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Sermons from St. Paul’s

February 13, 2019

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The Call to Discipleship Rev. J. Matthew Deal
February 10, 2019

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A Message from Pastor Matt

February 13, 2019

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Dear St. Paul’s Family,

“Jesus Is Lord”

The simple statement, Jesus is Lord, is the most ancient creed in Christianity.  It’s simple to remember, yet profound and provocative.  The early Christians who dared to utter these three words were taking a daring stand.  Jesus, not the Roman Emperor, was the true ruler and power in the world.  They were pledging their allegiance and lives to Jesus Christ, not to the man who commanded the most powerful army and economy in the ancient world.  Those who stood by the ancient creed of Jesus is Lord were not only making a powerful theological statement, but also taking a stand that in some cases would be costly to their physical well-being.  Caesar fancied himself lord, so he didn’t take kindly to such competition.  Despite threats to their well being and very existence, members of the early church persisted in their deeply held belief that Jesus was the ultimate power in their lives.

Jesus is still Lord.  We need to remind ourselves of that, especially as we live each day confronted with a legion of things that compete for our time and attention.  The challenges we face each day are really not the ultimate powers in our lives.  Whether we are facing personal challenges like the plague of being over scheduled and over stimulated, the lack of financial resources, or threats to our health, the ancient creed is powerful.  Jesus is Lord and all else is secondary.

The Lordship of Jesus extends beyond the personal and to the powers and principalities of the world.  Allegiance to Christ’s mission of love is the cure for the powerful forces that divide God’s children.  In Christ the toxic forces of racism, nationalism, tribalism, and xenophobia are stripped of their power and placed into proper perspective, as fearful devices used to exploit and oppress others.  Jesus as Lord is transformative, in that fear is replaced with hope, hate with love, and death with resurrection.  

May you sense Christ’s presence as you live each day and may the Holy Spirit guide you as you choose to follow the Lord’s path.

Blessings on your journey,

Pastor Matt 

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February News From St. Paul’s

February 13, 2019

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

Thursday, February 7th:  Care Team, 1:00pm, CE Room, Spiritual Life & Evangelism, 7pm, CE Room

Tuesday, February 12th:  Insurance Review, 3pm, CE Room

Wednesday, February 13th:  Stewardship Team, 2:30pm, Library Extension

Thursday, February 14th:  Investment Committee, 7pm, CE Room

Tuesday February 19th:  Church Council, 7pm, CE Room

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.  

February ’s Mission Offering –

The Good Samaritan Fund.  Throughout the year our church serves the needs of the poor and transients in our community through providing temporary lodging, food, eviction prevention, emergency funding for medical assistance, and heating assistance.  St. Paul’s Good Samaritan Fund helps to make this important ministry possible.  Thanks to your generosity, we’ve been able to better live out Christ’s commandment to love God and neighbor.  We’ve been able to heal, shelter, feed, and give hope to countless neighbors.   

Greeters & Ushers for February

February 3:  Communion By Intinction: Pete Hauger–Chair, Candy Christner–Elder, Brad Conn, Carrie Conn

February 10: Mike Stutzman–Chair, Barb Stutzman, Paige Housley, Luke Housley

February 17: Peg Roy—Chair, Isabel Shumaker, Judy Emerick, Amy Marteeny

February 24: Jenn Boland–Chair, Emily Korns, Kristen Mumau, Emma Mumau

New Member Sunday 

We will be welcoming new members into our church family during worship on Sunday, February 24th.  Please speak to Pastor Matt if you’d like to be part of the new member group.  

 

Our Common Devotion:  “What the World Needs Now…”

­Once upon a time, not so long ago, Valentine’s Day was more than just a nice Hallmark holiday.  Long before the sappy cards, the boxes of chocolates, and even the red roses, Valentine’s Day represented a kind of love that went much deeper than material possessions.  

There are various words that are used to describe love in the New Testament.  Agape is the Greek word that represents the kind of Christ-like love to which we are called.  Agape love is sacrificial and unconditional.  There’s nothing you can do to earn that love and it is difficult to forfeit relationships that are built on Christ-like (agape) love.  

Loving God, thank you for loving me… even during my most unlovable moments.  Open my Spirit to your presence so that I may be more like Jesus in how I love others.  Please be with the relationships that I cherish the most, and I pray that you would help me with the difficult people and relationships in my life (Name those petitions).  Grant me your strength and guidance to love as Christ first loved us.  Amen.

Lent Is Just Around the Corner!  Ash Wednesday is March 6, 2019.  This holy time reminds us of Christ’s loving acts that lead up to his suffering, death, and resurrection.  Over the next couple of months a number of events and devotionals will be offered to assist you during your Lenten faith journey.  The journey begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6th.  Worship will begin at 7:00pm and will include the imposition of ashes.

St. Paul’s Team for the Daily American Challenge

It’s that time again—time to get off the couch and get moving!  Join St. Paul’s Daily American Challenge Team.  The “fitness challenge” portion of the program begins at the beginning of February and ends at the end of April.  During the fitness challenge each team member logs his/her starting weight (on February 3rd) and exercise (walking, biking, exercise videos, etc.) miles/hours each day through April 27th.  On April 27th each team member takes his/her final weight and tallies up total exercise miles/hours.  FYI…you never have to report your weight, just weight lost–the beginning weight and ending weight are recorded on your own personal log that helps you keep track of things and you don’t turn it in!  You and our team will get points for each pound lost and mile/hour exercised.  The race portion of the event will be held on the morning of June 8th.  Participants have the option of running 5K or 10K or walking 5K.  You are welcome to participate in the fitness challenge only, the race only, or both the challenge and the race.  The registration fee is $20 and includes a t-shirt.  If you’re interested in participating, please see Amanda for a registration form or for more information.

Winter at St. Paul’s

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.  

2019 Church Council Members & Committee Chairs

Karen Addleman: President

Craig Weaver:  Vice President and Pastoral Relations

Mike Stutzman:  Treasurer and Trustee

Sally McClintock:  Secretary and Spiritual Life & Evangelism

Andra Snyder: Trustee

Pete Hauger: Trustee

John Geary:  Finance

Patrick Ferko

Rebecca Miller

Angie Richards:  Worship & Music

Peg Roy:  Stewardship

Jenn Boland:  Christian Education

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February’s Mission Offering Is The Good Samaritan Fund

February 13, 2019

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 Throughout the year our church serves the needs of the poor and transients in our community through providing temporary lodging, food, eviction prevention, emergency funding for medical assistance, and heating assistance.  St. Paul’s Good Samaritan Fund helps to make this important ministry possible.  Thanks to your generosity, we’ve been able to better live out Christ’s commandment to love God and neighbor.  We’ve been able to heal, shelter, feed, and give hope to countless neighbors. 

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February’s Newsletter

February 13, 2019

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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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