AN District News~ UMC Buzz....June 29, 2017
June 29, 2017
New This Week
June 29, 2017
Fund Balance Report (Audit) - Submit by June 30, 2017:
In accordance with Book of Discipline paragraph 258.4d:
"The committee [on finance] shall make provision for an annual audit of the financial statements of the local church and all its organizations and accounts. The committee shall make a full and complete report to the annual charge conference. A local church audit is defined as an independent evaluation of the financial reports and records and the internal controls of the local church by a qualified person or persons. "
The local church annual Fund Balance Report is due by June 30, 2017. Updated forms are available on the BWC Forms, Reports and Requests website under "Finance and Administration". Please submit your completed form to Willine Kamara by the June 30th deadline.
Clergy in Retirement Seminar: Retirement from active ministry status raises significant thoughts and feelings, questions and challenges which are unique to our experience as clergy. The Board of Ordained Ministry has sponsored a new seminar to address these questions and challenges, "At-One-Ment: Clergy in Retirement," for clergy and spouses in any stage of the retirement process. The seminar will be Sept. 15, 2017, 9:30am-2:30pm, at the Conference Mission Center. Register online.
Lay Ministry: Learn more about what it is, and what’s new in lay ministry. View the presentation by Jodi Cataldo, Discipleship Ministries, from the Annual Conference 2017 Laity Session.
Guidance for Local Churches: The Conference Finance Office has provided guidance for local churches renewing their Maryland Non-Profit Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificates online. These renewals happen every five years. The Comptroller of Md. must receive applications by August 1, 2017. Learn more.
New Live Problem Gambling Webinar Series: The Maryland Council on Problem
Hershey Park, the amusement park in Pennsylvania, is offering discounted tickets to members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. A one-day pass is $43.95, a $15.85 savings off the gate price. Purchase tickets online, and be sure to use promo code 92117.
See the videos from the Annual Conference Session: From the opening 'We are One' mosaic video, to the report on the Commission on the Way Forward and many others, check out the playlist. Included on the BWC YouTube channel is a video of the laity session, which features a detailed, easy to understand explanation of Certified Lay Servant Ministry and other certified ministry for laity.
Praying our Way Forward: Beginning on New Year's Day, each annual conference in The United Methodist Church around the world, will have a week to specifically pray for the denomination and its Commission on a Way Forward, which is meeting to explore the church's response to homosexuality and the unity of the Church.
The Baltimore-Washington Conference will pray the week of July 23. Individuals and congregations are encouraged to pray and fast during this time of denominational discernment. The Upper Room has developed a website, UMCprays.org, where spiritual leaders and intercessors can share prayers, information and resources.
New Study Guide: The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools, in support of the Commission on a Way Forward, have released a new study guide, "The Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness." The study guide offers United Methodists an opportunity to facilitate constructive conversations around a cultural and ecclesial flashpoint-human sexuality. The concept for the study guide originates from an Academic Theological Colloquy that shares its name and was held at Candler School of Theology in March 2017. "The Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness" study guide is available on Cokesbury.com and Amazon.com. Translations in French, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese will be available on the GBHEM website at the end of May. For more information on the Colloquy, visit www.gbhem.org/colloquy.
Racial justice grants: The General Commission on Religion and Race recently announced that its CORR Action Fund will be releasing the United States Program Grants for 2017-2020, with $750,000 in available funding. Applications will be accepted starting this May with a deadline of August. GCORR is seeking to fund innovative and bold initiatives that will support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, xenophobia, and systemic equity. Learn more about the GCORR Action Fund grant.
The Foundation on Evangelism recognizes one clergy person each year as the Distinguished Evangelist of the Year for The United Methodist Church. The award comes with a grant for future ministries. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 15. Learn more and download a nominations form at FoundationforEvangelism.org.
Standing with the Vulnerable: In a time in which immigration reform has captured the national spotlight, United Methodists are working to fulfill the biblical mandate to welcome the stranger. See a listing of resources, compiled by the Washington Region, to assist in this ministry.
CLM Recertification: New dates and locations have been added to the Certified Lay Ministry Recertification classes for 2017. Learn more.
Deacon Dialogue 2017: The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary are co-sponsoring a Deacon Dialogue on June 28 at Loyola University Lakeshore Campus in Chicago. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first deacons ordained in full connection in the UMC. Learn more.
Exponential Regional DC - Dream Big: Dream Big is the theme for Exponential 2017. Jesus challenged us with a big dream, and we are here because of that dream. As Christ followers and leaders of His church, Jesus is asking us to also dream big. Join hundreds of leaders for inspiration, encouragement and equipping at Exponential’s Washington DC Regional church planting conference in Chantilly, VA. Register early as space is limited and rates go up July 14. Learn more.
Mission u, sponsored by the BWC's United Methodist Women and Board of Global Ministries will be held July 28-30 at the Bethesda Marriott, at 5151 Pooks Hill Road in Bethesda. This year's sessions will focus on living as covenant community, climate justice, and United Methodist missionary communities. A youth school, which covers the same themes is also offered. Learn more and register, or contact Zilpha Pinkney.
The Highway To Hanwa: Community UMC in Crofton will be taking their 17th Volunteers in Mission Trip to Zimbabwe in late July/early August. They will be returning to the Hanwa Mission to facilitate the completion of two more major school buildings that will encompass four large classrooms and two administrative offices.The completion of this project will enable the Hanwa Mission School to obtain full certification from The Zimbabwe Ministry of Education. To complete this next phase, the church needs to raise $40,000. They are inviting anyone interested in helping with the vital ministry to make a donation. If you wish to participate, please make your check payable to "CUMC" with ZIM VIM 17 in the memo section and mail it to the ZIM VIM lead, Charlie Moore, at 1168 River Bay Road, Annapolis, MD 21409. All of the VIM team members pay their travel expenses, so 100 percent of your gift goes towards the project.
Mission Technology Challenge:
A few months ago, at a meeting of the clergy from the Annapolis District, clergy issued the Missional Technology Challenge. Essentially, we challenged all the churches in the Annapolis District to have an up-to-date website and a presence on Facebook by the end of the year. We believe this is necessary if we are going to spread the good news beyond the walls of our church and if we want those interested in finding a church or worship experience to know where to find us.
We heard the moans and groans of those concerned about money it would cost and the lack of expertise in the areas of development and maintenance of this web presence. There is good news for all. There is a grant offered by the United Methodist Communications that will give you help in developing a website at little to no cost to you.
United Methodist Communications is now offering a Website Development Grant to local United Methodist churches and church entities who do not currently have a website or who want to replace their current website.
Through this new grant, United Methodist Communications will offer the following:
- One year of webhosting
- One year of domain name registration
- Free WordPress online training through UMCOM
- Free online support throughout your training and during your year of web hosting
- Free pre-designed templates for easy development of your new website
You can find further details and the simple grant application at: http://www.umcom.org/services-products/website-development-grants?platform=hootsuite
All grants are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. The application must be completed by June 30th.
If you are bold enough to apply for this grant, we are willing to give you the assistance needed to get your web presence up and running. But you must move quickly. We look forward to hearing from those willing to take a leap of faith in our Missional Technology Challenge.
Please feel free to contact your Missional Technology Coordinators:
- All Districts
- Baltimore Metro
- Baltimore Suburban
- Central Maryland
- Greater Washington
- Washington East