October 23, 2017
Inside this Edition
877th  Gathering  - Race, Class & Poverty: Lives Touched 

223 GA Commissioner Nominees

 Systemic Racism Workshop

Cell Phones for Cuba Partnership

"Becoming A Blessed Community" series at Havenwood PC

Hunting Ridge PC Pumpkin Patch 

Dickey Memorial PC Spaghetti Dinner and Auction 

Brown Memorial Park Avenue Hosts Screening of Buster Keaton Silent Movie and Climate Change Documentary: Merchants of Doubt 

Faith PC Hosts Benefit for Victims of Natural Disaster in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Mexico

Catonsville PC seeks a Church Sexton 

Dickey Memorial PC seeks a Music Director/Organist 

Burgundy Choir Robes and Matching Stoles available free from Maryland PC 

St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute Hosts Stress, Resiliency & Spirituality Lecture

Choose Hope Advocacy Seminar
Committee and Commission meetings will be held at the Presbytery's office (unless noted otherwise.)
224th General Assembly COLA Team will meet at 10am on Wednesday, Oct. 25

Steering Cabinet will meet at 1pm on Wednesday, Oct. 25

Transitions Team will meet at 1pm on Oct. 25

Committee on Ministry will meet at 2pm on Wednesday, Nov. 1

Gathering Team  will meet at 11am on Thursday, Nov 2

The Commission on Spiritual Leader Development will meet a 1pm on Wednesday, Nov. 1

Commission on Reconciliation  will meet at 6:30pm on Oct. 25

The Guatemala Team meets at 5pm on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 1st of Annapolis PC.

The Interim Pastors Support Group will gather for a lunch meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at Christ Our King PC in Bel Air.

Praise & Prayer 
Please pray for Moderator Adrienne Knight (Knox PC) and family as they mourn the death of her brother, Mark Knight, who died last week while hospitalized for cancer  in Colorado Springs, Co. Services will be held this week in Denver, Co.

Please pray for former Moderator Pat Collins (2003-2004) as she mourns the death of her son,  William Pfeiffer. Mr. Pfeiffer died of cancer on Oct. 4. Funeral services will be held 1:30pm  Saturday, Oct. 28 at Catonsville PC.
2017 Our Shared Ministry Pledges & Contributions 

Total rcv'd to date: $118, 573
2017 OSM Goal: $225,000  

KEY:  * Pledged (fulfilled) 
** Pledged (unfulfilled)
+ Contribution (not pledged)
+Ark & Dove
+Brown Mem'l Pk. 
**Cherry Hill
+Christ Mem'l
+Christ Our Anchor
+Christ Our King
+Dickey Memorial
+1st, Annapolis
**1st, Bel Air
*1st, Cumberland
+ 1st, Howard Co.
* Franklinville
*Good Shepherd
+Hunting Ridge
+Mount Hebron
+ Mount Paran
**Prince of Peace *Springfield
**St. John United

Why I Love Being a 
Ministry Group Convener

TE Secrist Ashby
by TE Kimberly Secrist Ashby
Susquehanna Parish
Sometime on Saturday morning, I remembered yet again why I love being a Ministry Group Convener.  Fifty-five people gave part or all of their Saturday to come together to learn and grow in faith.  One church thought it set a record for its number of people in attendance.  Someone shared that she came back because last year's event had made such a difference, and she was looking forward to being inspired again.  Several people stopped to tell me how much they appreciated the event.  One comment was that it was sad there wasn't enough time to attend all the workshops.  An evaluation said the whole day was energizing; still another said it was the best yet.  The synergy and energy pumping through First of Bel Air was palpable, and people left with resources and ideas that will help them and their churches in the months ahead.

Each of our 11 churches faces a different situation, in a different community, with different available resources.  Each of our 11 churches seeks to serve Jesus Christ in their context in their own way.  The beauty of the Ministry Group is that each church, the large and the small, gets to come together to share the best of what they're doing and learn from each other.  The energy generated from people sharing their passions, their concerns, and their hearts creates growth, connections, and deeper faith in Christ who brings us all together.  Each church is different, yet each is the same. 

In the same day, so many of the functions of what the Ministry Group can be and do came together.  Churches in transition found support and help.  Churches that are seeking new paths found new ideas and avenues to pursue.  Many people shared their stories while others listened.  
Church leaders participate in Susquehanna training
We cared foreach other, and checked in with those whose families are struggling right now.  We fed body and spirit, soul and heart.  New friendships formed; new connections coalesced.  Leaders dreamed of new possibilities and new ways to faithfully be the church in a changing world. 

The part I've always loved is the chance to see God at work among us.  I see the job of the Ministry Group Convener as a type of shepherd, getting to know each church and its leaders, and encouraging them through the resources we provide to come closer to being the church and leaders God means for them to be.  Caring for each church, encouraging them in their stewardship, listening when they struggle, supporting as they dream, praying for their ministry - that's what makes the work so vital for me.  I feel called to be a Ministry Group Convener, and I'm grateful that Susquehanna Parish gives me the chance to work alongside them and with a terrific Steering Team as we seek to follow God's lead and Will for us.  Over the years, the new relationships we form and the growth of each church brings joy and gratitude for all that God is constantly doing.

All of this wonder is made possible by our Shared Ministry Giving.  In the beginning, it was hard to convince our churches of the value of Shared Ministry Giving.  Yet in my own Session and congregation, I've seen the change.  Presbytery giving used to be a contentious line item, and yet now I don't have to say a word.  Session members discuss the value of Shared Ministry Giving, and how even when our budget is tight, which it has been the last several years, we still work to find a way to contribute.  Congregation members aren't asking questions anymore because they know what that line item is designed to do.  I've seen this same thing start to happen in some of our other churches too.  It's become a more joyful gift because they see the results.

Over the next several months, we'll reap the fruit of this Leader Training Event.  We'll visit Sessions, decide next year's theme, and listen hard as we seek to support each church in meeting its goals of serving Christ.  We'll remind our churches to be good stewards of their resources and give generously, we'll forge new partnerships, and we'll try new ministries.  Each day the concept of the Presbytery as a catalyst for spiritual growth and renewed ministry in our churches becomes more real to the people in our pews.  I'm so blessed to be along for the ride.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Many of us are still basking in the morning session of the last Gathering at Knox Presbyterian Church.  I still hear comments about how wonderful it was to have all of our "partners" together for worship, fellowship and discussion.  This represents the best of who we are as the Presbytery of Baltimore.

Those moments and events are brought to you by:  Shared Ministry funds.  Participating with our partners in Cuba, Guatemala and Dakota are thanks for the giving of congregations toward a shared vision of who we are and who we can be. However, last week I was informed that we had receive less than 50% of pledged funds.  As a result, we cannot meet some of our financial obligations to our partners.  Furthermore, we cannot currently pay vendors who were secured for Ministry Group programs and activities.  Even more concerning is that our Ministry Group "reserves" will not cover all of our expenses.

To those who have honored your pledges or have contributed, thank you!  To those who aren't there yet, we would greatly appreciate your contributions!  If we all participate, then our celebratory events and our Ministry Group initiatives can continue!

Jacqueline E. Taylor, General Presbyter
Presbytery of Baltimore 

For details about your church's contribution to Our Shared Ministry, 
email office@baltimorepresbtery.org or call 410.433.2012 and speak with Chuck or Laura.

taff Directory

Take Note/Act Now

Presbytery and Church-wide

Click here to register for meals and workshops 

The 223rd General Assembly will be held in St. Louis, MO June 16-23, 2018. Commissioners for the Presbytery of Baltimore are scheduled to be elected at Nov. 11 Gathering at Harundale The Nominating Committee invites you to send the names of those who have a love of the Church and would be interested in serving as our commissioner to the 223rd General Assembly.  We will be electing two ministers and two elders along, as well as, a Youth Advisory Delegate.  Self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged.  Please send names to the co-chairs of the Nominating Committee, Jenn DiFrancesco   jdifrancesco@secondpresby.org   , or Howard Jackson at  hjackson@bcps.org

Can you imagine trying to pastor your community without a cell phone? 
In El Centro Presbytery, Cuba, the pastors serve 2 or 3 separate Church congregations. They are in desperate need of cell phone minutes to keep up vital communication with their sessions and church leaders.  In an effort to raise funds for the purchase of cell phone minutes the Cuba Partnership is having a fundraiser at the Presbytery meeting Nov. 11 at Harundale PC. Please show your support by visiting the Cuba table where we will be selling desk calendars and note cards with pictures from Cuba. In addition, there will be handmade items from our partner churches in Cuba.

Havenwood Presbyterian Church will host a series of discussions to expand the congregation's understanding of the impact of racism both nationally and regionally. The discussions will include study and prayer and movie clips to provoke discussion. The discussions will occur at 7:30pm on Thursdays ( 10/26 11/2 and 11/19) at the church. All are welcome.  
Click here to RSVP


Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church's Great Pumpkin Patch
is now open 10am to 7pm through Oct. 31. 

Additionally, on Saturday, Oct. 28 the church will host a FREE (lest the cost of a pumpkin) Pumpkin Party from 11am-4pm which will include food, music, crafts and activities maybe some pumpkin cooking demonstrations?  Proceeds from the pumpkin sales will go to the much needed repairs to the HRPC organ as well as the National Organ Transplant Foundation.

Dickey Memorial Presbyterian Church is hosting a Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction to b enefit the church's building fund from 6-9pm on Friday, Nov. 3 in its fellowship hall. All are welcome. Tickets for the dinner are $25 per person in advance and $35 at the door.  For details, call 443.271.3183 or email 

Enjoy a screening of the 1923 silent film, "Our Hospitality," starring Buster Keaton, in the sanctuary at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church on Friday, Nov. 3. Michael Britt, Minister of Music, will provide live accompaniment on the church's historic 1931 Skinner organ. Admission of $15 general and $25 per family is suggested as a donation to benefit the church's capital renovations. Click BMPA to learn more.

Also at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church -- at 3pm on Sunday, Nov. 5 the church will host a screening of the film "Merchants of Doubt,"  a 2014 documentary that exposes highly orchestrated PR efforts to debunk climate change in order to protect corporate profits.  Click Climate Change.

Faith Presbyterian Church will host a concert to benefit victims of natural disasters in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean Islands and Mexico at 4pm on Sunday, Nov. 12. Click here for details.

Catonsville Presbyterian Church seeks a church sexton who will be responsible for on site operations and maintenance of its facilities. For details, click Catonsville Church Sexton .

Dickey Memorial Presbyterian Church is hiring a Community Music Director/Organist!  This new position will work with both the church and community on all things musical, and it offers the opportunity for creative growth.  It is a quarter-time position (10 hrs/week onsite).  Click Music at Dickey to learn more about this position.

Maryland Presbyterian Church has 26 Burgundy Choir Robes with stoles available
for any church that might need them.  Please notify the church if you are interested at:  mpc@mpchurch.org   or 410.825.0719 They can be picked up from the church at: 1105 Providence Road  in Towson.


Stress, Resiliency & Spirituality will be the topic for a free public lecture at 7:30pm on Wednesday, Oct. 25,  as well as, a workshop for those in ministry from 9am to 12noon on Thursday, Oct. 26. Both events, made possible by a Science & Theology grant from the John Templeton Foundation, will be led by Patricia Fosarelli, M.D., DMin and are sponsored by St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute. To register, visit www.stmarys.edu/ei.

The Choose Hope 2017 Advocacy Summit, co-sponsored by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and Millennial Voices for Peace (MVP) will host an advocacy event Nov. 12-14 in Washington, D.C.  The organization p rovides a holistic space for millennials-including, college, seminary and graduate students as well as young professionals-who wish to engage in a national campaign for peace and justice in the Holy Land. Click Choose Hope to learn more. 

taff Directory

 Jacqueline E. Taylor
General Presbyter

  Deb Milcarek
Assoc. for Reconciliation

Susan Krehbiel
Dir. of Congregational Advocacy
Chuck Brawner
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

John "Jack" Carlson

Judy Johnson
Ministry Group Staff

 Wanda Morgan
Dir. of Events/Services

Kate Foster Connors 
Dir. of The Center