Top 5 @ SPUMC

#1 SENSING GOD: Tasting
This past Sunday Rev. Ron continued our SENSING GOD: An Immense World worship series with his sermon Taste & See. He started out by talking about the incredible “tasting” power of catfish who are, in the words of Ed Yong, “swimming tongues” because they have thousands of taste buds over their entire body. We explored the rich language of Psalm 34 together which is full of very familiar “Psalmy” words and phrases (praise, exalt, cry out, seek, etc.) and one very memorable signature line: “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” He went on to talk about the Psalms as our “partners in prayer” that invite both our participation (YOU taste and see!) and our imagination. Regarding the second of these, he asked worshipers to imagine what summer tastes like to them. You came up with a lot of great responses both out loud and via text: peaches, watermelon, sweet corn, ice cream, crabs, fresh tomatoes, lemonade, snow balls, salt water taffy and my personal favorite, “the ice-cold metallic refreshment of a drink from the garden hose.” Have one that you want to add to the list? Email it to Rev. Ron.

In other worship news of the day, we were treated to Brian Sanders who played trumpet at both 8am and 10:45am and added so much to our 4th of July weekend hymns, “God of the Ages” and “America the Beautiful.” The worship team went a little acoustic on us and their set included songs that featured Bob Barlow on banjo and mandolin among other things. They also debuted another great new song – Palm 34/Taste & See by Shane & Shane — which provided a moving backdrop to communion at both 9:15am & 10:45am. On top of that, we had a great brother/sister reading of scripture (thanks Patrick & Mackenzie!) at 9:15am and solo reading (thanks Elsie!) at 10:45am. What a rich day in worship even if we had technical difficulties — a connector box that simply failed — that did not allow us to livestream our service. But no fears — we’ll be back up and running this week!

In early June, we launched the public phase of our EXTREME MAKEOVER: Sanctuary Edition campaign. We are inviting members and friends to consider a financial commitment to support our Sanctuary renovations in the form of multiple gifts over time (18-24 months), a one-time gift, stock donations, mandatory IRA distributions, etc.. Our lead donors have done a great job of giving us a head start on our fundraising — to the tune of $108,000! — and we’d love for as many of you who can to join them in this over-and-above giving (we still need your weekly and monthly offerings…) at whatever amount you are able. So far we have commitments and donations for $162K of the $300K we are seeking to raise. See the EXTREME MAKEOVER page for more details, commitment cards, and links to give.

New carpet and luxury vinyl planking has just been installed and our repaired and refinishing pews will be reinstalled the week of July 22. We’ve already completed the painting phase of our project (a brightening up of the front wall and wings, doors, balcony, ceilings, etc.) and are about to start in on some of the AV upgrades (running cables and conduits while the floors are accessible). Feel free to “get comfy” by bringing cushions for your folding chairs (only two more Sundays!). Contact Rev. Ron if you would like to make a creative or significant gift to this project. Thanks! 

Our APPALACHIA SERVICE PROJECT team of 47 youth, college students and adults recently returned from a week of serving residents in the community of Leatherwood, Kentucky. They had a great and productive time roofing, siding, insulating, installing new floor joists, plumbing and digging endless footer holes for wheel chair ramps. Through the sweat and the hard work and refreshing rounds of Ale-8 sodas, there was so much joy and laughter that shone through as the projects all came together for the homeowners. Our church mission statement — Love. Serve. Follow. — was on full display all week long in Kentucky! Check out the pictures of the youth in action on our Facebook page and join us on ASP Sunday is August 11 to hear their stories and testimonies.

There are lots of ways to keep connected to SPUMC even when you are out of town this summer:
*Send us a postcard from your family vacation and/or digital pix for our Friday eNews. We absolutely love seeing your pictures and living your joy vicariously with you! Pictured to the left is Justin E. catching a wave in Ocean City, New Jersey.
* Worship with us when you’re away via our Livestream services each Sunday at 10:45am. You can link to our worship service on Sunday mornings in real time, or visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to catch up anytime.
* Keep up with what’s going on by regularly visiting the Top 5 page on our website or via our weekly eNews.

God’s blessings to you and your family wherever you find yourselves this summer!

A dozen members and friends of our Sacred Worth Group marched in the Annapolis Pride Parade on June 1 as a witness to the inclusive love of God. Laura & Ty’s dog Scruffy was a big hit along the way as we passed out stickers and glow sticks to children lining the parade route. One particularly poignant highlight of this beautiful day was Bill & Kathleen Douglas surprising their son, Rob and his husband Justin, who along with a group of friends were watching on West Street. When we came up to them and Rob recognized his parents marching in support of him and when his friends saw that this was a CHURCH letting them know that they, too, were loved and not judged by God, there were tears of joy all around.