Greetings from Saint John's United Church of Christ.
We are a friendly congregation founded in 1862 in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania.
We invite you to join us for worship or attend an event in our landmark building.
You will always find a warm welcome here.
The church leadership has made
the difficult but necessary decision to
cancel all services and activities
through at least April 30, 2020.
This is in response to state and federal recommendations
to help slow the spread
of the novel coronavirus.
Click on the COVID-19 INFO button
on the menu bar for more information including health, safety, worship, and devotional resources.
THIS WEEK @
VIRTUAL WORSHIP SERVICES
MAUNDY THURSDAY - April 09
EASTER SUNDAY - April 12
SUNDAY - April 19
Services will be uploaded the prior evening for your convenience.
EXCERPTS FROM A LETTER TO THE CONGREGATION FROM PASTOR JANET
"[we know that] suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hears through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
~ Romans 5:3-5
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and well. I would like to share a few thoughts with you regarding the decisions that the Consistory and I have made concerning our church during the Covid-19 pandemic.
First and foremost, our priority is the safety and well-being of our congregation. As I write this, the numbers of infections continue to increase, and government agencies, medical professionals, and local authorities are making it clear that people should not gather for any reason.
There is nothing good about a virus that claims human life and wreaks havoc on communal living. That said, the onset of the virus in the season of Lent which has always been an invitation for us to take time to examine our lives, to make changes, and to move closer to the cross, is a cause in itself for contemplation. Even amid this crisis, there is an opportunity for clarity about what matters most, for deeper commitments to our Christian convictions, and for the practice of an "endurance which produces character, and character that produces hope, and hope that does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit."
As we are encouraged to practice "social distancing" let us recognize that it isn't the same as "spiritual distancing". We still have opportunities to phone or text each other, check in on each other and our neighbors, send a note or card and keep each other in our thoughts and prayers. As we have often said that the church is not the building but the people, let us use this time as an opportunity to connect with each other in new and creative ways, and to strengthen our own spiritual disciplines of prayer and scriptures.
We encourage you to visit Saint Paul's UCC live-stream on Facebook at 10:30am each Sunday or another service of your choice. Also, on our website, you will find the scriptures, prayers and sermons for each week that there are no services. We ask that you continue to send in your offerings. We sincerely appreciate your faithful stewardship during this time. The church office is still operational and the mail and phone messages are checked daily. If you any have questions or concerns feel free to call me at home at 570-385-2685, or if you have a pastoral emergency at 570-789-4430.
My dear friends, as we continue to experience the difficulties of the pandemic, let us rest in the assurance that we are not alone. We are a small but strong congregation, and we stand on the shoulders of those who built this church and left us this legacy.
No doubt Holy Week will be different for us this year than in years past. But if you recall, one of the first experiences of the resurrected Christ and his disciples happened behind locked doors. As then, the resurrected Spirit of Jesus Christ will be with us until and when we meet again.
I look forward to seeing you again and joining together in worship and sacrament. Until then, stay safe and may God bless your and yours,
Rev. Janet E. Lewis