Brad Bunnell
Vice President
Jim Stewart
Diana Decker
Allen Dennis
Sandy Kleger
Butch Peters
Chris Dietrich

Penn Northeast


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From The Pastor’s Desk

How the Reformation Shaped the Church

From Reformation theology flows seven characteristics or identity markers of the church.

First, the church is doxological, it’s oriented to the glory of God.

Second, the church is Word-centered. It’s centered on the incarnate Word, who is Jesus Christ, and the inspired Word: Scripture. The church confesses sound doctrine—what it believes about God, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit.

Thirdly, the church is to be Spirit-activated. It’s created, gifted, united, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Fourth, the church is covenantal. It exists in new covenant relationship with God, and together, the members exist in a covenantal relationship with one another.

Fifth, the church is confessional. Each member had a personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Together the church confesses sound doctrine—what it believes about a triune God, Jesus Christ, the Son incarnate, and the Spirit.

Sixth, the church is missional. It’s the body of divinely-called, divine ministers who proclaim the gospel throughout the world.

Seventh, the church is here, but not here. It’s already, but not yet. We’re sojourners, we’re strangers. We’re pilgrims in this world. We enjoy walking with the Lord and doing his will now, but we look forward to something greater in the future.  Reformation theology gives impetus to these seven characteristics or identity markers of the church.

The above 7 characteristics of the church were taken from an article by Gregg R. Allison (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). Dr. Allison is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The reason for including this in our newsletter is because I feel we embody all 7 characteristics at Emmanuel UCC.

We are sojourners, pilgrims in the world, walking with the Lord.  In our little corner of the world we are helping to make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors around the world.

The year 2018 brought to us many joys, and a good share of concerns and sorrows.  We weathered many storms together, and laughed in the sunshine together.  It is the word “together” that makes such a difference if we step back and look at our church and each other.  Our commitment to God and His Son Jesus Christ are exemplary.  I firmly believe that on that premise alone, we will continue to succeed in anything we undertake, and be present in the life of the community and world for a long, long time.

I am coming into the year 2019 excited about continuing my ministry at Emmanuel, and am going to begin the process of ordination following Penn Northeast Conference guidelines. Thanks to all of you I have decided to continue my religious education and pursue this ordination track.

Again, in our togetherness we will remain string and continue to uphold those wonderful 7 identity markers of the church. Peace be with you and Happy New Year,

Pastor Lou Aita

Valentines for Vets

A box will be in the bell tower for your Valentines for Vets.  These Valentines are appreciated very much by those who are housed at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.  The last date to deposit your Valentines will be Sunday, February 3.  Remember those who served.


The chart for the altar flowers is on the table in the Narthex.  They are $14 for 1 vase or $24 for 2 vases. Please pay Chris Dietrich for the dates you sponsor.

2018 Scrip Gift Card Profit Report

2018 Scrip Gift Card Profit Report

January ——– July 8.00
February ——– August 2.90
March 37.45 September 24.00
April 48.15 October 7.48
May 45.90 November 93.98
June 3.35 December 186.10

Total Profit: $457.31

Forms to order the gift cards from Scrip are on the table in the narthex.   This is an easy way for you to donate to our church. Script gives to the church a discount on purchasing the cards and the difference is donated to the General Fund.  There are over a hundred stores from which to choose – fast food from Burger King to Wendy’s; restaurants from Applebee’s to Ruth’s Chris Steak House; sporting goods like Dick’s and Cabela’s; department and clothing stores from Aerie to Wet Seal; kid’s stores like Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us; auto shops; pharmacies; and so much MORE!!  Grab a form and get some cards – you’re going to shop at these stores anyway, so why not help your church while you do?

Pork Dinner Update

Dinner Income Surplus Sold 394.00
116 Adult @ $11 1,276.00
       2 child @  $   5 10.00
  Advance 96 Adult @ $11 1,056.00
Steve Moyer Milk and Bread -27.96
Allen Dennis Pork, broth, potatoes, celery, carrots, corn -742.42
Jim Rinehimer Coffee, Juice, Iced Tea -42.39
Donation Cabbage & Apples were donated 0.00


Picture Perfect

Irene Sabol and Shirley Eckrote enjoy an evening with family and friends and a great pork meal.

Irene  Sabol and Shirley  Eckrote are shown enjoying and evening with family and friends a  great pork meal at our annual Pork and Saurkraut Dinner held on November 17 , 2018.

Maddy Young, 8, Josh Jakubowski, 10 and Brayden Belanchik, 8, work on making an Express Bot.

Brayden Belanchik, 8, is shown with Maddy Young, and Josh Jakubowski working together on making an Express Bot at Mountaintop Family Church after school Clubs.

Playing the snowball shake game is ten year old Cindy Meyers and Mikayla Walck, 5.

Cindy Meyers and Mikayla Walck are shown playing the snowball shake game at the annual Emmanuel UCC Sunday School Christmas Party

Blue Christmas

Recently, our church and community has experienced the passing of many people.  This holiday season is a difficult time for many of the friends and relatives of those whose presence will be sorely missed. But, you do not have to be alone or keep your feelings inside.  I am hosting a time of fellowship on Wednesday, December 12th and Wednesday, December 19th 2019,  both nights beginning at 6:30 p.m. with those who are mourning. We are going to look at 7 stages of grief and discuss how, with the help of God, we could move forward.  You may contribute as much or as little as you feel in our togetherness. Refreshments will be available, and you may want to bring a favorite recipe for all to enjoy!  So, bring a friend if you like! Anyone with transportation issues need only to call me, and I will pick you up

Mark Your Calendars

Bible Study is starting January 9th, 2019.  This is a Wednesday evening, and we will be meeting every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for a one hour session.  The study will last for 7 weeks!  The Bible Study is titled “Give it Up!” and will prepare us for Lent. We will be reflecting on all the things that hold our attention, occupy our minds and monopolize our time, yet still isolate us from God and the world around us. Things like social media, phones, the noise of life, and focus on the external. During this seven-week study, we will take a journey of self-discovery, where he or she learns that the power of release brings great gain. The biggest gain is a stronger relationship with Christ. In the release, each person is freed to “give it up” in applause and praise for a life deeply lived in Christ.

As always, our Bible studies are open to anyone 18 and up, and you need not be a member of Emmanuel UCC, so bring a friend!  All you need is a Bible, or we could provide one to you.  Miss a class, no problem.  You will be able to jump right back in!

Look forward to a book study after Lent.  The book will be “Jesus, The Greatest Psychologist That Ever Lived.”  More information to come.

From The Pastor’s Desk

The season of Advent begin the patient waiting and watching for the birth of Christ. Advent began on November 25th, 2018. We also began a new liturgical year, Year C. That means we get to explore more of the Bible as a congregation. This December, especially Christmas Eve, I plan on focusing on the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ. Here is some further information about that important word “incarnation.”

What is the incarnation of Christ and why is the incarnation important?

In Christianity, the word “incarnation” is used to express the idea of Jesus Christ coming to earth in human form. The word is a Latin term that literally means “the act of being made flesh.” This Latin term was used in John 1:14, which speaks of Jesus who “became flesh and dwelt among us.” Theologically, the humanity of Jesus is an important aspect of His earthly life. Jesus is divine (John 1:1; Colossians 1:16), yet also took on a human body to identify with humanity. He was born of a woman, ate food, slept, and experienced temptation. Like other humans, he could perspire and bleed. He also displayed human emotions, including anger, joy, and sorrow. In terms of His divine plan, Jesus also became human as part of His plan to die in our place as a sacrifice. Further, in order to resurrect, He first had to physically die, which required taking on a physical body. In fact, our salvation completely depends upon Jesus coming to this world in human form clearly states, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” His love was fully displayed in taking on human form and allowing this form to be destroyed as a sacrifice on our behalf. Unlike any other human, Jesus lived in a human body yet did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 shares, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” He resisted temptation perfectly, revealing both His full deity and full humanity. Also unique is the resurrection of Jesus. He raised others from the dead during His life, but only Jesus returned to life of His own power. His resurrection is only possible because He took on human form and first died. This resurrection surprised His followers, yet also compelled them to share His message with others. In fact, the apostle Paul called the resurrection a matter of “first importance” and wrote, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins.” He realized that apart from the death and resurrection of Jesus, Christianity’s foundation would not exist. The incarnation is valuable for our study in many ways. In it we discover a God who loves us so much that He came to earth and took on a human form on our behalf, ultimately to give up His life to pay for our sins and offer us eternal life with Him. As John 3:16 declares, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

To find out more about the saving and healing power of God, join us! We are at Emanuel UCC in Dorrance every Sunday at 10:30 am. And of course, all are welcome.

Happy Holidays,


Pastor Lou Aita

Gift Card Fundraiser

With Christmas approaching, now is a great time to stock up on the gift cards!

We have Gift Card Fundraiser through Great Lakes Scrip Center and includes tons of cards – from Advance Auto Parts to Wet Seal (young women’s clothing).  By purchasing the gift card through Great Lake Scrip, our church earns a percentage of the sale price.  With this newsletter is a copy of the list and more copies are on the bulletin tables.  Just write in the quantity of the cards you want and give the list and the amount due to Lisa Ceaser.

Lisa will be collecting orders Sunday December 2rd and will distribute them as they arrive.  If you have any question, please see Lisa.

Also, don’t forget to shop through Amazon Smile when you place your Amazon orders. A percentage of qualified sales will be used to fund Emmanuel UCC and there is nothing extra for you to do but click the link below and save it to your favorites!

Emmanuel UCC Amazon Smile

Annual Meeting of the Congregation

The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held on Sunday, December 16, after our Worship Service.  The proposed 2019 Budget was approved by the Consistory for distribution in the weekly bulletins and extra copies are available on the table in the Narthex.

NOTICE TO ALL COMMITEES, TEAMS AND ASSOCIATIONS:  In accordance with our Constitution Article 10, All committees should have a report prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Congregation.

Article 10  ORGANIZATIONS, SOCIETIES.  All organizations and societies of the Congregation are subordinate to the Consistory and shall make an annual report (Activities and Financial) to the Congregation.”

Christmas Caroling

We will meet after Worship on December 2 for caroling.  We’ll raise our voices and spirits as we sing songs of the season to residents of our local nursing homes and to our home bound.  Come with us and sing glory to the newborn king!

Christmas Cards For Vets

There is a box in the bell tower for Christmas Cards for our local veterans who are residents at the VA Hospital.  The last day to put cards in the box is December 16.  Thank you for remembering those men and women who served our country.

Christmas Eve

Anyone wishing to present music prior to the Christmas Eve Service is asked to see Denise Dean.  We will begin at 7:00 pm and conclude at 7:30 pm.  If you are more inclined to read a poem or selection, that would be very welcome also.

Christmas Cantata

The Sunday School students would like to invite you to a celebration of Christmas music. This year’s Sunday School program will be all about the songs of Christmas. Our choirs will all join together to bring us the joy of the season. Each choir will be showcased in their own numbers as well as joining all voices in certain pieces. Short narrations about the songs will tell of their special place in our Christmas festivities. The Kids Choir will ring in the season with Come On Ring Those Bells and the Youth Choir will sing The Snow Lay On the Ground, encouraging us to come worship

Jesus. There will be solos and duets mixed in the cantata giving our children the opportunity to showcase their abilities. The Kids, Youth and Chancel Choirs will also combine their voices in praise of our Savior’s birth. The Cantata will be presented on Sunday, December 23, during our worship service. We look forward to spreading our Christmas cheer with you.

Thank you to all families who bring the children to practices.  We couldn’t have a program without your dedication.

Emmanuel UCC

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. — Galatians 5:16 (NIV)