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Religion briefs: Wesley Freedom UMC names new senior pastor

The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Smith was named pastor at Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church in Eldersburg, effective July 1.
The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Smith was named pastor at Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church in Eldersburg, effective July 1.

Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church recently announced the appointment of The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Smith, effective July 1. Smith joins Associate Pastor Ian Collier in leading the congregation at the Eldersburg church.

The Wesley Freedom congregation will welcome Smith on her first Sunday with the church, July 5, through an online celebration and a prayer relay which will encircle the Wesley Freedom building. On July 12, “Pastor Jenny” will lead the church’s first day of on-site worship following a four-month building closure during the COVID-19 pandemic. To minimize exposure to the virus and maximize our connection with the surrounding community Wesley Freedom will worship outdoors this summer at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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Pastor Jenny has a “refreshing” summer in mind with sermons sharing “Fresh Air Encounters with Jesus.” The community is welcome to join with Wesley Freedom for the new season. Details are available at the Wesley Freedom website and Facebook page.

Smith, a fourth-generation clergy person, has been a pastor in the Baltimore-Washington Conference since July 2000. A graduate of Western Maryland (now McDaniel) College with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Sports Coaching, and Psychology, Smith completed her Master of Divinity, focusing on Pastoral Care, at Wesley Theological Seminary and her Doctor of Ministry in Holistic Health and Healing at Drew University.

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For the past 17 years, Smith has been serving as the lead pastor of Mt. Carmel, New Market, and Fairview Chapel United Methodist Churches in Frederick, where she led the church’s journey from a small family church to a community-based congregation worshiping in three locations. During her tenure at Mt. Carmel, Smith also led a team of laity to develop the ministry plan and facility design for Hope Community Ministries, which hosts community and ministry activities seven days a week, including Hope Community Preschool, which has served over 1,000 families, and Hope After School Program, a 21st century community learning center, which serves “at promise” youth.

In addition to serving in the local church, Smith also serves as the chair of the Culture of Call Committee on the Baltimore-Washington Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Smith and her husband Jon have five sons and love to hike, swim, kayak, and travel.

Wesley Freedom, a faith community in the heart of Eldersburg at 961 Johnsville Road, offers online worship services and devotional opportunities weekly. Beginning July 12, the community is invited to services in its new outdoor worship space. A variety of on-line and in-person ministries for children, youth, and adults will be offered.

Wesley Freedom’s Family Resource Center is a satellite office of The Shepherd’s Staff, its Feed My Sheep meals program serves meals three times a week, and its food pantry is open the last Saturday of each month. To learn more, visit wesleyfreedom.org.

Emmanuel UCC reopening on Sunday

Emmanuel (Baust) United Church of Christ will reopen its church building for worship on Sunday, July 5 at 10 a.m. All safety protocols set up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be in place.

The service will continue to be live streamed and recorded. For log in information go to ebucc.com.

The Bible Study group meets Thursday evening at 6 p.m. in the Parish Hall. The group is using the book by Adam Hamilton, “Making Sense of the Bible.” We will explore how and why the Hebrew and Christian scripture was written and how to use it meaningful in our lives today. You can also participate by Zoom. Safety protocols are also in effect for this.

The church is located at 2950 Old Taneytown Road in Tyrone. The Rev. Jeffry Dull is the minister. For more info go to our website ebbucc.com or email office@ebucc.com.

The Carroll County Times regularly publishes Religion Briefs about news from local places of worship, from new clergy to guest speakers to special services and classes. Photos are published as space allows and must be sent as JPG attachments, with caption information included. Submit information to bob.blubaugh@carrollcountytimes.com or mail to P.O. Box 169, Westminster, MD 21158.

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