The journey of faith asks us to tell the truth about ourselves: we’ve all got stuff to work through in our lives.
Faith also requires us to tell a deeper, more profound truth: with all of my stuff God still loves me more than I’ll ever know and is working, right now, in my life.
Lent is about telling both truths and going on that journey. The first step of that 40-day journey is Ash Wednesday. We’d love for you to come along. Join us as we kick off Lent on February 22nd for Ash Wednesday - 7:30 AM and 7:00 PM, in-person and online.
EASTER PRAYER VIGUAL
Worship is gearing up for the season of Lent. Last year we had an amazing experience with an Easter vigil from Good Friday @ 7:00 pm until 6:30 am Easter Sunrise service. If you are interested in being a part of this for the first time, or again, this year please reach out to the church office.
Keep an eye out for more Easter information in the coming weeks.
Sign up for our weekly St. Mary’s Prayer Newsletter. Every week, you’ll get an updated and detailed prayer list, announcements for the week, and some original content from Pastor Sam. It’s the best place to stay up to date with St. Mary’s in every way!
2023 CONSISTORY GOALS
The following Consistory Goals were shared with the congregation at our annual meeting on 1/29/2023:
To improve congregational communications by continuing to evaluate and implement appropriate strategies, alignment, tools, and training.
To engage every member of the congregation in the life and mission of the church.
To ensure every environment at St. Mary's welcomes, connects, and inspires all to love God and our neighbors.
Although Consistory sets these goals, please note that every member of the congregation has an active role in helping to meet the goals. Saint Mary’s needs your continued participation in one or more of our ministries and your sharing of suggestions, questions, and concerns.
“One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure”
To prepare for the continued refurbishment and refreshment of the Church Building the Ministries of the Church are going to be discarding a lot of used materials that have been collecting over the years. Although much of the discarded material is of no use to anyone, there are several items that someone may wish to have. Items being discarded may include the following: Tables (including conference room tables and folding tables), chairs, office furniture, a sound mixing board, dishes, and church pews (of varying lengths). Details as to exactly what, when, and how to choose and take ownership of items will be shared during the first two weeks of February.
SPIRITUAL FORMATION MINISTRY
The Spiritual Formation Ministry Team has wonderful events and programs coming up and we've got a couple of dates we want you to put on the calendar!
All are invited to join us on Super BOWL SUNDAE for a fun afternoon of bowling and an ice cream sundae social on Sunday, February 12th at South Hanover Lanes. We will enjoy time together at table fellowship and then head over to South Hanover Lanes around 1 pm to enjoy bowling, an ice cream bar, door prizes, and more! For more information contact the church office or Leeann. Sign-up for this event will be sent out in a separate email.
Palm Sunday, April 2, 2023, will be our ALL AGES Easter Egg Hunt and Spring gathering.
More info will be forthcoming.
Spring is right around the corner and the garden planning is underway. More information will be shared in the next newsletter.
FINANCE REPORT, December 2022:
Below is a summary of church finances and other related items for the end of October:
General Fund: Budget %
Total Income: $ 205,237.49 112.2 % (approximately 25% of the budget is GF carryover from 2021)
Expenses: $ 221,114.50 91.1%
$ - 15,877.01
Wider Church Giving:
Total Income: $ 14,200.00
Expenses: $ 12,500.00
As you can see by the above budget numbers for the year our total income (donations and investments) were 12% more or $22,000 more than we budgeted while our expenses were 9% or $21,500 less than budgeted. We equaled our Wider Church Giving of $12,500 and we continued to be a UCC “5 for 5” church. The Consistory decided to give $1,000 to BridgingLife (formerly Carroll Hospice) and $700 to the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company. In addition to the WCG giving, we gave $10,422.96 in additional donations to local, state, national and international organizations to help those in need.
During December, we received the following donations:
$294.00 for the Silver Run Pantry. Year to date we have received $3,832.00 for the Pantry.
$310.00 for the Digital Fund and for the year we received $3,315.00. We ended the year with $1,250.00 in the Fund.
Our Veterans Day donation to Donate Outreach for Veterans Corps (DOVE) was $125 and for the year we donated $330. This organization is a 501c(3) company that finds donors who are willing to donate a kidney to a veteran.
I thank all of you for your “Stewardship” in the way of our time, talent and treasurers that helped increase our visibility in the larger Silver Run/Union Mills community and provided us with the ability to help those in need.
Thank you for your continued support to St. Mary’s and to our outreach activities. The Consistory has several new initiatives on 2023 that will need our stewardship to be successful.
Chairman, Finance Ministry
St Mary’s UCC has traditionally been recognized as a 5 for 5 church within the UCC denomination. The success and sustainability of the United Church of Christ’s national ministries is relying on church contributions for basic operating support and mission. Being 5 for 5 means that our church is a leader, providing support to Our Church’s Wider Mission and the Special Mission Offerings: One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen The Church, Neighbors In Need, and The Christmas Fund. Please prayerfully consider supporting Our Church’s Wider Mission that is collected throughout the year as well as the special offerings on the following dates:
One Great Hour of Sharing March 19, 2023
Strengthen the Church June 4, 2023
Neighbors In Need October 1, 2023
Christmas Fund all of December 2023
We also intend to continue support for the Ministers Financial Vitality Initiative in September 2023 and Veteran’s organizations in November 2023.
We’re working closely with the leadership at Shepherd’s Staff to determine ways that St Mary’s can help meet their ongoing needs, through volunteers and donations. And we’re opening lines of communication or renewing pre-pandemic relationships with several other community support organizations.
Stay tuned for further details relating to each special opportunity and how you can help!
MARK YOUR CALENDERS
Sunday, February 12th: Super Bowl Sundae
Wednesday, February 22nd: Ash Wednesday service @ 7:30 AM and 7 PM
Thursday, March 6th: Maundy Thursday service
Friday, March 7th: Good Friday service
Saturday, March 18th: Family Pot Luck Bingo
Sunday, April 2nd: All ages Easter Egg Hunt and Spring Gathering
Saturday, May 6th: Designer Bag Bingo
ANNUAL DESIGNER BAG BINGO
MAY 6, 2023
LOCATION: North Carroll Community School
401 Stone Road, Westminster, MD 21158
Are you ready to get your Bingo on? Get your daubers out and your lucky trolls dusted off and come join us for a night of fun, food, and fundraising. You can expect the usual over-the-top raffles, delicious food, and games of chance during the evening.
Fundraising provides St. Mary’s with many opportunities to support our church mission, the community, and local organizations including the Silver Run Food Pantry, Shepherd’s Staff, Human Services Programs of Carroll County (Cold Weather Shelter), the Rape Crisis Intervention Service, the Street Light Fund, Community Emergency Fund, For the Love of a Veteran, Together We Own It, and Caring Carroll. We truly appreciate all that everyone does to make this event a true success.
We had a good start getting purses and other prizes sponsored in 2020 but everything came to a grinding halt when Covid hit. So, in the next few weeks, we will bring the remaining purses to church to display those in need of sponsors plus a list of door prizes, tiebreakers, and other items available for sponsorship
If anyone is interested in sponsoring a bag, donating raffle items, or gift cards, please see Debbie , Lisa, Carla, or Emily for more information.
If you are interested in volunteering to help at the event, we are looking for individuals to help with the concession stand, bake table, working the floor to call out winning numbers, set-up and clean-up, and selling raffle tickets throughout the evening (it takes a village to pull this off and we are appreciative of everyone’s help).
The flyer is forthcoming with all the details. In the meantime, mark your calendars and save the date.
The Fundraising Crew
PLANNING CENTER UPDATE
We are through the early transition phase with Planning Center, our new church-wide database. For those who have accessed the Church Center app, feel free to browse newly added features. You may begin seeing emails from us inviting you to join the online directory. You have complete control over what information you’d like shared. The directory is secure and can only be accessed by invitation via our database administrators. Please review your profile information for accuracy and update as needed.
If you haven’t signed up for the app, we encourage you to give it a try. Once Planning Center is fully operational, you’ll have access to many helpful components, plus the ability to manage your own data.
Please contact Sabrina or Vicki for assistance or any questions.
SAVE THE DATE: MARCH 18, 2022
FOR OUR ANNUAL
SPRING FLING FAMILY POT LUCK BINGO
*FOOD AND PRIZES GALORE*
FUN FOR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF ALL AGES
JUST ARRIVE WITH YOUR FAVORITE DISH OR DESSERT
Doors open at 5:45
DINNER WILL BE FROM 6 P.M. TIL 7 P.M. WITH BINGO TO FOLLOW.
PLEASE SIGN UP IN THE VESTRY
CONGREGATIONAL LIFE WILL PROVIDE MEAT, DRINK, ROLLS, AND PLACE SETTINGS.
We are pleased to announce that Sabrina H was selected to fill the Administrative Associate position at St. Mary’s. Sabrina is no stranger to St. Mary’s as she’s been part of our staff for many years as the Financial Secretary. She will continue in both roles for the foreseeable future while we transition to the new church management software. Additionally, to ensure a smooth transition of administrative duties, Lisa and Sabrina will work together over the next several weeks. Once this transition period ends, the church office hours will be Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
As we welcome Sabrina to her new role, we bid a fond farewell to Lisa who worked tirelessly as the Administrative Associate since 2019. On behalf of Church and Ministry, Rob and I would like to express to Lisa, our sincere appreciation for her outstanding efforts in the workplace. Not only did she successfully navigate office operations through a pandemic, but she also oversaw the transition of many of the technology upgrades during 2020 and 2021. We thank Lisa for her hard work and dedication over the past 4 years.
Church and Ministry
The Flower Calendar for 2022 is open for sign-ups. Sign up for an open Sunday on the flower calendar on the bulletin board next to the church office.
You can order from the Flower Shop (717-359-4824). They have a key and will pick up the inserts, deliver the arrangement to the church, and place it on the altar. You can also order from another florist or make your own arrangement. But, you will be responsible for picking up the inserts and then delivering the arrangement to the church which will have to be coordinated during a time when the church is unlocked.
Also, you will have to provide the flower dedication no later than the Thursday prior to the Sunday you chose.