May 12, 2020

Greetings. We’re hoping this message finds you well. Although it’s been quiet outside, our computers and devices have been working overtime these past two months. And although news of the pandemic has been constantly changing, one thing remains certain: Keeping people home is keeping people safe . Governments, businesses, and churches continue to adapt, and as we learn more, we look forward to releasing our own guidelines for a phased approach to regathering. Until then, summer plans have morphed into creative, online-only alternatives.
This week: 887 th Gathering of the Presbytery
Hopefully, Thursday, May 14 th is already on your calendar, but if not, there’s still time to register for the first-ever virtual Gathering . The webinar format will begin on Zoom at 9:30 with an online orientation, and the agenda starting at 10:00 am. Join early, because this is new to everyone, and we’d like to share some guidelines and preview what to expect.
The morning’s schedule will conclude for a brief lunch break, and over a half- dozen Open Space sessions will begin at 12:30. Visit our website for more details and documents for discussion .

May is Mental Health Month
As the entire world comes to grips with many new realities, it can be at times overwhelming. The following resources are designed for use by individuals seeking information for themselves or others, for those providing pastoral care, and for leadership in mental health ministry:

  • COVID-19 Mental Health Resources - This collection is newly expanded with additional resources for parents, children and families, pastors, and congregations.

  • National 24/7 Crisis Helplines - A list of major national crisis helplines in downloadable pdf format has been compiled to make them readily accessible and easy to share. 

The 224th General Assembly approaches
Nearly five weeks from now, the General Assembly comes to town. Virtually, that is. With Baltimore remaining the “host city” there’s been much to-do about what to do. The Committee on Local Arrangements (COLA) has been meeting regularly to re-define our city’s role in this historic event, and reaching out to congregations to invite their participation.
Here are a couple ways to get involved:

  • Host a Service on June 21 - If your church is hosting online worship on June 21st, and would like to invite commissioners to join your congregation, please contact Sonce Reece at or Deborah McEachran.

  • Got Photos? - Since the denomination can’t visit us in person, we’ll do our best to welcome visitors virtually. The spotlight remains on our region as we host Presbyterians from around the globe, and we are compiling photos (and videos) to accompany our stories. If you have an image (or video) or two that “represents” your congregation, please share it with us so we can share it with our guests next month. If interested, contact Frank Perrelli for more information.

To and from our friends at CEDEPCA
This past week, messages of hope from the Baltimore-Guatemala Partnership Team were assembled in video format for our partners in Guatemala, CEDEPCA. CEDEPCA is a Spanish Acronym which stands for The Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America. Their responses follow.
“It was a wonderful surprise to read your email, and to see the video that you prepared for us with so much love and care. There aren't enough words to express how encouraged we felt by listening and seeing you in the distance; even if there are miles that set us apart, we felt the closeness through your words of encouragement and blessings.”
- Nancy Carrera, Coordinator - Intercultural Encounters
“I pray and hope that you all are well, I just have not enough words to express my depth of gratitude for your prayers, love, friendship, but this video, wow, it is incredible, brings us hope, in the midst of this very difficult time. Your words of encouragements, your prayers and love mean so much to me, to us, thank you friends.”
-   Judith Castañeda, Coordinadora General

Help Wanted
Associate for Church and Leadership
The Presbytery of Baltimore is seeking an individual to take a leading role in implementing and breathing life in the Presbytery’s vision and ministry plan and encourage, challenge and equip existing and new congregations to thrive in their relationships and become faithful leaders. Full job description
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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