Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All,

I hope you’ve had a good week. I know there are a lot of happy EUMC kids out there who are smiling because school’s over for a while! I’ve been loving seeing all the Facebook posts about the amazing accomplishments of some of our children and youth of the church. Well done! And well done, all of you teachers and other school personnel! I know you’re not done quite yet, but please know how grateful we all are for the dedication you show every day to the children of our county!

On to what’s happening at church this weekend:

  • - On Sunday, I’ll offer the next installment in my “I Heard An Old, Old Story” sermon series, and this time, in honor of Father’s Day, we’ll be looking at the parable of the Prodigal Son.
  • We’ll be treated to the music of Vanessa and Alan Foskey before they leave for Texas soon, and we’ll hear from our fabulous Chancel Choir at 11, for the last time until September. They begin their well-deserved summer break after Sunday. We can’t thank them enough for the wonderful spirit they add to our worship services every week! Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them!
  • - Sunday would be a good time to sign up your children or grandchildren for Vacation Bible School, which starts not long from now – Sunday, June 24th. VBS will run from Sunday the 24th until Thursday the 28, from 5:30 – 8 pm and each night starts with dinner. The staff is planning lots of great learning and creative activities, so don’t miss this great opportunity! You can register the kids via the church website (elktonumc.org) or pick up a registration form at the Welcome Center. I can’t wait to work with the kids on their mission project! It’s always amazing to see what they do in just 5 short days!
  • - Looking Ahead a Few Days – The next Monthly Men’s Breakfast is coming up next Wednesday, June 20th at 6:30 am. Due to the closing of the Elkton Diner, the breakfast has been moved to Cracker Barrel, and Dave Pugh tells me the management is very excited to welcome the group. So men, if you’ve never been to the breakfast before, this would be a great time to start coming, on the first day in the new location. There will be plenty of space available! No need to sign up – just show up and enjoy the fun, food and fellowship. Elkton Cracker Barrel, Wednesday, June 20th at 6:30 am.
  • - Just a reminder that there are still some seats available on the bus trip to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival on Sunday, July 8th. You’ll have the opportunity to hear nearly a thousand singers join together in a massed choir singing in The Great Auditorium which seats 7000 and usually fills up for the concert! Cost for the trip is $40/person. The bus will leave the church parking lot at 2 pm, it will arrive in Ocean Grove around 4, leaving a few hours for everyone to explore the lovely Victorian town and have some dinner (on your own), and then head over to the concert at 7. The bus leaves immediately after the concert ends and arrives back in Elkton two hours later – probably around 11 pm or so. Sign up sheet for the trip is on the table across from the Welcome Center. Checks can be made out to Elkton UMC with Ocean Grove on the memo line and turned into the church office.
Well, I think that’s about it for now, except that I wanted to tell you that earlier this week, I had the privilege again of teaching at the Local Pastors’ Licensing School at Camp Pecometh. This school is for brand-new pastors to be trained in the practical aspects of ministry – this year I taught the classes on baptisms and weddings. I had a wonderful, wonderful time with the enthusiastic students, and I am so excited for them as they will start work on July 1st in their churches. It is such a privilege to be a part of their journey into ministry with them.

Well, I think that’s really it for now! Have a good Friday, and a great Father’s Day weekend! Make sure to spoil all the fathers in your life! Find some time for rest and relaxation on what is supposed to be a beautiful weekend weather-wise, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday when we spend time with the prodigal Son and remember the endless grace of God our Father! See you then! Can’t wait!


                                                       Grace and Peace,
                                                                                Karen

Friday, June 8, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Hope you’ve had a great week and are looking forward to a fun-filled weekend! I know a lot of you have been going to graduation ceremonies and parties this week. It’s been fun seeing your pictures posted on Facebook! It’s amazing how fast time flies, isn’t it? When I look at your pictures and see some of the young people who grew up in the church, it amazes me that they’ve finished high school already and are going on to new adventures! I celebrate with all of you!
Here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:
- On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in my “I Heard an Old, Old Story” sermon series. This week’s installment is entitled “It’s Always Peter!” We’ll be looking at Peter and his impetuous nature, always asking questions and saying whatever things pop into his head!
Since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll also have Children’s Time and the book we’ll read together this week is God’s Paintbrush – so make sure you bring the kids to worship! In addition to that, we’ll have the joy of hearing the Men’s Choir sing, and the Chancel Choir as well! It’s going to be a great Sunday in worship that you won’t want to miss!
  • - In between services, we’ll celebrate Sunday School Promotion Sunday in Weldin Hall. We’ll celebrate all of the students who took part in Sunday School this year and are now being promoted to the next class. Come on in to Weldin Hall during the Sunday School hour and join in the fun and celebration!
  • - Finally, a reminder that Vacation Bible School is just around the corner – it will take place from Sunday, June 24th through Thursday, June 28th from 5:30 – 8 pm each night. Each session will begin with dinner and then move on as the children rotate through stations of fun, learning, creativity and great activities. You can sign your child/grandchild up via the church website (elktonumc.org) or pick up a registration form at the Welcome Center.
  • - Speaking of sign-ups, there’s still room on the bus trip to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival on Sunday, July 8th. This festival features nearly a thousand singers in a massed choir performing in the Great Auditorium at Ocean Grove, which seats 7000! Cost for the trip is $40/person, plus the cost of dinner on your own. The bus leaves our church parking lot at 2 pm and returns two hours after the concert ends. To take part in the trip, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.
Well, I think that’s it for now. I’m getting ready to head out to the screened-in porch at the parsonage with my laptop (and a cup of coffee) to put the finishing touches on Sunday’s sermon and admire the brand new set of steps installed this week by the incredibly gifted trio of Ted McDowell, Wayne Scholz and Ray Whiteoak. Thanks guys, they are wonderful!
Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! Find some time to put your feet up for a while, even while tackling your weekend chores. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship Sunday morning! Can’t wait!
Grace and Peace,
Karen

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday Update from Kay!


Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  Hope everyone has had a good week and you have plans for a great weekend, despite the weather forecast!  Karen, Rev. Graham and Heidi Gaultney are in Princess Anne at Annual Conference .  We send them traveling mercies for a safe trip home tomorrow.

                Here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:

                On Sunday, we’ll be celebrating with Rev. Brett Pinder and Rev. Carlos Reyes-Rodriguez.  Brett was just ordained an Elder and Carlos was commissioned a Deacon at Annual Conference.  They will be participating in the worship service and, we will be celebrating them, along with our 2018 Graduates, in Weldin Hall from 9:30-11 am.  We’ll enjoy the music of Sue Johnson and Steve Gilmore, as well as our Chancel Choir.  We’ll also celebrate holy communion together.   It will be a great day to be in worship – you don’t want to miss it!

                Tomorrow, Paige Laning will begin her Girl Scout Gold Award Project in the church parking lot. She plans to be there unless there is a torrential downpour!  If you are planning to help and need to reach her, please email her at pflaning@comcast.net.

                That’s all for now.  Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!  See you Sunday!

Blessings,

Kay

Friday, May 25, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great holiday weekend.  I hope that, whatever your plans are for the weekend, you’ll take time out to remember the reason we have Memorial Day – and that is to give thanks for the lives of those lost in service to our country.  So many women and men have sacrificed and paid the ultimate price that we might be free, so when you’re enjoying those freedoms this weekend, lift a prayer of thanksgiving for all of them.

Here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:
- On Sunday, I’ll begin a new sermon series entitled “I Heard an Old, Old Story” in which each week we’ll look at an old familiar Bible story and see what it means for our lives today.  This week it’s the story of David and Goliath.  As I said above, we’ll remember those who have died in service to our country, and our worship will be enhanced by the music of Kyle Slayman and the Chancel Choir.
- Monday is Memorial Day and we’ll participate in Elkton’s Memorial Day Parade which takes place at 10 am.  As you know, we’re having a float in the parade which we’ll be decorating at the church before moving to the parade starting point around 9:30 am.  We can still use help decorating the float, and we welcome more people who would like to walk along with the float to hand out flag pins and candy.  You can sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center on Sunday morning, see Lorraine Jones, or just show up that morning!  If you can’t help in any of those ways, but are coming to the parade, a lot of us from church usually gather in front of the armory to watch – so come and join us!
- Next Thursday, I along with some others from the church, will be heading down to UMES in Princess Anne to attend this year’s session of the Annual Conference.  We’ll join delegates from all of the other churches in our conference to celebrate the ministries our churches and conference have carried out, and make plans for future ministry and budgets.  One of the highlights of conference is the Commissioning and Ordination Service, which will be held on Friday night at 7 pm.  It is especially wonderful for us this year as Brett Pinder will be ordained an Elder and Carlos Reyes-Rodriguez will be commissioned a Deacon.  We’ll have the chance to celebrate with them on the following Sunday.  But for now, pray for them, for Heidi Gaultney, our Lay Representative, for Rev. Graham and myself, and for Bishop Peggy Johnson who will preside over the conference.
- Finally, a reminder that Paige Laning is ready to start her Girl Scout Gold Award Project doing work on the islands in our church parking lot.  But she needs your help – especially if you’re a gardener.  She’ll have work days on Saturday, June 2 and Saturday, June 9 from 9 am to 2 pm and after worship on Sunday, June 10th.  If you can’t help her in person, perhaps you could help provide snacks for the workers.  This is a big project and I’m hoping she’s overwhelmed with offers to help!  To sign up, contact Paige at pflaning@comcast.net.

I think that’s it for now, except to offer a follow-up on something I put in last Friday’s email. You might remember that I talked about how excited I was to be traveling last Saturday to northern New Jersey to celebrate my fabulous aunt’s 100th birthday.  Well, just before we were to drive up there, we learned that she had taken ill, but since the restaurant was reserved and everything was prepared, and people had come from far distances, the lunch was still on.  It was great to be with all of the family, and then afterwards, we were able to travel to my aunt’s residence for each of us to spend a few precious moments with her.  She knew we were there, and we got to tell her we loved her.  Two days later, on Monday of this week, she died, just two days before she would have turned 100.  So we’ve traveled again to northern New Jersey.  The viewing was last night and the funeral is this morning.  While we are sad that her magnificent presence will be gone from us, we rejoice in her incredible, full and faithful life lived so well.  And we rejoice that she got to spend her 100th birthday with those she loved who had gone on before her – especially her husband Paul, and our Dad.  Thanks so much to all of you for your expressions of love and sympathy.  It means the world to all of us!

We’ll be back in Elkton later tonight, so I’ll see you in worship on Sunday.  In the meantime, have a good Friday, and then a wonderful long holiday weekend!  I’ll see you Sunday morning!  Can’t wait!

Grace and Peace,
Karen

Friday, May 18, 2018

Happy Soggy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Happy Soggy Friday of a soggy week (and a coming soggy weekend)! Oh well . . .

I hope that, in spite of the rain, you’re having a good week and have plans for a great weekend. I’m so looking forward to everything that’s going on this weekend, but I’m particularly excited about Saturday. Because tomorrow, our family is traveling up to northern New Jersey, just outside of New York City, to a party celebrating my Aunt Adele’s 100th birthday! Adele (whom we lovingly call Auntie Sis) is my father’s sister. She is an amazing woman, who has accomplished so much in her life, and battled many health struggles as well – and yet, she keeps on ticking, and I’m sure we’re going to have a fabulous time with her at her party. If you’re on Facebook, you’ll probably see some pictures!

There are a lot of other great things going on this weekend at church. Here’s what’s happening:
  • Tonight at 6:30 pm, the Classic Christians (age 50 and over), will gather for their May meeting in Weldin Hall. The night begins with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and then continues on in rousing games of Bingo with great prizes! All Classic Christians are welcome to attend, even if you have not signed up ahead of time – the more, the merrier! It’s going to be a great night!
  • On Sunday morning, we’ll celebrate Pentecost – the day the Spirit descended and the church was born. We’ll celebrate as we always do on Pentecost – with the confirmation of youth. Four youth will be confirmed at the 11:00 service. It is always one of the best services of the year! I’ll offer the final sermon in my “Fixer Upper” sermon series – this week entitled “New Life,” and our worship will be enhanced by the music of Laurie Ruth and our Handbell and Chancel Choirs. It’s going to be a wonderfully uplifting morning in worship that you won’t want to miss! 
A couple of reminders of upcoming events where your help is needed:
  • Don’t forget that the church will have a float in Elkton’s Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28th at 10 am. We’ll need help decorating the float, and then volunteers to walk alongside it in the parade to hand out flag pins and candy. If you can help, please contact Lorraine Jones by calling her at 302-690-6772 or emailing her at lorraine0913@yahoo.com.
  • We’re looking for gardeners and other volunteers who can help Paige Laning on her Girl Scout Gold Award. The project she’s undertaking is rehabilitating several of the islands in our church parking lot to clean up old growth and plant new bee- and butterfly friendly plants. She’ll also be doing work in the area by the sign on High Street and placing pavers near the trash area. She’s got several workdays planned – Saturday, June 2nd from 9 am to 2 pm, Saturday, June 9th from 9 am to 2 pm, and Sunday, June 10th after church. You can find more information about the project on the bulletin board just inside the hospitality area, and Paige will be on hand in the hospitality area after both services to answer questions and sign up volunteers. Paige is doing a great thing for our church, and it would be wonderful if many of you could sign up to help her! 

Well, I think that’s it for now. Oops – I forgot – there’s one more thing. The SPRC will be sharing in Sunday’s services more about the award I received last week, and because many people were not able to see the video, we will show it during the announcement time.

Well, I think that’s really it for now. Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend. Maybe, because it’s going to rain and you can’t do things around the yard, you’ll be able to rest and relax a little. Hope so! Anyway, find some time to spend with those you love, and I will see you in worship on Sunday when we celebrate the presence and power of God’s Holy Spirit on Pentecost! Can’t wait!

                                                 Grace and Peace,
                                                                          Karen