Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! Let me start by thanking everyone for their prayers for my mother who had knee surgery on Monday. She’s doing well, and is home already, on the road to recovery. Please continue to pray, because she still has a long way to go, but we’re optimistic things are going to go well this time.

On to what’s happening this weekend at church:
  • This Sunday is Laity Sunday in the United Methodist Church, the day on which we celebrate the ministry of all lay people. Nancy Crawford, who is our church’s Lay Leader, will offer the message during worship (and it’s wonderful! She showed me an advanced copy!) You won’t want to miss it! We’ll also have the joy of hearing the handbell choir for the first time this fall, and welcoming a few more new members!
  • Please don’t forget to bring your bag of groceries back to church this week as we wrap up this year’s Harvest Food Festival. There will be a truck at the back entrance of the church and some Scouts and others will be there to receive your donations. By the way, you can bring a bag of groceries even if you didn’t receive an “official” HFF grocery bag – we’ll take them any way they come in. Just make sure the food is non-perishable because it will go on the shelves of Immaculate Conception’s Food Pantry. I talked to both Father Jim and Dottie Fritz of ICC this week and they are incredibly touched by our generous offering of these groceries every year.
  • Sunday is also the day of our BLOOD DRIVE. It will be set up in Weldin Hall and we already have a good number of people signed up to donate – but there is absolutely room for more! So if you have not pre-registered to donate, you can still show up and give. Just go to Weldin Hall and someone at the door will take care of you. If you can donate, please do. The need is always great, and you can save a life in the process!
  • Sunday will be the last day to pre-register for our 5K Run/Walk/Stroll to fight dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease which will take place on Saturday, October 21st at Fair Hill. Members of the Stewardship Committee will be at a table in the Hospitality Area to help you register. But if you can’t pre-register, you can absolutely just show up on the 21st and take part – we’re figuring that a lot of people are planning on doing that – and that’s okay too! It will be a great way to spend a fall morning, and a great opportunity to be with our friends from Janes UMC in Rising Sun to remember the Rev. Jim Jones, who battled dementia in the last years of his life. Hope you’ll want to be a part of the fun, fellowship and fundraising!
  • A reminder to the women in the church that you’re warmly welcome to take part in this year’s Women’s Retreat in Ocean City, Jan. 12-14, 2018. Brochures about the event are on the table across from the Welcome Center, and the first installment payment is due now.
  • Men, we haven’t forgotten about you. The Men’s Retreat Committee is hard at work putting the final touches on the plans for their January 2018 retreat. Brochures about the retreat will be published very soon – so stay tuned!
  • Speaking of men – the Monthly Men’s Breakfast is next Wednesday, October 18th, at 6:30 am at the Elkton Diner. All men of the church are invited to take part. No sign-up is necessary – just show up for the food, fellowship and fun.
  • And speaking of fun, the Classic Christians will have their annual Trivia Night next Friday, the 20th, in Weldin Hall. Dinner at 6:30, brain teasing to follow! To participate, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.
  •  Finally, the Costa Rica Mission Team is having their Shareholders Dinner on Friday, October 27th. Invitations were sent to shareholders asking them to RSVP to the team so that appropriate arrangements could be made. If you received an invitation, but have not replied to the team yet, please do so at your earliest convenience. RSVP to Terri Lokey at or text her at 443-350-1986.

Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! (The weekend has already started well for Eagles’ fans – we had a great win last night against the Carolina Panthers – but it made for a late night! I’m having a little trouble getting started this morning! LOL) Anyway, have a great weekend. Find some time to rest and relax even while taking on your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday morning in worship! Can’t wait!
                                                     Grace and Peace,

Friday, October 6, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  Once again, it’s hard to say to you that I hope you’ve had a good week, because it’s been a rough week for all of us.  But I hope that in the midst of this week of the horror that struck in Las Vegas that you’ve been able to find moments of peace and solace.  When I look back on my recent Friday emails, it’s astounding how much suffering and heartache has been going on of late  – all of which tries to take away our joy, but our God is stronger than any of it, and carries us through.

So we draw near to Sunday again where God will lift us up and remind us of his never-ending presence with us.  Here’s what will be happening around church:

-          On Saturday morning at 10, the Homecoming Boutique will be open to help young women pick out nearly-new dresses for their homecoming dances.  Please let all the young women in your life know about the boutique – and remind them that the dresses are free!  The boutique is located in the basement of Weldin Hall.

-          On Sunday, I’ll continue my Faith and Film sermon series.  This week’s film clip will come from that wonderful movie from the 80’s – ET:  The Extra Terrestrial!  And since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll also have Children’s Time and the children (and all of us) will hear the wonderful, wonderful book The Kissing Hand.  In addition to all that, we’ll welcome several new members into our church family, and we’ll hear the Men’s Choir for the first time this fall!  It’s going to be a great morning, so don’t miss it!

-          Also on Sunday morning, don’t forget to visit the tables in the Hospitality Area where you can sign up to donate blood next Sunday, the 15th or participate in our 5K Run/Walk Stroll on October 21st to battle dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. 

-          This Sunday is the first day of our annual Harvest Food Festival.  As you leave worship, you’ll be given an empty grocery bag and a list of non-perishable food items that you can buy.  We ask that you fill the bag (or bags, if you’d like) and return it next Sunday, October 15th.  A truck will be stationed at the back door that day where you can bring your donations.  All the food will go to the Immaculate Conception Food Pantry (they’re our mission partners). 

-          On Sunday night, our youth group will meet at 5:30 pm in the youth room under Weldin Hall.  This week’s program is on the internet – how to use it and how to use it wisely and carefully.

-          A reminder to women in the congregation that the first installment payment for this year’s Women’s Retreat is now due.  The retreat, “Ordinary Women/Extraordinary Deeds” will take place January 12-14 at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City MD.  Brochures with all the details about the retreat are on the table across from the Welcome Center.  Scholarship money is available.

-          By the way – men, stay tuned!  Plans are being formulated as we speak for next January’s Men’s Retreat, and a brochure will appear in a Sunday bulletin very soon!

-          The next Wired Word discussion group will be this coming Thursday, October 12th at 7 pm in the Chapel.  Led by Pastor Ray, this week’s discussion will center on immigration and DACA issues.  All are invited to come and share in the conversation.

-          Classic Christians – mark your calendars for the next meeting.  It will be on Friday, October 20th at 6:30 pm in Weldin Hall.  Potluck dinner to start (bring a dish to share) and then a fun evening of trivia.  To take part, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.

Well, I think that is it for now.  Sounds like it's going to a warm weekend.  I sure have enjoyed the cooler weather, but I know it will be back soon enough!

I hope you have a good Friday, and then a great weekend!
  Find some time for yourself, even while trying to get all your weekend chores done.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship Sunday morning!  Can’t wait!
                                             Grace and Peace,


Friday, September 29, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday! How wonderful is this weather? I loved being able to shut off the air conditioners again, and open up the windows yesterday! Sounds like the weather is going to be great this weekend, so get out and enjoy it!

Here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:
  • The Homecoming Boutique will be open tomorrow morning at 10 in the basement of Weldin Hall. It’s stocked full of wonderful, almost-new dresses for young women of all sizes and shapes – and they’re free! Please tell any young woman you know that might be going to homecoming this fall to come and check them out!
  • On Sunday, I’m starting a new four-week sermon series called “Faith and Film.” This Sunday is World Communion Sunday and the film I’ll be using in the sermon is a wonderful one called “The Hundred Foot Journey” which stars the great Helen Mirren. Obviously, we will be celebrating Holy Communion as well, joining with millions of other Christians around the world doing just the same thing. Also during the service we’ll be presenting Bibles to our 2nd grade Sunday School students – I always love doing that and showing them my Bible that I received from Mrs. Biles when I was in SS at Elkton UMC a long, long time ago! It will be a great morning in worship that you won’t want to miss.
  • Also on Sunday morning, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for two great events coming up very soon. One is our Blood Drive, which will be held on Sunday, October 15th. You can sign up to donate, but if you can’t donate, you can offer to help as a greeter or a canteen worker. Members of the Missions Committee will be at a table in the Hospitality Area to help you sign up. If you can donate blood, please do, because the need is great.
  • Secondly, members of the Stewardship Committee will be at another table ready to sign up participants for our 5K Run/Walk/Stroll to benefit dementia/Alzheimer’s research which will take place on Saturday, October 21st at 9 am at Fair Hill. The event is being held in memory of the Rev. Jim Jones and is being jointly sponsored by our church and Janes UMC, the church Jim served for 27 years. It’s going to be a great and fun event, that we hope you’ll want to be a part of! If you have time you can register for the run now at: Run to Remember Online Registration
  • LOOKING AHEAD – Our annual Harvest Food Festival is coming up soon! Next Sunday, October 8th, when you leave worship, you’ll be given an empty grocery bag and a list of non-perishable food items to purchase. You’re invited to fill your bag and bring it back with you on the 15th, at which time you can place them in the truck that will be stationed at the back entrance of the church. The food will go to fill the shelves of the Immaculate Conception Church food pantry (our mission partners). In the past, we’ve given hundreds of bags of groceries – let’s do that and more this year!
  • OUR NEW COOKBOOKS HAVE ARRIVED! Our new church cookbook, the production of which was coordinated by the Communications Committee has arrived, and will be sold in the Hospitality Area starting Sunday, October 29th. In the meantime, if you’d like to place an order for multiple copies (maybe to use for Christmas presents!), please email Nancy Crawford at Proceeds from the sale of the cookbooks will go towards continuing to improve our communications and technological systems at church.
  • Speaking of improving our communications systems – if you haven’t filled out the communications survey on our website yet, can you please take a few minutes and do so? The information garnered from the survey will be of tremendous help to the Communications Committee. To complete the survey, which only takes a minute or so, go to the church website and click on the "News and Events" tab. Once there you will see the link to the Communications Committee Survey. Click on it and voila! You’ll find the survey! 

Well, I think that’s it for now. As I look back over this email checking for mistakes and typos, and review what I’ve written, I’m reminded once again what a mission-committed church we are – and that makes me happy and I’m sure God is smiling too! There’s nothing more important than sharing with others the blessings God has given us! I’m inspired by the way all of you do that day in and day out!

Have a wonderful Friday and an even more wonderful weekend. Enjoy this lovely, crisp, clear almost-fall weather. Take some time to rest and relax. Spend time with those you love. And then I’ll see you in worship on this World Communion Sunday. Can’t wait!

                                                         Grace and Peace,

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
  Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to a great weekend. I know it’s hard for any of us to say we had a really good week, because of the continuing horrors of this hurricane season. My heart breaks for all of the people who have been in the paths of these horrific hurricanes, and especially this week the people of Puerto Rico. Please continue to pray for them all, and of course, the people of Mexico in the wake of the horrible earthquake that struck there, and the people in the Western US dealing with raging wildfires, as they pick up the pieces and try to start over again. Thank goodness for groups like UMCOR and others who will be with them on the journey. It makes my heart happy to know that our church has contributed (to date) over $15,000 to UMCOR and I know we will continually look for ways to help – but for now,
keep praying!

On to the events of this weekend at church:
  • The grand opening of the fall session of our Prom/Homecoming Boutique will be on Saturday at 10 am in the basement of Weldin Hall. If you know of any young woman who is going to homecoming this year, please let her know about the incredible number of beautiful, practically new dresses that are available – for free! The boutique will run through the homecoming season, and then open up again for the prom season.
  •  On Sunday, I’ll preach the last sermon in the series “Supreme Christianity,” by looking at their song, “Come See About Me.” It’s Christian Education Sunday, and the whole theme of the service will be about how we need to continually grow stronger in our faith in Christ. We’ll recognize our Christian Education teachers and leaders and dedicate them for this years’ service, and we’ll also enjoy the musical offerings by Ed McKeown and our Chancel Choir.
  •  Also on Sunday morning, in the Hospitality Area, you’ll have two opportunities to help others. First, members of our Cub Pack 443 will be selling popcorn! This is their major fundraiser of the year, and it helps to pay for their many activities and programs, so why not make plans now to buy some delicious popcorn from these enthusiastic Scouts. They’re waiting to serve you! The second opportunity to help is by participating in our 5K Run/Walk/Stroll on Saturday, October 21st that will benefit dementia/Alzheimer’s research. You can sign up to take part at the table in the Hospitality Area on any of the Sundays prior to the walk. The event is being held in memory of my dear friend Jim Jones, who pastored Janes UMC in Rising Sun for 27 years. Janes is sponsoring the event with us!
  •  On Sunday night at 5:30 pm our youth group will meet in the basement of Weldin Hall. The youth have chosen the topic for discussion and it is bullying, which unfortunately is a huge problem in the world today. So all youth are invited to come and be a part of the discussion.
  •  The Trustees are looking for some help with some painting projects around the church, so if painting is one of your gifts, please call the church office and we’ll connect you with someone from the Trustees. The church number is 410-398-0933 or you can email
  •  It’s not too late to sign up to be a mentor at Thomson Estates Elementary School this year. If you have an hour a week to give to a deserving student and would like to hear more about the program, please contact Nancy Mitchell at

Well, I think that’s it for now. Oops – before I forget, I want to thank Sharon and everyone involved in making last Sunday night’s organ concert happen. It was absolutely fabulous! It was incredible to watch Aram Basmadjian’s fingers fly across the keys, and his feet fly across the pedals, and watch him play incredibly hard music without a stitch of music in front of him – it was all from memory! Incredible! Plus, he had a wonderful sense of humor which made it all the better, and he taught us a lot about our new organ as well. It was an incredible, incredible evening!

Well, that’s really it for now! Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend. Sounds like the weather’s going to be beautiful, so enjoy it! Take some time out for yourself, even while tackling your chores. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday! Can’t wait!

                                                  Grace and Peace,

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to a great weekend! Lots going on around church, so here goes:

  • - Tonight at 6:30 p.m., the Classic Christians have their September meeting. They’ll start with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and then move into a presentation by the always-popular local historian Mike Dixon. All people 50 and over are invited to attend, even if they haven’t signed up ahead of time. And even people younger than that are welcome if they’d like to hear Mike speak!
  • - On Saturday, our church will have a booth at the Elkton Fall Fest downtown, so be sure to stop by and say hello to our folks! Help them spread the word about our great church and our invitation for all to join us!
  • - On Sunday morning, our worship centers around the Supremes’ song “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand.” We’ll talk about reaching out and touching others through missions and giving and so many other ways, and we’ll be led in that by the members of the Costa Rica Mission Team, who will share their story. Ed McKeown will add to the beauty of the service through his singing.
  • - Right after the 11:00 service, around 12:15 or so, we’ll have a New Member Orientation Class for those interested in joining our church. So if you’re interested, come on over to Weldin Hall. Lunch is included!
  • - After that, at 4:00 p.m. to be exact, we’re going to have a wonderful Organ Concert in the sanctuary. Aram Basmadjian, with the Allen Organ Company (from whom we purchased our new organ) will play. It’s going to be wonderful, so you don’t want to miss it! Bring your family and friends along too. A reception will follow in Weldin Hall.
  • - Our youth group meets on Sunday evening, and all youth are invited to attend. For more information, interested youth can text Sandy Wherry at 443-309-0160. They had a wonderful time with the Scavenger Hunt last Sunday!
A few reminders:
  • This is the last Sunday to bring goodies for the first College Care Packages of the year. Bring your donations of things like granola bars, hot chocolate packets, microwavable mac ‘n cheese, candy, gum, etc. to the donation bin in the Welcome Center area.
  • On Sunday, you’ll have another opportunity to sign up to participate in the 5K Run/Walk/Stroll “Walking to Remember” Event on Saturday, October 21st. This fundraiser, co-sponsored by our church and Janes UMC, honors the memory of the Rev. Jim Jones and will benefit dementia/Alzheimers research. The sign-up table will be in the Hospitality area.
ATTENTION WOMEN – The brochure for this winter’s Women’s Retreat will be in Sunday’s bulletin! The dates for the retreat are Friday-Sunday, Jan. 12-14, 2018 (MLK weekend). Sign up quickly, because the retreat fills up fast! This year’s theme is “Ordinary Women/Extraordinary Deeds!”

A reminder to the men in the church that the monthly Men’s Breakfast is this coming Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. at the Elkton Diner. All men are invited. You don’t have to sign up ahead of time, just show up and join in the food, fellowship and fun!

- Two more quick things:

  • I told you in an earlier Friday email about the survey that the Communications Committee is conducting about the effectiveness of our systems of communication in the church. To date, many of you have taken the survey, but not nearly enough. So we are asking all of you to please take the time (which is minimal) to fill out the survey. You can find it by going to the church website (, clicking on the News and Events title, and on that page, you’ll see the Communications Survey. Click on that and you’ll be done in a matter of minutes! Please take the time to do it – it will be invaluable information for the committee, and the church, to have! You can also use this link and take it now: Communications Survey
  • Finally, let me thank you again for your incredible generosity in giving to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for hurricane relief. To date, we have given over $14,000! That is absolutely phenomenal! If, by chance, you have not yet had a chance to give, or want to give more, please make your check out to Elkton UMC, write UMCOR or Hurricane on the memo line, and put it in the offering plate. As you know well, lots and lots of money will be needed to help people rebuild their lives after Harvey and Irma.

Well, I think that’s it for now! It’s going to be a busy, but great weekend at church! I hope you have a great weekend as well. Try to find some down time for yourself even while tackling your chores. Spend time with those you love. And then I’ll see you in worship, for sure, but hopefully several other times as well this weekend. I look forward to it!

                                        Grace and Peace,