District News

Greater Washington News and Events ~ January 14, 2022

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By: Olivia Gross


COVID Clinic—Free Testing & Vaccines
Colesville UMC (52 Randolph Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904), Thursdays January 20 & 27. Testing 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Vaccines 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville -- 6201 Belcrest Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20782 -- (Drive-thru PCR testing only)
*CLOSED Monday, January 17th for MLK Holiday Observance
Monday, Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Student Loan Forgiveness
Employees of religious organizations may now qualify to have their student loans forgiven through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. A webinar to learn about who qualifies for the program and the application process, hosted by the Church Pension Group, will be held Wednesday, January 26, from 1 to 2 p.m. Learn more and register.

BWC College Scholarship Application Period is Open 
Students who are currently enrolled in college or who are seniors in high school are encouraged to apply. There are several different scholarships sponsored by the BWC. Find out more information and apply online by March 24.

We Rise United Bi-Weekly Prayer Call
BWC's Racial Justice Committee has been committed to shining a light on systemic racism within our churches and within our society at large.  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/1946656-2022-01-19-we-rise-united-prayer-call/. The prayer call is held the first and third Wednesday every month until December 21, 2022.



January 16 -- Human Relations Sunday
One of the denomination's Special Sundays, the offering taken this day supports ministries of justice and outreach. Learn more and get resources.

January 17 -- Annual Day of Service on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 
Congregations and other groups are celebrating Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 17 with days of service. To share your event or service with the BWC Network, complete the form linked here.

  • In the District of Columbia, learn more about the MLK, Jr. Virtual Prayer Breakfast Community Clean-up and Health and Community Fair
  • In Maryland, learn more about the Montgomery County Days of Service and Baltimore Civic Works.

January 18-19 – Oak Chapel Hub UM MLK Week of Service 2022
Oak Chapel Hub will be hosting a food and diaper drive to serve the most vulnerable in our 20906 area on Tuesday 1/18 and Wednesday 1/19.  Below are opportunities to donate items or volunteer to sort items. Donations will be received on Tuesday, January 18, from 10am to 3pm. We are asking for the following items:

  • Diapers size 4, 5, and 6
  • White sugar
  • White flour
  • Cooking oil (vegetable preferred but all kinds welcome)
  • White rice
  • Maseca (corn meal)
  • Other non-perishable canned or box food will be received that have not yet expired.

Volunteers welcome from 10am to 1pm to help sort the items on Tuesday, January 18 and Wednesday, January 19. Advance registration is required through our SignUp Genius account. You can find more information at our Montgomery County Volunteer Center page.

January 31 (Midnight) -- 2021 Statistical Report
It is critically important that your church meets this deadline because the data will determine the church's 2023 Mission Share obligation. The final step of the statistical report process includes a verification survey, which will be emailed a week or so after the submission deadline. It is also important that the verification survey is submitted even if the data is correct; this will be the only opportunity for the church to make any corrections. After the survey submission deadline has passed, the church's 2023 Missions Share obligation is set and cannot be changed.  For step-by-step guidance and to support the church's timely submission in EZRA, please see the attached guide and the helpful hints below:

• Submit the church's Statistical Report through the General Council of Finance and Administration's EZRA system -- https://ezra.gcfa.org/
• Log-in credentials from last year have been reset and will not work for 2021 reporting. Refer to page 2 of the EZRA Account Setup Guide for your 2021 log-in credentials. 
• Statistical Reports webpage offers additional resources -- https://www.bwcumc.org/administration/finance/statistical-reports/
• If you missed it or need a refresher, playback the Stats Training Webinar held on December 16 -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF9EdXNxdAE and download the PowerPoint slides


February 1 (7pm) -- Courageous Conversations for 2022 (via Zoom)
For the 5th consecutive year, Linden Linthicum will host this event every Tuesday evenings in February. This program was initiated by Howard County Faith Communities and the late Representative Elijah Cummings. It is a yearly series of facilitated interfaith and interracial conversation circles to increase understanding and community across differences. Click here to register and learn more -- https://www.hococourageousconversations.com/ 

February 5 (7am) -- Potato Drop
The Conference United Methodist Men announce that churches, organizations, and volunteers are needed to help distribute 40,000 pounds of potatoes on Saturday, Feb 5, at 7 a.m. They will meet at the Glen Burnie UMC parking lot, 5 Second Ave., S.E. in Glen Burnie. To reserve your 50-lb bags of potatoes, visit www.bwcumm.org/adummpotatoes 

February 5 and March 12 (11am) -- Young People Exploring Call
Are you sensing that God might have a career for you in ministry? Are you ready to STEP OUT and see where God is calling you? Then join us for our Step Out: God Has Plans for You event for an awesome day of worship, breakout sessions, and personal reflection. You will hear from leaders in our church and have the opportunity to ask questions about all the ways YOU could serve God! The Step Out event is intended for young adults ages 14-25, however all are welcome! Youth leaders and pastors are invited to accompany young people at these events. These events are sponsored by the BWC and PDC Boards of Ordained Ministry in collaboration with the Center for Vital Leadership. Two dates/locations; same great event:

• February 5 at Wesley Freedom UMC, 961 Johnsville Rd., Sykesville, MD 21784. Register now.
• March 12 at Wyoming UMC, 216 Wyoming Mill Road, Dover DE 19904. Register here.

February 6 -- Disability Awareness Sunday
Churches are encouraged to observe Disability Awareness Sunday. Explore a new liturgy for the occasion and see resources for the celebration.

February 20 -- Loving People and Planet in the Name of God
Loving People and Planet in the Name of God is a course to engage the local church. The five, two-hour sessions begin Feb. 20. This is an advanced lay servant course that offers credit to certified lay servants, lay speakers and lay ministers. Learn more -- https://umcreationjustice.org/1673-2/ 


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

Staples Account
The General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church has partnered with Staples to not only provide a cost savings program but to also give back to the ministry through an accrued incentive. Staples gives back to benefit UMC Charities. We also offer churches more than just office products. Download the flier for full details.

Tell Congress to support the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policy

We have a responsibility and opportunity to advocate alongside Native peoples in support of examining fully and truthfully U.S policies that codified and encouraged these immoral actions.
•  Tell Congress to Support Truth and healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policy  
•  Read the Full Announcement from Reverend Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe 

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

BWC's Racial Justice Committee has been committed to shining a light on systemic racism within our churches and within our society at large.  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 

Lay Servant Ministries Grace Period Extended – The Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries has extended the grace period begun in 2020 for those who cannot take necessary courses during the COVID 19 pandemic. Download the form

 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. 

Download a 12-month schedule of Health & Wellness topics to keep your congregation and community safe and well year round.

  Who Are We?  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/

Coronavirus Resources 
 A number of resources are available to assist local churches in their response to the Coronavirus—https://www.bwcumc.org/article/coronavirus-resources/