Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church
by Theresa Dardanell
Rev. Heath Wilson (back row, on left) with members of Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church
Photos by Theresa Dardanell
“Come Journey With Us!” is the invitation from Reverend Heath Wilson and the members of the Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church (TCUMC) in Emmitsburg. The invitation is not limited to Sunday worship services. Weekly Bible studies, community outreach programs, fundraisers, and social events are open to everyone.
One of the most interesting events is the weekly “Faith and Fellowship” Bible study/book group, led by Pastor Wilson. You won’t find this group meeting at the church; they meet at a restaurant that is part of the Lorien Health Services, a nursing, assisted living and rehabilitation community in Taneytown. Lorien residents are joined by church members, family, and friends every Thursday from 3:00-4:00 p.m. If you are looking for an evening Bible study/book group for women, check out the current Ladies Bible Study that began on June 4 and will continue until July 30. Using the book, Living a Chocolate Life: A Bible Study for Women by Debra Burma, the discussions about God’s grace are centered around the theme of chocolate.
Parishioners are involved in local and worldwide community outreach programs. The Emmitsburg Food Bank is especially close to the hearts of the members. They not only provide monetary and food donations, they have recently started a drive to collect toiletries and household items that are not normally donated but that are urgently needed. Church member Phyllis Kelly, who runs the Emmitsburg Food Bank, is often joined by other volunteers who belong to the church. Other local organizations which receive help from Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church are: the Seton Center, the Catoctin Pregnancy Center, and the Catoctin High School Blessing in a Backpack program.
TCUMC is fortunate to have a large property, complete with an outdoor altar, church benches, and a pavilion, approximately two miles from the church. “The Promised Land,” located off Route 140 just east of Emmitsburg, is used for outdoor services, concerts, and other events. It is also the site of a rest stop for the Face of America bicycle ride each spring. During this two-day bicycle and hand-cycling challenge for adaptive and able-bodied athletes, riders travel 112 miles from Arlington, Virginia, to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. At Tom’s Creek Promised Land, the riders can spend time resting and enjoying snacks and beverages. Everyone in the community is invited to join the TCUMC members in cheering on the riders during this event.
The Tom’s Creek United Methodist Women (UMW) are busy with community service projects, as well as social events. They recently provided a meal for the Seton Center’s “Getting Ahead Program,” which helps individuals impacted by poverty to build resources needed for a better life. They also worked together to make feminine hygiene products for “Days for Girls International,” a global project that prepares and distributes sustainable menstrual health products to girls in areas where these items are not readily available. The UMW members also hold birthday parties, ice cream and pizza socials, and the well-attended annual picnic.
Mission trips are an important part of the worldwide community outreach. Church members will be traveling to the Navajo Nation in New Mexico in July this year. The project involves not only actual construction (the addition of a bathroom to the church), but also the building of relationships between communities. Previously, teams traveled to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Linda Myers, Christian Education chairperson, said that one of the strengths of the church is their education program. Sunday school for all ages is held year-round, from 9:30-10:15 a.m. every Sunday. There are four classes for children and eight classes for adults, so there is something for everyone.
Watch for ads in The Catoctin Banner for their annual fundraisers. The all-you-can-eat buffet breakfasts include eggs, pancakes, sausage and bacon, home fries, chip beef gravy, and more; delicious handmade chocolate peanut butter eggs and chocolate coconut eggs are for sale at Easter. The turkey and oyster family-style suppers feature roast turkey, fried oysters, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, and their famous cracker pudding.
Sunday services are held at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The adult choir, accompanied by organ and piano, sings at the early service. Praise song, along with the passing of the peace, is featured at the later worship service. Communion is offered on the first Sunday of the month, and everyone is welcome to receive it. Coffee hour after the 8:00 a.m. service is a time of hospitality and refreshments in the Fellowship Hall. Members Karen Wivell and Bill Coburn agree that Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church is a friendly and welcoming community that feels like a family.
TMUMC is located at 10926 Simmons Road in Emmitsburg. For more information, visit the website at tomscreekumc.org or Facebook page: tomscreekumc.