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Welcome to Emmanuel United Church of Christ

How encouraging it was to see so many folks at our Christmas Eve service. I thought it was a nice service and
several others commented on how meaningful it was for them.
Christmas Day Archie and I went to Lancaster to take Kirk out to lunch and then on to Richmond to spend a
few days with Charlie and Lisa. I went to the Presbyterian Church that I attended several years ago while there.
I saw several old friends from years gone by. Archie and I are now back in Sunbury waiting to celebrate
Christmas with his kids and grandkids tomorrow which is Tuesday. It should be fun visiting with them.
Thanks to those of you who gave me Christmas gifts this year. I appreciate them very much.
I found these words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and thought they might be ones you could consider as your
New Year’s resolutions:
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may
cheat you. Be honest anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good, Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
Just some words to consider as you enter a new year. 2015! It’s hard to believe. Enjoy yourself and be good.
Love God and do good!
God bless you!

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Thank You!

Esther Heller thanks the Sunday School for the fruit
basket given to them for Christmas. She also greatly
appreciated the card shower in celebration of her 90th birthday.

Phoebe Ministeries sent us a Christmas Thank You card.
Our gifts to Phoebe help them care for elderly members
in their facilities who often have no financial support of
their own.
Bernie Baluta sent a card thanking us for the
Thanksgiving meals for ten needy families and the
Christmas gifts and Giving Tree presents.
The Youth and Staff of Bethany Children’s Home sent
us a Christmas card with beautiful artwork depicting
children bringing home a Christmas Tree.
TEAMeffort also sent a Christmas postcard. This is the
organization which coordinates our Youth Group
mission trips.
Our thanks to all of our church family for your
generous Christmas gifts. We sincerely appreciate
your thoughtfulness.
Dwain Straight
Jennis & Brad Bunnell
Denise Dean
I would like to thank everyone who supported our
Christmas gifts to the McKinney Clinic to be passed
out to the children whose families need to use the
services of the clinic. The gifts you provided from the
Giving Tree were also delivered and distributed to
those whose needs are so much greater than ours.
Thank you for supporting the Sunday School.
Lisa Rinehimer
The Wapwallopen Crossroads Ministerium was
presented with a gift from the Sons of the American
Legion to help defray the costs of the food bank and
assist those who use the food bank with their expenses.
We are sincerely grateful for their donation and
continued support of the Ministerium’s mission of
caring for others in our communities.

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Hoagie & Soup Sale

There’s nothing like a
hearty soup and satisfying
hoagie on a chilly Saturday,
so we are taking your orders
for a delicious lunch. We’re selling Italian or Turkey
hoagies for $5.50 each, Chicken Noodle Soup for $5.00
per quart and Chili for $7.50 per quart. They will be
ready for pick-up between 11:00 am and noon on
Saturday, January 10. If you would like to place an
order, please call Allen at 570-868-5120 or the Church
Office at 570-868-5675. The last day to order is January 4.

Emmanuel UCC Hoagie Sale

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A Special Thank You

I would like to thank you for the
donations and outpouring support as I
ran in the New York City Marathon
with Team Leckey for Ryan’s Run 5.
As a team, this year we raised a grand
total of $310,888! Over the past 5 years,
Ryan’s Run raised more than $1.2
million for the Allied Services Foundation, which
supports adults and children with disabilities who live in
Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. This was my first
marathon I ever completed and was for sure an experience
of a lifetime. I finished the race in a time of 3 hours and
45 minutes. I would like to thank you all again for your
support and donations.
God Bless,
Barry Myers

Ryan's Run V

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Christmas by the Book

I would like to really, really, REALLY thank all the
cast and crew of our Christmas Program, Christmas – By
the Book. The Confirmation Class, Michelle Bernetski,
Michelle Heller, Kristen Kania and Morgan Rinehimer,
provided clear narration as the youth and children
portrayed the nativity. Kelsey Rinehimer set the scene by
singing Of the Father’s Love Begotten, reminding us that
our Lord Jesus was with God from the very beginning.
Brooke Rinehimer, cast as Gabriel, wonderfully
announced the virgin birth to a perplexed Mary played by
Morgan Hodle. Morgan also presented us with Mary’s
song of praise, My Soul Gives Glory to My God. Mary’s
cousin, Elizabeth, played by Leah Dietrich, was superbly
excited to see the mother of the Christ. Morgan Hodle
and Nate Kamowski poignantly performed the lullaby
Joseph, Dearest Joseph, in which Mary asks Joseph to
help her care for the precious child and Joseph praises
God for sending Jesus to save us. Keirsten Whitmire’s
Heralding Angel announced the Savior’s birth to the
shepherds with all the angel hosts (Scarlett Sevison,
Cindy Myers, Cadence Ring, Leah and Kelsey) joining
in, singing Glory to God. Matteo Belanchik was the
Lead Shepherd with his crew Brayden Belanchik, Wyatt
Chalker, Rowan Dietrich and Sabian Bunnell. Aaron
Kleger also portrayed an older shepherd and helped
corral the littlest shepherds (literally in the sheep corral).
Lead singers for The Shepherds Knelt in Wonder were
Robert, Leah, Matteo, Brayden, Rowan and Sabian.
Becca Biddinger launched all the choirs in singing Do
You Hear What I Hear? Robert Duffy, III, played the
Lead Magi. Robert, Matteo and Brayden pulled double
duty as both shepherds and Magi. The program ended
with a loudly rousing rendition of Go Tell It On the
Mountain, in which the congregation was invited to join.
Many people commented about how inspiring this year’s
program was and I have passed that on to the cast and
crew. As I said at the beginning of this article, I thank
everyone who helps make the Christmas programs
possible – the children and youth, their parents,
grandparents and guardians, Sunday School teachers,
Kids and Chancel Choirs, people who help set up the
scenes, and my sister, Donna, who keeps me on track and
calm. Thank you for the most wonderful Christmas
present – your love.

Emmanuel UCC

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CAUGHT YA!!! Look who was Caught Being Good.
It’s Keirsten Whitmire. Each month Rice Elementary
recognizes students who are nominated by a teacher or
staff member who saw them doing a good deed. Great,
Keirsten – keep up the “good” work!
James Schwartz is one of the Boy Scouts of Troop 434
which meets in our Fellowship Hall. He is also the first
member of Troop 434 to be awarded the highest
advancement rank of Eagle Scout in a ceremony on
November 29. James constructed a tree house for
educational purposes at Nescopeck State Park and
installed tree identification signs to teach children about
the variety of trees in the park. James is the son of
Thomas and Leslie (Kline) Schwartz. Congratulations,
Five Cub Scouts of Pack 433, which also meets in our
Fellowship Hall, were presented with a very prestigious
award. Noah Ceklosky, Scott Lenio, Keegan Behrens,
Andrew Murawski and George Albright earned the Dr.
Luis W. Alvarez Supernova Award for advanced study
of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
related topics. The scouts are required to earn five
academic pins; research famous scientists and learn
about their innovations; speak with a teacher, den leader
and STEM professional about the importance of science
and math in daily life and their careers; design and
execute a scientific experiment and report on it; and
participate in a STEM activity with their Cub Scout Den
or Pack, or a Boy Scout Troop.
The Cub Scout Supernova award is named after Dr. Luis
W. Alvarez, an American experimental physicist,
inventor and professor who was awarded the Nobel
Prize in Physics in 1968. Keep pushing the envelope,

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Welcome to Emmanuel United Church of Christ

In the ancient world, various peoples lit fires to mark the turning of the light into winter’s season and to pray for the return of the light. The church has Christianized that practice in the lighting of the Advent wreath.

Our Advent scriptures are often filled with foreboding shadows, but never without a glimpse of the promise of light. The ultimate reality is to communicate that, even in the midst of lengthening night, the elements of our faith (hope, peace, joy, love) offer light to our lives and to our world. To us, these candles are signs of the growing light of Christ who is coming again. Until the dawning of that Great Day, we watch and wait for Christ’s coming in all fullness into the darkness of our world. As we watch and wait let us do so remembering the promises of God with prayer.

November 30 is the first Sunday of Advent which continues through Christmas Eve. We will be looking inward and upward as we ready ourselves for the coming of Christ. We will see the candles on the Advent wreath lit each Sunday symbolizing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love and finally the Christ candle – the light — which will be lit on Christmas Eve. Members of our church family will be lighting the candles which is a very meaningful time for them. Let us pray earnestly to prepare ourselves for Christ’s coming into our hearts and lives.

Another tidbit about Christmas wreaths. The wreath is of course a circle – reminding us of the perfection and eternity of God. Many wreaths are decorated with evergreen branches. The evergreen, like the circle, is a symbol of eternity – but also of life. Holly is sometimes used instead of – or with – the evergreen. The sharp points of the leaves of the Holly remind us of Christ’s crown of thorns. The red berries remind us of his blood. There is a story that holly berries were white until Christ’s blood fell on them – causing them to be red ever since. And the candles that are used with the wreaths? — Christ is, of course, the light of the world – hence the candles.

During this time of year when all is hustle and bustle and shopping and holiday get-togethers are in the forefront of minds — just take a few minutes every day to lift up your voices in thanksgiving to God for all that we have been given and keep a smile on your face and in your heart.

Merry Christmas to all!


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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

Great Lakes Scrip Center

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The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held on
Sunday, December 7, after our Worship Service. The
proposed 2015 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.”

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Pork Dinner Update

This was a great fundraiser that
we haven’t had in many years.
It really will help with our expenses and
we can all be proud of the way we work together!

Ticket Sales
Adult 134 @ $10.00 1,340.00
Children 3 @ $5.00 15.00
Adult 245 @ $10.00 2,450.00
Children 1 @ $5.00 5.00
Surplus 236.50
Donation 40.00
Total Income 4,086.50
Milk & Bread 48.30
Pork, Paper Products, Sugar,Flour, Punch Mix 303.48
Pork and Potatoes 208.32
Total Expenses -560.10
TOTAL PROFIT $3,526.40

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Christmas Photo Fundraiser During Advent

One of our “Photographers in Residence”, Sharon
Moyer, is offering to take photos of you and your
family following Sunday Worship during Advent,
November 30 through December 21. With our church
decorated for Christmas, you will have a beautiful
keepsake. She will put together a 5” x 7” collage of
the pictures she takes which will cost $10 for two
copies. All money will go to improving our church
finances. Please see Sharon if you would like some
memorable pictures for the holidays.

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Our Christmas Program this year
is “Christmas – by the Book”
and will be presented during
worship on December 14. We
will hear the prophesies that
foretold Jesus’ birth, starting at the beginning, Genesis,
and continuing throughout the Old Testament. As we
celebrate Christmas, it is especially important to recall
that this event was predicted ages before it took place.
How many prophecies can we remember offhand?
Usually Isaiah’s comes to mind: For unto us a child is
born, unto us a Son is given. But there are many more
and we will hear several of them as the children and
youth present the story of the Nativity during the
course of their program.
If you would like to be a part of our program, please
see me. We also welcome anyone who would like to
be part of the Christmas Choir.
Practices for the Christmas Program are scheduled for
the following dates:

Wed., 12/3 6:30 to 7:15 pm Christmas Choir
Fri., 12/5 6:30 to 7:30 pm Speaking Parts
Wed., 12/10 6:30 to 7:15 pm Christmas Choir
Fri., 12/12 6:30 to 7:30 pm Speaking Parts
Sat, 12/14 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Dress Rehearsal
Sun, 12/15 9:00 am (during
Sunday School)

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.

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Christmas Caroling

We will meet after Worship on December 14 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!

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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. — Philippians 4:8 (NIV)