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Sermons from St. Paul’s

October 10, 2019

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

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News for October from St. Paul’s

October 10, 2019

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Transportation Assistance:  If you, or someone you know, needs a ride to church or any church-related event, please contact the church office, 445-4534.

Emailing the church and Pastor Matt:  If you need to email the pastor or the church, please direct your email to jmdeal@gmail.com–Thanks!

The church office email is stpaulsuccoffice1@gmail.com

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

Thursday, October 3rd:  Care Team, 3:00pm, CE Room

Wednesday, October 8th:  Nominating Committee, 6:00pm, CE Room

Saturday, October 12th:  Men’s Brotherhood, 8:00am, King’s Restaurant

Tuesday, October 15th:  Church Council meeting, 7:00pm, CE Room

Neighbor’s In Need is October’s Mission Offering

This month’s mission offering is Neighbors in Need (NIN).  You may be wondering, “What is the purpose of the Neighbors in Need offering?”  Funds from NIN support the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) justice advocacy programs and are also distributed to a wide array of congregational and nonprofit organizations who work to support justice and who help neighbors in their communities, across the country and in Puerto Rico.  One-third of the offering supports the Council for American Indian Ministry, including 20 American Indian congregations in the UCC.  Two-thirds of the offering supports justice advocacy and direct service projects such as justice and peace programs and community grants. 

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.  

Upcoming Children’s & Youth Choir Worship Service Appearances

Mark you calendars!

Sunday, October 20th—Their 2019-2020 Season Debut

Sunday, November 17th

The Children’s & Youth Christmas Musical: Saturday, December 21st and Sunday, December 22nd at 9:30am in Fellowship Hall

   

Men’s Brotherhood

The Men’s Brotherhood will meet for their October meeting on Saturday, October 12th at 8:00am at King’s Restaurant.  All men of the church are invited to attend!

Greeters & Ushers for October

October 6:  Communion By Intinction: Mike Stutzman—Chair & Elder, Barb Stutzman—Elder, Carrie Conn, Brad Conn

October 13:  Peg Roy—Chair, Tim Witt, Barb Roth, Deb Rose

October 20:  Jenn Boland—Chair, Ted Oppegard, Linda Oppegard, John Harris 

October 28:  Craig Weaver—Chair, Karen Gibson, Amy Mihalik, Don Zuccolotto 

Access Control System Goes Live

The access control system is in place and ready for use.  We have been in a test period this past month and are ready to begin issuing key-fobs or key-cards.  Any member of St. Paul’s church is eligible for a fob or keycard.  

Currently, the church building is unlocked from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  If you have meeting, rehearsal, or event, the church automatically opens one half hour before the even time and locks after the event.  If you need to use the church outside of a scheduled open, you can enter the property with your access device and the door will unlock. Upon entry, the door will automatically lock behind you.  No need to worry about locking when you leave.  The last step in this whole process will be phasing out the traditional key system through changing the exterior door locks.  That will not happen for another month or so, and when it does, advance notice will be given to church members.

The process is easy to get your key-fob or key-card.  It takes 10-15 minutes with training.  Please make arrangements with Dave Neimiller (email: dneimillerstpaulsucc@gmail.com or call 445-4534)  Appointment times are available after worship or throughout the week.  The only decision you have to make is what type of access you desire.  There are two options available:

  • Option A:  24-hour access 365 days a year at all doors.
  • Option B:  7 a.m. to 11 p.m. access 365 days a year at all doors.

The process is easy to get your fob or keycard.  It takes 10-15 minutes with training.   Appointment times are available after worship or throughout the week.  Please make arrangements with Dave Neimiller.

Booking the Church for Your Event

Need to reserve the church’s Fellowship Hall, the Shellenberger Park Pavilion, or a meeting room?  St. Paul’s Church offers a beautiful campus to hold various types of events from birthday parties, meetings, recitals, to dinners.  Please contact Dave Neimiller to make your reservation (email: dneimillerstpaulsucc@gmail.com or call 445-4534).

A New Confirmation Class Forms

The Rite of Confirmation is for all folks who wish to join the church, and have not been a member of another congregation.  Traditionally, our class is composed of youth who are preparing to join St. Paul’s.  Youth in 8th grade and up are invited to join our class that will begin meeting in October 2019 with the goal of being confirmed in the Spring of 2021.  Adults who have not yet been Confirmed or who are interested in a “refresher course” may also sign up. Please put your name on the sign up sheet on the table in the back of the Sanctuary if you would like to take part in our Confirmation experience.  The opening orientation session will be Sunday, October 13th following Pause for Persons.  We will meet in the Youth Room.  

Somerset Association Fall Meeting–You’re invited!

The annual meeting of the Somerset Association will be on Sunday, November 3rd at 3:00pm, registration opens at 2:30pm at Trinity UCC in Berlin.  The purpose of the meeting is to conduct association business: approving the annual budget, elect nominees to fill committees, and to receive mission reports from partners.  The meeting will conclude with a worship service and supper around 6:00pm.    

We are entitled to have 3 voting delegates represent our congregation.  So, please let Pastor Matt know if you’re interested in attending. 

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A Message from Pastor Matt

September 11, 2019

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Dear St. Paul’s Family,

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, was published a few years ago and was the result of a week-long meeting between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.  These two spiritual giants, Nobel Laureates, and best friends got together to talk about the great challenge of our time, finding joy in times of challenge.  Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, but all the reviews I’ve read have divulged the secret of finding joy in life (Spoiler alert! Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know the secret until you have read the book!) and it’s simple.  The secret?  Not thinking too much about yourself.  

I don’t know what it’s like for you, but for me, I find it hard to not think too much about myself.  The many challenges I encounter in life either directly affect me or my view of the world.  Times of change can be especially challenging and self-absorbing because change makes demands on our time, intellect, and psyche.  And then there’s the less philosophical and more practical matter of simply getting along with others.  Whether the “other” is a child, spouse or other family member, friend, member of the church, or stranger, opportunities abound for the practice of thinking less of self and more about the needs of your neighbor. 

Don’t think too much about yourself.  That seems to also be Christ’s message to us.  We could back that up by citing the many parables and sayings that bears testimony to thinking of God and others first.  However, I believe a more compelling example is in Christ’s ultimate action of love and self-giving.  Jesus’ giving up his life for God’s purposes (salvation: wholeness for us) demonstrates many things, but most of all, that powerful things can happen when we align our own inner selves with God’s love for the world.  Jesus’ selfless thinking was not free of pain or worry.  Life and death changes are often the hardest and most stressful, but transformational opportunities awaited Jesus and the world through his giving up his life.  

Change is hard.  And stressful.  And can be self-absorbing.  Yet, great opportunities await.  For Jesus, the change from life to death was resurrection.  Resurrection:  God claiming opportunities for life from death, is perhaps the greatest affirmation we can have as we find ourselves surrounded by a changing world.  God brings life and hope in the midst of all kinds of challenging changes.  To put it simply, God is always on our side.

Don’t think too much about yourself.  It’s not a complicated secret, but one we can claim as people of faith.  After all, through Christ’s death and resurrection we are joined with a God who always thinks of others, a God who transforms life from death, hope from despair, and joy from sorrow.  God is thinking deeply about us.  We need not worry!

Blessings on your journey!

Pastor Matt

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September’s Mission Offering Is Hoffman Homes for Youth

September 11, 2019

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Hoffman Homes for Youth treats the needs of boys and girls ages 6-18 who have a major mental health diagnosis.  The residential treatment program is licensed to provide behavioral and cognitive therapy, health care services, and a safe, comfortable home for 141 children.

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The September Cornerstone Newsletter

September 11, 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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