Friday, October 28, 2016

Happy "Windy" Friday!


Hi All –

Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend!  I know there’s a lot going on in everybody’s lives in the next few days, so let’s get right at it:

-          Tomorrow night, we’ll have a fun Family Fall Fest at the church.  It will take place in Weldin Hall at 6:30 p.m. and feature crafts, music, and fun!  Families will make their own scarecrow and candy apples, and don’t forget to have the kids wear their costumes, because trick or treating at the Fall Fest will take place at 7:30 p.m.  Need more information or have questions?  Email Katie at katharine.gravatt@gmail.com.

-          Also on Saturday night, our youth will be attending “Truth or Terror” at a church in Pennsylvania.  Sandy asks that all youth be at the church in time for a 6 p.m. departure.  They should also bring money for a snack, and those who wish to spend the night at our church afterwards should bring their sleeping bag, toiletries, and a pillow.  On Sunday afternoon, the youth will be going to Camp Pecometh for the Hayride and Bonfire.  Those youth taking part should be at the church for a 4:15 p.m. departure.  Questions?  Text Sandy at 443-309-0160.

-          On Sunday morning, I’ll conclude my “Centered Living in an Off-Centered World” sermon series with “How I Make Decisions.”  I thought it would be a timely topic considering this week is Stewardship Pledge Sunday and soon, everyone will be casting votes for leadership in our country, state and county.  In the sermon, I’ll walk us through the way our founder John Wesley made decisions.

-          As I said above, Sunday is Stewardship Pledge Sunday, and I hope you have been in prayer this week about your financial pledge to Christ through our church for 2017.  By now, you should have gotten your pledge card in the mail, so please fill it out and bring it with you to worship on Sunday, where you’ll have the opportunity to place it before God at the chancel rail.  If you didn’t get a pledge card, please see one of the ushers on Sunday morning – they’ll have extra pledge cards on hand.

-          Not too many days from now, we’ll be enjoying our annual Spaghetti Dinner (Saturday, November 5th from 4-7 p.m.).  You can buy tickets for the dinner this Sunday morning in the Hospitality Area, and we’re still looking for people to provide baked goods for the bake sale, so if you can help, please do!

-          This is the final call for names to be listed on an insert in the bulletin for All Saints’ Sunday (November 6th).  If you have lost someone you love this year, and would like their name listed on that insert, please email me your name, their name, and your relationship to them at eumc@comcast.net

-          Finally, starting this Sunday and running through December, you’ll see an “Opportunities for Giving” insert in the bulletin.  I’ve done this for the past several years and it’s been very helpful.  It lists all the giving opportunities from all areas of the church through the end of the year.  The reason I put it together is to let you know the vast scope of the outreach in which you can participate, and to help you make a decision on which ones you can do.  There are far too many opportunities to do every one, and we don’t expect anyone to do that, so read through the list, and ask God to guide and direct you about which ones in which you’ll take part.

I think that’s it for now.  As you can see, there’s a lot going on, and it’s all great!  We’re
getting ready to head into a couple of pretty exciting months, with multiple opportunities for
worship, fellowship and outreach.  I’m so looking forward to it!

Have a great Friday, and an even better weekend!  Take some time out for rest and relaxation, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!

                                                                                  Grace and Peace,

                                                                                                            Karen

Friday, October 21, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

  Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and have enjoyed this unseasonably warm weather.  Looks like things are going to change this weekend, but with that change will come more color change with the leaves, which will be wonderful!  The trees around the church and parsonage are just beginning to get some color, so the next week or so should be spectacular! 
   
  What a fabulous Sunday we had last week at the church!  The Laity Sunday service was really wonderful!  If you weren’t able to be with us, you can still watch it through the video on the church’s website (elktonumc.org).  The Stewardship Fair was maybe the best one we’ve ever had – great decorations, lots of great displays and presentations, and wonderful fellowship throughout the morning.  And the best news of all – over 85 people signed up for ministry interest and participation!  Add to all of that the tremendous response you showed to the Harvest Food Festival!  Through your generosity, we were able to take 231 bags of groceries to Immaculate Conception Church for their food pantry!  I talked to Dottie Fritz at ICC on Monday and she was nearly crying with joy, because not too long before our gift arrived, their shelves were practically empty.  So thank you so much for your generous giving, and thanks for your participation in a great Sunday at Elkton UMC!

On to this weekend:
-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the fourth sermon in my “Centered Living in an Off-Centered World” sermon series.  This week the theme is “How I Think About Money and Possessions,” which I hope will set the stage for all of us to be in prayer and discernment this week about the financial pledges we’ll make next Sunday for 2017. 
-          This Sunday’s worship will also have a few other highlights:  We’ll take the opportunity to recognize our wonderful acolytes at both services.  We’ll also be treated, for the first time this fall, to the music of both our Children’s Choir and Handbell Choir!  Can’t wait to hear them both!
-          Also on Sunday, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up to help with our upcoming Spaghetti Dinner (Saturday, November 5th) by helping to prepare the meal and set up, serving at the dinner, or providing baked goods for the bake sale.  There will be an insert in the bulletin all about it.
-          Don’t forget that you can also pick up an Operation Christmas Child shoe box if you want to participate in that ministry this year.  This is a wonderful way to help children in need have a Christmas!  The boxes are on the counter in the Welcome Center area.
-          Also don’t forget that on Saturday, October 29th at 6:30 the Sunday School department is sponsoring a “Fall Fest” to which everyone is invited!  There will be crafts, music, games and much more.  To participate, sign up on the sheet posted on the bulletin board across from the church office.

I think that’s it for now.  So have a great Friday and an even greater weekend!  Take some time off to rest and relax even while you try to get your “to do” list done.  Make sure to spend time with those you love.  And then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning.  Can’t wait!
                                                                                                Grace and Peace,

                                                                                                Karen

Friday, October 14, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

 Happy Friday!  What a beautiful week God has given us!  I love the chill in the air, watching the first touch of color appear on the trees, and seeing fall decorations by front doors everywhere!  Add to that baseball playoffs and football season in full gear – life is good! 

Speaking of life being good – there’s tons of good things going on at the church, especially this weekend.  Here goes:

-          On Sunday, we’ll celebrate Laity Sunday.  Our lay leaders Kim Artrip and Faye Camors have planned an exciting worship service, highlighting the ministry of lay people and how they use their gifts in the church and in the world.  You won’t want to miss it!

-          After listening to that message, head on down to the Stewardship Fair which will be held in Weldin Hall.  All of the different ministry areas of the church will have tables so you can learn about what they do and how you might possibly help them.  The theme of the fair this year is “Untie the Ribbon” – in other words, open the gifts God has planted within you and find ways to use them for his kingdom. 

-          Don’t forget to bring your filled grocery bags with you to church on Sunday.  We distributed the empty Harvest Food Festival bags last week, but if you didn’t get a bag, it’s okay just to bring a bag of groceries – all gifts are welcomed!  A big truck will be parked at the back entrance of the church in which you can put your donation of groceries.  At about 11:15, after everyone has arrived at church, the truck will be driven over to Immaculate Conception Church, where their Scout troop will unload the hopefully over 200 bags to help stock their food pantry.  Please help as you can – the need is great!

-          In just a few weeks, we’ll be having our annual wonderful Spaghetti Dinner!  It will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 4-7 p.m. in Weldin Hall.  Tickets for the dinner will be on sale starting this Sunday (in Weldin Hall at the Stewardship Fair).  We’re also looking for bakers to help stock the bake sale at the dinner.  Details about all of this will be on an insert in this Sunday’s bulletin.

-          Operation Christmas Child is back for another year.  As you know, we’ve participated in this “shoe box” project for a number of years, providing gifts for children in need throughout the world at Christmas.  The boxes will be available in the Welcome Center area, and details about the project will be available on a bulletin insert on Sunday.

-          As you can see by much of what I just wrote, “giving season” has started at EUMC.  To that end, in a couple of weeks I will start including the “Opportunities for Giving” insert in the Sunday bulletin.  On that insert, I will list every week all of the opportunities for giving that will occur between now and Christmas – and as you will see, there will be a lot of them!  I want to say to you now what I’ve said for many years – you can’t do them all, so please don’t try to!  Read over the list of everything that’s available and then pray and ask God to guide you in what to do.  Pick the ones that really touch your heart, and go for it.  But please don’t feel that you have to do them all.  We have enough people that, if everyone chooses something to take part in, we’ll cover the waterfront, and get them all accomplished. 

-         A couple more things – thank you to all who donated blood last week.  We had another really successful Blood Drive.  And secondly, when you watch all the news of the devastation from Hurricane Matthew and you see how communities are struggling with flood waters, remember that the United Methodist Committee on Relief is already working to help them and they can do that because of gifts like ours, which we gave on the One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday. 

Phew! I think that’s it for now – I know, that’s a lot!  I told you at the beginning that there were great things going on!  So you don’t want to miss all the excitement this Sunday!  Make sure you come and take part in a great day with your church family!
       
 In the meantime, have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.  Enjoy the fall weather, find some down time for yourself, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday for a great morning together!  Can’t wait!
                                                                 Grace and Peace,
                                                                                      Karen

  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week, and are looking forward to a great weekend.  Like you, my mind and heart are with everyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew.  What a terrible storm, and how great the devastation.  Please continue to lift all of those affected in your prayers.  It is such a scary time for so many people.  Pray that they will rest in God’s peace even in the midst of the storm.

We will surely pray for all of them in worship on Sunday.  Here’s what else will be happening at the church this weekend:

-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in my “Centered Living in an Off-Centered World” series.  This week the topic is “How I Speak and Act.”  We’ll have the joy of hearing the Men’s Choir for the first time this fall, and we’ll also have our monthly “Children’s Time” at both services.  So make sure to spread the word to all the families in church to be in worship so their children can come forward to hear a great children’s book which speaks to the theme of the service!

-          All morning long on Sunday we’ll have our third “Blood Drive” for the Delmarva Blood Bank.  We’ve had a lot of people sign up for donation slots ahead of time, but if you’d like to give and haven’t signed up, please still come to Weldin Hall.  There will be a place for you!  We’d like to top our previous giving of 40 units of blood, but we cannot do it without more donors.  If you can give, please do – the need is great, and you’ll be saving lives!

-          Also on Sunday, as you leave worship, you’ll be given a grocery bag for the annual Harvest Food Festival.  On the bag is attached a list of grocery items needed at the Food Pantry at Immaculate Conception Church (our mission partners).  You’re invited to fill your bag with some of those items and bring it back with you next Sunday, October 16th.  When you do, there will be a truck parked at the parking lot door in which you can place your donation.  Over the past few years, we’ve donated 200 or more bags of groceries – let’s do that or more this year!  Help as you can!

-          Just a reminder to the women in the church that registration and the first payment for the Women’s Retreat is due now.  The retreat will be on Martin Luther King weekend (Jan. 13-15, 2017) at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City MD.  Brochures about the retreat can be found on the table across from the Welcome Center.
-          Finally, I want to say that I hope you’re enjoying the “greeting videos” at the beginning of our worship services.  I have heard many positive comments about them.  People are telling me that they can’t wait to see who appears on the screen every week.  Well, we’re getting ready to set up filming the next set of videos for the winter and spring worship services.  If you’d like to do one, we’d love to have you.  Just let me know, and we’ll put you on the videotaping schedule!

I think that’s it for now.  I hope you have a great Friday.  Enjoy this beautiful fall weather!  Then have a great 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. In the meantime, pray, pray and pray some more for those in the path of the hurricane!
                                                           Grace and Peace,

                                                                                Karen