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New This Week

This week's Mosaic devotional focuses on light and how we see. Experience these multimedia online reflections that center around the theme "We Are One." Learn more.

Creating Camperships: The Baltimore-Washington Conference is seeking contributors to help create summer camping opportunities for Camp Harmison, near Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Camperships will be given to children in grades four through eight who are living in rural poverty. Conference leaders are seeking 50 churches to invest $100 in the future of the region's children. Contributions should be sent to the Conference Treasurer marked "Camping Opportunities for Children in Rural Poverty." For more information, contact the Rev. Conrad Link, superintendent of the Cumberland-Hagerstown District, at 301-739-6659, or Andy Thornton, Director of Retreat and Camping Ministries, at 800-922-6795.

Disability Ministries Manual: Is your church interested in starting a ministry for people with disabilities or expanding already existing ministries? A new, comprehensive manual that covers disability ministries in the local church is now available online. Written by the Rev. Leo Yates and the BWC Commission on Disability Concerns, this resource will answer all your questions and connect you with the best answers about this essential ministry area. Learn more.

Annual Conference: You can find pre-conference materials - 2018 proposed budget, resolutions, constitutional amendments - on our website. Please review the information and use the Q&A page (the large red button) to ask any questions you may have. We will answer questions as we receive them and post in a timely manner. There will also be a paper supplement of these documents in the May UMConnection.

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.

Be a part of the restorative justice movement: If you are interested in prison ministry and feel like you can make a difference on the Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministry Team, please join them for a meeting on Wednesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m., at the Conference Mission Center in Fulton. They are in the process of filling vacancies in districts and could use your help. For more information, contact Rev. Sonia L. King or Rev. Brian Jackson.

Worship Explosion: Worship that unites young adults in one sound, one voice, one body, will be held Friday, April 28, at 7 p.m., at St. Luke's UMC, 60 Bond Ave. in Reisterstown. The experience, which will feature dance, mime, song, rap and spoken word, is held in partnership with the BWC Young Adult Council.

Resources for veterans: John Wesley UMC, at 6922 Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie, will host a Veterans Resource Services Workshop April 29 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The workshop will be presented by the Baltimore Regional Veterans Office. For more information, contact Maria M. Rawlings at 410-903-6234.  

Game Night fundraiser: Mt. Olive UMC in Randallstown will hold a Family Game Night Saturday, May 6, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Dinner, from 5 to 6 p.m., will include chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, ham and more. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children under age 10. The proceeds will benefit the Manna House in Baltimore City, which provides 60,000 meals a year to the area's homeless. For reservations, call 410-922-2853.

The Spirituality of Water: Come and explore the biblical traditions around water and then put faith into action with a riverside cleanup on Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. along the Potomac River. The event is sponsored by the Center for Spirituality in Nature. Serving as the leader for the day will be Beth Norwood of Wesley Seminary, who teaches courses on eco-theology. Learn more and register.

Breaking the Barriers: Pastor John Clark Mayden, Jr., of Mt. Zion UMC in Upperco, will sign copies of his book, "Breaking the Barriers: Keys to Unlocking Inner Peace," on Saturday, May 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church, 4640 Edmonson Ave. in Baltimore.

Spring Concert: Albright Memorial UMC in Washington, D.C., will host its 29th annual spring concert at Colesville UMC in Silver Spring May 7 at 4 p.m. The concert will feature Everett P. Williams, the director of music and liturgical arts at Asbury UMC. Proceeds will benefit Albright's restoration project. For more information, contact Gertrude White at 301-656-9116. 

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.

New to read: The book "Henry Foxall: Methodist, Industrialist, American," by Jane B. Donovan, has been released by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, to rave reviews. She describes Foxhall, a foundry owner and lay preacher, as "the quintessential catalyst for the transformation of a spirit-filled movement into a church denomination and a young nation into an economic powerhouse." 

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Continuing Highlights

 

Conference registration: Registration rates for the 2017 Baltimore-Washington Conference Annual Session go up on April 13. The session will be held this year May 31-June 2 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Hotel rooms at the special rate are sold out. However, a number of other options for accommodations are available. Learn more.

Care for Creation: The United Methodist 2017 Caretakers of God's Creation Climate Justice Conference will be held Friday, April 28, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Mt. Olivet UMC, 1500 North Glebe Rd. in Arlington, Va. Learn more about the conference. The event is being held in conjunction with the March for Science, during which people of faith are invited to join with scientists from all parts of the nation on Earth Day, April 29. Learn more.

Planning for the 2017 Korean Methodist Church Exchange Trip is currently underway. The BWC Korea Committee is aiming for the trip to take place in late July or early August. Historically, the duration of these trips has been between 10 and 12 days. While exact dates for the trip will be coming soon, the committee is currently collecting interest forms from BWC clergy and laity who may wish to be selected to immerse themselves in this cross-cultural experience within the Korean Methodist Church's South Korean Conference. This opportunity is ideal for those seeking to learn more about discipleship in an ever-changing and evolving world, and for those interested in enhancing their skills as leaders within distinctly varied cultural, racial, and political climates. Airfare, lodging, and dining costs will be sponsored by the BWC Korea Committee. Selected participants would be responsible for other personal expenses. Those interested in being considered must complete the 2017 KMC Exchange Trip Interest Form. The deadline to submit the form has been extended to April 30. Please note that program participation is limited. Questions? Contact Katie Filano, 410-309-3493.

Native American Ministries Sunday 2017 is April 30. Half of the Native American Ministries Sunday special offering supports Native American outreach within the BWC to strengthen Native American ministries. Learn more.

Bethesda UMC Crop Walk: Bethesda UMC is the host site for a Church World Service Crop Walk on April 30 at 1:30 p.m. Crop Walks are a walk of solidarity with the millions of people who walk miles every day in search of food and water. Proceeds from the Crop Walk go to support Church World Service hunger programs around the world, and also includes support for their refugee ministry. The route will be a 5K through downtown Bethesda and runners or walkers are welcome. You can sponsor a walker or ask others to support you in walking or you can simply show up to walk and make a donation. Register at crophungerwalk.org.

Tea and Mission: Colesville UMC will hold a Spirit in Motion Fashion Tea Saturday, May 13, at 2 p.m. While enjoying delicacies, participants will be able to view and purchase Born Again Jewelry and Eddie Johnson ties. Tickets are $24. For more information, call 301-384-1941.

Race to Feed the Hungry: Ames UMC in Bel Air will hold its ninth annual "Race to Feed the Hungry" 5K Walk/Run on May 20, at 8 a.m. The race will start and end at Ma and Pa Trail (Williams and Ellendale Streets) in Bel Air. Since the race's start in 2009, the church has raised more than $51,000 and donated more than 7,000 pounds of non-perishable food. More info at 410-838-0161.

Leadership and Fundraising: Cyber Campus, a unique online learning experience from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, is offering a course on Leadership and Fundraising. The course, taught by Dr. Douglass Lewis, a former president of Wesley Theological Seminary, will explore the four basic steps to effective fund raising and the role of an organization's leader in a fund-raising effort. The course, which offers .4 CEUs, will be held May 23 to 25. Watch a video and register.

Extension Ministry Dinner: Clergy serving beyond the local church in Extension Ministry in the Baltimore-Washington Conference and their spouses are invited to a special dinner during the 233rd Annual Conference Session on Wednesday, May 31, at 5 p.m., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, D.C. 20008. Please RSVP no later than April 10 to Joyce King at .

Remembering the Saints: As preparations are made for the 2017 Annual Conference Session, members of the worship committee are seeking the names of the Lay Members to Annual Conference who have died since May 2016 so that they can be honored in the Memorial Service Friday, June 2. Send names and photos to Pastor Sherri Wood-Powe.

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.

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.

Order your 2016 Journal: This year's Conference Journal is being printed and produced by an Amazon-owned company. The process for ordering is similar to other online purchases. The cost is $20. Payment will be made at the time you place your online order. The text of the Journal, minus the Alphabetical Clergy, Lay Member and Surviving Spouse listings, (which contain personal contact information) is posted online. Order your 2016 Conference Journal online.

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Learning Events

Older Adult Day Apart: West River will hold its Spring Older Adult Day Away April 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The theme of the event, which will feature the Rev. Michael Parker as worship and Bible study leader, is "Replanting Yourself in Christ." The event will also include workshops that include art with Ruth Bailey, discovering your spiritual gifts with the Rev. Mary Dennis, gardening for small spaces, and boat rides on West River. Learn more and register.

Laity Training: Bel Air UMC is hosting a Lay Pastors Ministry, Inc. International Conference April 28-29. This two-day conference includes 20 workshops, a keynote speaker and a Celebration Dinner. Whether you are interested in developing a caring ministry in your church or you wish to improve and grow your existing ministry, this conference will invigorate your congregational care ministry. Register online. For more information, contact Fred Guenthner.

Volunteers in Mission team leader training: Two sessions now available: Saturday, April 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the BWC Mission Center and Saturday, May 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Tom's Creek UMC, 10926 Simmons Road in Emmitsburg. The sessions, which cost $25, will be led by Lori Willis, a VIM coordinator from Trinity UMC in Prince Frederick. Register online, or contact Pam Bowen at 410-309-3427 for additional information.

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Mission Experiences

Are you or your congregation interested in taking a Volunteers in Mission trip? St. Paul UMC, Lusby and the Church of the Redeemer will be traveling to Haiti June 21-28. Learn more by contacting David Graves at . There are 12 openings on the team. A listing of other VIM opportunities is online. To learn more, contact Pam Bowen.

Supporting Howard Students: The Wesley Foundation at Howard will be serving on a mission in Honduras May 18–29. On this trip, the students will teach Vacation Bible School and do light construction for a local church. The Rev. Alexis F. Brown and the Wesley Foundation are seeking financial donations to offset the costs for the students. Checks may be made payable to: The Baltimore-Washington Conference, 11711 East Market Place, Fulton, MD 20759; c/o: Deb Trowbridge. In the memo line, write Honduras Mission Trip. For more information, watch their video.

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 Consultation: The 2017 Eurasia-Central Asia Consultation will be held Friday, May 5, beginning at 8:30 a.m., through Saturday, May 6, until 2:45 p.m., at the BWC Conference Center in Fulton. The Rev. Charles Harrell and Pastor Rob Pierson encourage everyone interested in learning more about the church in Eurasia to attend. A special registration discount rate for those who live in the bounds of the Baltimore-Washington Conference is $105. Learn more.

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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Beyond the Conference

Volunteers in Mission training: The Northeastern Jurisdiction UMVIM and United Methodist Committee on Relief will hold their 2017 training academy March 26 through March 29 at Pocono Plateau Camp and Retreat Center near Scranton, Pa. The cost is $200. The course offerings include: foundation of disaster relief, early response team site assessment, disaster spiritual and emotional care, medical missions, asset-based community development, and more. Register online. For more information, contact the Rev. Tom Lank at 919-428-0461.

THRIVE2017: The Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference and Methodist Theological School of Ohio invite pastors and other church leaders seeking to "do ministry on the edge," to THRIVE2017, April 30 to May 2 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The cost is $425. Speakers include experts in worship, technology, ministry, inclusiveness, theology and more. Learn more.

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