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Youth Group News!

October 12, 2017


Here is an update on some of the upcoming youth activities that we discussed at our kickoff picnic last month.  More events may develop over the next month.

An important reminder:  Next Saturday, October 21 we will be going to Huston’s Haunted Hollow and return to the church for a lock-in.  We plan to carpool from the church, leaving at 6:30pm.  We’ll meet in the parking lot.  Feel free to bring your sleeping gear and any lock-in items and drop them off in Fellowship Hall before we leave for Huston’s.  The youth group will pick up half of your admission to Huston’s, so please bring $8 to give to Pastor Matt and spending money for the concession stand.  There is also a mission component to our lock-in, as we will be bagging pet food for the mobile food pantry.  So, if you are in need of community service hours for school, this would be a great opportunity to help yourself as you help others!

After the lock-in, we will go to church together and host Pause for Persons.  Friends are welcome to attend!

We also need some parents to help with the carpool to Huston’s and to help chaperon the lock-in.  Perhaps we could schedule shifts so that folks don’t have to stay all night.  Please let me know if you’re willing to help.

Please mark your calendars!

November’s events:  

Tuesday, November 21st:  Salvation Army Thanksgiving Dinner Prep:  1:30pm in the church kitchen.

Saturday, November 25th:  Salvation Army Kettle Bell Ringing at Walmart.  A sign-up sheet will be available shortly!

We need to come up with a date & place for a breakfast in November. Dates that work for me are November 9, 14, 15, 16.  Please let Pastor Matt know your preferences.

December’s events:

Sunday, December 3rd:  Christmas shopping for children in need (the Salvation Army Angel Tree program), following worship.  We will depart from the Edgewood Ave. Narthex.

Summer of 2018:  July 19-22 is the Regional Youth Event, California University of PA.  The estimated cost of the event is $375 per person and is open to youth in grades 7-12.  More details to come!  We’ll need to start fundraising for RYE this fall.

Unresolved Issue: Candy Making.  The youth group candy sale is one of our biggest fundraisers each year.  Over the years a number of parents and youth have helped to make it a big success.  This year we are in need of a family or families to coordinate the event.  While the results of the fundraiser are sweet, it also take a lot of hard work to make it a success, so even if we do get a coordinator, ALL of us will have to pitch in to make it happen!  Please contact Pastor Matt if you’d like to be the coordinator.  The candy is typically sold starting in late November and throughout December in time for Christmas.

Many thanks goes out to the Waggle, Hainzer, and Harris families for organizing past candy making fundraisers over the past decade.



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October’s Mission Offering is Neighbors In Need

October 8, 2017

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This month’s mission offering is Neighbors in Need (NIN).  You may be wondering, “What is the purpose of the Neighbors in Need offering?”  Funds from NIN support the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) justice advocacy programs and are also distributed to a wide array of congregation and nonprofit organizations who work to support justice and who help neighbors in their communities, across the country and in Puerto Rico.  One-third of the offering supports the Council for American Indian Ministry, including 20 American Indian congregations in the UCC.  Two-thirds of the offering supports justice advocacy and direct service projects such as justice and peace programs and community grants.

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A Message from Pastor Matt

October 8, 2017


Great things just keep happening around here!  I know that sounds a bit hokey, but I have to start out my letter acknowledging some great things that happened since I wrote to you in May.  We celebrated the ordination into Christian ministry of one of our own members, Rev. Westley Conn.  The festive ordination service marked the culmination of many years of Wes being nurtured in his faith development by his church family, so it was full of meaning and emotion for many who attended.  Wes is the eighth son of the congregation who has entered ordained ministry.

We also had the privilege of welcoming a daughter of our church family as a “mini” summer ministry intern.  Anna Geary spent August shadowing me, leading worship, and preaching, as part of her discernment process as she considers studying religion when she starts college next fall.  Although Anna is a high school senior, scripture teaches us that you’re never too young to be called by God.  The prophet Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and Jesus certainly bear witness to God calling whoever, whenever, for whatever God sees fit.  So, as a pastor and as a church, it’s quite an honor to be part of this holy work.

Great things are happening as we turn the page from summer to fall.  All three of our choirs are back in the swing of things.  The Children’s and Youth Choirs got things kicked off with Camp Sing-a-Lot and the Chancel Choir will sing for the first time on Sunday, September 17th.  Whether your 4 years-old or 94 years-old, there is a spot for you in one of our choirs!  The Children’s and Youth Choirs rehearse on Saturday mornings and the Chancel Choir on Wednesday evenings at 7pm.

We are also excited to begin a new kind of Sunday School experience for our grade-school classes.  The new year  got kicked off with Rally Day on Sunday, September 10th.  Our grade school classes (grades 1-6) will meet for Faith Formation Classes on Saturday mornings, beginning on Saturday, September 16th.  The hope is that this move will give more children the opportunity to attend either before or after their choir rehearsal than attend on Sunday morning.  The Pre-K and Kindergarten classes will meet at their regular time following worship on Sunday mornings and the Teen class will meet during Sunday school on September 17th to plan their schedule for the fall.  The 1st-3rd graders will meet in their rooms Saturdays, from 10:00-10:45am and the 4th-6th graders will meet on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am

Over the next few months and into next spring you will notice changes occurring in Shellenberger Park.  After about 30 years of providing fellowship space, the circle of benches will be replaced, eliminating rotting boards with synthetic material.  A new playground set will also be installed by next spring, giving the children of our church and neighborhood additional and safer recreation options.

Jesus’ call continues to come to us, just as he called his first disciples 2,000 years ago.  Just as they were called to preach and teach, we too are called to represent Christ’s healing presence in the world.  As we move into the new program year, we will be looking for ways that we can increase our positive presence in the community.  The news is full of challenges for our community and world.  Discouraging headlines of drug problems, poverty, natural disasters, and hateful actions that drive people apart can move us to dismay, or we can dig in and do Christ’s healing work.

May God bless and guide us.


Pastor Matt

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Sermons from St. Paul’s

August 23, 2017


August 20, 2017:  “Words Matter”

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The Summer Newsletter

June 7, 2017


June 2017

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St. Paul’s Prayer Vigil Resources

April 13, 2017


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!


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.”


“Lord, teach us to pray.”

Luke 11:1

Come be with me, Lord Jesus. 



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: Barb Stutzman

Vice President: Patrick Ferko

Secretary: Sally McClintock

Treasurer: Sue Willison

Trustees: Roger Rayman, Jonathan Hillegas, Craig Schenck

 Spiritual Life & Evangelism: Gary Cameron

Music and Worship: John Geary & Steve Addleman

Pastoral Relations: Patrick Ferko

Christian Education: Peg Roy

Stewardship: Sue Willison

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

St. Paul’s Youth

Women’s Fellowship

Men’s Brotherhood



Visitation for homebound & sick

Capital Campaign     

Prayer Circle / Prayer List

Pause for Persons



Bible Brew

Pre-school & Nursery

Cornerstone–St. Paul’s newsletter  

CD Ministry


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

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

Bill Deal–lay worship leaders and preachers

Westley Conn–Seminarian at Boston University School of Theology

The Chancel Choir

The Children’s & Youth Choir


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 Lynn Shellenberger & Carole Wilson for coordinating our Care Team ministry and Prayer Circle/Prayer Concerns for the church.  We give thanks for Andra Snyder’s outreach ministry through weekly e-updates.  May God bless members of our Care Team:  Lyn and Carole, Marge Ankney, Nancy Thomas, and Hazel Sechler; and our Prayer Circle:  Lyn, Carole, Marge, Hazel, Martha Walker, and Helen Brown



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   


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

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 Ruth Shaffer, Marge Ankney ‘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.

Natural Church Development & Church Health Team-Pray that God may bless our congregation as we embark of the Natural Church Development process.  May God guide our church health team.



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)

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


REACHING OUT: Community Vacation Bible School, Crop Walk, 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

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


Thank God for Stewardship Team: Chair, Evelyn Walters and members Peg Roy, Karen Gibson, and Lyn Shellenberger.  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

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: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Paris, London, Africa, Yemen, and Egypt.
    • Pray for victims of violence and exploitation.
    • Sendai, Japan- Tsunami  families as they rebuild their lives.
    • The conflict between Ukraine and Russia.  May peace and justice prevail
    • 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, Afghans 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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Holy Week Services

April 7, 2017


Holy Week (April 9-16) 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 13, 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 14, 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 16, 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 7:30am).  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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Prayer Guide for St. Paul’s Prayer Vigil

April 7, 2017

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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


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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Winter Worship at St. Paul’s!

February 5, 2017


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.

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Easter Worship–Sunrise 6:30am, Festival of Word & Sacrament 9:30am

March 26, 2016


Please join us for our Easter worship services as we celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

The Easter Sunrise Service:  Sunday, March 27th, 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.

Sunrise Breakfast:  Our annual breakfast will be served by the Men’s Brotherhood in Fellowship Hall following the Sunrise Service.

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

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