2023 Renewed in God

“...but those who wait  for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;    they shall walk and not faint.”

-Isaiah 40:31

Grace and peace be to you! It is my great joy and privilege to be writing to you today. I hope and pray that this letter finds you all in good health and spirits, and that you are all continuing to grow in your love for and service to our Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for your continued prayers, love, and support this past year. Your dedication to generously sharing your time, talents, and financial resources is an inspiring expression of faith. As we all know, the past couple years have been difficult for so many people around the world. But, even in the midst of all the challenges and trials, I am continually amazed by the faith, hope, and love that I see in so many of you at Ark and Dove. You are truly a shining example of the power of Christ’s love in our lives. When we choose to lean on God’s strength, we find spiritual renewal and grow in the resilience and passion that enables us to continue working towards justice and inclusion in this broken world. Over the past several Sundays, we have heard from various church leaders about some of the inspiring mission and ministry projects that we are engaged in at Ark and Dove and how we are growing and embracing God’s exciting vision for the future together. We also heard from several members about how important Ark and Dove is to their faith journey and how they have grown in their spirituality as a result of God meeting them in this place. We hope that you have found these presentations uplifting and encouraging. We pray that you experience excitement and fulfillment knowing that you are a part of it all and that we have much more to accomplish together! We are very grateful for how God is working in and through us at Ark and Dove, enabling the kind of spiritual renewal that transforms hearts and helps us continue working for a better world for all God’s children. As we approach Dedication Sunday on November 13th, the Stewardship Team is asking each of you to spend some time in personal reflection and prayer concerning your level of involvement and giving to Ark and Dove. Our hope is that you will consider increasing your pledged giving by 1% of household income this year. This would enable us to not only sustain our current level of mission and ministry activities, but also reach for some of our more aspirational goals as we carry God’s vision forward in 2023. I am so grateful to be part of such a wonderful community of believers, and I am continually inspired by your witness to the world. I am confident that, even in the midst of the challenges we face, we will be renewed daily and will continue to grow in our love for God and for one another. Together, we will be a light to the world in these dark times and will remain committed to embracing the future, renewed in faith and living with hope and love --Tricia Gray, Discipleship Elder

Watch our Video series on What our members do to be part of and support our Mission and Ministries through their Pledged Giving:

Renewed in God 2023 Video Series   <-click to launch in a new tab 

  Embracing the Future 
Congregation acting to shape our government future

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,
  plans for your welfare and not for harm,
  to give you a future with hope."
 –Jeremiah 29:11

There isnt a better way to embrace the future than to trust God and be his servent in shaping that future as we are called to do.  Ark and Dove is embracing the future through the work that we undertake for God’s world and the relationships that we nurture and grow between ourselves and our community. We are a congregation that continually comes together to support and uplift each other as we work to carry God’s dream of justice and inclusion for all God’s children into the world. The generous giving of our gifts of time, talents, and resources help make these things possible. This year as we approach our 30th Anniversary as a church, we find ourselves reflecting on our past and considering our future. We are filled with an overwhelming abundance of gratitude for the many ways that God has been carrying us through the years and continually challenges us to grow in love and compassion. God is truly working in our midst at Ark and Dove, renewing us daily for the work ahead. It is in that spirit of renewal that we look to the future and all that it brings, rooted in the hope to which we were called. As we grow into God’s vision for the future, it is evident that the mission and ministries of Ark and Dove are experiencing exciting renewal and revitalization. We are experiencing growth and new life across the board in the areas such as our Anti-Racism and Social Equity Team, Earth Care Ministry, Community Engagement Team, GLEAM Team, Reimagined Worship, Rebranding, the Associate Pastor Nominating Team (APNT), and so much more. We are seeing many new faces join our church family and many more people are stepping up to volunteer their time, skills, and energy to ministries that spark their passion for sharing God’s love and spreading justice. It truly feels as though God is breathing new life into all that we are and all that we do, both in and through Ark and Dove. Moving forward, there are many ways for you to help us grow into a vibrant and abundant future through generously sharing your time, talents, and resources. Everything we give matters. It is all for God’s work of healing in our lives and in our community. We have much to hope for in the year ahead, and your gifts help us move forward together as we embrace the future, renewed in faith and living with hope and love. 

  Renewed in Faith


"Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit."
- Psalm 51:12

Our 2023 Stewardship Effort is one that asks for reflection before penning the numbers on the pledge card. We explore what it means to be renewed in Faith. Like our finances, it is a deeply personal and challenging introspection. The answer starts with the position that God has been, is and will ever be in our lives and with us with every step we take forward. The world has changed and so have our behaviors and our activities. We take this opportunity to be forward looking – that the faith that was there is again being realized, felt, and expressed through our hands. God uses us as a vessel to be faithful disciples and to spread the Word and love of Jesus to ever expanding circles of love. As the new year approaches, it is our time to take that step with God and express how we are going to be part of the activities which make Ark and Dove a special place. We do that by enabling our teams and pastors with the resources they need to reach those goals. Our pledge represents not only our burden in those pursuits, but also our confidence that whatever we are able to pledge will make the difference between standing still or embracing and shaping how we envision the future. Money is only good if it is used in a faithful way and time is either lost or utilized in a faithful manner. Consider what 1% means to the Church Mission and Ministries. It is often that a 1% increase in giving will fully fund the most important of all that has been asked for by Session. A church with a healthy financial plan that is used wisely attracts others with a similar mindset. We look forward to a year where we reformulate in-person and live worship, think about how music continues to transform and enrich those efforts and that we will be seeking to call a new Associate Pastor. All of these activities requires your prayerful pledge to bring to fruition. Please, prayerfully consider what a difference your increased pledge can make in 2023.

Watch this video on our        Christian Education Vision 

Living with Hope and Love 

ever expanding circle of love

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
-Romans 15:13

The past couple years have been challenging in so many ways, yet at Ark and Dove we have remained committed to doing God’s work of justice and inclusion for all. How do we persist on this path in the face of so many obstacles? It is with our hope in God, set free by Christ, that our strength is renewed daily and we “mount up with wings like eagle’s” ready to run without growing weary. ‘Living with Hope’ means that we forge ahead despite the odds, growing and creating new areas of ministry and mission in order to meet the evolving needs of God’s people. It is in this vein that we continue to support people in need in our immediate community, across the nation, and around the world with thriving missions such as our partnership with Anne Arundel Connecting Together (ACT) and our newly active Community Engagement Team. Our Anti-Racism and Social Equity team is planning to begin making financial reparations to organizations of People of Color in order to make amends for our collective participation in acts of oppression in the history of the Presbyterian Church. Our GLEAM Team is starting a support group for LGBTQIA+ youth, and our Adult and Ally Support Groups continue to be safe places and sources of support for those who have so often been excluded and alienated by others in the past. Our Earth Care Team continues to make strides in helping us all become better stewards of God’s creation as they plan specific projects to help us make our church building, operations, worship services, education, and outreach more respectful of the glory of God’s creation. These ministry and mission activities and so many more are proof of the personal and collective renewal we experience living as a new creation in Christ filled with hope for the future and ready to do the work together. The giving of your time, talents, and resources is important and helps empower us to boldly engage God’s mission in the world filled with hope for the future.

Our financial gifts to Ark and Dove make a difference in how we show love in our community and beyond. At Ark and Dove, we are given so many opportunities to share God’s love, and to be Jesus’ hands and feet in the world. Our financial gifts and offerings are a big part of that. Whether through Pledged or Unpledged Giving, or mission specific giving, the positive impact of our financial gifts is felt in the love shared throughout our church, community and beyond. There are several ways your gifts and offerings enable us to live with love such as: replacing our Anti-racism banner after several vandalism incidents and purchasing security cameras to show our neighbors our dedication in declaring our stance for peace and love. We have lovingly assisted our Afghan refugee family, the Abawis, with paid internet and cell phone bills for several months, and provided essential tools to help them find jobs and become more independent. Weekend food bags have been given out on a monthly basis to local students through the Backpack Buddies program. Additionally, $5000 has been donated to the Lighthouse Homeless Prevention Support Center directed for use right here in West County. The giving of your time, talents and resources is essential to helping Ark and Dove continue to plan how bright and wide to shine Jesus’ love and light in our neighborhood and beyond. Only a few examples from this past year have been listed, but think of how much more we could accomplish through the dedicated generosity of all God’s gifts. Now is the time to prayerfully consider what your estimate of giving to Ark and Dove will be for the upcoming year. Your contribution will help the Session at Ark at Dove to properly plan our mission and ministry activities for the upcoming year. Thank you for your continued dedication and generosity in sharing and living God’s love.