PresidentDeb Dietrich
Vice PresidentAllen Dennis
SecretaryBrad Bunnell
TreasurerJim Rinehimer
TrusteesDiana Decker
Sandy Kleger
Jim Stewart

Penn Northeast


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Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!

The year 2016 is rushing past! Summer is long gone – the first snow has been “weathered” – the Thanksgiving feast
has been enjoyed! And now, it’s on to Christmas! The stores have been decorated for months (it seems). We are now
bombarded with ads on a daily basis – through all forms of media – newspaper, radio, television. They tell us what we
must have – the latest, the best, the greatest in technological gadgets. And, in the midst of it all, we are called to
witness the beginning of the Advent Season. The signs are around us – the wreaths on the windows, the tree and
Advent wreath in the Sanctuary, the new carillon playing familiar seasonal tunes. There will be caroling, requests for
cards for the troops, ongoing needs for the Food Bank, and other special events. All of it culminates with the
Christmas Eve Service and a Christmas Day Service.
So, to help us prepare, I offer my projections for what the message will be for each upcoming worship experience.

  • Advent 1 (11/27) “No Time for a Snooze” – This message focused on Advent as a spiritual undertaking, a way for
    us to deepen our relationship with God, and certainly “no time for a snooze.” If we rush through this special
    season, we may miss an opportunity to focus more intentionally on the gift of Jesus Christ and what that means
    for our lives today. The texts focused on Christ’s 2nd coming – and called us to be alert, watchful, and vigilant in
    our lives as his followers.
  •  Advent 2 (12/4) “Snakes, Axes, and Fire – This Is Good News?” – This message will present a conversation
    between “Rev” and John the Baptist – in an attempt to understand John’s harsh words (Matthew 3: 1-12) directed
    toward the religious leaders. Are we also included as targets? Or do his words contain Good News, even though
    hidden within his seemingly insulting words? Find out on 12/4.
  •  Advent 3 (12/11) “New Life in Unexpected Places” – Amazed at the words in the text from Isaiah (35:1-10), I
    will dig into these images and see whether new life is being offered to us in our unexpected places. Will this
    Advent Season be the one that excites and enthralls and brings about amazing changes in our lives and the life at
    Emmanuel? Time will tell how this one turns out.
  •  Advent 4 (12/18) The Christmas Program will take the place of the Sermon. So, plan to come and receive a
    seasonal message in a different form, with music and readings, offered by the younger folk.
     Christmas Eve (12/24) “Step Back and Wonder” – With the well-known text from Luke (2:1-20) as the
    cornerstone, this message will draw us into the experience of the shepherds – common folk invited to witness the
    event of a lifetime – and how we are invited, as well, into experiencing this event in the common places of our
  •  Christmas Day (12/25) “What’s Next?” – Using the same text as Christmas Eve, this message will probe how our
    lives are changed, if at all, by the celebration of Christ’s birth. Does the “event of a lifetime” produce anything
    lasting in our daily lives? Whatever happened to those shepherds? What will happen to us after Christmas is past?
    I wish you, and your families, the very best of God’s Blessings
    for the Advent Season and for the celebration of Christmas!

Rev. Stout

PS: Please remember – I can be reached by phone at 409-658-7136 (cell) or e-mail at – please contact me if a need/emergency arises. I will also be available at the Church on Sunday morning or Tuesday usually from 9am-1pm. I can be available by appointment at other times/days that may be more convenient for you.

Gift Card Fundraiser

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 Jim Rinehimer. He will order
them and distribute them as they arrive. If you have any
question, please see Jim. If more lists are needed, please
tell Penny.

Mile-marker Birthday

ESTHER HELLER will celebrate her 92
nd birthday on
December 2, 2016. Let’s all wish her a happy birthday
by giving her a card shower! Look! It’s raining birthday


The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held on
Sunday, December 4, after our Worship Service. The
proposed 2017 Budget was approved by the Consistory
for distribution in the weekly bulletins and extra copies
are available on the table in the Narthex.
ASSOCIATIONS: In accordance with our Constitution
Article 10, All committees should have a report prepared
for the Annual Meeting of the Congregation.
organizations and societies of the Congregation are
subordinate to the Consistory and shall make an annual
report (Activities and Financial) to the Congregation.”


We will meet after Worship on December 4 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
homebound. 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 18. Thank you
for remembering those men and women who served our


Our program will be presented on Sunday, December 18, during our worship service. Christmas in Song and Scripture, We all know the story of how our Savior was born in a lowly manger in a small town. It seems like every year the scripture passages reporting the events surrounding Jesus’ birth are repeated. But do we really listen to them? Our Sunday School is hoping that through our reading of the scripture and the beauty of our songs, you will experience again the wonder of Christmas. As passages recount the events telling of the birth of Jesus, our choirs will present songs adding to our appreciation and understanding of the marvelous gift of God’s salvation. I am asking all children, youth and adult choir members to come to the following practices for the Christmas Program:

Sat, 12/17 12:30 to 1:30 pm ALL CAST & CHOIRSDress Rehearsal
Sun, 12/18 9:00 am (during Sunday School) ALL CAST & CHOIRS
Sun., 12/4 9:00 to 9:30 am Christmas Choir
Sun., 12/11 9:00 to 9:30 am Christmas Choir

Everyone involved in the program is urged to come to practices. We need just an hour here and there and this will be a great program. Thanks to all who volunteer to make our program possible. You are a great bunch of kids and adults and I am always so proud of the way you make our programs come to life.

Special Music – 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.

Sunday School News

THANKSGIVING DINNERS – Thank you for being so generous. We again were able to provide meals for ten families thanks to you.


Our Christmas Party will be held on December 17 from 10 am to 12 pm. We are asking all the kids to bring a couple pieces of fruit for the baskets for our shut-ins and a new or “gently used” stuffed animal or toy to be wrapped for the children of the McKinney Clinic. We are also collecting care packages for distribution to the people served by the McKinney Clinic. Bernie, the director of the clinic, continues to need more men’s packages. She says that they minister to more men than women and so there is a greater need for men’s gifts. The packages should include: new white socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, comb, razor, hand lotion and a candy cane. If you would like to add anything else, please feel free (only nothing with alcohol in it). Also appreciated are gift cards from Walmart and K-Mart. A freezer bag holds the items very well. Attach a card signed by your family and send it with your child(ren) to the Christmas party or drop it off in the narthex under the Christmas tree before Saturday, December 17. Thank you for all your generosity. When making your care package, please talk with your child(ren) about how wonderful it feels to know you will make someone’s Christmas brighter by giving! Thank you for all your support,

Lisa Rinehimer

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree has been set up in the Narthex. Just take an ornament, purchase the item listed on it, wrap it, tape the ornament to the package and place it under the tree. You may also include a card from you and your family.


Please be generous in giving to our church ministries
supported by this offering:

  • Phoebe Devitt Home
  • Bethany Children’s Home
  • Lancaster Theological Seminary

These organizations sincerely need and appreciate your
support. Every penny counts with today’s expenses, so
please give generously. The “Christmas Offering” is a
benevolence offering and is not used to build up the
General Fund.
Your regular offering is still needed to support the
General Fund and the local mission of your church.

Bethany Christmas List

Copies of the 2017 Christmas Wish List are on the table in the Narthex. Please note that the children at Bethany are teenagers. Specific gift items are included on the Christmas Wish List or if you prefer, the children love to receive gift cards to department stores, craft stores, area malls, etc. Please choose age-appropriate gifts with consideration for parental warnings, modest clothing and safety. The gifts should not be wrapped since Bethany’s staff will do that. Just drop them in the box wrapped in Christmas paper in the Narthex. If someone could deliver the presents to Bethany, it would be greatly appreciated. I have a schedule of times and dates for deliveries in the office.

Flower Sign-Ups

There are sign-up sheets on the tables in the Narthex
and next to the fellowship hall doorway for you to
purchase poinsettias to decorate our sanctuary. The
last day to sign up is December 18.

The 2017 chart for the altar flowers is on the table in
the Narthex. The price is still $12.50 per vase. Please
pay Mary or Jim Rinehimer for the dates you sponsor.

Thank You!

The following letters are posted on the bulletin
board in the bell tower:
A thank you letter from Phoebe Ministries for
our 2016 Benevolence donation of $500. Your
generosity provides programs and activities for
their residents.
A thank you letter from CWS for our CROP
Hunger Walk Donation of $594.00. With your help,
vulnerable children are reaching their 5th milestone
birthday – healthy and well-nourished.
A thank you letter from Bethany Children’s
Home for our donation of $500 to Our Wider
Church Mission. Our gift helps provide for special
programs such as Birthday Parties, Christmas Gifts,
Arts, Music, etc.
A thank you letter from PNEC for our
donations in the amount of $2285.83 to support
Bethany Children’s Home.

[Dispute Over Jesus’ Testimony] When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” — John 8:12 (NIV)