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A solution for down days...

January 13, 2021

Dear Church Family,


I have to be honest and tell you that sometimes it seems difficult to find the good news of the day to share. No, not the Good News, there is always and forever the steadfast Good News of God’s love and grace, I’m talking the good news of every day living.


As I was preparing for this evening’s start of Home Brew Theology, our new 2021 Theological Book Study, I was reading in particular about God in the small stuff, the everyday ordinary things of life. It was a wonderful reminder, as I began to think about it, that all too often we put God someplace other than the everyday ordinary, save God for the big stuff and struggle through the moment.


I woke up this morning thinking about the long days of winter, a friend’s text greeted me to share that tough days for her had gotten tougher as of this week and she was digging deep. I think many of us are and it’s not unusual this time of year, but especially this year. And I wondered how can we turn to God even more in the ordinary, moment by moment life.


I watched as some football players very publicly give thanks to God after a ‘big play’ and sometimes, honestly, cynically think, God didn’t do that. Yet, I believe God did in a way. If you are in conversation with your Creator and you draw your every strength from your Creator, God did have a hand in that. God gave you the strength and the gifts and the talents to do everything you do, especially in the ordinary, everyday life. There’s really no separating anything we do with what God is involved in, for God is in everything. Not just the beauty of the sunsets and the creation of the flowers and trees, but in everything, the hard moments and days of our lives too. There is really no separation.


Yesterday at the close of Ann Wright’s memorial service, we sang (or tried to sing) through tears the refrain from “On Eagle’s Wings.” I already had this song on my mind for several weeks now, and this morning when I woke up to take Bear outside, I found myself singing it…


You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord Who abide in His shadow for life Say to the Lord, "My refuge, my rock in whom I trust!"


And He will raise you up on eagles' wings Bear you on the breath of dawn Make you to shine like the sun And hold you in the palm of His hand


And it continues, in the fourth and final stanza:


For to His angels He's given a command To guard you in all of your ways Upon their hands they will bear you up Lest you dash your foot against a stone


And He will raise you up on eagles' wings Bear you on the breath of dawn Make you to shine like the sun And hold you in the palm of His hand


And hold you, hold you in the palm of His hand


I had to pull up the full lyrics this morning and read through them again. Nothing about this says, God raises us up and holds us in the palm of God’s hand just when things are big and tough. God is in all things - the ordinary, everyday things as much as in the big things, too.


So, I pray this day and ask you to join me, as many seem to be digging deep these days to find the good news, that we will recognize God is with us, holding us in the palm of God’s hand. In every moment, of every day, if we but just realize God will raise us up, bearing us on the breath of dawn, when we are not sure where our strength comes from to do what we need to do. God is already holding us in the palm of His hand. Yes, even in, or especially in, the ordinary.


Shalom,

Pastor Tim


In our daily prayers…

You are invited to join your faith family in prayer as we lift up:

· The Family of Ann Wright

· Gladys Fawcett, as her health continues to improve

· Georgie Ritter, who has been moved to rehab

· Greyson Greenawalt, the youngest dialysis patient ever for GMC Danville

· All Front-line Health Care and Essential Workers

· Katy Mahon, awaiting determinations by healthcare professionals about her kidney

· Mina Hoover and her family as Mina (5) awaits surgery at GMC Danville

· Continued prayers for Clarence Snider as he recovers from a fall

· Deniene Enders family and friends as she died last evening of COVID complications

· The many who are suffering from the COVID virus, as well as all those caring for them at home and in hospitals and nursing facilities · Amy Snider’s Aunt Mildred (Clarence’s sister) facing medical emergencies and the lack of hospital space to help · Rev. Kay’s godfather and uncle Frank Korpics, who is at the end of his life and for Kay’s cousin Corey, who is traveling cross country from Arizona to Kentucky to be with his father before he dies · For all these requests and the unspoken requests we pray…Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.



Ways to stay connected…


While we already know 2021 has begun a lot differently than so many hoped for, we also know we won’t ever stop being the church, seeking to find God in the ordinary and serving others! There are neighbors to help, there is music to be made (and practiced), there are journeys to be traveled and as we move forward in our daily lives in 2021, may we always remember we do it all together as one big faith family. There is something for everyone! So, as we begin thinking of ways we can once again be together and be the church in old and new ways alike, I wanted to share a few options for 2021 with you…


Home Brew Wednesdays… Starting tonight, January 13, and each Wednesday thereafter at 6:30 p.m., grab your favorite beverage and join us via Zoom! We will gather for our theological book discussion, share a few laughs, pray together, all from the comfort of our homes. Add us to your Wednesday evening calendar! What a great way to spend the winter weeks together!


The first book of 2021 “You Are Never Alone: Trust in the Miracle of God’s Presence and Power” by Max Lucado. This six-week study takes us through the Gospel of John and the miracles he recorded asking some life-searching questions.


If you would like a hard copy of the book, please reach out to Donna in the church office (570) 568-1433 or you may find the book electronically on Amazon Kindle as well. Join us on Zoom, Meeting ID: 5705681433; Passcode: 0501.


“Reach out and touch…and let the smile of God touch through you.” (as the old hymn goes)


No, really. Reach out and touch someone. Yes, for years I worked for a telecommunications company and their advertising slogan then was, “Reach out and Touch…” I am attempting to stay in touch with everyone I can. However, if you have not heard from me in a while, I would love to hear from you. So pick up your phone and give me a call, drop me an email or card and just say hi. This time, while we have been at this now more than nine months, doesn’t seem to get easier. I continue to miss you in the Sanctuary on Sunday mornings, hearing you laugh and share stories in the Fellowship Hall, getting to be gathered around the tables in the Fellowship Hall packed in for a meal…wherever it is, I miss you and I know we all miss one another. So, don’t hesitate to reach out, not just to me, but one another. A phone call, a card, an email or note, especially during these long days of winter reaching out will certainly be welcome.


All too often I hear, “well I don’t want to be a bother…” or “they may be busy…” or “I’m not sure they would want to hear from me.” Just reach out, let them know you miss them, you are thinking of them or just to say hello. If you are thinking of others, I’m pretty sure they are thinking of you. If you need a number or an address and don’t have it, call the church office, let us help you stay connected.


Sundays with David and Friends: There’s a great option for adult Sunday School on Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m. led by David Reid. Each season the group gathers via Zoom, and in this season, they are studying the Psalms. All are welcome, if you know nothing of the Bible or are a Bible guru, your voice and presence are welcome. Look for the group on Zoom, beginning again on January 10. Meeting ID: 5705681433; Passcode 0501.


“Take Me Home Country Roads” to a place where we are planning our 2021 Summer Mission Trip! We will depart, Sunday, June 6, following worship and return Saturday, June 12. We will spend a week in the mountains and hills around Pipestem, West Virginia, helping with our neighbors there. We will be staying in cabins, possibly have our own chef along for some great food, if history repeats. We will be offered several cultural adventures around the area after each day’s work.


An informational meeting will be held Sunday, January 17, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom (Meeting ID 5705681433; PW: 0501). Come and learn more!


We are excited to be able to offer this great opportunity for our church family! Schedule your vacation time now and plan to join us June 6 to June 12, 2021! There will be something to do for everyone! Oh, and we have some great experienced Mission Trip leaders going with us too!


Fresh Express - Two Monthly Distributions Continue! Fresh Express, our local food distribution program in conjunction with the Central Penn Food Bank, continues into 2021 on the second and fourth Thursdays monthly. The program is currently distributing grocery boxes of mixed perishable and non-perishable food items to between 115 and 120 families each distribution. Extra or left-over items are being distributed to organizations in need in our area as well. Should you wish more information about this program, contact General Al Henry, Earl Fisher or Beth Vincent!


Coffee, Tea, or…Chocolate (What did you expect?):


Order your Fair-Trade Equal Exchange products. All proceeds benefit our Saint Paul’s Mission Fund while all Fair-Trade purchases go to benefit independent farmers. The order form is now online via our website.


Products are: Mind, Body and Soul Ground Coffee, Regular, 12 ounce, $10 per bag; Colombian Whole Bean Coffee, Regular, 12 ounce, $10 per bag; Decaf, Ground, 12 ounce, $10 per bag; Decaf, Whole Bean, 12 ounce, $10 per bag; Fellowship Blend, Regular, 16 ounce, $12 per bag; Fellowship Blend, Decaf, 16 ounce, $12 per bag; French Roast K-Cups, Regular, 12 pods per box, $10 per box; Unwind K-Cups, Decaf, 12 pods per box, $10 per box; Black Tea, 20 bags per box $5 per box; Decaf English Breakfast Tea, 20 bags per box, $5 per box; Very Dark Chocolate (71%), $4 per bar; Milk Chocolate (43%), $4 per bar.


This week @ Saint Paul’s:


Wed., Jan. 13 Happy Birthday Gene Gilliom

Happy Birthday Ray Leeser

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Church Office Open

Thur., Jan. 14 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Church Office Open


Fri., Jan. 15 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Church Office Open


Sat., Jan. 16 Happy Birthday Sarah King


Sun., Jan. 17 Happy Birthday Tom Noll

9:15 a.m. Adult Sunday School

10:30 a.m. Worship LIVE (https://tinyurl.com/ran9suv ) / or

YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos)


Mon., Jan. 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Church Office Open


Tue., Jan. 19 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Church Office Open

6 p.m. Consistory (Zoom)



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