Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy Friday

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! Sounds like we’re going to warm up quite a bit – won’t that be wonderful? I’ve got some really good news later in this email, but I want to get to some other things first, so – here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:

  • Tonight at 6:30 p.m. the Sunday School is sponsoring a Family Game Night in the Wesley Wing. Come and enjoy the fun! Bring your favorite games along with you!
  • Tomorrow morning, our wonderful Prom Boutique will be open from 10 a.m. – 12 noon, so if you know of any young woman planning to attend the prom, send her over. There are tons of great dresses available!
  •  On Sunday, I’ll continue with my Lenten sermon series, “Were You There?” and this week we’ll hear about the Pharisee who confronted Jesus, and how the Pharisees were constantly trying to trap Jesus into saying something or doing something that would break the law. We’ll be treated to the music of Vanessa and Alan Foskey, and of course, our Chancel Choir.
  • Sunday is also UMCOR Sunday (formerly known as One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday). We’ll receive the UMCOR Sunday special offering, which goes to the costs of running UMCOR (our denomination’s disaster relief agency). Our church has given very generously to this offering every year in the past, in fact, we’re one of the leading churches in our conference in terms of giving to it. In the past few years, we’ve given well over $12,000. So I hope we can do that again this year. There were special offering envelopes in last Sunday’s bulletin for you to use this week, but if you weren’t in worship last week, you can simply write a check. Make it out to Elkton UMC and write UMCOR on the memo line. Please give as generously as you can.
  • Also just a quick reminder that we’re still asking for donations of individually wrapped candy for the Easter Egg hunt that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. There is a bin across from the Welcome Center to receive your donations.
There are a couple of things coming up next week that I wanted to tell you about –

  • On Tuesday night, March 28th, the Cecil County Choral Society will present their spring concert in our sanctuary at 7:30. It’s called “Believe,” so I invite you to come and be inspired by this wonderful group. Invite friends and family to come along with you. It’s going to be a great night of music.
  • Next Sunday, April 2nd, we’ll be having our next New Member Orientation Class at 12:15 pm in Room 1, so if you’re interested in learning more about our church or becoming a member, you’re invited! Lunch is provided, as is childcare if needed. To register, email me at eumc@comcast.net or call the church office at 410-398-0933.

Well, now that you’ve read all of the “what’s happening” information, here’s the unbelievably good news I told you I’d share with you! This week, a long-time friend of our church gave a very substantial gift for our new organ. Because of this gift, and taking into account the $2125 that is still to come through pledges, I am so pleased to tell you that we will have the money we need to both pay for the new organ and the costs associated with its installation!!! Yay!!!!!!! Thanks so much to all who gave so generously (and those who will still give to fulfill their pledge) to this exciting project of our church! Together, we’ve made beautiful music which now turns into beautiful music from our new organ! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Have a wonderful Friday, and a fabulous weekend. Enjoy the warm weather, find some time for yourself even while getting all your weekend chores done, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning! Can’t wait!

                                           Grace and Peace,
                                                               Karen

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Hi All,
Happy Friday! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Hope you had a good week and survived the snowstorm alright. I know a lot of you had to deal with power outages and broken tree limbs, but I hope things are coming back together for you. When I went out of the parsonage after the storm, I discovered that many tree limbs had come down in the backyard – very lucky they didn’t come down on the house! Spring can’t come soon enough, huh?!

Here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:
  • Tonight at 6:30 the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather for their March meeting in Weldin Hall. The night begins with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and continue on in a rousing night of Bingo! As usual, Ken McCoy will be our number caller and Mary Mackie has lined up some great prizes, so Classic Christians – come on out! Come even if you haven’t signed up ahead of time!
  • On Saturday morning, the Prom Boutique will be open from 10 am – 12 noon to provide young women free dresses for their prom. I learned tonight that there are lots and lots of great dresses still available – so spread the word about the Boutique. It’s open on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings until prom season ends.
  • On Sunday, we’ll celebrate the third Sunday of Lent, and I’ll continue my sermon series entitled “Were You There?” which focuses on characters of the passion story. This week we’ll hear again about the amazing encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well, as recorded in John 4:5-42. We’ll also be treated to the music of our handbell choir, Sid Bledsoe at 8:30 and our Chancel choir at 11.
  • Included in this Sunday’s bulletin will be an offering envelope for next Sunday’s UMCOR Sunday offering (formerly known as the One Great Hour of Sharing offering). This annual offering goes toward the day to day work of UMCOR, our denomination’s relief agency which responds to disasters around the world. We’re putting the envelope in this Sunday’s bulletin so you can take it home and pray about what you’d like to give – and then you can bring it back next week to make your gift.
  • Just a quick reminder that we’re still looking for donations of individually wrapped candy for the Easter Egg Hunt on April 9th. If you can help, please place your donations in the bin in the Welcome Center area by April 2nd.
  • On Sunday, at 12:15, our youth group will gather for their meeting in Weldin Hall. The meeting will start with lunch, and then continue on in a great creative activity led by Mary Ann Schmidt – working with mosaics. All youth are invited to attend and bring a friend!
  • There still are a few seats left on the Classic Christians’ bus trip to Annapolis, Thursday, April 6th. Flyers about the trip are available on the counter across from the Welcome Center.
  • Organ Fund Update: Great news! We’ve crossed under the $10,000 mark, so we’re on our way to the finish line!
    • o Total Cost for the New Organ: $104,500
    • o Funds Received Thus Far: $92,305.65
    • o Pledges Received: $2,225.00
    • o Amount Still Needed: $9,969.35
    • Organ offering envelopes are in the pew racks should you wish to make an offering and help us reach our goal.
Finally, continue to remember Terri Lokey in prayer. She’s in the midst of her mission trip to Costa Rica. The team is working hard, but Terri is having a wonderful time and can’t wait to return to tell us all about it, and get our team ready to go this summer. Stay tuned for more news about that.

Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day and an even greater weekend.  Find some time to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship Sunday morning!

                                        Grace and Peace,
                                                                Karen

Friday, March 10, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! It’s a bit dreary outside my window this morning, but so far, no rain or snow, so that’s something! I just finished my devotions this morning and I’m hoping that many of you are doing what I’m doing – and that is using our church’s Lenten devotional. It is really wonderful, so if you’re not using it, pick one up at the Welcome Center this Sunday, or better yet, you can access it online right now through our church’s website – elktonumc.org  or click here:  EUMC Devotional 2017

Here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:
  • - Of course, the big news of the weekend is the change to Daylight Saving Time! Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night or you’ll be late for church on Sunday morning!
  • - On Sunday, we’ll mark the Second Sunday of Lent. This week, we’ll spend time with Nicodemus and learn about his life-changing conversation with Jesus. Since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll also have Children’s Time with a wonderful book about asking questions (like Nicodemus did!), and we’ll be treated to the music of Vanessa Foskey and our Chancel Choir.
  • - Don’t forget that we’re asking for donations of candy for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. You can put your donations in the bin near the Welcome Center.
  • - As you know, this has been our week to sponsor the Rotating Homeless Shelter and I thank all of you who have helped in any way. On Sunday, our youth group will be preparing and serving dinner, so this is a reminder to the youth that they need to be at the church at 4:45 with the food you’re contributing. You’ll carpool to Five Rivers together and after your time serving and being with the guests, you’ll return to the church around 8:15 when your parents can pick you up. Any questions? Text Sandy at 443-309-0160.
  • - Just a quick reminder that the Classic Christians are sponsoring a bus trip to Annapolis on Thursday, April 6th and anyone is welcome to come along. The group will be touring the State House and the Governor’s Mansion, and sitting in on sessions of both the Senate and the House. Cost for the trip is $40/person with lunch on your own. The sign-up sheet for the trip is on the counter across from the Welcome Center.
  • - Here’s your weekly update on our Organ Fund Drive:
    • Total cost of the new organ - $104,500
    • Amount received thus far - $91,755.65
    • Pledges received - $2,325
    • Amount still needed - $10,419.35

      As you can see, we’re getting ever closer. If you haven’t given toward the new organ, or if you have, but can give more, please do so. There are envelopes in the pew racks for this special fund, and checks can be made out to the church with “organ” on the memo line.
  • Finally, I want to remind you that Terri Lokey is currently on a mission trip to Costa Rica on our behalf. She has gone there with another church to scout it out for us, as we plan to send our own team there later this summer. I received an email from Terri yesterday and she’s working hard, but having a wonderful time. Please keep Terri and the whole team in your prayers.
Well, I think that’s it for now. Oops! I think I spoke too soon. I just looked out the window and yes, it’s raining, and yes, I see snow flakes as well . . . oh well. Have a good Friday anyway, and then, a great weekend! Take some time out for rest and relaxation even while you tackle your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday. DON’T FORGET TO CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS TOMORROW NIGHT!

                                                 Grace and Peace,
                                                                          Karen

Friday, March 3, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! Looks like we’re in for a bit of a chill for a few days, doesn’t it? Oh well, it is March after all!

Before I turn to this weekend’s events, I want to say a big thanks to everyone for last weekend. We had a wonderful Boy Scout Sunday! The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts were out in full force, helping in so many ways, and treating us to a great breakfast! And the icing on the cake was Bill Graham’s message on “The Measure of a Man.” If you missed last Sunday’s service, don’t forget that you can watch it via You Tube. Simply go to our website, elktonumc.org, click on sermons, and then click on YouTube videos – and voila! You’ll be all set!
Now, on to this weekend:
  • - The Prom Boutique is now open on Saturday mornings for any young woman looking for a dress for the prom. Spread the word, and remind them that the dresses are free!
  • - Lent began a few days ago, on Ash Wednesday. We had a very meaningful worship service that night, and will continue with our Lenten worship this Sunday morning on the 1st Sunday of Lent. I’ll begin a new sermon series called “Were You There?” which will focus on characters in the passion story. This week’s character might surprise you, so come and see! And since it’s the first Sunday of the month, we’ll also be celebrating Holy Communion together.
  • - At 12:15 on Sunday, the youth group will gather for lunch and their weekly meeting. This week, they will be talking about hunger and how it affects people, especially those they’ll be serving when they prepare a meal for the Rotating Homeless Shelter this week. They’ll also spend time talking about how to interact with people at the shelter, and they’ll be making final plans for their meal with them.
  • - So this is our week to sponsor the Rotating Homeless Shelter. The last time I looked, there were still some empty spots on the task chart posted on the Missions bulletin board – especially people to stay overnight at the shelter. Please take a look at the chart on Sunday morning and see if there’s something you can do to help!
  • - On Wednesday, the Lenten Lunch and Learn study will begin. I’ll be leading it using a brand-new study written by the wonderful Adam Hamilton entitled Creed, which looks at the various parts of the Apostles Creed. There will be a sign up sheet in Sunday’s bulletin for the class.
  • - Also on Wednesday, we’ll be having a “Dining Out Day/Night” at Nino’s. We haven’t had one of these in a while, and they are a lot of fun, so I hope you’ll make plans to have a meal at Nino’s that day. The event is being held to help fund out-of-pocket activities in which the youth group takes part – things like going to the movies, or the beach, or other trips. Many families in our church have more than one youth in the group, and it gets expensive for them – so these monies will go to provide a pool of money to help them out. Make sure to have a Nino’s flyer (which will be handed out Sunday morning, and is also available online here) with you when you go so we’ll get credit. By the way, it works on take-out and delivery too!
  • - Looking ahead: The Classic Christians are hosting a one-day bus trip to Annapolis on Thursday, April 6th. It will feature tours of the State House and Governor’s Mansion, and a chance to sit in on sessions of both the Senate and the House. (I’ll be offering the opening invocation in the Senate that morning.) You don’t have to be a part of Classic Christians to go along – all are welcome. Cost for the trip is $40/person, plus the cost of lunch on your own. To take part, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.
  • - Finally, here are the latest numbers on our Organ Fund drive – and they’re great!
    • Total cost of the new organ - $104,500
    • Funds received thus far - $89,785.65
    • Pledges received - $3245
    • Amount still needed - $11,289.35

      You can see that we had a significant drop in the amount still needed this week – last week over $3000 was given! So every week we’re getting closer and closer! But we still do need to raise almost $12,000, so please give as you can. There are offering envelopes in the pew racks. Make your check out to Elkton UMC and put “Organ” on the memo line.
Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend. Try to find some time to rest and relax, even while tackling your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love. And then, I’ll see you in worship as we celebrate the first Sunday of this holy season of Lent.

                                                            Grace and Peace,
                                                                                  Karen

Friday, February 24, 2017

Happy Friday

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! How great was yesterday?! I hope you were able to be outside and enjoy the spring-like weather. I think today’s going to still be warm before we’re headed for rain tomorrow, so try and get outside today and enjoy it!

There’s a lot going on this weekend at church, so let me get right to it:
  • On Saturday, the annual “Project Prom” takes place from 1-4 p.m. in Weldin Hall. This is a wonderful opportunity for youth who will be going to their prom to try on beautiful dresses, get their hair and make-up done, and have pictures taken. There are tons of dresses from which to choose – and of course, they are all absolutely free! And some of them are brand new – they’ve never been worn – they were donated by a dress shop. So please spread the word to any young woman who’s going to the prom and encourage her to attend on Saturday. (Of course, if she can’t attend on Saturday, the prom boutique is open every Saturday morning until prom season is over.)
  • On Sunday, we’ll celebrate Boy Scout Sunday in worship. This year, we have the added bonus of having a Scout present the message! He’s an Eagle Scout, and he’s our very own Bill Graham! Many of you know Bill and Robyn and their sons. Most recently, Bill led the Men’s Retreat to rave reviews! I’m looking forward to hearing him along with all of you. His message is entitled “The Measure of a Man.” We’ll have Scouts assisting us in worship as Gospel readers, ushers and greeters as well. We’ll also be enjoying the music of our Handbell Choir, our Chancel Choir, and Ben Graham on the trombone!
  • The Boy Scouts will also be providing their always-wonderful pancake breakfast on Sunday morning. So, if you’re an 8:30 worshiper, plan on staying for breakfast after worship, and if you’re an 11:00 worshiper, come in early and enjoy the feast!
  • After the 11:00 service, at 12:15 or so, the youth group will meet in Room 1 for their weekly meeting. It will start with lunch and then continue with a great program being provided by Linda Rittenhouse about “youth and finances.” She’ll look at things like writing checks and balancing your checkbook, what to do when credit card applications come in the mail, etc. It will be a very practical program and all youth are encouraged to attend. Please text Sandy at 443-309-0160 and let her know if you’ll be coming so that she can make sure there’s enough lunch for everyone!
  •  Please don’t forget that we’re still looking for help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter for the first full week in March. See the poster on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality Area for a list of jobs that need to be done, and if you can help, please do!
  • Here are the latest numbers in our Organ Fund Drive:
    •  Total cost of the new organ: $104,500
    •  Funds received thus far: $85,980.65
    •  Amount pledged: $3,800
    •  Amount still needed: $14,719.35

      You can see that, each week, we’re inching closer to our goal! Please consider helping us finish up by giving to the fund, or giving again to the fund. Offering envelopes are in the pew racks. Make your checks out to Elkton UMC and mark “Organ” on the memo line
  • Finally, it’s hard to believe, but the season of Lent is right around the corner. It begins next Wednesday, March 1st, which is Ash Wednesday. We’ll mark the start of the season with our Ash Wednesday service at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. The service will include the imposition of ashes and Holy Communion. Copies of this year’s Lenten Devotional will be available as well, and we encourage you to use it to strengthen your faith journey through the season. (The devotional will also be posted on-line on our church website – elktonumc.org.) Finally, I’ll be teaching the Lenten Lunch and Learn class on Wednesdays at noon (starting March 8th) – details are in this Sunday’s bulletin on an insert.

Well, I think that’s it for now. Enjoy this beautiful Friday, and then have a wonderful and relaxing weekend. Carve out some time for rest and relaxation even while you tackle your weekend chores. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!

                                                    Grace and Peace,
                                                                          Karen