Friday, February 23, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –
   Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week – especially those couple of lovely, warm days! – and have plans for a great weekend.  Sounds like it’s going to be rainy, but at least it’s not snow, right?
Anyway, here’s what’s happening this weekend at church:
-          On Sunday, I’ll offer the second sermon in my Lenten series, “Willing to Pay the Price,” which is entitled “Betrayed and Denied.”  We’ll consider together how Jesus suffered betrayal and denial by those closest to him, and unfortunately, how we still can do that today.  Our worship will also feature the music of our Children’s Choir at 11, Vanessa and Alan Foskey at both services, and of course, our Chancel Choir at 11.
-          This Sunday we’re also celebrating Boy Scout Sunday.  We’ll welcome Scouts and their families from our Boy Scout Troop 443 and Cub Pack 443.  They’ll be serving as ushers, greeters and readers.  We’ll hear from their leaders about their activities and accomplishments this year.  And don’t forget – the Boy Scouts will be offering their always-wonderful PANCAKE BREAKFAST FROM 7:30 – 10:30 am.  So make plans now to have breakfast at church this Sunday.  It’s a great way to support our Scouts and also have a great time with your family and friends over delicious pancakes!
-          Don’t forget that we’re still looking for donations of individually wrapped candy for our Easter Egg Hunt which takes place on March 25.  We’re also in need of plastic eggs.  Please put your donations in the bin in the Welcome Center area.
-          We’re also still looking for help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter the week of March 5th.  I’m happy to report that some people answered the call for help after last Sunday’s services, but we still need some more, and also some donations of food and supplies.  Please see the lists on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality Area, and help in any way that you can.
-          The Prom Boutique is up and running again.  For now, in February, it is open on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8, but starting in March it will also be open on Saturday mornings from 10 – 12.  Please let any young woman that you know might be going to the prom about this wonderful opportunity to get a practically new prom dress for free!

o   Next Sunday, March 4th, our dear friend and former member Cathy Gohlke will be at church with copies of her new book, Until We Find Home.  You can buy one during the hospitality hour – paperbacks are $15 and hardbacks $25.  Checks can be made out to Cathy Gohlke.  Cathy will be happy to sign each book that is sold, and part of the profits come back to the church for our ministries.
o   The Sunday after that, March 11th, is UMCOR Sunday (formerly known as One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday).  That is the day on which we give toward the operating budget of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  You’ll be given an envelope in your bulletin on the 4th, and we invite you to pray about your gift, then bring the envelope with you to worship on the 11th.  Our church has historically given amazing financial gifts to UMCOR Sunday, and I hope we’ll do the same thing this year!

Well, I think that’s it for now.  As you can see, we have a great weekend ahead, so I hope you’ll be a part of it all.  In the meantime, have a great Friday.  After you finish work today, put your feet up and take some time for yourself.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday!
                                               Grace and Peace,


Friday, February 16, 2018

Happy Friday

Hi All,
 Happy Friday!  I usually start out my Friday email by saying that I hope you’ve all had a good week, but I won’t today, because it’s been a rough few days for all of us, in the wake of yet another horrific school shooting in our country.  What made it all the worse was learning about the unbelievable number of school shootings that have taken place in January and February alone!  We’ve got to get at this problem somehow, but as I look on social media it’s amazing that we can’t even seem to have civil dialogues about it.  I pray not only for all of those whose lives have been devastated by the shootings, but that God will work in a mighty way to enable us to work together and not against each other to find a solution. 
Turning now to this weekend, here’s what’s happening at the church:

-          Tonight at 6:30 pm the Classic Christians (age 50 and over) will gather for their February meeting in Weldin Hall.  The night will begin with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and continue on with a fun-filled Game Night (bring your favorite board/card game).  Bring a friend along for the fun, food and fellowship!
-          On Sunday morning, I’ll start my Lenten sermon series – “Willing to Pay the Price” – focusing on the price Jesus paid for us and our salvation.  This week’s sermon will deal with Jesus’ time in the wilderness of temptation.  Our worship will be enhanced by the music of our Handbell and Chancel Choirs.
-          Speaking of Lent, I hope you picked up a copy of the Lenten devotional to use every day for your quiet time with the Lord.   If you didn’t, remember that you can access it daily via our church website –  Go to the website, then to the rotating panel in the middle, find the devotional slide, and click on that. (you can also use this link:  Lenten Devotional 2018
-          The Lenten Lunch and Learn class I’ll be leading starts next Wednesday at noon.  It will run for five weeks – every Wednesday from 12 – 1:15 or so, and we’ll be studying Max Lucado’s book He Chose the Nails.  We already have 26 people signed up, but it’s not too late to join in.  Cost of the book is $6.  Don’t forget to bring a bag lunch with you – drinks and desserts will be provided.
-          Also, don’t forget that we’re currently asking for donations for our Easter Egg Hunt, which takes place on March 25.  Not only do we need individually wrapped pieces of candy, but we’re also asking for plastic eggs.  Some of the ones we’ve been using have long ago served their usefulness and need to be replaced!  Please bring your donations to the bin in the Welcome Center area.
-          Our week to sponsor the Rotating Homeless Shelter is just a few weeks away now – the week of March 5th – and we’re still in need of help with evening hosts/hostesses and overnight help.  Please pray about taking part in this – we can’t do it without volunteers!  To sign up, see the poster on the Missions board in the Hospitality Area.
-          A note to those taking part in the Classic Christians’ trip to Virginia in April – your last installment payment is due now!  Please turn it in to the church office.
-          Finally, a reminder that the church office will be closed on Monday in observance of Presidents’ Day.
Well, I think that’s it for now.  Enjoy this brief spurt of warm weather we’re having, before snow sneaks back in tomorrow night, just to keep life interesting!!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  Find some time to rest and relax even while tackling your “to do” list.  Why not sit back a while and cheer on the USA athletes in the Winter Olympics!!  Anyway, have a great Friday and Saturday.

Then, on Sunday, I pray that I’ll see you in worship.  Actually, I would like to challenge everyone to make worshiping at church on all the Sundays of Lent a priority.  Attendance in worship has been a little low lately.  Yes, I know there’s a lot of sickness going on, but I also know that once you miss worship for a week or two, it becomes easier and easier to stay home.  Please remember the vow you made when you joined the church – that you would support it with your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness.  But don’t come out of obligation – come out of love for Jesus and the price he has paid for you.  Worship is so much better when you’re with us.  I’ll see you on Sunday morning!
                Grace and Peace,


Friday, February 9, 2018

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

 Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and have plans for a great weekend!  Looks like you’d better include an umbrella in those plans – sounds like it’s going to be a soaker!

 Well, it would be hard to top last weekend – our Joy of Faith weekend!  What a weekend it was!  There are so many people who had a hand in making it so successful!  Thanks, of course, go to Kevin Reilly and Dickie Noles, our wonderfully inspirational speakers.  But thanks go to all of you who took part in the prayer breakfasts – nearly 80 of you! – and to the hosts and hostesses, Linda and Bob Meffley, Mabel Gary, Marge Jacobs, Nancy Leathrum and company at Cecil Woods, Jen and Mike Noll, Ina and Don Andrews and Sue Johnson and Peg Bunnell.  Those breakfasts get better every year, and they not only wrap the entire weekend in the grip of God’s grace, but they also forge closer relationships between all of us who attend.

 Thanks to Kim Artrip and all of the youth who took such good care of us at the dinner on Saturday night and to Lisa Welch and company for the good food.  Thanks to Mike Noll for serving as Worship Leader and more when I ended up not being able to be there Sunday morning.  And a huge thank you goes to Lorraine Jones and her entire Evangelism Committee who put the whole thing together.  It was no small undertaking, involving months and months of planning and execution, and they did it magnificently!  A round of applause to them all!  (Now all they have to do is start to work on finding next year’s speaker!)

Well, on to this weekend:

-        Tomorrow morning at 8 am the members of our Administrative Council will gather in Weldin Hall for their annual Planning Retreat, to work and pray together and seek God’s will for our ministry together this year.  Please say a prayer for them when you get up tomorrow that God will make his will known in a mighty way!

-        Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday, and we’ll look together at the moment when Jesus, up on the mountaintop with Peter, James and John was transfigured, before he came down and began his journey to the cross.  Since it’s a second Sunday, we’ll also be having Children’s Time and the children will be hearing a really wonderful book entitled Owl Moon.  Finally, our worship will be enriched by the music of both the Men’s and Chancel Choirs.  It’s going to be a good morning in worship, so don’t let a little rain keep you away!

-          A few other things about Sunday morning:
o   Kim Artrip will be in the Hospitality Area taking orders for daffodils for the Flowers of Hope Campaign of the Relay for Life.  You can order flowers this Sunday and then pick them up on March 25th.
o   This is the last Sunday to bring goodies to be included in the College Care Packages.  Bring your donations to the bin in the Welcome Center area.
o   You’ll see an insert in the bulletin again about the upcoming Lenten Lunch and Learn class.  If you want to take part, simply fill out the insert and put it in the offering plate.
o   You’ll also see an insert letting you know that it’s time to start donating candy for our annual Easter Egg Hunt.  There will be a donation bin in the Welcome Center area for that candy soon as well.
o   Don’t forget that we still are in need of help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter the week of March 5th.  We need hosts/hostesses, and overnight help.  Please help in any way you can.
o   Finally, a reminder that you can still purchase our church cookbook at any time.  Simply contact Nancy Crawford or the church office, and they’ll make it happen!

-          It’s hard to believe, but Lent starts next week, on Ash Wednesday, February 14th.  We’ll mark the beginning of this penitential and contemplative season with a service at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.  It will include both holy communion and the imposition of ashes.

-          Don’t forget that we have put together our Lenten Devotional again.  You can pick up a paper copy at church or access it on-line via our church website –  I was blessed to be able to proofread it ahead of time and the devotional is filled with good and thought provoking writings by many of our church members and friends.  I hope you’ll make using this book for your daily devotions a part of your Lenten discipline this year.  Many thanks to Sandy Lavelle who coordinated it, and to all the writers who contributed to it.                                             -Lenten Devotional 2018

Well, I think that’s it for now.  I know it’s a lot, but there’s a lot going on!  Before I give you my good wishes for the day and the coming weekend, please indulge me just one more time as I revel in the joy of the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory!  How great was that game!!!! 

 Okay, I promise that’s it!  Anyway, have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend.  Take some time out to rest and relax and maybe catch some of the Olympics, even while trying to tackle your “to do” list.  Spend time with those you love.  And then I’ll see you on Sunday in worship!

                                            Grace and Peace,

Friday, February 2, 2018

Happy Groundhogs Day!

Happy Friday! Happy Groundhogs Day! Happy Joy of Faith Weekend! Happy Super Bowl Weekend! Other than that . . . Anyway, Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a great week, and are looking forward to the wonderful weekend ahead.

Here’s what’s happening:
  • - The JOY OF FAITH weekend is here. Everything kicks off tomorrow morning with prayer breakfasts to wrap the weekend in prayer. We’re having five prayer breakfasts in locations far and wide, and so far, I think there are close to 75 people planning to attend! If you still want to take part in one, email to find out what location you can attend.
  • - The JOY OF FAITH dinner is at 5 pm in Weldin Hall and there are still a few tickets available if you want to pay at the door.
  • - Our first JOF presenter, former Philadelphia Eagle Kevin Reilly will speak at 7 pm in the sanctuary about his life’s journey from professional athlete to cancer survivor and thriver! His story is incredibly inspirational, so please make it a point to invite others to come with you on Saturday night! By the way, NURSERY IS AVAILABLE that night. Also – Kevin has written a book about his journey and copies will be on sale that night.
  • - On Sunday morning, our second presenter, former Philadelphia Phillie Dickie Noles will speak at both services. Dickie was a pitcher for eleven years in the major leagues, and now works for the Phillies in the front office. He battled alcohol addiction and is now a born-again Christian who helps others battle addiction. His is an inspirational story as well, so you won’t want to miss hearing him at either the 8:30 or 11:00 service.

- A couple of reminders:
  • We’re still looking for goodies to put into the next College Care Packages going out mid-February. Please bring your donations of things like granola bars, candy, cookies, snacks, etc. to the collection bin in the Welcome Center area.
  • We’re also looking for people to help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter the first week of March. Sign up to help by host/hostessing or staying overnight on the poster on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality Area.
  • Don’t forget that the choir is looking for singers to join them in preparing and presenting their Lenten cantata in March. They rehearse the cantata on Wednesday nights from 7 – 7:45 pm.
  • Before we know it, the season of Lent begins (Ash Wednesday, February 14th). We’ll be having a Lenten Lunch and Learn study again, on Wednesdays at noon, starting February 21st. There will be a sign-up sheet in this Sunday’s bulletin.

I think that’s about it for now. It’s going to be a great weekend! I’m so excited that we have these two great speakers, and I’m so hoping that we’ll have a lot of people in attendance – especially young people!

Of course, what better way to top off the weekend than the Super Bowl on Sunday night! You know where my heart is – so FLY EAGLES FLY! It’s time for a new Super Bowl champion to be crowned, and for a parade down Broad Street!!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend! It’s going to be busy, but it’s going to be filled with the joy of faith! I can’t wait to experience it with you!

                                       Grace and Peace,