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The e-connection is a weekly electronic newsletter from the Baltimore-Washington Conference. To subscribe, contact Melissa Lauber.

January 16, 2018
Prayers of the People

 We pray for the congregation of National UMC in Washington D.C.; for the Rev. Charlie Parker, who retired effective Jan. 1 to pursue opportunities with a nonprofit ministry; and for the Rev. Michael Chamberlain, a retired pastor from the Great Plains Conference, who will serve as the interim pastor.

As the debate continues, we pray for all the immigrants who are facing uncertainty, especially the "Dreamers." We pray and act

Taste and See: Create Change that Matters

 Are you a change-maker who would benefit from being a part of a community for support and potential funding? Are you looking for fresh ways to do ministry?  

 Taste and See is not your typical training event. It is an encounter with concepts and tools that will transform the way you think about and do good in the world.

 One part inspiration, one part application and one part immersion, the day has been designed to encourage and support you in taking practical next steps so that you and your friends can start new communities with new people to do good with God. 

You will hear from different pioneers throughout the day, including the founder and creator of Matryoshka Haus, Shannon Hopkins. Shannon's journey has taken many forms. She has planted a successful church, created various networks for young leaders and been a consultant for churches, seminaries and others in a post modern/ pluralist context. The constant is exploring and innovating what the gospel look likes in the current context and looking at how we create accessible forms that engage people in questions of faith and give them support on their journey.

The event will be held this Saturday, Jan. 20., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the CCBC Catonsville Campus, 800 S. Rolling Road in Catonsville.  Learn more and register.

Five Things Your Visitors are Thinking But Won't Ask

 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

Latest News and Information

 New This Week

The Beloved Community Toolkit, presented by the Rev. C. Anthony Hunt, is an MLK50 event,  which will be held Feb. 3 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Emmannuel UMC, at 10755 Scaggsville Road in Laurel. In this 50th year since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Hunt will present a Beloved Community Toolkit outlining King's legacy and  the importance of  meditation, public witness, and community building for such a time as this. Memphis Sojourners will meet afterwards, from 11 a.m. to noon. The event is free. RSVP by Jan, 30. Questions? Contact the Rev. Claire Matheny of St. Paul's UMC, Kensington. 

 Moms Demand Action: An Advocacy Day, sponsored by Moms Demand Action - MD, will be held Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. at the Lawyers' Mall, 100 State Circle in Annapolis. Participants will meet with their representatives and rally in support of a bill to keep guns away from convicted domestic abusers. Learn more.

 Lenten DayApart: Bishop LaTrelle Easterling invites the clergy of the Baltimore-Washington Conference to a pre-Lenten day apart on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at First UMC in Hyattsville. The theme is "Listen: Hearing that Still, Small Voice and Finding Your Own."  The guest presenter is Dr. Marcia McFee, a well-known worship consultant, author and designer. The cost is $35 for active clergy and $25 for retired clergy. Registration closes Feb. 2Learn more and register.

Worship Design Workshop: 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. 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. 

 Work as Worship: Nichols Bethel UMC in Odenton and Bethany UMC in Ellicott City are hosting simulcasts of the one-day retreat Work as Worship on February 23. The retreat features 11 influential business leaders and pastors who will discuss what it looks like to connect faith and events. 

 The stewardship workshop "Protect, Sustain, Grow: Best Practices for Handling Your Church's Money," will be held Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m to 1 p.m, at the Kresge Building on the campus of Wesley Theological Seminary. The program will also be live streamed. The cost is $40 for individuals and $60 for groups of two more. Learn more and register

 Rebuilding Puerto Rico: Volunteer in Mission teams are now being accepted in Puerto Rico to help rebuild after hurricanes Irma and Maria. Download a list of guidelines about serving in Puerto Rico. Groups interested in volunteers can register online.

 The historic Strawbridge Shrine, site of the first home of Wesleyan Methodism in America, is now receiving applications for spring, summer and fall tours. Located on Strawbridge Lane off Wakefield Valley Road in New Windsor, the Shrine features the original Strawbridge house, the historic John Evans House, and a replica of the 1764 Log Meeting House. Free tours are offered by appointment of the three buildings and a historic introduction is offered in the Visitors Center about the arrival of Robert and Elizabeth Strawbridge about 1760 from Ireland and the importance of their role in early America. You can learn more about the Strawbridge Shrine by visiting www.strawbridgeshrine.org. The Strawbridge Shrine historic buildings and Visitors Center can be made available most days by scheduling your personal or group visit with the Curator, Helen Kemp, at 410-635-2600.  In addition, April through October, the Shrine is open for drop-in visits during the regular hours (although a phone contact in advance is recommended): Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Lou Piel, Interim Co-President, at 410-751-9049 or  

Continuing Highlights

Bishop's Convocation -- Faith, Science and Ministry: Where Faith and Reason Meet On Jan. 20, WesleyNexus will host a livestreaming session of the program on "Faith, Science and Ministry: Where Faith and Science Meet," at Oakdale Emory UMC in Olney. The program is a convocation led by Bishop Sharma Lewis of the Virginia Annual Conference. It will feature a plenary address by Dr. April Maskiewics Cordero on the "Coexistence of Evolution and Christianity." Workshops will be offered in the afternoon. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit https://vaumfoundation.org/bishops-convocation/ and http://www.bwcumc.org/event/1061567-2018-01-20-convocation-on-faith-science-and-ministry/

Living Your Call: The call to ministry begins with a just a whisper, a nudge from God. Where do you turn for clarity? Learn more about the practical steps to licensed or ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church at the workshop, "Living Your Call," Jan. 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Mission Center in Fulton. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Theresa Thames of Princeton Theological Seminary. There is no cost, but registration is required. For more information, contact the Rev. John Nupp.

 Bioethics WorkshopAsbury Solomons Waterfront Retirement Community in Solomons will be host a workshop with a noted bioethicist on Jan. 26  CEU credits will be offered.

Maryland Legislative Advocacy Day, sponsored by the UMW 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, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and earned sick leave. Register here.

 Disaster Preparedness Training: The Berkeley County Cluster of United Methodist Churches will hold its first Disaster Preparedness Event for lay and clergy leaders in the faith community Saturday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to noon at St. Luke UMC, 700 New York Avenue in Martinsburg, W.Va. For more information, contact the Rev. Ed. Grove. 

 MLK50 Sojourn: As a soulful sojourn of remembrance, this lay and clergy trip commemorates the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., marking the 50th Anniversary of his assassination, April 4,1968, and the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike. Through the lens of Civil Rights and the Poor People's Campaign, we will consider what it means to work for King's Beloved Community today. We will visit historic sites, hear from dynamic speakers, and engage in daily prayer. For more information and registration, click here. Space is limited; sign up early.