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August Newsletter Deadline:

July 15th

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From the Pastor's Desk

I want to take a moment to extend a great big thank you to everyone for the wonderful party this past weekend! I was truly overwhelmed by the generosity of all of the gifts and cards. And I want to extend a very special note of gratitude to the committee who worked so hard on this memorable celebration: Brenna Tatusko, Leigh Casey, Angela Koelle, Rhonda Shawley, Jessica Stanek, Lynette Luke, Catherine Cone, and Sue Ann Hess.

Now, how to reflect upon five years of ministry together?

Well, that is one third of my total years of ministry for the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. And just as the last decade and a half have seen many changes to the larger denomination, so the past half-decade has witnessed the manifest uncovering of unacceptable and unhealthy realities across our denomination, nation, and world that those who have experienced bigotry and prejudice refuse to put up with any longer. As Shakespeare said, The truth will out, and as Jesus witnessed to in his lifetime, there is no place in God's kingdom for practices that keep others under their thumb.

What this does for First Presbyterian of Hollidaysburg is presents this congregation with a unique opportunity to continue to live into its mission statement: To welcome all into the community of Christ. It was one of the things that first drew me to FPCH. And during my ministry here we have done some wonderful work in making strides in that direction.

Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that truly welcoming someone does not simply mean throwing open the doors and giving lip-service. It means being out and about in the surrounding community to show others that you know who Jesus is (the one from the gospels, not the one in Paul's letters) and you love them just as they are (like Jesus does). It means when someone shows up who does not look like, act like, sound like, dress like, think like, love like, vote like, or live like you - you cannot just say hi there and hello, but you have to actually make room for them at the table. Not just the Communion table either. The committee table. The Deacons table. The Session table. And the PNC table. Their voice and their story needs to matter as much as each and every other person who has ever graced the doorway of the church over the course of its two hundred and thirty-six year history.

It means having some really uncomfortable conversations. Doing some very hard work. Looking in the mirror and asking yourselves what God is truly telling you to do and be.

You are an amazing family of faith with fantastic potential. You just have to be brave enough to realize it.

All my Love & Blessings,

Pastor Janie

Leading Together

Session gathered for its stated meeting on Monday, June 17, 2024. After listening to an update from the Property Committee, we approved a full job description for our Childcare Worker and updated our Church Administrator's job description. Following this, our COM lisaison, Ken Lynch, took us through the first steps of what will occur when Rev. McElwee-Smith leaves in July. Session voted to proceed with hiring an Interim Pastor and took initial steps to do so. We are in process now with COM to find an excellent interim from beyond the bounds of our presbytery and with no prior relationship with FPCH who can help us to work through all of the transitional tasks ahead of us. Although we enter this intervening time with bittersweet emotions, we look ahead to the joyous future God does hold for us.

Yours in Christ, Binky Moxin, Clerk of Session

Due to the changes in the Church Office, office hours will no longer be posted beginning on July 8, 2024 for safety reasons.

Please call 814.695.9019 or email churchmouse10@gmail.com to set up an appointment with Angela.

Thank you!

Session has called a Special Meeting of the Congregation for Sunday, July 7, 2024 following worship for the express purpose of concurring with the Rev. McElwee-Smith's request to dissolve her pastoral relationship with FPCH, effective July 24, 2024. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.

A look at the church's finances...

Total Income (1/1/24 - 5/31/24): $46,781.86

Total Expenses (1/1/24 - 5/31/24): $117,144.82

Value of Market Account (6/25/24): $825,782.35

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Together in Worship

Holy Communion

This month we will celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper on Sunday, July 7, 2024.

July Usher Schedule

July 7, 2024 - Leigh Casey, Kay Gardner, & Binky Moxin

July 14, 2024 - Binky Moxin & 1 Usher Needed

July 21, 2024 - 2 Ushers Needed

July 28, 2024 - 2 Ushers Needed

Ushers are an integral part of worship and are needed every week. If you would like to volunteer, please sign up outside the office or email Julia Benton at momrn1105@gmail.com.

Caring Together

Please hold in prayer members of our church family and friends who are in special need: Britta Albright, Reggie Arford, Marlene Aurandt, Bonnie & Corinne Barstow, Jessica Beam, Ann & Laird Benton, Nancy Buchanan, Lynda Burns, Eleanor Carson, Jon & Jenna Christmas, D, Miriam Dalby, Kym Ebling & Family, Janet Eldred, Michele Fiore, Anne Forsht, Jim Hammonds, Rodger & Sally Hammond, Paula Heim, Bobbi Hill, Jimmy & Cathy Hines, Solomon & Heather Kaspi, Ron Kennedy, Maureen Leighty, Norma McPhee, Betty Meyer, Tristan Meyers, Booker & Janet Moore, Leslie Musselman, Nancy Musselman, Eleanor Myers, Sarah Ocker, Ray Overdorff, Pat Parnell, Ed Pratt, Aleta & Brad Reist, Judy & Lynn Rosser and family, June Slep, Doug Soisson, Joshua & Amanda Stoner, John & Diane Stultz, Grace Waite, Bill & Deb Wandersee, Avery Marie Wineland.

Please also hold our troops in your prayers, including Trent Sipes, Kyle Gardner, Andrew Rosamilia, Cameron Sellers, and Harrison Heim, who are directly related to our congregation. Pray for our leaders and the leaders around the world as they are making decisions in the coming days. And please pray for all those who find themselves in harm's way that they may know God's presence and that they will have what they need.


Our Staff

Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith, Pastor

Email: revjaniefpch@gmail.com

Phone: 314.283.7596

Walter Yatta, Music Director

Email: walyatta@verizon.net

Angela Koelle,

Church Administrator

Email: churchmouse10@gmail.com

Phone: 814.695.9019

Leah Hostler,

Childcare Worker

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