Newsletter 

October 2020

As we all know schedules have completely changed. 

We are still a church and much is still happening.

Check in regularly for updates.

 

Prayer List

October marks the relaunch of the weekly prayer list as part of our Sunday bulletin. Names will remain on the list for 6 weeks unless an extension is requested. Please send the names of members, friends, family, and military personnel to be included in the weekly list. You can provide names via one of the following ways: call the office at 410-346-7977, email stmarysucc.office@gmail.com, or submit online at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqeqAYtzh86V0BknUeapMlQ?view_as=subscriber

Emergency Technology Grant Awarded to St. Mary’s UCC

 

We are pleased to inform you that we have received and reviewed your grant request and have awarded a grant in the amount of $250.00. It is the intention that the grant be used towards improving the quality of online worship services and other virtual programming. We realize how important this grant is to your plans to upgrade your present facilities to accommodate the needs of the community. On behalf of the Central Atlantic Conference, please know that we are happy to support the important work you are doing. We wish you much success in your efforts as you undertake the responsibility of this grant. Rev. Freeman L. Palmer

WHAT IS THE DIGITAL MINISTRY FUND?

The Digital Ministry Fund financially supports the effective use of technology for ministry experiences, Spiritual Formation/Christian education activities, and digital outreach to the wider community. Funds should be used to enhance the worship experience, to engage and develop a sense of community, and to provide more accessibility of these experiences for onsite and online participation through the purchase, maintenance, and repair of technology. While money can be used to upgrade existing technology, ongoing services should be budgeted in the General fund as opposed to this fund. This fund could be used in the following ways:

• Hardware purchases (cameras, microphones, computers, monitors, printers, assistive technology for congregants during a service, etc.)

• Software purchases (programs, applications, etc.)

• Upgrades to existing technology or redevelopment of the website

• Training to use the technology

Financial Report

Below is a summary of Church finances and other related items as of the end of August: 

General Fund:                                    Budget %         

Total Income:     $    92,127.61           58%            

Expenses:          $  113,411.08           52%              

                           $  -21,283.47                                     

 

Wider Church Giving:OCWM:

Income:              $     8,577.50                          

Expenses:          $     8,333.36

                           $        244.14 

 

Designated Giving as of August 31st::                             $ 4,172.00

Expenses:                                                                         $ 3,547.00  

                                                                                          $   625.00

 

This includes donations to the Silver Run Pantry of $ 3,009 including $505 in August.

Digital Ministry Fund has collected $3,638.99 including $465 in August.

 

Thanks to everyone who has been able to contribute time or money to our church ongoing operations during these historically difficult times. As you can see by the General Fund percentages, we have received 58% of our anticipated income which is 8.7% short of what we estimated when we approved the budget in December 2019 (we are 2/3 into 2020 or 66.7%). This is equal to a shortfall of approximately $14,000 or nearly $2,000 less per month than estimated. If we continue the average shortfall, we will be $22,000 below our estimated income. We continue to need your support during these challenging times as we do God’s will by supporting our staff and providing much needed food, necessities, and financial assistance in the form of gift cards to those in our community who are hardest hit by the effects of the virus.

(for a more complete report check your email or the e-news link)

Thank you for your continued support to St. Mary’s.

 

Outreach Ministry

"Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion is to look out to the world; yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; yours are the hands with which God is to bless people now." Teresa of Avila

 

Crop Hunger Walk

The Crop Hunger Walk community believes in ending hunger. And, in 2020, we will continue to fight against the new challenges of disease and disaster that leave people hungry. Join us in raising funds to help neighbors near and far get the meals they need this year. Show your support by walking on October 11th at 1:00 P.M. starting at St. Paul's Lutheran Church Littlestown or by donating either online or by check to St. Mary's UCC designated as Crop Walk. For more information about the walk please contact Steve.

 

Back to School Donations

As school is happening in our communities in non-traditional ways there is still a need for students to have supplies to do their work from home or school. A special thanks to all who donated to The Shepherd's Staff's Back to School effort. We exceeded our goal of $500 to purchase much needed supplies for the program.

 

Neighbors in Need Offering

We will receive donations throughout the month of October. Your gifts to the Neighbors In Need offering will support the ongoing work of the United Church of Christ in alleviating poverty, improving education for children everywhere, and addressing injustice in all its forms. Please think about how your own generosity can help in coming to the aid of our neighbors and God’s people in need. Your continuing support is greatly needed and appreciated!

Fundraising

 

The pandemic and its restrictions brought most of our fundraising activities for the year to a standstill. Although we decided to reschedule the in-person events until 2021 to ensure the safety of all attendees, there is still an ongoing need for the community support we provide through the proceeds of these events.

 

Our recent sandwich sale through Shultz’ Delicatessen was very successful thanks to all those that placed orders and sent in donations. And, we made over $1,000 as a result of the generosity of many. However, we are a long way from the over $12,000 raised last year as a result of the Easter candy sale, the bingo, and the cookie walk.

 

Our major fundraisers, the Designer Bag Bingo and the Cookie Walk are normally very successful, wellattended, and bring in thousands of dollars to support the mission of the church and many local organizations in our community including Silver Run Food Pantry, Shepherd’s Staff Programs, Together We Own It, For the Love of a Vet, Human Services of Carroll County, The Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County, and, our newest non-profit, Caring Carroll, Inc.

 

We’ve provided limited monetary support (from fundraising efforts in 2019-2020) to several organizations that put out an urgent need call in the early months of the pandemic ($2,900). We’ve also donated $2,100 in Scrip (gift) cards to the Silver Run Food Pantry and Shepherd’s Staff programs, and applied $559 of profits from the Scrip program to support the Shepherd’s Staff Back-to-School program.

Here’s what’s happening!

  • October: Joe Corbi Pizza Kits and Other Gourmet Foods (look for an email shortly with all the details)

  • November: Apple Cake Sale (more info to follow)

  • December: Every Batch Made From Scratch! Although we can’t get together for the traditional Cookie Walk this year, don’t despair! You can still let us do your holiday baking for you. Our plan for this year is to offer cookies for sale by the dozen ($4/dozen) and if you buy 5 dozen you’ll get a dozen free! That is 6 dozen cookies for $20.

 

We will also offer apple cakes in conjunction with the cookie sale. We will provide more detailed ordering instructions over the next few weeks to include times and dates each month for you to pick up your items. Thanks to everyone who supports our efforts through time and donations! You are making a difference in the lives of many people in our community and those serving in the military.

 

The Fundraising Crew

SCRIP Orders

Remember Scrip is just another name for Gift Cards! St. Mary's earns a rebate on each card which is then used to support local missions during the year.

 

We have continued to order Scrip on a monthly basis. One new change is that we are encouraging folks to purchase and donate gift cards of Walmart, Target, Amazon, Weis, or Visa from the Scrip program. These donated cards are then used to purchase supplies for the Silver Run Food Pantry and the Shepherd’s Staff Blessings Closet.

Thank you for your generous support. We will keep donating Scrip cards to these efforts throughout the COVID crisis. Please order at anytime (www.shopwithscrip.com) and just send Emily an email that the cards should be donated to the Food Pantry/Blessings Closet effort. We then get a shopping list from the Food Pantry/Blessings Closet for the items that are most needed. Please email Emily (stmarysucc.scrip@gmail.com) with any questions on the program, including the special order code for the website if you don't already have an account. 

 

THANK YOU!

Pastoral & Congregational Care

Pastoral Care:
 

Carroll Hospital Center, its affiliated organizations, and nursing homes have banned visitations for the time being.  Pastor Sam will not be making visits to any members.  However, in the event of a life-threatening emergency, clergy are permitted to provide end-of-life care.  If such a situation occurs, please contact Pastor Sam as soon as possible at stmarysucc.pastor@gmail.com or call me directly on 717-309-7680.

 

Pastoral care will still be available for members of the congregation.  While home visits are discouraged, Pastor Sam will be at the church office for visitations.  With good hygiene practices, we can continue safe, limited pastoral care opportunities. 

Offering in this time of change 

As we increase our congregational activities in new ways, the continued financial support of our members is paramount.  You are encouraged to give in two ways:
 

·         You can give online through our secure online giving portal at the top of any of our pages.

·         You can mail your checks.  The CDC has assured us that mail is unaffected by the virus.

ELECTRONIC GIVING

       

We’d like to remind you that we offer electronic giving as a way to automate your regular offering.  Electronic giving offers convenience and consistency and has been proven secure.  You may choose direct debit giving from your bank account or use a credit or debit card.  The plan is flexible; ranging from a 1-time gift to a regularly recurring transaction at your discretion.  Online giving allows you to access our church website – www.stmarysucc.org – at any time to set up a donation plan, change an existing plan, make a 1-time donation or view your donation history.  As you contemplate future contributions, please consider electronic giving.  Additional information is available by contacting Sabrina, financial secretary.

​​Call us:

410-346-7977 

Find us: 

St. Mary's United Church of Christ 

1441 East Mayberry Road 

Westminster, Maryland 21158

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