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

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

300 Club Today!!!

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

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.

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.

From the Pastor’s Desk

We are still celebrating Easter at Emmanuel UCC! And that is because we are an Easter people.  This means we celebrate the resurrected and living Christ throughout the year.  It truly was a wonderful time to be together.  We celebrated every Wednesday evening for five weeks leading up to Maunday Thursday.  Our celebration was in the form of a meal together then 30 minutes of worship.  We do this every year, so I invite you to join us for Holy week 2020!

We moved on to the somber and heartfelt service of Maunday Thursday April 18th 2019.  We celebrate with communion and learned what it means to be a part of the living bread of Christ.  Afterwards we stripped the alter in honor of Good Friday, the day of crucifixion for Jesus.  But we did get to rejoice on Easter Sunday!  We had a sun/sonrise service at 6:30 am under our pavilion.  The birds did not stop singing, and joined us in every hymn.  Then we worshipped  again at 10:30 am in our sanctuary recalling the glorious resurrection of Christ.

As I recall all of the wonderful things we shared the months of March and April, my mind and heart go out to all of our members and community members who passed away 2018 and 2019.  Be assured they are missed and we revel in the thought that they are in heaven with our Father God and His Son Jesus.

In March’s newsletter I also proposed the 60 minute fix.  If you recall, I am confident that on Sunday morning at 10:30, given sixty minutes per week, you could change your life dramatically.  If necessary you may speak to me anytime about how your life could change for the positive.  If you feel confident that you are well adjusted and happy already, our church can help you feel even better. Allow God to work in your life.  It will take some effort on your part, but here is a chance to be part of something big.  Churches make changes in our community and every part of the world.

God is waiting for all of us to become what we are created to be.  A happy, well-adjusted Christian living the best life possible.  So, look for future opportunities for our youth group this month and throughout the summer.  We are prepared to move full speed ahead.  Will you join us? Blessings to all,

Pastor Lou Aita

Youth Group News

The next Youth group meeting will TBA, it will be an outdoor hike. Anyone ages 10 –  teens are welcome to come and join the fun.

** The Youth Group will be going on a mission trip with TEAM EFFORT to Gatlinburg, TN June 23rd – 29th. Deb D. and Lisa R. will be chaperoning, if anyone else in interested please see Deb D. for more information.

10th Annual 300 CLUB and SILENT AUCTION

June 15, 2019

Hurry up and get your tickets!

Only 300 tickets are sold to have a chance to win 43 prizes.  That’s better odds than the PA lottery!  Tickets are $35 for 2 people to come for a day of delicious food and excellent entertainment. There are 5 hourly drawings starting at 1:00 pm for 2 prizes at $50 and 3 prizes at $25.  At 6:00 pm the final prizes are drawn, which everyone has a chance at since we put all previous winners back “in the pot.”  Grand prize is $1,000, 2nd prize is $500 and 3rd prize is $250 plus 5 prizes each of $100, $50 and $25. Add to that all the great eats and music by “Sundance” and Jesse and Friends and you have a terrific afternoon filled with fun.  If you want to attend but don’t care about the prizes, just pay $15 per person and still enjoy all the food and entertainment. 

DONATIONS ITEMS ARE NEEDED 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.  See Sandy Kleger for more information.

300 CLUB POSTERS and SILENT AUCTION DONATION LETTERS are on the table in the narthex. 

Please take some posters and get them around the area.  Also on the table are donation letters for those who provide auction items.  Please let me know if more posters or letters are needed


Church Clean-Up

May 18 at 9:00 am

Lots of elbow grease is needed to give our church and hall the good cleaning that they deserve.  We’ll get into all the little nooks and crannies to make it really sparkle and shine. Just come and pick a project. Looking for volunteers, so lend a hand and your heart to spruce up our place of worship and fellowship.

Last Day of Sunday School

We will have our last day of Sunday School on May 12.  I appreciate all the effort and work that the teachers put into the lessons.  When you bring your children, you can count on them learning more about our faith through these volunteers. 

Lisa Rinehimer

From the Pastor’s Desk – The 60-minute Fix

I, as well as you, have learned that saying, “I guarantee” is risky.  In a world of “guarantees,” we find that many things that are guaranteed are attached to a legal loophole.  Yes, saying “I guarantee” can get one into legal trouble.  It can also disappoint or stir up feeling of anger, deceit, and mistrust.  This is why my “60-minute fix” does not contain the word guarantee.

So, what is the 60-minute fix.  Well, it’s something I have been thinking about for a long time.  Let’s begin the explanation by looking at some human problems.  There are those that feel lost, disconnected, marginalized, outcast, enslaved, up against insurmountable odds, etc.  How about those facing the reality of sickness, disease, or familial problems.  Or experiencing death of a loved one through natural or disaster like causes. My list, (or yours), could go on and on.

Now, there are many options available to help overcome the many feelings, emotions, or situations mentioned here.  As a counselor, I do believe in therapy.  Working with someone who is objective can offer empowerment to anyone seeking refuge and abundant life.

But, what if someone told those who are facing challenges, hurdles, or stepping stoned in life that seem impossible to overcome there is an answer, and it could start with one-hour a week.

I know what you, or anyone reading this might be saying. “He’s the minister, and he’s going to talk about church.”  Well, you are correct.

I am an average person who has experienced many of the strife’s, emotions and perceived insurmountable situations listed above. I became a minister of God in order to minister to those like me.  I am not a great theologian, full of wisdom, or a person whose sermons will be collected into a book to be read and studied in seminary.  But, here is what I have found. 

We are designed to be in community with God and with one another. Perhaps that is why things like loneliness or feeling disconnected affects us the way it does. That means church to me.

The Bible has a lot to say about feeling lonely and its opposite, feeling connected. Answers are available through the regular attending of church and introducing or re-introducing the Holy Word of God into your life.  And while I can’t guarantee the healing you are seeking, God can guarantee answers to all of life’s dilemma’s.  There is not one promise God has made that was not true or did not see fruition.

Has someone said you are not worth healing?  Do you tell yourself that?  Believe that God is saying this is not true.  All it takes for an escape from hardship and dilemma is one-hour per week, 60 minutes!  Shake off the stigma, the lies, and the misconceptions of today’s modern day church.  All God asking is to give Him and His son Jesus a chance to help. 

So give us a chance.  It’s free and what I can guarantee is that you will be welcomed and made to feel comfortable.  All for 60 minutes a week!

Not ready to make a decision, have question?  Give me a call and I will be glad to speak with you about how you could experience the greatest life possible. Shalom, 

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; — Psalm 103:13 (NIV)