The latest edition of the Tidings, the monthly newsletter of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, where I am a member. I have been laying out the newsletter for about 2 years on an ongoing basis.
G ood news from
in this i ssue Pastor’s r eflections
by a ndrew fosTer c onnors
PasTor’s r eflecTions 1 Andrew@browndowntown.org
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” – Psalm 122:1
new a ssociaTe
PasTor a PProved ...... 2
The psalm tells the story of someone who is headed to Jerusalem, for one of the
important feasts. Perhaps it’s someone on a pilgrimage returning home for Passover.
in new e ra .............. 2
As we read along in the psalm, we find that the poet is now standing within the gates of
Jerusalem, filled with the pleasure and relief that comes when you stand at
The Tiffany series your destination. Standing in Jerusalem, the poet exclaims how glad she is
sUnday a fTernoon that someone suggested that they go to the house of the Lord. It’s almost as
c oncerTs ................. 2 though she realizes that not everyone is glad to hear the suggestion. There
is, after all, a great deal involved in getting there. Suitcases have to be packed. The grass
“e lijah ” P erformance needs a fresh cut. Neighbors must be called upon to let the cat out and feed the
cd s a re h ere! ........ 2 hamsters. The ATM machine needs to cough up some cash to pay for expenses along the
way. If the psalmist has as much trouble as my family getting out of the house, then I can
a sUmmer of see that going to the house of the Lord might be more trouble than it’s worth!
c ommUniTy I think about the psalmist as we step back into the fever of the “academic” year. Already
o rganizing .............. 3
I see the calendar filling up with soccer practice, after school activities, evening
engagements, and family chores. The suggestion of feeding this already bloated schedule
c hrisTian e dUcaTion
news ........................ 4 with the commitment of church can sound more like a burden than the place that gives
meaning to everything else. Scrambling to get the kids dressed, dragging teenagers out of
The d ocTor bed, or forfeiting a quiet morning with the newspaper hardly seems like something to be
i s noT i n! ................ 4 glad about.
But if I close my eyes and imagine what I will find when I get to our corner of God’s
wn@b .................... 5 community – children eagerly sharing their spiritual wisdom and wonderings, the choir
singing to us in the language of heaven, adults risking the comfort of alienation for the
a re yoU deepening of the community together, a new preacher bringing us new testimony to
in The l ooP ? ............ 5 challenge us and nourish our wells (Welcome Emily!), opportunities to stand together for
God’s justice within our church, our city, and our world, friendships to be kindled across
g ood news .............. 5 dinner tables – if I really imagine what God is preparing for us in this community this
year – then I trust that what God has waiting for me will be worth the effort that it takes to
birThdays ................ 5
I learn this most clearly from those members of our community who are physically
unable to get here because of distance, illness, or age. Often they testify to a longing to
be back in church together in the community that outlasts most other organized groups.
Mary Walker, in describing how moved she was singing in church, once said, “I thought
my heart would leap out of my chest!”
Sounds like the psalmist to me. If you can get here, then make the effort this year. Let
this community be the place that brings meaning to all that you are and all that you do.
You just might find that what God has waiting for you is more than worth the effort.
new a ssociate t he t iffany series
Pastor a PProved sunday a fternoon concerts
At the congregational meeting held after the worship early november – date and time tba –
service on Sunday, August 23, 2009, the Brown “how can i K eeP f rom sinGinG?”
Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church congregation This will be a lively, varied vocal concert by
voted overwhelmingly acclaimed Brown Memorial soloists Lydia Beasley,
in favor of accepting the soprano, Diane Schaming, alto, James Cox, tenor, and
(APNC) Associate Andrew Sauvageau, baritone. John Walker will
Pastor Nominating accompany the ensemble pieces.
recommendation of m arch 14, 2010 at 4 P. m. –
Emily Rose Martin as baltimore a rea h andbell f estival,
a candidate for r ichard f rey, director
Associate Pastor. Five choirs of handbell ringers will play as a 300-bell
During the morning ensemble and as 60-bell individual choirs. It will be a
service, BMPA sonic and visual treat for all ages.
attentively as Emily a Pril 25, 2010 at 4 P. m. –
described the faith G osPel music f estival
journey which led her dr. barbara baKer, director
to seek a leadership This inspiring festival concert will be presented by
BMPA Associate Pastor candidate role at Brown. After the the combined choirs of Brown Memorial Park Avenue
Emily Rose Martin
decisive vote, Emily was Church and Colesville United Methodist Church of
greeted at a reception held in the Assembly Room. Silver Spring, Maryland.
We welcome Emily as she begins her work with us. The
APNC is commended for their diligent efforts which were
performed with rapidity and dispatch. Members of the
committee were: Barbara Christen, Barbara Cook, Julie
“Elijah” Performance CDs
Hanks, Andy Johnston, Deb Milcarek, Shirley Parry,
Rachel Smith, Henry Taylor, and Chairperson John Tucker.
The CDs of the Chancel Choir’s extraordinary
performance of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” conducted by
John Walker and featuring the renowned Frederick
in a new e ra
Swann as guest organist, have arrived!
The 3-disc set is $15 and can be purchased in the
Assembly Room after worship on Sundays, in the
Beginning this September, ushers will be in place church office during the week, and online at:
before, during, and after worship services to assist www.browndowntown.org (a small shipping fee
visitors and BMPA members. They will identify and applies to online purchases).
help to make newcomers comfortable. In addition to The May 17th concert, the culminating event in
greeting persons at the front entrance, some ushers last season’s Tiffany Series, garnered thunderous
will be assigned to do the same at the side entrance. applause and pew-thumping from the 300-member
Additionally, they will be available as needed during audience. It drew high accolades from a wide variety
the service. of sources.
Eileen Guenther, President of the American Guild
If you are interested in being a “doorkeeper in the of Organists, called the concert “superbly performed”
House of the Lord,” contact Monica Rakowski at and “memorable.” “I have seldom been so struck by a
410-383-6524 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can total musical experience,” she added. Deborah Wood,
contact Jenny Williams at 410-523-3961 or at an organist and choir director, wrote, “The soloists
email@example.com for more information melted my heart with their musicianship.”
about ushering. — Shirley Parry
Page 2 • T he T idings sePTember 2009
a summer of community o rGanizinG
by e lizabeTh r eichelT, bUild l iaison people to talk about; while it is personal, it isn’t
Ever since Brown Memorial participated in the April too threatening.
18th neighborhood walk through the neighborhoods Lottie and Pastor Mike have made another powerful
surrounding New Antioch Holiness Church and Eutaw connection. As part of their recanvassing the neighborhood,
Marshburn Elementary school, I had they met Justine Bonner. Some of you may remember
been very anxious to hear what progress meeting her because she had a beautiful garden. Lottie has
had been made. We all returned from since visited with Miss Justine in her garden and has
our respective walks so enthusiastic begun to develop a relationship with her. Miss Justine invited
about the people we met and so hopeful Lottie to attend the Upton Community Health Fair. At the
for the communities and what we could Health Fair, Lottie met several other people in the
do to partner with them. community. Making the time to attend the Health Fair created
A follow-up meeting took place May 7th, energy to follow up and open more doors into the community.
where people whom we had met on the Since then, Miss Justine has paved the way for conversations
New Antioch walk were invited to share what we learned on with her pastor at Metropolitan United Methodist Church.
the walk and begin a dialogue about what the neighborhood Lottie has also left letters of introduction at the other churches
would like to do to address some of the community issues. in the community and she will be following up with phone
No one from Brown Memorial was able to attend the meeting. calls requesting to meet with the church leaders.
However, a group of us were able to assist with making phone Lottie has also been working closely with Pastor
calls prior to the meeting to remind people about the Dellyne Hinton and Sharp Street Memorial United
meeting. In addition to our phone calls, Lottie Sneed, our Methodist Church. On July 30th, Pastor Hinton, Lottie,
West Baltimore BUILD organizer, and Reverend Michael Andrew Foster Connors and nine other people participated
Wilson, the Pastor of New Antioch, recanvassed the in a community walk in McCulloh Homes. Lottie said it
neighborhood and distributed flyers announcing the meeting. was very powerful because several members of City Temple
Approximately 50 people were invited. and Sharp Street are residents of McCulloh Homes and they,
I called Lottie after the meeting to see how it went. along with Pastor Hinton, led the walk.
She told me that only one person from the community In addition to working with church leaders, Lottie is
showed up for the meeting. “Only one?!” I thought to reaching out to the local schools. Brown Memorial’s
myself. What happened? People were willing to talk to volunteer readers at Eutaw Marshburn Elementary School
us during the walk and when we asked them if they’d (EMES) introduced Lottie to Patricia Palmer, the parent
like to come to a community meeting they said yes. coordinator at EMES. Lottie also attended the spring School
We followed up with flyers and phone calls. Why didn’t Improvement Team (SIT) meetings at EMES. She is hoping
they come? to meet with the principal soon. She is also planning to meet
Although only one person may have come to the the new principal at Booker T. Washington Middle School.
meeting, Lottie shared with me that she was the right Several members of the BUILD Youth Leadership team
one. The woman was a daycare provider who lived in attend Renaissance Academy High, which is located in the
the community. She has been an excellent connection in same building and are helping to set up the meeting.
terms of knowing neighborhood families and Follow up meetings are currently scheduled for the
understanding the challenges they face. following dates:
Lottie and Pastor Mike realized that this community has
grown weary of having people show up claiming to have • monday sePTember 14Th – 6:30 P. m.
new ideas or plans to help but then failing to make sharP street m emorial united
something happen. It would take more than one m ethodist church – corner of Dolphin
neighborhood walk to convince the people of the and Etting Streets
community that BUILD and New Antioch were here to stay. • t hursday sePtember 17th – 7 P. m.
Since then, Pastor Mike and his wife have personally new a ntioch holiness church – 823
walked the streets of their community, meeting West Lanvale
residents and learning about what’s on their minds. Since
our initial walk, Lottie and Pastor Mike have agreed the If you are interested in attending, please contact
best way to begin the conversation with people is to ask Elizabeth Reichelt at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are
them about how the lack of recreation for youths has in a great place to deepen the relationships in the
impacted them. This issue seems to be an easy one for communities around us.
sePTember 2009 T he T idings • Page 3
christian e ducation news
by r achel c Unningham, because directing pageants is not one of my gifts.
d irecTor of c hildren and family m inisTries That being said we are looking for someone to take
Rachel@browndowntown.org over the role of pageant director. If you are
interested in taking on this role and continuing this
pageant n ewS tradition, please let me know.
Yes, you read correctly, pageant news. Even
though it is only September, around here we are
R ally Day – S eptembeR 13 th
already thinking ahead. As many of you read in the At 10:00 a.m. the Church year officially begins with
May Tidings, W. Court Robinson has decided to Adult Forum and Sunday School followed by Worship
retire as the director of the annual Christmas at 11:00 a.m. Don’t let the day end there. Catch up with
Pageant. We can’t quite remember when he took the friends at the annual church picnic, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at
job over from his mother. That’s how long he’s been the Robinson’s (10522 Burnside Farm Road, 21153).
gracefully directing the pageant, but we figure he’s Bring a dish to share along with a lawn chair or blanket
been at it 15 or more years. For the past 4 years, and we’ll take care of the drinks and paper products.
I have been particularly grateful for his expertise Rain Date: September 20th.
t he d octor is not i n!
by e llen carTer c ooPer Known as the “Blood Lady”
Eleven years ago, the child-centered pediatrician retired from (because of her aggressive
the Baltimore City Health Department as it became enmeshed and persistent pursuit of blood
in a lot of paper as opposed to service to children. So, not donors for the BMPA blood
only is the doctor not in, she goes fishing. This interview was drives for five years), Karen has
delayed until Karen Nelson returned from fishing with four of worked with BUILD and the
her grandchildren: Jair, Jihar, Chloe, and Jake. Urban Witness Committee. She
This peripatetic lady was born in Seattle, Washington. Her has served on two PNCs
mother was a native of Alaska and her father was a native of (Pastor Nominating
Oregon. Because of the nature of her father’s work, Karen Committees). Inspired by the
moved every two years until she entered high school in speakers at two Adult Forums,
California. The family settled there and she completed her Karen is now working on the
undergraduate studies. History Project, an endeavor to Karen Nelson
Because she often had to care for two of her three siblings, provide the beginning and
Karen decided to attend the University of California Medical evolution of Brown Memorial in pictures and texts.
School where she focused on pediatrics. After graduation, she The former “Blood Lady” would like to see an expansion
labored as a resident pediatrician at Cook County Hospital in in our mission efforts and more diversity of the membership.
Chicago. This proved to be a life-changing event because she Karen would like the congregation to concentrate more on
met her future husband, Ken at the hospital. serving its shut-in members. In the future at Brown
Karen became a Presbyterian while she was in high school, Downtown, she will probably be dubbed the “Casserole
so it was a natural move to visit Brown Memorial in 1986. Lady” because of her solicitation of persons to fix casseroles
By then, the family had settled in Baltimore and Ken was for Our Daily Bread.
employed as an epidemiologist for the Johns Hopkins School Karen is still focused on children and family. She and Ken
of Public Health. It was whispered that a lot of his colleagues have been married for 47 years. They have a diverse family:
went to BMPA. For Karen, this has been a comfortable fit. Her Eric, Liz, Joel, Linnea, and Tida. Along with the four
initial reaction was that Brown Memorial was a place where grandchildren she took fishing, other “grands” are Greta,
the sermons were thoughtful, people were friendly, and the Jalil, Khari, Maia, and Aquillah. Recently, she led eleven
music was divine. children and fifteen adults on a Caribbean cruise to Nassau.
Page 4 • T he T idings sePTember 2009
09/02 Max Blinkoff
09/02 Monica Rakowski
09/02 Mary Randall
S eptembeR 23 RD 09/03 Hilda Imhoff
The first session of our Wednesday evening 09/04 Ang Robinson
fellowship program begins September 23rd and 09/08 Elisabeth McMillan
runs through October 28th. We gather for a catered
meal followed by educational programs for children 09/10 Azra Sara Bartell
and adults. Dinner reservations are required. 09/10 Jacqueline L. Cole
Contact Rachel Cunningham for more
09/10 Anne Sledge
information, (410) 523-1542, Ext. 14, or
email@example.com. 09/11 Elizabeth Bernos
09/13 Emma Fesperman
09/14 John Burton
a re you 09/14 Youngmi Song
in t he l ooP ?
09/16 Nannette Mitchell
09/16 Karen Nelson
Stay informed by receiving the weekly e-mail 09/16 Linell Smith
announcements from the church. Each week we send out
09/18 Nicole Mitchell
an e-mail with information about worship, educational
programs, community events and much more. If you are 09/20 Trevor Bishai
not currently receiving our weekly e-mail, This Week At 09/22 Dylan Aaron Smith
Brown Memorial Park Avenue, contact Rachel 09/22 Douglas Warner, Jr.
Cunningham at (410) 523-1542 Ext. 14, or
09/24 Luke Clippinger
e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
09/24 Barbara Hull Francis
G ood news 09/24
During a facility inspection it was discovered that there
09/25 Mia Goodwin Davis
was extensive termite infestation in the Church, Assembly
Building and Church House basements. 09/25 Sabine Goodwin Davis
Command Pest Services was hired to address the 09/25 Grace Peng
problem with the work completed August 21, 2009. Mr. 09/28 Keiffer Mitchell, Jr.
Charles Brubaker, owner of the company did the work at
09/28 Donna Senft
cost as a contribution to the Brown Memorial Community.
The company will assume responsibility for the other 09/28 Jim Veatch
unwanted pests and rodent control on a monthly basis, also. 09/29 Elizabeth Garcia-Bunuel
We thank Mr. Brubaker for his expertise and assistance. 09/29 Lisa Hoffberger
Note: If you wish to have your birthday listed in The
Tidings, please contact Sharon Holley, church secretary, at
410-523-1542, or via e-mail at Sharon@browndowntown.org.
sePTember 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 September 18th to Ellen Carter Cooper
(email@example.com) or to
Sharon Holley (firstname.lastname@example.org).