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MAY / JUNE / JULY 2023

From The Pastor…

Just mailed out my taxes. I recognize the importance of working together to support our great nation and I mail them with the pride of being a citizen of these United States. I celebrate the gift and responsibility of paying my fair share. And it happens to be required by law. I have to pay my taxes. There is no choice.

 

It is a choice to support your church. God does not “audit”, at least by human standards. No one stands at the door of the church and asks you if you have paid your way in. Supporting your church is your choice.

 

Some of you give in the midst of your financial struggles. You understand what it means to give out of your first fruits because there is not much left over. Some of you give out of your abundant blessings, sharing out of the many gifts that you have received.

 

In our church, there is no such thing as giving your “fair share.” You give as you are able. We join our resources together, ask God to bless them and multiply them, and do our best to spread the Word of hope and promise. But you are not forced to give. It is your choice.

 

The mission of your church is to spread the great Good News of our Risen Savior to the community and to the wider world. Thank you for participating in this amazing adventure. We can guide people into a life-saving relationship with Jesus Christ because YOU decided to help make a difference.

 

Blessings,  

Pastor Kevin

Upcoming Services & Events…

MAY      

     06 – Spring Clean Up, 8:00AM

              Spring Clothing Giveaway, 9:00AM-Noon

     07 – Holy Communion Service, 9:00AM

     09 – Worship & Music Team, 4:30PM

     13 – Church Yard Sale, 8:00AM-???

     16 – Spiritual Council, 6:00PM

     14 – MOTHER’S DAY

            Coffee & Conversation, 8:30AM

            Worship Service, 9:00AM

     20 – Men’s Fellowship, 8:00AM

                  Dutch-Way, Myerstown

     21 – Worship Service, 9:00AM

     28 – PENTECOST SUNDAY

             Holy Communion Service, 9:00AM

     29 – MEMORIAL DAY

     30 – Consistory Meeting, 6:00PM 

JUNE

     04 – TRINITY SUNDAY / MUSIC SUNDAY 

             Worship Service, 9:00AM

     11 – Worship Service, 9:00AM

     18 – FATHER’S DAY

            Coffee & Conversation, 8:30AM

            Worship Service, 9:00AM

     21 – Cressona Band Concert, 7:00PM                       

     25 – Worship Service, 9:00AM 

     27 – Consistory Meeting, 6:00PM    

JULY

     02 – Holy Communion Service, 9:00AM

                     Rev. Karl Jones, Guest Pastor

     09 – Worship Service, 9:00AM

     16 – Coffee & Conversation 

            Worship Service, 9:00AM

     23 – Worship Service, 9:00AM

     25 – Consistory Meeting, 6:00PM

     30 – Christmas In July Service @ 9:00AM

Church News…

SPRING YARD SALE – It’s yard sale time again! We are looking for clean and gently used donations for the May 13 town-wide yard sale. Donations will be accepted from April 23-May 07. Donations can be placed in Bittle Hall. Look for the signs to direct you. We are also asking for donations of snack, quart, and gallon-size bags. Thank you for all your support!

 

SPRING CLEAN UP – There will be a spring clean-up of the church yard and outside areas on Saturday, May 6 beginning at 8:00AM. Bring your rake, broom, or other gardening tools to help spruce up our property for the summer months! 

 

CRESSONA BAND CONCERT – The Cressona band will present a concert on the lawn on Wednesday, June 21 @ 7:00PM weather permitting. Please invite your friends and family to enjoy this free community event. We are planning to offer some kind of food options as well. Check Facebook or our website for updates!

 

PRAYER WALL – Our prayer wall is located just inside the West Entrance. If you have a prayer request, please write it on a tag (first name only if a person), place the date on the back, and hang it on one of the hooks so that those who wish to may pray for these concerns. 

 

RENTALS AVAILABLE – Don’t forget Bittle Hall is available for your meetings, parties, and other events. Centrally located in town with refreshed restrooms, new kitchen appliances, and plenty of space, it’s the perfect place to hold your event. If you or someone you know would like to rent Bittle Hall, please contact the church office or download and submit the rental agreement at stjohnsreformed.com/rentals.

 

PSEC CONFERENCE DELEGATE – We continue to search for someone to serve a 2-year term as a delegate to the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference. Responsibilities include attending two meetings per year (either in person or via Zoom) and reporting any business conducted to the Consistory. Please contact the church office if you are willing to serve your church in this way. 

 

WINDOW RESTORATION – If you are interested in contributing toward the restoration of additional stained-glass windows as a memorial or honorary gift, please contact the church office or Tim Gipe, Consistory President.

 

VISION/CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT UPDATE – The Vision/Capital Improvement Team was appointed by Consistory to identify potential projects that would improve our church property and enhance our ministry and mission. Here is an update on projects that were approved at the special congregational meeting in February:

     > Stained Glass Restoration – Greenwood Stained Glass (Topton, PA) has removed the three Narthex windows. They are currently undergoing restoration and should be reinstalled by late summer or early fall. Other windows will be removed throughout the summer months as this project continues. 

     > Front Door Replacement – B&G Glass (Reading, PA) will install the new ADA compliant front doors in the next few months. The final design approved by the team will closely replicate the style of the original interior doors and include all new hardware and lock systems. 

     > Elevette Modernization – Port Elevator (Williamsport, PA) has taken photos and measurements and is awaiting permits to be issued so that safety improvements and upgrades can be completed.

     > Concrete Replacement & Ramp Construction – in design phase

     > Sound System Update – in research and design phase

     > Improve Recording Services – we are currently receiving recommendations . 

 

COFFEE & CONVERSATION – If you are interested in hosting one of our coffee & conversation gatherings, please contact the church office.

 

Mission & Outreach…

THANK YOU – The Mission & Outreach team would like to thank everyone for their clothing donations to make our giveaway such a success. 

 

FOOD COLLECTION UPDATE – Thank you all for supporting our “40 Days” food collection. We were able to supply the food pantry with 604 food items! Also, a big thank you to the Schuylkill Haven Food Pantry for their donation of fresh fruit for our clothing giveaway.

 

MAY MISSION FOCUS –

Phoebe Ministries is a non-profit, multi-facility organization specializing in healthcare, housing, and support services for seniors. Founded in 1903 and affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Phoebe Ministries offers a full continuum of care to suit the diverse needs of senior adults. Located in seven Pennsylvania counties and serving thousands of seniors annually, Phoebe features four continuing care retirement communities, eight affordable housing facilities, and two pharmacies. Proceeds from the sale of Mother’s Day carnations support the ongoing work of Phoebe Ministries.

 

Strengthen The Church – As God calls congregations to be the church in new ways, your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches and develop the spiritual life in our youth and young adults. The Strengthen the Church offering supports the expansion of ministry and growth of UCC local congregations. Your support of this offering will help the UCC fulfill on its commitment to creating a just world for all by investing in new ministries and practices that meet the emerging needs of local communities. We will receive this offering on Pentecost Sunday, May 28.

 

JUNE MISSION FOCUS – 

Cloud Home is a structured community living setting for males, 9-18 years of age located in Pottsville, PA and administered by Friendship House. Friendship House is dedicated to providing programs and services designed to enhance the emotional, behavioral, and social well-being of children, adolescents, and adults.Proceeds from the sale of Father’s Day carnations support the ongoing programs and services at Cloud Home.

 

JULY MISSION FOCUS – 

Avenues is a human services organization serving local people with developmental and acquired disabilities. Your monetary gift will help support the work of Avenues.

 

Worship & Music…

HOLY COMMUNION – We have resumed distribution of Communion elements from the altar (as we did pre-COVID) while continuing to use the sealed bread/grape juice packets. There will be no change to the offering with collection plates remaining on stands inside the Sanctuary doors.

PENTECOST SUNDAY – We will celebrate the birthday of the church with a special Holy Communion service on Sunday, May 28 @ 9:00AM.

 

MUSIC SUNDAY – Our annual Music Sunday celebration will be held on Sunday, June 04 during the 9:00AM worship service. Special music will be provided by our choirs and guest musicians. Join us!

 

CHRISTMAS IN JULY – We will celebrate Christmas in July on Sunday, July 30. During the service, we will receive a special offering to support our Fuel Fund! Please consider a generous gift to help with heating our building.

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