November 26, 2019
Good News from Susquehanna Parish and Fallston Presbyterian Church
Fallston Presbyterian is celebrating its new KIDS SOAR (Serving Others All aRound) program, begun in February of 2019. Each month, this group of elementary school students and their families meets at the church with members of the community. They start with a story and a project that will help a community organization. Then they welcome someone from that local organizations to describe who they serve, why it’s important, and how the project will make a difference. The children get to ask questions, and really enjoy the projects. 

Last week, the first KIDS SOAR program was held in a local elementary school. Twenty children stayed after school to learn about the Alzheimer’s Association, to read a book about what it’s like for people suffering from dementia, and complete cards and pictures frames to thank caregivers who so compassionately and patiently care for their loved ones with dementia. It was an awesome experience, and they now have both the church site and the school site of KIDS SOAR helping parents engage their children in the needs of the community and how they can make a difference. The partnership with our local school is one example of where the church hopes to be moving as they complete their listening campaign with The Center and revise their direction for the next several years according to where God’s Spirit leads.
Beyond the Building
Over this past summer, Fallston Presbyterian sought to improve their outdoor worship space, since they spend one Sunday a month outdoors, worshiping in a lovely garden area at the back of the property. A team worked together to take a design around Psalm 23 and figure out how to make giant mosaic panels that would hang on a brick pulpit. The project was dedicated on the 5 th anniversary of the Emma Clair Arthur Memorial Garden. With careful design from several in their congregation and a local landscaping company, the garden’s cross shape and beautiful plants guide people to an outdoor sanctuary and provide a peaceful place to stop, sit, and connect with the Spirit of God in a deeper and more authentic way.
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I am sure many of you are aware of the movement to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. This is in response to emerging awareness of the subsequent impact of Christopher Columbus’ “discovery." I am hearing a similar buzz about Thanksgiving. Was it really a perfect sit down between the Europeans and the Native Americans as has been depicted? Probably not.

However, that does not negate taking any opportunity we have to be thankful. Not only to God, who whom we owe a debt of gratitude, but to one another, the trash collectors, the person who cleans your home, your neighbor who watches your dog while you are on a cruise and others. How about your pastor or your Session members and volunteers? How about the people you live with or your “friendsgiving” tribe? How about the $10 per hour worker who fixed your coffee or asked “do you want fries with that?”

So much gratitude. 

Blessings,
– Jackie
Congratulations
Please join us in celebrating Amy Carlson and wife Kristina’s newborn baby Brooks Kable Carlson, who joined the family last week. Parents and son are doing great, and Second Presbyterian Church gained a new member!
Holiday Events
Hanging of the Greens
Join Maryland Presbyterian for fun intergenerational worship and celebration: sing favorite Christmas carols, transform the sanctuary together to decorate for Advent, and hear the Christmas story anew through poetry, music, and joy. Everyone has a part to play as we make this place feel a little more like home.
The Alternative Christmas Mini-Market
For more than two decades First & Franklin has invited the community to this festive event. There will be music, good food (please consider making a treat to bring to the event and share with the community), plenty of friends, and many nonprofits to learn about and to support year round. Purchase Christmas cards from the mission and social justice organizations and the Market. Your donations will go directly to the programs. More information
A Classical Christmas Concert  
First Presbyterian Church of Bel Air hosts a concert featuring a trio of musicians at 5 pm. A freewill offering will be received and light refreshments will be served.
5oth Annual Advent Service
The Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church of Bel Air will host a representative from FPC’s shelter for homeless families, the Shreffler House Ministry, who will speak at 11 am. A freewill offering will be received and a potluck luncheon will follow the service. Bring a dish to share.
O Holy Night: An Evening of Lessons and Carols
Friday and Saturday: This combined concert in the sanctuary at 7 pm will include the choirs from St. Philip's Episcopal Church, St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church, Severna Park Methodist Church, and Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church . The concert will also include a full orchestra, handbells, guest soloists, guest instrumentalists, and our amazing Children's Choirs. Come celebrate Christ's Birth through this beautiful evening of lessons and carols! To reserve your free ticket please visit: woodstix.org
10th Annual Alternative Gift Fair
Saturday and Sunday: First Presbyterian Church of Howard County is offering a wide array of fair trade gifts from around the world, including handmade jewelry, scarves, ornaments, foods, and home decor. A dozen charities will be featured as well as a Children’s Corner. On Saturday, the Presbyterian Women Organization will be selling baked goods.
A Tiffany Series Holiday Concert
Organist Michael Britt performs popular holiday music and singalongs for people of all ages at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church , in the Bolton Hill section of Baltimore. Tickets are $20 (Students and children get free admission) and are available online and at the door.
Sounds of the Season
Grove Presbyterian Church in Aberdeen, MD hosts a 5 pm performance. The program will feature the Upper Chesapeake Chorus of the Sweet Adelines and the Christmas Cantata, "Little Drop of Heaven" performed by the Grove Chancel Choir and Friends. The program will be followed by a time of fellowship and refreshments.
Christmas Concert
Central Presbyterian's renowned celebration of Christmas will feature the Chancel Choir, Bell Choir, and Orchestra. Suggested Donation: $10 Per Ticket or give what you can. More information
Holiday Flyers
Tiffany Series Concert
Alternative Gift Fair
Christmas Concert
Educational Opportunity
ICJS 2019 Manekin-Clark Lecture
A very special event with Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute and author of “The End of White Christian America.” Recent demographic studies have shown that the United States is no longer a majority white Christian nation. Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute and author of The End of White Christian America, will talk about how this demographic reality has changed American politics and social values. He will explore the fear and hope of this seismic shift in the American religious and political landscape and how these changes affect our interreligious conversations. A reception and book signing follows the talk. Books will be available for purchase. Event is free and open to the public from 7-9 pm. Registration requested .
Help Wanted
General Assembly Volunteers
The Committee on Local Arrangements (COLA) is seeing creative and energetic individuals to lead a team or be part of a workgroup for June’s General Assembly in Baltimore. Available roles include: Fundraising Co-Chair, Media & Communications Chair, and Welcome Reception Volunteers. For additional information, contact Sonce.Reese@pcusa.org or (410) 433-2012.
Wishing you the happiest of holidays
The Presbytery of Baltimore staff and commissions wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Stay safe, and enjoy the the arrival of this season of celebration! We give thanks for this active and engaged community of faithful servants of God.
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