Sandy Kleger
Vice President
Jim Stewart
Diana Decker
Allen Dennis
Lisa Ceaser
Butch Peters
Chris Dietrich

Penn Northeast


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From the Pastor’s Desk

I think about it all the time. While I’m driving, praying, eating.  I guess I can call it one of my little obsessions.  It is the question, “How can we get more people involved in church life.

Well, understand I am not the only person on this church asking that same question.  We as a whole are not the only church asking that question.  As a person who needs to know the facts, I have turned to a group of researchers who have already explored these questions.  They are called The Barna Group.  In its 30-year history, Barna Group has conducted more than one million interviews over the course of hundreds of studies, and has become a go-to source for insights about faith and culture, leadership and vocation, and generations. Barna Group has carefully and strategically tracked the role of faith in America, developing one of the nation’s most comprehensive databases of spiritual indicators. Barna Group has worked with thousands of business, nonprofit organizations and churches across the U.S. and around the world, including many protestant denominations, Catholic parishes, and faith leaders. Some of its notable clients have included the Salvation Army, World Vision, Compassion, the American Bible Society, and Habitat for Humanity. It has also served mainstream business and non-profit leaders at organizations like Sony, Walden Media, Easter Seals, CARE, the ONE Campaign, the Humane Society, the Gates Foundation, and NBC Universal. The firm’s studies are frequently cited in sermons and talks, and its public opinion research is often quoted in major media outlets such as CNN, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, the New York Times, Dallas Morning News, and the Los Angeles Times.

Their research always surprises me. Here is a statistic I feel we can work with.

Millennial Non-Christians Show Greater Spiritual Curiosity Than Older Adults

Despite the growing indifference toward Christianity, especially among young people, there appears to be a spiritual curiosity among Millennials. Barna’s recent report Reviving Evangelism, shows that Millennials report many more faith conversations or even evangelistic encounters than older non-Christians. For at least some young adults, there appears to be deeper interest in spirituality in general, and in Christianity specifically. This statistic appeared as a research release in the magazine Faith and Christianity, 2019.

What is a millennial? According to the US Census Bureau, they were born between 1982 and 2000. They are the largest generation in the workforce because of their birth years. Millennials are the children of the baby boomers and are also called the Generation Y or Gen Y. They possess several qualities and characteristics different from the past generations. And although the characteristics of a millennial varies on the culture and environment, they grew up in; these are the common characteristics of millennials today.

  1. Millennials are Often Optimistic About the Future
  2. They Love Social Networking
  3. They are Tech-Savvy
  4. They Believe in Work-Life Balance (prioritizing family over work).
  5. They are Goal-Oriented
  6. They Want Recognition (feeling valued).
  7. Millennials Love to Multitask
  8. They Have an Entrepreneurial Spirit
  9. They Like Adventures
  10. They are Educated

I feel these are some great attributes, and I am sure you do also.  As you read this list of qualities, imagine them being put to work in our modern day churches.  I, along with many others in our church, are serious about considering these characteristics and putting them to work for the good of our world.  Our older church folks have so much to share with this generation and they will embrace your thoughts and visions.  So look out! Expect some changes at Emmanuel UCC. Changes for the good of all of us.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Lou Aita

300 Club and Silent Auction

THANKS to everyone who helped in any way to make this year’s 300 Club and Silent Auction a fantastic success.  Almost all the 300 tickets were sold, ensuring us a good profit.  We also had additional guests who each donated $15 to enjoy the great food and bands.  We are still waiting for some of the Silent Auction payments to be collected and will have and update of the profit as soon as it becomes available.

Old River Church Services

Worship begins at 6:00 pm Sunday evenings beginning July 7 and continues to the end of August.  If you can help with refreshments for July 15 when we are host, please see Cindy.

          July   7……………. Emmanuel UCC

          July 14……………… New Hope UMC

          July 21……….. St. James Lutheran

          July 28……………… St. John’s UCC

          Aug.   4………. St. Mark’s Lutheran

          Aug. 11……………… St. Peter’s UCC

          Aug. 18……………….. Mt. Zion UCC

          Aug. 25……. Cemetery Association

We hope everyone will find time to worship in this historic setting.


It’s summer and time for our choirs to be on vacation.  But that doesn’t mean that we want a vacation from music.  Anyone who will sing, play an instrument or (if you’re really talented) do both, is welcome to pick a Sunday to make a joyful noise to our God.  Please see Denise Dean so we can fill the air with music on Sunday mornings.

Picture Perfect

Dave Myers is shown at our Spring Turkey Dinner held on May 4 packing a box with a dinner for Slocum resident Carl Peters to take home and enjoy.

Members of Emmanuel UCC are shown remembering the fallen at the Memorial Day ceremonies which were conducted at several locations across the mountain, including VFW Post 7918 Memorial, St. Martin in the Fields, St. Mary’s Cemetery, Emmanuel United Church of Christ, Albert Cemetery and Mountain Post 781 Memorial, on Sunday, May 26, 2019. Organizations participating in the ceremonies were American Legion Mountain Post 781, Dorrance Post 288, Ashley Post 673, and Slocum VFW Post 7918.

Among the 222 Graduates of Crestwood High School Class of 2019, was a very familiar face.  Morgan Rinehimer received their diplomas and is now on her way to her new futures.   Morgan is off to Stevenson University to pursue her degree in nursing. Congratulations and all the best.

CHS class of 2019

Dave Myers was on the grill making Ray Stec a hamburger at the 10th annual 300 Club picnic.


Emmanuel will host VBS July 14th thru 18th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to join especially our youth, they are encouraged to help as leaders and decorating/design.  Any questions please see Pastor Lou.

This summer, bring your kids to SonQuest Rainforest VBS. Based on 5 key Bible verses that will change a child’s life—SonQuest Rainforest VBS transports young minds into a vivid rainforest environment of jungle sounds, sights and smells, where they’ll dig into the Bible and meet Jesus in every day’s story.

300 Club Today!!!

Come for a great picnic and terrific chances to win the hourly drawings!

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who came out on May 18 to lend a hand for our spring clean-up day.  There was plenty to do and now our church looks shiny and new.

Old River Church Services

Worship begins at 6:00 pm Sunday evenings beginning July 7 and continues to the end of August.  If you can help with refreshments for July 7 when we are host, please see Cindy.

     July  7   Emmanuel UCC

     July 14  St. Peter’s UCC

     July 21  St. John’s UCC

     July 28  St. James Lutheran

     Aug.   4  New Hope UMC

     Aug. 11  St. Mark’s Lutheran

     Aug. 18  Mt. Zion UCC

     Aug. 25  Cemetery Association

We hope everyone will find time to worship in this historic setting. 


Turkey Supper Report

Door Sales    
  176 @ $11.00 1,936.00
Advance Sales    
  181 @ $11.00 1,991.00
Donations & Surplus Sold   158.00
TOTAL INCOME   4,085.00
Veggies 55.74
Turkeys, Bread Cubes, Broth, Cranberry, Potatoes, bread, etc. 1186.58  
TOTAL EXPENSE   1,242.32
  TOTAL INCOME   4,085.00
  TOTAL EXPENSE -1,242.32
  DINNER PROFIT 2,842.68

300 CLUB!!

Only 300 tickets are sold for this “exclusive” Club!! Hurry up and get your ticket for our 10th annual 300 Club fundraiser! Where else can you get great food, excellent entertainment and terrific cash prizes for two people for $35!!  At our annual 300 CLUB on June 15 from noon to 6 pm!  That’s a bargain!  And if you’re not into the prizes, you can still come and enjoy all that food and music for only $15 a person.  There will be two bands:  The Mud Pond Boys and Sundance. On top of that, every hour from 1:00 to 5:00 there will be a drawing for five CA$H prizes ranging from $25 to $50.  At the 6:00 pm drawing, we award the grand prizes of $1,000, $500, 5 at $100, and the remaining $50 and $25 prizes.  Plus, all during the event, you will be able to bid on items for our Silent Auction which will be called at 5:00 pm.  It’s going to be a wonderful day with lots of excitement – so don’t miss out!


We always need items 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.  We’ve had some amazing items in the past, from kid’s toys to kitchenware, hand-made clocks to fine jewelry, and everything in between.  We’d like to have an even greater variety for this year’s auction.  So please see what you can find to add to our assortment.  THANKS!!

2019 Vacation Bible School

         Sonquest Rainforest

July 14th – 18th

Our first meeting was on May 7.  We decided to hold our program from Sunday, July 14, through Thursday, July 18.  We reviewed the materials and discussed preliminary decorating ideas.  We have leaders for all the centers but for everyone who would like to help, assistants are needed for the snacks, crafts and PreK areas.  The PreK leader is asking for one or two adults for extra hands for in-class projects. Please see Cindy if you can help with snacks or Pastor Lou for other areas.

          Our next meeting will be on May 28 at 7:00 pm.  We will continue discussing decorating and what will be our mission.  Each year, our VBS decides on a mission project.  Our projects have helped children here locally and around the world.  All ideas are welcome and we will all decide then which one is right for this year.

From the Pastor’s Desk

At a recent meeting with my mentor, the Rev Dr. Jane Hess, we talked about our churches and what is important to us.  I mentioned community and relationships.  We both agreed that both are important and that relationships are just another gift the church has to offer.  One reason why relationships are such an important part of the Christian life is because God values relationships. That’s why we should value relationships as well.

God himself is relational

The Bible teaches that God has eternally existed as three persons in one divine being. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been in relationship with each other forever. In Genesis 1:26, we read, “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image…’” Notice that God says “us”, not just “me”. This is why the Bible can say that “God is love.” God was able to express and experience love long before any created beings existed, because God encompasses three persons. Without going into detail on the Trinity, we need to understand that God is not a solitary being. The Father loves the Son and the Son, in turn, loves the Father. If God is relational, why should we think that we can go it alone?

The Old Testament shows that God values relationships

We can find many examples in the Old Testament scriptures that prove how important relationships are to God. For example, when God called Abraham (Genesis 12:2), he told him, “I will make you into a great nation.” God wasn’t content to establish a relationship with just one man. His purpose was to create a people – made up of families, clans, and tribes. God chose to bring redemption into the world through human relationships.
Another point of data from the Old Testament is the special care God shows toward people who are alone in the world. In particular, God’s heart is for widows and orphans. These are people who are the vulnerable and most subject to oppression and neglect, because they lack people who can provide a structure of support. So God told Israel in Isaiah 1:17, “Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” And Psalm 68:6 says, “God sets the lonely in families…” Relationships are important to God!

The New Testament shows that God values relationships

To begin with, God created the church. While the people of Israel were all related to each other, the church encompasses people from every national and ethnic group. The church includes everyone who is united to Jesus by faith in him. As a result, we are all united to each other as well. The New Testament calls the church a family. It compares it to a living body. Metaphors like this emphasize our interconnectedness as Christ-followers.
In light of this, the New Testament contains hundreds of verses that instruct us on how  to live in relationships. There are dozens of “one another” statements that direct how we should live: forgive one another, be patient with one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, love one another, and many more. It is quite clear, then, that no one can be obedient to God’s Word in isolation. God’s design is for us to connect in relationships. That’s why he told us how to do it.

God never called anyone to a purely individual salvation

The New Testament teaches that salvation places each of us into a web of relationships centered on Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:1-10describes our salvation in individual terms. We were dead in our sins. God made us alive in Christ. He saved us by his grace, through our faith, for a life of good works. But the rest of Ephesians 2 describes the relational aspects of this same salvation.

Ephesians 2:19-22: So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.  When you’re connected to Jesus, you are also connected to his people. We are now members of a single family. We are citizens of the same kingdom. We are connected like stones in a house. In fact, as our lives are joined together, we become a temple. God lives among us by his Spirit – not individually, but in the unity of our relationships.  Relationships are important to God. God’s people are completely out of step with his values and priorities when relationships are not important to us.

Our relationships continue, especially with the young people in our church. Starting on July 14th, and ending July 18thy, 2019 we will gather every evening for our vacation Bible school! We have many educational activities planned, and also time for fun.  We will meet in our church social hall beginning at 6:30 pm and end at 8:30 pm.  Enrollment forms are available at church or by calling the church office at 570- 868-5675. Our relationships continue, hope to see you there!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Lou Aita

Thank You!

Betty Dickson would like to thank everyone for the cards and flowers.

Janet Milliner would like to express her sincerest Thank You from her heart for the generous gift toward her hearing aid costs. Thank you note can be found on the bulletin board in the bell tower.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16 (NIV)