Friday, April 20, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! Even though there was a freeze warning last night, wasn’t it a beautiful week for the flowering trees all around us? The beautiful pink cherry tree behind the parsonage is right outside my office window, and this time of year, when it’s blossoming, it’s just breathtaking! Take time to stop and enjoy all these beautiful sights with which God surrounds us each spring!

Speaking of beautiful sights on the earth, take a look at what’s happening this weekend on which we celebrate Earth Day!

  • Tomorrow morning, a team of walkers from Elkton UMC will participate in the 2018 Delaware Brain Tumor Walk on the Riverfront in Wilmington. I just checked out the website, and discovered that our team is just short of meeting their financial goal for the walk, so if you have a minute and can contribute, go to the EUMC team page at “Delaware Brain Tumor Walk 2018” website, click on “Donate Now."  Let’s help them make their goal! Thanks to all who are taking part! 
  • Also tomorrow morning, the Prom Boutique will be open from 10 am – 12 noon for any young woman looking for a dress for their prom. Spread the word! 
  • On Sunday, as I said above, we’ll celebrate Earth Day! The choir will sing a special number about God’s creation, we’ll see a video of the beauty of God’s creation through the lenses of some of EUMC’s best photographers, and the bulletin cover will be a creation of one of our Sunday School students, Danielle Rogers. (Also, the Stewardship Committee members will be visiting our children and youth Sunday School classes to help them plant seeds for herbs for their families to use in cooking.) Finally, I’ll be offering the second sermon in my “The Bible Doesn’t Say That” series, this week focusing on the phrase – “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”
  • The youth group will meet on Sunday night at 6 pm as usual, but this week they’ll welcome some very special guests – Terri Lokey and Joe Tanner – who are coming to talk about this summer’s mission trip to Costa Rica and invite the youth to be a part of it. Parents are invited to come and hear about it as well.
  • Speaking of youth: We’re getting ready to recognize our graduating seniors in early June, so now’s the time to send in photos and information about your graduate. There will be an insert in this Sunday’s bulletin telling all about it.
  • Looking ahead to next week: On Thursday morning, April 26th at 8 am a group of Classic Christians and friends take off on their road trip to Norfolk VA for a great weekend of music, parades and activities. Please pray for traveling mercies for them.
  • Finally, Wednesday, April 25th is Administrative Professionals Day, so don’t forget to lift a prayer of thanks to God for our wonderful Church Secretary Kay Mortimer! She’s a blessing to all of us, and I couldn’t do what I do without her! 

Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a great day, and an even greater weekend! I hope you have some fun things planned, or at least, have some times of relaxation scheduled into your “to do” list! Make sure to spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning! Can’t wait!

                                                   Grace and Peace,

                                                                            Karen

Link to EUMC Brain Tumor Walk Team:
http://www.braintumorcommunity.org/site/TR/TeamraiserEvents/DelawareBrainTumorWalk?team_id=81924&pg=team&fr_id=2980

Friday, April 13, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
    Well, I’m back in the saddle again after having the week after Easter off. Though sadly we didn’t go to the Outer Banks this year, I was able to have a lot of down time that week and even managed to get productive things done around the parsonage. But now, it’s back into the swing of things!

I sure hope you enjoyed yesterday’s warm weather, and really hope that you get to spend some time outside today when it’s supposed to hit the upper 70’s! Yay! Finally!

Here’s what’s happening around the church this weekend:
  • On Saturday morning, the Prom Boutique will be open from 10-12 noon. Please remind anyone who might be going to the prom about this wonderful place filled with nearly-new (and in some cases brand new) prom dresses, which are absolutely free! The boutique is also open on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 – 8 pm.
  • On Sunday morning, I’m starting a new, relatively short (3 week) sermon series entitled “The Bible Doesn’t Say That.” The series is loosely based upon a book written by Adam Hamilton entitled Half Truths. This week the topic is the saying “God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle.” We’ll be treated to the music of the Handbell and Chancel Choirs as well.
  • This Sunday morning is also our Blood Drive. It will take place in Weldin Hall from 7:30 am until noon, and a lot of people have signed up already to donate. If you haven’t signed up, but are interested in donating, stop into Weldin Hall and they’ll try to work you in the schedule. Many thanks to all who will be giving this lifesaving gift for others!
  • At 9:45 am, there will be a presentation about Camp Pecometh in the sanctuary for all Sunday School students, their parents, grandparents and anyone else interested in hearing about Pecometh’s summer programs. A representative from Pecometh will speak at that presentation and also briefly at both worship services. Don’t forget that each EUMC child who attends Pecometh gets a $100 scholarship toward the cost!
  • Finally, at noon on Sunday, we’re having a New Member Orientation Class in Room 1 for anyone interested in joining the church. Lunch will be served. Please come even if you haven’t signed up ahead of time!
  • Just a reminder that we’re looking for donations for the final College Care Package of the year. Bring your donations of goodies (granola bars, gum, candy, chips, pretzels, etc.) to the box near the Welcome Center.
  • Also a reminder that our church is putting together a team to walk in the 2018 Delaware Brain Tumor Walk on the Wilmington Riverfront on Saturday morning, April 21st. They’d love to have you walk with them, and if you can’t, they’d welcome your financial support. To sign up or to financially support them, go to the Delaware Brain Tumor Walk website, type in the team name, EUMC, or an individual participant’s name (like Mike Foster, for instance) and you’ll be instructed in how to make a donation.
  • Calling all men! The monthly Men’s Breakfast is next Wednesday, April 18th at 6:30 am at the Elkton Diner. All men of the church are invited to take part in this hour of food, fellowship and fun! No sign-up is necessary – just show up!


I think that’s it for now. Have a great Friday – enjoy the warm weather, and then enjoy a wonderful weekend. Though I’m sure you have a lot on your “to do” list to get done, try to take some time to rest and relax. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning! I missed you last week!

                                                     Grace and Peace,
                                                                         Karen

Friday, April 6, 2018

Happy Friday!

Good morning!

Happy Friday! Since Karen is taking a well-deserved week off, she has left the awesome duty of the Friday email to her secretary! I hope she is having a wonderful, relaxing week!

Here’s what’s happening at church: 
  • On Sunday, we welcome back Rev. Sheryl Allston who will be our guest preacher. Rev. Allston serves as Staff Chaplain at Christiana Care Health System. She will be preaching, “Fulfilling the Law”. We’re excited to have her with us! The choir is also taking a well-deserved break so Jerry McNabb will treat us to music. You don’t want to miss it! 
  • The Prom Boutique will be open tomorrow from 10 am until noon. 
  • Our college outreach team is collecting goodies for the final college care packages to go out this year. Please bring all donations to the box at the Welcome Center before Sunday, April 22nd. 
Sign-ups continue for:
  • Our next Blood Drive on Sunday, April 15th. Please see a Mission Committee member in the Hospitality Area. 
  • The Brain Tumor Walk will be held on Saturday, April 21st. If you would like to participate, please see or email Mike Foster at fostemi520@gmail.com

If you’re interested in joining the church, a new member orientation class has been set for Sunday, April 15th at 12:30 p.m. in Weldin Hall. To sign up, please email Rev. Bunnell at eumc@comcast.net or call the church office at 410-398-0933.

Also, on Sunday, April 15th, a representative from Camp Pecometh will be with us to discuss summer camp opportunities for children and youth. A presentation will be given at 9:45 a.m. in the Sanctuary.

I think that’s all for now! Have a great Friday and weekend! See you on Sunday!

                                               Blessings,
                                                         Kay

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Good Friday Message

Hi All –

I greet you on this Good Friday with hopes that you’ve had a good week and are having a good day. Today is the day on which we remember Jesus going to the cross and dying for us and our salvation. I pray that in the midst of all the busyness that surrounds the Easter holiday weekend, you will find some quiet time today to pray and remember Christ’s sacrifice for you. We had an incredibly moving Maundy Thursday service last night, and today, at noon, we’ll have a service remembering Jesus’ last words from the cross.

Here’s more about that service and other things going on this weekend:
  • Today’s Good Friday service is an ecumenical service sponsored by GEMA (the Greater Elkton Ministerial Association). Preachers from seven churches will each be preaching on one word of Jesus from the cross for about seven minutes, so the service will be about an hour and fifteen minutes long. We so rarely get to worship together, and so rarely get to hear preachers from so many churches, so I hope you’ll make time to come and be a part of it. Noon today in our sanctuary.
  • On Easter Sunday, we’ll have two identical Festival Worship Services at 8:30 and 11 am. They will be filled with music – wonderful Easter hymns, offerings by the Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir and Men’s Choir, and music by a trumpeter and of course, Sharon on our wonderful organ! It’s going to be a great morning that you won’t want to miss!
  • From 7:30 – 10:30 on Easter, Gerry and Jamie Treese will be offering their always-wonderful Easter breakfast in Weldin Hall, so make plans to come and enjoy it either before or after worship!
  • The church office will be closed on Monday in observance of the Easter holiday and to give all of the staff a well-deserved breather!

Let me just say a word of thanks to all who have offered their gifts to make this Lent and Easter season so wonderful this year. I especially thank our Chancel Choir for their phenomenal cantata last week, which was all the more phenomenal considering the fact so many of their rehearsals had to be cancelled due to bad weather! As always, Steve’s and Sharon’s leadership helped pull it all together, and it was truly wonderful.

Thanks also to Krista Gilmore and all who helped with last night’s Maundy
Thursday service and the soup and bread dinner that preceded it.

And a huge thank you goes out from me to Kay Mortimer, who goes above and beyond the call of duty at times like these. The number of bulletins she has to produce, not to mention the monthly newsletter – all at the same time – and while answering calls and doing all of the other parts of her job – well, it’s incredible, and she does it all incredibly well. I’m so glad she’s my partner in ministry! We are blessed to have her!

Finally, I want to thank God for the opportunity I had yesterday to, for the sixteenth year in a row, offer the opening prayer for a session of the Maryland Senate. But what made it so very special this year was that the Tuskegee Airmen were there and being honored. What a thrill it was to be in the presence of these men who made history in World War II! True American heroes!

Well, I think that’s it for now. I’m so looking forward to being with all of you throughout this Easter weekend! So have a good day, and a great weekend. Enjoy the time with your family and friends, try to sneak in some rest and relaxation, and then, please be sure to come and give God thanks on Resurrection Day, Easter Sunday. I’ll be looking for you!

                                          Grace and Peace,
                                                                  Karen

Friday, March 23, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Beautiful sunshine is filling my office as I sit down to write this morning. Quite different from two days ago, huh? What a week it’s been! I don’t know if you realize Wednesdays have been the unlucky days this winter. I know that because of the number of times that we’ve had to cancel Lenten Lunch and Learn, Yoga, Choir Rehearsal and Communion. It’s been crazy! Having said that, I hope you enjoyed the snow day on Wednesday as much as I did. It was great to stay in, to stay warm and cozy, and to get a lot of stuff accomplished. (By the way, I know that I am blessed to stay in and stay warm and cozy because the Trustees make sure my driveway and sidewalks are cleared! Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the Trustees and to John Fetterolf who actually does it!)

Anyway, now it’s on to the weekend, and a busy one it is! Here’s what’s happening:
  •  Tonight at 6:30 pm the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather in Weldin Hall for their March meeting. The night will begin with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share), and then continue on with a program about Milburn Orchards. Evan Milburn will be our guest speaker. All Classic Christians are invited to come, even if you haven’t signed up ahead of time. 
  •  Tomorrow morning, the church will be buzzing as the Chancel Choir meets to rehearse and make up for all those Wednesday rehearsals cancelled due to weather. At 10, the Prom Boutique will open to help young women find beautiful dresses to wear to the prom. They’ll be open until noon, so spread the word! 
  •  Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday, and we will focus in worship on Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and then the journey to the cross. The Chancel Choir will lead us as they present their cantata, “Who Do You Say That I Am?” at both services. They always do a wonderful job, and I know it will be very moving, so please invite others to come with you Sunday morning. (I want to add a special note here: Several times over the past few years, after the choir has presented a Lenten cantata, I have received complaints that the congregation did not have the opportunity to applaud after it ended. People felt like the choir didn’t know how appreciative we were. As you know, Lent is a season of quiet contemplation, during which we don’t applaud in worship. That is particularly appropriate after the cantata which reflects the depth of Jesus’ suffering. So I want to suggest that instead you make a special effort to see the choir members after worship in the coffee hour and thank them in person for their musical offering, or better yet, send them a card or write them a note to thank them.) 
  •  At noon on Sunday, our children will enjoy the annual Easter Egg Hunt. They’ll start out in Weldin Hall with a potluck lunch (please bring a side dish or dessert to share), and then the hunt for eggs will be on. I’ve been afraid to look at the weather forecast for Sunday, but be assured the hunt will go on, rain, snow or shine! There are tons of eggs, so please bring your children, grandchildren, neighborhood children with you! It’s going to be a lot of fun! 

As Holy Week continues, our schedule is full:
  •  On Wednesday, at 11 am, our Lenten Lunch and Learn class will have a special extended final session. The group will meet from 11 – 1:15 to try to complete the study which had to be cancelled twice due to bad weather. 
  •  Thursday is Maundy Thursday. Our evening will begin at 5:30 pm in Weldin Hall with a Soup and Bread dinner being offered by our Missions Committee. Worship will take place at 7 pm in the sanctuary, and will feature a very moving service of symbols of the passion and holy communion. 
  •  I’ll mention what will be happening on Good Friday, even though I’ll be sending next week’s Friday email that morning. We’re not having a crosswalk this year, instead the members of the Greater Elkton Ministerial Association will be having an ecumenical worship service at 12 noon in our sanctuary. Seven pastors from seven churches in Elkton will be offering their thoughts on the seven last words of Jesus from the cross. 
  •  That’s pretty much it for the week’s schedule. Just a few more things to mention: 
  •  If you’re interested in joining the church, a new member orientation class has been set for Sunday, April 15th at 12:15 in Weldin Hall. To sign up, email eumc@comcast.net or call the church office at 410-398-0933. 
  •  The next Blood Drive will be held on April 15th from 8-12 noon, and you’ll be able to sign up to donate during the coffee hours on April 1st and 8th. 
- Well, I think that’s it for now, in terms of what’s coming up. But before I sign off, I have to celebrate with you something wonderful that happened this week. Both Brett Pinder and Carlos Reyes appeared before the conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry, and they both were approved! Which means that Brett will be ordained an Elder at the Annual Conference in May, and Carlos will be commissioned as a provisional Deacon (which means he has to serve two years before final ordination). I am a member of the Board, but wasn’t part of the interviews because of my relationship with them. However, I was in the room when they both received the news that they had been approved, and I cried tears of joy! They are both wonderful men whom God is using in powerful ways, and both of them have expressed to me and to the board how much our church helped to make them who they are today. I’m working with them to arrange a day for them to be with us in worship so we can celebrate with them. I’ll keep you posted!

- Speaking of what a great church you are, I want to close by letting you know that, as of today, you have given over $11,000 to UMCOR for the UMCOR Sunday offering! That is incredible! You are an incredibly giving church, both in love to and for people, and in giving so that others might find help in time of need. I am so blessed to be your pastor!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! Carve out some time to relax and put your feet up even while trying to get all your chores done. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Palm/Passion Sunday.

                              Grace and Peace,
                                                      Karen

Friday, March 16, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend. I just looked down at my list of things I need to tell you, and there’s a ton! So let’s get right to it!

  • Just a reminder to all CLASSIC CHRISTIANS that we’re not meeting tonight. We changed our March meeting to a week later, on Friday, March 23rd, because our guest speakers aren’t available tonight. So mark your calendars for next Friday night!
  • The PROM BOUTIQUE will be open tomorrow morning from 10:30 until noon for any young woman looking for a beautiful, no-cost, prom dress. Spread the word!
  • On Sunday morning, I’ll offer the fifth installment in my Lenten sermon series, “Willing to Pay the Price,” entitled “Extravagant Love.” We’ll look together at the story of Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, anointing Jesus with priceless perfume. We’ll be treated to the music of our Handbell and Chancel Choirs. And I can’t tell you what the last hymn will be, but it’s a favorite of a lot of people in the church, so don’t miss it!
In the week ahead:
  • On Wednesday, March 21st the men of the church will have their Monthly Men’s Breakfast at the Elkton Diner at 6:30 am – all men are invited!
  • On Thursday, March 22nd, our Cub Scout Pack 443 is having a “Dining Out Day” at Cuzino’s (formerly Nino’s). A flyer for the event will be in Sunday’s bulletin, and you’ll need to present the flyer (whether you eat in at lunch or dinner, take out, or have something delivered). A portion of the proceeds of the day’s business will go to the Pack. 
Looking further ahead:

- Sunday, March 25 is Palm/Passion Sunday. That day, at both services, our Chancel Choir will present their Lenten cantata. At noon, our children and their families will enjoy the annual Easter Egg Hunt after lunch in Weldin Hall (sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board across from the church office). And our church cookbook will be on sale after both services in the hospitality area ($12).

Looking way ahead!
  • We’ll be having another BLOOD DRIVE. It will take place on Sunday, April 15th, from 8 am until noon in Weldin Hall. You can sign up to donate, or help with the drive, on Sundays, April 1st and 8th during the hospitality hour after both services.
  • If you’d like to learn about Camp Pecometh and the opportunities your child could have there this summer, you’re invited to a presentation on Sunday, April 15th at 9:45 in the sanctuary. A representative from Pecometh will be with us that day.
  • Our church will have a team walking in the Brain Tumor Walk on the Riverfront in Wilmington on Saturday, April 21st. If you’d like to participate with the team, email Mike Foster at fostemi520@gmail.com.
  • If you’re interested in joining Elkton UMC, there will be a New Member Orientation Class on Sunday, April 15th in Weldin Hall at 12:30 pm. To sign up, email eumc@comcast.net.
  • The Stewardship Committee needs a favor from you. They’re looking for pictures of creation to use on Earth Day. We know the congregation is filled with wonderful photographers, so please send your pictures to eumc@comcast.net no later than April 8th. Questions? Contact Ellen at ellieg7@aol.com.
  • A new committee is being formed in our church around social justice issues. It will be called “The Church and Society” Committee. If this is an area of interest to you, and you’d like to serve on this new committee, please send an email to me at eumc@comcast.net. The nominating committee is meeting next Thursday night, so if you can email me before that, that would be great!
  • Finally, a great big THANK YOU to all of you for your generous giving to the United Methodist Committee on Relief last week on UMCOR Sunday. In just one day, you gave over $7000! If you didn’t get a chance to give, it’s not too late. Simply make a check out to Elkton UMC and write UMCOR on the memo line! 

Phew! I think that’s it! I warned you ahead of time there was a lot to say, so thanks for bearing with me. It’s an exciting time in the church with lots going on!

Have a great day today! And have a really great weekend! I hope you have plans to do something fun, or at least you’ll take time to put your feet up for a while. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday morning in worship! Can’t wait!

                                         Grace and Peace,
                                                                Karen

Friday, March 9, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 Hope you’ve had a good week in spite of the weather, and that you’re looking forward to a great, relaxing weekend.  I looked back on old Friday emails and I can’t believe how many times over the past few months that bad weather appears in them!  Speaking of bad weather – I think last weekend’s wind storm was one of the most incredible things we’ve gone through.  I was afraid to look out my back window for fear that one of those gigantic trees in the backyard of the parsonage would come down.  Thanks be to God that didn’t happen, but I know many of you endured a lot – like downed trees, and no electricity, etc.  And then, of course, came the snow on Wednesday, and now, I can’t believe it, they’re calling for more snow Sunday night into Monday.  Spring can’t come soon enough, right?

  Oh well, enough of the whining!  On to what’s happening this weekend at church:
-          We’re in the midst of our church’s week hosting the Emergency Rotating Shelter, and I want to say a word of thanks to everyone who has stepped up and helped – either by being at the shelter in person or by providing supplies.  I want to say a special word of thanks to Susan Starrett for coordinating it all, for spending many, many hours there this week, and for working tirelessly to try and get all the tasks covered.

-          The Prom Boutique will be open Saturday morning from 10 am – 12 noon for any young woman looking for a practically-new dress for their prom.  Please spread the word about this wonderful opportunity!  The boutique is also open on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8 pm.

-          DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME begins in the wee hours of Sunday morning, so don’t forget to change your clocks before you go to bed on Saturday night.  Move them ahead one hour or you’ll be late for church on Sunday morning!

-          Sunday morning is the fourth Sunday of Lent, and I’ll continue my sermon series entitled “Willing to Pay the Price,” with a sermon called “Righteous Indignation!”  We’ll look together at the day Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables in the temple, and what that means for our lives today.  Since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll also have Children’s Time, and the book that will be read to the children will be Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?  It’s a wonderful book with great lessons for children, and for everyone else as well.  So please make a special effort to bring children to worship this week.  Our services will be enhanced by the music of Paul Humphrey on the saxophone, and by our Chancel Choir.

-          This Sunday is also UMCOR SUNDAY (formerly known as One Great Hour of Sharing).  It is our opportunity to give to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for their administrative costs, so that when disasters arise and offerings are taken in response to them, those monies go 100% to disaster relief.  Our church has a strong record of very generous giving to this offering – last year we gave nearly $10,000 – so I’m hoping we’ll give that or more this year.  We passed out the offering envelopes in last Sunday’s bulletin for you to use, but if you didn’t get one, or lost yours, the ushers will have extras on hand on Sunday.  Please give as generously as you can to this special offering!

-          Just a reminder that we’re still looking for donations of individually wrapped Easter candy for the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt.  You can place your donations in the bin across from the Welcome Center.

Here is a video to remind you of all UMCOR provides throughout the year:


-          On Tuesday evening, March 13th, the Cecil County Choral Society will present their Spring Concert in our sanctuary at 7:30 pm.  It’s going to be a great night of music, and you’ll recognize many of EUMC’s choir members in the group, as well as Sharon at the piano and organ.  Invite your family and friends for what promises to be a wonderful night of beautiful music!

-          Finally, we’re getting ready to videotape the next round of greeting videos to be used at the start of our worship services.  If you haven’t already made a video, and would be willing to tape one, please give me a call or email me at eumc@comcast.net asap.  The taping will be on the 18th of March in the afternoon. 

Well, I think that’s about it for now.  I hope you have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend.  Try not to watch the weather forecast, and just enjoy the days.  Carve out some time for rest and relaxation even while you try to get your “to do” list done.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning (but only if you remember to change your clocks Saturday night!!!)
                              Grace and Peace,
                                                            Karen

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Happy Friday --on Thursday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Actually, I’m writing this email on Thursday night because, like most of you, I just got a call from Cecil County Emergency Services telling me about how treacherous the weather is going to be tomorrow. Sounds pretty scary! So I thought I’d hedge my bets, and send this out tonight, just in case the power goes out tomorrow! Anyway, I’ll be praying for everybody that we all get through the storm in good shape!

On to what’s going on at the church this weekend:

  • On Saturday morning at 10, the Prom Boutique will be open. ‘Tis the season for proms, so don’t forget to tell all your young women friends about the beautiful dresses available for them to have FOR FREE for their proms. The boutique is open on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 8 pm and Saturday mornings from 10 am -12 noon.
  • On Sunday, I’ll continue my sermon series entitled “Willing to Pay the Price” with “Broken for You.” We’ll think about the Last Supper and how communion is a constant visual reminder of the price Jesus paid for us and our salvation. We’ll be treated to a piano solo from Sharon, as well as the Chancel Choir at 11. And, of course, we will share Holy Communion together. We’ll also be watching a short video clip about the United Methodist Committee on Relief ahead of being asked to make our annual contribution to UMCOR next Sunday, the 11th.
  • We’ll have a dear friend with us Sunday morning – Cathy Gohlke! She’ll be bringing copies of her new book, Until We Find Home, with her. They will be on sale at the coffee hour after both services. Paperbacks are $15, hardbacks $25 (make checks out to Cathy Gohlke). And Cathy will be delighted to sign them for you! A personal note: I have read the book and it is really, really wonderful! I highly commend it to you!
  • Our week sponsoring the Rotating Homeless Shelter begins on Monday, and we’re still looking for overnight help. Please, please pray about helping, and if you can take one shift, contact Susan Starrett by emailing her at starrett623@yahoo.com.
  • We’re still looking for donations of individually wrapped candy for the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which takes place on March 25th. Please bring your donations to the bin across from the Welcome Center.
  • This Sunday, on the counter across from the Welcome Center, you can grab a copy of the March newsletter, “The Beacon.” It’s chocked full of news and information for this month, and believe me, there’s a lot going on – so pick one up (but remember, you can always access it via our church website as well – elktonumc.org). 
Well, I think that’s it for now. I hope you have a good Friday, and that all of us weather the impending storm safely. Take good care of yourself and those you love, find some time to rest and relax even while tackling all your chores, and then, I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!

                                            Grace and Peace,
                                                                  Karen

Friday, February 23, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
   Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week – especially those couple of lovely, warm days! – and have plans for a great weekend.  Sounds like it’s going to be rainy, but at least it’s not snow, right?
Anyway, here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:
-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in my Lenten series, “Willing to Pay the Price,” which is entitled “Betrayed and Denied.”  We’ll consider together how Jesus suffered betrayal and denial by those closest to him, and unfortunately, how we still can do that today.  Our worship will also feature the music of our Children’s Choir at 11, Vanessa and Alan Foskey at both services, and of course, our Chancel Choir at 11.
-          This Sunday we’re also celebrating Boy Scout Sunday.  We’ll welcome Scouts and their families from our Boy Scout Troop 443 and Cub Pack 443.  They’ll be serving as ushers, greeters and readers.  We’ll hear from their leaders about their activities and accomplishments this year.  And don’t forget – the Boy Scouts will be offering their always-wonderful PANCAKE BREAKFAST FROM 7:30 – 10:30 am.  So make plans now to have breakfast at church this Sunday.  It’s a great way to support our Scouts and also have a great time with your family and friends over delicious pancakes!
-          Don’t forget that we’re still looking for donations of individually wrapped candy for our Easter Egg Hunt which takes place on March 25.  We’re also in need of plastic eggs.  Please put your donations in the bin in the Welcome Center area.
-          We’re also still looking for help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter the week of March 5th.  I’m happy to report that some people answered the call for help after last Sunday’s services, but we still need some more, and also some donations of food and supplies.  Please see the lists on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality Area, and help in any way that you can.
-          The Prom Boutique is up and running again.  For now, in February, it is open on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8, but starting in March it will also be open on Saturday mornings from 10 – 12.  Please let any young woman that you know might be going to the prom about this wonderful opportunity to get a practically new prom dress for free!

 LOOKING AHEAD:
o   Next Sunday, March 4th, our dear friend and former member Cathy Gohlke will be at church with copies of her new book, Until We Find Home.  You can buy one during the hospitality hour – paperbacks are $15 and hardbacks $25.  Checks can be made out to Cathy Gohlke.  Cathy will be happy to sign each book that is sold, and part of the profits come back to the church for our ministries.
o   The Sunday after that, March 11th, is UMCOR Sunday (formerly known as One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday).  That is the day on which we give toward the operating budget of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  You’ll be given an envelope in your bulletin on the 4th, and we invite you to pray about your gift, then bring the envelope with you to worship on the 11th.  Our church has historically given amazing financial gifts to UMCOR Sunday, and I hope we’ll do the same thing this year!

Well, I think that’s it for now.  As you can see, we have a great weekend ahead, so I hope you’ll be a part of it all.  In the meantime, have a great Friday.  After you finish work today, put your feet up and take some time for yourself.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday!
                                               Grace and Peace,

                                                                        Karen

Friday, February 16, 2018

Happy Friday

Hi All,
  
 Happy Friday!  I usually start out my Friday email by saying that I hope you’ve all had a good week, but I won’t today, because it’s been a rough few days for all of us, in the wake of yet another horrific school shooting in our country.  What made it all the worse was learning about the unbelievable number of school shootings that have taken place in January and February alone!  We’ve got to get at this problem somehow, but as I look on social media it’s amazing that we can’t even seem to have civil dialogues about it.  I pray not only for all of those whose lives have been devastated by the shootings, but that God will work in a mighty way to enable us to work together and not against each other to find a solution. 
                
Turning now to this weekend, here’s what’s happening at the church:

-          Tonight at 6:30 pm the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather for their February meeting in Weldin Hall.  The night will begin with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and continue on with a fun-filled Game Night (bring your favorite board/card game).  Bring a friend along for the fun, food and fellowship!
-          On Sunday morning, I’ll start my Lenten sermon series – “Willing to Pay the Price” – focusing on the price Jesus paid for us and our salvation.  This week’s sermon will deal with Jesus’ time in the wilderness of temptation.  Our worship will be enhanced by the music of our Handbell and Chancel Choirs.
-          Speaking of Lent, I hope you picked up a copy of the Lenten devotional to use every day for your quiet time with the Lord.   If you didn’t, remember that you can access it daily via our church website – elktonumc.org.  Go to the website, then to the rotating panel in the middle, find the devotional slide, and click on that. (you can also use this link:  Lenten Devotional 2018
-          The Lenten Lunch and Learn class I’ll be leading starts next Wednesday at noon.  It will run for five weeks – every Wednesday from 12 – 1:15 or so, and we’ll be studying Max Lucado’s book He Chose the Nails.  We already have 26 people signed up, but it’s not too late to join in.  Cost of the book is $6.  Don’t forget to bring a bag lunch with you – drinks and desserts will be provided.
-          Also, don’t forget that we’re currently asking for donations for our Easter Egg Hunt, which takes place on March 25.  Not only do we need individually wrapped pieces of candy, but we’re also asking for plastic eggs.  Some of the ones we’ve been using have long ago served their usefulness and need to be replaced!  Please bring your donations to the bin in the Welcome Center area.
-          Our week to sponsor the Rotating Homeless Shelter is just a few weeks away now – the week of March 5th – and we’re still in need of help with evening hosts/hostesses and overnight help.  Please pray about taking part in this – we can’t do it without volunteers!  To sign up, see the poster on the Missions board in the Hospitality Area.
-          A note to those taking part in the Classic Christians’ trip to Virginia in April – your last installment payment is due now!  Please turn it in to the church office.
-          Finally, a reminder that the church office will be closed on Monday in observance of Presidents’ Day.
Well, I think that’s it for now.  Enjoy this brief spurt of warm weather we’re having, before snow sneaks back in tomorrow night, just to keep life interesting!!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  Find some time to rest and relax even while tackling your “to do” list.  Why not sit back a while and cheer on the USA athletes in the Winter Olympics!!  Anyway, have a great Friday and Saturday.

Then, on Sunday, I pray that I’ll see you in worship.  Actually, I would like to challenge everyone to make worshiping at church on all the Sundays of Lent a priority.  Attendance in worship has been a little low lately.  Yes, I know there’s a lot of sickness going on, but I also know that once you miss worship for a week or two, it becomes easier and easier to stay home.  Please remember the vow you made when you joined the church – that you would support it with your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness.  But don’t come out of obligation – come out of love for Jesus and the price he has paid for you.  Worship is so much better when you’re with us.  I’ll see you on Sunday morning!
                                                                                              
                Grace and Peace,

                                        Karen

Friday, February 9, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

 Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend!  Looks like you’d better include an umbrella in those plans – sounds like it’s going to be a soaker!

 Well, it would be hard to top last weekend – our Joy of Faith weekend!  What a weekend it was!  There are so many people who had a hand in making it so successful!  Thanks, of course, go to Kevin Reilly and Dickie Noles, our wonderfully inspirational speakers.  But thanks go to all of you who took part in the prayer breakfasts – nearly 80 of you! – and to the hosts and hostesses, Linda and Bob Meffley, Mabel Gary, Marge Jacobs, Nancy Leathrum and company at Cecil Woods, Jen and Mike Noll, Ina and Don Andrews and Sue Johnson and Peg Bunnell.  Those breakfasts get better every year, and they not only wrap the entire weekend in the grip of God’s grace, but they also forge closer relationships between all of us who attend.

 Thanks to Kim Artrip and all of the youth who took such good care of us at the dinner on Saturday night and to Lisa Welch and company for the good food.  Thanks to Mike Noll for serving as Worship Leader and more when I ended up not being able to be there Sunday morning.  And a huge thank you goes to Lorraine Jones and her entire Evangelism Committee who put the whole thing together.  It was no small undertaking, involving months and months of planning and execution, and they did it magnificently!  A round of applause to them all!  (Now all they have to do is start to work on finding next year’s speaker!)

Well, on to this weekend:

-        Tomorrow morning at 8 am the members of our Administrative Council will gather in Weldin Hall for their annual Planning Retreat, to work and pray together and seek God’s will for our ministry together this year.  Please say a prayer for them when you get up tomorrow that God will make his will known in a mighty way!

-        Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday, and we’ll look together at the moment when Jesus, up on the mountaintop with Peter, James and John was transfigured, before he came down and began his journey to the cross.  Since it’s a second Sunday, we’ll also be having Children’s Time and the children will be hearing a really wonderful book entitled Owl Moon.  Finally, our worship will be enriched by the music of both the Men’s and Chancel Choirs.  It’s going to be a good morning in worship, so don’t let a little rain keep you away!

-          A few other things about Sunday morning:
o   Kim Artrip will be in the Hospitality Area taking orders for daffodils for the Flowers of Hope Campaign of the Relay for Life.  You can order flowers this Sunday and then pick them up on March 25th.
o   This is the last Sunday to bring goodies to be included in the College Care Packages.  Bring your donations to the bin in the Welcome Center area.
o   You’ll see an insert in the bulletin again about the upcoming Lenten Lunch and Learn class.  If you want to take part, simply fill out the insert and put it in the offering plate.
o   You’ll also see an insert letting you know that it’s time to start donating candy for our annual Easter Egg Hunt.  There will be a donation bin in the Welcome Center area for that candy soon as well.
o   Don’t forget that we still are in need of help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter the week of March 5th.  We need hosts/hostesses, and overnight help.  Please help in any way you can.
o   Finally, a reminder that you can still purchase our church cookbook at any time.  Simply contact Nancy Crawford or the church office, and they’ll make it happen!

-          It’s hard to believe, but Lent starts next week, on Ash Wednesday, February 14th.  We’ll mark the beginning of this penitential and contemplative season with a service at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.  It will include both holy communion and the imposition of ashes.

-          Don’t forget that we have put together our Lenten Devotional again.  You can pick up a paper copy at church or access it on-line via our church website – elktonumc.org.  I was blessed to be able to proofread it ahead of time and the devotional is filled with good and thought provoking writings by many of our church members and friends.  I hope you’ll make using this book for your daily devotions a part of your Lenten discipline this year.  Many thanks to Sandy Lavelle who coordinated it, and to all the writers who contributed to it.                                             -Lenten Devotional 2018

Well, I think that’s it for now.  I know it’s a lot, but there’s a lot going on!  Before I give you my good wishes for the day and the coming weekend, please indulge me just one more time as I revel in the joy of the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory!  How great was that game!!!! 

 Okay, I promise that’s it!  Anyway, have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend.  Take some time out to rest and relax and maybe catch some of the Olympics, even while trying to tackle your “to do” list.  Spend time with those you love.  And then I’ll see you on Sunday in worship!

                                            Grace and Peace,
                                                                      Karen


Friday, February 2, 2018

Happy Groundhogs Day!

Happy Friday! Happy Groundhogs Day! Happy Joy of Faith Weekend! Happy Super Bowl Weekend! Other than that . . . Anyway, Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week, and are looking forward to the wonderful weekend ahead.

Here’s what’s happening:
  • - The JOY OF FAITH weekend is here. Everything kicks off tomorrow morning with prayer breakfasts to wrap the weekend in prayer. We’re having five prayer breakfasts in locations far and wide, and so far, I think there are close to 75 people planning to attend! If you still want to take part in one, email lorraine0913@yahoo.com to find out what location you can attend.
  • - The JOY OF FAITH dinner is at 5 pm in Weldin Hall and there are still a few tickets available if you want to pay at the door.
  • - Our first JOF presenter, former Philadelphia Eagle Kevin Reilly will speak at 7 pm in the sanctuary about his life’s journey from professional athlete to cancer survivor and thriver! His story is incredibly inspirational, so please make it a point to invite others to come with you on Saturday night! By the way, NURSERY IS AVAILABLE that night. Also – Kevin has written a book about his journey and copies will be on sale that night.
  • - On Sunday morning, our second presenter, former Philadelphia Phillie Dickie Noles will speak at both services. Dickie was a pitcher for eleven years in the major leagues, and now works for the Phillies in the front office. He battled alcohol addiction and is now a born-again Christian who helps others battle addiction. His is an inspirational story as well, so you won’t want to miss hearing him at either the 8:30 or 11:00 service.

- A couple of reminders:
  • We’re still looking for goodies to put into the next College Care Packages going out mid-February. Please bring your donations of things like granola bars, candy, cookies, snacks, etc. to the collection bin in the Welcome Center area.
  • We’re also looking for people to help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter the first week of March. Sign up to help by host/hostessing or staying overnight on the poster on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality Area.
  • Don’t forget that the choir is looking for singers to join them in preparing and presenting their Lenten cantata in March. They rehearse the cantata on Wednesday nights from 7 – 7:45 pm.
  • Before we know it, the season of Lent begins (Ash Wednesday, February 14th). We’ll be having a Lenten Lunch and Learn study again, on Wednesdays at noon, starting February 21st. There will be a sign-up sheet in this Sunday’s bulletin.

I think that’s about it for now. It’s going to be a great weekend! I’m so excited that we have these two great speakers, and I’m so hoping that we’ll have a lot of people in attendance – especially young people!

Of course, what better way to top off the weekend than the Super Bowl on Sunday night! You know where my heart is – so FLY EAGLES FLY! It’s time for a new Super Bowl champion to be crowned, and for a parade down Broad Street!!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! It’s going to be busy, but it’s going to be filled with the joy of faith! I can’t wait to experience it with you!

                                       Grace and Peace,
                                                                  Karen



Friday, January 26, 2018

Happy Friday!



Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and are getting ready for a great weekend!  Looking out my home office window and the sun is peeking through the trees, so it looks like it’s going to be a nice day!  Enjoy!

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

  • - On Sunday morning, I’ll conclude my “Show Me a Sign” sermon series with “Burning Bushes and Fishing Nets.”  We’ll think together about the way God calls each of us to do special things with our lives.  We’ll have the joy of hearing both the Children’s Choir and the Handbell Choir, as well as our always wonderful Chancel Choir.  It will be a great morning of music!
  • - On Sunday evening, the youth group will meet, but starting this week, it will be at a new time.  They will now be meeting from 6 – 8 pm.  All youth are invited to come and take part in the fun, fellowship and learning!  Questions?  Text Sandy at 443-309-0160.

- A few reminders:

  • o We’re working on gathering goodies for the next College Care Packages which will go out mid-February, so please bring your donations of things like candy, gum, granola bars, microwavable soup/mac ‘n cheese, etc., crackers and cookies and place them in the donation box near the Welcome Center.  
  • o Our church has responsibility for the Emergency Homeless Shelter the week of March 5th.  We need to provide hosts, hostesses and people to stay overnight.  If you can help with any of these things, please sign up on the poster that is located on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality Area.
  • o This is the last Sunday to sign up for this year’s Dinner Groups.  There will be an insert in the bulletin to use if you’re interested in being part of this great fellowship opportunity in our church, where groups of eight people go out to dinner once a month.
  • o JOY OF FAITH Dinner tickets will be on sale again this week in the Hospitality Area after both services.  The dinner will be held on Saturday, February 3rd at 5 pm prior to Kevin Reilly’s presentation in the sanctuary at 7.  Be sure to get your tickets soon, because this dinner almost always sells out, and we only have 150 tickets in total available.
  • - There are a couple of things coming up next week to know about:
  • o On Wednesday, January 31st there will be a presentation in the Elkton Library from 6:30-8:30 about Dreamers and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival).  I’m sure you’ve heard about this on the news, but if you’re not sure you’re clear about it, here’s a good opportunity to learn more.  Our own Carlos Reyes will be on hand that night.  Bishop Johnson and all of the Bishops of the UMC encourage us to learn more and be in prayer about it.
  • o The WIRED WORD discussion group which Pastor Ray leads, is moving their meeting night in the hope that it will work better for more people’s schedules.  They’ll now
  • be meeting on the first Thursday of each month in the Wesley Wing Conference Room at 7 pm.  This Thursday they’ll be looking at the change in tax laws which might affect charitable giving, and what the Bible says about giving and generosity.  All are welcome to come and join in the discussion!
  • o It’s hard to believe that Lent is just around the corner (it starts on Ash Wednesday, February 14th).  But that means that our Chancel Choir is getting ready to start rehearsing for their Lenten cantata, and they’re on the lookout, once again, for singers who’d like to join them for this adventure.  Even if you can’t join the choir altogether, you can sing for just the cantata, and the first rehearsal will be this Wednesday, from 7-7:45 pm.


- Finally, our wonderful and always uplifting JOY OF FAITH WEEKEND is just around the corner – next weekend, February 3rd and 4th.  I hope and pray you are getting the word out to family and friends about it.  The Cecil Whig did a wonderful article about it on Wednesday, and yesterday I recorded a commercial which will play on WXCY this coming week, but now it’s time to do your part, and start inviting people.  Please, especially reach out to young people, because I think the words and witness of professional athletes will appeal to them and challenge them!  Just to remind you:  Kevin Reilly, a former Philadelphia Eagle, who lost an arm to cancer, will speak on Saturday night at 7 in the sanctuary; and Dickie Noles, a former Philadelphia Phillie, who fought and won a battle with addiction, will speak at both of our services on Sunday morning.  It would be great to have the sanctuary filled to overflowing for both days.

- Speaking of the JOF, there’s still time for you to sign up to participate in a JOF prayer breakfast next Saturday morning and help wrap the weekend in prayer.  There are four locations – Elkton, Cecil Woods, the Elk Forest Road area, and the Town Point Road area.  You can choose where you’d like to go, fill out the insert in Sunday’s bulletin and put it in the offering plate.  Early in the week, you’ll be contacted by the host/hostess of your breakfast, letting you know the time and what you can bring.  Last year, we had nearly 70 people at the breakfasts, so come and join in the fun and inspiration!
Phew!

 I know that’s a lot, but there’s a lot of exciting things going on right now!  I hope you have a good Friday, and a great weekend!  Enjoy some time off, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!  And, oh yes, lest I forget, keep the good thoughts coming – GO EAGLES!!!
                                                                       Grace and Peace,
                                                                                              Karen

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
 
  Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend! I know of about 25 men who I’m sure are going to have a great weekend, because they’re heading off this afternoon to take part in the Men’s Retreat at Camp Pecometh. If they have half as much fun and inspiration as we women did last weekend in Ocean City, it will be a great success! Send up a few prayers for them that God will grant them traveling mercies, and that it will be a spiritually uplifting and strengthening weekend for them all!

For those of us staying in town, here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:

  • - On Sunday morning, I’ll continue my sermon series “Show Me a Sign,” with this week’s symbol being a shepherd’s staff. We’ll look together at the passage in the tenth chapter of John where Jesus calls himself “the Good Shepherd” and what that means for us. Sue Johnson and the Chancel Choir will inspire us with their music, and during the announcement time you’ll get a little taste of what happened last weekend at the Women’s Retreat through a video presentation.
  • - Don’t forget to come to church prepared to buy your Joy of Faith dinner tickets. They’ll be on sale after both services in the Hospitality Area. The Joy of Faith weekend is Saturday, February 3rd – Sunday, February 4th, and this year’s presenters are former pro-athletes Kevin Reilly and Dickie Noles, both of whom faced adversity and came through it. They have great stories to tell and you won’t want to miss it. You can sign up to take part in Prayer Breakfasts on Saturday the 3rd via an insert in Sunday’s bulletin, and then buy your tickets for the Saturday night dinner which will be at 5 pm. Most importantly, start inviting your family and friends to join you for what promises to be a great, great weekend in our church!
  • - We’re starting to collect goodies for the next College Care Packages which will be sent out mid-February, so if you’d like to donate things like granola bars, microwavable mac ‘n cheese, hot chocolate mix, candy, crackers, gum, etc., please place them in the donation bin in the Welcome Center area. 
  • - As you probably know by now, the Rotating Homeless Shelter has been restarted, and our church is responsible for the week of March 5th. We’ll need drivers, hosts and hostesses and people to stay overnight. There is a sign-up sheet on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality Area, so please, if you can, sign up to help!
  • - Finally, it’s time for new Dining Out Groups to form, so if you’re interested in being part of this great activity, fill out the insert in this Sunday’s bulletin and put it in the offering plate. Dinner Groups are groups of eight people who meet once a month to go out to dinner at a local restaurant. The groups pick the dates and locations. This is a wonderful way to get to know more people in the church and have a great night out once a month! Please note that if you’re already a part of a Dinner Group, you still need to sign up again, because all of the groups are being re-formed for the new year.
Well, I think that’s it for now. Let me say a word of thanks to Ray Graham for covering for me last week. I watched the worship video and it was great – he and Joe Buckley were a great team!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! Find some time for rest and relaxation even while you tackle your chores. Spend time with those you love! And then I’ll see you on Sunday morning in worship! Can’t wait!

Oh wait, one more thing! GO EAGLES!!! (Sorry, I just had to do it!)

                                            Grace and Peace,
                                                                 Karen

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Happy Friday

Hi All –

Happy Friday!  Wow, what a crazy week of weather we’ve been through!  Ups and downs, ice and snow, school delays and cancellations, meeting cancellations at church, jacket weather today, and tomorrow rain!  Crazy, huh?  I’m praying for those hurt on the ice, including a couple of people from church, and continuing to pray for those who are battling all the bugs going around right now. 
They’re really knocking people for a loop!

There’s lot going on this weekend, so here goes:
-          This is the Women’s Retreat weekend!  80 of us are heading off to Ocean City to spend time with the Lord and each other looking at some ordinary women who did extraordinary things for and with God.  Please pray for traveling mercies for all of us, and that it will be a time that draws the women closer to God and to each other.
-          On Sunday morning, Pastor Ray Graham will be preaching for both services in my absence.  That will be a treat, especially for the 11:00 congregation, which rarely gets to see him (the 8:30 folks see him on the first Sunday of every month for communion).  Ray is a great preacher, so you won’t want to miss worship this week.  You’ll also be lifted up by the singing of both Sid Bledsoe and the Chancel Choir.
-          This Sunday morning will also be the first time tickets will be on sale for this year’s Joy of Faith dinner (Saturday, February 3rd at 5 pm).  Representatives of the Evangelism Committee will be on hand in the Hospitality Area after worship to sell the tickets.  Please note that this dinner sells out every year, so get your tickets early!  There are only 150 available. 
-          Speaking of the JOF weekend (Feb. 3-4), start now inviting family, friends and neighbors to join you at church that weekend.  It’s going to be an inspirational time listening to two former professional athletes talk about facing adversity in their lives and rising above it.  I particularly invite you to reach out to young people and ask them to come.
-          This coming Monday, January 15th is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the pastor and people of Wrights AME Church invite all of us to join them for their annual MLK Day service at 9 am that day.  Their church is located on Booth Street, straight up the street from our parking lot.  In fact, you could park in our lot and walk to the church that morning, since parking is limited there.  It is always an uplifting and inspirational service.  I’ll be there and I’d love to see some of you there as well!
-          Last Call for the Men’s Retreat – The Men’s Retreat takes place next weekend (Jan. 19-21) at the Riverview Retreat Center at Camp Pecometh – and there’s still time to register!  Brochures about the retreat are on the counter across from the Welcome Center.  The theme of this year’s retreat is prayer as reflected in the movie “The War Room.”
-          We’re still looking for a few more writers for this year’s Lenten Devotional.  If you’re willing to write a devotion, please email Sandy Lavelle at szimmie@hotmail.com.  You don’t have to be a professional writer, you just have to speak from your heart.
-          Finally, there is still space available on the Classic Christians’ April bus trip to Norfolk VA to see a military band performance, a NATO parade, a tour of the Norfolk Naval Base, and other things.  Flyers about this trip are on the counter across from the Welcome Center.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  I’m just about to pack my car and hit the road for Ocean City.  I’m excited about the weekend, but I’ll miss being with you in worship.  My biggest conundrum for the weekend is figuring out how to watch the Eagles’ game on Saturday and lead a retreat at the same time!  Anyway, go Eagles!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  Try to find some time for rest and relaxation, spend time with those you love, and then come to church on Sunday to give God thanks for all his blessings!
                                             Grace and Peace,

                                                                   Karen 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy Freezing Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Freezing Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good, safe week and have been able to stay warm as much as possible.  I like cold weather, but this is a bit much, even for me!  Oh well, it can’t last forever, right?  At least the sun is shining beautifully this morning!

We’re going to try to carry on with everything as normal this weekend, but just in case, keep an eye on our website (elktonumc.org) and our Facebook page, in the event we have to make any changes.  As of now, the parking lot is like most parking lots around town – a mixture of ice, snow and bare spots.  Our intrepid snow removal crew will, I’m sure, be doing the best they can to get the lot in great shape for Sunday, but even they can’t do much in the face of the incredibly low temperatures.  So, stay tuned and, like I said, if there are any changes for Sunday, we’ll post them on the website and on FB.

Now, on to what’s happening this weekend:
-          A decision is still to be made whether our youth and their leaders will be going to the Conference Youth Rally this weekend.  As you know, Ocean City got totally socked by the storm, but incredible efforts are being made to enable the rally to take place.  Having said that, all persons who were signed up to go should be in contact with Sandy at 443-309-0160 to find out if our group will be going.
-          On Sunday morning in worship, we’ll celebrate the Baptism of the Lord.  We’ll remember Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan by John, and we’ll think about what baptism means for each of us.  We’ll also celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion together.
-          Sunday School starts up again this Sunday, after many of the classes took a Christmas break.
-          Some reminders:
o   MEN – There is still space available for the Men’s Retreat taking place at the Riverview Retreat Center at Camp Pecometh, January 19-21.  Brochures about the retreat are on the counter across from the Welcome Center.
o   Space is still available on the Classic Christians’ April trip to Norfolk VA.  Flyers about this trip which includes attending a performance of military bands, a NATO parade, and a tour of the Norfolk Naval Base, among other things, are on the counter across from the Welcome Center as well.
o   DID YOU KNOW OUR CHURCH OFFERS YOGA CLASSES?  Space is still available in the Chair Yoga class which takes place on Wednesdays from 5-6 ($50 for 8 classes).  For more information or to sign up, contact Ali at a.mckenica@gmail.com.  First class is this coming Wednesday at 5.  (The other yoga class is full at this time.)
o   LENTEN DEVOTIONAL – It’s hard to believe that we’re already looking toward Lent, but we are, and we’re in need of people to write for our Lenten devotional.  If you’d be willing to contribute, please contact Sandy Lavelle at szimmie@hotmail.com.
-          Finally, a couple of notes about giving:
o   If you use offering envelopes, you’ll notice the first envelope is called “Initial Offering.”  This covers the cost of the envelopes themselves, and the recommended donation is $5.
o   If you give on-line, don’t forget that if you changed the amount you’re giving from 2017 to 2018, you need to change that on-line.  Simply go to the church website (elktonumc.org) and click on the on-line donation link, and you can make the change there.  Questions?  Call the church office.


Well, I think that’s it for now.  I hope you have a good Friday, and a great weekend – and that you can stay home, safe and warm most of the time!  If you’re like me, you might still have to de-decorate from Christmas – I always wait until the twelve days of Christmas are over

Anyway, have a great weekend.  Spend time with those you love – and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!  Can’t wait!

                                   Grace and Peace,

                                                           Karen