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

One of the appointed scripture lessons on the month of October was The Parable of the Persistent Widow and the Unjust judge. The main theme of my sermon was, of course, to delve deeper into this parable and relate it to our lives and the life of the church.

The parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge found in Luke 18:1–8 is part of a series of illustrative lessons Jesus Christ used to teach His disciples about prayer. Luke introduces this lesson as a parable meant to show the disciples “that they should always pray and never give up.”

The parable of the widow and the judge is set in an unnamed town. According to the Book of Deuteronomy, the judge presides over the town. This particular unjust judge has no fear of God and no compassion for the people under his jurisdiction. In the Jewish community, a judge was expected to be impartial, to judge righteously, and to recognize that judgment ultimately belongs to God. Thus, the judge in this story is incompetent and unqualified for the job. Justice was not being served.

A needy widow repeatedly comes before the judge to plead her case. According to Jewish law, widows deserve special protection under the justice system, a law also found in the Book of Deuteronomy. But this unjust judge ignores her. Nevertheless, she refuses to give up.

Eventually, the judge says to himself, “I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!”  The widow gets the justice she was seeking. Then Jesus explains His point: if an uncaring, unfit, ungodly judge answers with justice in the end, how much more will a loving and holy Father give what is right to His children?

We do not always get immediate results when we pray. Our definition of swift justice is not the same as the Lord’s definition. The parable of the persistent widow demonstrates that effective prayer requires tenacity and faithfulness. A genuine disciple must learn that prayer never gives up and is based on absolute trust and faith in God. We can fully count on the Lord to answer when, where, and how He chooses. God expects us to keep on asking, seeking, knocking, and praying until the answers come. Disciples of Jesus are people of persistent faith.

The parable of the persistent widow and unjust judge is similar to the parable of the persistent neighbor found in Luke 11:5–10, another lesson in Jesus’ teachings on prayer. While both parables teach the importance of persistence in prayer, the story of the widow and the judge adds the message of continued faithfulness in prayer.

Jesus presents a final quiz on the matter at the end of the parable of the persistent widow and unjust judge. He asks, “But when the Son of Man returns, how many will He find on the earth who have faith?”  Just as Paul stresses in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, continual devotion to prayer should be a way of life. The Lord wants to know if He will find any faithful prayer warriors left on the earth when He returns. Will we be among God’s people still praying at Christ’s second coming, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done?”

Faithful, never-ceasing, persistent prayer is the permanent calling of every true disciple of Christ who is dedicated to living for the Kingdom of God. Like the persistent widow, we are needy, dependent sinners who trust in our gracious, loving, and merciful God alone to supply what we need.

As your Pastor, I would like to stress that everyone is important to God, and His Son Jesus Christ. We at Emmanuel UCC feel the same way about each other and everyone in the community near and far.  You are worthy of the love of God and Jesus, and worthy of the love we would like to share with everyone who walks through our doors.

Feeling unloved? Unworthy of love? Want to learn more about your own spirituality? Want to get involved in mission near and far? Give Emmanuel UCC a chance. Remember, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here! With Agape love,

Pastor Lou Aita

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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.  They make great gifts for Christmas. Lisa Ceaser will be taking orders Sunday, November 3rd and Sunday, December 1st, she will order them and distribute them as they arrive.  If you have any question, please see Lisa Ceaser. 

Sunday School News

   The Sunday School will be collecting monetary donations for $5 gift cards to McDonalds. Deadline for donations is November 24th.  If you wish to make a donation, please see Lisa Rinehimer. Their goal is to be able to purchase 30 gift cards. 

   The Sunday school will also be collecting women’s hats and gloves for Ruth’s Place again this year. They are in need of women’s hats and  gloves.  The Sunday School kids will wrap them. Deadline to donate will be December 6. Their goal is to collect 30 sets of hats and gloves.  Donations can be placed in the designated box in the narthex.

Thank you for supporting the Sunday School’s missions.

CHRISTMAS PROGRAM

Our Sunday School children, youth and the chancel choir will be having a Christmas Program on December 15 during our worship service. Please mark this special service on your calendar so you won’t miss our Sunday School’s heartwarming presentation. More details TBA in upcoming bulletins and December Newsletter for more information.

2019 FALL TURKEY SUPPER REPORT

THANK YOU TO EVERONE WHO MADE THIS A SUCCESSFUL SUPPER!! 

Give yourselves a pat on the back, you deserve it! 

2019 FALL TURKEY SUPPER REPORT
Income:
Ticket Sales
Door:
Tickets: 255 @ $11.00$2805.00
Advance:
Tickets: 143 @ $11.00$1573.00
Surplus$152.50
Total Income$4530.50
Expenses:
Turkeys, Cabbage, Paper Prod., Veggies, Celery, Broth, Eggs$1415.50
TStorage Bags & (2) 4 oz Dish$34.56
Total Expenses$1,450.06
TOTAL PROFIT $3,080.44

From the Pastor’s Desk

On behalf of myself and the congregation of Emmanuel United Church of Christ, I am proud to say that we are celebrating 150 years of worship and service to our communities, and the world!

Starting in 1845, religious services were held in a school-house on the lot which Emmanuel’s church now stands, Rev Isaac Shellhammer, a minister of the Reformed Church, living in Black Creek Township, came and preached about once every four weeks.  He preached altogether in the German language, and his records are in the same language.  As the congregation was small, and the people poor, his salary was from $10-$15 per anum.  Even though this salary seems small, it was the custom of the day to supplement the payment with goods-often farm produce. He died in 1873, and is buried in the cemetery adjoin a church which is called in honor of his name, the Shellhammer church, in Black Creek Township.

Our history continues throughout the centuries leading to this present day. The cornerstone of our present church was laid November 1868and the church was dedicated Sunday, August 15th 1869. 150 years, and many ministers later, Emmanuel UCC still standing Dorrance, PA, still worshipping, and still contributing to our local and global communities.

In our present time, we see a changing world with churches of all denominations attempting to keep up with this rapid change.

Tod Bolsinger, author of “Canoeing the Mountains” is going to be our main speaker at our Penn Northeast Conference Annual Meeting in November. His above mentioned book deals with this rapid change. A quote from this book which stands out to me is, “For Christian leaders this means that ministry is not only the means to bring the gospel to the world, ministry together is how God makes a congregation into a corps that is ready to continually bring the gospel in new ways to a changing world.”  Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory.

After reading this my thoughts turned to the congregation building this church 150 years ago with the “dream of continually bringing the Gospel in new ways to a changing world.”

We can be the fulfillment of that dream and carry on the work of our ancestors. Tell others about the church you attend.  We are a full service church because we believe in that dream and will continuing to bring the Good News to our communities and the world.

The world does change rapidly.  It was changing in 1869 and continues to change in 2019.  We breath in the tenacity and bravery of our ancestors in faith and say that we are ready and able to meet the challenges faced in keeping Emmanuel UCC alive for another 150 years and beyond. May God be with you all,

Pastor Lou Aita

Turkey Dinner Dates

October 17 to 19

Please remember that it is not necessary to be at the dinner “forever”.  If everyone takes a turn, we can all help each other and feel good about volunteering to support our church. 

See Steve Moyer or Allen Dennis for tickets to sell.  There’s plenty for everyone, so get them and sell, sell, sell.  The fall Dinner is usually our best dinner fundraiser and is easy to promote.  Why?  Because people love to eat – especially good food!!  And we’ve been complimented again and again about how really good it is!

We need people to cook the turkeys.  Allen Dennis is the person to see if you can volunteer your time for this important item (what’s a Turkey Supper without turkey, right?)  The turkeys arrive either at your home or at the church (depending on how you arrange it with Allen). 

On Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m., walls are taken down and tables are set up.  Then there is the cleaning and cutting up of the vegetables and for making the pickled cabbage.

Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. we make the stuffing which takes strong arms to mix thoroughly.   Please come out Friday night if you can help.

Saturday morning at 8:00 am is when we clean the meat off the turkeys, which is easier to do if the turkeys are warm.  Those of you who clean your own turkeys and then deliver them really help to speed up this process.  Please remember to bring the turkey broth to make the gravy.  After a short break, workers gather again at 2:30 pm to start heating everything up so it’s good and hot for serving our guests at 3:00 pm..

Then, of course, the actual event begins at 3:00 and goes to about 7:00 p.m.  By the end of the supper at 7:00 p.m., the workers, (many of whom have been there since 2:30 p.m. so that everything is all set to serve at 3:00 p.m.) are ready for a rest.  That’s when it’s nice to have a clean-up crew come in.  The area needs to be cleaned up and Sunday School rooms put back in order and the walls put back up.  The large roasters and cook pots are washed and put away until the next supper.  The kitchen cleaned and floors washed and vacuumed. 

There’s a lot to do to hold a dinner, but the work’s not hard when you’re having fun.  And we do have a lot of fun, even if we are a bit frantic while serving our guests.  It’s all part of the experience and we’d love for you to experience it, too.

Picture Perfect

Nick Aita and Robert Duffy have a great time horsing around on the inflatable slide as their friend Leah Dietrich watches at their recent  Rally Day held on Sunday September 8.

Rally Day Sept 8 2019

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.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, — Colossians 1:9 (NIV)