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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

Sunday, Nov. 29: Adult Education Class, "Finding God in the Ordinary," with the Rev. Jim Young, 9 a.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Saturday, Dec. 5: Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Crafts, ornaments, wreaths, baked goods, candies, knit items, hidden treasures, silent auction. Lobster roll lunch, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 6: Adult Education Class, "Finding God in the Ordinary," with the Rev. Jim Young, 9 a.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Tuesday, Dec. 8: United Methodist Women's monthly gathering: Creating Christmas for shut-ins, 1 p.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Saturday, Dec. 12: Christmas Concert at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 6:30 p.m. Members of our church will be part of the concert. Public invited.

Sunday, Dec. 13: Adult Education Class, "Finding God in the Ordinary," with the Rev. Jim Young, 9 a.m. in the Sunshine Room.

Tuesday, Dec. 15: Judy's Pantry, 3-5 p.m. in the Sunshine Room. Holiday gathering for Christmas.

Sunday, Dec. 20: Adult Social Activity Group will host Christmas caroling around Cape Elizabeth neighborhoods. Meet at the church at 4 p.m. Pizza will be served after caroling. Adults, children, families all invited to participate.

Thursday, Dec. 24: Christmas Eve service, 6 p.m., featuring Christmas scripture readings, special music, remembrances and the candlelight singing of "Silent Night."

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

Saturday, Jan. 6: Church Supper, 4:30-6 p.m. in Fellowship Hall, featuring casseroles, beans, breads, salads and pies.


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Thanksgiving at the Pantry

November 25th, 2015, by Ted Haider


A feast for all to enjoy

For the fourth year, Judy’s Pantry, operating out of Fellowship Hall in our church, provided a complete Thanksgiving on Nov. 24 for families in Cape Elizabeth, offering bags of produce and baskets with turkeys, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, sweet potatoes and all the holiday fixings.

This year the Pantry served 45 families who have limited resources and are often struggling to eat healthy meals. That was five more families than last year and 15 more than in 2013.


Pantry Coordinator Nancy Miles, second from right, and some of the many volunteers who helped with this year’s Thanksgiving give-away.

Judy’s Pantry provided the bags of produce from Jordan’s Farm, including carrots, potatoes, turnips, onions, apples and squash while the baskets of turkeys and all the other fixings were provided by a food drive by families throughout Cape Elizabeth and organized by Jen Tinsman and Amy Lombardo. Jen is the grand-daughter-in-law of Ginny Jordan.


In addition to the 43 baskets that were delivered to the Pantry, Jen and Amy’s food drive provided another nearly 100 baskets to other families around the Cape.

In addition to the turkeys, the baskets included apple and pumpkin pies, Jello, pudding, potatoes, stuffing, hot chocolate, oranges, salad dressing, sparkling cider, chips, crackers, paper towels and napkins, aluminum roasting pans and rolls.


Every family that came to the Pantry also received mini loaves of freshly made Thanksgiving breads made by volunteers at the Pantry and members of our church. Nancy Miles was hoping for 60 loaves of bread and received 120!


Most of the families who regularly attend the Pantry came to the church to pick up their Thanksgiving bags and baskets. But for those who were not able to make it to the church, the bags and baskets were delivered to their homes by Pantry volunteers, including three by the Rev. Ruth Morrison and several by Frank Miles, Nancy’s husband.


All of the bags of produce were decorated by Lisa Stevens’ Girl Scout Troops (1530 and 1467) and included themed activities, such as crossword puzzles, place mats and crayons.


And to meet the needs of all families who count on the Pantry, some baskets included gift certificates instead of turkey and at least one included a Kosher turkey.


Jordan’s Farm, which has been donating fresh produce to the Pantry ever since it opened in 2010, helped to fill the bags with many donations of produce and provided even more at a considerable discount. Jordan’s contributions included 100 pounds of potatoes, 100 pounds of carrots, 142 pounds of acorn squash, 40 pounds of onions, 120 pounds of apples, and 40 pounds of purple-topped turnips.


Thank you to everyone who made this incredible outpouring of holiday cheer and assistance to so many throughout the Cape. A special thanks to members of the church who made mini loaves of bread and contributed other non-perishable items. And a Thanksgiving-style thanks to Nancy Miles and her Pantry volunteers: Donna Savage, Eileen Taft, Suzanne McGinn and her two sons, Nancy Johnson, Deb Murphy, Jerry Phair, Frank Miles, Lisa Connolly, Marti and Tom Myers, Beth Owens, Nelle Huber, and Joanne and Mark Woodward.


Judy’s Pantry will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and Tuesday, Dec. 8 and will be closed again on Tuesday, Dec. 22. It will operate as usual on Tuesdays, Dec. 15 and 29.

Beginning in January, the Pantry will begin its off-season schedule, being open only on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month through June — when fresh produce will once again be available and the Pantry will be open every Tuesday.

Click here for more information on the Pantry: Pantry

Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair

November 13th, 2015, by Ted Haider


Join us on Dec. 5

The Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church’s Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

The fair will be overflowing with ornaments, crafts, wreaths, baked goods, candies, knit items, hidden treasures and much more.

There also will be a silent auction  with specialty items donated by local businesses and hand-crafted items made by local artists.

A lobster roll luncheon will be served between 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Join us at the fair and be prepared to be filled with Christmas spirit.


Halloween Party

October 26th, 2015, by Ted Haider

100_2595More treats than tricks

Halloween came early for some children of the church and their friends with a party that included plenty of activities, more candy than an evening of trick-or-treating might produce, and even the added bonus of pizza.


There was pumpkin carving, pin-the-tail on the Jack-o-lantern, bobbing for apples, attempting to take bites from suspended donuts, mummy wrapping and pinata whacking.


In most cases, the activities and games were as much fun for the adults as they were for the children.


There also was time for viewing the Halloween classic “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” and for some of the younger children, it was the first time they had seen it.


What could be better for a Halloween Party — eating pizza while watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”

Thank you to all of the adults who took time on a Sunday afternoon — while the Patriots were playing the Jets — to provide fun times for our children. Also thank you to everyone who provided candy and treats for the party.



Click here for more images of the Halloween Party:  Continue reading »

Asian Supper

October 25th, 2015, by Ted Haider

Jo Stewart

Evening of celebration, reflection

One week before the church’s Asian Supper, there were only 15 reservations from people who said they definitely would attend. Event coordinator Stephen Bither told meal organizer Jo Stewart, “Don’t worry. Have faith, they will come.”

And they did.

More than 80 people enjoyed the Asian Supper on Oct. 24, filling Fellowship Hall with church members, their friends and residents from Cape Elizabeth and surrounding communities.


It was an evening to celebrate Asian culture through its food, but it also a night to honor the Asian tradition of remembering loved ones who have passed. For Jo Stewart and her family, it was remembering her mother who passed away in Singapore at this time last year. For others, it was remembering church member Gloria Kierstead, who always enjoyed working at the Asian suppers, who passed away this past January.

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Tim Stewart leading a toast at the beginning of the supper.

After everyone had filled their plates and bowls with a wide assortment of Asian delicacies, Tim Stewart led everyone with a traditional toast from Singapore, “Yum sing.” Participants all raised their glasses and cheered out, “Yum sing” three times, each one louder than the last.


As impressive as the dinner was for all who attended, even more impressive was the more than eight hours of preparations that took place throughout the day on Saturday — chopping, dicing, swirling in a wok, delicately folding dumpling skins, adding just the right amount of soy sauce and sesame oil, and all the other details Jo Stewart has honed to perfection from watching her mother in Singapore and teaching her own family and friends in Cape Elizabeth.


Jo Stewart demonstrating how to perfectly fold a dumpling.


Thank you to Jo and Tim, Stephen and the many volunteers who did the preparations beforehand, served the dinner and then cleaned up afterward. It was a wonderful evening for the church and its family.

Yum sing!!!


Click here for more images of the Asian Supper:  Continue reading »

Special Bean Suppah

October 24th, 2015, by Ted Haider

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Maine tradition on display

Assistants to United Methodist bishops from across the country held a three-day gathering in Portland in mid-October and one of the requests from participants was to experience a Maine Bean Suppah.

On Oct. 20, our church obliged.

With Beanmeister Stephen Bither organizing the event, our church hosted a modified Bean Suppah for 35 of the assistants, complete with three types of beans, casseroles, salad and, of course, pie for dessert.


Thank you to everyone who helped serve the suppah, provided dishes to share, and cleaned up afterward.



In case you have forgotten, the next regular bean suppah at our church will be on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 4:30-6 p.m. There will not be a bean suppah in December because the first Saturday, Dec. 5, will be the Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair.

Judy’s Pantry

October 24th, 2015, by Ted Haider


Season of transitions

Judy’s Pantry will continue to be open every Tuesday afternoon from 3-5 p.m. through Thanksgiving, but this is the time of the year when fresh produce is less plentiful and non-perishable items are in greater demand.

The pantry is still receiving potatoes, parsnips, carrots and squash from local farms, but they are in need of additional donations of certain non-perishable foods, such as dried fruits (raisins, applesauce, and other no or low-sugar varieties are preferred), healthy snacks for school lunches like granola bars, tuna fish, hearty soups and pasta sauce.


Non-perishable items should be placed in the shopping cart in Fellowship Hall of the church or inside bags inside the door along the back hallway.


The pantry has received over 4,000 pounds of produce this year from five Cape farms, two Cape Community Gardens and several individuals.



In September, the Pantry had 149 visitors in total for the five Tuesdays for an average of 25-35 families each week. In addition to the produce and non-perishable items, individuals and families coming to the pantry also could take home fresh cut flowers from volunteers at the Pantry and bread donated by Scratch Bakery in South Portland.


Also in September, the Pantry received a very generous check for $2,000 from the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Lions Club.



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

Animal Blessing 2015

October 5th, 2015, by Ted Haider


Presence of St. Francis

Telling stories of St. Francis of Assisi and also of God’s “peaceable kingdom,” the Rev. Ruth Morrison led her annual Blessing of the Animals on Oct. 4 in the church’s Outdoor Chapel.

The gathering of more than 40 people with their dogs, one cat and a goat was a blessing for all on a perfect fall afternoon, bringing the peaceable kingdom into a canopied corner of Cape Elizabeth’s Robinson Woods.


Participants from the church, Cape Elizabeth, and its surrounding communities listened to scripture readings, sang animal-themed hymns and prayed together, including Saint Francis’ Prayer of Peace.


The Rev. Morrison then went to each animal, asked their name, bestowed a personal blessing, and offered a edible treat.


Sugar the goat with Jim Tammaro

Most participants knew of the blessing in advance, but one couple from Portland learned of the event while driving past the church after a visit to Kettle Cove. They stopped, carried their 15-year-old dog Kicha into the woods and received the blessing. They said Kicha has been recovering from cancer for the past 2 1/2 years.

Kicha being carried to the blessing

Kicha being carried to the blessing

In addition to the wide range of dogs who received blessings, two cats were also blessed. One, Lily, received her blessing while remaining safely inside her cat carrier. The second, Randy, remained at home, but her owner brought photos for the Rev. Morrison to bless.


Photos of Randy the cat being blessed by the Rev. Ruth Morrison

While the animals received treats during the blessings, their owners were treated afterward to apple cider, ginger snap cookies baked by Rev. Morrison, herbal popcorn and even some apple pie left over from the previous night’s Public Supper.

Click here for more images of the Animal Blessing:  Continue reading »

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