November 23, 2015
Inside this Edition
GP Search Committee 

NEXT Church Listening Campaign at the Center

Stewardship Kaleidoscope 

GA Nominating Committee

Christmas Bluegrass Vespers at Granite PC

PDQ Barbershop Quartet Concert at Springfield

Woods Mem'l Seasonal Events 

Deer Creek Harmony PC Planning Trip to Manhattan Theater District

BUILD Prayer Service

Advocacy Training 

Lecture on Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ

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

Board of Trustees will meet at 10am on Tues., Dec. 1

The Committee on Ministry Leader Team will meet from 10am to 12pm on Wed., Dec. 2

Steering Cabinet will meet at 1pm on Wed., Dec. 2

Commission on Reconciliation will meet Wed., Dec. 2 at 6:30pm

Commission on Thriving Congregations will meet at 2:30pm on Tues. Dec. 1 at Hope PC. 

Interim Pastors' meeting will be held noon to 2pm on Tues. Dec. 1 at Hope PC 

Cuba Team will meet at 1pm on Wed., Dec. 2

The Presbytery office
will be closed at noon on Wed., Nov. 25; and closed completely on Thurs Nov. 26 and Fri. Nov 27 in observance of the
Thanksgiving Holiday  

Prayer & Praise
Please pray for TE Rick Hill, pastor of Hagerstown Presbyterian Church, and his family as they mourn the loss of his brother, David Hill, 50, who died earlier this month after a long battle with leukemia.  Mr. Hill's funeral was held Saturday  in Philadelphia, PA .

Take Action!
Syrian Immigration

Last week, a number of Governors announced that they want to stop their states from resettling Syrian refugees. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4038, The American Security against Foreign Enemies Act, which would grind to a halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. These actions and the anti-refugee sentiment that has accompanied them, go against who we are as a nation. It is critical that public officials hear from their constituents NOW as decisions are being made in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and state governments that will drastically impact the lives of Syrian refugees.
Our Shared Ministry 
Our Shared Ministry provides vital support to our Ministry Groups, Partnerships and Commissions.  As of this date $152,215.31 has been received toward the   $220,000 budget for 2015 Shared Ministry. We are grateful to the Sessions of the following churches:
  Ark & Dove 
Brown Mem'l Pk Ave.
Cherry Hill
Christ Our Anchor 
Christ Our King 
Dickey Memorial 
First and Franklin  
1st of Annapolis
1st of Bel Air
1st of Cumberland
1st of Frostburg
1st of Howard County
Good Shepherd 
Hughes Memorial 
Hunting Ridge 
Ligh Street 
Mount Hebron
Mount Paran
Prince of Peace 
Roland Park 
St. John United
Woods Memorial  

by Debbie Schmidt, 
Associate for Spiritual Leader Development

In a recent broadcast of the NPR program, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, a caller identified himself as 'Super G.' When host, Peter Sagel, asked him what the 'G' stood for, the caller said 'Gratitude' and went on to express in a very perky way how thankful he was. At that point, one of the panel quipped, "Let's kill him." It got a laugh from the audience (and from me). But it also reminded me of how cynical our culture has become and how hard it is to talk about gratitude without being written off as trite or naïve.
So at the risk of sounding cliché, I want to encourage you to take time during this Thanksgiving holiday to focus on the things for which you are grateful. Psychologists and counselors are discovering that cultivating gratitude is good for our sense of well-being and good for our relationships with friends and family. It can actually improve our health and the health of our relationships.
But gratitude is even more crucial for our spiritual well-being. Again and again in Scripture, God's people are told to give thanks for God's goodness and enduring love. Thankfulness keeps us mindful of God's presence with us and alert to the many ways God's love touches our lives.
Here are a few of the things from my own list of "Things for Which I'm Thankful" this year:
*I am thankful for the energy and creativity of leaders in churches across our presbytery who continue to reach out to their communities with the love of Christ.
*I am thankful for the honest dialogue that is taking place around the presbytery about the issues of racism and poverty and for the heartfelt desire I hear in these conversations that our presbytery be part of the solution to these problems.
*I am thankful for the new things I see God doing through our ministry groups as congregations work together to accomplish things they could not do alone.
*I am thankful for the diversity of our presbytery, for the ways we can learn from one another, and for the ways we can grow in Christ-likeness as we learn to respect and love one another, even when we disagree.
*I am thankful for each one of you. In the words of Paul, "I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers. I'm thankful for all of you every time I pray, and it's always a prayer full of joy. I'm glad because of the way you have been my partners in the ministry of the gospel....I'm sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:3-6, CEB).

Take Note/Act Now

Presbytery   .  .  . and the  Wider Church 

General Presbyter Search Committee:
The General Presbyter Search Committee is now pleased to begin reviewing applications for the position of General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Baltimore. Interested applicants, including members of the Presbytery of Baltimore, are urged to apply to the following advertisement or pass this information along to someone who you think would be a good match for our presbytery :
P rogressive, forward-thinking, financially healthy presbytery seeks a dynamic spiritual leader to inspire, lead and shepherd a diverse group of 69 congregations which is exploring new ways of serving the world and conducting ministry.  To apply, send cover letter and PIF/resume to .  

NEXT Church is holding a Listening Campaign this fall involving at least 500 Presbyterian leaders to talk about experiences in mission and gain a sense of how those experiences interface with the structures, programs, and efforts of our national and local church structures.   The event will be held locally at 10am on Thursday, Dec. 3 at The Center.  Click NEXT Church .

The 2016 Stewardship Kaleidoscope conference entitled "Giving Not Getting is the Way," will be held Feb. 29-Mar. 2 in San Antonio, TX.  For details, click Kaleidoscope

Tuesday, Dec. 1  - is the deadline for those wishing to be considered by the GA Nominating Committee (GANC) for nomination to one of almost thirty entities to which the GANC makes nominations.  Elected service includes participation on boards, commissions or committees at the General Assembly level. For details, click GANC.

At 5pm on Sunday, Dec. 13, Granite Presbyterian Church will hold a Christmas Bluegrass Vespers featuring the music of Rick Hill, Dave Streett and others.  For details, contact Frank Owens at

Springfield Presbyterian Church presents PDQ Barbershop Quartet in concert at 3pm on Sunday, Dec. 13. The group sings a wide variety of entertaining songs from the 30's through the 60's in the Barbershop style. The concert is free although a free will offering to support the concert series will be taken. Click PDQ for details.

The Heart of Christmas - A Woods Musical Concert will be held at 7pm on Thursday, Dec. 10.  This free, public event features  seasonal music with a contemporary vibe to tunes such as Joy to the World, We Three Kings, Mary Did you Know, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and more!  You will experience a beautiful liturgical dance and have the opportunity to lift your voice in song!  

Deer Creek Harmony Presbyterian Church is planning a group trip in December to the Manhattan Broadway District to see Bishop Nathaniel Townsley Jr's play "Night Songs".  If interested, please contact TE Susie Atkinson


Please join congregations of BUILD to pray for our city on the eve of the first trial related to the death of Freddie Gray for an end to the violence at 4pm on Sunday, Nov. 29 at the Blessed Sacrament Church, 4103 Old York Road 21218. Light refreshments and discussion will follow the service.  All are welcome.  

Planning is already underway for the annual Advocacy Training Weekend,  APRIL 15-18, 2016 IN WASHINGTON, D.C.:  PCUSA Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day (April 15) and Ecumenical Advocacy Days (April 15-18).   If you have ideas for workshop leaders on this year's focus, Lift Every Voice: Racism, Class, and Power, please contact Susan Krehbiel  or to register, just click Advocacy 2016.

On Dec. 9, the Ecumenical Institute of Theology will host The Reverend Fleming Rutledge, who will speak about her latest book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, at 7 pm on the St. Mary's Seminary & University campus. Tickets (free) required. Details and tickets.

taff Directory

 Mary Gaut
Interim 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
Deborah Greene  
Dir. of Communications

Catherine Blacka

Judy Johnson
Ministry Group Staff

 Wanda Morgan
Dir. of Events/Services