"My peace, I leave with you..."
December 2, 2020 “What happens here, doesn’t stay here…”
Dear Church Family,
Well, it is not the 15 or so inches friends in Northern Ohio got yesterday, however, to wake up to some lightly falling snowflakes and white roofs is nice, especially in December. As I took Bear out this morning before daylight, the outdoor Christmas lights, which come on at 5:30 a.m., gave identity to some lightly falling powder and a skiff of snow on the grass. To me, there is something peaceful in this, the quiet of early morning, the light falling snow on a cool crisp December morning, it brings me joy.
I am certain that many will not agree with my romantic analysis of the weather and a peaceful quiet cold December morning. However, I wonder - does the beauty we find in our surroundings create for us much needed Holy space? In a typical bustling Advent/Christmas season, there is much going on and this year seems even more intense in many ways. There seems to be more death and dying, more illness, more fear of the unknown, and certainly more loneliness, yet in the midst of it all I wonder are we pausing for or seeking the Holy around us?
This Sunday, we will light our second candle of Advent, a candle of Peace. I can already hear the questions; how can we be at peace in the midst of a pandemic? How can we seek solace when there is so much going on around us? What is there to be joyful about this season, in THIS year?
In John 14:27 we find the familiar text which quotes Jesus: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” But Jesus, have you seen what is happening in our world? Have you seen the battles going on between Christians and Muslims in Armenia? Have you heard about the floods and storms in Louisiana where people have no place to live following the storms? Have you heard about the devastating fires in the West and the pandemic that is changing the world? And here we are asked to think about peace. Jesus promised, my peace I leave with you…but how oh, Lord, how? How are we to live in to, accept or be a part of peace in times such as this?
I want to give you a special invitation for this coming Sunday, there’s a message to be shared. There’s something for us to consider, especially during this season and if it can help disseminate peace in the world around us, beginning with our own personal peace, I would like us to consider it.
Jesus said, “my peace I leave with you…”. He didn’t say, “It’s going to be easy.” His life sure wasn’t. Yet he was at peace and I believe we can be also. Let us journey together in this search for the Holy, for the peace in this season.
In our daily prayers…
Please include this day and each day things you are thankful for, people who are placed on your heart and all those included in our prayer requests. We remember especially this day the family of Bob Brittain, Robin Brown’s father, whose life was celebrated yesterday; we remember the family of Fran Halverson, whose life is being celebrated today; and we hold close in our prayers Fred Greenawalt. We think of and pray for all the nurses and medical staff caring for loved ones and being there when family cannot. We lift up Sue Overdorf as she cares for and comforts her mother, Helen Hopple, through end of life decisions, while several family members are quarantined or positive with COVID-19. We pray for Greyson and Amanda Greenawalt as Greyson begins dialysis this week and we lift Jack Rhoads, brother to Leslie Murphy, in prayer for healing. We continue to hold Katy Mahon and Clarence Snider in our prayers on their medical journeys and we lift George Ritter, friend of Lisa Bernard in prayer for all the procedures and medical needs he has after suffering a horrific work injury. We have also received notice of the death of Jack Kratzer, neighbor and grandson of friends of members of Saint Paul’s, so we ask for prayers for his family and we lift up prayers for George Mull, facing heart surgery on December 7 at Geisinger Danville. While there are many to pray for healing and hope we also lift prayers of thanksgiving for the many blessings we have, those who have adopted kids for Christmas, those who have helped serve all the families we serve with Fresh Express, those who help decorate the church or keep our pantry organized and help in little ways that mean so much. We have many to pray for and much to be thankful for, please check in our Saint Paul’s Love and Prayers page on Facebook as prayer request are added and updated and hold one another in prayer. Together we walk this journey, together we lift one another up, together we create comfort and peace and a place to call home for all who desire it.
Advent from Home: We hope you are able to join us as we celebrate Advent and light a candle weekly from home. As someone said this week, sometimes I forget to light my candle when we are doing that during church or just forget and light it later. That’s ok too. Whenever is right for you, I would encourage you to light your candle each week to pause and mark the journey to Christmas with us this Advent season.
Poinsettia orders due by December 13, 2020. Order poinsettias to be placed in the Sanctuary this year in memory, honor or celebration of a life of a loved one or friend. The choices are Red or White, the cost is $10 per plant and the poinsettias will be placed in the Sanctuary from December 20 through December 24. You may order online via our web site www.spuccwm.org, or you may link here: https://forms.gle/MUPdJcHKSwx2jHncA or contact Donna in the church office (570) 568-1433.
This Sunday, December 6, 2020 “Re-Creation,” a national touring musical group - like the USO – will broadcast a virtual Christmas Concert! The young men and women who typically perform at Veterans Homes all over the United States will produce their annual Christmas Show with the support of churches and organizations across the country. The group is based locally in Port Treverton, Pa., and was scheduled to come to Saint Paul’s this past spring as a part of their tour. With COVID-19, the group has halted in-person gatherings this year and as well their funding, reliant totally upon donations, has been cut short. Saint Paul’s will sponsor the Christmas Show this Sunday evening, which will be broadcast online. Saint Paul’s sponsorship will help spread the word for Re-Creation and help them continue to serve our nation’s Veterans across the country. We are excited for this sponsorship and you too will be able to offer an online donation during the performance which we will be providing links for as well.
Please help spread the word.
Christmas Pageant News – GET REGISTERED
Do not be afraid, no really, don’t be afraid, because you can participate from the comfort of your own home in this year’s Christmas Pageant, “Do Not Be Afraid: A Virtual Christmas Pageant.” Pageant organization is underway. Colleen Franciscus, Russ Wynn and others are working to create one of the most unique Christmas Pageants in the history of Christmas Pageants. You can register to participate in the pageant and your registration will get you more great details. Registration online: https://forms.gle/dgawrNr3P9c2NMm96
There is truly something for everyone and a way for everyone who chooses to join in the pageant.
THANK YOU for sharing your gifts…Jen Arnold once again spearheaded gift giving for children in need at the Donald Heiter Center. Jen herself took on finding adoptive families for 110 children and thanks to you, her church family and the broader community all kids have been spoken for. Your love and support are blessings for sure. Remember, if you purchased a gift it must be at DHC by December 11, with the number tag and not wrapped. That will happen at DHC, another fun project. Thank you Jen for inviting us all in to help and thank you to everyone who is helping in any way! It does take a community. #beingthechurch.
Here’s a great Christmas Gift idea for coffee drinkers…Saint Paul’s Coffee Club or chocolate: We continue to take orders for 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 at this link: https://forms.gle/ipP6hADymMd1kSTC6. When you submit and order, we will notify you of a pick-up date and time as we are following safe distancing practices and complying with all state and local regulations. Orders may also be placed by calling the church office.
ü Mind, Body and Soul Ground Coffee, Regular, 12 ounce, $10 per bag; ü Colombian Whole Bean Coffee, Regular, 12 ounce, $10 per bag; ü Decaf, Ground, 12 ounce, $10 per bag; ü Decaf, Whole Bean, 12 ounce, $10 per bag; ü Fellowship Blend, Regular, 16 ounce, $12 per bag; ü Fellowship Blend, Decaf, 16 ounce, $12 per bag; ü French Roast K-Cups, Regular, 12 pods per box, $10 per box; ü Unwind K-Cups, Decaf, 12 pods per box, $10 per box; ü Black Tea, 20 bags per box $5 per box; ü Decaf English Breakfast Tea, 20 bags per box, $5 per box; ü Very Dark Chocolate (71%), $4 per bar; ü Milk Chocolate (43%), $4 per bar.
Share your pictures of peace: You are invited to share your pictures of peace, your God moments with me, Pastor Tim. You may text me the pictures or you may email them to him. Receiving these pictures means a lot to me, and I believe others will enjoy them too. By sharing them we all get to experience one another’s God moments together. Thank you, Floyd Merritt, for sharing the cover photo this week. What a place to meet God!
This week @ Saint Paul’s:
Wed., Dec. 2 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Church office open
Thur. Dec. 3 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Church office open
Fri., Dec. 4 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Church office open
Sat., Dec. 5 Happy Birthday, Nancy Sampsell
Happy Birthday, Linda Swan
Sun., Dec. 6 Happy Birthday, Diane Covert
10:30 a.m. Worship LIVE (https://tinyurl.com/ran9suv ) / or YouTube
Mon., Dec. 7 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Church Office open
10:30 a.m. Monday Morning Preacher Bible Study
Tue., Dec. 8 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Church office open
Christian Education (click on Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5705681433)
· Sundays with Dave and Friends – 9:15 weekly (a Bible Study on Revelation)
· Monday Morning Preacher – 10:30 a. m. weekly (Let’s talk about Sunday’s text)
· Wednesday Musings and Theology – 6:30 p.m. weekly (Beginning again, January 12)
· Non-Zoom daily devotions with “Faithful Families”
What happens here doesn’t stay here (ways to connect in the community):
· Fresh Express (2nd & 4th Thursdays each month)
· Painting, Cleaning and Organizing at the Church
· Pantry Remodeling at the church
· Equal Exchange Coffee Sale
· CARE team Goodies and Meals
Reach out to learn more about these and many other opportunities at the church!