Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy Friday

Hi All –
   Happy Friday!  I hope you’ve had a good week and have enjoyed some quiet time in the aftermath of Christmas Day – and I hope you’re staying warm in this bone-chilling cold weather!  It’s been fun to see on Facebook the pictures many of you have posted of your Christmas celebrations – looks like it was great for one and all!  Well, now it’s on to celebrating a new year, but before that, here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:

-          On Sunday, we’ll have one combined service at 10 am.  It was great fun being all together last Sunday for our morning service!  We had a packed house, and a great service together.  So we’ll do it again this week at 10 am and we’ll be treated to the music of Steve Gilmore and our fabulous Chancel Choir.  My sermon, entitled “Follow the Star” will look at the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, and how we can reflect on that in terms of our lives in these days. 

-          A few reminders:
o   All women attending this year’s Women’s Retreat are reminded to send in your meal request to eumc@comcast.net no later than Wednesday, January 3rd.  You can have either crab cakes, prime rib, or vegetable primavera.
o   A reminder to the men in the church that there’s still space available for the Men’s Retreat, which takes place January 19—21 at the Riverview Retreat Center at Camp Pecometh.  A brochure containing all the details about the retreat is available on the counter across from the Welcome Center.
o   If you give your offering on-line, and changed the amount you’re giving in 2018 from that which you’ve been giving in 2017, you need to make that change on-line.  Go to the church website – elktonumc.org – click on “On-line donations” then follow the instructions to change the amount for 2018.  Questions?  Call the church office.
o   The January newsletter will be available this weekend – in print and on-line.  You can pick up a copy from the counter across from the Welcome Center or access it on-line via our church website – elktonumc.org.

Well, I think that’s it for now, except to say a great big thank-you to all who took part in our Christmas Eve services last Sunday.  It was a great day all around, made possible by so many who gave so much to make it happen. 

Have a great Friday – stay warm, if you can!  Then have a wonderful weekend, enjoying the festivities of the dawn of a new year.  Spend time with those you love, and then come and be in worship at 10 on Sunday morning – as we end one year praising God and prepare to start a new one the same way!  I so look forward to being there with you!
                                                                                                Grace and Peace,
                                                                                                Karen

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Happy weekend before Christmas! I hope you’re having a good week and aren’t too frazzled over all the things you have yet to do before Christmas! I’m trying to just take one thing at a time and trust I’ll get everything done. Fingers crossed!

As you know, Sunday is Christmas Eve and it’s going to be a great day at church, so here’s what’s happening:
  • - Don’t forget that we’ll have just one worship service on Sunday morning at 10 a.m.  It will be a fourth Sunday of Advent service, not a Christmas Eve service. But it will be a wonderful service during which I’ll continue my sermon series, “Do Not Be Afraid,” by focusing on Joseph and an invitation to not be afraid to take risks for God. We’ll be treated to musical offerings by the Children’s Choir and the Chancel Choir. It will be good to worship together as a blended congregation. I’m really looking forward to it, and hope to see many of you there, and especially encourage those of you who can’t come on Sunday evening to be there on Sunday morning. (Oh, by the way, if you want to sit in your “normal” pew, you’d better come early, because the person who has that same pew in the other service might grab it first! LOL! Actually, it might be fun to see who sits in “your pew” at the other service!)
  • - Our Christmas Eve services begin at 5 pm with the always lively Family Service. This service is designed for families with children and it’s about 45 minutes long, filled with lots of singing, a video of the Gospel story, and a book for the kids to hear. There is no sermon at this service. The Children’s Choir and the Ingram brothers will offer special music! Nursery is available.
  • At 7 and 9 pm we’ll have identical candlelight services, featuring wonderful, wonderful music – lots of carols, music by the Chancel Choir, the Handbell Choir, a brass choir, our fabulous organ, and soloist Maddy Funke. Oh yes, there will be a sermon too! It is the last in the “Do Not Be Afraid” series, and it’s entitled “Do Not Be Afraid for Unto You is Born a Savior!” We’ll end the services with the wonderful sharing of candle light throughout the sanctuary, and singing “Silent Night” together. Nursery is available during the 7 pm service only. Why don’t you call some family and friends and invite them to come with you that night?
  • - Finally, from 10 -10:30 pm we’ll celebrate Communion in the sanctuary. It’s a lovely, candlelit time of silent communion where you can come and go as you please.
- Those are all the services of the weekend, but here are some other reminders:
  • There are still a few offering envelopes for 2018 that haven’t been picked up yet. They are on the counter across from the Welcome Center.
  • Attention Women’s Retreat participants: Your final installment is due now. Please turn it in to the church office as soon as possible.
  • Calling All Men! There is still space available on the Men’s Retreat (Jan. 19-21). Pick up a flyer on the counter across from the Welcome Center for all the details.
  • There’s also a flyer on that counter about the next Classic Christians’ bus trip to Virginia in April. Anyone can take part on the trip – you don’t have to be a Classic Christian! A sign-up sheet is there on the counter also.

Well, I think that’s it for now, except to say a few thank you’s:

- To the Chancel Choir for their incredible cantata last Sunday!

- To the children for their delightful Christmas pageant!

- To all of the people who contributed to our wonderful Advent devotional – it has made every day of the journey special!


Have a good Friday, and a wonderful, wonderful weekend! Try not to let your “to do” list take the joy out of the holiday. Find some time to put your feet up a little bit, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday – a lot, I hope! I’m so looking forward to it!

                                               Grace and Peace,
                                                                        Karen

Friday, December 15, 2017

Happy Friday (Updated)

Wow, what a crazy week it’s been with the weather, huh?  And now, I just finished watching the report on the weather channel, only to find out that there’s a 90% chance of snow for this afternoon, and we might get 1-3 inches.  Oh, the fun never ends!  Oh well, it is winter after all (well, not technically for a few days yet), but you know what I mean!
So, because of that forecast there will be one change in plans on our weekend schedule.  We will not have a Classic Christians’ meeting tonight.  We were scheduled for a potluck dinner and night of Christmas fun, but it’s not worth the risk of people traveling in bad weather or falling.  So, if you’re a Classic Christian, stay home and stay warm, and if you know someone who usually attends, but doesn’t receive email, please give them a call and let them know.
Here’s what’s happening the rest of this weekend at church:
  • On Saturday evening, our youth group will have its annual, very-popular progressive dinner.  Participants will move from house to house for the various dinner courses.  If you need information about the event, or want to sign up, please text Sandy at 443-309-0160.
  • Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of Advent – the Sunday of Joy!  We’ll mark it in some very joyful ways.  First, the Chancel Choir will present their Advent cantata at both services.  As you know, they always do a fantastic job, so you won’t want to miss it, and you won’t want to miss the opportunity to invite your family, friends and neighbors to come along as well.
  • Then, our Sunday School children and youth will present their Christmas program at 10 am in Weldin Hall.  It’s going to be great, and I especially invite you to come and support them.  A lot of these children have grandparents who live far away and can’t be here to watch, so why don’t you come and be surrogate family for them?  It’s not going to be a long program, and your attendance will mean the world to them!
  • On Sunday afternoon at 4 pm, we’ll have our annual Blue Christmas service in the sanctuary.  The Blue Christmas service is provided for those who have experienced loss or are sad at this time of year.  It is a quiet, contemplative 45 minute service.  So if you know of anyone who might benefit from taking part, please give them a call and tell them about it, and then offer to come with them, as well.

A few reminders:
  • The last installment payment for participating in the Women’s Retreat is due now. Please drop your payment off in the church office.
  • There is still space available for the Men’s Retreat, which takes place Jan. 19-21 at the Riverview Retreat Center at Camp Pecometh.  Brochures about the retreat are on the counter across from the Welcome Center.  This year’s theme centers around Prayer, and is based on the recent movie “War Room.”
  • If you have not yet picked up your offering envelopes for 2018, please do so on Sunday.  You picking them up saves the church the expense of sending them through the mail.
  • Sadly, we received word this week from Meeting Ground that there will be no Rotating Winter Shelter this year.  They simply were not able to get enough churches and other groups to sponsor weeks.  Thank you to those of you who had already signed up.  The Missions Committee will continue to look into ways to address the needs of the homeless, and will keep you updated.


Well, I think that’s it for now.  As you can see, it’s going to be a busy, but exciting weekend for all of us.  I look forward to being with you for one or more of the activities, and most assuredly, for worship on Sunday.  So take care, have a good Friday and a great weekend.  Try not to wear yourself out doing too much!  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday!
Grace and Peace,

Karen

Friday, December 8, 2017

Happy Friday

Hi All –
     Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week, and are getting ready for a great weekend, because there’s a lot going on, especially at church!  All of a sudden, the weather looks a little interesting for Saturday – but, never fear, we’re going to carry on anyway with all of our activities!  So, here’s what’s happening:

-          Tomorrow at 9 is the UMW COOKIE WALK!!!  Bakers from all over our church have been busily baking a wonderful variety of delicious cookies, so plan on being at the church at 9 tomorrow to get the first crack at them!  Some years, the crowds are so good that we sell out quickly, so don’t delay if you want to make sure you get some!  Remember, all the proceeds from the cookie sale go to missions!
-          Sunday is the 2nd Sunday of Advent, and I’ll offer the second sermon in my “Do Not Be Afraid” sermon series.  This week, I’ll invite you to not be afraid to believe the impossible can happen.  The central characters will be Elizabeth and Mary.  We’ll be lifted up by the music of both the Men’s Choir and Chancel Choir, and we’ll light two candles on the Advent wreath.  Oh, by the way, since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll also have Children’s Time.  We’ll invite the children to come forward to hear a wonderful book entitled The Sparkle Box, and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it too!

A few other things about Sunday morning:
o   If you took a tag from the Angel Tree, your gifts are due this Sunday, so that we’ll have time to deliver them before Christmas.
o   If you ordered a wreath from our Boy Scout troop, the wreaths will be available for pick-up this Sunday.
o   Sunday will be the last day to order poinsettias and/or nets for Christmas Eve worship, in memory of or in honor of someone you love.  There will be an insert in the bulletin on which to place your order.
o   If there are any cookies left from the Cookie Walk, you might have a chance to get them on Sunday morning, and copies of our new church cookbook will be available to buy as well.
o   A reminder to Classic Christians (age 50 and over) that flyers about the spring bus trip and a sign-up sheet are on the counter across from the Welcome Center, as is a sign-up sheet for next Friday night’s (Dec. 15) Classic Christians’ meeting.
o   Also a reminder to all youth and men and women of the church that there is still space available for the January youth rally, and men’s and women’s retreats.  Brochures about the men’s and women’s retreats are on the counter across from the Welcome Center, and youth can see Sandy or text her at 443-309-0160 for more details or to sign up.
o   LAST CALL FOR PLEDGE CARDS – We’ve gotten a great response to the pledge campaign for 2018, but there are still a number of pledge cards that have not been turned in.  If you haven’t had a chance to turn in your card yet, please do so this Sunday.  If you need a card, please see one of the ushers.

-    We have a great treat in store for us on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm in our sanctuary.  The Cecil County Choral Society will offer their Holiday Concert, and Sharon tells me it’s going to be great!  Not only with the Choral Society sing (accompanied by Sharon, of course!), but our Handbell Choir will be ringing, and a group of children will be singing with the adults!  It’s going to be quite a concert that you won’t want to miss.  What a lovely way to end the weekend!

 
Finally, it’s time to get ready for our church to host the Rotating Winter Shelter.  The shelter opens the first week in January, and we’re the hosts for the week.  The following is information from Susan Starrett, who serves as the Site Coordinator for our week.
 “As the weather gets colder, it is time for the Emergency Rotating Shelter to open for the season.  EUMC will be hosting the shelter Monday, January 1st through January 8th.  This year the shelter will operate a bit differently - the guests will eat dinner at the Paris Foundation each night then come to the shelter.  Therefore, the amount of volunteers that we will need are fewer.  Click on our church’s website (elktonumc.org/NewsEvents.html) to see the schedule for the week and the list of supplies we need; this will also be posted on the Missions Committee Bulletin Board on Sunday morning.  Since we only have a few weeks before we host the shelter, please be sure to sign up quickly!  If you have any questions please reach out to me at starrett623@yahoo.com.”
Please, if you are able to help, respond to Susan as soon as possible.  Since there are fewer tasks than in previous years to undertake, we should (hopefully) have no trouble fully staffing our week for the shelter.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  I don’t know about you but every time I look at the calendar I realize how quickly Christmas is coming, and how much I still have to do before it gets here.  So I try to take just one thing at a time, and trust that everything will get done.  If you’re in the same boat, I pray that even in the midst of the busyness, you can find some down time when you can put your feet up for a few minutes and rest.  Hopefully, you’re using our Advent devotional and find that gives you moments of peace as well (you can find it on our church website – http://www.elktonumc.org/pdf/publications/Advent2017.pdf


So have a good Friday, and a great weekend.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship as we celebrate the 2nd Sunday of Advent together!
                                                   Grace and Peace,

                                                                            Karen 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday and Happy December! Can’t believe it’s here already! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend. Hope you also “survived” yesterday’s earthquake! Truth be told, I totally missed it. I was sitting at my computer at home working on my sermon with Christmas music playing in the background, and I guess I was so into the writing zone that I missed the earthquake! I saw on Facebook that many of you felt it, even as far over as Colora! Oh well . . .

On to what’s happening this weekend at church:
  • Sunday marks the first day of a new Christian year – the first Sunday of Advent! Thus begins our four week journey to the manger in Bethlehem. On Sunday, we’ll take a look at John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the Lord by calling people to repent. We’ll see what that means for us today. We’ll also begin the lighting of the Advent wreath and we’ll celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion together.
  • Copies of this year’s Advent Devotional are ready and can be picked up at the Welcome Center. I’ve seen it already, and it is filled with really wonderful readings for each day of the season written by EUMC members and friends. You can also access it via the church website – elktonumc.org.  (http://www.elktonumc.org/AdventWorship.html)
  • The December newsletter will also be available on Sunday. It will be on the counter across from the Welcome Center and it, too, can be accessed via our website.(EUMC Dec. Newsletter)
  • Our new church cookbook will be on sale in the Hospitality Area for $12/copy. They make great Christmas presents!
  • If you give your offering via an offering envelope, please pick up your 2018 envelopes this Sunday. They’ll be on the counter across from the Welcome Center. You picking them up saves the church the expense of sending them in the mail. If you can’t find yours there, contact the church office on Monday and we’ll make sure you get them.
  • If you have not turned in your pledge card for 2018, please do so as soon as possible. We’ll be publishing the results of the pledge campaign as soon as all the pledges are in. If you still need a pledge card, please see one of the ushers on Sunday morning,
  • On Sunday night at 5:30, our youth group will be welcoming youth groups from other churches in the area for a wonderful December meeting/Christmas party. Youth are reminded to bring a gift to share in the gift swap ($10 maximum)

I think that’s it for now, except to let you know that the other night we had the initial meeting of a group looking into church security. We reviewed where we are at this time and talked about things we could do to improve the safety of our church. We’re planning on meeting with the police for their insight, but in the meantime, we are looking for more volunteers to serve as hall monitors and parking lot “knights”. So please consider helping out in this way, and then, if you’re interested in helping, please sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center. We’ll be having a training session in the near future.

Okay, I think that’s everything I wanted to share with you about the weekend. As I said earlier in this letter, I’ve been listening to Christmas music already and it makes me happy! I’ve also loved driving around and seeing how many people have already decorated their houses and yards with lights and ornaments! It really is the most wonderful time of the year, albeit the busiest as well! So enjoy every minute of it, but every once in a while stop and take a breath and take care of you!

Have a good Friday and a great weekend. Make sure to spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you Sunday morning as together we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent! Can’t wait!

                                                                 Grace and Peace,
                                                                                     Karen

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Friday...on Wednesday!

Hi All –

Surprise! Happy Wednesday! As you probably know, the church office will be closed for the next few days, so I’m sending out the weekend email a little early this week. Hope that’s okay! Like all of you, I’m looking forward to tomorrow and being with family. John and Adelma are coming up from South Carolina, so that’s a treat in itself!

I want to say a word of thanks to all of the EUMC members and friends who took part in last Sunday night’s Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service. It was great to see so many of you there! I was sitting next to another clergyperson and every time I looked up, I saw more and more EUMC people coming in, and sadly, he didn’t see many from his church. I was so excited that so many of you took the opportunity to worship with Christians from many other denominations, and was also very excited that our youth group came to the service!

Now, on to the coming weekend:
  • This Sunday in the United Methodist Church is designated “Student Sunday” and we’ll mark it by having the Rev. Brett Pinder with us. As most of you know, Brett grew up in our church, then went to college and seminary, and is in the process toward full ordination. He’s currently the United Methodist Chaplain on the campus of the University of Maryland College Park, and on Sunday, we’ll hear more about his ministry with students there. Some of our music will be provided by students: the Children’s Choir at 8:30, and Bobby Heath, who along with Paul Humphrey will offer an instrumental duo. And of course, our fabulous Chancel Choir will sing at 11. I hope you’ll be here Sunday, and if you have family or friends visiting for the holiday, bring them along too!
  • Just a reminder of some other things for Sunday morning:
    • Cookbooks will be for sale in the hospitality area.
    • Donations for the College Care packages can be put in the bin in the Welcome Center area (they need to be in by 9:30, because the packages will be assembled between services in Weldin Hall).
    • The box for donations of mittens/gloves/hats/scarves/children’s underwear is in the Welcome Center area also.
  • - Many, many thanks to all of you who turned in your pledge card for 2018 last week. And a reminder to those of you who haven’t, that we’d appreciate receiving yours as soon as possible. You can put it in the offering plate on Sunday or drop it by the church office. And if you lost your card, or didn’t get one, see one of the ushers on Sunday morning. They have extras.
  • The Classic Christians are planning a bus trip in April of next year to the Norfolk, Virginia area, and it’s filled with great activities – like a performance of military bands, a NATO parade, a tour of the Norfolk Naval Base and a dinner cruise, among others. Flyers about the trip are on the counter across from the Welcome Center. Take a look – it might be something you’d like to do! There’s a sign-up sheet there as well!
  • A reminder that sign-ups are still going on for all the winter retreats coming up. Youth can contact Sandy Wherry (443-309-0160) if they’re interested in the YOUTH RALLY in Ocean City, January 5-7; women can sign up for the WOMEN’S RETREAT, which takes place January 12-14 in Ocean City as well (brochures are on the counter across from the Welcome Center), and men can sign up for the MEN’S RETREAT, happening January 19-21 at the Retreat Center at Camp Pecometh (brochures are on the counter across from the Welcome Center). There is still space available for all of these retreats – so sign up soon, if you’re interested!
Well, I think that’s about it for now. Since it’s a holiday week, things slow down at church, which is good, because soon enough Advent starts and then we’re chocked full until Christmas again! So enjoy the down time!

Before I close, let me tell you that tomorrow, on Thanksgiving, when I’m giving God thanks for all of his blessings in my life, all of you will be on my list! I’m blessed to be in ministry with such a wonderful, supportive community of people, gifted in so many ways, and giving in so many ways. My prayer is that tomorrow will be a blessed day for you and yours!

So have a great Wednesday today, a great Thanksgiving tomorrow, and then a great weekend – which, I hope will be topped off by being in worship on Sunday morning! I look forward to being there with you! Happy Thanksgiving!

                                     
Grace and Peace,
                        Karen

Friday, November 17, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! It’s been a busy week with a lot going on at the church, and it’s going to be a busy weekend as well, so let’s get to it. Here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:

  • Tomorrow night (Saturday the 18th), we’re having a “Kid’s Night In”
    from 5-8 pm. Here’s a chance for the kids to come do some fun things, like watch a movie or do crafts or other activities – and, at the same time, their parents can have a few hours off! Katie Sparks and others will take care of the kids, while you enjoy the evening! If you haven’t pre-registered your kids to take part, it’s not too late – just email Katie at katharine.gravatt@gmail.com.
  • On Sunday morning, we’ll celebrate “Stewardship Sunday” and make our financial pledges for 2018. You should have received a pledge card in the mail, but if you didn’t, just see one of the ushers – they’ll have extras. During the service, you’ll be invited to come forward and lay your pledge at the altar in prayer. As Bill Ferringer told us last Sunday, you’re encouraged to increase your pledge, particularly to the “Ministries” part of the budget, while maintaining your pledge to the “Missions” and “Building Fund,” so that we can fully fund our ministry needs.
  • We’ll also celebrate Thanksgiving Sunday this week, with a focus on gratitude. The Handbell and Chancel Choirs will offer the music, and so will Vanessa Foskey! 

Just a reminder of all the ways to give this Sunday:

  • The Boy Scouts will be back for the final Sunday of taking orders for Christmas wreaths. The wreaths will be delivered in early December and be available to be picked up on a Sunday morning.
  • The Angel Tree will be laden with ornaments to be picked up this Sunday. Those ornaments will tell you what gift you can purchase for a child of an incarcerated parent. Millie Jones and friends will be on hand to assist you and tell you when the gifts are due.
  • The bin for the Mittens/Gloves/Hats/Scarves/Children’s Underwear is located on the counter across from the Welcome Center. The Ruth/Sarah Circle invites you to donate those things, which will be sent to the Help Center for Christmas distribution.
  • We’re still looking for donations for the next College Care Package which goes out right after Thanksgiving. A bin for those donations is on the counter across from the Welcome Center as well.
  • You’ll hear about the upcoming UMW Cookie Walk from UMW President Judy Tanner this week, and you’ll find a sign-up sheet in the bulletin on which you can pledge to bake cookies for the walk – Saturday, Dec. 9th.
  • Our new cookbooks will also be on sale this week in the Hospitality Area. Don’t forget that they’ll make great Christmas gifts!

- On Sunday night, our youth group will meet at its regular time – 5:30 pm. Sandy asks that all youth who want to attend the Youth Rally be present Sunday night so they can discuss plans and preparations for the weekend.

- Also on Sunday night, the Greater Elkton Ministerial Association (of

which I’m currently President) is having our annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service. It will take place at 7 pm at Five Rivers Church on Whitehall Road. The message will be delivered by Mike Brandon, Executive Director of the Paris Foundation, and the service will be led by pastors from different churches around Elkton. This is a wonderful opportunity to worship with brothers and sisters in Christ from all different denominations!

Well, I think that’s it for now. As I said, it’s going to be a busy, but great, weekend at church! Hope you’re planning to be there!

But, in the meantime, have a good Friday and then a great weekend. Take some time to put your feet up and rest a bit. Spend time with those you love, and then I will see you on Sunday in worship! Can’t wait!



     Grace and Peace,
                           Karen

Friday, November 10, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
    Brrr!  Well, the cold weather has finally arrived.  I guess we’ve been lucky it’s held off until now.  Time to get out the warm coats and gloves and enjoy the crisp November weather!  You know what?  I know the cure for this cold snap – come inside the church on Saturday evening and enjoy some nice hot spaghetti!  How does that sound?

    Yep, this is the weekend for our wonderful annual Spaghetti Dinner!  It happens Saturday night from 4-7 pm in Weldin Hall.  I found out tonight that tickets are still available at the door, so come on over and enjoy!  The food’s always great, the bake sale is always tempting, and the fellowship is wonderful!  You won’t want to miss it.

Here’s what else is happening this weekend:
-          On Sunday, I’ll preach a stewardship sermon as we prepare to make our 2018 pledges next week.  It’s entitled “Giving Willingly, Rejoicing Greatly!”  Since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll also have Children’s Time and this month’s book is called Pete the Cat and the New Guy.  So make sure you bring the kids to worship this week!  Carolann Lewis and Jeanette Perkins will be our book readers!  On top of all that, Ed McKeown will share his gift of music with us, as will the Chancel Choir, of course!  It’s going to be a great Sunday, so don’t miss it!
-          A few other things to remember about Sunday:
o   Our Boy Scout Troop 443 will be on hand to take orders for their beautiful Christmas wreaths.  They’ve sold them the past few years, and they really are nice, so why not help support our Troop and their activities and order one this year?  They’ll be at a table in the hospitality area to take your order.  The wreaths will be delivered early in December, and be available on a Sunday morning for pick up.
o   This is the Sunday you need to return your filled-up Christmas box, if you took one.  Nancy Stubbs will deliver all of the boxes to the church in North East that’s serving as the collection headquarters.  Many thanks to all of you who took boxes to fill – you’re going to make a lot of children all over the world very happy!
o   You have two more Sundays to help fill our next College Care Package which will go out right after Thanksgiving.  So please bring your donations of goodies (candy, gum, microwave popcorn, granola bars, etc.) to the donation bin in the Welcome Center area.
o   Speaking of the Welcome Center area, that’s where you’ll find the bin for the Ruth/Sarah Circle’s Mitten collection.  They’re looking for donations of new mittens, gloves, scarves, hats and children’s underwear that they’ll then turn over to the Help Center for distribution at Christmas.
o   Also in the Welcome Center (actually on the counter across from the Welcome Center) you’ll find a sign-up sheet if you can help with the Community Kitchen luncheon on November 17th.  We need donations of soup, sandwiches and fruit, and can also use help serving on that day.  So if you can help with any of these things, please sign the sheet on Sunday.

-          The youth group will meet on Sunday night at 5:30, and Sandy asked me to remind you that if you’re planning to attend the Youth Rally in January in Ocean City she needs to know as soon as possible, so please text her at 443-309-0160.

 LOOKING AHEAD:

o   The Angel Tree “tree” will be up next Sunday, the 19th, so if you’d like to help buy gifts for children of incarcerated parents, plan on stopping by the tree and taking an ornament.  Millie Jones and friends will be there to help you.
o   On the evening of that same day, the 19th, the Greater Elkton Ministerial Association (of which I’m president), is holding our annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service.  This year it’s being held at Five Rivers Church on Whitehall Road, and Mike Brandon of the Paris Foundation will bring the message.  Hope you’ll want to come and join in worship with other Christians from all over the Elkton area!

Well, I think that’s it for the announcements for now.  I just want to take one more minute of your time to tell you about something our District Superintendent said at last night’s Charge Conference.  He talked about what an excellent church we are, and how we should not take for granted all that we have and do.  He visits every church on the district every year, so he knows what the church landscape looks like, and he assured us that we have something special here – which we know, but it was sure great to hear from him!  So thank you for who you are, and what you do, and how you love each other and the world.  I’m blessed to be your pastor.

   Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  Take some time to put your feet up and relax!  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday (or maybe first at the Spaghetti Dinner!)  Either way, I look forward to it!
                                                                                                                                                                   Grace and Peace,                                                                                                              Karen

Friday, November 3, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to a great weekend. I’m not sure what the weather is supposed to be like, but yesterday sure was beautiful – like summer again! When I left the house in the morning, I had a heavy sweater on, and later on in the day, when I was leaving Dover after a meeting, it was 79 degrees! Off went the sweater! It’s kind of a roller coaster ride in these early days of fall, isn’t it? Cold one day, warm the next! Oh well, let’s enjoy it while we can, because the cold will come to stay soon enough!

Here’s what’s happening this weekend:
  • Don’t forget that this is the weekend Daylight Saving Time ends! So be sure to turn your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night, or you’ll be an hour early for church on Sunday morning! Enjoy the extra sleep!
  • Sunday is All Saints’ Sunday – the day we remember those who have died in the past year. We’ll see a wonderful video showing images of our members who passed away, but then you’re invited to remember others who have died as well, by bringing a flower with you to worship to place in a vase up front during the service. This is always a very moving service as we remember those we have loved and lost, and I know it will be this year as well. We’ll also celebrate Holy Communion together.
  •  Downstairs in the Hospitality and Welcome Center areas, there will be a lot going on as well. Our new cookbooks will be on sale ($12/each – make checks out to Elkton UMC and write “cookbook” on the memo line). Tickets for our Spaghetti Dinner, which is next Saturday evening, November 11th, from 4-7 pm, will also be on sale. Speaking of the dinner, we can still use help in the preparation and set up for the dinner, as well as serving. If you can help in any of those ways, please email Faye at flyaway723@comcast.net or Bethany at buckley91@comcast.net. And be sure to invite your family, friends and neighbors to come along to the dinner with you!
  • We’re starting to collect goodies for the next College Care Package which will go out right after Thanksgiving. Please bring your donations of goodies (granola bars, hot chocolate mix, microwavable mac ‘n cheese, gum, candy, etc.) to the donation bin near the Welcome Center.
  • Speaking of the Welcome Center, you can find the November issue of the church newsletter on the counter across from it this Sunday – or – you can always read it on-line on our church website – elktonumc.org/newsletter
  • Sign-ups have begun for this year’s Men’s Retreat, which will take place January 19-21 at the Riverview Retreat Center at Camp Pecometh. Details about the retreat are in a brochure which will be in Sunday’s bulletin.
  • Also a reminder to women who have signed up for the Women’s Retreat (January 12-14 at the Dunes Manor in Ocean City) that your second installment payment is now due. And if you haven’t signed up, please do. There is still space available. Brochures about the Women’s Retreat are available on the counter across from the Welcome Center.
  • It’s not just the men and women going away for retreats this winter, but our youth are as well. They’ll be attending the Conference Youth Rally in Ocean City the weekend of January 5-7. Youth – please let Sandy know as soon as possible if you’re planning to attend. Text her at 443-309-0160.
  • Our church’s Charge Conference takes place next Wednesday, November 8th at 7 pm in Weldin Hall. This annual meeting is presided over by the District Superintendent, the Rev. Joe Archie, and provides us an opportunity to look back at what we’ve done this year, and make plans for the year ahead. All members of the Administrative Council are required to attend, but anyone else who wishes to may attend, as well. 
Well, I think that’s it for now, except I want to share something interesting I saw on the internet the other day. It was an invitation that read: “Watch the skies this weekend. The moon won’t come this close again until 2034.” Sounds amazing, huh? So try not to stay so busy this weekend that you don’t take the opportunity to look up and see this amazing sight from our amazing Creator God!

Have a good Friday and a great weekend! Try to carve out some down time for yourself even while you attack your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love. And then I look forward to being with you on Sunday morning as we remember some very special people during our All Saints’ services. See you then!

                                                                    Grace and Peace,
                                                                                           Karen

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Happy Friday (on Thursday)

Hi All –

Surprise! Happy Thursday! For various and sundry reasons, I’m sending the end of the week email early this week. Hope it’s a good surprise for you!

Hope you’re having a good week and looking forward to the weekend ahead. There will be lots going on at the church, so here goes:

  • On Sunday, I’ll offer the last sermon in my “Faith and Film” series, this week using a clip from the wonderful movie “Chocolat.” We’ll consider the ways we act in the face of negativity and conflict, and in light of Jesus’ invitation to us to love our neighbors. The Gospel lesson will be the parable of the Good Samaritan. Steve Gilmore will add wonderfully to our worship services as he sings a solo at both of them, and of course, the Chancel Choir will add their voices at 11. It’s going to be a great morning in worship!
  • As you leave worship, there will be baskets at both entrances to the sanctuary where we’ll be collecting a one-time offering for our annual gift cards at Thanksgiving. You may remember that we give these gift cards as a thanks to those who have to work on Thanksgiving and can’t be with their family and friends. In the past, we’ve given them to hospital, fire and police personnel, toll booth workers, etc. This year, we’re giving them to the County’s 911 dispatchers – so please give as you can so we can show these wonderful brothers and sisters our gratefulness for their service to us!
  • Downstairs in the hospitality and welcome center areas there will be a lot going on as well on Sunday!
    • Our new Cookbooks will be on sale! This is the first cookbook our church has put together in nearly 20 years and it’s filled with great recipes from some of our congregation’s greatest cooks! I’ve seen a copy of it, it’s wonderful and will make a great Christmas gift for someone you love. The cost is $12/each and checks can be made out to Elkton UMC. They’ll be on sale next week as well, and at the upcoming Spaghetti Dinner and UMW Cookie Walk.
    • Tickets will be on sale for the aforementioned Spaghetti Dinner on Sunday. The dinner will be held on Saturday evening, November 11th from 4-7 pm in Weldin Hall. Make plans now to attend, and bring your family and friends along for the great food and fellowship!
      http://www.elktonumc.org/SpaghettiDinner.html
    • We’re looking for help with the Spaghetti Dinner as well. We need bakers to provide our goodies for the bake sale (you can sign up to do that via the insert in Sunday’s bulletin) and we also need people to help prepare and serve the dinner itself. You can see either Faye Camors or Bethany Buckley to volunteer with that – they’ll be at the table in the hospitality area on Sunday. You can also send them a note via: Spaghetti Dinner Baker Volunteer
    • Finally, don’t forget to pick up a Shoe Box near the Welcome Center if you want to help with the UMW’s Christmas Shoe Box mission this year. You can find all the details about the project there near the boxes. Filled boxes need to be returned by November 12th.
  • CALLING ALL MEN OF THE CONGREGATION! Great news! The brochure about this year’s Men’s Retreat is ready and will be in this Sunday’s bulletin. The retreat, “Remember Me,” is centered on the recent film “War Room,” and will take place the weekend of January 19th – 21st at Camp Pecometh in Centreville, MD. Sign up early before the retreat sells out!
  • - Looking Ahead – A “Kids’ Night In” is planned for Saturday, November 18th from 5-8 pm in Weldin Hall. There will be a meal and great activities for kids of all ages, while the parents are invited to join a few hours off by themselves. Parents, put the date on your calendars now, so you don’t forget!

I think that’s it for now, except for one more thing. As you can see from this email, there is an abundance of opportunities for you to get involved in and give toward activities in which our church is involved. That is only going to increase as the weeks lead up to Christmas. In this Sunday’s bulletin, you’ll see an insert that I put together listing all of the “giving” opportunities from now until Christmas. The list is extensive, and the reason I have done this in the past and am doing it again this year is to give you an overview of every giving opportunity we have so that you can pray about which one or ones you want to do. No one is expected to take part in every giving opportunity – it’s just too much. So look at the list, pray over it and decide what God is leading you to do – but please don’t try to do it all. There are enough of us to get everything done without anyone having to do it all!

Well, I really do think that’s it for now. Boy, you’re probably hoping I don’t do “Thursday emails” too often – I’m getting a little wordy today! Anyway, that’s it for now, so have a great day, a good Friday and a great weekend ahead. Ravens fans, I hope tonight is a good night for you!

Take good care of yourself, 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 20, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! The weather has been beautiful this week, although it’s been hard to decide on any given day whether you needed the heat on or the windows open, hasn’t it? Luckily for us and the events we have planned for the weekend, the forecast is looking good!

So here’s what’s happening:
  • Tonight at 6:30, the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather in Weldin Hall for their monthly meeting. The night starts with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and then continues on with a rousing game of trivia – and I do mean rousing! This group is pretty darned competitive – and it’s lots and lots of fun! So all Classic Christians are invited to come and join in the brain-sharpening fun!
  •  On Saturday morning, we’ll gather at Fair Hill for our 5K Run/Walk/Stroll in memory of the Rev. Jim Jones to raise funds to battle dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Registration begins at 8 am and the event begins promptly at 9. Cost is $25/person and you can definitely come and participate even if you had not signed up ahead of time – the more the merrier! We’re excited to be having this event with our brothers and sisters from Janes UMC in Rising Sun, the church Jim served for 27 years. It will be a great way to start your Saturday, and you’ll be on your way early enough in the day to get all your Saturday chores done! Hope to see you there!
  •  On Sunday morning, I’ll offer the third sermon in my “Faith and Film” series – this week’s film clip will come from the great movie “La La Land.” We’ll talk about facing challenges and how to keep on going when you’re discouraged. At the 8:30 service, we’ll hear the Children’s Choir for the first time this fall (yay!) and at both services we’ll be treated to a piano solo by Kyle Forman. It’s going to be a great morning in worship.
  • Don’t forget that you can pick up a shoe box in the Welcome Center area and participate in Operation Christmas Child. The UMW sponsors this great project each year, where children around the world receive these boxes of Christmas joy! Full details about the project are on a bulletin insert Sunday – so take a look at it, and then hopefully, take home a box to fill!
  •  Also in the bulletin Sunday is an insert about our upcoming Spaghetti Dinner, which will be held on Saturday, November 11th. As always, we’re looking for people to bake goodies for the Bake Sale, and we’re also looking for people to help in preparing, setting up and serving the meal. You can sign up to do any or all of these things via the insert.
  •  If you’re a singer, the Chancel Choir is sending you an invitation to join them in singing this year’s Cantata on December 17th. Rehearsals for the cantata begin next Wednesday evening from 7 – 7:45, and the choir is waiting to welcome you for this special project!
  •  Finally, let me say a great big thank you for all who made last Sunday so special. Thanks to Nancy Crawford for a great Laity Sunday service and message; thanks to those of you who took the time to donate blood, and thanks to all who brought food for the Harvest Food Festival. To date, we’ve given over 155 bags of groceries to Immaculate Conception Church and they are thrilled! Our church is so gifted and always so generous, and last Sunday is a perfect example of that.

Well, I think that’s it for now. I’ve got to go and put the finishing touches on tonight’s trivia questions! I hope you have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend. I’m counting on seeing some of you at least three times this weekend – tonight at Classic Christians, tomorrow at Fair Hill, and on Sunday in worship. For the rest of you, I hope it’s at least twice! But whenever I see you, it will be good!

May you have a good day and a good weekend! Take time to do something good for yourself. Spend time with those you love. And then I will definitely see you sometime this weekend. Can’t wait!

                                                   Grace and Peace,
                                                                           Karen

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! Let me start by thanking everyone for their prayers for my mother who had knee surgery on Monday. She’s doing well, and is home already, on the road to recovery. Please continue to pray, because she still has a long way to go, but we’re optimistic things are going to go well this time.

On to what’s happening this weekend at church:
  • This Sunday is Laity Sunday in the United Methodist Church, the day on which we celebrate the ministry of all lay people. Nancy Crawford, who is our church’s Lay Leader, will offer the message during worship (and it’s wonderful! She showed me an advanced copy!) You won’t want to miss it! We’ll also have the joy of hearing the handbell choir for the first time this fall, and welcoming a few more new members!
  • Please don’t forget to bring your bag of groceries back to church this week as we wrap up this year’s Harvest Food Festival. There will be a truck at the back entrance of the church and some Scouts and others will be there to receive your donations. By the way, you can bring a bag of groceries even if you didn’t receive an “official” HFF grocery bag – we’ll take them any way they come in. Just make sure the food is non-perishable because it will go on the shelves of Immaculate Conception’s Food Pantry. I talked to both Father Jim and Dottie Fritz of ICC this week and they are incredibly touched by our generous offering of these groceries every year.
  • Sunday is also the day of our BLOOD DRIVE. It will be set up in Weldin Hall and we already have a good number of people signed up to donate – but there is absolutely room for more! So if you have not pre-registered to donate, you can still show up and give. Just go to Weldin Hall and someone at the door will take care of you. If you can donate, please do. The need is always great, and you can save a life in the process!
  • Sunday will be the last day to pre-register for our 5K Run/Walk/Stroll to fight dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease which will take place on Saturday, October 21st at Fair Hill. Members of the Stewardship Committee will be at a table in the Hospitality Area to help you register. But if you can’t pre-register, you can absolutely just show up on the 21st and take part – we’re figuring that a lot of people are planning on doing that – and that’s okay too! It will be a great way to spend a fall morning, and a great opportunity to be with our friends from Janes UMC in Rising Sun to remember the Rev. Jim Jones, who battled dementia in the last years of his life. Hope you’ll want to be a part of the fun, fellowship and fundraising!
  • A reminder to the women in the church that you’re warmly welcome to take part in this year’s Women’s Retreat in Ocean City, Jan. 12-14, 2018. Brochures about the event are on the table across from the Welcome Center, and the first installment payment is due now.
  • Men, we haven’t forgotten about you. The Men’s Retreat Committee is hard at work putting the final touches on the plans for their January 2018 retreat. Brochures about the retreat will be published very soon – so stay tuned!
  • Speaking of men – the Monthly Men’s Breakfast is next Wednesday, October 18th, at 6:30 am at the Elkton Diner. All men of the church are invited to take part. No sign-up is necessary – just show up for the food, fellowship and fun.
  • And speaking of fun, the Classic Christians will have their annual Trivia Night next Friday, the 20th, in Weldin Hall. Dinner at 6:30, brain teasing to follow! To participate, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.
  •  Finally, the Costa Rica Mission Team is having their Shareholders Dinner on Friday, October 27th. Invitations were sent to shareholders asking them to RSVP to the team so that appropriate arrangements could be made. If you received an invitation, but have not replied to the team yet, please do so at your earliest convenience. RSVP to Terri Lokey at tlokey16@gmail.com or text her at 443-350-1986.

Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! (The weekend has already started well for Eagles’ fans – we had a great win last night against the Carolina Panthers – but it made for a late night! I’m having a little trouble getting started this morning! LOL) Anyway, have a great weekend. Find some time to rest and relax even while taking on your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday morning in worship! Can’t wait!
                                                     Grace and Peace,
                                                                           Karen

Friday, October 6, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  Once again, it’s hard to say to you that I hope you’ve had a good week, because it’s been a rough week for all of us.  But I hope that in the midst of this week of the horror that struck in Las Vegas that you’ve been able to find moments of peace and solace.  When I look back on my recent Friday emails, it’s astounding how much suffering and heartache has been going on of late  – all of which tries to take away our joy, but our God is stronger than any of it, and carries us through.

So we draw near to Sunday again where God will lift us up and remind us of his never-ending presence with us.  Here’s what will be happening around church:

-          On Saturday morning at 10, the Homecoming Boutique will be open to help young women pick out nearly-new dresses for their homecoming dances.  Please let all the young women in your life know about the boutique – and remind them that the dresses are free!  The boutique is located in the basement of Weldin Hall.

-          On Sunday, I’ll continue my Faith and Film sermon series.  This week’s film clip will come from that wonderful movie from the 80’s – ET:  The Extra Terrestrial!  And since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll also have Children’s Time and the children (and all of us) will hear the wonderful, wonderful book The Kissing Hand.  In addition to all that, we’ll welcome several new members into our church family, and we’ll hear the Men’s Choir for the first time this fall!  It’s going to be a great morning, so don’t miss it!

-          Also on Sunday morning, don’t forget to visit the tables in the Hospitality Area where you can sign up to donate blood next Sunday, the 15th or participate in our 5K Run/Walk Stroll on October 21st to battle dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. 

-          This Sunday is the first day of our annual Harvest Food Festival.  As you leave worship, you’ll be given an empty grocery bag and a list of non-perishable food items that you can buy.  We ask that you fill the bag (or bags, if you’d like) and return it next Sunday, October 15th.  A truck will be stationed at the back door that day where you can bring your donations.  All the food will go to the Immaculate Conception Food Pantry (they’re our mission partners). 

-          On Sunday night, our youth group will meet at 5:30 pm in the youth room under Weldin Hall.  This week’s program is on the internet – how to use it and how to use it wisely and carefully.

-          A reminder to women in the congregation that the first installment payment for this year’s Women’s Retreat is now due.  The retreat, “Ordinary Women/Extraordinary Deeds” will take place January 12-14 at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City MD.  Brochures with all the details about the retreat are on the table across from the Welcome Center.  Scholarship money is available.

-          By the way – men, stay tuned!  Plans are being formulated as we speak for next January’s Men’s Retreat, and a brochure will appear in a Sunday bulletin very soon!

-          The next Wired Word discussion group will be this coming Thursday, October 12th at 7 pm in the Chapel.  Led by Pastor Ray, this week’s discussion will center on immigration and DACA issues.  All are invited to come and share in the conversation.

-          Classic Christians – mark your calendars for the next meeting.  It will be on Friday, October 20th at 6:30 pm in Weldin Hall.  Potluck dinner to start (bring a dish to share) and then a fun evening of trivia.  To take part, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.

Well, I think that is it for now.  Sounds like it's going to a warm weekend.  I sure have enjoyed the cooler weather, but I know it will be back soon enough!

I hope you have a good Friday, and then a great weekend!
  Find some time for yourself, even while trying to get all your weekend chores done.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship Sunday morning!  Can’t wait!
                                             Grace and Peace,

                                                                        Karen  

Friday, September 29, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday! How wonderful is this weather? I loved being able to shut off the air conditioners again, and open up the windows yesterday! Sounds like the weather is going to be great this weekend, so get out and enjoy it!

Here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:
  • The Homecoming Boutique will be open tomorrow morning at 10 in the basement of Weldin Hall. It’s stocked full of wonderful, almost-new dresses for young women of all sizes and shapes – and they’re free! Please tell any young woman you know that might be going to homecoming this fall to come and check them out!
  • On Sunday, I’m starting a new four-week sermon series called “Faith and Film.” This Sunday is World Communion Sunday and the film I’ll be using in the sermon is a wonderful one called “The Hundred Foot Journey” which stars the great Helen Mirren. Obviously, we will be celebrating Holy Communion as well, joining with millions of other Christians around the world doing just the same thing. Also during the service we’ll be presenting Bibles to our 2nd grade Sunday School students – I always love doing that and showing them my Bible that I received from Mrs. Biles when I was in SS at Elkton UMC a long, long time ago! It will be a great morning in worship that you won’t want to miss.
  • Also on Sunday morning, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for two great events coming up very soon. One is our Blood Drive, which will be held on Sunday, October 15th. You can sign up to donate, but if you can’t donate, you can offer to help as a greeter or a canteen worker. Members of the Missions Committee will be at a table in the Hospitality Area to help you sign up. If you can donate blood, please do, because the need is great.
  • Secondly, members of the Stewardship Committee will be at another table ready to sign up participants for our 5K Run/Walk/Stroll to benefit dementia/Alzheimer’s research which will take place on Saturday, October 21st at 9 am at Fair Hill. The event is being held in memory of the Rev. Jim Jones and is being jointly sponsored by our church and Janes UMC, the church Jim served for 27 years. It’s going to be a great and fun event, that we hope you’ll want to be a part of! If you have time you can register for the run now at: Run to Remember Online Registration
  • LOOKING AHEAD – Our annual Harvest Food Festival is coming up soon! Next Sunday, October 8th, when you leave worship, you’ll be given an empty grocery bag and a list of non-perishable food items to purchase. You’re invited to fill your bag and bring it back with you on the 15th, at which time you can place them in the truck that will be stationed at the back entrance of the church. The food will go to fill the shelves of the Immaculate Conception Church food pantry (our mission partners). In the past, we’ve given hundreds of bags of groceries – let’s do that and more this year!
  • OUR NEW COOKBOOKS HAVE ARRIVED! Our new church cookbook, the production of which was coordinated by the Communications Committee has arrived, and will be sold in the Hospitality Area starting Sunday, October 29th. In the meantime, if you’d like to place an order for multiple copies (maybe to use for Christmas presents!), please email Nancy Crawford at yellowstone54@hotmail.com. Proceeds from the sale of the cookbooks will go towards continuing to improve our communications and technological systems at church.
  • Speaking of improving our communications systems – if you haven’t filled out the communications survey on our website yet, can you please take a few minutes and do so? The information garnered from the survey will be of tremendous help to the Communications Committee. To complete the survey, which only takes a minute or so, go to the church website and click on the "News and Events" tab. Once there you will see the link to the Communications Committee Survey. Click on it and voila! You’ll find the survey! 

Well, I think that’s it for now. As I look back over this email checking for mistakes and typos, and review what I’ve written, I’m reminded once again what a mission-committed church we are – and that makes me happy and I’m sure God is smiling too! There’s nothing more important than sharing with others the blessings God has given us! I’m inspired by the way all of you do that day in and day out!

Have a wonderful Friday and an even more wonderful weekend. Enjoy this lovely, crisp, clear almost-fall weather. Take some time to rest and relax. Spend time with those you love. And then I’ll see you in worship on this World Communion Sunday. Can’t wait!

                                                         Grace and Peace,
                                                                                Karen

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
  Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to a great weekend. I know it’s hard for any of us to say we had a really good week, because of the continuing horrors of this hurricane season. My heart breaks for all of the people who have been in the paths of these horrific hurricanes, and especially this week the people of Puerto Rico. Please continue to pray for them all, and of course, the people of Mexico in the wake of the horrible earthquake that struck there, and the people in the Western US dealing with raging wildfires, as they pick up the pieces and try to start over again. Thank goodness for groups like UMCOR and others who will be with them on the journey. It makes my heart happy to know that our church has contributed (to date) over $15,000 to UMCOR and I know we will continually look for ways to help – but for now,
keep praying!

On to the events of this weekend at church:
  • The grand opening of the fall session of our Prom/Homecoming Boutique will be on Saturday at 10 am in the basement of Weldin Hall. If you know of any young woman who is going to homecoming this year, please let her know about the incredible number of beautiful, practically new dresses that are available – for free! The boutique will run through the homecoming season, and then open up again for the prom season.
  •  On Sunday, I’ll preach the last sermon in the series “Supreme Christianity,” by looking at their song, “Come See About Me.” It’s Christian Education Sunday, and the whole theme of the service will be about how we need to continually grow stronger in our faith in Christ. We’ll recognize our Christian Education teachers and leaders and dedicate them for this years’ service, and we’ll also enjoy the musical offerings by Ed McKeown and our Chancel Choir.
  •  Also on Sunday morning, in the Hospitality Area, you’ll have two opportunities to help others. First, members of our Cub Pack 443 will be selling popcorn! This is their major fundraiser of the year, and it helps to pay for their many activities and programs, so why not make plans now to buy some delicious popcorn from these enthusiastic Scouts. They’re waiting to serve you! The second opportunity to help is by participating in our 5K Run/Walk/Stroll on Saturday, October 21st that will benefit dementia/Alzheimer’s research. You can sign up to take part at the table in the Hospitality Area on any of the Sundays prior to the walk. The event is being held in memory of my dear friend Jim Jones, who pastored Janes UMC in Rising Sun for 27 years. Janes is sponsoring the event with us!
  •  On Sunday night at 5:30 pm our youth group will meet in the basement of Weldin Hall. The youth have chosen the topic for discussion and it is bullying, which unfortunately is a huge problem in the world today. So all youth are invited to come and be a part of the discussion.
  •  The Trustees are looking for some help with some painting projects around the church, so if painting is one of your gifts, please call the church office and we’ll connect you with someone from the Trustees. The church number is 410-398-0933 or you can email eumc@comcast.net.
  •  It’s not too late to sign up to be a mentor at Thomson Estates Elementary School this year. If you have an hour a week to give to a deserving student and would like to hear more about the program, please contact Nancy Mitchell at nhmitchell@msn.com.

Well, I think that’s it for now. Oops – before I forget, I want to thank Sharon and everyone involved in making last Sunday night’s organ concert happen. It was absolutely fabulous! It was incredible to watch Aram Basmadjian’s fingers fly across the keys, and his feet fly across the pedals, and watch him play incredibly hard music without a stitch of music in front of him – it was all from memory! Incredible! Plus, he had a wonderful sense of humor which made it all the better, and he taught us a lot about our new organ as well. It was an incredible, incredible evening!

Well, that’s really it for now! Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend. Sounds like the weather’s going to be beautiful, so enjoy it! Take some time out for yourself, even while tackling your chores. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday! Can’t wait!

                                                  Grace and Peace,
                                                                       Karen