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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

July 18-20: Merry Mainers camping weekend at Shore Hills in Boothbay.

Tuesday, July 22: Judy's Pantry, 3-5 p.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Wednesday, July 23: Intergenerational Summertime Gathering for church family and friends: Contemporary Christian Music, 6-8 p.m. Pizza.

Tuesday, July 29: Judy's Pantry, 3-5 p.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Friday, Aug. 1: Judy's Spaghetti Dinner at the church for Beach to Beacon rinners, families, friends and community, 5-8 p.m.

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

Wednesday, Aug. 13: Movie Night at the church: "Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of his Trip to Heaven and Back," 6 p.m. Pizza.


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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.



Tom Merrill 1935-2014

July 10th, 2014, by Ted Haider


Memorial service on July 12

A service to celebrate the life of The Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Merrill will be held at our church on Saturday, July 12 at 1 p.m.

Visiting hours will be on Friday, July 11 at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland.

Tom died peacefully on July 8 at the Gosnell Hospice House in Scarborough.

Special recognition

June 16th, 2014, by Ted Haider

Stephen Bither and Judith Hill present Faith York with a certificate, allegedly signed by John Wesley, celebrating Faith's 20 years as choir director.

Twenty years and counting

Judith Hill remembers the first time Faith York was introduced to our church choir.

“We were rehearsing on a Wednesday night when Faith came in to interview for the choir director’s position. She held up the music we were working on and told us to put little marks on certain words. Those were the words she wanted us to emphasize when we sang. I still remember the music — it was “Lord of the Dance.”

And that was 20 years ago.

On Sunday, Faith was recognized at the 10 a.m. service for her immeasurable contributions as the church’s choir director since 1994. Following the service’s anthem — led by Faith, of course — Judith Hill walked to the pulpit and offered her remembrances to the congregation of Faith’s 20 years of direction, creation and inspiration. Judith and Duane Wakefield are the only current members of the choir who were there when Faith arrived in 1994.

Faith listens to Judith's remembrances.

Faith listens to Judith's remembrances.

Following Judith’s remembrances, which included high praise for some of Faith’s original scores, particularly ones written for funeral services of beloved members of the church and the Christmas cantata “When Heaven Touched the Earth,” Stephen Bither read from and then presented a certificate of gratitude to Faith, signed by the Rev. Ruth Morrison and allegedly by John Wesley.

Before the presentation, Stephen read from “The United Methodist Hymnal,”  in which Wesley includes Directions for Singing:

“Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.”

Stephen said it was clear that Faith has always taken Wesley’s words to heart — and mind.



Also during the presentation, it was recognized that Faith’s husband, Larry Deucharme, was part of the package deal when Faith was hired as the choir director — and Larry has been singing tenor with the choir ever since.

The choir acknowledges Sunday's recognition of Faith's 20 years of service.

The choir acknowledges Sunday's recognition of Faith's 20 years of service.

This all began in 1994 when Faith saw a classified ad in a newspaper asking for applications for the position of choir director at the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church.

“I called, I auditioned, I was hired and that was the beginning,” Faith said when interviewed in 2009 for a church newsletter story.

Previously, Faith had been the choir director at the Wells Congregational Church for nine years — the church where Larry and his family attended and the church where Faith and Larry met and were married in 1990.

Faith took a break from directing in 1992, when their son Ellis was born, and joined the choir at South Church in Kennebunkport.

“At the time, I was working a good deal as a restaurant or lounge pianist or singer, including jobs in New Orleans, St. Thomas (Virgin Islands), and even Paris — France, not Maine,” Faith said during the 2009 interview. “I worked as a music theater director, did cabarets, performed at weddings and funerals, played at coffee houses and took on a few private students.”

But in 1994 she remembers getting the “bug” to direct again, and perhaps by divine intervention, she saw the advertisement about  CEUMC looking for a choir director.

It also was in 1994 when the Old Grist Mill restaurant in Kennebunkport caught fire and burned to the ground. Faith had been playing piano there for a number of years and her 20-year collection of sheet music was destroyed in the fire.

“It had been neatly stashed under the grand piano,” she recalled in 2009. “It was an incredible loss and I didn’t have the energy to reconstruct it.”

It was time for Faith to move on and our church became an incredibly fortunate recipient of her talents.


Thank you Faith and Larry, from all of us!

Steve Hill sat with Faith on Sunday at the piano, holding the microphone for her when she sang. It was probably a first for Faith -- and Steve, too.

Steve Hill sat with Faith on Sunday at the piano, holding the microphone for her when she sang. It was probably a first for Faith -- and Steve, too.

UMW luncheon

June 15th, 2014, by Ted Haider

umw 2014

Good time at Good Table

For its final gathering until September, the United Methodist Women had their annual Go Out to Lunch Day on June 10, meeting at The Good Table.

Thank you to Linda Wakefield for the photo.

Children’s Sunday

June 10th, 2014, by Ted Haider

The Rev. Ruth Morrison introduces Steve Hill to the congregation, saying it had taken Steve 42 years to get out of the eighth grade.

Milestone moment

Children’s Sunday, most often a special service to highlight our children and their many accomplishments, had an unusual approach this year.  The Rev. Ruth Morrison used the occasion to celebrate a milestone moment — after 42 years, Steve Hill is finally leaving the eighth grade — for good.

In just over a week, Steve will leave Greely Middle School for the last time, leaving behind the history classes he has taught, the academic futures he has helped to shape, the respect he has earned, and the passion he has been hesitant to walk away from.

Steve started his teaching career in 1972. at what was then Greely Junior High School, and not long after graduating from the University of Southern Maine.

As Steve might have said to one of his classes, the rest is history . . .

Not surprisingly, Judith Hill also is retiring this spring, stepping away from careers in both the medical and legal professions.

To celebrate the retirements, Children’s Sunday, and high school graduations, Steve and Judith cut two celebratory cakes following the 10 a.m. service.


Happy retirements to Steve and Judith!

During the Children’s Sunday service. a video was shown, featuring the work of teachers Carol Hubbard and Laura Young and guest teachers Mark McDowell, Mark Braun, Ruth Morrison, and Natalie and Ann Underdown. Flowers also were presented to Carol Hubbard for the many hours she has spent throughout the year preparing Sunday School programs.

The Rev. Ruth Morrison presents flowers to Sunday School leader Carol Hubbard.

The Rev. Ruth Morrison presents flowers to Sunday School leader Carol Hubbard.

Sunday’s scripture lessons also focused on our children with Rosa Larrabee and Jasper Fontana contributing to the readings. And adding to Sunday’s selection of music, Tyler Rodenberger played a piano solo. It was an inspiring day — thanks to our youth.
Jasper Fontana reads part of Sunday's scripture lesson.
Jasper Fontana reads part of Sunday’s scripture lesson.
Tyler Rodenberger plays his piano solo.

Tyler Rodenberger plays his piano solo.

For students who definitely have made it past the eighth grade, Gwyneth Roberts, Becca O’Neill, Monty Kwan and Sarah Bosworth were recognized for having graduated from Cape Elizabeth High School. And our recent college graduates include Matthew Braun (University of Southern Maine) and Jeremy Allmendinger (Champlain College).

Congratulations to all!


Garden Saturday

June 8th, 2014, by Ted Haider


Sprucing up

A group of 14 members of our church spent a few hours Saturday morning  weeding, mowing, pruning, thinning out, and planting in various gardens around the church grounds, moving out winter’s debris and making room for summer’s beauty.


There will be more Garden Saturdays in July and August. Thank you to everyone who spent part of their Saturday morning helping to make the church grounds look better.




Contemporary Christian music

May 18th, 2014, by Ted Haider


Learning about notes of worship

Natalie Underdown explained, “Music is very important to God” and used the many pages from Psalms in the Bible to illustrate her point. On Sunday, Natalie and her mother Ann shared with our Sunday School class their love of contemporary Christian music and the spirit it brings to their lives.

Ann and Natalie brought CDs from Christian contemporary music to which they often listen and also displayed T-shirts they have purchased at the many Christian concerts they have attended in Old Orchard Beach and Portland.

“We like to get to the concerts up to two hours early,” Ann said, “so we can sit in the front row. We don’t want to miss anything.”

Natalie Underdown talks about the peace she finds from listening to Christian music.

Natalie Underdown talks about the peace she finds from listening to Christian music.

Throughout the class, Natalie and Ann played videos and music tracks of Contemporary Christian Music, featuring artist Jamie Grace, and groups MercyMe and Thrive. The CDs Ann and Natalie brought included artists Steven Curtis Chapman, Mark Schultz, Laura Story, and Chris Tomlin and the groups Newsboys and Tenth Avenue North.

“Music is a way to worship God outside of church,” Natalie told the children. “You can worship God through music.”

Natalie also talked about listening to music on Freeport radio station Positive FM (89.3). In addition to sponsoring concerts at the Seaside Pavilion in Old Orchard Beach, Positive FM promotes its PACK’D cards (Positive Acts of Kindness). The station supplies PACK’D cards and asks its listeners to anonymously “show God’s love to someone in an unexpected way” and to leave a PACK’D card when they are finished with the task.


The card includes the recommendation from whomever was “pack’d” to perform their own “positive act of kindness” and pass the card along.

Some of Positive FM’s listings of “PACK’D” tasks include:

  • Help pay for the gasoline for someone at the gas station
  • Help some pay for groceries or return their cart for them
  • Make dessert or a meal for someone and deliver it with a PACK’D card
  • Wash a neighbor’s car while they are away and leave a PACK’D card under the windshield wiper
  • Send someone flowers and include a PACK’D card.

All of the children in the Sunday School class were given PACK’D cards and told to think of their own “positive act of kindness.”

Click here for more information about Positive FM and its PACK’D cards: Positive FM


At the end of Ann and Natalie’s Sunday School class on Contemporary Christian Music, they handed out large musical notes to each of the children and adults who were present and asked everyone to write their name on the note and something they were thankful to God for. The musical notes were then attached to a large poster of a musical score with the heading “I will sing of mercy and justice to you, O Lord, I will sing praises,” from Psalm 101:1.


The musical poster will be in the sanctuary throughout the summer.


Thank you to Ann and Natalie, with help from Natalie’s friend Dakota Wetherbee, for a wonderful Sunday School program.


Merry Mainers

May 18th, 2014, by Ted Haider

Merry Mainers at Sebago: (left to right) Steve and Judith Hill, Nancy and Dick Horton, Bob and Linda Webster, Nancy and Jim Prindle, and Julie Lefebvre. Missing from the photo but present at the camping weekend: Paul, Lucas and Laura Lefebvre and Sue and Bruce Lind.

Camping season begins

The Merry Mainers began their 2014 camping season over the May 16-18 weekend, gathering at Sebago Lake State Park. The Merry Mainers are the Maine branch of the National United Methodist campers.

The group’s next camping weekend will be June 20-22 at the Freeport KOA.

Click here for more information about the Merry Mainers: Merry Mainers

Benefit Concert

May 11th, 2014, by Ted Haider
Con Fullam leads the Pihcintu Chorus during the Saturday night concert at our church.

Con Fullam leads the Pihcintu Chorus during the Saturday night concert at our church.

Spirited rejoicing

With songs and a poem about their home countries, freedom, and the spirit of living together, Portland’s Pihcintu Multicultural Children’s Chorus performed a Saturday night concert at our church, revealing a vibrant spirit of how far they have come in their young lives.

Led by founder and song-writer Con Fullam, these young women have come to Portland from around the world, survivors from war-torn villages, refugee camps, famine and political turmoil.


They have accomplished so much and yet they are still reaching out to help others through their spirit and music. Saturday’s concert was one in a series of year-long benefits to raise funds to build the Malala School for Girls in South Sudan.


The school is being named for Malala Youfsazai, an advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan. As a result of her advocacy, the Taliban issued a death threat against Malala and on Oct. 9, 2012, at the age of 15, she was shot while returning from school. She survived and has continued to speak out on the importance of education for girls.


The Pihcintu Chorus has a goal of raising $57,000 for the school. If you were not able to attend Saturday night’s concert but would still like to donate to this special fund-raising effort, go to the Pihcintu web site and click on the photo of Malala. Click here for access to the web site: Pihcintu


The young women of the Pihcintu Chorus represent 17 countries, including Congo, Sudan, China, Somalia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Lebanon, China, El Salvador, Cambodia and Saudi Arabia.


Following Saturday’s concert, members of our congregation and their friends had the opportunity to meet with the Pihcintu Chorus and express appreciation for what they have done — and are doing.


The chorus next month will be performing at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on World Refugee Day and later will perform at the White House.