October 13, 2020
Enduring Witness Grants Available
The Commission on Thriving Congregations is once again receiving applications for Enduring Witness grants. The grants can be used towards the following:

  • Board of Pensions Grant – Assistance for pension dues to supplement part-time pastoral leadership (up to 3 years maximum)
  • Program Grant – Assistance for congregational transformation and intentional evangelism through programmatic initiatives
  • Capital Grant – Assistance for capital building costs/repairs related to a programmatic initiative. Capital Grants are only available for existing programs or projects. 
  • SLD Coaching Grant – Assistance for clergy coaching for (1) any clergy entering our presbytery to take a new call or for (2) clergy who are pastoring churches that have completed an assessment process and are implementing a new vision for their congregation. 

The deadline to submit an application is October 30. Please direct any questions to Rob Smith.
Wealth and the Legacy of Slavery
The continuing B’More Human series is designed to help us explore how the legacy of slavery continues to impact American society as well as our own communities. On the 16th of each month, The In The Loop ministry group offers a presentation for individual reflection, and on the 19th, a chance for participants to talk to one another around the month’s topic, focusing on the articles in the NY Times 1619 project.
Many thanks to those who joined us in September. October’s topic, “Wealth and the Legacy of Slavery” will explore racial income and economic disparities that continue to this day. For more information, or to register, visit our website.
Notes from Cuba
The annual Cuba Partners Network Gathering this year was held using a virtual format on September 25-26. The 6+ hours of programming included the participation of seven of the Cuban church pastors/leaders who only recently have been able to access VPN and join us live. What a blessing!
The Gathering included a two-hour segment on Saturday afternoon that was pre-recorded, streamed on YouTube and open to the public. That link is provided here and it's highly recommend viewing - you will learn so much! It includes:

  • The 130 year history of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba (IPRC)
  • The 30 year history of the Cuba Partners Network, made up of 130+ members of US churches and Presbyteries that are partnered with Cuban churches. Presbyteries, the IPRC Synod, and the Seminary in Matanzas
  • A presentation by the Advocacy Committee and
  • A worship service in Spanish with English subtitles, the Rev. Dora Arce, Moderator of the IPRC, preaching, and great music. If you have gone to Cuba you will see some familiar faces and sites.
Parental Leave Listening Sessions
There is no time in the life of a congregation quite like when the minister is expecting a baby. All Teaching Elders, active Ruling Elders, Chairs of Personnel Committees, and Treasurers are invited to join one of two listening sessions about Clergy Parental Leave policies:
  • Evening session October 20, 7pm-8pm, or
  • Daytime session October 21 11am-12pm
During the September meeting of Presbytery, the Commission on Ministry recommended that the minimum requirement for parental leave be lowered from 8 to 6 weeks. After significant opposition, the recommended policy was sent back to COM for revision. To better understand the impact of family leave in the life of a congregation, COM would like to hear the perspectives of as many church leaders as possible.
We will break out into groups of no more than ten to give everyone ample time to express their opinions. Please visit our website to register before Friday, October 16, 2020.
In Memoriam
John "Jack" Myhill

John "Jack" Myhill of Severna Park, Maryland died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest on September 20th at the age of 76. He was born in Shortsville, NY, graduated from the University of Rochester, and attended Princeton Theological Seminary where he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree. After obtaining several advanced psychology degrees, Jack went on to work at the State of Maryland Health Department where he was the Director of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. In 1989, he opened a private practice in psychology, from which he retired in 2011.
Jack Myhill was a parish associates at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church and served on various committees and boards that promoted mental health. His family, friends and all those whose lives he touched during his professional career will fondly remember him. A more detailed obituary can be found here.
David Lee Bleivik

Rev. Dr. David Lee Bleivik of Ellicott City, died on September 22nd. He transferred into our Presbytery in 2018 as a retired minister and served as the interim pastor at Grove Presbyterian. Before that, he had been a counter intelligence agent in the army, pastor of churches in Ohio, Virginia, Arkansas, and Michigan, and General Presbyter of Washington Presbytery in southwest Pennsylvania.
We are blessed to have known Rev. Bleivik for the brief time he was with us in Baltimore. A memorial service will be held sometime in the spring, but if you would like to send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory, visit his online obituary.
Learning Opportunities
Re-opening during COVID-19: Considerations for Church Leadership and Clergy

The Insurance Board is pleased to announce the release of COVID-19 video training to help ministries with their decision making process regarding re-opening during the pandemic. This resource includes two videos: one for church leadership and clergy and a companion video for ministry staff. Each participant will also receive Insurance Board’s COVID-19 Toolkit.
In addition to partnering with denominational leaders and legal experts, they collaborated with myCEcourse for access to the training platform that not only helps church administers with assigning the training to their leaders and staff, but also gives them the ability to track progress and generates downloadable PDF Certificate of Completion for individuals that complete the training. For additional information, visit their COVID-19 Video Training Page.
Environmental Learning Labs
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake is pleased to share a recording of their most recent Learning Lab: “Navigating Conflict and Group Dynamics.” To access the recording of this Learning Lab here. During this webinar you will learn from expert trainer, Michele Ennis, who offers some specific strategies and techniques to navigate conflict within and beyond your green team.
Our next Learning Lab on November 5 at 7pm, is "To Keep and Tend: Stormwater Project Maintenance for Sustainability." Register for that and future webinars here.
Fall 2020 Pathways Courses at Union Presbyterian Seminary

Courses open to all, including Commissioned Ruling Elder candidates or any individual seeking further knowledge & edification. Each course meets weekly for five (5) weeks, 7pm – 9pm.
Two courses, Reformed Theology/Church History and Teaching the Bible, begin next week. The Reformed Theology/Church History course is seeking interested participants for a second section, beginning Monday, October 19. Visit their website for more info.
Ready to Begin Graduate Theological Studies?
St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute is now enrolling students for the spring 2021 semester. Registration will open in November for spring classes. For questions or information on how to apply, please contact Kaye Guidugli.

Interested in engaging with the EI now? Join us Wednesday, October 21, at noon for a virtual Theology Town Hall with The Rt. Rev. Carl Walter Wright, “Leading Leaders in a Time of Pandemic.” The Rt. Rev. Carl Wright is the Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forced and Federal Ministries of the Episcopal Church. Join the virtual town hall via Zoom here, or email rhancock@stmarys.edu for more information.
Upcoming Events
B’More Human Interviews - October 16th, 6:30 pm
The 1619 Project dialogue continues with “Wealth and the Legacy of Slavery.” October’s series will include recorded interviews with several members of churches, and Kate Foster Conners shares some of the history of redlining and it’s legacy in Baltimore. Info and registration
B’More Human Town Hall - October 19th, 6:30 pm
Small groups will break-out to discuss this month’s topic: “Wealth and the Legacy of Slavery.” Organized by In The Loop ministry group but open to all. More info and registration
Shaping Faith in Crisis Piece by Piece October 27-28 This virtual event will bring together leaders and experts on aging, spirituality, and pastoral care, as well as leaders from communities of faith, seminaries, academia, and community organizations. The current pandemic has made pastoral care an even greater challenge with the need for SIP (Shelter in Place) and social distancing. As shepherds and faith leaders we still must care for people, many of whom are feeling a rise in loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Schedule and registration
Help Wanted
Part-Time Temporary Supply Pastor
Havenwood Presbyterian Church, a small sized congregation in Timonium, is seeking a candidate who will champion the church’s mission statement and vision, and, in partnership with church leaders, oversee all church ministries and committees and function as Head of Staff. If interested, please see the Job Description and visit the church’s website to learn more about the church and its many mission activities.
In Search Of
Small Mobile Maintenance Scaffolding
Knox Presbyterian is looking to borrow a hydraulic scaffold. They would like to be able change sanctuary light bulbs. Please call Brian Knight at (443) 739-4785 
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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