- Our INITIATIVES -

“Everyboy can be great -- because anybody can serve. You don't have to a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

- MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.


(Complete the form below to be a part of one or more of our initiatives)

SMALL GROUPS MINISTRY

Small Groups are weekly (or bi-weekly) gatherings of individuals who are committed to “doing life together”. ​Small Groups are a great way to get to know others in the church, make meaningful connections, grow your faith, and serve others.

​Remember, life is better connected! 

40 AND UNDER fellowship

MS. ALEXIS LUCAS, CHAIR

The growing Young Adult group serves to foster camaraderie and fellowship between those ranging from the ages of 20-40 who seek to come together in faith, fun, and community outreach. It is an open group that gives people the opportunity to meet new friends from various cultural backgrounds, viewpoints, and life experiences. Together we explore how to integrate and facilitate radically inclusive love, courageous social justice activism, and compassionate interfaith collaboration in our lives and through life’s journeys. We gather monthly through networking, social activities and community outreach programs to establish strong connections and a stronger sense of community.


40 PLUS FELLOWSHIP

Don’t let the name fool you. This group is full of fun-loving, fasting-moving mature people. If we are “over the hill,” we are proud of it because it means we had the strength and stamina to climb to the top of the hill and pave the ways for others to come behind us. As the “elders in the village,” we joyfully share the wisdom we have gained and seek every opportunity to mentor emerging leaders in the congregation and community. Also, since The Open Church loves to party, we are the first ones on the dance floor. So, when the DJ plays some old school tunes, look out, here we come!

KINSHIP CARE

At The Open Church, we believe that everyone is a minister and has gifts, skills, and experiences that can edify the congregation and enhance the world. Thus, ministry is not the “exclusive possession” of the clergy. Ministry is what the entire congregation does.

 

In all aspects of ministry, The Open Church seeks to empower the entire congregation for active participation. We especially invite the congregation to provide care for one another in times of joy and sorrow. As we often say, we are a care-full congregation, and as sisters and brothers made in the image of our Heavenly Father who is Divine Mother of us all, we are all kinfolk.

 

Kinship Care at The Open Church is how we care for each other by encouragement, visitation, intercessory prayer, and other acts of kindness as people experience sickness, stress, death, and other times of sorrow as well as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other joyous occasions.

 

At The Open church, we believe that in order to be whole each person needs at least three hugs a day. So, we hug each other a lot. Kinship Care is another form of hugging—the holy embrace of each other that leads to healing

DISCIPLESHIP ACADEMY

The Open Church is a teaching, learning, and thinking church. We are a warm congregation very comfortable with expressing emotions and engaging in spirited worship of God. Yet, we also take seriously the biblical exhortation to love God with our minds. In the Discipleship Academy, we practice what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “hard, solid thinking.” On a periodic basis, the congregation gathers (typically on Tuesday evenings) to engage in an expansive ministry of teaching, learning, and holy inquiry.  

Courses are taught by the ordained clergy and lay members of the congregation. Previous courses have included: A) Book studies of Howard Thurman’s Footprints of a Dream: The Story of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples and Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth; B) Introduction to the Hebrew Bible and New Testament; C) The Corinthian Correspondence; D) Introduction to Preaching; E) Church History; F). Mindfulness and Meditation; and G) Media Ministry Certification.

Bring a loving heart and an open mind and join us as we grow together in wisdom. Ding! Ding! School is in session!

WORK OF OUR HANDS PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY

Ms. Alaina Jenkins, Chair

We are a group of loving crocheters and knitters who create shawls, blankets, pillows, hats and scarves for people in our community who are grieving, ill, welcoming new life, or simply in need of a tangible expression of love! All levels are welcome (we will teach newbies!).

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA

MR. TONY DORSEY, CHAIR

Through broadband connections we envision the merging of evolving new media technologies and "the flow of content" across multiple media platforms. We expect to utilize various multiple media resources, and provide for the transitional activity of our media based audiences who seek the kinds of spiritual encouragement, spiritual influence and spiritual entertainment experiences they desire to embrace 24/7.


From this point forward TOC will continue to evolve with five areas of convergence: technological, social, cultural, global and spiritual. Our belief is that convergence, simply put, is how the general public will interact with TOC technologies on a spiritual and social level on various media platforms. 

FAITH COMMUNITIES  OF BALTIMORE

WITH PRIDe

At The Open Church of Maryland, courageous social justice activism, radical inclusion, and interfaith dialogue are out-in-the-open for all to see.


One of the ways we put our mission and vision into action is through the Faith Communities of Baltimore with Pride (FCBWP).


Faith Communities of Baltimore with Pride is an interfaith coalition of faith-based communities that are proud about the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons. TOC is a founding member of FCBWP, and we serve on its coordinating team.

As a member of the FCBWP coordinating team, we help to plan, lead, and provide volunteers for annual events.


Here are some of the events we lead and lend our hands to support:

June/July: Baltimore Pride

September/October: Baltimore Black Pride

October: National Coming Out Day

November: Transgender Day of Remembrance

December: World AIDS Day


40 WEST ASSISTANCE & REFERRAL CENTER

MS. AMELIE HAMILTON AND REV. MICHAEL  A. HUNT, CO-CHAIRS

40 West Assistance is an alliance of 12-14 churches along the 40 West Corridor of Baltimore, Maryland. These churches have joined together to provide assistance to church members and neighbors residing in the 40 West Corridor. 40 West provides a variety of services, including a food pantry, BGE energy assistance, food stamp assistance and referrals to a number of services such as counseling, eviction prevention, water shut off, help with transportation, a small clothing bank for back to work and referral to services through the Mayor's Office. 40 West is run by a volunteer staff, volunteer Board of Directors and one part time paid staff, the Director. Mr. John Saunders has done an outstanding job, putting in many more hours than the 20/week allotted. It is truly a beneficial and helpful 501(c)(3) organization.