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March 25, 2024 | "Transformed Lives Transform Lives"

In light of Easter observances, next week's e-connection will be published on April 2.

Prayers of the People

The Rev. Chris Gobrecht, an Elder in the BWC for 28 years who was serving Timonium UMC, died on Dec. 2. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 13, at 11 a.m. with fellowship time afterward. The service will be at Timonium UMC, 2300 Pot Spring Road in Timonium, MD 21093. Condolences may be sent to his wife, Rebeca, c/o Timonium UMC. The family requests that "those wishing to honor Chris’ memory, please consider doing good deeds to others, such as the homeless in your community, without expecting monetary payments or recognition, thus being loving neighbors."

The Rev. Carroll Doggett, the oldest pastor in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, turned 101 on March 23. Read his story. You can send him cards and good wishes at 7401 Willow Rd, AL #242, Frederick, MD 21702.

We pray for Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, the BWC Cabinet and all the pastors and congregations receiving new leaders as the appointment process continues. See the appointment list.

As people of faith, we enter Holy Week, living out a sacred story of a holy meal shared in an Upper Room, journeying on to Golgatha and the foot of the cross, and ending at an empty tomb, where we sing our Alleluias as an Easter people.

In this week’s Lenten resource, we conclude with "Deepening Awareness" and "Going Out." Visit Living Like Christ: A Banquet of Spiritual Exercises.

Many churches throughout the BWC will celebrate Good Friday with a service that features the seven last words of Christ.

"Father, forgive them. ... Today you will be with me in paradise. ... Woman, here is your son. ... My God, why have you forsaken me?  ... I am thirsty. ... It is finished. ... Into your hand I commend my spirit."

On Good Friday, March 29, from 4 to 6 p.m., Bishop LaTrelle Easterling and a group of other gifted preachers will share the “7 Last Cries of Mothers of Murdered Sonsat Northwood Appold UMC, 4499 Loch Raven Blvd., Baltimore. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.


Original Lyrics based on the seven last words of Christ from the cross

“For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  --  1 Corinthians 1:18

See our Savior, crucified,

who forgives while brutalized;

welcomes those hung by his side.

Praise this Myst’ry saving us. 

Praise this Myst’ry saving us.

Loves his mother -- so to tend --

trusts her to his kindly friend.

Calls for water, near the end.

Praise this Myst’ry saving us.

Praise this Myst’ry saving us.


Feel his anguish at the thought:

God has left me thus distraught!”

Finished too the love I brought?”

Praise this Myst’ry saving us.

Praise this Myst’ry saving us.

Pray with him that final prayer,

offering self, the pain, despair,               

to that Parent -- always there.

Praise this Myst’ry saving us. 

Praise this Myst’ry saving us.

Will we, heedless, live our lives

without serving Christ who dies,

or, with love and courage rise praising Jesus saving us?   

Praising Jesus saving us!


Words: R. Frederick Crider ©2018   Inspired by the Tune: Penny Rodriguez ©2007 Abingdon Press; GOTTES ZEIT 77.77 (cf. “Depth Of Mercy” #3097 Worship and Song.)  UMCDiscipleship.org

Sponsor a hole at Seeds of Security gold tournament

The Seeds of Security Annual Golf Tournament, which raises funds to assist domestic violence victims, will be held on Monday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hobbit’s Glen Golf Course in Columbia, MD.

One option for those who want to support this important ministry of healing is to sponsor a hole during the tournament for $250. Individuals, groups, and churches can sponsor a hole and display a signature banner at the hole. Learn more.

New and Featured

The deadline for grants available to local churches is April 1. The BWC 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 closes on April 1. Learn more.

Necessary Ingredients, a retreat and training for youth, children, and family ministry leaders will be held on April 5 and 6 at Westminster UMC. Leaders working in youth, children, and family ministries are invited to attend. Attendees will spend two days with other youth, children, and family ministry leaders to focus on the necessary ingredients for a thriving ministry. Learn from experts Chris Sasser and Chania Dillard as they teach mental health, intergenerational ministry practices, and recruiting, training, and retaining volunteers. Regular registration is $75. Register online.

The Non-Anxious Leader: Family Systems Basics is a free, four-week online course, from April 8 to May 5, that teaches you how to lead as a non-anxious presence, personally and professionally. Learning is self-guided and asynchronous, so you can cover the material when it works best for you. Learn more and register.

Clergy health care: Wespath, The United Methodist Church’s pension and benefits agency, has scheduled a virtual event for noon on April 10 to help United Methodists learn more about the proposed Compass Retirement Plan for clergy. Legislation to establish the plan is heading to General Conference, which is scheduled for April 23 - May 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina. During the online session, Wespath also plans to introduce its new chief investments officer and share updates on investments. Register

Youth Mental Health & First Aid: The United Methodist Board of Childcare will offer free Youth Mental Health First Aid training at Eastport UMC in Annapolis. Young people today face unique challenges that can impact their mental well-being. By equipping ourselves with the knowledge and skills to identify and respond to these challenges, we can create a more supportive and understanding community for our youth. This eight-hour course will be held April 14 and 21 from 2 to 6 p.m. RSVP by March 31 by completing this registration form.

Clergy Ethics: Caring for Self & Others through Healthy Boundaries, presented by Rev. Lindsay Geist, LCSW, will be held on May 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grace UMC in Baltimore. There will be two components of this training: an online learning platform portion and an in-person portion. The May 16 event will include lunch. Successful completion will earn 1.0 CEUs. The deadline to register is Friday, April 5, by noonLearn more and register.

The BWC’s Young People’s Ministry will hold a Mental Health Symposium on May 18 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the BWC Mission Center in Fulton. The symposium, with speaker Lauren Jenkins, will provide youth and young adults, ages 13 - 35, with a space to raise awareness about mental health and suicide, have meaningful discussions on the power of resilience and faith and, through creative expressive activities, explore the importance of hope and connection. All attendees will gain tools and resources to support and invest in their mental health. The symposium will be facilitated by licensed and certified mental health professionals.

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership will host a workshop on constructive conflict intervention on April 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the campus of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. Register.

Massive budget cuts await General Conference delegatesAsk The UMC seeks to provide clear answers to a wide variety of questions about United Methodism. Right now, many have questions and concerns in light of a dramatic decrease in funding throughout the denomination. The proposed 2025-2028 budget for The United Methodist Church that will be presented to the upcoming General Conference is 43 percent lower than the previous quadrennial budget. The cut marks the largest budget reduction in denominational history. Ask The UMC provides details on how this will affect the various ministries throughout the church. Learn more.

Registration is now open for the 240th session of the BWC Annual Conference, which will be held Wednesday, May 29, through Friday, May 31, at the Hilton Hotel in Baltimore.

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

Additional Disicpleship Opportunities

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

The 2024 Peace with Justice Grant is now open for applications. Applicants must show their commitment to Social Justice Advocacy. This includes advocacy for voting rights, immigration reform, gun violence prevention legislation reforms, human trafficking, and other justice-related concerns. Learn more and apply.

See a Listing of Local Church Activities

See church classified ads now online.

Please note:

The BWC is now accepting applications for an Administrator for the Washington East District.

Melissa Lauber, Director of Communications
11711 East Market Place, Fulton, MD 20759
 410.309.3455  |  [email protected]
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