Tidings Dec09


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The December issue of the Tidings, the newsletter of Brown Memorial Church. I created a new print version of a monthly calendar for this issue.

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Tidings Dec09

  1. 1. The Tidings 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 andrew@browndowntown.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 waiting for.
  2. 2. t he music of a Dvent anD christmas by john walker • A carol with text by our own john@browndowntown.org 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
  3. 3. a sk the Pastor by e Mily rose M arTin the larger sins and sinful systems of our culture and society, emily@browndowntown.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 stream.” • 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 edccooper58@hotmail.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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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 cladams22@verizon.net 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
  6. 6. 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. saturDay breakfast, to 9:30 P.m. friDay, January 22, 2010, from 3:00 P.m. to 9:30 P.m. 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 12/17 Henry Taylor Harry Hinkle 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, November 19th. PaGe 6 • t he t iDinGs D ecember 2009
  7. 7. 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 Sunday School, 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. Choir Warm-Up 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Service of Worship 11 a.m. Youth Group Meeting 12:15 p.m. 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. Sunday School, 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 5 p.m. 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
  8. 8. non-ProfiT organizaTion u.s. PosTage G ooD news from Paid balTiMore, Md P erMiT no. 2610 1316 Park Avenue Baltimore, MD 21217 Phone: 410.523.1542 Fax: 410.523.5501 www.browndowntown.org The Tidings daTed M aTerial a ddress service r equesTed The Tidings Published for members and friends of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church Andrew Foster Connors, Pastor 1316 Park Avenue Baltimore, MD 21217 410.523.1542 www.browndowntown.org Published monthly by the Membership Committee. Send contributions by December 18th to Ellen Carter Cooper (edccooper58@hotmail.com) or to Sharon Holley (sharon@browndowntown.org).