December 23, 2020 “What happens here, doesn’t stay here…”
Dear Church Family,
On Sunday, just before I headed to the Sanctuary, a Pastor, who is a friend as well, from Arizona sent me a message, a great reminder. I immediately changed my benediction to share that reminder with all that were listening. The reminder “Act in such a way that is living proof of a loving God.” Now ain’t that nice? Isn’t that a great sentiment?
But it’s more than a sentiment, it’s a great reminder for me personally and now I have heard from others of you that have shared the same thing. In the busy-ness of this season, in the frantic difference that this particular year brings, I believe it may do us good to pause in the moment we are in and ask ourselves the question. Are we acting (living, being) in a way that is living proof of a loving God? When we are at the store waiting in line or driving and someone is not driving at the speed we believe they should or we are just trying to get a 10-pound day in a 5-pound sack, so-to-speak, are we recalling who’s we are, are our actions, and reactions for that matter, living proof of a loving God.
In this season of beauty, be beauty. In this season of grace and love, joy and hope, be those things to all you can. And be good to yourself, breathe, give yourself space and time. A minute of breathing in and breathing out will not make a difference to the timeline in your head, however it will make a difference in you.
Check out the ways to pause and celebrate the season this week in our schedule below and remember, “be in a way that is living proof of the loving God you serve.” It’s not the time for “window dressing Christians,” it’s a time for real-life living.
You are loved and beloved.
In our daily prayers…
You are invited to join your faith family in prayer as we lift up:
· Dale Franquet, has returned to Geisinger Danville for additional medical attention.
· Eric Powell, continuing at home under the care of Hospice;
· Georgie Ritter, with continued surgeries;
· Greyson Greenawalt, the youngest dialysis patient ever for GMC Danville;
· his great uncle Fred Greenawalt and all the residents of Watsontown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center;
· Joy Bennett recovering from a broken hip and stroke;
· Many families awaiting test results;
· Katy Mahon, awaiting determination of healthcare professionals about her kidney and her 15th Birthday;
· Mina Hoover and her family as Mina, 5, awaits surgery at GMC Danville;
· Continued prayers for Clarence Snider;
· Linda Beaver, in Evangelical Hospital; and
· Merle Kay Englehart, awaiting cardiac surgery· Our prayers are with each individual and family in which we have been made aware of as well as all the unspoken requests on our hearts.
We invite you to join us in prayer for all these as well as take a moment to pray for all our health-care workers and front-line workers. As the season of Advent calls us to actively wait, we pray.
*Please note: Outside Communion, Candlelight and Bulletins will be available to listen from your car LIVE on 88.5 FM, however weather predictions prevent any outdoor video.
Some great ways to connect and celebrate from the comfort of your own home this week…
TONIGHT, Wednesday, December 23, 7 p.m. - Join our own Steven Anderson, on Facebook, for a live online presentation of "A Christmas Carol." You may find Steve’s page under “Great Tales Live” (link below). https://www.facebook.com/GreatTalesLive This is a webcam adaptation of an original one-man show that he’s been bringing to schools, theatres, libraries, and special events for almost 20 years. Because even if we can't be together in person this year, it just wouldn't be Christmas without Dickens. Catch the Christmas Spirits!
ONLINE Christmas Eve Services…4:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. - Two unique services!
First at 4:30 p.m. featuring a cast of 30 members and friends in our virtual pageant “Do Not Be Afraid!” Included in this service will also be Carols, Candlelight and Communion. I promise you won’t want to miss this! It is filled with laughter and so poignant!
Then at 10:30 p.m. we begin with 30 minutes of special Christmas Music by 6 wonderful musicians, followed by a full Christmas eve service of Carols, Message, Candlelight and Communion.
Both services will be LIVE Streamed, both services will be available audibly through LIVE on FM 88.5 from our parking lot and communion and candles will be available. Due to the predicted weather, we will not be able to project a video of the service outside the building.
Then on December 27 at 10:30 a.m. we will gather LIVE Stream for Lessons and Carols, always a beautiful way to share the season as brought to you by our worship leadership team.
Technology upgrade coming…
We currently broadcast all Sunday services with one camera (a 2010 vintage model), one person (significantly older than the 2010 era camera) running sound and video, and stream across two platforms (Facebook and YouTube) with a viewership approaching 1,000 homes/people each week. While our talented technical crew does a great job making everything work, we are beginning to see the effects of age on our systems.
With that in mind, we brought in a local professional to assist us in upgrading the system to prevent any disruption to our Sunday LIVE worship. The cost of a new camera is $2,900 and the cost of other equipment needed to make it all work is $600 – a total of $3,500. We recently received a UCC grant of $1,500 which reduces our out-of-pocket cost to $2,000. If you would be willing to contribute to this improvement in our technology, you may do so by writing a check to the church marked “Technology” in the memo line. Thank you in advance for your consideration during this Holiday Season.
Online giving made easy…
Online giving is available for weekly tithes and offerings, to purchase coffee, pay for flowers, make a memorial donation or yes even give to a church project, like new technology. Please contact us for more information or go directly to our website and click the “give button at the top of the page to learn more.
Coffee, Tea, or Chocolate…(what did you expect?)
We are taking 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.
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.
2021 is on the way…
While we already know 2021 will begin a little, ok a lot, differently than in years past, we also know we can’t and hopefully won’t ever stop, being the church! There are neighbors to help, there is music to be made (and practiced), there are journey’s to be traveled, and as we enter 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 begin to share a few options for 2021 with you…
Home Brew Wednesdays… Coming Wednesday, January 12, and beginning each Wednesday 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 and all from the comfort of your home. Add us to your Wednesday evening calendar! What a great way to spend the winter weeks together! The new book will be announced next week, so you may prepare.
“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.
We are excited to be able to offer this great opportunity for our church family! Stay tuned to learn more about this adventure. We will hold a virtual meeting in early January to discuss the details. 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!
This week @ Saint Paul’s:
Wed., Dec. 23 Happy Birthday Katie Mahon
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Church office open
Thur. Dec. 24 Church office open (please call for hours)
Fri., Dec. 25 Happy Birthday Diane Bettleyon
Sat., Dec. 26 Happy Birthday Carol Snyder
Sun., Dec. 27 Happy Anniversary Timothy Hogan & Chip Palazzo
Happy Anniversary Jim and Linda Swan
10:30 a.m. Worship LIVE (https://tinyurl.com/ran9suv ) / or YouTube
Mon., Dec. 28 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Church Office open
6 p.m. Consistory Meeting
Tue., Dec. 29 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!