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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Bake Goods needed for the Turkey Supper

We will need baked goods for desserts for the upcoming Turkey Supper.  Please try to drop them off before 3:00 so we can get them cut, ready and packed for takeout.  We truly appreciate your support.  There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex if you would to share one of your favorite desserts. Please see Cindy Heller with any questions.

Mission Offerings

The envelopes for the annual OGHS offering are on the tables where you retrieve the bulletins. We will collect this offering through March 31.

     Our Sunday School is also participating in the OGHS offering and the kids will bring their donations and we will put them in the “refugee tent” collection box.

     During the year, there will also be envelopes for Neighbors in Need, Strengthen the Church and the Christmas Fund (for retired pastors and their families on very limited pensions).  We also give to Our Churches Wider Mission through our fundraisers.  That’s 5 UCC missions each year.  In addition to those, we can give to VBS Mission, McKinney Clinic, CROP Walk and, in past years, Disaster Relief (which we hope won’t be needed this year).  All these opportunities to give to these missions are provided because members have a “soft spot” for one or another, or perhaps all of them.  We are encouraged to give to the ones that move our hearts and that we feel strongly about. These offerings are given “above and beyond” our regular envelope and plate offerings that are needed to support our church at Emmanuel and continue our local presence in our own back yards.  Your generosity is appreciated here at home and around the wider world.  May God bless you as much as you bless others.

From the Pastor’s Desk

Since the earliest days of Christianity God’s people have celebrated the season of Lent.

One way in which this season is celebrated is through the Rite of Ashes. While traditionally done on Ash Wednesday, the ashes, made from the burning of palm fronds, are applied to the forehead in the sign of the cross as a reminder of our mortality, as a sign of repentance, and a public expression of our trust in the work of Jesus on the cross.

The season of Lent consists of the forty days that lead up to Easter, during which God’s people prepare for celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus by focusing on our need for the forgiveness, grace, and eternal life that the work of Jesus brings. These 40 days of repentance are meant to be a mirror of Jesus’ own forty days in the desert where He fasted and prepared for the beginning of His earthly ministry, which would ultimately end on Good Friday and begin again on Easter morning.

Along with the Rite of Ashes, here are some other ways to worship God as we celebrate Lent:

FASTING

It is a common practice to abstain from a favorite food, beverage, or activity during the Lenten season. It should be something that you would normally enjoy daily, so that when you deny yourself the item, you are reminded to think of Christ and what He gave up for us. It is also encouraged that we enjoy the items we are fasting from on each Sunday during Lent as part of your worship and celebration of the Lord’s Day.

PERSONAL DEVOTION

Lent is a perfect time to devote ourselves to serious prayer and study of God’s Word. The Bible Study I held on Wednesdays helped prepare those involved for Lent. So, share your personal devotions with God! I pray that you find this Lenten season to be a beautiful means of preparing for the upcoming celebration of Good Friday and Easter.

Over the next 40 days, may our hearts and our minds be turned toward Him. And please join us for our Wednesday Lenten services beginning with the fellowship of a meal together! Amen.

Pastor Lou Aita

Thank You!

Gladys Readler would like to say Thank You to everyone for their prayers, calls and cards due to the loss of her sister.

There are not enough words to express our thanks for the outpouring of love and sympathy at the passing of Mary Eroh – wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother of our families. We are deeply grateful for the cards, calls, gifts and donations in her memory. Our heartfelt thanks goes to all those who helped us in any way during the funeral service, dinner and through other acts of kindness and understanding. You have made our time of sorrow so much easier to bear. It warms our hearts to know how much she meant to so many of you. ~Don, Denise, Donna, Doreen, Darla and our families. ~

Bob Reader would like to Thank Emmanuel for the prayers and donation during his fight against liver cancer.

LENTEN SUPPERS AND SERVICES

The season of Lent will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 6. We are again preparing Lenten suppers prior to our services on the Wednesday evenings during Lent. These light meals will be shared in the Fellowship Hall at 6:00 pm. We will then gather at 7:00 pm in the church for service. A sheet is on the table in the narthex for those who will volunteer to prepare meals. Our Lenten meals and services are open to everyone and we welcome you to come and join us. Whether you can come for supper or not, you are welcome to gather with us for worship.

Picture Perfect

Troop Leader Steve Koons, Kieran Koons, Rowan Dietrich, Brayden Belanchik and Pastor Lou Aita are shown on Feb 3, as Emmanuel UCC hosted Scout Sunday to celebrate with Cub Scout troop 433 and Boy Scout Troop 434. A reception was held in the fellowship hall following the worship service. The scouts participated in roles such as greeters, ushers and acolytes.

EMMANUAL GIFT CARD FUNDRAISER

In addition to the Youth Group’s Weis and Carone’s Card Fundraisers, we have a Gift Card Fundraiser which is a great way to help our church.  The Fundraiser Sheets are on the table in the narthex.  Just look over the list (and there’s a lot to choose from) and mark how many cards you want.  As with the Youth Group’s fundraiser, this is essentially a “no cost” fundraiser.  You are just purchasing gift cards in the amount that you would normally spend at that store or restaurant.  The fundraising part is that Emmanuel purchases them at a discount which helps our bottom line. Please pay Lisa Ceaser for your choices. An order will be places March 3rd.

From the Pastor’s Desk

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is a real person who came to reside within Jesus Christ’s true followers after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Jesus told His apostles…

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

The Holy Spirit is not a vague, ethereal shadow, nor an impersonal force. He is a person equal in every way with God the Father and God the Son. He is considered to be the third member of the Godhead. Jesus said to His apostles…

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And all the divine attributes ascribed to the Father and the Son are equally ascribed to the Holy Spirit. When a person becomes born again by believing and receiving Jesus Christ, God resides in that person through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has intellect, emotion, and will.

A primary role of the Holy Spirit is that He bears “witness” of Jesus Christ. He tells people’s hearts about the truth of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit also acts as a Christian’s teacher. He reveals God’s will and God’s truth to a Christian. Jesus told His disciples…

“The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

“When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

The Holy Spirit was given to live inside those who believe in Jesus, in order to produce God’s character in the life of a believer. In a way that we cannot do on our own, the Holy Spirit will build into our lives love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Rather than trying to be loving, patient, kind, God asks us to rely on Him to produce these qualities in our lives. Thus Christians are told to walk in the Spirit and be filled with the Spirit. And the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to perform ministerial duties that promote spiritual growth among Christians.

The Holy Spirit also performs a function for non-Christians as well. He convicts people’s hearts of God’s truth concerning how sinful we are — needing God’s forgiveness; how righteous Jesus is — He died in our place, for our sins; and God’s eventual judgment of the world and those who do not know Him. The Holy Spirit tugs on our hearts and minds, asking us to repent and turn to God for forgiveness and a new life.

Yours in Christ, 

Pastor Lou Aita

CURRENT OFFICERS AND CONSISTORY MEMBERS

President………………………. Sandy Kleger

Vice President………………….. Jim Stewart

Secretary………………………. Diana Decker

Treasurer……………………… Chris Dietrich

Trustees………. Allen Dennis, Harry (Butch) Peters & Lisa Ceaser

Record of Giving

This is a list compiled by our Recording Secretary, Penny Smith, showing a breakdown of our member’s offerings by how much they gave for the year.  I hope that you will think about where you want your heart to be and the importance of your church in your life as you review this list.  Thank you for believing in Emmanuel and our mission as a community of Christ’s followers.  Recording Secretary,

PennySignature
Amount Given
Last Year
Number of Members Who Gave That Amount
00
1.00 to 49.0013
50.00 to 100.008
101.00 to 500.0017
501.00 to 1000.0012
1001.00 to 2000.0014
2001.00 to 3000.005
3001.00 to 5000.001
Over 5,000.001

Emmanuel is Closed Today

We will be closed today, Sunday January 20, 2019, due to road conditions. Consistory wishes everyone to stay safe and warm today. 

From The Pastor’s Desk

How the Reformation Shaped the Church

From Reformation theology flows seven characteristics or identity markers of the church.

First, the church is doxological, it’s oriented to the glory of God.

Second, the church is Word-centered. It’s centered on the incarnate Word, who is Jesus Christ, and the inspired Word: Scripture. The church confesses sound doctrine—what it believes about God, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit.

Thirdly, the church is to be Spirit-activated. It’s created, gifted, united, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Fourth, the church is covenantal. It exists in new covenant relationship with God, and together, the members exist in a covenantal relationship with one another.

Fifth, the church is confessional. Each member had a personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Together the church confesses sound doctrine—what it believes about a triune God, Jesus Christ, the Son incarnate, and the Spirit.

Sixth, the church is missional. It’s the body of divinely-called, divine ministers who proclaim the gospel throughout the world.

Seventh, the church is here, but not here. It’s already, but not yet. We’re sojourners, we’re strangers. We’re pilgrims in this world. We enjoy walking with the Lord and doing his will now, but we look forward to something greater in the future.  Reformation theology gives impetus to these seven characteristics or identity markers of the church.

The above 7 characteristics of the church were taken from an article by Gregg R. Allison (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). Dr. Allison is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The reason for including this in our newsletter is because I feel we embody all 7 characteristics at Emmanuel UCC.

We are sojourners, pilgrims in the world, walking with the Lord.  In our little corner of the world we are helping to make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors around the world.

The year 2018 brought to us many joys, and a good share of concerns and sorrows.  We weathered many storms together, and laughed in the sunshine together.  It is the word “together” that makes such a difference if we step back and look at our church and each other.  Our commitment to God and His Son Jesus Christ are exemplary.  I firmly believe that on that premise alone, we will continue to succeed in anything we undertake, and be present in the life of the community and world for a long, long time.

I am coming into the year 2019 excited about continuing my ministry at Emmanuel, and am going to begin the process of ordination following Penn Northeast Conference guidelines. Thanks to all of you I have decided to continue my religious education and pursue this ordination track.

Again, in our togetherness we will remain string and continue to uphold those wonderful 7 identity markers of the church. Peace be with you and Happy New Year,

Pastor Lou Aita

Valentines for Vets

A box will be in the bell tower for your Valentines for Vets.  These Valentines are appreciated very much by those who are housed at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.  The last date to deposit your Valentines will be Sunday, February 3.  Remember those who served.

ALTAR FLOWER CHART

The chart for the altar flowers is on the table in the Narthex.  They are $14 for 1 vase or $24 for 2 vases. Please pay Chris Dietrich for the dates you sponsor.

2018 Scrip Gift Card Profit Report

2018 Scrip Gift Card Profit Report

January ——– July 8.00
February ——– August 2.90
March 37.45 September 24.00
April 48.15 October 7.48
May 45.90 November 93.98
June 3.35 December 186.10

Total Profit: $457.31

Forms to order the gift cards from Scrip are on the table in the narthex.   This is an easy way for you to donate to our church. Script gives to the church a discount on purchasing the cards and the difference is donated to the General Fund.  There are over a hundred stores from which to choose – fast food from Burger King to Wendy’s; restaurants from Applebee’s to Ruth’s Chris Steak House; sporting goods like Dick’s and Cabela’s; department and clothing stores from Aerie to Wet Seal; kid’s stores like Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us; auto shops; pharmacies; and so much MORE!!  Grab a form and get some cards – you’re going to shop at these stores anyway, so why not help your church while you do?

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. — Romans 15:2 (NIV)