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Registration open for Summit on Racial Justice

Throughout history people of faith have been called to address racism and hatred. Today the church is hearing that call anew.

The ReCall Summit
on Racial Justice and Multicultural Living

We are called to action. Join United Methodists for a conference on innovative insights into how you and your church can redefine, reimagine, reposition and respond to race. The summit is sponsored by the Northeastern Jurisdiction Multiethnic Center and the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

Friday, Oct. 20 – Saturday, Oct. 21, at the BWI Marriott Hotel, 1743 W. Nursery Road, in Linthicum

The registration fee, which includes meals, is $99. Hotel registration, which is done separately, is $119.

Learn more and register

New This Week

The Wesley Covenant Association, which connects spirit-filled, orthodox United Methodists and their churches, will hold its global gathering Saturday, Oct. 14, at Woodlands UMC near Houston, Texas. A simulcast of this gathering will be broadcast at Oakdale UMC in Olney and Oakland UMC in Charles Town, W.Va. The theme of the gathering is "Move: On Mission with God."  See a video from Oakdale's senior pastor, the Rev. Kevin Baker. For more information about the live simulcast at Oakdale UMC, contact Cristin Cooper at 301-774-2030 or, for Oakland UMC, Pastor Kent Tice at 304-725-3737.

Hurricane Response:  The Texas Annual Conference is now accepting teams of United Methodists who wish to do volunteer work in Houston following Hurricane Harvey. Learn more. For individuals and teams who need training, the BWC will be offering Volunteers in Mission (VIM) and Emergency Response Team (ERT) training over the next few months.  A tentative date for training has been set for Oct. 21. If you would like to join the "BWC Hands on Mission" e-mail list, please let us know.

ROCK registration is open. ROCK, a retreat that draws 5,000 youth and their leaders to a time of revival, fellowship and learning, will be held Jan. 26-28, 2018, at the Convention Center in Ocean City. Learn more about the event, which will feature Bishop LaTrelle Easterling as the guest speaker. Register online.

Attention Dreamers: The D.C.-Maryland Justice for Our Neighbors will hold a free informational clinic for current DACA holders Sept. 21 at 4:30 p.m., at Epworth UMC, 9008 Rosemont Drive in Gaithersburg. Anyone who wishes to talk to an attorney must call 240-825-4424 to make an appointment. In addition, United Methodists are encouraged to contact their representatives about this issue, especially if you live in West Virginia. The General Board of Church and Society has this resource to help.

The BWC's Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministry Team is looking for new team members. If you have an interest in prison ministry or your church is currently involved or desires to get involved in prison ministry, please join them at the Mission Center in Fulton on Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. RSVP to the Rev. Sonia King at .

October is Domestic Violence Month: The Hopi Volunteers in Mission Team and Mt. Zion UMC will host a 5K prayer walk at Damascus Regional Park at 9 a.m. Oct. 14. The walk, which supports the Hopi-Tewa Women's Coalition to End Abuse, begins in the first parking lot. A $20 donation is suggested and walkers are encouraged to wear purple. More than 85 percent of all Native women have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. For more information, contact Jill Maisch.

Wesleyan Political Theological Project:  Wesley Theological Seminary will host the Wesleyan Political Theology Project Conference at the seminary in Washington, D.C., Oct. 26-27. Historians, ethicists, theologians, and others involved in politics and government will speak on what can be gleaned from the Wesleyan heritage to inform a contemporary Wesleyan political voice. The event is open to the public; registration is required. Learn more and register.

The More Church Leaders | Stronger Church Leaders conference, will enable participants to identify and support new leaders and build and maintain effective ministry teams. The event is Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Wesley Seminary in D.C., or can be watched via live stream. Before Oct. 9, registration is $40. Learn more.

Morgan State choir in concert: John Wesley UMC, 3202 W. North Ave. in Baltimore, will host the Morgan State University choir in concert Sunday, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m. The 100-member choir, under the direction of Eric Conway, has performed in many states and internationally. Come, hear classical, spiritual and uplifting music; the cost is $20. Contact the church office for tickets at 410-383-1525.

Christian Unity Gathering: Registration is open for the Christian Unity Gathering 2017, which will be held Nov. 8-10 at the Sheraton in downtown Silver Spring. The theme for this event of the National Council of Churches is "Resilience, Resistance and Persistence." Learn more.

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Continuing Highlights

2017 Church Conference forms, along with a listing of church conference training events, are available online

Advent resources: Help your church unwrap the meaning of Christmas. Advent resources, from Rethink Church, are available now.

"Dancing on the Fragile Edge of the World," an afternoon concert of music and poetry with pianist Brian Ganz and poets Michael S. Glaser and Deanna Nikaido, will be held Sunday, Sept. 24, at 4 p.m. at Grace UMC, 5407 N. Charles Street in Baltimore. This program is an offering of music and poetry designed to remind us how the arts can offer new lenses with which to experience and understand ourselves and our world. Brian Ganz  is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation; Michael S. Glaser is a past Poet Laureate of Maryland and Deanna Nikaido is the author of two books of poetry. A $20 donation is suggested.

Celebrate the Lewis Center's Lovett Weems:  Wesley Theological Seminary and the Lewis Center invite you to a symposium and celebratory dinner honoring the Rev. Lovett Weems for his many contributions in leading the church to greater fruitfulness. The dinner is Thursday, Sept. 28, 7 to 8:30 p.m., with a cost of $100. The Symposium is Friday, Sept. 29, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at a cost of $35. Both events are at the Seminary. Guest speakers at the Symposium are Bishops Kenneth H. Carter and Janice Riggle Huie, and the Rev. Joseph Daniels Jr., pastor of Emory UMC in Washington, D.C. Register online.

World Communion Sunday is Oct. 1. To observe this special Sunday in your church, explore these online resources. A free e-book is also available.

Observing the Reformation: In light of the 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in October, American University has put together a nine-week, interdisciplinary series of events reflecting on the Reformation and its impact on the world we live in. The events include panel discussions, table talks, a film screening, a networking fair, a poetry workshop, a mock trial, chapel services, and a concert of Bach music. It's a rich program of events and programs that explores the Reformation from a wide range of perspectives. Learn more

The Northeastern Jurisdiction Black Methodists for Church Renewal meeting will be held Oct. 5 and 6 at First UMC in Mount Vernon, New York. Learn more and register.

A Pre-Retirement seminar will be held for all clergy interested in learning more about retirement benefits. The session will also provide information on the current pension plan, Social Security, moving assistance and health insurance options available at retirement. This session will be Oct. 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the BWC Mission Center. A $20 registration fee will cover lunch. Learn more and register.

500th anniversary of Reformation: Each year many churches observe Reformation Day on Oct. 31 or the preceding Sunday, remembering the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church doors in 1517, leading to the creation of the Protestant Church. As we approach the fall and look toward the 500th anniversary of this event, the United Methodist Council of Bishops encourages United Methodists to mark this occasion throughout the month of October with study, prayer, and joint worship with ecumenical partners. Learn more.

Migration Sunday is Dec. 3: The Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church has joined the Council of Bishops in backing "A Global Migration Sunday Offering" to raise funds, which will directly aid migrants and refugees. This one special day is set for Dec. 3, the first Sunday of Advent 2017. Funds received in the offering will go to a fund to support migrants around the globe.

Church shares innovative drug education resource:  A new drug education video series by Fallston UMC, which is now available to you and your congregation, enables local churches to make a difference in the opioid crisis facing our youth. See the videos and Plan of Action sheet.

Grow your church: Church leaders searching for answers about how to enhance congregational outreach efforts and build awareness of their church can now turn to a revitalized Church Marketing Plan Tool from United Methodist Communications. The tool guides local church teams through discovery and planning techniques that result in a unique, comprehensive marketing plan for their church.

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.

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Learning Events

The MidAtlantic Foundation is hosting an Academy for Church Finance. The deadline to register is Sept. 22. Space is limited to 20 churches. Learn more.

Taste and See: You're invited to a special event, sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Conference and several ministry partners, in the rotunda of the Katzen Art Center at American University in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Sept. 23, at 8:30 a.m. One part inspiration, one part application and one part immersion, Taste & See has been designed to encourage and support you and your friends in taking innovative, yet practical, next steps so that you can start new communities with new people to do good with God. If you have dreams of creating a new ministry or a new space to do ministry, this event is for you. Change-makers encouraged to attend. 0.7 CEUs awarded for clergy participants. Learn more and register.

A Disability Ministry on a Shoestring Budget Workshop will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The training, sponsored by the BWC Commission on Disability Concerns, will be held at Calvary UMC, 131 W. Second St. in Frederick. For more information and to RSVP, contact the Rev. Leo Yates at 443-535-5380.

Stephen Ministry Workshop: Mt. Zion UMC in Highland will host a Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop Sunday, Oct. 1, from 2 to 6 p.m. Registration opens at 1 p.m. This half-day, three-session workshop is designed to help congregations catch a vision for strengthening their caring ministry through equipping lay people as caregivers. During this event, participants will also develop caregiving skills they can use right away. The cost of the workshop is $15 per person or $50 for a group of four or more from the same congregation. Learn more online or call 314-428-2600.

Registration for Exploration now open: Exploration, a biennial, three-day event for young adults, 18-26, will be held Nov. 3-5 in Portland, Ore. The event is for young adults who want to know more about what ministry is all about and explore their gifts for service as a Deacon or Elder in The United Methodist Church. It is sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). Exploration creates opportunities for young adults to be in meaningful fellowship, passionate worship, theological reflection and practical workshops as they discern whether God's call on their life is to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church and what faithful steps they can take in response. To register, or learn more about Exploration, visit ExploreCalling.org. More information about GBHEM can be found at GBHEM.org. See also Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM. 

Leadership Training: BWC's Office of Congregational Development is alerting local church leaders to upcoming promising learning opportunities.

  • Spark creativity, inspire leaders and transform your church at the Reach Summit in Grand Rapids, Mich., Oct. 20-21, with keynote speaker, the Rev. Olu Brown of Impact Church in Atlanta. Following the summit, participate in a Reach Network Group. 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. Learn more.

Called to be an Earthkeeper? Is God calling you to a vocation of caring for God's creation? Would you like to be one of 500 Earthkeepers working to create a more just and sustainable world? Training classes are forming in August and October. An online brochure has details. If you are interested in learning more about the BWC cohort, contact Mike Koob at 301-367-4388.

An Academic Way Forward: The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools will co-host an academic theological colloquy, "Missio Dei and the United States: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness." The colloquy, planned in support of the Commission on a Way Forward, will take place November 12-15 at the Boston School of Theology at Boston University. The board has also published a new study guide, "The Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness," which is available on Amazon.com.

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Mission Experiences

Mission trip to Ghana: The Rev. Karen Davis of South Damascus Charge shares: The Rev. John Ampiah-Addison will be hosting a 10-day mission trip to his home in Ghana, October 23-Nov. 2. This trip is designed to form connections with the United Methodist Church in Ghana and create opportunities for a mission partnership with the Countryside Orphanage. The cost of the trip will be determined by the number of people who attend and is estimated between $2,500 and $3,000. If you are interested in joining us or would like more information, please contact Rev. Ampiah-Addison.

Flood relief: Many West Virginia residents are suffering the effects of severe flooding. Eight counties have been declared an emergency area by Gov.Jim Justice. The West Virginia Council of Churches is coordinating assistance and supply needs. In a conversation with the Rev. Jeff Allen, Executive Director of the Council, the primary need at the moment is muck out teams. Workers/volunteers are needed to offer their assistance in going to the flood zone to help our neighbors dig themselves out. If you can raise a team to do so, please contact the Rev. Ed Grove at 304-261-2513.

The Adrienne Terry Affordable Housing Fund Update: Rev. Gerry Green, superintendent of the Greater Washington District, recently issued the Affordable Housing Challenge, urging congregations to participate in an automatic monthly contribution to the Adrienne Terry Fund for Affordable Housing. Ebenezer UMC on Capitol Hill announced that 10 of their leaders (about a quarter of their worship attendance) have committed to contribute $25 per person per month for at least the next two years and they challenged other churches to make a similar commitment. Churches that want to rise to this challenge, can make their automatic monthly contribution online. Learn more.

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