District News

Greater Washington News and Events ~ November 22, 2021

Posted by Olivia Gross on


Evaluations Form (Due December 1)
The Annual Pastoral Ministry Evaluation and SPRC Appointment Advisory Report, Pastoral Goals, and Pastor Self-Evaluation, are due on or before December 1. If you haven't already begun to work on the forms, please visit https://www.bwcumc.org/resources/church-conferences-evaluations/evaluations/ for more information and to download the worksheets for the evaluations. 

Itineracy Form (Due December 1)
Please note that only elders (provisional and full) are required to submit an itineracy form; retired elders are no longer under itineracy upon their retirement.

Church Conference Minutes (were due 10-days after your church conference)
Follow these steps to upload your church minutes to Arena if you have not already done so. 

Job Opportunity
Oak Chapel UMC located in Silver Spring is seeking to hire a part-time Office Manager to work up to 15 hours a week. Pay is competitive for an entry level position. Download the position description for more information. If you would like to apply or inquire further, please submit your resume or inquiries to .

Volunteer Opportunity
Oak Chapel UM Hub is one of Montgomery County’s eight Consolidation Hubs providing food and essential item access to those impacted by COVID-19. The Oak Chapel Hub services include weekly food distributions and home deliveries to families in need, as well as diaper distribution and access to social services, in the 20906 zip code and nearby areas. We are in need of volunteers to help implement these programs. Activities include packing food bags, assisting during food and diaper distributions, and delivering food bags to homebound community members. Click here for full details.

BWC COVID-19 Equity Grant Application Now Open
Following Jesus’ example of servant leadership, we are called to build a Beloved Community to ensure equity, resilience, agency, justice, and human flourishing guided by our Wesley vision for social holiness. Toward that end, the Baltimore-Washington Conference is offering a year-end Covid-19 Church and Community Equity Grant. This non-renewable micro-grant seeks to alleviate hardship and realize congregational and community equity among persons who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This serves as a step toward creating greater equity in and beyond the walls of our local congregations as we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  Grants are awarded on a rolling basis through Monday, December 13, 2021, and are open to BWC congregations and faith communities. If you have any questions, please contact Fathima Rifkey at  Learn more and apply  

Be Light Devotional
Advent begins Nov. 28. The BWC's Action and Advocacy ministries are offering the Be Light devotional, for your reflection and response during this season of anticipation and joy.  How do you illustrate Advent? This year we'll post photos of impressions from the BWC of hope, joy, peace and love. Send your photos to

Mission Opportunities for Young Adults
The full application process for the Global Mission Fellows program 2022-24 class for young adults wishing to serve, is now open. The application for those interested in serving in the U.S. opened last month and the application for those interested in serving internationally opened Nov. 15. Learn more with this video on “What Questions will Define Your Future.”  



November 22, 2021 (8pm) -- Rethinking Thanksgiving: Solidarity with Indigenous Resistance
Iterrogate the legacy of the Thanksgiving holiday and recommit to supporting Indigenous sovereignty.  At this webinar, we’ll hear from frontline Indigenous efforts to protect land and water. We’ll be joined by Khury Petersen-Smith, Krystal Two Bulls, Julia Tasul and additional guests from the Indigenous Environmental Network. Live captioning and ASL interpretation will be available on the call.
• Register for the webinar 
• Check out the “Rethinking Thanksgiving” Toolkit created by the Indigenous Solidarity Network

November 22, (9 pm) -- Finding Fellowship
Maryland Public Television (MPT) will broadcast Finding Fellowship tonight. The documentary will also be available for streaming on-demand at video.mpt.tv. Produced by siblings, Jason Green and Kisha Davis, the children of District Superintendent Gerry Green, the hour-long film shares an important story of the unlikely merger of three racially segregated United Methodist churches in Quince Orchard, Maryland, just as racial tensions gripped the nation. A trailer can be viewed at mpt.org/acquisitions.

November 23 (7pm) -- Training Tuesdays: The Role of Trustees
This webinar is a basic training for new trustees and a refresher for current members and will be led by Bill Westbrook, Pen-Del, Dir of Administrative Services/Treasurer. Learn more and register.

November 28 -- United Methodist Student Day
The denomination has dedicated November 28 as United Methodist Student Day, where we set aside time to honor and celebrate students in our congregation and around the world. With this special offering, we invest in their future. Build awareness and encourage generous support with the help of offering talks, sermon starters, liturgies, age-level resources and more. Download resources.  Read about one of the BWC's four campus ministries, American University, which offers community mixed with God's grace. 

November 30 (7pm) -- Training Tuesdays: New Ways to Engage People for Ministry in COVID
This webinar led by the Rev. Andrew Cooney of Bethany UMC in Ellicott City will explore how Covid has changed the way people are engaging in church in general and how to re-engage them so that they are willing to do the critical work of ministry. Learn more and register


December 1-22 (7pm) -- Advent Study on Racial Justice
Join the 20019+ Cluster for a special Advent Study on Racial Justice via ZOOM. The Biblical foundation for this study is Isaiah 61:1-4. Participants are asked to watch the Netflix Original Series, When They See Us episode 1, prior to the first study session. A study guide and outline will be provided via email. Download the information flyer.

December 1 (Deadline) -- Application to Join the National Youth 2023 Design Team!
We would love for you to prayerfully consider sharing your gifts and talents as a member of the Design Team. The Design Team is the heartbeat of this national YOUTH event. While YOUTH 2023 is organized and primarily sponsored by Discipleship Ministries and Young People’s Ministries, the Design Team drives the programming, theme, and worship plans for the event. We want the Design Team to showcase the best of the United Methodist Church’s connectional nature by bringing together a diverse team of passionate servant leaders. This is an opportunity for those 18 years of age and up who are based in the United States. Get details now.

December 1-2 -- Shift Happens: Doing Ministry From The Right Side National Conference
Come to Houston and hear firsthand from Rev. Olu Brown, Dr. Rudy and Rev. Juanita Rasmus and a myriad of ministry leaders who will not only motivate you, but offer strategies, resources, contacts and so much more for you to go back to your church equipped to SHIFT and lead in your context. Registration is available for In-person or Virtual.  In-person registration is limited to 200 participants.  Learn more and register 

December 2, 9 and 16 (6:30pm) -- Deaf Advent Bible Study
Hosted by BWC & Pen-Del Deaf Ministries. Presented by Rev. Dr. Margaret Hodges & Rev. Leo Yates. Get full details now.   

December 4 -- Annual SOS Virtual Gala  
October is Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month.  Save the date for the Annual SOS virtual gala.  This is a free event, however, in-kind donations make possible seed-grants for SOS ministry and safe housing across our connection. For more information contact .
•  Learn more about the Seeds of Security (SOS) by visiting bwcumc.org/sos and inquire how your congregation can support this vital work. 
•  Read BWC’s “Hidden in Plain Sight: A Call to End Domestic Violence

December 5 (1pm) -- Signing For the Holidays
A free webinar to learn Christmas-related signs and a Christmas hymn, get details here.

December 6 (10 am) -- Voices from the Field: Listening to Women from Mozambique
Regional Missionary Catherine Akale and three Mozambique country team members share their current work priorities and talk about the challenges of the pandemic.  Learn more here.

December 7 -- Pathways to Health Equity Calls for Proposals
The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) calls for proposals for the Pathways to Health Equity grant program, which will provide $13 million in new grant funding to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes in underserved communities. This new funding was made available by the Maryland Health Equity Resource Act approved by the Maryland General Assembly earlier this year. The Call for Proposals and supporting documentation can be found on the CHRC’s website  

December 7 (7pm) -- Training Tuesdays on the Staff-Parish Relations Committee
A local congregation's Staff-Parish Relations Committee has primary responsibility for cultivating healthy and fruitful relationships between the congregation, clergy, and staff of their church. Oftentimes, however, the committee's focus can become merely conflict management. This session will offer an overview of the worship of the SPRC, suggestions for how to cultivate healthy systems that prevent conflict and nurture healthy communications systems, and yes, when needed, conflict management approaches for situations when issues do arise.  Register for the webinar -- https://arenaweb.bwcumc.org/default.aspx?page=3452&event=6054  

 December 14 (7pm) -- Training Tuesday: The One Board Model
This webinar will discuss: The benefits of the one board model; the steps to transition from several committees to this model; the kind of leader needed for this team; the ideal size of the team; and will provide a sample agenda/ structure of the meetings.  Register now -- https://arenaweb.bwcumc.org/default.aspx?page=3452&event=6055  


January 4 (deadline) -- Register for Wesley Theological Seminary’s Spring 2022 Health Minister Certificate

The Certificate allows participants to understand the basic foundations of health ministry – a ministry which integrates body, mind, and spirit. Partial and full scholarships are available .  E-mail Tom Pruski at with any questions. 

January 7-9 -- WAVE 2022 Registration LIVE
With the affiliation of the Baltimore-Washington Conference and the Peninsula-Delaware Conference, an opportunity arose to take the two youth events that were similar in purpose and combine them for a pilot year. Youth from both conferences met in July where they came up with a new name – WAVE – and a new logo! We had over 25 ideas for the name, but when 45 people can unanimously decide on a name, you know it’s God-inspired!   It’s important to know that the event is still youth designed and driven, still held at the Ocean City Convention Center, and still focused on connecting youth to Christ and one another in fun and powerful ways.
•  To register and learn everything about WAVE 2022, visit the website: https://waveoc.org 
•  If you wish to register directly, click this link-- https://na.eventscloud.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=633832& 
•  If you have any questions, please email  


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.  
Church Stat Reports are Available in Arena

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

TAKE ACTION! DACA and Immigration Priorities
President Biden met with DACA recipients to discuss his immigration priorities and encourage Congress to act to protect Dreamers. Take action by contacting your Senators and asking them to pass the Dream Act of 2021, which would provide a permanent lawful status to nearly two million Dreamers and would shield them from deportation and allow them to work and support their families. Click here to contact your senators.

TAKE ACTION!  Raise the Refugee Admissions Level
The Guaranteed Refugee Admissions Ceiling Enhancement Act, or GRACE Act, would protect and restore the U.S. resettlement program by setting a minimum refugee admissions goal of 125,000 and increasing congressional oversight over the administration's operations of the resettlement program.  Ask your legislator to restore the U.S.’s role as a global humanitarian leader by passing the GRACE Act. Click here to contact your congressperson.

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 16, 2021.

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.


Free 2021 Worship Bundle Package – Download the Discipleship Ministries’ 2021 Worship and Music Planning Calendar and the 2021 Revised Common Lectionary Sundays and Special Days Calendar -- https://store.umcdiscipleship.org/product/2021-worship-planning-bundle/ 

  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/