Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Email for February 26, 2016

Hi All –

Happy windy Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week, and have plans for a fun-filled or relaxing weekend – whichever you need the most! Here’s what’s happening at the church this weekend:

On Sunday, I’ll be offering the third sermon in my Lenten series, “Out to Get Jesus.” This week, we’ll look more closely at Pilate and Herod and their parts in the Easter story. We’ll also be celebrating Boy Scout Sunday – welcoming members and friends of Cub Pack 443 and Boy Scout Troop 443 to our church. We are blessed to be the charter organization for both of these wonderful groups, and boys from each of the groups will help out on Sunday by serving as greeters, ushers and Gospel readers. They’ll also be offering their wonderful Pancake Breakfast starting at 7:30 in Weldin Hall. So make plans to have breakfast with the Scouts Sunday and then be in worship to learn more about all the wonderful things they do to help mold young boys into great men!

In Sunday’s bulletin, you’ll see an offering envelope for the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. We’ll actually be receiving the offering next Sunday, March 6th, but we’re giving you the envelope ahead of time to take home, pray over what you will give, then return it next week. The OGHS offering goes to support the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) which provides relief when disaster strikes anyplace in the world. Our church has traditionally been one of the leading churches in giving to this special offering in our conference – last year we gave over $13,000 – so my hope is that we’ll do that and more this year!

Just a reminder that we’re now collecting donations of wrapped Easter candy in preparation for the Easter Egg Hunt for our children that takes place on Palm/Passion Sunday, March 20th. Your donations can be put in the bin near the Welcome Center.

Also a reminder that this coming week (starting Sunday night) our church is sponsoring the Rotating Homeless Shelter. As of a few days ago, all of the slots to help were filled except for a few overnights. If you can stay overnight at the shelter either Monday, Wednesday or Friday night, please email Susan Starrett as soon as possible at Many thanks, ahead of time, to all who will help with this important ministry in the coming days!

We’re coming down the home stretch with our “Methodists in Motion” challenge. This week, we crossed the 90% mark in our journey! So if you’re participating, don’t forget to send in your activity information as soon as you can to or 443-350-4515. The Stewardship Committee met this week and finalized our plans for the prizes to be awarded the top “movers”! It’s going to be great to cross the finish line and celebrate this awesome accomplishment!

I think that’s it for now! Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! 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 on Sunday morning in worship!

Grace and Peace,


Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Email

Hi All –

Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a great week and have plans for an even greater weekend!  It sounds like we’re going to have some nice, warm weather – what a welcome change that will be! 

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

Tonight at 6:30 the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather for their February
meeting.  They’ll begin with a potluck dinner in Weldin Hall (bring a dish to share) and
 continue after dinner watching a “classic” movie!

Tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Weldin Hall, Project Prom takes place!  This is a fabulous event where
 hundreds of nearly-new and some brand-new prom dresses are on display and ready to be
 chosen by young women for their upcoming proms!  Please spread the word about the event
 to all young women you know, and young men as well (as there are some tuxedos available).
 The event runs until 4 p.m., but then the Prom Boutique will be open every Saturday
 morning from 9 – noon until prom season ends.

             On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in my “Out to Get Jesus” Lenten sermon series
             This week, those out to get Jesus are “the people.”  We’ll welcome new members during the
             11:00 service as well.
             Some reminders:
Sign-up to help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter (the week of February 29th)
continues.  To help, see the poster on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality
Area, or go to our church website (

There’s still room for more travelers on the Classic Christians’ Bus trip to Nashville
(April 18-23rd).  Flyers about the trip are located on the table across from the
Welcome Center.

We’re starting to collect candy for the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which will take place
on Sunday, March 20th.  Please bring donations of individually wrapped Easter
candy to the box in the Welcome Center area.

The “Methodists in Motion” are getting ever closer to the finish line.  Thanks to some
“mighty movers” this week, we’ve gotten to 89% of our goal of making it around the
world.  Those participating have logged over 5600 hours of activity, which translates
into over 17,443 miles.  We figure that puts us somewhere over Canada moving
southeast back to Elkton.  Keep up the moving, report your stats to or 443-350-4515 – and we should be crossing the finish
line in no time flat!  Stay tuned – because when we get there, we’ll award prizes to the
biggest movers of the challenge.
       A few more things: 

      Christmas in April, as many of you know, is a one-day county-wide project that helps people in need with home repairs or alterations needed due to physical limitations and other issues.  Currently, the Christmas in April folks tell us that they have received very few requests for help.  So if you know anyone who might need some work done at their home, or adjustments made due to disabilities, please let them know about this project.  You can contact me or Wayne Scholz for more information.
      Our Cub Scout pack, Pack 443, is currently in need of a treasurer.  If you have those skills, and have some time to share with our Scouts, please let us know.  Besides the bookkeeping aspect of it, all that is involved is one meeting a month.  The need is great, so if you can help, please let me know as soon as you can.  
      I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and then a wonderful weekend.  Find some time to rest and relax, even while trying to tackle your “to do” list.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning as we continue our journey to the cross through Lent.

                                                                                        Grace and Peace,

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Email for February 12, 2016

Hi All –
Brrrr!  Happy Friday!  Hope you’re someplace where it’s nice and toasty warm!  Sounds like it’s going to be a brutal weekend weather-wise, so bundle up – especially on Sunday morning!  Don’t let the cold keep you away from church because we’ve got a lot going on.
                Here’s what’s happening this week:
     On Sunday, I’ll start a new sermon series for Lent entitled “Out to Get Jesus.”  Over the weeks, we’ll look at all of the people and forces working against Jesus during his life and ministry – the people and forces that ultimately led to his death on the cross.  Some of them won’t surprise you – but some of them will!  This week the one out to get Jesus is the devil.  Come and here about their confrontation in the wilderness after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan. 
You’ll notice changes in the service as well starting Sunday.  During Lent, the paraments are purple, the tone of the service is more quiet and contemplative, the choir will not process up the aisle, we will refrain from applause and not sing or say “Alleluia” until Easter.  It’s all part of the intention to observe a holy Lent, and give honor and attention to the struggle and suffering of Jesus for us and our salvation.
I hope you are using our church’s Lenten devotional every day.  You can find it on the church website ( or there are a few paper copies left by the Welcome Center.  You can pick one up on Sunday morning.
Speaking of Sunday morning, if you’d like to help stuff the college care packages, be in Weldin Hall at 9:45 to join the team putting them together.
                  Also, don’t forget to stop by the Missions bulletin board to see how you can help with
 Rotating Homeless Shelter the week of February 29th.  I took a look at the poster the
                  other day and it is pretty empty – so your help is really needed!  We need intake workers,
                  hosts/hostesses, food preparers and servers, overnight personnel and people to donate
                  supplies. You can also sign up the church website (
It’s not too late to participate in this year’s Lenten Lunch and Learn class on Wednesdays at noon starting next week.  Cost is $13/person for the book, which is Adam Hamilton’s John, The Gospel of Light and Life.  I’ll be leading the study and it will last until Holy Week.  The class goes from noon to about 1:15, and participants are invited to bring a bag lunch.  Drinks and desserts are provided.
A reminder to those interested in the Classic Christians’ bus trip to Nashville in April that your first payment is due by Monday, February 15th.  Flyers about the trip and a sign-up sheet are on the table across from the Welcome Center.
      Great news for all taking part in the “Methodists in Motion” challenge – we’re 82% of the way to our goal of making it around the world!  That’s 5217 hours of activity which translates to 16,175 miles!  If we stick to this pace, we should make it around the world by Mother’s Day – so keep up the activity – and keep sending your stats to or text 443-350-4515.
Let me say a word of thanks to all who made last weekend’s Joy of Faith such a wonderful success!  Robyn Graham, Larry Gaultney and the whole Evangelism/Membership Committee did a phenomenal job of putting it all together; the Treeses offered another wonderful dinner for us; Kevin Forman and Joe Buckley added so much to Saturday night’s performance; and the prayer breakfast hosts – Ina and Don Andrews, Nadine Allen, Mabel Gary, and Lea and Dick Gochnauer, as well as the prayer breakfast devotion leaders – Dave Pugh, Larry Gaultney and Sandy Lavelle – all helped to wrap the weekend in prayer.  Thanks also to the tech team on Sunday morning and the Communications Committee for getting the word out.  It was a great weekend, and I was especially happy that so many children and youth were involved.  Can’t wait for next year’s JOF!
 I think that’s it for now, except to say that I know all of our hearts are heavy over the loss of the two sheriff’s deputies in Harford County.  Please pray for their families, the Harford County Sheriff’s Department and all law enforcement personnel who protect us every single day of our lives.  They put their uniforms on every day not knowing what they’ll face.  It takes tremendous courage, and they need our prayers.
I hope you have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  Stay warm, find some time for yourself in the midst of getting everything done, spend time with family and friends, and then I’ll see you on Sunday in worship!  Actually, I’ll “love” seeing you in worship, because it will also be Valentine’s Day!
                                                                                                                                                                                              Grace and Peace,                                                                                                                                              Karen 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Email for February 5, 2016

Hi All –
Happy Friday!  What a joyful way to start our Joy of Faith weekend – with a little bit of snow!  Hope you’re having a good day and are ready for a great weekend, because yes, this is our 11th Joy of Faith weekend!  It’s going to be a busy one, so here’s what’s happening:
     Our Joy of Faith weekend starts tomorrow morning with Prayer Breakfasts.  Over 50 people signed up and will be getting together at three different locations for food, fellowship, fun and most of all, wrapping our JOF weekend and our presenter in prayer!  Then, at 5:30 p.m., we’ll gather in the cafeteria at Elkton High School for the JOF dinner, always prepared so wonderfully by Gerry and Jaime Treese.  I believe there are still a few tickets available at the door.  Cost is $10/adults, $5/children 10 and under, and $30 max/family of six.  At 7:00 p.m. we’ll move to the Auditorium for a performance by Christian Illusionist Brett Myers.  Be sure to invite your family, friends and neighbors to come with you to what promises to be an exciting and uplifting performance.  Brett invites the audience to remember that faith is believing in things you cannot see, and invites people to a life-saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  You won’t want to miss it!  Finally, Brett will also be with us for both services on Sunday morning.  So, as you can see, it’s going to be a wonderful weekend.  Please pray for Brett, the Evangelism Committee that’s putting it all together, and most especially, for those whose hearts need to hear about and receive the saving love of Jesus Christ!

      Some other things on Sunday –

      Kim Artrip will be taking orders for daffodils to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  Persons can keep the daffodils, donate them to go to cancer patients, or donate them to a new garden of daffodils that will be planted at church.

      This is the last week to bring donations of goodies for the next College Care Package that goes out next week.  Bring your donations to the box near the Welcome Center.

Sign-ups continue for both the Lenten Lunch and Learn, and Rotating Homeless Shelter.  There will be an insert in the bulletin on which to sign up for the Lenten study (which will be held on Wednesdays at noon during Lent).  You can sign up to help with the shelter on the poster on the Missions bulletin board in the hospitality area, or go on line to our church’s website ( and sign up there as well.

      At the end of both services, our youth will be on hand at the doors with soup kettles to receive the annual “Souper Bowl” offering.  Please give what you can to help alleviate hunger.  This year’s donations will go to the Ray of Hope Center.

Copies of this year’s Lenten Devotional are ready to be picked up on Sunday.  As always, this wonderful booklet is filled with devotions written by members and friends of our church.  It is a great way to make the journey through this sacred season of the year.  One note:  If you have the ability to read the devotional on line, we would appreciate you doing that, rather than taking a paper copy.  Because of the length of the season (47 days), it takes up a lot of paper, so there are a limited number of paper copies available.  You can access the online devotional through the church’s website (

      Speaking of Lent – it starts next Wednesday, February 10th, and we will mark its beginning with our Ash Wednesday service at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.  The service will include the imposition of ashes, and holy communion (this will be the February communion for the church – because of the JOF weekend we will not be having communion this Sunday – but remember that communion is offered every Wednesday evening in the chapel at 6:45 p.m.).

Phew, I think that’s it for now.  Like I said, there’s a lot going on – and that is a good thing!  I hope you’ve carved out time on your calendar for many of these things – it is going to be great!

Have a great Friday!  Then I hope to see you more than once this weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                       Grace and Peace,                                                                                                                                       Karen