Visions - Christ Reformed United Church of Christ

No matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
Because Jesus has taught us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength,
and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves, we invite people of every race, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, age, marital status, economic circumstance, and physical and mental ability into the worship,
rites and sacraments, fellowship, and leadership of our church.
“Sweating bullets to line up the Bible with our exhausting expectations, to make
the Bible something it’s not meant to be, isn’t a pious act of faith, even if it looks
that way on the surface. It’s actually thinly masked fear of losing control and
certainty, a mirror of an inner disquiet, a warning signal that deep down we do
not really trust God at all.”
Markings (cont.)
Inclement Weather
Emergency Shelter
Ash Wednesday
2015 Offering Envelopes Available
Free Tax Assistance through AARP
Are you in Elementary School and Want
to Help?...THIS is your chance!!!
Growing Project Celebration Dinner
The Frederick School of Religion
Thank You Notes
2015 Consistory, Board & Committee
February Calendar
Community Outreach
Youth Events
Plan Your Calendar
Around the Congregation
Frozen for a Reason
-Peter Enns
The Bible Tells Me So:
Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It
One of the questions with which Christians perpetually wrestle is the place of
scripture in our faith. For those seated on the right side of the faith spectrum, if
not the right hand of God, the old saw, “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles
it” suffices. Those at the opposite end of the theological spectrum view scripture
as a dated and defunct collection of tales that hinders the real and present
experience of God. Most of us land somewhere between those two poles. We hold
scripture, even when it is troubling or seemingly opaque, as something that comes
as a gift from God. It is the closest thing we have to a first-hand twitter account of
Jesus’ life and, thus, a glimpse of the nature and desire of God. It rightfully
belongs front and center in our worship and devotional life. Yet we also
acknowledge, as the UCC branding campaign puts it, “God is still speaking.” To
put scripture in too lofty a place is to turn it into that which Moses warned our
ancestors about: an idol. What’s a fella to do?
One suggestion I would have is to spend a little time reading and reflecting with
others on the book that will be the focus of our small group study during Lent and
from which the quote above is taken. Enns, who is a professor of Biblical Studies
at Eastern University, writes “the problem isn’t the Bible. The problem is coming to
the Bible with expectations it’s not set up to bear.” What are our expectations of
the Bible? Where might our preconceptions, based as much on culture and our
point in history, get in the way of our hearing and seeing the Living Word in the
written word?
(Continued on page 2)
Emergency Family Shelter Program
February 21st– February 27th
“Move-In” & “Move-Out” Teams Needed
Nightly Dinners Needed
Nightly Evening Host(s) Needed
Nightly Overnight Host Needed
Sign-Up Today!!
See article on page 2 for more details.
Markings (continued)
Lent, the roughly six-week season leading up to Easter, begins with Ash Wednesday. We’ll begin the
season’s journey with a service of worship on Wednesday, February 18th, at 7:00 p.m. This solemn
service of word and communion reminds us of both our mortality and of God’s shaping presence in our
In the weeks following you are encouraged to join with a small group of new and old friends, to read
and reflect on Enns’ book. There will be groups meeting on Sunday morning and Sunday evening as
well as during the day and evening throughout the week. You can join any of the groups by adding
your name to the sign-up sheet in the main hallway. You can also order a book by noting that on the
sign-up sheet. Books are $20 (hardcover) or you can order an electronic edition for about $10.
Enns writes:
“The Bible shows us how normal and expected it is for all people of faith to be a part of the same sort of process, the
same spiritual journey, of living, reflecting, changing, growing in our understanding of God, ourselves, the world, and our
place in it. If there’s a sense in which the Bible “tells us what to do,” I think that’s it: as a model of the diverse and
unscripted spiritual life, not as our step-by-step instructional guide. The Bible doesn’t say, ‘Look at me!’ It says, ‘Look
through me.’”
Come and join us as we take a look.
Inclement Weather
In the case of inclement weather you can get the
latest word on our Sunday morning worship plans by
checking the church’s voice mail greeting or by visiting
the church’s web page at
Emergency Family Shelter
At the end of February our church will once again
host homeless families as part of the Religious
Coalition’s Emergency Family Shelter Network. The
families will arrive on Saturday evening, February
21st, and spend the next 7 nights with us. Leaving the
church each morning by 6:30 a.m., the parents will
spend their days at the Linton Cold Weather Shelter in
Frederick while the children attend school. The families
will arrive about 6:00 p.m. and enjoy a simple dinner
prepared by members of our congregation. After the
meal they will do what all families do: catch up on the
day’s activities, do homework, watch television, eat a
snack, relax. They will sleep in the room that houses
our Chapel Sunday School class and choir rehearsals.
To get ready we need to begin recruiting
volunteers. There are lots of ways you can help. Each
evening we’ll need three people to serve as hosts
between 6:00-8:00 and two between 8:00-10:00. You
can volunteer for the whole four hours or for just one of
the shifts. We’ll also need one overnight host who will
be present along with an employee of
RCEHN. Overnight host will be able to sleep. We need
people who are willing to provide an evening meal for
about 14 women and children. We also need “move-in”
and “move out” teams who can help unload and set up
the bedding and other equipment on Saturday the
21st and 28th. This takes about 30-45 minutes. If you
can help, please add your name to the sign up sheet on
the bulletin board in the church’s main hallway, call the
church office or contact our shelter coordinator, Mark
Boettcher at [email protected]
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday, February 18th, marks the beginning
of Lent, a 40-day period of prayer, self-examination and
spiritual redirection. It takes its name from the practice
of faithful people on that day having their foreheads
marked with ashes in the shape of a cross. This ritual
dates back to the sixth century. The ashes were used for
two purposes: as a sign of humility and mortality; and as
a sign of sorrow and repentance for sin. At first only
public penitents received ashes. They were made to
appear barefoot at the church and perform penance for
their sins. Friends and relatives began to accompany
them, perhaps in sympathy and in the knowledge that
no one is without sin, and gradually the ashes were
given to the whole congregation.
This year we will observe the ritual by the imposition
of ashes, the sharing of a simple communion and the
chance to walk the church’s labyrinth. The labyrinth
itself, like Lent, gives us a chance to reflect on our faith
as not a fixed understanding, but a living and moving
commitment. Join us at 7:00 p.m. on the 18th as we
move deeper into what it means to be a follower of
2015 Offering Envelopes Available
2015 Offering Envelopes are available in the church
office. If you would like to receive a pack, please
contact Bill Steigelmann at 301-293-3202 or see Debbie
Bruns in the church office.
Notes (continued)
Free Tax Assistance through AARP
For many years AARP volunteers have provided free
tax assistance for middle-to-moderate-income taxpayers.
Tax assistance is available to all taxpayers that fall
within the scope of the Program. Again this year, tax
returns are being prepared free by IRS certified Tax
Counselors at the Middletown Municipal Center
every Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
through April 14th. To schedule a time to have your
tax return prepared and filed for free, please contact Bill
Falconer at 301-371-3264.
Each week a different member or
friend of CRUCC helps lead our
worship service. They read scripture,
lead prayers and help remind us that
the work of worship is not solely for
pastors. We would love to add you to
the team of members and friends who help with the
service. You will be scheduled to lead 2 or 3 times a
year and the team members can switch dates with each
other if scheduling conflicts come up. If you would be
willing to help with worship please speak to Mark or
Are you in Elementary School and Want
to Help?...THIS is your chance!!!
THIS, which stands for Truly His In
Service, is a new experience where
elementary-aged kids come together to
brainstorm service projects, design them, and see them
through. THIS is your chance to shine as God’s light:
start a food or clothing drive, create a walkathon, write
a play or a song for worship to teach everyone about
ways they can help make a difference, get a letter
campaign going… together, THIS will change lives.
There will be a general interest meeting held in the
Social Room immediately following the 10:30 service
(approximately 11:30) on Sunday, February 1st.
Lunch will be provided, and while grown-ups are
welcome and encouraged to stay, it is not required. At
this meeting we will unwrap and sort the white gifts
designated for Community Living and begin
brainstorming future projects.
Please indicate your interest in participating in THIS
and let us know if you can attend the meeting on
February 1st by contacting Pastor Michelle at
[email protected] or 301-371-6610.
Questions and input are welcome!
Growing Project Celebration Dinner
Please join us at Grossnickle Church of the Brethren
on Sunday, February 15th, at 5:00 p.m. as we
celebrate our work together to help our sisters and
brothers around the world. We will host two guests
from the Honduras Nueva Frontera program, which we
will be sponsoring this year. A delicious meal will be
served. Please RSVP to Linda DeLauder, Cynthia Zecher
or the church office.
The Frederick School of Religion
The Frederick School of Religion classes start on
February 9th. The location this year is Unitarian
Universalist Congregation of Frederick at 4880 Elmer
Derr Road in Frederick. The School is an ecumenical
teaching organization that provides a ‘Learning for
Life’ experience for both laity and clergy. The six-week
series of classes includes a broad range of religious
topics appealing to diverse faiths. For more information
and registration forms, please visit their website at or call Ron Adams at
Thank You Notes
To the very dear church family of our loving mother, Margie Hurd, Friends,
associates, brothers and sisters in our Lord, Christ Jesus,
Our hearts are saddened with the loss of our mother. But, our souls have
been fortified by the outpouring of love and compassion we have received
from so many of our mother’s beautiful friends and associates. Thank you
for going out of your way to support us in our time of grief. Middletown is
truly a spectacular community. And the Middletown Christ Reformed Church
is truly a cornerstone of that community. May God continue to bless you
one and all. As Mom would say, please remember to 'Smile for the joy of
~The Cayers, the Russells, and the Hurds
A special thank you to everyone for
the wishes of good health and all the
get well cards. I am doing fine now.
Thank you.
~Leah MacMillan
2015 Consistory, Board and Committee Members
Andrew Corl, David Cutler, Gregg Petermann, Laura Verdi
New: Bill Falconer, Beth Scott
George Bramhall, Daphne Gabb, Jenny Powell, Judy Zeck
New: Wendy Campbell, Keith Zecher
Mike Remsberg
Wayne Brandenburg, Jay House, Richard Keller, Ed Link, Scott Montgomery, Tony Verdi
New: Tom Mende, Carrollee Zecher
Madelyn Cross, Christine Fontaine (Youth), Laura Fontaine, Paige Gorman,
Sandy Oliynyk, Sarah Petermann, Sue Wickless
New: Kim Bentz, Melissa Estes
Fred Dodge, Griff Garwood, Will Gorman, Terry Hill, Rich Potter, Garry vom Lehn, Keith Zecher
New: Gary Bell, Mickey Keller, Craig Zecher
Tyler Blum, Terri Boettcher, Judy Brandenburg, Peggy Dodge, Merle Guyton, Janet Lawler-Heavner
New: Leah Bentz, Anita Link, Lorena Zecher
Pam Arnold, Be’ Hill, Marty Estell, Crystal Fink, Jean Frock, Gertie Mende
New: Connie Bell , Margaret Brandenburg, Gail Johnson
To be named (Deacon) ____ To be named (Elder) ____ To be named (Cemetery Board)___
New: Lesa Cook, Paul Fink, Chris Johnson
Robyn Bramhall, Bunny Cramer, Griff Garwood, Lisa Remsberg, Lee Warren
New: Chris Johnson, Bob Sheffler
Debbie Coffin, Charlotte Hanson, Stacey Haupt, Zoe Worrell, Lorena Zecher
New: Ed Fontaine, Beth Mummert
Bill Falconer, Bob Galey
New: Lynn Bittle, Mark Boettcher, Mary Garwood, Gail Patrick
Scott and Stephanie Mekkelson – Coordinator(s)
Trista McAleavy, Director
Jean Galey, Kim Hughes, Melissa Miller, Josie Remsberg, Katie Roberts, Debby Weaver,
Nancy vom Lehn
New: Terri DeLloyd, Jessica Yingling
Community Outreach
Special Olympics Maryland
Keith and Lorena Zecher will be participating in the Deep Creek
Dunk on Saturday, February 21st. This event is to raise money
for Special Olympics Maryland. Donations can be made in person
to either Keith or Lorena or you can donate online at Please indicate that you would like to sponsor
Keith or Lorena. Checks should be made out to Special Olympics
Maryland. They would appreciate any donation that you can give.
Fiber Plus Bars  15 oz Pasta w/Meatballs
Care and Share Sunday
First Sunday of Each Month
The first Sunday of each month, we collect food items for the Middletown
Food Bank and items for use at the Heartly House domestic violence
shelter. As you shop this month, please pick up a few items and bring
them with you to worship. Collection boxes are found in the
hallway between the sanctuary and the chapel. For a detailed
list of items needed by Heartly House, please visit
Blood Drive Dates
Saturday, May 9
Saturday, September 12
Saturday, December 5
8:00 a.m.—1:30 p.m.
Please give the Gift of Life!
Youth Events
Are You in Elementary School and
Want to Help?
...THIS is Your Chance!!!
Information Meeting
February 1st @ 11:30 a.m.
Lunch will be provided
(details on page 3)
High School Youth
Freezin’ for a Reason & Parish
Life Breakfast
February 7th-8th
High School Youth
Join us as we celebrate Olivia,
Thomas, and Christine's
February 15
Meet at the church @ 1:30 p.m.
Plan Your Calendar
imply February
ingles Events
February 14
5:00 p.m.
Dinner @ Mexicali Cantina
Rehearsals Every
Other Friday @ 4:15 p.m.
Contact Terry Sparks
(RSVP to Mary Lou)
February 28
Christian Concert
Seventh Day Adventist Church
(Meet at the church at 5:00 p.m.
For more details, please contact Mary Lou Dent at
301-696-1920 or [email protected]
Parish Life Breakfast
There will be a Parish Life breakfast in
the social room on Sunday, February
8th from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Please add your name to the sign-up
sheet in the Narthex and come early for fellowship
and a great breakfast with friends and family.
FEBRUARY Basket Class
We will be making a basket suitable for hanging on the wall or a door. It is known as a Heart,
Elbow or Choctaw basket depending on the pattern designer. Watch for the sign-up on the bulletin
board for a picture of this interesting basket. The classes will be held in the Parish House on
Tuesday, February 17th at 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday, February 27th at 12:30 p.m. Cost of
the class is $12.00. More information from Gail Johnson or Diana Corl.
VBS Already?!
Save the Date: July 13 – July 17
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
G-Force: God’s Love In Action
A fun, action-packed VBS experience for
rising K-5th graders right here at
Christ Reformed
MS and HS volunteers welcome!
Adult volunteers needed!
Keep your eyes peeled for more
information in the months to follow.
Happy Valentines Day
from Called to Care
Did you know that about one BILLION Valentines Day
cards are exchanged each year? The holiday is 2nd only to
Christmas in terms of cards being sent.
Speaking of cards...if you have received cards from our
church or cards from Called to Care there is a good chance
that it was lovingly signed and mailed by
Margie Hurd along with a short note
inside. Margie had a talent for words and
a heart filled with love for all. We will miss
you, our friend.
Around the Congregation
February 1
Tony Verdi
February 1
February 8
Matt Anticevich
February 8
Dick & Susan Foot
February 15
Chris Johnson
February 15
Ruth & Bill Falconer
Nick Fink
February 22
February 18 Ash Wednesday
February 22
Tony Verdi
February 1
Mary Johnson
February 1
Tim DeLloyd
February 8
Barbara Ohler
February 8
Luke James
February 15
Melissa Estes
February 15
Jessica Mekkelson
February 22
Pat Wiles
February 22
Connor Austin
February 1
Team 2
February 1
Paul Fink
February 8
Team 3
February 8
Gail Patrick
February 15
Team 4
February 15
Beth Mummert
February 18 Ash Wednesday
Team 5
February 22
Gregg Petermann
February 22
Team 6
February 1
Beth & Mike Mummert
February 8
Jessie Carson & Craig Zecher
February 15
Spirit Stars
Marjorie Hurd died on January 2, 2015.
A service celebrating her life was held on
January 6, 2015.
February 22
Cemetery Board
Grant Easton Montgomery
was baptized on January 11, 2015.
Warren Edward Hess
was baptized on January 25, 2015.
January 2014
8:15 am 10:30 am
January 4
January 11
January 18
January 25
January Average — 161
2015 Average — 161
2014 Operating Budget Summary for DECEMBER
Operating Budget
Children’s Center
Global Church
Christ Reformed
United Church of Christ
Rev. Mark Wakefield, Pastor
Rev. Michelle Beadle, Associate Pastor
Contemporary Worship 8:15 a.m.
Sunday School for All Ages 9:15 a.m.
Traditional Worship 10:30 a.m.
Coffee Hour following Worship
12 South Church Street
P.O. Box 333
Middletown , Maryland 21769
[email protected]
Non Profit Organization
U.S. Postage Paid
Frederick, Maryland 21701
Church Office Hours
Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Fax: 301-371-6912
Daycare – Early Learning Center
Kindergarten thru 5th Grade
6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Monday – Friday
Reaching out to help people to know
God through Jesus Christ.
Equipping people to love God through
the community of faith.
Sending people to serve God
throughout the world.
An Overnight Adventure for K-8th Graders (Sleep Over or Stay Late)
Each child must be accompanied by their own Adult Chaperone
(max of 4 children per chaperone)
February 7th, 2015
7:00 p.m.
Lights Out 11:30 p.m.
Minimum $1 Donation
(Proceeds to benefit the
Alan B. Linton Cold Weather Shelter)
Please sign-up in the Narthex or by contacting the church
office. Don’t forget to let us know whether you will be spending
the night or just staying until lights out. Questions? See Pastor
Michelle or a member of the Christian Education Board.