Severna Park United Methodist Church celebrates its 30th anniversary Sunday with services at 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. An outdoor reception will be held after each service.
A helium-filled balloon above the church will announce the celebration. At each service, children will carry red and white balloons in a "procession into the future," said the Rev. Warren Ebenger, the church minister.
The Rev. Wesley Dodge, SPUMC minister from 1970 to 1980, will preach at all three services. He and his wife, Mary Lee Dodge, will greet friends during the receptions.
SPUMC was organized in 1965 by the Rev. Edgar Beckett. After meeting for some time in a house on Benfield Road near Severna Park High School, the church consecrated its first building in June 1969. There have been two expansions, in 1978 and 1990. Dr. Beckett's wife, Muriel Beckett Guteknunst, will be at Sunday's 11:15 a.m. service.
The Rev. Gerald Weiss, associate Linda Jacobus and the late William Bush served until 1988, when Dr. Ebenger arrived. Mr. Weiss and Ms. Jacobus will attend the 9:15 a.m. service. Dr. Ebenger has been assisted by Sandra Taylor, Jacquelyn Jones and, currently, Ken Brown.
He also is assisted by two diaconal ministers: Lee Ferrell, in her 20th year working with young people; and Andrea Titcomb, who heads evangelism.
Because the 30th anniversary is marked by a pearl, members of the congregation are filling a giant pearl in the church foyer with "pearls of wisdom" that will be published in a keepsake booklet.
The community is invited to join guests, charter members and the congregation Sunday. Information: 987-4700.
The county's annual CROP walk is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 8 along the B&A Trail, beginning and ending at Jones Elementary School.
The Severna Park Assistance Network is a major beneficiary of the event. Almost $9,000 was raised last year, one-fourth for SPAN. CROP (the Christian Rural Overseas Program) has collected food and money for the Church World Service since the 1940s. Information: 647-3124.