December News From St. Paul’s

November 26, 2017

Church News

December’s Meetings at a Glance (available at press time)

Sunday, December 3rd:  Annual Congregational Meeting, following worship, Sanctuary

Monday, December 4th:  Family Fellowship Meal, Covered Dish Dinner, 6:00pm Fellowship Hall

Thursday, December 7th:  Care Team, 1:00pm, CE Room

Tuesday, December 12th:  Church Council, 7:00pm in the CE Room.  Newly elected Church Council members should plan to attend.

St. Paul’s is on Facebook!  Be sure to “Like” us to keep up with updates and events.

Book of Remembrance forms are in the literature rack in the narthex.  If you wish to give a gift in memory of or in honor of a loved one, please use this form.  You can place it in your offering envelope along with your monetary gift or you can bring it to the office.  We save these forms for documentation until the Book of Remembrance is published in the newsletter twice a year.  Thank you for taking the time to submit the form.

Bible Study: Bible Studies following worship themes will be held on Tuesdays at 10:00am in the Salem Chapel.

The Men’s Brotherhood will meet on Saturday, November 18th at 8:00am at King’s Restaurant.  All men of the church are invited to attend!

Transportation Assistance:  If you, or someone you know, needs a ride to church or any church-related event, please contact the church office, 445-4534.

Emailing the church and Pastor Matt:  If you need to email the pastor or the church, please direct your email to–Thanks!

The church office email is

A Thank You From the Salvation Army.  On behalf of the Salvation Army, I would like to thank everyone who helped to make our annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner a success.  Thanks to your help and support, we were able to serve over 260 meals.  –Pastor Matt

Humans and Angels

Those interested in being a 2018 Secret Angel should pick up and fill out a Secret Angel form from the table at the rear of the sanctuary.  The Secret Angel program is designed to give participants the opportunity to remember another member of the congregation throughout the year.  Secret Angels pray for each other, send cards, and generally keep each other in mind during the year.  After you have filled out the form, please put it in the Secret Angel box next to the forms in the back of the sanctuary.  The deadline is Sunday, January 14th.  

Christmas cookie sign up:  A sign-up sheet is on the table in the back of the Sanctuary for our annual Christmas Musical reception.  Please put your name on the sheet if you are able to provide some cookies!


Greeters & Ushers for December

December 3:  Communion By Intinction: Sue Willison–Chair, Helen Brown–Elder, Sienna Ash, Audrey Hay

December 10:  Barb Stutzman–Chair, Mike Stutzman, Suzy Housley, Luke Housley

December 17–Musical: Peg Roy—Chair, Craig Weaver, Denise Weaver, Isabel Shumaker

December 24—Sunday Morning: Jonathan Hillegas—Chair, Brody Hillegas, John Harris, Diane Harris

December 24–Christmas Eve, 4pm Service: TBD

December 24–Christmas Eve, 11pm Service: John Geary–Chair, Gary Cameron, Roger Rayman, Harold Weaver

December 31: Sally McClintock–Chair, Phyllis Moore, Kenny Shaffer, Donna Phillippi

Annual Congregational Meeting:  Members of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ will meet following worship on Sunday, December 3rd for their annual Congregational Meeting.  Agenda items include approval of the 2018 budget and the election of new council members.

St. Paul’s Chrismon Tree

A beautiful Chrismon tree adorns our sanctuary again this year, continuing a tradition started in 1978.  The tree is decorated with Chrismons, proclaiming our Lord Jesus Christ through the use of symbols, called Chrismons.  Each Chrismon presents a unique message; some are simple copies of Christian symbols used since the earliest days, and others are more recent presentations of God’s presence in our world.

All Chrismons are made in white and gold.  White is the liturgical color for Christmas and symbolizes Jesus’ purity and perfection; the gold color symbolizes the His majesty and glory.  The concept of Christ as the light of the world is evidenced by the tiny white lights on an evergreen tree; the tree evokes the eternal life which our Savior has secured for us.

As we continue the St. Paul’s Chrismon tree tradition, remember Ruth Shaffer who was one of three wonderful women who spent thousands of hours crafting these beautiful ornaments.  She has now joined Lorraine Gerhardt and Mildred Berkey, both who were instrumental in this project, in the church triumphant.

May you each be blessed with the love and joy and true meaning of Christmas, and may these symbols continually remind you of God’s greatest gift to us all, Jesus Christ.

Christmas Eve Worship Services

Two New Services for Christmas Eve, 2017  

We find ourselves in a somewhat unique situation in that Christmas Eve falls on Sunday this year.  The last time this happened was 2006.  That means that we will have three worship services on Christmas Eve.  Rather than cancelling the regular Sunday morning service, we will be offering a different kind of Christmas Eve service.  Instead of the usual pomp and pageantry of Christmas Eve (don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get that at the 4:00pm or 11:00pm services), we will be offering a contemplative service for those who experience the holiday season to be a trying time.  Commonly referred to as a “Blue Christmas Service,” this service will still focus on celebrating the birth of Christ, but doing so in the midst of challenging life situations such as grief, anxiety, unrealized hopes, economic hardships, and strained relationships.  Highlights of the service will include guided meditation, the Service of Healing and Anointing, and candlelight prayers.

“A Little Child Shall Lead Them” is the theme of this year’s 4:00pm Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols.  The service will be undergoing a major facelift this year as we make it more child and family friendly.  We will journey through scripture, learning about God’s saving work, while we sing carols and other songs to celebrate Jesus’ birth.  Children and youth will assist in leading the final two lessons as we mark the arrival of the Light of the World with a unique twist on the ancient tradition of lighting candles in celebration of the Light.  Kid-friendly lights will be shared with worshippers as we leave the sanctuary to spread the warm glow of Christ’s love in the world.

The Traditional Candlelight Service begins at 11:00pm.  Worshipers will experience the holy watching and waiting for the Light of the World to break forth as we celebrate Holy Communion and sing the great carols of the season.

Somerset Area Ministry Community Advent Service

The churches of our local ministerium will hold their annual weekly Advent service beginning on Wednesday, December 6th.  The services are held each Wednesday at 12:05pm at First United Methodist Church in Somerset.  A light lunch will follow each service at 12:30pm.

Christmas Family Fellowship Meal

Our annual Christmas Family Fellowship Potluck will be on Monday, December 4th at 6:00pm in Fellowship Hall.  Please bring your favorite covered dish, family, and friends!  The evening’s entertainment will be a local bell choir.

Visitation Program Announcement

One of the greatest gifts that you can give another person is the gift of your time.  Over the past year, a number of you have gone out and visited our homebound members.  These visits have become meaningful to both the visitor and the person being visited.

As the holiday season nears, the Spiritual Life and Evangelism Team invites you to become part of our visitation program.  Please speak with Amy Marteeny if you’d like visit one of our homebound members.  You will be paired up with another visitor and assigned a person to visit.  You will also be given a helpful hints to visitation sheet prior to doing your visit.  You may contact Amy by calling, 233-8781.

Here is a list of our homebound members:

Ray Baker, Roy Benson, Peg Case, Ruth Casleton, Beth Ann Glessner, George Male, Margaret Menser, Bernie Saylor, Hazel Sechler, Joan Snyder, Lou Sredy, and Mary Jane Stutzman

A Note from the Christian Education Committee… 

There will be no Church School on the following weekends:  November 25th & 26th (Thanksgiving), December 16th & 17th (Christmas Play Musical weekend), December 23rd & 24th (Christmas), and December 30th & 31st (New Year’s). All the classes will meet in the CE room on Sunday, December the 10th after Pause for Persons to package items for the St. Joseph’s Indian School. There will be no Saturday Church School that week. We will resume our regular Christian Education schedule on Saturday January  6th and Sunday January 7th, 2018.

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