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

“And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the
Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;
with you I am well pleased.’ And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in
the wilderness forty days.” – Mark 1:10-13

Ever have an incredible spiritual experience? One where you felt the presence of God so close
to you? One where you just knew that God had a plan for your life, and God was walking with you?
And then, has that feeling ever left just as soon as it came? And have you ever felt as though
you are lost in the wilderness?

Jesus knew what that was like. He knew what it was to emerge from the waters of baptism to
the voice of God proclaiming that God was “well pleased” with him. And he knew what it was to then
immediately be sent into the wilderness for forty hard days.

In Lent we are called into a different sort of wilderness for forty days. After the familiar songs,
raised candles, and joy of Christmas only a couple of months before, we are now in a time of stark
simplicity, repressed “Alleluias,” and a journey toward the cross. In times like this we Christians
must not seem like much fun to be around.

And yet, in Lent we are reminded that we make this journey because Jesus made it first.
Christ went into the wilderness to pray, and to fast, and to ready himself spiritually for what was to
come. And in Lent we do the same. We know that we too are journeying to the cross. But we have
the luxury of also knowing about the next part of the journey. We have the luxury of knowing about
the empty tomb.

And so in Lent we are preparing ourselves to be people of the Resurrection. We are going
deeper spiritually, and preparing ourselves to be the people we want to be on Easter morning. Lent
isn’t something to be endured. Lent is a wilderness journey that will lead us to new life.
In Lenten Peace,

Pastor Lou Aita

Events in the historical Protestant movement

In the 1830s, American abolitionists, led by Evangelical Protestants, gained momentum in their battle to end slavery. Abolitionists believed that slavery was a national sin, and that it was the moral obligation of every American to help eradicate it from the American landscape by gradually freeing the slaves and returning them to Africa. Not all Americans agreed. Views on slavery varied state by state, and among family members and neighbors. Many Americans—Northerners and Southerners alike—did not support abolitionist goals, believing that anti-slavery activism created economic instability and threatened the racial social order.

Please read some of the history making events made possible by the Protestant movement in the United States and the world:

1700: An early stand against slavery: Congregationalists are among the first Americans to take a stand against slavery. The Rev. Samuel Sewall writes the first anti-slavery pamphlet in America, “The Selling of Joseph.” Sewall lays the foundation for the abolitionist movement that comes more than a century later.

1773: 1st Published African-American Poet: A member of Old South in Boston, Phillis Wheatley becomes the first published African-American author. “Poems on Various Subjects” is a sensation, and Wheatley gains her freedom from slavery soon after. Modern African-American poet Alice Walker says of her: “[She] kept alive, in so many of our ancestors, the notion of song.”

1785: first ordained African-American Pastor Lemuel Haynes is the first African- American ordained by a Protestant denomination. He becomes a world- renowned preacher and writer.

1839: defining moment for abolitionist movement Enslaved Africans break their chains and seize control of the schooner Amistad. Sengbe Pieh and the other Mende captives are arrested and held in a Connecticut jail while the ship’s owners sue to have them returned as property. Congregationalists and other Christians organize a campaign to free the captives. The Supreme Court rules the captives are not property, and the Africans regain their freedom.

1846: First integrated anti-slavery society. The Amistad case is a spur to the conscience of Congregationalists who believe no human being should be a slave. In 1846 Lewis Tappan, one of the Amistad organizers, organizes the American Missionary Association—the first anti-slavery society in the U.S. with multiracial leadership.

1862-77: Colleges and Universities for blacks in the South. The American Missionary Association starts six colleges: Dillard University, Fisk University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Huston-Tillotson College, Talladega College and Tougaloo College, all historically black colleges and universities that continue to offer excellence, access, and opportunity in higher education. It also founds Brick School, today part of the UCC’s Franklinton Center in North Carolina.

1959: Historic Ruling that airwaves are public property: Southern television stations impose a news blackout on the growing civil rights movement, and Martin Luther King Jr. asks the UCC to intervene. Everett Parker of the UCC’s Office of Communication organizes churches and wins in Federal court a ruling that the airwaves are public, not private property. The decision leads to hiring of persons of color in television studios and newsrooms.

1973: Civil rights activists freed The Wilmington Ten — 10 civil rights activists — are charged with the arson of a white-owned grocery store in Wilmington, N.C. One of them is Benjamin Chavis, a social justice worker sent by the UCC to Wilmington to help the African-American

community overcome racial intolerance and intimidation. The UCC’s General Synod raises bail. Chavis’ conviction is overturned and he is released after spending four-and-a-half years in prison.

1974: Yvonne Virginia Delk: First African American woman to be ordained in the United Church of Christ.

1976: First African- American leader of an integrated denomination. General Synod elects the Rev. Joseph H. Evans president of the United Church of Christ. He becomes the first African – American leader of a racially integrated mainline church in the United States.

Thank You!

We received a thank you card from Archie Passmore and Penny Dollar for the many cards and prayers when Archie’s mother passed away. The thank you can be found on the bulletin board in the bell tower.

Lenten Dinners and Services

The season of Lent began on Ash Wednesday, February 14. We are again preparing Lenten suppers prior to our
services on the Wednesday evenings during Lent. These light meals will be shared in the Fellowship Hall at 6:00 pm. We will then gather at 7:00 pm in the church for service. A sheet is on the table in the narthex for those who will volunteer to prepare meals. Our Lenten meals and services are open to everyone and we welcome you to come and join us. Whether you can come for supper or not, you are welcome to gather with us for worship.

Mission Offerings

The envelopes for the annual OGHS offering are on the tables where you retrieve the bulletins. We will collect this offering
through Easter Sunday.

Our Sunday School is also participating in the OGHS offering and the kids will bring their
donations and we will put them in the “refugee tent” collection box.

During the year, there will also be envelopes for Neighbors in Need, Strengthen the Church and the Christmas Fund (for retired pastors and their families on very limited pensions). We also give to Our Churches Wider Mission through our fundraisers. That’s 5 UCC missions each year. In addition to those, we can give to VBS Mission, McKinney Clinic, CROP Walk and, in past years, Disaster Relief (which we hope won’t be needed this year). All these opportunities to give to these missions are provided because members have a “soft spot” for one or another, or perhaps all of them. We are encouraged to give to the ones that move our hearts and that we feel strongly about. These offerings are given “above and beyond”
our regular envelope and plate offerings that are needed to support our church at Emmanuel and continue our local presence in our own back yards. Your generosity is appreciated here at home and around the wider world. May God bless you as much as you bless others.

One Great Hour of Sharing

Picture Perfect

Pastor Lou is shown with Mt Post 781 Sons of the American Legion (S. A. L.) recently donated 100% of the proceeds from it’s Christmas Raffle. The S. A. L. donated $1000 each to the Mt Top Community Food Bank at St. Paul’s Methodist Church and Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Dorrance.

Emmanuel UCC food bank
Grayson Bunnell is shown enjoying learning “I” by creating “I” two-dimensional figures at the Mt. Top Kids Learning Center.

learning “I”


In addition to the Youth Group’s Weis and Carones Card Fundraisers, we have a Gift Card Fundraiser which is a great way to help our church. The Fundraiser Sheets are on the table in the narthex. Just look over the list (and there’s a lot to choose from) and mark how many cards you want. As with the Youth Group’s fundraiser, this is essentially a “no cost” fundraiser. You are just purchasing gift cards in the amount that you would normally spend at that store or restaurant. The fundraising part is that Emmanuel purchases them at a discount which helps our bottom line. Please pay Lisa Ceaser for your choices. An order will be places March 11th.

From the Pastor’s desk

February brings with it the beginning of Lent. Our Lenten Journey began on Ash Wednesday.
We moved through our Sunday Services celebrating and marking the weeks of Lent. We mourn
together on Maunday Thursday, pray together on Good Friday, prepare on Holy Saturday, and
celebrated Easter Sunday! Included in all of this are our mid-week Lenten services and
fellowship times which help us focus all that much more on the Journey to Gethsemane, the
tomb, and the day of resurrection.

It sounds easy, but there are a lot of emotions shared along the way and as I like to say we move
from “mourning to dancing.”

So, let us prayerfully move together through this Lenten season as we continue to experience
the love of the still speaking God.


Pastor Lou Aita

Thank You!

We received a thank you letter from the American Red Cross for our generous donation of $400 to be used “Where It’s Needed Most.”

Our Condolences

We offer our sincere condolences to Judy Cybulski and Family on the passing of her
mother Esther Heller, on January 12, 2018.

We offer our sincere condolences to Pastor Penny Dollar and Archie Passmore on the passing of her mother-in-law/mother Dorothy Passmore, on January 22, 2018. If anyone would like to send your condolences Archie’s address is provided below.

Archie Passmore
310 East Road
Sunbury, Pa 17801

We pray that God’s love and strength will sustain them in their time of need and sorrow.


The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14. We will again prepare Lenten suppers prior to our services on the Wednesday evenings during Lent. These light meals will be shared in the Fellowship Hall at 6:00 pm. We will then gather at 7:00 pm in the church for service. A sheet is on the table in the narthex for those who will volunteer to prepare meals. Our Lenten meals and services are open to everyone and we welcome you to come and join us. Whether you can come for supper or not, you are welcome to gather with us for worship.

Picture Perfect

Check the front entrance bulletin board for
the following pictures:

Brayden and Matteo Belanchik both
carefully selected the perfect bead to put on
a bracelet they were making to give to their
mom for Christmas. They were focusing on
the real meaning of Christmas at our
annual Children’s Christmas party.


Grayson Bunnell Santas Reindeer

Grayson Bunnell is shown with his creation of Santa’s reindeer he made in class before Christmas.



Eric Rinehimer is thrilled with the outcome that Philadelphia Eagles held on to win over the Atlanta Falcons which advanced them to the NFC Championship. The Eagles then played the Minnesota Vikings where he watched the game at a “Playoff Party” which benefited the Crestwood baseball teams.

2017 Record of Giving

This is a list compiled by our Financial Secretary, Lynne Stewart, showing a breakdown of our member’s offerings by how much they gave for the year. I hope that you will think about where you want your heart to be and the importance of your church in your life as you review this list. Thank you for believing in Emmanuel and our mission as a community of Christ’s followers.
Recording Secretary,
Penny Smith


Amount Given
Last Year
Number of Members
Who Gave That
0 0
1.00 to 49.00 9
50.00 to 100.00 6
101.00 to 500.00 23
501.00 to 1000.00 15
1001.00 to 2000.00 14
2001.00 to 3000.00 5
3001.00 to 3500.00 1
Over 5,000.00 1

Emmanuel UCC Church Service Cancelled – January 14, 2018

The Sunday service on January 14, 2018 for Emmanuel UCC in Dorrance has been cancelled due to the winter storm and residual ice build up. Services and office hours will resume on Tuesday January 16th.


Emmanuel UCC cancelled January 14, 2018


From the Pastor’s Desk

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who
hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they
will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:30-31).

From Advent anticipation, to the glorious night of Jesus’ birth, to the year 2018. It has
been a wonderful journey! What made it extra special is that we did it together.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the
new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Yes folks, the new is here! We have more now to offer at Emmanuel UCC than ever before.
Bible study for adults, monthly blessing and healing worship services, a very active youth
group for our young and young adults, and more opportunities than ever to come out and
enjoy some times of fellowship. Of course what continues is a very spiritual worship service
every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
So come out and start a new tradition for yourself and/or family. That new tradition could
change your life for the good!
Happy New Year,

Pastor Lou Aita

Happy New Year 2018

[The Armor of God] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. — Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)