St. John United Methodist/Presbyterian has new pastor


September 16, 1998|By Kathy Curtis | Kathy Curtis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MEMBERS OF St. John United Methodist/ Presbyterian Church welcomed their new pastor, the Rev. John Warren, at a fall festival Sunday at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center.

Warren took over the leadership of the church this summer after 10 years as senior pastor at Simpson-Hamline United Methodist Church in Northwest Washington.

"After 10 years, it was time for a change," Warren said. "It's nice to leave a parish when they still like you."

A native of New York City, Warren was ordained an Episcopal priest but left the priesthood in the 1970s.

He taught college-level English for a few years before moving to Washington.

After serving for several years as assistant pastor at Hamline United Methodist Church -- which later merged to become Simpson-Hamline -- he became a United Methodist minister in 1980.

He served as senior pastor at churches in West Virginia and in Baltimore before taking over as senior pastor at the Simpson-Hamline combined parish in the District of Columbia.

Warren described his flock at Simpson-Hamline as an "inclusive congregation."

Groups that shared the Methodists' worship space and sometimes joined them for services included Ethiopian Christians, Hispanic Seventh-day Adventists and Free Catholics.

St. John's is likewise a "reconciling congregation" that accepts people of all races and religious affiliations, Warren said.

At his first service there, he said, "I did not feel that we were a group of whites or blacks or Methodists or Presbyterians. We were a group of Christian believers. That was exciting."

Warren said he hopes that his preaching at St. John will help the members grow spiritually and become more familiar with the Bible.

He added, "We have to be open to the Holy Spirit to see where God is going to lead us."

Sunday's festival, which followed the 10: 30 a.m. worship service, included games and refreshments.

Organizers included Donna Hayman, chairwoman of the fellowship committee; Bob Jackson, chairman of the Christian education committee; and Vern Tamalavicz, chairman of the membership and evangelism committee.

New signs on agenda

Residents will have a chance to comment on designs for new signs in Bryant Woods and Faulkner Ridge at a town meeting at 7: 30 tonight at Slayton House.

The meeting is sponsored by the Wilde Lake Community Association.

Also on the agenda will be a proposal by Danny Roth, a member of Boy Scout Troop 75, for beautifying cul-de-sacs in the village.

Denis Ellis, assistant director of the Columbia Association's Open Space Management Division, will present the plans for the signs.

The signs will replace neighborhood signs on Green Mountain and Faulkner Ridge circles and on Windstream Drive.

Wilde Lake program coordinator Jeryl Baker said the community association has received complaints from residents that the signs block drivers' views and that the surrounding bushes are overgrown.

Danny Roth will present a plan to survey the village's cul-de-sacs to identify the ones that have islands.

Maintenance of these areas of open space is the responsibility of residents whose property is adjacent, but many of these Wilde Lake residents are seniors who can no longer do the work.

Danny's plan includes a pilot project in which Scouts and neighborhood residents will improve one cul-de-sac island with low-maintenance plantings.

Information: the village office, 410-730-3987.

Call for dancers

If you used to enjoy square dancing, but can't remember all the steps, Hawthorn residents Mel and Marilyn Adelson are looking for you.

The Adelsons are program chairmen this year for the Villagers Square Dance Club of Columbia.

The Adelsons have organized a refresher course on square dancing that began with a free session Sept. 9.

The course will continue from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. today at St. John's Lane Elementary School, 2960 St. John's Lane, Ellicott City.

Future sessions will be Sept. 23 and Oct. 7, 14 and 21.

Dancers may join the course at any time. Admission for each session is $7 a couple; partners are required.

The Adelsons have been active in the club for 20 years. They joined soon after they moved to Columbia. "We found some wonderful people," Mel Adelson said.

Members of the club range in age from 50s to 70s, but Adelson noted that dancers of all ages are welcome.

He pointed out that square dancing is a good form of aerobic exercise. Following the patterns of steps announced by the caller also provides mental exercise.

Dancing together has led to friendships off the dance floor, too, with members meeting for a variety of social events.

Information: 410-992-7692.

Troop forming

A meeting to explore the possibility of forming a Boy Scout troop in west Columbia will be held at 8 p.m. tomorrow in Room 6 at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center.

Boys ages 11 to 18 are welcome. Adult volunteers are needed.

Swansfield resident Barbara Thomas, who handles public relations for the Scouts' National Pike District, observed that there are several Cub Scout packs in the area, but no Boy Scout troops in Wilde Lake, Harper's Choice or Town Center.

Thomas said boys from all areas are welcome to attend. She also encourages adults to participate, even if they do not have children.

"All skills are needed," she said. The only requirement, she added, "is an interest in working with children."

Information: 410-740-8994.

Free events on tap

Lynn Zwerling of Clary's Forest, a former car saleswoman, will discuss "Pain-free Car Buying" tonight and "Car Care Made Simple" on Sept. 23. Both sessions will meet from 7: 30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Registration: 410-730-4744.

Pub Date: 9/16/98

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