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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 2015

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Judy's Pantry, 3-5 p.m. in the Sunshine Room.


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Summer Gathering

August 14th, 2015, by Ted Haider


Evening at Higgins Beach

On a perfect summer evening with a gentle ocean breeze, dramatic clouds highlighting the hues of a setting sun and not a mosquito to be heard — or felt — church members and friends gathered at Higgins Beach on Aug. 13  for some quality time of renewing friendships and, in some cases, creating new ones.

At the summer home of Jack and Boodie Mitchell, overlooking Higgins Beach and an ocean dotted with surfers, more than 25 gathered for two hours of festive conversation and the sharing of three tables of a pot-luck supper.


Some people arrived early for a walk on the beach, some went searching in tidal pools with the out-going tide, and at least one — Rick Fontana — went surfing. But for the most part, it was summer fellowship, beginning with a group prayer and easing into a myriad of stories about vacations, camping, traveling, hiking and visits with families.


Thank you to Jack and Boodie for providing the hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks, but most of all for sharing an idyllic evening on the Maine coast.










Making Joyful Music

July 10th, 2015, by Ted Haider


Guggenmusik in the Cape

The Swiss festival merriment of impromptu music-making was the focus of a summer evening gathering of church members on July 9, turning Hunts Point Road in the Cape into a parade of singing, drum-banging, tamborine-shaking, flute-tooting and maracas-jingling.

It was a heartfelt, creative interpretation of Psalm 100: “Make a joyful noise unto the  Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing.”

And in His presence, there was singing . . . and much more.

Organized by the Rev. Ruth Morrison and hosted by Margaret and Mark Braun, the evening began inside Mark and Margret’s home with the singing of hymns and camp songs, accompanied by a variety of instruments — some traditional, some not.

It all was in keeping with the Swiss custom of Guggenmusik — singing and making music any way possible while wearing carnival masks. Mark Braun’s family roots stretch deep into Switzerland and on this night, Mark introduced the Swiss tradition to our church family.

Mark Braun talks to the church gathering about Guggenmusik.

Mark Braun talks to the church gathering about Guggenmusik.

One of the most creative moments of the evening came when the Rev. Morrison transformed a badminton net into a musical score and handed each member of the gathering a cut-out musical note. Everyone was then asked to attach their note to the score in a random manner.


When all of the notes were in place, music magician Stephen Bither was asked to play the score on the piano. Stephen at first played the basic notes in a melody, but with each replaying of the melody, he added new layers of accompaniment until the group’s random notes became a jazzy song. It was music magic — no doubt!

Stephen Bither creating music from the randomly created musical score.

Stephen Bither creating music from the randomly created musical score.

Throughout the evening, more instruments were added to each selected hymn or song, creating what only The Lord would probably consider a “joyful noise.”

Betty-Jane Shreve selected a bamboo rainstick as her musical instrument.

Betty-Jane Shreve selected a bamboo rainstick as her musical instrument.

When everyone was comfortable with the essence of Guggenmusik and the joyful noises they were making inside, the merriment moved outside as a parade down Hunts Point Road.


In place of the masks usually worn at a Guggenmusik event, most participants on this evening wore hats of all shapes, sizes and designs while parading down the street, serenading unsuspecting neighbors.


By the end of the evening, it wasn’t sure if the group had accomplished the goal of fulfilling John Wesley’s guide for singing Methodists:

Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature.

But it sure was a good effort!


Thank you to the Rev. Ruth Morrison and Mark and Margaret Braun for organizing this fun-filled evening of Guggenmusik in the Cape.

Click here for a few more images of the music-making: Continue reading »

Judy’s Pantry

July 5th, 2015, by Ted Haider
Pantry Coordinator Nancy Miles prepares a client's bag during a recent Pantry Day.

Pantry Coordinator Nancy Miles prepares a client's bag during a recent Pantry Day.

Open for business every Tuesday

Even though a full range of fresh produce will not be available for a week or two, Judy’s Pantry, which operates in the Sunshine Room of our church, is now open every Tuesday from 3-5 p.m.

On July 7, the pantry offered individuals and families fresh lettuce and spinach, beets, and sugar peas, as well as a wide selection of non-perishable items from canned vegetables, soups, peanut butter, cereals and pasta.

Even with a good selection at the pantry, church members are still asked to donate non-perishable items when then can. Pantry Coordinator Nancy Miles said the pantry is always in need of canned fruits.

The pantry receives shipments of canned goods every other month from Portland’s Wayside Food Programs, as part of an United States Department of Agriculture initiative, but from those canned good deliveries, very little canned fruit is available.

If you can donate non-perishable food products, please leave them in the shopping cart in the church’s Fellowship Hall or inside the back door by the chapel.


Judy’s Pantry serves 30-35 families each week and 45 households overall — some do not come every week. The Pantry is open, free of charge, to Cape residents who have limited resources and are struggling to eat good food — no paperwork or questions asked.


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


The Pantry receives its fresh produce from the Cape farms at Jordan’s, Green Spark and Alewive’s, in addition to the Cape’s two Community Gardens.


Judy’s Pantry is named to honor the memory of Judy Simonds, whose passion  was gardening. Judy passed away in 2010. This is the sixth year the pantry has been operating in our church.


Click here for more information about Judy’s Pantry: Pantry

Children’s Sunday 2015

June 15th, 2015, by Ted Haider

With help from Jean Meyer, Naomi Williams completes the task of lighting the altar candles on Children's Sunday.

A service for the children, by the children

For the past 10 months, our church’s Sunday School — and the congregation as a whole — has embraced the Heifer Project. That commitment was recognized on June 14 with Children’s Sunday.

Throughout the 10 a.m. service, children were the primary focus, from the lighting of the altar candles, special music, the offertory collection, and even the sermon by the Rev. Ruth Morrison.


Coordinator Carol Hubbard talks about the Sunday School's Heifer Project.

Coordinator Carol Hubbard announced to the congregation that more than $425 had been raised by the Sunday School throughout the school year, aided by special collections from the congregation.

The Sunday School will forward its donations to Heifer International for the purchase of two goats, one llama, 1 sheep and a flock of chicks. Heifer International distributes animals to families in poverty throughout the world, helping them to be self-reliant through the gifts they receive.


Serafina and Naomi display colored pictures of animals the Sunday School plans to purchase through Heifer International.

Sunday School classes throughout the year learned about Heifer projects during discussions by church members Linda and Bob Webster, who have worked at the Heifer International Farm.

Also during the Children’s Sunday service, Jasper Fontana and Tyler Rodenberger played piano solos and Ellie Gagne read scripture.

Jasper Fontana

Jasper Fontana

Lila Gagne

Ellie Gagne

After the sermon, a Love Feast or Agape Meal was served to the congregation, consisting of grapes and animal crackers, honoring the focus on the Heifer Project. A Love Feast in the United Methodist Church is a “ritual meal in which hymns are sung.”  The feast is meant to recall the meals Jesus shared with his disciples. At Sunday’s service, it also was a reflection of the scripture reading, the story of the loaves and fishes (John 6:1-15).


The service's Love Feast is served by Luke Gagne and Caitlin and Patrick Lee.

For their work in Sunday School throughout the year, Carol Hubbard, Sarah Gagne, and Belinda Parker were presented flowers by the Rev. Morrison. Flowers also were presented to the Rev. Jim Young for his work with Adult Education.

Sunday School Coordinator Carol Hubbard receives a hug and thanks from the Rev. Ruth Morrison during the Children's Sunday service.

Sunday School Coordinator Carol Hubbard receives a hug and thanks from the Rev. Ruth Morrison during the Children's Sunday service.

The 2014-15 Sunday School was successful because of the many church members who addressed the classes on subjects of their choosing and also for the many volunteers who helped in many other ways.

If you would like to be a part of the 2015-16 Sunday School, please see Carol Hubbard or the Rev. Morrison.

Adult Social Activity Group

June 15th, 2015, by Ted Haider


Picnic at Two Lights

The church’s Adult Social Activity Group gathered at Two Lights State Park on June 14 for a picnic overlooking the ocean and a few hours of enjoying glorious late-spring weather.

The picnic also was held to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Linda and Duane Wakefield. The group celebrated the Wakefield’s special occasion, even though the Wakefields were in Houlton, Maine for another special occasion.



The Adult Social Activity Group will host a hike and picnic lunch on Bradbury Mountain on Saturday, June 27. All adults and their friends are invited to participate.

For the hike and picnic, meet in the Bradbury Mountain parking lot (first right after coming in the main entrance) at noon. Bring your own lunch and hiking shoes.

Click here for more information on the Adult Social Activity Group: ASAG

Family Fun Day

June 15th, 2015, by Ted Haider


Perfect day for Root Beer Floats

After Cape Elizabeth’s 2014 Family Fun Day at Fort Williams was rained out, the 2015 gathering of family and friends on June 13 was clearly the antithesis.

With perfect weather, a large, care-free crowd, amazing views of sailboats in Casco Bay and, of course, iconic Portland Headlight in the background, this version of Family Fun Day was all you could have hoped for — including for our church’s Root Beer Float Stand.

Once again organized by Jim Tammaro and supported by 15 volunteers, the church’s primary fundraiser for the summer was a huge success with more than $525 in profits.

Thank you to the Shipyard Brewing Company for donating cases of its Capt’n Eli sodas and to Derry (Elvis) Rundlett for paying for the purchase of ice cream from Kettle Cove Creamery and Cafe.



UMW luncheon

June 11th, 2015, by Ted Haider


See you in September

The United Methodist Women from our church met for the final time until September on June 9, gathering at The Good Table for its annual Go Out to Lunch event.

Fifteen members of the UMW filled three tables on The Good Table’s back porch, filling the afternoon with conversations about summer plans, children and grandchildren and the upcoming (June 12) 50th wedding anniversary for Linda and Duane Wakefield.

Easter 2015

April 6th, 2015, by Ted Haider

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.


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.





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.


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.


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.



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.”


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.





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


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.


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

Easter Egg Hunt and Activities

April 4th, 2015, by Ted Haider


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.


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.


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.



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


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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


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.