Friday, July 28, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday!  It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote to you.  I was blessed to be on vacation last week in beautiful Bermuda, and for a whole week wasn’t able to receive or send messages, which I have to say – was kinda nice!  It was a wonderful, restful week where I was spoiled by the crew of the cruise ship, and blessed with the company of family and dear friends.  But on Monday, I was back in the office and hit the ground running, and now, it’s Friday, so here’s what’s happening this rainy weekend at the church:
-          On Sunday, I’ll preach a sermon about the Kingdom of God based on five parables Jesus shared in the Gospel of Matthew.  This passage directly follows the one Ivan preached on last week, which directly followed the one Carlos preached on the week before.  (By the way, many, many thanks to both of them for covering for me!  I watched their videos – they were both great!)  We’ll also commission our Costa Rica mission team at the 8:30 service as they get set to leave on Tuesday, and we’ll be treated to the music of Jerry McNabb for the first time.  It’s going to be a great Sunday, so don’t miss it!

-          Just a reminder that the Adult Sunday School class that meets in the Conference Room has started a new study on Christianity and World Religions and they would love to welcome new members.  They meet at 10 am on Sundays.

-          You’ll see a new bulletin insert this Sunday about this summer’s School Supply Drive which will take place over the next two weeks.  It’s similar to our drives in the past few years, so if you can help out, please do.  There are a lot of children who could use the helping hand!

-          A reminder to Classic Christians (age 50 and over) to sign up for the Summer Picnic which will be held on Friday, August 18th at 4 pm at the home of Betty and Ed Sprague.  Details about the event are in Sunday’s bulletin, and the sign-up sheet is on the table across from the Welcome Center.

-          ATTENTION YOUTH:  Starting next week, the middle school youth will meet on Wednesday evenings from 6 – 8 pm, and the senior high youth will meet on Sunday evenings from 5:30-8:30.  For more information, text Sandy at 443-309-0160.

-          Don’t forget that John Sparks will be competing in the Demolition Derby at the Cecil County Fair this weekend, and one of the cars he’s driving will be the one we decorated last Sunday.  So if you have time, go and cheer him on!

-          COSTA RICA MISSION – As I said earlier, the Costa Rica mission team leaves on August 1st for their work with people in need in that country.  Please pray for them daily during their time away.  Pray for safe travels, good experiences, and a fresh encounter with God’s love and grace.  The members of the team are:  Terri Lokey, team leader; Megan O’Neal, Allison Rogers, Susan McDowell, Ted McDowell, Joe Tanner, Lenore Dreisbach and Debby Miller.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  I know it’s going to be a soggy weekend, but make the best of it.  Perhaps it will give you a chance to rest and relax, instead of running around trying to get everything done.  Whatever the weekend holds, do spend time with those you love, and then, I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning.  I’ve missed you and it will be great to be back with you again!  Can’t wait!
                                                                                                                                                                   Grace and Peace,


Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
  Happy Hot Friday!  Phew, is it hot!!  Thank goodness for air conditioning!  Oh well, it is summer after all, isn’t it?  Anyway, I hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend.

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

- Our church is hosting the Community Kitchen today at noon at the Presbyterian Church.   Mary Mackie chairs this committee for us, and I know she would want me to thank in advance all who have prepared food for today.  It will be a welcome relief for those who are struggling (and struggling in the heat) to come into the nice air-conditioned hall and have a good meal. 

-   On Sunday, our very own Carlos Reyes-Rodriguez will be in the pulpit to preach the Word, while I’m starting a week’s vacation.  I know he will inspire you and you will inspire him.  He’s very excited about coming and seeing everyone.  Carlos is currently working in the Conference Office in Dover focusing on Hispanic ministries and new church starts.
  Brian Gilmore will be back as well to play for the services as Sharon enjoys her second week of vacation, and Vanessa and Alan Foskey will provide the musical offerings.  It’s going to be a great Sunday, so be sure to be there!
  Also on Sunday, probably about the time the 11:00 service ends, our Mission Team will return from their trip to Kentucky.  They’re having a great week doing some wonderful things, and I hope you’ve been following their progress via the pictures on our Facebook page or church website.  If you haven’t, I’ll hope you’ll check it out today.  Sharlene Lyle has sent us some great pictures!  Please pray for traveling mercies as they come part way home on Saturday and finish the trip on Sunday.

Looking ahead –
-          Next Wednesday morning, the 19th, is the Monthly Men’s Breakfast at the Elkton Diner.  All men of the church are invited to attend.  You don’t have to sign up ahead of time – just show up at 6:30, and you’ll be warmly welcomed!

-          Next Sunday, the 23rd, you’ll have a chance to be a part of painting the EUMC car that John Sparks will drive in the Demolition Derby at the Cecil County Fair.  Be sure to come prepared with clothes that you won’t mind getting paint on!  The car will be in the parking lot all morning long on the 23rd!  Oh, by the way, I’m sure John would love to see you in the crowd cheering him on at the Fair on Derby Day!

-          The Classic Christians’ Annual Summer Picnic will be held on Friday, August 18th at 4 p.m. at the home of Ed and Betty Sprague in North East.  All Classic Christians (age 50 and over) are invited to attend.  Please bring a side dish or dessert (meat and beverages will be provided).  Bring a lawn chair to sit in, and your swimsuit if you want to take a dip in the Spragues’ beautiful pool.  Please sign up for the picnic on the sheet across from the Welcome Center, so we can make sure we have enough food for everyone.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend.  Stay cool, take time for rest and relaxation, spend time with those you love, and then come to worship on Sunday morning to praise God and be inspired!  I’ll be thinking of you, and you’ll all be in my prayers while I’m away.
                                            Grace and Peace,

Friday, July 7, 2017

Happy Friday

Hi All –

  Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a great week and survived the “Noah’s Ark” type rain yesterday!  Whoa – what an afternoon!  I had to drive to Wilmington and it was no picnic on I-95.  Oh well, we survived and won’t our trees, flowers and grass look good because of the abundant watering?!

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

-          Tomorrow morning, our Kentucky mission team leaves for their annual trip to help our friends in Mozelle, Kentucky.  Our team has been to this location for many years in a row and has established deep and loving relationships with the folks there.  We’ll gather in the church parking lot at 9 am for a time of devotions with them before they leave – and you’re invited to come and be a part of that gathering.  Please keep all of the members of the team in prayer this week that they may have safe travels, good and productive days in Kentucky, and most of all, a sure sense of God’s presence and power with them.  Here are their names:
Youth:  Morgan Cook, Ben Dalrymple, Ben Graham, Jacob Graham, Jocelyn Melvin, Mackenzie Mulligan and Megan O’Neal.  Adults:  Bill Graham, Sharlene Lyle, Ted McDowell, Amy Sumner, Dave Wherry, Sandy Wherry and Tom Zaleski.  They return from their mission on Sunday, July 16th.

-          On Sunday, I’ll offer a sermon on Jesus’ words, “Come to me all who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  The sermon is called “I Can Handle It!”  And because it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll have Children’s Time, this week reading a wonderful book by Helen Cooper entitled The Boy Who Wouldn’t Go to Bed, so please make a special effort to bring the children to worship this week.  And finally, again since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll have a parish nurse on hand in the nurse’s office (near the hospitality area) to do blood pressure checks.  It’s going to be a busy morning!  Oops – I forgot something important!  Brian Gilmore will be with us providing our music as Sharon takes a couple of weeks of vacation time!  It’s always wonderful to hear his fabulous piano playing.  And speaking of piano playing – Ben Ingram will provide our special musical offering at both services!

-          On Sunday afternoon, the bus trip to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival takes place.  A group of about 35 of us will be leaving the church at 2 p.m. to head up to Ocean Grove, New Jersey, which is a town founded by the Methodists back in the 1800’s.  There, in the middle of the town, sits the Great Auditorium which seats 7000 people and that’s where we’ll hear the fabulous choir festival featuring 700 singers.  There are still seats left on the bus and we’d love to have more people join us, so if you’d like to go at the last minute, just show up at 2 p.m.   Cost is $40/person.   

Coming up next week:
o   The Wired Word study group will meet on Thursday, July 13th at 7 p.m. in the chapel.  This study, facilitated by Rev. Ray Graham looks at topics of current interest from a faith perspective.  All are welcome to attend.  There is no sign-up, just show up!
o   Our church hosts the Community Kitchen on Friday, July 15th, and our coordinator Mary Mackie is looking for some help.  If you can provide sandwiches or baked goods, please sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.  Mary would love to have help on the 15th as well, as our team serves the lunch at Elkton Presbyterian Church (site of the Community Kitchen gatherings).
o   Last call for recipes for our new cookbook which will come out in the fall.  Please send your favorite recipes to Nancy Crawford ( or drop them off in the church office.  Don’t forget to include your name and phone number or email address in case there are any questions about your recipe.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend.  Carve out some time for rest and relaxation, even while trying to get everything done of your “to do” list.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!

                     Grace and Peace,