Maryland/Delaware Roundup, March 26, 2020

Under His wings I am safely abiding. Tho’ the night deepens and tempests are wild, still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me. He has redeemed me, and I am His child. Under His wings, under His wings, who from His love can sever? Under His wings my soul shall abide, safely abide forever.”

(A portion of the 19th-century song “Under His Wings,”  written by William Cushing. The song’s inspiration is from Psalm 17:8.) 

Churches continue to respond to COVID-19 situation 

Several pastors in the Arundel Baptist Network and the Potomac Baptist Association met using Zoom, a video conference platform, to discuss and share how their churches are responding to the recent mandate to cease public meetings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jamie Caldwell, the lead pastor of South Shore Church (SSC) in Crownsville, Maryland, said their church is utilizing a Facebook group to gather on Sundays for a live Q&A, following Caldwell’s pre-recorded sermon.
While some churches are encouraging their families to collectively have communion at home while watching a broadcast of the service, South Shore leaders have made the decision to wait until the church physically gathers together to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Caldwell said they want folks to eagerly anticipate sharing the ordinances when they are able to return to public meetings.
South Shore Church Administrator David Allen, who oversees the church’s food pantry, said the pantry generally serves about 30 families a month but the number is increasing as a result of the COVID-19 closures.
“We’ve had our faithful regulars, but there have been a bunch of new faces — people who have lost their jobs, been laid off, or reduced to part-time,” he said.
Allen shared details on the distribution process, which is geared towards ministering to the needs of and protecting all involved. Food recipients drive up to the church in their cars, make their way to the door and complete the paperwork and then return to their cars. Tammy James or Monica Leisure, both church members, take the bags of food to the cars, leave them by the car doors, and then go back to the church. The recipients are then free to get out of their cars and claim the food.
“We’re trying to keep everyone safe,” Allen said.
The pantry was open one day each week, but it recently expanded its hours and now serves twice a week — from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Allen said that since many pantries have closed, SSC is serving people from Baltimore and Prince George’s County as well as their own community.
Donations are always welcome, Allen said.
Severna Park Baptist Church (SPBC) in Maryland is live-streaming their worship service, in which the worship band provides music and prayer time and Senior Pastor Dave Brown delivers the weekly message. Additionally, they have posted a worship guide with scripture references, notes, and song lyrics on their website.
To further help the church and community, SPBC has a link to local emergency preparation resources.
Life Connection Church in Severn is small and has two community groups: one led by Pastor Marty Bennett, another by Dr. William Christian, an elder.

Bennett and Christian are in contact with church members to offer encouragement and prayer, and to follow-up on any needs, especially during the season of social distancing. They also encourage members to keep in touch with each other through phone calls, text messages, and emails.  The leaders become aware of church family needs and prayer requests through these efforts.

The church has three intercessory prayer groups that stand in the gap for the church body each week — a church leaders’ prayer group, two men’s groups, and a women’s group.

Dan Moore, the pastor of Callaway Baptist Church in Maryland, is streaming sermons, prayer time, and mini-Sunday school classes on Facebook. Moore, who also serves as the Protestant chaplain of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, is using Youtube to share “Prayer and the Word” with the Charlotte Hall residents.
Twenty-fifth-anniversary hymn sing
Last year, Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., commemorated 25 years of ministry for the church’s Senior Pastor Mark Dever and his wife, Connie. As part of the celebration, they had an old-fashioned hymn sing. This month, the church was happy to have the audio available and they’re happy to share it. 

There are 15 videos on Youtube which include the audio and the words to the hymns, so you can join in.

BCM/D Disaster Relief COVID-19 Food Assistance Program Cancelled 

Please note that due to a change in expected funding, the BCM/D Disaster Relief COVID-19 Food Assistance program has been cancelled. We appreciate all of the churches that responded and were willing to serve. We will share other church opportunities as we become aware of them.

Summer Kenya Trip Canceled
From a notice from Rosalie Chelsey, assistant to Dr. Kevin Smith:
“In light of updated guidance we received from the International Mission Board, we have made the decision to cancel the trip to Kenya this summer. This was not a decision we wanted to make, but in light of the current global health situation, travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State, and our concern for the safety of our volunteers, we believe that the responsible choice is to remain home this summer.
Lord willing, we will be running our trip in the fall. We are awaiting confirmation of the final travel dates from our hosts in Kenya, but anticipate that the trip will run sometime between the conclusion of Thanksgiving weekend and the first two weeks of December. We will update the website when the new dates are established.
While this is not the outcome we would have chosen, we are also confident that God is in control of the situation and that He is accomplishing His good purposes even through this virus. As we know from Psalm 46, despite the uncertainties and upheaval in this world, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’”

History Highlights

Josephine Norwood (1913-1978)  was born in Knightsdale, North Carolina in 1913, but moved to Virginia at age eight. Baptized at eleven, she committed to full-time Christian service four years later and began working as a Richmond church secretary at nineteen. Graduating from William and Mary in 1949, she studied further at the Carver School in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville before returning to Virginia as associate secretary of that state’s Women’s Missionary Union (WMU). “Sister Jo,” as the Virginians called her, worked to move forward Virginia’s camping program and interracial work.

Norwood developed a reputation for her dedication and executive skills. Her sister-in-law was surprised to meet her on a Richmond city bus one day. Josephine explained her car had been in a slight accident so she was forced to take public transportation to a speaking engagement. In fact, “Sister Jo’s” Crosley car had been hit broadside that day and turned over. Bystanders saw her crawl out of the wreck, straighten her hat, and catch a passing bus that by chance contained her sister-in-law. Blanche Sydnor White, executive secretary of Virginia’s WMU, called Norwood a “whirlwind” who could not touch a piece of work without expanding it.

In 1954, Maryland asked Norwood to lead its WMU. She brought to the Maryland Baptist Union Association’s WMU a leadership reminiscent of Annie Armstrong. Never married, she became a lifelong friend with Elizabeth Willing soon after moving to Maryland, and the two shared a home until Norwood’s death. With her direct leadership style buoyed by businesswoman Willing’s counsel, Norwood gained respect from her peers at the Baptist Building for her determination. In her time, said contemporary Neil Wilson, “The WMU wielded a big stick in Maryland.” One biographer who knew her personally described Norwood as a “prim, proper, and almost austere Virginian lady,” whose drive was not always understood or appreciated by the men with whom she worked.

Understood or not, “Miss Norwood,” as the Marylanders called her, molded the Maryland WMU in her image and had a ministry of considerable and lasting impact. Norwood’s expertise at camping and development put Camp Wo-Me-To in a stronger position as a year-round family camp.

A southern woman described as “raised in a culture where women had not long been released from their status of servitude to men,” she empathized with the poor and vulnerable in society. In 1964, she joined with leaders of the African-American Maryland Baptist Convention and the United Baptist Missionary Convention of Maryland to form United Baptist Women, a small interracial group that worked for reconciliation among all Maryland Baptists. Norwood led WMU leadership teams to churches across the Northeast, contributing greatly to the mission endeavors during the critical early years for many churches.

Those who value the Maryland Baptist heritage owe Norwood a particular debt of gratitude. Over the years, she assembled a large historical collection in the Maryland Baptist Building and promoted historical markers and observances throughout the state. While attending to these significant tasks, Norwood supervised the day-to-day operations of the entire WMU program in the eleven states which comprised the Baptist Convention of Maryland (BCM) territory of her time.

Josephine Norwood led the BCM History Committee to place a plaque on the Shot Tower at Front and Fayette Streets to mark the spot where, in 1773, a half-acre was bought on Jones Falls to erect the first building of First Baptist Church of Baltimoretown.

Hampered by a debilitating illness her last year in office, Miss Norwood fought to the last. She received due praise at her retirement banquet on September 12, 1978, then died thirty-nine days later.

The material used in this biography was taken from, “You Are A Great People,”  by W. Loyd Allen