Newsletter 

April 2021

As we all know schedules have completely changed. 

We are still a church and much is still happening.

Check in regularly for updates.

Holy Week Schedule

 

March 28th - 10:30 AM Palm Sunday online worship 

April 1st      -  6:00 PM Maundy Thursday Zoom (not Facebook) with dinner 

April 2nd     -  6:30 PM Good Friday recorded service on Facebook 

April 4th      -  7:30 AM Easter Sunrise in-person service outdoors 

                      10:30 AM Easter online worship

St Mary's UCC - WISE Process

St. Mary’s United Church of Christ is committed to being a church of welcome and hospitality:  no matter who you are, you are welcome here.  We are in a process to discern how to more fully extend that invitation to our neighbors who live with mental health concerns. This is our WISE process, discerning how to become Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged with Mental Health in our community.  Our WISE process will unfold in three phases. 

 

Step One:  Sharing and Receiving Our Stories (Mar – May 2021) 

Step Two:  Discerning God’s Call for Us (Summer/Fall 2021) 

Step Three:  Mindfully Living into God’s Call  

 

From now through May, we’ll be working through Phase 1.  We’re excited to announce two opportunities to engage in the WISE process and the stories that are inspiring it. 

 

Book Study 

Blessed Are the Crazy:  Breaking the Silence about  

Mental Illness, Family and Church by Rev. Sarah Lund 

Thursdays April 8 – May 13 

 

All are invited to join us in a discussion series to highlight the changing attitudes about mental illness and begin to understand potential roles the church can take on to support these individuals and families. We will use the book Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family & Church by Sarah Lund to focus our discussions. Sarah served as a Regional Minister in the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ and received the Dell Award for Mental Health Education at the 30th General Synod of the UCC. She currently serves as Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice on the national staff of the UCC and as senior pastor of First Congregational UCC of Indianapolis, IN.  

 

In her book, she takes the lid off mental illness through a raw, honest look at her father’s battle with bipolar disorder, the helpless sense of deja vu as her brother struggles with his own mental illness and serving as spiritual advisor for her cousin, a mentally ill man executed for murder.  

 

Our 6-part series will begin Thursday, April 8 and continue through Tuesday, May 13. All sessions will be conducted over Zoom, beginning at 7 pm. Please email the St. Mary’s Church office at office@stmarysucc.org or Rachel Wagner-Hutchison at rwaghutch@gmail.com if you are interested in participating or have any questions. The book is available on amazon.com or through bookshop.com (a collaboration of independent bookstores). If you are unable to purchase the book, please contact the church office - we will have a small quantity of books available for your use. For those that are on Facebook, we will be using this forum sharing updates and supporting each other throughout the series. You can find our group at the following link - https://www.facebook.com/groups/216765393473074 or searching for “Blessed are the Crazy - Discussion Series - St. Mary’s UCC.” This is set up as a private group - just click the Join button and your request will be approved within 24 hours. 

Listening Sessions 

There is power in our stories.  Power to inform.  Power to transform.  And those stories are already here.  In you, in our families, in our communities.  And God does remarkable things when those stories are shared safely and lovingly. 

 

We’re going to provide such a space.  You’re invited to come share, listen, reflect, and discern the stories that are already in the soil of our community.  In doing so, we’ll listen carefully to the voice of God calling us to greater love, greater inclusivity, greater healing. 

 

While EVERYONE is invited to EVERY session, we’re going to have some special focal points during our listening sessions. 

 

  1. “All Call” – anyone sharing about their experiences – March 29, 6:30 PM 

  1. Families and Caretakers – April 12, 6:30 PM 

  1. “Dudes” – a time specifically for men – April 28, 6:30 PM 

  1. “All Call” and Reflection – May 4, 6:30 PM 

 

At this time, these sessions are scheduled for Zoom; we’ll send links to each session.  However, as things develop, we may include an in-person option. 

Steering Team 

Questions, Comments, Concerns, Wanna help out?  Please reach out to our WISE Steering Team: Pastor Sam Chamelin, Rachel, Linda or Steve 

Communion Services

Communion Services will be held the 1st Sunday of every month. If you would like prepared communion packets they are available upon request from the office, feel free to call. Prepared communion packets will also be put outside the ramp door for pick up the Saturday before the communion service. Please feel free to continue to use your own communion supplies. 

Fundraising

We are pushing the date for the Purse Bingo until May of 2022 mainly due to the effort required to navigate many COVID-19 safety challenges and logistics.  Once we finalize the date, we will let everyone know.  In the meantime, our fundraising dollars, and the generosity of many from previous years are hard at work now.  

   

In 2021, we:  

   

  • Sent a $500 check to Shepherd's Staff to support their Empty Bowls event. 

  • Items collected during Cookie Walk for Blessings Closet were delivered to Brenda Meadows on March 3.  

  • Delivered Check for over $300 to Brenda Meadows for Food Pantry on March 3  

  • Delivered $450 Gift Cards and items collected during Cookie Walk to the Director of the Human Services Programs for Carroll County on Thursday, March 11.  

  • Delivered a $500 check to the Rape Crisis Center on March 12 (along with various other items donated by the friends and family of Susan Heise--purses, hygiene products, etc. to assemble bags for rape victims).  

   

Thanks for everyone's continued support of our fundraising efforts.  We look forward to an event or two in the coming months (possibly another sub sale through Schultz' Delicatessen and hopefully some sort of Cookie Walk event again in December).  More to follow on those as plans unfold.  

   

Debbie  

Recognizing Graduates

 

Dear Church Family, 

We pray everyone is staying safe and well and maybe, just maybe, seeing some light at the end of the long tunnel we’ve all journeyed through this past year.  As usual, we want to honor high school and college graduates and again extend the invitation to recognize other student accomplishments since June 2020.  We’d like to highlight those advancing from elementary or middle school, honor roll members, award or scholarship recipients, letters of intent decisions, athletic achievements, anything you feel is worthy of announcement.  We will devote a portion of the May 9th service to our students.  If you have someone in your family you’d like us to acknowledge during this worship service, please forward the following information to Sabrina Hodge (sabrina@nwbcmd.org) by Thursday April 22nd.  We will also print the information in an upcoming congregational newsletter. 

 

Student Name 

School attending or graduating from 

Special Honor (graduate, honor roll, award, etc) 

You can also note future plans for graduates 

Family connection if student is not a St Mary’s member or regular attender 

 

You can invite your students and their families to watch the service as well.  We will send reminders the week prior to the May 9th service with links to access the worship time.   

 

**We take the safety of our members and minors very seriously.  In that regard, please be advised that the worship services are streamed via social media platforms (Facebook and YouTube).  As such, they can be viewed by anyone subscribing to the applications.  While we feel that any threat is minimal and highly unlikely, we do not want to jeopardize anyone’s privacy or welfare.  We understand if you only want limited information disseminated in that format.  You may choose to have your student(s) information solely in the newsletter and not announced during the worship service.  Please note that in your email. 

 

Please feel free to reach out to Sabrina with any questions or concerns. 

 

Thank you, 

Spiritual Formation Ministry 

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 for the end of February: 

                       General Fund:                Budget %  *** 

Total Income:   $    19,997.86               13.56%     

Expenses:          $    37,453.80               17.73% 

                               $  -17,455.94       

    

***(2021 budget includes $63,731 of Special Items and 2020 GF carry over funds not included in percentage)  

Wider Church Giving: 

OCWM:  

Income:           $      2,381.50 

Expenses:      $       2,083.28  

                            $          298.22 

Designated Giving as of February 28th:              $    760.50 

 Expenses:                                                                            $    690.50    

                                                                                                 $      70.00 

 

This includes donations to the Silver Run Pantry of $615.50.  

We received $785 for our Digital Fund.  

Although our General Fund shortfall appears to be large, January expenses include quarterly payments from both 2020 and 2021.  

I expect we will continue to have no “in church” services for several months in 2021.  It is important that we continue to support our church’s General Fund and our various Wider Church Giving efforts to help sustain our support to a number of local programs that are assisting those in need in our community.  

Thank you for your continued support to St. Mary’s and to our outreach activities. 

Bob Finn, Finance Ministry Chairman   

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

Contact: 

Pastor: pastor@stmarysucc.org

Office:  office@stmarysucc.org

 

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