July 13, 2015
Inside this Edition


Presbyterian Mission Agency Under Interim Team Leadership


BIG TENT's Coming


Planning Begun for Presbyterian Youth Triennium


Mission Crossroads 


Mission Educational Resources


West Side Story Fellowship Breakfast for Ruling Elders


Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown


Second PC Seeks Assoc. Dir. of Music


Creation Seminar at Lancaster Theological Seminary


Board of Pensions' Call to Health Initiative


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

The General Presbyter Nominating Committee will meet 10am to 2pm on Wednesday, July 15 

The Steering Cabinet will meet 1pm to 4pm on Wednesday, July 22

The Commission on Reconciliation will meet at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, July 22

Administration will meet at 11am on Tuesday, Aug. 4

The Committee on Ministry Leader Team will meet 10am on Wednesday, Aug. 5

Gathering Team will meet 2pm on Wednesday, Aug. 5



Baltimore /Dakota Learning Camps group will meet 7pm to 9pm on July 14 at Catonsville PC 

Praise & Prayer 

Please continue to pray for The Rev. Judy Johnson, who is recovering from surgery. Judy serves as coach of the Wild, Wild West Ministry Group.

And, also continue to pray for CRE Ed Terry, pastor of Mt. Paran Presbyterian Church, who is recuperating from health issues.




by The Rev. William Nickels III, 

Associate General Presbyter


In recent years, the Commission on Thriving Congregations has offered the Presbytery's congregations the chance to benefit from using our denomination's excellent New Beginnings resources.  When a church is sensing a need for redirecting its life and ministry, participation in New Beginnings can help its members make an informed and faithful choice for a direction that offers real promise of a new beginning.  So far, ten of the Presbytery's congregations have done so.  And, as several of them can attest, their work has been bearing fruit.  Ministries have been re-envisioned, energies and assets have been focused appropriately, and passion for mission has been reignited!  In light of this, the Commission is pleased to offer congregations a fresh opportunity to enter a New Beginnings effort starting this fall.


On Friday, Sept. 11, from 12pm to 2:30pm, pastors and lay leaders of congregations will be able to meet with a member of the PCUSA's New Beginnings staff at a Come and See Event --

an orientation session we'll be hosting at Brown Memorial Woodbrook Church.  Lunch will be provided!  After that meeting, the leaders will have one month to reflect on the New Beginnings assessment process and determine whether they want to take advantage of the opportunity.  For churches choosing to engage in the work, New Beginnings assessors will schedule visits during the week of Nov. 16.  After the assessments are completed, congregational leaders will receive assessment reports and will be trained how to use them during a leaders' meeting scheduled for Jan. 22-23.


While a New Beginnings Assessment process can offer much to participating churches, it does require an investment of time, energy, prayer and financial resources.   Church leaders need to understand that they can make that investment with every hope of a good return!  They also should understand that they would do so in partnership with the Commission on Thriving Congregations, which will encourage participation in New Beginnings this fall by underwriting a portion of the financial costs of the effort for every participating congregation.


So consider this, and if you would like more information, please click here to read information posted on the Presbytery's Website or contact Bill Nickels, Associate General Presbyter for Thriving Congregations, at 410.433.2012 or bnickels@baltimorepresbytery.org.


Take  noteTake Note /Act Now
Take Note/Act Now


Presbytery   .  .  . and the  Wider Church 

The Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) Executive Committee is in the process of conducting a search for an Interim Executive Director.  The search comes in the wake of the resignation last week of L inda Valentine, who had served as the agency's executive director since 2006.  T he committee has established an aggressive time line for the Interim ED search and hopes to make a selection by August.  Meanwhile, PMA executives  Earline Williams and Barry Creech have been selected to co-manage the agency until an interim executive director is identified.

"We offer our thanks and appreciation for the Mission Agency staff and the outstanding ways they inspire, equip and connect the church in its mission," Marilyn Gamm, chair of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. "They have continued to give of their time and talents as the church seeks to serve Christ's mission in the world."

Scholarships to Big Tent are still available through the Commission on Spiritual Leader Development.  For details, contact Debbie Schmidt. Let's Get Together at BIG TENT!  Participating members of the Presbytery of Baltimore are asked to contact Deb Milcarek.

Planning has begun for the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium scheduled for July 19-23 at Purdue University. To learn more, contact  Molly Atkinson, the National Registrar, at 1.888.728.7228 ext. 5049

Mission Crossroads is making changes! On-line resources can now be found at www.pcusa.org/missionresources. There, you will find tools for planning mission trips, organizing committees, connecting with mission co-workers and leading mission-oriented Christian education courses. Additionally, consider attending Mission Magnified, a mission leader event, to be held November 19 -21, 2015 in Kansas City, MO.; and, check out World Mission Today webinars, too.  

The Presbyterian Mission Agency offers resources for creating a vision for educational ministry.  For details click here.




A Fellowship Breakfast for Ruling Elders of congregations of West Side Story Ministry Group will be held 8:30am Saturday, July 18 at Bob Evans Restaurant, 4900 Beaver Run Court in Columbia.

The Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown is considering leasing most of the church facility to the Hub City Vineyard Church.  This is a huge decision in the life of this church.  We ask for the prayers of the churches in the Presbytery as we contemplate whether this is God's work or a distraction from it.                                                                  --TE Rick Hill 

Second Presbyterian Church seeks a Part-Time Associate Director of Music.  Click here for details.




Protecting that creation - and encouraging others to do the same - will be the theme of a five-day course led by Mary Gaut at Lancaster Theological Seminary this week. "Beyond Recycling: The Church and the Moral Urgency of Creating an Environmentally Sustainable Future" will address pollution, resource depletion and climate change and explore religion's role in shaping conversation and solutions. 


How's your health?  Each day we're reminded of the need to protect and cherish our personal health and the health of our families, loved ones, and broader community of faith. The Board of Pensions' Call to Health initiative is one way we can each demonstrate our respect and gratitude for God's gift of life and support our obligation to care for ourselves and those we love and serve.  Last year, 53.5% of plan members in the Presbytery of Baltimore completed Call to Health. This year, the goal is 50% or more.  Please actively answer the 2015 Call to Health to achieve their best health as well as savings on their 2016 deductibles. Answer the 2015 Call to Health before September 30th! 


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

Terry Jackson
Dir. of Finance


Deborah Greene

Dir. of Communication


Catherine Blacka

Judy Johnson

Ministry Group Staff




 Wanda Morgan

Dir. of Events/Services