Friday, October 21, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

  Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and have enjoyed this unseasonably warm weather.  Looks like things are going to change this weekend, but with that change will come more color change with the leaves, which will be wonderful!  The trees around the church and parsonage are just beginning to get some color, so the next week or so should be spectacular! 
  What a fabulous Sunday we had last week at the church!  The Laity Sunday service was really wonderful!  If you weren’t able to be with us, you can still watch it through the video on the church’s website (  The Stewardship Fair was maybe the best one we’ve ever had – great decorations, lots of great displays and presentations, and wonderful fellowship throughout the morning.  And the best news of all – over 85 people signed up for ministry interest and participation!  Add to all of that the tremendous response you showed to the Harvest Food Festival!  Through your generosity, we were able to take 231 bags of groceries to Immaculate Conception Church for their food pantry!  I talked to Dottie Fritz at ICC on Monday and she was nearly crying with joy, because not too long before our gift arrived, their shelves were practically empty.  So thank you so much for your generous giving, and thanks for your participation in a great Sunday at Elkton UMC!

On to this weekend:
-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the fourth sermon in my “Centered Living in an Off-Centered World” sermon series.  This week the theme is “How I Think About Money and Possessions,” which I hope will set the stage for all of us to be in prayer and discernment this week about the financial pledges we’ll make next Sunday for 2017. 
-          This Sunday’s worship will also have a few other highlights:  We’ll take the opportunity to recognize our wonderful acolytes at both services.  We’ll also be treated, for the first time this fall, to the music of both our Children’s Choir and Handbell Choir!  Can’t wait to hear them both!
-          Also on Sunday, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up to help with our upcoming Spaghetti Dinner (Saturday, November 5th) by helping to prepare the meal and set up, serving at the dinner, or providing baked goods for the bake sale.  There will be an insert in the bulletin all about it.
-          Don’t forget that you can also pick up an Operation Christmas Child shoe box if you want to participate in that ministry this year.  This is a wonderful way to help children in need have a Christmas!  The boxes are on the counter in the Welcome Center area.
-          Also don’t forget that on Saturday, October 29th at 6:30 the Sunday School department is sponsoring a “Fall Fest” to which everyone is invited!  There will be crafts, music, games and much more.  To participate, sign up on the sheet posted on the bulletin board across from the church office.

I think that’s it for now.  So have a great Friday and an even greater weekend!  Take some time off to rest and relax even while you try to get your “to do” list done.  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,


Friday, October 14, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

 Happy Friday!  What a beautiful week God has given us!  I love the chill in the air, watching the first touch of color appear on the trees, and seeing fall decorations by front doors everywhere!  Add to that baseball playoffs and football season in full gear – life is good! 

Speaking of life being good – there’s tons of good things going on at the church, especially this weekend.  Here goes:

-          On Sunday, we’ll celebrate Laity Sunday.  Our lay leaders Kim Artrip and Faye Camors have planned an exciting worship service, highlighting the ministry of lay people and how they use their gifts in the church and in the world.  You won’t want to miss it!

-          After listening to that message, head on down to the Stewardship Fair which will be held in Weldin Hall.  All of the different ministry areas of the church will have tables so you can learn about what they do and how you might possibly help them.  The theme of the fair this year is “Untie the Ribbon” – in other words, open the gifts God has planted within you and find ways to use them for his kingdom. 

-          Don’t forget to bring your filled grocery bags with you to church on Sunday.  We distributed the empty Harvest Food Festival bags last week, but if you didn’t get a bag, it’s okay just to bring a bag of groceries – all gifts are welcomed!  A big truck will be parked at the back entrance of the church in which you can put your donation of groceries.  At about 11:15, after everyone has arrived at church, the truck will be driven over to Immaculate Conception Church, where their Scout troop will unload the hopefully over 200 bags to help stock their food pantry.  Please help as you can – the need is great!

-          In just a few weeks, we’ll be having our annual wonderful Spaghetti Dinner!  It will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 4-7 p.m. in Weldin Hall.  Tickets for the dinner will be on sale starting this Sunday (in Weldin Hall at the Stewardship Fair).  We’re also looking for bakers to help stock the bake sale at the dinner.  Details about all of this will be on an insert in this Sunday’s bulletin.

-          Operation Christmas Child is back for another year.  As you know, we’ve participated in this “shoe box” project for a number of years, providing gifts for children in need throughout the world at Christmas.  The boxes will be available in the Welcome Center area, and details about the project will be available on a bulletin insert on Sunday.

-          As you can see by much of what I just wrote, “giving season” has started at EUMC.  To that end, in a couple of weeks I will start including the “Opportunities for Giving” insert in the Sunday bulletin.  On that insert, I will list every week all of the opportunities for giving that will occur between now and Christmas – and as you will see, there will be a lot of them!  I want to say to you now what I’ve said for many years – you can’t do them all, so please don’t try to!  Read over the list of everything that’s available and then pray and ask God to guide you in what to do.  Pick the ones that really touch your heart, and go for it.  But please don’t feel that you have to do them all.  We have enough people that, if everyone chooses something to take part in, we’ll cover the waterfront, and get them all accomplished. 

-         A couple more things – thank you to all who donated blood last week.  We had another really successful Blood Drive.  And secondly, when you watch all the news of the devastation from Hurricane Matthew and you see how communities are struggling with flood waters, remember that the United Methodist Committee on Relief is already working to help them and they can do that because of gifts like ours, which we gave on the One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday. 

Phew! I think that’s it for now – I know, that’s a lot!  I told you at the beginning that there were great things going on!  So you don’t want to miss all the excitement this Sunday!  Make sure you come and take part in a great day with your church family!
 In the meantime, have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.  Enjoy the fall weather, find some down time for yourself, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday for a great morning together!  Can’t wait!
                                                                 Grace and Peace,


Friday, October 7, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week, and are looking forward to a great weekend.  Like you, my mind and heart are with everyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew.  What a terrible storm, and how great the devastation.  Please continue to lift all of those affected in your prayers.  It is such a scary time for so many people.  Pray that they will rest in God’s peace even in the midst of the storm.

We will surely pray for all of them in worship on Sunday.  Here’s what else will be happening at the church this weekend:

-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in my “Centered Living in an Off-Centered World” series.  This week the topic is “How I Speak and Act.”  We’ll have the joy of hearing the Men’s Choir for the first time this fall, and we’ll also have our monthly “Children’s Time” at both services.  So make sure to spread the word to all the families in church to be in worship so their children can come forward to hear a great children’s book which speaks to the theme of the service!

-          All morning long on Sunday we’ll have our third “Blood Drive” for the Delmarva Blood Bank.  We’ve had a lot of people sign up for donation slots ahead of time, but if you’d like to give and haven’t signed up, please still come to Weldin Hall.  There will be a place for you!  We’d like to top our previous giving of 40 units of blood, but we cannot do it without more donors.  If you can give, please do – the need is great, and you’ll be saving lives!

-          Also on Sunday, as you leave worship, you’ll be given a grocery bag for the annual Harvest Food Festival.  On the bag is attached a list of grocery items needed at the Food Pantry at Immaculate Conception Church (our mission partners).  You’re invited to fill your bag with some of those items and bring it back with you next Sunday, October 16th.  When you do, there will be a truck parked at the parking lot door in which you can place your donation.  Over the past few years, we’ve donated 200 or more bags of groceries – let’s do that or more this year!  Help as you can!

-          Just a reminder to the women in the church that registration and the first payment for the Women’s Retreat is due now.  The retreat will be on Martin Luther King weekend (Jan. 13-15, 2017) at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City MD.  Brochures about the retreat can be found on the table across from the Welcome Center.
-          Finally, I want to say that I hope you’re enjoying the “greeting videos” at the beginning of our worship services.  I have heard many positive comments about them.  People are telling me that they can’t wait to see who appears on the screen every week.  Well, we’re getting ready to set up filming the next set of videos for the winter and spring worship services.  If you’d like to do one, we’d love to have you.  Just let me know, and we’ll put you on the videotaping schedule!

I think that’s it for now.  I hope you have a great Friday.  Enjoy this beautiful fall weather!  Then have a great weekend.  Find some time to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning. In the meantime, pray, pray and pray some more for those in the path of the hurricane!
                                                           Grace and Peace,


Friday, September 30, 2016

Happy Friday

Hi All –

Surprise!  No, it’s not Friday, but for various reasons, it’s easier for me to get this email out to you today – so Happy Thursday! - well, as happy as you can get on a dreary, wet and really windy day!  Anyway, I hope you’re having a good day and have had a good week – and have plans for a great weekend!

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

  • On Sunday, we’ll celebrate World Communion Sunday, the one day on which Christian churches throughout the world all celebrate communion together.  I’ll start a new sermon series this week entitled “Centered Living in an Off-Centered World,” with this week’s topic being “How I Think of Others.”
  • On Sunday, you’ll also have the opportunity to sign up to be a donor for next Sunday’s Blood Drive.  This is the third blood drive we’re having, and we hope to top the donation totals of the first two.  Members of the Missions Committee will be on hand in the Hospitality Area after both services to help you sign up to donate.  If you cannot donate for some reason, we could still use your help next Sunday by greeting donors, holding hands for reassurance, or working in the refreshment area.  If you can help in any of those ways, please let Joe Tanner know on Sunday – he’ll be at the donation sign-up table.
  • Also on Sunday, at 3 p.m., we’ll have our annual Blessing of the Animals service.  This is always a wonderful service as members of the church bring their furry friends for a special blessing.  If you’re coming, please remember a leash for your pet and a lawn chair for yourself.  We’ll be on the lawn in front of Weldin Hall and the service will be about 20 minutes long.

Just a couple of other things:

  • We’re phasing out the Scrip Card program, but we still have a number of gift cards on hand that we need to sell.  On the bulletin board as you enter the Hospitality Area, you’ll see index cards indicating what gift cards we still have on hand.  If you’d like to buy one of those, simply remove the index card, fill in the information on it, put it and a check in an envelope and take it to the youth office, where the request will be processed.  
  • In just a few weeks, on the first Sunday of November, we’ll be celebrating All Saints’ Sunday.  As you probably know, on that day we remember the members of our church who have died in the past year.  We also provide an opportunity to remember others who have died, as people are invited to bring a flower in memory of them.  But this year, we’re adding one more thing.  We’ll be running a list on a bulletin insert of all of the people we have lost this year.  So if you have experienced the loss of a loved one and want their name included on the list, please send that information to me at  Please include your name, their name and your relationship with them.

I think that’s it for now.  Try not to blow away today!  Have a great rest of the week, then a wonderful, hopefully restful weekend.  Take some time out for yourself, even while tackling your list of chores.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday in worship!
                                                                                         Grace and Peace,

Friday, September 23, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 Happy Friday and Happy Fall!  What a beautiful morning God has given us!  I hope you’ve had a good week and are ready for a great weekend.  I, for one, am ready for some downtime after a crazy busy couple of weeks.  Plus, I have to store up my energy for the Eagles-Steelers game on Sunday!  LOL

Anyway, here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:

-          Tonight, the Classic Christians will have their monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Weldin Hall.  The night begins with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and will continue on with a program by Rich Juergens and Lee Collins on “Collecting.”  Both of them are great history buffs and collectors and it will surely be a great program, so all Classic Christians, come on over, even if you haven’t signed up ahead of time.

-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the third sermon in my “Not Church as Usual” series.  This week it’s “Start with the Story,” which reflects the theme of Christian Education Sunday, which we’ll be celebrating.  We’ll present Bibles to our 2nd graders, and recognize our wonderfully dedicated Christian Education teachers and leaders.

-          Sunday is also the last day to bring in goodies for the first College Care Package.  Those packages will be stuffed at 9:45 in Weldin Hall.  If you’d like to help prepare them, just show up in Weldin Hall and the team will be glad to welcome you!

-          Also on Sunday, our wonderful Cub Scout Pack 443 will be selling popcorn in the hospitality area.  This is their biggest fundraiser of the year, and they count on our support.  They’ll have a variety of popcorn flavors and several different size bags for sale.  Prizes range from $10-$20.  They’ll also accept donations!  The money they raise will help pay for their wonderful activities throughout the year, and also provide scholarship money to Scouts who might need it.

A couple of other bits of information:

-          The Nominating Committee is getting ready to meet for the first time to put together a slate of nominees for leadership and service in our church in 2017.  If you’re interested in serving on a particular committee or in a particular ministry area, we’d like to hear from you.  You can send that information to me via my email,

-          As many of you know, our church organ shut down last week – none of the pedals worked, so Sharon had to use the piano instead.  The organ is now 82 years old, and we’ve known for some time that we have to do something about it.  The need for repairs happens more and more frequently and the costs keep adding up.  The Finance Committee met last night and will move forward with looking into the purchase of a new organ.  Right now, we’re gathering information about costs/timing/financing, etc., so stay tuned.  Over the next few months, you’ll be hearing more about it.  In the meantime, we’re trying to patch the organ together, so we can use it again!

I think that’s it for now.  Enjoy this beautiful Friday, and the weekend ahead.  Take some time for yourself, even while doing all your weekend chores.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday!

                                              Grace and Peace,