September 29, 2020
Stated Clerk Jack Carlson has left the building
Today we held our last staff meeting with Rev. John V. “Jack” Carlson, because tomorrow is his last official day with us at the Presbytery. As State Clerk, Jack’s relentless dedication and support have been invaluable to everyone, and we are grateful for the depth of knowledge and generosity of spirit he has brought to the role these past three years.
Rev. Mary Gaut reflects, “In the summer of 2017, when there were some rumors that the Stated Clerk nominating committee might be having some difficulty in identifying a candidate to replace retiring stated clerk Catherine Blacka, Jack and I decided to apply as a team, proposing to function essentially as co-clerks dividing the duties pretty much equally. This model had never been tried before but the Presbytery approved and we held our breath and jumped into the work. Jack assumed some of the more public aspects of the job including the title of Stated Clerk and set a high bar for commitment and excellence. Among the things Jack should always be remembered for is leading the Presbytery into the virtual meeting world. His attention to detail and insistence that meticulous preparation was the key helped put Baltimore Presbytery on the map as a leader in how to hold virtual presbytery meetings. But above all Jack has been a valued colleague in this work and will be greatly missed.”
Jack served for 13 years as Pastor at Highland Presbyterian Church, in Harford County, after serving churches in Lockport, NY, and Hyattsville, MD. He was a pastoral counselor for more than 20 years in the Washington DC area, and retired from active ministry in the PCUSA in January of 2016. After serving a term as Moderator of the Presbytery of Baltimore, in September of 2017 he was elected Stated Clerk of the Presbytery.
Jack has published three books: The Spiritual Dimensions of Self-Esteem, The Spiritual Power of Communication, and The Disciple’s Song, a poetic rendering of the Gospel of Mark. Jack is married to Lynn McCormick Carlson and has three grown children and three grandchildren.
Jack’s brilliance and guidance have always inspired people to do better. He was not just a stated clerk to us, but a mentor and a friend. His presence will be missed, but we wish him all the best as he embarks on a well-earned retirement that will surely include golfing, traveling, oil painting, and enjoying time with his grandchildren.
Tomorrow: A Q&A with Dr. Tom Inglesby
Wednesday, September 30th, at 4:30 pm: the Presbytery of Baltimore is privileged to host a discussion with a local leading expert on the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Tom Inglesby is Director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has authored or co-authored more than 140 publications, including peer-reviewed research, reports, and commentaries on issues related to health security, preparedness for epidemics, biological threats, and disasters.

In addition to regular national appearances (Meet the Press and CBS News among others), Dr. Inglesby has been advising Governor Hogan this year on Maryland’s response. Join us tomorrow as he fields questions about the pandemic, and offers qualified advice on making informed decisions for your congregation with an emphasis on public safety. Dr. Inglesby is also a member of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, in Baltimore!

Fall Gathering of Presbyterian Women
Calling all Women of Baltimore Presbytery, Green Teams, Beautification ministries, Earth Care teams and friends. Join the Presbyterian Women of Baltimore for their first online “Fall Gathering” on Oct 10, 2020 at 1 pm.
The guest will be Jacqueline Taylor, General Presbyter to install and bless the officers. Bonnie Sorak, Senior Outreach Coordinator from Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake will also join us to invite you to learn about our shared watershed and how each of your congregations and members can bring healing to our communities by caring for creation. Learn about resources and support that is available for programs and projects through grants and how to connect to a network with other congregations sharing in these efforts. For registration and more information, visit our website.
Spiritual directors and coaches sought
If you or someone you know is a trained spiritual director or coach we would love to include you in the list of individuals whom we recommend to pastors/leaders when they request coaching or spiritual direction. Please contact Jennifer Barchi with your name, preferred contact information, training or certification, fee, and area of focus (if any). If you have any questions, please be in touch.
The Center launches online teaching
Both “Antiracist Community Engagement” and “Intro to Mission” (which can include a hands-on service site) are available to be scheduled for your Sunday school, youth or adult education classes, session, or mission committees.

The inaugural cohort of Community Organizing Training for Youth and Young Adults will run from October 18 - November 22, Sundays at 2pm. This training is open to young people ages 14-22 from across the country and denominations. The cost is $150/participant. The Center has a number of scholarships for students of color in Presbytery of Baltimore churches.

Learn more at Nominate a young person for the Community Organizing Training, or inquire about classes by emailing Center Assistant Director, McKenna Lewellen.
Supporting the Gwynns Falls neighborhood
For about a decade, members of several local Presbyterian churches have lived together along with others in what they like to call an "unintentional community" in Southwest Baltimore. Light Street Church members Chris and Andrea Schulze and Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church members Chip and Kelsie Riegel Morgan moved to the Gwynns Falls neighborhood in 2010. They fixed up vacant properties, organized cleanup days, and curbed illegal dumping. Over the following years their community grew.
Living in Southwest Baltimore, they learned first-hand about the difficulties encountered by residents of low-income Baltimore neighborhoods. These challenges have provided many opportunities to collaborate with neighbors and community organizations.
A long-term dream has been to develop several adjacent vacant lots into a neighborhood-owned park with a playground, community gardens, and public green space for gatherings and events. The lots have recently become available for purchase and a fundraising effort has been organized so that the neighborhood association can purchase the land. They are hopeful that it can be developed into a thriving community resource. More information about the project and opportunities to support it, can be found on this webpage.
Upcoming Events
Community Engagement Conversations
On the first Thursday of the month at 10 am: Center staff gather online to facilitate a conversation about your congregation’s efforts to engage with the local community. Bring success stories, frustrations, questions, or places you are stuck, and we will brainstorm together. Register
Fall Gathering of Presbyterian Women
Saturday, October 10, from 1-3 pm: Hear from General Presbyter Jacqueline Taylor and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake in this first online "Fall Gathering." of Baltimore Presbytery women. For more information, and to register, visit our website.
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
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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