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January 29, 2024 | "Transformed Lives Transform Lives"

Prayers of the People

The Rev. Jeanne Klauda, a retired BWC clergywoman, died on Jan. 23. She was closely connected with Severna Park UMC, where she served from 1999 to 2003 as the first female head of staff. A memorial service will be held Sunday, Feb. 11, at 1 p.m. at Severna Park UMC. See her obituary.

The Rev. Lillian Geib, a retired clergywoman from Salem UMC in Brookeville, died Jan. 23 after suffering complications from a fall. A memorial service is planned for the end of February at First UMC of Martinsville, Va. She will be cremated and her ashes will be spread across the Blue Ridge. See her obituary.

'From healing comes new growth:' The Rev. Sonia King of Brooklyn Community UMC in Baltimore is featured in an NBC news story about Crownsville Hospital, which for decades was the only place that accepted Black Maryland residents suffering with mental illness. The community is working to turn the grounds of the segregated asylum into a memorial park.

Cristin Cooper, a BWC innovator, wrote an essay for Duke Divinity’s Faith and Leadership magazine on her ministry, Coop’s Soups -- how it got started, how it is practice for loving God and loving our neighbors, and a little bit about the ministry’s discernment for the future. Read the essay.

Faith and Leadership magazine has also featured the Peninsula-Delaware Conference’s Riverfront Ministries, the Wilmington Kitchen Collective and the Rev. Chelsea Spyres. Read the story.

We pray for peace: Before the conflict in the Holy Land broke out, members of the BWC and Pen-Del conferences were scheduled to take a pilgrimage there. The trip was canceled, and we join in prayer for the people of that region. Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore, Dean Emerita of the Boston University School of Theology, was scheduled to be the spiritual guide on the pilgrimage. You may be interested in reading Dr. Moore's recently published book of poetry, So Much to Love: So Much to Lose.

Next Level Speaker Series scheduled for March 7

The Next Level Speaker Series, hosted by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, brings some of the best thinking about leadership, our culture and the church to clergy and lay faith leaders. Watch the video to see how it shapes people's lives and ministries in the Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware Conferences.

The March Next Level conversation will address trauma-informed leadership, one of the church's most vital topics today. Bishop LaTrelle Easterling will join Dr. Deborah Haskins to explore thriving in the midst of trauma. The conversation occurs on March 7, from 9:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m., online and at Westphalia UMC in Upper Marlboro, Md. Learn more and register.

Share your insights on the BWC's restructuring online Feb. 3

During the coming weeks, the clergy and laity of the BWC are invited to speak up and voice their opinions about how the conference and its districts can best be structured to inspire and equip the local church. 


There is power in being known and heard, sharing your unique perspectives and what you know to be good and true about the church and God’s call to faith and action. Now is the time to share your thoughts and insights about the things that matter. Your words will guide upcoming decisions. We’re excited to hear what you have to say.


A listing of the Listening Sessions is in the calendar below. The Restructuring Task Force is adding a virtual component to the Listening Session for members of the Connectional Table on Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Mission Center. Connectional Table members will participate in person at the Mission Center. Those who would like to join a session virtually can participate in this session via Zoom. All those who want to participate in the online version of this Listening Session should register here, and the Zoom information will be sent to them.


Before attending a session, participants are asked to familiarize themselves with the results of the Restructuring Survey.

New and Featured

Annual Statistical Reports are due by midnight on Wednesday, Jan. 31. If you are concerned that you may be unable to submit by the deadline, please reach out to your district office as soon as possible. For more information, visit the Statistical Reports page.

Churches are encouraged to observe Disability Awareness Sunday on the first Sunday of February or another Sunday of their choice. Yvonne Caughman and the Rev. Leo Yates, leaders of the BWC Disability Ministries team, share these resources.

Spend your summer growing! BWC's Camp Manidokan and West River Center are hiring: gain job and communication skills, make friends, grow your faith, and have fun this summer on staff. Learn more.

An Introduction to AI in Ministry will be the topic of the Training Tuesday webinar on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. Have you heard all the buzz about artificial intelligence and wondered what it is and if it should be used in the church? Have concerns about ethics and theology? Join Jason Moore for a conversation about the what, why, and how to (and not to) use artificial intelligence in ministry. This brief overview will also help you discover that many free or inexpensive tools are accessible to just about anyoneRegister here.

The BWC’s Peace with Justice committee has scheduled four Voter Registration Training webinars to help in getting as many people as possible to vote. The training is open to everyone. Register in advance for these webinars:

Sign Up for the BWC Advocacy & Action Newsletter: The BWC’s Advocacy & Action Newsletter is a bi-monthly email with updates regarding the Advocacy & Action ministries, including our social action teams, legislative action, events, and announcements. This is a great way for individuals to stay updated on ways to get involved in the Advocacy & Action ministries.

Sign up for the newsletter.

The supplemental Advance edition of the Daily Christian Advocate is now available online at DailyChristianAdvocate.org. The ADCA contains the agenda, rules, petitions, reports from the general agencies/ commissions and study committees, information for delegates and codes of conduct for the General Conference. There are 1,099 valid petitions to the General Conference, including 352 new petitions received before Sept. 6, 2023. The site can be accessed for a one-time fee of $49.99, which allows you to create an account and have ongoing access through the General Conference.

Put your church on the map with Find-A-Church, a popular online directory of United Methodist churches. With fully searchable attributes, such as worship style and language, event listings, ministries offered, driving directions and more, Find-A-Church can be a boon to your ministry. Please update your information today to ensure new residents, people visiting your area, or anyone looking for what you have to offer can easily find you. You can even link to your Facebook page, Instagram and Flickr accounts.

February is Black History Month. Whatever your heritage or background, Black history is part of everyone's history. The General Commission on Religion and Race has compiled 29 suggestions to help United Methodists celebrate Black History Month during this leap year.

Gambling and Addictions: Christ UMC in Baltimore is joining the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling to sponsor a workshop on Supporting Persons Experiencing Homelessness and Problem Gambling and Co-occurring Addictions and Mental Health Concerns. The workshop will be on March 9 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Christ UMC, 2005 East Chase Street in Baltimore. Register by sending an email to marylandcouncilpg@yahoo.com.

Ministry Opportunities Calendar

Scout Sunday

Feb. 4

Buy a patch for $3.50

Annual Conference Resolution Submissions Due

Feb. 16

UMCOR Sunday

March 10

Download the liturgy and print the bulletin insert for worship. Involve your children in the Special Sunday by using the children’s message.

BWC Annual Conference Session

Wednesday - Friday, May 29 - 31

Hilton Hotel, Baltimore

A Pre-Conference Briefing will be held online on Saturday, May 11.

At-Large Listening Sessions on Restructuring will be held:

Jan. 31, 7 to 9 p.m.

Epworth UMC, Gaithersburg

Feb. 3, 9 a.m. to noon

BWC Mission Center, Fulton

In-person for Connectional Table members and online for all others who wish to attend a virtual session via Zoom webinar. Register for the webinar.

Feb. 6, 7 to 9 p.m.

Otterbein UMC, Hagerstown


Feb. 7, 7 – 9 p.m.

St. Matthew’s UMC, Bowie

Feb. 25, online

For youth and young adults

Each Wednesday, at 12:01 p.m., join us in prayer for the Baltimore-Washington Conference and the restructuring efforts.

Additional Disicpleship Opportunities

Maryland Legislative Advocacy Day: The BWC's 2024 Legislative Advocacy Days will be on Feb. 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Asbury UMC in Annapolis. The event allows United Methodists to meet their representatives and advocate for United Methodist values. It also allows the voices of United Methodists to be heard and considered when our representatives make important decisions that impact the lives of our communities. Learn More & Register.

The BWC’s Creation Care Advocacy and Action team is co-sponsoring a legislative briefing call on Feb. 4 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., hosted by Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake and Interfaith Power and Light DMV. Learn how your community can advocate for legislation in Maryland that promotes clean water, clean air, and environmental justice. Participants will hear from issue experts about priority legislation and how people of faith can be advocates from a moral and religious perspective. RSVP, and a webinar link will be sent to you.

General Board of Church and Society Action Alert: The United States asylum system is under attack. Contact your elected officials in Congress today and tell them NO to any negotiations that would further jeopardize and harm those seeking asylum. Learn more and contact your elected officials here.

Living Well Clergy Renewal Retreats: The Living Well Clergy Renewal Initiative is a seven-month program comprised of an opening retreat, monthly cohort meetings and a closing retreat. The retreats will be at West River Center near Annapolis on April 9 - 11 and Oct. 29 - 31. Registration closes on March 22. Successful completion of the Living Well program qualifies for 3.3 CEUs. Learn more and register now.

Annual BWC Scholarship application process is open: Once again, the BWC will award scholarships to qualified college students and high school seniors who plan to attend college in the fall of 2024. The process closes on March 13. Learn more and apply.

The BWC’s Restorative Justice Team is holding a workshop on Healing Communities: Congregational Readiness to Receive Returning Citizens Training on Feb. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Brooklyn Community UMC in Brooklyn Park. The $50 fee includes 1 CEU, training materials, breakfast and lunch. The registration deadline is Jan. 31. Register.

Local Church Activities:

  • Journey UMC will host The Moye Ensemble in concert on Sunday. Feb. 4, at 3 p.m. at the Temple Hills Campus, 1901 Iverson Street in Temple Hills. A soul food dinner will be served beginning at 12:30 p.m.

  • Grace UMC in Aberdeen will hold its 11th Annual Chocolate Festival with food and homemade crafts on Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Emmanuel UMC in Laurel will hold a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Feb. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Emmanuel Youth Mission Team.

  • Taylorsville UMC in Mt. Airy is holding a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Feb. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. Donations will go to mission projects.

  • Hopkins UMC, at 12350 Highland Road in Highland, will host an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Monday, Feb. 19, from noon to 5 p.m. Schedule a donation time at www.redcrossblood.org or by contacting Penny Smith at 410-456-6663.

Lessons on Leadership

Level Up is a video series that provides lessons in church leadership using best-selling secular writings by the Rev. Jack Shitama of the Center for Vital Leadership. This week, he explores "The Power of MicroHabits."

See church classified ads now online.

Melissa Lauber, Director of Communications
11711 East Market Place, Fulton, MD 20759
 410.309.3455  |  mlauber@bwcumc.org
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