December 19, 2016
Inside this Edition

Notices for Submitting 2016 Contributions & Expenses

Presbytery Holiday Closings 

"Now What?" A Special Event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Catonsville Concerts at 3 presents Elysian Camerata in Concert

Woods Mem'l PC Seeks a Director of Contemporary Music and a Director of Youth

Mt. Hebron seeks Music Director 

Grace PC Christmas Eve Candle light Service.

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

Committee on Preparation for Ministry  at 3pm on Wednesday, Dec. 21

Committee on Ministry  will meet Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 2pm

Gathering Team  will meet a 1pm on Thursday, Jan. 5

Nominating Committee  will meet Monday, Jan. 23. at 7:30pm

Steering Cabinet
at 1pm on Wednesday, Jan. 25

Committee on Ministry Leadership   will meet at 10am on Wednesday, Feb. 1

Committee on Reconciliation will meet at 6:30pm on Wednesday, Jan. 25

In the Loop Ministry Group will next meet at 6pm on T uesday, Feb. 28 at Light Street PC

Uptown Metro Pastors' Lunch will be held at 12oon at One World Cafe on Thursday, Jan. 19

Interim Pastors' Lunch will be held Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 12noon 

Cuba Encuentro Orientations will be held 10am on Saturday, Jan. 7 and 10am on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Cuba Partnership will meet 2pm Wednesday, Jan. 18 at Hunting Ridge PC

BDLC will meet at 7pm on Tuesday, Jan 10 

Guatemala Partnership meets Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 8am Location TBA
The True Meaning of  Christmas

A Message
General Presbyter Jackie Taylor 
It was the 5:30 "Family Christmas Eve Service".  The pastor, a type-A personality was in  the back giving last minute instructions to the church school director concerning the Christmas pageant. Children were shifting side to side, tagging each other and whispering. The church school director hushed them in order to determine how the children would enter the sanctuary.
The joyful but solemn service began with the appropriate hymns, Christ candle lighting, scripture and "message". Alas, the time for the pageant was nigh. As with every Christmas Eve, the manger scene would be portrayed and all would bask in the glory of tradition until the individual candles were lit and the singing of Silent Night closed the evening.
Suddenly the processing children decided that this morose and quiet procession was too much to handle. They began to push and shove one another,wave vigorously to parents, trip over their costumes and bend down to tie shoelaces.  As if on cue, babies started wailing,  adults coughed, bulletins fluttered and hymnals dropped on the hardwood floors.  The look on  the pastor's face was one of abject frustration.  Christmas Eve was ruined.
At the end of the service, right after my then 10-year-old daughter almost set her program on fire, failing to blow out her candle on time, I approached the pastor and said in a moment of insight, "I think this is the way it really was on Christmas Eve, noise and all".
Our babies still cry, relatives are no less annoying, Christmas hams get burned, news is depressing, people starve and wars continue. And, yet, Jesus comes! God is still with us. God is still pleased with humanity even though we bumble and fumble down the aisle of life, trying to stay in line, but ultimately give in to the distractions. And yet God calls us to move slowly or quickly or awkwardly toward the star, where we can encounter Emmanuel year after year in our worship, songs, fellowship and imperfect lives.  What a gift!
Friends, trip, cough, wave, drop things and pick them up again. But through the noise of our times and lives - "with the Angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King- Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!"
Merry Christmas.

An e-Christmas Card from the
 Presbytery of Baltimore 

taff Directory

Take Note/Act Now



All  church contributions are due  Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at the close of the business day. Please mark your contributions with the year to which you would like them applied. All expense requests for 2016 must be submitted to the Presbytery office no later than the close of business day on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. There will be no exceptions! 

The Presbytery of Baltimore will close Dec. 23-26 in observance of Christmas and on Jan. 1 in observance of New Year's Day

Click here for registration or bulletin


Catonsville Concerts at 3 presents Elysian Camerata  in concert at 3pm on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017.  The Philadelphia-based Elysian Camerata has built its chamber music repertoire and reputation with works of all styles and periods.  This free concert will be held at Catonsville Presbyterian Church . For details call 410.747.6180.

Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church seeks a vibrant and dynamic Director of Contemporary Music to work with the church's praise band, which performs at the 11am Sunday service and participates in weekly practice sessions. For details, click Woods. The church also seeks a  Director of Youth and Their Families. Click here for the job description.

Mt. Hebron Presbyterian Church has an opening for Music Director.  This is a part-time position encompassing organ, piano and choir director skills.  We are a small church with a traditional choir program, and are open to many other genres as well.  Our congregation loves and appreciates good music.  We have a gorgeous two-manual Allen organ and a fabulous Steinway M grand piano.  Please direct inquiries to Rev. Adrian Pratt.
Grace Presbyterian Church invites you to w orship at its "Word Up"  Christmas Eve Candle-light service at 7pm on Dec. 24. The event features a free performance of " The Wilderness Experience"  by Dawn Jones. For details about auditions for the production, contact Ms. Jones at  410.299.9919.
Executive Director Position available (Half Time Position) The Central Maryland Ecumenical Council (CMEC), a community of Christian organizations that advocates for environmental, racial, social, and economic justice, seeks a chief executive officer. Click here for details.
Praise & Prayer
Please pray for the Rev. Keith Paige , pastor of Cherry Hill Community Presbyterian Church,  and his family as they mourn the death of his mother, Frances Paige, who died last Thursday after a long illness in Virginia. Funeral services will be held Thursday, Dec. 22 at Community Presbyterian Church in Portsmouth, VA.

Please pray or the family of the Rev. Chang Ho Kim, retired pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church, who died Nov. 2.  A special edition of Tidings commemorating his service to the Presbytery and Korean American community will be published later this week. 

taff Directory

 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