Top 5 @ SPUMC

Worship on this 4th of July weekend was packed with all kinds of music giving thanks to God for our country and our freedoms. Nicola & trumpeter Tyler Holt ushered us into our sacred space with a beautiful rendition of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” which was followed by our opening hymn, “America the Beautiful” led by a trio of voices, Ashley Cuzzart, Paul Ford & Greg Partridge. For the offertory, Ryan Hennesy played and sang another staple of the Americana canon, “This Land Is Your Land.” We celebrated communion together and Rev. Carissa and Rev. Ron preached a dialog sermon to start our new worship series, “Asking for a Friend.” They encouraged us to see “wrestling with God” through our questions as a natural and important part of faith and reminded us that Jesus’s great commission was given to a mixed bag of disciples, some who believed and some who doubted.

We are looking forward to getting back together in person in July! We’ll begin holding small worship services (up to 50 people) on Wednesday nights in the parking lot near Fellowship Hall starting this week, July 8 at 7pm. This will not replace but rather be in addition to our virtual worship on Sunday mornings and other online gatherings. You can watch this video of what to expect at Wednesday night worship. In short, all worshipers will be expected to:

  • Register online beginning the Sunday before (here’s the link to register yourself and/or your family)
  • Stay home if you feel sick or have a fever
  • Wear a face mask/covering
  • Maintain safe social distancing of 6 feet or more
  • Avoid making physical contact with one another (handshaking, hugging, fist or elbow bumping, etc.)
  • Wash hands/Use hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Bring your own chair(s)

There will be live music but no congregational singing. Restrooms will not be available unless there is an emergency and the playground area is closed until further notice. Please park in the “front” parking lot (along Benfield Rd) leaving one empty space between vehicles. If it rains on a Wednesday night, our back up plan is to worship in Fellowship Hall.

You can stay abreast of all that the Regathering Task Force is us up including a video of what to expect on Wednesday nights by visiting our Re-Entering Well webpage or by contacting Todd Popham who is chairing the group.

We are extremely grateful for the fabulous job our tech team (Rob Smith, Clint Murray, Ryan Hennesy, Matt Barger & Chris Dillard) has been doing as we have continued to improve the quality of our weekly livestream experience of our worship service. We have learned a lot in the last three months and we’ve also discovered some significant equipment needs if we are to sustain excellence in this area for both our current and longer-term virtual worship.

Livestreaming has become central to the life of our congregation in ways that none of us could have imagined and that we did NOT include in our 2020 budget. The total package of upgrades which we are seeking to make over the next 6-8 months will cost about $16,000. We are hoping to be able to invest in several key equipment purchases now that will enable us to function at a high level. We hope many of you have also come to appreciate the value of having such a high-quality livestream worship experience and that some of you might be interested in helping us to underwrite the costs of several foundational pieces of hardware and software beyond your core giving/pledge to SPUMC. This first phase would include purchasing a new, much more powerful PC ($2400), livestreaming software ($800), camera ($2600) and monitors ($1200). If you’d like to be part of this effort you can contact Rev. Ron or simply make a contribution by check or online and be sure to include a note/memo that says “Livestream.” We are grateful for your support in this and all of our ongoing efforts to stay vitally and virtually connected as a congregation.

In addition to upgrading the equipment for our livestream, we are also looking for people who would be willing to be trained to help expand our team so that we can share the growing workload. If you are interested in learning how to operate cameras, distribute feeds, link graphics/words to our livestream, etc., contact Chris Dillard.We’d love to have some more folks who are passionate about helping us share the good news of Jesus from the tech side of things!

Thanks so much to everyone who showed up and dropped off food, cash and checks for the #WeAreASP Food Frenzy two weeks ago. Since they weren’t able to be in West Virginia serving low-income families on their yearly Appalachia Service Project week of mission, the youth and adult leaders turned their efforts to collecting food for SPAN and what a generous outpouring you provided. If you didn’t get a chance to make a donation, SPAN is always in need of the usual non- perishables like peanut butter, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, canned fruit and vegetables, fruit cups, etc. and you can drop off items on the front porch this week. They will also accept monetary donations which you can mail to them directly or mail to the church. Alternatively, Amazon even delivers directly to SPAN at 400 Benfield Rd. in Severna Park!

We continue to build out the Faith & Race page on our website with book suggestions, video links and lots of great resources to help all of us to deepen our faith and witness by becoming allies in the ongoing effort to dismantle racism. This week in honor of Independence Day, we added two new resources: a video featuring the descendants of Frederick Douglass performing excerpts of his famous “4th of July” speech from 1852 and a great conversation between host Krista Tippett and Civil Rights pioneer Vincent Harding talking about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of the beloved community.

April Doss suggested a new website called “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” that features people like Chip & Joanna Gaines or Matthew McConaughey sitting down with Emmanuel Acho for important and illuminating dialog.

Heather Kraus also passed on information about an upcoming talk by Ibram X. Kendi on his book, How to Be an Anti-Racist (SPUMC’s book of the month for July) sponsored by the Prince Georges Library system.

We also encourage you to watch and share with your friends a video from the entire SPUMC staff that speaks passionately about our common commitment to racial justice and equality. You can find the video and all of these other other resources on our new Faith & Race page.


Your giving and support of our church remain critical during this time and we a grateful for the outpouring of generosity in these first few Sundays out of our building. We encourage you to continue to send in your offerings via mail or through multiple options we have for digital giving (direct debit, credit card and text giving). Many Thanks!!

To contact the Church Office with questions or information, please email Beth Frank.