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Cape Elizabeth
United Methodist Church
280 Ocean House Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107



Pastor: Ruth Morrison

Sunday Worship
8 a.m. in the small chapel

10 a.m. in the sanctuary
(with child care
and Sunday School)

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Upcoming events 2014

Sunday, Oct. 26: First of four Sundays for the 2015 Stewardship Campaign.

Monday, Oct. 27: Craft-making workshop for items to be sold in December's Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair. Please help if you can during one or both of two sessions: 2-4 p.m. or 6:30-8 p.m. at the church. Workshops, led by Gail Parker, will be every Monday through the middle of November.

Tuesday, Oct. 28: Judy's Pantry, 3-5 p.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Saturday, Nov. 1: Public Supper at the church, 4:40-6 p.m. Beans, casseroles, breads, salads, pies. Adults: $8, Children: $5, Families (two adults and children): $20. Take-out available.

Sunday, Nov. 2: All-Saints Sunday


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Craft Workshop

October 19th, 2014, by Ted Haider


Crafty volunteers needed

Gail Parker is leading a series of Craft Workshops to create items for December’s Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair.

On Monday, Oct. 27, there will be workshops at the church from 2-4 p.m. and again from 6:30-8 p.m. Come to one or come to both to help with the creation of Christmas ornaments and Maine-themed gifts to be sold at the fair.

Gail has been  leading these workshops the past few Mondays and will coninue to do so on Mondays through mid-November.

 The Jolly Snowman is the biggest fund-raising event of the year for the church. Please support it in any way you can.

The fair will be Dec. 6.


New water line

October 13th, 2014, by Ted Haider


Project complete!

A new water line around the perimeter of the church has been installed by Tammaro Landscaping and the project to fix the leak detected during the summer is now complete.


The Portland Water District a few months ago notified the church that a leak likely existed but it was almost impossible to detect exactly where the leak was — except that it probably was under the church foundation.

The decision was made to cap the line that ran under the church and run a new line around the church, conecting to the Water District’s water main.


A four-foot-deep trench was dug, breaking through a layer of shale ledges, and then the new water piping was laid and covered by sand and insulation before a final layer of soil.


The work was completed on Oct. 9.

The cost of the project was approximately $11,000, but it was covered by money still remaining from the “Celebrating God’s Love” capital campaign that began in November 2012. That capital campaign was created to pay for the new furnace, new sound system for the sanctuary and the new commercial-grade dishwasher for the kitchen. But because donations exceeded the costs of the three projects, money remained to pay for the new water line.

Some members of the congregation spread their “Celebrating God’s Love” pledges over three years. If you did so, please honor your pledge with a third payment this fall or early next year.

Thank you to Trustee Duane Wakefield for overseeing all the details on this project.


Blessing of Animals

October 6th, 2014, by Ted Haider
The Rev. Ruth Morrison blesses two of the 31 dogs, one cat and one goat who took part in Sunday's Blessing of the Animals.

The Rev. Ruth Morrison blesses two of the 31 dogs, one cat and one goat who took part in Sunday's Blessing of the Animals.


Remembering our pets

Our church’s annual Blessing of the Animals took a new approach on Oct. 5, reflecting on our beloved pets who have died, as well as those who bring us so much joy every day.

Honoring the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Rev. Ruth Morrison talked about what it must be like for pets in Heaven and thought  it perhaps would be somewhat like Sunday’s gathering in the Outdoor Chapel of 31 dogs, one cat, one goat, three mechanical fish and their owners.


 The source of  The Rev. Morrison’s thoughts about pets in Heaven came from Revelation  5:11-14:

“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

And the four beasts said, Amen.”


And with that scripture reading, Ruth said, I do believe there are pets in heaven.


Before the actual blessing of animals at the special service, The Rev. Morrison asked everyone to fill out slips of paper with the names, and perhaps memories, of pets who are now likely in Heaven.


The slips of paper were then collected in a basket and placed on the new stone altar at the front of the Outdoor Chapel. Those pet memorials will be buried in the Outdoor Chapel, near the new stone altar, to be remembered at future blessings.


The annual blessing, which has taken place on the first Sunday of October since 2005, had many repeat participants, but also some dogs who were taking part for the first time. One of the oldest participants, who also took part in the 2005 blessing, was Moses who belongs to Jaymie Chamberlin and family. Moses will be 16 next week.

Moses arrives at the Animal Blessing in his own carrier.

Moses arrives at the Animal Blessing in his own wheeled carrier.

When it came time for his blessing, and a treat afterward Moses was full of energy.

When it came time for his blessing, and a treat afterward, Moses was full of energy in Jaymie Chamberlin's arms.

For the second year in a row, Jim Tammaro’s goat, Sugar, took part in the blessing. Some of the dogs appeared to have a difficult time relating to the non-canine, but Jim’s goat was very gracious with sharing the attention.


Nittany the cat was a first-time participant in the blessing, though he was content to remain securely inside his carrier.


Nittany the cat receiving his blessing.

Nittany receiving his blessing.

The Animal Blessing also included hymn singing, prayers, and other scripture readings relating to animals, such as Genesis 2:18:

“And then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the humans should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground, the Lord God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the air, and brought them to the human to see what he would call them, and whatever the human called every living creature, that was its name.

Cayden Royall and Shirkey Maxwell-Royall read scripture passages during the blessing.

Cayden Royall and Shirkey Maxwell-Royall read scripture passages during the blessing.

Throughout the blessings, Jasper Fontana helped the Rev. Morrison by giving each dog a treat, or two, or three . . .
When the blessings ended, many of the owners and their dogs walked off onto the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust trails behind the Outdoor Chapel. completing what had been a perfect afternoon for man and companions.
Matt Braun and Piper after the blessing.

Matt Braun and Piper after the blessing.

For more images of the 2014 Animal Blessing, click here:

Continue reading »

Maintaining creation

September 30th, 2014, by Ted Haider

Chris Franklin, executive of the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, addresses the church on Sunday, Sept. 28.

Stewards of the land

For four Sundays in September, the Rev. Ruth Morrison adapted her sermons to a “Season of Creation” theme, following a program established in New Zealand.

As the Season of Creation web site explains, “In the Seasons of Advent, Epiphany, Lent and Easter, we celebrate the Life of Christ. In the Season of Pentec0st, we celebrate the Holy Spirit. Now in the Season of Creation, we have the opportunity to celebrate creation and the Creator.”

For the first three Sundays, Ruth used the themes of Forest, Land and River, helping members of the church to better understand our need to be stewards of the land and our environment; the responsibility to care for the foundations of Creation.

On Sunday, Sept. 28, Ruth completed the Season of Creation series with a discussion of Wilderness and it was Chris Franklin, executive director of the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, who provided the congregation with the words to consider.


 The message of Chris’ talk was our “need to preserve” our environment and to make sure “we have a plan for these lands to be here, to be available for future generations.”

While Chris was referring to our lands as a whole, because of where we worship, he specifically was referring to the trails behind our church and Robinson Woods, key elements of the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust.

Chris reflected on the environmental initiatives of John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt and Rachel Carson and how his own lifetime has paralleled much of the environmental movement.

He singled out the 1969 Moon Landing as being a “real awakening for our society.”  He said as images of the Earth were sent back by Apollo 11 astronauts, we began to realize we were “just a little island in space.”

A year later, the first Earth Day was celebrated and other environmental acts and initiatives were soon to follow, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

Chris said awareness of issues like the regulations of pesticides and clear cutting of forests were then brought to the forefront. In Maine that meant cleaning up our rivers, particularily the Androscoggin and others that had become so polluted they sometimes would catch fire.

Chris explained that this is an important time to be considering all of these issues because next year will be Cape Elizabeth’s 250th anniversary and “we need to think about where we will be in the next 250 years.”


Chris Franklin talks in Fellowship Hall after addressing the Sept. 28 service.

Chris used this quote from Adlai Stevenson, delivered in 1965 to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, for us to ponder our responsibility to be caring stewards of our environment:

“We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed, for our safety, to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft.”

Thank you, Chris.

Miniature golf outing

September 27th, 2014, by Ted Haider


Fun afternoon on the greens

On a morning that started out with heavy rain, the church’s Adult Social Group spent a beautiful afternoon having a picnic lunch, playing miniature golf and having ice cream afterward, all at Martel’s in Saco on Sept. 21.


Seven couples took part, most of whom were amateurs in the sport, but there were at least two mini golf professionals who we won’t name — but they live on Hill Way.


The Adult Social Activity Group will gather again on Saturday, Oct. 18 for apple-picking at the Randall Orchards in Standish, followed by lunch at a restaurant in Gorham. We will gather at the church at 11 a.m. to car-pool to Standish.

All adults from the church and friends are invited to attend.



Click here for more images of the miniature golf outing: Continue reading »

Heifer Project

September 22nd, 2014, by Ted Haider


Learning to help others

Linda and Bob Webster introduced our Sunday School to the inner workings of the Heifer Project on Sunday, launching what will be a long-term iniative to teach our children about worldwide hunger and poverty.


Linda and Bob have worked at the Heifer International Farm in Alabama and on Sept. 21, they described their experiences to the children of our Sunday School while sharing a video presentation, reading a book about how a Heifer project can be a success, and even offering the children the opportunity to taste goat milk, goat cheese and goat yogurt, all products from Heifer projects.


The Heifer Project was introduced to the children on Sunday because throughout the school year, a collection will be taken from Sunday School participants to purchase a goat or flock of chicks, honey bees, llama or perhaps even a heifer.

The purchase and donation of these animals go to the Heifer Mission, which distributes them to families in poverty throughout the world, helping them to become self-reliant through the gifts they receive.

For example:

  • Goats can produce up to a ton of milk a year and give birth to twins or triplets.
  • Heifers can produce a calf every year and up to four gallons of milk a day.
  • Honey bees can supply beeswax and honey and improve crop yields through pollination.
  • Chickens can supply up to 200 eggs a year.
  • Llamas and alpacas suppy wool and carry loads where other animals can’t.

The Sunday School children learned all of this from Linda and Bob through their own experiences with Heifer International, but also when Linda read the group the story “Beatrice’s Goat.”




“Beatrice’s Goat” is a true story based on Beatrice Biira from Uganda, whose life was transformed when she received the gift of a goat from Heifer International. As a result of the goat and the milk it produced to sustain the family, Beatrice was able to attend school. She eventually went on to graduate from Connecticut College. The story was documented by 60 Minutes in 2005.


After hearing about Beatrice’s goat, the children on Sunday were given other projects connected with Heifer International.


The children had questions about how their dollars and coins could go toward the purchase of an animal. Linda and Bob explained the process and a collection was taken.


Through Heifer International, the cost of some of the animals:

  • Heifer: $500
  • Share of Heifer: $50
  • Llama: $150
  • Goat: $120
  • Share of Goat: $10
  • Honey Bees: $30
  • Flock of Chicks: $20


Ckick here for more information on Heifer International: Heifer

Since 1944, Heifer International has helped 18.5 million families in more than 125 countries.

Craft Workshop

September 20th, 2014, by Ted Haider


Help prepare for Jolly Snowman Fair

Gail Parker will lead a craft workshop on Monday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the church, helping interested volunteers to create Maine-themed items for December’s Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair.

The fair will have a special table this year for items created in Maine. This is your opportunity to contribute.

Gail had many of the items she already has created on display at the church during August’s Spaghetti Supper.

Water line problem

August 26th, 2014, by Ted Haider

Digging to determine in which direction the water leak is between the church and parsonage, took place on Tuesday, Aug. 26 by Tamarro Landscaping.

Looking for the leak

The Portland Water District has informed the church we have a leak in the water line that runs from our water meter to the church and/or parsonage. The problem is, we don’t know where the leak is, but we need to find it and fix it.

Even though there are no visible signs of the leak, the water district says that one exists because our monthly water usage has increased significantly. In July of last year, the church and parsonage used 11,220 gallons of water. This July we were billed for 33,156 gallons.

To help determine where the leak is, Tammaro Landscaping has dug up a known water connection between the church and the parsonage. By shutting off the water from one direction and then the other from this connection, it has been determined the leak is apparently between the connection and the church.

Duane Wakefield of the Trustees will be working with the Church Council on how best to proceed to fix the leak.

“It won’t be cheap, no matter which way we go,” Duane told the council on Aug. 12. “But this needs to be fixed.”

How the repairs will be paid for will be a decision for the congregation to make. Similar to how we have funded other expensive projects, a loan might be taken from the New England Conference and then repaid over time with pledges from church members.

Better piano for chapel

August 24th, 2014, by Ted Haider
With the Rev. Ruth Morrison looking on, Gail Parker tests the recently donated piano for the chapel.

With the Rev. Ruth Morrison looking on, Gail Parker tests the recently donated piano for the chapel.


Donation from Elizabeth Betty Peterson

Beginning for this Sunday’s early service, a different piano will be in the chapel, one better suited for the size and acoustics of the room.

The George Steck piano was donated to the church by Elizabeth Betty Peterson, who has been attending our church in recent years after moving to Village Crossing.

Betty Peterson was a friend of Stephen Bither’s mother, starting back in the 1950s, when they both went to the Woodford’s Church and lived in the same Portland neighborhood. The Petersons moved to Hannaford Cove in Cape Elizabeth later in the ’50s, but remained friends with the Bithers.

Betty moved to Village Crossing last year and the family wanted to renovate the Fowler Road home before selling it. In the house was the George Steck piano and Betty’s daughter, Anne, contacted Jane Beckwith and wanted to know if she knew of anyone who needed a piano.  Jane contacted Stephen and Stephen contacted other piano players who agreed the current one in the chapel had its problems.

Stephen, Mark Braun, Paula House  and Gail Parker all played the piano and agreed it would be a good fit for the chapel. Jane contacted Stephen and Stephen contacted other piano players

The Petersons paid for the move and also will pay for the tuning.

“It’s a special gift with a special meaning,” Stephen said.

Thank you, Peterson family!

Judy’s Pantry

August 22nd, 2014, by Ted Haider

Pantry Coordinator Nancy Miles and her volunteers prepare fresh produce on a recent Tuesday afternoon.


Height of the season

With its donations of fresh produce from Cape farms. two community gardens and some local residents, Judy’s Pantry is in full swing for its summer clients.

The pantry is open every Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. in the Sunshine Room of our church for Cape residents looking for better food to make healthy meals.


Pantry Coordinator Nancy Miles reports the Cape farms at Jordan’s, Green Spark and Alewive’s, in addition to the two community gardens, in recent weeks have provided lettuce, potatoes, corn, beets, beans, zucchini and summer squash, cucumbers and some more unusual items such as garlic scapes, kohlrabi, and bok choi.


The pantry this summer is serving 30-35 families each week and 45 households overall — some do not come every week.


Even with fresh produce now available, the pantry still needs our help with providing non-perishable items as often as possible, such as cans of tuna, boxes or containers of pasta, juices, peanut butter, salad dressing, cereals, canned fruit, cleaning products, tomato or pasta sauces, paper products, and pet food.

Please bring your donations to the church and leave them in the shopping cart in Fellowship Hall.


Fresh cut flowers arrangements also are available each week from the pantry’s “flower ladies,” more than enough for each client to receive one.


Participants at the pantry include those on Social Security or disability fixed incomes, single parents with children, large families with a number of children, and those who have lost jobs or who have high medical expenses.