As we all know schedules have completely changed.
We are still a church and much is still happening.
Check in regularly for updates.
Message from our Pastor
I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to each and every one of you who showed up to church – again! – for the installation. As we’ve said many, many times – none of us would have wished for this go to down in this way, and yet the ways we’ve had to learn to live together in these few months have demonstrated so much about your character and love, not to mention provided so many opportunities for us to stretch our muscles in new ways to love our neighbors. And so be sure that for me and my family, the installation was indeed a celebration of God’s goodness, bringing us to you all, and for letting us contribute to this community in positive ways.
I spent a lot of time praying through the order for installation; it’s not just words to be said, but rather oaths to be taken, and that deserves careful thought and discernment from all involved. I was particularly drawn to two things. First were the words that were for me to say:
I am willing, and I promise to serve this church faithfully, preaching and teaching the word of God, administering the sacraments, and fulfilling the pastoral office, according to the faith and order of the United Church of Christ.
First, I hope you heard those words, “I am willing.” It is an expression of desire. It’s true - I’m genuinely excited to be here. This is not a job, but a vocation, one I am excited to explore as I do my work as faithfully as I can – preaching, teaching, administering, fulfilling. Further, I hope you heard the end of my commitment as well, “according to the faith and order of the United Church of Christ.” As I celebrate being surrounded by you all, a community of faith, so I am reminded that we as a community are surrounded by a larger community of faith, the UCC. We will only thrive as we live faithfully in covenant with one another. We have so much to contribute, and we will receive so much as we live into our covenantal relationships with good faith and with good humor.
And then I was drawn to something you all said:
We, the members of St. Mary’s United Church of Christ, receive Rev. Sam Chamelin as our pastor and teacher, promising to labor with him in the ministry of the gospel…
I reveled in that word, “receive.” I presume that you receive me as one might receive a gift – with enthusiasm, expectation, and joy. I pray that is the case. I hope that as I seek to help you grow into all Christ calls you to be, that you will watch with expectation what I will yet become as a minister of the gospel. There is so much to discover! And I also hear you promise “to labor with him.” Everyone knows how church life can be, and the labor can be tricky at times. But COVID has actually taught me to trust you all. I believe you when I hear you say we will work together. Because we have. And we will. And our neighbors will be blessed because of it.
While each of you deserve a handshake, a hug, and no small amount of celebration, be sure that I feel your love, and I hope you feel it in return. And I cannot wait to watch this journey unfold. Thank you all for what you are, and for what we shall become together.
Peace and good!
Please note that we have successfully secured a unique address for the parsonage. The new address for personal mail for Pastor Sam and his family is:
1431 E. Mayberry Road
Westminster, MD 21158
Below is a summary of Church finances and other related items as of the end of June:
General Fund: Budget %
Total Income: $ 69,773.00 43.62%
Expenses: $ 91,326.55 41.68%
Wider Church Giving:OCWM:
Income: $ 6,523.50
Expenses: $ 6,250.02
Designated Giving as of June 30th: $ 2,467.00
Expenses: $ 2,412.00
This includes donations to the Silver Run Pantry of $2,099.00 including $493 in June.
Digital Ministry Fund has collected $485.00 to date to improve our digital footprint at the church.
Another “good news story” resulting from our generous donors and the efforts of Emily: as of June a total of $1520 of DONATED Scrip cards have been purchased for the Food Pantry ($550) and Blessings Closet ($970).
(for a more complete report check your email or the e-news link)
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Our annual Designer Bag Bingo has been rescheduled to Saturday, May 22, 2021 still at North Carroll Community School. More details to come. Someone from the fundraising ministry will be in contact with all donors in the near future to discuss your donations/sponsorships.
Shultz’ Delicatessen Fundraiser Update
The Fundraising Crew, on behalf of St. Mary's U.C.C., thanks everyone for supporting our recent sandwich fundraising effort. Through your generous orders and donations, we raised over $1,000! It was quite a success and allows us to continue to provide much needed community support.
We are thinking about doing another similar fundraiser in the Fall. More info to follow on that.
Again, many thanks to everyone who had a hand in making this a successful event!
Consistory wants to know what is working and what is not in relation to our online worship and how to best support those without online access.
There are 2 different surveys—one online and one on paper (see below). If you have online access, please take a few minutes to answer the 6-question survey at the following link:
Each person should complete the survey.
For those without online access, please fill out the paper survey below. Tear off your completed survey, and mail to the church office at 1441 E. Mayberry Rd., Westminster, MD 21158.
Your input is highly valued and will help us to make needed improvements to our online worship experience.
Have you watched any of St. Mary’s online Sunday services or the Morning Daily Prayers? ____Yes ____No
Would you be interested in receiving recordings of Sunday services on DVD or CD?
**If yes, circle preferred format: DVD CD
Circle what technology you have access to at your residence: Smart Phone, Desktop/laptop/tablet/iPad, internet access, none that I am aware of
Would you like assistance in setting up access to our online Church services?
**If yes, provide a way for us to contact you or a family member __________________
Are you interested in receiving a weekly meal from our Church?
How can St. Mary’s support you during this challenging time? _______________
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 (email@example.com) with any questions on the program, including the special order code for the website if you don't already have an account. The next order deadline will be in late August 2nd, 8PM.
Pastoral & Congregational 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.