From the Pastor

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December Newsletter Message

Dear Friends,
Imagination is powerful. Just yesterday, someone told me about the next innovation in kitchen appliances: a refrigerator that, with a push of a button and insertion of a K-cup, brews your morning coffee. Voilà! One less appliance cluttering up your counter!

Imagination is a gift that comes from being made in God’s image. Can you imagine God’s imagination!?!

  • The earth was without form and void; and darkness covered the face of the deep. Then, light. (Genesis 1:1)
  • I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. (Genesis 9:13)
  • A little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6) 

God’s answers – God’s acts – are pretty much never what we would expect. God’s innovations of love and care are always far beyond the expected or customary. God’s visions and dreams are rich and compelling.

  • Dry bones coming to life.
  • All creation in harmony.
  • A baby boy saving humankind. 

Our Advent celebrations will be a time of challenging our imagination – to reach for God’s imagination for us and for God’s world.

Malaria is a killer. In 2007, the United Methodist Church was invited to form a partnership with the Gates Foundation, The UN Foundation and the National Women’s Basketball League to accomplish a huge dream: end deaths from malaria in Africa. Imaginations stretched, and RUMC joined with others to imagine a world free of this dreaded disease.
At that time, roughly the equivalent of 2 planeloads of people died every day in Africa from this preventable disease.

In less than ten years, we are almost there.

The death rate from malaria in Africa has dropped significantly already, and with the addition to the program of medication and public education, it is expected that malaria will be eradicated in just a few years.

During this time of anticipation, Advent, we will pray daily for our sisters and brothers who live in fear of a mosquito’s sting and raise offerings to combat the disease.

In the first week of December, you will receive a letter inviting you to make a special offering for Christmas. That money will be used as it usually is, in support of the ministries of RUMC. On Christmas Eve, everyone will be invited to make an offering for Imagine No Malaria. Your church leaders have imagined a significant step in faith: that is, all of the Christmas Eve “plate* offering” will be sent to this global ministry.

Christmas Eve is a very special opportunity to reach men, women and children who visit us with the message of God’s love sent in the form of a baby who is the Light of the World – and to give them an inkling of whether the church they choose to attend is alive with imagination or plodding along. We want our visitors to imagine the church in witness and service to the world rather than focused only on its own needs. I am praying that this “business-definitely-not-as-usual” act will connect with those visiting and that they will be inspired to connect – or reconnect – with a faith community where they will be fed and nurtured every week.

I hope you will be part of this journey of prayer and love for our sisters and brothers here and across the globe.

Just imagine!!

*Plate offerings are the cash and checks that come from givers who do not have assigned envelope numbers, usually visitors and guests.

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with
Tags: imagine

2015-11-01 Newsletter Message

I DO love this time of year! The crisp air, the smell of wood smoke from fireplaces, those first fall fires in our stove, the leaves, sweaters – and a whole lot of special worship celebrations!

There are many celebrations in the month of November that can shape our hearts in gratitude for the One who gives us life and abundant blessing. I hope you will make those celebrations a priority in your calendar.

All Saints Celebration – We are celebrating our saints who died over the last year on Sunday, November 8, at both worship services. By the time you are reading this newsletter, families have sent pictures and information about their family and church members who have died this past year. There will be a time in the service when you may light a candle to remember all of your loved ones, no matter when they died.There will not be communion at this service, so we anticipate that it should not be longer than about an hour and 15 minutes, if that.

New Member Sunday – November 15, both services –As of today, we are expecting several people to become members of RUMC on November 15. Come and welcome these new members to our faith family!

Communion –We will not be celebrating communion on November 1. Rather, communion will be part of our Thanksgiving celebration on November 22.

Thanksgiving Sunday – November 22

   Breakfast 8:45 to 9:45 am in the Fellowship Hall – Come together to share breakfast with your faith family before worship. Thanks to Kris Brown who will be coordinating the breakfast this time so that those who are involved in the Holly Fair will be freed up from this additional responsibility.

  WORSHIP, 10 am only –This is one of just a couple of times a year when we worship together as a whole faith family. Our Praise Band and Chancel Singers will lead in worship that day as we thank God for the many ways God has helped us in our lives. The service will ask the question: When has God done something for me that was far beyond my human capabilities? Consider that question over the next few weeks and then come to praise and thank God for the amazing help God gives us in living our lives!

As some of you know, Rich and I have a triennial timeshare condo in Orlando (every 3 years), and this is our year to use it. We have been planning a family vacation to Florida for October 31 through November 7 for quite some time, and we are very excited to take our grandson Tommy and his mommy Annie Laurie to Disney World for the first time. It is an almost-whole-family vacation, including two of my sisters and several of our nieces and nephews, and of course, my mother who can’t wait to watch Tommy (whom we call our entertainment) meet Mickey and go on some rides. She may even go on a few accessible rides with him! As you can imagine, I can’t wait! I just hope I can keep up with him!

As always when I am away, please call the church office if you have an emergency (Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm) or call one of the lay leaders (George Hoffmann, 410-526-6967 or Sue Wright 410-833-6738). Robine or the lay leader will talk with you to determine how best to respond to the issue and will call the pastor on call as necessary. Thanking God for abundant blessing and unfailing help,

Blessings on you,

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with