From the Pastor

2015-08-01 Newsletter message

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Perhaps it’s because, as I write this column, I am in the process of preparing to perform 4 marriage ceremonies between today and the end of October.  I have marriage on my mind!  And I’m guessing that another factor is that I performed a wedding last year that didn’t make it a whole year.  I was heartbroken to learn that a couple that appeared to be well-suited for each other were separated before they celebrated 11 months of marriage.  Turned out that they did not share the same values after all.

So, how do you keep your marriage whole and vital?  With each of these couples, we’ve spent some time talking about what helped them to fall in love in the first place.  What did they do?  What interests do they share? 

In the hectic pace that many of us keep, it is so easy to forget to celebrate each other and to spend the kind of time that keeps a relationship whole.  Date nights and those small, loving acts often unique to each couple, sometimes fall by the wayside.  Spouses don’t take time for each other – without the kids.  We fall into patterns that lull us to the signs that we are not as close as we once were – and that’s how we forget.  Yet it is those kinds of things, mostly time alone, that keeps relationships fresh.

The embarrassing thing is that, even though I am supposed to know better (after all, I went to preacher school!), that very thing happened in my own life not too long ago – about a year before I came to be your pastor.  Mom moved in with us, and we got into a pattern of not putting time aside for ourselves.  I was at a training retreat, learning to coach in a way that people can move toward fulfillment, when I realized that I really missed Rich.  My coach encouraged me to call him and make a date.  I did – and we went out to dinner and a movie before I even went home and unpacked my bags. 

It is so darned easy to forget to focus on the relationships that are necessary to keep us whole and healthy – as couples and as individuals.  Time with God.  Time with those we love.  It’s pretty simple – but so hard to keep up with when the chaos of job, sports, elder care, or whatever claims your attention seems so urgent.  I hope you’ll make that date with your special guy or gal as soon as you finish reading this newsletter!

Rich and I will be on vacation (yes, alone!) from August 6 through August 16.  We will be in Vermont, on an island in Lake Champlain.  If there is an emergency, please call the church office, and Robine will either contact the clergy on call for me or our Care Team.  If there is an emergency over the weekend or after business hours, please call George Hoffmann (410-340-1578) or Sue Wright (410-833-6738), our lay leaders, who will also be able to help you.

Blessings on you,

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with

2015-07-01 Newsletter Message

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In the adult VBS class, we read a great story of a pastor who stopped at a convenience-type gas station and filled his tank. When he went into the store to pay for the gas, he saw another item that he wanted to buy. When he got to the counter, the clerk collected the payment and the pastor left the store.

However, as he walked to his car, the pastor noticed that the clerk had not charged him for the item he picked up in the store. He turned around, stood in line again and when it was his turn, the pastor told the clerk that there was an error. The clerk replied, “I know.” The pastor persevered, explaining that he had not been charged for the second item. Again, the clerk replied, “I know.”

The pastor said, “I don’t understand.” The clerk explained that he had worshiped at the pastor’s church and he was looking for evidence that the pastor practiced what he preached.

The study book went on to say:

When we claim the title “Christian,” people watch us. They want to see if we really do practice what we preach; if we ACT to walk our talk and live out our faith; if indeed faith becomes a verb for us.

I’m sure that we all understand that. But there are times when we forget. A careless word or action whether out in the community or inside the church walls or at a church event can affect whether a quick-mart clerk or high school student or young mother with a baby or ….. will feel that they want to be part of our faith family. Negative comments are often overheard, even when we think we’re just talking to our best friends.

What kind of evangelist will you be???

Summer Worship Series—Faith at the Movies

Beginning Sunday, July 5, movies will offer us images of our faith from our culture. On Sunday, I will preach on some faith themes that I find in a movie, and on the following Wednesday at 7 pm, we will show the movie in our Fellowship Hall – with popcorn, of course!

On the first Wednesday, July 8, the Men’s Fellowship will provide a cookout dinner (Slow Cooked Pork BBQ) with some sides for a freewill offering that will be given to a service project. Dinner will be served at 6:15 that evening.

The films we will enjoy are as follows:

July 5 and 8 – Captain America
July 12 and 15 – Sister Act
July 19 and 22 – Shrek
July 26 and 29 – The Empire Strikes Back
August 2 and 5 – The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Please note that I will be away, directing camp at West River the week of July 5-10. If there are any emergencies during that time, please check with Robine in the office first or, after office hours, call my cell phone.

Finally, I just want to thank our young people for the amazing contribution they gave to our VBS! Patrick Holsonbake (with some help from his big sister Katie and his parents) built the awesome visual set for the week, complete with the road right down the middle of the sanctuary. Katie Harry was the acting genius (they call that “vocal actor!”) behind Checkers the Cheetah. Jason Waters ran the sound board and video, and about 15 more of our youth (Alyssa & Kara Morris, Lindsy Renner, Andrew & Jonathan Raab, Katie Holsonbake, Sophie & Grace Warfield, Ryan Outt, Kate & Brenna O’Connor, Angela Myers, Ben Morrison, Bobby Alexander and Niya Butler) served as classroom assistants. The energy and enthusiasm they brought, along with their love for the younger kids was a blessing to us all!

I know that some of you are traveling, and I hope that you are either having a fabulous time away now or will be enjoying some vacation very soon! God works on our spirits as we play. Have a GREAT time!!

Blessings on you!

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with