PG County Seal






In and Around Morningside-Skyline 
By Mary McHale 301-735-3451

After 200 fruitful years, Forest Memorial has “disbanded”

A virtual Closing Service was held on Sunday, Sept. 27, with 64 members and former members of Forest Memorial United Methodist Church coming from all over the United States.  At that Service, “An Order for Disbanding a Congregation” was ready, and officially closed the church.

The history of Forest Memorial, in Forestville, goes back to the horse-and-buggy era—a time of infancy for Prince George’s County.  In 1816, one minister (a Circuit Rider) covered the Methodist churches on a circuit of about 600 miles.  Records show that covering all the Methodist churches might take six weeks, causing Circuit Services to be performed every three weeks at each church.

A group of Methodists established a church building on the current Joint Base Andrews property.  It ultimately became Chapel 2.  That church was called “Old Long Fields Church,” relating to the nearby tobacco fields. 

In 1885 that same congregation purchased land between Ritchie Road and Forestville Road.  A concrete building was erected (still stands today) to house a Chapel and Fellowship Hall, and the surrounding cemetery.  The building has currently been labeled “constructionally unsafe” because of its age.  The Church Trustees have not had it removed because of the historical Chapel still there.  In its recent history, this building housed a Thrift Shop, and classes of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

The present building houses not only a 350-person Sanctuary with an elegant Chancel stained-glass window depicting the New Testament, a pipe organ, and Parlor.  Also, an Educational wing for Sunday School.  Over the years—besides weekly Sunday Services and Sunday School—there have been service groups: Methodist Men and Methodist Women, Appalachian Service Project, Puppet Ministry, Boy Scouts, Contemporary Christians, Campers, Bible Studies, and “Young at Heart,” a monthly luncheon for community seniors.  Even Our Savior’s School used the building for 20 years.

Most recent pastors: Dennis Schulze, James “Ed” Chance, Richard Craig, Dr. Robert Burdette, George Aist, Linda Rettenmayer, Ty Blackwell and Esther Holimon.

We give God thanks for a strong, influential congregation in Prince George’s, as well as in the state!  At present, there are several groups interested in purchasing the building.  We wish our next group the same success as Forest Memorial.

Thank you to Betty Cottrell for the contributing this remarkable history.


Car smashes into Suitland Rd. house

A Morningside woman lost control of her car and crashed into the corner of a house at Suitland Road and Ridgecrest Drive.  It happened Sunday, Oct. 11, about 5 p.m., and it was raining.  Police said the cause might have been a combination of excessive speed and a slick road.  Light rain or drizzle had been falling all day.

Fortunately, no one was injured.  As the shocked driver stood out in the rain staring at the damage, a concerned neighbor brought her an umbrella.

The Mercedes-Benz C300 is probably totaled and the badly damaged basement of the house is still open to the elements.  By the way, Morningside Volunteer Fire Department responded in 5 minutes, or less.


Neighbors & other good people

Jack Edward Longfellow, 71, died Oct. 6 at his home in La Plata.  Survivors include his wife Nancy, formerly of Morningside and daughter of William J. Gilmartin, a Morningside Councilman from1958 to 1964.  Other survivors include four children, and 12 grandchildren.  Services were at Sacred Heart Church in La Plata with burial in the Church Cemetery.

Father John A. Vidal has been appointed pastor of Saint Ignatius Parish in Oxon Hill, where he has been parish administrator.

I had my flu shot, administered by a pharmacist at CVS in Clinton.  Because I was a good patient, I got a lollypop.   Go thou, do likewise.


Changing landscape

A new community, Gateway Park, is under development in District Heights adjacent to Walker Mill Regional Park.   One ad mentions 37 single-family homes, one of them going for  $440,990.  Thank you to Mae Boone who called me with this news.

Compare Foods Super Market has opened in the Coral Hills Shopping Center, 4801 Marlboro Pike.

Prince George’s County has plans to build new schools.  Also, under the contract, some schools would be rebuilt, including Drew-Freeman Middle School (formerly La Reine HS), Kenmoor Middle School and Walker Mille Middle School.


Is this your favorite hardware store?

Clinton Hardware has “… the best customer service!” says Yvette Morris, who lives on Old Alexandria Ferry Road. “People are not only friendly but there is always someone in there to help you. Depending on what I need, I go there before going to Lowes.”  She had this remark on the NextdoorMorningside website.

Several others also responded, “I go there before Lowe’s.”  Ernest Canlas thinks the store “is a neighborhood gem.”  His opinion was similar to 47 other favorable responses.  Not a single one of the 48 who responded had a complaint about Clinton Hardware.


Covid-19 cancels Mass at Catholic Cemeteries

All Souls Day is coming up Nov. 2.  Usually I’d head for Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton to attend the All Souls Day Mass, and then visit my husband Jack’s grave.

This year I can still visit him, but there will be no Mass because of the pandemic.

Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese include: Gate of Heaven, Mount Olivet, Resurrection, St. Mary’s, St. John’s Forest Glen, St. Mary’s Queen of Peace, and All Souls.  They’ll be open 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Nov. 2.

The Catholic Standard newspaper suggests, “Come pray for your deceased loved ones, and remember all those who have died during the coronavirus.”



Happy birthday to Daniel John Fitzgerald and Anna Norris, Oct. 24; my granddaughter Kathryn (Shearer) Garcia and Donna Anderson, Oct. 25; Linda (Ferguson) Sandoval, Juanita Starke and Christopher Flaherty, Oct. 27; Diane Cvitko, Oct. 28; my grandson Isaac Gallegos, Oct. 29; Denise Williams, Kim Miller and my wonderful daughter Kathleen (McHale) Shearer, Oct. 30.

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By Audrey Johnson 301-922-5384


New Hope Fellowship Cooperative Parish coming together to celebrate Men’s and Women’s Day Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 9 a.m.  “Brothers and Sisters Standing Firm on God’s Word” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV).  Guest Preacher:  Rev. Robert H. Alston, Jr., Pastor Thankful Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.  Faith offering (Men $100 and Women $100).  Your offering can be dropped off at Christ Church or Nottingham-Myers 10–11 a.m. October 25, mailed to the churches or given online.

Color of the Day:  Shades of Gold.  Wear your Gold October 25, take a picture and email it to by Wednesday, October 28.  View a slide show of our members and guests wearing their Gold during our 9 a.m. and 11a.m. worship services Sunday, November 1, 2020.

View the service live on YouTube:  ChristUMCAquasco.  Radio Broadcast available from Christ Church’s Parking Lot:  88.7 FM.  Rev. Constance Smith, Pastor.  Note:  Only one service, no zoom service October 25, 2020.  Nottingham-Myers U.M. Church is located at 15601 Brooks Church Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772.  Christ U.M. Church is located at 22919 Christ Church Road, Aquasco, Maryland 20608.


PGCPS Professional Library is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bonnie F. Johns Media Center.  For pick-up or to have items mailed to your school, employees can contact  There are also professional e-Books available in Sora (use county username and password to login).


In the News:  Hillcrest Heights Principal offers advice on easing COVID-19 Anxiety.  Principal David Brown recently shared with Education Dive how he implements and improves supports for students, families, and staff during this pandemic.  Friday, October 9, PGCPS he introduced the Hapara Instructional Suite, a classroom management tool compatible with Google Classroom.  Hapara allows teachers to deliver instruction tailored to meet individual student needs, keep students safe during online lessons and provide students with ongoing feedback on their work to encourage continuous learning and growth.

Teachers will have access to student documents and online activity through their PGCPS-issued accounts, including: Visibility into web activity when students are logged in to their school account during instructional hours.  Real-time access to provide specific guidance and feedback to struggling students.  A place to engage in classroom work so students can have personalized learning experiences.  In addition, the software encourages organization and time management skills with a Student Dashboard that gathers all digital schoolwork from Google Classroom and Google Drive into one central location.  Information from PGCPS Express A Newsletter for PGCPS Employees.  


Way to show up Nottingham Myers United Methodist Church and Pastor Constance Smith. Sunday, October 4, 2020 they were on the road again to visit another Diva Mrs. Rosie Wilkerson in Brandywine, Maryland who is a Senior member in the church.  Thanks Nottingham Myers and Pastor Constance Smith for recognizing our Seniors during the Pandemic.


Teaming up with Purposity to help students in need.  Join Purposity, a not-for-profit app that shares the needs of local students and families.  After downloading the app and following PGCPS, you will receive one weekly notification with special needs from students and families.  You decide if you want to help meet a need in just a few clicks right from your phone, and you will know exactly who you are helping and why.  Purposity is available in the App Store and Google Play.  Information from PGCPS Express Newsletter for PGCPS Employees.


Happy Birthday to John Tyree, Camden Knight, Kaylee Davis, Madison Rae Stroman, Khia Knight, David Samuel, Ulric Thomas, Erica Barron, Barbara Washington, Iheanyi (Junior) Mbakwe and George Taylor who are Clinton United Methodist Church members celebrating Birthdays in October.


We will miss seeing you on campus for our Homecoming activities this year.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in person homecoming events have been cancelled.





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