Journal Reports 2019

Discipleship Ministries Report | Stewardship Reports | Leadership Reports | Institutional Reports

Discipleship Ministries Report 2019

Discipleship Council | Discipleship Council Realignment | Leadership Development Board | Office of Leadership Development | Board of Laity | New Faith Expressions | Young People's Ministries | Retreat and Camping Ministry | Abundant Health | Conference Mission Secretary | Missionary List | Advocacy in Action | Commission on Religion and Race | Deaf Ministries | Archives and History | United Methodist Women | Hispanic Latino Ministries | Global Partnerships

 

  • Discipleship Council

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The Discipleship Council: (a) functions, as necessary, on behalf of the Annual Conference in between sessions; (b) ensures that Conference resources align to our vision, mission, and critical issues; and (c) discerns, develops, reviews, and evaluates the strategic direction of the Conference toward its vision and goals. It coordinates and consults with the Conference Council on Finance and Administration regarding the annual budget. 

In the midst of leadership transitions, we have had a very productive year. In the Summer of 2018, our chairperson, Jen Ihlo, resigned due to unexpected work, General Conference, and family demands. In the Fall of 2018, the Rev. Jenny Cannon switched from being Secretary to serving as Interim Chair, and Carol Travis assumed the role of Secretary. In the Spring of 2019, the Rev. Jessica Hayden was named as Chair. In this year of experimentation, the chairs from the five interim boards participated with voice and no vote.

We accomplished the following:

  1. Clarified our vision. The Baltimore-Washington Conference inspires and equips local faith communities to develop disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Our vision includes that our discipleship agencies will provide the structure, support and opportunity for more engagement within and beyond the local church so that more transformed lives transform lives.
  2. Approved Project Transformation (PT) DC as a BWC partnered ministry. This decision has zero budgetary implications and allows them to submit an institutional report each year as their ministry within our annual conference grows. PT DC’s mission is to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry, support children in holistic development, and connect churches with communities. Their first summer was 2018, where 98 children participated in summer programming at Hughes Memorial United Methodist in Ward 7, and Brighter Day Ministries in Ward 8. Ninety percent of them felt that they would do well in reading at school this year. The Agreement between Project Transformation DC and the BWC is online at bwcumc.org/ptdcagreement. 
  1. Created a simpler process for the Ministry Relationship Oversight Committee to enable it to do its work. (https://www.bwcumc.org/administration/ministry-relationships/)
  2. Clarified the BWC organizational structure and developed recommendations for realignment in collaboration with the Interim Discipleship Agency Boards, Connectional Table, and the Rules Committee.

At the 2018 Annual Conference Session, more than 80 percent of members affirmed experimenting with refocusing and realigning our collective ministry for greater impact.

Since the 2018 Annual Conference Session, BWC leaders and staff continued having conversations with a wide variety of stakeholders to discern what our next steps should be. As of April 1, 2019, more than 630 people have been involved in providing feedback and engaging in conversations regarding one or more aspects of the realignment in the Discipleship Agency areas. The Discipleship Council affirms the following:

  • The realignment and refocusing has enabled the BWC to invest more in local faith community efforts through the first round of Missional Innovation Grants for Young People's Ministry, Advocacy & Action and Abundant Health. (https://www.bwcumc.org/news-and-views/missional-innovation-grants-support-creative-discipleship/)  
  • The realignment and refocusing has resulted in stronger collaborative staff-agency relationships which means that Annual Conference leaders are at the center, not the periphery, of decision making.
  • The realignment and refocusing has allowed the BWC to have more flexibility, nimbleness and visibility with regards to urgent advocacy needs.
  • There are more functional boards and more people engaged in ministry that is focused on grassroots efforts.



Red = Not functional due to not meeting or meeting to write the journal report.
Yellow = Meeting regularly, understand their why and not yet making desired
impact. More than half of those in the yellow category this year believe
they will be able to be green next year if given the opportunity to
continue their work.
Green = Fully functional and making progress toward their purpose.

2006-2017 Baltimore-Washington Conference Agency Structure

Recommended 2019 Baltimore-Washington Conference Agency Structure

The structural simplification of Discipleship agencies provides for more clarity of purpose,
cohesion, and clearer connection to the mission and ministry of local faith communities. All
requirements contained within the Book of Discipline are maintained.


Notes on above:

  • CBCS = Conference Board of Church and Society (now referred to as Advocacy and Action)
  • COSROW = Commission on the Status and Role of Women (now referred to as Gender Equality).
  • CCORR = Conference Commission on Religion and Race (now the executive team of Racial Justice).
  • *Multicultural Ministry falls within the Advocacy and Action budget but impacts all five strategic areas. It includes: African American Ministry (Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, and Black Methodists for Church Renewal), Deaf Ministry, Hispanic/Latino Ministry, Native American Ministry (formerly known as CONAM).
  • **We seek to refrain from creating a committee when calling a meeting of leaders is sufficient. For example, an annual forum for leaders (lay and clergy) who are interested in learning and addressing ethnic local concerns/opportunities with follow-up action items taken by people who can implement them is more impactful than seven people on a committee. Annual forum notes and action items will be shared with all Discipleship board chairs and other leadership as deemed appropriate.

 

Leadership Development Board
Purpose:

We seek to equip and mature leaders who develop disciples of Jesus Christ who know their purpose and use their gifts to build up the body of Christ for the transformation of the world. We nurture a culture in and through the Leadership Development Board of call, competency, and spiritual maturity through teams working together to equip vibrant lay and clergy leadership throughout the conference. The Leadership Development Board coordinates, supports and contributes to all leadership efforts within the conference.

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate and communicate a master Board calendar for all leadership training within the conference.
  • Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with agendas distributed one week before each meeting, with a focused approach to each meeting.
  • Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for leadership development in the conference.
  • Engage others outside the Leadership Development Board through task forces, chaired by Board members, in the following areas:
    • Develop a coaching network to equip coaches that will walk alongside leaders implementing discipleship systems.
    • Develop a partnership with the Leadership Academy Team to provide resources and opportunities for training.
    • Develop a partnership with the Call and Clergy Care office to work with clergy and laity who feel the call to ministry in the local church.
    • Partner with our local seminaries to cultivate a pipeline of mature spiritual leaders.
    • Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to leadership development which aren’t owned by other agencies and boards within the conference (¶629.Board of Discipleship functions, ¶631 Conference Board of Laity).

Team Composition: Eleven voting members including: BOOM Chair (or designee), Conference Lay Leader, Director of Lay Servant Ministries, up to six people with skills and demonstrated fruitfulness in discipleship and leadership development (three lay, three clergy), one Youth, and one Young Adult. 

Ex Officio (voice, no vote): Director of Leadership and Congregational Development, Executive Minister of Call and Clergy Care, Wesley Seminary rep.

Time Commitment: Quarterly meetings (3-4 hours) either in person or via Zoom. Taskforce and subcommittee meetings as needed (depending upon the task).

New Faith Expressions Board
Purpose:
We encourage the development of New Faith Expressions, which are communities of faith in-tune with our changing culture. These communities of faith are developed with those who are not yet a part of a church in mind. We believe it will take all kinds of faith communities to reach all kinds of people. New faith expressions are not tied to a physical building (or even to keeping a church alive) but to a building of community for a purpose: to engage people in a life‐giving relationship with Jesus.

Responsibilities:

Constantly cast a vision for a planting culture, where everyone feels freed up to plant a new place for new people in their community.

  • By the grace of God, be able to lead people to do what they might think is impossible.
  • Encourage evangelism in order to create new places and spaces for new people within and beyond the bounds of existing congregations.
  • Develop and oversee systems for identifying, training, and supporting pastors and/or laity to create new faith expressions.
  • Develop a strong cadre of clergy and laity who have the gifts and graces to lead new faith expressions.
  • Identify and train potential partner churches to reach new people by creating new faith communities.
  • Create an overarching strategic plan to accomplish the mission including vision, values, goals, priorities, and strategies.
  • Assist the District Superintendents, in their role as chief mission strategists of the district, in their work of starting new faith communities and transforming existing congregations to reach new people.
  • Coordinate the use of Conference resources, in strategic ways, to help us live out our mission of inspiring and equipping local faith communities to develop disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Team Composition: Ten voting members (at least one from each district) selected by the Committee on Nominations using interest forms.

Ex Officio (voice, no vote): Director of New Faith Expressions and Coordinator of Hispanic Ministries

Young People’s Ministry Board
Purpose:
We nurture a culture, in and through the Young People’s Ministry (YPM) Board, of loving, joyful, and hard-working teams working together to create and sustain a vibrant young people’s ministry throughout the conference. The YPM Board coordinates, oversees, supports and contributes to the crafting of the vision of all young people’s ministry within the conference (including, but not limited to, ROCK, campus ministry, the work of Conference Council for Youth Ministry, the work of Young Adult Council, the work of the Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and camping and retreat ministry).

Responsibilities:

  • Speak into, endorse, support, and share a three-year strategic design and execution process for young people’s ministry in the conference.
  • Ensure that clear communication takes place between the various areas of young people’s ministry in the conference.
  • Coordinate and communicate a master calendar for all board-related young people’s ministry programming in the conference.  
  • Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with agendas distributed one week before each meeting, with a calm, confident, and focused approach to each meeting.
  • Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for young people’s ministry in the conference.  
  • Engage others outside the Interim Young People’s Ministry Board through task forces, chaired by Board members in the following areas:
    • Database
    • Training
    • Grants and Scholarships
    • Campus Ministry (many functions of BHEM)
    • Young Adult Ministry (formerly Young Adult Council)
    • Student Leader Cohort (many functions of CCYM)
    • ROCK
  • Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to young people’s ministry.
  • Assess strategic ministry needs and troubleshoot key pressure points efficiently and effectively.  

Team Composition: Ten voting members (at least four of which are youth) selected by the Committee on Nominations using interest forms completed by youth and young adults and ensuring there is balanced representation from all areas (Student Leadership Cohort, campus ministry, Retreat and Camping ministry, and Young Adult Ministry).

Ex Officio (voice, no vote): ROCK event coordinator, Retreat & Camping Ministry rep, Campus Ministry rep, two advocate advisers who hold leadership roles in the local church and have extensive experience with young people, and a staff rep.

Advocacy & Action Board
Purpose:
We inspire and equip faith communities to develop disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by collaborating with others to transform systems that disenfranchise, marginalize, and oppress. The Advocacy and Action Board is tasked with establishing a clear, consistent and impact-driven BWC presence on urgent policy matters at local, state, and national levels, and helps set Conference-wide justice priorities rooted in our Social Principles.

Responsibilities:

  • Develop, share, and implement a strategic plan for justice ministry throughout the conference that includes vision, values, goals, priorities, and execution strategies that is revised and re-evaluated annually.
  • Coordinates, oversees, supports, and contributes to the implementation of its vision through the work of social action teams, specialized committees, and forums:

●      Seven Social Action Teams

o   Climate/Environmental Justice
o   Gender Equality (COSROW ¶644)
o   Gun Violence Prevention
o   Immigration Reform
o   Racial Justice (CCORR ¶643)
o   Restorative Justice (R/CJAMM)
o   Wealth Equity

●     Representation from the following:

o   Commission on Disability Concerns (¶653)
o   Committee on Hispanic/Latino ministries (¶655)
o   Deaf Ministries
o   Grow Church through Ministries for Asian Americans
o   Native American Ministry (CONAM ¶654)
o  Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century

●      Three Annual Forums:

o   Small Membership Church
o   Ethnic Local Church Concerns
o   Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships

  • Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to Advocacy & Action (e.g. ¶629, ¶642, ¶643, and ¶644 and relevant parts of ¶632, ¶645, ¶653, ¶654, ¶655).
  • Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for BWC’s justice ministry.
  • Organize needed training for local churches and leaders on community organizing, intercultural proficiency, and justice as a spiritual discipline to grow and multiply disciples.
  • Coordinate with the Office of Leadership and Congregational Development/Leader Development Board to hold Annual Forums (see above).
  • Assess strategic ministry needs and troubleshoot key pressure points efficiently and effectively.
  • Create and/or identify systems to track progress and maintain connection with Advocacy & Action servant leaders and other engaged persons.
  • Ensure clear communication between all aspects of the Advocacy & Action network.
  • Coordinate and communicate an external master calendar for all Advocacy & Action board-related programming throughout the conference.
  • Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with meaningful and productive agendas that foster a calm, confident, and focused approach to each meeting.
  • Establish and maintain work groups, task forces, and/or subcommittees, chaired by Board members or designees, to ensure effective implementation of the strategic plan. 

Team Composition:
Fifteen voting members with passion and commitment to justice and service to include: 7 chairs of each A&A Social Action Team; 3 annual forum leaders (see above), and 4 others whose collective gifts span grant administration, project management, legislative advocacy, and data analysis and evaluation, selected by the Committee on Nominations using interest forms as well as ensuring at least three board members are young adults.

Ex Officio (voice, no vote): Representatives from: Deaf Ministries, Committee on Disability Concerns, Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), UMW, UMM, Native American Ministries (CONAM), Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministries, and a staff representative.

Wellness & Missions Board
Purpose:
We nurture a culture, in and through the Wellness & Missions (WM) Board, of loving, passionate, and committed teams, working together to create and sustain programs and ministries that develop disciples of Jesus Christ through alleviating human suffering, meeting human needs, and proactively creating abundant health for individuals and communities.

Responsibilities:

  • Speak into, endorse, support, and share a long-range strategic design and execution process for wellness and service ministry throughout the conference (revise and re-evaluate annually).
  • The WM Board is responsible for crafting the vision of all health ministry and mission outreach work within the conference. It coordinates, oversees, supports, and contributes to living out that vision through specialized programs, ministry offerings, and organizational efforts including, but not limited to:
    • Volunteers in Mission (VIM)
    • Early Response Teams (ERT) / Disaster Response
    • HIV-AIDS Ministry / Quality of Life Retreats
    • Global and national missionary itineration
    • Holistic health ministry training and events
    • Health advocacy and linking individuals to health services
    • Collaborating on Mission u
    • The work of Seeds of Security / Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence Prevention (DV/IPV)
    • Wellness & Preventive Health Care
  • Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to Board of Global Ministries ¶633.
  • Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for BWC Wellness and Missions.
  • Assess strategic ministry needs and troubleshoot key pressure points efficiently and effectively.
  • Ensure that clear communication takes place between all areas of Wellness and Mission Service.
  • Coordinate and communicate an external master calendar for all Wellness and Mission Service programming throughout the conference.
  • Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with meaningful and productive agendas that foster a calm, confident, and focused approach to each meeting.
  • Establish and maintain work groups, task forces, and/or subcommittees, chaired by Board members or designees, to ensure effective implementation of the strategic plan.

Team Composition:
Thirteen voting members with passion and commitment to health and mission ministry including the Conf. Secretary of Global Ministries, VIM Coordinator, and Disaster Response Coordinator, one youth or young adult, and nine others who have gifts in grant administration, project management, training and instruction, and/or data analysis and evaluation, selected by the Committee on Nominations using interest forms.

Ex Officio (voice, no vote): UMW representative, UMM representative, and a staff representative

Connectional Table

Some conference leaders believe that instead of the Connectional Table we should simply call meetings of Annual Conference leaders as necessary: once in the fall for orientation and any generative work needed to the coming year and then again to review petitions, reports and resolutions before they go to Annual Conference. Furthermore, voting concurrence/non-concurrence doesn’t hold the weight that many attribute to it as often the issues are complex and members have admitted not really understanding what they are voting on.

There was discussion at the Connectional Table and Discipleship Council about the purpose and, ultimately need for the 8 members who have no Annual Conference leadership position. The original logic for was so that the votes of Connectional Table on resolutions represents something of the Annual Conference as a whole and not just Conference leadership. However, 8 votes out of 89 isn’t significant and the need for those persons given the current function of the table isn’t clear.

In the event that the Connectional Table is continued, we are recommending a slight decrease in the number of voting members from 89 to 84 as follows:

  • Rename 9 member bodies (2 members each) to reflect the new Discipleship Agency structure;
  • Remove 8 members with no other Annual Conference position;
  • Adjust the numbers of members from three bodies; and
  • Add 6 new members (VIM Coordinator; one member from each caucus without current representation (B-WARM, MFSA, and WCA); and chair plus one from New Faith Expressions Board.



Membership of the Connectional Table is as follows with recommended changes in bold.



1 Per 2006 Journal. The number indicates the number of people represented
2 The BWC hasn’t had a Retreat and Camping Ministry Board since 2005
3 Per 2006 structure author's annotation, the Korean Caucus should show up under the local caucuses and not be listed
as a part of Hispanic/Latino Ministries
4 BWC has been operating without a Board of Discipleship for many years

In the coming year, we seek to identify shared metrics that are meaningful for all and keep us aligned and focused on our mission.

  • Progress on Discipleship Agency board goals (see ministry report for details) which are essential to the BWC’s mission of inspiring and equipping local faith communities to develop disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world so that more transformed lives transform
  • Number of people:
    • Engaged and
    • Maturing in Wesleyan discipleship
  • Impact being made in communities in which our churches and ministries reside.

Discipleship Council Recommendations:

  1. The adoption of a BWC vision statement that includes the tagline: transformed lives transform lives.
  2. The approval of a ministry partnership with Project Transformation DC, a ministry that seeks to bring together young adult interns, local United Methodist congregations, and children/youth of underserved neighborhoods for academic and personal enrichment during the summer months.  The agreement between the Project Transformation and the BWC, which was approved by the Ministry Relations Oversight Committee, Discipleship Council and reviewed by the Chancellor, is at www.bwcumc.org/ptdcagreement.  
  3. The realignment of Discipleship Agencies to allow for more effective, focused and nimble ministry by re-forming Discipleship Agencies into these five boards:
    a. Leadership Development
    b. New Faith Expressions
    c. Young People’s Ministry
    d. Advocacy and Action
    e. Wellness and Missions

    This includes allowing Discipleship Agencies to modify task forces as needed to address ministry needs while maintaining Book of Discipline requirements.
  4. The modifications as noted to the Connectional Table which allow for appropriate interfacing with new Discipleship Agency structure and remove eight members who have no Annual Conference Leadership Role.
  5. Update language within BWC’s Policies and Procedures manual as needed to reflect the name changes contained within this report.

Submitted by Rev. Jessica Hayden, Discipleship Council Chair, and Christie Latona, Director of Connectional Ministries.

 

 

  • Discipleship Council Realignment
    Recommendations, Job Descriptions, Composition and Implications for Connectional Table

    Download numbered PDF

At the 2018 Annual Conference Session, more than 80% of delegates affirmed experimenting with
refocusing and realigning our collective ministry for greater impact. If this is the first time you are
hearing about it please visit bwcumc.org/realign to watch the video, absorb the infographic, read
all about it or learn just a little bit more. Discipleship Council and the Interim Discipleship.

Updates
Since the 2018 Annual Conference Session, BWC staff and leaders have continued having
conversations with a wide variety of stakeholders to discern what our next steps should be. As of
April 1, 2019, more than 630 people have been involved in providing feedback and engaging in
conversations regarding one or more aspects of the realignment in the Discipleship Agency areas.

1. The Connectional Table (September 2018) and Discipleship Council (November 2018)
provided input and feedback on the overall structure, raised the lack of clarity about our
existing structure and asked some excellent questions. See FAQs.

2. The Interim Discipleship Boards (Leader Development, New Faith Expressions, Young
People's Ministry, Advocacy & Action and Wellness & Service) have met four times
together and all have worked between these quarterly meetings. They worked on strategic
issues and opportunities. Almost all five have verified that significant work needs to be done
to repair and strengthen our connective tissue which, at the heart of it includes
improving communication between local faith communities and the Annual Conference
(including staff, agencies, other UMC organizations and congregations, local interfaith and
ecumenical partners, etc.). In response to this we:

1. Launched a Connectional Survey in March 2019 to gain information about
engagement and interest;
2. Developed a clearer organizational chart of Conference bodies and their lines of
authority; and
3. Provided opportunities for conversation at Leadership Days across the conference.

3. The realignment and refocusing has enabled the BWC to invest more in local faith
community efforts through the first round of Missional Innovation Grants for Young
People's Ministry, Advocacy & Action and Wellness & Service.

4. The realignment and refocusing has resulted in stronger collaborative staff-agency
relationships which means that Annual Conference leaders are at the center, not the
periphery of decision making.

5. The realignment and refocusing has allowed the BWC to have more flexibility, nimbleness
and visibility with regards to urgent advocacy needs.

6. There are more functional boards and more people engaged in ministry that is connected to
grassroots efforts.

Green Fully functional and making progress toward their purpose.

Yellow Meeting regularly, understand their why but not yet making desired impact. More
than half of those in the yellow category this year believe they will be able to be
green next year if given the opportunity to continue their work.

Red Not functioning. Either not meeting or meeting once a year to write their report.

Discoveries that impacted the Interim Boards’ decision about their composition included:

● More people on boards is helpful--7 is too few.
Form should follow function--each board has different number and types of members.
● Clarifying the why along with taking action yields commitment.
● Holistic Wesleyan Discipleship is core to vitality.
● Without strong connection to discipleship and local faith communities, discipleship agencies
are purposeless.
● Moving forward, we don’t want to create or continue an agency when calling a meeting of
leaders will have the same or greater impact.

On the following pages please find descriptions of our Discipleship Ministry Boards with the
proposed composition to guide the Nominating Committee.

Leadership Development Board

Purpose:

We seek to equip and mature leaders who develop disciples of Jesus Christ who know their
purpose and use their gifts to build up the body of Christ for the transformation of the world. We
nurture a culture in and through the Leadership Development Board of call, competency, and
spiritual maturity through teams working together to equip vibrant lay and clergy leadership
throughout the conference. The Leadership Development Board coordinates, supports and
contributes to the crafting of all leadership efforts within the conference.

Responsibilities:

● Coordinate and communicate a master Board calendar for all leadership training within the
conference.
● Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with agendas distributed one week
before each meeting, with a focused approach to each meeting.
● Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for leadership
development in the conference.
● Engage others outside the Leadership Development Board through task forces, chaired by
Board members in the following areas:

○ Develop a coaching network to equip coaches that will walk alongside leaders
implementing discipleship ecosystems.
○ Develop a partnership with the Leadership Academy Team to provide resources and
opportunities for training.
○ Develop a partnership with the Call and Clergy Care office to work with clergy and
laity who feel the call to ministry in the local church
○ Partner with our local seminaries to cultivate a pipeline of mature spiritual leaders.
○ Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to leadership
development which aren’t owned by other agencies and boards within the conference
(Ř629.Board of Discipleship functions, Ř631 Conference Board of Laity).

Team Composition: 11 voting members including, BOOM Chair (or designee), Conference Lay
Leader, Director of Lay Servant Ministries, up to 6 people with skills and demonstrated fruitfulness
in discipleship and leadership development (3 lay, 3 clergy), one Youth and one Young Adult.

Ex Officio (voice no vote): Director of Leadership and Congregational Development, Executive
Minister of Call and Clergy Care, Wesley Seminary rep

Time Commitment: Quarterly meetings (3-4 hrs.) either in person or via Zoom. Taskforce and
subcommittee meetings as needed (depending upon the task).

New Faith Expressions Board

Purpose:

We encourage the development of New Faith Expressions, which are communities of faith in-tune
with our changing culture. These communities of faith are developed with those who are not yet a
part of a church, in mind. We believe it will take all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people.
New faith expressions are not tied to a physical building (or even to keeping a church alive) but to a
building of community for a purpose: to engage people in a life‐giving relationship with Jesus.

Responsibilities:

Constantly cast a vision for a planting culture, where everyone feels freed up to plant a new place
for new people in their community.

● By the grace of God, be able to lead people to do what they might think is impossible.
● Encourage evangelism in order to create new places and spaces for new people within and
beyond the bounds of existing congregations.
● Develop and oversee systems for identifying, training and supporting pastors and/or laity to
create new faith expressions.
● Develop a strong cadre of clergy and laity who have the gifts and graces to lead new faith
expressions.
● Identify and train potential partner churches to reach new people by creating new faith
communities.
● Create an overarching strategic plan to accomplish the mission including vision, values,
goals, priorities, and strategies.
● Assist the District Superintendents, in their role as chief mission strategists of the district, in
their work of starting new faith communities and transforming existing congregations to
reach new people.
● Coordinate the use of Conference resources, in strategic ways, to help us live out our
mission of inspiring and equipping local faith communities to develop disciples of Jesus
Christ for the transformation of the world.

Team Composition: 10 voting members (at least 1 from each District) selected by the Committee on
Nominations using interest forms.

Ex Officio (voice no vote): Director of New Faith Expressions and Coordinator of Hispanic
Ministries

Young People’s Ministry Board

Purpose:

We nurture a culture, in and through the Young People’s Ministry (YPM) Board, of loving, joyful,
and hard-working teams working together to create and sustain a vibrant young people’s ministry
throughout the conference. The YPM Board coordinates, oversees, supports and contributes to the
crafting of the vision of all young people’s ministry within the conference (including, but not
limited to, ROCK, campus ministry, the work of Conference Council for Youth Ministry, the work
of Young Adult Council, the work of the Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and camping and
retreat ministry).

Responsibilities:

● Speak into, endorse, support, and share a three-year strategic design and execution process
for young people’s ministry in the conference.
● Ensure that clear communication takes place between the various areas of young people’s
ministry in the conference.
● Coordinate and communicate a master calendar for all board-related young people’s
ministry programming in the conference.
● Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with agendas distributed one week
before each meeting, with a calm, confident, and focused approach to each meeting.
● Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for young people’s
ministry in the conference.
● Engage others outside the Interim Young People’s Ministry Board through task forces,
chaired by Board members in the following areas (see Appendix A for descriptions):

o Database
o Training
o Grants and Scholarships
o Campus Ministry (many functions of BHEM)
o Young Adult Ministry (formerly Young Adult Council)
o Student Leader Cohort (many functions of CCYM)
o ROCK

● Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to young people’s ministry.
● Assess strategic ministry needs and troubleshoot key pressure points efficiently and
effectively.

Team Composition: 10 voting members (at least 4 of which are youth) selected by the Committee
on Nominations using interest forms completed by youth and young adults and ensuring there is
balanced representation from all areas (Student Leadership Cohort, campus ministry, Retreat and
Camping ministry, and Young Adult Ministry)

Ex Officio (voice no vote): ROCK event coordinator, Retreat & Camping Ministry rep, Campus
Ministry rep, two advocate advisers who hold leadership roles in the local church and have
extensive experience with young people, and a staff rep

Time Commitment: Orientation meeting (7 hours), 3 quarterly meetings (3 hours each), task force
work (+/- 12 hours a year)

Advocacy & Action Board

Purpose:

We inspire and equip faith communities to develop disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation
of the world by collaborating with others to transform systems that disenfranchise, marginalize, and
oppress. The Advocacy and Action Board is tasked with establishing a clear, consistent and impactdriven
BWC presence on urgent policy matters at local, state, and national levels, and helps set
Conference-wide justice priorities rooted in our Social Principles.

Responsibilities:

● Develop, share, and implement a strategic plan for justice ministry throughout the conference
that includes vision, values, goals, priorities, and execution strategies that is revised and reevaluated
annually.
● Coordinates, oversees, supports, and contributes to the implementation of its vision through the
work of social action teams, specialized committees, and forums:

● 7 Social Action Teams

o Restorative Justice (R/CJAMM)
o Climate/Environmental Justice
o Gender Equality (COSROW Ř644)
o Gun Violence Prevention
o Immigration Reform
o Racial Justice (CCORR Ř643)
o Wealth Equity

● 3 Committees:

o Native American Ministry
(CONAM Ř654)
o Deaf Ministries
o Commission on Disability Concerns
(Ř653)

● 3 Annual Forums:

o Small Membership Church
o Ethnic Local Church Concerns
(including the Grow Church
through Ministries for Asian
Americans, Black Methodists for
Church Renewal (BMCR),
Strengthening the Black Church
for the 21st Century (SBC21) and
Hispanic/Latino Ministries Ř655)
o Christian Unity and Interreligious
Relationships

● Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to Advocacy & Action (e.g.
Ř629, Ř642, ¶643, and Ř644 and relevant parts of Ř632, Ř645, ¶653, ¶654, ¶655).
● Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for BWC’s justice
ministry.
● Organize needed training for local churches and leaders on community organizing, intercultural
proficiency, and justice as a spiritual discipline to grow and multiply disciples.
● Coordinate with the Office of Leadership and Congregational Development/Leader
Development Board to hold Annual Forums (see above).
● Assess strategic ministry needs and troubleshoot key pressure points efficiently and effectively.
● Create and/or identify systems to track progress and maintain connection with Advocacy &
Action servant leaders and other engaged persons.
● Ensure clear communication between all aspects of the Advocacy & Action network.
● Coordinate and communicate an external master calendar for all Advocacy & Action boardrelated
programming throughout the conference.
● Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with meaningful and productive agendas
that foster a calm, confident, and focused approach to each meeting.
● Establish and maintain work groups, task forces, and/or subcommittees, chaired by Board
members or designees, to ensure effective implementation of the strategic plan. (Appendix B)

Team Composition:

15 voting members with passion and commitment to justice and service to include: 7 chairs of each
A&A Social Action Team; 3 annual forum leaders (see above), and 4 others whose collective gifts
span grant administration, project management, legislative advocacy, and data analysis and
evaluation, selected by the Committee on Nominations using interest forms as well as ensuring at
least three board members are young adults.

Ex Officio (voice no vote): Representatives from: BWC Deaf Ministries, Committee on Disability
Concerns, Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON), UMW, UMM, Native American Ministries
(CONAM), and a staff representative.

Time Commitment: Orientation meeting (7 hours), quarterly meetings (3 hours each), and task
force work (+/- 30 hours a year).

Wellness & Service Board

Purpose:

We nurture a culture, in and through the Wellness & Service (WS) Board, of loving, passionate, and
committed teams, working together to create and sustain programs and ministries that develop
disciples of Jesus Christ through alleviating human suffering, meeting human needs, and
proactively improving health and well-being for individuals and communities.

Responsibilities:

● Speak into, endorse, support, and share a long-range strategic design and execution process for
wellness and service ministry throughout the conference (revise and re-evaluate annually)
● The WSBoard is responsible for crafting the vision of all health ministry and mission outreach
work within the conference. It coordinates, oversees, supports, and contributes to living out that
vision through specialized programs, ministry offerings, and organizational efforts including,
but not limited to:

● Volunteers in Mission (VIM)
● Early Response Teams (ERT) /
Disaster Response
● HIV-AIDS Ministry / Quality of Life
Retreats
● Global and national missionary
itineration
● Holistic health ministry training and
events
● Health advocacy and linking individuals
to health services
● Collaborating on Mission u
● The work of Seeds of Security / Domestic
Violence/Intimate Partner Violence
Prevention (DV/IPV)
● Wellness & Preventive Health Care

● Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to Board of Global Ministries
Ř633.
● Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for BWC abundant
health ministry
● Assess strategic ministry needs and troubleshoot key pressure points efficiently and effectively
● Ensure that clear communication takes place between all areas of abundant health ministry
● Coordinate and communicate an external master calendar for all abundant health ministry
programming throughout the conference
● Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with meaningful and productive agendas
that foster a calm, confident, and focused approach to each meeting.
● Establish and maintain work groups, task forces, and/or subcommittees, chaired by Board
members or designees, to ensure effective implementation of the strategic plan (see Appendix
C).

Team Composition:

13 voting members with passion and commitment to health and mission ministry including the
Conf. Secretary of Global Ministries, VIM Coordinator, and Disaster Response Coordinator, 1
youth or young adult, and 9 others who have gifts in grant administration, project management,
training and instruction, and/or data analysis and evaluation, selected by the Committee on
Nominations using interest forms.

Ex Officio (voice no vote): UMW representative, UMM representative, and a staff representative

Est. Time Commitment:

Orientation meeting (7 hours), quarterly meetings (3 hours each), and task force work (+/- 30 hours
a year)

Annual Conference Structure

This is the way our Baltimore-Washington organizational structure was provided in 2006 with some
updates to the explanation of Discipleship Council in 2013. It was developed to communicate the
various decision making bodies of the Annual Conference without implying a hierarchy of
reporting. The purpose of the Connectional Table was modified in 2014.

As we have been doing realignment and refocusing work, it has been made clear that a BWC
agency chart and some analogies would be helpful for people to better understand our structure.

o BWC’s Annual Conference Session is like a local Church Conference in that the whole
church is engaged in approving budgets, receiving reports, and making needed decisions.
o BWC’s Connectional Table is somewhat like the local church practice of calling together
church leaders twice a year first to gear up for the coming year and then to prepare for the
pending Church/Charge Conference.
o BWC’s Discipleship Council is like a local church’s unified board (a combination of
Church/Admin Council and Council on Ministries) in that it is tasked with making progress
and decisions between annual church or charge conferences and ensuring the vision,
mission, strategic priorities and goals are aligned and being pursued according to shared
values.

2006-2017 Baltimore-Washington Conference Agency Structure

Recommended 2019 Baltimore-Washington Conference Agency Structure

The structural simplification of Discipleship agencies provides for more clarity of purpose,
cohesion, and clearer connection to the mission and ministry of local faith communities. All
requirements contained within the Book of Discipline are maintained.

Notes on above:

● CBCS=Conference Board of Church and Society (now referred to as Advocacy and Action)
● COSROW=Commission on the Status and Role of Women (now referred to as Gender
Equality).
● CCORR=Conference Commission on Religion and Race (now the executive team of Racial
Justice).
● *Multicultural Ministry falls within the Advocacy and Action budget but impacts all five
strategic areas. It includes: African American Ministry (Strengthening the Black Church for
the 21st Century and Black Methodists for Church Renewal), Deaf Ministry,
Hispanic/Latino Ministry, Native American Ministry (formerly known as CONAM).
● **We seek to refrain from creating a committee when calling a meeting of leaders is
sufficient. For example, an annual forum for leaders (lay and clergy) who are interested in
learning and addressing ethnic local concerns/opportunities with follow-up action items
taken by people who can implement them is more impactful than seven people on a
committee. Annual forum notes and action items will be shared with all Discipleship board
chairs and other leadership as deemed appropriate.

Connectional Table

Some conference leaders believe that instead of the Connectional Table we should simply call
meetings of Annual Conference leaders as necessary: once in the fall for orientation and any
generative work needed to the coming year and then again to review petitions, reports and
resolutions before they go to Annual Conference. Furthermore, voting concurrence/non-concurrence
doesn’t hold the weight that many attribute to it as often the issues are complex and members have
admitted not really understanding what they are voting on.

There was discussion at the Connectional Table and Discipleship Council about the purpose and,
ultimately need for the 8 members who have no Annual Conference leadership position. The
original logic for was so that the votes of Connectional Table on resolutions represents something of
the Annual Conference as a whole and not just Conference leadership. However, 8 votes out of 89
isn’t significant and the need for those persons given the current function of the table isn’t clear.

In the event that the Connectional
Table is continued, we are
recommending a less than 10%
decrease in the number of voting
members from 89 to 81 as follows:

● Rename 18 member bodies to
reflect the new Discipleship
Agency structure;
● Remove 8 members with no
other Annual Conference
position;
● Adjust the numbers of
members from three bodies;
and
● Add 3 new members.

Membership of the Connectional Table is as follows with recommended changes in bold.

1 Per 2014 Journal. The number indicates the number of people represented
2 The BWC hasn’t had a Retreat and Camping Ministry Board since 2005
3 Per 2006 structure author's annotation, the Korean Caucus should show up under the local caucuses and not be listed
as a part of Hispanic/Latino Ministries
4 BWC has been operating without a Board of Discipleship for many years

Appendix A: Young People’s Ministries Task Force Job Descriptions (these
change over time)

DATABASE TASK FORCE

Overview: The task force works together with staff toward the goal of ensuring the ongoing
development and maintenance of an integrated YPM database, with an initial target of 10,000 YPM
stakeholders with robust information for each.

Key Responsibilities:

● Make individual follow-up contacts (phone calls, emails, survey distribution, etc.) as
assigned in order to expand the database.
● Work together to continuously build and maintain a database of conference members with
connections to Young People’s Ministries (ages 11-35, their leaders, and other YPM
stakeholders).
● Ensure systems are in place to add new conference ministry and event participants
(including camping and retreats) to the database.
● Ensure that systems are in place and implemented for annually updating the information of
people who are already in the database.
● Ensure that the YPM database can quickly and accurately generate needed, including

o All paid youth staff
o All youth ministry volunteers who have participated in a conference youth program
o All pastors passionate about youth ministry
o All college students considering a call to ministry
o All seminary students engaged in the call process
o All teenagers serving in leadership roles in their churches or the conference
o All teenagers who have attended a BWCUMC camp program
o All current or alum district youth coordinators
o All conference staff who touch youth ministry in some way
o All camping ministry staff
o All college students from churches in the conference
o All college students associated with a campus ministry
o All college students who have participated in conference events

TRAINING TASK FORCE

Overview: This task force is responsible for the design and implementation for all YPM training,
with a particular focus on ensuring engagement at training events aligned with participation targets.

Key Responsibilities:

● Take responsibility for the promotion of all training events for YPM.
● Develop new programs for training, and integrate leadership training into existing programs
and events.

o Develop a model of youth ministry cohorts for networking and equipping.
o Create an opportunity for leadership development at Annual Conference.
o Integrate adult leader training into ROCK.
o Design an annual training calendar for all Young People’s Ministry leaders.

● Oversee the implementation of a multi-stage talent development plan for developing faithful,
well-equipped leaders for all aspects of Young People’s Ministry.
● Compile a pool of local resource people.
● Recruit, or develop, 2-3 youth resource specialists as part of the Training Task Force
Realignment Report 4.6.19 15
● Develop a strategy for equipping local church Young People’s Ministry when such support
is required.
● Design a calendar of leader training opportunities through December 2020, including at
least the following:

o Student Leaders
o Congregational Youth Ministry Volunteers
o Campus Ministry Boards
o Paid Youth Workers
o Volunteer Youth Workers
o Campus Ministers
o Young Adult Ministry Leaders
o Safe Sanctuary
o Paid Children’s Ministry Workers
o Volunteer Children’s Ministry Workers
o Intercultural Competency

CAMPUS MINISTRY TASK FORCE

Overview: To ensure that the conference’s investment in Campus Ministry is maximized for
developing and multiplying world-transforming disciples with college students. This includes
connecting campus ministries to the Church at all levels, equipping boards of directors or local
church committees who provides for planning and implementing a program of mission and ministry,
and monitoring and evaluating campus ministry.

Key Responsibilities:
Connect Campus Ministries to the Church at all Levels

1. Integrate into Young People’s Ministry’s vision of campus ministry those active campus
ministries taking place at schools within the conference but not funded by the conference
(e.g., Georgetown) nor paid for out of the Campus Ministry line item (e.g., Gallaudet).
2. Strengthen connections between campus ministries and the youth and young adult ministry
efforts of congregations and the conference (e.g., local church youth and young adult
groups, Retreat and Camping Ministries, ROCK; etc.).
3. Establish consistent norms of regular communication between campus ministry leaders and
coaches, conference staff, individual donors, and donor congregations. Clarify and develop
ways to promote the “brand” of a unified campus ministry throughout the BWC.
4. Ensure there are healthy bridges between individual campus ministries and supporting
congregations.
5. Maintain linkage with General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s campus ministry
unit.

Equip Campus Ministry Boards and Local Church Committees

6. Design and launch initiatives to equip campus ministry boards for fundraising, staff support,
and sharing impact stories with enthusiasm.
7. Establish oversight of fundraising by campus ministry boards so that this vital work does not
encroach on apportionment giving.

Monitor and Evaluate Campus Ministries

8. Ensure that the core standards and expectations are relevant and adhered to by all BWCfunded
campus ministries.
Realignment Report 4.6.19 16
9. Establish clear metrics for evaluating campus ministries based on the collaborative
contribution of campus ministers, conference staff, and campus ministry boards.
10. Recommend to the YPM board new campus ministry initiatives or strategies for reaching
more campuses that have no active United Methodist ministry.

Team Composition: This task force is made up of three people from each conference-funded
campus ministry, including a staff person, a student leader, and a board chair (or designee) from
each ministry, plus the Director of Connectional Ministries (or designee) and persons with helpful
perspectives on campus ministry.

Time Commitment: The first year of the task force will require more frequent meetings (2 hours
every 8 weeks). After the first year, we imagine meeting twice a year for 4 hours at a time would be
sufficient.

STUDENT LEADER COHORT

Overview:
The Student Cohort is designed to equip today’s leaders from different church sizes, cultures and
locations to grow and serve their various communities as lifelong, world-transforming disciples.
Students return to their churches equipped and passionate about serving in and through their local
church. This one school year commitment will launch with a limit of 30 high school students.

Goal:
Students return to their churches equipped and passionate about serving in and through their local
church with a broader appreciation for The United Methodist Church.

Responsibilities:

● Students commit in the first year to respond to God’s call on their lives and create a specific
program or project that answers a need in their own community or church.
● Students gain clarity about their unique gifts and call: whether it be in a ministry vocation or
in some other calling (lay servanthood).
● Students of different genders, ethnicities, ages, worship styles and varying church sizes,
build a rich sense of community.
● Students plan and implement a shared BWC-wide mission event in the Spring as their
collective work.
● Mentors coach students on how to present an idea to church leadership, how to be flexible,
persistent and resilient in the face of resistance.
● Together, students fulfill Book of Discipline functions of CCYM and gain an understanding
of UMC polity within and beyond the BWC.
● Participate in recruiting and orienting the next cohort.

Composition:
District Youth Coordinators, Mentors and up to 30 high schoolers (3 per district plus 6) staffed by
RCM program staff.

Key Responsibilities:

1. Design and prototype student leader development initiatives including cohorts, retreats, and
expanded mentored leadership opportunities.
2. Design and launch initiatives to create strong volunteer teams serving in local ministries.
3. Establish systems for making effective youth ministry resources more widely available to
church youth ministries throughout the conference.
Realignment Report 4.6.19 17
4. Create and execute mechanisms for more effectively promoting and sharing the good news
of creative expressions of youth ministry throughout the conference.
5. Provide increasing opportunities for the professional development of those serving on
church staffs in the field of youth ministry.
6. Build bridges and on ramps between youth ministries and the other expressions of Young
People's Ministry in the conference.
7. Experiment with and prototype alternative processes for developing effective youth workers
throughout the conference, including cohort groups, mentoring, and district-based support
networks.
8. Clarify and develop ways to promote the “brand” of a youth ministry throughout the
conference.
9. Experiment with leadership development processes by using a variety internship models in
youth ministry.
10. Design and implement at least one “outside of the box” initiative for youth ministry, perhaps
through the change-maker initiative or the Ministry Hatchery.

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY TEAM

Overview: The Young Adult Ministry Team serves as an expression of Young People’s Ministry in
the Baltimore-Washington Conference, with a specific focus on reaching, empowering, connecting,
and engaging young adults (18-35) in faithful expressions of ministry, aligned with the mission,
goals, and values of the Interim Young People’s Ministry Board.

Responsibilities:

1. Design, promote, and implement programming that empowers young adults to engage
more deeply in their faith and in the mission of the United Methodist Church.
2. Serve as an advocate for young adult ministry in the conference, and work to give voice to
the concerns, priorities, and input of young adults.
3. Catalyze opportunities for young adults throughout the conference to participate in
opportunities to serve and/or advocate for justice.
4. Support experimentation with creative models for young adult ministry in the conference in
collaboration with the Director of New Faith Expressions and/or the relevant District
Superintendent.
5. Inspire local congregations to engage young adults in their own contexts by identifying
resources and providing encouragement and connections throughout the conference.
6. Ensure that the appropriate number (one per district) of young adults (per rules of
conference) are recruited as young adult delegates to annual conference each year.
7. Ensure that young adult delegates to annual conference are oriented to their role at annual
conference in a way that maximizes their presence and impact.
8. Serve as the selection committee for awards given to young adults.
9. Manage the calendar for Young Adult Ministry in the conference, in collaboration with the
Interim Young People’s Ministry Board.

Meeting Schedule: The Young Adult Ministry Team meets at least quarterly, with task forces and
subcommittees meeting as needed. Subcommittees may include:

● Events Team (develop and execute annual young adult event)
● Communications Team (social media campaign, design, emails, etc.)
● Justice and Service Team. Responsible for catalyzing opportunities for young adults
throughout the conference to participate in opportunities to serve and/or advocate for justice
(in collaboration with the Executive Minister of Justice and Service and the Advocacy and
Action and Wellness & Service Boards.

YOUTH TASK FORCE
Overview: The Youth Task Force ensures that our flagship youth retreat, ROCK, and other Youth
initiatives continue to innovate and evolve so that it stays fresh, relevant and aligned with the
mission, goals, and values of the Young People’s Ministry Board. 

Key Responsibilities:

● Participate in designing an annual audit of ROCK, Student Leadership Cohort and other
conference-funded youth initiatives that includes: feedback from participants, allocation of
resources, and analysis of which congregations are NOT coming and why.
● Identify opportunities for improvement with regards to integration with YPM.
● Develop, design and implement new experiences at or connected to ROCK (workshops,
activities, etc.) and other Youth Initiatives with relevant YPM teams.
● Review all branding, video and other messaging components used at ROCK and other
Youth initiatives.

APPENDIX B - Advocacy & Action Task Force Descriptions (these change over time)


APPENDIX C - Wellness & Service Board Task Force Descriptions (these form


Submitted by Jessica Hayden, Discipleship Council Chair; Bill Brown, Interim Director of New
Faith Expressions; Christie Latona, Director of Connectional Ministries; Rodney Smothers, Director
of Leadership and Congregational Development

 

  • Leadership Development Board

     We seek to equip and mature leaders who develop disciples of Jesus Christ who know their purpose and use their gifts who build up the body of Christ for the transformation of the world.  We nurture a culture in and through the Leadership Development Board of call, competency, and spiritual maturity through teams working together to equip vibrant lay and clergy leadership throughout the conference.  The Leadership Development Board coordinates, supports and contributes to the crafting of all leadership efforts within the conference.

    Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate and communicate a master Board calendar for all leadership training within the conference.
  • Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with agendas distributed one week before each meeting with a focused approach to each meeting.
  • Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for leadership development in the conference.
  • Engage others outside the Leadership development board through task forces, chaired by Board members in the following areas:
    • Develop a coaching network to equip coaches that will walk alongside leaders implementing discipleship ecosystems.
    • Develop a partnership with the Leadership Academy Team to provide resources and opportunities for training.
    • Develop a partnership with the Call and Clergy Care office to work with clergy and laity who feel the call to ministry in the local church.
    • Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to leadership which aren’t owned by other agencies and boards within the conference (¶Board of Discipleship functions, ¶631 Conference Board of Laity)

 Team Composition:  11 voting members including, BOOM Chair (or designee), Conference Lay Leader, Director of Lay Servant Ministries, up to 6 people with skills and demonstrated fruitfulness in discipleship and leadership development (3 lay, 3 clergy), one Youth and one Young Adult..

 Ex Officio (voice no vote):  Director of Leadership and Congregational Development, Executive Minister of Call and Clergy Care, Wesley Seminary rep

Time Commitment

Quarterly meetings (3-4 hrs.) either in person or via Zoom.  Taskforce and subcommittee meetings as needed (depending upon the task).

 

  • Office of Leadership Development

    The Office of Leadership Development’s primary role is to provide resources to equip laity, pastors and congregations in learning and leadership development.

    Our goals for 2018:

    • Promote local and national training events provided resources, strategies and tools for new and revitalized congregations;
    • Increase annual conference resources to equip congregations to enhance both internal and external mission and evangelistic opportunities to fulfill our call to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

     Our mission impact for 2018:

    • Leader training was offered through Tending the Fire, The Laity Fix, and Five Things Your Visitors Are Thinking, But Won’t Ask;
    • Local church workshops on leadership development, conflict management, community engagement, planning tools, and stewardship;
    • Congregations were resourced through MissionInsite, Lifeway, Readiness 360 and DISC Assessments;
    • Coaching resources were provided toward certification;
    • Scholarships were provided for pastors and laity to attend the Mid-Atlantic Stewardship Academy;
    • Scholarships were awarded for pastors and laity to attend Exponential New Church Training and the Leadership Institute;
    • The new Leadership Development Board has been developed;
    • Additional resources added this year are LeaderPod UMC, a new podcast series;
    • Two new publications this year; Resurgence: Navigating the Changing Ministry Landscape, and Blank Slate: Write Your Own Rules for a 22nd-Century Church Movement;
    • This office has also managed grants for leader development, new ministry, and new and renewed congregation development request.

     Our objectives for 2019:

    • Expand our collaborative work with New Faith Expression through strategic implementation of vital ministry places birthed out of new and existing vital congregations;
    • Equip a network of Resurgence Coaches to turn around congregations;
    • Enlarge our strategic focus on discipleship systems;
    • Launch a BWC Leadership Academy.

     Rev. Rodney T. Smothers, Director of Leadership and Congregation Development  

 

  • Conference Board of Laity

    The Ministry of the Laity is responsible for making disciples of Jesus Christ to support the mission of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The Board continues its efforts to encourage the participation of all laypersons in broader areas and understanding life of the various ministries of the Conference.

    The District Lay Leaders are actively engaged in and carrying out their missions. Richard Willson, Cumberland-Hagerstown, represented the group by attending the NEJ Association of Conference Lay Leaders in Springfield, Mass.

    The Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministry has done exceedingly well under the leadership of Linda Flanagan. The Committee cares for the training of Lay Servants and Certified Lay Servant Ministers.

    The main goal for this year was to train laity across the Conference. The eight districts hosted many classes that included various topics. There were four regional Leadership Days training sessions across the Conference. This goal was exceeded far above expectations. It is also exciting to encourage young disciples to participate in the Lay Servant classes.

    It was a blessing to celebrate the appointment of one the District Lay Leaders (also a CLM), Rod Fry, as pastor of two small churches: Ijamsville and Flint Hill UMC. He also has a thriving Motorcycle Ministry, reaching out to the secular community. The goal is to continue this ministry.

    The Lay Leaders serve on many Local, District and Conference Boards and Committees, and often chair them.

    The major project that is planned is to have a one or two-day retreat with all laity in the Conference, to share how they can get involved. This will especially be focused on interest in Lay Servant training, CLM training, Lay Members to Annual Conference, etc.  Another focus area will be discussions regarding General Conference decisions proceedings and how we look to the future.

    Another goal is to focus on encouraging youth and young adults to become more active and involved in the life of the church. 

    Delores Martin
    Conference Lay Leader 

 

  • New Faith Expressions

    Our purpose is to create new places and spaces for new people in order to reach more new people, more young people, and more diverse people who become more like Christ in the world.

    Every church was once a new church. Every church began as a dream of a person or group of people who desired that a new group of people know Christ and be a part of the community that we know of as the church.

    As United Methodists within the Baltimore Washington Conference, we have inherited this church-planting ethic. We are also in the unique position of being the birth place of the Methodist Movement within the United States, and so we stand on the shoulders of giants who planted the churches in which we find ourselves.

    My assignment since August was to “survey” the lay of the land and get an understanding of why what we have tried has not worked and to establish a base line for what New Faith Expressions can look like for our Annual Conference. A New Faith Expression is a community of faith in-tune with our changing culture. These communities of faith are developed with those in mind who are not yet a part of a church. We believe it will take all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people.

    Many of our communities have church buildings on every corner, but we must realize approximately 80 percent of the American population is not participating in a church gathering on any given Sunday.

    New faith expressions are not tied to a physical building (or even to keeping a church alive) but to a building of community for a purpose: to engage people in a life‐giving relationship with Jesus. While we have had some successes in this area, we have struggled due to the following:

    • Significant push back of other United Methodist churches in areas where new churches were being launched;
    • A lack of initial and ongoing training for new church planters;
    • The biggest factor which caused the demise of several successful launches was the transition from the founding pastor to the second or third clergy leader.

     As we move forward, we will be focusing on:

    • Developing a process and system for identifying and training Clergy and Laity who could start New Faith Expressions;
    • Work with the District Superintendents, in their role as chief missional strategist, in their work of starting new faith communities and transforming existing congregations to reach new people;
    • Develop a comprehensive plan for launching New Faith Expressions throughout our Annual Conference.

     Rev. Bill Brown, Interim Director of New Faith Expressions 

  • Young People's Ministries 

    Download numbered PDF

    Overview

    The executive summary of the strategic plan for Young People’s Ministry includes the following components:

    • The Strategic Planning Process and Summary
    • Specific Recommendations for Annual Conference 2019 for Young People’s Ministry
    • Progress Report
    • Retreat & Camping Ministries (RCM) Strategic Plan
    • The Young People’s Ministry Visioning Documents
    • The Young People’s Ministry Board Job Description


    The Strategic Planning Process and Summary

    Over the past 14 months, the Young People’s Ministry of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church (BWC) has engaged in a process of developing a comprehensive strategic plan for Young People’s Ministry in the conference. A significant number of stakeholders throughout the conference have given input to this plan.

    • In January 2018, Ministry Architects facilitated an initial listening session with 45 people engaged in a wide variety of ways in ministry to young people throughout the conference.
    • Soon after this gathering, in May 2018, a Young People’s Ministry survey was sent to all conference churches, with 157 people responding.
    • In September 2018, Mark DeVries and Aqueelah Ligonde from Ministry Architects met with approximately 110 stakeholders in young people’s ministry in six focus groups, collaboratively developing the contours of the strategic plan.
    • Mark DeVries also met with groups of 35 stakeholders in October 2018 and January 2019 to invite much needed input on the various expressions of the values and goals for the Young People’s Ministry.

    The strategic assessment report, originally crafted in September 2018, has been revised several times as additional groups of stakeholders have spoken into the plan. The final version of the report includes these elements:

    • Background on the Conference and each ministry within YPM
    • A dashboard representing pertinent data from the GCFA statistical report
    • Current assets within YPM
    • Current challenges facing YPM
    • Key principles of the strategic plan for YPM
    • Visioning documents, including core values, 3-year goals, benchmarks, and strategies
    • Recommendations for developing the structure of YPM
    • Specific recommendations for youth ministry, young adult ministry, and campus ministry
    • Recommendations for Annual Conference 2019
    • A timeline for sequencing the execution of all recommendations

    In addition to the conference vision and mission, the strategic plan has been informed by the following overarching, foundational priorities: 

    • We have made the choice to disproportionately invest in young people (aligned with the research of Sticky Faith and Growing Young) and in developing leadership.
    • We will focus on building healthy connective tissue between expressions of Young People’s Ministry as much or more than we focus on creating new programs. As a result, we will focus first on building the structures of connection between current expressions of Young People’s Ministry in the conference. This includes:
      • Building the essential infrastructure for a vibrant, integrated, deep-impact ministry for young people in the conference.
      • Improving our database and strategies for communication.
    • We will support innovation that enables the church to continue co-creating with God, aligning with Wesleyan discipleship and remaining relevant. This includes:
      • Cultivating an innovative ethos around student ministry, camping ministry, campus ministry, and young adult ministry in the conference, providing latitude for the development of communication channels and innovative programs that may not naturally fit into the conference’s current structure (the books, Orbiting the Giant Hairball and Innovator’s Dilemma can serve as a reference point).
      • Holding fast to the combination of healthy systems and a willingness to embrace disruptive innovation.
    • We will advocate the shift from seeing young people as recipients of mission to seeing them as partners and agents of mission and ministry themselves.

     

    Anticipated Changes After Annual Conference 2019

    The strategic plan recommends the following approvals related to the work of Young People’s Ministry in the BWC and hopes the Annual Conference affirms that as a part of the Discipleship Council Report:

    • Transition the Interim Young People’s Ministry Board to an official permanent board with a clearly defined composition of members including youth, young members and ex officio members representing campus ministry, RCM, ROCK (see job description).
    • Transition aspects of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry to a Student Leadership Cohort that includes district youth coordinators and up to 30 youth from across the conference and their mentors.

    Additionally:

    • Pilot campus ministry training hub at UMD as an innovation for campus ministry.
    • Create Task Forces to develop infrastructure and innovation in the following areas:
      • Training
      • Database
      • Young adult ministry
      • Youth ministry
      • Campus ministry
      • Grants and scholarships
      • Site-based retreat and camping ministry
      • Student Leader Cohort
    • Affirm RCM to raise money for camperships each year to a maximum of $500,000/year so that every child can afford to go to a BWC camp.

     

    Progress Report

    In the months in which the strategic plan has been drafted, some implementation has already begun to take place, including:

    • Significant steps have been taken to update Arena with Young People’s Ministry stakeholders.
    • A timeline and game plan for introducing a campus ministry hub at UMD have been developed and implementation has begun.
    • Job descriptions for Young People’s ministry task forces have been created and recruiting of task force members has begun.

     

    Submitted by: Shemaiah Strickland, Chair, Jack Arnold, Vice Chair, and Cheryl Cook, Coordinator of Young People’s Ministry and Special Projects


     

    Retreat & Camping Ministries Strategic Plan

    Parallel to the Young People’s Ministry strategic planning process with Ministry Architects, Retreat and Camping Ministries (RCM) engaged Kaleidoscope Inc., a camp and retreat center consultant, to evaluate the ministry’s current operations and provide strategic plans for increased ministry effectiveness and sustainability. Kaleidoscope met with site stakeholders, RCM staff, and a working team of RCM staff and conference leaders to gather feedback on the sites, process site usage data, and explore potential areas for growth over the course of several months in the Fall of 2018. To view our ministry report and the comprehensive strategic plan go to bwcumc.org/RCMnext. Here are the highlights.

     Long-Term Growth Drivers

    • Focus summer camp program model to provide excellent, vital ministry, maximizing the unique setting of each property.
    • Expand the model for retreats to better serve adult and family groups.
    • Develop intercultural proficiency in each location to connect people, history, program, property, and faith development.

     RCM Strategic Analysis

    Camp Harmison – Berkeley Springs, WV

    • While thousands of people have experienced Christ in the beautiful and rustic setting of Harmison since it began operation in 1959, through analysis and prayerful discernment, we discovered there is not a viable model for sustainable ministry and are exploring possibilities for the future. All stakeholders and legacies will be included and honored in the process. 

    Manidokan Camp & Retreat Center – Knoxville, MD

    • While usage of Manidokan has nearly doubled over the past 10 years, it is considered a small sized operation and is thus on the edge of viability.
    • One of the major limiting factors is capacity. Overnight capacity should be increased to 200 (150 youth beds, 50 adult beds) from the current 112 year-round accommodations.
    • The programming at Manidokan should focus on adventure and utilizing the 400+ acre property.
    • Both retreat and summer camp groups should take better advantage of local attractions including Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, the C&O Canal, and Antietam Battlefield.
    • The site must differentiate youth, intergenerational, and adult spaces to better meet the unique needs of those groups.

    West River

    • West River is the most used property in the BWC RCM and considered a medium sized and sustainable operation. However, the site has not maximized its potential.
    • The sleeping capacity of West River is sufficient, but the quality of the accommodations must be improved and differentiated between adult and youth spaces to better meet the needs of those populations.
    • The day camp program started in 2012 has sold out in recent years and should be aggressively expanded to two or three times the current size.
    • The waterfront is a big draw for campers and guests, so the programming at the site should take better advantage of that resource. Every camper and guest should have an opportunity to interact with the water, not just observe it.

     Next Steps

    Beginning in 2019 RCM will take steps to implement these recommendations including:

    • Cease operation at Camp Harmison and reallocate resources to Manidokan and West River.
    • Focus Manidokan adventure programming with two new rustic programs and visit several camps with successful adventure programs in our connection to glean best practices.
    • Expand West River day camp by 50% in 2019 and develop plans for continued expansion of the program over the next several years.
    • Create a development program for RCM.
    • Align staff to free up time needed to focus on identified growth areas.
    • Complete the long-range planning process with site master plans for Manidokan and West River.

    Submitted by: Chris Schlieckert, Director of Retreat and Camping Ministries

    Young People’s Ministry Visioning Documents

     YOUNG PEOPLE’S MINISTRY VALUES

     DO NO HARM. DO GOOD. STAY IN LOVE WITH GOD.

    1. Courageous Love: We have been called by Christ into an inclusive love that welcomes all, celebrates differences, and anchors difficult conversations in respect and kindness. 
    2. Humble Urgency: We have been invited to a work of incomparable importance, and we remain equally committed to doing no harm in our efforts to achieve this mission.
    3. Bold Innovation: We are purposeful about creativity, invention, and experimentation in order to maximize the reach and effectiveness of each initiative designed to express the love of God.
    4. Faithful Openness: We are rooted in God’s love through Jesus Christ, who calls us beloved, and yet we are always learning more of the unfolding work of the Spirit.
    5. Restful Work: We are eager to work hard for those things that matter most, while living in patient grace, including intentional rest.

     

    YOUNG PEOPLE’S MINISTRY GOALS

     
    TARGET DATE: DECEMBER 31, 2021
    ONE-YEAR BENCHMARK: DECEMBER 31, 2019

     OVERVIEW: The following three-year goals and one-year benchmarks provide a clear, ambitious, tangible expression of the vision and values of Young People’s Ministry in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The three-year goals have been designed as “stretch” aspirations, while the one-year benchmarks are achievable next steps in moving toward the more ambitious, longer term goals.  

    This document was designed collaboratively, in multiple iterations, with the input of the Interim Young People’s Ministry Board, a wide circle of over 100 stakeholders throughout the conference, and our consultant team from Ministry Architects. The “preferred initial strategies” following each benchmark are not meant to be limiting or prescriptive but to provide possible next steps that the Young People’s Ministry Board can draw upon as they move toward achieving each of the goals and benchmarks below. 

     ENGAGEMENT

1. Growing Local Church Youth Engagement: By December 2021, 50 churches have increased the number of youth engaged in their churches to a new level of participation (From 0 youth to 1+, from 1-4 youth to 5+, from 5-15 youth to 16+, from 16-29 youth to 30+, from 30-49 youth to 50+, 50-99,100-150, 150-200, 200-250+).

•  1-Year Benchmark: By December 2019, 15 churches have increased the number of youth engaged in their churches to a new level of participation (From 0 youth to 1+, from 1-4 youth to 5+, from 5-15 youth to 16+, from 16-30 youth to 30+, from 30-49 youth to 50+, 50-100,100-150, 150-200, 200-250+).

2. Expanding Young People’s Engagement Beyond the Local Church: Between January 2019 and December 2021, an additional 2,000 youth and young adults (both from within the church and from outside the church) have participated in regional, district, conference or denomination-sponsored ministry events, including ROCK, camps, retreats, multi-cultural events, social justice programming, and other events.

•  1-Year Benchmark: A baseline number has been determined for how many youth and young adults participated in regional, district, conference or denomination-sponsored events in 2018.

•  1-Year Benchmark: A cross-cultural small group with youth and/or young adults gathered in 2019.

•  1-Year Benchmark: By December 2019, a listening campaign involving at least 25 youth per district has been completed, and the service or justice issue young people want to focus on for the next two years has been identified (in collaboration with the Advocacy and Action Board). 

3. Campus Ministry: By December 2021, more than 500 college students are engaged through BWC connected ministries on at least 12 different campuses.

• 1-Year Benchmark: By December 2019, more than 200 college students are engaged through BWC connected ministries on at least six different campuses.

    •  

      LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

    4. Young Adult Leadership: At least five experiments in empowering young adults in leadership have been launched in the previous year (2021).

    •  1-Year Benchmark: At least two experiments in empowering young adults in leadership have been launched in the previous year (2019).

    5. Student Leadership: By December 2021, at least 200 middle school and high school students participated in a leadership training event sponsored or referred by the conference in the previous year.

    •  1-Year Benchmark: By December 2019, at least 60 middle school and high school students participated in a leadership training event sponsored or referred by the conference in the previous year (2019).

    •  1-Year Benchmark: By December 2021, at least 250 adult leaders of youth participated in at least one leadership training event sponsored or referred by the conference in the previous year (2021).

    •  1-Year Benchmark: At least 75 adult leaders of youth participated in at least one leadership training event sponsored or referred by the conference in the previous year (2019).

      •  

        INNOVATION

      6. Innovation Systems: A comprehensive process has been established for celebrating, cultivating, learning from and maximizing innovations in young people’s ministry, launching at least 10 initiatives in the past three years, with at least three of those initiatives in place for over a year.

      •  1-Year Benchmark: At least one young adult initiative launched by December 2019 and a game plan and timeline for implementing a comprehensive process for innovations in Young People’s Ministry has been created and approved.

      7. Special Needs Ministry: All churches have been equipped to welcome families with a family member who has special needs. There is a church in every BWC district with an exemplar ministry for special needs children, youth, and young adults.

      • 1-Year Benchmark: In collaboration with the Commission on Disability Ministry, all churches in the conference have been invited to complete a special-needs readiness assessment, and at least 75% of churches have completed it.

      8. Mental Health Resources: All churches have knowledge about and ready access to robust mental health resources to help youth leaders at local churches address mental health issues, like anxiety, depression, and suicide, with their youth.

      •  1- Year Benchmark: In collaboration with the Wellness and Service Board, a game plan has been drafted for supporting the mental health of youth and young adults throughout the conference and providing resources to churches to help youth leaders at local churches address mental health issues, like anxiety, depression, and suicide, with their youth.

        •  

          Young People’s Ministry Board Job Description

          Purpose:

          We nurture a culture, in and through the Young People’s Ministry (YPM) Board, of loving, joyful, and hard-working teams serving together to create and sustain vibrant ministry with young people throughout the conference. The YPM Board coordinates, oversees, supports and contributes to the crafting of the vision of all young people’s ministry within the conference (including, but not limited to, ROCK, campus ministry, the work of Young Adult Council, the work of the Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and camping and retreat ministry, and the work traditionally assumed by the Conference Council for Youth Ministry). ).

          Responsibilities:  

          • Speak into, endorse, support, and share a three-year strategic design and execution process for young people’s ministry in the conference.
          • Ensure that clear communication takes place between the various areas of young people’s ministry in the conference.
          • Coordinate and communicate a master calendar for all board-related young people’s ministry programming in the conference.  
          • Meet at least quarterly and additionally as necessary, with agendas distributed one week before each meeting, with a calm, confident, and focused approach to each meeting.
          • Ensure that new initiatives are aligned with the vision and strategic plan for young people’s ministry in the conference.  
          • Engage others outside the Interim Young People’s Ministry Board through task forces, chaired by Board members in the following areas:
            • Training: Designs and implements all YPM training, with a particular focus on ensuring engagement at training events aligned with participation targets
            • Database: Ensures the ongoing development and maintenance of an integrated YPM database, with an initial target of 10,000 YPM stakeholders with robust information for each
            • Young Adult Ministry (formerly Young Adult Council): Reaches, empowers, connects, and engages young adults (18-35) in faithful expressions of ministry, aligned with the mission, goals, and values of the Interim Young People’s Ministry Board. Meets quarterly.
            • Youth Ministry: Evaluates the effectiveness of conference-funded youth initiatives including but not limited to the Student Leadership Cohort and our flagship youth retreat, ROCK. Evaluation allows these ministries to continue to innovate and evolve so ministries remain fresh, relevant and aligned with the mission, goals, and values of the Young People’s Ministry Board. Meets at least twice a year.
            • Campus Ministry (many functions of Board of Higher Education and Ministry): Ensures that the conference’s investment in Campus Ministry is maximized for developing and multiplying world-transforming disciples with college students. This includes connecting campus ministries to the Church at all levels, equipping boards of directors or local church committees who provides for planning and implementing a program of mission and ministry, and monitoring and evaluating campus ministry.
            • Grants and Scholarships: Monitors, ranks and recommends persons to receive mission innovation grants and scholarships to the YPM Board for a final vote.
            • Student Leader Cohort (many functions of CCYM): equips today’s leaders from different church sizes, cultures and locations to grow and serve their various communities as lifelong, world-transforming disciples while serving in an annual conference capacity and designing a conference-wide mission project for and by youth. Students return to their churches equipped and passionate about serving in and through their local church with an under.
          • Comply with all requirements of the Book of Discipline related to young people’s ministry.
          • Assess strategic ministry needs and troubleshoot key pressure points efficiently and effectively.  

          Team Composition: 10 voting members (at least four of which are youth) selected by the Committee on Nominations using interest forms completed by youth and young adults and ensuring there is balanced representation from all areas (high school youth, campus ministry, Retreat and Camping ministry, and Young Adult Ministry)

          Ex Officio (voice no vote): ROCK event coordinator, Retreat & Camping Ministry rep, Campus Ministry rep, two advocate advisers who hold leadership roles in the local church and have extensive experience with young people, and a Young People’s Ministry staff rep

          Time Commitment: Orientation meeting (seven hours), three quarterly meetings (three hours each), task force work (+/- 12 hours a year)

        • Download numbered PDF
        •  

           

        • Retreat and Camping

          The mission of Retreat and Camping Ministries (RCM) is to grow disciples of Jesus Christ through immersion in Christian community and by building relationships in the midst of God’s creation. We provide unmatched opportunities to individuals and local churches for spiritual transformation through retreat and camp experiences.

          In 2018, RCM saw a 6.8% increase in the total number of groups served (to 332) and a 6.2% increase in total guests served, resulting in nearly 15,000 people engaged in our ministry. Due to a decrease in the number of day camp offerings at West River, there was a slight overall decline in summer camp participation despite an increase in residential camp participation. For the sixth consecutive year, we are proud to have met our financial mandate to cover operating expenses with operating income.

          Ministry Moments

           

        • 2018 was a year of firsts for a unique program at West River. The Rev. Tim Warner began Camp Hope in 2005 when he wondered if the transformations he had seen in youth at camp could be used to combat systemic incarceration, which sees nearly 70% of children with an incarcerated parent also end up in incarcerated. The answer is emphatically “yes,” and as the program continues to mature, the long-lasting impact it has comes more clearly into focus. While many Camp Hope alumni return to camp each summer to serve as volunteer counselors in the program, this summer saw not one, but two Camp Hope alumni serve on the West River summer staff for the first time. In addition to seeing the way camp has changed the course of former campers’ lives and led them to bright futures at college and exploring God’s call in their life through camp leadership positions, this summer, three campers chose to be baptized in the West River while at camp. Camp Hope is a shining example of how a community need was recognized and a camp was able to offer a unique way to share love, hope, and transformation through Jesus Christ.

           

        • While national statistics show that 1 in 5 teens has a diagnosable mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety, females are twice as likely as males to suffer these conditions and females account for 90% of eating disorders. When these frightening statistics are paired with the dipropionate lack of female leadership in politics, business, and the church, the Rev. Bonnie McCubbin wanted to make a difference. Camp had been an important part of Bonnie’s life as she grew up and accepted God’s call to ministry, so she wanted to create a camp program that would focus on girls to develop their self-confidence through camp activities and conversations with inspirational female leaders from our conference. LeadHer camp launched in 2018 and featured a variety of church leaders, including Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling. The camp had such a powerful impact on the young women who attended that a number of them have continued to meet throughout the year to encourage each other and develop as leaders.

           

        • Manidokan is a place of natural beauty and adventure. When an invasive species of beetle invaded the camp a couple years ago and killed nearly every ash tree on the property, it left a scar on the property and brought home our responsibility for creation care and the delicate balance of nature. The dead trees created a safety hazard and would need to be removed.  Fortunately, a local logger was willing to work with the camp and the camp was able to make profits from the sale of the lumber. In 2018, those proceeds allowed Manidokan to install a new state-of-the-art aerial park to enhance the camp’s adventure opportunities and deepen a partnership with a local outfitting company. Ropes adventures, both high and low, provide safe and hands-on experiences which strengthen community, push individuals perceived limits, and illustrate essential elements of faith formation.

           

        • We strive for our retreat and camping ministry to be available and welcoming to all people, but the reality is that some young people have more barriers preventing them from coming to camp than others. For many youth in Baltimore, some of the recognized barriers include price, parents unable to send their children away with people they didn’t know, and past negative racial experiences. After a few years of running a marginally successful day camp program in Baltimore during the summer, our Baltimore City Camp Initiative was reimagined for 2018. We offered Resurrection Day Camp at John Wesley UMC in Baltimore during Holy Week in order to fill a need in the community for childcare during spring break, and to build relationships with campers and parents in a familiar setting. The week of camp was a great success and 20% of the residential camp aged campers subsequently attended a residential program at Manidokan or West River during the summer. We will continue to intentionally address barriers to camp participation so all people can experience the unmatched opportunity for spiritual transformation which camp provides.

           

          RCM also took intentional steps this year to prepare the ministry for the future. We increased our marketing efforts, began to focus on intercultural competency training, and revised our Safe Sanctuaries policies. We also underwent a long-range planning process with a consultant to evaluate our current ministry and identify opportunities for ongoing growth and sustainability.

          In 2019 RCM will:

          • Implement a revised Safe Sanctuaries policy;
          • Explore new technology for registration and record keeping;
          • Increase our communication of the importance of giving to Camperships and how to apply for one;
          • Begin to implement long-range plan recommendations that aren’t dependent on major capital improvements:
            • Expand West River day camp by 50%;
            • Offer new adventure programming at Manidokan;
            • Align staffing with growth opportunities.

          It is an honor to lead our conference Retreat and Camping Ministry along with 90 year-round, part-time, and seasonal staff, and more than 250 volunteers, as we engage people in intentional community-building, spiritual formation, and personal growth through the camp and retreat experience so the world may be transformed.

          Respectfully submitted by:

          Chris Schlieckert, Director of Retreat & Camping Ministries

         

        • Abundant Health

          Interim Abundant Health Board Report
          (formerly known as The Conference Board of Global Ministries, Para. 633)

           We mobilize individuals and teams to address human need and create abundant health and wholeness for all.

           The Abundant Health Board seeks to inspire and equip faith communities to foster spiritual, physical, and mental health for all, and to promote an understanding of the interconnectedness of all aspects of health, individually, locally and globally. Through intentionally building relationships, meeting needs and improving health, we will contribute to developing more disciples who grow in their love of God and all their neighbors for the flourishing of lives and communities. 

           Our partners in this work include: The General Board of Global Ministries; NEJ Volunteers in Mission; Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD); Wesley Theological Seminary’s Heal the Sick; the Board of Childcare; Maryland Council on Problem Gambling; and skilled servant workers from the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

           In 2018 the BWC:

          • Led mission service trips to Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Ukraine and Russia.
          • Assisted more than 30 families in Frederick County after flooding.
          • Clarified the most useful support and needs in local congregations seeking to create wellness within their congregations and communities.
          • Identified the need for an Abundant Health Ambassador in each local congregation or cluster of congregations.
          • Deepened the Integration of health, VIM, and ERT.
          • Created a one-stop website that allows planners and seekers of mission trips to get the information they need: http://missiontrips.bwcumc.org/
          • Gave generously through The Advance (which is "second mile giving" over and above mission shares); 984 BWC individuals and churches gave a total of $673,184.68:
            • $132,330.44 for Missionary Support
            • $540,854.24 Advance Projects/UMCOR/Global Health

           

           

          Through the May 2019 Connectional Ministries survey that was sent to everyone with an email address in Arena (our conference database), we learned more about how 416 people are currently engaged in Abundant Health Ministries.

          I've taken Volunteers in Mission Training (VIM)

          29.50%

          I've taken Early Response Team Training (ERT)

          17.51%

          I have led or attended a mission trip (MISSION)

          53.96%

          I or my church support(s) a UMC missionary (MISSIONARY)

          45.08%

          I work in construction and have volunteered or am interested in volunteering my services to rebuild homes and places of worship (CONSTRUCTION)

          11.03%

          I am involved in physical health advocacy or ministry (BODY)

          11.99%

          I am involved in mental health advocacy or ministry (MIND)

          19.90%

          I am involved in spiritual health advocacy or ministry (SPIRIT)

          16.79%

          I am a medical practitioner (MED)

          3.36%

          I am involved in Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence prevention (DV/IPV)

          6.24%

           

          I am involved in HIV/AIDS ministry (HIV)

          2.88%

          My church is part of the 10,000 Church Challenge (CHALLENGE)

          1.20%

          I've completed Wesley Theological Seminary's "Heal the Sick" Program (WTS HTS)

          1.92%

          I've completed Mental Health First Aid Training (MH 1st Aid)

          9.83%

          I've completed the "PathWay 2 Wholeness" Program (PW2W)

          0.72%

          My church could serve as a resource to other congregations in one or more of these areas (AH RESOURCE)

          6.95%

           

           Our 2019 goals are: 

          1. Ensuring that 10% of congregations have identified a Health Ambassador or equivalent;
          2. Increasing the number of servant leaders in the health ministry, VIM, and ERT through contacting the 589 people who have indicated they are interested in becoming engaged in Abundant Health ministries;
          3. Identifying at least one Wellness and Service resource congregation per district through contacting those 29 persons who have indicated that their congregation could resource other congregations;
          4. Launching at least 2 health & service mission trips to areas of natural or person-created disasters;
          5. Ensuring our ministry is fully inclusive to healthcare concerns of all and working with the BWC Advocacy and Action teams as needed to make that happen; and
          6. Changing our name from Abundant Health to Wellness and Service/Missions so that local congregations understand the scope of ministry.

           Submitted by: Rev. Heath Wilson, Interim Abundant Health Board, Chairperson; Rev. Joan Carter-Rimbach, Conference VIM Coordinator; Fred Sipes, Conference ERT Coordinator; and Rev. Stacey Cole Wilson, Executive Minister of Justice & Service

           

         

        • Conference Mission Secretary

          Conference Secretary of Global Ministries:

          • Interpret the programs, emphases, plans, and policies of the General Board of Global Ministries to the annual conference;
          • Work with Missionary Services to promote Covenant Relationships and itineration of missionaries to share the story of God’s mission and increase support for missionaries;
          • Cooperate with Global Ministries in its mission program in the United States and around the globe.

          Our goal is to coordinate the itineration of missionaries visiting supporting churches. We make special efforts to have missionaries visit churches that are not currently supporting missionaries.

          • Promote new Covenant Relationships;
          • Maintain the list of missionaries supported throughout the annual conference;
          • Mission u, a joint venture of GBGM and UMW, is the major training event for Mission Education within the BWC;
          • Members of CGBGM serve on the planning committee for the annual school for adult and youth.

           Missionaries are provided an opportunity every three years to visit the United States. They usually itinerate to conferences where they have four or more covenant relationships.  Exceptions are made if missionaries are visiting nearby areas and visit BWC for a brief time. 

          In December 2-5, 2018, accompanied by Heath Wilson and Katie Filano, I attended Mission Ambassadors Summit at the Impact Church in Atlanta, Ga. Some of the agenda items included Global Ministries, Mission Service and Engagement, understanding partnerships UMCOR/UMVIM, Healthy communities and Abundant Health. 

          Goals 2019:

          • Participate in NEJ Fall retreat for Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries;
          • Promote Covenant Relationships between Missionaries and BWC churches;
          • Identify CSGM relationship with the Interim Abundant Health Ministries.

          Submitted by: Deaconess Jane Grays, Secretary of Global Ministries

         

         

        • Advocacy in Action

          Purpose 

          The Interim Advocacy and Action Board inspires and develops disciples by partnering with communities to transform systems which disenfranchise, marginalize, and oppress by confronting these systems within the local church and Annual Conference; by challenging the church be to just, and by creating a BWC presence on urgent policy matters at local, state and national levels.

          2018-2019 Goals and Priorities 

          • Developing a comprehensive plan for advocacy work to identify persons, resources/assets, needs and systems needed to affect transformational change. This is a multi-layered and multi-year goal that is being collaboratively addressed through our leadership development forms (https://www.bwcumc.org/conference-agency-leadership-nominations/), forums, conversations with leaders (i.e. local, laity, district superintendents, events/training), and intentional listening sessions.
          • Deepening and strengthening our connection with our neighbors – i.e. Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Mayor’s Office of Washington D.C., National Council of Churches, Interfaith Power and Light, Enterprise Maryland-DC and Baltimore, Poor People’s Campaign (PPC), NAACP, Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), Cumberland-Hagerstown and Frederick networks, Maryland Council on Problem Gambling, and SAMSHA - Opioid Addiction Resources across our districts.
          • Providing at least two legislative opportunities for persons to “stand with” and address systems which disenfranchise, marginalize, and oppress, in accordance with our Social Principles and Wesleyan Heritage.  We’ve organized the following:
            • United to Love Rally – Standing Together in Love Against All Forms of Hate;
            • Legislative Advocacy Day in Annapolis;
            • Hosted a Press Conference – Calling for the End of the Partial U.S. Federal Government Shutdown;
            • And offered a faithful presence in Washington D.C. and Annapolis during Legislative Sessions.
          • Developed and Implemented the Moral Courage Awards for Youth, Young Adults, and Adults.
          • Awarded Peace with Justice Awards.
          • Mission Innovation Grants for local congregations.
          • Organizing Social Action Teams such as Creation Care, Gender Equality, Gun Violence Prevention, Immigration Reform, Racial Justice, and Wealth Equity. We are also reorganizing and reprioritizing the work of Restorative Justice in order to remove stigma and myths around our returning citizens.
          • Increasing our Intercultural Proficiency through trainings.
          • Re-establishing a strong and vital Native-American BWC Ministry.
          • By December 2019, collaborating with Young Peoples Ministries to host a listening campaign involving at least 25 youth per district to determine the service or justice issue young people want to focus on for the next two years.

         

        • Commission on Religion and Race

         Purpose:

        The purpose of the Commission on Religion and Race is to support the local churches and conference agencies with educational resources on intercultural competency, inclusiveness and equity, and help local churches reflect the context for their ministry and realities of the communities they serve.

         Goals

        Our 2019 goals included the following:

        1. Place CCoRR focus on the grassroots;
        2. Determine how the Vital Conversations provided by CCoRR during the 2017 Annual Conference were utilized by the local churches and their impact;
        3. Develop a training/workshop program based on the Vital Conversations series;
        4. Build the Racial Justice ministry based on the North East Jurisdiction Call to Action.

         Our Work

        In working towards these goals, CCoRR engaged with the Conference Connectional Ministries to review covenant data collected during the Annual Conference Session and Recall Summit. Additionally, CCoRR and Connectional Ministries reviewed the NEJ Call to Action Report to determine how the report relates to the work of CCoRR and the covenant. As a result of these conversations and the conference restructuring of ministries, CCoRR became the lead on Racial Justice within Advocacy and Action. To establish the Racial Justice ministry, focus was placed on the grassroots by inviting all the individuals across the conference that had expressed desire, passion, and calling to Racial Justice to be part of designing the ministry.

         The following Racial Justice gatherings were conducted with their respective objective:

        • April 19, 2018: Formation of the Gatherings and Review of Call to Action;
        • June 20, 2018: Identified Affinity Groups;
        • September 20, 2018: Established the Racial Rapid Response Task Force;
        • December 11, 2018: 2020 Racial Justice Strategic Plan.

         During these gatherings, we have seen an increase in the number of faithful servants interested in the work by signing up and attending the gatherings.

         2019 Year End Targets

        The target for the end of 2019 is to achieve the following:

        1. Complete a protocol and design for the BWC Regional Racial Justice Rapid Response Teams;
        2. Completed the BWC 2020 Racial Justice Strategic Plan.

         Please keep our ministry in constant prayer and if you are interested in joining this grassroots movement, contact us and we will welcome you into this vital ministry.

        Blessings,
        Moorosi Mokuena, Chair CCoRR 

         

        • Deaf Ministries

        Purpose: Our purpose is to minister to Deaf and DeafBlind individuals and their families across the conference. Our ministry is to souls but is also to a collective effort towards confronting the lived realities of oppression for Deaf and DeafBlind individuals. 

        Goals: In 2018

          • Christ Deaf Church (CDC) and Magothy Deaf Church (MDC) continue to offer worship that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for Deaf and DeafBlind individuals and their families. CDC now streams worship to individuals who cannot get to church. Both churches still offer food pantries, Bible Studies, and fellowship.
          • Deaf Shalom Zone, Inc. (DSZ) has continued to serve individuals in case management, advocacy, referral, and education, including work with literacy and immigration support. DSZ partners with Maryland agencies, such as Food Bank, Service Coordination, Community Support Services for Deaf, Towson University and Community College Baltimore County, DeafBlind Camps, Inc., Deaf Camps Inc., Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, and Governor’s Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

        Impact

          • The Deaf and DeafBlind community are an underserved and underseen population in Baltimore. We empower them to work with the services that are available to them so that they can live their most productive and happy lives.
            • 150 people each week through DZS
            • 50 direct clients, each with 3-6 organizations that we assist them in working with
          • Provide a culturally safe place for individuals to explore their faith questions at CDC and MDC
          • Assist other churches in finding ways to serve the D/deaf people in their church in a culturally appropriate way

        This Year: 2019

          • MDC and CDC plan to go on retreat to collaborate on a mission project together.
          • CDC and DSZ will provide an ASL class for Spanish-speaking families with Deaf children. While the parents are learning, we will provide a children’s program for the Deaf children.
          • MDC will host workshops on church passion and development, such as radical hospitality.
          • Student ministry will re-do the youth room to make a youth-specific space.
          • CDC will develop outreach to homebound people with culturally appropriate worship through live streaming and home visitation ministry.

        Authors of Report:Sandi Johnson, Lead Pastor of Deaf Ministry
        Emily Hart, Associate Pastor of Deaf Ministry
        Kathi Jeffra, Resource Coordinator

         

        • Commission on Archives and History/ United Methodist Historical Society and the Strawbridge Shrine Association

        The past year has been one of rethinking our dual duties of preservation and propagation: working to preserve for future generations historic materials entrusted to our care, be they buildings, books or objects; and to use of these records and remnants to propagate an appreciation and enthusiasm for our United Methodist histories and traditions. Ours is truly a story of individuals and congregations of diverse background brought together over two and half centuries as “One, United to Love.”

        Preservation
        Resources made available to the Shrine Association by the Conference Trustees in the past year made possible extensive preservation work at the Shrine, colonial homestead of Robert and Elizabeth Strawbridge, which includes the log home of John Evans, their first convert, and a scale replica in period logs of the meetinghouse, the first such structure raised by Methodists in the new world. The Shrine Association has established a Preservation Fund which will provide funding for structural conservation and preservation work. We encourage those who are able to prayerfully consider this fund.

        In the coming year, attention will turn toward the Conference Archives, Library & Museum (CALM) at Lovely Lane UMC. An environment more conducive to preservation of collections is the object of proposals solicited for climate control of this space. We thank the 2018 Annual Conference for its approval of funding from the Glassman Estate for this purpose, and also Duncan Hodge, a retired engineer and Trustee at Lovely Lane, who has gotten this project underway. We expect work to begin this summer.

        Propagation and Pilgrimage
        The United Methodist Pilgrimage Taskforce, which began its work last year, continues to plan a program which will attract and engage visiting pilgrims, young and old, near and far, with the many and varied stories of United Methodism in this area. The Taskforce recommends a shift in focus away from detailed chronologies and descriptions, and toward engagement in the issues encountered by our forebearers in faith who, like us, with tough questions, weighed scripture, tradition, reason and their own experience in their quest to follow their Lord. The Taskforce believes the wealth of history in this conference can be used to illustrate the faith of our ancestors and the choices they made in a compelling way.

        The Taskforce has begun to develop resources for use at the Strawbridge Shrine, a site associated with many momentous encounters which might illustrate decision points in their day and ours. The Shrine Association is already developing plans to enhance visitor engagement. A gift in memory of Reenactor Kenneth Steward by his family will provide wayside exhibit tablets to be erected later this year. Architect Wallace Wolf has joined the board and offered his professional services in developing a comprehensive site plan.

        Upgrades at Lovely Lane will be accompanied by upgraded exhibits, a step toward implementing enhanced visitor experience there. We also hope to provide pilgrimage resources on our Conference’s fifteen designated historic sites as well as learning resources for the youth of our Church in this and other conferences.

        Emora Brannan,
        President United Methodist Historical Society

        Wm. Louis Piel,
        Interim Co-President Strawbridge Shrine Association

        Douglas Tzan,
        Chair United Methodist Pilgrimage Taskforce

         

        • United Methodist Women

        PURPOSE: United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose PURPOSE is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.

        VISION: Turning faith, hope, and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth around the world.

        Goals for 2018

        At our Conference UMW Leadership Team Planning Retreat in January, 2018, the focus was in-depth discussion of our quadrennial (2017-2020) initiatives:

        • Mass Incarceration: School-to-Prison Pipeline
        • Health and Maternal Health
        • Climate Justice
        • Charter for Racial Justice

        The goal of this Planning Retreat was to share the results of our discussion with Local Units and District Leadership Teams and to encourage the dissemination of this information within our entire membership. An emphasis was placed on educating our members regarding the relationship between zero tolerance school discipline policies and mass incarceration of persons of color. As of December, 2018, there had been over 200 local and district events which had presented the Mass Incarceration: School-to-Prison Pipeline initiative, including an original skit presented at our UMW Annual Conference Celebration.  The impact was far-reaching, resulting in prayerful discussions and plans of action.

        Goals for 2019

        • To encourage discussion and education on how Economic Inequality plays an intertwining role within the above four initiatives.
        • To rebuild our UMW District Teams within the BWC Western Region.
        • To continue to celebrate and increase awareness of our 150th Anniversary and Legacy Fund through special events and information sharing.

        Linda S. Yost, President
        Conference United Methodist Women

         

        • Hispanic/Latino Ministries

        The purpose of this committee is to “support the development, implementation, and evaluation of a Hispanic-Latino comprehensive plan of action and the strategies for working with Hispanic-Latino persons of all generations in the community (BOD 2016, ¶655).”

        Goal: To identify, equip, and engage leaders to build relationships and do justice with Hispanic-Latinos in their community so that more 1st and 2nd generation Hispanic-Latinos can love God and their neighbor.

        Impact:

        • Hispanic-Latino Ministries (HLM) Annual Camp. More than 100 people attended this retreat. The theme was “Bridging Generations.” The guest speaker was Phil Wingeier-Rayo, Professor and Dean of Wesley Theological Seminary. For the first time in the history of HLM Camp, a partnership with Pen-Del conference Hispanic-Latino Ministries happened as they participated in this event.
        • The Hispanic-Latino Lay Leadership School was created in partnership with the National Plan on Hispanic-Latino Ministries. Twenty-Five people participated. Seventeen students will be receiving their missionary certification.
        • The office of Hispanic-Latino Ministries offered the first Immigration Border Trip in September 2018. Ten youth and young adults participated as well as eight pastors. Out of this project, there were two outcomes:
        • Participants created an Immigration Resource for Global Migration Sunday on December 1st, 2018. This resource was published on the BWC website and shared with the United Methodist Inter-agency Immigration Task Force.
        • Participants proposed the agenda and logistics for the Immigration Town Hall.
        • Hispanic-Latino Ministries lead the organization of Bishop Easterling’s Immigration Town Hall. The speakers were partners from Wesley Theological Seminary, Just Neighbors, and The Norwest Annual Conference of the Methodist Church in Mexico.
        • Four persons, Rev. Heather Olson (Hispanic-Latinx Committee and Pastor of Lisbon UMC), Rev. Timothy Warner (Pastor of Mill Creek Parish and Emory Grove UMC), Rev. Stacey Cole Wilson (Executive Minister of Justice and Service), and Emma Escobar (Coordinator of Hispanic-Latino Ministries) traveled from the Baltimore-Washington Conference to El Salvador on an exploratory trip to build a relationship with the Evangelical Methodist Church in El Salvador.

        Goals For 2019:

        • Faithful Discipleship: Create a specialized curriculum for the second year of the Lay Leadership School on Liturgy and Music Studies so that 1) all Hispanic-Latino congregations can have worship ministries/teams 2) local worship leaders that are knowledgeable and grounded in theology. This training will start in September 2019.
        • Education & Advocacy: 20 new people will experience the Immigration Border Immersion so that they can become engage in immigration policies and can inspire other to get involve in the BWC efforts on immigration.
        • Connectional Commitment: 1) Support the creation of the Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) in DC at Wesley Theological Seminary in July 2019 so that more Hispanic-Latino youth connect to their roots and can better navigate the experiences they face. 2) Increase conference participation at MARCHA, the Hispanic-Latino Caucus of the UMC so that more leaders engage in advocacy and action at their local level on issues that affect their communities.

        Read more about the El Salvador trip in January 2019: https://www.bwcumc.org/news-and-views/discovering-mission-possibilities-in-el-salvador/

        Watch a series of videos on the border immersion trip: https://www.bwcumc.org/event/1317270-2019-10-11-immigration-border-immersion/

        Rev. Giovanni Arroyo, Committee Chair
        Emma A Escobar, Coordinator of Hispanic-Latino Ministries 

         

        • Global Partnerships (Eurasia, Puerto Rico, Zimbabwe)

           Eurasia Partnership: In Mission Together Eurasia Committee (IMTEC) 

        Agency:      In Mission Together - Eurasia Committee (Formerly: Russia Initiative)

        Purpose:     To promote joint ministry with United Methodists in Eurasia, in particular the covenant partnership between the Baltimore-Washington Conference and the South Russia Annual Conference.

        Goals in 2018:

        ◦     To continue to build an effective relationship between American and Eurasian partners in ministry, through:

        1. Relationship building and Project support. We supported, both through team participation and financially, the Youth (i.e., Young Adult) Mission Conference, a set of week-long discipling and work experiences which bring together young people from across European Eurasia and Central Asia, as well as international students. We participated in the mission at the Camp Kristall center in southern Russia, which included critical refits and accessibility upgrades. The mission also has a track record of developing and encouraging the next generation of leaders for the Eurasian churches and building relationships across the vast area served by our conferences there. The camp itself also hosts a number of strategic ministries, such as the annual “Camp Trinity” outreach to persons with physical and intellectual handicapping conditions.

         Support was also provided for the ministry work with the Roma people in the Caucasus region.  This sensitive work includes educational, health and welfare, and Bible teaching support for several families belonging to an ethnic group on the fringes of society.  Material helps included making available, via our church partners, sets of young girls’ clothing made available through another ministry in Maryland, as an expression of love and as a small hedge against the dangers of exploitation.

        We also pursued our modest efforts to make more resources available to the District leadership in the South Russia Conference, in order to help the Superintendents with efforts at training and building critical relationships between churches over a large geographical area. 

        2. Leadership Development. We continued our efforts along two lines: (1) providing leadership in support of a conference for women leaders held at Camp Kristall; (2) support and encouragement for the D.Min. work of a key Russian church leader, who is to graduate in 2019.

         ◦     To tell the story of the ministry with our Eurasian partners and encourage others to join in, through:

        1. Conference media. We have sought to communicate through print and online media, regarding God’s work in Eurasia through the UMC. 
        2. Interaction with local churches. We have made presentations and resourced local churches with information on the Eurasia partnership.
        3. Coordination with other conference IMTEC groups. In addition to the foregoing, we have worked to help reinforce connections between our IMTEC and those working in Russia from Virginia, Oklahoma, Ohio, Michigan, and elsewhere.
        4. Channels for further growth. We are looking for new ways to engage young people from our conference, and to provide opportunities for additional persons and congregations to be meaningfully engaged with our Eurasian partners, to the discipleship benefit of both. We continue to be challenged by limitations on prudent travel to our partners in the Crimea. 

        • Goals for 2019:

          ◦     Continue support of key projects, including Camp Kristall, Roma Ministry (South District), Youth Mission Conference, and Women’s Conference. This is to be accomplished through direct support, mission teams, and relationship building.

           ◦     We plan to encourage a small delegation from Baltimore-Washington to attend the Eurasia Consultation in Uzhorod, Ukraine, in August 2019. We anticipate a small team working once again with a project in southern Russia, either in connection with the Youth Mission Conference or in support of the Roma ministry.

           ◦     We anticipate helping one leader to complete advanced training (D.Min.) in 2018-2019 through the Wesley Seminary/Cambridge program, and will be actively seeking to continue encouraging new leaders in their training.  We also will be working with our Eurasian counterparts to continue developing clergy and local church leaders through continuing education and specialized leadership training.

          Rev. Charles L. Harrell
          Chair, In Mission Together - Eurasia in BWC  

        •  

        Stewardship Reports

        Council on Finance and Administration | CFA Recommendations | 2020 Proposed Narrative Budget | 2020 Proposed Budget | Equitable Compensation | Moving Committee |  Pensions and Health Benefits |  Pensions and Health Benefits Recommendations |  Board of Trustees

        • Council on Finance and Administration

          2019 Stewardship Report to Annual Conference

          Two events define the budget report for 2018 and the proposed budget for 2020. First, we achieved a balanced budget in 2018 but the actual Collection Rate of 90.6% was a decline in mission shares (formerly apportionments) from the last three years. The budgeted rate was set at 92%. The 2020 budget reflects that change by setting the budgeted rate at 91% and keeps the Benevolence Factor at the lowered rate of 17.600%. The result is the budgeted amount for mission shares for 2020 is virtually the same as actually contributed in 2018 – a significant reduction from the budget in 2019.

          Second, last year’s report identified two potential risks that the CFA felt could impact both local church income and connectional giving in 2018 and 2019. We identified changes in the Federal Tax laws that may affect charitable contributions, and the February 2019 “Way Forward” vote at the Special Session of the General Conference. We have not yet seen any significant effect from the changes in the tax laws regarding charitable giving and itemized deductions in the tax laws.

          The decision to approve the Traditional Plan at the Special Session in February has caused pain and turmoil throughout the Connection and within the Baltimore-Washington Conference. At the time this report is written, we are still waiting on rulings by the Judicial Council on the legality and constitutionality of some of the provisions of the Resolutions and petitions approved in St. Louis. Without regard to those rulings, the denomination will certainly revisit those issues again at General Conference in May 2020. CFA will monitor the financial effects closely through 2019 and 2020 as this process evolves.

          CFA will remain vigilant in caring for the financial sustainability of our connectional ministries. There have been discussions and proposals in this and other Annual Conferences about withholding missional shares/apportionments either in support of or opposition to the Traditional Plan. I urge you not to do that and ask you to look carefully at the amounts of money devoted to BWC connectional ministries. These ministries allow our individual churches to pool their resources and reach beyond their own doors to expand our missions and help more people in need than we can do as individuals or a single church. This is the strength of our connection and I urge us to continue that outreach in the midst of our differences. Withholding our missional shares will only penalize and diminish those outreach ministries and do nothing financially to affect the implementation of or opposition to the Traditional Plan.

          We understand that these events may continue to have negative effects on local churches and a ripple effect on ministries of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. CFA stresses that adverse financial effects are still only potential risks and not an absolute certainty. While these effects are currently unknown, they continue to be our principal concern. CFA is boosting its reserves and, together with other affected agencies, will follow events closely, remain flexible, and develop strategies to address their effects.

          2018 Financial Results (Pre-Audit):

          Income

          The mission share income in 2018 was $14,045,685 with an overall collection rate of 90.6%. The collection rate budget was set at 92.0% and the mission shares received were below budget by $214,700 (1.5%). The mission share giving was $242,900 (1.7%) lower than the prior year when the Conference set a 20-year high for the collection rate.

          The collection rates recorded in recent years are as follows:

          2018:   90.6%                         2013:   89.8%
          2017:   92.5%                         2012:   89.1%
          2016:   92.1%                         2011:   90.5%
          2015:   91.7%                         2010:   90.5%
          2014:   90.8%                         2009:   89.2%

          The number of churches contributing 100% towards their mission shares remained high with 82% of our local churches meeting that standard. The percentage of churches giving 100% of their mission shares was 82% in 2017, 84% in 2016, 83% in 2015, and 82% in 2014.

          The non-mission share income in 2018 was $4.4 million, which was $223,000 (5.3%) more than budget. The primary factor in this result was the receipt of an unexpected youth grant for $159,000 for ministry within the Conference.

          Expenses

          The operating expenses in 2018 were $18.3 million, which was $128,200 (0.7%) less than budget. The most significant financial pressures were the legal and moving expenses that exceeded budget by $51,000 and $45,000 respectively. These were offset by under budget performance for salary and benefits of $93,000. Other expenses under budget included Discipleship Ministries - $85,000; Unified Funding Grants - $121,000; and partnerships - $24,000. 

          Overall, the resulting net income prior to audit was a positive $136,000, which is 0.7% of budget. Good expense control in 2018 ensured that the net result was positive considering mission shares that were less than budget.

          BWC Apportionment Base:

          The expenses of a local church as they are reported in the annual collection of statistical data, minus dollars that are spent on mission, outreach, debt service and capital projects, comprise what is known as the apportionment base for a church.  The mission shares for a local church is derived by multiplying the apportionment base by the benevolence factor that is established by the Annual Conference when the budget is approved. Using this method, our current benevolence factor of 17.6% yields a mission share that is most commonly in the range of 9-12% of total local church expenses or income.

          The apportionment base for the Conference is an accumulated total of the apportionment base that is calculated for each local church. The reported base decreased by 0.7% in 2018. The apportionment base trends with the year-over-year changes are as follows: 

          2018:   $ 87,713,316 (-0.7%)
          2017:   $ 88,283,704 (+1.0%)
          2016:   $ 87,449,322 (+0.4%)
          2015:   $ 87,072,403 (-0.8%)
          2014:   $ 87,780,638 (+1.1%)
          2013:   $ 86,835,908 (+0.8%)
          2012:   $ 86,169,509 (-1.3%)
          2011:   $ 87,341,343 (-2.1%)
          2010:   $ 89,250,232

          2020 Budget:

          The proposed budget for 2020 builds on the strategic initiatives that were first introduced in the 2017 budget. These initiatives include:

          1. Increase Level of CFA Reserves from 10% to 15%
            With the positive fund balance from 2018, the CFA Reserves now stand at 14.7% of the mission share budget. The 2019 budget includes $100,000 towards the increased level of CFA reserves to reach the 15% goal.

           

          1. Accelerate Payment of Conference Debt
            The consolidated loan for the West River Dining Hall and the Mission Center will be reduced to a balance of $1.2 million with the proposed 2020 budget that includes $550,000 towards accelerated debt payments. The loan balance stood at $5.2 million at the end of 2016 prior to starting the accelerated payments. The 2020 budget keeps the Conference on pace to pay off the loan in 2022 which will be six years ahead of schedule with $1.0 million total savings in interest payments.

           

          1. Fund Retiree Medical Benefits from Reserves
            Retiree medical benefits will continue to be funded from the Board of Pension reserves without any additional funding coming from mission shares. The retiree medical funding in 2020 is set at $1,640,000 which is based on the current expense trends for this benefit.

           

          The 2020 budget continues to maintain the benevolence factor at 17.6% that was reduced initially in the 2019 budget. Maintaining this level is consistent with the CFA’s multi-year plan to keep making progress towards the goal that the average church’s mission shares be no more than 10% of their overall income. That level is currently calculated at 11.2% based on the 2018 statistics. This is slightly higher than the 10.6% level calculated in 2017. The increase was driven by a 4.9% decline in local church income reported in the 2018 stats. The metric is down from 12.3% in 2011. 

          Overall, the budget proposal specifies a mission share income of $14,048,165, which is a reduction of $246,732, or 1.7% from the prior year. The budget assumes a 91.0% collection rate for the mission shares, which is consistent with the actual results in 2018 and represents a decrease from the 92.0% budget in prior years. The non-mission share income is increased by $157,982 to $4,593,349, which is driven by increases in external grants and event income.

          The expense budget increases Discipleship Ministry programs by 0.5% to $11.6 million. The stewardship and administrative programs provide expense control mechanisms that enable a 2.3% reduction from $6.9 to $6.6 million. It is also noted that the General Conference apportionments are reduced to $3,401,899 which is a decrease of $79,845 (-2.3%). 

          Summary

          The CFA continues to focus on strategic initiatives that are helping the Conference to be vital during periods of uncertainty. It is recognized that the 2020 budget lacks insight into an unknown future. However, the Conference can rest assured that the CFA will continuously monitor income and expense trends and make any necessary changes to the 2020 budget that may be appropriate. 

          We are encouraged in our stewardship ministry that our connection within the Conference continues to hold strong through what appears as trying times for the denomination. We are certainly blessed to have a rich, common ministry that gives us a shared purpose amidst our differences.

          Respectfully Submitted, 

          Phil Potter, President, Council on Finance and Administration
          Paul J. Eichelberger, Conference Treasurer

           

        • CFA RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

          STEWARDSHIP MINISTRIES

          Recommendations from the Council on Finance and Administration

        1. The proposed budget of $18,641,514 shall be adopted for 2020, including a mission share income budget of $14,048,165. This represents a decrease of 1.7% in the mission share asking compared to the 2019 budget.
        2. The Benevolence Factor (BF) for 2020 is set at 17.60%, no change from the 2019 budget. The collection rate assumption for 2020 is set at 91.0%, which is 1% lower than the 2019 rate.
        3. As required by The Book of Discipline, the ratio for World Service and Conference Benevolences shall be set as follows: 33% for World Services and 67% for Conference Benevolences.
        4. The firm of Ellin & Tucker is approved as independent auditors to audit the Conference Treasurer’s financial records for 2019.
        5. The date for closing the 2019 Conference financial books shall be set at January 14, 2020, with all payments to be received by the Treasurer’s office no later than January 14, 2020.
        6. The Baltimore-Washington Conference grants authority to the Council on Finance and Administration, in consultation with the Bishop, the Cabinet, and the Discipleship Council to act on financial matters between sessions of the Annual Conference.
          1.  Submitted by:
            Phil Potter, President
            Paul J. Eichelberger, Chief Financial Office and Treasurer

          2.  

            • 2020 Proposed Narrative Budget 

          BUDGET ASSUMPTIONS

          Benevolence Factor – Proposed 2020:  17.600%
          The benevolence factor is the percentage churches are apportioned based on their operating expenditures less exclusions.  The percentage for 2020 is the same as the percentage used in 2019 (17.600%).

          Mission Shares Collection Rate - Proposed 2020:  91.0%
          The projected collection of the amount apportioned to churches in the 2020 Budget is 91.0%.  The percentage for 2020 Is 1% less than the budgeted Collection Rate for 2019 (92%).

          REVENUE

          Mission Shares:  $14,048,165
          A church’s share of the local and global mission work and operating expenses of the Annual Conference as determined by the mission shares formula. 

          Grants:  $239,100
          This represents grants given directly to the conference for ministry and mission. For example, General Church grants to operate the Episcopal Office and residence.

          Event Registration:  $2,232,045
          This includes Annual Conference registration, workshop registrations, Retreat and Camping Ministries registrations (majority of line item) and other conference events.

          Publications:  $4,100
          This includes sales or rentals of publications, DVDs, paid UMConnection subscriptions, and other materials.

           Individual Gifts
          Gifts from individuals for specific programs. These are for the conference, specifically, rather than for ministries outside of the conference.  No such gifts are anticipated in 2020.

          Reimbursements:  $97,600
          The conference receives reimbursements from denominational agencies for specific operating programs.  The Mission Center tenant leases are also captured in this revenue category.

          Other Income/Sources of Funds:  $1,970,504
          Miscellaneous income or sources of funds, such as the funding from agency reserve funds.  For example, Retiree Medical expenses (majority of line item) are 100% paid from the Board of Pension Reserves.  The funds from the sale of discontinued churches are used to fund a portion of the New Faith Expressions.

          Interest:  $50,000
          An estimate of the interest the conference will earn on operating funds in investment vehicles. 

          TOTAL OPERATING REVENUE:  $ 18,641,514

           

           EXPENSES

           I. DISCIPLESHIP EXPENSES

          Regional Ministry Teams:  $2,257,089
          Funds to operate the ministries and administrative support of the Regions.  The Regional Teams include:

          a.  Southern Region (Annapolis and Washington East Districts)
          b.  Baltimore Region (Baltimore Metro and Baltimore Suburban Districts)
          c.  Washington Region (Greater Washington and Central Maryland Districts)
          d.  Western Region (Frederick and Cumberland-Hagerstown Districts)

          Discipleship Ministry Teams

          Discipleship Ministries

          a. Discipleship Ministries: $1,262,486
          Funds to operate the ministries and administrative aspects of the Discipleship Ministries and Congregation/Leadership    
          Development Teams.  Funds are also allocated for Discipleship Council, Connectional Table and Board of Laity.

          b. General and Jurisdictional Missional Shares: $3,401,899
          The funds that the General Church and Northeast Jurisdiction request for ministry and programs from each conference.  The conference celebrates its track record of paying 100% of these missional shares since 1998.  General Church funds include:

          World Service
          To help our denomination strengthen its evangelism efforts, stimulate church growth, expand Bible studies, and enrich spiritual commitment.  This fund allows us to share in a worldwide ministry, including support for missionaries.
          Interdenominational Cooperation
          This fund allows United Methodists to have an effective presence in the activities of ecumenical organizations.
          Africa University
          This fund supports the further development of the first private university for men and women in Africa.
          Black College Fund
          This fund represents the denomination’s support of the operation and capital funding of historically black colleges and medical schools.
          Ministerial Education Fund
          This fund provides our church support for the recruitment and education of future pastors and bishops.
          Episcopal Fund
          This fund pays the salaries and benefits of active bishops in the denomination and supports retired bishops.
          General Administration
          This fund supports administrative areas of the church, such as the General Council on Finance and Administration, the General Conference session, and Archives and History.
          Jurisdictional Administration
          This fund supports mission and ministry through the Northeastern Jurisdiction.

           Leadership Development and New Faith Expressions: $1,501,102
          a. Grants to local churches and ministries to grow congregations and expand ministry in the community.
          b. Start new churches
          c. Board of Ordained Ministry
          d. Certified Lay Ministry

          Young People's Ministry: $2,398,845
          Ministries funded by Young People's Ministry include Children, Youth, Young Adults, Campus Ministries, and Retreat and Camping ministries.
          a. Youth Ministries engage and support young disciples of Jesus Christ.
          b. Retreat and Camping Ministries provide opportunities for spiritual growth and formation for children and adults.
          c. Campus Ministries support staffing and programs on four area college campuses.

          Advocacy & Action; Abundant Health: $767,211
          Social Justice Ministries such as Justice for our Neighbors, NEJ Call to Action, and Hope for the City are funded through Advocacy
          and Action.  Funds are also devoted to Deaf Ministries.  Abundant Health includes funds for our partnership ministries with other
          conferences, such as Zimbabwe, South Korea, Latin America, and Eurasia.

          Total Discipleship Ministry Teams:  $9,331,543

          TOTAL DISCIPLESHIP EXPENSES:  $11,588,632

            

          II.  STEWARDSHIP EXPENSES

          Communications:  $601,415
          The publications produced by this area are tools for implementing the ministries of the Conference, such as the UMConnection newspaper, the Web site and e-connection.

          Operations:  $3,400,054
          This area is responsible for overall operations of the conference facilities, and IT systems and infrastructure.  

          Property Ministries
          The Conference Trustees oversee all property owned by the conference, to include the Conference Mission Center, three Retreat and Camping facilities, the Episcopal Residence and the leased offices in Hagerstown and on Capitol Hill.

          Archives and History
          The conference provides support for the preservation of our United Methodist Heritage.

          Conference Chancellor
          Provides legal resources to the Trustees and other conference leadership.

          Annual Conference – Commission on Sessions
          The commission prepares all aspects of the annual conference session including program and logistics.

          Finance:  $554,778
          This area is responsible for maintaining and administering comprehensive fiscal and administrative policies and services. The office of the treasurer provides support and information for clergy and laity in local churches.

          HR/Benefits Administration:  $2,085,273
          This office administers all active and retired benefit plans for clergy and laity.  They also provide personnel and HR support for Conference staff.

          TOTAL STEWARDSHIP EXPENSES:  $6,641,520

          Episcopal Leadership Ministry:  $411,362
          Ministries that lead our mission and develop the leadership to lead congregations, ministries and staff.

          TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSES:  $18,641,514

          OPERATING NET:  $0

           

           

          • Equitable Compensation

            Recommendations from the Commission on Equitable Compensation

           The Commission on Equitable Compensation in consultation with the cabinet is recommending that the minimum salary for 2020 be increased 2.0%, or $880, which will make the minimum salary $44,892. The Commission is also recommending no change in the minimum housing allowance of $20,263.

           Submitted by:
          Kim Ayres, Chair, Commission on Equitable Compensation

           

          • Moving Committee

          The purpose of the Baltimore -Washington Moving Committee is to provide comprehensive and secure relocation services for those pastors who are receiving new appointments or moving into retirement. 

          Our goals for 2018 were to assist all eligible pastors with the best services and in a time frame that was convenient and conducive to a smooth transition from one appointment to the next.  We also strived to maximize the cost of the moves for the Conference and the taxable impact to all parties by negotiating moving rates that fought against the costs of inflation and general cost increases.  The average cost to move a pastor for 2018 was $3,162.63.

           The goal for 2019 is to continue to provide the best moving experience possible to the members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference and we are currently negotiating to lock in moving rates for future years and at below market rates with no or very limited increases.

           It is the pleasure of eight very hard working and dedicated district coordinators to serve those in the Baltimore-Washington Conference who find themselves with moving needs due to the appointment/retirement process.

          Grace and Peace,
          Rev. Jeff Paulson,
          Conference Moving Committee Chairperson

           

          • Board of Pension and Health Benefits

          CONFERENCE BOARD OF PENSIONS AND HEALTH BENEFITS

          The Board of Pensions and Health Benefits continues to pursue its goal of enabling clergy and lay staff to accomplish their ministries without concern for their long-term financial or medical protection. We continue to position ourselves to face the challenges that lie ahead and to assist clergy and staff in their mission.

          Pensions: 

          • Pre-82 Service Funding: The 2019 Past Service Rate (PSR) is confirmed at $720. We recommend that the PSR for 2020 be set at $749. ¶1506.7 (2016 Discipline) confers authority upon the annual conference to review the annuity rate for Pre-82 service and to adjust the PSR rate as appropriate taking into consideration the changes in the economy. Such annuity rate may remain the same or be increased without restriction. Wespath Benefits and Investments actuarial valuation for Pre-82 Annuities as of January 1, 2018, showed a more than fully funded plan, requiring no monies to be paid by BWC. The pre-82 plan surplus results from increases in valuation of the securities in the account. Wespath has authorized a mechanism by which we have been able to employ some of the excess Pre-82 funds to indirectly fund our Retiree Medical Plan reserve.  Pre-82 is the pension plan in place prior to 1982.
          • Ministerial Pension Plan (MPP) Funding: Wespath Benefits and Investments’ actuarial valuation for MPP Annuities as of January 1, 2018, showed that it is also a fully funded plan, requiring no monies to be paid by BWC. Monies previously contributed to MPP continue to be held in individual participant accounts. MPP is the pension plan in place from 1982 through 2006.
          • Clergy Retirement Security Program (CRSP) Funding:  The Baltimore-Washington Conference funds the program as follows:
          • CRSP Defined Contribution (DC) - BWC continues to collect 3% of participant’s plan compensation (salary plus housing) to fund the Defined Contribution (DC). Two percent goes directly to the participant’s DC account. The participant is now required to enroll in the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) with a contribution of at least 1% of plan compensation in order to receive a match of up to 1%.
          • CRSP Defined Benefit (DB) – BWC continues to collect 12% of the participant’s plan compensation, limited by the DAC (Denominational Average Compensation) to fund the Defined Benefit portion of CRSP.

          Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP):

          • BWC continues to collect 3% of a clergy participant’s plan compensation (salary plus housing) for the Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP). The CPP provides death and disability benefits for all eligible participants. As of the last General Conference, Wespath Benefits and Investments revised their policies to treat clergy mental illness in the same fashion as any other illness for CPP purposes. The Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits has voted to provide the necessary funds to eliminate anti-mental illness discrimination for lay employees as well.

          UMLifeOptions: 

          • Eligibility changes were approved at the 2016 General Conference to eliminate the special arrangement coverage for ordained clergy appointed to ½ or ¼ time as of 12/31/2016. Conferences were given options to purchase life and disability insurance for these clergy through UMLifeOptions.
          • Effective 1/1/2017, for active ordained clergy appointed to ½ or ¼ time who are now enrolled in UMLifeOptions, BWC will collect 3% of clergy participant’s plan compensation (salary plus housing) to cover the premiums.

          Health:  

          • HealthFlex: Effective January 1, 2017, all eligible participants have been enrolled in the Wespath HealthFlex Exchange Plans. The HealthFlex Exchange brings more plan options; more flexibility for enrollees to select the HealthFlex plan that best fits each individual need. The HealthFlex Exchange is not a public exchange and is not associated with government agencies. It is a multiple-option group health plan designed for United Methodist Church clergy, lay employees and their families.  
          • Retirees: Retirees who are over age 65 will continue to work with Via Benefits, formerly OneExchange, to choose policies better suited to their individual needs. Retirees are offered a stipend based on years of service. Retirees who are under age 65 or any future participants who retire before age 65 will remain on the HealthFlex Exchange plan until the month they turn 65.

          Social Security: Your Board strongly recommends that all clergy of the Conference participate in Social Security, and not exercise any conscience clauses to opt out of Social Security. Eligibility for Medical benefits through Via Benefits in retirement and Disability benefits through the CPP program are both dependent on participation in Social Security and Medicare. Thus, one’s irrevocable decision to opt out of Social Security is a decision to be excluded from these Conference programs as well.

          Arrearage: In order to assure that nothing interferes with clergy continued medical and pension coverage, BWC first makes the necessary payments to Wespath when due and then collects the premiums from individual churches.  There is a continuing problem with a small number of churches which fall behind in this pastoral compensation commitment.  The Bishop’s Task Force on Arrearages, comprised of two District Superintendents, the Chair of the Board of Pensions, and Conference staff, has developed approaches to more intensive management of churches which are in arrears, for medical and pension arrearages often are symptomatic of other challenges to ministry and finances the church is facing.  A Church in arrears may be offered a forbearance program where collection of the arrearage is forborne for three years while the church focuses its efforts on greater effectiveness in ministry.  Churches successfully completing this program may have the arrearage converted to a contingent liability, effective only in the event that the church property is sold. 

          During 2018, seven churches converted their arrearage into a Conditional Forbearance Mortgage as they satisfied all aspects of their forbearance agreement. This resulted in an overall arrearage reduction of $252,000. There remain five additional churches in arrears who plan to be compliant with their forbearance agreements before the end of 2019. 

          The objective is to make every effort to help churches return to health both in their ministry and their finances. The total arrearage at the end of 2018 for non-forbearance churches was $337,364. Arrearages for forbearance churches totaled $280,044, not including the forbearance amount of $183,000. 

          2019 General Conference: In response to concerns regarding proposals which may or may not be made in connection with the 2019 General Conference, the CBOPHB has reviewed its areas of responsibility to identify any possibilities that might affect the pensions and medical insurance of those for whom the CBOPHB is responsible and is confident these obligations can be met regardless of events in 2019.     

          Final Comments: The CBOPHB thanks Francess Tagoe, Director, Human Resources and Benefits, for her enthusiastic and professional work on behalf of our participants and the Board. She effectively communicates and administers the benefits based on Plan rules and regulations, the Book of Discipline, the Conference's policies and procedures, and all applicable state and federal laws so that there is an understanding of the benefits for our clergy and lay employees. It is her goal and the Board's goal to continue to provide the best possible benefits package for our plan participants, while maintaining the utmost care for and fiduciary responsibility to you, the Plan participants, and those in the Baltimore-Washington Conference for whom we owe the same. We wish to also give thanks to Karen Conroy, HR & Benefits Associate, Pier McPayten, Controller, and the District Superintendents who all support the work we do. 

          Carey James, Chair
          Paul J. Eichelberger, Treasurer

           

          • Board of Pensions and Health Benefits Recommendations

            RECOMMENDATIONS

            The Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits requests that the Annual Conference adopt the following recommendations:

            1. That BWC continue to provide retiree medical to all eligible participants.
            2. That in accordance with paragraph (e) of Supplement One (Pre-1982), the surviving spouse pension benefit shall continue to be 85% of the participant’s formula.
            3. That the special grant for Madelyn Hoffman be continued. 
            4. Pre-1982 Service – Past Service Rate (PSR):   That the Annual Conference shall approve the following pre-1982 prior service funding plan in compliance with the Disciplinary requirement listed in ¶1506.8: The Past Service Rate (PSR) for 2019 is confirmed at $720. The PSR for 2020 will be set at $749. 
            5. That the Annual Conference shall approve the following funding plans based on the receipt of a favorable opinion from Wespath Benefits and Investments in compliance with the Disciplinary requirement listed in ¶1506.6.

            Funded status and contributions are based on actuarial valuations as of January 1, 2018, 

            Pre-82 Plan:  By General Conference mandate, Pre-82 liabilities are to be fully funded by December 31, 2021. Baltimore-Washington Conference is already fully funded, with its assets with the Pre-82 Plan equal to 138% of its liabilities.

            Corridor Funding:  Clergy Retirement Security Program (CRSP-DB) and Ministerial Pension Plan (MPP) annuities. The funded Ratio for this funding is the same for all Conferences

            Plan

            Assets

            Liabilities

            Funded Ratio

            CRSP-DB

            $1.904

            $1.740

            109.4%

            MPP Annuities

            $3.885

            $3.607

            107.7%

            Post-Retirement Medical:  Based on an actuarial report received in April 2019, the Post-Retirement Medical plan is reported to have a current view funding ratio of 128.3%. The ongoing view funding ratio is 166.1%.

            The funding plan as of December 31, 2018 is summarized below.

                       Current View

                 Ongoing View

            Discount Rate

            4.20%

            6.50%

            Plan Liability

            $32,734,802

            $25,281,763

            Plan Funding

            $42,004,037

            $42,004,037

            Funded Status

            $9,269,235

            $16,722,274

            Funded Ratio

            128.3%

            166.1%

          6.  That the following resolution, as required for IRS compliance, shall be approved:

            1. Resolutions Relating to Rental/Housing Allowances for Retired or Disabled Clergypersons of the Baltimore-Washington Conference

              The Baltimore-Washington Conference (the “Conference”) adopts the following resolutions relating to rental/housing allowances for active, retired, or disabled clergypersons of the Conference:

              WHEREAS, the religious denomination known as The United Methodist Church (the “Church”), of which this Conference is a part, has in the past functioned and continues to function through ministers of the gospel (within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code section 107) who were or are duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed ministers of the Church (“Clergypersons”);

              WHEREAS, the practice of the Church and of this Conference was and is to provide active
              Clergypersons with a parsonage or a rental/housing allowance as part of their gross compensation;

              WHEREAS, pensions or other amounts paid to active, retired and disabled Clergypersons are considered to be deferred compensation and are paid to active, retired and disabled Clergypersons in consideration of previous active service; and

              WHEREAS, the Internal Revenue Service has recognized the Conference (or its predecessors) as the appropriate organization to designate a rental/housing allowance for Clergypersons who are or were members of this Conference and are eligible to receive such deferred compensation;

              NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

              THAT an amount equal to 100% of the pension or disability payments received from plans authorized under The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (the Discipline), which includes all such payments from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits ("GBOPHB"), during the years 2019-2020 by each active, retired, or disabled Clergyperson who is or was a member of the Conference, or its predecessors, be and hereby is designated as a rental/housing allowance for each such Clergyperson; and

              THAT the pension or disability payments to which this rental/housing allowance applies will be any
              pension or disability payments from plans, annuities or funds authorized under the Discipline, including such payments from the GBOPHB and from a commercial annuity company that provides an annuity arising from benefits accrued under a GBOPHB plan, annuity or fund authorized under the Discipline, that result from any service a Clergyperson rendered to this Conference or that an active, retired or disabled Clergyperson of this Conference rendered to any local church, annual conference of the Church, general agency of the Church, other institution of the Church, former denomination that is now a part of the Church, or any other employer that employed the Clergyperson to perform services related to the ministry of the Church or its predecessors, and that elected to make contributions to, or accrue a benefit under, such a plan, annuity or fund for such active, retired, or disabled Clergyperson's pension or disability as part of his or her gross compensation.

              NOTE: The rental/housing allowance that may be excluded from a Clergyperson's gross income in any year for federal income tax purposes is limited under Internal Revenue Code section 107(2) and regulations there under to the least of: (1) the amount of the rental/housing allowance designated by the Clergyperson's employer or other appropriate body of the Church (such as this Conference in the foregoing resolutions) for such year; (2) the amount actually expended by the Clergyperson to rent or provide a home in such year; or (3) the fair rental value of the home, including furnishings and appurtenances (such as a garage), plus the cost of utilities in such year.

            2. Board of Trustees

              The Board of Trustees holds in trust for the benefit of the Annual Conference any real or personal property, bequests, and donations conveyed to the Annual Conference, and acts to safeguard the rights and interests of the Annual Conference.

               It has been the goal of the Trustees to reduce the burden to the Annual Conference of vacant properties, and to make funds available for new and resurrection ministries. Funds from Bequests and Grants have been supporting New Faith Expressions, Clergy Sabbatical, major renewal projects at the Museum & Archives, the Adullum Community Health Center at St. John’s UMC (which provides screenings and health services to low income and underserved communities), the General Board of Global Ministries, Quality of Life Retreats, and Camping and Retreat Ministries. Grants and loans have been authorized for local churches to repair roofs, replace furnaces, and for repair and preservation work of the historic Strawbridge Shrine (a Heritage Landmark of the UMC).

               The Trustees have made revisions to the loans and grants policies to ensure that Annual Conference funds are more available and more efficiently released. On-going work is reviewing the recording of loans, some service contracts, and other financial matters to ensure that bests interest of every member and congregation are being served by the Annual Conference.

               While the Trustees would prefer never to see churches close, the board has received a few such properties in the past year. Funds from the sales or redevelopment of these properties are designated to support new ministries in their areas. The commercial tenant space in the Conference Center has been rented after a careful and detailed negotiation. This income helps to reduce the need for local churches to support the operations of the building.

               Respectfully Submitted,
              John M. Strawbridge – Chair of the Board of Trustees

             

             

            Leadership Reports

            Board of Ordained Ministry | Personnel Committee | Rules Committee | Commission on Communications

            • Board of Ordained Ministry

              During the 2018-19 Conference year, the Baltimore-Washington Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has served on behalf of all persons across the Conference called to representative ministries of the church as licensed, commissioned and ordained persons. The Board is comprised of 60 lay and clergy persons who serve on behalf of more than 1,200 persons under our care as either candidates for ministry, actively commissioned provisional members, Deacons and Elders in full connection, and retired members. 

              This year, the Board has sought to strengthen its work by engaging in several initiatives including working throughout the year to continue to clarify and affirm our values, continuing to engage in Cultural Competency training for the entire Board, and holding our second “Living Your Call” recruitment and enlistment event. We have continued to work to strengthen relationships with the seminaries with which we relate, and have worked with members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference Cabinet and staff to develop a framework and policy for Sexual Ethics and Boundaries. Additionally, the Board has developed several policies related to continuing education and the use of Ministerial Education Funds.  

              In accordance with paragraph 635 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, an important part of our work is serving as stewards of the process of supporting, evaluating and examining persons who have offered themselves as candidates for ordained ministry as Deacons and Elders. Our eight District Committees on Ordained Ministry and the BOOM have worked tirelessly throughout the year to ensure that processes of evaluation and examination are accomplished with integrity, fairness, and clarity for all candidates and provisional members under our care.  We have continued to work to perfect several of the policies and procedures that inform our work for evaluating candidates for ministry, with the goal of discerning ways that together we can continue to engage in ministry that is faithful and fruitful toward the end of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our communities and the world.

              The Board of Ordained Ministry takes the opportunity to thank Bishop LaTrelle Easterling for her ongoing prayers, support, and guidance of our work, and the Rev. John Nupp, Executive Minister, Call and Clergy Care, for his outstanding leadership in managing and facilitating the perfecting of our practices for supporting clergy and those preparing for ordained and licensed ministry. 

              As we conclude this Conference year and move forward, we continue to solicit your prayers for our work on behalf of those who seek to serve Christ in the representative ministries of the church, for the Baltimore-Washington Conference, The United Methodist Church, and Christ’s Church universal.

              Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt, Chair
              BWC Board of Ordained Ministry

              

            • Personnel Committee

            The purpose of the Personnel Committee is to establish and implement policies and procedures regarding the employment and compensation of conference staff members, taking into consideration clergy who are appointed to serve on staff as it relates to the requirements of the current Book of Discipline.

             The Committee’s goal for 2018 was to review the BWC Staff Employee Handbook originally created March 10, 2014.  After an extensive review in 2018, a draft was sent for legal review in January 2019.  We are pleased to report that the BWC Staff Employee Handbook was updated and distributed to staff with a revision date of February 1, 2019. 

             The revised Handbook includes a “BWC Statement of Confidentiality” as an appendix. This statement was signed by employees and will be included in the new hire packet. Staff will be required to sign this statement every other year to enforce the policy. The Information Technology Policy and Procedure Manual continues to be under review by this committee and we hope to have the policy completed by the end of 2019.

             The Personnel Committee will continue to ensure conference workplace standards and procedures are in compliance with Department of Labor while remaining faithful to its work on behalf of our annual conference and to the United Methodist beliefs.

             I am grateful to all the committee members who faithfully serve and to the conference Office of Human Resources and Benefits for their assistance and invaluable service and look forward to their continuing support.

             Laura Davis, Chair

             

            • Rules Committee

              Purpose: review the rules of the session, review and update all references to the Book of Discipline, review any resolutions that propose to amend the Rules of the Session, and prepare amendments to the Rules of the Session.

              Goals:

              • Review the proposed changes to the structure of the Annual Conference
              • Prepare for Annual Conference 2019, especially in light of the special called General Conference

              Impact:

              • We are still waiting for the final report to be submitted so that we can review the proposed changes
              • We have been preparing changes in the rules to clarify the process for changing the Annual Conference structure in the future

              This year: We are continuing to get ready for the upcoming Annual Conference and will develop an agenda for the rest of the year in response to Annual Conference 2019.

               Rev. Mark Gorman, Chair

            • Commission on Communications

              Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.” – 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (The Message)

              This year, the BWC’s Communications Ministry published remarkable stories of lives shaped by the wonder and glory of God. We also did a comprehensive job of sharing information and helping people understand the significant scope and complexities of the Way Forward process, as the global church met at a called session of General Conference in February to determine its stance on same-gender marriage and the ordination of gays and lesbians.

              Images played a significant role in our ministry this year. We launched our first contemplative photography retreat over a weekend in October at Camp Manidokan. Participants explored how photographs can tell stories, evoke mood and illuminate a sense of the sacred.  We also worked with Good New Television to produce a live-stream townhall meeting with Bishop Easterling and Conference leaders to share and interpret the significance of the work of the Special Session of General Conference. It was viewed by more than 5,000 people.

              Through our monthly UMConnection newspaper, the weekly e-connection electronic newsletter, our Website www.bwcumc.org; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the Conference Journal and many flyers, brochures, videos and promotional pieces, we continue to inform, equip and inspire the spiritual leaders of the Baltimore- Washington Conference.  Of significant note was the gradual and steady expansion of our social media, which provides timely insights to a global audience, and the creation of LeaderPod, a podcast that highlights conversations with interesting leaders throughout the denomination.

              The year ahead promises to be a significant one for The United Methodist Church, and Communications will ensure that pastors and people in the pews continue to be informed disciples who are equipped to make a difference in their communities and the world.

              Terri Cofiell
              Commission on Communications, Chair

             

              Institutional Reports

              Africa University | Board of Child Care | Boston University | Candler School of Theology | United Theological Seminary | Wesley Theological Seminary

              • Africa University

                Africa University thrives in ministry because of the steadfast support of the local congregations of The United Methodist Church. Thank you to the members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference for prioritizing Africa University and its ministry with an investment of 100 percent of your asking in 2018.

                In giving so consistently to the Africa University Fund (AUF) apportionment, the Baltimore-Washington Conference continues to affirm the university’s core mission of nurturing leaders who help communities to know Christ and to experience peace, sustainable livelihoods, food security and abundant health.  

                Institutional Update:

                • In 2018, Africa University enrolled more than 700 new students and maintained an overall enrollment of around 2,000 students. There were 25 African countries represented in the student body. Women made up 53 percent of the student population, which is almost twice the average for African higher education institutions.
                • Throughout 2018, Africa University weathered the challenges of Zimbabwe’s depressed and uncertain socio-economic environment with creativity and prudence. The university delivered teaching, learning and community service activities of high quality without interruption, while also renewing and expanding its infrastructure. Key enhancements in 2018 included the refurbishment of three residence halls for women students and the full implementation of an ERP software system to integrate and manage all facets of the university’s operations.
                • With conflict, poverty, and the impact of climate change persisting as the key drivers of food insecurity and the rise in internal displacement, migration, and refugeehood in Africa, the university consolidated its position as a trailblazer by offering new graduate training and research opportunities. Africa University has also continued to provide scholarships for refugee women so that their experiences, talents and ideas are integrated into the search for solutions.
                • Africa University delivered critical data for reducing malaria deaths in southern Africa and controlling the spread of insect-borne diseases world-wide. AU’s insectary — a laboratory for rearing and studying live insects, such as mosquitos — shares its findings through the Southern Africa Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research. This data informs regional policies, practices and malaria control efforts.

                For the first time in five years, and thanks to the generosity of individuals and congregations in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, there was new construction on the Africa University main campus. A second-mile gift, to honor the leadership of Bishop Marcus Matthews and to mark his retirement, enabled the university to begin work on a campus sports complex that includes a 25 by 22 meters outdoor pool.

                The students, faculty, administrators and trustees of Africa University thank the members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference for their prayers and support, which continue to grow and sustain its ministry. Thank you, Baltimore-Washington United Methodists, for all that you have sown into Africa University over the past 27 years. As Africa University and the Baltimore-Washington Conference move forward together in missional engagement, we trust in God’s grace for the increase.

                 Submitted by:
                James H. Salley
                Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement
                Africa University Development Office

                615.340.7438

                • Board of Child Care

                  Agency: Board of Child Care of The United Methodist Church, Inc.

                  Purpose:  Enriching communities, one family at a time.

                  2018 Goals and Progress:

                  • Expand capacity to serve more low-income families with high quality, early childhood education
                    • In 2018, BCC’s Early Learning Program in Washington, D.C. was extensively renovated –almost doubling of capacity at the center.
                  • Advocate for new approaches to some of the most challenging behavioral health cases within the human services sector.
                    • BCC successfully engaged in both state-level workgroups and meetings with leadership that resulted in new programing opportunities coming available – two of which will come online in 2019.

                  Impact:

                  • Board of Child Care of The United Methodist Church, Inc. (BCC) and The United Methodist Home for Children (UMHC) have merged as of January 1, 2019. UMHC is in Mechanicsburg, PA, and they share with BCC both a deep history rooted in faith and also a passion for serving children and families. Together, UMHC and BCC will learn best practices from one another and ultimately impact more lives across the Mid-Atlantic.
                  • BCC received a best practice award from the United Methodist Association for our work with Emotionally and Cognitively Developmentally Delayed (ECDD) youth.

                  By the end of 2019:

                  • Create and begin implementation of BCC’s 2019-2022 strategic plan.
                  • Launch a new program to serve victims of sexual trafficking and grow our capacity to serve unaccompanied immigrant children.
                  • Continue UMHC’s programmatic transformation by both introducing therapists and other roles onto the care team and also attaining CARF accreditation. Both efforts will further align UMHC’s service delivery model with national best practices.

                  Thank you for your support as we seek to enrich communities, one family at a time across the mid-Atlantic.  We are truly making an impact each and every day because of your support.

                  With sincerest thanks,

                  Laurie Anne Spagnola, MSW
                  President and CEO

                • Boston University

                  Dear Colleagues in Ministry:

                   Greetings from Boston University School of Theology (BUSTH) as we live together as disciples in uncertain times!  

                  BREAKING NEWS:

                  • Students: We continue to increase and celebrate diversity in our student body, creating remarkable opportunities for in-depth exchanges and fruitful collaboration.
                  • Faculty: We welcomed two amazing faculty this year: Shively Smith as Assistant Professor of New Testament, and Nicolette Manglos-Weber as Assistant Professor of Religion and Society.
                  • Online Lifelong Learning: We are launching a new Online Lifelong Learning Program at the School, offering webinars, workshops, and reading groups for professional enrichment.
                  • Scholarships: We continue our offer of free tuition to UMC registered candidates for ordained ministry, and we continue to build student scholarships and housing as a central campaign priority. New scholarships include the Korean Student and African Student Scholarships, and leadership fellowships for promising leaders: Raíces Latinas for Latinx leaders, Sacred Worth for leaders in the LGBTQIA+ community, Howard Thurman for African-American leadership, and Indigenous Studies Fellowships.
                  • Faith and Ecological Justice Program: This new student program undertakes initiatives to increase ecological awareness, education, and activism in ecological justice.
                  • Theology and the Arts Initiatives: Recent exhibits and events include “Moments in Time” and “Transcending Conflict.”  
                  • Grants: Henry Luce Foundation has awarded a 3-year grant to support the Educating Effective Chaplains Project. The grant supports work with other seminaries to develop models that can better prepare chaplains for effective ministry.
                  • Website: After several years of planning, a new School website will launch in Fall semester 2019.

                   PARTNERING FOR MINISTRY AND TRANSFORMATION: Preparing students for ministry means meaningful partnerships with the local spiritual community.

                  • Creative Callings: Our vocational project is an exciting partnership with local churches, seeking to create “a culture of call.” It is sponsored through a grant from the Lilly Endowment.
                  • Engagement with the UMC: Many of our students are delegates, project leaders and assistants, and class participants in General Conference 2019.
                  • Congregational courses: The Continuing Scholar program offers current BUSTH courses to alums and local clergy as continuing education credit for a small fee per course.
                  • Doctor of Ministry: The DMin in Transformational Leadership is soaring with lively student cohorts that are broadly ecumenical, culturally diverse, and global. The model includes intensives, online courses, and faculty mentoring.
                  • Religion and Conflict Transformation Clinic: The Clinic provides internships and workshops that foster justice and peace-building.
                  • Travel seminars: These courses engage students with immersion journeys to the Arizona-Mexican border, Israel and Palestine, Argentina, and other sites of learning and ministry. Attendees from the recent Serbia and Croatia Seminar presented to the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, Canada.
                  • Ecumenical partnerships: We continue to build robust Communities of Learning with the Episcopal Church and United Church of Christ, and to develop new communities with the Unitarian Universalist and Baptist Churches.
                  • Partnership with Hebrew College: Together we are able to enrich interreligious learning through joint courses and public events, and also co-sponsor The Journal of Interreligious Studies and State of Formation cohort of emerging leaders.

                   TAKING ACTION GLOBALLY AND LOCALLY:

                  • Campus action: Work to improve accessibility and sustainability. BUSTH is the first certified Green School in BU, and participates actively in the Green Seminary Initiative. It has also been named as one of the “Seminaries that Change the World” for the second consecutive year.
                  • Internships in global service and peacemaking: We provide internships that support students who engage in ministry with churches and service organizations across the world.

                   COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE: Celebrating differences while joining in action.

                  • Faculty and students have led and participated in UMCOR; support efforts with victims of hurricanes and fires; protests on behalf of Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida; protests of white supremacist movements; services with immigrants and DACA young people; and ecumenical and interreligious witnesses for justice in the city of Boston.
                  • Through student-led Town Hall meetings, the community has had deep conversations on issues that divide (including theological differences). We seek to foster respectful listening that builds community life and communal action.

                  OTHER NOTABLE NEWS:

                  • 2019 marks the 180th year of the School of Theology, originally founded as the Newbury Bible Institute in 1839.
                  • Our major development campaign for BUSTH will end in September 2019, and we continue working toward grand success for the future of our School and the vitality of your ministries.

                   As BUSTH looks to the future, we celebrate transformational leaders of the United Methodist Church, who keep the word of Jesus Christ alive. Your living legacy and faithful witness give us hope and courage for the future.

                   Blessings and gratitude,
                  Mary Elizabeth Moore, Dean

                • Candler School of Theology

                  For more than 100 years, Candler School of Theology at Emory University has prepared real people to make a real difference in the real world. Since our founding in 1914, more than 10,000 students have graduated from Candler, where they have been shaped as thoughtful, principled, and courageous leaders dedicated to transforming the world in the name of Jesus Christ.

                  This is especially important to note amid the current uncertainty in our denomination. It is an honor and a privilege for Candler to be one of 13 official seminaries of The United Methodist Church. Yet true to the Methodist tradition of ecumenical openness, Candler has enthusiastically welcomed the entire Wesleyan family to our community for generations. Faculty, staff, and students from the AME Church, the AMEZ Church, the CME Church, Free Methodists, Nazarenes, and others have worked, worshiped, learned, and prayed alongside United Methodists, and have been a vital part of shaping Candler and our mission. This diversity has been a wonderful gift and a rich blessing. As we move forward from the Special Session of General Conference, we will continue to invite and welcome wholeheartedly those from all expressions of the Wesleyan tradition. Indeed, we will continue to welcome all those who follow Jesus Christ.

                  Candler is also privileged to be one of seven graduate professional schools of Emory University in Atlanta. With the resources of a top-tier research institution and the reach of a global city, our students benefit from a rich academic and hands-on learning environment: The General Board of Global Ministries is in Atlanta, as are numerous public health, international development, and social service organizations. Candler’s intentional involvement with our surrounding community has contributed to our inclusion on a list of “Seminaries that Change the World” for six years running. In short, there is no better place to prepare for ministry that engages our major denominational priorities: developing leaders, starting and growing churches, ministry with the poor, and improving global health.

                  In order to keep pace with the needs of the church and the world, Candler offers 16 degrees: six single degrees and ten dual degrees pairing theology with bioethics, business, international development, law, public health, and social work. Our Doctor of Ministry degree is 90 percent online, so students can remain in their places of ministry and immediately apply to their context what they learn in class. Our Teaching Parish program allows eligible United Methodist students to serve as pastors in local churches while they’re enrolled—they earn a salary as they earn course credit and pastoral experience, plus they are mentored by an experienced United Methodist elder.

                  Candler’s student body continues to reflect the diversity and breadth of the Christian faithful, with an enrollment of 453, reflecting 51 percent women, 39 percent people of color (U.S.), and a median age of 27 among MDivs. Students represent 44 denominations, with half coming from the Methodist family.

                  Candler has a deep commitment to alleviating student debt and promoting financial literacy. In 2018-2019, we awarded $5.8 million in Candler scholarships, with 100 percent of MDiv students receiving aid. Plus, our comprehensive “Faith & Finance” program teaches money management skills that serve our students now and will continue to serve them—and the churches they lead—well into the future.

                  Candler draws considerable strength and inspiration from its relationship with The United Methodist Church. Our ability to fulfill our mission of educating faithful and creative leaders for the church’s ministries throughout the world depends upon your prayers, partnership, and support. Thank you for the countless ways you advance this vital ministry in the life of our denomination. Visit us in person or online at candler.emory.edu to see firsthand how Candler prepares real people to make a real difference in the real world.

                  —Jan Love
                  Mary Lee Hardin Willard Dean and Professor of Christianity and World Politics
                  Candler School of Theology

                • United Theological Seminary

                  459 men and women are being equipped as faithful, fruitful pastors and Christian leaders for the Church:[i]
                  292 Masters Students
                  167 Doctoral Students
                  Third largest United Methodist seminary in the United States[ii]

                  Founded nearly 150 years ago by Bishop Milton Wright, father of famed aviators Wilbur and Orville Wright, United has continued that spirit of innovation through:

                  Online degrees:
                  98% of master’s students have taken one or more course online while studying at United.
                  United students live in 39 different states.
                  Week-long intensives fulfill UMC residency requirements.

                  Live Interactive Virtual Education (LIVE):
                  New grant brings the latest technology in virtual education.
                  Participate in on-campus courses via webcam and enjoy live lectures and real-time discussion with faculty and peers.

                  Doctor of Ministry Degree:
                  Become a doctor for the Church, addressing a real problem or challenge in your church or community.
                  Study under a mentor who is an expert in their field and learn alongside a small group of dedicated peers.
                  3-year program that allows you to complete project as you go, leading to a 78% program graduation rate in 2017 (vs. 54% average among other seminaries)[iii]

                  Practical education designed to resource the Church:
                  The majority of United faculty have pastored churches.
                  91% of entering United students are already serving in ministry, bringing that context to the classroom.

                  A focus on Church Renewal:
                  165 Course of Study students[iv]
                  42 students in the Hispanic Christian Academy (3-year Spanish online course of ministry program for Hispanic lay pastors and leaders)iv
                  Certificates in Church Planting, Disability Ministry, and Supervision

                  Academic AND Spiritual Growth:
                  95% of students say the United community supports both their academic and spiritual growth.[v]

                  Diverse Christian Views:
                  Over 30 different denominations
                  19 international students from 15 different countries
                  96% of students feel their views are respected in the classroom/seminary community and say they have been taught to respect the views of others.
                  47% of students who reported are African-American, 43% Caucasian and 10% represent other ethnicities

                   We thank God for the men and women coming to United because God has called them to serve the least and the lost. We pray as the Lord Jesus instructed his disciples saying, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2).

                   Dr. Kent Millard
                  President
                  United Theological Seminary

                   [i] Data represents Fall 2018 headcount enrollment, unless otherwise specified.
                  [ii] ATS 2017-2018 Annual Data Tables. Data represents Fall 2017 headcount enrollment.
                  [iii] ATS 2017-2018 Strategic Information Report for United Theological Seminary. Graduation rates represent the percentage of students who were able to complete their chosen degree within a specified period of time which approximates two times the normal length of the degree.
                  [iv] Data represents unduplicated headcount enrollment in the 2017-2018 academic year.
                  [v] United Theological Seminary 2017-2018 Student Satisfaction Survey, in which 30% of students responded.

                • Wesley Theological Seminary

                  Fostering wisdom and courage

                  Wesley Theological Seminary, celebrating our 60th year in Washington, DC, has equipped Christian leadership for nearly 150 years.  We prepare students to lead innovative ministries while remaining grounded in our biblical and theological traditions.  President David McAllister-Wilson writes in his new book, A New Church and a New Seminary, “Leadership requires a seminary to foster both wisdom and courage.” 

                  Our faculty is chosen to prepare these kinds of leaders. In the past year, we welcomed Academic Dean Phil Wingeier-Rayo, Ph.D. plus two new faculty, the Rev. Lorena Parrish, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Urban Ministries and Director of the Community Engagement Institute, and the Rev. Anna Petrin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Worship and Chapel Elder. Learn more about all the remarkable scholars on Wesley’s faculty at https://www.wesleyseminary.edu/faculty-2/

                  Whether you are clergy or laity, an alumnus or a prospective student, looking for master’s or doctoral work, or continuing education or simply deeper knowledge, Wesley stands ready to support you in your current and future call to ministry. Here are a few ways Wesley can help you grow in the wisdom of the faith and the courage to lead.   

                  Discover exciting pathways to seminary studies

                  Wesley offers a 81-hour Master of Divinity, a 36-hour Master of Arts and a 60-hour Master of Theological Studies. Wesley equips all those called to serve for ordained Elder and Deacon ministries or to other ministries beyond the pulpit

                  Some are able to take advantage of our modern and affordable on-campus housing and food service to be full-time residential students, living in an exciting international capital.  But we understand the struggle to balance life, family, ministry, and finances.  So, Wesley’s Master of Divinity degree can now be completed via online, weekend, short-term intensive, and weeknight courses in 5 years, designed for those with busy ministry, work, and family lives. Check out upcoming flexible course offerings for Summer and Fall 2019 at http://www.wesleyseminary.edu/admissions/try-a-class-3/

                  In our 3+3 Fast Track B.A./M. Div. program, in partnership with Shenandoah University, students enter ministry with less debt after earning their degrees in six years. Learn more at www.wesleyseminary.edu/3+3degrees.

                  Wesley provides more than $2 million dollars annually in scholarships thanks to the consistent support of graduates, congregations and friends.    Our new Generación

                  Latinx Scholarship joins our many merit-based scholarships that enable students to afford seminary education.   The Community Engagement Institute at Wesley embraces a vibrant vision to be the premier center for churches and faith-based organizations seeking new, innovative ideas and training to empower them and to engage their communities.  Our Community Engagement Fellows program prepares students to engage in entrepreneurial ministry. Generous stipends are available for each Fellow while they complete their M.Div. degree. Students can focus their fellowship on Public Theology, Urban Ministry or Missional Church.  Meet our current Fellows at https://www.wesleyseminary.edu/admissions/community-engagement-fellows/

                  Take your ministry to the next level

                  Wesley is a leader in Doctor of Ministry programs in specialized tracks that can include international study.  Our 2020 tracks will include Church Leadership Excellence, offered in conjunction with Wesley’s internationally respected Lewis Center for Church Leadership and Life Together: Spirituality for Transforming Community, and a track designed for military chaplains. Find out more or apply awww.wesleyseminary.edu/doctorofministry/.

                  Wesley also offers opportunities for individual study without pursuing a degree. The Certificate in Faith and Public Life explores the foundations of public theology, religious freedom, and civil discourse through graduate courses. For more information,  visit www.wesleyseminary.edu/ice/programs/public-theology/public-life/

                  A Certificate in Wesleyan Studies is available online via the Wesley Theological Seminary Lay Academy. Topics include United Methodist identity, early church history, Christian ethics, interfaith relations, and the intersection of faith and science.  The courses can also be taken for personal education and enrichment. More information can be found at www.beadisciple.com/wesley/. 

                  Enrich your congregational outreach and explore new dimensions of ministry

                  The Lewis Center continues to be on the leading edge of research for the local church.  The Lewis Center’s Leading Ideas e-newsletter is now the go-to source for over 20,000 people in ministry each week.  From this we’ve launched a new podcast – Leading Ideas Talk. Sign up or listen at www.churchleadership.com/.  And look for new practical online courses at lewisonlinelearning.org .

                  From their new location at The Methodist Building on Capitol Hill, the Center for Public Theology, under the leadership of Distinguished Professor of Public Theology Mike McCurry, equips pastors, seminarians, people of faith, and the media to create spaces for civil dialogue at the intersection of religion and politics. In its second year, the Center’s Faith and Public Life Immersion for undergraduates offers a week-long experience of study and encounters with public theologians and those advocating for justice in Washington. For more information, visit http://www.wesleyseminary.edu/ice/programs/public-theology/.

                  The Luce Center for Arts and Religion is the only seminary-based program uniting arts and theology. The Luce Center offers regular classes and workshops with visiting artists. For information on past and upcoming opportunities visit www.luceartsandreligion.org.

                  The innovative online Health Minister Certificate Program prepares congregations for public health work in their parishes. Contact Tom Pruski at   for more information or to register for future certificate classes. 

                  The African American Church Studies Master of Divinity specialization gives contextual preparation for the opportunities and challenges our future leaders may encounter in African American churches, while the Public Theology specialization allows master’s degree students to gain community leadership and advocacy skills. Learn more at https://www.wesleyseminary.edu/admissions/african-american-church-studies/ or  https://www.wesleyseminary.edu/ice/programs/public-theology/

                  Through the Wesley Innovation Hub, a research project funded by the Lilly Endowment, we are working with 20 local congregations to design innovative ministries as models for ministry by and for young adults. Follow the work and connect with resources at  www.wesleyseminary.edu/wesley-innovation-hub/.

                  Stay connected

                  Contact us at (202) 885-8659 or about how Wesley’s degree programs can equip you for your next step in ministry.

                  Ready to join in our mission? Find out more about how you can be part of the future of Wesley at www.wesleyseminary.edu/support/.  Join the Wesley Community online via Wesley’s social media, www.facebook.com/wesleyseminary, on Instagram at wesleyseminary, and on Twitter at WesleyTheoSem or sign up for our electronic newsletter, eCalling, at www.wesleyseminary.edu/ecalling.