We hope your summer has been peaceful and restful as much as it could be! Below are the details for the 2023 Baltimore Suburban District Church Conferences.
We are aware that a number of you have been affected by Monday’s storms, and may still be recovering. You are in our prayers. With that in mind, we will send this out again in a few days and have it as a post on the district page for easy access.
The link below is the Draft Schedule for our 2023 Church Conferences including (with one exception) the Presiding Elders for each Conference:
The link below is to the BSD Agenda for this 2023:
The process for completing and submitting forms is same as the last several years.
- All forms are due, completed, in Arena by October 1, 2023.
- There is flexibility for the Nominations Committee Report. If necessary, this may be tabled for completion by the committee and affirmed by the Ad Council by December 1.
All worksheets and forms are available on the conference website with the link below:
What needs to be pre-signed before posting in Arena?
Please ensure the following documents have a “wet” or digitally collected signature BEFORE uploading into Arena and BEFORE your church conference:
- 2024 Clergy Compensation report – who needs to sign: clergy, SPRC chair, Finance rep (chair or treasurer)
- Clergy Sexual Misconduct form – who needs to sign: clergy
- Certification of Compliance form – who needs to sign: clergy and SPRC chair
- Inactive Membership report (if voting members off the roll) – who needs to sign: clergy
- Nominations report – who needs to sign: clergy
- Declaration of Candidacy report – who needs to sign: candidate
We have created several training videos which can be accessed via the links below. If you have any questions or issues, please feel free to reach out to me!
- Certified Lay Ministry Reports - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hXN3Nj38FxdEq2A2881_3QoeTjpHqora/view?usp=sharing
- Compensation Training - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JOE_8bk7Fzk0qnYJb8Kp-PnWjNWS4cDc/view?usp=sharing (Please note the BWC Minimum Compensation Requirements for 2023.)
- Arena Log-in & Accessing the Forms - https://drive.google.com/file/d/19V7JGY4add6gKwLwH9IoMSrw-mBAPqGw/view?usp=sharing
- Nominations & Committee Leader Toolbox - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g2GX-3JQeIl_DvIeJS4bB86caPbYOAfc/view?usp=sharing
- BWC Website & How to find the Forms/Worksheets - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PfkmrVWCPA169TYSwgqLFyd3taEDArpq/view?usp=sharing
The Baltimore Suburban District Team
Message from the Cabinet:
Dear Colleagues and Co-Laborers in Christ,
Grace and peace to you. We continue to hold you in our prayers, with gratitude for your faithful service and love for God’s people.
As the fall approaches, we know that you are focused on ensuring the spiritual health and vitality of the people and ministry of the congregations and communities you serve, and that is important in a time such as this. As we prepare for our Church Conference season, let us continue working together to do the good ministry of ordering the life of the church.
As we begin this important work, here is the process:
- Nominations work towards healthy and mature Christian leadership for the new realities facing the church.
- SPRCs engage a healthy process to discern pastoral compensation.
- Candidates for licensed and ordained ministry/Certified Lay Minsters, Speakers, and Servants will be affirmed and approved at Church Council prior to a vote at Church Conference.
- Membership reports (para. 231 of the Book of Discipline) prioritize contact and connection with members. The Care of Members Report will be voted on at Church Conference.
- Church leaders rejoice in continued conversations on our missional imperative: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by engaging with the NEW Discipleship Ministries Form.
May following this process and timeline find us moving rhythmically and easily with each other:
1. July: Preparation
Preparatory work by Local Church Committees and Leaders
- Lay Leadership Development: prepare recommendations to fill vacancies in nominations report.
- SPRC: prepare recommendations for pastor’s compensation and candidates for ministry.
- Pastor and Certified Lay Minsters, Speakers, and Servants: prepare reports for church council.
- Trustees and Finance: prepare by updating last year’s Church Conference reports.
- Pastor and Membership Care Team: review the membership reports from last year and consider present situation (para. 252.4a and para. 231) when listing names on the report for removal of membership.
- Pastor, Church Council Chair, Lay Leader and Trustees Chair: prepare the Discipleship Ministries Report.
- Pastor: prepare Pastor’s report
- Pastor and Church Leaders should view training videos. The videos will be available by July 21.
- August: Collaboration
Church Council meets, notifies congregation that Church Council will be reviewing Church Conference documents, to:
- Review Pastor’s Report
- Review and affirm Nominations, to send forth to Church Conference
- Review and affirm Pastor’s Compensation, to send forth to Church Conference
- Review and affirm Candidates for Licensed and Ordained Ministry, to send forth to Church Conference
- Review and vote on Certified Lay Ministers, Speakers, and Servants
- Review Care of Members report (formerly known as the Inactive Members report)
- Review and affirm Finance and Trustee reports
- Review and affirm the Discipleship Ministries Report
- September: Presiding Elders Training
Presiding Elders attend a mandatory virtual training on Tuesday, September 5 at 10:00am.
4. October 1 or 10 days before your Church Conference, whichever comes first: Implementation
All Church Conference reports and Documents due to the district office via electronic submission (in Arena)
5. All Church Conferences will be completed by November 15: Actualization
Church Conferences to be held in respective districts
- Held in-person or virtually and often in clusters for purpose of worship, ministry sharing, celebration, review and voting
- If virtual, break-out rooms may be used.
- Presiding elders may be used to:
i. Vote on Nominations (already affirmed by Church Council)
ii. Vote on Pastor’s Compensation (already affirmed by Church Council)
iii. Vote on Candidates for Licensed and Ordained Ministry (already affirmed by Church Council)
iv. Affirm Certified Lay Ministers, Speakers, and Servants (already voted and approved by Church Council)
v. Recognize Trustee, Finance and Discipleship Ministries reports
- Districts may contextualize this process as needed to meet the needs of congregations. The agenda and schedule are attached.
- All documents requiring signatures, including minutes of the Church Conference, must be submitted to the district office no more than 10 days after the scheduled Church Conference.
We join in thanking God for the ministry with which we have been entrusted in these important times. As always, the district offices are here to support you in this process.
Yours in Christ,
The Appointive Cabinet of The Baltimore-Washington Conference
Rev. Sarah Schlieckert, Annapolis and Greater Washington Districts (P.G. County/Bermuda)
Rev. Wanda Bynum Duckett, Baltimore Metropolitan District
Rev. Ann Laprade, Baltimore Suburban District
Rev. Dawn M. Hand, Central Maryland and Greater Washington Districts (Montgomery Country)
Rev. John M. Wunderlich III, Cumberland-Hagerstown District
Rev. Eliezer Valentín-Castañón, Frederick District
Rev. Johnsie W. Cogman, Washington East and Greater Washington Districts (D.C. and Lower P.G.)