District News

The Link ~ Baltimore Suburban District Update ~ 5/4/2022

Posted by John Gauthier on


Please see the message below from Rev. Laprade about her Renewal Leave this summer. 

Grace and peace to all of you- 

It continues to be my honor to serve as the district superintendent of the Baltimore Suburban District.  This ministry began in July of 2017 and I give thanks to God that it continues.  You are a blessing upon my life and I thank you for all that you are doing to make disciples and deepen discipleship, especially during this time in the life of the church.

I am writing to let you know that I am preparing to take renewal and study leave, available to superintendents according to paragraph 420 of the Book of Discipline.  This leave is for purposes of reflection, study, and renewal.  It will begin on June 13 and continue through September 13.  These dates may change slightly.  

uring this time while I am away,  there will be a listing of district superintendents who are on call for emergencies.  If an issue can wait until I return, then I ask that this be the case.  Once that on-call list is finalized,  it will be shared with Saleem Gauhar, Chair of the Committee on the District Superintendency, and John Gauthier, the District Administrator.  Reach out to John or Saleem, should there be a need to do so.

Dates and times for pastor one-on-ones, which normally take place in summer and fall, have been identified in May for those who may wish to meet before September.  Please see those below and contact John if you have questions.  These will be via Zoom.

Over these five years, you have become a beloved community for me.  I pray that you find time for spiritual refreshment and renewal, in order to care for yourselves and honor what God has created in you.  Although I do look forward to the time away,  I also look forward to returning to the ministry that is the Baltimore Suburban District.



In the effort to provide a space for any pastors needing to speak with Rev. Laprade prior to her time away, we are opening up some 1-on-1 time slots in the coming weeks. Please follow the link below to schedule a time to meet. Let me know if you have any questions!




With the news as grim as ever, we have to be extra vigilant with our whole health. The relationships we have with ourselves and those close to us are the most important. There are many ways to prioritize that, here are a few. 

  • Time management. It helps your colleagues work best with you and keeps stress on both sides low. 
  •  As we move towards vacation season, make sure you are communicating with your team in advance of extended time off. Keep everyone updated on when you are out and what you may need prior to, during, and after. 
  •  Utilize vacation days. Whether it is for an all-inclusive cruise or a staycation. 
  • Get help. Whether that is asking for support from a friend/family member or seeking professional guidance. Remember, for those of us with Healthflex, we have access to EAP (which has partnered with Talkspace) for in-network providers. 
  • Create a safe space for someone else. With Mothers Day this Sunday, don't forget to call the mothering figure in your life but remember those who are struggling with the various facets of loss associated with that day.  

 Also, in honor of the National Day of Prayer tomorrow, here is a prayer reflecting on Mental Health Awareness month. 

O God of Light and Knowledge,
            We pray for Peace and Wholeness;
            We ask for Understanding; 
            We pray for Healing;
            We ask for Faith and Hope;
            We offer our Thanks ;
Most of all, O God of Steadfast Love, we thank you for your Love --  that brings beauty out of ashes,that brings a song in the night; that inspires courage to hope, to watch, to work for a new and brighter Day.



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.