CURRENT OFFICERS AND CONSISTORY MEMBERS

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

Penn Northeast

 



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From the Pastor’s Desk

According to the Bible, every Christian has been given at least one spiritual gift to use in service to the body of Christ. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen”. So, an important step in determining how to best serve in the church is for us to discover what our spiritual gifts are. Of course, we don’t have to know what our gift is before we start getting involved in the church. In fact, we often discover our gifts in the process of serving.

There is a difference between the Body of Christ universal and the local church Christians attend for corporate worship. But there is no difference in how Christians ought to use their spiritual gifts, because serving God is a twenty-four-hour proposition, not a Sunday-only enterprise. All Christians everywhere should be serving God in their local churches and looking for opportunities to serve outside the walls of a church building. It may be difficult to discover which spiritual gift(s) God has bestowed, but it’s better to serve somewhere than nowhere. Often, the discovery of gifts becomes more clear in the doing—as we serve in various jobs, we learn what we are good at and what we have a heart for.

There are always more needs than willing workers; this was true in Christ’s day and is still true today. It’s never a problem to find a need in the local church. From evangelizing the community to cleaning the bathrooms, there is always plenty of work to be done. It is good to inquire of the church leadership regarding the needs of the church.

Every member of every church should be serving in some way, and every servant of the Lord should remember that it’s more than just serving others; it’s loving them: “Serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13). Serving the church can take on many forms: preparing a meal for a family struck by illness, visiting an elderly, housebound widow, or just picking up a phone and saying, “I was thinking about you today.” Christians may busy themselves in tasks of service like the ones listed above, but endless performing, without love, is meaningless. As we go about serving God and others, let us do so with a spirit of humility and brotherly love.  Yours in Christ,

Pastor Lou Aita

Thank You

Thank you to Bonnie Silvetti for the beautiful fresh flowers from her garden that were used as altar flowers a few Sundays in August.

Teen Talk on Sunday Mornings

Our Teen Talk is for anyone in 7th grade and above.  We meet on Sunday mornings starting on September 8 at 9:30 am. to talk about God and Jesus, how our lives are influenced by them and how we can be an influence to others around us.  There are so many things that try to manipulate us away from God.  This is our own time to dig deeper into our faith.  It’s not just another “Sunday School class” or Bible Study.  It’s all about us – who we are, what’s happening in our lives right here and now, and how does any of this relate to God and our faith.  We’ll be discussing the important things going on in the world, our town and our lives.  And if you have any particular ideas to discuss, just give them to me. Come to Teen Talk and find other teens who want to make their faith stronger and be better at dealing with ideas and things that pull us away from being Christians.   We’re looking for everyone in 7th grade and up to come out and talk about how God really relates to us – not just in theory, but in reality.

CARDS FOR A CAUSE

Thanks to everyone who buys Weis or Carone’s cards.  We appreciate all your support.  See Deb or let a Youth Group member know if you want some more! There are also envelopes on the table in the narthex to put in with the offering and receive the following week.

WE ARE IN NEED OF FOOD FOR OUR FOOD PANTRY

As our food pantry is used by the community on a regular basis, we are running low.  We do have an abundance of pasta and cereal.  Please try and help us stock the pantry so we could continue to offer this outreach to our community members.

150 YEARS OLD ! …

Did you know our church is 150 years old this year?  What a Great Cloud of Witness we are (from the Book of Hebrews)!  We have deliberated this fact at our last consistory meeting and decided to celebrate! On Sunday, October 6th, there will be a special service during our regular worship time. We would like to continue the celebration with a covered dish luncheon after the service.  Please consider preparing your favorite German themed dish to share.  Also, bring along family and friends to make our celebration meaningful to all. I will be contacting former ministers of Emanuele UCC to join us that afternoon.

In addition, we ask that if you have any memorabilia to share start collecting it now and bring it to me.  I do plan on setting this up in our social hall for all to enjoy!           I will be looking for anyone who would like to be on the anniversary committee for our 150th anniversary.  This is going to be a think-tank to help plan for our celebration October 6th. We need ideas to make this a fun and memorable afternoon.  Please see me after church if interested or call me at 570-582-9550.  Thanks,

Pastor Lou Aita

SHOP AT AMAZON ? ? ?

What is AmazonSmile? AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

     The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

Choose to support: Emmanuel United Church of Christ, Mountaintop, Pa

From The Pastor’s Desk

The Humanness of Jesus

The apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians tells us, “…But (Jesus) made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Phil. 2:7).

A lot of people have argued about what Jesus emptied Himself of, exactly. Most Christian scholars agree that when Jesus came to Earth as a human, He emptied Himself, or set aside, His divine attributes—that is, His omniscience (knowing everything), His omnipresence (being everywhere, always present), and His omnipotence (limitless in His power). As a human, He was limited in all these qualities simply because of He had a human body. But let’s set that thought aside for now.

My question is this: what if He didn’t just empty Himself, but also added something? What if that something was human nature? If that were the case, then of course Jesus would have had to limit the access He had to His divine nature. He couldn’t fully operate out of His divine nature and still have the full experience of being human. Those two natures contradict one another.

This is the really challenging part. How human was Jesus, really? He was born of human flesh, grew physically like any other human would, had veins of actual blood, got hungry, thirsty, and tired. He died a physical death. He felt human emotions including anger, despair, joy, grief, sadness, excitement, and wonder. Jesus struggled—He was tempted, confused at times, limited by others’ lack of response, frustrated, and often lonely. It all sounds pretty human to me.

If I were Jesus and had a “God card” I could access anytime I wanted, I would have certainly used it to avoid the daily struggles of being human. However, although Jesus possessed His divine nature throughout His life on Earth, He mysteriously gave up His access to this nature in order to fully possess humanness. Let that sink in for a moment. God, through Jesus, became like us. I don’t know about you, but this makes Jesus—and in turn God the Father—much more relatable and “follow-able” than a super-human, superhero-like God.

To be open to the idea that we are loved is to respond to a God who chose to be human and vulnerable.

In my own ministry, I enjoy meeting and interacting with others.  When I do this on a spiritual level, I bask in the humanness of sharing joy and sometimes grief, accomplishment and disappointments.

Jesus, in His human nature, completely identifies with us! He gets it—our joy, our sorrow, our loneliness, our longings. Jesus meets us in our humanity. He is, after all, the fullest expression and example of what it is to be human. Yours in Christ,

Pastor Lou Aita

Congregational Corner

Our deepest thanks to our church family for their prayers, well wishes and cards on the passing of Jim’s father, Dick Stewart, on July 11th.

Jim and Lynne Stewart

BIRTHDAY GREETINGS

Ethel Fine will be celebrating her 96th birthday on August 7.  Let’s all give her a great birthday by sending her cards showing her how much she means to our church family

Ethel Fine will be celebrating her 96th birthday on August 7.  Let’s all give her a great birthday by sending her cards showing her how much she means to our church family.

Picture Perfect

Some of our graduates are pictured with their class.  Crestwood’s graduating class included Morgan Rinehimer.  We wish her God’s guidance and encourage her as she pursues the next phases of her life.

CHS class of 2019

Our annual 300 Club and Silent Auction was enjoyed by many people.  Ray Stec enjoys a laugh with Dave Myers while he waits for his hamburger.  Our thanks to all who came out to support this fundraiser.

10th Annual 300 Club & Silent Auction Report Saturday, June 15, 2019

Silent Auction Profit:                                                                         $1990.00

300 Club:

          Income:      281 tickets @ $35.00 each                                      $9,835.00

                             5 Guests @ $15.00 each                                                75.00

                             50/50 raffles                                                                 268.00

                             Donations from winners                                                50.00

                             Additional Donations                                                   175.00

                             Extra hamburgers sold                                                   53.00

                                                                                                           $10,456.00

—————————————————————————————————-

Expenses:            Prizes from drawings……………………………. $ 3,500.00

                            2 Bands ……………………………………………   775.00

                             Small games license………………………………… 125.00

                             Moonwalk for children……………………………… 234.00

                             USPS stamps for mailing…………………………….. 88.00

                             Cindy Heller (soda, pretzels & chips)………………… 47.00

                             Steve Moyer (buns)…………………………………… 38.46

                             Joan Rinehimer (hotdogs, burgers & buns)………… 231.48

                             Allen Dennis (cheese, plates & pickles)……………… 52.56

                             Diana Decker (sausage)……………………………   126.96        

                                                                                                            $ 5,218.46

Income:                      $10,456.00

Expenses:                       5,218.46

                                   $  5,237.54 (profit from 300 Club)

                                       1,990.00 (profit from Silent Auction)

                                   $  7,227.54 Grand Total Profit

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.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. — Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)