Current News and Events
Our Next Sunday Service:
For Sunday, October 9, our in-person service will be led by Reverend John R. Yost.
If you are looking for a church home in the area, we encourage you to visit us. You do not have to transfer a membership from your home church to be a member of ours. All are welcome!
The Council of Hedges Chapel continues to monitor health related concerns regarding the COVID virus and its variants. Though not mandated, we recommend wearing a mask while in The Chapel. If not vaccinated, or if you prefer to maintain greater social distancing, you may use the adjacent Fellowship Hall which is heated and equipped with an effective audio system. Bibles and Hymnals are available there as well. The use of masks is strongly suggested in the Fellowship Hall. We wish everyone to feel comfortable and welcome while practicing familiar safety protocols.
The speaker schedule for future services may be found on the services page.
Prayers Needed for Family of Dick Will and Lita Howard-Gois, Abigail and Alison:
We are saddened to learn of Dick's passing earlier this month in Georgetown, TX. Dick has been on our prayer list for many months. See Dick's obituary and details of the Oct. 22 memorial service on the Special Concerns page.
Reverend Carl and Beverly Howard have asked us to remember their daughter, Lita Howard-Gois, and family in our prayers. They loved attending Hedges Chapel, but now are part of a congregation that has a youth program. The family has been hit with COVID. Lita is in her fifth day of recovery, but the girls—Abigail and Alison—also have tested positive. Orlando was quite ill about a month ago, but has recovered.
For your Calendar: Advent Bible Study:
Tuesday: November 29, December 6, December 13, and December 20. More details soon. I
Annual Congregational Meeting Minutes of September 18 Posted:
Results of the Election of Officers, standing committee annual reports, and other congregational business can be found in the meeting minutes posted in the members only section.
School Supplies Collection Results
The Outreach Committee wishes to thank all those who donated school supplies for student and teacher use at Pleasant View Elementary School in nearby Morgan County. These will be given to children whose parents cannot supply them or used to replenish the teachers’ supplies. Here are some great photos, taken by project coordinator Kris O'Brien, which capture the extent of what was collected as well as the joy of giving and receiving.
New Photo in Joys and Celebrations Section under Members Pages:
See Adrianna's latest photo and information about keeping in contact with her under the Members Only section on the new Joys and Celebrations page.
Thank You for your Contributions Toward West Virginia and Kentucky Flood Relief:
In response to the devastation caused by flooding in southern West Virginia and Kentucky, Hedges Chapel served as a collection point for donations from Chapel members and the community at large, to aid in the recovery effort of the affected areas. Monies we collected were directed through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCR), specifying West Virginia and Kentucky Flood Relief. As in the past, we have chosen the UMCR because the entire amount donated will go toward providing relief to the impacted people, as no overhead costs are taken from it.
Thanks to all those who contributed. We ask you to join us in keeping all those affected by this terrible natural disaster in our thoughts and prayers.
Birthdays and Anniversaries:
Are your special days included on our chapel calendar of events? if not, please send them to us. We don't want to miss anyone!
Chapel Council Minutes Available:
The July 12 minutes of the Hedges Chapel Council is now posted in the Council Minutes section of the members only part of this site. Please contact us if you are a member who needs the password. As you review them, if you find areas where the Chapel might benefit from your skills and talents, please contact one of the council members and we'll be happy to direct you to the appropriate committee chair(s). Committees where new members are always welcome are: Worship (including music), Outreach, Fellowship, and Buildings and Grounds.
Search Function Added to Website:
Since our site is getting filled with lots of good information, we've added a site search function so details are easier to find. It's located at the top of each page. Like any search engine, it's not perfect but it will get you started. Why not try it out by searching on "speakers?" You will find several different ways to learn more about who is sharing their message with us each week, for example.
Past News and Events
Spring Cleaning Work Party at Chapel:
On Saturday, March 26, 13 dedicated workers turned out at Hedges Chapel for a Spring Workday. Led by Larry Morris, the crew made short work of removing leaves, piles of decaying lumber, debris and dead limbs and bushes, and replacing the hasp on the storage shed. They also replaced the parking bumpers in the handicap parking spots. Members brought trucks, a trailer, chain saws, rakes, leaf blowers and vacs, various yard and garden tools and strong backs to do the heavy lifting. Those who worked outside were the Gois family (Lita, Orlando, Abigail and Alison); Dale Hampton; Don Jones; Tom Ketchel (who hauled away a trailer full of old lumber); David Main; Larry Morris and Lee Conlon.
Inside, Sheila Joy, Susan Morris and Arlene Ruckle gave the Fellowship Hall a thorough going-over, cleaning all the light fixtures, organizing and decluttering the kitchen, cleaning and decluttering the office, and much more.
The event ended with a pizza party! Below are some photos Susan Morris took. Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all for their great effort!
Photos clockwise from upper left: Meeting of the minds; Workers Bees (Lee and Tom) blazing a path to and fro;
Who needs a ladder when you have a table just “Sheila height”; Arlene getting to every nook and cranny; The Gois Family getting down to it, both inside and out; Then chowing down with Don.
Cards Sought for Evelyn Collins:
See the important request for Evelyn from her daughter on our special concerns page.
Thanks for Your “Souper” Donations!
Once again, the Hedges Chapel Outreach Committee was overwhelmed by the response of the congregation and The Woods community for its “Souper Bowl of Caring” project! This past week, a packed carload and a large open-van load of food, cleaning products and needed home items were delivered by Rick Powell and John Maynard. This is in addition to a previous van load delivered a few weeks ago when the drive began. Volunteers at Loaves and Fishes of Hedgesville located in the United Methodist Church were elated at the amount of food that was donated at this time of year. Staff at Bethany House, a shelter for women and children in Martinsburg, were amazed with the variety, quantity, and quality of the donated items from their wish list. Thanks, and blessings to all!
Photos, clockwise from upper left: Just a portion of the donations; Karen, the head of Loaves and Fishes; Karen's husband, pressed into service; John, who is frequently pressed into service, just part of our intrepid team!
Minute for Mission: Bethany House
Bethany House, located in Martinsburg, opened in 1986 and can house up to 32 women and children at any given time. They are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing shelter, case management, three meals a day, laundry facilities and supportive services.
It is run by Community Networks, Inc, a private, nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization which began as the Berkeley County Coalition for the Homeless. The organization offers a wide range of services to our community’s low-income and homeless populations, including:
- Emergency shelter for women and children at Bethany House
- Transitional Housing for single women at the HOPE Living Center which provides 9 single room occupancy units.
- Permanent housing assistance and supportive services for HIV/AIDS individuals.
- A drop-in center for persons with HIV/AIDS inclusive of a pantry, laundry facilities, case management and supportive services.
- Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing with rental assistance and case management to homeless households in the Eastern Panhandle.
In addition to being a recipient of items collected during our 2022 "Souper Bowl of Caring," Bethany House receives an annual donation from Hedges Chapel as part of its outreach giving.
Special Needs or Concerns Page in the Members Only Section:
From time to time, individuals or families in the congregation or immediate community may need help in some way beyond our prayers. A page has been started to share these concerns for as long as our involvement would be helpful. For privacy reasons, this is a password protected page. The password is the same for all members only sections. If, in the future, you know of someone who should be added to the Concerns page, please share the details by contacting us.
Tornado Disaster Relief Results:
Dear friends and members of Hedges Chapel:
We are truly humbled to live among such an amazing group of kind and generous community members. Your response to our collection of funds for Tornado Relief was not only generous, but also swift! As a result of your gifts and the Hedges Chapel match pledge, we have been able to forward to the United Methodist Committee on Relief a check for nearly $12,000! Any subsequent gifts will be forwarded as they are received.
Thank you each and every one for your compassion and sacrifice - God loves you, and so do we!
Christmas Angels Update:
Thanks to participants from the congregation and the general area community, all Christmas Angels were "adopted" in conjunction with our Holiday Food Basket program for families in need. The families we helped have been identified by Starting Points from the Pleasant View Elementary School area in nearby Morgan County.
The Christmas Angel project seeks gifts of clothing for the children of these families. Interested individuals or families from the Chapel or the general community may participate. Participants select from the list of children provided and provide one or two wrapped gift boxes of clothing for the child or children of their choice from this list.
Results of our Sharing Our Blessings 2021:
The Hedges Chapel Outreach Committee is thankful to be a part of the generous Woods community! When we invited you to join us in sharing our blessings with children and families in need this Thanksgiving and Christmas, we never envisioned being able to receive all the funds and food we needed for both holidays prior to Thanksgiving!
Photo courtesy of Joyce Kliber
Thank You Cards from Pleasant View Elementary Children:
When you have an opportunity to be in the fellowship hall, please look at the cute Thank You cards that we got from each class at Pleasant View Elementary School as a result of our school supplies drive. They are located on the bulletin board, near where we are collect food donations.
New Council Minutes and Outreach Budget for 2022 Available:
The minutes of the Chapel Council meeting on November 17 are included now on the Council Minutes page in the members section. The Council approved Outreach budget is now included on the Outreach Committee page in the members section. If you are a member and need to know the members code for access, please contact us.
Minutes From Outreach Annual Planning Meeting Available:
The minutes from Fall Planning Meeting of the Outreach Committee on October 17 are available on the website in the members only section here. At the meeting, the committee develops all of its activities for the year and decides upon the community organization donations it will recommend to the Chapel Council for its action. In addition, as a followup to their report at the Congregational Meeting, the annual report of the Outreach Committee is now available on the website here.
Reverend Penny Gladwell offered an advent study for all those interested. Advent is a time to open our hearts and minds to welcome the Christ child anew. You didn't have to be a member of our congregation to participate online. For more details, see Mary Oliver and the Poetry of Advent.
Minutes from Congregational Meeting Available:
The minutes of the congregational meeting on September 19th are available on the website in the members only section here. If you are in need of the password for this section, please contact us.
Scenes from the Annual Congregational Meeting:
The annual congregational meeting was held after the service on September 19, 2021. Arlene Ruckle and Bill Herbert were elected to fill two vacant one year terms and Council members Nancy Page and Sheila Hampton were re-elected to 3 year terms. Dave Gladwell was re-elected as Treasurer. After the meeting, the Council met and elected Lee Conlon to continue as Chair, Sheila Joy as Vice Chair and Sheila Hampton as Secretary.
Photos L to R: Lee Conlon, Council Chair hosts the meeting; Peter VanKleeck, new chair of Worship Committee gives his report; Sheila Joy announces the election results and Lee and Dave Cooper sing "Crying in the Chapel."
[photos courtesy of John Maynard]
Overwhelming Response School Supplies Drive for Local Elementary School:
The outreach committee was overjoyed at the response to its 2021 collection of much-needed school supplies for Pleasant View Elementary School located on Route 9 just over the Morgan County border. Thanks to all in the congregation and the general Woods community who gave so generously! The supplies will be given to children whose parents cannot supply them or used to replenish the teachers’ supplies. We filled the back of Katherine's pickup truck and overflowed into Vicki's SUV! Thanks to Sheila who coordinated the project as well as all the outreach team who worked on it.
Sunday Sermon Archives Available:
Information about all past speakers and sermons for 2021 are available in a special section under the services menu tab. Thanks to Kat for this idea!
Fellowship Hall Open for Groups and Event Rentals:
The Council of Hedges Chapel is pleased to announce the opening of our Fellowship Hall for group meetings and events. Please contact Sheila Joy to reserve a date and time for your club, group or business meeting; wedding; birthday or anniversary celebration; family reunion, etc.
Our rental fee remains $25 for standing groups (weekly/monthly repeat). The fee for a one time event is either $50 or $100+ as indicated on the rental agreement. Once a date and time have been confirmed by Sheila, you will need to complete the agreement and return it to her along with the rental fee check.
We are pleased to announce the lifting of face mask and social distancing restrictions for groups. Should a COVID virus or other community health concern arise in the future the Council will respond appropriately and provide notice accordingly. As has always been our practice, we ask that you wipe down surfaces prior to your departure leaving the premises clean and tidy for the next group. A copy of the rental agreement is available for your review in the facilities section of this website.
Photos from the Farewell Potluck August 15
The Larsons and the Rudolphs returned for a potluck immediately following the chapel service on the 15th. We welcomed the opportunity to see them again, honoring their membership and service to Hedges Chapel. Thanks to Rick Powell for capturing the moment!
Thanks to the Gois family -- Carl Howard's son-in-law Orlando, daughter Lita, and granddaughters Abigail and Alison -- who did some volunteer gardening at the Chapel. You will notice and appreciate the much neater look, when you arrive for service or visit the chapel.
Chapel Council Minutes
The council minutes from July 13 are now available in the members only section. If you are in need of the password for this section, please contact us.
Keeping in Touch:
A revised digital Member Directory is available, thanks to the work of Steve Rudolph and the Worship Committee. It can be found in the "members only" section of this website. Please send any corrections or additions to us via the contact page.
New Website Section:
If you missed descriptions and photos from past news everts, you can now find most in our past news highlights section.
Chapel Has Re-opened!
Hedges Chapel re-opened for in-person worship on May 30. Beginning Sunday July 4, we will no longer require masks to be worn and social distancing will be left to personal preference. Outdoor covered seating is also available, as well as in the air-conditioned Fellowship Hall for folks still wanting to keep their distance. Our new sound system works in those locations as well. In the near future we will also resume fellowship hour following worship service, beginning with a pot luck for members who have recently moved away. For the safety of all, the council and the worship committee will continue to monitor local COVID-19 indicators to respond to current conditions.
Photos from Chapel Reopening
Thanks to Penny for these photos of our May 30, Memorial Day, service.
As we continue to develop this website, we are seeking contributions of chapel memories, photos and/or favorite Bible verses to include in those sections. Please contact us if you have items for inclusion, ideas for new sections or information to be added that would be helpful to you.