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 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,

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
  •  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

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,

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to a great weekend! Lots going on around church, so here goes:

  • - Tonight at 6:30 p.m., the Classic Christians have their September meeting. They’ll start with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and then move into a presentation by the always-popular local historian Mike Dixon. All people 50 and over are invited to attend, even if they haven’t signed up ahead of time. And even people younger than that are welcome if they’d like to hear Mike speak!
  • - On Saturday, our church will have a booth at the Elkton Fall Fest downtown, so be sure to stop by and say hello to our folks! Help them spread the word about our great church and our invitation for all to join us!
  • - On Sunday morning, our worship centers around the Supremes’ song “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand.” We’ll talk about reaching out and touching others through missions and giving and so many other ways, and we’ll be led in that by the members of the Costa Rica Mission Team, who will share their story. Ed McKeown will add to the beauty of the service through his singing.
  • - Right after the 11:00 service, around 12:15 or so, we’ll have a New Member Orientation Class for those interested in joining our church. So if you’re interested, come on over to Weldin Hall. Lunch is included!
  • - After that, at 4:00 p.m. to be exact, we’re going to have a wonderful Organ Concert in the sanctuary. Aram Basmadjian, with the Allen Organ Company (from whom we purchased our new organ) will play. It’s going to be wonderful, so you don’t want to miss it! Bring your family and friends along too. A reception will follow in Weldin Hall.
  • - Our youth group meets on Sunday evening, and all youth are invited to attend. For more information, interested youth can text Sandy Wherry at 443-309-0160. They had a wonderful time with the Scavenger Hunt last Sunday!
A few reminders:
  • This is the last Sunday to bring goodies for the first College Care Packages of the year. Bring your donations of things like granola bars, hot chocolate packets, microwavable mac ‘n cheese, candy, gum, etc. to the donation bin in the Welcome Center area.
  • On Sunday, you’ll have another opportunity to sign up to participate in the 5K Run/Walk/Stroll “Walking to Remember” Event on Saturday, October 21st. This fundraiser, co-sponsored by our church and Janes UMC, honors the memory of the Rev. Jim Jones and will benefit dementia/Alzheimers research. The sign-up table will be in the Hospitality area.
ATTENTION WOMEN – The brochure for this winter’s Women’s Retreat will be in Sunday’s bulletin! The dates for the retreat are Friday-Sunday, Jan. 12-14, 2018 (MLK weekend). Sign up quickly, because the retreat fills up fast! This year’s theme is “Ordinary Women/Extraordinary Deeds!”

A reminder to the men in the church that the monthly Men’s Breakfast is this coming Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. at the Elkton Diner. All men are invited. You don’t have to sign up ahead of time, just show up and join in the food, fellowship and fun!

- Two more quick things:

  • I told you in an earlier Friday email about the survey that the Communications Committee is conducting about the effectiveness of our systems of communication in the church. To date, many of you have taken the survey, but not nearly enough. So we are asking all of you to please take the time (which is minimal) to fill out the survey. You can find it by going to the church website (, clicking on the News and Events title, and on that page, you’ll see the Communications Survey. Click on that and you’ll be done in a matter of minutes! Please take the time to do it – it will be invaluable information for the committee, and the church, to have! You can also use this link and take it now: Communications Survey
  • Finally, let me thank you again for your incredible generosity in giving to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for hurricane relief. To date, we have given over $14,000! That is absolutely phenomenal! If, by chance, you have not yet had a chance to give, or want to give more, please make your check out to Elkton UMC, write UMCOR or Hurricane on the memo line, and put it in the offering plate. As you know well, lots and lots of money will be needed to help people rebuild their lives after Harvey and Irma.

Well, I think that’s it for now! It’s going to be a busy, but great weekend at church! I hope you have a great weekend as well. Try to find some down time for yourself even while tackling your chores. Spend time with those you love. And then I’ll see you in worship, for sure, but hopefully several other times as well this weekend. I look forward to it!

                                        Grace and Peace,

Friday, September 8, 2017

Thank you to All~

 A huge thank you to all our musicians who offered their musical talent to us during the summer months. You added so much to our worship services. If you are thinking about participating in one of the many opportunities our church has to over, you may want to consider being a part of our music program. 

Below is a list of our choirs and rehearsal times: Children's Choir 

  • (K - 5) directed by Susan Starrett, rehearses on Sunday mornings from 9:15 - 9:45 in room 1. They will sing the 4th Sunday of the month at the 8:30 a.m. service October - January and at the 11:00 a.m. service February - May. The children will sing for special occasions throughout the year.
  • First rehearsal is September 17th. The Chancel Choir, directed by Steve Gilmore, rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. The chancel choir sings at the 11:00 a.m. service September - Father's Day and other special programs at both Christmas and Easter. First rehearsal is September 13th.
  •  The Men's Choir, directed by Steve Gilmore, rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 -7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. They sing the second Sunday of October, December, February, April and June for both services. The men's choir sings on Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday. First rehearsal will be September 13th.
  •  Handbell Choir, directed by Paul Deemer, rehearses on Monday evenings from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. First rehearsal is September 11th.

 To anyone interested in joining one of our choirs listed above, please contact me or the director of the choir you may be interested in. My contact information is To those of you already involved in our music program, we look forward to having ALL of you back with us. 

Organ Concert September 17th at 4:00 p.m. Aram Basmadjian, assistant vice-president at Allen Organ Company and accomplished organist, will be performing a concert on our new Allen Organ on September 17th at 4:00 in the a ernoon. e concert will be held in our sanctuary. For more information on Mr. Basmadjian’s background, check out our church website. is concert is free and open to the public so you may want to come early to get the best seat!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Happy Friday!

Hi All –  Happy Friday! 

 Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend – although it’s hard to do any of that with all of the concern over Hurricane Irma. It’s hard to believe that just last week we were so focused on the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, and now this hurricane is ferocious! I know so many of you have friends and family in Florida and other southern states, and I know you’re worried about them. Let’s continue to surround them in unending prayer that, no matter what happens, they will know the peace that God alone can give.

This, as you know, is Kickoff Week for the fall at church. It’s an exciting time with lots going on, so here goes:
  • On Sunday, I’ll start a new sermon series loosely based on titles of songs that Diana Ross and the Supremes sang. The series is called “Supreme Christianity” and this week’s song is “Stop in the Name of Love.” Since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll have Children’s Time, this week reading Dr. Suess’ wonderful book Horton Hatches the Egg – so be sure to bring the kids to worship! We’ll welcome back the Chancel Choir after their summer hiatus and Paul Humphrey will also be playing his saxophone. So it’s going to be a great morning of worship you won’t want to miss!
  •  At 9:45, Sunday School kicks off for another year. There are classes for people of all ages, so find your place in one of them. If you’re not sure where to go, you can head to Weldin Hall at 9:45 and someone there can help you, and you can always pick up a SS brochure at the Welcome Center for information on all the classes.
  • On Sunday night at 5 pm, the Youth Group kicks off their fall season with the always popular and fun Scavenger Hunt. All youth in grades 6 – 12 are invited to take part. Bring your friends along too!
  •  On Sunday morning, you’ll have the opportunity to register for our upcoming 5K Run/Walk/Stroll to benefit dementia/Alzheimers research, which will be held on Saturday, October 21st at Fair Hill, the Stafford Pavilion. There will be a table in the Hospitality Area where you can sign up to participate. The event is being held in memory of the Rev. Jim Jones, and is being co-sponsored by the church he pastored for so long – Janes UMC in Rising Sun.
  • We’re still soliciting donations for the first College Care Packages of the year, which will go out September 25th. Bring your donations of things like granola bars, packages of soup mix or hot chocolate, candy, gum, microwave popcorn, etc. to the donation box in the Welcome Center area.

 Just a reminder about a few upcoming events:

  • This coming Thursday, the 14th, will be the next “Wired Word” gathering in the Chapel at 7 p.m. This is a discussion group that looks at current issues in the light of faith and is hosted by Pastor Ray Graham. All are invited to participate.
  • The next New Member Orientation Class will take place on Sunday, September 17th at 12:15 p.m. in Weldin Hall. So if you’d like to join the church, or simply to learn more about it, you’re invited to take part. To participate, sign up by emailing or by calling the church office at 410-398-0933
  •  Our big Organ Concert is coming up in a little over a week – on Sunday afternoon, September 17th at 4 pm. The concert will feature an extremely accomplished organist by the name of Aram Basmadjian of the Allen Organ Company. You won’t want to miss this special event! Invite your family and friends to come along with you!
There’s so much more going on over the next few weeks, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. You can check everything out in this month’s newsletter (which you can find on the counter across from the Welcome Center) or online on our church website ( at any time.

- The last thing I want to mention is the UMCOR offering we took up last week for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. I’m not going to tell you exactly how much we raised, but I will announce it on Sunday morning, so you’ll want to be there to hear the news. But here’s a hint: it’s pretty amazing! Nevertheless, we are going to have the offering basket out again this Sunday, because many people were away for the holiday weekend last week and didn’t get a chance to give – or some of you might want to give more. Obviously, this is going to turn into a multi-hurricane relief fund, given the forecasts of what damage Irma might do (and who knows what Jose will be up to as well). At any rate, like I said, the basket will be out again this week in which you can place your donations. If you give by check, please make it out to Elkton UMC and put UMCOR or Hurricane on the memo line, along with your account/envelope number if you have one.

Well, I think that’s it for now. As we move into this weekend, I know that you will join me in unceasing prayer for people and property in the path of Hurricane Irma. Have a good weekend, try to find some time for rest and relaxation, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on what promises to be an exciting “Kickoff Sunday” at EUMC! I can’t wait to experience it with you!

                                                    Grace and Peace,