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Saint Teresa was Trouble! and other news...


September 16, 2020 “What happens here, doesn’t stay here…”


Dear Church Family,

I was moved today to read a story of Saint Teresa of Avila. Born a Spanish Noblewoman in 1515, a social celebrity of the day, she made the decision to answer a call to serve as a Catholic Nun in the Carmelite Oder. She not only served, but she often stirred things up. Her work, writings and presence became so impactful in the church and community, that four centuries after her death, she was dubbed to be the “Doctor of the Catholic Church” as a result of the unprecedented way she went aboiut being the church. She was active in the time of the Reformation of the church in the 1500s and was known not just as a Carmelite Nun, but also as a Spanish Mystic, Religious Reformer, Author, and Theologian of the contemplative life and the mental prayer. Many would say she was “a mover and a shaker” long before her time, or any woman’s time, for that matter. However, on a personal note, just because it is not highlighted in scripture so much, it didn’t mean that women weren’t movers and shakers, so to speak, of Jesus’ time. I think we discover that to be true as we look to the Bible and search for some of the greatest evangelists of the day - like the woman at the well, the women at the tomb, the woman who came to ask for healing for her son….

So back to the story of Saint Teresa of Avilla. Saint Teresa often jumped into controversy, in fact, she often was at the heart of controversy herself. One papal legate described her as a “restless wanderer, disobedient, a stubborn woman who under the title of devotion, invented bad doctrines, going places she shouldn’t and teaching against the rules of the Council of Trent and Saint Paul’s orders that women should not teach, yet teach she did. And it was never about her (although men and church leaders at the time wanted to point to her and say she was just doing it to be defiant) yet she always maintained, and as time proved out, she was “doing what she did from the heart.”

I love stories like this. I love it when people who society and the world and the church, for that matter, tell them they can’t, they aren’t, they shouldn’t…they just keep on keeping on following God’s call and serving how they feel called to serve no matter what they are told. Maybe, sometimes it’s because I myself identify in a small way, that I, at this point in my life am living my best life in being able to serve and that makes my heart happy. It’s where God has led me and service to the church and community bring me to life, I’m thankful I didn’t listen much to the naysayers in my life and society. But it’s not just me. It’s how I see every individual, with gifts that no one should deny or tell them they can’t, because God breathed breath into us all and we have living to do.

What started me down this path with Saint Teresa of Avilla today was a prayer of hers I read. Here’s a woman, from the 1500s who, shared this beautiful blessing and prayer for others, that I find simple, yet powerful. I believe prayer can change us, if we but truly place this hope, dream, blessing and prayer upon our hearts. My hope in sharing this story today is that you too will read this prayer/blessing and consider the message and maybe identify with it too. No matter what is going on in, around and through you, may you take pause and consider who you are called to be this day.

“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and everyone.” Thanks be to God. Amen.

Amen, Pastor Tim

In our daily prayers…

Elaine Waugh, my sister, is in surgery today for sinus issues in a Charleston, West Virginia hospital; Ray Leeser is in long-term rehab at Buffalo Valley Rehabilitation Center, has had a good report from the doctor this week, however it was stressed his recovery road would be a long process; please keep the Leitzel family in your prayers as they prepare to celebrate the life of their son and friend to so many Jake Leitzel; Additionally, please keep Kierston Paroli and her family in your prayers, Kierston was in a severe ATV accident this past weekend - prayers for the family are much appreciated. As the week unfolds, we see news reports of great devastation along the western US from wildfires and we are beginning to see the effects of “24 inch” rainfalls along the gulf coast and inland communities, let us hold all impacted, all helpers and all brothers and sisters facing life altering events in our prayers. We continue to remember Rev. Kay and her manager Rev. Tim and the entire Chaplaincy of Geisinger in our prayers for healing and we lift thanks to God for all the abilities and gifts we are given to help all we can in any way or matter we can. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

Please remember to either join or update the prayers on St. Paul’s Love and Prayers Facebook page, send an email or call the church office with updates or requests that we together may pray.

Announcements, announcements, announcements…

Christian Education (via Zoom: 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 (Book study, see description below)

· 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)

· Community Pumpkin Patch (late October)

· The Community Soup Sale (early November)

· Equal Exchange Coffee Sale (ongoing)

You won’t want to miss Worship on October 4, 2020! We, Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ, West Milton will be celebrating 120 years of welcoming Saints & Sinners to this place and we are celebrating on World Communion Sunday! Rev. Dr. Carrie Call, our newly elected Conference Minister will be at Saint Paul’s to bring the message LIVE that day. Very special music is planned and other special plans are being considered for this day to allow everyone who chooses to, to participate in some way. Please plan now to be a part of this special day. Watch for news of a Saint Paul’s Birthday Parade!

"Burnout" isn't anything new. In her inimitable style, Audrey J. Williamson reminds us that Jeremiah contemplated "getting away from it all," giving up his commitment and buying a "motel" where he could deal only "with strangers, transients whom he might see only over one night, or at the most for a weekend." Feeling burnt out or just looking to take a break? Check out: “Take My Life and Let it Be” with friends for Wednesdays Musings and Theology: 6:30 p.m. weekly. Jump right in where ever we are, electronic copies of the book are available as well as hard copies. Contact Pastor Tim or the church office to obtain a hard copy.

A New / Expanded Opportunity: Sometimes, it is nice to receive a meal or a plate of cookies or a small pie, something just to say, “you are being thought of, from your faith family.” Merle Kay Englehart and Geri Neese are leading a team to prepare meals and plan for delivery of food to individuals, just to say your church is thinking about you. Many times, it will be something small, yet heart felt.

Here’s how it works: If you know of someone in need or someone who you think may really appreciate a little boost like this, reach out to the church office. If you would like to volunteer, to be a baker or chef, contact Merle Kay or Geri to learn more. Maybe it’s a plate of cookies, or an individual dessert, bread, or a casserole. It doesn’t have to be a full meal. Just something to say, “We are thinking about you.” Another way to stay connected and #bethechurch.

Are you Home or Cyber-schooling? Want to go on a field trip? Watch for news and information about a field trip for home and cyber-school students of Saint Paul’s families and friends. The day field trips (working around cyber-school schedules) are now being discussed and soon to be planned. Stay tuned.

We have projects around the church and around our community and we need help to complete those projects. Projects will be done in small groups, mask wearing and social distancing are requirements and all help is of course appreciated.

If you know of someone in need of assistance, please contact the church office to have that person or family added to our list.

Below are a list of projects and contacts to call to see how you may help.

· Fall Lawn Care and Clean-up – 5 volunteers needed (Contact Brad Gill (804) 592-6217)

· Painting, Cleaning and Organizing at the Church – multiple volunteers needed (Contact the church office to volunteer)

· Pantry Remodeling at the church – multiple volunteers needed (Contact the church to get on the volunteer list and be contacted for any of these projects.

Saint Paul’s Coffee Club is currently taking orders for the Fair-Trade products. All proceeds benefit our Mission Fund and all purchases go to benefit independent farmers. Order forms are available to be emailed to you or you may download from the church website. You may then turn in your order form via email or to the church office. Orders will be filled with the stock we have, until we run out and then we will place a bulk order.  Order cut-off each month is 3 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month. Payment is due when order is placed. We will notify you of the pick-up date and time.  We will be following safe distancing practices and will comply with all state and local regulations. Pre-orders are required. We will only order products and quantities based on all preorders.  

Ground coffee, whole bean coffee, single serve cups, and tea can be purchased by the case, 6 items per case. Fellowship Blend is 5 items per case and Chocolate bars is 12 items to a case.

Products we are offering at this time include:

Coffee: Regular Organic Mind, Body and Soul, Ground 12 oz. $10 (min. order 2)

Regular Organic Columbian, Whole Bean 12 oz. $10 (min. order 2)

Organic Decaf, Ground 12 oz. $10 (min. 2)

Organic Decaf, Whole Bean, 12 oz. $10 (min. 2)

Course Ground Organic Fellowship Blend, Reg. 16 oz. $12 (min. order 1)

Course Ground Organic Fellowship Blend, Decaf 16 oz. $12 (min. order 1)

Single Serve K-Cups – 12 pods/box, $10 (min. 2 boxes)

Single Serve K-Cups – 12 pods/box, $10 (min. 2 boxes)

Tea: Organic Black Tea, 20 bags/box, $5 (min. order 2 boxes)

Organic Decaf English Breakfast Tea, 20 bags/box $5 (min. order 2 boxes)

Chocolate Bars:

Organic Very Dark Chocolate (71%), $4 (min. order 2 bars)

Organic Milk Chocolate (43%), $4 (min. order 2 bars)

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Saint Paul's United Church of Christ | 433 High Street, West Milton, PA 17886
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