We were blessed to have three former pastors join us for our Homecoming celebration on October 15th. Pictured with current pastor Jeff Childs are Rev. Chip Wright, Rev. Elsie McKenney, and Rev. Dr. Ray Moreland.
From Pastor Beth Richards (2001-2003)
Happy Homecoming Sunday Mt. Carmel. I am sorry I could not
be with you in person today. Can you believe it: it has been over
20 years since I served with you as disciples of Jesus Christ. And serving with the most warm and wonderful folks I have known in my life. I was appointed as a student pastor to Mt. Carmel the year that Mt. Carmel had moved from being on a charge with New Market.
Participating with the adult Bible study in the kitchen around a wonderful long table with curious and committed folks to study the word of God.
Balancing seminary and being your pastor. When I felt the stress of the conflict and the joy of bringing those two experiences together; more than one person said to me. “The word Student may be in front of the word pastor officially; but to us you are our pastor”. Your support during my education and my service to Mt. Carmel: Well, I have never and never will forget it. (special shout our to my dear friend and secretary Donna Clawson for those late nights of getting the bulletin to her)
Sitting and praying with the sick and sometimes the dying.
Going to a home with the choir to bring church to a very ill member and her husband. I will never forget that.
We explored together and started a children's Sunday School. I loved walking and talking and connecting with the kids as I made my way into the sanctuary.
Beginning to explore how we could increase the building size and function as God’s disciples were increasing.
As I am writing, more memories come to me. Faces, voices, Caleb’s small face looking up at me in his new Sunday School class showing me a picture he drew for me. Many other children ran up and showed me their drawings. So much more I can’t write them all.
Mt. Carmel was my first church that I was appointed to be by the Bishop. I love the people, your passion for growing your faith and reaching out into the community. Again, receive my love for you as I continue to receive your love.
In the name of our Savior Jesus the Christ I offer my blessing to you all on this Homecoming Day.
"I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. " (Ephesians 1:15-16)
Homecoming is an opportunity to give thanks for the places in our journey which have been truly home. As you gather this weekend know that I will be thinking of you, praying for you, and looking forward to Thanksgiving weekend when I can home for a visit. Eldersburg has slowly become home for Jon, the boys, and I but Mt. Carmel's place as our family’s first spiritual home only grows in significance. There is not a day that passes that I don't give thanks to God for all he accomplished in us and through us and for how those lessons shape who we are today. As you begin this new season with Pastor Jeff know that I continue to pray for you. I am full of hope for the ways the Lord will continue to bring persons to faith and serve the community through Mt. Carmel. You know I could go on and on but I’ll save the sermon for November 26th. Enjoy your time together, every moment is more precious than we know.
To my AWESOME Mount Carmel Family,
Utausha and I will never forget the amazing wedding reception you held for us. The love and friendship received from you will never be forgotten, and will always be treasured.
Thank you sincerely,
I have been gone for over twenty years. I was appointed to Mt. Carmel for only 2 & 1/2 years, January 1999 through June 2001, when the New Market church dropped off the Charge to go full time. We moved into the New Market parsonage and Mt. Carmel bought and renovated the Charge parsonage. New Market struggled a bit, while Mt. Carmel took off and flourished. I have never been back to visit; I won't know my way around. One memory that jumps out. What most comes to mind at the moment was that Bob Burdsall wrote me several poems.
All the Best,
Thank you so much for your gracious invitation to be a part of this morning's homecoming worship. It was great to be back at Mt. Carmel with many great memories, seeing the new building and energy that lives in the congregation now, and to greet several members who I had not seen for many years. I was richly blessed by the worship and experience, and appreciate your hospitality to me and the other former pastors.
Blessings on your ongoing ministry there.