District News

Central Maryland District News & Events ~ July 8, 2022

Posted by Sophie Amer on




Applications are now open for the 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.

July 12 (6:30pm) -- Your Voice Matters! How Maryland Courts Can Work Best For Everyone: A Conversation Between Courts & Community Leaders (virtual) 

The Maryland Judiciary’s Equal Justice Committee (EJC), through its Community Outreach Subcommittee, will host community forums across the state to increase understanding of the courts and their services, while learning the community’s needs and the ways in which the courts can provide better service.  On Tuesday, July 12, the Community Outreach Subcommittee will host a virtual forum for Howard County on the topic of domestic violence. This event is partnered with the Howard County Coalition to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence.  To register, contact

July 14 -- Listening For Understanding with Brian McLaren (Episode 5)
Episode 5 of The Unfinished Church Podcast launches on Thursday, July 14. Brian McLaren, best-selling author and theologian, joins the bishops in a conversation about choosing curiosity over certainty, fostering a climate for seeing and telling hard truths and nurturing the gifts that can create deep and genuine friendships. Listen to a clip here. Other episodes with Nadia Bolz-Weber, Eboo Patel, Opal Lee, and Fred Shaw 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 ($25) will be provided during these sessions.   Attendance is limited to ensure compliance with COVID protocols.   July 30 at Hiss UMC in Parkville, MD and 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. The idea is, folks would participate in this program and then take some of their learning back to congregations 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 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 - 


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 .