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Sermons from St. Paul’s

July 19, 2017


The Service of Ordination of Westley P. Conn

“Your Servant is Listening” Rev. Glenn Sadler, Pastor Emeritus

“Quo Vadis, Domine” Where are You Going, Lord  Rev. J. Matthew Deal, Pastor

Sunday, July 16, 2016

“Growing Tips” Rev. Westley P. Conn

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July’s Mission Offering is the SAM Van

July 19, 2017

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Somerset Area Ministries (SAM) has been offering a free medical van service to the people of Somerset County for the past nine years.  The van has taken residents to hospitals in Pittsburgh and Johnstown.  Our support of the SAM Van has helped to benefit elderly and needy neighbors who aren’t able to secure their own transportation to medical appointments.  St. Paul’s Church Family is happy to partner with other local churches to make this important service possible.

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A Message from Pastor Matt

June 9, 2017


I’ve been thinking a lot about the gifts of the Holy Spirit lately.  The scripture lessons for Pentecost Sunday reminded me that we are not just called to be the church, but that God has given each of us certain gifts to share with the world in service of Christ.  The apostle Paul lists those gifts in his letter to the church in Corinth.  Here’s a concise list taken from 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13:

Speaking Wisdom

Speaking Knowledge



Working of Miracles



Speaking and Interpreting Tongues (languages)

Now it’s tempting for me to simply tell you to pick your gift and use it, but my hunch is, if you’re like me, it’s hard to imagine the Holy Spirit being upon you giving a gift, let alone claiming one of these gifts as your own!  Such claims can feel arrogant or self-serving.

Putting aside personal inhibitions and reservations, the fact is that God has called and will always call and gift people for doing Christ’s work in the world.  There are plenty of stories in the Bible about ordinary men and women being called to do extraordinary things for God.  These people become prophets, kings, apostles, and special messengers for God.  Their lives, while instructive and inspiring, can also be intimidating as we think about how we can serve God.  “Surely, I can’t do what Mary or Paul did!” are often the kind thoughts that run through my mind when I think of great figures of faith in scripture.

Lest we get too discouraged, the Holy Spirit has placed ordinary people in our everyday lives who show us how God is at work in our world.  Hopefully you can think of an individual or two whose wise words bring comfort and perspective to a chaotic situation.  You likely can think of some folks whose knowledge make work go smoother or bring resolution to problems.  Undoubtedly you know a healer or two, someone who uses their presence to bring comfort or knowledge to resolve sickness and disease.  We are surrounded by faithful people who God (and we!) can rely upon to share reminders of Christ’s grace and mercy in a hurting world.  We have prophets and miracle workers who find hope in hopeless situations and declare that resurrection is possible because God is present.  And then there are those who have the gift of discernment.  These patient souls journey with us through uncertainty, prayerfully seeking guidance and a way.  The speakers and interpreters of tongues are all around us in this super-connected world of mass media.  They have a knack for translating the good news of the gospel in many different languages and communication platforms.

I have been thinking of you, members of our church family, as I typed out the above paragraph.  Faces kept popping into my head of people I know that have been gifted by the Spirit.  This should come as no surprise, because if you count yourself as a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit has given you some of these gifts.  The only thing left to do is to claim your gift and use it!  God needs our positive response to continue Jesus’ work in the world.  Are you up for it?

I know you are!

May God bless our journey together!


Pastor Matt

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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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Salem Church: A Celebration 50 Years in the Making!

September 10, 2015


On Sunday, August 30th, the congregation of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ celebrated the 50th Anniversary of their merger with sister congregation, Salem United Church of Christ, Lavansville, PA.  The following article was written by Denise Weaver following her conversation with three Salem Matriarchs.


Fond Memories of Salem Church

The overarching sentiment of our three matriarchs of Salem Church–Ferne Hay, Dorothy Moore, and Floy McClintock–is that the church at Lavansville felt like a happy family, and members enjoyed spending time together. Additionally, the three ladies affirm that Rev. Shellenberger was very influential in their lives and credit him with the smooth transition to St. Paul’s.

Dorothy (Bowman) Moore and Floy (Barron) McClintock, first cousins, both grew up in Salem Church. Ferne (Hentz) Hay joined after she married Jennings Hay, who was a longtime member.

All three have fond memories of the women’s guild meetings, plays and programs, picnics and festivals. Dorothy and her brother Dean Barron both recall the annual Harvest Home Service when members brought in produce from their gardens and gave the items to the minister.

Dorothy still has her cradle roll cards from when she was enrolled. “It was up to three years of age. Our family always went to church, and many times we walked there. Until Rev. Shellenberger came, we only had church service every other Sunday and communion once a quarter. But we had Sunday School every week.”

Her earliest memory of church is that women sat on one side and men on the other. “There was just one large room, and there were furnaces halfway on both sides. That changed soon after, I think. My father started attending Salem Church when he was about six years old. That was in 1907.”

Floy also attended Salem as a child, arriving each week with her mother and two of her five siblings. “My dad was Lutheran and my mom was Reformed. With six kids in the family, the first three went to the Lutheran church with my dad, and we last three went to Salem with my mom. Why it was that way, I have no idea.”

“We were just a little parish. Dr. Roth was the first minister that I remember. The windows in the church were colored leaded glass. They were the most beautiful windows around here. The round stained glass window we have today in Salem Chapel was above the altar at Lavansville.”

Ferne, having married into the church, is grateful that she did. “Jennings didn’t try to force me to come to his church, it’s where I chose to attend. It’s nice that it was my decision, and I respected him a lot for that.” She grew up in the Beachdale Church of the Brethren. “I remember being baptized in cold water in a stream. I can feel it yet!”

She recalls the many social gatherings of Salem Church members. “The women’s guild met at homes; you’d put your name in for which month you wanted to host. One month, Darius Dixon had a square dance for us at the guild meeting. We had a lot of fun.” Ferne enjoyed summer church picnics at the home of Marian Barclay. “We were mostly farmers, so you know the food was good.”

Dorothy also recalls a festival at Conestoga Inn, hosted by Ida Hetzel, where hot dogs, hamburgers, and soft drinks were served and everyone played games. She says her mother was an “instigator” in many of the activities, directing plays and being active in the guild. Floy and Ferne enjoyed the many plays that Dorothy’s mother, Harriet Bowman, lead. There were Children’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day programs, as well as Christmas and Easter.

Floy commented on how the participants always had their parts memorized. “We had the Children’s Day program in June; it was a Sunday night service. All the children and youth participated and people in the community would come to watch. There were recitations and poems, and I remember that the girls would march.”

Ferrell Stahl, who was Dorothy and Floy’s aunt, played piano at services for many years. Dorothy filled in for her occasionally. “I played hymns, but couldn’t play all the music Aunt Ferrell could play.”

Ferne, Dorothy, and Floy were active in the church, whether participating in guild projects, teaching Sunday School, serving on committees, or helping out where needed. Once when there was a remodeling project in the church and it wasn’t cleaned up by Sunday, Dorothy hosted all the Sunday School classes in her home that week.

Because the church building was just one large room, there was no nursery, and Sunday School classes met in different corners of the room. Floy was most influenced by her first Sunday School teacher, Binnie Will. “She was just really nice, an elderly lady from Lavansville. She really talked to all the kids.”

Ferne, the first woman to serve on consistory at Lavansville, and Homer Dickson were delegates to a conference where they heard the benefits of smaller churches merging. Ferne took many notes and was asked by Homer to present the topic of a merger to the consistory. “Homer felt that since I hadn’t gone to the church as long as some of the others, that I was not as attached to the building.” She presented the merger idea to the consistory of the Lavansville church and then again to the Somerset church. “They discussed it, and it took a while to approve, but they did.”

Dorothy, Floy, and Ferne have wonderful memories of Salem Church, a small church in numbers, but a large congregation in heart, love, and community. They also came to feel at home at St. Paul’s, largely due to Rev. Shellenberger’s efforts to make a smooth transition, and thanks to the St. Paul’s welcoming family.


Note: Salem Chapel was refurbished in October and November of 2014. Helen Brown was coordinator, about nine members of St. Paul’s helped with painting, cleaning, moving furniture, and many other jobs. Their help was so greatly appreciated. ~Lyn Shellenberger

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