Anne Arundel Connecting Together

an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation




ACT compels Superintendent to take action to test lead in AACPS consumable water by December!

  • PRIORITY: Priority testing for older elementary schools to protect our youngest children
  • ACCELERATE TESTING: Additional company hired so that water testing completed by December 2018 (not July 2019!)
  • TRANSPARENCY: Testing schedule has been published online!

Great news. The demands that ACT made of the superintendent to accelerate our testing schedule, prioritize our oldest elementary schools, and publish a transparent testing schedule have all been met!


This is our first victory in a direct action. Our children will be safer from the risk of lead exposure in their water fountains and kitchen sinks at school.


This happened because we have been building RELATIONAL POWER. 120 of us stood together at a school board meeting on Oct. 24 to make our demands and request a meeting with the superintendent. Keep building that power! Take time to meet one-to-one with each other (training opportunity below). Organize a listening session!


We got that meeting. Our Education Research Action Team leaders - Erin Snell (Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis), Yevola Peters (St. Philip's Episcopal Church), and Karen Neale (St. Philip's Episcopal Church), along with co-chairs Rev. Tim Stern (Ark & Dove Presbyterian Church) and Toni Strong Pratt (First Christian Community Church), repeated our demands, and stressed that we would work with the superintendent to make these a reality. He worked with us. And now: we have accelerated testing, transparency, and prioritization for lead testing. That is a win!


Cancelling our Nov. 14 ACTion on the School Board. At the County-Wide Steering Meeting, ACT did not have this agreement. ACT was going to launch a 200-person action at the next School Board meeting to emphasize the power behind our demands. However, as this agreement has been reached, we no longer needed to hold that action. 


But we are going to keep building relational power. If you'd like to build power with us, here are some upcoming opportunities:


Training: One-to-One Meetings!

Not sure how to do a relational meeting? Don't know why we do them? Here's a chance to learn!

Thurs., Nov. 29, 7pm, St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 1601 Pleasant Plains Rd., Annapolis

ACT Research Action Teams


Leads:           Toni Pratt, First Christian Community Church

                        Rev. Sara Yotter, Joy Reigns Lutheran Church

Contact:         sarayotter@gmail.com // (608) 630-7942

Next Meeting: Mon., Nov. 26, 7pm

                       First Christian Community Church, 1800 Hall-Brown Rd., Annapolis



Leads:           Rev. Dr. Karen Johnson, First Christian Community Church

                        Jo Ann Mattson, Light House, Annapolis

Contact:         jmattson@annapolislighthouse.org // (443) 569-4207

Next Meeting: Thurs., Nov. 15, 7pm

                        UCC Annapolis, 8 Carvel Cir., Edgewater



Leads:           Cynamon Butler, Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church

                        Rev. Dr. Heather Shortlidge, First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis

Contact:         cbutler@woodschurch.org 

Next Meeting: Make contact!



Leads:           Karen Neale, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church

                        Yevola Peters, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church

                        Erin Snell, Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis

Contact:         yevola.peters@gmail.com // (410) 224-3820

Meeting: Make contact!



Lead:             Rev. Ryan Sirmons, The United Church of Christ of Annapolis

Contact:         pastor@uccannapolis.org // (443) 569-8899

Next Meeting: Tues., Nov. 137pm

                        UCC Annapolis, 8 Carvel Cir., Edgewater



Leads:           Rev. Steve Tillett, Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church

                        Linda Mundy, Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis

Contact:         ltmundy@yahoo.com // (443) 995-4769

Next meeting: Tues., Nov. 13, 7pm, Asbury Broadneck UMC, 657 Broadneck Rd., Annapolis


This meeting is open to members and friends and anyone who might want to learn more about what ACT is doing. It is also where member organizations vote and ratify our next steps together.



an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation




LOCAL ADVOCACY WITH THE INDUSTRIAL AREAS FOUNDATION In the fall of 2017, Ark and Dove joined with other Anne Arundel county faith and civic groups to become an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) network. This coalition seeks to harness the collective power of religious and civic groups to create positive social change and hold local leaders accountable. Other local IAF groups are located in Howard (PATH) and Montgomery Counties and Baltimore City (BUILD) and are making a positive impact in those communities. Please visit the IAF website at http://www.industrialareasfoundation.org/# and contact Pastor Tim, timsstern@gmail.com, for more information about this exciting initiative.


The mission committee at Ark and Dove church believes in taking action to help our fellow human beings in the local community. Our church supports:



The Bay Area Disciples Ministry Group is delighted to announce the hire of The Reverend Migde Lucas of El Salvador to develop a new Hispanic Worshiping Community in Anne Arundel County. BAD and the Presbytery of Baltimore's Commission on Thriving Congregations have partnered to create a new Hispanic ministry in the Reformed tradition with a social justice-social service component. The ministry is part of a nationwide movement within our denomination to start 1001 Worshipping Communities - an effort to redirect our churches from an inward focus and membership maintenance to creative engagement with the larger world . Cont.  

As a covenant church of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, we provide donations of money, lunches and labor for work crews.

The Center connects groups with opportunities to make a positive impact on the local community and to strengthen one's personal faith journey through action. Our middle school youth and younger high school students have served at The Center since 2015. Also, several of our adult members volunteer year round at The Center. A sincere thank you to Vaughan Brown who led this mission opportunity with gusto for three years! And welcome to Pastor Jon, who will now lead.


Sarah's House is a local homeless shelter run by Associated Catholic Charities Inc. and located in renovated barracks at Ft. Meade. We support Sarah's House with donations of money, cleaning supplies and personal care items. Every 3rd Wednesday of the month, Ark and Dove provides a family dinner for people staying at Sarah's House.
To find out how you can assist Ark & Dove in supporting Sarah's House, please contact Kelly Stern, kstern07@gmail.com, or the church office (410-674-6400).


Super Bowl Game Day, also called the Souper Bowl of Caring is an effort to glorify God and care for "the least of these our brothers" by encouraging people to give one dollar each as they leave worship on Super Bowl Sunday. Where does the money go? Each congregation selects and sends the contribution directly to the charity of choice. Ark and Dove's is usually a local charity. Ark and Dove also asks the congregation to bring in cans of soup for a local homeless shelter or our local food pantry. Organizers do not touch the funds, only asking that congregations around the United States report their results on game day so that national totals can be determined. Who collects the donations? Youth from each congregation use large soup pots to collect the donations as parishioners leave worship the morning of the game. When and where did the "Souper Bowl" start? The effort began with the Senior High Youth Fellowship of Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, S.C. in 1990. The partnership grew from 22 churches the first year to over 10,000 congregations representing every U.S. state and Canada.


In coordination with the Arundel House of Hope, Ark & Dove provides a safe, warm place to sleep for 25 homeless men for one week during the winter.  This is the largest single mission project our church undertakes during the year.

The Back to School program is a partnership with the county schools and the Department of Social Services.  Each year Ark & Dove members and friends provide the whole package of backpack and school supplies for 30 students at Meade Heights Elementary School.  We also provide assorted supplies for students at Meade Middle School.

CAP is a team of 13 West County churches that provides short-term assistance to families in need.  CAP operates the West County food pantry at Severn United Methodist Church and a clothes closet at Nichols-Bethel United Methodist Church. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, CAP also provides families with the food for a full holiday meal.  The pantry typically serves about 180 families each month. In addition, members of Ark & Dove volunteer at the pantry, help unload trucks of donated food, and help pack food for the holiday meals.

Holiday Sharing matches donor organizations and individuals with county families unable to provide a Christmas meal and gifts for their children.  Each year Ark & Dove participants provide a clothing item and gift for about 80 children in West County families.  There are options for those who are able to buy a gift for a child, for those who prefer to work behind the scenes to facilitate the process, and for those who are prepared to deliver the gifts directly to the families in need.  We make the deliveries on the last Sunday before Christmas.   Being able to connect with the families in this way is for some the most meaningful part of sharing Christmas.

The Ark and Dove mission ministry has partnered with Baltimore’s International Rescue Committee (IRC) to mentor a refugee family. This mentorship program aims to help refugee families become better integrated into American culture through English language practice, cultural exchange, and support from church members. To learn more, please head to our Refugee Resettlement page.

Ark & Dove supports the promotion of social justice in the world.  Learn  more about Office of Public Witness on Presbyterian Mission Agency website


Mission Co-Worker
Karla Ann Koll, Costa Rica  

Karla  Koll serves at the Latin America Biblical University, a PCUSA mission partner that has been training church leaders throughout Latin America.

Mission Co-Worker
Eliane Menezes, CEDEPCA, Guatemala        


The Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America (CEDEPCA) is an educational institution that contributes to the transformation of lives and contexts by providing training and accompaniment, and by offering spaces for reflection to women and men from diverse Christian traditions, communities and contexts.  Read more...