel was built and dedicated in 1910.


The neighborhood grew and with it so did the membership of Lakeland Presbyterian Church.  By 1919, the congregation had outgrown the Brohawn Avenue chapel.  They worshiped in a tent all summer long, while a new church building twice the size of the original chapel was built.  That 1919 building stands behind this sanctuary and now served for many years as the congregation's Social Hall.


Lakeland Presbyterian Church saw another growth spurt during the Great Depression.  And in spite of the hard economic times, the Lakeland congregation committed itself to expanding the church once again.  Women of the church earned extra money for the building campaign by doing extra washing and cleaning.  Some church members mortgaged their homes.  And the congregation borrowed additional money in order to have sufficient funds to build a new building.  The church sanctuary was completed in 1932. 


L-R: Rev. Bob Unverzagt,
RE Akilah Moore & Trans. Gen. Presbyter Craig Palmer

Rev. Robert Unverzagt, who once served as a pastor of Lakeland, attended Sunday's service.  He encouraged members to move on with the talents and gifts they garnered as longtime members of Lakeland and use them elsewhere. "Find your calling. Find what God wants you to do in the future and you'll be blessed," he extolled. 


Some of Lakeland's members may join Harundale Presbyterian Church to the south; others may become members of nearby Cherry Hill, Light Street or Hope Presbyterian churches; and, a few may leave the denomination altogether.  Wherever they choose to go, many say they will take with them memories of loving and kind strangers who welcomed them with open arms into Lakeland's church family.  Yesterday, they returned to their church home to say goodbye. Some walked from just a blocks away, while others drove from as far as Pennsylvania and Ohio to be there for the last Sunday worship. They hugged, snapped pictures and greeted each other as if it were an occasion for a reunion instead of a parting of ways.


Finally, at the end of the worship and Communion service, the Presbytery's Moderator, Renee Mackey, declared the building vacated and the congregation of Lakeland dissolved.  Jane Nolan, who joined Lakeland 58 years ago at the age of five, stood quietly aside, dabbing tears from her cheeks with a crumpled tissue.  "One of the hardest things I ever had to do was give my church up.  It's like losing a family member," Ms. Nolan said.  "No one has to say anything. We just look at each other with tears in our eyes."


Many thanks to the Rev. Roger Powers for contributing to this article.


Take  noteTake Note /Act Now
Take Note/Act Now



Presbytery .  .  . and the Wider Church


Monday, Jan. 12 at noon is the deadline to submit 2014 Remittances (including Per Capita, mission and Shared Ministry contributions) to the Presbytery by courier or mail. Electronic submissions will not be accepted.


Save the date!  The 2015 Pastors' Retreat will be held at Bon Secours Retreat Center from Wednesday Apr. 22 to Thursday Apr. 23.  Our featured presenter, TE Theresa Cho (Saint John's Presbyterian Church in San Francisco) will discuss how to integrate the arts in worship.  


The New 2015 IRS Standard Mileage Rates: As of Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be: 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven; 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and, 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.


The Center, the Presbytery's partnership "where compassion meets justice," has made the transition from a start up ministry to an on-going mission with a rotating Steering Committee.  TE Bill Hathaway (First, Annapolis) has stepped down as Chair and TE Jennifer Barchi (Dickey Memorial) assumed that leadership this month.  Kate Foster Connors continues as the staff person for the this ministry of partnering congregations within the presbytery with visiting church groups and local work for justice and peace.  Visit www.thecenterbaltimore.org for other details on how your congregation can partner with The Center.  







Catonsville Concerts at 3 presents the Copeland String Quartet in a concert of classical chamber music at 3pm on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015 in the sanctuary of Catonsville Presbyterian Church, 1400 Frederick Rd.  The concert is free, and no tickets are required.  For details call 410.747.6180.


Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park will host a screening of the documentary
In Plain Sight: Stories of Hope and Freedom at 7pm on Tuesday, Jan. 13.  The film features six national programs -- including The Samaritan Women in Baltimore -- fighting sex trafficking across America. Visit www.inplainsightfilm.com to watch a trailer or click In Plain Sight for event details.





Trees for Sacred Places: Does your congregation have a large open space that would be blessed by the planting of 25 or more trees?  Have you ever considered the church's "grounds maintenance" as a form of stewardship and an act of spiritual discipline?  Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC) is offering churches and faith-based organizations the planting of free trees on their property.  In addition to the trees and technical support, IPC provides a workshop on the spiritual foundation of earth stewardship, and instruction on tree planting and maintenance.  For details, email Susan Krehbiel.


The Cathedral of the Incarnation will host a discussion on "Faith & Racism" from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, Jan. 17.  For details, click Faith & Racism.




taff Directory

Craig N. Palmer
Transitional General Presbyter
 Deb Milcarek

Assoc. for Reconciliation


Susan Krehbiel

Dir. of Congregational Advocacy




William Nickels III

 Assoc. General Presbyter



Debbie Ingram Schmidt

Assoc. for Spiritual Leader Development


Wanda Morgan

Dir. of Events & Services  wmorgan@baltimorepresbytery.org 





Catherine Blacka

Judy Johnson

Ministry Group Staff




 Deborah Greene

Dir. of Communications