The immediate response of the disciples is surprising, not only because they seem to drop everything to follow after Jesus, leaving half-filled nets and James' and John's own father behind. It's surprising because that kind of immediacy is not often found in our response to Jesus' call today. 

We like to think it over. We want to weigh our options. We take time to consider whether responding to such a call makes sense for us in our current situation.

Now, it may be that our responses are reflective of how extraordinary the response of those first disciples truly was. But it may also reflect our feeling that the Kingdom of God, if it is coming, is delayed. The urgency felt by that first generation of Christians seems to have been lost.

But the urgency remains. Whether the Kingdom arrives tomorrow or 10,000 years from today, the need for people to experience the Kingdom of God among us remains. There is certainly a need for a realm of justice, peace, love, grace, and peace in our broken and hurting world. Whatever schedule it's on, we are nevertheless called to get to the work of that kingdom—testifying to love, grace, peace, and justice—in the here and now. When we receive that call, it is on us to respond straightaway.

Rev. Mark Schaefer, Pastor


Thanks to everyone who participated in worship services Sunday. Thanks to Crystal Reed 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: “Straightaway to Work,”  Rev. Mark Schaefer
         Sunday’s attendance: 50
         Collection: $ 

Sermon: “Keeping It Simple,” Rev. Mark Schaefer
Scripture Lessons: Micah 6:1–8; Matthew 5:1–12

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

Special Thanks to You

To the Cheltenham UMC community,

I cannot thank you enough for the hospitality you have shown to me and my family since my appointment began with you in December. The kids, Cara, and I were incredibly touched by the gestures of welcome during worship today and by the wonderful—and delicious!—feast after worship. 

Thank you for all you have done and I look forward to our continued partnership in ministry!

—Mark Schaefer

Community Events & Information

Russell Alpheaus takes the membership vowsCONGRATULATIONS TO OUR NEW MEMBER: RUSSEL ALPHEAUS
Congratulations to Russell Alpheaus who joined the congregation of Cheltenham UMC this Sunday on profession of faith! We’re so grateful that you have found a loving and supportive Christian community in us!

Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m., Cheltenham UMC
Rev. Schaefer continues the weekly Bible study this week and every Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m.  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,
Wednesday, January 22, 2–4 p.m.

Rev. Schaefer’s “office” hours in the community this week will be Wednesday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Starbucks at Brandywine Crossing (15810 Robert S Crain Hwy, Brandywine, MD 20613). Feel free to stop on by!
Contact: Rev. Mark Schaefer,
Sunday, February 2

Next Sunday is Souper Bowl Sunday and members are invited to contribute soups during fellowship for voluntary contributions. Proceeds will be forwarded to Community Support Services.
Contact: Doug House,

Sunday, February 2, 2:30 p.m.

The next coaching session with Rev. Brian Brown will be this coming Sunday, February 2, at 2:30 p.m. We will be continuing the work of developing mission and vision statements and a strategic plan for the congregation.
Contact: Crystal Reed,

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 Bible Study, 9:30 a.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, 2–4 p.m.
      • Starbucks, Brandywine Crossing
    • 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

Mary Lou, hospitalized with breathing problems
Traveling mercies for Jayla
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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