SEVERNA PARK United Methodist Church
Email your announcements/corrections to Publications@SevernaParkUMC.org

50th Celebration logo 

Coming Events


On July 19, during each service, we will finish our journey with a salute to everything that makes SPUMC the fantastic church that it is today.


Saturday, September 26, 50th Anniversary Dinner Party in the Fellowship Hall


On Sunday, September 27 after the 9:30 service, we conclude with a cake and punch reception.  After the 11:00 service, a Celebration Picnic will be held here at the Church.  Again, more information to come.

Looking Back
Over the Years
In Videos & Slide Shows

webm by EasyHtml5Video.com v2.8



50th Ornament picCommemorative Ornament Fundraiser


The ornament is was designed to replicate the original sanctuary and can be personalized with your family name or favorite verse over the door.  The ornaments are 3D Printed on a high resolution printer and then plated with copper and nickel. Because the ornaments have been donated, 100% of all the money raised will be used to help defray the cost of the Jubilee celebration.   


You can  purchase ornaments by mailing in this order form.  Order forms are also available at the welcome desk. 


We plan to begin distributing the ornaments at the Celebration Dinner in September. 



Fun Fact & Interrestig Ancedotes About SPUMC

Do you have a fun fact or interesting anecdote about Severna Park UMC from anytime in the past 50 years? Let us know! Write it down and drop it in the basket at the Welcome Desk, or email to Stories@SevernaParkumc.org.


Reverend Wesley Dodge once joked during his sermon:  ''I don’t mind you checking your watch during my sermon, but please don’t take it off and shake it to see if it still works!”   ... Ray Guhse


Did you know that the tiny kitchen next to the choir room was often used to prepare dinners for many activities. Through fundraising, the United Methodist Women group raised $20,000 to buy the equipment for our existing kitchen! ... Lynn Webber


Did you know that Severna Park UMC used to have a swimming pool? We once used a children’s pool in the steeple to catch rain water when there was a leak. ... Carl Seaman


Another swimming pool fun fact: a kiddie pool was used in the courtyard when a mother duck hatched her babies! We provided the pool so the ducklings could swim. The difficulty came when it was time for the mama to get the ducklings out of the courtyard. They couldn’t fly yet, so we eventually provided a ramp for them to climb up and out. ­–Lynn Webber



By Rev. Ron


Logo Club 1965As part of our ongoing “Big 5-0” celebration marking half a century as a church, I have found myself scouring lots of historical documents that tell the story of our early days as a congregation. I continue to be amazed—and humbled—by the boldness and deep faith of our early leaders and members who dreamed of and then helped to create a faithful Methodist (there was no “United” in our denominational name yet back in 1965) worshiping, witnessing, serving, and loving presence in Severna Park.

On the afternoon of July 4, 1965, Dr. Edgar Becket, the veteran pastor appointed to form this new congregation, met with a group of 12 people on the porch of the building that had been purchased by the Baltimore Conference Board of Missions on the corner of Benfield and Holland Roads. A month later they held their first worship service there on August 8 with 94 people in attendance. And by the middle of September, they had already started a second worship service and organized youth and women’s groups.


Dr. Beckett remembers that in November they “did the daring thing and organized a Building Committee just a little after three months after we had our first meeting in the church. I can’t begin to put into the words the courage of that little group, with almost no money, undertaking a building of nearly half a million dollars.”Photo HVAC man


As we move toward our 50th Anniversary celebration and come to the end of our capital campaign, the church leaders invite you to honor the bold daring legacy of our founders by joining Club 1965. Our 2013-2015 campaign was launched with three goals: HVAC replacement, mortgage reduction, and growing the Endowment Fund. We have already made great progress!


HVAC phases I, IA, and II are complete. Phase III is underway and will be completed this summer.

• Church and parsonage mortgages have been reduced 26% (from over $1 million to around $700K) —assisted by individual designated giving

• Capital Reserve Fund (part of the Endowment Fund) has grown 8%



Capital campaign logoOur goal is to be able to pay off the remaining balance of the parsonage loan ($135,000) by the Anniversary celebration weekend of September 26-27 and to make a significant dent in the church mortgage ($570,000) over the next 18 months. The pay down on debt will free up significant funds for mission and ministry. Right now our yearly combined mortgage payments total $150,000.


That’s where Club 1965 comes in and here’s how you can join:


If you are new to the congregation in the last couple of years or weren’t in a financial position to support the campaign when it was launched you can make a new pledge payable over the next 1-2 years.

• If you have already been giving to the capital campaign, we urge you to complete your pledge by the end of the year (or better yet, by our big celebration on the last weekend in September). Many, many thanks to those who have already paid their pledges in full – that automatically puts you in Club 1965!


•  Commit to make a one-time gift of $1965.

• Commit to make a weekly or monthly gift of $19.65 over the next year.

• Join other church leaders in extending your current pledge for an additional year.

• Make a cash or stock donation in any amount to support the campaign.


I hope you will join us in honoring the legacy of our faithful founders as we keep their vision for vital ministry alive in Severna Park in our own time. We have a lot to celebrate – then and now!

Marlena Summers and Alexis Marsalek
choose Heaven's Kitchen as the venue
for their Silver Award Project

Photo      Photo

During this past year, two Girl Scouts - Marlena Summers and Alexis Marsalek - choose Heaven's Kitchen as the venue for their Silver Award Project. Marlena and Alexis created a table just for the children who come with their families to Heaven's Kitchen for a hot meal and fellowship.  Marlena and Alexis brought in crafts, books, markers and paper. They sat with the children, reading stories and helping them create pictures and crafts. They developed relationships with some of the kids who are regular attendees. Even more so, Marlena and Alexis showed their compassion for families who are struggling by offering the kids their time and attention.
Marlena and Alexis have completed the project but are hopeful it will continue. To that end, they have created a bin of supplies that other families, Scout troops, Sunday school classes or individuals can bring to Heaven's Kitchen so the Kids' Table can keep going. Brochures with detailed information and other ways you can help are available in the Missions Corner in Fellowship Hall. Who knows, maybe this is     where God is calling you!

   More About Heaven's Kitchen


Ever wonder just how many exterior windows we have around the church? There are 2 humongous windows in the Sanctuary and 77 regular type windows. Phase 5 of our Exterior Windows Replacement Project started on June 15th and if the weather cooperates, will be completed on June 19th. This huge project started in 2010 and finishes with the completion of Phase 5.


These windows have UV protection, are double paned and filled with Argon gas, which is fantastic for energy conservation and greatly reduces glare. Also, the surrounding exterior trim of each window has been replaced with No Rot material, so no wood rot to worry about and no painting required! Thanks for your generous support to see this project through!


Window replacement


Lay Leadership Development

The vitality of our church, and the Church as a whole, depends upon the faith, abilities and actions of all who work together for the glory of God. To remain a vibrant church we need volunteers to step forward and serve on church committees, and we invite you to join our leadership team.


Our church committees partner closely with our clergy and administrative team, working together to promote the SPUMC mission.   As we follow Jesus we are called to grow spiritually through various means of grace, one of which is acts of service.   Regardless of your leadership or technical experience, your voice is needed as we join together to meet our current and future challenges.

As we prepare for our Charge Conference (October 28, 2015), and the start of a new year, we will be looking to add new members to the Trustees, Finance and Staff Parish.  These three committees are very involved with our building, financial, and human resource needs.  You don’t need to be an engineer, CPA, or HR Manager to serve on these committees .  Information about each committee can be found on our website under “Committees & Leaders” in the “About Us” section on the Main Menu. 

Please take a moment to investigate what each committee does and pray about how you will serve as part of our leadership team.  Please contact Lynnette Cloughley  or Todd Popham  if you have questions or are interested in joining a committee.  We also plan to host a SPUMC Leadership Opportunities session this fall where you can ask questions of church leaders and committee members.



Bob Geissler picHave you ever visited the SPUMC website, read an issue of the Octagon newsletter, opened the eNewsletter, or followed along from the screens in worship?  Or maybe you saw one of the many ads for our church in the media. If so, then you’ve been touched by Bob Geissler’s ministry at SPUMC. 


Nearly 10 years ago Bob was invited to a Communications meeting.  He thought he would simply attend, offer a ministry of presence and listen for where he might be of service.  Bob left that meeting being tasked with designing and launching the new SPUMC website, a job which he would faithfully live out over the next decade and which would morph into becoming the chair of all Communications at SPUMC. 


After many faithful years of service Bob will retire from his volunteer position at the church as Ryan (our new Communications Director) is ready to assume all the responsibilities.  Bob will remain on the Church Council as a “Member At Large.”   


Instead of spending countless hours behind a computer screen updating and refining our online presence and publications Bob will now have more time to sail, enjoy his family and discern what God is calling him to next!  His dedication to this role has greatly impacted our church and has brought many of us into the doors of SPUMC. 


We are also grateful for Katherine Geissler’s faithful support of Bob in this all-consuming role.  If you see Bob and Katherine please offer them a warm word of thanks for all of their years of faithful service!

Grace and Peace, Rev. Nicole 




(From Arundel House of Hope Newsletter)

THANK YOU to one of our dedicated Winter Relief volunteers, Gene "Cuzz" Cuzzart and Exelon Corporation for our recent grant of $5,000. The Exelon Energy for the Community Volunteer Awards program recognizes outstanding employee volunteers by providing a cash grant to the community organizations they serve. The awards are open to all employees who have logged at least 50 volunteer hours on the company website. Gene is a member of Severna Park United Methodist Church and serves as a volunteer during Winter Relief primarily as an overnight chaperone. Gene requests vacation time every year during his church's hosting week so he can be available to help our clients by providing medications, transportation, conversation and to help them feel safe and welcomed. It is volunteers like Gene that make Arundel House of Hope able to thrive and provide the necessary services, shelter and housing to our clients experiencing homelessness in our county. Thanks again! We appreciate your support! 

Volunteers in Mission (VIM)

planning FALL trip to

Mission Central, Mechanicsburg, PA

We will be “Connecting God’s Resources with Human Need“ by preparing disaster relief kits in the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) warehouse in Mechanicsburg, PA, October 8 - 10.  These kits will be sent around the world in response to disasters when God’s people are called upon to serve those in need.  This is service that can be done by all skill levels.  In addition, if you can only commit to a day or two, the site is close enough that you can “come & go”, staying for just a few days as your schedule allows (if you can provide your own transportation).  Take a look at www.missioncentral.org to get a better idea of what we will be doing!

We will staying at the Waugh-Wilson Retreat Center in Mechanicsburg, PA.  The facility includes five bedrooms, three full baths, a full kitchen, and large gathering spaces.  We plan to arrive on Monday afternoon so that we can work at Mission Central starting on Tuesday morning through Friday afternoon.  Take a look at www.silverspring.org for a look at our accommodations.

The cost to participate in this mission opportunity is minimal…about $10/day/person to help cover expenses.  United Methodist VIM policies require that trip team members be at least 16 years of age and team members under 18 years must be accompanied by a parent.  If you are interested in participating in either the July or October trip, or need additional information, please contact Sue Gerberich .  Only the first twelve people can be guaranteed a spot on each trip. 

Mission Central has hosted thousands of volunteers who have experience being "the hands and feet of God" in service. Working with others, SPUMC’s VIM team will help to send supplies to the areas of the world where the needs are greatest.  Please plan on joining us!  To sign up or for more information, contact Sue Gerberich.




Summer Sunday School

Children at Severna Park UMC are always welcomed in worship, but this summer we will be mindfully including children in our worship services.  June 7 through September 6, children prekindergarten and older will begin worship with the rest of God’s family through song, prayer, giving of gifts, and the proclamation of the Word.  Children are predisposed to soak in the wonder of worship.  They eagerly partake in Holy Communion, Jesus’ great love feast.    They delight in the music, rely fully on God through prayer, take seriously our call to give to God, and passionately listen to the stories of God. 


Children belong to God’s family and it is with great excitement that they will learn about the act of worship by participating in worship with you.  We are aware that children bring a certain joyful noise and movement to worship.  It is our hope that you embrace this joy as you worship.  In the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke Jesus rebukes the disciples as they try to keep children from bothering him.  Jesus embraces their joyfulness, their dependency, their curiosity.  Jesus calls them to him, hugs and blesses them.  He then calls us to be like children.  So this summer we will embrace our childlike joy, dependency, and curiosity in worship. 


Each week our services will focus on children in scripture or prominent Sunday school stories.  Some of these traditional stories you may not have heard for years.  Cribbery baby care will be provided at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 as usual.  Toddler and young preschool Sunday School will be the full worship hour at 9:30 and 11:00 in room 112.  Older preschool and elementary children will begin in worship and for the sermon move to room 302 to imaginatively explore the scriptures with Legos.  On communion Sunday children will remain in the service for the full hour. The children’s wing will be under construction all summer due to HVAC renovations. 


As children learn about what it means to worship in the sanctuary, we hope that you will be gracious.  Just as children learn to sit at a dinner table and use proper manners by actually eating dinner with their families regularly, they learn to worship.  Becoming a worshipful person takes practice.  We will be offering tips and suggestions throughout the summer so worship is more than coloring on their bulletin and counting window panes,, but praising God.  We hope by worshiping as God’s family we will be building faith brick by brick.

See the ABC's of Children in Worship


Come Out and cheer our team on.

Softball  pic

This is an interdenominational faith league with two purposes; to have fun and fellowship. If any individual thinks that they are playing for any other reason, they should not be playing in this league. It is okay to have disagreements, but they should be discussed in a respectful like manner. If any individual thinks they will get upset if the umpire makes a bad call (even if it is a really bad call), they should not be playing in this league. If any individual thinks they are playing to win at any cost, they should not be playing in this league. If any individual thinks they need to play aggressively against unskilled players they should not be playing in this league. If any individual thinks they need to use foul language to express their emotions in front of or to any other players (opponents or teammates), they should not be playing in this league. Again, this is an interdenominational faith league with two purposes; to have fun and fellowship. For more information contact Kevin.


SPUMC Softball Schedule 2015
Softball schedule
Download your copy of the schedule and game rules

SPUMC Nursery School

Learning through Fun, Friendship, and Love


Have you enrolled your 3- or 4-year-old in preschool for this fall? Now's the time! SPUMC's Nursery School is accepting registration for the 2015-2016 school ​year, which begins on September 8th​. We offer half-day classes for 3-year-olds (2 days per week) and for 4-year-olds (3 or 5 days per week). Our program has been recognized for excellence, and our dedicated staff and small class sizes (6:1 teacher/student ratio) provide an enriching, nurturing environment for children to develop spiritually, academically, and socially. ​Email the Director, Heidi Taflan, or call her, 410-987-8339 to inquire about enrolling your child.





SPUMC Volunteers in Mission is planning a trip to Costa Rica the week of August 8th through 15th. We will be working with Wil and Yolanda Bailey at Costa Rica Mission Projects where we have served on three other trips. You can check out their website at costaricamissionprojects.com .   They have an excellent construction oriented program in the southern part of the country and they have always provided us with plenty of good work and fellowship with the communities in which we serve.  

Although August may be our hottest month in Maryland it is actually quite comfortable when compared to dryer months in Costa Rica. It is the rainy season which means that they get a cooling rain shower and a siesta after lunch every day - and then back to work. It is usually sunny the rest of the time.  

 If you are interested in joining us on this trip please email Mel Merritt.  VIM trip first timers are free, returnees only pay about $300. But you are expected to help with our fundraisers such as brunches and the Garage Sale.


Video Courtesy of Wil Bailey


Young Adult Study

Have you ever heard someone say “Everything happens for a reason” or “God helps those who help themselves” or “God will never give us more than we can handle?”  Are these statements Christian and are they even Biblical?  Join the Young Adult Group (YAG) during the month of May as we explore these common phrases, how they inform or faith and their Biblical or not so Biblical basis.  We will gather on Wednesday nights (May 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th) from 6:30-7:30 in the SPUMC Parlor.  Childcare is provided.  If you want to know more email Rev. Nicole.  


  8:15 AM Adult Bible Study CLASS


Join anytime.



Photo Erica   

Erica's ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR CHILDREN'S & Family Activities


Lego Creations - Check out the Lego creations of the Joseph story from last Sunday in Fellowship Hall.  The Sunday School kids did a great job.


VBS Training - VBS Volunteers who have not attended training yet, must attend training on July 9th at 1:00 or meet with Erica individually. 


Moms Connect is a group for all moms.  We gather the first and third Thursday of the month in the church parlor at 6:30.  Childcare is provided.   To get connected to the group contact Erica.
7/2 – No Meeting – Summer Break
7/16 – Family Mealtimes
8/6 – Confronting Bullies
8/20 – Overwhelmed by Life


Family Ministry Flyer: 

See the latest Family Ministry Flyer here



How to submit articles:

Submit articles electronically by email to Publications@SevernaParkUMC.org. This single email address reaches everyone involved in all of our publications. Attachments in MS Word, Publisher or PDF formats are acceptable. 

Who should submit Articles?

Each SPUMC Committee or activity leader is required to have a Publications Coordinator (PC). The PC's job is to make sure the information is complete, accurate and up-to-date.

Anyone can submit articles of a general nature and about how God has worked in their life.

Content and size:

articles should relate to the spiritual, outreach, missions,and activities of SevernaPark United Methodist Church or those in which our church participates. Photographs are welcomed. articles may be edited to fit available space. articles without originators name and contact information will not be published.

There is no limit to the size of the article for the website. Articles for the Octagon should fit on one page. Articles for the eNewsletter and Sunday Insert should be short and concise. If your article is lenghly, we encourage you to submit two articles (in the same email). A short version for the eNewsletter and Sunday Insert and a more detailed one for the Octagon and website.

Attachments such as lists and flyers can be published on the website.

See below for room/equipment scheduling.

Deadline for submission:

Website: Articles are published as received. There is no deadline

Octagon: The deadline for the next issue is printed on the second page of the Octagon.

eNewsletter: 4PM Wednesday of each week. During the summer months the eNewsletter is published every other week.

Sunday Insert: Friday of the week before the Sunday publication. 

Room/Equipment Scheduling:

The use of SPUMC rooms and equipment must be scheduled and approved by the SPUMC Facility Manager (Dave McKinney) prior to submission of the article. More about room/equipment scheduling.

Reporting Errors:

If you notice an error (no matter how small) in any of our publications, please email Publications@SevernaParkUMC.org. We appreciate your calling the error to our attention so we can correct it.


Go Out In Faith!
Severna Park United Methodist Church
731 Benfield Road,  Severna Park,  MD 21146
Phone: 410-987-4700    Emergency Pager 410-991-6639

Copyright © 2008 Severna Park United Methodist Church
The Cross and Flame is a registered trademark of The United Methodist Church