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Sermons from St. Paul’s

May 24, 2019

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Who’s In, Who’s Out
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Easter Happens
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019
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May’s Mission Offering Is St. Paul’s Homes

May 24, 2019

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 St. Paul’s, historically related to the United Church of Christ, has been serving the needs of residents of western Pennsylvania and the surrounding states for 138 years.  Our congregation has a history of supporting the mission of St. Paul’s Continuing Care Community.  Through our continued support of St. Paul’s mission, we are realizing Jesus Christ’s call to love God and neighbor.  The Rev. Glenn Sadler, St. Paul’s Pastor Emeritus will be joining us for worship on May 12th for a special mission moment.

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A Message from Pastor Matt

May 22, 2019

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Dear St. Paul’s Family,

Five or six years ago I attended a pastor’s conference at Church of the Resurrection, the largest United Methodist Church in the world located in Kansas City, KS.  They had a number of speakers, mostly mega church pastors lecturing us about church growth strategies, programming, and the tricks of hospitality.  The content was good even if contextual understanding was lacking.  The assumption at most of those types of conferences is that if we hear from some pastors of really big churches (all with memberships over 5,000) somehow the growth mojo will rub off on the rest of us, regardless of the realities of demographics and context.

I don’t remember most of the speakers, except one young woman who stuck out from the crowded field of white, middle-aged men.  Rachel Held Evans was not a reverend, nor did she possess a terminal degree in theology or church growth.  Rachel, a 32 year-old small town newspaper reporter from Dayton, TN had over the preceding 2 years accidentally garnered quite a following because of her blog posts and a New York Times best selling book dealing with Christian faith.  She had experienced somewhat of a religious awakening that stirred the waters of her own Christian Fundamentalist upbringing.  Her awakening sprung out of the tension between the moralistic rigidity of the faith community of her childhood and Christ’s abundant love that included everyone in God’s saving work.  Where the church of her childhood excluded people who didn’t fit in their mold of discipleship, Rachel found in the stories of Jesus a God who welcomed and loved everyone.  Her eloquent writings about her new found understanding of the church and Jesus resonated with a growing audience of readers, especially youth and young adults, and those who had been hurt by the church.

Following one of the plenary sessions my friend and I had the opportunity to chat with Rachel.  She was very approachable, funny, and disarmingly humble.  After introducing ourselves,  Rachel quickly offered affirmations to us regarding the importance of pastors she said, “I have no idea why people invite me to talk at these kinds of events.  They should be listening to you!”  I was touched by her kind words, but also a bit chagrined knowing that pastors often don’t say what ought to be said, either out of a lack of courage or because of wrong-headed convictions.  

Hanging on the wall above the desk where Rachel sat to write blog posts, articles, or one of her best selling books is a sign that simply says, “Tell the truth.”  Perhaps that was what made Rachel so popular in parts of the church and society at large.  She told the truth where others failed.  She candidly and kindly reminded the world that Jesus welcomed everyone and turned away no one, therefore the church should follow suit.  Marginalized groups in the church felt the power of Christ’s affirming love through Rachel’s work.  Women, persons of color, and members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community discovered a Savior who welcomed them through Rachel’s faithful interpretation of scripture and Jesus’ teachings.  Her plea was for a church who would tell the truth and follow Christ’s example of radical welcome of all people.

Despite all of the Twitter followers, blog readers, her New York Times bestselling books, or being a nationally recognized religious commentator on CNN, Rachel remained humble.  She used her platform to advance the thoughts and careers of others, giving additional voice to those who are often marginalized by culture.  Rachel’s love of God, the church, others, and especially her conviction to tell the truth, helped to strengthen Christ’s church.  

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Rachel’s life and work.  On May 4th she died after a sudden illness that caused her to have seizures and traumatic brain swelling.  Rachel leaves behind her husband Dan and two little kids.  Making sense of her death has been challenging, especially in this season of resurrection.  The 37 year-old mom and Christian leader had so much more to contribute to our shared existence.  

The world is full of losses that cause people to ask the great why questions of life as they search for understanding and meaning.  In fact, a number of you have experienced such loss at one time or another.  The great mystery and miracle of Easter is that God enters fully into loss and does something totally unexpected.  New life, resurrection springs forth from death.  The trauma of life’s losses have no power over the redemptive love of God.

This may seem little consolation to those whose experience with death is quite fresh and the pain is quite real.  Feeling the storm of emotions that are present in the aftermath of a loved one’s death is normal.  Even in the midst of the sorrow, pain, and anger we may be feeling, Jesus Christ is reclaiming life so that in the fullness of time we all will live within God’s eternal self.  As for the rest of us, those still living each day in this part of creation, it’s up to us to continue Christ’s life-saving work of love.  It’s up to us to tell the truth.  People need to hear that they are unconditionally loved by their creator and that they are welcome to participate fully in the Body of Christ, the church.  We must also reckon with the powers of destruction that try to stir up division and hate within God’s beloved creation.  These evil forces are not of the spiritual realm, but are flesh and blood, powers and principalities that seek to divide for personal gain.

Christ’s saving work is not only discovered in the writings of Rachel Held Evans, but in any place where the truth of God’s unconditional love and inclusion are being spoken or practiced.  God’s call to us is simple, to love as Christ loved:  unconditionally, generously, and graciously.  Through loving we enter into God’s presence.  And that’s the gospel truth!  

Blessings on your journey,

Pastor Matt

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News for May and June from St. Paul’s

May 22, 2019

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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 jmdeal@gmail.com–Thanks!

The church office email is stpaulsuccoffice1@gmail.com

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

Thursday, May 2nd:  Care Team, 1:00pm, CE Room

Thursday, May 16th:  Stewardship Team, 10:30am, Library

Saturday, May 18th:  Men’s Brotherhood, 8:00am, King’s Restaurant

Sunday, May 19th:  Church Council, 11:00am in the CE Room 

Tuesday, May 21st:  CE Team meeting, 5:00pm, CE Room, Trustees Meeting, 6:00pm, CE Room, Spiritual Life & Evangelism, 7:00pm, CE Room

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

Sunday, June 2nd:  Community VBS planning meeting, 2:00pm, CE Room

Monday, June 3rd:  Family Fellowship Meal, 6:00pm, Fellowship Hall

Thursday, June 6th:  Care Team, 1:00pm, CE Room

Tuesday, June 11th:  Legacy Fund, 6:00pm, CE Room

Saturday, June 15th:  Men’s Brotherhood, 8:00am, King’s Restaurant

Tuesday, June 18th:  Church Council, 7:00pm in the CE Room 

Sunday, June 23rd:  Community VBS All Staff orientation, 2:00pm, Fellowship Hall

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.  

Women’s Fellowship

All women of the church are invited to attend the upcoming Women’s Fellowship meeting on Monday, May 13th at 6:30pm.  This will be a regular business meeting.    

Men’s Brotherhood

The Men’s Brotherhood will meet for their May meeting on Saturday, May 18th at 8:00am at King’s restaurant.  Their June meeting will be on Saturday, June 15th at 8:00am at King’s.  All men of the church are invited to attend!

Family Fellowship Meal

Please join us for our annual summer meal on Monday, June 3rd at 6:00pm in Fellowship Hall.  Please bring your favorite covered dish, your friends, and family, as we open up the summer season.  We will enjoy great food, fellowship, and our special musical guest, St. Paul’s own NoteWorthy!

Church Ministry Team Meeting Nights

Church Council, at their March meeting, put forth a new plan to streamline the process of committee and ministry team planning.  The recommendation is that the committees of church council and other special groups that meet on a regular basis covenant to meet on either the first Wednesday or third Tuesday of each month.  Hour-long meeting slots will open at 4:00pm each day and close at 7:00pm.  The hope is that by having most of our meetings on two nights we can better plan when committees will meet and give each committee better access to the church’s programming staff.  We also anticipate that the common meeting nights will increase opportunities for worship and fellowship.  This plan also leaves open the possibility of committees still meeting outside of the two Church Ministry Team Nights if neither of those dates and times work for their committee members. 

Committee and group chairs should contact Pastor Matt with questions or to schedule meetings.

St. Paul’s Continuing Care Community is May’s Mission Offering:  St. Paul’s, historically related to the United Church of Christ, has been serving the needs of residents of western Pennsylvania and the surrounding states for 138 years.  Our congregation has a history of supporting the mission of St. Paul’s Continuing Care Community.  Through our continued support of St. Paul’s mission, we are realizing Jesus Christ’s call to love God and neighbor.  The Rev. Glenn Sadler, St. Paul’s Pastor Emeritus will be joining us for worship on May 12th for a special mission moment. 

Greeters & Ushers for May

May 5:  Communion By Intinction: Sally McClintock—Chair & Elder, Carole Wilson—Elder, Candy Christner, Ray Toy

May 12:  Craig Weaver—Chair, Youth Members

May 19:  Angie Brumbaugh—Chair, Josh Brumbaugh, Emma Mumau, Eli Mumau 

May 26:  Rebecca Miller—Chair, Samantha Miller, Laura Bowers, Abby Bowers

Greeters & Ushers for June

June 2:  Communion By Intinction: John Geary—Chair & Elder, John Geary, Sr.—Elder, Sandy Geary, Anna Geary

June 9:  Jenn Boland—Chair, Sienna Ash, Joan Martz, Lisa Yeckley

June 16:  Karen Addleman—Chair, Steve Addleman, Greg Keim, Kim Keim 

June 23:  Patrick Ferko—Chair, Jean Romesberg, Pam Webreck, Judy Swank

June 30:  Andra Snyder—Chair, Brad Winters, Amy Winters, Wynne Sechler

2019 HIGH SCHOOL & COLLEGE GRADUATES:  Please let us know if you are a graduate!  We would like to honor you by placing your graduate photo in our display case in the narthex.  We would like a 5×7, however, if you do not have this size, please bring us what you have available.  Thank you!

Be sure to join us on Pentecost Sunday, June 9th as we recognize our graduates.  Please plan on joining us as we celebrate our graduates and offer a blessing over them.

Save the date for “To Mars and Beyond” Community VBS!  This year’s Community VBS will be June 24th-28th.  Please join us for “To Mars and Beyond” as we discover God’s boundless love.  Children from 3 years old to 6th grade are invited to attend.  This year’s Bible school will be a cooperative effort between 4 partner churches.  As is the case every year, we need adult and teen helpers to make our VBS a success.  Please talk to Pastor Matt or Jenn Boland if you are interested in helping!

Church Camp Schedule

The 2019 Living Waters brochures are now available!  Copies of the brochures, complete with this year’s schedule of events are available in the Edgewood Avenue Narthex.  Scholarships are available for those who are interested in attending camp.  Please talk to Pastor Matt for more details.

“A Just World for All” is the theme for the 2019 Penn West Conference Annual Meeting:  June 7 & 8 at California University of Pennsylvania.  Join us for two days of inspiring worship, fellowship, and learning.  The Rev. Traci Blackmon, United Church of Christ Minister for Justice and Local Church Ministries will be the keynote speaker.  The annual gathering of the churches of the Penn West Conference is always a great opportunity to connect with other churches and share resources and ideas.  

St. Paul’s UCC has the opportunity to send three voting delegates and one youth delegate.  Please speak to Pastor Matt if you’d like to attend.

 Coffeehouse Talent Showcase

Please join us for a celebration of the youth in our church and community with this Spring’s Coffeehouse Talent Showcase.  Proceeds will benefit St. Paul’s youth programming

Where? In Fellowship Hall

When? Friday, May 24th, beginning at 7 pm

How can you get involved in this great event? Come out to enjoy the performances and/or perform in the show yourself.  If you’re a little stage-shy, you can also support the event by donating baked goods, which will be sold during the coffeehouse. We are also seeking donations of bottled water and/or juice boxes to serve at the event. 

Admission is by donation and includes coffee, tea, and other light refreshments. We hope to see you there!

St. Paul’s Extends a Special Thank You to Our Sunday School Teachers

As another school year comes to an end, we are grateful for those who have shared their time and talents with us.  Their dedication is the greatest lesson they have given us! 

Here is a list of our teachers and Christian Education committee members:

Isabel Shumaker–Preschool and Kindergarten

Kim Keim–Preschool and Kindergarten

Suzy Housley–Grades 1-3

Christie Schenck–Grades 1-3

John Harris–Grades 4-6

Craig Weaver–The Adult Class

Gary Cameron—Young at Heart Class

Carole Wilson—Young at Heart Class

Audrey Hay–Young at Heart Class

Jenn Boland—CE Team Chair and Children’s Church

 

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The May & June Cornerstone Newsletter

May 22, 2019

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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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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 (April 14-21) 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:  April 18th, 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:  April 19th, 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 21st, 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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