Friday, September 30, 2016

Happy Friday

Hi All –

Surprise!  No, it’s not Friday, but for various reasons, it’s easier for me to get this email out to you today – so Happy Thursday! - well, as happy as you can get on a dreary, wet and really windy day!  Anyway, I hope you’re having a good day and have had a good week – and have plans for a great weekend!

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

  • On Sunday, we’ll celebrate World Communion Sunday, the one day on which Christian churches throughout the world all celebrate communion together.  I’ll start a new sermon series this week entitled “Centered Living in an Off-Centered World,” with this week’s topic being “How I Think of Others.”
  • On Sunday, you’ll also have the opportunity to sign up to be a donor for next Sunday’s Blood Drive.  This is the third blood drive we’re having, and we hope to top the donation totals of the first two.  Members of the Missions Committee will be on hand in the Hospitality Area after both services to help you sign up to donate.  If you cannot donate for some reason, we could still use your help next Sunday by greeting donors, holding hands for reassurance, or working in the refreshment area.  If you can help in any of those ways, please let Joe Tanner know on Sunday – he’ll be at the donation sign-up table.
  • Also on Sunday, at 3 p.m., we’ll have our annual Blessing of the Animals service.  This is always a wonderful service as members of the church bring their furry friends for a special blessing.  If you’re coming, please remember a leash for your pet and a lawn chair for yourself.  We’ll be on the lawn in front of Weldin Hall and the service will be about 20 minutes long.

Just a couple of other things:

  • We’re phasing out the Scrip Card program, but we still have a number of gift cards on hand that we need to sell.  On the bulletin board as you enter the Hospitality Area, you’ll see index cards indicating what gift cards we still have on hand.  If you’d like to buy one of those, simply remove the index card, fill in the information on it, put it and a check in an envelope and take it to the youth office, where the request will be processed.  
  • In just a few weeks, on the first Sunday of November, we’ll be celebrating All Saints’ Sunday.  As you probably know, on that day we remember the members of our church who have died in the past year.  We also provide an opportunity to remember others who have died, as people are invited to bring a flower in memory of them.  But this year, we’re adding one more thing.  We’ll be running a list on a bulletin insert of all of the people we have lost this year.  So if you have experienced the loss of a loved one and want their name included on the list, please send that information to me at  Please include your name, their name and your relationship with them.

I think that’s it for now.  Try not to blow away today!  Have a great rest of the week, then a wonderful, hopefully restful weekend.  Take some time out for yourself, even while tackling your list of chores.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday in worship!
                                                                                         Grace and Peace,

Friday, September 23, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 Happy Friday and Happy Fall!  What a beautiful morning God has given us!  I hope you’ve had a good week and are ready for a great weekend.  I, for one, am ready for some downtime after a crazy busy couple of weeks.  Plus, I have to store up my energy for the Eagles-Steelers game on Sunday!  LOL

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

-          Tonight, the Classic Christians will have their monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Weldin Hall.  The night begins with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and will continue on with a program by Rich Juergens and Lee Collins on “Collecting.”  Both of them are great history buffs and collectors and it will surely be a great program, so all Classic Christians, come on over, even if you haven’t signed up ahead of time.

-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the third sermon in my “Not Church as Usual” series.  This week it’s “Start with the Story,” which reflects the theme of Christian Education Sunday, which we’ll be celebrating.  We’ll present Bibles to our 2nd graders, and recognize our wonderfully dedicated Christian Education teachers and leaders.

-          Sunday is also the last day to bring in goodies for the first College Care Package.  Those packages will be stuffed at 9:45 in Weldin Hall.  If you’d like to help prepare them, just show up in Weldin Hall and the team will be glad to welcome you!

-          Also on Sunday, our wonderful Cub Scout Pack 443 will be selling popcorn in the hospitality area.  This is their biggest fundraiser of the year, and they count on our support.  They’ll have a variety of popcorn flavors and several different size bags for sale.  Prizes range from $10-$20.  They’ll also accept donations!  The money they raise will help pay for their wonderful activities throughout the year, and also provide scholarship money to Scouts who might need it.

A couple of other bits of information:

-          The Nominating Committee is getting ready to meet for the first time to put together a slate of nominees for leadership and service in our church in 2017.  If you’re interested in serving on a particular committee or in a particular ministry area, we’d like to hear from you.  You can send that information to me via my email,

-          As many of you know, our church organ shut down last week – none of the pedals worked, so Sharon had to use the piano instead.  The organ is now 82 years old, and we’ve known for some time that we have to do something about it.  The need for repairs happens more and more frequently and the costs keep adding up.  The Finance Committee met last night and will move forward with looking into the purchase of a new organ.  Right now, we’re gathering information about costs/timing/financing, etc., so stay tuned.  Over the next few months, you’ll be hearing more about it.  In the meantime, we’re trying to patch the organ together, so we can use it again!

I think that’s it for now.  Enjoy this beautiful Friday, and the weekend ahead.  Take some time for yourself, even while doing all your weekend chores.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday!

                                              Grace and Peace,


Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  It’s another beautiful morning that God has given us!  I hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend.  Here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:
-          We’re going to continue the great momentum stirred up last week on Kickoff Sunday!  We had an awesome turnout for Sunday School (with several new families joining in), great worship services with some new surprises (the welcome video and children’s time), a wonderful, full choir loft with our Chancel Choir returning, and a really great kickoff to the Youth Group year with a fabulous Scavenger Hunt where our youth paired up with some of our more senior members to find historical sites around Elkton.  It was a great Sunday!

-          And this Sunday promises to be great as well.  I’ll continue my September sermon series, “Not Church as Usual” with the second installment “Dream Big!”  We’ll see our second “welcome video” – come and see who it is!  And the children’s choir will have their first rehearsal of the year at 9 a.m. in Room 1.  All children are invited to join in!

-          Don’t forget that we’re still collecting goodies for the first College Care Package that will go out on September 25th!  I was talking to my niece recently (who was the recipient of our care packages during her years at Mississippi State) and she told me how much she particularly liked the microwavable things like macaroni and cheese.  Apparently that hits the spot during late nights of studying!  Anyway, if you’d like to donate goodies for the care packages, please bring them to the bin in the Welcome Center area.

-          This Sunday is the unveiling of the Women’s Retreat brochure for the 2017 retreat which will take place in Ocean City Martin Luther King Jr. weekend (Jan. 13-15).  The brochures will be included in Sunday’s bulletin – so women, make sure to get your brochure and sign up quickly – as it is sure to fill up fast!

-          This weekend, Elkton is celebrating its Fall Fest and our church will have a table on Main Street during the day tomorrow.  So stop by the table and see the folks from the church!  Help them spread the word of what a great church we are and how much we’d like others to come and join us!

I think that’s it for now.  Enjoy this beautiful day and the weekend ahead.  I know there are a lot of things going on all over the place (football, soccer, races, Octoberfest, etc.), so have a blast with whatever you decide to do.  But please make coming to church on Sunday one of those things!  There will be so many great things going on, and they will be better if you’re here with us!

So have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend.  Be sure to find time for yourself, and time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday morning!
                                                             Grace and Peace,

Friday, September 9, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  It’s a beautiful morning at the start of what will surely be an exciting weekend – because it’s Kickoff Sunday at church!  The relatively quiet times of summer at church will go by the wayside as the halls fill with people, the parking lot fills with cars, the pews fill with worshipers, and the songs of our musicians fill the air!  For me, it’s one of my favorite Sundays of the year!

So, here’s the whole picture of what’s happening this weekend:

     On Sunday, I’ll start a new sermon series entitled “Not Church as Usual” and this week’s sermon, based upon the parables of the lost sheep and coin, will help us think about the questions, “Who’s missing?” and “Who’s lost?”  As I said earlier, the choir will be back, which is exciting enough in itself, but there will also be a couple of brand new things starting in worship – one of which I’ll tell you about and one of which you’ll have to come to worship to see for yourself!  The one I’ll tell you about is “Children’s Time.”  On the second Sunday of each month, at both services, we’ll have a special “Children’s Time” where all of the children will be invited to come forward to the front of the church.  There someone will read them a short children’s book which reflects the theme of that Sunday’s sermon and service.  This Sunday’s book is called Little Rabbit Lost.  So make sure your kids come to worship for their special time this week!

       Between services, Sunday School starts!  Everyone who wants to take part in Sunday School is invited to go to Weldin Hall at 9:45 to register for their class before proceeding to their classroom.  We have a wonderful array of classes for people of all ages – including five classes for adults – and we have an incredibly gifted corps of teachers to lead them.  If you’ve never been to Sunday School before, or haven’t lately, why don’t you give it a try this Sunday?
     On Sunday night at 5, the Youth Group has their Fall Kickoff starting off in Weldin Hall with a potluck dinner for youth and their families (bring a dish to share).  After dinner, the youth will take off for their always fabulous and fun “Scavenger Hunt” around Elkton.  Youth are reminded to bring their smartphones or tablets to record the adventure!  While the youth are “hunting” around Elkton, the parents will have a meeting with Sandy about the year ahead.

      Just a couple of other things about Sunday morning.  If you didn’t get to pick up your copy of the new pictorial directory, you can do that this Sunday in the Hospitality Area.  If you had your picture taken for the directory, your copy is free; if you didn’t, it will cost $5.00.
      Don’t forget that we’re starting to collect goodies for the college care packages which will go out on September 25th.  So bring your donations to the box next to the Welcome Center.
     On Monday night (September 12th) our Cub Scout Pack 443 is holding a “Join Scouting Night” in Weldin Hall from 6:30-8 p.m.  If you have a son or grandson going into kindergarten through 5th grade, come check out what Scouting is all about.  Before that, you can get more information from Pack 443’s website – or email them at

I think that’s it for now.  Please make every effort to come back to church this weekend.  Our Evangelism/Membership Committee has issued a challenge to our church to “Go for the Gold” and set an attendance record this Sunday.  That means we need to top 360 in worship!  That’s a tall order, but we can do it!Also, on Sunday, take some time to remember what happened in our country on that terrible day 15 years ago – September 11, 2001.  Remember those who were lost in those horrendous acts of terrorism, all of the first responders who gave so much to care for others, and our whole country.  We will surely remember in our prayers in worship on Sunday!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  With everything going on at church (and football starting too – YAY!) how can it help but be great?!!  Find some time to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday for our wonderful KICKOFF!  It’s going to be great!  Can’t wait!
                                                           Grace and Peace,

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Friday Email for September 2nd

Hi All –

Surprise!  Happy Thursday!  I’m getting the “Friday” email out early this week because it’s a holiday weekend and there’s lots going on for all of us.  Hope you’re having a good day, have had a good week, and are looking forward to a long, restful Labor Day weekend.

Here’s what’s happening at the church this weekend:
  •       On Sunday, I’ll preach about work in a sermon entitled “God Bless the Works of Your Hands.”  We’ll celebrate holy communion together, and there will be a special blessing of hands that work also!
  •       Make sure you’re here on Sunday because OUR NEW PICTORIAL DIRECTORIES   HAVE ARRIVED and you can pick yours up this week!  Members of the Communications Committee will be on hand to distribute them downstairs in the Hospitality Area.  If you had your picture taken for the directory this year, your copy is free.  If you did not, you can purchase one for $5 (make checks out to Elkton UMC and mark “Directory” on the memo line).  The directory turned out really well, and if I must say so myself, we have a lot of good looking people in our church!
  •       Also, while you’re walking by the Welcome Center, pick up the September newsletter.  It’s the biggest edition of the year, with all the start-up information for all our ministries in it.  We’ve got a lot going on this fall, and you can find everything you need to know in the newsletter.  Of course, you can always read it on-line, as well, via our church website (
  •        Speaking of the website, don’t forget that if you’re not able to be in worship this Sunday, you can watch the service (usually by Sunday night) via a link on our church website.  Just go to the website (, click on “sermons,” then click on “You Tube” sermons, and then finally, click on the service you’d like to watch.
  •        A reminder that there’s still space available on the Classic Christians’ bus trip to Baltimore on Wednesday, October 19th.  The trip features a luncheon cruise and an afternoon tour of Fort McHenry.  Cost is $90/person.  Sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.
  •        Also – Classic Christians – please note that the next meeting date has been changed due to a conflict in our presenter’s schedule.  The meeting (originally to be held on September 16th) will now take place on Friday, September 23rd at 6:30 p.m.
  •       Let me say a word of thanks to all who helped make our 1st “Drive Through Prayer” a reality.  We had a great morning together, and had the opportunity to pray with a wide variety of people.  Thanks to all who helped make it happen!

I think that’s it for now, except to say that this is a very special weekend for a member of our church staff.  Steven Gilmore, our Chancel Choir and Men’s Choir Director, will be married tomorrow afternoon to Emily Topper!  Please pray for this wonderful couple as they start their married life together!

Have a great rest of the week, and then a fabulous holiday weekend!  Do find time to rest from your labor, and enjoy time with family and friends!  And then, I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning as we give God thanks for the work that He calls us to do!
                                                                              Grace and Peace,