Friday, September 21, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a good week. I know all of you have been concerned about and praying for all the people who have been so devastated by Hurricane Florence. We’ll keep praying for them as they try to recover, and soon I am certain we’ll be reaching into our pockets to help them through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. I should have more to say about that on Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday, here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:
  • This afternoon, some of the Classic Christians will take off on a bus for Lancaster to enjoy dinner and a show at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre. Please pray for their safe travel. 
  • On Sunday, I’ll offer the third sermon in the “School Days! School Days!” sermon series. This week’s word is “Books” and we’ll be talking about the most important book of all – the Holy Bible. I chose this particular theme for Sunday because it’s Christian Education Sunday and we’ll be presenting our 2nd graders with their Bibles, and dedicating our Sunday School teachers and leaders too. We’ll also be treated to the wonderful music of Paul Humphrey on the saxophone at both services, and the Chancel Choir at 11. 
  • In the bulletin on Sunday, you’ll see again information about our upcoming Immigration Forum which takes place next Sunday, the 30th from 12:30 – 3 pm in Weldin Hall. Mike Schmook, of the Church and Society Committee, will tell you more about that Sunday morning. I hope you’ll consider being a part of this very important and informative seminar dealing with one of the most important issues of our day. Come and learn about what the Bible says about immigration, what the United Methodist Church says, and consider what this means for our lives as disciples of Christ. 
  • CALLING ALL WOMEN! In this Sunday’s bulletin you’ll find the brochure about this year’s Women’s Retreat which will take place Jan. 18-20, 2019 in Ocean City. The theme is “This Little Light of Mine.” Be sure to sign up quickly in case it sells out! All the details you need to know are on the brochure. More copies of the brochure are available near the Welcome Center. 

In the Hospitality Area on Sunday morning, you’ll see two tables calling for your attention.

  • One is the Missions Committee looking for your help with the upcoming Community Kitchen on Friday, October 5th. If you can help provide sandwiches or fruit, or help in person on the 5th, stop and sign up at that table on Sunday morning. 
  •  The other table will be filled with excited Cub Scouts from our Pack 443 selling delicious popcorn! This is their biggest fundraiser of the year and helps to fund all of their exciting programs and outings. Our pack keeps growing and growing – the last I heard there were 45 boys involved! So they need our help. Buy some popcorn on Sunday and watch them smile! 
Finally, just a reminder that we’re still looking for persons to serve as mentors at Thomson Estates Elementary School. If you can give an hour a week to touch the life of a child, give me a call and I’ll arrange for you to meet with the school personnel and get started. We got a couple of volunteers last week, but we still need more!

Well, I think that’s it for now. I hope you have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend. Carve out some time for yourself, even while you work at getting your “to do” list done. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning! Can’t wait!

Grace and Peace,
Karen

Friday, September 14, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
   Happy Friday! Hope you’ve been having a good week, and are looking forward to some welcome time off this weekend.  Right now, it’s hard to think of anything else but Hurricane Florence and the devastation it is bringing to our friends in the South (and I know we all personally know people who live in its path – including family and former members of our church). Pray that the destruction will be minimal and especially that lives will be spared. Remember especially those who work to protect others – the first responders and power crews. I’m sure we’ll be hearing from UMCOR soon after the hurricane ends about how we, as a church, can help – and I know we will!

Now, on to what’s happening in and around the church this weekend:

  • Tomorrow morning, our church will have a table at Elkton’s Fall Fest downtown, so if you’re attending the event, be sure to stop by and say hi! It’s a chance for our church to let others know we’re here and that we’d love them to join us.
  • Also tomorrow morning, at 10 am the Homecoming Boutique opens (until noon). Last week, on their first Saturday open, they gave away over 20 dresses! So please let others know about it, and if you happen to have any larger-sized, short dresses, the boutique is in need of them.
  • On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in the “School Days!” sermon series – this week the theme is “notebooks” – which will help us think about our spiritual and devotional lives. Ed McKeown will be singing for both services.
  • This is the last Sunday to bring donations for the first College Care Package. You can put your donations of things like candy, cookies, granola bars, etc. in the bin near the Welcome Center.
Sunday’s bulletin will include information about three upcoming opportunities:
  • Thomson Estates Mentoring – We’re looking for people who have an hour to give each week to a child. Studies have shown that children who have mentors tend to thrive, and there is a great need for mentors at TEES. A training session will be provided. You can sign up via the bulletin insert on Sunday.
  • Elkton Community Kitchen – Our church is responsible for the meal on Friday, October 5th. Details will be included on a bulletin insert, but you can help by providing sandwiches or fruit. Sign up by filling out the insert and putting it in the offering plate.
  • Immigration Forum – Our new Church and Society Committee will be sponsoring a Forum on Immigration on Sunday, September 30th at 12:30 pm in Weldin Hall (lunch will be provided). This is a chance for all of us to look deeply into immigration and consider it from a faith perspective. To take part, sign up near the Welcome Center.
  • New Member Class – If you’re interested in joining Elkton UMC, there is a new member class on Sunday at 12:15 in Weldin Hall. Lunch will be provided. You can pre-register by emailing me at eumc@comcast.net or just show up!
  • Finally, a reminder to the men in the church that the September Men’s Breakfast is next Wednesday, September 19th at 6:30 am at the Cracker Barrel. All men of the church are invited – no need to sign up ahead of time – just show up and enjoy the food, fellowship and fun!
Well, I think that’s it for now. I hope you have a good day, and a great weekend. Even though I’m sure you have many tasks on your “to do” list, try to take some time for yourself. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday! By the way, this is only the second week of Sunday School, so it’s not too late to join a class. We have well over 100 people involved already – but there’s always room for you!

See you Sunday!

Grace and Peace,
Karen

Friday, September 7, 2018

Happy Friday and Fall Kick-Off Sunday!

Hi All –

   Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to a great weekend, because this is one of the greatest weekends of all every year at the church – it’s Kickoff Weekend! Everything starts up again on Sunday – Sunday School, the choirs, youth group – it’s going to be great! The halls that have been quiet will be filled with people, and so will the pews which have been a little too empty this summer. I always love this Sunday in the church and I can’t wait for it to get here!

So here’s what’s happening this weekend:
  • On Saturday morning at 10 am the doors of the Homecoming Boutique will open up for the fall season. Tell all of the young women in your life about the beautiful dresses that are available for them – free of charge! – to wear to Homecoming this year! The Boutique is found in the basement of Weldin Hall, and there are plenty of people there to help find the perfect dress!
     
  •  As I said above, Sunday morning is the start of the fall season in the church. So I’ll be starting a new sermon series called “School Days! School Days!” in which I’ll use objects used in schools as metaphors for things that happen on our journeys of faith. The first object will be a Name Tag, and together we’ll look at our identity as children of God, and how sometimes the world tries to make us forget that. The Chancel Choir returns at the 11:00 service, and Steve Gilmore will add the beauty of his voice at both services. We’ll also be doing something new this year with the Children’s Time, which happens on the second Sunday of each month at both services. Instead of reading a children’s book, we’ll be having an object lesson which relates to the sermon. Come and see what Bethany Buckley will bring to help our children understand the theme of the sermon in a new way! It’s going to be fun – you won’t want to miss it!
  •  Sunday School starts back in full force on Sunday at 9:45 am. Some of our adult classes have met through the summer, but most of the other classes have not, so it will be great for everyone to be back together. Everyone is invited to visit Weldin Hall at 9:45 where tables for each class are set up for registration. Take a look at all the classes being offered and decide which one you want to try! We have a great variety of classes, and I’m sure there’s one that will be a perfect fit for you!
  •  On Sunday evening, the Youth Group will kick off its fall season with the always popular Scavenger Hunt at 5:30 pm. Before they take off to hunt down the clues, they’ll enjoy a potluck dinner together in Weldin Hall. All youth in grades 6-12 are invited and encouraged to come and take part in the fun! 

A couple of reminders:
  •  Don’t forget we need addresses for all of our college students. You can email the address to the church office at eumcadmin@comcast.net, or send it in.
  •  Also, don’t forget that we’re currently collecting goodies for the first College Care Package that will go out at the end of September. Bring your donations of things like candy, cookies, granola bars, microwaveable mac ‘n cheese, etc. and put them in the bin near the Welcome Center.
  • Both of our United Methodist Women circles are starting their fall season this week too, and they welcome all women to join them. The Ruth/Sarah Circle meets on the second Wednesday of every month at noon in Weldin Hall (bring a bag lunch), and the Dorcas Circle meets on the second Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm in Weldin Hall. No need to sign up ahead of time for either group – just show up and join in the fellowship with other women of the church!
  •  Finally, we’ll be having a New Member Orientation Class on Sunday, September 16th at 12:15 pm in Weldin Hall for those who would like to join our church, or just simply learn more about it. Lunch is included and childcare will be provided, if needed. To register for the class, email eumc@comcast.net or call the church office at 410-398-0933. 

Well, I think that’s it for now. Make plans now to jump back into the church with both feet this fall, especially if you haven’t been able to be here much during the summer. We’ve missed you and can’t wait to have you back!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend – and I’ll see you on Kickoff Sunday morning! Can’t wait!

                                               Grace and Peace,

                                                                   Karen

Friday, August 31, 2018

Happy "long weekend" Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Better yet, happy Friday on the cusp of a long holiday weekend! I hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend with family and friends. As most of you know, I took ten days of vacation recently, and I want to say a big thank you to all who carried on in my absence – particularly Jim Hawkins and Ivan Mehosky who preached in my stead. It was great to watch the worship services on our church website!

Sharon and I were the last ones to take our vacations this summer, so now everyone on the staff is rested, refreshed and ready to kick off a new year! Here’s what’s happening this weekend:

  • On Sunday, I’ll preach a sermon entitled “Can’t See the Forest for the Trees.” In it, I’ll talk about the Pharisees attacking Jesus and his disciples for breaking rules, and how Jesus dealt with that. We’ll welcome Sharon back at the organ and be treated to the music of Bobby Heath. And we’ll also be celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion together. It’s going to be a good service, so you won’t want to miss it! 
  • We’re in the process of collecting addresses for all of our college students, so if you have a student in your family, please remember to turn their address in to the church office. You can email it to eumcadmin@comcast.net, drop it by the office in person or by a note, or call it in, to 410-398-0933. Please don’t forget to send this information, as we want to be sure your student gets one of our fabulous college care packages. 
  • Speaking of those packages, we’re starting to collect donations now to fill them by the end of September. So please bring donations of things like candy, cookies, granola bars, microwaveable popcorn/macaroni and cheese, etc. and put them in the bin in the Welcome Center area. These packages mean so much to our students, so help as much as you can. 
  • Looking ahead a bit – There will be a New Member Orientation Class on Sunday, September 16th at 12:15 pm in Weldin Hall for those interested in joining the church, or simply learning more about it. Lunch is provided, and childcare is available when needed. To sign up for the class, email eumc@comcast.net or call the church office at 410-398-0933. 
  • I want to thank you again for all of the donations of teacher supplies you gave. We distributed them to teachers at Thomson Estates, Gilpin Manor and Cecil Manor Elementary schools as we served opening day breakfasts this week to the faculty and staffs as well, and there were big smiles all around, and a great sense of appreciation for what we had done. What a wonderful way for us to show the community that we care! Thank you so much! 
  • As we move into next week, please remember to include students, teachers, all staff and all administration of our schools in your prayers. Tuesday will be a big day for all of them, as they start a brand new school year. Pray that they will feel God’s presence with them and our prayers for them! 
  • Finally, I want you to know that I went down to Havre de Grace this week to record a back to school/back to church commercial on WXCY. It will run all next week during drive team. During the commercial, I encouraged people to make a new beginning by coming back to church, just like children were going back to school. So if you know someone who is not currently attending church, please invite them to join you at EUMC. I’ll remind you again of something I’ve told you over and over – people don’t come to church for the first time because of a preacher or a program, they come to church for the first time because someone they know invited them! Be that someone in the coming week! 


Well, I think that’s it for now. Have a good day, and a great holiday weekend! Sounds like the weather’s going to be a bit cooler, so that will help! Sit back and relax, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning! I’ve missed seeing you for these past two Sundays, so I can’t wait to see all of you!

                                                Grace and Peace,
                                                                        Karen

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to a great weekend ahead! Sounds like, though it might be a little rainy, it’s going to be cooler – so I’m for that! Whatever the weather, I hope you enjoy a few days off!

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

- The Blood Bank is setting up for donations in Weldin Hall this afternoon,
so if you’d like to donate, head on over to the church. They used to have their
monthly donation days at the fire hall, but this year moved to our church,
so on the second Friday of each month they’ll be in Weldin Hall. If you can
donate, please do – the need for blood is particularly great in the summer.

- On Sunday, I’ll offer sermon #6 in my summer series, “Marks of Discipleship.”
This week, I’ll be preaching from Ephesians again and the mark of discipleship
Is “Seeking to Build Up.” Sue Johnson will provide special music and we’ll
be baptizing a beautiful little boy at the 8:30 service. It’s going to be a great morning!

- On Sunday afternoon, we’re having a recording session of new greeting videos.
We still have a few spots left, so if you’d like to make a video, we’d love to
have you. Let me know, by emailing me at eumc@comcast.net or just show
up on Sunday afternoon!

- A reminder that we’re in the last days of collecting supplies for school teachers.
You can put your donations in the bins in the Welcome Center area. The supplies
will be sorted by the Missions Committee and distributed to elementary school
teachers in Elkton area schools.

- Also a reminder to those of you signed up to go on the “Sister Act” bus trip in
September that your payment of $90/person is now due. Please make checks out
to Elkton UMC and write “Sister Act” on the memo line. By the way, we still have
a few tickets left, so if you’re interested sign up on the sheet across from the
Welcome Center. We also have some seats left on the November bus trip to the
new Museum of the Bible in Washington DC.

- Our two yoga classes will be starting up again soon, so if you’re interested in taking
part in regular yoga on Monday evenings, or chair yoga on Wednesday evenings,
please call the church office at 410-398-0933. Cost is $50/6 week session.

- The next Monthly Men’s Breakfast is next Wednesday, August 15th at 6:30 am
at Cracker Barrel. All men of the church are invited to attend. There’s no need to
sign up ahead of time, just show up for food, fun and fellowship.


Well, I think that’s it for now, but before I go, I want to tell you that last night we had our annual EUMC Staff Picnic, and it was a blast! We gathered at the home of Donna and Tom Horgan, and enjoyed good food and great conversation with each other. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful staff at our church, and I am beyond blessed to work with them all!

Hope you have a great day, and a wonderful weekend! Find some time to put your feet up, be sure to 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, August 3, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week and are looking forward to an even greater weekend! We’re in the height of vacation season right now, so if you’re taking off for vacation this week, have a wonderful, relaxing, fun and safe time away. But many of you, like me, aren’t going away, so here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:

  • - On Sunday, I’ll offer the fifth sermon in my summer series, “Marks of Discipleship.” This week we’ll look at a passage from Ephesians about using our gifts for the unity of the church. (And don’t say, “I don’t have any gifts,” because everybody does!) We’ll be treated to the wonderful music of Kris Lewman on her violin, and Sharon will be back at the organ! Yay! I’ve missed her and I know you have too! Finally, we’ll be sharing the sacrament of Holy Communion together. It will be a special morning that you won’t want to miss!
  • - Don’t forget that we’re still trying to fill those bins in the Welcome Center area full of supplies teachers need for their classrooms. Our goal is to keep teachers from having to dig into their own pockets to supply their rooms. So help as much as you can. You can find lists of needed supplies right next to the bins. We’ll be collecting your donations of supplies until Sunday, August 19th, so that we can distribute them to teachers their first week back.
  • - A final reminder to Classic Christians (age 50 and over) that the Classic Christians’ Summer Picnic is Monday evening at 5 pm at the home of Connie Wilkinson and Wendy and Wayne Eller (38 Cynthia Court in Woodcrest Shores off of Old Field Point Road). To attend, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center. You should bring a side dish or dessert to share, a lawn chair, and a swimsuit and towel if you want to swim in their beautiful pool. Please note! IN CASE OF RAIN, THE PICNIC WILL TAKE PLACE IN WELDIN HALL!
  • - In case you didn’t know, our church offers yoga classes! A regular yoga class is offered on Monday evenings, and a chair yoga class is offered on Wednesday evenings. If you’re interested in taking part, please call the church office at 410-398-0933. Cost is $50 for a six week session.
  • - Finally, there are a few seats left on the bus trip to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre on Friday, September 21st to see “Sister Act.” The cost is $90/person which includes bus (plus tip), dinner and the show. If you have already signed up, it’s time to make your payment, so make your check out to Elkton UMC, mark “Sister Act” on the memo line and turn it in to the church office.
I think that’s it for now in terms of what’s coming up, but I want to add one more thing today. For the past week or so, I’ve been working on worship plans for the coming year ahead, and one of the sermon I’ve planned for October is thanking the heroes in our lives. As luck or fate would have it, even as I planned that sermon, one of my heroes died this week – my mentor Tom Short. I’ve known Tom since I was 18 when he was my pastor. Fourteen years later, after college and seminary, I went to be in ministry by his side, as I served for 12 ½ years as Associate Pastor at Aldersgate UMC, while he was the Senior Pastor. Tom was an outstanding pastor, and I learned so much from him particularly about preaching and administration. He was a good friend and I could always count on him for wise counsel and encouragement. He made me laugh, he made me cry, but mostly he made me a better pastor, and I’ll always be grateful for the gift he was to me and so many others. I will be offering the naming at his memorial service later this month, so I ask for your prayers because it will be tremendously emotional for me. I also ask your prayers for this Sunday afternoon when I lead the memorial service for Millie Jones’ niece and her children who died tragically a few weeks ago. Please pray for Millie and Romie, her nephew Will and all others who will be in attendance.

Well, I think that’s it for now. I hope you have a great day, and then a wonderful weekend. Find some time to put your feet up and relax, be sure to spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning as we give thanks for all of God’s good gifts. Can’t wait!


                                            Grace and Peace,
                                                                    Karen

Friday, July 27, 2018

Happy Friday!


Hi All –
  
 Happy Friday!  Wow, what a week!  Remember how I said in last Friday’s email that it was supposed to rain a lot but that’s okay because we needed it – well, enough already, huh?  And while it was pretty intense here, we had it pretty easy compared to all the places that flooded, and places like Port Deposit.  We need to pray for all those affected by the floods and also all those impacted by the terrible heat in other parts of the country and the horrible wildfires out west.  What a week!

Here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:
  • -          On Sunday, I’ll offer the next sermon in my summer series, “Marks of Discipleship.”  This week the subject is “Seeing Possibilities,” and we’ll consider that in light of the Gospel lesson about Jesus feeding the five thousand.  Kerry Dietz will be back at the organ for one more week while Sharon continues her recovery, and Paul Humphrey will provide two musical offerings, which I know will be wonderful.  It’s going to be a great service, so don’t miss it!
  • -          Don’t forget that we’re still collecting supplies for school teachers for the fall.  The list of things we’re looking for will be in Sunday’s bulletin again.  Please give as generously as you can.  Techers shouldn’t have to buy things out of their own pockets, so let’s help as much as we can!
  • -          ATTENTION YOUTH AND THEIR PARENTS – Here’s a message for you from Sandy:  The youth group will be swimming this Sunday so make sure to wear your swimsuit under your clothes and bring a towel.  It is at Bettie Murray’s house, from 6 – 8 pm Sunday.  We’ll meet at the church at 6 pm, and return at 8.  Next week, we will be challenging North East United Methodist Church in a water balloon battle.  As always, there will be food, and you supply the fun!  Hope to see you! 
  • -          REMINDER FOR CLASSIC CHRISTIANS – Don’t forget that the summer picnic for Classic Christians (age 50 and over) is on Monday, August 6th at 5 pm at the home of Connie Wilkinson/Wendy and Wayne Eller.  It is important that everyone intending to come signs up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center, so that there will be enough food for everyone.  Those coming are asked to bring either a side dish or dessert, and bring a lawn chair and swimsuit and towel if you want to swim in their beautiful pool!
  • -          UPCOMING BUS TRIPS OPEN TO ALL!  The Classic Christians are sponsoring two bus trips this fall, but anyone in the church is invited to take part.  The first is on Friday, September 21st, and it’s a bus trip to the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster to see “Sister Act.”  Cost is $90/person.  The other trip is on Wednesday, November 14th to Washington DC to visit the Museum of the Bible and later to have dinner at Jimmy’s Seafood in Baltimore.  Cost is also $90/person.    There are a limited number of seats for both trips, so if you’re interested sign up soon on the sheets across from the Welcome Center.
  • -          Finally, a reminder that we’re getting ready to record a new set of greeting videos on Sunday, August 12th, and we’d love to have more volunteers to do one.  If you’re willing, contact Nancy Crawford at yellowstone54@yahoo.com or see me or call the church office at 410-398-0933.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  I hope you have a good day today, and then a relaxing and restful weekend.  See if you can carve out time for yourself, be 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 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Happy Friday!



Hi All –
 Happy Friday!   Hope you’ve had a great week and are looking forward to a relaxing weekend.  It looks like the weather today is going to be as beautiful as it was yesterday – yay!  Saturday and Sunday sound a little iffy – sounds like we might get rain, but oh, do we need it!  Well, whatever the weather, make the most of your time off this weekend.

 Here’s what’s happening at church –

-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the third sermon in my “Marks of Discipleship” summer sermon series.  The first mark was “Going Into the World,” last week’s mark was “Rejoicing” and this week it is “Resting.”  We’ll consider Jesus’ invitation to “come away with me and rest a while” (a message I think many of us need to hear and heed!  We’ll also be treated to the music of Sid Bledsoe and Steve Gilmore.

-          The school supplies drive for teachers starts this week.  The bins will be set up in the Hospitality Area to receive your donations from now until the middle of August.  If you didn’t get a list of needed supplies last Sunday, the insert will be in this Sunday’s bulletin as well.  Give as generously as you can because teachers shouldn’t have to pay for supplies out of their own pockets, and I know they will be thrilled with our gifts to them in August!

-          When you come into church on Sunday, you’ll notice a “Demolition Derby” car sitting in the parking lot.  Once again this year, our own John Sparks will be driving in the derby at the county fair.  This year, Erin and Mark Rogers donated a car in memory of her grandmother Faye Farley for John to drive in the derby.  And though it’s already decorated, you’re invited to stop by and sign your name on it with a Sharpie to remember Faye and wish John the best!

 Just a couple of other bits of information:

-          We’ll be recording a new set of greeting videos for worship soon.  If you haven’t recorded one yet, we’d love to have you participate.  Eventually, we’d like everyone in the church to make one.  If you’re available on the afternoon of Sunday, August 12th and would like to record a video, please let Nancy Crawford know at yellowstone54@hotmail.com or let me know or call the church office at 410-398-0933.
-          A reminder to all Classic Christians (age 50 and over) that the date of our summer picnic has been changed to Monday, August 6th at 5 pm at the home of Connie Wilkinson and Wayne and Wendy Eller in Woodcrest Shores off of Old Field Point Road.  There’s a sign-up sheet on the counter across from the Welcome Center that we need everyone intending to come to sign so we can have the appropriate amount of food.  Those who are coming are asked to bring either a side dish or dessert, a lawn chair, and swimming suit and towel if you want to swim in their beautiful pool!

-          This coming week is my study week when I plan my sermons for the coming year (September through June).  If you have an idea for a sermon or sermon series, or would like to hear me preach on something in particular, please send me an email at eumc@comcast.net.  I’d love to hear from you!

-          Finally, a big thank you for the members of our Cub Pack 443 and Scout Troop 443 for the great job they did spreading mulch all around the church!  It looks great!

-          Thanks also to Linda McNabb for filling in for Kay in the church office while she enjoys a well-deserved vacation!  Linda’s been great, and we didn’t skip a beat with her at the helm this week!

-          Lastly, please say a prayer for our fabulous organist Sharon Williams.  Instead of being away enjoying a relaxing vacation, she’s been at home under the weather battling shingles.  She’s getting better, but will still be off a couple of weeks until she’s good as new.  I was lucky to be able to get a friend of both of ours, Kerry Dietz, a fabulous organist who recently retired from Ebenezer UMC in Newark, to sit in for Sharon for the rest of the month.

Well, I think that’s it for now.  Have a good Friday, and a great weekend.  Do something fun for yourself, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!  Can’t wait!
                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,
                                                                                                                Karen

Friday, July 13, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to a relaxing weekend ahead. A lot has happened this week – both good and bad – so I know all of us are ready for some down time! I’m hoping I can find some time to be at my favorite place in the parsonage – on the beautiful screened-in back porch – although, last night, when I went out there to do some work and enjoy the nice evening, that happened to be the exact moment that the neighbor behind me decided to power wash his house and deck – for three hours! Oh well . . .

Here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:
  •  On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in my summer series, “Marks of Discipleship.” Last week, we learned again that disciples are called by Christ to go into the world. This week the mark of discipleship is “rejoicing.” We’ll look at that by way of a story in II Samuel when King David rejoices over the return of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. We’ll be blessed to have Brian Gilmore with us as accompanist, while Sharon enjoys her second week of vacation, and even more blessed when more members of the Gilmore family share their musical gifts as well – I think that will include Steve, Krista and even Joe! It’s going to be great!
  •  In Sunday’s bulletin, you’ll see an insert from the Missions Committee outlining this year’s school supplies drive. We’ve done this for many years, but this year we’re changing it up a little. Since all of the elementary schools in our area are Title I schools (which means that the students are given all the supplies they will need), our drive this year will be for supplies teachers need for their classrooms, that they usually buy from money out of their own pockets. So make sure you pick up the list in Sunday’s bulletin before you go out to buy anything – the list is very different from previous years. You can put donations into the bin in the Hospitality Area starting on July 22, and it will run until August 19th. Thank you in advance for helping with this! I know the teachers will appreciate it!
  •  The next Monthly Men’s Breakfast will take place next Wednesday, July 18th at 6:30 am at Cracker Barrel. The first meeting there last month was a great success with a wonderful turnout. As is always the case in a new place, a few tweaks are needed, but the good news is that there is plenty of room for more men to attend, so if you’ve never come, why not give it a try on Wednesday? No sign up is necessary, just show up and enjoy the food, fellowship and fun!
     
  •  Attention Classic Christians (age 50 and over) – please stop by the counter across from the Welcome Center on Sunday because there is updated information on three coming events – the picnic on August 6th, the bus trip to see “Sister Act” in September, and the bus trip to the Museum of the Bible in November. Please take a copy of the flyers and if you’re interested in either of the trips, sign up soon, since there is a limited number of tickets for each one.
  •  Finally, if you are one of the people in the church who is going to see “Jesus” at Sight and Sound in August and you have not paid for your ticket ($56.05) please bring the money on Sunday and turn it in to the church office. Payment is due to the theater this coming week. 
I think that’s it for now. Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! Find some time for yourself even while taking care of your “to do” list. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you on Sunday morning when, as fellow disciples of Christ, we will rejoice together! I can’t wait!

                                                    Grace and Peace,

                                                                        Karen

Friday, July 6, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week. I don’t know about you, but all day on Wednesday, the 4th of July, I felt like it was Saturday. But then yesterday rolled around and it was back to work! Anyway, I hoped you’ve survived this unbelievable heat wave. It sounds like the weekend is going to be spectacular – so enjoy!

Here’s what’s going to be happening at church:

  • - Tomorrow night, the youth group is going to have a lock-in. It starts at 6 pm Saturday and runs through breakfast on Sunday. All youth are invited to attend, and need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, a change of clothes and pajamas. Questions? Text Sandy Wherry at 443-309-0160.
     
  • - On Sunday morning, I’ll start a new sermon series for the summer entitled “Marks of Discipleship.” This week’s “mark” is “Going Into the World.” We’ll look together at Jesus sending the disciples (and us) into the world to share the good news with others. Because we weren’t able to have communion together last Sunday, we will be celebrating it this Sunday. Jerry McNabb will sing at both services, and Rob Hazel will be sitting in at the organ while Sharon enjoys some vacation time away. Finally, we’ll celebrate our recent Vacation Bible School as we see a video with VBS highlights! It’s going to be a great morning, so don’t miss it!
     
  • - Sunday afternoon is the bus trip to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival, and there are still seats available. So if you’d like to go, even if you have not signed up already, just show up in the parking lot at 1:30. Cost is $40/person. The bus leaves at 2, arrives in Ocean Grove at 4 allowing time to walk around the Victorian town and enjoy dinner (on your own). The concert is at 7 pm and features nearly a thousand singers! Then the bus returns to Elkton immediately following the concert.
  • - Finally, I wanted to let you know that soon we’ll be videotaping a new set of greeting videos for worship, so if you’d like to make one, please let me know. Eventually, we’d like all members of the church to do a video, so why not sign up now? 

I think that’s it for now, except to say a quick thank you to all who helped give out fans from our church to the crowd at the Elkton Fireworks on the 4th of July. We couldn’t have had a more perfect giveaway, could we, given the fact that it was so blazing hot! Thanks to Lorraine Jones, the Evangelism Committee and all the volunteers for being our church’s hands of hospitality to all who came to the fireworks!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! I think once the rain moves out, it’s going to be pretty nice, so enjoy it! Take some time out for yourself even while trying to get your chores done. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning. Can’t wait!

                                                         Grace and Peace,
                                                                                    Karen

PS – Happy birthday to my favorite sister on Sunday!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Happy Friday!


Hi All –
  
  Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend!  It has been a wonderful week for the church!  Our mission team in Kentucky has been doing wonderful work with our friends there, and will start to head home tomorrow, arriving at church just about the time we finish worship on Sunday morning (see pictures here).    And our Vacation Bible School was a wonderful success, filled with lots of enthusiastic and joyful participants, and really great leaders and helpers!  It’s been a great week!

But the week’s not finished, so here’s what happening this weekend:
  •  Don’t forget that we’re having one combined service this Sunday at 10 am.  It will be our annual Service of Prayer and Thanksgiving for Our Nation, and once again, we’re blessed to have The Providence Brass with us.  Their music will surely add so much to the service.  It is, of course, the first Sunday of the month, but due to the nature of the service we won’t be having Holy Communion.  Instead, we’ll have it next Sunday, the 8th, at both services.
  • On Wednesday, July 4th, our church will again be present at the Elkton Fireworks at Meadow Park, this time giving away red, white and blue fans, which, by the sounds of the weather forecast (of intense heat for many days in a row), will be welcomed by all!  If you’d like to help with the giveaway, please see Lorraine Jones on Sunday morning or just show up on the 4th at either of the two distribution sites – across from the Water Plant near the skateboard ramps, or up the hill on Delaware Avenue in front of the Norman’s house.
  • The Bus Trip to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival is a little more than a week away – Sunday, July 8th.  There are still some seats available.  The cost is $40/person.  The bus will leave at 2 pm from our church parking lot, arriving in Ocean Grove around 4, leaving you time to walk around the charming Victorian town, have some dinner (on your own), and attend the fabulous Choir Festival in the Great Auditorium at  7 pm.  To take part, please call the church office at 410-398-4440
I think that’s about it for now, except to, once again, say how grateful I am for all who made this week’s Vacation Bible School such a wonderful success.  From Katie Sparks, who coordinated it all, to the fabulous leaders – Jen Noll, Sue Ivey, Nadine Allen, Susan Zimmer, Mike Noll and the wonderful group leaders Kim Edler, Susan Starrett, Jane Kovicak and Joe Graham, to the tremendous youth helpers Andrew Noll, Colin O’Neal and Jack Kovicak, to all of the groups in the church who prepared and served the nightly meals – well, we couldn’t have done it without all of them – so to all of them we say THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LOVING OUR VBS KIDS, GIVING YOUR TIME AND SHARING YOUR LOVE AND FAITH WITH THEM!  (If I missed anyone, I apologize!)  I was blessed to, once again, work on the mission project with the kids, and they raised money to help fill the freezer at the Immaculate Conception Food Pantry.  The goal was to raise $250, and when all was said and done, through their offerings (and a little help from their parents and grandparents), they raised almost $350!!  The tremendous spirit of missions in our church surely lives in the hearts of our children.

Well, that’s really it for now.  Have a great Friday – try to stay cool!  Then I hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend, which hopefully includes some down time for you.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you at 10 am on Sunday morning when we give God thanks for our country and lift it in prayer.  Can’t wait to be with all of you together!  (PS – You’d better come early if you want to get your usual seat!  LOL!)

                                               Grace and Peace,
                                                                     Karen

Friday, June 22, 2018

Happy Friday!


Hi All –

Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week, and have plans for a great weekend!  It’s been a good week for church stuff.  The Men’s Breakfast marked their first meeting in their new location – Cracker Barrel – with a wonderful turnout and the Classic Christians had a great outing to Lancaster.  All the while, all the i’s were being dotted, and the t’s crossed for the upcoming mission trip and VBS.  (See more below about that!)
So now we turn our attention to the weekend – take a look at what will be happening!

-         
On Saturday, you’re invited to come to the church parking lot at 9 am to pray with the Kentucky Mission Team before they leave.  We’ll have a time of devotions with them before they load up the vehicles and head off to see our old friends in Mozelle, Kentucky.  Please pray for their mission – for safety of travel, for a good and fruitful mission experience, and mostly, that they may grow closer to Christ through it all.

-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the last installment of my “I Heard an Old, Old Story” sermon series.  This week, we’ll look at the Gospel story of Jesus stilling the storm and consider how he stills the storms in our lives.  We’ll have a special treat as Ed Lynerd returns to sing for us at both services!  We’ll also be hearing from Dot Eltzroth about our church’s ministry with the Elkton Community Kitchen and how you can help.  It’s going to be a great service Sunday – don’t miss it!

-          On Sunday night, at 5:30 pm, we’ll kick off this year’s Vacation Bible School – Rolling River Rampage!  Each night we’ll start with dinner, then the kids will move through stations of Bible learning, crafts, activities and more!  It’s going to be wonderful, so bring your kids and grandkids, even if you haven’t had a chance to pre-register them.  There will be plenty of room for all!  I’m so looking forward to working on their missions project with them each night!

-          Looking Ahead – Don’t forget that we’re having one combined service on Sunday, July 1st at 10 am.  It will be a Service of Prayer and Thanksgiving for Our Nation, and the wonderful Providence Brass will be with us once again to fill our service with beautiful and inspiring music!  Invite your family and friends to come to this very special service!  (By the way, we won’t be having holy communion that day – rather we’ll be having it on Sunday, July 8th.)

-          Finally, our Evangelism Committee invites you to help them with our annual “giveaway” at the Elkton Fireworks on July 4th.  This year we’re giving out red, white and blue fans for people to use to beat the heat!  We’ll have two stations – one across from the Water Plant on Delaware Avenue and the other up the hill in front of the Norman’s house.  If you can help, please email Lorraine Jones at lorraine0913@yahoo.com or see her at church on Sunday.


Well, I think that’s it for now.  I think it’s going to be a little cooler this weekend – I hope so, because I turned off the AC and opened the windows last night!  Anyway, have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.  Put your feet up and relax a while.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday.  Can’t wait!
                                                          
Grace and Peace,
                                                                                  Karen


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All,

I hope you’ve had a good week. I know there are a lot of happy EUMC kids out there who are smiling because school’s over for a while! I’ve been loving seeing all the Facebook posts about the amazing accomplishments of some of our children and youth of the church. Well done! And well done, all of you teachers and other school personnel! I know you’re not done quite yet, but please know how grateful we all are for the dedication you show every day to the children of our county!

On to what’s happening at church this weekend:

  • - On Sunday, I’ll offer the next installment in my “I Heard An Old, Old Story” sermon series, and this time, in honor of Father’s Day, we’ll be looking at the parable of the Prodigal Son.
  • We’ll be treated to the music of Vanessa and Alan Foskey before they leave for Texas soon, and we’ll hear from our fabulous Chancel Choir at 11, for the last time until September. They begin their well-deserved summer break after Sunday. We can’t thank them enough for the wonderful spirit they add to our worship services every week! Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them!
  • - Sunday would be a good time to sign up your children or grandchildren for Vacation Bible School, which starts not long from now – Sunday, June 24th. VBS will run from Sunday the 24th until Thursday the 28, from 5:30 – 8 pm and each night starts with dinner. The staff is planning lots of great learning and creative activities, so don’t miss this great opportunity! You can register the kids via the church website (elktonumc.org) or pick up a registration form at the Welcome Center. I can’t wait to work with the kids on their mission project! It’s always amazing to see what they do in just 5 short days!
  • - Looking Ahead a Few Days – The next Monthly Men’s Breakfast is coming up next Wednesday, June 20th at 6:30 am. Due to the closing of the Elkton Diner, the breakfast has been moved to Cracker Barrel, and Dave Pugh tells me the management is very excited to welcome the group. So men, if you’ve never been to the breakfast before, this would be a great time to start coming, on the first day in the new location. There will be plenty of space available! No need to sign up – just show up and enjoy the fun, food and fellowship. Elkton Cracker Barrel, Wednesday, June 20th at 6:30 am.
  • - Just a reminder that there are still some seats available on the bus trip to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival on Sunday, July 8th. You’ll have the opportunity to hear nearly a thousand singers join together in a massed choir singing in The Great Auditorium which seats 7000 and usually fills up for the concert! Cost for the trip is $40/person. The bus will leave the church parking lot at 2 pm, it will arrive in Ocean Grove around 4, leaving a few hours for everyone to explore the lovely Victorian town and have some dinner (on your own), and then head over to the concert at 7. The bus leaves immediately after the concert ends and arrives back in Elkton two hours later – probably around 11 pm or so. Sign up sheet for the trip is on the table across from the Welcome Center. Checks can be made out to Elkton UMC with Ocean Grove on the memo line and turned into the church office.
Well, I think that’s about it for now, except that I wanted to tell you that earlier this week, I had the privilege again of teaching at the Local Pastors’ Licensing School at Camp Pecometh. This school is for brand-new pastors to be trained in the practical aspects of ministry – this year I taught the classes on baptisms and weddings. I had a wonderful, wonderful time with the enthusiastic students, and I am so excited for them as they will start work on July 1st in their churches. It is such a privilege to be a part of their journey into ministry with them.

Well, I think that’s really it for now! Have a good Friday, and a great Father’s Day weekend! Make sure to spoil all the fathers in your life! Find some time for rest and relaxation on what is supposed to be a beautiful weekend weather-wise, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday when we spend time with the prodigal Son and remember the endless grace of God our Father! See you then! Can’t wait!


                                                       Grace and Peace,
                                                                                Karen

Friday, June 8, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Hope you’ve had a great week and are looking forward to a fun-filled weekend! I know a lot of you have been going to graduation ceremonies and parties this week. It’s been fun seeing your pictures posted on Facebook! It’s amazing how fast time flies, isn’t it? When I look at your pictures and see some of the young people who grew up in the church, it amazes me that they’ve finished high school already and are going on to new adventures! I celebrate with all of you!
Here’s what’s happening at church this weekend:
- On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in my “I Heard an Old, Old Story” sermon series. This week’s installment is entitled “It’s Always Peter!” We’ll be looking at Peter and his impetuous nature, always asking questions and saying whatever things pop into his head!
Since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll also have Children’s Time and the book we’ll read together this week is God’s Paintbrush – so make sure you bring the kids to worship! In addition to that, we’ll have the joy of hearing the Men’s Choir sing, and the Chancel Choir as well! It’s going to be a great Sunday in worship that you won’t want to miss!
  • - In between services, we’ll celebrate Sunday School Promotion Sunday in Weldin Hall. We’ll celebrate all of the students who took part in Sunday School this year and are now being promoted to the next class. Come on in to Weldin Hall during the Sunday School hour and join in the fun and celebration!
  • - Finally, a reminder that Vacation Bible School is just around the corner – it will take place from Sunday, June 24th through Thursday, June 28th from 5:30 – 8 pm each night. Each session will begin with dinner and then move on as the children rotate through stations of fun, learning, creativity and great activities. You can sign your child/grandchild up via the church website (elktonumc.org) or pick up a registration form at the Welcome Center.
  • - Speaking of sign-ups, there’s still room on the bus trip to the Ocean Grove Choir Festival on Sunday, July 8th. This festival features nearly a thousand singers in a massed choir performing in the Great Auditorium at Ocean Grove, which seats 7000! Cost for the trip is $40/person, plus the cost of dinner on your own. The bus leaves our church parking lot at 2 pm and returns two hours after the concert ends. To take part in the trip, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center.
Well, I think that’s it for now. I’m getting ready to head out to the screened-in porch at the parsonage with my laptop (and a cup of coffee) to put the finishing touches on Sunday’s sermon and admire the brand new set of steps installed this week by the incredibly gifted trio of Ted McDowell, Wayne Scholz and Ray Whiteoak. Thanks guys, they are wonderful!
Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! Find some time to put your feet up for a while, even while tackling your weekend chores. Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship Sunday morning! Can’t wait!
Grace and Peace,
Karen

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday Update from Kay!


Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  Hope everyone has had a good week and you have plans for a great weekend, despite the weather forecast!  Karen, Rev. Graham and Heidi Gaultney are in Princess Anne at Annual Conference .  We send them traveling mercies for a safe trip home tomorrow.

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

                On Sunday, we’ll be celebrating with Rev. Brett Pinder and Rev. Carlos Reyes-Rodriguez.  Brett was just ordained an Elder and Carlos was commissioned a Deacon at Annual Conference.  They will be participating in the worship service and, we will be celebrating them, along with our 2018 Graduates, in Weldin Hall from 9:30-11 am.  We’ll enjoy the music of Sue Johnson and Steve Gilmore, as well as our Chancel Choir.  We’ll also celebrate holy communion together.   It will be a great day to be in worship – you don’t want to miss it!

                Tomorrow, Paige Laning will begin her Girl Scout Gold Award Project in the church parking lot. She plans to be there unless there is a torrential downpour!  If you are planning to help and need to reach her, please email her at pflaning@comcast.net.

                That’s all for now.  Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!  See you Sunday!

Blessings,

Kay

Friday, May 25, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great holiday weekend.  I hope that, whatever your plans are for the weekend, you’ll take time out to remember the reason we have Memorial Day – and that is to give thanks for the lives of those lost in service to our country.  So many women and men have sacrificed and paid the ultimate price that we might be free, so when you’re enjoying those freedoms this weekend, lift a prayer of thanksgiving for all of them.

Here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:
- On Sunday, I’ll begin a new sermon series entitled “I Heard an Old, Old Story” in which each week we’ll look at an old familiar Bible story and see what it means for our lives today.  This week it’s the story of David and Goliath.  As I said above, we’ll remember those who have died in service to our country, and our worship will be enhanced by the music of Kyle Slayman and the Chancel Choir.
- Monday is Memorial Day and we’ll participate in Elkton’s Memorial Day Parade which takes place at 10 am.  As you know, we’re having a float in the parade which we’ll be decorating at the church before moving to the parade starting point around 9:30 am.  We can still use help decorating the float, and we welcome more people who would like to walk along with the float to hand out flag pins and candy.  You can sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center on Sunday morning, see Lorraine Jones, or just show up that morning!  If you can’t help in any of those ways, but are coming to the parade, a lot of us from church usually gather in front of the armory to watch – so come and join us!
- Next Thursday, I along with some others from the church, will be heading down to UMES in Princess Anne to attend this year’s session of the Annual Conference.  We’ll join delegates from all of the other churches in our conference to celebrate the ministries our churches and conference have carried out, and make plans for future ministry and budgets.  One of the highlights of conference is the Commissioning and Ordination Service, which will be held on Friday night at 7 pm.  It is especially wonderful for us this year as Brett Pinder will be ordained an Elder and Carlos Reyes-Rodriguez will be commissioned a Deacon.  We’ll have the chance to celebrate with them on the following Sunday.  But for now, pray for them, for Heidi Gaultney, our Lay Representative, for Rev. Graham and myself, and for Bishop Peggy Johnson who will preside over the conference.
- Finally, a reminder that Paige Laning is ready to start her Girl Scout Gold Award Project doing work on the islands in our church parking lot.  But she needs your help – especially if you’re a gardener.  She’ll have work days on Saturday, June 2 and Saturday, June 9 from 9 am to 2 pm and after worship on Sunday, June 10th.  If you can’t help her in person, perhaps you could help provide snacks for the workers.  This is a big project and I’m hoping she’s overwhelmed with offers to help!  To sign up, contact Paige at pflaning@comcast.net.

I think that’s it for now, except to offer a follow-up on something I put in last Friday’s email. You might remember that I talked about how excited I was to be traveling last Saturday to northern New Jersey to celebrate my fabulous aunt’s 100th birthday.  Well, just before we were to drive up there, we learned that she had taken ill, but since the restaurant was reserved and everything was prepared, and people had come from far distances, the lunch was still on.  It was great to be with all of the family, and then afterwards, we were able to travel to my aunt’s residence for each of us to spend a few precious moments with her.  She knew we were there, and we got to tell her we loved her.  Two days later, on Monday of this week, she died, just two days before she would have turned 100.  So we’ve traveled again to northern New Jersey.  The viewing was last night and the funeral is this morning.  While we are sad that her magnificent presence will be gone from us, we rejoice in her incredible, full and faithful life lived so well.  And we rejoice that she got to spend her 100th birthday with those she loved who had gone on before her – especially her husband Paul, and our Dad.  Thanks so much to all of you for your expressions of love and sympathy.  It means the world to all of us!

We’ll be back in Elkton later tonight, so I’ll see you in worship on Sunday.  In the meantime, have a good Friday, and then a wonderful long holiday weekend!  I’ll see you Sunday morning!  Can’t wait!

Grace and Peace,
Karen

Friday, May 18, 2018

Happy Soggy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Happy Soggy Friday of a soggy week (and a coming soggy weekend)! Oh well . . .

I hope that, in spite of the rain, you’re having a good week and have plans for a great weekend. I’m so looking forward to everything that’s going on this weekend, but I’m particularly excited about Saturday. Because tomorrow, our family is traveling up to northern New Jersey, just outside of New York City, to a party celebrating my Aunt Adele’s 100th birthday! Adele (whom we lovingly call Auntie Sis) is my father’s sister. She is an amazing woman, who has accomplished so much in her life, and battled many health struggles as well – and yet, she keeps on ticking, and I’m sure we’re going to have a fabulous time with her at her party. If you’re on Facebook, you’ll probably see some pictures!

There are a lot of other great things going on this weekend at church. Here’s what’s happening:
  • Tonight at 6:30 pm, the Classic Christians (age 50 and over), will gather for their May meeting in Weldin Hall. The night begins with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and then continues on in rousing games of Bingo with great prizes! All Classic Christians are welcome to attend, even if you have not signed up ahead of time – the more, the merrier! It’s going to be a great night!
  • On Sunday morning, we’ll celebrate Pentecost – the day the Spirit descended and the church was born. We’ll celebrate as we always do on Pentecost – with the confirmation of youth. Four youth will be confirmed at the 11:00 service. It is always one of the best services of the year! I’ll offer the final sermon in my “Fixer Upper” sermon series – this week entitled “New Life,” and our worship will be enhanced by the music of Laurie Ruth and our Handbell and Chancel Choirs. It’s going to be a wonderfully uplifting morning in worship that you won’t want to miss! 
A couple of reminders of upcoming events where your help is needed:
  • Don’t forget that the church will have a float in Elkton’s Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28th at 10 am. We’ll need help decorating the float, and then volunteers to walk alongside it in the parade to hand out flag pins and candy. If you can help, please contact Lorraine Jones by calling her at 302-690-6772 or emailing her at lorraine0913@yahoo.com.
  • We’re looking for gardeners and other volunteers who can help Paige Laning on her Girl Scout Gold Award. The project she’s undertaking is rehabilitating several of the islands in our church parking lot to clean up old growth and plant new bee- and butterfly friendly plants. She’ll also be doing work in the area by the sign on High Street and placing pavers near the trash area. She’s got several workdays planned – Saturday, June 2nd from 9 am to 2 pm, Saturday, June 9th from 9 am to 2 pm, and Sunday, June 10th after church. You can find more information about the project on the bulletin board just inside the hospitality area, and Paige will be on hand in the hospitality area after both services to answer questions and sign up volunteers. Paige is doing a great thing for our church, and it would be wonderful if many of you could sign up to help her! 

Well, I think that’s it for now. Oops – I forgot – there’s one more thing. The SPRC will be sharing in Sunday’s services more about the award I received last week, and because many people were not able to see the video, we will show it during the announcement time.

Well, I think that’s really it for now. Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend. Maybe, because it’s going to rain and you can’t do things around the yard, you’ll be able to rest and relax a little. Hope so! Anyway, find some time to spend with those you love, and I will see you in worship on Sunday when we celebrate the presence and power of God’s Holy Spirit on Pentecost! Can’t wait!

                                                 Grace and Peace,
                                                                          Karen

Friday, May 11, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week and enjoyed the (mostly) beautiful weather! It’s been a really busy week for many of us and this weekend is going to be really busy as well, so let me get right to what’s going on:

  •  The Prom Boutique is winding down, but it will be open tomorrow morning from 10 am until noon for any young woman who has yet to get a dress for the prom. There are still plenty of dresses from which to choose, and they are absolutely free!
  •  On Sunday morning, we’ll celebrate The Festival of the Christian Home and Mother’s Day. I’ll continue my “Fixer Upper” sermon series, this week talking about “Good Bones,” and what that means for families. It will be a full service as we hear from the Children’s Choir, Bobby Heath, and the Chancel Choir; we’ll also be celebrating this year’s Sunday School teachers with a powerpoint and recognition; and since it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll have children’s time as well! This week the book is A Chair for My Mother. It’s going to be a great worship service, so you won’t want to miss it! 
  •  Don’t forget that our friends from Relay for Life will be on hand after both worship services to sell luminaria for the upcoming Relay. You can purchase one or more in memory of or in honor of someone, and they’ll be placed on the track at Elkton High School for the walk, which takes place on May 19th. Luminaria are $5.00 each. 
Looking ahead at a few things:
  • The Monthly Men’s Breakfast will be next Wednesday, May 16th at 6:30 am at the Elkton Diner. All men of the church are invited to attend – no need to sign up ahead of time – just show up! 
  • The Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will meet on Friday, May 18th at 6:30 pm in Weldin Hall for a potluck dinner and a night of Bingo with prizes! To take part, sign up on the sheet across from the Welcome Center. 
  • On Monday, May 28th, our church will have a float (truck) in Elkton’s Memorial Day Parade which begins at 10 am. We need volunteers to help decorate the truck, and then walk alongside it during the parade to hand out flag pins and candy. If you’d like to help, please see Lorraine Jones or email her at lorraine0913@yahoo.com

Turning now to denominational news – you may be aware that the United Methodist denomination is currently wrestling with issues around human sexuality. A special session of the General Conference (the only body that speaks for the denomination and sets official policy) will meet next February in St. Louis to make decisions for the whole church. A special commission called “The Way Forward” has been working for two years to propose possible solutions to our decades long struggle on these issues. They presented several ideas to the Council of Bishops, who last week issued their own thoughts on the process. I’m providing copies of that statement by the Council of Bishops, and if you’re interested in reading it, you can pick up a copy on the counter across from the Welcome Center. We’ve also provided one opportunity to discuss this a few months ago (the Wired Word discussion group), but we will be talking about it more as we move closer to the General Conference.

Finally, many of you are aware that I received a very special honor earlier this week when I was named the recipient of the Society of John Wesley Award from Wesley Theological Seminary. The award is given in recognition of “Excellence in Ministry to God, the Church and Wesley Seminary.” I received it during Wesley’s Commencement Service at the National Cathedral in Washington. It was a beautiful service from beginning to end, and it was a day I shall never forget. I was blessed to have Mom, Susan, and Damien with me, and Brett Pinder and Carlos Reyes-Rodriguez and his wife Kaylee were there too! I have been so touched by the many, many people who have reached out and congratulated me. Many people were able to watch the service which was live streamed from the Cathedral, but I know many of you weren’t, so at the SPRC meeting last night we decided that during worship next Sunday, May 20th, we’ll show a video clip of the award presentation from the service. (We couldn’t do it this Sunday because the service is already chocked full!)

Well, I think that’s it for now. I hope you have a great Friday, and an even greater Mother’s Day weekend! Find some time for rest and relaxation even while tackling your “to do” list, spend time with those you love, spoil the mothers in your life, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday. Can’t wait!

                                             Grace and Peace,
                                                                    Karen