Ohio volunteers repair Otterbein courtyard


Thanks to 23 youthful volunteers from Ohio and eight adult leaders, a brick courtyard at downtown Baltimore's historic Old Otterbein United Methodist Church has been repaired at no cost to the congregation.

Other jobs performed for the church at Conway and Sharp streets by the group of sixth- to 12th-grade students -- who visited the Inner Harbor for a week at the beginning of the summer -- included exterior scraping and repainting of the three-story parsonage, trimming trees, planting flowers, building a garden gate and replacing an old honeysuckle-covered wire fence with a white picket fence.

Dating from 1785 and built in the Georgian style, Otterbein is the city's oldest surviving church structure. The parsonage was built in 1811.

The volunteers' improvements to the property are temporarily obscured by construction of the addition to the Baltimore Convention Center across Sharp Street at a cost of more than $150 million.

The students from Ohio rode to Baltimore in seven vans. Led by their pastor, the Rev. Nan Hubbell, they were part in an annual work crew organized by the United Methodist church in Monroe, near Dayton. Last year's "mission trip" was to Atlanta, where the participants conducted an inner-city Bible school.

The Inner Harbor was chosen for this summer's project through the efforts of the Rev. Millard B. Knowles, a Baltimore native who is part-time pastor of Old Otterbein. He spent 42 years as a minister in Ohio.

Repairs to the courtyard, originally paved in 1826, involved removal of the bricks, leveling the area with sand and resetting the bricks.

The trip was not all work for the volunteers, whose activities included worship, education and recreation. They attended a game at nearby Oriole Park at Camden Yards, visited Baltimore's National Aquarium and swam at Sandy Point State Park.

Rabbi recalls war:

Duty Under Duress: Keeping Mitzvos During World War II" will be the subject of a public lecture by Rabbi Chaim Shapiro at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Randallstown Synagogue Center, 8729 Church Lane.

The rabbi will describe his experiences as a refugee in what was then the Soviet Union, where he struggled to practice his Jewish faith under difficult circumstances. The lecture, to be followed by a service at 7:45 p.m., is co-sponsored by the Adath Yeshurun Congregation and the Winands Road Congregation.

Information: 655-6665.

Name change

The newspaper of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, published since 1985 as Baptist True Union, has changed its name to Maryland/Delaware Baptist Life to reflect its contents more precisely, said interim editor Ronald K. Chaney.

Maryland's first Baptist paper appeared in 1849 as True Union. Other early names of Baptist publications in Maryland and Delaware included the Baptist Visitor, the Baltimore Baptist and the Maryland Messenger.

The Maryland Baptist began publishing in 1934. It changed its name to Baptist True Union 10 years ago, when the Maryland and Delaware conventions of the denomination merged.

Catholic laity

William J. Roedel, a doctoral candidate at Loyola College with a master's degree from Loyola in pastoral counseling, has joined the faculty of the Washington Theological Union as coordinator of minister support teams.

The lay teams are formed at Roman Catholic parishes, hospitals and schools where students of the Washington seminary engage in supervised ministry. The program, begun by the theological union in 1992, is "a way for lay people to become more centrally involved in the growth and development of the student minister," Mr. Roedel said.

Spiritual unity

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, president of the World Fellowship of Religions, will speak during "Human Unity Night" rTC July 27 at LeClerc Hall on the North Charles Street campus of Notre Dame College.

The speaker teaches that the essence of all major religious faiths is the same. He will address the audience in Hindi at 7 p.m. and in English at 8 p.m.

The free program is sponsored by a Science of Spirituality group that meets from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. each Sunday in the Parish House of St. Mark's-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, Pikesville. Information: 740-8250.

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