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                                                                                     G ood         news from

clerk’s corner                                     first tiffany concert
by carol g eVecker g raVes                       ...
h iGh exPecations exPands                                                to      m ervo
by e lizabeTh r eichelT, build l i...
a road less taken
by e llen carTer c ooPer                                              congregation is weighted heavily w...
brown community                                                 november birthdays
        a nnouncements                 ...
non-ProfiT organizaTion
                                                                 u.s. PosTage
            G ood   ...
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Tidings Nov09


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The November issue of The Tidings, the newsletter of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Published in: Spiritual
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Tidings Nov09

  1. 1. The Tidings G ood news from november 2009 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 broWn coMMuniTy 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.
  2. 2. 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 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
  3. 3. 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 with it.” 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 november 2009 t he t idinGs • PaGe 3
  4. 4. 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 within communities. 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 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 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
  5. 5. 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 – 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: 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 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,, 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 or phone at 443-474-2200 if you are interested in being a new ringer. 410-523-1542, or via e-mail at november 2009 t he t idinGs • PaGe 5
  6. 6. 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 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 Published monthly by the Membership Committee. Send contributions by November 18th to Ellen Carter Cooper ( or to Sharon Holley (