G ood news from
in this i ssue Pastor’s r eflections
by a ndreW fosTer c onnors
PasTor’s r eflecTions 1
When Jesus sent his first “church,” made up of some disciples, out to live the gospel,
he told them to travel light – “take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag
c lerk’s c orner ....... 2 for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food.”
(Matthew 10:9-10). He sent them out to proclaim the coming reign of
f irsT Tiffany c oncerT God, to cure the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons.
As we enter budgeting season, I am comforted that the church doesn’t
Will be a Vocal need much to live on. At a basic level, we don’t need personnel; we don’t
d elighT ................... 2 need a building; we don’t need a choir, a paid preacher, or an organ. We don’t need
programs. At a very profound level – we don’t need these things – we are the body of
Christ, even without a budget.
h igh e xPecTaTions
On the other hand – many of us have invested a considerable bit of our resources,
e xPands To M erVo ... 3 our time, love and sometime heartache to bring this church to the place where it is
right now; that is, to the vision of a vibrant, outward looking congregation that is
global M ission square driven by its mission. I don’t mean the narrow definition of mission – loosely defined
as “good works that we do for the less fortunate.” I mean the mission of being God’s
dance To be h eld sent people in the world – where our worship, education, local and global outreach and
noVeMber 20 ............ 3 justice work, community-building and hospitality are all driven by a desire to
participate in Jesus’ work of reconciliation in the world – not simply through “church
work” but through the totality of our lives. (Said differently, living out the gospel in
a road l ess Taken .. 4
our lives is our “church work.”)
In embracing that vision, we ask ourselves – what are we willing to do to support,
a re you hungry? .... 4 deepen, and lay claim to that vision? Barbara Cook, in a recent letter from the
stewardship committee, offered some suggestions for how to make that
commitment concrete. She encouraged us to consider tithing ten percent of our income
to the church. If not 10%, then aim for 5%. If not 5%, then consider raising our pledges
a nnounceMenTs/ by 10% of what we gave last year. “This year we are being called,” Barbara wrote, “to
birThdays................. 5 present our first and best gifts to support our financial plan for 2010. We cannot retreat
from the pivotal work that we are doing in our ministry to children and youth, in our
music ministry, our education ministry, our worship ministry, in our urban ministry, to
our brothers and sisters in Cameroon, El Salvador and South Dakota.”
I know that some of us in this congregation are not in a position to give more this
year (maybe even to hold steady) because of the economy. There are plenty more like
me whose compensation either remained steady or increased. For most of us, there has
never been a better time to deepen our investment in the church. Kate and I are
coming up on our “annual meeting” when we will talk specifics about our giving for
2010. Part of what we do in that meeting is check in with each other about what we
value the most in our lives. We try to organize our spending of money and our
spending of time around those values. You can bet that we will have Barbara’s letter in
hand. Whatever pledge we make for 2010 will truly be our first and our best gift.
I encourage you to do the same.
clerk’s corner first tiffany concert
by carol g eVecker g raVes will be a vocal deliGht
Do you remember when the clerk reported regularly
to the congregation in this space? It has been awhile. Sunday, November 8th at 3 p.m.
Since the last report, we have had a large class of
confirmands and a large new member “How Can I Keep From Singing?” is the theme of this
class. Sadly, we count the move of Emily season’s first Tiffany Series concert, presented by Brown
Stanton and Hedley Abernathy to Ireland Memorial’s acclaimed soloists Lydia Beasley, soprano;
as a loss. Diane Schaming, alto; James Cox, tenor; and Andrew
One of the most exciting events in Sauvageau, baritone. They are singing – individually and
the life of the church in the past months has been the in groups – the pieces they love best from the entire vocal
calling of Emily Martin as our associate pastor. Emily repertoire. Come and be captured by the enthusiasm, skill
brings talent and energy, and we heartily welcome her. and musical depth of these young artists!
Many urban witness, global mission, Christian The concert brings together wonderful pieces from
education, music, and other activities continue. Of note musical theater, operas, oratorios and the African
are the history project (See Karen Nelson.) and the new American tradition – in a delightfully dramatic
urban witness brochure (Ask Tom Waldron or Elden presentation. You will hear all your favorite pieces!
Schneider.). Hospitality has been the focus of the group Andrew will sing “Largo al factotum” from Rossini’s
taking care of membership. Have you noticed the usher Barber of Seville (“Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!”), a song by
corps (See John Warmath or Jenny Williams.) and the Mahler, and a surreal work by Samuel Barber (“Green
new Welcome! Brochure (Talk to Monica Rakowski.)? Lowlands of Pianos”). Lydia will perform Leonard
Our long-time sexton, Frank Scott, retired at the end Bernstein’s satiric “I Hate Music!” together with a tender,
of July. We have hired Rob Brown as facilities manager. mystical love song by Messaien and a work by Hoiby.
Rob in turn has contracted a cleaning service and other Diane will sing “An die Musik” by Schubert, “Amor” by
vendors as needed, and we are adjusting to this new Bolcom, and a hilarious work (with “lust” and a Gypsy
staffing model. violinist!) by Stoltz.
Session voted to concur with the Govans Presbyterian Jim will sing the famous “Sound an Alarm,” from
Church’s overture to amend the Directory of Worship to Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, “Make Them Hear You” from
define marriage as between two people. Current Ragtime: the Musical, and “Walk Together, Children,”
wording defines marriage as between a man and a a traditional spiritual that evokes memories of the 1965
woman. The overture was presented to the Baltimore march from Selma to Montgomery. Despite the death of
Presbytery in September and will be voted on the Rev. James Reeb on their first attempt, two weeks
in November. later the marchers joined the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Session has begun the hard work of developing a who exhorted them: “Walk together, children!” After five
budget for 2010. We take this aspect of serving as days of walking and singing, they reached Montgomery.
elders very seriously. We are reminded of the parable The singers will also perform the trios “My Soul doth
of loaves and fishes as we see more need than we see Magnify the Lord” from Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio
wherewithal to meet the needs/visions of the various and the beautiful “Soave sia il vento” from Mozart’s Cosi
missions of Brown Memorial. Along with the trustees, fan Tutte. They will sing in quartet “O Come, Everyone
we continue to look for ways and means to repair the that Thirsteth” from Elijah, and the much-loved spiritual
sanctuary roof and the tower. “How Can I Keep From Singing?”
Finally, this is a reminder to check our website They will be accompanied by Min-Kuei Yang on piano
www.browndowntown.org. If you see things you and John Walker on organ. Tickets are $15 and can be
would like to update or you don’t see things you think purchased during the week at the church office, after
would be useful, tell me or call the church office with church in the Assembly Room, and at the door. For more
your suggestions. information, call Sharon Holley at 410-523-1542.
PaGe 2 • t he t idinGs november 2009
h iGh exPecations exPands to m ervo
by e lizabeTh r eichelT, build l iaison background in mental health, he was familiar with the process
and was able to make recommendations for additional services.
Many of you may recall hearing Ron Covington, a Child
When asked about his vision for High Expectations five
First organizer, speak to us during one of our adult forums
years from now, program Director Ron Covington said he
last fall. He shared with us the work of High Expectations, a
sees it operating in all Baltimore schools with needs for such
program Child First and BUILD created in
assistance. He said that the program will also help schools set
the spring of 2008 in response to
a culture of “High Expectations” in training administration,
escalating violence in Baltimore’s schools.
teachers, social workers and school police in how to
This school year, High Expectations
effectively engage challenging youth.
expanded to Mergenthaler Vocational
Working with high-risk young people is extremely intense
Technical School (Mervo).
and can be exhausting. But Mr. Covington believes this
High Expectations seeks to initiate and
full-time mentoring and support of young people in the
cultivate relationships of trust with students,
school is long overdue. If, despite what is going on in their
address the root cause of negative behavior,
personal lives, these kids are still attending school, then Mr.
and refer students to community resources
Covington believes they want the help. High Expectations’
that can help them succeed in school. The results speak for
role is to help kids adjust to what real world is going to bring.
themselves. At Garrison Middle School, violent incidents
“Everyone has to operate within rules and systems, beyond
decreased in the 2008-2009 school year from 49 to 5,
the rules of the street, which they know very well,” Mr.
attendance increased and assaults on teachers by students
Covington says. “High Expectations helps kids learn to
decreased from eight to one. In addition, High Expectations
respect and understand authority, even when they don’t agree
helped the school social worker start a grief counseling
program for students. This program has helped children learn
to process and manage their feelings after dealing with loss
Global m ission
s Quare dance to be
But the real interest lies in the stories behind the numbers.
For example, High Expectations has three full-time youth
workers at Mervo – Ted Sutton, Greland Lowery, and
Dietriech Williams, who have between them, more than 40 h eld november 20
years of experience working with at-risk youth. They focus on
a group of 30 students through weekly group sessions as well Want to have fun and kick up your heels?
as one-on-one mentoring. Want to help support the work of Brown
In one recent lunchtime incident, two young men exchanged Memorial’s Global Mission programs?
words and began fighting. Mr. Sutton, Mr. Lowery, and Mr. Then come to the sQuare dance
Williams were present in the cafeteria at the time. Thanks to for Global mission on friday
their previously established relationship with one of the november 20 th. where: Govans Presbyterian
students, they were able to immediately de-escalate the Church, 5828 York Road.
situation and escort the young men to the school office. when: Friday, November 20th from 7-10 p.m.
Their ability to quickly intervene prevented the incident from why: To support Brown Memorial’s global mission
becoming much worse. projects in El Salvador and the Dakotas.
After breaking up the fight, Mr. Sutton, Mr. Lowery, and Mr. cost: Students: $10; Individuals $15, Couples $25,
Williams were able to mediate between the two young men Families $30 (children under 12 free).
and help them resolve their problem. The mediation Tickets are available at BMPA. Contact
process was essential because one of the students had Sharon Holley at
previously been identified by the High Expectations team 410-523-1542. There’s a silent
as a possible gang member. While the lunchtime altercation auction at the church for the
ended with the suspension of the two young men, which is the preceding Sundays at Brown
standard protocol when students are involved in a fight at a Memorial and also at the Square
Baltimore City school, more violent retaliation was avoided. Dance. Wonderful bargains will
In another instance, Mr. Williams had been working with a be available! So come one. Come
student who was experiencing adjustment issues. Mr. Williams all! To ask any questions or if you
was invited to sit in on a meeting about the student’s want to volunteer to help, please contact Christy Macy
Individual Education Plan. Thanks to Mr. Williams at Christy@iyfnet.org.
november 2009 t he t idinGs • PaGe 3
a road less taken
by e llen carTer c ooPer congregation is weighted heavily with young children and
She has been skirting the divide between business and the with veteran worshippers. Her desire is for more college-age
community for a long time. This native of Baltimore studied persons to join the church. She also sees us as becoming more
human resources, business, and labor relations at the University involved with BUILD.
of Baltimore. Along the way, she decided that businesses live to Her family continues to travel with her on the altruistic,
help people exist, but in general, businesses believe that people service-oriented road she has chosen. Her husband, Michael
exist to help and serve them. Seipp, is the Director of Baltimore Station, an artist and a
Jenny Williams managed to be a wife and mother while recent convert to golfing. Her son, Josh, is the technical expert
balancing her need to use her business expertise for the for the Institute of Christian and Jewish Studies. The second
community’s greater good. She volunteered as a bookkeeper son, Luke, is a holistic health counselor and her only
for Women: A Journal of Liberation, a women’s liberation daughter, Sarah, is studying to become a medical assistant.
organization founded in 1968 in When she has free time, Jenny enjoys reading, walking, and
Baltimore. As her children progressed in school, Jenny used her visiting people. In addition to all her activities, Jenny plays a
business skills to manage the Children’s Book Store in Roland spirited, aggressive game of Scrabble, also.
Park. She continued to develop her ideas about economic
activity as a foundation for building healthy organizations
a re you hunGry?
Raised as an Episcopalian, Jenny joined Govans Presbyterian Are you hungry for PRAYER? Are you hungry for
Church. When the family moved to Bolton Hill, Brown SCRIPTURE? Are you hungry for BREAKFAST? So are
Memorial became their church. Jenny chose this church we! That’s why we are going to start getting together on
because it was nestled in the neighborhood and was a More Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. to pray, study scripture,
Light church. She tutored, taught Sunday School, and sang in and eat breakfast. Prayer will begin at 8:30 in the
the Chancel Choir. labyrinth. From 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. we will share food we
As she served in various capacities at Brown Memorial, have brought and we will study the Bible beginning with
Jenny’s spiritual life became a principal priority in her life. She the Book of Genesis. .
did not know what road to take, so she conferred with a Starting November 7th, Jenny Williams and Jonathan
spiritual leader recommended by Sally Robinson. Her journey Barnes will facilitate study of Journey Through the Bible
led her to the Servant Leadership School in Washington, D.C. by Cokesbury. Books are available through the church
The school is a part of the mission effort of the Church of the office for $8.50 or you can give a donation. Come one!
Savior founded by Gordon Cosby with funding from James come all! Bring some food to share and be prepared to
Rouse. Members of the church pray an hour every day and talk about the first two chapters of Genesis. Enter the
work with a mission group. church through the courtyard doorway or the West
In 2005, Jennie’s faith journey nudged her toward Virginia. Lafayette side entrance.
There she enrolled at Union PSCE Theological Seminary. She
will be graduated from Union Presbyterian Seminary (the new take note
name of Union PSCE) in May 2010. During the voyage, Jenny
has developed her abiding belief that churches should be more g o Green WiTh your coPy of THE TIDINGS!
spiritually involved with the communities in which they reside. Now that our new website is complete and we have a direct
To her, this means that the churches’ neighbors should be link to the most recent Tidings publication help us go
invited into the church and the churches’ members should be GREEN by receiving your copy online. Receiving email
visible in the community. notification of when the latest Tidings is available for
At BMPA, Jenny teaches 5th and 6th grade Sunday School reading will help us cut down on the environmental and
classes and visits members who are housebound. Her latest financial costs of printing and mailing paper copies. If you
venture is helping the Membership and Hospitality would like to receive e-mail notification of when the latest
Committee with the revamped ushers group. Since Jenny Tidings is available, please send Sharon Holley an email at
believes that Brown Memorial members should spend time firstname.lastname@example.org. She will need your name
praying and studying scripture, Jonathan Barnes and she will and email address. Also, check our website
facilitate a group to do just that on Saturdays beginning directly for updates at www.browndowntown.org/index.
in November. php?s=newsletter to download the latest Tidings. Thanks
Jenny’s vision for Brown Memorial is more evolvement in for helping us to be better stewards of God’s
worship. At the present time, she has observed that the magnificent creation.
PaGe 4 • t he t idinGs november 2009
brown community november birthdays
a nnouncements 11/01 Anne Heuisler
bible study – Rev. Bill Bearden has agreed once again
11/02 Jack Davis
to lead a Bible Study course beginning October 22nd through
November 12th, Thursdays 10:30-noon in the church 11/02 Andrew Hughes
house. He will address the fascinating (and unknown to most
of us) subject of Peter’s influence on the New Testament. 11/02 Sebastian McMillan
community dinners are being planned for
Saturday, November 7th. If you are able to host, please 11/04 Keiffer J. Mitchell, Sr.
contact Monica Rakowski – email@example.com.
11/05 David Mock
would you like to suPPort our youth
ProGram but don’t have time to be a youth leader? Youth 11/05 Alex Reichelt
group is now meeting the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month,
after church beginning with eating lunch together. We are 11/07 Barbara Cook
seeking volunteers to provide a simple lunch for about 15
youth and adult leaders. Contact Kate Foster Connors if you 11/09 Miranda Hall
are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-377-2261. 11/10 Lily Shields
usher ministry needs ushers: Our group of
ushers could use a few more folks to serve on Sunday 11/11 Marijke McMillan
mornings. We are especially in need of people who are
available around 25 minutes before worship. Ushers assist 11/12 Kate Foster Connors
folks, especially visitors, attend the side door so that
worshippers are welcomed there, assist with the offering if 11/14 David Luljak
extra hands are needed, regulate traffic flow during 11/14 Katherine Sharp
communion, help children back to their families after
Children’s Church, and make a special effort to meet 11/16 Betsy Nix
newcomers and note absences. If you attend regularly and
have been musing about doing more at church without 11/17 Jamie Cunningham
adding one more thing to your schedule, this may be the
11/18 Shirley Parry
perfect service for you. You are already here! Contact Jenny
Williams, 410-523-3961, or email@example.com. 11/18 Bert Schmickel
we would like to beGin takinG
communion to some of our homebound members on 11/19 Willard Graves
the first Sundays of each month when we celebrate
communion together as a community. In order to preserve the 11/19 John Walker
integrity of this sacrament, two ordained officers of the church
11/20 Bonnie Schneider
(elders, deacons, or ministers) must be present when the already
consecrated elements are shared. Jenny Williams is leading 11/21 Michael Bell
this ministry and is looking for elders and deacons who would
be willing to leave at the end of our worship service and travel 11/24 Patrick Riorda
with her to one or more homebound members of our
community. In order to participate in this ministry, one need 11/29 Eva McNabney
not be currently serving on the session or the diaconate. Please 11/29 Carolina Mills
contact Jenny, 410-523-3961, firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Andrew Foster Connors if you are interested. 11/29 Amanda Ahmed
handbells anyone? The Brown Memorial Handbell
Choir started rehearsing for the Fall season on October 11.
We are always happy to have new members! Ringers from Note: If you wish to have your birthday listed in The
middle school age and up are welcome. Please contact
Tidings, please contact Sharon Holley, church secretary, at
Chrystie Adams by e-mail at email@example.com or phone
at 443-474-2200 if you are interested in being a new ringer. 410-523-1542, or via e-mail at Sharon@browndowntown.org.
november 2009 t he t idinGs • PaGe 5
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 November 18th to Ellen Carter Cooper
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or to
Sharon Holley (email@example.com).