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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 2016

Saturday, July 30: Volunteer Saturday at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 2: Judy's Pantry in the Sunshine Room, 3-5 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 2: Church Picnic at the summer home of Jack and Boodie Mitchell, 17 Cliff Street, Higgins Beach, Scarborough: 3 p.m. for swimming and beach-walking, 5 p.m. for a social hour, 6 p.m. for dinner. Hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks will be provided. Bring a side dish, salad or dessert to pass, if you can. Park in the Higgins Beach club house parking lot on Greenwood Ave. and place a piece of paper with the name "Mitchell" on the dashboard to avoid a parking ticket.

Tuesday, Aug. 9: Judy's Pantry in the Sunshine Room, 3-5 p.m.


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Volunteer Saturday

July 25th, 2016, by Ted Haider


Help at the Soup Kitchen on July 30

It once again is our church’s turn to volunteer at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen, on Saturday, July 30. Our church volunteers at the soup kitchen whenever there is a fifth Saturday in a month, which this month has.

We will need cooks, servers, cleaner-uppers, and dishwashers. Even if you have not volunteered at the soup kitchen in the past, consider doing so this weekend. Some of our regular volunteers will be away, so volunteer if you can.

For most assignments, please arrive at the soup kitchen around 10:30 a.m. We usually finish between 1-1:30 p.m.

There are now two seatings for lunch, the first at 11:30 a.m. and the second at approximately 12:15 p.m. We serve both seatings.

This has always been a rewarding mission for everyone involved.


Click here for a look at some of our past Saturdays at the Soup Kitchen:  Soup Kitchen

Special recognition

June 6th, 2016, by Ted Haider



UMW Award to Gary Beckwith

Congratulations to Gary Beckwith for receiving the United Methodist Women’s 2016 Mission Recognition Award.

The award was presented by Kathie Hackett during the 10 a.m. service on June 5 and recognized Gary for his years of work as a public school and Sunday School teacher, as an artist, a jeweler, and as a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.

He also was recognized for all the unknown, behind-the-scenes work he does for the church, from setting up tables for a special event to creating the frame work for Amazing Grace, the church’s greeting giraffe.

Upon receiving the award, Gary said, “I know how the church works — we all have to lend a hand in one way or another.”

For Gary’s involvement, that has been a lot of hands.

Congratulations, Gary!





Special Sunday School

April 28th, 2016, by Ted Haider

brave nellie color

Author’s reading om May 15

Please bring your children and grandchildren to Sunday School on May 15.

Church member and author Sharalyn Morrison-Andrews will be reading her book “Brave Nellie” to the Sunday School class and talking about how good things happen when someone tries hard enough.

The book is a true story of Sharalyn’s rescue of a dog from a beach in the Dominican Republic and bringing her to Maine to live. The rescue teaches lessons about learning and coping.

Sharlyn has done a number of readings of this book at libraries and book stores and we are fortunate to have her read to the Sunday School class.

As a way of extending Sharlyn’s visit, Carol Hubbard has planned for the Sunday School children to cut out and decorate dog-shaped cookies on the following Sunday, May 22, and then sell them to the congregation with proceeds going to a dog charity.

Carol is asking for volunteers to bring cookie dough on that Sunday and/or to help the children to decorate the cookies.

End the Growling

April 13th, 2016, by Ted Haider


Taking a bite out of hunger

For the third consecutive year, our church participated in a food-packing program to help people in this country and around the world to have better choices for meals.

At the Peoples United Methodist Church in South Portland, 11 members from our church joined 188 volunteers from other churches and organizations to pack ingredients for a rice and bean stew in vacuumed-sealed packets. In just over an hour, our group packed 2,500 meals. Overall, all groups, over a four-hour period, packed 27,000 meals.


Each packet included servings of freeze-dried vegetables, soy, rice. beans and a vitamin/spice package.


About half of the packets from Saturday will be shipped to Haiti. The other half will be distributed to food pantries and cupboards here in Maine.


In addition to our church, volunteers came from the Peoples UMC, Thornton Heights UMC, West Scarborough UMC, nurses from Mercy Hospital and a group from the South Portland Food Cupboard.


Thank you to all who participated and also to everyone who donated money to make this possible.


Easter 2016

March 31st, 2016, by Ted Haider

(Photo by Mark Braun)

Identifying the gardener

At both the Sunrise Service and later at a service in the sanctuary, the story on this Easter morning focused on the gardener outside the tomb — the gardener seen by Mary Magdalene and the gardener whose identity was not known.

As it was revealed in a sermon in the sanctuary and during a talk at Two Lights, the gardener was not only Jesus, but Jesus the Master Gardener of all creation.


For this story, Shirley Maxwell Royall, an accomplished gardener herself, portrayed the Easter morning gardener at both services. While “In the Garden” was being sung at Two Lights, she tended to the flowers on the rocks and later handed out cut flowers to some who had gathered in the chilly temperatures of first light.


In the sanctuary, while the choir sang, she cultivated the soil in the potted plants around the communion railing. The image was one not usually seen on Easter morning, but it fit so well, it likely will not be forgotten by those who witnessed it.


At the end of the Sunrise Service, the gardener walked away from the crowd, climbed up over the rocks and looked out over the ocean. Unfortunately, the heavy cloud cover on the horizon prevented the sun from breaking through, like we have joyfully seen on many other Easter mornings.


In the sanctuary service, the gardener also was one of the Communion servers.



Also on Easter morning, Carol Hubbard and Deanne Burr led the Sunday School children with a lesson about the resurrection and the empty tomb. After telling the story, Carol and Deanne worked with the children on a hands-on lesson of what they had just heard.


Each child was given strips of unbaked crescent rolls and were told to place a marshmallow in the center and then roll them up.


The rolls were then placed in the oven to bake. When they were done, each child was told to break open the roll.


What they found was a hollow center — an empty tomb.


Thank you to Carol and Deanne for the lesson and the visual experience.

Also thank you to everyone who brought flowers to the church to be used in the “garden” in front of the altar.


Click here for more images of Easter morning at both the sunrise and sanctuary services:

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Easter Egg Hunt

March 29th, 2016, by Ted Haider

(Photos by Mark Braun)

Activities and fun for all

Our church held its annual Easter Egg Hunt on the morning before Easter, but for the first time, the children got to hunt for their eggs outside.


Egg hunting, however, was only a small portion of what the Rev. Ruth Morrison, Shirley Maxwell Royall and other adults had planned for the children on this joyful spring morning.


There was egg-coloring, games, crafts and, of course, a visit from the Easter Bunny — thanks to Jim Tammaro for having a connection to the bunny that makes his visit possible every year.


And what has become a tradition at these egg hunts, breaking up a pinata was the last activity of the morning.


Thank you to everyone who helped to organize and follow through with the egg hunt and also to everyone who donated candy and/or money.

Click here for more images of the Egg Hunt:

Continue reading »

“Max: Surviving the Holocaust”

March 24th, 2016, by Ted Haider

(Photo by Mark Braun)

Reflecting on dark times in history

Max Slabotzky was a young boy and living in Belgium when the Nazi occupation of his native country began. At first he was in hiding but eventually he was captured by the S.S. and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

The incredible ordeal of Mr. Slabotzky, who now lives in Portland, has been captured in Dan Lambert’s documentary film “Max: Surviving the Holocaust.” The film was shown at our church on March 23 as part of a series of Lenten events that reflect on life, hard times and survival. More than 125 people attended the showing, which included a question-and-answer period afterward by Mr. Slabotzky and Mr. Lambert.

Before the film began, there was a moment of silence for this week’s terrorist attacks in Belgium, Max’s native country.


Dan Lambert and Max Slabotzky

The film, in great detail, tells of Max growing up in Belgium, his capture and his time in Auschwitz. It reveals the fear and uncertainties of the young boy who was only 14 by the time he was sent to the concentration camp. His greatest hardship was being alone, separated from his parents and brother. The film is told in Max’s own words.


The film reveals how Max was whipped for illegally obtaining some food and how he witnessed the torture and death of others. In his own words he talks of the Soviet Army liberating Auschwitz in January of 1945, but how he and others were still afraid, thinking the Nazis “were out there, somewhere.”

Mr. Slabotzky spent 7-8 months in the hospital after the liberation.


Following the film, Mr. Slabotzky spent more than 30 minutes candidly answering questions from members of our church, other churches and the general public.


He talked about how many years passed after he was liberated from Auschwitz before he could trust people. He said he still doesn’t trust everyone completely, but added, “This man (Dan Lambert) I completely trust.”


(Photo by Mark Braun)

One woman in the audience, whose relatives are from Germany, apologized to Mr. Slabotzky for what the Nazis had done to him and his countryman. Others asked for details of how he survived while so many did not. Mr. Slabotzky took the time to answer every question with a great deal of thought. He did say he still cannot forgive the Nazis.


Beyond Auschwitz, Mr. Slabotzky talked about joining the Belgium Army and becoming a paratrooper and marrying a woman from Belgium — “I think she liked my uniform,” he said. He told how they moved to the United States because “she told me to.” He worked in New York City as a tailor, but eventually sold everything to move to California “because my wife told me to.” He told of many light moments of “living in America,” including studying to become a U.S. citizen. Many of his comments drew laughter from the audience.

At the end of the evening, one woman stood up and told Mr. Slabotzky, “I commend you for having lived through such atrocities and still having a sense of humor.”


When the question-and-answer period was over, Mr. Slabotzky remained at the front of the sanctuary and continued to answer more individual questions from more than a dozen people.


(Photo by Mark Braun)

Before the film was shown, there was a 30-minute reception in Fellowship Hall. Members of the church provided a wide range of breads, cakes, cookies, and other snacks for everyone to enjoy.



The showing of this film was organized by Mark Braun, who originally saw the film last November during its premier at the University of New England. He said it was something he thought others should see and that the Lenten season was the perfect time to bring the film, its producer/director and Max to our church.


Mark Braun, right, with Max Slabotzky and Dan Lambert

Thank you to Mark and his family for organizing the event and for everyone who brought snacks for the reception. It was a special evening in many ways.


Colorful look of spring

March 22nd, 2016, by Ted Haider
color flowers

Pantry Coordinator Nancy Miles and Scout Leader Lisa Stevens

Creative donation from Girl Scouts

Lisa Stevens’ Cape Elizabeth Senior Girl Scout Troop 1467 for the past four years has decorated large grocery bags for clients picking up Thanksgiving vegetables and fruits from Judy’s Pantry.

The troop recently asked if they could do similar bags for spring, but Thanksgiving is the only time the large bags are used. They came up with a creative alternative..

color flowers1

For the look of spring, five girls in the troop, all seniors at CEHS, created colorful flower arrangements, using tissue paper and pipe cleaners, for each of the Pantry clients to take home and enjoy. The flowers were delivered to the Pantry on March 22.

Thank you Troop 1467 and best of luck with your college plans!

color flowers2

Special event

March 21st, 2016, by Ted Haider


Triumphal ride of Palm Sunday

Thanks to the planning, creative thinking and commitment of a variety of people around the church, Jesus’ triumphal ride into Jerusalem was reenacted at our church on Palm Sunday, complete with a parade.

Carol Hubbard and the Sunday School, with extra help from Deanne Burr, created large palms the children could wave during the Palm Sunday parade. Choir Director Faith York took time out during a Sunday service and taught the Sunday School an original song they could sing during the parade.  Gary Beckwith created a marvelous donkey head out of papier mache for Jesus to hold onto during the parade and, saving the best for last, Terry Keezer agreed to portray Jesus. It was a team effort and the end result was beautiful to watch — and hear.


(Photo by Mark Braun)

The choir, in their new blue robes, greeted the parade at the front door of the Narthex, joined in with the song Faith had taught the children, and then joined the parade into the sanctuary.


(Photo by Mark Braun)

The parade began in the back hall by the chapel, proceeded outside, wrapped around to the front of the church and then entered the Narthex and sanctuary.


Go to the church’s Facebook page and scroll down to see a video of the parade.


Thank you to everyone who made this special and memorable event possible.

Click here for more images of Palm Sunday:

Continue reading »

Scripture Lesson

March 8th, 2016, by Ted Haider

The prodigal son, portrayed by Jasper Fontana, throws his wealth away after leaving his father’s estate.

Prodigal Son Live

Jesus’ parable about the Prodigal Son took on a new dimension Sunday with each of the characters being portrayed by members of the congregation. It was both fun to watch and provided a deeper understanding of the scripture lesson through the emotions of our presenters.

Linda Webster was the narrator, Bob Webster was the father, Jasper Fontana was the younger son, Matt Braun the older son, and the Rev. Ruth Morrison the servant. When the younger son had left home and squandered his wealth and went to work feeding pigs in a field, Serafina Fontana portrayed one of the piglets.


From Luke 15:11-32:

“My son,” the father said to his older son, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”