January 27, 2021 “What happens here, doesn’t stay here…”
This is the Day!
Pastor Timothy Hogan-Palazzo
Dear Church Family,
So, I awoke this morning with “This is the day, This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice, let us rejoice and be glad in it…” going through my head. Actually, when Bear woke me up at 1:30 a.m. for a trip outside, it was in my head then and again at 3:30 when I rolled over, the song was there. Finally, this morning at 6:30 a.m. it was still playing. I mean I know extended dance versions of songs (I grew up in the 80’s), but this is a reeeally long-play version, I guess.
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” – verse 24 of Psalm 118. Psalm 118 begins with conversation of God’s steadfast love lasting forever, moves on to speak of the Lord setting me free from distress, from fear, conquering hate, taking refuge in God. It speaks of thankfulness for God’s help in all situations and catching me when I fall and never giving us over to death, that the Lord has taken me and used me for marvelous works, oh this is the day, this day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I think of this Psalm, this hymn of praise, with a grateful heart as well as an acknowledgement that this is not always easy to sing. I think we hope that we can, I pray we can mature to this point. However, can we get out of bed every day with this song in our hearts? Are we always able to recognize the good the Lord is doing in the midst of the fear of failing, in the midst of what feels like war on our heart, our very being?
One of my devotions this morning shared a quote from the great Mahalia Jackson, “Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; [we] cannot live in health without them. Some days it takes a lot of faith to live into the knowledge that this is the day. We wiggle and squirm and worry and fret, and become anxious and hurt and angry and the adjectives keep coming, yet we are called to remember this IS the day.
When things seem out of control, when everything around us seems to be going south, I pray we can look up, we can assure each other of something I have quoted before, “we have 100% track record in making it through, that’s not going to change now.” God is with us and that will never change.
Yes, there are days I wish I had some magic words to share or a quick fix to offer. Actually, if I’m being honest, every day I wish there were those things. However, there’s nothing magical or instant, it’s all about where we place our faith, even in, or especially in the midst of the storm.
Maybe you’re having a great day, maybe you’re having an OK day, maybe you’re in the midst of a bad day. Wherever you are, however you are feeling, would you join me in singing, even if just under your breath, the chorus:
“This is the day,
this is the day that the Lord has made,
let us rejoice,
let us rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it,
this is the day that the Lord has made,
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day,
this is the day that the Lord, has, made.”
This and every day is the day the Lord has made. May we practice our gratitude for all the ways we get through our days and nights with our faith in God. Amen.
In our daily prayers…
You are invited to join your faith family in prayer as we lift up:
· Greyson Greenawalt
· All Front-line Health Care and Essential Workers
· Katy Mahon
· Mina Hoover, returned to GMC Danville
· Continued prayers for Clarence Snider for healing
· George Cartin, medical concerns · Gladys Fawcett, diagnosed with Covid-19 · Louise Litzy, awaiting test results · The Franciscus/Knelly Family, for the loss of Shirley Knelly, Colleen’s grandmother, · 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
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. Some are already under way and some are being planned.
See the next several stories below…
Parking Lot Pick-Up Pancakes To-Go: Shrove Tuesday Celebration!
So, we can’t get together for a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper…hmmm. Well we may have an alternative for you. A Parking Lot Pick-Up Pancakes to Go Shrove Tuesday Celebration! (Say that three times fast.)
As we prepare for Lent, your Mission Team’s leaders are considering ways to help pay for the Summer Mission Trip. They suggested providing pancakes for dinner pick-up in the parking lot on Shrove Tuesday. This event will allow for us to not only offer pancakes, but to send Ashes home with you for our LIVE Stream Ash Wednesday Service and provide you with a Lenten Devotional as well.
Shrove Tuesday is February 16 this year, so watch for upcoming information about pancakes and ashes and Lent!
For our 2020 Lenten Devotions, we would like to invite you to consider sharing your faith story with us. If you would like to volunteer to provide a faith story for the devotion, it can even be a hymn or song that inspires you, a scripture and or a prayer, please contact Pastor Tim through the church office. Pastor Tim will be reaching out as well to ask for inspiring faith journey stories as a way to walk through Lent together. We are looking forward in sharing together through our Lenten Journey.
The Christmas Pageant was such a success and enjoyed by so many, participants and viewers alike, that we are exploring an Easter Pageant as well. Watch for news coming out about how you can participate. Thespians be on the ready!
2nd Annual Saint Paul’s Got Talent Show
Last year we offered our 1st Annual Saint Paul’s Got Talent Show. We can’t let times like we are currently in stop us from repeating that talent-packed fun evening. Russ Wynn, our Minister of Music and Talent Scout extraordinaire, is finalizing details for our Virtual Talent Show! Warm up your pipes, limber up those legs, and start practicing your talent. Dates and details will be out this week. Maybe we can even get a take and make dinner to go so we don’t miss out on the great spaghetti dinner either!
2020 Financial News and Giving Statements out Tomorrow
Your 2020 Giving Statements are being prepared and will be available starting tomorrow, Thursday, January 28, along with copies of the 2020 Budget review and the 2021 Budget, as well. In the absence of an in-person gathering for an all-congregational annual review, we will provide a full packet of all financials to members and friends of Saint Paul’s.
***Christian Education News***
Home Brew Wednesdays
Each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., grab your favorite beverage and join us via Zoom! We 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!
Our current book for discussion is: “You Are Never Alone: Trust in the Miracle of God’s Presence and Power” by Max Lucado. This book 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. This week we discuss where God is in the ‘stuckness’ of our lives.
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, we 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. Meeting ID: 5705681433; Passcode 0501.
Monday Morning Preacher
Every Monday morning at 10:30 a.m. we have a Bible Study group open to all. We gather, read anew Sunday’s texts and enter into a discussion about the text from the first thing that comes to mind when we hear it anew to questioning and digging a little deeper. If you would like to participate in this group, all are welcome and all you have to do is bring your Bible or access to an online Bible and join in on Zoom. Meeting code: 570 568 1433 with passcode: 0501.
“Take Me Home Country Roads”
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! 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!
Watch for news from our Mission Team coming out next week.
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!
“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.
Connecting Members to Ministry:
New Year, New System, New Ways to Stay Connected!
With 2021, we are transitioning to a new all-encompassing system for church records, financials, directory, electronic giving, payroll and accounting. The new system CDM+ (Church Data Management) allows for us to combine five different systems into one concise database and save money in doing so. Additionally, the new system will allow us to create and hold a database of members, friends, births, weddings, baptisms, death records and special events as well as communicate better within ministry teams.
Donna has already transitioned our accounting and payroll systems and is in the process of testing our new Directory and Online giving platforms. For a brief period, our online directory is unavailable. If you need an address or phone number in the meantime, please contact the church office. If you use electronic giving, please continue with EasyTithe until you are notified otherwise.
We appreciate your patience as we get all the parts of our new system tested and up and running. We would also ask, as Donna reaches out, that you please help move the process along as she gets the system updated and ready for full rollout.
Coffee, Tea, AND Chocolate…
Order your Fair-Trade Equal Exchange products from Fair-Trade Famers to benefit Saint Paul’s Missions. You may learn more about the products, order and pay online via the web site: www.spuccwm.org or contact 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.
Upcoming Events and Celebrations
Wed., Jan. 27 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Church Office Open
6:30 p.m. Home Brew Theology via Zoom
Thur., Jan. 28 Happy Birthday Earl Fisher
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Church Office Open
2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Fresh Express
Fri., Jan. 29 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Church Office Open
Sat., Jan. 30 Happy Birthday Barclay Wilson
Sun., Jan. 31 9:15 a.m. Adult Sunday School
10:30 a.m. Worship LIVE (https://tinyurl.com/ran9suv ) / or YouTube
Mon., Feb. 1 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Church Office Open
10:30 a.m. Monday Morning Preacher Bible Study
Tue., Feb. 2 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Church Office Open