July 3, 2017
Inside this Edition

Last Reading, This Year, of Church Rolls & Minutes 

Register for the 2017 Pulpit Supply List

Knox Presbyterian Church Celebrating 87th Anniversary

Mental Health First Aid Workshop postponed until July 29

Catonsville seeks Part-time Communication's Specialist

Theological Book Drive for Western Gambella Bethel Synod - Ethiopia

Massanetta Bible and Church Music Conference 

PCUSA Recommended Minimums for Church Insurance Coverage 

Leadership Institute/ Union Presbyterian Seminary Summer Courses

Committee and Commission meetings will be held at the Presbytery's office (unless noted otherwise.)

The Presbytery will be closed on Tuesday, July 4 in observance of the national holiday. 

Commission on Spiritual Leader Development will meet 1 pm on Wednesday, July 12.

Committee on Preparation for Ministry will meet at 3pm on Wednesday, July 19 at Catonsville PC

Gathering Team will meet at 1pm on Thursday, July 20

Commission on Reconciliation will meet at 6:30pm on Wednesday, July 26

Praise & Prayer
Please pray for the continued recovery of TE Webster Brenner Jr., a parish associate at First Presbyterian Church of Howard Co., as he moves to Long Term Acute Care at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.  He has been hospitalized since November 2016 -- struggling with pneumonia and complications of myasthenia gravis. Prayers for encouragement, gracious patience, sustained hope, and the prayerful support from from his presbytery colleagues in Christ may be sent to: 
9169 Helaine Hamlet Way
Columbia, MD 21045-4057

What Presbyterians Agree Are the Key Concepts of Faith  

by Deborah Coe, Coordinator of 
     Presbyterian Mission Agency

The concept of God's grace means that God loves everyone, no matter who they are or what they do - according to panel survey on theological reflection published last fall by PC(USA) Research Services.  Presbyterians who participated in the survey overwhelming agreed that even though we, as Christians,
may disagree on immigration policies or how we engage in social welfare, or even on what constitutes racism or sexism or any other "ism," we agree on this: God's love is available to everyone. No matter what.
Most Presbyterians also agree that Jesus is central to salvation. However, there's a big difference in the way that members and teaching elders understand this tenet: Significantly more teaching elders than members believe that God chooses who is to be saved through Christ, while significantly more members than teaching elders believe that people choose Christ as their Savior.
An overwhelming percentage of Presbyterians consider the sovereignty of God a very important Reformed principle, though this concept might not mean the same thing to everyone. One Merriam-Webster definition of sovereignty is "supreme power especially over a body politic." Asking how that applies to one's understanding of the sovereignty of God would make a great theological discussion starter for a session meeting or a small group discussion.  Other survey responses also revealed that:
  • Presbyterians are involved in a limited number of interfaith activities. However, the number of types of interfaith activities in which members are involved increased somewhat between 2013 and 2016. For teaching elders, the number stayed the same;
  • many Presbyterians believe that it is important to learn about other faiths; although, fewer Presbyterians regard interfaith bridge-building as a crucial task for the Presbyterian Church;
  • grace is a crucial tenet of Reformed Christianity, for most Presbyterians. Other important tenets include the sovereignty of God, ministers and elders leading the church together, stewardship, and the priesthood of all believers;
  • most Presbyterians believe Jesus is central to salvation, but members and teaching elders disagree about how this works.  A large number of teaching elders believe that God selects certain people for salvation through Jesus, while a large number of members believe people who commit themselves to Jesus thereby choose salvation themselves; and,
  • more PC(USA) teaching elders than members feel that God is involved in most aspects of their life and on a daily basis; while fewer members feel such guidance. 

This article was adapted from an article  published April 17, 2017 in the on-line edition of Presbyterian Today.  To read the full survey, visit: pcusa.org/theo-reflection

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Take Note/Act Now

Presbytery and Church-wide

Last Reading of the Rolls & Minutes: a final meeting this year to review church rolls and minutes will be held 7pm on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at First Presbyterian Church of Howard Co. Clerks who were unable to attend any of the May-June meetings should email the   statedclerk@baltimorepresbytery.org to reserve a place a this last meting of the year.

If you wish to be included on the 2017 Pulpit Supply List but have not yet responded, please contact Jim Schroll at jschroll@msn.com.


Please join  Knox Presbyterian Church  in our celebrating our  87th  anniversary   beginning at 10:30am on Sunday, July 16.  Our theme is  "Transformed and Renewed to Do Great Things in Christ and our speaker is the Rev. Michael L. Moore, Pastor.  A picnic lunch will follow the worship service. Dress is casual. 

The the Mental Health First Aid Course sponsored by Grace Presbyterian Church is postponed until Saturday, July 29, 2017. Click here to fill out registration form and email to Grace's Pastor, TE Tanya Wade
Catonsville Presbyterian Church seeks a part-time Communications Specialist  to help the church explore better ways to use technology to more effectively communicate CPC's ministry to our members, friends and the wider community. Duties include managing the church's website and social media sites and developing content, including video and audio assets. This person will also edit the monthly newsletter, and create other print media, such as program brochures and event fliers.  Interested? Please contact TE Ken Kovacs at 410.747.6180 or  kkovacs@catonsvillepreb.org .
St. Andrew's is collecting theological books for the Western Gambella Bethel Synod (WGBS) Jordan Bible School of the Mekane Yesus Church of Ethiopia (formerly the Presbyterian Church in Ethiopia).  The Bible school is the only school for training the church leaders who serve 500,000 Nuer people living in Ethiopia.  The school is currently upgrading the level of courses offered and expanding its capacity including improvement of the library.  Classes are taught in English since there are no books in Nuer.  Books covering Bible studies, theology, church history, ethics, philosophy, missiology, leadership, Christian education and Bible reference materials are needed.

St. Andrew's invites other churches to join us in the collection, sorting, cataloging and packing of these books for shipment to Ethiopia.  This could be a good project for church youth groups.   Contributions to help cover shipping costs are also welcome.  For more information about the Ethiopian Book Project contact Ed Pollock at (301.831.7223) or ed_pollock@comcast.net.


Come to the Bible Conference/Church Music Conference at Massanetta Springs, July 23-29 celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation... Remembering the Reformation: Reformed, Redeemed, RestoredE nriching worship services and all meals are shared across the two conferences, including a great program for youth. Our own TE Keith Paige will preach and lead several workshops throughout the week! Visit  http://www.massanettasprings.org/conferences/.

Does your Insurance coverage meet the PCUSA Recommended Minimum Standards? For  details, please contact Linda A. Senez, CPCU ( 443.345.1055 office / 410.409.5154 cell) Click here to learn more

The  Leadership Institute at Union Presbyterian Seminary will offer several summer courses that may be of interest to your church leadership.
  • Church Business Administration courses - July 18-27, 2017:  Click here for more information and registration. 
  • Church Business Administration CEU courses - July 22, 2017:  Click here for more information and registration (this is the same information/registration form as Church Business Administration). 
  • Mission Possible: Embracing the Task of Strategic Visioning - October 9-12, 2017Click here for more information and registration. 
  • Pathways to Learning and Leadership: For the course listing and descriptions, and registration, go to Pathways.  

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 Jacqueline E. Taylor
General Presbyter

  Deb Milcarek
Assoc. for Reconciliation

Susan Krehbiel
Dir. of Congregational Advocacy
Judi Forrester
Financial Administrator

William Nickels III
 Assoc. General Presbyter

Debbie Ingram Schmidt
Assoc. for Spiritual Leader Development
Deborah Greene  
Dir. of Communications
Laura Mullen
        Book Keeper

Catherine Blacka

Judy Johnson
Ministry Group Staff

 Wanda Morgan
Dir. of Events/Services

Kate Foster Connors 
Dir. of The Center