Top 5 @ SPUMC

#1 EMMAUS ROAD WRAP-UP
We lingered in Easter and had one final installment in our Meeting Jesus at the Table series this past Sunday. In his sermon, “Broken/Slow/Burning Hearts,” Rev. Ron preached on the Road to Emmaus story where the disciples encounter a mysterious stranger who shows up on the road, engages them in conversation about the and then is made known to them in the breaking of the bread as none other than the risen Jesus. He went on to share the story of Barry Serini whose memorial service was just held here the day before. Barry was a bright, gifted man who faced a lot of challenges in his life due to recurring epileptic seizures and traumatic brain injury but who held on to his faith through it all. As a 10-year old, playing a game with his younger brother Paul, he came up with “The God Rule” (basically a free pass for his brother) and explained it this way: “Since no one can see God, and God is what connects all things, once they’re connected, they always mean something.” What wisdom for a 10-year old and for all of us, who find ourselves reconnected with God and with one another even when we don’t see God (like the disciples) but who nevertheless shows up unannounced and unexpected to bless our lives! p.s. The sermon was OK, but Elsie (pictured to left) stole the show at the 10:45am service with her spirited reading of the account from Luke’s gospel!

#2 WHAT A HOLY WEEK & EASTER!
We had a dramatic and joyful Holy Week and Easter Weekend together here at SPUMC. It began with our children processing around the church waving their palms on Palm Sunday and continued with the Maundy Thursday dinner that flowed right into worship in Fellowship Hall. On Good Friday we marked the day of Jesus’s crucifixion with a community service at Manresa at noon, joining with area churches to walk the Stations of the Cross along the Severn River. This was followed by a moving service here in our Sanctuary that evening that featured music from our choir, Nicola at the organ and Ty Young on cello.

On Saturday morning, we shifted gears and held our annual EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA which was fun for the whole family. We had close to 200 kids, parents and grandparents doing crafts, playing games, enjoying snacks then furiously hunting for eggs at 10am. On EASTER SUNDAY, we began our morning-long celebration with our Sunrise Service in the Garden followed by 3 services in the Sanctuary which culminated with the Hallelujah Chorus sending us forth with the good news that “He shall reign forever and ever.” Hallelujah! Thanks to everyone who came and participated to make it all so special.

#3 TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Are you new here and want to find out how to get more involved? Or perhaps you’ve been worshiping with us for a while now and this is starting to feel like home. You may even think you’re ready to become a member of SPUMC. If any of these describe you, we invite you to our next CONNECTIONS CLASS on Sunday, April 21 at 10:15am in the Parlor. You’ll have a chance to learn about our mission and ministries and we’ll have a chance to get to know you better, too. RSVP to Rev. Narae or just show up. nkim@severnaparkumc.org

#4 UMC GENERAL CONFERENCE NEWS
After years of delay due to Covid and other factors, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church will finally gather in Charlotte, NC April 23-May 3. Up for consideration will be important matters like Regionalization (giving the US, Africa, Europe and the Philippines more autonomy to do contextual ministry and moving away from our colonial past), Right-sizing our denominational boards and agencies (following the loss of nearly 25% of our congregations to disaffiliation) and Removal of harmful and discriminatory language from our Book of Discipline and Social Principles (around issues of inclusion and human sexuality). We will be holding Information Sessions on Sunday, April 28 following each of our worship services in the Parlor. Additionally, we will be posting updates and links on our website before, during and after General Conference to keep you informed. General Conference is a representative body of lay and clergy delegates from each of our Annual Conferences that meets every four years (in normal times!) for holy conferencing and to set the missional priorities for the United Methodist Church in an ever-changing world. Here are some helpful links to the UMC website, the Baltimore-Washington Conference website and the General Conference website so you can follow along.

#5 FACE FAMILIAR BUT NOT THE NAME?
Then pick up a new Church Directory available at the Welcome Desk or in Fellowship Hall. Suggested donation is $5-10 just to cover our printing costs. Don’t see yourself in there? We’re planning to put out a Directory Supplement in the next six months, so contact Meg if you want to be included. Also, if we had a mistake from our database that made its way into the Directory, we apologize as we tried to be as accurate as possible. Contact Beth with name, address or phone number edits.