Archive | Church News RSS feed for this archive

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

August 13, 2019

0 Comments

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/

Continue reading...

Children’s Church: Helping Kids Worship God!

November 14, 2018

0 Comments

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

Continue reading...

St. Paul’s Prayer Vigil Resources

March 29, 2018

0 Comments

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.
Continue reading...

Prayer Guide for St. Paul’s Prayer Vigil

March 29, 2018

1 Comment

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.

 

Continue reading...

Holy Week Services

March 29, 2018

0 Comments

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.

Continue reading...

Blue Christmas Service, Christmas Eve, 9:30am

December 22, 2017

0 Comments

Please join us for A Blue Christmas Service on Christmas Eve at 9:30am.
 
The Blue Christmas service acknowledges the hard reality that for many people Christmas is a very challenging time. Some folks are dealing with grief, depression, or other challenges that make this joyous time immensely difficult. The hustle, bustle, and cultural pressures leading up to Christmas makes it hard for some to find meaning in this Holy Season. The Blue Christmas service is an opportunity for folks who are anxious, mourning, depressed, lonely, or otherwise searching for quiet amidst the noise of everyday life to pray, worship, and experience healing. We hope that you can join us.
Continue reading...

Winter at St. Paul’s!

November 22, 2017

0 Comments

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.

Continue reading...

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

March 26, 2016

0 Comments

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.

Continue reading...

Salem Church: A Celebration 50 Years in the Making!

September 10, 2015

0 Comments

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.

~dw

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

Continue reading...

Along the Journey–Finding the Holy in Lent

February 20, 2015

0 Comments

The Season of Lent is the 40 day journey that proceeds Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection.  During Lent we are encouraged to think about our relationship with God and our neighbor.  Our relationships are often a complicated mix of emotions and experiences.  We sometimes fail miserably at them and inflict pain on others.  There are victorious moments of love and celebration where all seems right in the world.  Lent gives us the opportunity to think about lives, repent of our sins and celebrate our victories.  The fact of the matter is that our lives mirror the life of Christ and his disciples.  Just as we struggle with being faithful to God an our neighbors, they too struggled in their own faith journey.  May we be strengthened by their witness to us.

You will find below a number of resources to help you along your Lenten journey.

The Society of Saint John the Evangelist (An invitation to a daily Lenten devotional series)

The United Church of Christ’s Still Speaking Devotional (A daily devotional sent to your inbox by UCC pastors)

There are Lent Calendars and devotional books for adults and children in the Edgewood Avenue entrance at the church.  Please feel free to pick one up the next time you visit St. Paul’s!

Continue reading...