News and Views

Supporting peace one village at a time
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Rev. Neal Christie Village life is at the heart of Wadi Foquin a community of about 1,300 people living only five miles from the bustling Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the Occupied West Bank. Adam Manasra’s family has lived and farmed here for generations. Sponsored by Friends of Wadi...

New academy for church planters begins
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More and more churches close their doors in the United States. Large sanctuaries sometimes only have a dozen bodies in the pews on a given Sunday. The church faces a new era: a country of people less inclined to attend their church than in past decades. The Planter’s Discernment Academy...

Discerning candiates for the episcopacy
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An invitation for episcopal candidates from the Rev. Ianther Mills and Cynthia Taylor, leaders of the BWC delegation As the 2024 Jurisdictional Conference delegation of the Baltimore-Washington Conference begins its work, one of the great responsibilities of the delegation is to identify...

Oak Chapel Hub becomes vital part of community
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By Melissa Lauber On Sunday mornings, the sanctuary at Oak Chapel UMC welcomes 25 families to worship. During the week, that exact same space is used for a different kind of holy work as people from the community and the church offer food to their neighbors in need, many of whom are immigrants...

Innovation grants spur imagination and vitality
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By Melissa Lauber Discipleship Ministries Missional Innovation Grant “Everything that is real was imagined first.” This bit of wisdom, from the story The Velveteen Rabbit, inspired Valerie Stevens of Petworth UMC to dare to dream and to apply for a Baltimore-Washington Conference...

Tools to Change Church Culture
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If nothing seems to change in your congregation despite your best efforts and great strategies, chances are a “stay-the-course” mentality or an unhealthy culture is to blame. While usually taken for granted and often misunderstood, the culture of a local church influences everything...

BOOM releases study on clergy gender and race
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By Melissa Lauber Study on the Impact of Gender and Race on the Lived Experiences of Clergypersons in the BWC  The journey toward gender and cultural equity is long, but for the clergy of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, it is moving toward justice and fairness, a new survey by the...

How churches can celebrate Deaf Awareness Week
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As International Deaf Awareness Week approaches on Sept. 25, hearing and Deaf congregations alike can celebrate Deaf culture for that week — and well into the future.  For hearing congregations, it is important to note that it is not a week to minister to the Deaf community. Rather...

BWC Creation Care Team News
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By Liz Feighner As United Methodists, we understand that our responsibility as caretakers of God’s planet includes ensuring a healthy, abundant creation for future generations. Today, we understand more deeply than ever before, the profound consequences of our failure to serve as...