Friday, March 25, 2016

Email for Good Friday, March 25, 2016

Hi All –
   Hope you’re having a good Good Friday, and I hope you’ve had a good Holy Week, and are looking forward to the great weekend to come – the greatest in all of the Christian year!  It’s been so moving to make this Lenten journey using our church’s Lenten devotional (thank you Sandy Lavelle for putting it together, and thanks to all of the writers who shared their hearts with us!), studying with 25 or more church members every week during the Lenten Lunch and Learn class, and considering on Sundays all of the people who were out to get Jesus.  Today, starting at noon at Trinity Episcopal Church, with other Christians from throughout Elkton, we’ll walk the final journey to the cross on the annual Crosswalk – and then we wait – like they did that first Easter weekend.

  The wait will be over on Sunday morning – as we celebrate Easter together!  Be sure to come to worship and enjoy, particularly, the incredibly wonderful music that will be offered by the Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir, Men’s Choir, Brass Choir and organ!  We’ll have three identical services – at 8:30, 9:45 and 11:00 a.m.  Why not invite a friend or neighbor to join you for Easter worship?

  Don’t forget that we’ll also be having a wonderful Easter breakfast in Weldin Hall from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m.  Gerry and Jaime Treese will cook up their usual magnificent feast, so make plans to have breakfast at church on Easter!

  Now, on a totally different note:  Most of you probably received a “robo-call” from me this week letting you know that our church is getting ready to put together a new pictorial directory.  We’ll have tables on Sundays, April 3, 10 and 17 in the Hospitality Area for you to sign-up to have your picture taken.  The photos will be taken April 27-30.  Please be a part of this, even if you don’t like to have your picture taken.  The directory is a great way for us to learn each other’s name, and it’s a particularly helpful tool for someone new who joins the church to use to get to know us.

  Finally, let me reflect back on last Sunday for a moment.  How great was the Chancel Choir cantata?  It was phenomenal!  I can’t tell you how many people told me they thought it was the best thing the choir had ever done!  It was so moving, and told the story of the journey to the cross so very well.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, choir members, and Steve and Sharon!  Your talent and dedication is always appreciated, but last Sunday you outdid yourselves!

   As soon as the 11:00 service ended, we moved into Weldin Hall for the Easter Egg Hunt, and what a joy that was as well!  The room was packed with excited kids and their parents and grandparents.  As soon as they could swallow their lunch, they grabbed their Easter baskets, ran outside, and within just a few minutes, burst back through the doors with baskets overflowing with brightly colored eggs, chocked full with candy.  You should have seen their faces, and the excitement as they cracked open the eggs and discovered the goodies inside.  I’m kind of glad I didn’t have to take any of those kids home – because I have a feeling there were some pretty good sugar-highs in a lot of homes!  Anyway, it was a great day thanks to all of you who donated candy – we stuffed and hid 1250 eggs!!
   I think that’s it for now.  Have a good Friday, and a great weekend!  Enjoy time spent with family and friends, and especially enjoy Easter morning here at church, as together we give God thanks for the greatest gift of all – Jesus and his victory over death!  I can’t wait to celebrate with you!

                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday, March 18th

Hi All –

Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week, and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day yesterday!  I was at a meeting at church last night and there was a lot of wearin’ of the green!  Now, I can’t believe what I’m hearing in the weather forecast – possible snow on Sunday?!  Yikes!  I thought we were through with that.  I have my fingers crossed that it doesn’t come true, at least in the morning, because we have a whole lot of Easter eggs waiting to be found, and it will be a whole lot more fun if they’re hidden outside!  I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

There is a lot going on at church this weekend!  Here goes:

- Tonight at 6:30, the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather for their March meeting in Weldin Hall.  The night will begin with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and continue on with a rousing night of Bingo – with some delicious prizes!  All Classic Christians are invited!

- Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday, and our Chancel Choir will be presenting their Lenten cantata at both services.  The Children’s Choir will also be singing for us at the 11:00 service.  At noon, our families will gather in Weldin Hall for a luncheon before the kids take off to collect delicious candy-filled eggs during the annual Easter Egg hunt.  Hot dogs and drinks will be provided for the luncheon – you are invited to bring a side dish or dessert to share.   Don’t forget to have the children bring baskets in which to collect their eggs.  If you haven’t had a chance to sign up yet, it’s not too late – simply email Katie Sparks at

- Just a reminder of what’s coming up in Holy Week – we’ll have a Soup and Bread Dinner on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. in Weldin Hall, immediately followed by the Maundy Thursday worship service in the sanctuary at 7:30 p.m.  We’ll remember the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples, and the way he washed their feet and invited us to serve others in the same way.  On Friday, we’ll participate in the annual Community Crosswalk.  It starts at noon at Trinity Episcopal Church, winds its way through Elkton, stopping at Elkton Presbyterian Church and Providence UMC, before coming to our church, and then ending at Wrights AME Church.  This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to witness to our faith with Christians from all over Elkton, so if you can make it, please do.  It’s always a very moving experience.

- Even though Easter is ten days away, I hope you’re making plans to be in worship that day.  We’ll have three identical festival Easter services, complete with Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir, Men’s Choir, Brass Choir and organ music at 8:30, 9:45 and 11:00 a.m.  Invite your family, friends and neighbors to come with you for this special celebration!  And don’t forget we have a delicious Easter breakfast in Weldin Hall from 7:30-10:30 a.m. as well!

- Thank you to all who took part in the Nino’s Dining Out Day for our Cub Scout Pack on Wednesday.  When I was in there, around 5 – 6 p.m., the place was packed with people from church and the Scouts.  It was a great show of support for our wonderful Cub Pack 443!

- Thanks also to all of you who have given to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.  As of today, we’ve given just under $10,000!  Thank you so much for your incredible support of the United Methodist Committee on Relief through this offering.  If you haven’t had a chance to give yet, it’s not too late!  Simply make your check out to Elkton UMC and put UMCOR or OGHS on the memo line.

I think that’s it for now!  It better be, because I’m about to get in the car to drive down to Annapolis to present the opening prayer for today’s session of the Maryland Senate.  I think this is the fifteenth consecutive year that I’ve had the honor to do this – and I count it a great privilege.  I’m so glad the Senate still starts every day of their session with prayer!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  It is going to be great, no matter what the weather.  There’s lots going on at church, all of us have lots on our “to do” lists, and there’s also “March Madness” for those of us hooked on college basketball – GO TERPS!!!

So, have a great weekend, find some time to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday in worship.  I’m so looking forward to hearing the cantata and then watching the joy of our kids at the Easter Egg hunt!  See you then!

Grace and Peace,

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Email for March 11, 2016

Hi All –

 Happy Friday!  How great has the weather been this week ?!!  God has blessed us with a sneak peek at Spring, and it has been wonderful, hasn’t it?  I’m sure we’ll still have some cold days ahead, but this week has been a blessing.  I hope you’ve been able to be outside some to enjoy it!

Well, now we turn to the weekend, and a look at what’s ahead at church:

     On Sunday, I’ll conclude my Lenten sermon series, “Out to Get Jesus,” by looking at those closest to him – his disciples – and why they turned away.  Now, if you want to make sure you’re in church to hear it – DON’T FORGET TO TURN YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD ONE HOUR before you go to bed on Saturday night – because Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend!
      Also on Sunday, you’ll have the opportunity once again to sign your family up for the Easter Egg Hunt which takes place next Sunday, the 20th.  There’s a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board across from the church office.  Sunday is also the last day to bring in your donations of candy for the Easter Egg Hunt – there’s a box on the table across from the Welcome Center in which to put it.
      Don’t forget that you’re invited to honor or remember someone you love by putting a lily on the altar at Easter or paying for an anti-malaria mosquito net.  All names for either type of gift will be in a bulletin insert on Easter. 
      Next Tuesday, March 15th, the Cecil County Choral Society will present their Spring Concert in our sanctuary at 7:30 p.m.  Their concerts are always wonderful and uplifting, and it’s great to look up at them and see many of our own choir members and Sharon among them.  Invite your friends, family and neighbors to join you for a wonderful night of music.

      Then the next day, Wednesday, March 16th, there will be a “Dining Out Day” at Nino’s which benefits our Cub Scout Pack 443.  All day long – eat in or carry out – a portion of the profits will go to our Cub Scouts – but don’t forget that you need to take a flyer with you (the flyers will be in Sunday’s bulletin).  Give yourself a break that day, treat yourself to a meal out and help our Scouts raise money for their activities all at the same time!  I guarantee that you will see a lot of your EUMC friends there as well!
     We’re getting ever closer to wrapping up our Methodists in Motion physical activity challenge.  We’re 97% of the way to our goal – all we need is 177 more hours of activity!  So keep moving, and send your stats into or text 443-350-4515.  Before you know it, we’ll have made it around the world and we’ll be awarding prizes to our top individual and family movers!  Can’t wait!

            Finally, let me thank you for your generous giving to the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) last Sunday.  As of today, you have given over $7400, which is tremendous!  If you did not get a chance to give last week, it’s not too late – simply make your check out to Elkton UMC and write OGHS or UMCOR on the memo line.  If you want to give cash, please see one of the ushers for a OGHS envelope. 

I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  Try to find some down time for yourself even while tackling all your weekend chores, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!
                                                                                                                                                                        Grace and Peace,

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Email for March 4, 2016

Hi All –

Happy snowy Friday!  It’s beautiful outside my office window this morning, and it will be even more beautiful later on if it melts away!  Hope you’re having a good morning, and have had a great week!  Here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:
     On Sunday, I’ll offer the fourth in my “Out to Get Jesus” Lenten sermon series.  This week we’ll hear about how the religious leaders turned against him, and consider how we need to be careful that we don’t do things they did.

      Also on Sunday, all of us will have the opportunity to make our annual offering to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) through the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering.  Most of you received offering envelopes in last week’s bulletin to use, but if you didn’t, you can make your check out to Elkton UMC and simply write UMCOR or OGHS on the memo line.  If you want to make your offering with cash, the ushers will have a few OGHS offering envelopes available.  Please be as generous as you can – the need is great.  Let’s try and top our great gift of over $13,000 that we made last year!

     On Sunday, you’ll have your first opportunity to sign up for lilies/nets for Easter Sunday.  You can place a lily in the sanctuary for Easter in memory of/honor of someone you love, or you can make a donation in his/her name for the purchase of anti-malaria mosquito nets.  All of the names, for lilies and nets, will be put in a special bulletin insert for Easter Sunday.  The cost for either donation is $10.

      There will also be a sign-up sheet Sunday for our annual Easter Egg Hunt for families which will take place on Sunday, March 20th at noon.  The event will begin with lunch and then the hunt begins!  Speaking of the hunt, we’re still asking for donations of wrapped Easter candy, so if you’d like to donate some, please put it in the bin across from the Welcome Center.

      Many thanks to all of you who have been helping out at the Rotating Shelter this week.  I talked to someone last night who had been at the shelter earlier in the evening and she spoke about the delicious meal that church members had prepared.  Your love and care make such a difference in the lives of those who are struggling.  Thanks to all of you who have shared that love and care, and will for a few more days yet!

      Oh, and thanks also to all of you who supported our Scouts last week!  Both the Cub Pack and Scout Troop were thrilled with the overwhelming support they received from all of you!  It was a great day to celebrate our great partnership together!

 On Wednesday, March 16th our church is catering a dinner for the Thiokol Credit Union, and Faye Camors, who is coordinating the dinner, needs a few more people to help serve that evening.  If you can help out, she’d love to hear from you.  You can email her at or see her in the coffee hour after either service on Sunday morning.

I think that’s it for now.  Well, the snow’s still coming down, so I’m thinking it’s a good day to work in my office at home on things for Holy Week – yikes, it’s only three weeks away!  Anyway, have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  Find some time to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning as we continue our journey through Lent!

                                                                                                                                                                        Grace and Peace,