Friday, March 31, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! Though today may be a bit rainy and dreary, it sounds like things will improve over the weekend – especially Sunday! I had to drive to Milford for a meeting today and it was so wonderful to see so many trees blooming!

Well, on to the events of the weekend at church:
  •  Tomorrow morning, our Prom Boutique will be open from 10 – noon to help any young woman find a beautiful, free dress for the prom. Be sure to let your family, friends and neighbors know about this great opportunity!
  •  On Sunday, we’ll mark the fifth Sunday of Lent by looking more closely at Mary and Martha as they dealt with the sickness and death of their brother Lazarus. We, of course, will have a visit by Mary and Martha at the start of the sermon. By the way, many, many thanks go to all of our “actors’ who have shared with us during this sermon series, and to Cathy Gohlke, who wrote the wonderful scripts!
  •  Since it is the first Sunday of the month, we’ll also be sharing Holy Communion together.

- Just a reminder of some on-going things:

  • This is the last Sunday to bring in your donations of individually wrapped Easter candy for the Easter Egg Hunt next Sunday. Please put them in the donation bin in the Welcome Center area.
  • We’re starting to collect goodies for the next College Care Package. So if you’d like to give toward that, there is a bin in the Welcome Center area for that, as well.
  • You have two more Sundays to sign up for Easter lilies/mosquito nets. As you know, you can give these gifts in memory of/in honor of someone you love. If you give toward the lilies, they will be used to adorn the church on Easter morning, and then you can take them home with you. If you give toward the mosquito nets, your name and other information will be included in the bulletin insert on Easter Sunday, and the money will go to the General Board of Global Ministries to buy anti-malaria nets for Africa. These nets have proven to be incredibly effective in preventing malaria and saving lives.
  • On behalf of the Missions Committee, Joe Tanner will be in the hospitality area after both services to sign up anyone who wishes to take part in the Brain Tumor Walk in Wilmington on Saturday, April 22nd. Last year, our church had a great team in the walk and we’d like to increase the number of participants for this year’s walk, so stop and see Joe on Sunday if you’d like to know more about it.
  • It’s not too late to give toward the UMCOR Sunday offering. Last week, the congregation gave just under $7000 to this very special offering, but if you didn’t get a chance to give yet, simply make out your check to Elkton UMC, write UMCOR on the memo line, and put it in the offering plate. Every gift helps UMCOR help people around the world after disaster strikes.
  • If you are participating in next Thursday’s Classic Christians’ bus trip to Annapolis, and have not yet paid the $40, please turn it in to the church office as soon as possible. By the way, there are still a few seats left, if anyone still wants to go.

The youth group will meet this Sunday night at 5:30 p.m. and will have a special guest at their meeting, so youth, you don’t want to miss it. You’ll also be hearing more details about the upcoming overnight retreat with North East UMC’s youth. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please text Sandy at 443-309-0160.

Well, I think that’s it for now. Oops – no – I forgot something I wanted to tell you. On Tuesday night, I attended the Cecil County Choral Society’s concert in our sanctuary, and I want you to know, it was really, really wonderful – one of the best I’ve heard them perform in a long time. I tell you this, because it’s not too late to hear them do it again – they’ll be performing the same concert this Sunday at 4 pm at the St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on 896 in Newark (just down the block from the U of D Stadium). Many of our church members are in the group, and Sharon is their accompanist, and I’m sure they’d love to see you there – so if you have time, I hope you’ll go. It would be a great way to end your weekend!

Well, that’s really it for now! Have a good day, and a great weekend. Take some time to rest and relax, maybe enjoy some NCAA Final Four basketball action, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!

                                              Grace and Peace,
                                                                   Karen

Friday, March 24, 2017

Happy Friday

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! Sounds like we’re going to warm up quite a bit – won’t that be wonderful? I’ve got some really good news later in this email, but I want to get to some other things first, so – here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:

  • Tonight at 6:30 p.m. the Sunday School is sponsoring a Family Game Night in the Wesley Wing. Come and enjoy the fun! Bring your favorite games along with you!
  • Tomorrow morning, our wonderful Prom Boutique will be open from 10 a.m. – 12 noon, so if you know of any young woman planning to attend the prom, send her over. There are tons of great dresses available!
  •  On Sunday, I’ll continue with my Lenten sermon series, “Were You There?” and this week we’ll hear about the Pharisee who confronted Jesus, and how the Pharisees were constantly trying to trap Jesus into saying something or doing something that would break the law. We’ll be treated to the music of Vanessa and Alan Foskey, and of course, our Chancel Choir.
  • Sunday is also UMCOR Sunday (formerly known as One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday). We’ll receive the UMCOR Sunday special offering, which goes to the costs of running UMCOR (our denomination’s disaster relief agency). Our church has given very generously to this offering every year in the past, in fact, we’re one of the leading churches in our conference in terms of giving to it. In the past few years, we’ve given well over $12,000. So I hope we can do that again this year. There were special offering envelopes in last Sunday’s bulletin for you to use this week, but if you weren’t in worship last week, you can simply write a check. Make it out to Elkton UMC and write UMCOR on the memo line. Please give as generously as you can.
  • Also just a quick reminder that we’re still asking for donations of individually wrapped candy for the Easter Egg hunt that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. There is a bin across from the Welcome Center to receive your donations.
There are a couple of things coming up next week that I wanted to tell you about –

  • On Tuesday night, March 28th, the Cecil County Choral Society will present their spring concert in our sanctuary at 7:30. It’s called “Believe,” so I invite you to come and be inspired by this wonderful group. Invite friends and family to come along with you. It’s going to be a great night of music.
  • Next Sunday, April 2nd, we’ll be having our next New Member Orientation Class at 12:15 pm in Room 1, so if you’re interested in learning more about our church or becoming a member, you’re invited! Lunch is provided, as is childcare if needed. To register, email me at eumc@comcast.net or call the church office at 410-398-0933.

Well, now that you’ve read all of the “what’s happening” information, here’s the unbelievably good news I told you I’d share with you! This week, a long-time friend of our church gave a very substantial gift for our new organ. Because of this gift, and taking into account the $2125 that is still to come through pledges, I am so pleased to tell you that we will have the money we need to both pay for the new organ and the costs associated with its installation!!! Yay!!!!!!! Thanks so much to all who gave so generously (and those who will still give to fulfill their pledge) to this exciting project of our church! Together, we’ve made beautiful music which now turns into beautiful music from our new organ! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Have a wonderful Friday, and a fabulous weekend. Enjoy the warm weather, find some time for yourself even while getting all your weekend chores done, 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, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Hi All,
Happy Friday! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Hope you had a good week and survived the snowstorm alright. I know a lot of you had to deal with power outages and broken tree limbs, but I hope things are coming back together for you. When I went out of the parsonage after the storm, I discovered that many tree limbs had come down in the backyard – very lucky they didn’t come down on the house! Spring can’t come soon enough, huh?!

Here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:
  • Tonight at 6:30 the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather for their March meeting in Weldin Hall. The night begins with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and continue on in a rousing night of Bingo! As usual, Ken McCoy will be our number caller and Mary Mackie has lined up some great prizes, so Classic Christians – come on out! Come even if you haven’t signed up ahead of time!
  • On Saturday morning, the Prom Boutique will be open from 10 am – 12 noon to provide young women free dresses for their prom. I learned tonight that there are lots and lots of great dresses still available – so spread the word about the Boutique. It’s open on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings until prom season ends.
  • On Sunday, we’ll celebrate the third Sunday of Lent, and I’ll continue my sermon series entitled “Were You There?” which focuses on characters of the passion story. This week we’ll hear again about the amazing encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well, as recorded in John 4:5-42. We’ll also be treated to the music of our handbell choir, Sid Bledsoe at 8:30 and our Chancel choir at 11.
  • Included in this Sunday’s bulletin will be an offering envelope for next Sunday’s UMCOR Sunday offering (formerly known as the One Great Hour of Sharing offering). This annual offering goes toward the day to day work of UMCOR, our denomination’s relief agency which responds to disasters around the world. We’re putting the envelope in this Sunday’s bulletin so you can take it home and pray about what you’d like to give – and then you can bring it back next week to make your gift.
  • Just a quick reminder that we’re still looking for donations of individually wrapped candy for the Easter Egg Hunt on April 9th. If you can help, please place your donations in the bin in the Welcome Center area by April 2nd.
  • On Sunday, at 12:15, our youth group will gather for their meeting in Weldin Hall. The meeting will start with lunch, and then continue on in a great creative activity led by Mary Ann Schmidt – working with mosaics. All youth are invited to attend and bring a friend!
  • There still are a few seats left on the Classic Christians’ bus trip to Annapolis, Thursday, April 6th. Flyers about the trip are available on the counter across from the Welcome Center.
  • Organ Fund Update: Great news! We’ve crossed under the $10,000 mark, so we’re on our way to the finish line!
    • o Total Cost for the New Organ: $104,500
    • o Funds Received Thus Far: $92,305.65
    • o Pledges Received: $2,225.00
    • o Amount Still Needed: $9,969.35
    • Organ offering envelopes are in the pew racks should you wish to make an offering and help us reach our goal.
Finally, continue to remember Terri Lokey in prayer. She’s in the midst of her mission trip to Costa Rica. The team is working hard, but Terri is having a wonderful time and can’t wait to return to tell us all about it, and get our team ready to go this summer. Stay tuned for more news about that.

Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day and an even greater weekend.  Find some time to rest and relax, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship Sunday morning!

                                        Grace and Peace,
                                                                Karen

Friday, March 10, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! It’s a bit dreary outside my window this morning, but so far, no rain or snow, so that’s something! I just finished my devotions this morning and I’m hoping that many of you are doing what I’m doing – and that is using our church’s Lenten devotional. It is really wonderful, so if you’re not using it, pick one up at the Welcome Center this Sunday, or better yet, you can access it online right now through our church’s website – elktonumc.org  or click here:  EUMC Devotional 2017

Here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:
  • - Of course, the big news of the weekend is the change to Daylight Saving Time! Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night or you’ll be late for church on Sunday morning!
  • - On Sunday, we’ll mark the Second Sunday of Lent. This week, we’ll spend time with Nicodemus and learn about his life-changing conversation with Jesus. Since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll also have Children’s Time with a wonderful book about asking questions (like Nicodemus did!), and we’ll be treated to the music of Vanessa Foskey and our Chancel Choir.
  • - Don’t forget that we’re asking for donations of candy for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. You can put your donations in the bin near the Welcome Center.
  • - As you know, this has been our week to sponsor the Rotating Homeless Shelter and I thank all of you who have helped in any way. On Sunday, our youth group will be preparing and serving dinner, so this is a reminder to the youth that they need to be at the church at 4:45 with the food you’re contributing. You’ll carpool to Five Rivers together and after your time serving and being with the guests, you’ll return to the church around 8:15 when your parents can pick you up. Any questions? Text Sandy at 443-309-0160.
  • - Just a quick reminder that the Classic Christians are sponsoring a bus trip to Annapolis on Thursday, April 6th and anyone is welcome to come along. The group will be touring the State House and the Governor’s Mansion, and sitting in on sessions of both the Senate and the House. Cost for the trip is $40/person with lunch on your own. The sign-up sheet for the trip is on the counter across from the Welcome Center.
  • - Here’s your weekly update on our Organ Fund Drive:
    • Total cost of the new organ - $104,500
    • Amount received thus far - $91,755.65
    • Pledges received - $2,325
    • Amount still needed - $10,419.35

      As you can see, we’re getting ever closer. If you haven’t given toward the new organ, or if you have, but can give more, please do so. There are envelopes in the pew racks for this special fund, and checks can be made out to the church with “organ” on the memo line.
  • Finally, I want to remind you that Terri Lokey is currently on a mission trip to Costa Rica on our behalf. She has gone there with another church to scout it out for us, as we plan to send our own team there later this summer. I received an email from Terri yesterday and she’s working hard, but having a wonderful time. Please keep Terri and the whole team in your prayers.
Well, I think that’s it for now. Oops! I think I spoke too soon. I just looked out the window and yes, it’s raining, and yes, I see snow flakes as well . . . oh well. Have a good Friday anyway, and then, a great weekend! Take some time out for rest and relaxation even while you tackle your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday. DON’T FORGET TO CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS TOMORROW NIGHT!

                                                 Grace and Peace,
                                                                          Karen

Friday, March 3, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! Looks like we’re in for a bit of a chill for a few days, doesn’t it? Oh well, it is March after all!

Before I turn to this weekend’s events, I want to say a big thanks to everyone for last weekend. We had a wonderful Boy Scout Sunday! The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts were out in full force, helping in so many ways, and treating us to a great breakfast! And the icing on the cake was Bill Graham’s message on “The Measure of a Man.” If you missed last Sunday’s service, don’t forget that you can watch it via You Tube. Simply go to our website, elktonumc.org, click on sermons, and then click on YouTube videos – and voila! You’ll be all set!
Now, on to this weekend:
  • - The Prom Boutique is now open on Saturday mornings for any young woman looking for a dress for the prom. Spread the word, and remind them that the dresses are free!
  • - Lent began a few days ago, on Ash Wednesday. We had a very meaningful worship service that night, and will continue with our Lenten worship this Sunday morning on the 1st Sunday of Lent. I’ll begin a new sermon series called “Were You There?” which will focus on characters in the passion story. This week’s character might surprise you, so come and see! And since it’s the first Sunday of the month, we’ll also be celebrating Holy Communion together.
  • - At 12:15 on Sunday, the youth group will gather for lunch and their weekly meeting. This week, they will be talking about hunger and how it affects people, especially those they’ll be serving when they prepare a meal for the Rotating Homeless Shelter this week. They’ll also spend time talking about how to interact with people at the shelter, and they’ll be making final plans for their meal with them.
  • - So this is our week to sponsor the Rotating Homeless Shelter. The last time I looked, there were still some empty spots on the task chart posted on the Missions bulletin board – especially people to stay overnight at the shelter. Please take a look at the chart on Sunday morning and see if there’s something you can do to help!
  • - On Wednesday, the Lenten Lunch and Learn study will begin. I’ll be leading it using a brand-new study written by the wonderful Adam Hamilton entitled Creed, which looks at the various parts of the Apostles Creed. There will be a sign up sheet in Sunday’s bulletin for the class.
  • - Also on Wednesday, we’ll be having a “Dining Out Day/Night” at Nino’s. We haven’t had one of these in a while, and they are a lot of fun, so I hope you’ll make plans to have a meal at Nino’s that day. The event is being held to help fund out-of-pocket activities in which the youth group takes part – things like going to the movies, or the beach, or other trips. Many families in our church have more than one youth in the group, and it gets expensive for them – so these monies will go to provide a pool of money to help them out. Make sure to have a Nino’s flyer (which will be handed out Sunday morning, and is also available online here) with you when you go so we’ll get credit. By the way, it works on take-out and delivery too!
  • - Looking ahead: The Classic Christians are hosting a one-day bus trip to Annapolis on Thursday, April 6th. It will feature tours of the State House and Governor’s Mansion, and a chance to sit in on sessions of both the Senate and the House. (I’ll be offering the opening invocation in the Senate that morning.) You don’t have to be a part of Classic Christians to go along – all are welcome. Cost for the trip is $40/person, plus the cost of lunch on your own. To take part, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.
  • - Finally, here are the latest numbers on our Organ Fund drive – and they’re great!
    • Total cost of the new organ - $104,500
    • Funds received thus far - $89,785.65
    • Pledges received - $3245
    • Amount still needed - $11,289.35

      You can see that we had a significant drop in the amount still needed this week – last week over $3000 was given! So every week we’re getting closer and closer! But we still do need to raise almost $12,000, so please give as you can. There are offering envelopes in the pew racks. Make your check out to Elkton UMC and put “Organ” on the memo line.
Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend. Try to find some time to rest and relax, even while tackling your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love. And then, I’ll see you in worship as we celebrate the first Sunday of this holy season of Lent.

                                                            Grace and Peace,
                                                                                  Karen