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

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.


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.


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


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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


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



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

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. — Psalm 51:12 (NIV)