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Deerfield United Methodist Church


Once a year, a little country church with a small congregation hosts an event that is standing room only. Joined by members of several churches and the community, Deerfield United Methodist Church brings a 2000-year-old event to life. “The Journey to the Cross”, a live passion play, is performed on Palm Sunday and Good Friday every year. The production covers miracles and other events in the life of Christ through his last days and resurrection.

During the rest of the year, members of the congregation worship together at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Along with readings, prayers, hymns, and a message by Pastor Ray Dudley, everyone enthusiastically participates in “passing the peace of Christ” with handshakes and hugs. A communion service, held on the first Sunday of the month, is followed by refreshments.

Community service is an important part of their ministry. Pastor Ray said, “If there is a need that arises in the community, we go ahead and help as much as we can with it. There was a need for a chair lift and we gave funds to help buy that chair lift.” Several families in need are provided with food for a meal at Thanksgiving and gifts for children and the elderly at Christmas. Teachers at Sabillasville Elementary school, which is located less than a mile from the church, are treated to a “back to school” luncheon each year. Kate Krietz, Sabillasville Elementary School Principal, said that the staff is very grateful for the annual home-cooked luncheon and they appreciate the generosity of the church. Deerfield United Methodist also supports families doing mission work. Colorfest gives the church members the opportunity to raise funds to support these outreach programs. With the help of friends, they not only have a food stand, they also park cars and rent spaces to vendors.

The tight-knit group enjoys social activities throughout the year. The Mother’s Day Tea is a family event. Appetizers, soup, scones, sandwiches, tea and desserts are served to the ladies by husbands and children. Of course, there is a Father’s Day breakfast for the dads. The annual summer picnic is held in the Thurmont Community Park. In the fall, everyone enjoys a hayride and bonfire complete with hot dogs and marshmallows. During the Christmas season, they go Christmas caroling at nursing homes and at the homes of shut-ins. During the cold winter months, there are movie nights in the church hall.

The history of the church began in 1878 with revival services held in a log school house in Smithfield (which later became Deerfield). In 1879, the Smithfield United Brethren Church was built on land purchased for the sum of $25. The church became the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1946. The final name change occurred in 1968 when they joined with the Methodist Church. The Deerfield United Methodist Church is located at 16405 Foxville Deerfield Road near Sabillasville. Join them for the 10:15 a.m. Sunday service. You will feel very welcomed.

Pastor Ray Dudley (back row on the left) with members of the Deerfield United Methodist Church.

St. Johns Lutheran Church

Join St. Johns Lutheran Church in Creagerstown for a Celebration of the Birth of Christ Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols, followed by a dinner, at 5:00 p.m. Their Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be held at 7:30 p.m. in their 1908 worship space. View the advertisement on page 25 for more information.

Celebrate Birth of Jesus with Trinity United Methodist Church

Celebrate the birth of Jesus with Trinity United Methodist Church in Emmitsburg during their Christmas Eve Service with Communion and candlelight on December 24, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 26 for more information.

Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church’s Christmas Journey

Join Tom’s Creek UMC on a Christmas journey, with a Children and Family Service with song and story, a Traditional Candlelight Service, and a Traditional Candlelight and Communion Service. The Sanctuary is open every Wednesday in December for time of reflection and prayers. View the advertisement on page 26 for more information.

Live Nativity at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church of Urbana

Join Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church of Urbana on Sunday, December 6, 2015, for the Live Nativity, featuring live animals (including a camel), music, and narration. Show times are at 6:00 p.m.; 7:00 p.m.; and 8:00 p.m. Admission is free. View the advertisement on page 24 for more information.

Deerfield United Methodist Church

Join Deerfield United Methodist Church for a Traditional Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. View the advertisement on page 25 for more information.

Thurmont United Methodist Church

Celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve with Thurmont United Methodist Church. They offer three different times and style options, including a service geared towards children and a service with different styles of music, the story of Christ foretold, candle lighting, and more. View the advertisement below for more information.

Weller United Methodist Church

Discover God’s promise of unending love this Christmas and join Weller United Methodist Church in Thurmont for their new sermon series, December 6-24, 2015, including Christmas Cantata on December 13; Longest Night Service on December 20, and Christmas Eve Services on December 24. View the advertisement on page 26 for more information.


Christmas in Thurmont 2015

This year, Thurmont’s Christmas in Thurmont event will take place on Saturday, December 5, starting at 10:00 a.m. on Thurmont’s Town Square. They will start with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m., followed by the arrival of Santa! They will have live entertainment by ESP Performing Company, hot cider, and cookies, along with photos with Santa for all ages! Christmas in Thurmont includes the business map-stamping activity for adults, grand prize giveaways, caroling, lighting of the Lions Club Remembrance Tree, and the lighting of the Town’s Christmas Tree.

Their goal for this event is to encourage a spirit of community and giving, and to also encourage our community to support local businesses. All of these activities and prizes are possible thanks to our business community. They are asking that you consider making a donation of cash/check, gift certificates, or merchandise for prizes. Cash/check donations are preferred, but all donations are greatly appreciated. All donors will be acknowledged on printed materials the day of the event, and also on and Facebook.

For more information, please contact Dr. John Hagemann at, Michael Hobbs at 301-271-2233, or Vickie Grinder at Donations may be dropped off at Hobbs Hardware, located at 15 East Main Street. If you are not able to drop off your contribution, arrangements may also be made for them to pick up your donation by notifying the above contacts. Checks should be written to Thurmont Main Street. If possible, please have your donations turned in by Friday, November 27. Thurmont First is a 501(c)(3) and your donation is tax deductible.


Christmas in Emmitsburg 2015

Emmitsburg’s holiday season includes many traditions. Mother Seton School third graders will trim the tree on the square on December 1. Emmitsburg Elementary School students will trim the tree in front of the Community Center on December 18.

Then, the community will gather for the 27th Annual “An Evening of Christmas Spirit” on Monday, December 7, from 6:00-9:00 p.m., beginning in the Emmitsburg Square. A tree lighting ceremony, caroling, and the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree will kick off at 6:00 p.m.

At 6:30 p.m., Santa arrives at The Carriage House Inn, located just down South Seton Avenue from the Square. In and around The Carriage House, entertainment, refreshments, a live Nativity Scene, and hay rides will contribute to the holiday celebration.

From 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., local choirs and vocalists will be featured in Joann’s Ballroom.

Experience the true meaning of Christmas Spirit here. Canned goods donations accepted for the Emmitsburg Lions Club Christmas Food Drive.

Traditional Village Christmas

The Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Inc. (CFHS) will host the fifth annual Traditional Village Christmas celebration in this historic village on Saturday, December 5, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This year, CFHS is honored to host local blacksmith Jim Maness, along with jewelers, yarn spinners, and other local craftspeople. Guests can sip apple cider and enjoy heirloom-recipe baked goods.  Kris Kingling, a village Christmas tradition involving masked and costumed members of the community who danced, sang, and ate as they went from house to house, will be recreated.

Catoctin Furnace maintains much of its original layout and structures, which were constructed primarily between 1774 and 1820. The village introduces visitors to the area’s historical importance and heritage resources, providing the look and feel of an early industrial complex yet retaining the charm of a small community at the foot of Catoctin Mountain. It is located on Maryland Route 806 (Catoctin Furnace Road) in Thurmont. For more information, call 443-463-6437 or visit

The Thurmont Historical Society’s Christmas House Tour is Back in 2015

Take the Turmont Historical Society’s Christmas House Tour on Saturday, December 5, from 4:00-8:00 p.m., and Sunday, December 6, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. The house tour includes four wonderful homes and two churches, for a new lower price of $15.00. Tickets and information are available at Hobb’s Hardware and Browns’ Jewelry.


Toys for Tots

The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Reserve is once again helping children in our area this Christmas with their annual Toys For Tots campaign. Helping the USMC is Cub Scout Pack 270 with their annual Toys for Tots drive.

Boxes will be on hand to accept new, unwrapped toys at Food Lion, Mountain Gate Restaurant, and Hobbs’ Hardware, all in Thurmont, until December 8, 2015. The primary goal of the Toys for Tots program is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate children that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens, and so they can have an exciting Christmas. Please consider donating a new unwrapped toy. If you would like to make a monetary, tax-deductible donation, visit