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.
 
Action and Advocacy 

Justice for our Children: Healing for Our Communities: From Sept. 30 through Oct. 6, United Methodists are invited to observe a special time of prayer and action in remembrance of the atrocities against Native American children in boarding schools. "Justice for Our Children: Healing for Our Communities" is the theme of this year's observance. United Women in Faith is offering a two-hour virtual event on Oct. 6 that will include prayer, an educational program and reflection in small groups about the abuses suffered by Native American children in the schools Register for the event.    See resources

 Registration for NCC Christian Unity Gathering  Session topics will include Christian leadership in unchartered waters, the impact of trauma, responding to humanitarian crises, the future of faith formation, how to uproot racism/Christian nationalism/White supremacy, and how to deal with domestic unrest and dramatic change. The annual event will be held virtually to make it easier to attend, provide scheduling flexibility, eliminate travel barriers, reduce the event’s carbon-footprint, and be more inclusive. The fee to attend on the Whova platform will be $25 per attendee. The recorded sessions will be available within Whova for continued viewing.

The ninth annual Rev. Callie Matthews Scholarship Walk will be Oct. 22 at 9 a.m., at 1 Dock Street in Annapolis. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. Learn more, register and donate.

Introducing the Brave Conversation Resourcers: The Baltimore-Washington Conference and The People's Supper are excited to introduce the Brave Conversation Resourcers, a group of people who are trained to help congregations across the conference have brave conversations that contextually advance inclusion, diversity, equity, and antiracism. These individuals have facilitation experience, are culturally aware, emotionally intelligent, a non-anxious presence in times of trouble, and are good listeners. Resourcers are now available for the conference to enlist to walk alongside the congregations who need their support. To learn more about the Brave Conversations Resourcers and request their facilitation services in your congregation, click here.

Young People's Ministry

Christians Engaged in Faith Formation (CEF), a gathering of clergy and laity, will gather Thursday, Oct. 13, at 10 a.m. to talk about children and worship.

Tacos, TikTok, and Talk with Bishop Easterling will be held Saturday, Nov. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. . at Calvary UMC, 301 Rowe Boulevard in Annapolis.  Bishop LaTrelle Easterling is inviting all youth (11-18 years old) from the Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware Conferences to share their hopes, dreams and concerns so that we can plan and create ministry that matters most to youth. There will be no Wave 2023. All young people are invited as the BWC discerns the movement of the Holy Spirit in and through our young people. Register.

Discipleship Ministries YOUTH 2023 event returns July 25-28, 2023 in Daytona Beach: Every four years, youth from throughout The United Methodist Church have gathered for four days of discipleship, fun, and fellowship at the YOUTH event. The event is filled with interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service opportunities, and fellowship time. Adult leaders who bring youth to our event can expect inspiration, support, and chances to authentically experience what it means to be part of the Methodist and Wesleyan family. Registration is open. The registration of $375 covers all event activities as well as lunches and dinners on July 26 & 27. Hotel rooms are $145 a night and can sleep up to 4 people per room.  Additional details available online.

Wellness and Missions

We pray for the people of Puerto Rico, who are still recovering from a recent tornado and flooding that cut off electricity to much of the island. The United Methodist Committee on Relief, which has been working on the island since the violent storms two years ago, has set up a fund to address people's most pressing relief and recovery needs. Donate here.

The BWC is also offering early response team training for people interested in helping to rebuild communities following disasters. The training will be Oct. 15 at Benevola UMC and Nov. 12 at the BWC Mission Center in Fulton.

Winter Grace Senior Ministries will hold a virtual Resource Fair for people age 50 and older on Oct. 1-15. The retreat will offer resource providers, expert speakers, fitness class access and workshops. Learn more.

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. Contribute online at https://www.bwcumc.org/migrantcrisisdonations 

The United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network's 50th Anniversary Celebration and Assembly will be held in Wheeling, W.Va. Oct. 5-7. For 50 years, members of UMAMN have provided resources and support to hundreds of local churches and ministries serving the people of Appalachia.

Accessibility Conversations: The BWC's Commission on Disability Concerns will hold three Accessibility Conversations this fall as they continue the conversation to support churches and ministries towards accessibility and inclusion for persons with disabilities (differing abilities) in the church or ministry setting. The webinar meets on the first Friday of the month at 11 a.m. The topics covered include:  in October, National Disability Awareness; and in November, best practices for disability. Register.

Leadership Development

Living Well is a seven-month program for clergy that provides a holistic understanding of their life and ministry and a personal development plan, and the steps pastors can take to make incremental and significant improvements in selected aspects of their life and ministry. The program is comprised of two retreats, one in the fall of 2022 and one in the spring of 2023. There are also monthly cohort meetings between the retreats to process learning and support each other. Learn more and register. The final of three sessions of Living Well will be held at West River Camp in West River, Md. Alpha Retreat on Oct. 25-27 and Omega Retreat on May 2-4, 2023. Monthly cohort meetings from October to May. Register

School of Christian Growth: The Baltimore Suburban District is excited to announce its newly revised Baltimore Suburban School of Christian Growth, which is offering classes this fall on Oct. 1. You are invited to take this opportunity to begin or advance your Lay Servant journey with these incredible instructors and content. Learn more and register.

New Faith Expressions

MissionShapedChurch.com is a new blog from the Revs. Bill Brown, the BWC’s Director of Innovative Evangelism and Lauren Harris, Congregational Development Coordinator. 

Training Tuesdays, a webinar that draws on experts to assist local church leaders, will focus on growing in vitality this Fall. See a story on this important resource. The first gatherings this fall include:

  • Oct. 11 – See all the People, community prayer and how to conduct relational 1:1s
  • Oct. 25– Deepings Discipleship, Creating an intentional discipleship pathway/process
  • Nov. 8 – Deepening Discipleship – On-boarding people onto the pathway
  • Nov. 15 – Live and Love Like Jesus
  • Nov. 29 – Multiply Your Impact: Measure What Matters
  • Dec. 13 – Statistical Report Training
  • Jan. 10 – Change Management

The application period of the BWC’s Congregational Development grants for local churches is now open. The grants, offered through the Unified Funding Task Force, assist congregations in launching new ministry initiatives, new or renewed congregation development, leader development and reaching new people. The deadline is Oct. 10. Learn more and apply.

Across the Connection

Mission Innovation Grant Application Open: The annual Mission Innovation Grant Applications for Advocacy & Action, Wellness & Missions, and Young People’s Ministry are now open.  Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to a team of persons, at least one of whom is connected to a United Methodist faith community, that has a tested idea to:

  •  educate and support individuals in making it priority to improve health holistically (physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally) for themselves, their congregations, and their communities
  • address an aspect of a system of oppression and/or injustice in collaboration with impoverished, marginalized and disenfranchised communities, or
  • help make progress on one or more of the goals in the YPM strategic plan

Applications are due Nov,. 1. Learn more and apply online.  

The BWC’s United Methodist Men will hold their annual gathering and business session on Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Learn more.

A Protecting Places of Worship Forum will be held Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Annapolis City Hall, 160 Duke of Gloucester Street in Annapolis. The forum provides faith-based leaders and congregations with information about religious hate crimes, law enforcement threat assessments, and ways to protect places of worship from potential hate crimes and other threats of violence and offers resources. Learn more. The program encourages the implementation of a security program, offers best practices for security, fosters networking and community outreach, and provides resources such as examples of security plans and community responses.  Registration: https://bit.ly/PPOWCAAL 

The Strawbridge Shrine Association will hold its annual meeting Saturday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m. at New Hope UMC/Bethel Church in New Windsor. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Bonnie McCubbin, Director of Pilgrimage & Museums for the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Learn more.

The Land of Jesus – Then and Now: Join Bishop LaTrelle Easterling on a Holy Land pilgrimage Jan. 29 – Feb. 7, 2024. The 10-day trip to Israel and West Bank is $3,439. Register with the Society for Biblical Studies.

#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.