Friday, April 20, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! Even though there was a freeze warning last night, wasn’t it a beautiful week for the flowering trees all around us? The beautiful pink cherry tree behind the parsonage is right outside my office window, and this time of year, when it’s blossoming, it’s just breathtaking! Take time to stop and enjoy all these beautiful sights with which God surrounds us each spring!

Speaking of beautiful sights on the earth, take a look at what’s happening this weekend on which we celebrate Earth Day!

  • Tomorrow morning, a team of walkers from Elkton UMC will participate in the 2018 Delaware Brain Tumor Walk on the Riverfront in Wilmington. I just checked out the website, and discovered that our team is just short of meeting their financial goal for the walk, so if you have a minute and can contribute, go to the EUMC team page at “Delaware Brain Tumor Walk 2018” website, click on “Donate Now."  Let’s help them make their goal! Thanks to all who are taking part! 
  • Also tomorrow morning, the Prom Boutique will be open from 10 am – 12 noon for any young woman looking for a dress for their prom. Spread the word! 
  • On Sunday, as I said above, we’ll celebrate Earth Day! The choir will sing a special number about God’s creation, we’ll see a video of the beauty of God’s creation through the lenses of some of EUMC’s best photographers, and the bulletin cover will be a creation of one of our Sunday School students, Danielle Rogers. (Also, the Stewardship Committee members will be visiting our children and youth Sunday School classes to help them plant seeds for herbs for their families to use in cooking.) Finally, I’ll be offering the second sermon in my “The Bible Doesn’t Say That” series, this week focusing on the phrase – “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”
  • The youth group will meet on Sunday night at 6 pm as usual, but this week they’ll welcome some very special guests – Terri Lokey and Joe Tanner – who are coming to talk about this summer’s mission trip to Costa Rica and invite the youth to be a part of it. Parents are invited to come and hear about it as well.
  • Speaking of youth: We’re getting ready to recognize our graduating seniors in early June, so now’s the time to send in photos and information about your graduate. There will be an insert in this Sunday’s bulletin telling all about it.
  • Looking ahead to next week: On Thursday morning, April 26th at 8 am a group of Classic Christians and friends take off on their road trip to Norfolk VA for a great weekend of music, parades and activities. Please pray for traveling mercies for them.
  • Finally, Wednesday, April 25th is Administrative Professionals Day, so don’t forget to lift a prayer of thanks to God for our wonderful Church Secretary Kay Mortimer! She’s a blessing to all of us, and I couldn’t do what I do without her! 

Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great day, and an even greater weekend! I hope you have some fun things planned, or at least, have some times of relaxation scheduled into your “to do” list! Make sure to spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning! Can’t wait!

                                                   Grace and Peace,


Link to EUMC Brain Tumor Walk Team:

Friday, April 13, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
    Well, I’m back in the saddle again after having the week after Easter off. Though sadly we didn’t go to the Outer Banks this year, I was able to have a lot of down time that week and even managed to get productive things done around the parsonage. But now, it’s back into the swing of things!

I sure hope you enjoyed yesterday’s warm weather, and really hope that you get to spend some time outside today when it’s supposed to hit the upper 70’s! Yay! Finally!

Here’s what’s happening around the church this weekend:
  • On Saturday morning, the Prom Boutique will be open from 10-12 noon. Please remind anyone who might be going to the prom about this wonderful place filled with nearly-new (and in some cases brand new) prom dresses, which are absolutely free! The boutique is also open on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 – 8 pm.
  • On Sunday morning, I’m starting a new, relatively short (3 week) sermon series entitled “The Bible Doesn’t Say That.” The series is loosely based upon a book written by Adam Hamilton entitled Half Truths. This week the topic is the saying “God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle.” We’ll be treated to the music of the Handbell and Chancel Choirs as well.
  • This Sunday morning is also our Blood Drive. It will take place in Weldin Hall from 7:30 am until noon, and a lot of people have signed up already to donate. If you haven’t signed up, but are interested in donating, stop into Weldin Hall and they’ll try to work you in the schedule. Many thanks to all who will be giving this lifesaving gift for others!
  • At 9:45 am, there will be a presentation about Camp Pecometh in the sanctuary for all Sunday School students, their parents, grandparents and anyone else interested in hearing about Pecometh’s summer programs. A representative from Pecometh will speak at that presentation and also briefly at both worship services. Don’t forget that each EUMC child who attends Pecometh gets a $100 scholarship toward the cost!
  • Finally, at noon on Sunday, we’re having a New Member Orientation Class in Room 1 for anyone interested in joining the church. Lunch will be served. Please come even if you haven’t signed up ahead of time!
  • Just a reminder that we’re looking for donations for the final College Care Package of the year. Bring your donations of goodies (granola bars, gum, candy, chips, pretzels, etc.) to the box near the Welcome Center.
  • Also a reminder that our church is putting together a team to walk in the 2018 Delaware Brain Tumor Walk on the Wilmington Riverfront on Saturday morning, April 21st. They’d love to have you walk with them, and if you can’t, they’d welcome your financial support. To sign up or to financially support them, go to the Delaware Brain Tumor Walk website, type in the team name, EUMC, or an individual participant’s name (like Mike Foster, for instance) and you’ll be instructed in how to make a donation.
  • Calling all men! The monthly Men’s Breakfast is next Wednesday, April 18th at 6:30 am at the Elkton Diner. All men of the church are invited to take part in this hour of food, fellowship and fun! No sign-up is necessary – just show up!

I think that’s it for now. Have a great Friday – enjoy the warm weather, and then enjoy a wonderful weekend. Though I’m sure you have a lot on your “to do” list to get done, try to take some time to rest and relax. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning! I missed you last week!

                                                     Grace and Peace,

Friday, April 6, 2018

Happy Friday!

Good morning!

Happy Friday! Since Karen is taking a well-deserved week off, she has left the awesome duty of the Friday email to her secretary! I hope she is having a wonderful, relaxing week!

Here’s what’s happening at church: 
  • On Sunday, we welcome back Rev. Sheryl Allston who will be our guest preacher. Rev. Allston serves as Staff Chaplain at Christiana Care Health System. She will be preaching, “Fulfilling the Law”. We’re excited to have her with us! The choir is also taking a well-deserved break so Jerry McNabb will treat us to music. You don’t want to miss it! 
  • The Prom Boutique will be open tomorrow from 10 am until noon. 
  • Our college outreach team is collecting goodies for the final college care packages to go out this year. Please bring all donations to the box at the Welcome Center before Sunday, April 22nd. 
Sign-ups continue for:
  • Our next Blood Drive on Sunday, April 15th. Please see a Mission Committee member in the Hospitality Area. 
  • The Brain Tumor Walk will be held on Saturday, April 21st. If you would like to participate, please see or email Mike Foster at

If you’re interested in joining the church, a new member orientation class has been set for Sunday, April 15th at 12:30 p.m. in Weldin Hall. To sign up, please email Rev. Bunnell at or call the church office at 410-398-0933.

Also, on Sunday, April 15th, a representative from Camp Pecometh will be with us to discuss summer camp opportunities for children and youth. A presentation will be given at 9:45 a.m. in the Sanctuary.

I think that’s all for now! Have a great Friday and weekend! See you on Sunday!


Friday, March 30, 2018

A Good Friday Message

Hi All –

I greet you on this Good Friday with hopes that you’ve had a good week and are having a good day. Today is the day on which we remember Jesus going to the cross and dying for us and our salvation. I pray that in the midst of all the busyness that surrounds the Easter holiday weekend, you will find some quiet time today to pray and remember Christ’s sacrifice for you. We had an incredibly moving Maundy Thursday service last night, and today, at noon, we’ll have a service remembering Jesus’ last words from the cross.

Here’s more about that service and other things going on this weekend:
  • Today’s Good Friday service is an ecumenical service sponsored by GEMA (the Greater Elkton Ministerial Association). Preachers from seven churches will each be preaching on one word of Jesus from the cross for about seven minutes, so the service will be about an hour and fifteen minutes long. We so rarely get to worship together, and so rarely get to hear preachers from so many churches, so I hope you’ll make time to come and be a part of it. Noon today in our sanctuary.
  • On Easter Sunday, we’ll have two identical Festival Worship Services at 8:30 and 11 am. They will be filled with music – wonderful Easter hymns, offerings by the Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir and Men’s Choir, and music by a trumpeter and of course, Sharon on our wonderful organ! It’s going to be a great morning that you won’t want to miss!
  • From 7:30 – 10:30 on Easter, Gerry and Jamie Treese will be offering their always-wonderful Easter breakfast in Weldin Hall, so make plans to come and enjoy it either before or after worship!
  • The church office will be closed on Monday in observance of the Easter holiday and to give all of the staff a well-deserved breather!

Let me just say a word of thanks to all who have offered their gifts to make this Lent and Easter season so wonderful this year. I especially thank our Chancel Choir for their phenomenal cantata last week, which was all the more phenomenal considering the fact so many of their rehearsals had to be cancelled due to bad weather! As always, Steve’s and Sharon’s leadership helped pull it all together, and it was truly wonderful.

Thanks also to Krista Gilmore and all who helped with last night’s Maundy
Thursday service and the soup and bread dinner that preceded it.

And a huge thank you goes out from me to Kay Mortimer, who goes above and beyond the call of duty at times like these. The number of bulletins she has to produce, not to mention the monthly newsletter – all at the same time – and while answering calls and doing all of the other parts of her job – well, it’s incredible, and she does it all incredibly well. I’m so glad she’s my partner in ministry! We are blessed to have her!

Finally, I want to thank God for the opportunity I had yesterday to, for the sixteenth year in a row, offer the opening prayer for a session of the Maryland Senate. But what made it so very special this year was that the Tuskegee Airmen were there and being honored. What a thrill it was to be in the presence of these men who made history in World War II! True American heroes!

Well, I think that’s it for now. I’m so looking forward to being with all of you throughout this Easter weekend! So have a good day, and a great weekend. Enjoy the time with your family and friends, try to sneak in some rest and relaxation, and then, please be sure to come and give God thanks on Resurrection Day, Easter Sunday. I’ll be looking for you!

                                          Grace and Peace,

Friday, March 23, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Beautiful sunshine is filling my office as I sit down to write this morning. Quite different from two days ago, huh? What a week it’s been! I don’t know if you realize Wednesdays have been the unlucky days this winter. I know that because of the number of times that we’ve had to cancel Lenten Lunch and Learn, Yoga, Choir Rehearsal and Communion. It’s been crazy! Having said that, I hope you enjoyed the snow day on Wednesday as much as I did. It was great to stay in, to stay warm and cozy, and to get a lot of stuff accomplished. (By the way, I know that I am blessed to stay in and stay warm and cozy because the Trustees make sure my driveway and sidewalks are cleared! Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the Trustees and to John Fetterolf who actually does it!)

Anyway, now it’s on to the weekend, and a busy one it is! Here’s what’s happening:
  •  Tonight at 6:30 pm the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather in Weldin Hall for their March meeting. The night will begin with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share), and then continue on with a program about Milburn Orchards. Evan Milburn will be our guest speaker. All Classic Christians are invited to come, even if you haven’t signed up ahead of time. 
  •  Tomorrow morning, the church will be buzzing as the Chancel Choir meets to rehearse and make up for all those Wednesday rehearsals cancelled due to weather. At 10, the Prom Boutique will open to help young women find beautiful dresses to wear to the prom. They’ll be open until noon, so spread the word! 
  •  Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday, and we will focus in worship on Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and then the journey to the cross. The Chancel Choir will lead us as they present their cantata, “Who Do You Say That I Am?” at both services. They always do a wonderful job, and I know it will be very moving, so please invite others to come with you Sunday morning. (I want to add a special note here: Several times over the past few years, after the choir has presented a Lenten cantata, I have received complaints that the congregation did not have the opportunity to applaud after it ended. People felt like the choir didn’t know how appreciative we were. As you know, Lent is a season of quiet contemplation, during which we don’t applaud in worship. That is particularly appropriate after the cantata which reflects the depth of Jesus’ suffering. So I want to suggest that instead you make a special effort to see the choir members after worship in the coffee hour and thank them in person for their musical offering, or better yet, send them a card or write them a note to thank them.) 
  •  At noon on Sunday, our children will enjoy the annual Easter Egg Hunt. They’ll start out in Weldin Hall with a potluck lunch (please bring a side dish or dessert to share), and then the hunt for eggs will be on. I’ve been afraid to look at the weather forecast for Sunday, but be assured the hunt will go on, rain, snow or shine! There are tons of eggs, so please bring your children, grandchildren, neighborhood children with you! It’s going to be a lot of fun! 

As Holy Week continues, our schedule is full:
  •  On Wednesday, at 11 am, our Lenten Lunch and Learn class will have a special extended final session. The group will meet from 11 – 1:15 to try to complete the study which had to be cancelled twice due to bad weather. 
  •  Thursday is Maundy Thursday. Our evening will begin at 5:30 pm in Weldin Hall with a Soup and Bread dinner being offered by our Missions Committee. Worship will take place at 7 pm in the sanctuary, and will feature a very moving service of symbols of the passion and holy communion. 
  •  I’ll mention what will be happening on Good Friday, even though I’ll be sending next week’s Friday email that morning. We’re not having a crosswalk this year, instead the members of the Greater Elkton Ministerial Association will be having an ecumenical worship service at 12 noon in our sanctuary. Seven pastors from seven churches in Elkton will be offering their thoughts on the seven last words of Jesus from the cross. 
  •  That’s pretty much it for the week’s schedule. Just a few more things to mention: 
  •  If you’re interested in joining the church, a new member orientation class has been set for Sunday, April 15th at 12:15 in Weldin Hall. To sign up, email or call the church office at 410-398-0933. 
  •  The next Blood Drive will be held on April 15th from 8-12 noon, and you’ll be able to sign up to donate during the coffee hours on April 1st and 8th. 
- Well, I think that’s it for now, in terms of what’s coming up. But before I sign off, I have to celebrate with you something wonderful that happened this week. Both Brett Pinder and Carlos Reyes appeared before the conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry, and they both were approved! Which means that Brett will be ordained an Elder at the Annual Conference in May, and Carlos will be commissioned as a provisional Deacon (which means he has to serve two years before final ordination). I am a member of the Board, but wasn’t part of the interviews because of my relationship with them. However, I was in the room when they both received the news that they had been approved, and I cried tears of joy! They are both wonderful men whom God is using in powerful ways, and both of them have expressed to me and to the board how much our church helped to make them who they are today. I’m working with them to arrange a day for them to be with us in worship so we can celebrate with them. I’ll keep you posted!

- Speaking of what a great church you are, I want to close by letting you know that, as of today, you have given over $11,000 to UMCOR for the UMCOR Sunday offering! That is incredible! You are an incredibly giving church, both in love to and for people, and in giving so that others might find help in time of need. I am so blessed to be your pastor!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! Carve out some time to relax and put your feet up even while trying to get all your chores done. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Palm/Passion Sunday.

                              Grace and Peace,