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

Phone:
207-799-8396

E-mail: capeelizabethumc@aol.com

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 2015

Sunday, April 19: Adult Education Class, "Letters to Christian Leaders," by the Rev. Jim Young, 9 a.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Sunday, April 26: Adult Education Class, "Letters to Christian Leaders," by the Rev. Jim Young, 9 a.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Sunday, May 3: Adult Education Class, "Letters to Christian Leaders," by the Rev. Jim Young, 9 a.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Sunday, May 10: Adult Education Class, "Letters to Christian Leaders," by the Rev. Jim Young, 9 a.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Sunday, May 17: Adult Education Class, "Letters to Christian Leaders," by the Rev. Jim Young, 9 a.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Sunday, May 24: Adult Education Class, "Letters to Christian Leaders," by the Rev. Jim Young, 9 a.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Saturday, May 30: Volunteer Day at Preble Street Soup Kitchen. Kitchen help should arrive at 10:15 a.m. and servers at 11:30 a.m. for the noon meal.

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Easter 2015

April 6th, 2015, by Ted Haider
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Jesus greets worshipers during the Sunrise Service at Two Lights.

Remembrance and greeting

With the moon setting, the sun rising, birds singing in the trees and the incoming tide breaking on the rocks at Two Lights, our worship on Easter Sunday morning was a dawning of new life in many ways.

The Sunrise Service, hosted by the United Methodist Churches of the Casco Bay Cluster and the Cape Elizabeth Church of the Nazarene, offered the traditional lessons of Jesus’ resurrection, but on this Easter morning, we also heard a remembrance directly from Mary Magdalene. It was a stirring perspective we often don’t hear.

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Mary, portrayed by the Rev. Dodie Sheffield of the West Scarborough UMC, told how she had become a follower of Jesus, only to see him arrested, tried and sentenced to death. But following the crucifixion, she told in detail and with great emotion how she found the empty tomb and witnessed the miracle of the resurrection.

And when Mary had finished with her vivid remembrance, the sun began to rise above the ocean’s horizon and Jesus, portrayed by Mark Braun, came walking from the far end of the Two Lights outcropping of rocks. One by one, he greeted each of the nearly 80 worshipers, and even some of their dogs. It was a solemn moment.

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Following the 6 a.m. Sunrise Service, a sanctuary service was held at our church, welcoming many regular members, but also many family and friends.

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A special time of learning for the children and reflection for adults came during the Children’s Story portion of the service when the Rev. Ruth Morrison got her hands a little dirty and became a gardener.

To tell the Easter story, Ruth gathered the children in front of the altar and brought out a shallow planting pot. With a large spoon, she asked the children to fill the pot with black soil she had in another container.

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As she told the story, Ruth asked the children to help her add a small open container, which would serve as a tomb, a large rock, three crosses, weaved together with palm fronds, and small pebbles for the base of a hill.

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Finally, Ruth had each of the children scatter some grass seed and fertilizer over the scene and soaked it with water. “Now,” she told the children, “we’ll watch it grow.”

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During Sunday School, the children added to their lessons of new life by again learning about elements of the Easter story from Carol Hubbard and then coloring cutouts and images of butterflies.

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Thank you to everyone who contributed flowers and plants for display in front of the altar as memorials our loved ones.

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And also thank you to everyone who purchased Easter cakes from Katie Hackett and the United Methodist Women. A total of 40 personalized cakes were made by Kathie and the UMW and proceeds will go toward scholarship money for Camp Mechuwana.

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Click here for more images of the Easter services: Continue reading »

Easter Egg Hunt and Activities

April 4th, 2015, by Ted Haider

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Color and joy of the season

The church’s traditional Egg Hunt and Activities on the day before Easter once again brought together children from the church and community to unleash pent-up energy from a long winter and gather the promise of brighter things to come.

There was an egg hunt throughout the sanctuary and Fellowship Hall, egg coloring, cutout Easter basket creations, mural-painting, the transferring of colorful designs from silk ties to eggs, other arts and crafts, the planting of seeds in small containers of soil and, of course, the grand finale of the breaking of a pinata.

There was something for all interests and the children seemed to have an interest in just about all.

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There even was a visit from a six-foot Easter Bunny who had the rare opportunity to meet a bunny of a more routine size. Janet Mageles of the World of Wonders Nursery School was gracious enough to bring one of the “live” bunnies from her classroom.

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The gathering was once again a success because of the help and contributions from many parents and adults. Thank you also to everyone who contributed donations during last Sunday’s offering to help purchase the candy used throughout Saturday’s activities.

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The scramble for candy from the broken pinata.

Click here for more images of the Easter Egg Hunt and Activities: Continue reading »

Maundy Thursday

April 3rd, 2015, by Ted Haider

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Remembering the Last Supper

On an evening when church members read scripture, the choir’s hymn selection set a tone, and two ministers conveyed messages of caring and looking out for each other, the poignant moments of The Last Supper were re-enacted and remembered.

On this Maundy Thursday, members of the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church and the Cape Elizabeth Church of the Nazarene gathered to witness and reflect on Jesus’ final gathering with his disciples before his crucifixion.

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The service included a tableau of Jesus washing the feet of anyone wishing to participate. There also was a washing of hands, again for anyone wishing to participate.

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From John 13:12-17

“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you,’ he asked them. ‘You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

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From Matthew 17:26-29

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’ “


Everyone who attended the Maundy Thursday service, was then asked to come together as family and come forward to receive Communion.

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“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

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For this Maundy Thursday service, Jesus was portrayed by Matt Braun and his disciples were portrayed by Zach Wright and Bryan Cobb. The Rev. Ruth Morrison of the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church and the Rev. Jon Twitchell of the Cape Elizabeth Church of the Nazarene led the service.

Images of God

March 29th, 2015, by Ted Haider

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Youthful interpretations

During Sunday School on March 29, Mark McDowell spoke with our children about  God and that God’s most precious gifts to us aren’t toys or games; it’s more about the quality of our lives and how good our lives can be.

Mark explained that he speaks with God many times each day about how good his life is and that we all should think about having similar conversations.

As a Sunday School exercise, Mark, Carol Hubbard and Belinda Parker guided the children with creating images of what God might look like — colorful, vibrant and full of life.

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Mark McDowell with the Sunday School class.

Mark McDowell with the Sunday School class. (Photo by Carol Hubbard)

Heifer Project

March 15th, 2015, by Ted Haider

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Cookies for Goats

As an early St. Patrick’s Day exercise, the Sunday School class on March 15 baked and decorated cookies with green icing and sprinkles and offered them after the 10 a.m. service as a means of raising money for their Heifer Project.

During Fellowship Time, adults sampled the St. Patrick cookies while providing donations that will go toward the purchase of goats from Heifer International.

Throughout this school year, the children of Sunday School have been been donating their own money as part of a lesson to learn about worldwide hunger and poverty. Through Heifer International, Sunday School classes can purchase a number of animals to be donated to families in poverty throughout the world, but our Sunday School has selected goats as the choice of their fund-raising efforts.

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Through Heifer International, each goat costs $120 and with Sunday’s cookie project, our Sunday School now has enough money for two goats. For families in need, goats are an excellent source of milk, cheese and yogurt.

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To help prepare the children for the baking and decorating of the cookies, Kim Flanagan led a lesson on St. Patrick and his religious missions in Ireland.

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The older members of Sunday School worked in the  kitchen, preparing and baking cookies while the younger children enjoyed the decorating.

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There also was time for some sampling.

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During Fellowship Time, everyone had the opportunity to admire and taste the results of the Sunday School’s lesson.

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Click here for more images of the Sunday School’s cookie project: Continue reading »

Jazz Sunday 2015

March 9th, 2015, by Ted Haider

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Glorious Revival

Three weeks after it was postponed because of still another snowstorm, Jazz Sunday was finally celebrated on March 8 with Mardi-Gras style music throughout the 10 a.m. service and the fellowship of a pancake brunch afterward.

It was a celebratory morning worth waiting for.

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Stephen Bither once again was masterful at pulling together a group of his jazz-savvy friends, gracing the service with spirit-lifting favorites from “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” to “Amazing Grace.”

For the musicians, the gathering also was a time to reflect on the life of one of their own. Roger Snow, who was a regular at many Jazz Sundays with his trombone, passed away last Sunday at age 90.

As a tribute to Roger, his trombone and trademark hat were placed next to an empty chair in front of the altar for this year’s Jazz Sunday.

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Roger Snow during the 2011 Jazz Sunday

This year’s participants included Peter Lord on soprano saxophone, Bill Thurston on drums, Peter Dunphy on banjo, Tom Wilbur on tuba, Eric Anderson on trombone, Barry Daniels on clarinet and, of course, Stephen Bither on piano.

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The church choir once again was a complementary addition for the jazz musicians, including Choir Director Faith York on her ukulele and Gail Parker on the organ.

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A new addition to this year’s repertoire of jazz was our church’s own Tyler Rodenberger, who performed a stirring rendition of “Clarinet Blues” on the organ.

Tyler Rodenberger

Tyler Rodenberger

Another addition to this year’s Jazz service was Stephen Bither leading the Children’s Story, explaining to children young and old that Jesus wants us to be friends with each other and that we should treasure those friendships throughout our lives. Following his advice, Stephen led the jazz musicians, choir and congregation in singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

Stephen Bither

Stephen Bither

This year’s Jazz Sunday was even more festive than usual — even though it fell on the Third Sunday of Lent rather than the Sunday before Ash Wednesday — largely because of the colorful decorating done throughout the church by Betty-Jane Shreve and the handing out of Mardi-Gras beads to everyone as they entered the sanctuary.

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New church member Clint Lawrence led a kitchen crew in the preparation of pancakes and sausage for the brunch following the service. It was a busy weekend for Clint in the kitchen — he also washed dishes during Saturday night’s Bean Supper. Thank you to everyone for their many contributions.

Clint Lawrence in the kitchen

Clint Lawrence in the kitchen

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Click here for more images of Jazz Sunday: Continue reading »

Rainbow Sunday

February 23rd, 2015, by Ted Haider

“Then God said, ‘I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures. for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures.”

Genesis 9:12-15

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Displaying God’s covenant

On the first Sunday of Lent, while Jaymie Chamberlin read Genesis 9 about God’s covenant with Noah being a rainbow and the Rev. Ruth Morrison’s sermon following the same theme, the children of Sunday School offered their own perspective.

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Led by Sunday School coordinator Carol Hubbard and helper Mariah Higley, children used squirt bottles filled with colorful dyes to create rainbows, hearts and other imaginative designs in the large snow banks by the front and side entrances to the church.

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It was a perfect Sunday School lesson for the children and an immediate reinforcement of the day’s scripture reading for adults when they left the Sunday service.

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In her benediction, the Rev. Morrison challenged members of the congregation to spend Lent looking for the rainbows in their lives and sharing those memories  each Sunday during our worship together.

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To emphasize the rainbow theme of Sunday’s service, Stephen Bither and Faith York performed a special rendition of “The Rainbow Connection” from “The Muppet Movie” during the Offertory and during the Prelude, organist Gail Parker played a medley of rainbow-related songs, including the always thought-provoking “Somewhere over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz.”

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When members of the church arrived at the Sunday service, they were greeted with another form of a rainbow: water-filled, frozen balloons with colored water inside of each, thanks to the creativity of Chris DeSantis.

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Thank you to all who made this rainbow-filled Sunday possible!

Click here for more images of the children’s Sunday School project:   Continue reading »

Blizzard Warning

February 13th, 2015, by Ted Haider

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Jazz Sunday postponed

Because of the forecast for blizzard conditions on Saturday night and Sunday, Jazz Sunday, originally scheduled for Feb. 15, has been postponed. For anyone wishing to still attend a service, however, the Rev. Ruth Morrison said there will be regular worship on Sunday morning.

Jazz Sunday has been rescheduled for March 8 at 10 a.m., including the Mardi-Gras music during worship and the pancake brunch afterward.

An Ash Wednesday service will be held at our church on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.

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United Methodist Women

February 11th, 2015, by Ted Haider

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Valentines from the heart

At its monthly meeting on Feb. 10, the United Methodist Women created Valentine cards from a table filled with hearts, ribbons, lace, glue sticks and rubber stamps with messages of endearment.

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When the hand-crafted Valentines were completed, following some careful scrutiny, they were mailed to members of the church and community who have a difficult time getting out at this time of the year.

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Prior to the card-making session and its monthly lunch together, the women gathered in the chapel for a time of reflection and prayer to honor Joanne Scontras, a longtime member of the UMW who passed away on Feb. 2.

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The UMW’s next meeting is Tuesday, March 10 at 1 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. All women of the church and their friends are invited to attend.

Heifer Project

February 10th, 2015, by Ted Haider
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(Photos by Laura Young)

Learning about hunger, poverty

Each Sunday since September, our Sunday School has been taking a collection for the Heifer Project, an initiative to teach our children about worldwide hunger and poverty.

Bob and Linda Webster introduced the children to the Heifer Project in September and gave them a refresher course on Feb. 8, just prior to their trip to the Heifer International Farm in Alabama.

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The weekly Sunday School collections will go toward  the purchase of a goat, a 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 a 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.

Through Heifer International, the cost of the animals:

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

If you have children in our Sunday School, please help them to contribute to the Heifer Project.

Click here for more information on Heifer International: Heifer