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February 12, 2024 | "Transformed Lives Transform Lives"

Prayers of the People

Pickleball with a Purpose: Members of Huntingtown UMC held a 24-hour Pickleball Marathon and raised more than $5,000, which they gave to their community ministry partners. This creative and joy-filled event invigorated the congregation and their neighbors. See the story from Marijo Cosmas-Monnett, the church’s Mission Chair.

We pray for Bishop LaTrelle Easterling and the Cabinet as they begin to make clergy appointments. A new list of Clear Openings church profiles is now online.

This week, United Methodists will observe Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season.

On Feb. 14, the BWC will unveil a 40-day banquet of spiritual exercises. Written by the Rev. Rod Miller, "Living Like Christ" uses Positive Intelligence and incorporates neurological science and Wesleyan spiritual disciplines to help deepen your discipleship. We look forward to the blessing ahead in our Lenten journey.

Clergy and laity are encouraged to register for the bishop's March 7 Next Level Speaker Series

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 will occur online on March 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and in-person at Westphalia UMC in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Since the pandemic, increasing numbers of people and churches have reported living through trauma. To better resource pastors and other church leaders, the bishop has invited Haskins, a renowned expert in this field, to provide tools to assist in helping people affected by trauma find health and wholeness and strengthen ministries in churches that may be experiencing trauma.

Read more about Dr. Haskins and her story. See a video of Dr. Haskins discussing the Next Level event.

Learn more and register.

New and Featured

Resolutions to be considered at the 2024 Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference Session in May are due Friday, Feb. 16. Resolutions should be submitted to the BWC Secretary Kevin Silverzahn. See important information about formatting and other submission details.

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 on 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 available to just about anyoneRegister here.

Celebrate Camping Sunday: Congregations are encouraged to celebrate the Camping and Retreat Ministries of the Baltimore-Washingotn Conference on April 21 or whatever Sunday works best for their calendar. See liturgical resources for this special worship service.

ASL Class: During the season of Lent, people in the BWC and Pen-Del are invited to join a two-session introductory American Sign Language class on Feb. 19 and 27 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Register here. Contact Rev. Leo Yates with questions.

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award honors United Methodists in each annual conference for exceptional ministry in evangelism. The BWC recognizes one clergy, layperson, and youth at the Annual Conference session. The deadline for award nominations is April 1. Learn more and see the application forms.

Grants available to local churches: Do you have an innovative and exciting idea for a New Faith Expression or new worship service? Do you have a plan for a new ministry that will help your congregation go to the “next level”? Are you developing a way to reach new people who are not yet a part of any church? The Baltimore-Washington Conference Congregational Development Grants, offered through the Unified Funding Task Force, can assist you with a grant to launch your new ministry initiative, congregational renewal project, leader development ministry, or to reach new people. The application period opens Feb. 15 and closes April 1. Learn more.

Organizing for Change: Join leaders from across the BWC in a Community Organizing Training Retreat on April 5-7, 2024, at West River Camp near Annapolis. The training, led by Kristin Kumpf and the Rev. Dorlimar Malave, will teach you the essential skills and knowledge to be an effective community organizer, help you understand the dynamics of change and empower you to advocate for the issues that matter most to you and your community. The cost is $170. See a flyerRegister.

Mission u: Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conferences United Women in Faith and Wellness and Missions will host Mission u on July 20 at the Maritime Conference Center, Linthicum Heights, Md.

Applications for the BWC’s Quality of Life retreats for people living with HIV/AIDS, which will be held May 13 (for women only), Sept. 12, and Dec. 9, are now online. Learn more and apply.

Special Restructuring Listening Session to be held for youth

The BWC's Restructuring Task Force completed ten listening sessions throughout the conference, hearing bold and interesting ideas about how to create a structure that builds discipleship opportunities, strengthens relationships and cultivates a spirit of connection.

They'll hold a special online session for young people on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. The session will be structured so that our young people can share their hopes, dreams and what they see as the biggest needs in their communities. Young people will be invited into a conversation that empowers them to think big, share without hesitation, and brainstorm the best way to achieve their hopes for their churches and communities. Register online.

During the coming weeks, as scenarios are created, the Task Force calls conference members to a time of prayer every Wednesday at 12:01 p.m.

A conference-wide online town hall to present scenarios created from ideas at the Listening Sessions will be held on March 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Register.

Across the Connection Calendar

Annual Conference Resolution Submissions Due

Feb. 16

Connectional Table Meeting

Feb. 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

BWC Mission Center in Fulton.

UMCOR Sunday

March 10

This special Sunday offering supports the United Methodist Committee on Relief by providing funds for administrative resources for disaster response.

General Conference

April 23- May 3

Charlotte, N.C.

A global gathering of The United Methodist Church.

BWC Annual Conference Session

Wednesday - Friday, May 29 - 31

Hilton Hotel, Baltimore

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

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.

Brave Conversation Resourcers: The BWC and Pen-Del are now accepting applications for the next cohort of Brave Conversation Resourcers. Resourcers are people trained to help congregations have brave, contextual conversations that foster beloved community. Learn more and apply.

CAMP HOPE is a youth ministry in which teams of youth work with adult leaders from their church for one week to serve a homeowner in Allegany County with home improvement needs. This year’s two camping sessions, based in Frostburg, will be held the first two weeks of July. For more information, contact ​camphopeprogramdirector@gmail.com.

This year’s Interfaith Power & Light Creation Care Lenten calendar has a theme “Oaks of Righteousness.” Download the Lent calendar for DCDownload the Lent calendar for Maryland.

The BWC’s Creation Care ministry urges members and churches to save money while reducing their carbon footprint with no up-front costs or long-term commitment. Neighborhood Sun and Nexamp are among several non-profit, B corporations implementing the state-sponsored Community Solar program in Maryland, Delaware and D.C. Full details and online applications are at the company websites at https://neighborhoodsun.solar or https://www.nexamp.com.

See a Listing of Local Church Activities

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 how "Curiosity Will Make You a Better Leader."

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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