Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Email for July 29, 2016

Hi All –

                Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week, and have managed to stay cool and dry!  I was driving back from Dover in that incredible rainstorm yesterday, and it was so bad, almost everyone had their emergency flashers on.  It’s been a crazy week of weather.  I just finished reading The Cecil Whig and saw an article on how the weather has really impacted the Cecil County Fair – either lots of intense heat (so hot they couldn’t open up the rides until later in the day) or drenching rains that had people running for cover!  Oh well – it’s the good ole summertime!

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

-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the fourth sermon in the series, “I Can Do All Things through Christ Who Strengthens Me.”  This week’s theme word is “Pray,” and we’ll be hearing from a couple of people in our church who know just how important prayer is and how it carried them through some stressful times in their lives!  You won’t want to miss it!

-          Don’t forget that we’re still collecting donations of school supplies to give to children in need as school starts.  You can find a list of items needed on our website (elktonumc.org).  Click on the rotating pictures panel in the center of the home page until it gets to the School Supplies panel, and then click on that for the list.  We need things like pencils, erasers, student scissors, composition books, folders, etc.  In the past, you’ve been very generous in donating these supplies – please help again this year for the need is great!

-          A reminder to Classic Christians (age 60 and over) that our annual Picnic is getting ever closer – Friday, August 5th at 4 p.m. at the home of Betty and Ed Sprague.  To participate, please sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center so we can assure that we have enough food and beverages for everyone!

-          I think all of you got an email from the church yesterday that contained a survey for families with children and grandchildren in our church.  It’s a very brief survey asking about ideas and information around family events in our church.  If you have children/grandchildren in our church, please take the few minutes it will take to complete the survey.  The information will be very valuable to all involved in our children’s ministries, and will ensure that we’re providing what you want when you want it!

I think that’s it for now.  I’m off to put the finishing touches on the words I’ll be saying this afternoon to celebrate the life of Ed Stubbs.  After that, I’ll be heading over to Newark to celebrate Damien’s 16th birthday with all of our family!  It’s hard to believe he’s going to be 16 in just a few days, and you know what that means – driver’s license!!   (And no, Damien, you can’t have my car!  LOL)

                Have a good Friday, and a great weekend!  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 morning when we remember that prayer helps us do all things through Christ who strengthens us!  See you Sunday!

 

                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,

                                                                                                                                Karen

 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
   Happy beautiful Friday morning!  Hope you’ve had a good week, and have plans for a great weekend (and access to air conditioning!!).  Sounds like it’s going to be a really hot one!  It’s been a pretty quiet week at the church, but there are some great things going on this weekend, so here goes:

     On Sunday, I’ll offer the third sermon in my series, “I Can Do All Things through Christ Who Strengthens Me.”  This week’s theme word is “Trust.”  Make sure you come and hear the testimony of one of our families who learned in a very real well how trust in God could carry them through a family crisis.  It’s a powerful story you won’t want to miss!
Also, don’t forget that on Sunday you’ll have the unique opportunity to join others in our church in decorating a car for the Cecil County Fair’s Demolition Derby.  The banged-up car will be parked in the lot nearest Locust Lane, so bring some “work” clothes to change into after worship, so you can help paint the car.  John Sparks will be driving it in the derby, so check the fair schedule if you want to see that as well.

This Sunday will start our annual “School Supplies” drive to help children in our community in need.  We’ll be collecting the usual things like – backpacks, pocket folders, composition books, #2 pencils, crayons (16-24), ballpoint pens, highlighters, colored pencils, student scissors, rulers, glue sticks, erasers, etc.  If you can help, bring your donations to the collection bin in the Hospitality Area.  We’ll be collecting these items until the middle of August when the backpacks will be stuffed and delivered.


I drove down Main Street the other day to check out the progress on our sidewalk and they are making progress but have a way to go yet, so your best bet is probably still to park in the church parking lot.  It’s taking a while, but it’s going to be great when the project is completed!


Finally, on Sunday afternoon we’ll welcome home our Kentucky mission team.  They’ve had a great week, renewed their wonderful friendships with the people of Mozelle, Kentucky and done some great work on homes there.  The team members are Ben and Ed Dalrymple, Jocelyn Melvin, Megan O’Neal, Carly Smith, Sharlene Lyle, Ted McDowell, and Dave and Sandy Wherry.  Be sure to thank them for their sacrificial service the next time you see them!

I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and a wonderful weekend!  Take time to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and find ways to stay cool in the midst of this heat wave.  Oh wait, I know a way you can do that!  Come to our beautiful air-conditioned sanctuary for worship on Sunday morning!!  See you then!

                                    Grace and Peace,                                                                                                                                       Karen

Friday, July 15, 2016

HAPPY 'HOT' FRIDAY!


Hi All –
  It’s going to be a scorcher out there today!  But it sure is beautiful, with sunny skies and a lovely breeze blowing!  Maybe you should get out and enjoy it before the thermometer rises later on!  I hope you’ve had a good week, and have plans for a great weekend.

 As I begin, it saddens me to, yet again, have to refer to violence in our world. As I started to type this email, I looked back on previous Friday emails to see that, all too often, I’ve had to include thoughts and prayers after senseless acts of violence in our world.  I wasn’t even sure how long ago the Dallas attacks on police happened, but when I looked back I realized that since I had written last Friday’s email early (on Thursday), those attacks had not yet occurred.  So today, my heart is heavy as we continue to pray for the police families in Dallas, and the whole city for that matter, and now for the people of France, so shattered by the horror of last night’s events.  When will it end?  All we can do is continue to pray and to remember that God is still on the throne, and one day, all will be well.  In the meantime, we can live as people of peace, mercy and justice and share the love of Jesus Christ with our wounded world.

 Another thing we can do is remember and lift up all of the good things with which God is filling our world, like some of the things happening around the church in the next few days – so here goes:

-          Tomorrow morning at 8:30, we’ll send our Mission Team off in prayer for their trip to Kentucky.  You’re invited to join us as we gather for a time of prayer and devotions in the parking lot.  They’ll leave after that, and be gone until next Sunday, July 24th.  Please put the team on your prayer list for the whole week ahead – that this time will be productive and most of all, spiritually uplifting.  May it draw all of them closer to God and to each other!
-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in my “I Can Do All Things through Christ Who Strengthens Me” series – and the focus this week is the word “fight.”  We’ll hear a story from one of our church members on the fight she waged against cancer.  It’s a very moving story, and you won’t want to miss it!
-          Also, on Sunday, we’ll be treated to the music of Rob Hazel, who is sitting in for Sharon who remains on vacation.  Rob is a retired Cecil County music teacher, who was with us on July 3rd as part of the Providence Brass Quintet.  One of Rob’s former students, our very own Tyler Bjerke, will offer the special music.  We’re in for a musical treat this Sunday from both of these talented men!
-          A reminder to all Classic Christians (age 50 and over) that it’s time to sign up for the Annual Picnic, which will take place on Friday, August 5th at the home of Betty and Ed Sprague.  The sign-up sheet is on the table across from the Welcome Center, and it’s important that everyone who intends to come signs up, so we can have enough food and beverages on hand!
-          The Northeast Jurisdictional Conference is wrapping up today in Lancaster (our Peninsula-Delaware Conference is a part of that larger conference which encompasses all the states from Maine on the north to Maryland and West Virginia on the south, and as far west as Pittsburgh , western New York and West Virginia on the west.)  Two new bishops were elected, but we received the news that Peggy Johnson will remain our bishop for the next four years.  We have a new District Superintendent, a wonderful man named Joe Archie.  Our former District Superintendent, Derrick Porter, now becomes the pastor of Newark UMC. 
-          Finally, let me tell you that we had a wonderful, wonderful Vacation Bible School this week.  If you want to know how to deal with the sadness in our world, spend time with children like ours!  They are so
precious, and it was wonderful to spend each night with them this week.  They learned all sorts of great things about God’s love for them, and about the Good Shepherd of us all, Jesus.  Some of them memorized the 23rd Psalm.  And they all learned wonderful, uplifting songs which they performed for the closing last night.  I worked with them on their mission project – raising funds for the Heifer Project, which provides animals to families in need so that they can feed themselves and raise money for their needs.  All together, the children gave over $400 – which enabled them
to “buy” a sheep, a goat, four flocks of chicks and three swarms of bees!  Think of the families that will be touched by the generosity of our kids!  Thanks to all of the adults and youth who taught, led and helped out in any way this week – VBS couldn’t have happened without you!
-          Speaking of giving, I just want to let you know that in our recent love offering for West Virginia flood victims, you gave $1500!  Thanks so much!

I think that is it for now.  Sorry this email is so long, but there’s a lot going on.  Have a great Friday, and a wonderful weekend!  Find some time to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!

                                       Grace and Peace,
                                                         Karen 


Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Friday" Email for July 8, 2016

Hi All –

  Happy Thursday!  I’m sending my end of the week email a little early this week because I’m going out of town tomorrow.   Hope that’s okay!

Anyway, Happy Thursday!  Hope you’re surviving the heat okay this week.  It actually has not been as bad as I thought it was going to be – the breeze helps! Here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:

- On Sunday, I’ll start a new sermon series entitled “I Can Do All Things through Christ Who Strengthens Me.”  Each week, we’ll look at a different Biblical story and the things Christ calls us/enables us to do – like “act,” “pray,” “fight,” “survive,” and “trust” (among others).  The best part of this series is that we’ll be hearing testimonies from members of the congregation about how Christ has worked in their lives.  So come this Sunday and hear the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, and how God called him - and the story of one of your fellow church members, and how God used him.  You won’t want to miss it!
-  Also on Sunday we’ll be celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion together.  We’ll also be treated to the music of the Gilmore family.  Brian is sitting in for Sharon while she’s on vacation this week, and Steve will be singing.  If we’re lucky, maybe Krista will get in on the act as well!
-  Vacation Bible School starts Sunday night at 5:30!  It’s not too late to sign up your children/grandchildren – they can register at the door.  VBS starts each night at 5:30 with dinner, and then continues until 8 with Bible stories, activities, music, crafts and more.  I’m going to be working with the children on a mission to raise money for the Heifer Project!  It’s always one of the greatest weeks of the year for our church, so make sure your family is a part of it!
-  In case you were wondering – because of the inclement weather, we did not hand out the Kool Pops at the fireworks on Monday.  Actually, we thought they would be cancelled.  But, no worries, we’re going to save some of them to hand out at the Elkton Fall Festival in September where our church has a booth.   Others will be used at Vacation Bible School this week, at Youth Group, and for the mission trip to Kentucky. 
-  Finally, let me say a word about our worship service last Sunday.  It was wonderful, wasn’t it?  It was great for all of us to worship together as one, the Providence Brass Quintet was excellent, and the singing was spectacular.  If you weren’t able to be present, be sure to go to our church website, elktonumc.org, click on “sermons,” then click on “you tube sermons” and you can watch a video of the service.

I think that’s it for now.  Have a great rest of the week, and then a wonderful weekend.  Find time to rest and relax even while getting all your chores done.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning! 
                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,
                                                                                                                                Karen


Friday, July 1, 2016

Friday Email for Independence Day Weekend!



Hi all, 
Happy Friday!  Happy July!  Happy 4th of July weekend!  Hope you’ve had a great week and have plans for a great holiday weekend.  It looks like once we get through the rain today it’s going to be beautiful – yay!



Here’s what’s happening at the church this weekend:
  •  On Sunday, we’ll have a very special “Service of Prayers and Thanksgiving for Our Nation.”  One of the reasons it will be special is that we’ll be having one combined worship service at 9:45 a.m., so we’ll all get to be together – the 8:30 and 11:00 congregations as one!  It’s going to be great!  What will make it even greater will be the presence of The Providence Brass Quintet who will fill the service with wonderful music!  This is a great service to invite your family, friends and neighbors to attend – so why not make a few calls today or tomorrow?
  •  Just a note about parking for Sunday – the Town of Elkton is finally working on the front sidewalks, so everyone will need to park in the back this week. 
  •  Also on Sunday, we’ll be taking a special love offering for the victims of the flooding in West Virginia.  The money will go to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) who will send it on to WVA.  There will be a “flood bucket” at the doors of the sanctuary on Sunday into which you can put your donation.  If you want to write a check, make it out to Elkton UMC and put West Virginia on the memo line.
  •  Just one final note about Sunday – We usually have communion on the first Sunday of the month, but because of the special service and the brass group sitting in the front of the church, we’ve moved communion to next Sunday, July 10th.
  •  Sign-up continues for Vacation Bible School, which will be held Sunday, July 10th through Thursday, July 14th.  You can sign your kids/grandkids up for VBS via the church website – elktonumc.org or see Katie Sparks this Sunday morning at church.
  •  Thanks to everyone who donated Kool Pops for the fireworks on the 4th.  We’ve got tons of them and it will be great to give them away on Monday night.  If you want to be part of the fun of giving them away at the fireworks, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center. 
  •  Finally, don’t forget that if you’re going to be away this weekend, you can still experience our wonderful “Service of Prayers and Thanksgiving for Our Nation” via our website.  It should be posted and ready to view by Monday morning!
I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  Spend time with your family and friends, and give God thanks for the blessing of our great country!  I hope to see you at 9:45 Sunday for our special service on this Independence Day Weekend!
                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,
                                                                                                                                Karen