COVID-19 Updates

From the Pastor’s Desk

As COVID cases continue to climb once again in our community, I’d like to remind us of the role that we can each play keeping one another safe. We are a congregation that cares deeply about the vulnerable, and how we approach COVID is an expression of that core value. So with that in mind, please remember…

  • Masks are required during worship and other indoor activities at the church. Our worship leaders will wear masks unless they are in the pulpit or lectern where we have plexiglass screens. Our ushers will have masks if you don’t happen to have one.
  • Please observe physical distancing of 6′ or more between family units in the sanctuary.
  • Please respect the wishes of others regarding their physical space. Some people are wary of hugs and handshakes during this time, or even elbow-bumps. (Some folks weren’t necessarily huggers to begin with!)
  • Make sure you wash hands and/or use sanitizer often.
  • If you feel sick or test positive, please worship with us in our virtual service. Observe the CDC guidelines for COVID quarantine and isolation.

I truly appreciate the care that this congregation has shown over the last 2+ years of dealing with COVID. Let us continue to live out our value of care for each other during this season and beyond!


Grace and Peace,

Rev. Alex

Outdoor VBS 2022

Monday, June 20 – Thursday, June 23 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m

Friday, June 24 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Family Celebration

Ages 5 through 6 th Grades

Ready to cook up some fun? Join us this Summer for a different kind of VBS. We are going to have a Food Truck Party where the children will have some fun, fun, fun! Food Truck Party invites children to pray as Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:11; “Give us this day our daily bread.” These words serve as a reminder that everything we have comes from God and meets our needs. Through stories in both the Old and New Testaments, Food Truck Party opens the children’s eyes to the countless ways God provides, loves, and cares for us.
Food Truck Party will be held Monday, June 20 – Thursday, June 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for ages 5 through 6th grades. We will not meet during the day on Friday, June 24. On that day, we are inviting all the families to join us from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for a Food Truck Party Family Celebration with actual food trucks!!!!

Registration begins April 1, 2022. Register your child early as space is limited this year.

https://silverspringumcp.tpsdb.com/OnlineReg/131

Note:  At this time, masks are required.  We will re-evaluate once we get closer to the date.

Vacation Bible School

Although Vacation Bible School seems like ages ago, it has only been about 6 weeks since the sanctuary of Silver Spring United Methodist Church was filled with energetic young children all dressed in brightly colored shirts, eager to learn God’s word. This year’s theme was “Surf Shack,” which fit nicely with the start of summer. Crews and centers were aptly named to fit the theme. Crews included the Sea Turtles (4 years old), the Seahorses (5-6 years old), the Lobsters (7-8 years old), the Sand Crabs (8-9 years old), the Jellyfish (9 years old), the Squids (9 years old), the Stingrays (10 year old boys), and the Dolphins (10 year old girls). This year at VBS, the numbers were smaller than in previous years, with only 85 children attending.

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Despite the need to close registration early due to a lack of volunteers, this year’s VBS proved to be a successful one, and a week that the children thoroughly enjoyed. Lucy Hur, an avid participant in VBS, and member of the Lobsters Crew, says that her favorite parts about the week were, “art, because we did a lot of crafts there, and singing songs.” Like Lucy, almost every child had a center during the day that they particularly enjoyed. Whether that was the Craft Hut, Discovery Dunes, a center filled with fun science experiments, the Story Deck, the Mission Center, Tidal Tunes, or the beloved Snack Shack.

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The success of VBS is largely due to the amount of preparation and hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Ms. Marie Matthews, SSUMC Director of Christian Education, served as the fearless leader and director of this wonderful ministry. She shares that the hardest parts about orchestrating a large ministry such as VBS was, “making sure that we have enough volunteers for the week,” and “enough leaders for all of the different centers.” However, after a number of years, the task often does not feel as daunting. Ms. Marie agrees, stating, “we’re kind of pros at it now, once you’ve done it once or twice it’s very simple.”

Ms. Marie was not alone this week. There were a number of youth and adults who stepped up this summer to help lead Vacation Bible School. The experience of volunteering during the week is always fulfilling, with adult and youth leaders alike feeling as if they have contributed to the church, as well as the community. Every volunteer had a different reason for stepping up. Youth crew leader Risa McGinnis says, “I like working with kids and it was a good opportunity to reach out in the community.” During, and especially after VBS, there is always a common sense of joy and satisfaction that is felt by everyone involved in the ministry.

Active adult leader Jim Joholske expresses this notion stating, “It is so fulfilling to see how much the kids enjoy VBS. It brings me great joy to see how happy they are to be there. The centers are well planned and the kids love the activities. I also enjoy meeting the kids that do not normally attend our church. I think this is such an important outreach not only to our church family, but to others in the community as well.”

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Ms. Marie agrees with the positive outlook on the ministry, sharing that the most fulfilling part of the week was, “it’s always the kids having a great time. No matter what it always works out.” She shares her main reasoning behind continuing the ministry every year stating, “I love the kids, and I love Vacation Bible School. It’s one of the highlights of our ministry, and it’s a good outreach tool; we have more children from the community that come to Vacation Bible School than we have our own kids that are members of the church.”

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This positive impact of the ministry also translates over to the diverse groups of children that are met with an opportunity to strengthen their relationships to God. Through the fun activities throughout the week, children are taught and exposed to various stories and lessons that teach them how to see, love, and trust in God.

There were various “pop up phrases” that were reinforced throughout the week in order to keep the principle of God’s love present. These short, yet powerful phrases include, “God creates,” “God helps,” “God loves,” “God calms,” “God provides,” and “God sends.” These simple phrases helped to keep God alive in the minds of the children, and they were a reminder of God’s love for them. Sarah Park, mother of Audrey and Isaac Park, states, “I am grateful that our church community provides a fun, inviting environment for children to learn about God and what it means to be a Christian in our world in very real ways.”

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The impact of Vacation Bible School has also reached numerous parents of children who have participated in the ministry. Sarah Park states, “I know that both Audrey and Isaac learned a valuable lesson by participating in the mission project for Haiti during VBS. Just the other day we were driving in the car together when we heard a news report about the recent unrest in Turkey. Isaac (5) suggested that we send food and money to help the people who live there.” These small, yet powerful acts continue to be part of a greater impact on the community.

Vacation Bible School always has been and will remain a highlight, and a vital part of our church year. The program continues to greatly impact all who are involved, and all who have the pleasure of witnessing a week filled with God’s love. At the end of the ministry, it is rewarding to see all of the hard work and preparation pay off through the eagerness and joy of the children.

Because of the positive impact that this ministry has had on the faith of the children, our goal is to be able to welcome 150 children (or more!) to Vacation Bible School next year. That being said, if you are an adult or a youth who is looking for a way to reach out into the community, please consider giving some of your time to volunteering at Vacation Bible School next summer. We promise, you won’t regret it.

Our Children’s Programs Featured on United Methodist TV

Our church’s Mission Mania children’s mission program was featured on United Methodist TV.

“It just really frustrates me that people say that kids can’t help but kids are a new generation of our world.” Nine-year-old Jake Joholske and his peers at Silver Spring United Methodist Church in Maryland are changing the world, one service project at time.

Each month, the congregation invites kids to be part of a Mission Mania event. Young participants pick outreach projects and get to work after worship services. We visited on a recent Sunday and saw these little leaders in action.

Video and full transcript