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March Memories

With March comes the wind and with the wind comes kites. I have so many fond
memories of taking the kids kite flying over the years I can’t think of March being just
around the corner without thinking of all those good times.
It’s been a long time since my kids were little but the memories of going kite flying are as
fresh as yesterday. A warm, beautiful day would inevitably arrive at our doorstep in
March and I would rush home, insist on “this is a great day to fly a kite” and the drama
would begin.
First, we had the usual rush and hunt for a kite, a ball or two of string, tape, paperclips (for
the brown bag I would always inflate and send up the string) and all the other things that went with kite flying. The
fact that the little field in our neighborhood where we went to fly kites was a small open field on top of a crest and
surrounded with big trees all around it made it quite a challenge to get the kite up and kept aloft – without it getting
entangled in the trees.
After a short while Amy would be ready to hand off the string and go on to something else that she really wanted to
do in the first place. Since there were swings and playground and tennis courts and ball fields to choose from she
never lacked in alternatives. When it came to Beth’s turn it was always predictable and always a hoot. Beth wanted
to be in charge from the get go. She and I usually had a little power struggle to settle but since I was bigger than her
and since I paid for the kite and the string belonged to me and since I was the one who actually knew how to get the
kite airborne I usually got to be in charge – but not always, and never without a power struggle.
After I would get the kite in the air, Beth would howl and jump up and down in delight and insist on holding the
string. She had so much fun it was fun to watch her. Inevitably, thirty seconds would pass and she would let go of
the string and another kite would disappear. That’s where the fun always stopped. The kites did one of two things –
either disappear into the wild blue yonder, never to be seen again or get entangled in the uppermost heights of the
trees where they would tangle and mangle and taunt me for weeks until finally disintegrating. It didn’t matter if I
had expensive kites or cheap kites, the scenario was always the same. Matthew was always more interested in
playing ball or chasing the dog and so while we did some kite flying he wasn’t all that interested. Now that I think
about it, the girls weren’t all that interested either, nor was Mary. But, I sure was and we sure had fun!
The kids are all grown up now. They have their own kids to go and fly kites with. I still have Mary to share my
enthusiasm in whatever last minute activity interests me and she still loves me enough to pretend to share the joy. I
guess age takes its toll and I’m not all that interested in flying kites anymore, although I still get a rise out of it (no
pun intended) when at the beach and a good strong wind and an open field beckons me again.
Shared life, shared experience, shared joys and shared frustrations are what make a family. We all are privileged to
share together in our families and in our church family with all the activities and events that give us opportunity to be
together, and to live out what family means. I invite you to be active and involved as a member of the family here at
our church. It’s not the kite flying that matters – it’s being together to do it and to build memories that will sustain
us in our deepest hours of need for a lifetime to come. See you next Sunday!

Bob
BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
NEWS AMONG OUR MARCH
CHURCH FAMILY

Our thoughts & prayers are with:
Marguerite Orebaugh 1 Karen Kemp
Nicole Marshall
Wentworth Wilder
2 Hal & Shirley Rummel
Dorotha Fildes Eleanor Peebles
Zachary Owen
Dorothy Kenney. 3 John Small
5 Roberto Lopez
David Watterworth. Leigh Abraham
6 Norm & Pat Laine
Ralph Hockman Theresa Blankenship
8 Sherri McMahon
9 Jean Anderson
Solomon Green
Tony Costa
10 Bill & Linda Groome
11 Jim & Helen Nutt
12 Chris Castelino
13 Mollie Rhoades
Audrey Lodsin
17 Debbie Price
18 Anthony & Bertha Benson
Mason Chance
19 Ralph Hockman
20 Alexandra Konzmann
21 Christopher Lastre
23 Kerrie Love
25 Anna Lee Crockett
26 Earnie Sahady
27 Jane Small
28 Shane Hensley
31 Michael Lynn
NEWS FROM OUR MINISTRY

DEPARTMENTS

"Dear Friends - What a week it’s been: ice storms in
OUTREACH MINISTRY Kentucky, tornadoes in Oklahoma, bush fires in
Australia, floods in Costa Rica and destructive weather
Mario Mendoza, Chairman
in countries across Africa. And these are only the so-
called natural disasters that have occurred. There is also communal violence in Orissa, India,
ongoing strife in Gaza and further displacement in Southern Sudan. As we discern just where
our treasure is during this Week of Compassion season, may we reach out in solidarity to those
in need of compassion just this week alone."

Our Share the Good News
EVANGELISM/MEMBERSHIP MINISTRY membership contest is well
Karen Shpiece, Chairman underway. The kids in the church
are on the board....where are the
adults??? Check out the progress on the new progress board in the fellowship hall. Remember
it's our responsibility as Christians to Share the Good News. Bring your friends....
And speaking of Sharing the Good News, you'll be eligible for BONUS POINTS when you
bring someone to the Prayer Breakfast. The Prayer Breakfast has been scheduled for March
21st.
AHCC will be offering an Introduction to Scrapbooking Class on Sunday, April 19
following church and fellowship. Ever wonder what to do with those boxes and boxes of
pictures?? Come find out! No supplies will be sold at this FREE event so please see Karen
Shpiece for a list of suggested supplies. And, please, bring a friend!!

CHRISTIAN ED Not sure where the time goes - seems like I just got all my
Christmas decorations put away and Easter is just around
Mary Chance, Chairman the corner!!
Mark your calendars and plan to attend the "Son" rise
breakfast on Easter Sunday morning at 9:30. Sign up sheets will be going up in a couple
weeks.
We do have a new Sunday School class that will be starting on March 1. This class will
be geared for young adults (that is those currently in college, fresh out of college, just beginning
your careers, etc.) We are very excited about this class. Please see Mary Chance or Laura
Arico for more information.
Please make sure you bring your children to Sunday School - don't let them miss out on
this awesome experience. Join us at Ralph's General Store every Sunday morning promptly at
9:45 a.m.

cont’d on next page
STEWARDSHIP MINISTRY
John Small, Chairman
We make a living by what we get and a life by what we give
(North Bethesda United Methodist Church)

Last week as a member of the Board, I received the following email message from Dr. Chance.

Dear Board Members,

We just received the gas bill for the church for last month. The bill
was for $1,838. The month before, it was $1,400. While last month
was especially cold and we all had high bills at our homes I am
always stunned to see bills this large.

This email reminded me that during these difficult times, it is important for each of us to
remember our church. Like all of us, our church is faced with high heating bills as well as many
other increasing costs. As you pay your monthly bills please remember to put your Church first
on your list.

“C.S. Lewis didn’t talk about percentage giving. He said the only safe rule is to give more than
we can spare. Our charities should pinch and hamper us.”
Kathryn Ann Lindskoog

What’s That You Say?
Speaking of sharing in worship, we hope everyone will do their best to speak
up when sharing announcements and family joys and concerns. Some of our
older people have great difficulty hearing and by speaking up and facing the
congregation when we share things during the informal moments means we
do our part to help everyone hear what it is we are sharing.
Thanks for speaking up!
Gathering Before Worship

We hope that people will come and share the joy of community before the
worship service. A very important part of our gathering is the experience
of sharing our joys and concerns with each other prior to the start of the
service and our being able to experience a time of quite preparation. We
need to be able to do both and one without the other is only half the picture.
It is a fine line between the two competing needs and we want to honor
both the need of people to share in gathered community and to gather in quiet contemplation.

Once the Prelude music starts at 10:45 a.m. we hope the conversations and the noise will tone
down and people will gather to quietly contemplate the awesome presence of God in their lives.
The prelude music will usually move from more upbeat and outgoing in style to quiet and
contemplative as we get closer to the actual start of the Worship Service. Achieving that “happy
balance” is sometimes difficult to do and what works for one person may not work for another.
May we suggest that if you would like to continue to share all the joys and happenings in your
life once the Prelude Music has begun you do so over in the Fellowship Hall where the joy and
noise of boisterous conversation won’t disrupt the opportunity to gather quietly before the
service.
STAFF REFLECTIONS
From Our Assistant Minister: I thought I would be writing here about birds.
President’s Day weekend was our annual birding trip to the Eastern Shore, which is my favorite
day of the year. We wake up early to make the three-hour drive to the coast, and spend the day
traveling from Ocean City to Cape Henlopen State Park, stopping frequently along the way to
squint through binoculars at little birds, flocks of ducks, and perky sandpipers. For a birder,
there’s nothing more fun than crossing off a whole day on your calendar and reserving it for the
birds.
So yes, I could write about the birds, the “life-listers” we identified and were excited to
see. But instead I want to write about the one place where we didn’t see a single bird. We got
to this spot in the late afternoon, right at the time when most birds are nestled in for an
afternoon siesta. Not a single bird was chirping. But it didn’t matter. The place was so
beautiful that I forgot I was looking for birds.
Cape Henlopen has these magical places where evergreens grow out of the sand. The
ground is soft, white, and fluid, covered in soft pine needles so thick that your feet make no
sound as you walk. And these evergreens rise all around you, hemming you in on all sides.
The evergreens there don’t rise straight up to the sun, stretching tall. No, they branch out low
and wide, so the space all around you is filled in with green. There is something special about
evergreens in the winter. They are steadfast, warm, and provide color in an otherwise colorless
winter landscape. When I stumble upon a grove of evergreens on a winter hike, I find that I
immediately feel safe, nestled in, quiet.
There are spaces in this world that I believe are sacred space. Not because anyone has
claimed them for God, but simply because of what they are. There are spaces that, without
being asked or told, impart a holy quiet and security. Have you ever stumbled upon a space like
this? A place that makes you aware, for just one sacred moment, that you are deeply loved by
God?
I found sacred space in the park that day, and it reminded me that I don’t go seeking out
these spaces often enough. As spring arrives, I think I’ll take more walks, find sacred space,
and let myself be quiet there. In this world where things move so fast that pausing to know that
you are loved by God seems like an act of frivolity, it seems all the more important to do.

Pastor’s Class
During the season of Lent, we offer Pastor’s Class for youth who are interested in making
their confession of faith. Classes will be held at on March 22nd and 29th at 10:00am. Young
people (grades 6-12) who would like to attend should sign up on the poster in the Fellowship
Hall or call the church office at 301.871.7222. Reservations are required! The theme this
year is “Not Your Mama’s Church.” Come and see how Christ makes all things new!
Beginning on the first Sunday of
SOJOURN – a gathering for young adults Lent (March 1), we will begin sojourn 2.0,
the new incarnation of our ministry for young adults! We are no longer meeting for worship on Saturday
nights. Instead, we are gathering on Sundays at 10:00am (that’s Sunday school hour) for coffee,
fellowship, and discussion. This month we’re jumping right in with a discussion theme that is no doubt
on all of our minds in the current economic climate: Money. What does the Bible have to say about it?
How should we as Christians deal with money? Is it really the root of all evil? Come ready for
compelling discussion!
In addition to our Sunday program, we are also gathering on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 for prayer.
This will be a small group setting where we can really open up about our own prayer concerns and joys,
as well as our prayers for those who are close to us. In this world where stopping for prayer seems almost
impossible, we are going to claim this time each week and make it meaningful. Our approaches to prayer
will range from the traditional to the creative. We may even head down to the National Cathedral from
time to time to walk the labyrinth.

We will also be making plenty of time for fellowship and community service. The second Saturday of
each month will be time for going on adventures together, whether it be downtown for a museum and
monument trip, or dinner and a movie, or a hike somewhere beautiful. We will also plan regular
community service opportunities that will be open to the whole church.

If you are a young adult or if you know a young adult who might be interested in joining our group,
please see Laura Arico or Charlie Capellman for more information!

BETHANY BEACH RETREAT
SEPTEMBER 18-19-20
Sign up early to reserve your spot!
Great time, fellowship & sharing.
Dr Chance leads the program for our church.
Please join us! Lots of fun!
Sign up sheet is in the fellowship hall.
Devotional Given at the February
St Paul’s Breakfast
WHY ME, LORD?

We often ask the question. And—often—it has some fragment of justification. I mean, the guy
just cut me off! He didn't have to get over that bad! He could have waited just a little longer–or just
stayed in that lane! Why ME, Lord? And, that other guy—the one who pulled out of that side street in
front of me—HE didn't have to be in that much of a hurry! Why ME, Lord?
Oh! And don't forget the guy I told you about with 48 items in his cart who pulled up in front of
me in the 10 items or less express checkout in the grocery store. Boy! Did HE have some gall! I mean
he could see me headed for the express lane with my basket of four items! He didn't have to be in
such a hurry! Why ME, Lord?
And my boss! HE's the worst! I do all the work and he takes all the credit. That last project got
him an award! All he did was say thanks! He could at least have bought me lunch! Why ME Lord.
In Psalm 10, the psalmist wrote, "Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself
in times of trouble?" And, in Psalm 74, "Why have you rejected us forever, O God? Why does your
anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?"
So, when we ask God "WHY?" it is not a new thing. The human race has done so for
centuries! Even though we justify ourselves with the rationalization, "I don't really MEAN to challenge
God! I'd be a fool to do THAT!"
And, so we come to the crux of our constantly asking "Why ME, Lord?" The apostle Paul
wrote to the Romans telling them, "* * * all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God * * *."
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, wrote that "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure."
And, in another place, Paul told the Romans, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
With this kind of condemnation, how can we allow ourselves to question when things don't
seem to go the way we'd like them to go? When you think of it, we're getting better than we deserve.
We are sinners—saved by grace. God didn't have to do that. We are bound for an eternity worshiping
and serving the God of our salvation. God didn't have to allow that.

But, maybe there is a way we can ask God these three words. When we consider the
blessings we have been given, though we are not deserving, the question could come to mind—Why
ME Lord? Wake up in the morning. Why ME Lord? Think about the roof over your head or your church
where you can worship God. Why ME Lord? How about a country where you can worship freely and
openly? Why ME Lord?
I think you get the picture. Turn the question around. When God blesses you, just say "Why
ME Lord?"
Andy Mott

Prayer Breakfast
March 21st 9:00-12:00 P.M
Rev. Steve Anderson will be our speaker. Rev Anderson is the Pastor of
Pilgrim United Church of Christ. Please join us for this time of prayer,
fellowship and sharing.