Washington East News & Updates 2_1_2018

February 1, 2018

Prayer of the People

Katherine Jean Rodeffer, the spouse of the Rev. Robert Rodeffer, died Jan. 14. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Feb. 10, at 11 a.m., at Emmanuel UMC in Beltsville. The family will receive friends from 9:30 to 11 a.m. that morning. Condolences may be sent to 621 Hobbs Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20904.

Engage in Mission

Interested in becoming a short-term missionary? Look for Emergency Response Team or Volunteers in Mission trips to join or Post your Early Response Team or Volunteers in Mission trips for people to join.

Disability Awareness Sunday

United Methodists are called each year to celebrate the gifts and graces, as well as the inclusion, of people with disabilities. Find resources.

In the Baltimore-Washington Conference, the first Sunday in February is the day that is designated for churches to observe Disability Awareness Sunday, or observe it on another Sunday that best suits the church's schedule. 

Did you know that statistics number Americans with disabilities at over 50 million people? This is approximately 1 in every 5 people. Add this number of people whose disability is relational and emotional, and this category may include almost every other person in the pew. Perhaps a few of these people will be willing to help plan it and assist leading worship (personal testimonies are a great way to add awareness). 

You may wonder why observe it when there are other observed Sundays throughout the year. Simply, because it's mentioned in the gospel. In Luke 14, Jesus taught a lesson using one of his parables, The Great Banquet, which emphasized the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. He said about the invitation, " my (Father's) House may be filled" (Luke 14:23). Jesus' invitation to the gospel is for all people and we should be sure not to overlook anyone. 

Also, in between Jesus' words is the emphasis of having a welcoming attitude. In fact, according to one survey, the biggest barrier for individuals with disabilities and their families for coming to church isn't a physical barrier, it's an attitudinal barrier (Beats, 2012). So, make sure to express a welcoming attitude when offering your church's hospitality on the Sunday you observe Disability Awareness Sunday. One example of a welcoming attitude is using politically correct language (e.g. "Please stand or stand in your hearts as we sing our first hymn.")

The Commission on Disability Concerns has a downloadable church kit to assist with worship planning and ideas for observing this day. The church kit includes bulletin inserts, liturgy, litanies, Scripture recommendations, suggested music, printable resources and handouts, sermon ideas, and more.

Workshop on Worship with Marcia McFee

Worship is the heartbeat of everything we do. How we worship God defines us as nothing else can. 

With this in mind, the Bishop’s Office invites you to a very special event. Dr. Marcia McFee, of The Worship Design Studio, ( ) will lead a workshop on worship design on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 3: 30 p.m. at the BWC Mission Center at 11711 E. Market Place in Fulton. This is the day after she leads the BWC clergy during their Lenten Day Apart. 

There is no cost for the workshop and no need to register. Bring a sack lunch or walk to one of several nearby restaurants.

McFee has an international reputation for creating “deeply evocative and artful rituals that transform lives to transform the world.” If you are interested in creating more vital, artful worship experiences, you will benefit from this workshop. We look forward to seeing your there! 

Advocacy Days

Maryland Legislative Advocacy Day, sponsored by the BWC United Methodist Women and Board of Church and Society, will be held Feb. 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Asbury UMC in Annapolis. The focus of the day will be criminal justice reform, and the Clean Energy Jobs Act and earned sick leave.

For more information, contact Rev. Julie Wilson.



Southern Region 2018 Leadership Day

On Saturday, March 3, 2018, we will welcome a recognized visionary leader in church revitalization, the Rev. Junius B. Dotson is the General Secretary (chief executive officer) of Discipleship Ministries, an international agency of The United Methodist Church.

As a leader who responds to challenges and opportunities in new and creative ways, Rev. Dotson believes that effective ministry is about training, developing, and empowering leaders to establish ministries that address the needs of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. 

Later that afternoon you will have the opportunity to attend administrative and mission-centered workshops where you will be able to choose TWO workshops to attend. Each workshop will be 90 minutes in length. The cost for this event is $50.00 and it includes a boxed lunch. 

Deadline for registration is Saturday, February 10, 2018. NO Walk-ins, NO paper Registrations. This event will be held at Southern High School.This event will be held at Southern High School. To register click here.

Lay Servant Academy (formerly School of Christian Growth)

The classes offered may be taken by anyone: member of a congregation, local church leader, or lay servant. All class offerings except Introduction to Lay Ministries: The Basic Course may be used as a re-certification class for lay servants. The cost of $35 per course.

You may attend classes outside of your district, based on your own needs. To register click here

Five Things Your Visitors are Thinking But Won't Ask

A workshop led by Jason Moore of Midnight Oil, will be held Friday, March 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the BWC Mission Center in Fulton, and on Saturday, March 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Nichols Bethel UMC in Odenton. Moore will help identify what the most pressing issues are for new visitors and how to address them with easy to implement ideas and systematic steps. Clergy can receive .5 CEUs. The cost, which includes lunch, is $35. Register for the Mission Center event. Register for the Nichols Bethel event


Jeanne Parr Feb 2, 2018 3:32pm

I was just wondering where the 2018 Southern Region Lay Leadership Day is going to be held on March 8th. Where is the Southern High School?

Christol Medley Feb 8, 2018 5:06pm

The date is March 3rd, at Southern High School 4400 Solomons Island Rd. Harwood, MD, South Anne Arundel County.