The Mountain Maryland Ministry Group connects with eight churches located in seven different cities. We are: Barrelville, First of Cumberland, Emmitsburg, First of Frostburg, Frederick, Hagerstown, Hancock, and St. Andrew (Williamsport). We meet for lunch from 11-1 pm on the 5th Wednesday of the month.
We are committed to support one another in our Shared Ministry, living out the five Ministry Group outcomes:
- Missional engagement with the community
- Congregational development
- Christian formation and leadership development
- Prophetic witness and action for reconciliation
- Forming of new faith communities
Two of our churches are involved in Baltimore Presbytery Partnerships: Covenant with Cuba and Cumberland with Ikhanktonwan Learning Camp. Several prepare items for Micah’s Backback, prepare weekly meals in a church Soup Kitchen, and reach out to needy children and families. The MG helped start Martha’s House in Hancock, an Interfaith Service Coalition (ISC) initiative, to provide a safe place for children and their families where they receive a meal and share in family activities. We also helped sponsor an innovative class dealing with racism in Frederick.
We have focused on Christian formation by supporting a new Saturday worship service in Frederick and special worship music in Covenant. Several times a year we come together at our MG meeting for educational sessions. This year we concentrated on the new Book of Common Worship lead by the Rev. Roger Rice and the discussion of the book entitled, The Strategically Small Church” by Brandon J. O’Brien.
We are in the process of formulating plans to hire a WWW resource person to connect our churches. Of our nine churches, only three have permanent pastoral leadership. The others have temporary pulpit supply or interim ministers. We see a need to provide pastoral support, encourage lay leadership opportunities, and foster communication between each church and the Presbytery. The group is currently fleshing out the requirements, job description, process of annual evaluation, contract, and budget. Our goal is to have such a person in place by spring of 2020.
Please pray for our churches that they may thrive spiritually as they reach out to their communities.
Missional Activities Examples
Sponsored through our 2019 Shared Ministry Funds
The funds assist Steve Trexler, a missionary in Liberia, Africa who teaches a Christian Physician Assistant Program and develops new churches in that area.
The congregation also assists their local food bank in Mt. Savage who struggles with increasing numbers of clients in need.
Four people have now traveled to our partner church in Encrucijada, Cuba with the Presbytery Partnership to share in mission activities and worship services. Our partnership was established in 2016. The church emails the pastor and elders on a regular basis and prays for them often. They take medicines, yarn, and educational supplies to distribute among all our partner churches each time they travel. It is a joy to grow friendships with their Cuban brothers and sisters.
The people have no music in worship outside of the congregational hymns so this year with the support of the MG, Covenant reached out to the community to provide special music once a month with the goal to deepen their spiritual walk with God.
First of Cumberland
The partnership between Cumberland with the Cedar Church, a Native American Presbyterian Church, was initiated in 2010. The mission is to provide basic educational opportunities for one week annually as a way to encourage the students to return to school in the fall with a renewed interest in learning. They travel to South Dakota not just to teach but to learn about a culture and lifestyle different from their own. The MG helps with lodging and transportation of equipment between the churches.
The MG supported a new alternative style/flavor of worship on Saturday nights. People from the community as well as members who cannot attend Sunday morning due to work or other responsibilities have found this service to foster their spiritual development.
The members provide meals for the homeless, families and Sr. Citizens every Wednesday out of their kitchen. The MD funds assist the congregation in caring for more people than in the past.
They use MG funds for Micah’s Backpack and Martha’s House Ministries. They pack bags for 50 backpacks on the 4th Wednesday of every month in the academic year. Now they can add nutritional fresh fruit items to the backpacks and boxed milk when supplies run low.
The MG helped begin a ministry to children and their families in town. They joined with the Hancock Interfaith Service Coalition to open this ministry last year. This ministry would not be possible without the financial support of the MG.
St. Andrew (Williamsport)
The funds help the church sponsor a motivational speaker, the Rev. Travis Zimmerman who speaks to the youth and congregation on an evangelism theme. They invite other churches in the community to the event.
The MG assists the congregation in a Christmas Party for kids in need in the community. Last year they provided a hot meal, gifts for the children, and a gift card to a local grocery store for 10 families. They also shared in events and crafts.