Tomorrow we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the impact he made on the cause of justice for our country. Dr. King’s legacy as a social action and civil rights leader is so well established that it is easy to overlook his contributions as a theologian and pastor.

In one of his most famous sayings he noted: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” It is a powerful reminder of an ancient Christian teaching to counter evil with good, and of an ancient Christian calling: to be a light to the nations.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the darkness present in our world—hatred, ignorance, violence, oppression, injustice—and it is tempting to want to retreat inward, to find hideouts away from all the problems of the world. But just as the Children of Israel were led out of Egypt not to a remote island but to a land at the crossroads of the world, we, too, are sent out into the world with all its troubles and conflicts. And just as they were called by the prophet in the midst of Exile to be a light, so, too, are we called to be a light to the nations.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; hate cannot drive out hate. But if we can live into our calling to be that light to the nations, then we will hasten the driving out of the darkness and hate, and the triumph of love and light.

Rev. Mark Schaefer, Pastor


Thanks to everyone who participated in worship services Sunday. Thanks to Jeff Griffith for leading us in worship and for reading our scripture lessons, and to Chiara, David, Carole, Perry, and the Choir for providing our beautiful music.
         Sermon: “Light to the Nations”  Rev. Mark Schaefer
         Sunday’s attendance: 46
         Collection: $ 1,166.80

NEXT SUNDAY SERVICES, JANUARY 26, 2020, 10:00 a.m.
Sermon: “Straightaway to Work,” Rev. Mark Schaefer
Scripture Lessons: Isaiah 9:1–4; Matthew 4:12–23

Want to help out in worship? Use our online sign-up to be a greeter, usher, liturgist, lector, or communion server.

Community Events & Information

Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m., Cheltenham UMC
Rev. Schaefer will be offering a weekly Bible study beginning this week on January 21 and continuing every Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Bible Study poll to help select a topic. We will be doing a deeper dive into the lectionary texts used on Sunday during worship. Everyone is welcome to attend. No prior experience required!
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer,

Sunday, January 26, 2020, 11:00 a.m., Furgang Hall

Following worship next Sunday, we will be having a welcome lunch for Pastor Mark, his wife Cara, and their kids. Following the success of the graduates’ lunch, we will be having a taco bar. If you'd like to sign up to help out or contribute something, contact Crystal Reed at the email address below.
Contact: Crystal Reed,

Wednesday, January 22, 1–3 p.m.

Rev. Schaefer’s “office” hours in the community this week will be Wednesday, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Marlboro Grille in Upper Marlboro. Feel free to stop on by!
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer,

Regular Weekly Calendar

  • Monday
    • Monday Methodists, 9 a.m.
    • Knitting Circle, 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday
    • Cheltenham Academy, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Pastor’s Office Hours, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
    • AA and Al-Anon, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday
    • SLOGGS Meeting, 11:30 a.m.
    • Pastor’s “Office” Hours, 1–3 p.m.
      • Marlboro Grille, Upper Marlboro
    • Band, 6 p.m.
    • Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m.
  • Friday
    • Pastor’s Sabbath
  • Sunday
    • Sunday School, 9 a.m.
    • Sunday Worship, 10 a.m.
    • Fellowship, 11 a.m.

Prayer List

Alice Roberson, mourning the death of her son Jeff
Elsie and Chuck Taylor, in the hospital
Liane and all those returning to college for the semester
The friends and family of Ronnie Carroll, mourning his death
Joanne, going in for a heart stent test
Nancy, recovering from surgery
Melissa, recovering from a car accident
The Werner family, facing illnesses
Linda, recovering from a car accident
Richard, undergoing chemotherapy
Traveling mercies for Sarah and Aiden
The people of Australia experiencing wildfires
Those in the armed services soon to be deployed abroad, and their families
The friends and family of Jennifer Creech, mourning her death
The Sawez family, mourning the death of their father Ehsan
Michael Kidwell, in need of surgery after a fall
Ellie, in need of a hip replacement
Marilyn, recovering from a heart attack
The family of baby Lindley, at St. Jude's
Yousef, in need of physical healing

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