January 12, 2021
Praying for America
In response to the events of last week in the heart of our nation, we’ve published a selection of prayers for your reading. Penned by pastors in the Presbytery, and inspired by these turbulent times, they offer rumination, perspective, and thoughtfulness that is not only welcome, but worth sharing. Please stay safe, and join us in praying for peace, justice, and healing for our country.
If you have a prayer you would like to offer for us to share with others, please let us know, and we will publish it to the growing collection on our website.
A National Moment of Unity and Remembrance
Communities around the country are invited to join Washington, DC on the evening of January 19th for the “first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialize American lives lost.” Let's light up buildings and ring our church bells at 5:30 pm! Read more about the event or Follow us on Facebook for upcoming details and reminders.
Silent Night
The year 2020 ended on a more joyous note, with the release of a Christmas collaboration created by Baltimore Presbytery members. You may recall the invitation for singers from previous Tidings. The response is an historic and memorable composition that included talents from 7 churches. This project was organized by Dr. Margaret McGillivray, Director of Music at Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church. We’d like to thank her, and the over 50 vocalists, instrumentalists, and producers of this wonderful holiday video.
The 890th Gathering
The next Gathering of the Presbytery of Baltimore is scheduled for Thursday, March 11, 2021, from 10 am - 12 pm. It will include worship/communion/necrology, approval of budget, stated clerk election, and other business TBA. Note that March’s Gathering will be condensed for time. Stay tuned for updates and specifics right here.
We realize that schedules, work and parenting can be difficult to balance during these unprecedented times, and the Presbytery seeks to convene when it is most convenient for the most people. Previous Gathering attendees will be receiving a brief survey later this week asking for their feedback to help us prepare meetings that are accommodating, meaningful, and productive.
Given that we are limited to online meetings for the foreseeable future, much consideration has been given to streamlining the agenda, and providing additional programming opportunities for dedicated subjects at other times. What do you think? Let us know what topics are most important to you in this new year.
During worship at the March Presbytery Gathering we will remember the Ruling and Teaching elders who died in 2020. Please send to Stated Clerk Mary Gaut the names of all Ruling Elders in your congregation who died last year for inclusion in the list to be read during the worship time.
Restorative Mindset Training
In conversations with both clergy and lay leaders from so many of our congregations, I have heard one refrain time and again: 2020 exposed tensions that had been simmering below the surface, even in communities that had seemed unified. Since conflict is a healthy part of any vibrant community’s life cycle, we felt that it was critical to start developing skills and a resource bank that would allow us to address the unique tensions in our very different congregations in contextually appropriate ways.
In support of this priority, the Commission on Thriving Congregations has provided the funding for an online workshop through Restorative Response Baltimore (RRB). We are encouraging each congregation to send one leader (clergy or lay, ordained or not) to this free event on February 1st and 8th from 1:30 - 4:30 pm. 
Called Restorative Mindset Training, the workshop offers tools for conflict prevention, resolution, and for building community. According to RRB, “A restorative mindset is characterized by a variety of qualities. Practitioners of restorative practices demonstrate empathy, hold themselves accountable, and honor conflict as a normal, potentially productive part of relationships. These and other qualities are elemental to restorative practices.” 
Our hope is that this training will be a first step in equipping every congregation in the Presbytery with a robust set of resources when it comes to addressing conflict, and that our healthy engagement with tension will lead us to greater unity as the Body of Christ. Register today!
In Christ,
- Rev. Jennifer Barchi, Associate for Church and Leadership

Statistical reporting season
The due date of February 12th is approaching! Pastors and clerks of Session: Remember that your annual statistical report must be approved by your Session before submitting. Do not click “submit” until your session has approved the report.

Clerks of Session can access the reporting portal here. Be sure to click “accept” before moving to the next section to avoid losing the information you have entered.
2021 standard mileage rates decrease
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the 2021 standard mileage rates. Beginning January 1, 2021, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 56 cents per mile for ministry or business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2020.

Upcoming Events
Racial Justice Speaker Series presents Petula Caesar, author of “She’s Such a Bright Girl” at 2:00 pm via Zoom. Co-sponsored by the Racial Justice Ministry and African American Affinity Group of Govans Presbyterian Church. For more information and registration, email Lea Gilmore lea@govanspres.org or to purchase a copy of the book, contact Andy Wilson Wilson@govanspres.org
2nd Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Spoken Word Contest and Program Join the In the Loop Ministry Group on Monday, January 18, 2021 at 1:30 pm to hear 4th through 12th graders’ spoken word submissions on “This Time in History: My Story.” Participants will share how news and actions surrounding COVID, social injustice, and national political events have impacted their impacted their lives. Register here.
A National Moment of Unity and Remembrance Communities around the country are invited to join Washington on the eve of Inauguration Day for the “first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialize American lives lost.” Let's light up buildings and ring our church bells at 5:30 pm! Read more about the event or Follow us on Facebook for upcoming details and reminders.
Book Discussion - Govans Presbyterian Racial Justice Ministry hosts an online forum at 7:00 pm every Tuesday through March 30th. For Discussion: “Caste: The Orignis of our Discontents,” by Isabel Wilkerson. To purchase a book and/or sign up to join, contact Andy Wilson Wilson@govanspres.org or call (410) 435-9188.
Help Wanted
Outreach and Communications Coordinator
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake is seeking a full time individual to lead outreach efforts in Anne Arundel County and the Upper Eastern Shore regions of Maryland. The position will also play an active role in managing IPC's communication campaigns across all the regions of their work and assist with on-the-ground outreach in Lancaster County, PA and the DC metro regions. Job description

Music Director
Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church (GSPC) in Joppa, Maryland seeks a Music Director to coordinate and plan the music program of the congregation and make appropriate recommendations that blend a traditional and contemporary music program. This person directs the choir as well as plays the piano/organ. Applications can be submitted through GSPC's Indeed account. Read full job description (pdf).

Stated Clerk
The Presbytery of Baltimore is seeking a Stated Clerk for a 3 year term beginning in March of 2021. The Stated Clerk may be elected to additional terms as noted in the position description. This is a 25 hour per week position with vacation, medical insurance, and pension benefits, but will vary depending on the applicant’s status within the PCUSA. A position description and list of qualifications can be found here.
The Presbytery offices are closed for visits or appointments until further notice, but staff and commissions continue to meet regularly online.

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