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October 15, 2020 “What happens here, doesn’t stay here…”


Dear Church Family,

“Do you like what you do?”  I hadn’t been asked that question in a while, until yesterday. I paused and smiled. “Why do you ask?” I responded. “Because it sure shows, you must.” “I love what I do.”  And I believe I love it because I have discovered that it is in serving others that we are truly fulfilled. It’s in knowing it’s not about me, in fact what I believe we are all called to do isn’t ultimately about us. It’s about serving others. No, I’m not just talking about being a pastor, I’m talking about life in general.

A retired pastor I had so much admiration and respect for often said when he was officiating weddings, or preparing for an outdoor service of some kind, or his parishioner’s had some big outdoor something planned they would often say to him, “Now talk to the ‘boss’ and make sure the weather is good.” He would chuckle and reply, “I’m in sales, not in production.”

I quickly realized what he meant. Living a life being fulfilled through serving others, sharing the stories of joy from serving one another, giving examples of where you have seen and experienced God’s love and grace in a way that others may be inspired to focus their life’s passion on serving others, that’s sales in a way. And it is nothing you can create it’s within your very living and being. No pastor or church leader or person with a great desire to serve others ever creates that feeling that comes from serving others. The climate that begins to surround you when you put others before self, that peace and satisfaction is only produced through God’s desire on your heart.

I had an occasion to meet a young woman yesterday who had lost her sister at 31 years of age. The loss of her sister spurred an interest to change jobs and begin working in the Emergency Department at a local hospital. With many there at wit’s end from the frantic pace, she was so calm and pleasant and I said to her, “I can’t imagine how tough this must be, especially during this time.” She responded immediately, “It can be, there are so many to care for and so much that you never get done, but I love it, it is my passion, I love caring for people and hopefully making a difference. I discovered this when my sister died so suddenly.” And you could see the passion and care for people in her as she spoke and went about her work.

I believe deep in all our hearts, God created a passion for life and service of others if we live into it. Everything we have done in our lives can drive us and be harnessed into our passion. Past experiences, skills, our very being - it can all be lived out as our passion in the way we serve one another. Sure, others may not receive it always the same. It will most assuredly not always be easy, yet when it is out of our passion that we follow, that we serve, then we will know the unconditional, perfect love, full heart and peace that comes from serving others.

As I was contemplating today’s writing, the hymn “The Summons” kept coming to mind. There are a lot of questions in this hymn. Questions I believe lead us to a life of true happiness, true peace if we but follow the call to serve one another in all we do. I want to leave you today with these lyrics and ask you to take time in the next few days to sit with these lyrics and think about these questions and the answers you could give. Use it for your morning devotion or maybe the last thing you read before the end of your day. I encourage you in whatever time you have to pause, read and contemplate the questions of this hymn.

Every person, in every occupation can do what they do to serve others. May you, too, discover the joy that comes in serving one another.

Peace,

Pastor Tim

The Summons John L. Bell & Graham Maule Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don't know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known, will you let my life be grown in you and you in me? Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name? Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same? Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare? Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me? Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name? Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same? Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen, and admit to what I mean in you and you in me? Will you love the "you" you hide if I but call your name? Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same? Will you use the faith you've found to reshape the world around, through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me? Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name. Let me turn and follow you and never be the same. In Your company I'll go where Your love and footsteps show. Thus I'll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

In our daily prayers…

It strikes me every year in the Fall here in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania that we are in the midst of a great artwork that can only be created by God. The richness of the colors and the beauty that may only be created on this scale by our Creator, so I start our weekly prayers with prayers of thanksgiving and awe. I would ask you to keep the Reimensnyder Family in your prayers as Peggy is under the care of Hospice (Autumn Faust’s grandparents, Carol Oberlin’s parents). I would also ask that you add Jo Beatty (Sharon Klose’s mother) to your prayers as she recovers from a recent fall; Jenn Arnold as she recovers from gallbladder surgery and Jason Reed as he recovers from spine surgery. The Burns Family as they mourn the loss of their 40 year old son, husband, and father following an ATV accident; and continued healing for Carolyn Weurdeman and Linda Beaver. Please continue to remember the Bory’s family and all who suffer from COVID-19, along with health care workers and providers and for all these spoken and unspoken requests we lift them to God in joy and heart ache we come together in prayer.

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 as a community of faith.

Are you ready boots? Plans are underway to offer a Fall ‘Pop Up’ Hike, Sunday, October 25, 4 p.m. in the afternoon, is the tentative date and time. Please mark your calendars now and listen up for additional information. We hope everyone interested can join us.

PS. Get a head start on hike preparation and don’t forget to send your favorite leaf pics to Pastor Tim for this coming Sunday’s children’s message.

In the mail…cards of thanks.

The Consistory of Saint Paul’s recently received a note of appreciation from Marie Weaver for work members of the church had helped with at her home. Bob Koch and Earl Fisher represented Saint Paul’s in neighbors helping neighbors. Marie’s note of thanks:

“Your kindness greatly appreciated” read: “Thank you to Bob Koch & Earl Fisher for top soil, planting grass seed and putting straw on a section of my lawn. It was a job that was a little too much for me to do myself. I really appreciate their hard work. Thank you, Marie Weaver”.

Pastor Tim also received a note of thanks from our recent guest, Conference Minister, Rev. Dr. Carrie Call. Rev. Dr. Call wrote:

“Thank to you and all the member of Saint Paul’s for the gift of being with you this past Sunday. Of course I’d heard so many wonderful things about your ministry, (all of you!) that I was very excited to finally be there. The sense of mission, worship and joy was tremendous and I came away feeling very very blessed. Thank you – and thank you also for the gift bag and flowers!!! What a wonderful day – Blessings to all of you. I look forward to visiting again. Peace, Carrie

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 (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)

· Fall Lawn / Yard Clean-up

· Painting, Cleaning and Organizing at the Church

· Pantry Remodeling at the church

· Fall Family Fun Packets

· The Community Soup Sale (early November)

· Community Thanksgiving Baskets

· Equal Exchange Coffee Sale

· CARE team Goodies and Meals

Reach out to learn more about these and many other opportunities at the church!

The Soup Sale is ON! Help spread the word! Our annual Mission fundraiser Soup & Bake Sale will take place on Saturday, November 7 (pre-orders only), however it will look a little different this year! In order to keep everyone safe and keep this great tradition going…Here’s what you will need to know:

· We will offer 4 soups (Ham & Bean; Vegetable Beef; Chicken Corn and Chicken Tortellini)

· Soup will be $7 per quart

· Pre-orders are required

· No “day of” sales (any leftovers will be advertised on Sunday)

· Soup will be drive by and pick up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

· Prepay, check on day of or Easytithe are preferred (to reduce cash handling) and

· There are ways for everyone to continue to participate. If you would like to help in soup making or willing to donate towards ingredients, please reach out and contact the church office (570) 568-1433.

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 wherever 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 special thanks to Rhonda Newman for helping facilitate this group!)

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.  You may pay for your orders via a check made to SPUCC or Easytithe.

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Saint Paul's United Church of Christ | 433 High Street, West Milton, PA 17886
570-568-1433  |  email us
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