Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy Friday

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have great plans for a long holiday weekend! I’ve had a great week. This week was Annual Conference, and this year it was held in Wilmington (as opposed to the previous 15+ years when it was held in Princess Anne, MD on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore). The Chase Center is a beautiful venue and everything went very well. There were moving worship services, great reports on ministries in our conference, and lots of opportunities for fellowship with clergy and laity alike! Heidi Gaultney was there as our church’s lay representative, and she enjoyed it as well. She’ll be presenting a report in one of our upcoming worship services about the conference.

Before I get into the events of the weekend, let me say a quick thank you to everyone who ate out this week to support two important ministries of our church – those who ate at Chick Fil A on Wednesday night to support the Costa Rica mission trip, and those who ate at Nino’s on Thursday night to support our wonderful Cub Pack 443. Your support means so much!

Now, on to the events of this weekend:

- On Sunday morning, I’ll offer the next sermon in my “He Never Said It Would Be Easy” sermon series. This week, the words of Jesus we’ll consider are “Do not be anxious . . .” – easier said than done, huh? We’ll also be taking some time to honor this year’s graduates with a special video presentation and gifts for them as well.

- Also on Sunday, Dot Eltzroth will be speaking for a few moments at both services about the opportunity you have to buy some of the wonderful wood that came from our old organ. The crew was able to keep a number of pieces of really good wood that woodworkers will love, and Dot will tell us how interested persons can acquire some of it.

- Monday, as you know, is Memorial Day, the day on which we are invited to remember and give thanks for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Our church is going to have a float in Elkton’s Memorial Day Parade which starts at 10 a.m. If you’d like to walk alongside our float and help give out flag pins, just meet up with the team down on Howard Street (near the ball fields, and behind the old Newberry’s store) around 9:30. If you can’t walk in the parade, please still make plans to attend. It’s a great parade and a great way to remember those who serve that we might live in freedom.

- Just a reminder that our Vacation Bible School will take place from Sunday, June 25th through Thursday, June 29th, from 5:30 – 8 p.m. Dinner will be served each night. For more information, and to sign up, go to the church website,

- Also a reminder that there are still spots available on the bus trip to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival on Sunday, July 9th. The festival features nearly a thousand singers performing in a 7000 seat Great Auditorium. Cost of the bus trip is $40/person. The bus will leave at 2 p.m. and return after the concert (around 11 p.m.). To take part, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.

Well, I think that’s it for now. I’m busy putting the finishing touches on Sunday’s sermon (I got a late start this week because of Annual Conference), and then I’ll be finishing up my lesson plans for the classes I’ll be teaching this coming week at the Local Pastors’ Licensing School at Camp Pecometh. This school teaches people just entering the ministry, and I’m blessed to be helping them learn about worship, preaching and evangelism. I had a great time teaching last year, and I’m really looking forward to this year as well. The only downside is that I’ll miss the Memorial Day parade.

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! Enjoy that extra day, and make sure, no matter what you’re doing on Monday, that you stop at some point and lift a prayer for those who died for our country and the families that mourned their losses.

Have a great weekend – take time for some rest and relaxation – spend time with those you love – and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday!

                                             Grace and Peace,

Friday, May 19, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday!   Hope you’ve had a good week, and have plans for a great weekend! What a week this has been! On Monday morning, I stood out in front of the church and watched as our beautiful new organ was unloaded, and then watched as it was brought to life over the next few days. Hope you saw the wonderful article about it in the Cecil Whig yesterday! What a great time for our church! I can’t wait for Sunday morning when we can celebrate together!

Here’s what’s happening this weekend:
  • Tonight, we’ll welcome back our Classic Christians’ travelers! They’ve spent the week in Niagara Falls and other spots in Canada, and it appears from all the pictures, that they’ve had a spectacular time! Pray that today will be filled with safe travel for them all.
  • Tomorrow, a number of members of our church will be participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at Elkton High School. The event starts at 3 p.m. and ends at midnight. Thanks to all of you who supported them through the purchase of luminaria last Sunday!
  • The big news for Sunday morning, of course, will be the debut of our new organ at our two worship services! The theme of the services will be “When Words Alone Cannot Express - Bring Music,” and we will do just that – in a big way! You don’t want to miss it! We’ll also be treated to the music of Sue Johnson (who happens to be my sister!) and our wonderful Handbell and Chancel Choirs. It’s going to be a very special morning.
  •  During our worship services, we’ll also take the opportunity to thank our Christian Education teachers and leaders for the wonderful work they’ve done this school year. And we’re also going to hear from Terri Lokey about the upcoming Costa Rica mission and how you can help support it.
  •  Don’t forget about the BOOK SWAP that will be going on all morning long on Sunday. When I took my books into Weldin Hall I couldn’t get over the amounts of books that have been donated. So definitely plan to come and get some for your summer reading. And don’t forget, you’re still invited to take books even if you weren’t able to donate them. We just want them to go to good homes!
  •  On Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m., the fabulous Wilmington Handbell Ensemble will perform a concert of theme songs (from movies, TV and Broadway) in our sanctuary. This is a return performance for this incredible group, and I hope we can fill the room for the concert. Invite your family, friends and neighbors to come along with you!
  •  The youth group will gather at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday for another “life lesson.” This one will be gardening – how to grow your own food, and how to turn that food into fabulous recipes. All youth are invited and encouraged to attend.

Looking ahead –

  • - The Annual Conference of our Peninsula-Delaware Conference takes place Monday – Wednesday at the Chase Center on the Riverfront. This annual meeting of our conference, presided over by Bishop Peggy Johnson, and attended by clergy and lay representatives from all of the churches, offers us the opportunity to celebrate the ministries of the past year and set goals and ministries for the coming year. Representing EUMC at the Conference will be Heidi Gaultney and myself, but Ray Graham, Brett Pinder and Carlos Reyes-Rodriguez will also be there. You’ll hear a report about the conference on an upcoming Sunday.
  • - Don’t forget that we’re still looking for people to march alongside our church’s float in the Elkton Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 29th at 10 a.m. If you want to help, please sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.
  • - Also, don’t forget that we’re still taking sign-ups for the bus trip on Sunday, July 9th to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival in Ocean Grove, NJ. Details about the trip will be in Sunday’s bulletin. The sign-up sheet is across from the Welcome Center.
  • - Finally, next Thursday, May 25th, will be another Dining Out Day/Night at Nino’s to benefit one of the groups of our church – this time it’s our fabulous Cub Pack 443. Flyers for the event will be in Sunday’s bulletin – and you need to have a flyer with you for the Pack to get credit. You can eat in, take it out or have it delivered – it all counts! But I can tell you from personal experience, it’s great fun to go there for dinner because practically the whole restaurant fills with church members and friends! It’s a great big party! So come and enjoy a meal out and help the Scouts all at the same time!

Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great Friday, and a wonderful weekend. Find some down time for yourself, even while tackling all your chores. Spend time with those you love, and then be sure to be in worship on Sunday, to hear our wonderful new organ, and join in singing praises to God from whom all blessings surely do flow! It’s going to be a great day, and I can’t wait!

                                             Grace and Peace,

Friday, May 12, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend. Looks like we’d better get outside in the sun today for rain’s coming tonight and tomorrow. But Al Roker promises the sun will shine for mothers on Sunday! Let’s hope!

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

  • - On Sunday, I’ll offer the third sermon in my series “He Never Said It Would Be Easy,” this week looking at his words, “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.” We’ll be treated to the music of Kyle Slayman at 8:30 and our wonderful Children’s and Chancel Choirs at 11. And since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll have Children’s Time, when the children will be invited to come forward and hear a really, really wonderful book – Max Lucado’s You Are Special. So be sure to bring the kids to worship this week!
  • - During the hospitality hour after worship this week, you’ll have the opportunity to show support for the upcoming American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. The relay will be on Saturday, May 20th from 3 p.m. to midnight on the track at Elkton High School, and if you go, you’ll see lots of our members involved! On Sunday, you can purchase luminaria in memory of or in honor of someone you love, for $5 apiece. They will be placed around the track at the relay and lit at dusk. And, of course, you and also volunteer to work with a team. Millie Jones and friends can answer all your questions at the table on Sunday, so stop by and see them!
  • - Also on Sunday, you can stop by the table across from the Welcome Center if you’d like to volunteer to march alongside our church’s float in the Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 29th – and you can sign up to go along on the bus trip on Sunday, July 9th to the fabulous Ocean Grove Choir Festival in Ocean Grove, NJ. It’s a wonderful evening of music featuring nearly a thousand singers!
  • - This is the Sunday to bring in the books you want to donate to the Book Swap (which takes places next Sunday, the 21st). Please bring your books into Weldin Hall. You can continue to bring them in all week. The more, the merrier! Then, make sure you come in next Sunday and get some new ones for your collection! (Remember, even if you have no books to donate, you can still come and take some on the 21st – we just want all of them to find a new home!)
  • - Another reminder that if you have a graduate in your family this year, we’d like to know about them, and we’d like a few pictures of them to include in a power point that we’re going to show on Graduate Recognition Sunday, May 28th. You can send the information, or drop the information, off in the church office.
  • - Finally, your weekly organ update! Our intrepid work team spent three more days this week preparing the room for the new organ and it’s ready to go! So bright and early on Monday our new organ will be delivered, and should be completely in by Wednesday afternoon! 
So . . . be sure to be in worship on Sunday, May 21st because that will be its encore performance at the hands of our wonderful Sharon Williams! Can’t wait! What an exciting time in the life of our church! And what an amazing accomplishment by so many people! Thanks to everyone who has had a hand in making it happen!

I think that’s it for now, except to say that, on Monday morning, say a little prayer for our busload of Classic Christian travelers heading off to Niagara Falls and Toronto next week. Pray that they have safe travels and a wonderful time. I’ve been to Niagara Falls a number of times, and I know they’ll have a fabulous trip. Wish I could go with them, but alas, I have to be away for Annual Conference soon and then to teach at the Local Pastors’ Licensing School, so maybe next time . . .

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend. Find some time to rest and relax, even while tackling your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love, and celebrate all the mothers in your life on Sunday! I’ll see you in worship!

                                              Grace and Peace,

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Friday

Hi All –

Happy rainy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend (in spite of the weather!) I think all of us are getting exercise putting windows up and down this week. We’ve sure had some beautiful warm days, so I guess we can put up with a few dreary ones, huh?

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

  •  On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in the new series, “He Never Said It Would Be Easy.” This week we’ll look at Jesus’ words: “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you . . .” and consider the cost of faithfulness to the gospel. And since it’s the first Sunday of the month, we’ll be celebrating Holy Communion together as well.
  •  Right after church on Sunday, from 1 – 3 p.m., everyone is invited to take part in the Sunday School department’s “Family Bowling Event” at Elk Lanes. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t signed up to take part, just show up and start throwing those strikes!
  •  At 5:30 Sunday, the youth will gather for their weekly meeting, and this week’s “life lesson” that they will learn is First Aid, led by Tiffany and Joe Graham. They’ll learn some basic first aid and especially how to help someone who is hurt while waiting for medical help to arrive. All youth are invited and encouraged to attend.
There are lots of opportunities coming up! Here are a few of them:

  • - Book Swap on May 21st – Start collecting the books you’d like to donate now, and bring them into the church on May 14th or after. You can put them in Weldin Hall. Then come on the 21st and browse through the collection and take some home!
  • - A new once-a-month discussion group is starting next week. It’s called “The Wired Word” and discussion will involve looking at topics in our world in light of faith. The class starts on Thursday, May 11th at 7 p.m. in the Chapel and the first topic is “What Americans Think About Women in Power.” Pastor Ray will be facilitating the group, and if you’re interested in taking part, there will be a sign-up sheet in Sunday’s bulletin.
  • - We’re going to be recognizing those who are graduating this year at the end of the month, so if you have a graduate in your family, please fill out the information form in this Sunday’s bulletin or call the church office. We’d also like a few pictures of them for a power point we’re putting together.
  • - Our church is going to again have a float in Elkton’s Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 29th, and we need people to march alongside the float and hand out flag pins. If you’d like to help and be a part of the fun, please sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center. Someone from the Evangelism Committee will then be in contact with you about the details.
  • - Plans are well underway for this year’s Vacation Bible School which starts on Sunday evening, June 25th, but help is still needed. If you can lend a hand in any way, please contact Katie Sparks at
Finally, an update on the organ project!
Sharon supervises removal

A group of unbelievably hard-working volunteers in our church have been
working all week long to remove the old organ and get the room ready for the new organ. It has been a monumental task but they have made incredible progress. Right now, it looks like the new organ will be brought in and installed the week of May 15th, so if all goes well, we should be enjoying its beautiful music for the first time on Sunday, May 21st (so mark your calendar to be sure to be in worship that day!)

Speaking of the old organ – we were able to keep many parts of it for future use by people who are “crafty.” We kept all of the keys, much of the beautiful wood cabinet, the pedals and the bench. The bench and a few other pieces have already been spoken for, but at some future date, we will be offering other parts to members of the congregation for a donation to the organ project – so stay tuned (especially woodworkers!).

Oops – two more things about the organ. 1) If you made a pledge to the organ drive, we would appreciate final payments. Soon, we’ll be having to make our final payments to the organ company, and also, pay for construction costs. 2) If you have any connection to an auto body shop or someone who does auto body repair, we’re looking for someone with those skills and tools to help repair the pipes that we see on the wall behind the organ. They’ve got some dents and need to be repaired and repainted, but that takes some special equipment that we don’t have – but those in the auto repair business probably do. If you know someone who fits the bill, please let me know. You can email me at

I think that’s it for now, except to say that if you want a lovely way to end your weekend, the Elkton Town Band will perform their Founders’ Day Concert on Sunday night at 7 p.m. in the Elkton High School Auditorium. The Founders’ Day Concert honors the memory of the band’s founders – Bill Lewis and my dad, Bob Bunnell. The concerts are always wonderful and it’s a great way to end a weekend. Hope some of you can make it! 

Well, I think that’s it for now! Sorry this is so long today, but there’s a lot going on at our church, and that, most definitely, is a great thing! So have a good Friday, a great weekend, take some time out to rest and relax, and then I’ll see you on Sunday in worship! Can’t wait!

                                                Grace and Peace,