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December News From St. Paul’s

December 4, 2018

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The Men’s Brotherhood.  The men’s brotherhood will meet for breakfast on Saturday, December 1st at 8:00am at King’s Restaurant.  All men of the church are invited to attend!

Our December Mission Offering:  The Christmas Fund/Veterans of the Cross

For 115 years, the Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund has been a tangible expression of God’s love. One of the four Special Mission Offerings of the United Church of Christ, the Christmas Fund provides UCC congregations and members an opportunity to reach out in loving compassion, providing assistance to those who have so faithfully served our Church and who now and themselves facing unexpected financial needs. 

In 2015, UCC congregations and members generously contributed $1,528,481 to

the Offering. This enabled the Pension Boards’ Ministerial Assistance program to provide, on behalf of the whole Church, Pension Supplementation, Health Premium Supplementation, Emergency Grants, and Christmas “Thank You” Gift Checks to individuals and families in need. 

The theme of the 2016 Christmas Fund Offering is God’s Love Colors Everything, and our goal is to raise $1.7 million to help support these ministries of love and care. In the spirit of love, we invite and encourage you to prayerfully consider and support this year’s appeal, and to spread the word so that others will also join in this vital ministry.

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 314 meals.  –Pastor Matt

Humans and Angels

Those interested in being a 2019 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 13th.  

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 2:  Communion By Intinction: Andra Snyder—Chair & Elder, Helen Brown–Elder, Nancy Thomas, Craig Weaver

December 9:  Patric Ferko–Chair, Doug Glessner, Melody Glessner, Amy Marteeny

December 16–Musical: John Geary—Chair, Sue Geary, Kim Keim, Greg Keim

December 23: Mike Stutzman—Chair, Barb Stutzman, Paige Housley, Luke Housley

December 24–Christmas Eve, 4pm Service: TBD

December 24–Christmas Eve, 11pm Service: Jonathan Hillegas–Chair, Gary Cameron, Steve Addleman-Elder, Karen Addleman-Elder

December 28: Craig Schenck–Chair, Rich Nichols, Ray Toy, Tim Witt

Annual Congregational Meeting:  Members of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ will meet following worship on Sunday, December 9th for their annual Congregational Meeting.  Agenda items include approval of the 2019 budget and the election of new council members.

The proposed 2019 Church Council Slate

Class of 2020 (Completing a 2 year unfulfilled term)

Pete Hauger (Elder)*

Class of 2021 (3 year term)

Jenn Boland (Deacon)

Angie Brumbaugh (Deacon)

Rebecca Miller (Deacon)

Craig Weaver (Elder

*Please note that with the election of Pete Hauger this will bring the balance of deacons and elders on Church Council 6 apiece as prescribed by the church’s constitution and bylaws.  

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.

2018 Advent Devotionals are Available

“2018 ADVENTure!”  Be sure to pick up this one-of-a-kind devotional that features the stories of St. Paul’s members and friends.  Copies are available in the Edgewood Ave. Narthex.  

“Preparing the Way” Advent Family Devotional

Please help yourself to a unique kid and adult friendly devotional by Illustrated Children’s Ministry.  Copies are available in the Edgewood Ave. Narthex.

Advent 2018 Special Services and Christmas Eve Worship

Blue Christmas remains for 2018, Sunday, December 23rd at 9:30am.   This service was so well received on Christmas Eve last year that we scheduled it as part of our regular Sunday morning services this year.  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 Family Christmas Eve Service.  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, November 28th.  The services are held each Wednesday at 12:05pm at First United Methodist Church in Somerset.  Pastor Matt will be preaching on Wednesday, December 5th.  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 3rd 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.

A Note from the Christian Education Committee… 

There will be no Church School and Children’s Church on the following weekends:  December 16th (Christmas Musical), and December 30th.

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.

The Happiness Advantage book study

We are pleased to be partnering with Somerset Trust Company in an exciting discussion group study of happiness.  Henry Cook, a life-long member of St. Paul’s, and his team at Somerset Trust will lead us in a two session discussion of the New York Times bestselling book The Happiness Advantage.  Shawn Achor, a Harvard Psychologist and the book’s author has spent years studying happiness and how happy people are more successful and productive in their personal lives and at work.  We will be discussing the Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Achor has identified as keys to happiness.  

Here’s what others are saying about the book:

“Shawn Achor is funny, self-deprecating, and devastating to my notions of what his field is all about…I’m butter to his knife.”  —Boston Globe

“Achor bases his training on a burgeoning body of research on the positive psychology movement, which emphasized instilling resiliency and positive attitudes.”  —Wall Street Journal

Those who are interested in participating in the group should place their names on the sign up sheet in the back of the Sanctuary.  Books are also available if you’d like to borrow one.  Please sign up and indicate if you’ve borrowed a book.  The books will be with the sign up sheet.  

We will spend December reading the book and meet for the discussion sessions in January.

Notes of Thanks

From the Penn West Conference

Dear Pastor Matt & Friends,

I want to write to thank you all very much for your deeply generous donation of $41,295 to help alleviate the suffering caused by hurricane Florence. That is such a tremendous blessing! Please know that your gift will be well stewarded by our United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries. Your generous gifts to Our Church’s Wider Mission ensure that the infrastructure is in place so that this gift may go directly to the relief efforts that you intend to support.  May God’s blessings be with all of you and your extraordinary ministry!

Sincerely,

Rev. David Ackerman,

Penn West Conference Minister

From Lancaster Theological Seminary

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your gift, given in memory of Rev. Richard and Carolyn Shellenberger.

Your gift is not only a lasting testament, but also serves the mission of educating and nurturing leaders who will “join in God’s redemptive and liberating work so that all creation may flourish.”

Your prayerful support and generosity help to open the doors for our students’ education, open their minds to learning, and open their hearts to serving.

Thank you agin.  We are deeply grateful.

In Christ,

Rev. Dr. Carolyne Call

Executive Director of Development and Communications.  

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Sermons from St. Paul’s

December 4, 2018

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December 9, 2018     Rev. J. Matthew Deal

Where Do You Find Peace?

December 2, 2018    Rev. J. Matthew Deal

Where Do You Find Hope?

November 11, 2018     Rev. J. Matthew Deal

November 4, 2018     Rev. J. Matthew Deal

Not Far From the Kingdom

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December’s Newsletter

December 4, 2018

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December 2018

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Children’s Church: Helping Kids Worship God!

November 14, 2018

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We are very excited about our brand new children’s ministry!  Children’s Church is for kids 5 years-old through 5th grade.  Participants will begin worship in the Sanctuary with their parents or guardians and will leave for Children’s Church following the Time for Children.  They will conclude their time at the close of the regular worship service.  The children can be picked up outside of the CE Room.

What is Children’s Church?

It’s a brand new worship opportunity for some of our youngest church family members.  Children’s Church will engage kids in worship at their level while also keeping a common worship theme with the regular worship service.  This will give children the opportunity to worship God at an age appropriate level and also engage with parents and guardians around the shared theme between the two services.

The Children’s Church worship space will be set up in the CE Room at the end of the hallway in the education wing.  We would appreciate prayers and volunteers to help us as we get this new ministry up and running.  Adults and youth are needed to help lead each service and provide programming support as we prepare each week.  Please speak with our Children’s Church Coordinator Jenn Boland or Pastor Matt if you’d like to help.  Both can be reached through calling the church, 814-445-4534

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November’s Mission Offering Is the Salvation Army

November 2, 2018

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St. Paul’s Mission partner for November is the Somerset chapter of the Salvation Army.  The Salvation Army was established as an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church in 1865.  Today they provide services to 30 million Americans each year and support an international movement.  Their stated mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human need in His name without discrimination.  Of each dollar donated $.82 goes to provide services such as food, clothing and shelter to those in need, provide disaster relief, assist people with disabilities, and reach out to the elderly and ill.

The end of the year is a particularly busy for the local Salvation Army.  They provide winter coats for children in need, provide a homemade Thanksgiving dinners for people who are alone or can’t afford a meal on Thanksgiving Day, collect and distribute toys and gifts for children in need, and collect money for their many mission projects that take place throughout the year.  Members of St. Paul’s have supported our local Salvation Army with monetary gifts, as well as hosting the Thanksgiving dinner, providing volunteers to prepare and serve the Thanksgiving meal and ring the bells in front of local businesses to raise fund.  Our congregation also donates 50+ gifts to help needy children have a brighter Christmas.

Here are ways you can help in November and December

  1. The Salvation Army Thanksgiving Dinner.  Join us in preparing for the dinner at 1:30pm, Tuesday, November 20th or in serving the meal on Thanksgiving Day.
  2. Salvation Army Kettle Bell Ringing for St. Paul’s UCC.  We will ring the bells on Saturday, November 24th.  Please sign up for a time!  The sign up sheet is on the table in the back of the Sanctuary.    
  3. Our Annual Thank Offering:  Bring non-perishable food items to worship on Sunday, November 18th for our annual Thank Offering.  Your donations will be given to the Salvation Army Emergency Food Pantry and the Somerset Area Food Pantry.  Items that are especially needed:  Peanut Butter, Jelly, Soup, Canned Tuna, Spaghetti & Sauce
  4. The Salvation Army Angel Tree: Pick up a tag from the Angel tree (located in the narthex close to the end of November) and buy Christmas presents and other goods for local families in need.  Please be sure to put your name on the corresponding sign up sheet beside the alpha-numeric code for your child.
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A Message from Pastor Matt

October 9, 2018

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Dear St. Paul’s Family,

I stumbled upon a Psalm recently as I was flipping through the Bible that caused me to pause and think.  The 82nd Psalm imagines God holding court among the divine council.  As the Heavenly Hosts are gathered, God wonders:

“How long will you judge unjustly 

and show partiality to the wicked?

Give justice to the weak and the orphan;

maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.

Rescue the weak and the poor;

deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

(Psalm 82:2-4)

The Psalmist’s vision is powerful as he is imagining God’s judgement upon not only humanity, but upon the “gods” who are charged with keeping balance between the human players in this creative drama.  All is not well.  The balance is tipped as the powerful abuse their power.  Wickedness prevails as the weak and poor need rescuing, and the orphan and destitute require justice as their rights are being stripped away. Not only do the wicked seem to be in charge in this vision, but those charged with representing God’s wishes seem to have abdicated their responsibility.

God makes it clear at the end of the Psalm that all will be judged, even the heavenly judges who are charged with being arbitrators of humanity.  They have failed to be impartial and have sided with the wicked and powerful in their victimization of the powerless.  Their punishment will be that of the mortals, they will be judged by God and die.  They will fall like any prince (vs. 7).   The Psalmist concludes his thoughts with the plea:  “Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to you!” 

Things are bad.  We can’t exactly be sure just what exactly is going on in the Psalmist’s world, except to sense that the covenantal contract between God and the people is being strained.  The ancient covenant between God and Sarah and Abraham:  “I will be your God and you will be a great people.” threatens to be undone.  God’s chosen kings, priests, and civic leaders have failed to uphold the basic principals of God’s kingdom.  They’ve exchanged the divine principals of justice, care, and deliverance for the poor, widowed, orphaned, and powerless for political power and personal gain.

The Psalmist’s plea for justice and righteous judgement on behalf of the victimized is a typical response of Old Testament prophets and of Jesus himself when faced with the unprincipled and un-Godly actions of religious and political leaders.  Not only does the Psalmist, the prophets, and Christ make clear that God is on the side of the powerless, but that God will humble the powerful in all times and places, in heaven and on earth.  In the end, God is the righteous and just arbiter of creation, seeing into the heart and through the intentions of every mortal and Heavenly Host.  

Jesus Christ changes a bit of the ancient narrative of judgment and redemption.  Through God becoming powerless as a human being in Jesus Christ, we mortals have become powerful.  Each of us are given a piece of the divine in the presence of the Holy Spirit.  We become entrusted with power to become arbiters of our own lives.  Not only can we choose between the paths of righteousness and evil, but we are called by our Savior to join in his reconciling work.  We are co-menders with Jesus, repairing the breach between God’s will for the world and brokenness of humanity.  Such mending is a high calling in which we align ourselves with God’s values, and just like the Psalmist, plead the case of the victimized and powerless to God and to those mere mortals in positions of power and authority.

The saving and mending work of Christ in which we are engaged causes us to draw nearer to one another and to God.  Let us find strength in our unity.  Let us work to make our community and world a more loving, more just, and more sacred place.   Let us reject the world’s narrative of division and tribalism that causes too many of us to find a morbid and curious joy in the suffering of those who are labeled the “other” or our enemy, such is not the way of our Lord.  And finally, let us be reminded that Christ is always with us no matter what course our lives take.  We are not gods, but Jesus Christ’s representatives and nothing can harm us in heaven or on earth. 

May God Bless Your Journey!

Pastor Matt

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St. Paul’s Prayer Vigil Resources

March 29, 2018

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Thank you for joining our prayer vigil!  We hope that God will bless and guide you during your time a prayer and discernment.  You will find below resources to help you on the journey.  There are 8 gates to guide you on your way.  May God Bless and Keep You!

GATE 1- PRAISE & WORSHIP- HOLY GOD

Praise God for:

Revealing the Divine to us in Worship.

Revealing the Divine to us through God’s Spirit.

(You may pray a song from St. Paul’s hymnal or a Psalm 22, 23, 24, 139, 37)

Acknowledge God’s greatness and incomparable power.

(Deut. 4:39; Psalm 8:1; 83:18)

Worship God for his constancy.

(1Tim. 1:17; Rev. 1:5; Deut. 7:7-9; 1 Cor. 1:9)

Thank God for inviting us to pray and for God’s goodness and mercy.

(Rom.9: 14-18; Ps. 106; 1 Thess. 5:1)

Offer yourself to God.  Ask God to be with you during your prayer time.

“ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”

Matt.11:28

“Lord, teach us to pray.”

Luke 11:1

Come be with me, Lord Jesus. 

 

GATE 2 – BLESSING ST. PAUL’S UCC

Ask God to reveal Christ’s will for St. Paul’s  (Gal.2:2;  Matt 16: 17-19) (See Prayer suggestion sheet-attached).

Ask God to bless the work of Christians so that they might give freely to those in need (Psalm 24:3-5)

Pray for wisdom, direction, blessing and protection for St. Paul’s UCC Teams  and Leaders:

St. Paul’s Church Council

President: John Geary, Jr.

Vice President: Karen Addleman

Secretary: Sally McClintock

Treasurer: Jonathan Hillegas

Trustees: Roger Rayman, Jonathan Hillegas, Craig Schenck

 Spiritual Life & Evangelism: Sally McClintock

Music and Worship: Michelle Sredy and Karen Addleman

Pastoral Relations: Karen Addleman and Patrick Ferko

Christian Education: Andra Snyder

Stewardship: Peg Roy

Pray we understand God’s vision for  St. Paul’s Ministries:

St. Paul’s Youth

Women’s Fellowship

Men’s Brotherhood

Homeless

Confirmation

Visitation for homebound & sick    

Prayer Circle / Prayer List

Pause for Persons

HospitalityTeam

Members

Bible Brew

The Special Gift Team

Pre-school & Nursery

Cornerstone–St. Paul’s newsletter  

CD Ministry

GATE 3 – WORSHIP / PASTOR

Eph. 1: 11-20  Jn.4:23  Ps. 95:6  Ps. 66:4

Give thanks for the opportunity and privilege to worship God.  Pray for your pastor and other pastors as they lead people in worship.  May they be a blessing to others and be protected.

 

Please pray for those who are engaged in our worship life as a church.

Pastor Matt and Amanda Deal

David Neimiller–Director of Music and Organist and Special Programs

Marcy Shellenberger–Children’s & Youth Choir Director

Eyvonne Shaffer–Accompanist for the Children’s & Youth Choir

Cindy Lambert–Administrative Assistant & Financial Secretary

Amy & Mark Marteeny–Custodians

Rev. Dr. Art Gotjen, Rev. Glenn Sadler, and Mr. Bill Deal–special worship leaders and preachers

Rev. Westley Conn–Associate in Ministry and staff pastor at the Harvard Memorial Church

The Chancel Choir

The Children’s & Youth Choir

GATE 4 – HEALING

Psalm 147:1-5,  Luke 9:1-6,  Isaiah 53:4-6

Pray that others may know Christ as their healer as well as their Savior. Pray for healing of relationships, physical healing, inner/emotional healing, and special needs (jobs, financial hardship) and deliverance from addictions.  Pray for those struggling to overcome sins that damage relationships.

Claim the promises of complete health and wholeness for any who are sick and suffering.  (Please feel free to refer to the April Prayer Concern List.  The list is updated monthly.)

Pray for recent families who grieve the loss of loved ones

Pray for our shut-ins

Pray for St. Paul’s members’ prayer requests

Pray for extended church family

Pray for St. Paul’s Visitation ministry to the Homebound & sick

Thank God for Carole Wilson for coordinating our Care Team ministry and Prayer Circle/Prayer Concerns for the church.  May God bless members of our Care Team:  Carole, Marge Ankney, Nancy Thomas, and Audrey Hay; and our Prayer Circle:   Carole, Marge, Martha Walker, and Helen Brown

 

GATE 5 – PERSONAL PRAYER GUIDE

Philippians 4: 4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always….Rejoice! Phil 4:4

 

Consider God’s goodness: Ps. 34:8, 37:3, 119:68.

Ponder God’s nurturing ways:  Jn. 5:17, 8:28, 10:30, 14:6, 14:9,

Sing praises to God:  Psalms 148, 150, 113:3, 117, 145:21.

Praise the name of the Lord.  Ps. 52:9

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil. 4:6.

Cast your cares on God. 1 Pet. 5:7, Phil. 4:19

Give thanks to the Lord.  Ps. 100.

Pray, petitioning the Lord accordingly

Count your blessings and answer to prayer. Matt.7:11

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Receive God’s peace.  Jn. 14:27

Consider God’s works. Ps. 8:3, 1 Sam. 12:24

Rebuke fear in Jesus’ name.  1 Jn. 4:18

Whatever is true, right, pure, lovely, and admirable-think about such things.  Phil. 4:8

Receive God’s word. Ps. 119

Claim God’s wisdom. (one chapter of Proverbs per day).

Declare God’s power  (one chapter of Acts per day).

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Phil 4:23   

GATE  6 – FAMILY THANKSGIVING & BLESSING

Some things you may want to remember as you pray

  • Thank the Lord for working in your family
  • Pray for forgiveness and healing over past hurts
  • Pray for your children and their needs
  • Pray on behalf of your extended family. (Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents)
  • Pray for protection and blessings for families

Sunday School- Praise God for our Sunday School teachers & learners.  Pray for our program as we discern its future.

Family Fellowship Dinners (June & December)- Thank God for the Women’s Fellowship for organizing these dinners.

Church Family Picnic- (August)- Pray for those organizing this family event.  Pray all who will attend–our church family, friends, & children

Mother-Daughter Tea-  Thank God for the volunteers who are organizing this event. Pray for the spiritual food & fellowship @ this celebration.

Quilters & Knotters Praise God for this women’s ministry @ St. Paul’s UCC.  Many people felt the warmth of the quilts & lap covers and many have been healed by the prayers of these women.

Card Ministries- Pray for Marge Ankney ‘s and Karen Gibson’s faithfulness in doing this important hospitality ministry.

Tuesday Morning Bible Study- Thank God for Pastor Matt’s teachings on the Scriptures.

St. Paul’s Community Garden- May God bless those who are planning this year’s garden and those who will take care of it.  Ask that God may use the fruits of our labors to bless the hungry in community.

St. Paul’s Youth Group- Ask God to bless the youth of our community and the members of our youth group.  May God expand our ministry to the youth in our community and help us to grow in faith.

 

GATE 7 – WISDOM 

(FAITH FORMATION & SCHOOLS)

COL. 2:3, JAMES 1:5, PROV. 24:3 

Pray that God may be with all educators.  Lift up by name the schools in our area. Pray that God may bless the staff, teachers, students, and administrators  the principals, teachers and administrators. (Tim. 1:8)

  • Somerset Area School District 
  • North Star School District
  • Berlin-Brothersvalley School District
  • Shanksville-Stoneycreek School District 
  • Rockwood Area School District
  • Salisbury Elk-Lick School District
  • Meyersdale Area School District
  • Turkeyfoot Valley Area School District 

(Feel free to pray for other schools that you may be connected to.)

Please remember in prayer our students in post-secondary programs and schools:

  • Sara Geary
  • Sydney Geary
  • Carter Geary
  • Kira Geary
  • Anna Chan
  • Colby Keim
  • Becca Gary
  • Seth Rose
  • Annie Snyder
  • Chandler Marteeny
  • Kortney Glessner
  • Balee Wahl
  • Matthew Willison

 

Pray for St. Paul’s Christian Education Team, Community Vacation Bible School, (See Prayer Requests). Pray for our Sunday School Teachers & Programs.

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION MINISTRIES/ YOUTH MINISTRIES

REACHING OUT: Community Vacation Bible School, The Children’s Aid Society, Heifer Project, Souper Bowl of Caring, Ronald McDonald House

BUILDING UP: Preschool and Nursery, Sunday School, Confirmation Class, Youth Group, Easter Sunrise Service, Church Library

SENDING FORTH: Camp Living Waters, Mid-Atlantic Regional Youth Event, Children & Youth Choirs

Camp Living Waters: ask God to bring many children and youth to camp this summer.  May God direct and guide the staff and counselors.  Pray for guidance for the board members.

Regional Youth Event (July 19-22) Thank God for the generosity of Congregations, Churches, and individuals who give financial assistance.  Pray for St. Paul’s UCC youth who are attending.  Pray the youth will connect through fellowship, worship, and service.

FUTURE MINISTRIES: Mission Trips & Teams, Children’s Ministries, Community Outreach

GATE 8 – MISSIONS / COMMUNITY / WORLD

Thank God for Stewardship Team: Chair, Peg Roy and members Sue Willison, Henry Cook, and Karen Gibson.  We give thanks for their organizing and coordinating local, regional, and global missions.  We pray for continued wisdom as they seek ways in which we may use our time, talents, and treasures to do God’s work in the world.

Please pray on behalf of our Missionaries and Global Ministries

  • Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek and his family serving in Japan
  • Rev. Martha Mensendiek and her family serving in Japan
  • Our board of Global Ministries and the over 40 missionaries serving around the world

Our Mission Partners

The SAM Van

Church World Service Blankets

One Great Hour of Sharing

Hoffman Homes for Youth

St. Paul Homes

Living Waters

The Children’s Aid Society

Our Church’s Wider Mission

The United Church of Christ

The Salvation Army

Habitat for Humanity

Lancaster Theological Seminary

The Next Step Center

Somerset Area Food Pantry

The Mobile Food Pantry

Somerset Area Ministry

Penn West Conference

Offer a prayer of confession for the sins that hurt our neighbor and grieve God.

“We confess to you, O God, the indifference that inflicts our society.  Forgive us for turning a blind eye toward the hungry, sick, and inflicted.  Help us to establish a more just society as we work to make educational opportunities available to all your children and incorporate the prisoner back into the fold of your people.  Forgive our greed and self-serving actions.  Help us to be generous as Christ our Savior is generous, so that others may have life through our life.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

We pray for our world:

    • The victims of terror attacks around the world.
    • Pray for victims of violence and exploitation.
    • Puerto Rico-recovery and rebuilding form last fall’s hurricanes.
    • Conflicts and war throughout the world.  May the Prince of Peace be known among Israelis and Palestinians, Afghans and Pakistanis, Syrians and the people of the Middle East.  May God be known in our community and homes.
    • Pray for peace and understanding between the United States and Russia
    • Pray for the millions of refugees who are fleeing war and famine.  May they find hospitality and a safe home away from home.
  • Conflicts and war throughout the world.  May the Prince of Peace be known among Israelis and Palestinians, Afghanis and Pakistanis, Syrians and the people of the Middle East.  May God be known in our community and homes.
  • Pray for the un-churched and those hurt by churches.  Pray that St. Paul’s UCC would seek opportunities to minister with them.
  • Pray for those who have addictions and for those agencies treating them. Pray for police and law enforcement.  May their work help to free our community of drugs.
  • Pray that God may give wisdom to our civic leaders, especially, Local, State and Federal Government officials.
  • Pray for President Trump and Vice-President Pence, members of congress, and public servants.
  • Thank God for those in authority who honor God.
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Prayer Guide for St. Paul’s Prayer Vigil

March 29, 2018

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St. Paul’s United Church of Christ

24 Hour Prayer Vigil

Friday, April 14, 2017, 8:00PM – Saturday, April 15, 2017, 7:00 PM

PRAYER GUIDE

Take time to quiet yourself in God’s presence.

Take a few deep breaths and relax.  You may read some scripture verses to quiet your spirit or be silent.  Sometimes we cannot stop our thoughts.  Just let your thoughts go by or each time a thought comes lift it up in prayer.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

Declare your desire to rely on God by asking God to be with you during this prayer time.

  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28 

“Teach me to pray.” Luke 11:1

or say the phrase:  “Come be with me Lord Jesus.”

 

Tell God your desires and needs and lift up specific prayer requests.

A. Pray for our Church

B. Pray for our Pastor and members of our church family.

C. Pray for your friends and your family.

D. Pray for yourself

E. Pray for our community

F.  Pray for the world.

Pray scripture as a Prayer of Adoration, Thanksgiving and Petition

Psalm 22, 23, 24,  Psalm 139,  Psalm 37,  Psalm 42,

Isaiah 53 (Good for this Easter Season), Jeremiah 14: (17-21), Psalm 63

Morning Prayers

Psalm 11, Psalm 15, Psalm 36, Psalm 57, Jeremiah 31:10-14,  Psalm100, Psalm 42, Psalm 43

Evening Prayers

Psalm 20, Psalm 4, Psalm 31, Psalm 134, Psalm 27 (1-6),

Colossians 1:12-20

Psalm 30,  Psalm 110,  I Peter 2: 21-24 (For Lent)

You may pray songs as Prayer of Praise, Petition, or Confession

“Have Thine Own Way Lord” #588,    “ Abide with Me” #636

“Amazing Grace” #546,   “The Old Rugged Cross”

Closing Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Prayer of Gratitude to have this Time in Prayer

Remember there is no right or wrong way to pray. Praying is personal and communal.  We join with others to offer our prayers for the church, the community, and the world.    Some of us will come to God with burdens and requests, others will come with many praises, others will come in gratitude, and yet others will come with a repenting spirit.

Come as you are and pray for yourself and family, St. Paul’s UCC’s mission & ministry, Pastor Matt, and church family and friends, our community, the Church and the World.

 

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Holy Week Services

March 29, 2018

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Holy Week (March 25-31) is a sacred time in the life of the church.  During the week we will come together for special worship opportunities.  I hope that you will join us during this holy time for worship, prayer, repentance, and praise of our risen Lord.

Maundy Thursday:  March 29, the service will begin at 7:00pm. We will commemorate the Lord’s Supper and celebrate with the children who will partake of their first Holy Communion.

Good Friday:  March 30, will be the traditional Tenebrae Service (Service of Darkness).  The Adult Sunday School Class will lead us in worship. Service begins at 7:00pm.

The Easter Sunrise Service:  Sunday, April 1, will be held in the Union Cemetery with a procession leaving the church at 6:30am. (weather permitting).  We will meet in the Edgewood Avenue Narthex.  The service will be followed by a breakfast served in the fellowship hall.  The service will be led by our Youth Group and Confirmation Class.

Easter Breakfast:  You are invited to join us for our annual Easter breakfast!  The breakfast will be in Fellowship Hall following the Easter Sunrise Service (around 7:15am).  Many thanks to the Men’s Brotherhood for sponsoring this wonderful event!

Easter Worship:  Begins at 9:30a.m. and will include the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

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Join Us for Christmas Eve!

December 22, 2017

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Three Services to Choose From!

A Blue Christmas Service on Christmas Eve at 9:30am.
The Blue Christmas service acknowledges the hard reality that for many people Christmas is a very challenging time. Some folks are dealing with grief, depression, or other challenges that make this joyous time immensely difficult. The hustle, bustle, and cultural pressures leading up to Christmas makes it hard for some to find meaning in this Holy Season. The Blue Christmas service is an opportunity for folks who are anxious, mourning, depressed, lonely, or otherwise searching for quiet amidst the noise of everyday life to pray, worship, and experience healing. We hope that you can join us.

“A Little Child Shall Lead Them” is the theme of this year’s 4:00pm Christmas Eve Service.  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.

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