Discipleship Opportunities

The Baltimore-Washington Conference offers a number of opportunities for learning and growing in faith and discipleship. Scroll down this list of some of the offerings to put your faith into action.

Local Church Activities

  • Lovely Lane UMC will host Camerata Baltimore’s concert, "The Evolution of Black Music: F.U.B.U.," in observance of Black History Month on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m.

  • St. Matthew's UMC in Bowie will hold a World Day of Prayer service on March 1 at 1 p.m. This year’s topic is Palestine. The service will be broadcast on the church's Facebook page at 7 p.m. on March 1 for those who can not attend in person.

  • Poplar Springs UMC in Mt. Airy is hosting a spaghetti dinner on March 9 from 4 to 7 p.m.  The dinner is free and donations are being accepted to support the Youth Mission Team
  • Christ UMC in Baltimore is joining the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling to sponsor a workshop on Supporting Persons Experiencing Homelessness and Problem Gambling and Co-occurring Addictions and Mental Health Concerns. The workshop will be on March 9 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Christ UMC, 2005 East Chase Street in Baltimore. Register by sending an email to .

  • Mt. Olive UMC in Mt. Airy will host a Spring Breakfast on March 9 from 7 to 11 a.m. The cost is $12, and $5 for children under 10.

Action and Advocacy 

The BWC’s Peace with Justice committee has scheduled four Voter Registration Training webinars to help in getting as many people as possible to vote. The training is open to everyone. Register in advance for these webinars:

The BWC’s Creation Care ministry urges members and churches to save money while reducing their carbon footprint with no up-front costs or long-term commitment. Neighborhood Sun and Nexamp are among several non-profit, B corporations implementing the state-sponsored Community Solar program in Maryland, Delaware and D.C. Full details and online applications are at the company websites at https://neighborhoodsun.solar or https://www.nexamp.com.

Community Organizing Retreat: Are you passionate about engaging your congregation to be more involved in your community? Do you want to work more effectively on justice issues? Join leaders from across the BWC in a Community Organizing Training Retreat from April 5-7, 2024, at West River Camp near Annapolis. The three-day training, led by Kristin Kumpf and the Rev. Dorlimar Malave, will teach you the essential skills and knowledge to be an effective community organizer and help you understand the dynamics of change and empower you to advocate for the issues that matter most to you and your community. The cost is $170. See a flyer.    .

GBCS’s Racial-Ethnic Local Church Grant is now accepting applications. They are provided to assist local racial/ethnic congregations with projects and programs in three areas: leadership development; church growth and development; and pastoral salary support.  The maximum programmatic grant is $15,000 and the maximum pastoral salary support grant is $12,000. All applications are due by March 1. View the application here.

Sign Up for the BWC Advocacy & Action Newsletter: The BWC’s Advocacy & Action Newsletter is a bi-monthly email with updates regarding the Advocacy & Action ministries, including our social action teams, legislative action, events, and announcements. This is a great way for individuals to stay updated on ways to get involved in the Advocacy & Action ministries. Sign up for the newsletter.

Introducing the Brave Conversation Resourcers: The BWC and Pen-Del are now accepting applications for the next cohort of Brave Conversation Resourcers. The resourcers are people trained to help congregations have brave, contextual conversations that foster beloved community. Learn more and apply. To learn more about the Brave Conversations Resourcers and request their facilitation services in your congregation, click here.

Maryland Legislative Advocacy Day: The BWC's 2024 Legislative Advocacy Days will be on Feb. 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Asbury UMC in Annapolis. The event allows United Methodists to meet their representatives and advocate for United Methodist values. It also allows the voices of United Methodists to be heard and considered when our representatives make important decisions that impact the lives of our communities. Learn More & Register.

Mark your Calendars: 2024 Legislative Advocacy Days for federal legislation on Sept. 18; and for D.C. legislation on Oct. 23. 

Wellness and Missions

Gambling and Addictions: Christ UMC in Baltimore is joining the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling to sponsor a workshop on Supporting Persons Experiencing Homelessness and Problem Gambling and Co-occurring Addictions and Mental Health Concerns. The workshop will be on March 9 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Christ UMC, 2005 East Chase Street in Baltimore. Register by sending an email to

Mission u: Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conferences United Women in Faith and Wellness and Missions will host Mission u on July 20 at the Maritime Conference Center, Linthicum Heights, Md.

Ministry to migrants: Urgent assistance needed to aid migrants: Since April, the governors of Texas and Arizona have bussed more than 7,500 migrants to Washington, D.C. This political tactic of sending busloads of people each day to Union Station has become perilous. The BWC and Capitol Hill UMC are partnering with secular groups and faith communities to address the enormous needs. Individuals and congregations are encouraged to give generously. Learn more and give.

Applications for the BWC’s Quality of Life retreats for people living with HIV/AIDS, which will be held May 13 (for women only), Sept. 12, and Dec. 9, are now online. Learn more and apply.

Young People's Ministry

Necessary Ingredients: A Training and Retreat for Youth, Children & Family Ministry Leaders will be held April 5 and 6 at Westminster UMC. Leaders working with youth, children, and family ministries are invited to attend the annual training and retreat. Attendees will spend two days with other Youth, Children & Family Ministry leaders to focus on the Necessary Ingredients for a thriving ministry. Learn from experts Chris Sasser and Chania Dillard as they train on mental health intergenerational ministry practices, and recruiting, training, and retaining volunteers. Early bird registration is $50 through March 18th. Regular registration is $75. Register online.

Spend your summer growing! BWC's Camp Manidokan and West River Center are hiring: gain job and communication skills, make friends, grow your faith, and have fun this summer on staff. Learn more.

Looking for mission opportunities for your youth?
Consider CAMP JOY 2024.  
For more than 30 years, youth groups from the Baltimore-Washington and Pen-Del Conferences have served the Appalachian region by providing home repairs. When they’re not working, the youth tent camp at Camp Harmison in Berkley Springs, W.Va. The camp is scheduled for July 7 - 13 and 14 - 20. For more information, visit the Hancock UMC website or contact Pastor Becki Wessinger at 301-678-6440. Join the meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7749106935?omn=86576751993; Meeting ID: 774 910 6935.

CAMP HOPE is a youth ministry in which teams of youth work with adult leaders from their church for one week to serve a homeowner in Allegany County with home improvement needs. This year’s two camping sessions, based in Frostburg, will be held the first two weeks of July. For more information, contact ​ .

Annual BWC Scholarship application process is open: Once again, the BWC will award scholarships to qualified college students and high school seniors who plan to attend college in the fall of 2024. The application process is currently open and closes on March 13. Learn more and apply.

New Faith Expressions

Applications for Congregational Development Grants are now being accepted. Do you have an innovative and exciting idea for a New Faith Expression or new worship service? Do you have a plan for a new ministry that will help your congregation go to the “next level”? Are you developing a way to reach new people who are not yet a part of any church? If you answered yes to any of these, then the Baltimore-Washington Conference Congregational Development Grants, offered through the Unified Funding Task Force (UFTF), may be able to assist you with a grant to launch your new ministry initiative, congregational renewal project, leader development ministry or to reach new people. The application period opens Feb. 15 and closes April 1. Learn more. 

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award honors United Methodists in each annual conference for exceptional ministry in evangelism. The BWC recognizes one clergy, one layperson, and one youth at the Annual Conference session. The deadline for award nominations is April 1. Learn more and see the application forms.

So you want to repurpose your buildingRepurposing church property effectively is more than just a real estate transaction. Join the Rev. Joe Daniels and leaders from Emory UMC in Washington as they share their story of going from a part-time appointment and a congregation that was presumed dead to a revitalized congregation that facilitated the construction of a $60 million multi-use building project with 99 units of affordable housing. Even though God’s dream for your community and the resulting project may have a different missional focus, the process of preparing for development is the same. Join in this half-day experience on  May 18. Learn more

Leadership

Applications for the next class of Certified Lay Ministers of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, Class of 2024-2026, are now being acceptedLearn moreProspective CLM students must currently be a Certified Lay Servant or Certified Lay Speaker and must consult with their pastor before beginning the process. The website contains an application and information to be shared with your pastor, along with the steps and deadlines that must be taken before you can register for the first class. Registration closes July 1. The next class will start in September and is a two-year commitment. Questions can be directed to Linda Flanagan, Conference Director of Lay Servant Ministries Note: Those interested in taking the CLM modules online through Beadisciple.com must also complete the application process above before registering for the online modules and meet the BWC requirements during the training.

Living Well Clergy Renewal Retreats: The Living Well Clergy Renewal Initiative is a seven-month cycle comprised of two retreats as well as monthly cohort meetings between the retreats to process learnings and support each other throughout the journey. This brand new spring-to-fall cycle will meet at West River Center on April 9-11 and October 29-31, 2024 with a registration deadline of March 22, 2024. Successful completion of the Living Well program qualifies for 3.3 CEUs. Learn more and register now

Level Up: provides lessons in church leadership from the Rev. Jack Shitama of the Center of Vital Leadership. In these short videos, church leaders will discover some of the best and most influential principles in today’s secular writing about leadership. Learn from the experts about how to transform yourself and the world.  A new video will premiere each Monday.

A new Certificate in Congregational Leadership (CCL) program uses online learning to provide a comprehensive approach to developing leadership excellence in the local church. It is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of bi-vocational pastors, Certified Lay Ministers, and others interested in growing in their knowledge and faith. The courses, which take about 10 hours of work, can be taken for either personal enrichment or certification. Participants seeking certification must take the four required courses and at least one elective.  The courses focus on church administration, sacraments, pastoral care, Wesleyan theology, time management, and United Methodist history and doctrine. To access the core courses, you will need an account in  Assembly, the conference's electronic learning platform. If you do not have one, you can register directly on the site.

Across the Connection

#BeUMC Leader Toolkit: This grassroots effort celebrates what draws us to The United Methodist Church and what we aspire to be. The #BeUMC Leader Toolkit includes new resources to help local churches embrace the campaign by including the "#BeUMC" hashtag in social media posts. New graphics and promotional videos were recently added to the toolkit and are ideal for Zoom and other backgrounds. Learn more.

The 2024 United Methodist General Conference will be held April 23 – May 3, 2024, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Delegates from Africa, Europe, Asia and the U.S. will attend the 11-day gathering.