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Worship Connection for July 18th & 25th

July 17, 2021

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

The 8th Sunday after Pentecost

Call to Worship & Welcoming Children   Rev. J. Matt Deal

We come to worship the one who calls us to discipleship.

We come to worship the one who brings us to Sabbath, a place of rest in God.

We come to worship the one who heals with compassion.

We come to worship the one who invites us to preach and teach the hope and healing 

word of God.

Let us worship God as we join in Christ’s life-giving work in the world.

*Opening Hymn   “The Church’s One Foundation”

*The Greeting

Call to Confession    Rev. J. Matt Deal

One: Jesus took his disciples away from the bustling crowds for Sabbath renewal.  Let us confess to God the obstacles that hinder us from finding rest in Christ.

The Prayer of Confession   Rev. J. Matt Deal

Loving God, your mercy and care comfort us because we have come up short as disciples.  We’ve failed to find time for rest and worship amid our busy schedules.  We have much in common with the crowds Jesus encountered as he sought Sabbath along the deserted sea shore.  Busyness, worry, ill-thoughts, and health consume our consciousness.  Heal our ill spirits so that we may better serve you.  Forgive the ways we have failed to make space for you in our lives.  Empower us with your Spirit, so that we may help to make holy spaces in our world; places where all of your children can find healing and rest.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

A time for personal reflection and confession

Words of Assurance   Rev. J. Matt Deal

God’s grace and healing are boundless.  Rest in God and know that your are God’s beloved creation.   

Thanks be to God!  

The Passing of the Peace 

L: May the Peace of Christ be with you.

All: And also with you.

Scripture Lesson   Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

The Sermon “Rest for a While”            

The Pastoral Prayer 

Invitation to the Offering

*The Prayer of Dedication   Rev. J. M. Deal

We dedicate to you, Most Holy God, our tithes and offerings.  Consecrate our gifts so that they may continue Christ’s saving work.  Challenge us through the Holy Spirit’s council to open our whole lives up to you, so that all that we have and all that we are may serve Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

The Prayer of Our Savior(unison): 

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen. 

Closing Hymn:  “Jesus Shall Reign”  

Benediction

“Go forth into the world to serve God with gladness; be of good courage; hold fast to that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honor all people; love and serve God, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

And may the blessing of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit remain with you forever.  Amen.

Worship Resources for this Week

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The 9th Sunday after Pentecost

Call to Worship & Welcoming Children   Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi

We join together as hungry eaters to be nourished by the food that you offer us.

God of sustenance, give us this day our daily bread.

As you care for the wheat fields that turn into bread and the vineyards that labor to produce sweet wine, tend to our bodies by feeding us what we need for healthy growth.

God of abundance, give us this day our daily bread.

The rich crops that you have prepared are now ready to be harvested by our hands and our hearts. 

Holy Spirit, come! Give us this day our daily bread.

*Opening Hymn   “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”

*The Greeting

Call to Confession   Rev. J. M. Deal

One: Jesus fed the multitude and calmed the storm, restoring hope and peace to the lives of those around him.  Let us confess to Christ our shortcomings, trusting in him to restore hope and peace in our own lives.

The Prayer of Confession   Rev. J. M. Deal

Great Provider, we give thanks for your generosity that feeds our bodies and nourishes our spirits.  We admit that we have hoarded your life-giving food for ourselves.  Forgive the ways we have wasted your gifts while others starve in body, mind, or spirit.  Help us to be generous with our time, talents, and resources, so that the world might see you in our actions.  May the gifts we share eradicate hunger, fear, scarcity, and discrimination.  Guide us with your Spirit, so that others may find safety and provision in your church.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

 A time for personal reflection and confession

Words of Assurance   Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi

One: Though at times we fail to be generous, your generosity toward us is never-ending! By sending Christ and the Spirit to your people, you have extended generosity beyond measure.  In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and saved.

All: Thanks be to God!  Amen.  

The Passing of the Peace 

L: May the Peace of Christ be with you.

All: And also with you.

Scripture Lesson   John 6:1-21 

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself. When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.

The Sermon “With God There’s Always Enough”            

The Pastoral Prayer 

Prayer Response

Invitation to the Offering

*The Doxology

*The Prayer of Dedication   Rev. J. M. Deal

We dedicate to you, Most Holy God, our tithes and offerings.  Consecrate our gifts so that they may continue Christ’s saving work.  Challenge us through the Holy Spirit’s council to open our whole lives up to you, so that all that we have and all that we are may serve Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

The Prayer of Our Savior(unison): 

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen. 

Closing Hymn:  “Sent Forth With God’s Blessing”

Important note regarding worship on July 25th:  If you are planning to attend worship on Sunday, July 25th, the Chalk the Block 5k race will be taking place beginning at 9am.  This year’s route includes the streets surrounding the church, so please use caution when approaching the church, keeping an eye out for runners and walkers. 

Pastor Matt will be on vacation from July 17th-24th.  Bill Deal will be leading worship on Sunday, July 18th and Rev. Joe Beer will be taking care of emergency pastoral calls.  Please call the church office if you need to speak with Rev. Beer. 

A Card Shower for Evelyn Walters-Shafer.  Evelyn continues to recover from recent abdominal surgery and heart procedure.  She is currently in Shadyside Hospital.  Evelyn has been a long-time member of our church and has encouraged many people over the years.  She could use a bit of encouragement now as she works to regain her health & strength.  Please consider sending a card to her home.  She loves hearing from her church family, so let’s show her some love!

Her address is: 610 Clover Hill Rd., Somerset, PA 15501.

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Matt’s Musing

July 17, 2021

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Dear St. Paul’s Friends & Family,

We are wrapping up this year’s week-long Vacation Bible School!  This year was extra special following having to cancel last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Adult staff members, youth, children, and families were all in high spirits as we reunited for “Discovery On Adventure Island” VBS.  Each day our Explorers (the children) would search for an infinity lantern and in the process would discover a theme that would bring them closer to the true light, Jesus Christ.  In keeping with this theme of discovery, here are a number of things that I discovered as we connected with each day’s theme.  

  1. 1.  Arise! Shine with Love!  There’s nothing better than being able to come together with people you love and care about after an extended time apart.  2020 was a hard year of isolation for many of us, so being able to have VBS this year was very meaningful!  
  2. 2.   Arise! Shine with Trust!  Just as Moses trusted God to provide what he needed to do an almost impossible thing, we trusted God and one another to pull off a safe and successful Bible School.  It took many volunteers and unexpected helpers to make this year’s VBS happen and for that we are so thankful!
  3. 3.  Arise! Shine with Faith!  We are much stronger together.  Over the past 30 years our VBS has always been a group effort, and this year was no different as 3 churches worked together to provide a high quality and safe VBS for the kids of our community.  Faith means that we relied upon each other and God to do what was needed to make VBS a reality. 
  4. 4.  Arise!  Shine with Joy!  There are few things that bring me more joy than the smiles and laughter of our Explorers during VBS.  Whether they were singing or crafting or helping to tell the Bible story or engaging in our special mission, there were always plenty of smiles, laughter, and excellent questions.
  5. 5.  Arise!  Shine with Hope!  Mary’s discovery of the empty tomb brought not only hope to her, but to the entire world.  Ministries like VBS help to spread that hope.  The sharing of your prayers and gifts not only helped to make this year’s VBS a big success, but was also instrumental in spreading resurrection hope!

Blessings and gratitude,

Pastor Matt

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July’s Mission Offering Is the SAM Van

July 10, 2021

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The SAM van provides medical transportation to Somerset County residents. Their routes include Johnstown, Pittsburgh, Altoona, Greensburg, and all points in between. Since its beginnings in 2004 the vans have traveled over 250,000 miles and provided service to over 3,000 people at no cost to the rider.

The SAM van is run by the Somerset Area Ministries and is supported by donations from individuals, churches and other organizations. If you are in need of this service or would like to volunteer to drive the SAM van you should contact Charles Olson at Grace United Methodist Church at 443-6354.

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VBS! July 12-16, 2021 Register Here!

June 23, 2021

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We are thrilled that our annual daily Community VBS is back this year! Children 3 years of age through those who have just finished sixth grade are invited to join us for Discovery on Adventure Island VBS. We’ll explore Adventure Island each day from 9:00am until noon on our quest for God’s great Light! Please click on the link below to register online. We also welcome adults and teens who are interested in volunteering! Our Community VBS is being held at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ and is co-sponsored by St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, Somerset Church of the Brethren, and St. Paul’s. VBS is free and open to all children! Please join us!

https://somersetcommunityvbs.mycokesburyvbs.com

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Good Friday Prayer Vigil

April 10, 2020

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Please join us for our prayer vigil that begins on Good Friday evening and continues through Easter Day. Although we are distanced physically, let us draw to one another spiritually as we unite to pray for our church, community, country and world. The vigil can be accessed through clicking the link below.

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A New Way To Give

March 27, 2020

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The current COVID-19/Corona Virus pandemic has forced many individuals, businesses, and organizations to rethink how to accomplish day-to-day functions.  The church is no different.  

St. Paul’s continues to do vital ministry:

  • Reaching out to the homebound & lonely
  • Caring for the sick
  • Comforting the dying & their families
  • Working with the Somerset Area School District, Meals on Wheels, Somerset Area Ministries, and other agencies to ensure our most vulnerable community members are fed everyday
  • Online children’s programming
  • Online fellowship events
  • Live-streaming and videos of worship services on Facebook & YouTube
  • Launching a COVID-19 community mission fund to assist those in need because of social distancing, job loss, and illness
  • Honoring our monthly mission partners

A number of our members and friends have asked for an online way to give, so we are pleased to offer this service through tithe.ly.  You can make a gift by accessing our website (see the “Give” button on the homepage or the button below), www.stpaulsuccsomerset.org.  You may also download the free tithe.ly app to your smartphone or tablet and customize it to meet your needs.  Although the service is free to the church, credit card and transaction fees are assessed to each gift, so when making an online contribution through tithe.ly, please consider using the bank funds transfer feature, which has the lowest fee of one percent per transaction.  For your convenience, you may also select the reoccurring gift option if you would like to make regular gifts to the church.  If you have any questions or need assistance using this service, please do not hesitate to contact Cindy, our financial secretary.  And as always, we still accept and appreciate your mail-in contributions!

We value your continued thoughts and prayers during these challenging times.  On behalf of the staff, and lay leadership of our church, we wish you good health and strength as we encounter each day together.  Relying on God and one another, we will get through this!

Blessings,

Pastor Matt

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Sermons from St. Paul’s

February 21, 2020

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“An Ethic of Love”
February 16, 2020
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
“The Third Way”
February 9, 2020
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
“When Things Break Down”
February 2, 2020
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
“Following Jesus”
January 19, 2020
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
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Mardi Gras Worship!

February 19, 2020

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Sunday, February 23, 2020, during & after worship

Mardi Gras in the Christian tradition is a festive time of laughter and celebration right before the contemplative six weeks of Lent.  We will be celebrating our own Mardi Gras with some special surprises during worship.  Johnstown Brass Works will be with us providing some Dixieland style music.  Our Chancel Choir and the Children and Youth Choirs are preparing a couple of selections that will get us into the spirit.  We’ll follow worship with a special potluck brunch in Fellowship Hall, complete with King’s Cake cupcakes and a few special surprises!  You won’t want to miss the fun, so be sure to bring your favorite dish to share, a friend (if you’d like), wear colorful clothing, and be prepared for some enjoyable fellowship.

Please join us!

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Taste of the World

February 15, 2020

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Sink Your Teeth into a New Experience at the Taste of the World Ethnic Food Festival!

We invite those who love food and adventure to join us for this FREE family-friendly event. Community members from countries such as Brazil, Egypt, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Thailand will be present to offer samples of their traditional native foods and share interesting information about their homeland. The Somerset Exchange Students will also be preparing and serving some of their traditional foods from France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.

Inspired by Fred Rogers, who stated, “We want to raise our children so that they can take a sense of pleasure in both their own heritage and the diversity of others,” the Taste of the World event will provide specific opportunities for children to explore the commonalities and celebrate the differences embedded in our community’s diverse cultures. Children and youth can explore the entertainment space offering games (take a swing at our pinata or try your hand at Mexican Bingo) and crafts from the representative countries. They can also visit the story corner and explore multi-ethnic and bi-lingual books.

St. Paul’s UCC, alongside of Love for the World, a group of church & local community members, is committed to empowering our community to love and care for our neighbors both near and far. It is our hope that through offering small bites of new cultural experiences, the Taste of the World event will carry forward the mission of building strong caring relationships with all those in our community.

Taste your way around the world by reserving your FREE ticket online at www.TasteoftheWorldFoodFestival.Eventbrite.com. FREE tickets will also be available at the door.

Add Taste of the World to your calendar. You won’t want to miss it!

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The February Cornerstone Newsletter

February 15, 2020

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