January 11, 2016
Inside this Edition
Clerks Annual Questionnaire Deadline Extended

Remittance Notice 

2016 Next Church Gathering 

Spirituality in Smartphone Age at Towson PC

Catonsville Concerts at 3: Ayerheart!

Hunting Ridge PC Book Club focuses on Sykesville resident

Springfield PC Offers Ruth Gosnell Education Fund

Central PC Seeks and Operations Coordinator

MD Campaign for Paid Sick Days

Board of Pensions: Call to Health
Committee and Commission meetings will be held at the Presbytery's office (unless noted otherwise.) 

Personnel Committee will meet at 1pm on Monday, Jan. 11.

The Gathering Team will meet at 1pm on Tues., Jan. 12.

General Presbyter Search Committee will meet at 10am on Thurs., Jan. 14.

Commission on Thriving Congregations will meet 6:30pm on Tuesday, Jan. 19

Commission on Reconciliation  will meet  6:30pm on Wed., Jan. 27.

Susquehanna Parish Ministry Group will meet at 7pm on Thursday, Jan. 21 at Highland PC.  

Our Shared Ministry 
Our Shared Ministry provides vital support to our Ministry Groups, Partnerships and Commissions.  As of this date $215,011.94  (just $4,988.06 short of our goal! ) 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 Memorial 
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 
Light Street 
Mount Hebron
Mount Paran
Prince of Peace 
Roland Park 
St. John United
Woods Memorial    
Prayer & Praise 
Please pray for TE Susie Atkinson's husband, Bill, who is hospitalized with a serious infection at the University of MD shock Trauma Unit. TE Atkinson pastors the congregations of Deer Creek Harmony, Havre de Grace Presbyterian Churches .  

Please also pray for RE John Lawson, chair of the Presbytery's Property & Loan Commission, who is being treated for a chronic condition at St. Agnes Hospital.

Richard R. Hammar is an attorney and CPA specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy. 
Read Church Law & Tax Report.

A Message from the Moderator
 James Parks

Praying for Justice in the Matter of Freddie Gray

The trials in the tragic death of Freddie Gray are just beginning. Already one has resulted in a hung jury and another has been postponed. These delays are frustrating, but once the trials take place, hopefully, they will play a big role in helping to heal some of the wounds in our community.  On May 1, a group of more than 100 people gathered at Trinity Presbyterian Church near the epicenter of the April 27 unrest to pray for justice and peace. At that service we prayed:
...for justice for Freddie Gray and all people who have been mistreated by the enforcers of our-human-made laws. We recognize that the large majority of those who patrol our streets are good men and women who care about justice, but there are some who do not. We pray today for the Baltimore police, the State's Attorney's office, the courts, the governor, the legislature, the mayor and the City Council that they may become the true instruments of justice that God calls them to be.
Whatever the verdicts eventually reached, that is our prayer again today.
These trials are just a small part of what must be a long-term process of changing the normal way of doing things in Baltimore. Every person who loves justice and peace must dedicate themselves to finding practical ways to end the sentence of a lifetime in the strait jackets of poverty, injustice and oppression that many of our citizens face. For example, a recent Harvard study found that African American children in Baltimore, especially boys, were the least likely in the entire country to move out of poverty. A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine study found many of Baltimore's youth suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome. The Baltimore Sun has reported on the systematic housing segregation in the city and the horrible conditions people have to live under each day.
This is not how God intended for people to live. God commands us in the book of Isaiah to "Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause." 
Today, let us make sure that whatever happens to the six officers in the courtroom we are all working long-term for a change in the streets, alleys and households where our neighbors are suffering. That's the most Christ-like thing to do as it fits how Jesus himself defined his mission in Luke 4: 18-19:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the  prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. 

taff Directory

Take Note/Act Now

Presbytery   .  .  . and the  Wider Church 

IMPORTANT: the deadline for the Clerk's Annual Questionnaire has been extended to January 25, 2016.
click CAQ to complete.  

SAVE THE DATE: Jan. 13, 2016 is the last day that the Presbytery will accept remittances by mail for FY2015.  Remittances received after that date will be applied to FY2016. Faxes and emails will not be accepted.

Register now for NEXT Church's 2016 National Gathering
February 22-24 in Atlanta
This NEXT Church National Gathering will engage questions that invite us into the transformative power of reconciliation and inspire us by the stories of those witnesses who go before us. This year's theme is "Faith at the Crossroads": what's at stake for you? Your congregation? Your community?  Visit NEXT Church's website to learn more and register today!


Towson Presbyterian Church will host the Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana at 11am on Sunday, Jan. 24 during a presentation entitled Spirituality in a Smartphone Age During her presentation, discover theological grounding and practical wisdom to help you navigate the joys and perils of this digital age-ever changing yet here to stay.  

Catonsville Concerts at 3 presents Ayreheart!  Ayreheart's music is an eclectic mix that includes elements of Folk, Celtic, Renaissance and Bluegrass.  The concert will be held at 3pm on Sunday, Jan. a the church .  Admission is free, and no tickets are required.  For details, call 410.747.6180.

Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church's Book Club will meet at 3pm on Sun day, Jan. 24 to discuss the novel, IN CARRIE'S FOOTPRINTS:  The Long Walk of Warren Dorsey . The book focuses on Warren Dorsey's roots in an African American community in nearby Sykesville and of his incredibly resourceful mother of 12, Carrie, the daughter of a former slave, who wanted a better life for her children.   

INTEREST-FREE COLLEGE LOANS AVAILABLE! The Ruth Gosnell Education Fund, directed by the Springfield Presbyterian Church, provides interest-free loans for full time college juniors, seniors or graduate students -- regardless of religion.  Loan applications are evaluated on academic performance, financial need and a short essay. Download the RGEF Form A, "Ruth Gosnell Education Fund Loan Application" at www.springfield-church.org or call 410.795.6152.  The deadline for applications is March 1, 2016.

Central Presbyterian Church is in search of an Operations Coordinator.  This position is critical to smooth running of the church's facilities' and creating the optimal environment for both internal and external ministries to operate. For details click Central. To apply, please send resume and cover letter to  HR@centralpc.org.
Call to Health
Board of Pensions New Website

Kick off the new year by going to the new Call to Health website -- c alltohealth.org -- and begin working toward better health and well-being and lower deductibles for 2017! The new site is easy to use. Click calltohealth.org , and follow these simple steps:
  1. Click Get started. Call to Health asks for your personal information -- one time only --  to identify you as a plan member.
  2. Click Sign in. The first time you sign in, you'll see a welcome screen. Here you'll create your sign-in (user) name and password.
  3. Try out the site! Move around the site by choosing tiles (the rectangular blocks with graphics and topics) that interest you and clicking on the navigation links across the top of the page.

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