Deficit, abortion on agenda for MethodistsA projected $2...


June 10, 1993|By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville

Deficit, abortion on agenda for Methodists

A projected $2 million deficit for the second year in a row, opposing views on abortion and measures to deal with sexual misconduct by the clergy are among issues that will occupy the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church tomorrow through Monday.

Conference clergy and laity will meet on the American University campus in Washington.

Cutting benefits for ministers and severely reducing the size of the local Methodist bureaucracy are two of the proposals to deal with the financial crisis.

About 2,000 Maryland and Washington Methodists are expected the meeting.

They will represent 225,000 church members in 730 congregations in the state west of the Chesapeake Bay but not including Garrett County, part of the panhandle of West Virginia and all of the District of Columbia.

Lutherans meet:

"Continue Steadfast in the Faith" is the theme of the sixth annual Delaware-Maryland Synod Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), today through Saturday at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg.

Tonight, Bishop George Paul Mocko will address about 600 clergy, lay delegates and visitors from 188 Maryland and Delaware congregations, setting forth his vision for the denomination.

Bishop Mocko, who has presided over the synod since 1991, said he will tell the Lutheran assembly, "We are not to be just thinkers and talkers. The world out there cries for our help, and God calls us to respond."

Tomorrow night, the delegates will attend a screening of "Partners in Faith, Partners in Vision," a new video produced by the Aid Association for Lutherans and James Gibbons & Associates of Ellicott City for the synod, which has headquarters in Towson. The video covers four local ministries, including the Harambe summer camp program.

Administered by a partnership of 11 Baltimore-area Lutheran congregations, Harambe provides four to six weeks of tutoring as well as trips and the more usual camping activities for about 500 children.

The ELCA denomination -- the third largest Protestant church in the United States -- is the result of a 1988 merger of the largely Eastern and urban Lutheran Church in America, the mostly Midwestern and rural American Lutheran Church and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. Its current membership in Maryland and Delaware is about 98,000.

Information: 465-3520.

Missionary strategy:

About 3,000 members of the Church of God in Christ are attending the denomination's first International Evangelist and Missions Convention, which began Monday and concludes Saturday at downtown Baltimore's Omni Inner Harbor Hotel.

Presiding Bishop Lewis Henry Ford and the Greater Maryland, Maryland Central, District of Columbia and Eastern Shore jurisdictions of the predominantly black Pentecostal church are hosts for the meeting. "A Winning Strategy for a Troubled World" is its theme.

As part of the convention, services are being held not only at the hotel but at Carter Memorial Church of God in Christ, 745 W. Fayette St., one of about 100 congregations of the denomination in Maryland.

Worldwide, it claims 330,000 members.

Tomorrow evening, Gospel music will be featured and dinner will be served during a cruise aboard the Spirit of Baltimore, open to the public. For information and reservations: 944-8679.

Landmark's future:

Trustees of the Baptist Home of Maryland/Delaware have begun to discuss the possible construction of modern housing for the elderly to replace Rainbow Hall, the 78-year-old Greenspring Valley mansion that the Baptist institution has occupied since 1964.

During the 1920s, Rainbow Hall was the residence of Gen.

Douglas MacArthur. Named for the 42nd -- or "Rainbow" -- Division that the general commanded in France during World War I, it is currently home to 44 senior citizens.

The trustees are projecting a deficit of about $300,000 by year's end.

Beth Israel:

Jonathan E. Kollin, who has held synagogue administrative positions in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, has been appointed executive director of the Beth Israel Congregation in Randallstown, succeeding Kenneth Sodden, who has retired.

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