District News

CM District News, Events and Updates ~ 3/19/2020

Posted by Sophie Amer on

News & Events  

Event Updates  
• April 18 ~ State of the Church
In compliance with the gathering limits, the Pre-Conference event has been cancelled.  In its place, a virtual State of the Church meeting will be held online. Information on financial relief for local churches from the Board of Pensions and other information will be presented and a Q&A session will be held with leaders of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Register online -- https://na.eventscloud.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=529815&

• POSTPONED:  May 2-3 ~ Washington Region Lay Servant Ministries Academy
This event will be scheduled at a later date.

• POSTPONED:  May 5-15 ~ General Conference 
Organizers are making plans for how it might be re-scheduled. The General Council on Finance and Administration has reported the denomination will continue to function under the 2016-2020 budget. Learn more -- https://www.umnews.org/en/news/wrestling-with-budget-after-gc2020-postponed 

• POSTPONED:  May 27-29 ~ 236th Session of the Baltimore-Washington Conference
The Conference is postponed due to closures at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore. A one-day session is being planned for the fall at a location to be determined. Refunds for those already registered will be provided.

Stay Connected
 •  Visit the BWC News Webpage regularly to stay informed -- https://www.bwcumc.org/news-and-views/ 

 •  Subscribe and receive E-Connection, BWC wide electronic newsletter -- https://www.bwcumc.org/news/submit-and-subscribe/

 •  We Are STILL One: Connected Through Technology -- https://www.bwcumc.org/news-and-views/we-are-still-one-connected-through-technology/

"Who Are We?" Bible Study ~ Part 3

Part 3 of the Bible study is available.  "Who Are We:  A Journey from Head to Heart?," is a six-week, small group session designed to explores our identity as people called United Methodists within the Baltimore-Washington Conference.  Find more information online at https://www.bwcumc.org/resources/who-are-we/#PeopleBWC

 Meal Distribut
ion Stations for Students in the Central Maryland District
 •  Carroll  County Public School System will offer meals through a drive-thru to students 18 years and younger.  Visit https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FczdW7FnWBb0yjk7gGJA-iuOHhisTGO6.

Frederick County Public School System will begin offering starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, the 8 schools* at which FCPS was originally serving only breakfast and lunch are adding boxed "Grab N Go" suppers. For more details, go to https://fcps.ezcommunicator.net/edu/frederick/preview_message.aspx?app=0&id=88291&type=notice&source=ViewNews

 •  Howard County Public School System will provide free "Grab-N-Go" meals to anyone age 18 and under, as well as any HCPSS student, regardless of age, at nine locations countywide. Meals are available from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., weekdays, Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 27. Participants will be given a Grab-N-Go lunch and dinner for that day, as well as a Grab-N-Go breakfast for the following day. Families are encouraged to bring a bag to carry home the three meals. Additional food distribution locations, not sponsored by HCPSS, are available on the MSDE website.

 •  Montgomery County Public Schools will offer emergency closure meals services for MCPS students:  https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/Coronavirus/COVID-19_Emergency_Closure_Meals_for_MCPS_Students.pdf 

Resources for Montgomery County Churches
Continuity of Learning (distance/remote learning) –https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/continuity-of-learning/
Meals and Backpack Distribution Locations (stay tuned for continued expansion) – https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/#emergencymeals


 •  CANCELLED:  April 21 (9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) ~ Central Maryland Spring Clergy Gathering
At this time, this event has been cancelled. We will share information about future gatherings at a later date.  

 •  April 27 (9 a.m.) ~ 2nd Annual Seeds of Security Golf Tournament
Location: Hobbit's Glen Golf Club in Columbia
SOS benefits survivors of domestic violence through education, advocacy, resources, and safe housing. More information can be found at https://www.bwcumc.org/event/1371739-2020-04-27-sos-golf-tournament/


 •  POSTPONED:  May 2-3 ~ Washington Region Lay Servant Ministries Academy:  Basic & Advanced Courses Available
Location:  BWC Mission Center, 11711 E. Market Place, Fulton 
Interested in becoming a certified lay servant or need to renew your certification? Mark your calendar for these upcoming courses. Registration coming soon.


More details and registration coming soon.

•  June 12-13 – Lay Servant Ministries Academy:  Advanced Course (First UMC of Hyattsville)
•  June 27-28 – Lay Servant Ministries Academy:  Basic Course (Goshen UMC)  
•  July 13 –17 ~ Jurisdictional Conference -- Volunteers needed for NEJ.  Contact Rev. Patricia Allen, NEJ Host Chairperson at  
 •  September 12-13 ~ Washington Region Lay Servant Ministries Academy

MORE Opportunities 

Youth Suicide Prevention and Wellness Resources
At ROCK 2020, an awareness campaign was launched to raise funding toward youth suicide prevention.  With your generous offering of $9,360 at ROCK 2020, we are expanding suicide prevention and wellness resourcing with and for youth and those who love them. bwcumc.org/YPMWellness.  Watch the video and accompanying resourcing here: https://www.bwcumc.org/article/stay-suicide-prevention-campaign/.  If you are a youth who wants to be involved in working with experts to develop peer resourcing, please complete this Student Leadership Cohort Interest Form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BWCSLC19.

Certified Lay Ministers Class
Applications for the next class of Certified Lay Ministers are now being accepted. Learn more and see if you qualify -- https://www.bwcumc.org/ministries/leadership-development/laity-development/. Click "Learn More" under Certified Lay Ministers for information and application pack. The deadline is July 1. The next class, which is a two-year commitment, will start in September. Questions can be directed to Linda Flanagan ( ), Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries.

Training Tuesday Webinars

On-demand training for current, newly appointed and aspiring  members on the SPRC, Trustee Board, Finance, Church Council, Nominations and Unified Board.  Visit https://www.bwcumc.org/events/training-tuesdays/ to play-back one or all the webinars.

BWC Scholarship Application Process Opens 
The BWC awards scholarships are for qualified students currently attending college, as well as high school seniors who plan to attend college in the fall of 2020. The application process opens January 3 and closes March 5. To be considered for a scholarship, students must complete the full online application which includes uploading their current transcripts. In addition, the student must provide contact information for their pastor and one additional church reference. The pastor and reference will be contacted and asked to submit information on the student's participation in the local church. The entire process will be completed online. Learn more and apply -- https://www.bwcumc.org/administration/local-church-resources/scholarships/.   

A Season of Gratitude  
Use the seven weeks encompassing the Thanksgiving (U.S.), Advent and Christmas seasons to pour out your gratitude.  Download the handout at https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/a-season-of-gratitude.

Mental Health First Aid Training
A growing number of church leaders are preparing to respond to signs of mental illness in their congregations through a Mental Health First Aid training course. Participants are empowered to assess situations, listen appropriately and direct those in need to professional help. Go to https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/churches-offer-mental-health-fist-aid-training to learn more and find a class nearby.

 "Not the Only One"
The United Methodist Church
has launched an advertising campaign to help offer encouragement through community. Research continues to emphasize people are experiencing a growing sense of loneliness. In fact, nearly half of Americans feel alone or left out, and it's taking a mental and physical toll on them.  The new ads encourage people to visit a local United Methodist church. The message is that the Church doesn't have all of the answers. Rather, our belief is that hope and answers can be found when seeking God together. The first video ad is available for viewing and sharing on YouTube

UMC Market 
This program is free for both you as a shopper and to your home Ministry. You generate a donation every time you click through umcmarket.org site or browser extension, and shop. The amount you earn is shown for each store and will vary throughout the year. In addition to earning, you will also get the same sales/discounts (and often better) as if you went directly to the store site and your ministry earns a donation at the same time.  Visit https://www.gcfa.org/partners/umc-market/ to learn more.

Resources for Local Church Leaders
Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church has launched its newly redesigned website, UMCDiscipleship.org. The updated look and redesigned architecture are doorways to new and improved ways to resource the UMC, especially in the area of preparing for weekly workshop. The UMC also offers a webpage with resources for local church leaders at https://www.resourceumc.org.

Engage College Students:  Lunch and Learn via Zoom

Is your church located near a college campus, community college or trade school and interested in learning how to better engage young adults and college students? Join Rev. Brandon Harris, The Protestant Chaplain to the Main Campus at Georgetown University, for a monthly conversation on engaging Millennials and Generation Z, innovative forms of worship, and church-based college ministries.  Lunch & Learn from noon to 1 p.m. on: Dec. 5, Jan. 9, Feb. 6, March 12, May 7, and June 4. Sign up (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeFq4ImEYxgs70WhTi-VzfgAcgOoHtd03LkwbAv2kIVZIbvkg/viewform) to receive reminders and the link to join. 

Gratitude Resources for Families
Scripture, prayer and questions are available to get families talking about an attitude of gratitude.  See the full list -- http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/get-them-talking-gratitude

2019 Conference Journal  
Order your copy today.

BWC Programs Directory
View the Conference Leaders directory
for a list of programs and contacts.

Volunteers are needed for NEJ 
Interested? Contact Rev. Patricia Allen, NEJ Host Chairperson at  

Opportunity Zones
OZs are available in the State of Maryland which may be applicable to congregations in the CM District.

 Learn more about OZs
Determine which OZs are specific to Central Maryland

Online Courses for Youth Leaders
Two online courses are available to teach adults how to mentor young people listening for and pursuing a call.  Each course is 3-weeks and $45.  More information and enrollment is available at www.beadisciple.com/timothy.

St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute 

The Baltimore based Institute announces a new scholarship/internship covering both the cost of four courses and book expenses for one year. Preference will be given to a United Methodist interested in the MDiv partnership with Lancaster Theological Seminary. For more information, contact Kaye Guidugli at

Spiritual Direction Opportunity 
Life is filled with paradox: times of great joy and times of great suffering; times of certainty and times of indecision. Of course, the list could go on and on, but in all times God is present with us and wants us to know that. Making the time to seek God, to explore the question “What do I hear from God in this situation?”, and to explore the complementary question “Who am I called to be in this situation?” describe the core of a Spiritual Direction relationship.  Cathie Leimenstoll is a retired Elder from the Tennessee Conference and moved to Maryland seven years ago to be near family. She will soon become a certified Spiritual Director in May. At no charge, she is approved to begin meeting with people who are interested in spiritual direction. Her commitment in this is to be a non-anxious companion with a person during a specific time in his/her spiritual journey, to pray with and for the person, to offer resources when appropriate, and to listen deeply to the individual and to the Holy Spirit who is ever-present when two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name. It is a privilege to walk with one another as we seek a deeper relationship with the God we serve in all our life-situations.  If you would like more information about such an opportunity, email and use the subject line Spiritual Direction.

Introducing Winter Grace Senior Ministries, Inc.   
WGSM is a non-profit organization with a mission to “Enrich and Empower the Lives of Older Adults through Christian Initiatives Connecting People, Ideas, and Resources.” WGSM seeks to assist churches in starting and growing their Older Adult ministries with a holistic approach that addresses the wide variety of needs of Older Adults and their families. Ministry for, by, and with Older Adults values the dignity and worth of each individual, encourages engagement of the gifts and talents of each person, and grows disciples of Jesus Christ until a person’s last breath for the transformation of the world. Additionally, WGSM connects Older Adults and their families to the resources in the community that can help each Older Adult live each day to the fullest by addressing needs from spiritual to practical. Founder and president, Debbie Burgio, is a candidate for Deacon, recommended by the Board of Ordained Ministry for Commissioning as a Provisional Deacon at the 2019 BWC Annual Conference.  For more information, go to www.wintergrace.org, email or call 443-832-3805.

United to Love: Advocacy and Action Team Sign-ups
We would like your voice at the table. The Baltimore-Washington Conference has six active teams to mobilize across our connection and they are: Creation Care (Climate/Eco-Justice), Gender Equality, Gun Violence Prevention, Immigration Rights, Racial Justice and Wealth Equity. If you are called to serve in one/more of these areas, if this is your passion and/or your faith community is leading in one or more of these areas, we would like to hear from you. Please go to http://www.bwcumc.org/ministries/advocacy-action/ to sign-up so that we can connect with you.

Criminal Justice Mercy and Ministries Resources and Survey for Faith Communities
The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church has a new CJAM website that has been created for congregations to become more aware and resourced in this vital area. You are invited to go to, http://www.bwcumc.org/ministries/advocacy-action/criminal-justice-and-mercy-ministries/ check out the resources and take the questionnaire so that we can better connect with you in this area. To go directly to the survey, please visit http://www.bwcumc.org/ministries/advocacy-action/criminal-justice-and-mercy-ministries-questionnaire/.

Are You Called to Lead Beyond Your Local Faith Community?
The Nominations Committee is seeking a few good men and women to serve in key leadership roles including in the areas of Leadership Development, New Faith Expressions, Young People’s Ministry, Abundant Health (including local and global missions, holistic health and ERT), Advocacy & Action, Native American Ministry, Gender Equality (COSROW), and the Board of Trustees. In addition to passion and experience in the above, some boards are seeking persons with expertise in training, coaching, grant administration, project management, and data analysis and evaluation. Please complete this leadership interest form and encourage gifted young leaders (30 or under) to do the same: https://www.bwcumc.org/conference-agency-leadership-nominations/