January News From St. Paul’s

January 11, 2019

Church News

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

Thursday, January 3rd:  Care Team, 1:00pm, CE Room

Wednesday, January 9th: “Happiness Advantage” discussion group, 5:00pm, Youth Room

Thursday, January 15th:  Church Council, 7pm, CE Room

Wednesday, January 16th: “Happiness Advantage” discussion group, 5:00pm, Youth Room

Saturday, January 19th:  Church Council Retreat, 9am-2pm, Uptown Works

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.  

January’s Mission Offering –

CHURCH WORLD SERVICE BLANKETS

Since its formation in 1957, the United Church of Christ has worked with Church World Service (founded in 1946) to accomplish more together than it could alone, joining hearts and resources to create a tradition of help and a legacy of hope.  They work to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world.

When disaster strikes, Church World Service is the primary agency through which the UCC gives support for relief and recovery efforts. This assistance may take the form of winterized family tents for Pakistani earthquake survivors, food packages and tankers full of water for displaced people in violence-torn Darfur, Sudan, or long-term recovery assistance for families affected by hurricanes, tornados, or flooding across the United States.

 

Greeters & Ushers for December

January 6:  Communion By Intinction: Sally McClintock–Chair, Amy Mihalik–Elder, Carole Wilson, Audrey Hay

January 13:  Karen Addleman–Chair, Sienna Ash, Joan Martz, Lisa Yeckley

January 20:  Patrick Ferko—Chair, Karl Brick, Brad Winters, Rich Nichols

January 27: Andra Snyder–Chair, Tim Witt, Barb Roth, Deb Rose

New Member Sunday 

We will be welcoming new members into our church family during worship on Sunday, February 24th.  Please speak to Pastor Matt if you’d like to be part of the new member group.  

 

A Special Thank You:

Amanda, Holly, Daniel, and I would like to thank all of you for the cards, gifts, goodies, and well-wishes that you sent our way over the past weeks.  The Christmas season is a holy and special time for us.  Your generosity helped to make it even more special.   

Thanks again,

Pastor Matt, Amanda, Holly, and Daniel

St. Paul’s Youth “Souper Bowl of Caring”  

On Sunday, February 3, 2019 St. Paul’s Youth group will be collecting nonperishable food items to benefit the Somerset Food Pantry.  The food that we collect will be weighed and entered into the grand total for food collected at UCC churches around the country.  United Church of Christ youth and congregations raised $250,000 and over 900 hours of donated time during the Souper Bowl of Caring Service Blitz.  Bring your canned goods to worship and place them at the altar rail.  Together we can make Super Bowl Sunday truly “Souper!”

Our Common Devotion

A prayer to begin each day; a prayer for the new year.

I have recently started using the following prayer to begin each day.  It’s the same one that I often use when I begin to preach.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  Amen”

This prayer was actually first prayed by the prophets.  I find this prayer simple yet meaningful.  The words remind me that God is always present.  They challenge me to guard my words and my thoughts, so that I may honor God with the things that are within me and come forth from me.  I hope that this prayer is a blessing to you and acts as a consecrating force in your life, spreading blessings to those with whom you speak.  

Pastor Matt

Winter at St. Paul’s

We have a long tradition of being open all the time!  Whether it is sheltering the homeless or for those who just need a place for some solitude, the church is always open.

Our inclement weather policy is that we will worship whenever two or three are gathered. However, we ask that you use your judgement when venturing out in bad weather.  We’d love for you to worship with us, but rather you’d be safe than end up in the hospital.  Regular Sunday worship begins at 9:30am, followed by Sunday school at 10:45am.

Tuesday Bible Study:  Bible Study will be cancelled anytime the Somerset Area School District is cancelled or delayed.

We will endeavor to keep our website updated with recent sermons and devotional materials so that your spirit may be warmed even during our blustery Somerset County winter.  

Food For Thought….how are we doing?

7 Habits of Highly Effective Churches

Compiled by Rev. Anthony Robinson for the United Church of Christ

  1. Strive for Excellence In Service to Christ:  Effective churches are churches where people enjoy what they’re doing and do it well.  Give God your best whether in the care of church grounds, the soup you prepare for the homeless shelter dinner, or the hymns and anthems you sing during worship.
  2. Cultivate a Spirit of Innovation and Experimentation:  Make the “Seven Last Words of the Church,” i.e. “We’ve never done it that way before,” a distant memory.  Be open to new ideas that advance your mission.  Free people to develop and try new ministries.  Just remember, if you’re not failing at something, you’re probably not trying anything.
  3. Take the Initiative to Build Relationships with People and Groups in the Wider Community Beyond Your Congregation:  Refuse to be isolated.  Get involved in community events.  Meet people.  Introduce yourself as a member of the church, and invited people to “come and see.”
  4. Accept Responsibility for Mistakes, Learn From Them, and In All Things, Let Grace Abound:  Christians aren’t perfect; they are forgiven.  So making mistakes is not the worst thing that can happen.  Besides we often learn the most from our failures.  In the end, and in the beginning, it is about God’s grace, not our achievements.  Cut others some slack, and while you’re at it, cut yourself some too!
  5. “Always be Prepared to Give an Account of the Hope That is Within You (1 Peter 3:15):  Look for where the love, energy and life are flowing and focus on that.  And recognize excuses for what they are:  a sign of insufficient commitment.  Be people of hope, trusting in God to find a way even when we can’t.
  6. Be Willing to Let People Go In Order to Stay Focused On Your Core Mission:  It is more important for your church to be clear and steady about its core mission than it is to make everyone happy.  When folks are unhappy, connect, talk and pray.  If things remain stuck, let them go with your blessing, giving priority to your mission.  
  7. Splash It On!  A hospice nurse told the story of bringing an elderly woman home for the final days of her life.  Noticing a large bottle of perfume on the woman’s dresser, the nurse asked, “Would you like me to dab a bit of that behind your ears?”  “Honey,” said the woman to the nurse, “Why don’t you just splash it on!”  God loves cheerful disciples, those who are enthusiastic with their faith, generously giving their time, talents and treasures to God.  So, spend money wisely, well and freely in God’s Cause.

2019 Church Council Members

Karen Addleman: President

Craig Weaver:  Vice President

Mike Stutzman:  Treasurer

Sally McClintock:  Secretary

Andra Snyder: Trustee

Pete Hauger: Trustee

Mike Stutzman: Trustee

John Geary

Patrick Ferko

Rebecca Miller

Angie Richards

Peg Roy

Jenn Boland

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