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A Message from Pastor Matt

December 6, 2019

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A voice cries out:

‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,

   make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 

Every valley shall be lifted up,

   and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

   and the rough places a plain” Isaiah 40:3-4.

These verses from the prophet Isaiah are some of my favorite ones in all of the Hebrew Scripture.  The notion that God is sending forth a messenger to prepare the way for the Holy One’s redemption is inspiring and hope-filled.  Such power and authority even levels mountains and valleys.  The day is surely coming says the prophet, when all will be made well for God’s people.  Chapter 40 begins with the charge to “Comfort, O Comfort my people says your God.”  Speak tenderly the word of comfort and redemption to the suffering people. God will make all things whole and all the is broken well.

Such expressions of love come not only from God, but from the prophet’s poetic imagination.  Quite literally, God will and does save, and yet there’s still plenty of need for tender words of comfort as suffering and death continues in our world.  Along comes the poet to encourage us to use our spiritual eyes to imagine a day when all will be made well.  

In the meantime we keep hoping, watching, and actively working for that day when all is well.  Advent reminds us that faith is often a reality defying activity:  a time to watch and expect God’s appearing in the midst of troubling times.  Our baptismal vowels also remind us that such watching and expecting is not passive, but rather faith in action.  Christ calls us to prepare the way for his coming into the world.  It’s up to us to smooth the way for Christ’s healing work.  Our words and actions are not solely ours, but represent the God in which we are called to follow.  Grace-filled words and loving actions smooth out all kinds of rough places in the world.  

Isaiah assures us that God is coming. We are left with the image of a mighty and sovereign God who will gently gather his lambs.  “He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.”  Let us recommit ourselves to keeping alive the poet Isaiah’s vision of that day; a day that may seem all so remote in our troubled and chaotic world, but a day that is nevertheless upon us.  Thanks be to God!  

 May God bless your Advent journey!

Pastor Matt

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December News from St. Paul’s

December 6, 2019

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December’s Worship Schedule

(Worship begins at 9:30am; Sunday School at 10:45am)

“For unto us a child is born, a Son is given!” 

The Season of Advent is here.  Christ’s birth is at hand.  Come to worship to find out your part in the story!  Here are some scriptures to help you prepare for our Savior’s arrival.    

I’ll see you in worship!

Pastor Matt

December 1:  Theme for the week:  Be Prepared

The First Sunday of Advent

Scripture readings for the week 

Old Testament: Isaiah 2:1-5

Psalter: Psalm 122

Gospel:  Matthew 24:36-44

Epistle:  Romans 13:11-14

 

December 8:  Theme for the week:  Vision of Peace

The Second Sunday of Advent

Scripture readings for the week 

Old Testament: Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalter: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

Gospel:  Matthew 3:1-12

Epistle:  Romans 15:4-13

 December 15:  Theme for the week:  Heartbeat of Justice

The Third Sunday of Advent

Scripture readings for the week  

Old Testament:  Isaiah 35:1-10

Gospel:  Luke 1:47-55 

Gospel:  Matthew 11:2-11

Epistle:  James 5:7-10

December 22:  Theme for the week:  God With Us

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

The Children’s & Youth Choir Musical

Scripture readings for the week  

Old Testament:  Isaiah 7:10-16

Psalter:  Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Gospel:  Matthew 1:18-25

Epistle:  Romans 1:1-7

December 24:  Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve (4:00pm)

Family Service

Featuring the St. Paul’s Chancel Choir 

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service (11:00pm)

Scripture Readings

Old Testament:  Isaiah 9:2-7

Psalm 96

Gospel:  Luke 2:1-20

New Testament:  Titus 2:11-14

December 29:  Theme for the week:  A Great Light

The First Sunday after Christmas

Scripture readings for the week  

Old Testament:  Isaiah 9:2-7

Psalter: Psalm 96

Gospel:  Luke 2:1-20

Epistle:  Titus 2:11-14    

    

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

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

Thursday, December 5th:  Care Team, 1:00pm, CE Room

Sunday, December 8th:  Annual Congregational Meeting, following worship, Sanctuary

Monday, December 9th:  Family Fellowship Meal, Covered Dish Dinner, 6:00pm Fellowship Hall

Saturday, December 14th:  Men’s Brotherhood, 8:00am, King’s Restaurant

Tuesday, December 17th:  Church Council, 7:00pm in the CE Room.  Newly elected Church Council members should plan to attend.

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.  

The Men’s Brotherhood.  The men’s brotherhood will meet for breakfast on Saturday, December 14th 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 118 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 2018, gifts to the Christmas Fund enabled:

  • Small pension supplementation for 379 retired clergy and lay employees ($1,453.050)
  • Health benefits supplementation for 174 retired clergy and lay employees ($429,903)
  • Emergency grants for 49 individuals and families ($60,526)
  • Christmas “Thank You” gift checks to 401 retired clergy and lay employees ($214,100)

The theme of the 2019 Christmas Fund Offering is The Light Shines in the Darkness 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 2020 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 12th.  

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 1:  Communion By Intinction: Karen Addleman—Chair & Elder, Audrey Hay—Elder, Harold Wahl, Sally Wahl

December 8:  Patrick Ferko–Chair, Tammie Waggle, Wynne Sechler, Ray Toy

December 15: Mike Stutzman—Chair, Barb Stutzman, Luke Housley, Paige Housley

December 21—Christmas Musical: Andra Snyder—Chair, Laura Bowers, 

December 22—Christmas Musical:  Pete Hauger—Chair, Carole Wilson, Kim Keim, Greg Keim

December 24–Christmas Eve, 4pm Service: Peg Roy—Chair, Karen Gibson, Abby Bowers, Lorin Harris

December 24–Christmas Eve, 11pm Service: Craig Weaver—Chair, Denise Weaver, Harold Weaver, Gary Cameron

December 29: Jenn Boland–Chair, Amy Marteeny, Mark Marteeny, Jonathan Hillegas

Annual Congregational Meeting 

The annual congregational meeting will be Sunday, December 8th following worship.  Agenda items will include approval of the 2020 Budget, considering Constitution & Bylaws changes to establish the Legacy Find, and the election of new council members.  Members in good standing are invited to cast their votes in this year’s meeting. 

Proposed Slate for Church Council 

3 Year Term: 

Barb Davies (Deacon) 

Michael Laue (Deacon) 

Barb Roth (Deacon) 

Pam Webreck (Elder)

 

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.

2019 Advent Devotionals and activities are Available

For the Whole Family: 

Adventure Through Advent: 

Children’s Church + for the whole Family!Take a family adventure through the themes of advent: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love on Sunday, December 8th from 11am-noon.

We will gather in the Youth Room for a time of exploration, creativity and fun.  This event is open to families and individuals of all ages. Individuals who attend without their immediate families will be put together in church family groups.

 For Children:  Mark your Advent journey with a “Christ the King” Advent calendar, available in the Edgewood Ave. Narthex

For Youth & Adults:  The “I Am Mary” (by Rev. Carol Howard Merritt) daily devotional will help prepare you for Jesus’ birth by putting you in the sandals of his mother as she waits with expectation for her son’s arrival.  Booklets are available in the Edgewood Ave. Narthex an on the table in the back of the Sanctuary. 

Advent 2019 Special Services and Christmas Eve Worship

The Rite of Healing and anointing during worship on Sunday, December 15th at 9:30am.   This special rite will be celebrated during worship.  Participants will be able to ask for healing for themselves, loved ones, friends, and strangers.  As we watch and wait for Christ’s coming into the world during this Advent, it’s the perfect time to take part in Christ’s healing work. 

“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.  

Winter at St. Paul’s

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.

Oncology Blankets and Prayer Shawls Update 

Anyone having items for the oncology center please bring them to the church by Sunday, December 8th

The Angel Tree

This year’s Angel Tree program will look different from other years.  The Salvation Army only had 150 Treasures for Children tags available (they usually have almost 600) this year and ran out of them by November 1st.  Our church’s lay leaders and staff have reached out to other local non-profits and have identified a number of local families who have a variety of needs during this holiday season.  There will be a variety of ways you can help: purchasing a winter coat, hat, or gloves for an adult or child, Christmas toys for children, gifts of clothing, or heating oil assistance through the Salvation Army.  The individuals who have been identified for assistance have had close relationships with organizations like Tableland, Nulton Diagnostics, the Salvation Army, Somerset Area Ministries, New Beginnings, and church staff.  Therefore, they have been closely vetted and their needs have been specifically identified.  The tags will appear on our Angel Tree in the Edgewood Avenue narthex on Sunday, December 1st. 

Christmas Family Fellowship Meal.

Friends and Family of St. Paul’s UCC…  

Plan to gather for dinner on Monday, December 9th at 6:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall.  Bring your favorite covered dish and spend an evening enjoying fellowship, good food and the joy and anticipation of Advent. 

Confirmation Class Schedule

Confirmands will meet in the church library at 11am on the following Sundays:

Sunday, December 8th

Sunday, December 15th

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The December Cornerstone Newsletter

December 6, 2019

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December’s Mission Offering Is Veterans of the Cross

December 6, 2019

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For 118 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 2018, gifts to the Christmas Fund enabled:

  • Small pension supplementation for 379 retired clergy and lay employees ($1,453.050)
  • Health benefits supplementation for 174 retired clergy and lay employees ($429,903)
  • Emergency grants for 49 individuals and families ($60,526)
  • Christmas “Thank You” gift checks to 401 retired clergy and lay employees ($214,100)

The theme of the 2019 Christmas Fund Offering is The Light Shines in the Darkness 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.

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Sermons from St. Paul’s

October 10, 2019

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“Being A Disciple”
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
October 6, 2019
“Lazarus: God Helps”
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
September 29, 2019
“Two Masters”
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
September 22, 2019
“Finding and Rejoicing”
Rev. J. Matthew Deal
September 15, 2019

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Love for the World: Partners Announced Featuring the Fred Rogers’ Center!

August 13, 2019

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Love for the World: planting seeds locally, to grow fields of grace and peace worldwide

Our first “Love for the World” supper, learning, and vigil event will take place on Friday, August 16th from 5-7pm in Shellenberger Park & Fellowship Hall.  The theme for our inaugural “Love for the World” is Blessing Children and Families.  Resource partners will be present to share what services are available for children and families in our county and throughout the country.  During the vigil service we will be offering a blessing for children, families, and all who serve children and families.  A light supper will be served.

We are thrilled to announce the following partners who will be attending our event! Please feel free to check them out by clicking on the links.

Confirmed Organizations

Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries – https://www.alsm.org/ 

Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy – www.scalucp.org

Beginnings, Inc. – https://beginningsinc.org/ 

CASA – https://beginningsinc.org/programs-and-services/court-appointed-special-advocates/ 

Early Intervention – http://beginningsinc.org/programs-and-services/early-intervention/ 

Parents As Teachers – http://beginningsinc.org/programs-and-services/parents-as-teachers/ 

Boys and Girls Club – http://bgcsomersetcounty.com/ 

Casa San Jose – https://casasanjose.org/ 

Census Borough – https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/about/why.html 

Church World Service – https://cwsglobal.org/ 

Croyle-Nielsen Therapeutic Assoc. – http://www.c-nta.com/ 

DBHS Early Intervention – https://dbhs.co/services/developmental-services/early-intervention-program/ 

Dressed – https://www.facebook.com/dressed15501/  

Family Center  

Fred Rogers Center – https://www.fredrogerscenter.org/ 

Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank – https://www.pittsburghfoodbank.org/ 

Helping Hands Food Pantry – https://www.facebook.com/HelpingHandsBoswell/ 

League for Human Decency – https://www.facebook.com/groups/622080747985569/ 

New Centerville Spinnetts – https://www.facebook.com/spinnettstwirling/ 

Nurse-Family Partnership – https://www.nursefamilypartnership.org/ 

Somerset County Children & Youth Services – http://www.co.somerset.pa.us/department.asp?deptnum=2 

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ – https://stpaulsuccsomerset.org/ 

Tableland – http://www.capfsc.org/ 

The Children’s Aid Home – http://www.cahprogram.org/ 

The Learning Lamp – https://www.thelearninglamp.org/ 

Trinity Farms Center for Healing – http://trinityfarmscenterforhealing.org/ 

Early Intervention – http://beginningsinc.org/programs-and-services/early-intervention/

Parents As Teachers – http://beginningsinc.org/programs-and-services/parents-as-teachers/

Boys and Girls Club – http://bgcsomersetcounty.com/

Casa San Jose – https://casasanjose.org/

Census Borough – https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/about/why.html

Church World Service – https://cwsglobal.org/

Croyle-Nielsen Therapeutic Assoc. – http://www.c-nta.com/

DBHS Early Intervention – https://dbhs.co/services/developmental-services/early-intervention-program/

Dressed – https://www.facebook.com/dressed15501/ 

Family Center – https://www.facebook.com/SalisburyFamilyCenter/

Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank – https://www.pittsburghfoodbank.org/

Helping Hands Food Pantry – https://www.facebook.com/HelpingHandsBoswell/

League for Human Decency – https://www.facebook.com/groups/622080747985569/

New Centerville Spinnetts – https://www.facebook.com/spinnettstwirling/

Nurse-Family Partnership – https://www.nursefamilypartnership.org/

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ – https://stpaulsuccsomerset.org/

The Children’s Aid Home – http://www.cahprogram.org/

Trinity Farms Center for Healing – http://trinityfarmscenterforhealing.org/

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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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