District News

CM District Announcements, Events and Resources ~ May 6, 2022

Posted by Sophie Amer on


Mental Health Awareness Month
May is a time to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through older adulthood. Learn what the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and National Alliance on Mental Illness are doing to raise awareness.

2021 Statistic Verification/2023 Mission Shares Estimate
On May 5, all churches received an email to verify their 2021 statistical data and review their 2023 Mission Share estimate.  The statistical validation should be completed by Pastors and/or Church Finance Chairs. However, Church Council Chairs or Treasurers may respond on behalf of a Finance Chair or Pastor if needed, as long as they have been given permission to do so.  Verifications are due on/before May 13.   

Replay the Stay or Go Webinar
For individuals and churches discerning their future, the Conference has a link to playback the Stay or Go webinar and has provided several resources. For more specific information, please contact Rev. Dawn M. Hand,  District Superintendent.  

May 15 (11:45am) -- Finding Fellowship Film
Director Jason Green will lead a Finding Fellowship film discussion. Finding Fellowship shares the story of the three Montgomery County Methodist churches that intentionally integrated to form Fairhaven UMC in 1968. The discussion will be at Kittamaqundi Community Church in Columbia and streamed on Zoom. For the link click here. Stream the one-hour film before the discussion. It is available on PBS by clicking here.

Facilities Service Worker ( Full or Part Time)
Glen Mar UMC in Ellicott City (4701 New Cut Rd.) is seeking an energetic Facilities Service Worker, to assist in all types of services, from light maintenance to custodial work, including event set up and break down. The Service Worker will report to the Facilities Manager.  If interested, please contact Brian Tucker ( ).

Organist/Choir Accompanist

St. Paul’s UMC in Sykesville (7538 Main St) seeks an Organist/Choir Accompanist responsible for providing the service music for worship at 11am on Sunday mornings, accompanying the choir in rehearsal each Wednesday night, and providing service music and accompaniment during special, seasonal worship services (e.g. Lenten/Easter, Advent/Christmas). The salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience. The full posting is available at https://stpaulssykesville.com/organist-accompanist-position/. Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to .



May 10 (12:15pm) -- Monthly Clergy Gathering via Zoom
The Zoom link will be emailed to clergy.

May 14 (10am) -- BMCR Town Hall Meeting
The Conference Black Methodists for Church Renewal will hold a town hall meeting to discuss a resolution concerning proceeds from the sale of African American church properties that is coming before the Annual Conference Session. The town hall will be held at Westphalia UMC, 9363 D'Arcy Road in Upper Marlboro. This is a hybrid session; registration is required. All are welcome.

May 19 (9am, online) -- The Unfinished Church Podcast
The Unfinished Church is a new podcast focusing on the holy work of antiracism. Hosted by United Methodist Bishops LaTrelle Easterling, Michael McKee, and Gregory Palmer, the podcast is a place for dialogue, learning, and transformation as people of faith coming together to build a world in which racial prejudice has no power.  The debut explores humility, implicit bias, building right relationships, compassionate listening and more as the bishops talk with well-known activists, authors, preachers and teachers about what it means to do the work of antiracism. The first episode features guest Nadia Bolz-Weber.  Connect to the podcast and learn more.

May 21 (11am) -- Health Fair Hosted by Glen Mar UMC

A free community health fair will be held at Glen Mar UMC in Ellicott City (4701 New Cut Rd, Ellicott City). There will be school children’s immunizations (K through 12); COVID vaccinations (5 and older); vision checks; health screenings; and more. Learn more.

May 28 (8am) -- Daisy UMC Yard Sale  
Purchase space or rent tables to sell your gently used household items.  See the flyer for more details


June 1-3 -- 238th Session of Baltimore-Washington Conference (Virtual)
Registration is open for the 238th Session of BWC. Click here to register. Clergy and lay members will meet virtually June 1-3 for this time of holy conferencing. There will be no registration fee this year. The conference will also be live-streamed for non-voting members who wish to watch the plenary sessions and worship services. The theme of this year’s session is “Persevere: in Hope, Faith & Joy” and the guiding Scripture passage is Hebrews 12:1-3.  Six resolutions and the proposed budget for Annual Conference can be found here -- https://www.bwcumc.org/events/2022-annual-conference/ 

June 12 --
 Peace with Justice Sunday
Peace With Justice Sunday (first Sunday after Pentecost) enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs.  Order offering envelopes.

June 30 (Deadline)  -- Fund Balance Report
This form must be completed through Arena by the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, Treasurer, or Pastor by June 30, 2022.  We did not include this report with Charge Conference material so that it could cover the fiscal year of January 1 – December 31.  If you need further assistance, contact your district office.   Visit the Finance resource webpage for additional information -- https://www.bwcumc.org/administration/finance/forms-and-reports/ 


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

July 30 (8am) -- West Liberty UMC 182nd Anniversary  
Mark your calendar and make plans to attend West Liberty UMC's 182nd anniversary celebration.  The guest speaker is Chief Judge Robert Bell (Retired), Maryland Court of Appeals.  View the flyer for more information.


Earthkeepers Podcast
As the BWC continues its ministry to care for the earth, we recommend the podcast “Earthkeepers: Loving Creation Across Generations,” with the Rev. Cary James and Caleb James.  


Canva is your free photo editor and video editor in one graphic design app!  Nonprofits can sign-up for a free Canva Pro account, all you need is your 501(c)(3) status from IRS.  Learn more and take a course to increase your proficiency.  Try the Canva tutorials --  https://www.canva.com/designschool/tutorials/ or take a Canva course --  https://www.canva.com/designschool/courses/ 

Re-entering Well Resources 
A number of resources are available to assist local churches with re-entry — https://www.bwcumc.org/article/re-entering-well/ 

Copyright questions?
UMC Support Legal Services offers a Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Copyrights for Your Ministry. See the guide.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an UMCOR partner, is dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 -related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. For more information about this assistance, visit COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov or call (844) 684-6333. Get answers to frequently asked questions about the application process on FEMA’s Funeral Assistance FAQ page. Watch the video, Providing Financial Assistance for COVID-19-related Funeral Expenses or share this flyer.

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 .

General Board of Higher Education Ministry Scholarships

The General Board of Higher Education scholarship application opens in January of each year. College students in the Baltimore Washington Conference are encouraged to apply for these scholarships. You can only submit one application per year where it will be screened for all possible eligible programs. You may indicate on the first page of the scholarship application which of the below listed programs you would most like to be considered for. Award amounts below are a general estimate of awards given. Scholarship programs are divided into three categories: General ScholarshipsRacial-Ethnic Scholarships, and Ministry as a Career Scholarships.

#BeUMC Toolkit for Local Churches 
A new #BeUMC online toolkit has launched to assist church leaders in creating engagement in their church communities. Resources include inspiring ideas and practical suggestions, worship and preaching aids, communication tools, informative research and more. The campaign focuses on disciple-making; belonging and inclusion; influence, connection and impact; and experiencing God through the UMC. Churches may access tools and details at Resource UMC.org/BeUMC

Elinor Thompson/ African American Cemetery Funding
Elinor Thompson works with the State of Maryland and wants to notify the BWC and its African American churches about grant funding that is available to African American cemeteries. She also wants to notify us that there is legislation coming up this session that will provide an additional $5 million for African American cemeteries in Maryland and wants our assistance with a survey they’re conducting.  View the survey. Ms. Thompson has worked closely with Sharp Street and Lovely Lane in the past.

Free COVID At Home Tests
If you haven't already ordered your free at home COVID tests from the government, visit https://www.covidtests.gov/.

Advocacy and Action, 2022 Mission Statement
Read the Advocacy and Action Mission Statement for the 2022 New Year, which outlines what we must do to continue our great work as Disciples of Jesus Christ, as well as ways for you to get involved in our work this year.

Training Tuesdays Archive – Learn at Your Own Pace
Training Tuesdays is an online training experience designed to inspire and equip local church leaders to connect more people with Jesus. Learn from experts from across the United Methodist denomination and come away with strategies to help you in your ministry work and to help your local church thrive.  Learn at your own pace and use the recordings for leadership training, on-boarding, and ministry development.
• Visit and bookmark the Training Tuesdays webpage to see what’s planned for 2022 -- https://www.bwcumc.org/events/training-tuesdays/
• Peruse the Training Tuesdays’ playlist, choose from 41 recordings -- https://tinyurl.com/ycybyt6h
• Replay the December SPRC webinar
• Next week, play-back the One Board presentation, the recording will be posted on the Training Tuesday webpage

Unified Funding Task Force
The UFT can assist congregations with grants for new ministry, new or renewed congregation development, and leader development. Visit the UFT webpage to learn what grants are available and how to apply -- https://www.bwcumc.org/administration/local-church-resources/unified-funding-task-force/

Serve as a Vaccine Location
The Maryland Governor's Vaccine Equity Task Force and the Maryland Department of Health are seeking help from communities of faith to ensure vaccine access to all people. Chaplain (Capt.) Amor Woolsey, of the Vaccine Equity Task Force, invites churches to offer up a space in their buildings for clinics to ensure those who want a vaccine can get one. The state will provide all three vaccines, including boosters; they also have pediatric vaccines available for those ages 5-11. For more information, contact Chaplain Woolsey at 808-218-3115 or

Subscribe to the E-Connection
Stay connected and subscribe to the BWC weekly newsletter -- https://www.bwcumc.org/news/submit-and-subscribe/

Free Downloads from Discipleship Ministries-Crash Course in Youth Ministry!
Congregations will want to look at the new Crash Courses in Youth Ministry. Each is loaded with practical tips and basic wisdom that you can read today and put into practice tomorrow. If you are a part-time or no-time (amazing volunteer!) youth worker, these crash courses are especially for you. Also, if you are a pastoral leader and find yourself leading youth ministry for the first time in a while, these crash courses are excellent refreshers and guides to help you recognize how the game has changed. Each Crash Courses in Youth Ministry eBook is between 3,000-6,000 words, meaning that you should be able to read and process the resource in just an hour or two. Each topic is approached with accessibility for the youth workers in mind, no matter if they are paid or volunteer. The materials are topically focused, and where possible includes a good dose of humor.  These eBooks are free to download. Just click the link and provide contact information so that Discipleship Ministries can continue to share resources and opportunities to support the youth ministry that you are called to lead. Topics include Recruiting Volunteers, Keeping Volunteers, Fundraising, Methodist Heritage and Beliefs, Trips and Retreats, and more.  Questions on how to use these resources? Contact Rev. Neal Christie at 

Zimbabwe Mission & Ministry Grants
The Baltimore-Washington Conference started its partnership and ZimVIM in 1997. With natural disasters and COVID-19 interrupting the Pastor’s School rhythm, we have re-directed the mission share allocation toward disaster response and now toward local congregation grants. If your local church has a record of building relationships, mission and ministry in Zimbabwe, then you are eligible to apply. Visit the Zimbabwe Global Partnership for more details.

Bible Study for Dementia Caregivers and Fellow Church Members
This Bible study written for dementia caregivers and their fellow church members is presented by author Elizabeth Shulman, D.Min., and Certified Nursing Assistant with over 30 years of experience in both parish and healthcare ministry. This study has been endorsed by retired United Methodist Bishop Kenneth Carder and recently listed as a #1 New Release on Amazon, Finding Sanctuary in the Midst of Alzheimer's (Morgan James Publishing, 2021) provides a valuable tool for churches seeking to provide support to caregivers in their congregations.  Finding Sanctuary in the Midst of Alzheimer's: A Spiritual Guide for Families Facing Dementia: Shulman, Elizabeth: 9781631954634: Amazon.com: Books

Sickle Cell Awareness 
Sickle Cell affects more than 100,000 Americans, most of African ancestry. Project SPIRIT Sickle Cell (PSSC) is a new, virtual community-based ministry founded by Rev. R. Lorraine Brown of Simpson UMC in Mt. Airy. The ministry offers one-on-one and group, non-denominational chaplain-led services at no cost to assist and support young adults who are in transition from pediatric to adult healthcare, discovering their personal sense of spirituality and navigating life challenges with sickle cell disease. For more information contact Rev. Brown   at 240-780-8986 and visit https://youtu.be/jDJ2qq4UK-Q

Creating a Narrative Budget:  The Story Behind the Numbers
The Wellness & Missions Board is pleased to share Discipleship Ministries' launch of a new self-paced course for local church leaders: Creating a Narrative Budget:  The Story Behind the Numbers. Through eight self-paced sessions, participants will learn the nuts and bolts of constructing a narrative budget. Visit the registration page for more information.  

Access the Church's Stats via Arena
Statistical data submitted via EZRA, the data collection system of the United Methodist Church, can now be viewed in Arena. And, Arena users can view 2017-2020 reports for their church if they serve in one or more of the following roles:
• Chair or President of a local church, district or conference committee 
• Church Pastor
• Church Administrator 

100 Man Mission to Support the NEJ United Methodist Men
Men’s Ministry Specialists will lead this effort and be supported by Conference Men who have a love for God and their fellow men. To do this 100 GENEROUS Men are needed to pledge to the NEJ, fifty cents per day, or $15.00 a month for 12 months, or a total of $180.00 per year. These men pledge to send their contribution MONTHLY to their UMM conference treasurer, who will forward one-half of these funds to the Northeastern Jurisdiction Treasurer, Mr. John Conklin. The conference will retain the other half for their expenses and to purchase education materials to support the NEJ efforts. Learn more here -- https://www.bwcumm.org/100man-prayerwalk

We Rise United Bi-Weekly Prayer Call
We all must look to God for help, guidance, and support during this time and as we journey forward towards reaching the goal of being an antiracist Church, let's lift our voices and be heard so that together, We Rise United. To join the prayer call and for more information, visit https://www.bwcumc.org/event/1946656-2021-02-03-we-rise-united-prayer-call/. The prayer call is held the first and third Wednesday every month until December 21, 2022.

Prayer in a Time of National Crisis
In this prayer from The United Methodist Church's Book of Worship, 517, we seek God's direction and enlightenment for our nation as it experiences turmoil and conflict. Take a moment to say and reflect upon the prayer, and then share it with your congregation -- https://www.umc.org/en/content/prayer-in-time-of-national-crisis?utm_source=thesource&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=resourceumc&utm_content=01/26/21paid 

 New Certified Lay Minister
Class applications are now being accepted: Applications for the next class of Certified Lay Ministers, the Baltimore-Washington Conference Class of 2021-2023, are now being accepted. Visit the BWC website to learn more about the pre-requisite requirements. (Click "Learn More" under "Certified Lay Minister" for information and application package, as well as a pastor information package.) Prospective CLM students must currently be a Certified Lay Servant or Certified Lay Speaker. The application process includes meeting with one's pastor, church Staff-Parish Relations Committee, and the district superintendent before the July 1 deadline. The next class will start in September and is a two-year commitment. Questions can be directed to Linda Flanagan ( ), the Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries. 

 Who Are We?  
This is an 18-week small group journey from head to heart explores our identity as children of God, United Methodists, and the people of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. This study is an outstanding resource for churches seeking to grow deeper in their understanding of identity, faith, and discipleship. See the Study and begin your  exploration of "Who Are We?" -- https://www.bwcumc.org/resources/who-are-we/ 

  Improving Your Church's Web Presence 
  Sometimes we're overwhelmed by all that's involved in (re)building or maintaining a church website. Because a site requires a mix of time and skills, it's hard to know
  where  to begin. In part one of three screencast sessions, you'll learn how to improve your web presence by identifying the ministry needs and the multiple audiences
  served by your church's website. Take the first step -- https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/improving-your-churchs-web-presence-part-1 

BWC News
Find current BWC news and share your stories at https://www.bwcumc.org/news/ 

Church Resources
Where do you go to get a grant or loan for your church? There are resources to help you and your church. Visit https://www.bwcumc.org/administration/local-church-resources/