CURRENT OFFICERS AND CONSISTORY MEMBERS

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

Penn Northeast

 



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From the Pastor’s desk

May brings the newness of sunshine and flowers to our community. After a long winter, this is something we all welcome with open arms. The seasons are something that affects our vitality. Vitality, simply put, means the state of being strong and active; energy. In the beautiful summer months ahead we can sense this vitality coming into our own minds and bodies.

But our minds and bodies are not the only things that vitality affects. It is infecting our church as well. The Penn Northeast Conference (PNEC) has taken the word vitality and put it into action! The PNEC has recently formed a Congregational Vitality Team.  The function of this team is to work to revitalize and support our congregations. This is all going to start with an assessment that will be given out to congregations for their input on how we could re-vitalize our churches.

What a great idea in this fast paced changing world! The congregation members of Emmanuel United Church of Christ are going to receive this assessment in May.  Once that assessment is compiled, I will be meeting with the team to review their recommendations.  This is the beginning of a new Emmanuel UCC. Not that there is anything wrong with our existing church. In fact, I see quite a bit of untapped potential here.

We at Emmanuel UCC are concerned with folks who are missing out on a great opportunity to change, to heal, and to become whole. Are you seeking any of this?  Perhaps you are church shopping, or are a former member who is thinking about coming back home to Emmanuel.  Well, we have much to offer to you.

For our young people there is Sunday school, kids choir, and our newly re-formed youth group for those ages 10 and up.  Actually, we have planned a mission trip to Blue Knob PA, through Team Effort, for the week of July 8th.  Also, we will be holding our annual Summer Bible Camp during the evenings this summer.

For everyone we continue to meet on Sunday morning at 10:30 am. for worship.  We also are now offering Bible study group to supplement this worship. And, of course, lots of opportunities for fellowship.

Did I miss anything? Is there something you would like to see happen in our church? Well, come with you suggestions because we also offer an extravagant welcome to everyone no matter where you are on life’s journey.

So, consider this May newsletter article an invitation to come and be re-vitalized.  Our church is already vitalized but we could only get stronger.  We want you to come and enjoy everything God has given us! We hope to see you soon!

 

God Bless You!

Pastor Lou Aita

Youth Group Postponed

The youth group get together scheduled for April 29th has been moved to May 6th. Come out on May 6th for game night and pizza. The youth group is open to everyone and anyone 10 and up. Church membership is not required.

No Matter Who You Are Or Where You Are On Life’s Journey, You’re Welcome Here

300 Club Preparation

9th Annual 300 CLUB and

SILENT AUCTION

June 16, 2018

Hurry up and get your tickets!

Only 300 tickets are sold to have a chance to win 43 prizes.  That’s better odds than the PA lottery!  Tickets are $35 for 2 people to come for a day of delicious food and excellent entertainment. There are 5 hourly drawings starting at 1:00 pm for 2 prizes at $50 and 3 prizes at $25.  At 6:00 pm the final prizes are drawn, which everyone has a chance at since we put all previous winners back “in the pot.”  Grand prize is $1,000, 2nd prize is $500 and 3rd prize is $250 plus 5 prizes each of $100, $50 and $25. Add to that all the great eats and music by Mud Pond Boys and Jesse and Friends and you have a terrific afternoon filled with fun.  If you want to attend but don’t care about the prizes, just pay $15 per person and still enjoy all the food and entertainment.

 

DONATIONS ITEMS ARE NEEDED for the Silent Auction.  These need to be new items for a Silent Auction.  Many items are donated by local merchants and businesses.  If you have something to donate or think of someone who might donate, please take some of the donation memos on the table in the narthex.  Fill in the person/business name, the date, and the item and its value and give it to the person/business for their tax records.  Also note the value of the item for us so we can put that on the bid sheets for the auction.  See Sandy Kleger for more information.

300 CLUB POSTERS and SILENT AUCTION DONATION LETTERS are on the table in the narthex.  Please take some posters and get them around the area.  Also on the table are donation letters for those who provide auction items.  Please let me know if more posters or letters are needed

PennySignature

Picture Perfect

The North East Pa. Music Teachers Association recently announced that    Leah Dietrich qualified after auditioning at Wilkes University to perform at Carnegie Hall, New York on March 31st.

 

Myra Belanchik was excited to start hunting for eggs at Fairview/Wright Easter Festival.

Belanchik EasterUCC

Last Day of Sunday School

We will have our last day of Sunday School on May 13.  I appreciate all the effort and work that the teachers put into the lessons.  When you bring your children, you can count on them learning more about our faith through these volunteers.

Lisa Rinehimer

300 CLUB and SILENT AUCTION – June 16, 2018

Hurry up and get your tickets for our annual 300 Club fundraiser!
Mark your calendars and get ready for a great day of fun, food and prizes. On Saturday, June 16, we will hold our annual 300 Club from 12 to 6 pm. For tickets or to help out, please see Allen Dennis or any Consistory member

Upcoming Dates

Put these dates on your calendar for future
fun and fellowship.
April 28                Spring Turkey Supper
June 16                300 Club
October 20          Fall Turkey Supper
November 10     Pork & Sauerkraut Dinner

From the Pastor’s desk

It has been a productive and worship filled month here at Emmanuel UCC. From our time
during Holy Week to that glorious Easter Sunday, we have been together as one body in Christ,
not only worshipping, but in our times of times of fellowship together.
The month of April holds even more possibilities. More activities for our newly formed
youth group, our planning for a mission trip, more spiritual filled worship, and of course our
famous turkey supper!
The consistory is always hard at work thinking up new ways in which to spread the
Gospel message to our surrounding communities. And Emmanuel UCC is always hard at work
spreading the Gospel message around the world through Our Churches Wider Mission.
April is also the month when the Penn Northeast Conference gathers together for our
Annual Meeting. This will be held Saturday, April 14th at Union United Church of Christ in
Neffs, PA. The annual meeting is open to any UCC member. Consider attending and meet old
friends and make new ones! Our own Jeff Dauber will be a vendor this year offering information
about the Alzheimer’s Association!
The following is some information to remind us that God is Still Speaking. I know He is at
Emmanuel UCC!
God is Still Speaking,
Stillspeaking. It’s the shorter form of “God is still speaking,” a campaign by the United Church
of Christ to remind us that God still has a lot more to say. Since 2004, Stillspeaking has worked
with thousands of UCC churches and individuals across the country to make religion relevant
again and to extend an extravagant welcome to all—because no matter who you are, or where
you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here. Here at the United Church of Christ.
In 2004, it was concluded that there was a present and real need for the United Church of
Christ to spread its message of extravagant welcome which continues to historically re-shape
our understanding of the Christian faith and proclamation. The UCC responded to this call and
challenge with a new identity and marketing campaign to let all others know that anyone could
find a spiritual home in the United Church of Christ, be strengthened and nurtured in their
faith and be blessed to reach out to others with their God-given gifts and talents.
Today, under one collective identity, we can enthusiastically lift up that the UCC is a
welcoming, justice-minded Christian community. At a time when religion is too often portrayed
as narrow-minded and exclusive, many are raising their VOICES for an alternate vision:

  • Where God is all-loving and inclusive
  • Where the Church of Jesus Christ welcomes and accepts everyone as they are
  • Where your mind is nourished as much as your soul
  • Where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary
  • Where together we grow a just and peaceful world

7 Sundays until the day of Pentecost and always honored and proud to be your minister!

Pastor Lou Aita

Youth Group Meeting

The next Youth group meeting will be April 29 at 5:30, it will be game night at the church, plus we will make pizza again as well. Anyone ages 10 – teens are welcome to come and join the fun.

Picture Perfect

Diana Decker, Lois Eigenbrod and Carol Duffy

Diana Decker, Lois Eigenbrod and Carol Duffy are shown enjoying a meal together and some time of fellowship at our first Lenten Supper before Wednesday Church service on February 21.

Youth Group
The children of the newly formed Youth Group are shown lined up to pick toppings for their own personally made pizza.

Youth Group Fundraiser

Remember to get your Weis and Carone’s cards!

This is a wonderful way to support the Youth Group without spending anything extra. You’re just going to spend that money at the grocery store anyway so why not give the Youth Group some help with their finances? For every $1,000 worth of cards they sell, they make $50. Please see Marc on Sunday mornings or you can call Penny at the church office (570-868-5675) during the week.

EMMANUAL GIFT CARD FUNDRAISER

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 placed following the First Sunday of each month.

Bake Sale during the Turkey Supper

Sunday School News

We will need baked goods to sell for our fundraiser during the Turkey Supper. Please try to drop them off before 3:00 so we can get them packed and priced. We truly appreciate your support so that we can have a great Sunday School for our kids.

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.

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

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. — Romans 15:2 (NIV)