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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

Tuesday, Sept. 30: Judy's Pantry, 3-5 p.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Saturday, Oct. 4: Heirloom Supper at the church, a public supper featuring dishes created with local vegetables and ingredients, 4:30-6 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 5: Blessing of the Animals, on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, 2 p.m. in the outdoor chapel. All animals and the public are invited to attend.


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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.

Spaghetti Supper 2014

August 2nd, 2014, by Ted Haider


Community connections

After months of planning, discussions and preparations, our church hosted its first summer Spaghetti Supper on the eve of Cape Elizabeth’s Beach to Beacon Road Race.

We didn’t have quite the turnout for which we had hoped, but the 75 members of the church and community who turned out were enthusiastic about this inital venture for a community event in the summer.


Most impressively, we had a strong volunteer crew, pulled together by Supper Organizer Stephen Bither and Volunteer Coordinator Jaymie Chamberlin. Thank you to everyone who assisted in so many ways. And a special thanks to Brenda Simpson for all of her work in the kitchen!

Brenda Simpson and Nancy Johnson prepare the evening's first batch of spaghetti.

Brenda Simpson and Nancy Johnson prepare the evening's first batch of spaghetti.

First-time events are rarely successes — even the first few Super Bowls weren’t sellouts — but Friday’s Spaghetti Supper was a strong learning process and stepping stone for future summer ventures.


Camille Braun and Elvis (Derry Rundlett) do their best to get passers-by to turn into the church parking lot.


Last-minute planning for Stephen Bither and Jaymie Chamberlin.

Last-minute planning for Stephen Bither and Jaymie Chamberlin.

The serving was well staffed -- and very friendly!

The serving line was well staffed -- and very friendly!



The Rev. Ruth Morrison (right) even took some time out to have spaghetti with Natalie Charles.

The Rev. Ruth Morrison (right) even took some time out to have spaghetti with Natalie Charles.

As with most church suppers, Dick Banks was our money man.

As with most church suppers, Dick Banks was our money man.

People who attended the supper included church members, families and friends.

People who attended the supper included church members, families and friends.


Kathie Hackett was one of the early preparer of salads and other foods.

Kathie Hackett was one of the early preparers of salads and other foods.

We were prepared to use plenty of spaghetti.

We were prepared to use plenty of spaghetti.

Gail Parker was ready for the sale of Maine souvenirs, which she created.

Gail Parker was ready for the sale of Maine souvenirs, which she created.

We had plenty of behind-the-scenes help, including Sarah Gagne in the kitchen.

We had plenty of behind-the-scenes help, including Sarah Gagne in the kitchen.

Before Elvis arrived, Duane Wakefield was drumming up business on busy Ocean House Road.

Before Elvis arrived, Duane Wakefield was drumming up business on busy Ocean House Road.

Toward the end of the evening, Channel 13 documented our event.

Toward the end of the evening, Channel 13 documented our event.

Ruth made sure to offer a blessing for Elvis.

Ruth made sure to offer a blessing for Elvis.


Church Picnic

July 16th, 2014, by Ted Haider


An evening at Fort Williams

The first of four Intergenerational Summertime Gatherings for our church was held on Monday, July 7, a pot-luck picnic at Fort Williams.

Thank you to Mark Braun, Sarah Gagne and Mariah Parker for this collection of photos. And also thank you to Sarah for organizing the event.














Cape Critters

July 13th, 2014, by Ted Haider

  critter 2014

Fun for Family, July 15

The second of four Summertime Intergenerational Gatherings will take place on Tuesday, July 15 at the church, an evening of creating “Cape Critters” with Lisa Larrabee. Meet at the church at 6 p.m. for this evening of creation and self-expression. Pizza will be served.

As Lisa explained, “Cape Critters are soft, blank fleece shells, waiting to be brought to life through the love and creativity of each individual artist. Like a blank canvas waiting for an artist’s brush, they are a perfect craft medium to promote self-expression through creativity.”

During the past four years, Lisa has taken her Cape Critters to a number of workshops, classes and fundraisers.

“I truly love to bring this activity to anyone who resonates with it,” Lisa said, “and my intention is to continue to use this craft medium to spread love and goodwill where it is needed in the world.”

Lisa’s willingness to bring her Critters to our summer gathering and share her passion for what they stand for will be an excellent opportunity for our families, friends and individuals of all ages.

“Kids love to make each Critter special and personal,” Lisa said, “and they take great pride in their work. The ‘young at heart’ love them, too, and are encouraged to take part in this special opportunity by helping a small child with a Critter and/or making a Critter of their own. “

And while we are creating Critters with Lisa, pizza will be served for supper.

After Tuesday’s evening with Lisa’s Critters, there will be two more Intergenerational Summertime Gatherings at the church:

On Wednesday, July 23, Natalie and Ann Underdown will lead us for an evening of understanding and appreciating Contemporary Christian Music. Meet at the church at 6 p.m. Pizza will be served.

Our final gathering of the summer will be Wednesday, August 13 for a movie night to see “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of his Trip to Heaven and Back.” Pizza again will be served for our supper together.

Join us for any or all of this summertime activities and always bring family and friends.