THIS WEEK AT FAITH

July 7, 2024

No matter who you are
or where you are on life’s journey
you are welcome here.

FAITH UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

5992 Route 378

Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.3939


****Summer Office Hours take effect July 1st!****

Monday and Wednesday (*remotely) - 9 am - 4:00 pm

Tuesday and Thursday (in office) - 10 am - 3:00 pm

Friday - Closed/Pastor's Sabbath


*Sandy will be working remotely but will check messages

on a regular basis. If you find yourself in immediate need,

call or text her at 610-967-6232.


faithchurchcv@gmail.com

www.faithchurchucc.org


MEMBERS & FRIENDS DIRECTORY

(Updated June 2024)


Facebook  Instagram  Youtube  

The Church Office will be closed on July 4th

in observance of Independence Day.

Have a Safe & Happy Holiday!

Pastor Bruce will be on vacation august 8th through August 14. If you find yourself in need of Pastoral Care during this time, please call Rev. Teresa Martin 717-654-4044.

The July/August issue of Focus on Faith is here!


Inside you can read...


  • A Note from the Pastor
  • Summer Office Hours
  • Vacation Schedules
  • Mission Opportunities
  • Lawn Crew Schedule
  • Volunteer Schedules
  • Thank You's


...and more!!!

Join us for Worship the

6th Sunday after Pentecost

July 7, 2024

10:15 am Worship

Order of Worship

Thanks to our Volunteers:



Joan Hassler, Head Usher

Kim Ritter & tbd, Ushers

Rose Mirth, Lay Reader

Jean Hanvile, Altar Flowers

Jerry Trexler, Financial Secretary

Chuck Talboo & Randy Hughes, Lawn Crew

FAITH UCC CALENDAR

  • Sunday 7/7 - 10:15 am WORSHIP
  • Monday 7/8 - 9 - 4 Sandy works remotely
  • Tuesday 7/9 - 10 - 3 Sandy works in office; 2 pm Faith in Stitches
  • Wednesday 7/10 - 9 - 4 Sandy works remotely
  • Thursday 7/11 - 10 - 3 Sandy works in office
  • Friday 7/12 - Office Closed
  • Sunday 7/14 - 10:15 am WORSHIP; Linda Lennon preaching

Bruce & Michele Keeler's son, Ben, was in a car accident Monday evening. He is in the hospital (UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, Pittsburgh) and his parents are with him. As of this writing Ben has been through four surgeries with at least one more scheduled. It's going to be a long recuperative journey for Ben. Please keep him and the entire Keeler family in your prayers.


Get well wishes can be sent to Ben's home:


Ben Keeler

1028 S. 4th Street

Ellwood City, PA 16117

VOLUNTEER SCHEDULE


Interested in sponsoring altar flowers? Open dates are 7/28, 8/4, 11/24, 12/1 & 12/15. The cost is $40. Call the church office to reserve your date!

NATIVE PLANT GARDEN



If you are willing to help water the Native Plant Garden, click HERE to sign up online. You can also contact Rose Mirth at 610-417-4153; rosemmirth@gmail.com, or Patience Stevenson at 610-248-5587; patiencestevenson@rcn.com.

A Note from our Conference Minister

The Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates

“On behalf of such a one (Christ) I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me” (2 Corinthians 12:5-6)

 

Dear Friends,

 

This is a week of celebration of the Declaration of Independence and the birthing of the United States of America. There will be family celebrations and picnics, fireworks displays, parades, and countless other ways to gather and to remember. It may surprise some of you that I am a patriot. I believe in the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence, even as I recognize that as a nation we do not always live up to those ideals.

 

It should not surprise you that I am a devout Christian, a woman who has dedicated much of her life to the church – as a volunteer, as a licensed minister, and as an ordained minister. I believe I have served faithfully. And, I echo Paul’s words noted above. Everything I do, I hope, is seen as an act of my faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus. Even when I am complimented on something I write or preach, I am thankful to God for giving me the words, and hope that my words are indeed pleasing to God. And, I am concerned.

 

I am concerned about the perversions of the Christian faith that focus on scapegoating parts of our population as the cause for our nation’s problems. I am concerned about the actions of some Christians who believe that this is a Christian nation and ordained to be so. I don’t believe scripture ever committed the following of Jesus as a national or political requirement. I am concerned Christians who want to begin a “holy war” turning religious passion into partisan passion. I am concerned about the disinformation or misinterpretation of scripture for a political, nationalist end. I am concerned that the separation of church and state is being stripped away and that the demand that all public locations display religious statements like the Ten Commandments.

 

You are free to disagree with me, and I welcome your comments, but I am concerned that we have forgotten the writings of our forefathers which declared that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence does not define God the Creator through the lens of Christianity, but rather simply names the Creator. This opens the doors for all who believe in God: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Indigenous Peoples, to express their religious freedom to worship within the realm of their own belief system and the freedom of all people as called for in this declaration.

 

Additionally, our own Bill of Rights, clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This religious freedom is key to our nation and our faith.

 

In the United Church of Christ, we affirm Jesus as the head of the church, a triune God, scripture as the basis for our faith AND we allow for the interpretation of our theology and beliefs to be in covenant with one another, not in lock-step agreement.

 

Please my friends, recognize that I am not telling you what to believe. I am concerned that you focus on the faith you have been taught, you are experiencing in our congregations, which upholds that we are called to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”

 

As my colleague, the Rev. Bill Worley, Conference Minister of Pennsylvania Southeast wrote this week, “Our religious and political discourse continues to spiral into mutual contempt and hatred, where ideological opponents are seen not just as wrong but as theologically and humanly bankrupt. The call to love enemies requires a moral courage and profound empathy to see beyond the stereotypes and personal platitudes that fuel division; to recognize the shared humanity that binds us together. To hear the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17 ‘that they may all be one,’ and to pray it. Often.”

 

This week as you celebrate, remember that we are called to be one, to respect those whose opinions are different from ours, but to follow the path Jesus laid before us, to love one another, to care for the least among us, and to worship God, not man. 

 

Blessings,

Bonnie

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Can You Hear Me Now?

by Kenneth L. Samuel


In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days God has spoken to us by God’s Son … appointed heir of all things, and through whom God made the universe. - Hebrews 1:1-2 (NIV) 

 

I’ll be the first to admit that I have little patience with people who do not return my phone calls … or my texts … or my emails. I’d just as soon delete them from my contacts and spend my time calling people who want to talk to me. 

 

But thank God, I’m not God. All of human history is an attempt, at God’s initiative, to enter into a dialogue of covenantal relationship with humanity. The biblical record is replete with the records of countless attempts by God to dialogue with us in our searching, in our desperation, and even in our despair. 

 

But our lines have been busy with vain pursuits. Our ears have been shut by the clamor of hectic lives. We’ve been too preoccupied with the pursuit of personal agendas to answer or return or even pay attention to God’s call. 

 

The records in the Bible tell us that even when God sent the prophets as messengers to engage us, we ignored them, rejected them, and killed more than a few of them. 

 

You’d think all that would be enough for God to completely cut off all communication with us and leave us to languish in the empty splendor of our self-centeredness. 

 

But just when we’d expect God to scrap the covenant with humanity and cease all efforts to reconcile with us, God cleared God’s voice and spoke a Word of Everlasting Love – a Word wrapped up in flesh and named Jesus – that has been resounding around the world for over 2,000 years now and still counting. 

 

God is still speaking. And after so many attempts, I hear God saying, “Can you hear me now?” 

 

Prayer 

Gracious God, you speak emphatically, definitively and lovingly through your Son Jesus, the Christ. We are not too busy or too preoccupied. We hear you now. Amen.

About the Author



Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Decatur, Georgia.

July is Faith’s month to assist the families at the Pantry. We are still in need of a few volunteers for July 27. If you are able to assist, please speak to Chuck or Karen. 


We are half way to collecting 100 bottles of detergent for Betty Lou's Pantry.  Keep the bottles coming!! We will need them by

July 21st.                    

FOOD ITEMS DESPERATELY NEEDED: 



PEANUT BUTTER

MACARONI & CHEESE

SPAGHETTI SAUCE


JULY


07 Bebe Moyer

09 LaMar Beck

10 Giovanni Farino

11 Jillian Grammer

12 Amy Bittenbender

13 Donna Schoenberger

14 Amanda Heineman

15 Jennifer Ferrara5

16 Cheryl Bold

16 Gracie Lender

17 Delores Castetter

17 Tina Eaves

19 Nancy Marple

    19 Gwendolyn Zehnder      

20 Bruce Torrence

20 20 Matthew Long

20 Anja Heineman

21 George Rau

21 Charles Talboo

27 Kimberly Kernick

27 Lily Adams

30 Raymond Horwath

31 Colleen Kandt

 

Youth Bowling Party

SLIDESHOW
A Special THANK YOU to all who continue to financially support our ministry as you are able. We'd like to remind you there are several ways you can do this:

  1. Mail your offering directly to the church
  2. Make an electronic donation through Tithe.ly on our website's Giving page
  3. Use your bank's Bill Pay service
IMPORTANT LINKS

June Focus on Faith

(Archived Newsletters)


MEMBERS & FRIENDS DIRECTORY

(Updated June 2024)

Need to make changes, corrections, or additions to our Church Directory?

Click HERE to let us know if your info is current or if we need to make

changes. Thanks in advance for taking the time to keep our

Church Directory up to date.


PENN NORTHEAST CONFERENCE


UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST


Contact us via email or call the church office at 610.282.3939

(click on names to send an email)

Rev. Dr. Bruce C. Stevenson, Lead Pastor, 610-248-5586

Dennis J. Duda, Organist & Music Director, 215-361-8641

Sandy David, Parish Administrator, 610-282-3939