New Beginnings is September Theme

It’s back-to-school time. That means new beginnings for most of our teachers and school children.   Programming at church somewhat follows the school year too.   So shortly after school begins, plans are laid for new Bible studies and other small groups.   Musical groups start practicing again.

New beginnings are important in our lives. During the month of September, the series of messages is entitled simply, New Beginnings.   I took the idea for the series from a book I recently read called No Little Places.   Here is the outline for the series as I see it now.

New Beginnings
Date Message title Scripture passage Hymns & choruses
Sept 7
A Spiritual New Beginning
(Philippian Jail Keeper)
Acts 16:11-34 And Can it Be UMH 363

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind   #358

Sept 14 Beginning Again After Failure

(Jesus Restores Peter)

John 21 Majesty UMH #176

What a Friend     UMH #526

Sept 21 Starting a New Vocation (Gideon) Judges 6:7-24 I Want Jesus to Walk with Me   UMH #521

How Firm a Foundation   IMH #529

Sept 28 New Beginnings in the Church


Rev. 3:1-13 The Church’s One Foundation UMH #545

Christ is Made the Sure Foundation UMH #559



Summer Send-Off for Children

Summer Send-off was a fun party!   The children at Copper Hill Church enjoyed a great time at church on Sunday, August 24.   Organizers JoAnne Jones and Lisa Griffin planned a series of activities bound to please.   It began with active outdoor games on our West lawn under Lisa’s direction on a perfect sunny day.   After various types of tag, relays and sack races, the children went inside for snacks appropriate for kids– sandwiches, veggies, and watermelon. They even had beach “cupcakes” prepared by Ruth Robison. These had ocean-colored gelatin with a topping that looked like sand on one side and a tiny beach umbrella jutting from the sand. JoAnne Jones led the children in singing some children’s songs.   Next there was a skit put on by adults and teen helper, Hunter Prevost.   Pastor Kelvin served as narrator and explainer as the children learned about the event in Jesus’ life when he fed 5000 people with just 5 loaves and 2 fish.   Finally, it was craft time. Parents helped supervise as the children decorated crosses in honor of Jesus.  The gallery of pictures is  thanks to Christian Robison and Pastor Kelvin Jones.

Copper Hill Church Participates in No More Malaria Campaign


Skeeter Walk Volunteers ready to go
Skeeter Walk Volunteers ready to go










On Sunday, August 17, volunteers from Copper Hill United Methodist Church spent part of the afternoon on the local rail trail walking to raise funds for the fight against malaria. The annual Skeeter Walk as it is called brought out a baker’s dozen volunteers to hike in the pleasant afternoon sunshine.   Each one had asked for sponsors to support them on their walk. All together the group raised $700 toward the United Methodist Church’s campaign called Imagine No Malaria.  Currently, the biggest goal of the campaign is to distribute sleeping nets in Africa that prevent children from getting malaria. It is a practical way of being a part of today’s expression of the healing ministry of Jesus.

Many in the group wore T shirts for the occasion and carried fly-swatters so people on the trail would recognize the walkers who were part of the effort, giving additional publicity to the cause. The biggest fund-raisers were Susan Madry, Judy Holcomb and Robert Loomis. Any slackers on the walk itself were put to shame by Louise Holcomb’s brisk pace despite her walker.   JoAnne Jones probably set the fastest pace as she nearly walked the circuit twice, first accompanying Nancy out and back, then catching up again and finishing the course with Susan. Jan was the bravest as her direction was determined by those who pushed her chair, Hunter, Robert, and Ron.   One walker not shown in the picture is Pastor Jones.


Kid's Party - Summer Send-off at Copper Hill Church
Kid’s Party – Summer Send-off at Copper Hill Church

Summer Send-Off  Kids’ Party

Sun. Aug. 24

11 AM – 1:30 PM

Copper Hill United Methodist Church

27 Copper Hill Road, East Granby

Lunch included         no charge

Games,  Bible story drama, and crafts for children

Craft cross for children to make at Kid's Summer Send-off Party
Craft cross for children to make at Kid’s Summer Send-off Party

Bring a friend!

For more info:
Pastor Kelvin & JoAnne Jones

@ 860-653-2891




“True Love” is the title for August message series

Have you ever wondered about the origins of Christian teaching about love?  We take it for granted without thinking about it.  Our new August message series called “True Love” promises to be an interesting one filled with human interest as well as basic Christian teaching.    Your life will be richer for taking time to interact with this topic in God’s house.

True Love
Date Message title Scripture passage Hymns & choruses
Aug 10 Communion God’s Love Makes the First Move 1 John 1:1-4; 3:1-3 Love Divine UMH #384

O Love, How Deep UMH #267

What Wondrous Love is This UMH #292

How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

Aug 17 Loving God in Return 1 John 4:7-18 Jesus, Thine All Victorious Love UMH #422

You are My King

Aug 24 Loving Others Because of God’s Love 1 John 3:7-24 When Love is Found UMH #643

The Gospel In a Word is Love

Aug 31 Love in Action 1 John 2:1-6, 15-17 Where Charity and Love Prevail UMH #549

Where Cross the Crowded Ways  UMH #427

Show a Little Bit of Love and Kindness

Bishops’ letter on our response to the influx of immigrant children

Many have had differing responses to the immigration crisis on the southern border of the United States.   Sometimes the responses have not reflected an understanding of the teaching of Scripture.  Here is an excellent letter from the United Methodist bishops of the Texas area who are close to the problem urging the people of the UMC toward a positive and Christ-like response.


Summer picnic a big success

Another fun and  intergenerational  activity
Another fun and intergenerational activity

The weather was great; the food was better;  and the company was the best.   Sunday afternoon, July 13,at Sunrise Park,  children, young adults and grandparents from Copper Hill Church gathered for a fun-filled afternoon.   Swimming was the main activity for most of the children and a few older folks as well.    JoAnne intrigued the crowd by swimming the length of the lake and back.    Several sat and chatted, enjoying the  spacious, well-kept pavilion overlooking the lake.    It was a perfect for the occasion.   Thanks to Judy’s good planning, we had a scrumptious picnic supper at 5 pm with cake, cookies and watermelon for dessert too.     After the meal, Pastor Kelvin led in a short vesper service which included lots of active participation by the children.   JoAnne played accordion to provide the music.

The swimming beach is to the right, the picnic pavilion is to the left.
The swimming beach is to the right, the picnic pavilion is to the left.

Sermon series for July focuses on our church’s heritage and future

My wife and I feel privileged to have served at Copper Hill United Methodist for a year now.   Just as I began my ministry talking about what it means to be the church, so I felt it would be a good thing in this anniversary month to revisit that theme.   Long range planning and our 200th anniversary planning both need to stay grounded in a good understanding of the purposes of the church.   I’ve titled this new series, “Heritage and Hope.”    It begins with a review of history.   All during the month it encourages us to overcome obstacles and stay focused on the Great Commission.   It also challenges us to move ahead as God leads.     I pray that you will take time to come apart to God’s house to hear some of these messages and be encouraged in your faith.

We are using the side entrance while our ceiling is repaired.
We are using the side entrance while our ceiling is repaired.
Heritage and Hope
Date Message title Scripture passage Hymns & readings
July 6 The Heritage of God’s People Isaiah 54 My Country Tis of Thee #697

We’re Marching to Zion   #733

July 13 Facing Challenges Together Nehemiah 4, 5 God of Grace and God of Glory #577

Rise Up, O Men of God #576

July 20 Being the Church in our Community Matthew 28:19, 20 Go, Make of All Disciples #571

Lord, Speak to Me  #463

July 27 Moving Forward Together Haggai 1 Lead On O King Eternal #580

Lord, You Give the Great Commission # 584

Family relationships are the theme for May and June

Our relationships aren't always a picnic.  What do we do then?
Our relationships aren’t always a picnic. What do we do then?

All of us rejoice when our closest relationships are doing well.  And nothing bums us out as much as having tension between us and our best friends or closest family members.     Fortunately for us, the Bible is a great resource for practical how-to ideas that can help us interact with others in healthier ways and recover more quickly when conflicts become a problem.   Over the next two months, my new series called, “Perspectives for Healthy Relationships” will draw on Biblical wisdom to help us.    I kicked it off this last weekend on Mother’s Day with a message explaining how  men and women are equally valued by God.   Here is the outline for the series.

Perspectives for Healthy Relationships
Date Message title Bible Passage Hymns & readings
May 11 Mother’s Day The Value of a Woman Genesis 1:27-31: Acts 2:17,18 Faith of Our Mothers; Happy the Home When God is There UMH #445
May 18 Tips for a Happy and Lasting Relationship 1 Peter 2:11 – 3:12 Love Divine   UMH # 384
May 25 Memorial Sunday Jean Schlaper speaking America the Beautiful  UMH #696
June 1 Jean Schlaper speaking
June 8 Pentecost & Communion Walking in Step with God’s Spirit Gal. 5:13-26 Surely the Presence UMH #328 Spirit of Faith Come Down, UMH #332
June 15 Father’s Day A Father to Look Up to Joshua 24:8-24 O Lord, May Church and Home Combine UMH # 695
June 22 The Work of Loving 1 John 3:11-20 God, Whose Love is Reigning o’er Us  UMH #100

Easter happenings

Easter morning at Copper Hill United Methodist was filled with joy amid a friendly welcoming atmosphere.   Thanks to experienced cook Judy Holcomb and volunteers, we started with a gourmet breakfast.   Service at 9 was filled music, heartfelt and well prepared.   Pastor Kelvin surprised everyone by supplying the brass music.   The Holiday choir sang an upbeat, “We are Celebrating Resurrection Day.”     JoAnne Jones played harp for offertory and then the Men’s quartet sang, “Jesus Came Out Alive.”   Afterward it was Easter egg hunt time for the children while some of the adults enjoyed a second helping of the Easter breakfast for brunch.  Thanks to Nancy Collins, we have some pictures to remind us of the day’s events.