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!
    • 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,

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,

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 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,

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,