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VBS! July 12-16, 2021 Register Here!

June 23, 2021

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

https://somersetcommunityvbs.mycokesburyvbs.com

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Worship Connection for June 20th

June 19, 2021

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The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, June 20, 2021

Father’s Day

Call to Worship & Welcoming Children Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi One: It’s awesome when all of the people live together in unity!

All: When waters are rough, we hold each other tightly. When the sea begins to swallow us, we hold each other tightly and call on God.
One: But we also need God and each other when there are no looming waves.
All: We can splash and play in the shallow end and venture into deeper waters with trusted friends.

Delighting in refreshing currents of community and savoring each burst of laughter, let’s invite others to join in the fun!

*Opening Hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory” #464

*The Greeting
Call to Confession Rev. J. M. Deal
One: Let us as the children of God offer up our confession for the wrongs that we have done and the good we have left undone. Let us pray.

The Prayer of Confession Rev. J. M. Deal

Holy God, we admit that we often like to do things our own way. Some of us want to fit in with the crowd, and adhere to the demands of culture, while others pursue happiness without thinking of others. Forgive us when we forget to search for your will for our lives. Help us to experience the Body of Christ in such a way that we discover new brothers and sisters. Open us to their wisdom, so that your church may flourish and others may come to know the saving power of your fellowship. In Christ we pray. Amen.

a time for personal reflection and confession

Kyrie

Words of Assurance Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi
One: God’s grace washes upon the turbulent shores of our lives; and we are forgiven to begin again to live at peace with ourselves and others, with Christ and creation, allowing justice and love to flow freely through our lives.

The Gloria Patri

The Passing of the Peace
L: May the Peace of Christ be with you.

All: And also with you.

Scriptures Mark 4:35-41

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”page3image23370304page3image23376256page3image23366656page3image23378560

The Sermon “Just As He Was”

The Pastoral Prayer
Prayer Response

Invitation to the Offering *The Doxology

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

The Prayer of Our Savior

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

Father’s Day Blessing

All: Holy God, may your blessing be upon all families this day. Whether our family is large or small, biological or chosen, may your Holy Spirit embrace the relationships we hold dear. On this Father’s Day, may you guide and protect parents and children. Grant them wisdom and patience as they live and grow together as your children. May your love inspire us to care for all of your children. Amen.

Closing Hymn: “How Firm a Foundation” #618

*The Benediction

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

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

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Matt’s Musing

June 19, 2021

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Dear St. Paul’s Friends & Family,

The sinking feeling of “going it alone” can quickly set in when life isn’t going well, or things aren’t going as we’ve planned.  Feelings of loneliness or abandonment often leads us down the dark path where we are welcomed by anxiety, anger, despair, and other life-consuming emotional beasts that can lurk in the inner shadows of our being.  As one faithful church member has reminded me on more than one occasion, “We’ve never been promised a rose garden!”  Adversity happens as life’s storms arise on the horizon.  But one thing that we never are, is alone.

God has created us for community.  We are surrounded by relationships: family, friends, acquaintances, the church, and even strangers who are with us on life’s journey.  Their presence can be like manna in the desert during those times of adversity, nourishing us in spirit and in action and never leaving us alone.  The disciples in today’s reading were not alone in that storm tossed boat.  They were together and most importantly, Jesus was right there with them.  He was sleeping like a baby being rocked in the cradle as his boat churned in the angry sea.  In terror and in need of a miracle, the disciples awaken him.  Jesus calmed the storm even as he seemed more annoyed at being awakened than relieved that they were saved.  

Faith is not so much about belief as it is the knowledge that we can trust someone and depend upon them.  Once Jesus calmed the storm, he wondered why the disciples were afraid.  He doesn’t wait for their reply, but wonders aloud, “Have you still no faith?”  Despite Jesus being beside them in the boat with them, his traveling companions still doubted that he would save them.

We could be excused for having a similar slip of faith, after all, Jesus isn’t physically right beside us. We could be justified in feeling fearful and alone.  However, God’s story doesn’t end with Jesus and the disciples in a boat.  Christ promised us life-long companionship with the Holy Spirit. In other words, we are never alone because God is always with us.  As the storms of life buffet our personal boats of predictability and stability, have faith that you can call upon God and that God is by your side.  Just as surely as you can trust in God, God also has faith in you!  May this interplay of faith draw you closer to God and to your fellow sojourners in faith.

Peace, 

Pastor Matt

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June’s Mission Offering is the Somerset County Mobile Food Bank

June 6, 2021

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The Somerset County Mobile Food Bank is a free food distribution intended to bring fresh produce and other items to those in Somerset County who have a limited income and a lack of or limited transportation.

The Somerset County Mobile Food Bank serves the communities of Berlin, Boswell, Central City, Confluence, Hollsopple, Meyersdale, Rockwood, Somerset and Windber.

About Us

The Somerset County Mobile Food Bank is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that consists of a group of volunteers gathered together to provide food for the people in Somerset County. We are not attempting to take the place of other Food distributions already in place. We invite you to get involved with your local area food banks and food pantries. The food, they provide during their regular schedules and the holidays, helps to ensure that people do not go hungry during the year. That is, as long as people have transportation to these services.

Through experience and resident communications, we discovered a need that many people have no means to get to these services on a regular basis. Therefore, to meet that need, the Somerset County Mobile Food Bank was developed.

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Worshipping at St. Paul’s: Updated Guidelines

May 15, 2021

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Church Council Updates Masking Guidelines for Gathered Worship

Our congregation is composed of diverse groups of people: young children and elders, those who have robust health and those who are vulnerable, and the vaccinated and
unvaccinated. Church Council considered the new CDC masking guidelines, advice from local physicians, and feedback from members as they adopted new guidelines for our congregation. In keeping with the CDC’s advice, those who are vaccinated are not asked to mask while attending services and events at the church. Per CDC guidance, those who are not vaccinated are advised to wear a mask when indoors. Masks will be required for all unvaccinated children who choose to attend Children’s Church and play group. All worshippers are invited to discern how they feel led to care for themselves and each other as they attend events, meetings, and services at the church. Disposable masks will continue to be available at the entry doors to the sanctuary for those who are not vaccinated or for those who desire a mask.

Children will begin worship with their families in the Sanctuary and will be invited to join Children’s Church in Fellowship Hall following the Call to Worship. They can be picked up in Fellowship Hall following worship.

Here are our worship opportunities for the week ahead:

Gathered Worship in the Sanctuary at 9:30am.   

Online Worship at 9:30am on Facebook and YouTube.

Telephone Worship at 11:00am.For telephone worshippers: the toll-free conference call number is 1-844-855-4444.  The automated service will then ask for your access code or PIN.  Please enter: 512013#.

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Good Friday Prayer Vigil

April 10, 2020

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

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Sermons from St. Paul’s

February 21, 2020

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

February 19, 2020

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Sunday, February 23, 2020, during & after worship

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

Please join us!

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Taste of the World

February 15, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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