Tuesday, January 26, 2021


 Our key question in worship this week was "What does it mean to follow Jesus?"

To help us answer this question, I went through Merriam-Webster’s dictionary and thesaurus and copied the many meanings and synonyms of “follow” into a program that would display them together as a word cloud, with words being bigger the more times they show up. Here’s what I got:

As you look at this word cloud, I wonder if there’s a word or a phrase that captures your attention, that resonates with you, that intrigues you as you think about what it means “to follow”? What word or phrase might you carry with you to help you follow Jesus more closely or in a new way this week?

Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 Year in Review

 Well, I think it's safe to say that 2020 didn't turn out like any of us imagined. I feel VERY ready to turn the page tonight to a new calendar year--even as I realize that the issues we face right now will not disappear when the clock strikes midnight, it is nice to imagine the blank slate before us and the possibilities for new life, new dreams and new hope that could lie ahead in 2021.

Before we do that, however, I've been reflecting back on this year of pandemic, unrest, social isolation, and being church. And I've been amazed at how in the midst of that, we've continued to BE CHURCH, even as we haven't worshipped or gathered in our church building since March 8. And so, I present to you our Broadneck Baptist 2020 Year in Review as a reminder of how God's Spirit is still so powerfully at work in and among us.

We've continued to serve our neighbors in need--through Winter Relief, partnership with ACT, reenvisioning how we safely distribute food through My Brother's Pantry, and collecting three special offerings on 5th Sundays that sent nearly 8,000 dollars beyond our helping services budget to support Feed Anne Arundel, My Brother's Pantry, Hope Project Prison Group, and the Kutenda Children's Home in Zimbabwe (helping them achieve the dream of a new-to-them truck for transporting kids and supplies).

We've continued our commitment to strengthen intergenerational relationships and faith.

We've continued and expanded our work for racial justice by continuing our monthly Community Conversations on Race and hosting a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Cape St. Claire.

We've moved our worship virtual, finding ways to worship and connect with God and one another meaningfully over Zoom, even as we miss being together in the flesh. We even manage singing from time to time!

We began a weekly Prayer and Share group where we could check in about how we're doing and connect with God and one another mid-week, providing solace and encouragement to one another in the midst of our isolation and uncertain times. The group, which has had folks join in from across the country, also sponsored an election eve prayer vigil and help up our community through its steadfast prayers.

We pivoted to our first ever virtual Music and Arts Camp, helping kids in our community learn about caring for God's creation for four weeks in July and August. We followed up by offering drive-through Back to School Blessing Bags for kids, parents, and teachers in our church and community as they began a year of virtual learning.

We celebrated 10 years together as pastor and congregation with an epic parade!

We gathered safely outdoors when we could, making the most of our little outdoor space in the parking lot!

We worked hard to clean up and clean out our building, finishing the new ramp and porch and painting it inside and out to create a more welcoming, hospitable space for when we and our community are able to return to the building.

Instead of lighting one Advent wreath together in our sanctuary each week, we each observed Advent in our own homes with wreaths, devotional books, and activities for families.

We dreamed up and launched a new ministry with two other congregations sharing the Christmas story through a drive-through Road to Bethlehem, with over 1000 people driving through over three nights and over $2500 raised for My Brother's Pantry.

We remembered the good news of Christmas all year long--that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not and will not overcome it.

The amazing thing is that even with all I've named there are so many other ways we've grown and cared for each other and our neighbors near and far this year--what have I missed? Add your own memories of gratefulness for our community and ways we've been church this year in the comments on this post. Please know how honored, proud, and amazed I am to be the pastor of such a remarkable congregation--I can't wait to see where 2021 takes us! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

For Election Day

 Last night, a group of us gathered for a Pre-Election Prayer Vigil. I want to share with you a scripture and the closing prayer from our gathering that you might pray it today. Praying for and with you this day and in the days to come.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

-Romans 12:9-21, NRSV

Almighty God who has given us an abundance of good things, set our feet about these shores, and called us to give an account for the work of our hands, we ask your blessings on this election.
Give hope to us, oh Lord, that these days are not unknown to you. 
As we powerfully proclaim that you are not a God of darkness and chaos, let us with steadfast hearts participate in this beautiful exercise of democracy.
Give love to us, oh Lord, as we deepen our need to love one another. 
Remind us that you, not our candidates, are the fount of all holiness. 
Let us recall with humility our own sins as we remember that all are welcome at your table. 
Open our hearts as we pray for those who will carry on the work of directing this country.
Give us mercy, oh Lord, to lose with dignity and win with compassion, remembering that all those on the ballot were made in your image. 
Let us rise again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow with an urgency to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, bury the dead, shelter the traveler, comfort the sick, and set the captive free.
Lord, hear the prayers of all those gathered in voting booths, in precincts, in long lines, at ballot boxes. Keep them safe as you watch over all of us. We give you this day, and every day, to shelter and bless this country we love, in the name of Christ who first loved us; Amen.
-Adapted from a prayer by A.E. Graham (https://rabbitroom.com/2016/11/a-liturgy-for-election-day/)


Monday, June 8, 2020

Racial Justice Resources

7 racial justice activists talk about the evolution of Black ...A number of resources for racial justice were mentioned by our guest preacher, Stephanie Cooper, yesterday, and others have been suggested by members of our congregation since. As we are all at different points on the journey towards racial justice and ending systemic racism, I encourage you to pick one and start (or continue) your education and action:

Trouble the Water: A Christian Resource for the work of Racial Justice (WE HAVE MANY COPIES OF THIS AT CHURCH--LET PASTOR ABBY KNOW IF YOU'D LIKE HER TO GET ONE TO YOU!)

1619 Podcast

“Me and White supremacy”- Layla Saad

“White Fragility”- Robin Diangelo

Anti-racism resources on the Alliance of Baptists website

A new resource from the National Museum of African-American History and Culture:

A great list of 75 actions White people in particular can do for racial justice (though many of them are things we can ALL do)

Finally, our Community Conversation on Race next Sunday at 4PM will focus on the intersection of COVID and systemic racism. We'll be reading these four articles together, all of which I commend to you--and would also encourage you to join us on Sunday, even if you've never been in these conversations before:

1. From The Atlantic: America's Racial Contract is Showing

2. From The Capital Gazette: Racism is a public health issue in Anne Arundel County. Coronavirus pandemic shows what that means.

3. From The Washington Post: ‘We don’t get justice’: When a black girl’s death from covid-19 feels like a collision of two crises 

4. From Vox Media: What public health experts want critics to know about why they support the protests

It's a lot of info, but pick somewhere and get started!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Creation Care Resources for Reflection and Action

Happy Earth Day, everyone! In the spirit of last Sunday's sermon, here are some resources that can help you consider your faithful response as a follower of the resurrected Jesus to the crisis of climate change facing our earth.

     A brief overview of how the Bible speaks to climate action:

On how COVID might change our way of thinking about creation care: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200326-covid-19-the-impact-of-coronavirus-on-the-environment

On how continued climate change makes more COVID-like outbreaks likely:

On our need for systemic change:

Practical ways you can care for creation during this home-bound Earth Day:

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Holy Week Worship Opportunities

Join us for worship via ZOOM throughout Holy Week! All of our gatherings except the Friday morning one can be accessed by this Zoom link (zoom.us/j/4206093840) and the password 343864 (PASSWORD IS NEW!)

Sunday, April 5 10am: Palm Sunday worship (bring your own palms and bread/juice/wine for communion!)

Thursday, April 9 5:30pm: Maundy Thursday worship (this will take the place of Prayer and Share that week--you'll need a bowl of water and bread/juice/wine for communion)

Friday, April 10 10am: Journey with Jesus Interactive Prayer Stations (particularly geared towards kids)--use link https://us04web.zoom.us/j/135152522 for this service only, which we do together with our neighbors at Asbury-Arnold UMC (You'll need to gather a few things beforehand to fully appreciate the experience: a coat, piece of bread/cracker, cup, stick or toothpick, tissue, something a little pointy/sharp, a cross (cut one out of paper or make one if you don't have one), a lit candle or flashlight, a rock. A recorded video of experience will also be made available if you can’t get on live at 10 but would like to participate at another time.

Friday, April 10 7:30pm: Good Friday Sundown Prayer (a brief 30 min service of reflection)

Sunday, April 12 10am: Easter Sunday Worship! (no sunrise service; we'll celebrate Community Easter Sunrise whenever we can all be back together later in the spring/summer)

Hope to see your faces throughout this Holy Week!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Worship During COVID-19

In light of the continued spread of COVID-19 in our area and recommendations from public health officials, at this time the Broadneck Church Council has decided to suspend in-person church gatherings, including worship. This is difficult for us as our faith is a fully embodied one. However, the people of God are the people of God no matter where or how they gather! So we hope you'll continue to gather with us virtually via ZOOM at the following times:

Sundays at 9:45am: Worship gathering (Worship itself begins at 10am--get on at 9:45 to greet one another and work out our technical glitches!) You can access the bulletin each week by clicking here.

Thursdays at 7:30pm: Prayer and Share (a 30-45 minute time of sharing how we're doing and our prayer requests, and spending time in guided prayer together)

All of our gatherings can be accessed by this Zoom link (zoom.us/j/4206093840) and a password that will change every two weeks; get the password by contacting us. Please hear us say that ALL are invited to participate--the password is simply an added step to keep our virtual space safe and welcoming to all. If you haven't used Zoom before, see our previous blog post about how to set up Zoom on your device and prepare for worship each week.

Worship will be different, but if our experience thus far is any indication, it will be meaningful and vital even in this strange time. We will share, we will sing all at slightly different times from each other, we will be challenged, and we will live out the words of Hebrews 10:23-25: "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for the One who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together...but encouraging one another all the more."