District News

Central Maryland District News & Events ~ July 22, 2022

Posted by Sophie Amer on



2022 Mustard Seed Migration Grants
Mustard Seed Migration Grants, inspired by the well-known parable, are available to provide up to 50 congregations in the United States with up to $2,000 in funding to support one-time, community-based projects that assist refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented persons and migrants of all types. Applications will be accepted at any time prior to September 1, 2022.  

Comparative Insite Report – Step-by-Step Guide
Download a step-by-step guide to run a Comparative Insite report for your congregation. Take the time to access this important and helpful resource.

Cut Defense Spending in Favor of Investing in Our Communities
The House of Representatives is poised to consider a bill next week to authorize nearly $850 billion dollars for Defense spending. At these levels, the Department of Defense will receive more money than the Departments of State, Justice, Education, Transportation, Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency combined.  As United Methodists, we believe that national budgets are moral documents. They are a testament to national priorities. (2016 Book of Resolutions, #6129). Alarming portions of U.S. resources are devoted to military spending. We believe that human values must outweigh military claims as governments determine their priorities and that the militarization of society must be challenged and stopped. United Methodist Social Principles ¶165.C.  Click here to learn more.  

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month
What do you know about sickle cell disease?  Did you know that sickle cell disease (SCD) continues to affect more than 100,000 Americans, mostly persons of African ancestry; however, various other ethnic groups may also be affected by this disease discovered 112 years ago?  A child could inherit this disease if one or both parents carry the sickle cell gene.  Do you know a family, friend or congregation member who has sickle cell trait or lives with a diagnosis of sickle cell disease?  Project SPIRIT Sickle Cell (PSSC), Inc., an extension ministry of the Baltimore Washington Conference, offers congregations the opportunity to learn more about sickle cell trait and the spiritual implications of living with sickle cell disease. Rev. Dr. R. Lorraine Brown is available to bring a message to congregations which will increase knowledge and understanding of sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease, and the challenges of living with this painful and debilitating disease with a spirit of hope. "Hope is important because it can make the present moments less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today." Thich Nhat Ha.  For more information contact Rev. Brown at   or 240-784-1351.

IRS Mileage Change
The mileage rate is going up as of July 1 from .585 to .625 per mile.


Director of Ana A. Brito Foundation – Epworth UMC 
To serve as the Director of Epworth’s foundation,  part-time 15-hrs a week.  The candidate will direct the projects of the foundation as assigned by the AABF board and Executive Leadership team of Epworth and lead the overall vision of SEND OUT ministry.  Epworth United Methodist Church is located at 9008 Rosemont Dr., Gaithersburg, MD.  Download the job description for more details.

Spanish Worship Leader – Epworth UMC  
This is a 5 Hours per week, flexible schedule position.  Presence required for Sunday Spanish morning ministry at noon (Camino) and rehearsals on a week night. Epworth United Methodist Church is located at 9008 Rosemont Dr., Gaithersburg, MD.  Download the job description for more details.



July 25-29 -- UMVIM announces 2022 Summer Mission Academy
The focus of this year's Academy is Team Leader Training. The basic course will be taught via Zoom over 5 sessions from Monday, July 25 - Friday, July 29 beginning at 5pm ET. Each daily session will last about 60-90 minutes and will cover a couple of the components of Team Leader Training. This training is designed with new leaders in mind but seasoned leaders who have not been to a training or refresher in the past few years are also welcome to attend.   We will also be offering a Team Leader Training Refresher course, via Zoom, on Saturday, July 30 at 8am ET and will conclude around 10:30am. This refresher is designed for Team Leaders who have recently attended the Team Leader Training but want to brush up on the latest information.    There is no cost for either of the trainings, but you must register your attendance in advance. Click here to register

July 28 -- Growing in Cultural Humility with Willie Jennings (Episode 6 of The Unfinished Church Podcast launches)
Willie Jennings, Yale professor, poet and prophet, joins the bishops in exploring the idea of decentering whiteness and how a posture of justice, mercy and humility compels us to dismantle systems of oppression so that all may be free. Other episodes with Nadia Bolz-Weber, Eboo Patel, Opal Lee, Fred Shaw and Brian McClaren may be found online at https://theunfinishedchurch.org/episodes/ or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Join us as we move from conversation to action. God isn’t finished with us.

July 28 -- Earthkeepers 
The General Board of Global Ministries is also seeking applications for the next virtual EarthKeepers training this summer

July 29-30 -- Mission u 2022  
Mission u is scheduled for July 29, 6:45 pm – 9 pm, and July 30, 8:30 am – 5 pm.  The theme is Building Communities of Hope and Joy - Luke 13.  The Women of Faith encourage maximum participation by offering a face-to-face and virtual experience via ZOOM.  In-person space, for adult registration, is limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.  Youth - Mission u is IN PERSON ONLY.  Register online.  You may also print the form and mail it to  Rita Green, 12410 Fellowship Ln, Gaithersburg, MD  20878.  If you have any questions about registration and payment, please contact Mission u Registrar: Rita Green at   or 301-648-8294. 

July 30 -- Early Response Team (ERT)
One of the primary ways the Baltimore-Washington Conference responds to disasters is via our Early Response Team (ERT). Our ERTs respond to disasters within the conference and throughout the United Methodist Connection. The mission of an Early Response Team is to provide a caring presence in the aftermath of a disaster, under very specific guidelines that enables a team to be productive and caring while causing no further harm or being a burden to the affected community.  If you are called to serve as a member of a BWC ERT, please register for one of the upcoming training sessions. These trainings are taught by skilled UMCOR trainers, and team members are given authorized ERT ID badges from UMCOR as evidence of completing the training.  Both certification ($35) and re-certification ($20) will be provided during these sessions.   Attendance is limited to ensure compliance with COVID protocols.  Register for the July 30 at Hiss UMC in Parkville, MD or Aug 20 at the Mission Center in Fulton, MD


August 3-6 -- The Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA)
HYLA college session will be held in person at Wesley Theological Seminary. The theme is Theology and the Public Square: Responses to a World Threatened by Intermittent Pandemics. If your congregation has Hispanic-Latino college students who want to be part of this program, they can apply at:  https://www.hylaumc.com/hyla-college-2022/.  Guest Speakers: Dr. Lucila Crena, Dr. Cristian De La Rosa. To learn more about HYLA visit:  https://youtu.be/-ErS1UZEp-Y.  Download the flyer.

August 4 -- Early Childhood Educators Conference
The annual Early Childhood Educators Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 4, at La Plata UMC. Doors open at 7 a.m. The cost to register is $65. The event is sponsored and presented by The Directors’ Roundtable of the BWCUMC. Six clock hours from MSDE will be awarded, plus two PAUs for attending. Learn more.

August 5 (registration deadline) -- Congregational Depression Awareness Program (CDAP)

Howard County General Hospital is offering a program for laity who would like special training in depression awareness and resources for faith communities.  Program attendees would take some of their learning back to their congregation to support their faith communities. Read the flyer for more details.

August 12 (7pm) -- Glen Mar UMC Host Summer Concert with Ayreheart
This progressive folk trio will perform in the Spirit Center at Glen Mar (4701 New Cut Road, Ellicott City).  Admission is free.  Visit www.glenmarumc.org/summerconcerts for more information.

August 13 (10am) --  Re-claiming Your Life
If you are a Latinx person living with HIV/AIDS and would like to participate in this live event, please contact the registrar at or call (443) 440-2312. Lunch will be provided to all participants.

August 19 – Morgan’s Coffee House Concert Series (hosted by Morgan Chapel)
Download a copy of the concert series and bring a few friends and family for great music and fellowship.

August 23 (7pm) -- Church Conference Training Tuesday 
Join us on this webinar as we discuss what this year's Church Conference season will look like. We will walk you through the Arena forms, and show you the difference between the worksheets and forms on our website. We will show you how to end someone’s term, add someone to the committee leader toolbox and explain the importance of having someone listed as the church administrator.  If you are filling out any church conference forms, please plan to attend this training, whether they are new or they would like a refresher course.  Save the date, more information to follow.

August 23-25 -- Living Well Clergy Renewal Program
What do you do when you want to take your ministry to the next level? Working harder isn’t the answer. Even working smarter only takes you so far. The witness of faithful Christians over the ages has shown that time apart for reflection and renewal helps gain the needed perspective to see things differently and find the best way forward. The Living Well Program does just that. Participants will engage in a seven-month program that will result in:  a holistic understanding of their life and ministry; a deep connection with other clergy colleagues who have the same desire to serve faithfully and effectively;  and a personal development plan, which includes the steps they'd like to take to make incremental and significant improvement in the aspects of life and ministry that they've identified during the program.  The program is comprised of two retreats, one in the fall of 2022 and one in the spring of 2023, as well as monthly cohort meetings between the retreats to process their learnings and support each other throughout this journey. Successful completion of the Living Well program fulfills the clergy renewal and assessment requirements of paragraph 349.3 of The United Methodist Book of Discipline. Learn more and register now at https://www.bwcumc.org/ministries/leadership-development/clergy-development/living-well-retreats/. Upcoming dates include:  Aug 23-25, Camp Pecometh, Sept. 27-29, Camp Manidokan and Oct. 25-27, West River Center

August 26 -- Wesley Theological Seminary’s Health Minister Certificate Course
This course aids individuals in learning and growing in faith and health is now open for registration. The Certificate continues to be a great way for people to learn about the basic foundations of health ministry – a ministry which integrates body, mind, and spirit.  The registration deadline for the Online Fall Health Minister Certificate is August 26, 2022. Partial and Full Scholarships are Available.  E-mail Tom Pruski at  with any questions. To register for the upcoming online certificate, please click on the following direct link: https://www.wesleyseminary.edu/ice/programs/heal-the-sick/hts_certificate_fall2022/.  

Mission Trip on the Eastern Shore -- August
Morgan Chapel Charge is coordinating a disaster response mission trip to build homes near Crisfield on the Eastern Shore in early August. If you have folks who would be interested in joining us please be in touch - 


September 4 -- Health Minister Certificate Online Course through Wesley  
HYLA college session will be held in person at Wesley Theological Seminary. The theme is Theology and the Public Square: Responses to a World Threatened by Intermittent Pandemics. If your congregation has Hispanic-Latino college students who want to be part of this program, they can apply at:  https://www.hylaumc.com/hyla-college-2022/.  Guest Speakers: Dr. Lucila Crena, Dr. Cristian De La Rosa. To learn more about HYLA visit:  https://youtu.be/-ErS1UZEp-Y.  Download the flyer.

September 10-11 -- Lay Servant Academy
The Washington Region
 will hold its virtual Lay Servant Academy on Sept. 10-11. Learn more and register by Sept. 3. The cost is $40.

September 20 - October 18, 2022 -- The Congregational Depression Awareness Program (CDAP)
These classes will be held virtually on Tuesdays from 5:30 to  7:30 p.m. CDAP is a 5-week, 10-hour course for volunteers from local religious communities who are interested in coordinating depression awareness and support programs in their congregations. Participants receive instruction, resources and ongoing support to assist individuals directly and indirectly impacted by depression. Deadline is September 5.  Download the flyer to learn more.


Maryland Tax Exempt Renewal 
All current Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificates held by non-profit organizations expire on September 30, 2022. Information regarding the 2022 renewal application, including instructions to complete your renewal application online, will be mailed to the organization beginning May 2, 2022. Their online renewal service will be available for the 2022 renewal period starting May 9, 2022. Upon a successful renewal, your organization will receive a new Maryland Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate valid until September 30, 2027. To learn more about the process go to https://www.bwcumc.org/news-and-views/2022-renewal-of-maryland-sales-and-use-tax-exemption-certificates/ 

Hope Rising Resource Center
Wesley Freedom UMC 
in Eldersburg recently celebrated the opening of Hope Rising Resource Center, a ministry that opened in a new mission space in their church. Learn more

Journey UMC, 1901 Iverson St. in Temple Hills, has received a considerable donation of hand sanitizer and its leaders want to give it away. Each of the 1,000 cases contains six 1-gallon bottles. Interested churches or schools connected to a church can call the church office at 301-894-8622 to schedule a time for pick-up. 

Church Income Shouldn't Depend on the Markets Alone
There are many parallels between retirement planning and managing church finances. The recent investment market ups and downs are troubling to those who are, or soon will be, retired. Read what the Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation has to say about this topic.

Living Well Retreat for Clergy  
This retreat provides a holistic understanding of  life and ministry and a personal development plan, and the steps pastors can take to make incremental and significant improvements in selected aspects of their life and ministry. The program is comprised of two retreats, one in the fall of 2022 and one in the spring of 2023. There are also monthly cohort meetings between the retreats to process learning and support each other. Learn more and register.  

Backpacks and Shoes Needed
The BWC is collecting supplies for refugees entering through Texas and Arizona. Especially needed are backpacks for children and adults and shoes for children. Supplies may be dropped off at the Mission Center in Fulton on Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m.

Discipleship Ministries Video Playlist 2022
At the recent Annual Conference Session, Discipleship Ministries offered a number of videos to inspire and equip congregations as they grow in vitality and discipleship. See the video playlist

Ways United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence 
In the wake of the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa, many United Methodists may be considering ways to respond to gun violence in their midst. United Methodist Communications has suggested strategies and practices available for those who wish to take a stand.  Learn how.  

Annual Conference Highlights 
Members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference met June 1-3 for a time of holy conferencing and worship.  See an overview of the event. See stories from the Session.  Read how BWC churches are growing with the four pillars of vitality.​

2024 Holy Land Pilgrimage  
Bishop Easterling is hosting a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2024, For more information and to register click here.  If you have questions or need further information, please email the Society for Biblical Studies at  .

Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN)
FAN is an established, proven, and effective program to help local congregations become stronger in health!  Churches can benefit from FAN by having healthier members. Healthy members can more fully participate in church life and carry out the work of God. Join the more than 300 churches across the country completing  FAN Training.  The FAN Online Training, comprised of 8 self-paced sessions, is provided at no charge to participants. The program also includes 12 months of materials and resources to help your church launch FAN and sustain it over the first year.  If you are interested in this training, complete an interest form today! 

Are You Being Called to Become a Certified Lay Minister?
New Certified Lay Minister Class Applications are now being accepted -- Applications for the next class of Certified Lay Minister, the Baltimore-Washington Conference Class of 2022-2024, are now being accepted. Go to the BWC website at https://www.bwcumc.org/ministries/certified-lay-ministers/ to learn more and see if you qualify and if you have met the pre-requisite requirements. Prospective CLM students must currently be a Certified Lay Servant or Certified Lay Speaker and must consult with their pastor before beginning the process. Additional information and frequently asked questions can be found on the website. Questions can be directed to Linda Flanagan, Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries, at .