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For information about upcoming events, click on this Recent & Upcoming Events link.

 

 

Past Events

Not sure if you missed an event or activity?  Did you want to look up information from a previous activity?  For information about past events, click on this Past News Articles link.

 

 

UCC Links

For more information about the United Church of Christ, go to:   www.ucc.org

 

The regional UCC conference in which St. Paul's UCC is located is the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the UCC.  You can learn more about our conference by going to:  www.psec.org

 

 

News Articles

 

 

Treasurer - Job Opening

August 2017

Position to begin: January 2018

     Thank you to Melissa Lichtenwalner who has been our Treasurer since October 2016.  Melissa has submitted her resignation, with plans to finish out the 2017 calendar/budget year.  She is giving us advance notice, to give us ample time to find and train a new Treasurer.

     The Treasurer is a paid position within the church.  If you would be interested in the position, please contact the Consistory President, Terry Pastor, at 610-621-5770 or office@sprucc.org.

     The basic job description as found in the by-laws of St. Paul's UCC:

The Treasurer, appointed by Consistory, shall receive all monies of the Church, for both benevolent and Congregational support.  He/she shall make a monthly report to the Consistory and write checks as directed by the Consistory.  An annual report shall be given to the Congregation.  He/she shall prepare his/her record book for an annual audit.

 

 

 

Director of Western Berks Shepherding - Job Opening

August 2017

     As of August 2017, our Western Berks Shepherding Ministry is receiving applications for the part-time position of Director.  Click on this Director of Western Berks Shepherding Ministry Job Description for information and/or contact Pastor Mark Rigg at galatians1967@gmail.com.

 

 

 

UCC sends famine assistance to South Sudan, aids other African countries

March 28, 2017

     The United Church of Christ is sending an initial $85,000 in aid to South Sudan and three other African counties to help people combating a crisis fueled by war, severe drought and massive food shortages, with famine declared in some areas.

     "Famine is not a word that is used lightly or that simply means a shortage of food. This crisis, this emergency demands our immediate attention and response," said Zach Wolgemuth, executive director, UCC Disaster Ministries. "The funding that we've received from our generous donors has allowed us to respond quickly and undoubtedly save lives."

     To read the full UCC News Story, click on this UCC sends famine assistance to South Sudan and other African countries link.

     To help provide assistance, you can make a donation payable to "St. Paul's UCC" designated as "African Famine Assistance" to St. Paul's UCC; 301 West Penn Ave; Robesonia, PA 19551.  You can also make a secure online donation by clicking on this Online Giving link, enter an amount in the "Special Mission" line, and type "African Famine Assistance" in the line next to the amount.

 

 

 

St. Augustine UCC church housing Hurricane Matthew recovery volunteers

March 22, 2017

     Thanks to a willing spirit and the determination to make it happen, the United Church of Christ of St. Augustine, Florida, housed its first Hurricane Matthew recovery work team last week, and is ready to host additional teams over the course of the next year or two, until work is complete.  The first work team was organized by Granville, Ill., United Church of Christ.

     To read the full article, click on this St. Augustine UCC church housing Hurricane Matthew recovery volunteers link.

      Click on this Help Support Hurricane Matthew Relief Assistance link to learn how you can help with the relief efforts.

 

 

 

UCC Disaster Ministries supports Ottawa, Ill., church's tornado response

March 16, 2017

     Open Table UCC in Ottawa, Ill., doesn't wear its name lightly.  "Feeding is something we do," said moderator-elect Heather Francis.  "We talk about both spiritual and literal nourishment here." So it's no surprise that, after a tornado struck Naplate and Ottawa, Ill., February 28 – killing two, damaging more than 210 homes and knocking out almost everyone's power – Open Table UCC stepped up promptly to meet affected residents' need to eat.

     To read the full article, click on this Disaster Ministries supports Ottawa, Ill., church's tornado response link.

 

 

 

UCC Disaster Recovery Support Initiative Launches

March 01, 2017

     When a natural or technological disaster strikes a community, beginning the process of long-term recovery quickly is essential.  Yet, it can be a daunting task for local leaders who may not have experience in disaster recovery and may have suffered damage and loss themselves. The ecumenical Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) is working to help communities shorten the time between the immediate disaster response and long-term recovery.

     To read the full article, click on this UCC Disaster Recovery Support Initiative link.

 

 

 

UCC Disaster Ministries' support continues for Haiti's Hurricane Matthew recovery

February 09, 2017

     Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 was the worst storm to strike Haiti since 1964. It killed up to 1,000, displaced more than 140,000 and left 1.4 million in need of humanitarian assistance.  It wiped out crops and destroyed or damaged homes and schools.

     UCC Disaster Ministries is funding recovery work that includes seed distribution, repair and reconstruction of homes and schools, and distribution of water purification tablets to help stem the spread of cholera.

      To read the full article, click on this UCC Disaster Ministries in Haiti link.

      Click on this Help Support Hurricane Matthew Relief Assistance link to learn how you can help with the relief efforts.

 

 

UCC helping Haiti, Cuba, U.S. begin Hurricane Matthew recovery

December 07, 2016

     As Hurricane Matthew scraped its destruction across western Haiti in October, it destroyed the fall 2016 harvest. In response, UCC Disaster Ministries is helping fund seed distribution so that farmers will not lose the next planting season.

     Repair of 30 houses, a public high school with 300 students, and two cooperative offices in the Northwest, distribution of water purification tablets and construction of five latrines also are on the list of early recovery assistance.

      To read the full article, click on this UCC Helping Haiti, Cuba, & U.S. Hurricane Matthew Recovery link.

     Click on this Help Support Hurricane Matthew Relief Assistance link to learn how you can help with the relief efforts.

 

 

 

UCC deploys Yungclas, Tosh to help Hurricane Matthew recovery in Florida

November 16, 2016

     From Florida to the Carolinas, Hurricane Matthew survivors in the United States are asking, "What do we do now?" United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries Is playing its part in helping them move toward recovery.

      To read the full article, click on this UCC - Hurricane Matthew Recovery in Florida link.

      Click on this Help Support Hurricane Matthew Relief Assistance link to learn how you can help with the relief efforts.

 

 

 

Hurricane Matthew

November 13, 2016

     Hurricane Matthew left a humanitarian disaster in its wake in October 2016 as it crossed Haiti and Cuba and continued northward to North Carolina, killing more than 500 and displacing hundreds of thousands.   Your prayers and financial support are still needed for people as they recover.

     Thank you to those who have made donations to support the relief effort through St. Paul's UCC.

     You can click on this Hurricane Matthew Relief Effort link to see how your donations have been used so far to help people whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Matthew, to whom you are providing hope and practical assistance, as the Body of Christ.

      To help provide assistance, you can make a donation payable to "St. Paul's UCC" designated as "Hurricane Matthew Relief Aid" to St. Paul's UCC; 301 West Penn Ave; Robesonia, PA 19551.  You can also make a secure online donation by clicking on this Online Giving link, enter the amount of your gift in the "Special Mission" line, and type "Hurricane Matthew Relief Aid" in the line next to the amount. 

     As in all such relief aid efforts, 100% of the donations we receive are forwarded through our UCC Conference to the UCC disaster relief aid; we do not retain (nor does our conference retain) any designated funds for marketing, advertising, administration, or other purposes.  Donating through the UCC is a great way for you to be sure that your funds are fully being used to provide help and assistance, and to do so in a way that also shares the hope and love of God with people in need.

 

 

 

New Covenant Association

Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 3:00pm

FallAssocMtg 2016_ZionBlueMtn     A new "Covenant Association" has been created, which is now the UCC association to which St. Paul's UCC belongs. 

     At the combined annual fall association meetings of the  Heidelberg Association, East Berks Association, Reading Association, and Schuylkill Association at Zion Blue Mountain UCC in Strausstown on Sunday, October 30 at 3:00pm, three of the four associations voted to disband their associaton and merge.  The three newly merged associations include the Heidelberg, East Berks, and Reading Associaitons.  Before the vote, St. Paul's UCC had been a member of the Heidelberg Association.  The vote of the Heidelberg Association churches was unanimous to disband and join the new combined association.  Prior to the Association meeting, the Consistory of St. Paul's UCC met and was unanimously supportive of the merger.

     There was a full sanctuary at Zion's UCC for this historic meeting.  The meeting began with combined worship, and following the voting, we concluded by celebrating our oneness in Christ with Holy Communion.

     For the time being, the name of the new association will be "Covenant Association."  Addressing the name and some of the finer parts of the by-laws will take place at the April 30, 2017 association meeting.  During the transition period, the individual Committees On Ministry of the three parent associations will continue to do their work until that April meeting (in other words the Heidelberg Association's Committee On Ministry will continue to serve as the oversight for the churches and pastors in this area, including St. Paul's UCC).

     Thank you to Melissa Lichtenwalner, Mike Keffer, and Pastor Ben Motz for representing us at this meeting.  Thank you to the combined efforts of all of the association leadership for helping this merger come together.

     Within the UCC, association leadership is comprised of both laity and clergy from local UCC churches.  Please look for information in the future about opportunities to serve in the Covenant Association.

 

 

Hurricane Matthew - Relief Aid

October 16, 2016

    Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti on the morning of October 4 and in Cuba later that afternoon.  The storm flattened communities and wrecked agriculture throughout the region. This powerful and slow-moving storm battered the United States’ Atlantic coast, flooding homes and causing deaths.

HurricaneMatthew 2016_Wind

    The United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are well situated to respond robustly to people impacted both in the Caribbean and within the United States.  HurricaneMatthew 2016_FloodWithin hours, solidarity grants from the 2016 One Great Hour of Sharing Offering and Week of Compassion Fund were at work through partners in the region responding to immediate needs of food, shelter and safety.  The UCC and Disciples are poised to respond with other churches to provide food, water, containers, roofs, mattresses, hygiene kits and psychosocial support.  Within the United States, both denominations are active in local and national disaster response networks. Your generosity to this disaster appeal will enable our churches to expand these responses and to walk closely with our neighbors now, in the immediate crisis, and through the long-term recovery process that follows.

HurricaneMatthew 2016_0058    In the midst of tumultuous weather, people receive food and water to drink.  In the midst of danger, people find safety and rebuild homes.  In the midst of hopelessness, people experience a love that will not let them go.

 

How You Can Help

1.    Prayers are always needed.  If you are unsure for what or how to pray, the UCC provides a few sample prayers in the midst of this disaster on line at: http://www.ucc.org/disaster_get-involved_pray.

 

2.    Make a Gift.  100% of gifts designated to “Hurricane Matthew” will directly go to help provide relief aid.   To contribute, simply make your gift payable to “St. Paul’s UCC” marked “Hurricane Matthew,” which you can mail to the church or place in the offering plate.  (For your convenience, you can use the pew envelopes for your gift).  The church's mailing address is: St. Paul's UCC; 301 West Penn Ave; Robesonia, PA 19551.

or

       You can make a secure online donation to the International Disaster Relief fund at http://www.ucc.org/donate_to_disaster_relief.  Please note “Hurricane Matthew” in the Comments Box.

 

Links for More Information:

+ By clicking on this Hurricane Matthew Bulletin Insert you can read the "Hurricane Matthew Relief Aid" insert from the Sunday morning bulletin.

+ Prayers Following a Disaster - UCC prayers you can offer following a disaster

+ UCC & Disciples of Christ Joint Hurricane Matthew Relief Aid

+ UCC Online Donate to Disaster Relief Aid

+ UCC Hurricane Matthew Bulletin Insert - generic UCC bulletin insert - October 2016

+ UCC Disaster Ministries tracking Hurricane Matthew - October 5, 2016 article

+ UCC Relief Response from the Caribbean to the Carolinas - October 12, 2016 article

+ UCC East Coast Clean Up after Hurricane Matthew - October 12, 2016 article

+ South Carolina Homeowner Gives Praise for UCC Relief Aid - October 15, 2016 article

+ UCC National & International Disaster Relief Aid - UCC Disaster Relief Web Page

 

Donate Responsibly Campaign Video

 

Disaster Relief Donations that Don't Bring Relief

 

 

 

New Financial Secretary and Treasurer

October 2016

     The Consistory of St. Paul's UCC has unanimously appointed Terry Pastor as the new Financial Secretary and Melissa Lichtenwalner as the new Treasurer.  Their terms begin November 1, 2016.  Our thanks to Kathie Matthew who has faithfully fulfilled both those roles for the past few years.  Her last day in those roles will be October 31, 2016.

     For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Terry or Melissa, or Elsa Wertz (Consistory President) or Mike Keffer (Consistory Vice President).

 

 

Nomination Process Has Begun

August 2016

     The Nominating Committee has begun its work of seeking nominations for church leadership positions for 2017.  Our leadership terms are based on a calendar year, some of which are ending on December 31, 2016.

     Click on this 2016 Leadership Positions Report to see who is filling which position and which positions will be available as of January 1, 2017.  If you are interested in one of the available positions, please contact the Nominating Committee Chairperson Terry Pastor or Vice Chairperson Georgianna Hildebrand at 610-621-5770 or office@sprucc.org.  The Nominating Committee is composed of the Consistory Elders and Pastor.

    For a description of the Committees and Consistory positions (including a description of Deacons, Elders, and Trustees), please click on this St. Paul's UCC Committee Booklet link.

     The slate of nominees will be presented to the congregation for election at the December 2016 Annual Congregational Meeting.

 

 

New Financial Secretary

November 2016

     Congatulations to Terry Pastor who was elected by Consistory to be the new Financial Secretary beginning November 1, 2016.

 

 

Coffee & Wi-Fi

Free-Wifi-bwSundays at 9:15am - beginning on September 4

     For those adults who would like to bring their children, but are not interested in an adult class for themselves at this time, and are looking for a way to occupy their time during the Sunday school hour, we will have coffee and tea, free Wi-Fi, and a place for you to be on the first floor near the youth Sunday school class rooms while your child is in Sunday school.  You can use your smart device, read the paper or a book, read the most recent issue of The Wired Word, or chat with other parents.

     Click on this Adult Sunday School Classes link, to learn more about Sunday morning study options for adults.

     Click on this Children and Youth Sunday School Classes link, to learn more about Sunday morning classes for children and youth.

 

 

Koala Kare - Wet to Dry Diapers

    As you will see in our upcoming worship schedule, so far we will be baptizing four infants/toddlers this fall.  That added to our current list of infants and toddlers, equals a lot of diapers to change.  To help make our church building more accessible and inviting to these new parents, we are in the process of installing two new items in our bathrooms.  One is a diaper changing table.  The other will be a pair of toddler safety seats.
    The diaper changing table is perhaps self-explanatory.  One will be located in each of the women’s and men’s restrooms, so both father’s and mother’s can share in the blissful joy of changing diapers (for a total of four changing tables).
    The Koala Kare toddler safety seats are fold down seats that will be mounted to the wall.  They have a 3 or 5 point harness strap on them, which enable a parent to safely seat their child and buckle them in, so that parent can use the commode without worrying about their toddler running off or splashing in the commode in the neighboring stall.  When not in use, these seats fold up and out of the way.  We are planning to install two of these seats in each of the bathrooms (for a total of eight seats).
    Our test restroom is the women’s restroom on the first floor.  Before purchasing multiple units, we mounted them first in that restroom, in order to make sure everything mounts the way we hoped it would.  We are now ready to purchase and mount the units in the other three restrooms.
    We need your help to make this possible.  We are estimating that the total cost of all these units will be about $1,000.00.  They will go a long way to helping young families feel more welcome, invited, and comfortable here, and to make our church more user friendly to young parents.  We hope you will help by providing a donation, payable to “St. Paul’s UCC” marked “Changing Stations”.  If donations exceed the cost of the units, the extra funds will be used for nursery supplies (wipes, disposable changing table liners, etc).  Thank you for your generosity, support, and care for our youngest families.
    For more information, please see the 2016 September and October issues of The Herald and/or contact any member of the Property Committee.

 

 

 

PokemonGo

Pokémon GO

Welcome to the St. Paul's UCC Pokéstop.

     For those who are not aware, St. Paul's UCC is a Pokéstop for the electronic game Pokémon GO, which is a very popular game that has been downloaded by over 10 million people so far.  If you are not sure what those words might mean or what this game is all about, ask one of our millenials (teens, tweens, and twenties).

     For those stopping by our church building to collect Pokémon, we hope you will come back at other times.  Whether it is to share in a free meal or free children's clothing (offered two thursdays a month), enjoy the car show, join in one or more of the youth group activities, share in Sunday worship or Bible study, participate in prayer, please know you are welcome here.

     "No matter what your favorite Pokémon, or what level you are at in Pokémon GO, you are welcome here."

     {Others may be more familiar with the phrasing, "No matter who you are, or where you are in life's journey, you are welcome here.}

 

 

 

 

 

I Am i-am-n n.  Are You Nasara?

February & March 2016

i-am-n d     In February and March of 2016, you may have seen the unfamiliar mark pictured here on the church doors and on various walls within the church building.  The symbol is the Arabic letter i-am-n n in red, which is the letter “n” in English.  The posting of this symbol and the wearing of it on t-shirts and jewelry symbolizes our solidarity and support of the Christian martyrs and refugees, particularly those dispersed from the ISIS invasion of northern Iraq.  Sometimes you will see the Arabic letter i-am-n n with the English "n" in shadow under it, as is pictured here.

     We invite you to keep in prayer all of the refugees from ISIS violence in your prayers, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or nationality.  We especially invite your prayers for the Syrian refugees, as they number 4.6 million at the time of the writing of this article.

 

History of i-am-n n

     Beginning in June 2014, ISIS extremists overran the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, which is located near the Syrian and Turkey borders.  In the Old Testament the name of this city was Nineveh (talked about throughout the Book of Jonah, as well as referred to in Genesis 10; 2 Kings 19; Isaiah 37; Nahum 1-3; Zephaniah 2; Matthew 12; and Luke 11).  Christians have lived in this region for centuries.
     Members of ISIS went from house to house identifying the homes of Christians.  When they identified a Christian home, they marked the house with the Arabic letter i-am-n n in red spray paint.  That Arabic letter is “n” in English, and stands for the word “Nasara.”  Nasara is based on the word “Nazareth.”  Nasara is a term used by ISIS in northern Iraq to identify Christians as “followers of Jesus of Nazareth.”
     After marking the homes, a few days later armed ISIS soldiers came to the homes with the red i-am-n n, and gave the Christian families an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay an exorbitant tax to ISIS, leave, or die.
     Many were killed.  More than 100,000 Christians refused to deny Christ and left everything behind, fled with little more than the clothing on their backs, seeking asylum in Syria and Turkey, and have now become refugees.
     In solidarity and support of these, our sisters and brothers in the Christian faith, Christians around the world began displaying the red Arabic letter i-am-n n, seeking to convert this symbol of exile and death into a positive symbol of hope, courage, and of our Christian oneness as Narasa - followers of Jesus of Nazareth.

20160228-Nasara CQfS

 

Sermon on i-am-n n

     The pastor preached on this symbol on February 28, 2016.  His sermon was entitled, "I Am i-am-n n.  Are You Nasara?"

     The text for the day was Luke 13:1-9, where Jesus was questioned about two terrible tragedies in Jerusalem, each of which resulted in the loss of many lives.  One was at the hands of Pontius Pilate's troops, and the other from a natural disaster.  In his sermon, the pastor discussed the "theodicy question," which is, "If God is all powerful, and if God is all loving, why does suffering exist?"  It is a question that we all ask at different times in our lives, whether it be due to something of the magnitude of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, or whether it be in the more personal ways we all at times experience loss, pain, suffering, and loneliness.  Whether worthy of international media coverage or not, those times of hurt can challenge our hope and faith, our outlook on life, and our view of others.  The pastor spoke of how this Biblical text addresses the theodicy question, and how from its teachings we can meaningfully move supportively together from suffering to a more joy-filled and hope-filled brighter future in Christ.

     The pastor also wrote about this symbol in his "Pastor's Page" for the March 2016 issue of The Herald (St. Paul's UCC's monthly newsletter).

 

How I Can Help

(1)  We can help by keeping in prayer all the victims of terrorism and violence, including the Christian refugees from Mosul, as well as all of the refugees displaced by the violence of ISIS, regardless of religion, race, nationality, or ethnicity.  We are all children of God.

      and
(2)(a)  You can send aid through the United Church of Christ’s Syrian Refugee Ministry.  To do so you can make a donation payable to “St. Paul’s UCC” marked “Syria Humanitarian Crisis”, addressed to St. Paul’s UCC, 301 West Penn Avenue, Robesonia PA 19551.  All of the funds are forwarded by our church to be used for refugee aid, none of those donations are used for administrative or other purposes.

     and/or
(2)(b) Throughout the month of March, we are receiving offerings for One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS).  This annual UCC offering supports not only our refugee ministries, but also our UCC national and international disaster ministries and other relief and humanitarian aid.  You can learn more about this offering, by clicking on this OGHS link.
     and/or
(2)(c)  You can make a secure online donation at this link: UCC Refugee Emergency Fund.

 

To Learn More

(1)  The following link will take you to a recent article on the UCC efforts to provide Syrian Relief Aid:  UCC Refugee Ministries

 

(2)  The following link will take you to the ACT Alliance website, through who the UCC works in partnership with other denominations in order to provide relief assistance more quickly and in greater magnitude: ACT Alliance

(The ACT Alliance is a coalition of 137 churches and faith-based organizations working together in over 100 countries).

 

(5)  You can click on this Syrian Refugee Crisis - Bulletin Insert - September 2015 link for a copy of the bulletin insert information from September 2015.

 

(4)  The following link will take you to The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) website, where you can purchase Nasara t-shirts and other items, the proceeds of which go to help the Christian refugees who fled Mosul:  www.i-am-n.com. 

(Please note that VOM is not affiliated with the UCC.  As we have insufficient direct information about the workings, ministries, witness, doctrine, and monetary dispersions of VOM, the link here is not meant to be an endorsement of VOM, but rather a link to more information).

 

 

 

Prayers for France

Sunday, November 15, 2015

FrancePrayer151115     During worship on Sunday, November 15 we paused to pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in France, and provided the opportunity to light a candle in solidarity with their loved ones and their nations.  Please keep the victims, those hospitalized, surviving loved ones, first responders, medical personel, and law enforcement in our prayers.  Let us also continually pray for peace for our world, and may our Christian witness be strong and bold enough to lead all of humanity to see the value of life and the sisterhood and brotherhood of one another.

 

 

Bible Sponsorship

Large Print English Bibles (NRSV)

Regular Print Spanish-English Bilingual Bibles (LBLA-NASB)

     We are seeking to purchase new large print NRSV Bibles, in order to help individuals participate in adult Sunday school classes and Bible studies more fully and more easily.

     We are seeking to purchase new Bilingual LBLA-NASB Bibles, in order to help individuals for whom Spanish is their first language to participate in worship, Sunday school classes, and Bible studies more fully and more easily.

     (Our youth receive CEV Bibles from the church beginning in first grade, and we have extra on hand for visiting youth, so no additional Bibles for elementary age is needed at this time.  In addition, our teens receive NRSV Study Bibles in the beginning of the confirmation program, and there are additional Bibles in their class room for visiting teens, and as such our teens are not currently in need of Bibles for Sunday school either).

     Click here for a Large Print Bible Sponsorship Form and more information.  You may print out that form, fill it out, and return it to the church office with your sponsorship donation.

     Click here for more information about the bilingual translations and how to sponsor a bilingual Bible.

     More information and sponsorship forms can be found in the December 2015 issue of our monthly newsletter, The Herald, as well as by contacting the church office, or by picking up a form on a table in the narthex hallway.

 

 
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