Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Hi All –

 Happy Friday, and happy beginning of a long holiday weekend!  Looks like it’s going to be a great one weather-wise!  Sunny, warm – all the ingredients for a nice, relaxing, picnic-having, parade-watching, family-and-friends-together kind of weekend!  Hopefully, the pace of your life will slow down a little this long weekend – and you can have some fun and relaxation!

The pace of life at church this weekend will be a little slower too.  But here is what’s happening:

  •     On Sunday, we’ll remember Memorial Day in worship with prayers of thanksgiving for those who gave their all that we might live in safety and freedom.  I’ll finish up my “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things” sermon series by focusing on the woman who anointed Jesus with expense perfume and tears. 
  •     If you’re in one of the groups in our church who are assembling “flood buckets,” Sunday is the deadline for bringing in your supplies.  Your group’s bucket is located in the Welcome Center area.  Thanks so much for providing these valuable gifts for people whose homes have been inundated with flood water.  EUMC and UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief) thank you for your help!
  •      On Monday, Elkton will be having its annual Memorial Day Parade (10 a.m.)!  Our Cub Pack 443 has always been in the parade, but this year our church has a float in it as well!  Actually, it’s a decorated truck, but the message on it is a message of gratefulness for those who have sacrificed for our country.  Several people have volunteered to walk with the truck and pass out American flag pins to parade attendees, but we can certainly use more help!  If you can help, go to the town parking lot on Howard Street at 9:30, and look for our truck – it will have our name of the side, and Larry Gaultney and Don Frye will be with it!  But even if you can’t walk in the parade, I encourage you to attend and show your support!
  •     Our Vacation Bible School doesn’t take place until July 10-14, but pre-registration has started already!  You can register your child/grandchild via our church website (!
  •     Speaking of our website – don’t forget that if you have to miss worship this week or any other weekend this summer, you can catch the video of our service via the website.  Simply go to the church website – – click on “Sermons” on the left side of the homepage, then click on “EUMC YouTube Channel" on the upper right side of the page.  Our “YouTube Channel” screen will display all of the services from EUMC that you can watch!

LOOKING AHEAD – On Sunday, July 3rd, we, along with the rest of the country, will be in the midst of the 4th of July holiday weekend.  On that day only, we will have ONE COMBINED WORSHIP SERVICE AT 9:45 A.M.  The Providence Brass Quintet will be with us to provide uplifting and inspiring music, and together we’ll have a service of prayer and thanksgiving for our country.  Make note of the time change on your calendar now!

    I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and a wonderful holiday weekend!  Take the opportunity to be outside and enjoy time with your family and friends.  Come to the parade on Monday, but even if you can’t, pause that day and remember the reason for the celebration.  Lift prayers for those who died, and for their families left behind.
Have a great weekend!  See you on Sunday morning!
                                                                                                                                              Grace and Peace,

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hi All -

Happy Friday!  Happy gloriously beautiful Friday!  Oh, how long it’s been since I’ve said that!  It is truly a gloriously beautiful and warm Friday.  I’ve just gotten back from a breakfast at the Christiana Hilton sponsored by the Delmarva Boy Scout Council focused on a Scout’s “Duty to God.”  Bill Graham was there along with me, and it was quite an inspirational event.  Kevin Reilly, former Philadelphia Eagles’ player and a survivor of great physical adversities in his life, was the keynote speaker, and he was phenomenal.  On top of that, the emcee called on a singing quartet to come forward to sing the National Anthem, and lo and behold, there was our own Wilson Forney leading the group!  It was a wonderful surprise, and they were phenomenal as well.  Not a bad way to start a Friday, huh?

Well, that’s just the beginning of another busy weekend for Elkton UMC.  Here’s what’s happening:

  • Tonight, many of our members, along with me, will gather in the stadium at Elkton High School for the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life.  I’m blessed, once again, to have been asked to offer the invocation at the opening ceremonies which take place at 6 p.m.  Even if you’re not participating in Relay, you should come over around then, for the start of the event.  There are opening ceremonies, and then the Survivors’ Walk, which is so inspirational, and which always includes many EUMC members.  Prayers for all who are taking part in the Relay, especially those who will be there all night!
  • As soon as I finish the prayer, I’ll hurry back to church because tonight is the monthly Classic Christians’ meeting.  It starts at 6:30 p.m. with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share), and then continues with, what I know will be, a really great program.  It’s called “Everything Has a Story.”  Everyone who’s coming tonight is invited to bring one thing with them that tells a story about them.  It can be anything – a medal, a certificate, a piece of jewelry, a high school sports letter – anything that tells something about you.  Then we’ll share our stories together.  It’s going to be great, so if you’re a Classic Christian (50 and over), come on over to church tonight and enjoy it!
  • Tomorrow night at 6 p.m. the Sunday School department is sponsoring a “Family Game Night” in Weldin Hall.  From the looks of the weather forecast for tomorrow, it looks like it’s going to be a bit dreary, so what better way to lift your spirits and have some fun, than to come to the church with your favorite games and join with others for a great night!  You don’t have to have pre-registered to attend!
  • On Sunday morning, I’ll pick up my “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things” sermon series again, this week focusing on the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son.  We’ll recognize our graduating seniors at both services, and be treated to music by our children’s choir, Jen Noll, and our chancel choir.
  • Also on Sunday morning, don’t forget to stop into Weldin Hall and visit the Book Swap being sponsored by our Stewardship Committee.  I was in there last night and there are a lot of books from which to choose, so come and get some new books to read.  If you haven’t donated books, don’t worry, you can still take books!
  • Finally, let me remind you that our church is going to have a “float” in Elkton’s Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 30th at 10 a.m.  We’re looking for some members of the church to walk alongside the float and pass things out to the crowd.  If you can help out, please sign on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.
I think that’s it for now.  But before I end, I want to say something about our United Methodist denomination.  As you know, our General Conference
has been meeting for about the last ten days in Portland, Oregon to set policies and procedures.  It has been a time of both great celebration and
great consternation.  You may hear from some quarters that the denomination is splitting, but that is not true.  What is true is that we’re
wrestling with some serious issues, but trusting God’s Holy Spirit to guide us into the future God wants us to have.  The General Conference voted to
spend some serious and dedicated time looking at the issues that divide us, and then to possibly meet at a special called General Conference in a
few years’ time.  My personal prayer is that we will choose to stay together as one – agreeing to disagree on some things – while finding our
unity in Jesus Christ.

Well, I think that’s really it for now.  Go out and enjoy this gorgeous day, before the rains come again tomorrow!  Find time to rest and relax, spend
time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!  Come and hear about the extraordinary thing an ordinary father
does out of love for his sons!
                                                      Grace and Peace, 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Happy Friday

Hi All –
Repeat after me – I will not let this dreary weather get me down! Thank goodness for the glimpses of sunshine we’ve gotten this week! I try to remind myself that the grass and plants love the rain! I’m heading up to the airport this afternoon to pick Mom up as she returns from South Carolina and they’re already talking about delays in both Charlotte and Philadelphia! Could be a long afternoon! Oh well – that’s what books are for!

On a happier note, we have another busy weekend ahead at church with lots of good things going on, so here goes:

  • Today and tomorrow the final pictures will be taken for our new pictorial directory. Just a reminder that if you’re coming in to have your picture taken, arrive about 15 minutes early to get paperwork completed. The Communications Committee met the other night, and as soon as the pictures are finished tomorrow, all of the other material will be sent in as well, and God willing, and the creek don’t rise, we should have our new directories in the fall!
  • Sunday is Pentecost, and we’ll celebrate the birthday of the church! We’ll confirm two young people, and we’ll welcome Carlos Reyes Rodriguez to the pulpit! It’s going to be a wonderful, uplifting morning, and the music offered by the Chancel and Handbell Choirs and Kris Lewman on the violin will be the icing on the birthday cake!
  • Don’t forget to bring the books you want to donate to next week’s Book Swap with you this Sunday and leave them in Weldin Hall!
  • Also, don’t forget to sign up to help host the Community Kitchen next Friday, the 20th. Help is needed with providing sandwiches and fruit, and also with serving in person that day. The sign-up sheet is on the table across from the Welcome Center.
  • On Sunday night, at 7 p.m., we’ll have a wonderful concert in our sanctuary featuring the Providence Brass Quintet, Paul Humphrey on the saxophone, Kris Lewman on the violin, and our Chancel Choir. It’s going to be a great night, and you won’t want to miss it, so call your family and friends today and invite them to join you at the concert!

Looking Ahead – On Monday, May 30th (Memorial Day), Elkton is having its annual Memorial Day parade, and this year, our church is going to have a “float” in it (actually, a decorated truck!) It will be decorated with a message of grateful remembrance for all who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe and free. The Evangelism Committee is putting the display together, but they need your help on parade day – to walk in the parade by the truck and hand things out to the crowd. If you can help, please sign the sheet on the table across from the Welcome Center. It’s a great way to help our church reach out to the people of Elkton!

I think that’s it for now. I just want to you to know that I’m still on cloud nine after attending Carlos’ graduation from Wesley Seminary on Monday. It was unbelievably moving and wonderful! And though I can’t be there in person, I’ll be thinking of Sarah Alphin tomorrow as she graduates from the Boston University School of Theology. How blessed we are to have these two members of our church answering God’s call on their lives! I know they’re going to touch the world in significant ways!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend, no matter what the weather! Find some time for yourself, even while tackling your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday!

Grace and Peace,

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Email

Hi All –

 Happy rainy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week despite the cold and wet weather!  I was glad to learn, as I was watching the news this morning, that finally, in a few days, warm and dry weather will be coming our way!  Yay!  Oh well – at least the grass and plants have been enjoying the rain!

We’ve got another busy weekend ahead at church.  Here’s what’s happening:
    Tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m., our Boy Scout Troop 443 celebrates two of their Scouts achieving the rank of Eagle.  That is a tremendous accomplishment, and our troop has had an unusually high number of Scouts attain it.  We’re so blessed to be in ministry with them!
    Not long after that, at 6:30 p.m., our annual Baccalaureate Service for Graduates will take place in the sanctuary.  We’ll honor all those who are graduating from high school, college and graduate school.  Graduates and their families have been personally invited, but all are welcome to join in the celebration!

    Sunday, as you know is Mother’s Day – a wonderful day to celebrate these special women in our lives!  I’ll offer the second sermon in my series, “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things” by focusing on a Biblical woman – Esther.  All of our special music will be provided by men – the women in the choir have a Sunday off!
    Sunday is also Relay for Life Day – the day on which you can sign up to support our Relay for Life team by purchasing luminaria in honor of or in memory of someone you love who has battled or is battling cancer.  You can also sign up to participate in the walk, which takes place on Friday, May 20th in the Elkton High School stadium.  The Relay for Life table will be set up in the Hospitality Area on Sunday morning, so be sure to visit the team there!

    Next week, we’ll have the final two days of picture taking for our new pictorial directory.  We have had a tremendous response this time – six full days of picture taking!  I’m so glad, because pictorial directories are such a great tool for all of us to get to know each other by name!  We have a few spots left for picture taking next Saturday, the 14th, so if you haven’t signed up yet, come to my office after worship on Sunday and we’ll take care of that.

Looking Ahead:
    Don’t forget that our special Spring Concert featuring the Providence Brass Quintet, our very own Chancel Choir, Paul Humphrey on saxophone and Kris Lewman on violin, will take place on Sunday night, May 15th at 7 p.m.  It’s going to be a great night of music, so invite your family and friends now to join you that night!

    Also, don’t forget the upcoming Book Swap on May 22nd.  Bring your used books to the church from May 15th on (you can drop them in Weldin Hall) and then come back on Sunday morning, the 22nd and pick up some new ones.  Please note that, even if you don’t have books to donate, you can come and pick up new books on the 22nd.
    Later that same day, May 22nd, we’ll have a New Member Orientation Class in Room 1, for anyone wishing to join the church.  Lunch will be included and childcare will be available when needed.  To sign up for the class, email or call the church office at 410-398-0933.

I think that’s it for now, except to remind you that next week our two seminarians, Sarah Alphin and Carlos Reyes-Rodriguez are both graduating from seminary – Sarah from Boston University School of Theology and  Carlos from Wesley Theological Seminary.  It hardly seems possible that they’re graduating already – it seems like they just started.  Say a prayer for them both as they leave school, and go out into the world in ministry for Jesus Christ.  Their addresses are in this month’s church newsletter (which you can find on our website –, so if you get the chance, send them a card.  It’s a great accomplishment for them both.  I’m so proud of them, and so excited for them!

Okay, I think that’s really it for now!  Have a great Friday in spite of the rain!  Take some time this weekend to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday, Mother’s Day, in worship!
                                                                                                                                                  Grace and Peace,

PS – Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  Enjoy the warmth and sunshine in SC with your favorite child – LOL!