Thursday, December 31, 2015

“Friday” Email for January 1, 2016

Hi All –

 Well, here I am with another surprise “Friday” email on a day other than Friday!  Hope you’re having a good New Year’s Eve and have some fun plans for tonight!  I also hope that you’ve had some time in this week between Christmas and New Year’s to spend time with family and friends and relax some as well!

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

-          Looking for a fun way to welcome in the New Year tonight?  There’s going to be a Gospel New Year’s Eve gathering in Weldin Hall from 8 p.m. til ?  Ed McKeown and friends (Jack Foreaker, the Reeds, A Mixed Blessing) will be offering the music.  Tickets are $15/person, children under 10 free – and the proceeds go to Tidewater Gospel Relief, which offers relief help during the year to people who are struggling.  Tickets are available at the door.

-          On Sunday, we’ll celebrate Epiphany (when the Magi journeyed to visit Jesus).  We’ll consider together what journeys lie ahead for us in the new year, and how we can follow God’s leading.  We’ll also share holy communion together.

-          If you use offering envelopes, you’ll see that the first envelope in the box is labeled “Initial Offering.”  This offering covers the cost of the envelopes themselves, and we suggest a $5 contribution.

-          We’re still working hard at improving our communications, and we’ve recently made a big leap in that direction.  We now have videos of the Sunday sermons on our website (actually there’s a link on our website to our YouTube Channel).  So if you miss a Sunday or missed Christmas Eve, for instance, go to the church website,, click on “Sermons” and then click on “Video Sermons” – that will take you right to our YouTube Channel.  Right now there are three sermons there – the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve and Dec. 27th.
-          I know a lot of people make New Year’s resolutions to get more exercise, and if that’s you, don’t forget to register that exercise time with our Methodists in Motion challenge personnel.  If you recall, we’re trying to do enough “moving” this year to move us around the world.  As of today, we’ve moved over 13,485 miles which takes us 69% of the way to our goal.  Help bring us home, by sending your activity information (the time you spend each week being active – running, walking, sports, yard work, etc.) to or text it to 443-350-4515.

-          Speaking of New Year’s resolutions – why not make a resolution to come to worship regularly in 2016?  We had a decline in attendance in 2015, not because people left the church, but because members attended less regularly than before (once or twice a month as opposed to weekly).  When you joined, you pledged to support the church with your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness.  Why not make a renewed effort to do that in the new year ahead?  It’s not the same when you’re not here!

-          January is going to be a really busy month for all of us.  Here’s what’s coming:

o   Conference Youth Rally in Ocean City (8-10)
o   Women’s Retreat at the Dunes Manor in Ocean City (15-17)
o   Men’s Retreat at the Dunes Manor (22-24)
o   Administrative Council Retreat at the church (30)
o   And then, before we turn around, we’ll have the Joy of Faith Weekend (Feb. 6 & 7
    The New Year’s starting off with a bang!

I think that’s it for now.  Have a wonderful day and a festive New Year’s Eve!  Enjoy the day off tomorrow (at least I hope it is, for most of you).  Take some time to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in church on Sunday (for worship and Sunday School)!
                                                                                          Grace and Peace,

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday, Dec. 18, 215

Hi All –

 Happy Friday!  I know there are a bunch of people who are especially happy today – and that’s the students and teachers in Cecil County schools!  Today’s their last day before a wonderful break!  I hope it’s a great day for all of them, and for all of you as well!

 Here’s what’s happening at the church this weekend:
- Tonight at 6:30 p.m. the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather for their December meeting in Weldin Hall.  The night begins with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and then continues with, what promises to be, a rousing game of 50’s/60’s Trivia.  I say rousing because in the past our trivia games at Classic Christians have turned incredibly competitive and loud (of course, I have nothing to do with that!  LOL!).  So, Classic Christians, come, even if you have not signed up ahead of time.  PS – Bring your singing voice too!  You might need it for some of the answers!

- On Sunday morning, we’ll celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent in a spectacular way!  At both the 8:30 and 11:00 worship services, our wonderful choir will offer their Advent cantata.  As you know, if you’ve heard their cantatas in the past, it promises to be a wonderful and moving experience for us all.  Don’t miss it!  Then, in between services at 10 a.m. our Sunday School children will present their Christmas program in Weldin Hall.  Please come and enjoy it!  Last year, we had a great audience – a packed house!  Let’s do it again this year and show the kids how much we love them!

- On Sunday at 4 p.m. we’ll have our annual Blue Christmas service in the sanctuary.  This service is designed for those who are sad or struggling at what is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.”  It’s a quiet, contemplative service and lasts about 45 minutes.  If you know of anyone who has lost a loved one, or is going through a hard time, please invite them to attend this service – better yet, offer to come with them.

- A final reminder that the offering envelopes for 2016 are available to be picked up from the table near the Welcome Center.  Also, another reminder that if you haven’t turned in your financial pledge card for 2016, it’s not too late; and if you need a card because you lost yours or never got one, see one of the ushers on Sunday.  They have extras.

- Also, if you’re an on-line giver, don’t forget to update your account with your 2016 figures.  Simply go to the church website,, click on the “on-line donation” link and it will show you what to do.  I just updated my account today – it was a snap!

- Finally, let me remind you of the services we’ll be offering on Christmas Eve:

 At 5 p.m. we’ll have a service created just for families.  It lasts about 40 minutes and it’s filled with songs and stories and great joy!  There is no sermon in this service – sitting still and listening for fifteen minutes seems a bit too much to ask of excited little children waiting to see what Santa will bring!

At 7 and 9 p.m. we’ll have identical festival Christmas Eve services, featuring fabulous music offered by the Chancel, Men’s, Handbell and Brass Choirs, as well as the organ!  We’ll end those services, as is our tradition, sharing the light of Christ throughout the room, one person to another!  (Note:  The only service of the night with nursery provided will be the 7 p.m. service.)

From 10-10:30 p.m. we’ll have silent communion in the sanctuary.  Come and receive communion in the beauty of darkness and candlelight!

I think that’s it for now.  It is my intent to send a “Friday email” sometime next week – not sure when, and not positive it will happen – so let me just give you a heads up!  You won’t want to miss worship on Sunday, December 27th – Christmas Sunday – because we’ll have some very special music that day.  Our own Madeline Funke, a student at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music will be singing,  a brass quintet from the Elkton Town Band will be playing several musical offerings, and our Chancel Choir will be singing as well – so it will be a wonderful, wonderful morning!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  I know all of you have a ton of things you need to get done, but do try to find some time for yourself in the midst of it all.  Enjoy time with those you love, and then I’ll see you for our busy, wonderful 4th Sunday of Advent!

       Grace and Peace,

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Email for December 11

Hi All – 

Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week.  Mine’s been a little crazy.  It seems that every group I’m in had a Christmas party/celebration this week – and there’s still two more to come,  tonight and tomorrow night!  Not that I’m complaining, but it’s funny how they all chose this week!

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

-          Of course, the first thing on the list is the United Methodist Women’s Cookie Walk
tomorrow morning in Weldin Hall!  The door opens at nine, so to be sure you get the cookies you want, don’t be late!  You’ll be given a box and some gloves, and then you get to walk around an incredible display of cookies to pick out the ones you want.  Cost is $__
for a small box and $___ for a large one.  If you’re one of the bakers, members of the UMW will be in Weldin Hall tonight between 6 and 8 to receive your cookies.  Thanks so much for your help!

-          On Sunday morning, we’ll celebrate the third Sunday of Advent, and I’ll offer the third sermon in my series, “What Can I Get You for Christmas?”  This week it’s “A Place.”  We’ll light three candles on the Advent wreath, and will be led in that by the Zimmer and Czarnecki families.  We’ll also be blessed with music offered by the Men’s and Chancel Choirs, and Vanessa and Alan Foskey!  It’s going to be a great morning in worship!

-          The time to sign up to have a poinsettia put in the sanctuary for Christmas Eve or have an anti-malaria net donated is getting short.  If you’d like to do either one, please fill in the bulletin insert this Sunday and put it in the offering plate.

-          After worship, the Advent Lunch and Learn class will meet again in Weldin Hall.  We’re having a great time together and seeing the events of Christmas in some new ways!

-          A couple of reminders:
o   Don’t forget to pick up your 2016 offering envelopes, if you haven’t already done so.  They’re on a table next to the Welcome Center.
o   Women’s Retreat Participants:  Your final installment payment was due on Dec. 1st, so if you haven’t turned it in, please do so asap since our payment is due to the hotel next week.

-          Our “Methodists in Motion” challenge keeps rolling along!  As of this morning, we’ve logged 3900 hours of activity, which translates into over 12,100 miles, which takes us just about 62% to our goal of making it around the world!  Keep the activity information coming!  Send it to or text it to 443-350-4515.

Finally, just a word about Baldwin United Methodist Church.  All of us were so sad to learn
last Sunday morning that Baldwin Church (at that time) was on fire, and since then, we’ve
come to know that it was completely destroyed.  I spoke with their pastor Charles Rossiter on
Sunday afternoon and offered him our complete support.  As you might expect, he was in a
blur at that point, and didn’t know what they would need.  A few days later, we were able to
help them by supplying them with Advent and Christmas bulletins.  They’ll be worshiping in
the small banquet hall at Singerly Fire Company until the end of the year.  I’ll keep you
updated when we learn more about how we can help, but for now, keep praying for all of the
Baldwin family.

 I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  I know this is crazy busy time, when you’re trying to get all the shopping, decorating, wrapping, etc. done, but don’t forget to take some time for yourself as well!  Spend time with those you love too, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!

                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,


Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday, Dec 4th

Hi All –

 Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week!  It looks like a nice morning outside my window – at least those crazy winds from yesterday are gone!  I think the weather’s supposed to be good this weekend, which bodes well for the big Christmas parade in North East tomorrow.  By the way, if you go to the parade, make sure you give a big cheer to our Cub Pack 443 as they pass by!  Speaking of the Cub Scouts, I was blessed to meet with the committees of both our Cub pack and Scout Troop 443 this week, and I was reminded, yet again, how strong both groups are, and what a great job they are doing in helping boys become strong, responsible young men.  We’re blessed to be their Charter Organization!

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

-          On Sunday, we’ll celebrate the 2nd Sunday of Advent, and I’ll offer the next sermon in my “What Can I Get You for Christmas?” series – this week, it’s “A Hug.”  We’ll hear again about Mary’s visit with her cousin Elizabeth and how it encouraged Mary for the journey ahead.  We’ll light two candles on the Advent wreath this week.  Last week, the Slayman and Ingram families led us, this week it will be the Noll and Kovicak families! 

-          You’ll also have the opportunity, once again, to sign up for poinsettias (or an offering for anti-malaria nets) for Christmas Eve.  If you’d like to give a donation for either one, you can do it in memory or in honor of a loved one, and their name will be listed on the Christmas Eve bulletin.

-          At 12:30 on Sunday, we’ll have a wonderful Advent Workshop for families in the Wesley Wing.  Lunch will be served, and then the families will be able to move from room to room and make homemade Christmas ornaments to take home with them.  To sign up, email Katie Sparks at, so that she can have adequate supplies on hand.

-          Also at 12:30 on Sunday, the Advent Lunch and Learn class that I’m leading will meet in Weldin Hall.  We had a great group last week, but there’s always room for more.  Lunch is served, and childcare is available as well.

-          When you’re passing through the Welcome Center area on Sunday morning, you’ll see a table filled with the offering envelopes for 2016 – stop and get yours!  When you pick up the envelopes, it saves the church the expense of mailing them.  If you use envelopes, but don’t see yours there, call Kay in the church office or email her at

-          Speaking of giving, it’s still not too late to turn in a pledge card for 2016!  If you need a card, please see one of the ushers – they have extras!  You can put the pledge card in the offering plate after you fill it out.

-          On Tuesday night, the Cecil County Choral Society will present their Holiday Concert in our sanctuary at 7:30 p.m.  Come and hear their wonderful music, and you’ll see some of our own choir members taking part, as well as Sharon, who is their accompanist.  Be sure to get there early, because it’s always a full house!

-          The United Methodist Women’s Cookie Walk is getting ever closer (it’s Saturday the 12th), but I just wanted to remind you that they’re still looking for more bakers.  If you can help out, please email their president, Judy Tanner at to let her know how many cookies you’ll be baking.
-          A reminder to all women attending the Women’s Retreat that your last installment payment is due now.  Also, a note to others, that there are still a few spots left on the retreat, so if you want to sign up, now’s the time!

-          Finally, a great big thanks goes out to all who helped and are still helping with the Rotating Homeless Shelter this week!  When it was pouring rain this week, I thought how wonderful it was that people had a warm and dry place to stay.  Thanks for making it possible!

 I think that’s it for now, except to say that I invite you to visit our church’s website (elktonumc.rog) sometime soon.  A lot of changes have been made, and there are regular updates.  Also, if you need to know about the church calendar or any upcoming events, you’ll find the information there.  You can sign up for events, sign-up to do on-line giving of your offering, or even sign up to give a poinsettia on line there as well.  The Advent devotional is on there, as are copies of all of my sermons.  And soon, God willing, we’re hoping to post videos of the sermons!  While you’re at it, check out and like our Facebook page as well!

Have a great day, and an even greater weekend!  If you’re like me, part of it will be spent putting up a Christmas tree and decorating – but whatever you do, I hope you’ll find some time to rest and relax in the midst of it all.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday in worship!
                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,

PS – Oops!  Just before I was getting ready to send this, I got an email letting me know that our Methodists in Motion effort is going great!  We’re 60% of the way around the world!  Keep the activity information coming – send it to or text it to 443-350-4515!


Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

 Happy Friday!  Happy day after Thanksgiving!  Sorry this is a little later getting out than usual, but the office is closed today, so I’m over here typing it instead of Kay (so please forgive any typos!).  I hope you and yours had a great day together yesterday.  I had fun being with a portion of our family at my nephew Bo’s new home.  It was their first time hosting Thanksgiving and they did a great job.  We missed the rest of the family, but they too were celebrating – from Washington State to Alabama to Philadelphia to South Carolina and more!  It’s tough to get a family that now numbers 34 all together these days! 

 Anyway, on to the business at hand!  Here’s what’s happening at the church this weekend:

-          On Sunday, Advent begins!  We’ll mark the beginning of this four week journey to Christmas by lighting the first candle on the Advent wreath, singing new responses, and starting a new sermon series – “What Can I Get You for Christmas?”  The answer this week – “A Limb.”  Come to worship and find out what that means!

-          Also on Sunday, my Advent Lunch and Learn class begins.  We’ll be using Kyle Idleman’s video series entitled “The Christmas Experience.”  We’ll meet in Weldin Hall and begin with lunch.  Almost 25 people have signed up, but there’s still room for more, so if you’d like to take part in this four week series which takes place all of the Sundays in Advent from 12:30 – 2 p.m. email me at and we’ll make sure there’s a place at the lunch table for you!

-          If you have not turned in your 2016 financial pledge card, it’s not too late.  We got a bunch more last Sunday and look forward to receiving the rest of them soon.  The numbers are looking good, and we’ll report them when all the cards have come in.  If you lost your card, or didn’t get one, please see the ushers on Sunday morning – they have extras.

-          The last College Care Packages of the fall semester will be packed up this Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. in Weldin Hall.  So if you’re coming to the 8:30 service, you can still bring donations.  And if you have some time on your hands and want to help pack the boxes, the team would welcome your help.  Simply wander into Weldin Hall at 9:45 a.m.!

-          The December newsletter is printed and ready to be picked up across from the Welcome Center, and it’s also already on line on our church’s website – elkton!  Make sure to check it out, because December is filled with special services and events!

-          Also available Sunday is this year’s Advent devotional.  A devotion has been written for each day in Advent by a member or friend of our church, and they are wonderful (I’ve previewed them!).  What a great way to start your day, and make your Advent journey!  The devotional is also available on the church’s website!

-          Hope a lot of you are stocking up on your baking supplies for the UMW Cookie Walk on December 12th!  The UMW needs as many people to bake cookies as possible – so if you’d like to help, email Judy Tanner at to let her know how many you will bake.

-          And I hope a lot of you are recording your activity times – especially those of you who have joined the madness shopping on Black Friday!  Send your info to or text 443-350-4515.  We’ve made it halfway around the world in our quest to circle the globe!  Keep up the good work!

-          Don’t forget to include in your prayers all who will help our church sponsor the first week of the Rotating Homeless Shelter starting on Monday.  Thanks to everyone who has signed up to participate – we couldn’t do it without you!  Check the Shelter poster on the Missions bulletin board on Sunday to see if your help might still be needed!

I think that’s it for now, except to say thank you to those who delivered our Thanksgiving gift cards yesterday.  I heard from several of them who said that those who received them were surprised and very, very grateful that we remembered their sacrifice of working on a day when all of us were home with our families!  Thanks for your gifts which make it possible for us to do this wonderful mission every Thanksgiving!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  If you’re traveling, may you have a safe journey home.  If you’re shopping, may you not max out your credit cards!  If you’re blessed with another day off to spend with family and friends, be grateful!  If you’re decorating your house for Christmas, let me know when you’re finished – you can do mine!  Just kidding!

At any rate, have a great day, and I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday morning as we ring in a brand new Christian year with the start of Advent!

                                                                                                        Grace and Peace,


Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Update for November 20, 2015

Hi All –

Happy Friday!  I’m thankful for this new, dry morning God has given us after that dreary, rainy day yesterday.  I had to drive to Milford for a meeting, and it was ugly.  Driving on Rt. 1 with heavy rain and the spray from big trucks was no picnic!  So today, with the sunshine peeking through the trees outside my window is a beautiful thing!  Enjoy it!

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

-          Tonight at 6:30, the Classic Christians (50 and over) gather for their November meeting.  The night will begin with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and then continues with a surprise!  And when I say surprise, I mean it – because even I don’t know what it is!  All I know is a bunch of the Classic Christians have been working for months on it, so you ought to come just to see what all the excitement is about!  Come, even if you have not signed up ahead of time.  It’s in Weldin Hall at 6:30.

-          On Sunday in worship, we’ll celebrate “Thanksgiving Sunday” and we’ll look again at the story of the ten lepers who were healed, and their various responses to that healing.  We’ll be blessed to hear both the Children’s and Handbell Choirs, as well as our always wonderful Chancel Choir. 
-          Sunday will also be the opportunity for those of you who did not get to turn in your financial pledge cards for 2016 to do so.  You can place them in the offering plate.  If you didn’t get a pledge card, or lost it, see one of the ushers.  They have extras!  We had a good return of cards last week with good results, but everyone’s help is needed – so please don’t forget to turn your pledge in as soon as possible!

-          Also on Sunday, your opportunity to give in other ways continues:

o   The ornaments will be ready to pick up from the Angel Tree near the Welcome Center.  The Angel Tree project helps provide Christmas presents for children of incarcerated parents.  If you’d like to help, pick an ornament off of the Angel Tree, and someone will be there to give you instructions about when to return the gift.

o   We’re still collecting mittens, gloves, scarves, hats and children’s underwear for the Mitten Tree project.  That collection bin is near the Welcome Center as well.

o   And so is the bin for the donations to the College Care Package project.  The care packages will be assembled next Sunday, so you still have time to donate some goodies.

o   Finally, we’re still looking for a few more people to help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter the week after Thanksgiving.  We especially need overnight help.  So take a look at the poster on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality Area, and sign up if you can!

-          Good News!  Thanks to so many participating in our Methodists in Motion activity challenge, we’ve made it halfway around the world!  Yay!  Keep up the good work, and keep reporting your activity times to or text 443-350-4515.

-          Lastly, I want to especially invite you to attend the Elkton Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service on Sunday night at 7 p.m.  The service will take place at the Elkton Presbyterian Church, and will feature a combined choir from all the churches (including members of our choir!), clergy from all of the churches leading the service, and Father Paul Colloton from Immaculate Conception preaching.  I hope you’ll come, because it’s really the only time during the whole year that we worship together beyond denominational boundaries. 

I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  A special shout
out to the Elkton High School football team in tournament play against North Caroline
tonight!  They’re having a great year, and it brings back great memories for me of when I was
a student there and Sonny Tenney and Dick Shaffer were coaching!  Good luck Golden Elks!

Again, have a great weekend!  Find time for yourself even while you tackle all your weekend
tasks.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see some of you tonight at the “surprise”
Classic Christians meeting and the rest of you on Sunday morning in worship!

                                                                                                Grace and Peace,


Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday, Nov 6, 2015

Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve enjoyed the brief return to summer weather these past few days.  Better enjoy today, because it looks like the cold returns over the weekend – but no worries, we’ll warm you up with yummy spaghetti tomorrow night (see below)!
Here’s what’s happening this weekend:
-          Tomorrow night is indeed our annual Spaghetti Dinner.  It runs from 4-7 p.m. in Weldin Hall and tickets are available at the door.  Cost is $10/adults and $5/children under 10.  There’s also a family plan –  a maximum of $30 for an individual family of up to 6 people.  So there’s no excuse not to come and enjoy this great event!  Also, make plans to stop by the bake table and take some goodies home with you!

-          Sunday is chocked full of activities.  We’ll begin with worship in the morning, and I’ll offer the second sermon in my “Daring Faith” sermon series – this week focusing on “Daring to Give Extravagantly”, as we prepare to make our financial pledges next Sunday.

     There are a number of other opportunities for you on Sunday morning as well:

o   We’ll be taking a one-time offering for gift cards that we’ll deliver to people who have to work on Thanksgiving Day (hospital workers, police and fire personnel, etc.).  A basket will be located near the top of the stairs as you leave worship in which you can put your donation.

o   Cathy Gohlke will be with us and will have copies of her new book Secrets She Kept on sale.  She’ll be glad to sign them as well.  It will be good to see Cathy and give her hugs and kisses.  She’s been fighting a battle with cancer and we’re so happy that she’s doing well enough to be with us.  Make sure you stop by the table in the Hospitality Area to see her!

o   The Boy Scouts will be back to continue taking orders for Christmas wreaths.  The wreaths will be delivered early in December.  The money the Scouts make from this sale will help to fund their amazing projects and activities throughout the year, so plan to buy a wreath and help them out!

o   If you took an empty shoe box for the UMW Christmas boxes, now’s the time to return it (filled!) to the table near the Welcome Center.  Nancy Stubbs will be delivering all of the boxes to the collection center after next Sunday.  (Which means if you didn’t take a box to fill, it’s not too late!)

o   The bin for the Mitten Tree project is now in place near the Welcome Center, so it’s ready for your donations of new mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, and children’s underwear.  It will be in place until the end of November, when everything will be taken to the Help Center for distribution before Christmas.

o   We’re starting to collect goodies for the next College Care Package as well, and you can put donations in that box in the Welcome Center anytime before Thanksgiving.

o   Finally, and perhaps right now, most importantly, we still need lots of help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter.  Please go to the Missions bulletin board and check out the poster to see where you can help.  We need on-site help (hosts/hostesses, dinner preparers and servers, overnight help), but we also are in need of supplies.  Our week to sponsor the shelter (the week after Thanksgiving) is rapidly approaching, so please help as you can.

-          Sunday at 12:15, there will be a New Member Orientation Class in Weldin Hall, so if you’re interested in joining the church, or just learning more about the church, you’re invited to attend.  It’s okay to come even if you have not pre-registered.  Lunch is provided, as is childcare.

-          Good news about our Methodists in Motion activity challenge – we’ve made it 39.2% around the world (which puts us in Nepal!)!  At this point, 19 individuals and 13 families are sending in their stats, but it’s not too late for you to take part.  Simply keep track of the time you’re active (walking, running, exercising, participating in sports or marching band, working in the yard, etc.) and then send the info to EUMCWalkers@gmail or text it to 443-350-4515.  We’ve made great progress, but we still have a long way to go to get around the world!

Phew!  That’s a lot of stuff, I know, but we’ve got a lot going on – which is great!  As I said last week, you can’t do everything on this list, but do what touches your heart, and know that, through all of us working together, everything will get done.

Enjoy your Friday, and then have a wonderful weekend!  Try to find some time to rest and relax, treat yourself to a dinner out with us tomorrow night, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!

                                                                                                        Grace and Peace,

PS – I know it’s a little ahead of the game, but don’t forget, next Wednesday, on Veterans’ Day, to thank all those who have served on our behalf!  We owe them so much!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Friday, Oct 30, 2015

Hi All –
Happy Friday!  What a busy and exciting weekend we have ahead of us!  All of you with children in your household are surely gearing up for trick or treating tomorrow night – getting the costumes ready, getting the candy ready to give out (and trying not to eat it ahead of time!).   And some of you are probably going to don the costumes a little early tonight and head out to the Elkton Halloween parade!  Whatever your plans, I hope you have a fun and safe time with your family and friends!

 It’s also a busy and exciting weekend for our church!  Here’s what’s happening:

-          Don’t forget to change your clocks Saturday night before you go to bed as Daylight Saving Time ends!  Turn them back one hour and enjoy that extra sleep!

-          On Sunday, we’ll celebrate All Saints’ Day, the day on which we remember those we love who have died in the past year.  During worship, we’ll see a video presentation on the members of our church who have died, and then, following that, everyone who wishes to can bring a flower to the altar in memory of a loved one who has passed away.  So if you'd like to remember someone special, please bring a single flower with you to worship on Sunday.  This is always a very moving and special service in the life of our church.

-          Also on Sunday, I’ll start a new sermon series entitled “Daring Faith.”  We’ll look together at the story of the friends who lowered their paralyzed friend down through the roof of a house at the feet of Jesus for healing – about how bold and daring that was – and how Jesus challenges us to be bold and daring in our faith as well.  We’ll also be celebrating holy communion together.

You’ll have several opportunities to sign-up for things this weekend:

o   We’re still looking for bakers for the Spaghetti Dinner on November 7th.  You can sign up to help on the insert in Sunday’s bulletin.  Also, tickets for the dinner will be on sale during the hospitality hour after both services.  Why don’t you invite some friends and family to come to the dinner with you?  It’s always delicious!

o   Our Boy Scout Troop 443 will be in the hospitality area to take orders for Christmas wreaths.  This is a major fundraiser for them, and the proceeds from the project help to fund their camping trips and other activities.  The wreaths will be delivered in December.  Last week, we showed incredible support to our Cub Pack, to the tune of nearly $800 in popcorn sales and $100 more in donations.  Let’s show the same support this week to our Scout Troop!

o   We still need lots and lots of help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter, which we sponsor the week after Thanksgiving.  A poster will be on the Missions bulletin board in the hospitality area on which you can sign up to help.  You can also still sign up on-line.  Go to, scroll down to where it says “Find a Sign-Up,” click on that and then type in, and you’ll find the sign-up pages.  Please help if you can!

-          A New Member Orientation Class will be held next Sunday, November 8th at 12:15 p.m. in Weldin Hall.  If you’d like to join our church, or simply learn more about it, you’re invited to participate.  To sign up, email or call the church office at 410-398-0933.

-          “Methodists in Motion” is still in high gear!  We’re moving our way around the globe, but we need your activity stats to get there!  Send them to or text them to 443-350-4515.

-          Finally, in this Sunday’s bulletin, you’ll see a “Giving” insert.  I’ve put this together for several years now, and it has proven to be very beneficial.  This insert lists all of the giving opportunities that you’ll have from now until Christmas – and there are tons of them!  The reason I put them on an insert is that I want you to be able to look at the whole landscape of opportunities you’ll have, and then choose the one or ones you want to do.  Please do not try to do them all – it will be overwhelming if you do.  Look over the list, and pray about which ones really touch your heart, and participate in them.   Together, all of us, will get all of them done, but none of us has to do them all.

I think that’s it for now!  Have a great Friday, and a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy the fun of Halloween, spend time with those you love, try to fit in time for all of your chores, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday for our very special All Saints’ celebration!
                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,


Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Email for October 16, 2015
Hi All –

 Happy chilly Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend!  I know the kids will have a great weekend, since it’s starting today with a day off from school!  There’s lots going on all over the place, but don’t be too busy that you don’t stop and see all the beautiful colors of fall – it’s really amazing how much the leaves have changed in the past week or so!

Here’s what’s going on this weekend at church:
-          Tonight, at 7 p.m. in Weldin Hall, the Sunday School Fall Festival takes place!  It will be a great night for all families of the church.  Some of the fun activities will be games, crafts,
music, goodies, and trick-or-treating!  Children (and adults) can wear costumes if they’d like.  It’s going to be a great night, and Katie Sparks and her crew are ready to welcome you.  Come, even if you did not sign up ahead of time.

-          Tomorrow at 9 a.m. the Homecoming Dress Boutique opens up again to welcome any young women who need dresses for homecoming.  They’ll close around noon, but if those hours don’t work for you, text 443-309-0160 to make an appointment.

-          Tomorrow afternoon, from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m., there will be a Knit-a-Thon in Weldin Hall.  Paige Laning, one of our youth, is working on her Silver Award in Girl Scouts and this is her project, along with members of the Dorcas Circle.  Everyone attending will be knitting squares for Warm-Up America.  Come, even if you don’t know how to knit – they’ll teach you.  If you didn’t pre-register, email Paige today at, so she can have enough materials available.

-          On Sunday morning, the sermon series, “Why Go to Church?” continues – this week’s answer is “For Strength, Inspiration and Growth.”  We be blessed, also, by having the Melvin Family sing for us during both services, along with the Chancel Choir at 11.

-          Also, don’t forget that on Sunday morning, the Harvest Food Festival concludes, as you’re invited to bring your filled-up grocery bags with you as you come to church.  A truck will be parked at the back entrance to the church to receive your donations.  If you weren’t in church last week, and didn’t get one of the bags with a list on it, don’t worry, just go ahead and buy non-perishable foods to donate.  All of the food will be taken over to Immaculate Conception Church after the 11:00 service to fill their food pantry.  In the past few years, we’ve given nearly 200 bags of groceries to them – let’s try to top that this year!

-          Our “Methodists in Motion” challenge continues, and the good news is that we’re at 24% of our goal!  Of course, that means we still have a long way to go, so continue to send in your activity stats to or text 443-350-4515.

-          Finally, let me remind you that our first week of sponsoring the Rotating Homeless Shelter is drawing ever nearer, and we need lots of help to pull it off.  I’ve been putting the sign-up information in my Friday email for the past two weeks, but there hasn’t been a lot of response.  Maybe you’re one of the ones thinking that you intend to sign up, but just haven’t gotten to it.  Please do so this week.  It’s really easy.  Just go to, scroll down and click on the box that says “find a sign-up,” type in and there you’ll find the two sign-up sheets.  One of them is for active participation, and the other is for donations of food and supplies needed.  Please help in any way you can, and sign-up this week if you can.

I think that’s it for now.  Bundle up and enjoy this beautiful fall weekend!  Find some time for rest and relaxation, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday morning!
                                                                                        Grace and Peace,


Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Email Oct 9. 2015

Friday Email for October 9, 2015

Hi All –
                Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a great week, and have plans for an even greater weekend!  As I start my Friday email let me thank all of you for your love and good wishes this week as I celebrated my 60th birthday!  I had a great day, and was overwhelmed by your cards, flowers, gifts, calls, texts, Facebook and email messages!  I’m blessed to share this birthday week with my great-niece Izzy who turned 3 last Friday and my niece Megan who celebrates her birthday tomorrow – so it’s been non-stop partying!  It’s rough, but somebody has to do it!!

                Anyway, on to this weekend:
-          The Dress Boutique is open again tomorrow morning from 9 -12 for any young woman needing a dress for homecoming.  There are a ton of beautiful, barely used dresses available, so spread the word!

-          On Sunday morning, I’ll offer the second sermon in my “Why Should I Come to Church?” series.  This week the answer is “To Be with My Family (My Church Family).”  We’ll celebrate the joy of being a part of our wonderful church family and what it means to all of us.  We’ll also be blessed by having the Men’s Choir sing for us for the first time this fall!

-          As you leave worship on Sunday, you’ll be given an empty grocery bag with a list of groceries taped to it.  You’re invited to fill the bag during the week with some of those items and bring it back with you next Sunday (the 18th).  A truck will be parked back dof the church to receive your donations.  The food will go to our mission partners, Immaculate Conception Church, to stock their food pantry.  Please give as generously as you can, for the need is great!

-          Next Friday night, October 16th, we’re going to have a Fall Festival for our families.  The Sunday School Fall Festival begins at 7 p.m. in Weldin Hall.  All families are invited to come out for a Friday filled with fun!  Play some games, do some crafts, listen to music, enjoy a snack, decorate a trick-or-treat bag and then go trick-or-treating in the Wesley Wing for some cool surprises.  Children may even come in costume.  Katie Sparks and her crew hope to see you next Friday for a Fall-tastic time!  Please sign up for the festival on the Sunday School bulletin board across from my office.

-          Sign-ups continue for those wanting to help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter the week after Thanksgiving.  We need lots of help in many areas, including service and/or donations.  To sign up, go to, find the box at the bottom that says “find a sign-up,” click on that and then enter  That will direct you to the two pages where you can sign up to help.  I clicked on it just now and was delighted to see that we have some sign-ups already – but a lot more help is needed – so check it out and do what you can!
-          Our Methodists in Motion challenge continues – so we’re looking for your activity stats.  Be sure to send in the information regarding the time you’re active (walking, running, marching band, sports, etc.) to or text 443-350-4515.

I think that’s it for now, but before I end let me say a great big thank you for all of you who helped and/or participated in last Sunday’s events in any way.  We had a tremendous turnout for the Blood Drive – donating nearly 40 units of blood; we sent a huge number of college care packages out to our students, and have already seen pictures and words of thanks for them on Facebook from some of our students; and we had a wonderful, enthusiastic turnout for the Blessing of the Animals – lots of dogs, a few cats, a guinea pig and a hermit crab.  What a Sunday it was!
                Have a great Friday, and a great weekend!  Find some time for rest and relaxation, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship Sunday morning!

                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,