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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

Tuesday, Nov. 29: Prayer Gathering in the chapel for individual and group prayers. Open to the public, 10 a.m.

Friday, Dec. 2: early preview of the Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair for church members only, 6:30-8 p.m. Come and do some early Christmas shopping.

Saturday, Dec. 3: Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair at the church, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., crafts, baked goods, decorations, candies, wreaths, knit items, hidden treasures and a silent auction. Lobster Roll/Hot Dog luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 6: Prayer Gathering in the chapel for individual and group prayers. Open to the public, 10 a.m.

Saturday, Dec. 10: Interfaith Christmas Concert at the church of Latter Day Saints. Our church will have a pick-up choir and piano solos. Public invited.


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Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair

November 29th, 2016, by Ted Haider


Join us on Saturday, Dec. 3

The church’s annual Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair will be on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.


The fair once again will feature crafts, Christmas decorations and ornaments, wreaths, baked goods, knit items, candies, a room filled with hidden treasures, and a silent auction.


A lobster roll luncheon will be served from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. And if you don’t want a lobster roll, there also will be grilled hot dogs.


If there is bad weather on Dec. 3, the fair will be extended to Sunday, Dec. 4 from noon-4 p.m.


Click here for images of past years at the Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair: Jolly

Birthday celebration

November 28th, 2016, by Ted Haider


Salute for Gail Parker

Thanks to arrangements by her granddaughter Mariah Parker for a beautiful cake, Gail Parker’s birthday became the centerpiece for Fellowship Time after Sunday’s 10 a.m. service.

It was a good opportunity for Gail to relax — if only for a few minutes. Gail is coordinating Saturday’s Jolly Snowman Christmas Fair and also pulling together and rehearsing the Pick-up choir for the Dec. 10 Interfaith Christmas Concert at the Church of Latter Day Saints.



Pantry Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2016, by Ted Haider


Donations of 50 complete dinners

Judy’s Pantry, working with Cape food drive coordinators Jen Tinsman and Amy Lombardo, once again provided Thanksgiving feasts for 50 families in Cape Elizabeth with limited means. The dinners were distributed from our church on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Jen’s and Amy’s food drive resulted in Cape families providing 50 boxes and containers to the Pantry, each containing a turkey and all the trimmings, including stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, rolls, pie, Jello, assorted candies and nuts, pasta, a roasting pan and even sparkling cider.

Judy’s Pantry supplemented each of the 50 boxes with beautifully decorated grocery bags filled with potatoes, carrots, onions, winter squash and apples.


The grocery bags were decorated by Lisa Stevens, her daughter and friends.

In addition to the bags of fresh produce and boxes of turkeys and all the fixings, each family who came to the Pantry could select two loaves of sweet breads from a table filled with such flavors as pumpkin, corn, poppy seed, cranberry. apple cinnamon, and banana. All of the 90 breads were prepared and donated by members of the church, coordinated by Lili Acheson. Thank you to all!


Most of the Thanksgiving dinners were picked up at the church on Tuesday, but for those who did not have transportation, dinners were driven to their homes by the Rev. Ruth Morrison and Frank Miles.


One more offering for everyone who came to the Pantry was a table filled with an assortment of Cabot cheese.


While Jen and Amy’s food drive provided the 50 turkey dinners to the pantry, many more from the drive were distributed to Portland families through the Opportunity Alliance program.


Thank you to everyone who participated in making this tradition for Judy’s Pantry possible, particularly Pantry Coordinator Nancy Miles and her many volunteers, church representative Lili Acheson, Jen Tinsman and Amy Lombardo, Jordan’s Farm, and everyone from the church who prepared and donated breads.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Special Celebration

November 11th, 2016, by Ted Haider

The United Methodist Women sang Happy Birthday to Ruth during its Tuesday gathering, but her actual birthday is today, Nov. 11

Happy Birthday, Ruth!


All-Saints Sunday

November 7th, 2016, by Ted Haider


Candlelight remembrances

All-Saints Sunday was celebrated on Nov. 6 with the Rev. Ruth Morrison reading the names of and lighting candles for our family and friends who have passed from our lives but not our memories.


During the 10 a.m. service in the sanctuary, the altar cloth displayed the names of many of our church family’s saints. The altar cloth was originally created in 2009 for the church’s 150th anniversary.







Harvest Song

October 31st, 2016, by Ted Haider


Community celebration of fall

It may have taken more than a decade for this spiritual and patriotic event to come together, but for 90 minutes in the historic Spurwink Church on Oct. 30, Harvest Song was a memorable celebration for the community, combining music, scripture and poetry, history and reflection, and a sense of what is special about living in this seaside corner of New England.

The Rev. Ruth Morrison and the late but still deeply admired Ginny Jordan originally discussed the possibility of holding an event like this in the Spurwink Church more than a decade ago. But it wasn’t able to come to fruition before Ginny’s passing in 2012. The Rev. Morrison kept the idea alive and made sure it took place this fall, before her retirement next June.

As a fitting tribute to Ginny, Lynne Millett suggested the singing of “In the Garden” during the Hymn Sing portion of Harvest Song. “In the Garden” was always Ginny’s favorite hymn and to many, “In the Garden” still is Ginny.


The Rev. Ruth Morrison displays a print of the Spurwink Church made from an original painting by the Cape’s Dudley Bostwick. Everyone who attended Harvest Song received a copy of Dudley’s print.

Approximately 80 people attended Harvest Song from our church, other churches in the Cape and the general community. It included hymn singing, prayers for the church, community and country, scripture and poetry readings and solos from ambitious and dedicated musicians, both young and well-seasoned.


Violet Eaton playing her violin, accompanied by Mark Braun on the electronic piano.



Caitlyn Eaton played three short pieces on her violin, also accompanied by Mark Braun on the electronic piano.



In addition to accompanying the young violinists, Mark Braun played classical pieces for the prelude and postlude of the special service

A scripture reading from Psalm 84 was read by 97-year-old Frances Banks and e.e. cummings’ “I am a Little Church” was read by Sherrie Kaminsky.


Frances Banks



Sherrie Kaminsky

Our church’s always inspirational choir, led by Faith York, didn’t disappoint with three arrangements, including a truly amazing rendition of of “Amazing Grace.’



Faith York and our church’s choir

Lay Leader Steve Hill delivered an interesting history of the Spurwink Church, which was built in 1802 as the Spurwink Meeting House. It is the oldest building in Cape Elizabeth and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.


Steve went on to explain that he and his wife Judith were married in the Spurwink Church in 1971 and then he asked others to share family connections and remembrances with the Spurwink Church.

Gail Parker, who played the church’s 1890 organ through part of the Harvest Song celebration, explained that her five daughters were baptized in the church and two of them were married there. She also explained that her mother and father are buried in the Riverside Cemetery behind the church. Mike Garrett described poignant remembrances of his mother also being buried at the Riverside Cemetery.

Faith York then stood in front of the gathering and read portions of memories her father, Bradford York, had written in 2000, describing his spiritual experience with the Spurwink Church.

The writing explained when he was 17 years old, he lived on Fowler Road and walked to a friend’s house on Scott Dyer Road. He stayed there until about 9 p.m. and then decided to walk up to Spurwink Ave. and the church on the corner. He was tired and thought about resting on the front step when he noticed the antique handles on one of the front doors. He tried the handle, but the door was locked. He decided to walk over to the other door in front of the church and when he tried that handle, it was open.

“What should I do?” he wrote. “Perhaps I could just look in.”Bradford entered the church and sat in the last pew on the left side.

“I sat in the pew for about half an hour. In that brief span of time something very strange happened. Within a period of about a half an hour, the essential orientation of my life was reprogrammed. Sitting in that pew, I began to be aware of an unusual presence. It was a presence I did not understand, nor that I have words to even yet explain. I had an awareness of something absolutely unique and overpowering.  It seemed that I was in the presence of an unearthly kind of goodness I had never before sensed. And it was a presence that instilled joy . . . an encounter absolutely thrilling.”

Bradford went on to explain, “It was a presence whose clear articulation seemed to be ‘It is the power of God unto salvation.’ ” He further remembered, “It was the awareness of something not of this world but whose relationship to this world seemed totally positive. Without question this was the most unique moment of consciousness I have ever experienced. The essence of my response: ‘I will. I will believe!’ ”

Bradford finished by stating, “I left that church building a totally different person. When I got home my parents were sleeping. I woke them up and told them that very thing: that I was a different person. Later in my room I wept. I wept from my soul my every sin, I think, I had ever committed. It was wonderful!

“Thinking back on that night, I am wholly convinced that somewhere there was a choir of angels joyfully singing . . . “Amazing Grace!”

The same hymn Bradford’s daughter led the choir in singing, 68 years later.

Faith’s father celebrated his 86th birthday on the same day as Harvest Song at the Spurwink Church. Bradford had not shared this memory with his daughter until two days before Harvest Song.

Click here for additional images of Harvest Song at the Spurwink Church:

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Harvest Song

October 7th, 2016, by Ted Haider


Inspirational afternoon of music

Join us on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. for Harvest Song, an afternoon of fellowship with the community through the inspiration of music. This special event, hosted by our church, will be held at the historic Spurwink Church on Route 77.

Seating is limited, so please plan to arrive early.

The Spurwink Church gathering will include a traditional Hymn Sing along with vocal and instrumental performances. Steve Hill will provide a history of the Spurwink Church while asking those in attendance to share their own memories of events in the church.

The public is invited to join us. Invite family and friends!

A goodwill offering will be taken for Judy’s Pantry. A member of the congregation donated money to pay for rental fees at the church, so all money collected during the offering will go directly to Judy’s Pantry, which supports 30-35 families in Cape Elizabeth each week with fresh produce and an assortment of non-perishable items.


Animal Blessing

October 6th, 2016, by Ted Haider


Ruth’s Animal Farewell

The Rev. Ruth Morrison performed her final Blessing of the Animals on Oct. 2, honoring the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Ruth will be retiring in June.

Thank you to Mark Braun for providing this wonderful collection of photos from the blessing, held in the church’s Outdoor Chapel.


Ruth started her annual blessing of the animals in 2005 for the Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church. But her animal blessings date back to the 1980s when she combined the blessing with Rogation Sunday at the Goodwins Mills United Methodist Church. Rogation Sunday was an annual blessing of farm fields and crops.


The Goodwins Mills blessing included dogs, cats, gerbils, cockatiels, parakeets and chickens inside the church and cows and horses looking in from the outside.


The Cape Elizabeth blessings have largely been for dogs. But for the past three years, Church Treasurer Jim Tammaro has kept the mix of animals lively by bringing Sugar the goat. This year, Sugar even decided to participate by standing on benches intended for use by humans.



This year’s blessing was the first event held in the Outdoor Chapel since its renovation in September as an Eagle Scout project by Preston Stewart.


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

Eagle Scout Project

September 30th, 2016, by Ted Haider

The Rev. Ruth Morrison and Preston Stewart stand in the renovated Outdoor Chapel with (left to right) Scout Master AJ Di Ninno, Eagle Scout Peter Di Ninno, Tim Stewart (Preston’s father) and Scout Thomas Rodda.

Thank you, Preston and Troop 30

It didn’t go exactly to his meticulous plans, but Preston Stewart’s Eagle Scout Leadership Project is complete and now the church and Cape Elizabeth community will benefit from his diligence.

A renovation of the church’s Outdoor Chapel was Preston’s project. Over two weekends in September,  the chapel went from a scene of disrepair and over-growth to one that is now welcoming to anyone who wants to worship in a serene setting or just to reflect among the natural sounds of Robinson Woods.


Preston goes over his plans with Troop 30 Scout Master AJ Di Ninno

The project, with the help of scouts and leaders from Cape Elizabeth’s Troop 30, included the spreading of mulch over new landscaping fabric, the reconstruction of benches — using stumps from a tree recently cut down at the back of the church parking lot — and the construction of a pulpit at the front of the chapel.


A bird bath sits at the rear of the Outdoor Chapel and a new pulpit at the front

“I picked the project because the church is a community, one I’m part of, one I’m familiar with,” Preston said. “I knew that the church’s congregation would be really excited about the outdoor sanctuary being renovated.”


The mulch for the Outdoor Chapel floor was donated by L P Murray and Sons and the landscaping fabric was donated by Lowe’s. The lumber for the benches and pulpit was sold to Preston by Rufus Deering Lumber at a discount rate.


Because of the shape and size of the landscaping fabric, Preston had to alter his original plan to make everything fit.

“We figured it would be easier to arrange the fabric in a rectangular shape rather than cutting it in an oval shape,” Preston said. “Once the rectangle was cut out, I decided to angle the benches on one side of the trail to give a better view of the podium. Although it didn’t match my original plan, I couldn’t be happier about the final product.”


One page of Preston’s detailed plans for the renovation of the Outdoor Chapel

The original Outdoor Chapel was constructed in 1994 as John Hoskins’ Eagle Scout project and then renovated for a first time in 2005 for an Eagle Scout project by Matt Braun.


The Outdoor Chapel will be used for a first time during the Oct. 2 Animal Blessing by the Rev. Ruth Morrison. It will be used again on Oct. 15 for the outdoor wedding of Nancy Ricker’s granddaughter.


The Outdoor Chapel is essentially complete, but another coat of sealer will be brushed on the benches after the Animal Blessing and wedding.


Thank you to all the church members who contributed sandwiches, chips and drinks for lunches for Preston and his fellow scouts and Troop 30 leaders over the two weekends of renovating the Outdoor Chapel.

Scroll down to the Sept. 22 Facebook posting for more details on how Preston’s Outdoor Chapel project began.

Classical Concert

September 26th, 2016, by Ted Haider

Mark Braun (right) with Duo Terlano — Johannes Dietrich and Marie-Aline Cadieux

Evening of soothing delight

The husband-wife team of Duo Terlano graciously performed a free concert in the church’s sanctuary on Sept. 24, filling the evening with the refined tones of violin and cello and an education of how classical works can be so masterfully performed.

Both college professors of music, Johannes Dietrich and Marie-Aline Cadieux stopped in Cape Elizabeth for the performance as a favor to our church’s Mark Braun. Marie-Aline is the daughter of Mark’s first piano teacher when he was in the fourth grade in Minneapolis. Mark and Marie-Aline only got in touch for the first time earlier this year and the afternoon before Saturday’s performance was the first time they had met.


The stop in Cape Elizabeth was part of a busy trip up the East Coast for Johannes and Marie-Aline. They performed before elementary school students in Newark, New Jersey on Thursday and performed again before students on Friday in Laconia, New Hampshire. After the performance at our church, they were on their way to a Sunday concert at a church in Camden, Maine.


For the concert at our church, they performed eight pieces from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods. But just as rewarding, they took the time to provide explanations of how each piece was to be played, a little background on the composer and even how different bows can produce entirely different sounds.


During introductions, Mark explained his newfound relationship with Johannes and Marie-Aline and Marie responded by saying, “I’m an only child and it now feels as if I have a brother.”


The group’s name, Duo Terlano, comes from the northern Italian town in which Johannes and Marie-Aline celebrated their first wedding anniversary. They live in Pennsylvania.

Johannes is the Newton and Adelaide Burgner Professor in Instrumental Music at Lebanon Valley College and he teaches conducting, string methods, applied violin and viola, and coaches chamber music ensembles. He also directs the college’s symphony orchestra.

Marie-Aline is a Professor of Music at Kutztown University and performs regularly as a member of Duo Terlano, the Allentown, Pa.-based chamber ensemble SATORI, and in her own recitals. Both Johannes and Marie-Aline have performed across the United States and in Europe.


Thank you to Duo Terlano for such a wonderful performance and to Mark for making the connection that brought them to our church.