G ooD news from
D ecember 2009
in this i ssue Pastor’s r eflections
by a ndrew fosTer c onnors
PasTor’s r eflecTions 1 firstname.lastname@example.org
I really don’t like waiting. I don’t like waiting for my family when it’s time
The Music of a dvenT
and c hrisTMas ......... 2
to go. (They don’t like waiting for me either). I don’t like waiting in line at the
post office. I don’t like waiting for a movie or a concert to start. I don’t like
a sk The PasTor ........ 3 waiting to see Santa get off his lunch break at the mall.
I prefer for things to happen on my own time, to fit with my
The P erfecT chrisTMas schedule, to revolve around my needs. But I am willing to wait
gifT: a cd of elijah 3 under the right conditions. I waited ten days in a tent for tickets to
a Duke-Carolina basketball game. I waited in line at an amusement park to ride
a greaT day
roller-coasters with my family. I have waited in a courtroom to tell the judge
for euTaw-Marshburn 4
why a prayer for peace led me two steps over a line I was told not to cross. I
god’s call have waited in a hospital for a doctor to come and say, “She’s doing well.” I
To souTh dakoTa ....... 4 have waited at the beds of people I love until they decided it was their time to
leave this world. I have waited for my own two children to decide it was time
a P eaceful warrior 5 for them to enter it.
There are some things that are worth waiting for, even if I don’t like to wait. I
r ing and sing caroling still haven’t decided whether the season of advent qualifies or not. There’s part
— for a ll ages ...... 5 of me that is tired of the predictability of advent. While “Holly Jolly
Christmas” is chirping away on the mall intercom, we’ll be singing “Let All
bMPa To geT new
P icToral direcTory .. 6 Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” in a minor key. While the Christmas trees are
already up, we’ll be hearing John the Baptist hammering away about repentance
saTurday breakfasT, and a baptism of fire. I’m accustomed to the season now. I’ve come to expect
P rayer, and the dissonance between credit-based instant gratification, and faith-based
bible sTudy ............. 6 delayed gratification. I know that everybody will breathe a sigh of relief when
the waiting is over and the presents are opened and the day is finally here.
birThdays................. 6 Yet I know that what I’m really waiting for is not Christmas Day. I’m
waiting for healing and wholeness that only God can bring to me and to the
d eceMber 2009
world. I know that if I don’t practice that kind of waiting with other people who
aT bMPa ................. 7
long for holy visitation as I do, I’m likely to decide that maybe the healing and
the wholeness aren’t worth waiting for at all.
I really don’t like waiting. But every year I think I get a little better at it. I
think I get a little better at slowing things down, seeing gifts all around me,
and recognizing how free I feel when I’m clear that the world doesn’t revolve
around my needs. I think I look forward more and more to setting a place at the
table for joy that is coming for a visit even if that visit doesn’t happen on my
own time or fit with my own schedule. There are some things that are worth
t he music of a Dvent anD christmas
by john walker • A carol with text by our own
email@example.com Sally Shoemaker Robinson
During these weeks of preparation for Christmas, the On December 20, the fourth Sunday of Advent, the service
profound role of music touches each of us perhaps more deeply of worship will include part one of Handel’s Messiah. With
than at any other time of the year. At Brown texts from both the Old and New Testaments, section one of
Memorial Church the Sunday morning Messiah focuses upon the birth of Jesus, with sections two and
services during Advent and on Christmas Eve three describing the passion and resurrection of the Lord. The
will include a wide array of music: service of worship will begin that day at 10:45 a.m. with
Handel’s setting of Isaiah’s proclamation that “Every valley
• An Israeli folk melody shall be exalted” and that “The glory of the Lord shall
• Two excerpts from Bach Cantata 140 be revealed.”
• Two anthems from Westminster Abbey As the closing hymn of this service, the entire
• A motet written by the beloved American congregation will be invited to join in singing the “Hallelujah
musician Paul Manz (1919-2009) Chorus”. Although this chorus is the closing movement of
• “Come to the Cradle,” from the Christmas section two (passion) in the oratorio, the text is the grateful
Festival at St. Olaf College Christian response to God’s loving gift to the world in the
• A touching setting of “Away in a Manger,” person of Jesus Christ.
with children joining the Chancel Choir Anne Porter’s poem, given to me recently by Roger Fink,
• The Nigerian carol “Betelehemu,” helps me to comprehend the profound role which music plays
arranged by Wendell Whalum in our lives, particularly during this season. As we sing and
• Traditional Chinese carol “Pengyou, Ting!,” listen to the music of Advent and Christmas, may we recognize
sung in Mandarin and welcome the One who came to live with us!
Music For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
When I was a child
But we were made for Paradise
I once sat sobbing on the floor
As deer for the forest
Beside my mother’s piano
As she played and sang
And when music comes to us
For there was in her singing
With its heavenly beauty
A shy yet solemn glory
It brings us desolation
My smallness could not hold
For when we hear it
We half remember
And when I was asked
That lost native country
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
We dimly remember the fields
I only shook my head
Their fragrant windswept clover
And went on crying
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
Why is it that music
By the transparent streams
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
And shining at the heart of it
An ache a desolation
Is the longed-for beauty
Deep as a homesickness
Of the One who waits for us
For some far-off
Who will always wait for us
And half-forgotten country
In those radiant meadows
I’ve never understood
Yet also came to live with us
Why this is so
And wanders where we wander.
But there’s an ancient legend
— Anne Porter
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow
PaGe 2 • t he t iDinGs D ecember 2009
a sk the Pastor
by e Mily rose M arTin the larger sins and sinful systems of our culture and society,
firstname.lastname@example.org and being assured of our forgiveness should also lead to that
Q: Why do you pour water into the baptismal font during sense of new life and freedom.
the Assurance of Pardon? Are you symbolizing the cleansing • The new life that we are born into is marked by right
of our sins? and just living in community, as another water image
A: The pouring of water does in Amos 5:24 reminds us: “Let justice roll down
? symbolize God’s grace in forgiving us of our
sins-washing us clean. Also, by pouring the
water into the font each Sunday, we are
providing a multi-sensory reminder to members of each
like waters and righteousness like an everflowing
• That new life is also marked by new energies and
resources for loving, serving, and growing in faith
one’s baptism and the meaning of that baptism for their lives. that bubble up like living water inside of us
For those of us claimed by God as infants, the pouring of (John 4:14).
the water represents God’s pre-emptive grace. In baptism, • Another thing that the pouring of the water can
Christians believe that we are united with Christ in his death remind us of is God’s promise to us in Isaiah 43:
and resurrection; we die to what separates us from God and “When you pass through the waters, I will be
one another and are reborn into a new life in Christ. Water is with you; and through the rivers, they shall not
a great reminder of that, as it can symbolize both death and overwhelm you.” If I’m going to be honest with
new birth/life. God about my struggles and my sins, then I need
In addition to reminding us of our baptisms, water to know that God will be with me in that.
connects us to a whole host of scriptural stories and images There may be other Biblical passages that come to mind
that remind us of God’s goodness and mercy, which is the for you when you see us pouring the water, for example,
only reason we feel that we can confess. Here are a few that Moses striking the rock to produce water for the people
come to my mind, and how they relate to the practice of while they were in the wilderness or the river of life in
confession and the assurance of pardon: Revelation. This liturgical act connects us with so many
• Water reminds us of God’s liberation of Israel from different but relevant aspects of God’s assurance.
slavery by parting the waters (Exodus) and leading them to * “Ask the Pastor” is a new feature of The Tidings. You
a new land of abundant life and faithful obedience. We often may submit a liturgical or scriptural question to be
include references to these Biblical texts and others during answered by one of the Pastors to Ellen Carter Cooper at
baptism, where we too are promised freedom from all kinds email@example.com. The deadline for questions is
of enslavement. Confessing our sins and our participation in the 18th of every month.
The Perfect Christmas Gift: A CD of Elijah
A particularly meaningful gift this season is a CD of The design of
Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” performed by our own Chancel the CD
Choir as a Tiffany Series concert in May. Julie Hanks, package has
who bought 10 CDs as gifts for family members, said, also elicited
“It was such an incredible day, and I want to share that admiration.
with them. The seniors love classical music, and I think The 3-disc
it’s important to expose the younger family members to set is $15
a beautiful work like Elijah.” and can be
Others have chosen the CD because of its personal purchased in
connection. “I’m so proud of our choir and the the Assembly
wonderful music we make,” said Chrystie Adams. “I’m Room after
giving it to friends who are choir directors and who worship on
couldn’t come to the concert.” Singing Elijah with John Sundays, in
Walker conducting and Fred Swann as organist was “a the church
marvelous musical experience,” Chrystie noted. office during the week, and online at:
While the performance continues to gather accolades, www.browndowntowsn.org (a small shipping fee applies
the CD was recently praised by several out-of-state to online purchases). It is also available at An Die Musik, a
organists and choir directors for the professional record store and performance space located at
quality of the recording, according to John Walker. 409 N. Charles Street in downtown Baltimore.
D ecember 2009 t he t iDinGs • PaGe 3
a Great Day at eutaw-m arshburn
by sandra f ink work of the day and good wishes for the future of
On Saturday, November 7th, the sky was blue, the sun was Eutaw-Marshburn and the surrounding community.
bright and the neighborhood was out in force. Hundreds of At that point, a “Moon Bounce” went into full swing, pit
people gathered – Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary School beef and hot dogs were served, and a good time was had by all!
children, some parents, the school principal, several teachers The action was planned as an opportunity to share a
and other school personnel, the Pastors of the area, all kinds of message in the community: Our children’s safety and
volunteers, the City Councilperson of the district, Fox 45 news well-being in this school space is critical and must
and WBAL-TV, members of BUILD and Child First and an be preserved.
enthusiastic contingent from Brown Memorial.
The mission for the day was to clean up the school’s In short, there was:
playground and to declare it a “safe space” in which our reclamation of the property
children can exercise and play. Hundreds of blue and yellow
balloons were blown up and tied by the children to the fences. CO-OPERATION of the community
Rakes and brooms manned by people from age 6 to age 80
accomplished the first part, the clean-up. DEDICATION of the space
Next, Pastors from the community, including Andrew Foster
Connors and Emily Martin, led a procession around the PROCLAMATION of the sacredness of
perimeter. At each of the four corners of the playground, a children’s rights to be safe.
Pastor prayed and blessed the space. “Amens” were loud
and strong! It was a great day for Eutaw-Marshburn and
There were several speeches of support and gratitude for the the community.
G oD’s call to s outh Dakota
by c hrysTie a daMs we will begin the seventh camp on the Yankton Reservation.
The journey started in 1997, when Rebecca, then 12 and Several folks from Brown Memorial have been active in this
going into 6th grade, asked if I would chaperone the journey. I would imagine that most, if not all of them, will share
Brown/Govans middle school youth on a trip to the Pine Ridge with you that the experience has changed their perspective on life
Reservation to take part in a week-long – what is important and what is not. The South Dakota
Vacation Bible School and work project at experience offers an opportunity to form relationships with
Makasan Presbyterian Church. wonderful children and adults and to continue the relationships
My first response was an emphatic “No!” No each summer and even during the year with correspondence and
beds, no showers, no AC, middle-school youth (which I taught phone calls. South Dakota seems to offer a sacred time and space
all year) and HOT weather. Why, I did not even own a sleeping where there is an opportunity to breathe deeply and reflect on
bag and really disliked “roughing it.” But Rebecca kept asking where our hearts are truly called to be.
and finally convinced me to go just once. Doug and I have felt called for many years to be a more
That “one-time-only” trip turned into a life-changing permanent part of the community where Makasan Presbyterian
experience for me and eventually our whole family. When I got Church is located – Oglala, S.D. We have talked and dreamed of
off the plane after that first trip, I asked Doug, “Do you know a time when we would be able to be out in South Dakota and live
how to build field showers?” Of course he was up for the with the folks we have come to know and love.
challenge and joined us for our second trip in 1998. The rest, as We are extremely excited with the recent news that we have
they say, is history. been accepted by the session of the Makasan Presbyterian
Much has transpired since 1997. We no longer conduct Church to serve as the Site Coordinators for their newly
Vacation Bible School programs, instead offering the Hau Kola completed Makasan Multi-Purpose Center – a building that
Learning Camps (HKLC), beginning in 2003. This past people from the Baltimore Presbytery have helped build over
summer, we had three weeks of camp at Makasan for several years.
pre-school, elementary, middle and high school students. Hau We will serve a one-year term starting next September and
Kola also has a camp in the village of Pine Ridge for elementary will have many wonderful adventures to share with all of you.
and middle school and another camp in Porcupine in The possibilities are endless and we are excited to be called to
conjunction with a summer program at the local school. be a part of this wonderful program which will serve the
HKLC, which is offered as a partnership between our community of Oglala and provide a space for groups to come
presbytery and the Presbytery of the Dakotas, has gone to the and learn and grow in their understanding of God’s love in this
Lake Traverse Reservation and has a camp for elementary-age place that seems so poor but holds riches for the heart.
children at the Goodwill Presbyterian Church. Next summer, We know you will keep us in your hearts!
PaGe 4 • t he t iDinGs D ecember 2009
a P eaceful warrior
by e llen carTer c ooPer its current
He hasn’t thrown five smooth stones at the “Goliaths” of this path under
world, but he propels a mean tennis racket as often as he can. the inspired
David Mock has both active and sedentary interests. Although leadership of
David is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, Baltimore can claim him Andrew
because he has lived here for a longer period of time. Foster
Like King David, he learned at a young age to choose his Connors.
battles wisely. Perhaps, this occurred because he was the He also
lone male sibling with three very vocal sisters (the late Jill appreciates
and Lynette and Peggy Obrecht). When the family settled in the work Kate
Baltimore, they attended Roland Park Presbyterian Church, but Foster
David persuaded his parents to join Brown Memorial Church. Connors is
He convinced them that since all of his friends from Gilman doing with
School were members of BMPA, he should be with them. the young
When the family joined Brown Memorial, David’s parents people. David
formed a lifelong bond of friendship with and admiration for thinks that
the Rev. T. Guthrie Speers. Rev. Speers, who served BMPA they
from 1928 until his retirement in 1957, died in 1984, at the age should be
of 93. David has fond memories of the links tying the Speers encouraged
and Mock families. to be a part
David acquired degrees from Amherst College, Harvard of all of the David Mock Photo by Lynda Burton
University, and the University of Baltimore (Juris Doctorate). church’s
His first job was as a bank teller with the Baltimore National activities. He especially approves of the fact that Session
Bank. Mathieson Chemical Corporation hired him as a has a Youth Elder.
trouble shooter for several sites in rural sections of the r inG anD sinG
southern portion of this country. Later, David experienced a
different culture and pace of life when he worked in New York carolinG — for a ll aGes
for sixteen years. His last job was with the First National Bank by c hrysTie a daMs
as a trust officer in the new business division. The Ring and Sing Caroling this year will be held on
In Erie, Pennsylvania, while attending a wedding, he was Sunday, December 13th after church. All interested
introduced to a lady named Virginia. Fortuitously, later, they ringers – first grade and up – are invited to join in the fun.
too were linked in matrimony. When David finally settled in We will be combining our traditional Ring and Sing Caroling
Baltimore, he was accompanied by Virginia and his children, outing with our Brown Community Caroling this year.
Melissa and Jeffrey. Melissa still resides in this area and Jeffrey Families are welcome to come and join in the singing or
lives in North Carolina. ringing or both!
At Brown Memorial, David is quite busy. He serves with Here are the details for the event:
Meals on Wheels, the tutoring program, the Sunday School • Ringers will rehearse after church from
teachers, and the newly reborn ushers’ unit. As a member of 12:45 – 1:30. Ring and Sing is quite easy as long as
the Stewardship Committee, David has been known to remark, you can read lyrics. The bell music consists of words
“Did I overlook your pledge card?” as a reminder to fill out and and circles and lines and is very easy to understand.
return one’s commitment to contribute to the church’s budget. • You may want to bring a sandwich and eat lunch
David’s longest stint of volunteerism has been following the after church.
footsteps of his father on the board of the Family and • We have enough books and bells for 16 people, so
Children’s Center of Central Maryland (FCC). For 25 years, he contact Chrystie Adams at 443-474-2200 or
has served in this capacity. He was the Executive Director of firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be one of
FCC, also. our ringers!
When he isn’t playing tennis, David goes fishing or plays • We will leave Brown Memorial at 1:45 to travel by
bridge. As an ardent fan of the Baltimore Orioles, he still cars up to Broadmead,.
supports the team even though no pennant has graced the • We will ring and carol from 2:30 to 3:30. The
field house for many years. This man of diverse inter- residents of Broadmead love having us and many of
ests believes that Brown Memorial should continue in them join in the singing!
D ecember 2009 t he t iDinGs • PaGe 5
bmPa to Get new P ictoral D irectory
by jenny williaMs • This program is available at no cost to the church.
The Membership Committee has arranged for Olan Mills • You will have the opportunity to order additional
to help us create a new pictorial directory. We are excited portraits during your scheduled time, if you wish. These
about putting a new directory together and urge everyone to portraits come with Olan Mills’ 100% satisfaction
participate. The directory will help us connect names with guarantee.
faces and it will be a useful outreach tool. In this directory • You can invite other family members and friends to have
we plan to highlight the many ways our congregation cares portraits taken while we are photographing for our
for God’s children in our church, in our city, and in directory. They just need to sign up for an appointment slot.
our world. Please make a point of sitting for a photo for the
Photography dates are: directory. It will not be complete without you! Questions?
weDnesDay, January 13, 2010, from 3:00 P.m. Want to help? See Carol Graves or Jenny Williams.
to 9:30 P.m.
friDay, January 22, 2010, from 3:00 P.m. to
saturDay, January 23, 2010, from 10:00 a.m.
P rayer, anD bible stuDy
to 5:00 P.m. A small group has begun meeting in the Church House on
Beginning November 29 through January 10, we will be Saturday mornings for prayer, breakfast, and Bible study. We
signing up members after worship in the assembly room. begin at 8:30 a.m. with body prayer. We then move to silence
Please sign up as soon as possible to get the and intercessory prayer. We pray for all those on our church
appointment time that best suits your schedule. Those prayer list in addition to our individual concerns and
signing up on or before December 20 will be eligible for a thanksgivings. At 9:00 a.m. we share food we have brought
drawing for a $25 discount on their portrait purchase. and discuss a scripture text. Right now we are reading
Genesis along with a study book, Journey Through the
Here are some more important facts: Bible: Genesis.
• Every participating family/household that selects a The schedule of readings for the upcoming Saturdays is as
pose for the directory will receive a free follows: Dec. 5, Genesis 11, Chapter 4; Dec. 12, Genesis
directory and a complimentary Olan Mills 12-15, Chapter 5; Dec. 19, Genesis 16-17, Chapter 6;
8x10 Custom Natural Portrait. Dec. 26, Genesis 18-21, Chapter 7; Jan. 2, Genesis 18-19
• You will come to the church only once for again, Chapter 8. Study books are located in the bookcase
photography and for portrait viewing. in the Adult Forum Room. All are welcome.
D ecember birthDays 12/16
12/01 Lynda Burton 12/18 Nicki Artes
12/01 Nicholas Imparato 12/18 Stephanie Shapiro
12/03 Cheryl Finney 12/19 Jair Williams
12/03 Tony Saudek 12/21 Sam Kelly, III
12/04 Adam McNabney 12/22 Judith Armold
12/05 Alexandra Mihalski 12/22 Gillian Babb
12/05 Jenny Williams 12/22 Michelle Logan
12/07 J. Courtland Robinson 12/23 June Carr
12/07 Brough Schamp 12/24 Edward Richardson, Jr.
12/08 Nancyellen Brennan 12/25 Robert Gorham
12/11 Cal Buikema 12/25 Matthew-Daniel Stremba
12/11 Katie Rhodes 12/27 Juliette Goodwin
12/11 Sally Robinson 12/29 Macy Branch
12/11 Samuel Todd 12/29 Rachel Cunningham
12/12 Rick Satterlee 12/30 Emily Stanton
12/13 Audrey M. Brown 12/30 Ruth Brennan Taylor
12/13 Stewart Finney
12/13 Barbara Veldhuizen Happy belated birthday to new members Warner
12/16 Nate Hubler Brockman, November 13th and Luther Clark,
PaGe 6 • t he t iDinGs D ecember 2009
D ecember 2009 at bmPa
t he t iDinGs • PaGe 7
S unday M onday TueSday WedneSday ThurSday Friday S aTurday
29 n oveMber 30 1 2 3 4 5
Choir Warm-Up WN@B Session II Chancel Choir Lambda Chi Alpha Saturday Morning
9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Rehearsal 7 p.m.-9 p.m. 7:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Bible Study 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
Advent Wreath Making
Lambda Chi Alpha
Event 10 a.m. 9:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
Service of Worship 11 a.m.
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Adult Forum, Session Meeting 6:30 p.m. WN@B Session II Chancel Choir Saturday Morning
5:30-7:30 p.m. Rehearsal 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Bible Study 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Service of Worship 11 a.m.
Youth Group Meeting
13 Christmas Pageant
Vocal Ensemble 14 15 16 17 18 19 Saturday Morning Bible
Study 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
Rehearsal 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Sanctuary Decorating
Sunday School, Adult Forum, WN@B Session II Chancel Choir 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Choir Warm-Up 5:30-7:30 p.m. Rehearsal 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Chancel Choir - Messiah
9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Dress Rehearsal 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Service of Worship 11 a.m. Christmas Pageant Vocal
Ring and Sing Rehearsal Ensemble Rehearsal 4 p.m.
12:15 p.m. Christmas Pageant Rehearsal
Caroling and Ringing at Full Cast 4 p.m.
Broadmead 2:30-3:30 p.m.
20 Adult Forum, Choir 21 22 23 24 25 26
Warm-Up 9:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Service of Worship 10:45 a.m. Chancel Choir Saturday Morning
Youth Group Meeting TBD Rehearsal 3:30 p.m. Bible Study 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
Christmas Pageant Handbell Choir Rehearsal
Vocal Ensemble Rehearsal 4:15 p.m.
3:30 p.m. Service of Lessons and Carols
Final Christmas Pageant
Rehearsal - Full Cast 3:30 p.m.
Christmas Pageant 4:30 p.m.
Potluck dinner 5:30 p.m.
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
D ecember 2009
No Adult Forum Chancel Choir No Rehearsal January, 2010 Saturday Morning
Bible Study 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
or Sunday School
Service of Worship 11 a.m
G ooD news from Paid
P erMiT no. 2610
1316 Park Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217
daTed M aTerial
a ddress service r equesTed
Published for members and friends of
Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church
Andrew Foster Connors, Pastor
1316 Park Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217
Published monthly by the Membership Committee. Send
contributions by December 18th to Ellen Carter Cooper
(email@example.com) or to
Sharon Holley (firstname.lastname@example.org).