VETERANS’ GROUP of St. Andrew’s

St. Andrew’s has established an informal Veterans Organization that is not affiliated with any organized Veterans Organizations.The meetings consist of discussions regarding veteran / historical issues and are presented by guest speakers. All Veterans are encouraged to attend.  Light refreshments are served.

Meeting Dates

May 4th
August 3rd
November 2nd
All meetings begin at 7:00 p.m

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Any questions please feel free to contact Don Emory – 570-847-6430

From Pastor Dale’s Desk

Easter is Coming!- It’s the day we mark the biggest moment in history; the moment Christ conquered sin and death, assuring us of eternal life with Him.

As Easter approaches let me invite you to watch for some “little Easters” as well.  These will be the moments that remind us that the risen Christ is alive and breathing new life, and resurrection power into the impossible situations of our congregation and personal lives.

Here’s a few “little Easters” I’ve heard about from some of you: A member who said, “God answered my prayers! It took a while, but God answered. I know it!  I’m so glad I did not give up on Him.”—That’s a “little” Easter!

A returning member who said, “My faith in God is being rekindled. I’m beginning to trust again.”—That’s a “little” Easter!

One who shared, “Ten years ago our marriage was in big trouble. But we looked to God, got some help, and worked hard together, and it’s more solid than ever.” –That’s a “little” Easter!

Another said, “Our kids kinda wrote us out of their lives for a few years. But they’ve invited us to come by and get to know our grandchild.”—That’s a “little” Easter!

Easter is coming, and it’ll be a great day of celebration. But Resurrection Power is at work bringing little Easters every week. Praise God that “we serve a risen Savior, who’s in the world today!”

And don’t miss the “big” Easter as we celebrate the greatest moment in history on April 5th!

Pastor Dale

Fellowship Meal

First Sunday of the Month from October through May/June there is a congregational meal after the morning church service.

If you are able please bring place settings for yourself and your family.

If possible please bring a covered dish. Meat is provided.

If you forgot your place settings and find you want to stay, see the Fellowship Meal committee and they will provide you with settings.

Also, you can give a monetary contribution if you did not bring a covered dish. But you do not have to bring a covered dish or contribute monetarily in order to stay, eat  and fellowship with us.

 

 

Wednesday Evening Bible Studies

Bible Study 1 is held in the conference room inside the church office at 6:00 p.m.
Pastor Dale Hippensteel is leading a study on the book of Mark.
All are welcome.  People from the community are welcome to study with us.

Bible Study 2 in Room 204  at 7:00 p.m. upstairs in the Adult Sunday School Area.
Led by Carol Clewell.
Currently studying the book of Acts.
All are welcome.

Grief Share: Your Journey from Mourning to Joy

Grief Share is a special weekly seminar/support group for people grieving the death of someone close. It’s a place where you can be around people who understand how you feel and the pain of your loss. At Grief Share you’ll learn valuable information that will help you through this difficult time in your life.
It is a nondenominational group.

Each session includes a video and group discussion and uses Biblical teaching.

Monday Evenings from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. through December 19, 2016

Contact:  Larry or Mercy Gray by phone 570-765-4588 or e-mail lgray@ptd.net

From Pastor Dale’s Desk

Did you know about these recent blessings at St. Andrew’s Church?

• At least 5 teachers stepped into weekly leadership roles—Some from among our young people—Thank You!

• Two new age-level Sunday School classes in the Children’s Department!

• A 20’s to 30’s age fellowship group getting together (Contact Collin for more info)

• 25 students at last night’s Sunday youth meeting

• Several new faces (and voices) in the chancel choir yesterday

• The start of a “Grief Share” support group for ministry to those who are grieving the death of a loved one

Join me in praising God for these recent blessings at St. Andrew’s!

For me, the most exciting part of being a pastor is seeing the people where I serve grow in their faith, discover their gifts, and step into a ministry for Christ and His Church.  That is how we measure our effectiveness in fulfilling the mission Jesus gave us of making disciples (Matthew 28); when we see people cross the line of commitment and get involved in the mission and ministry. If it’s the right ministry for them, they will grow even more, and experience that amazing sense of making a difference in the world as they serve.

When someone tells me that a few years ago they did not even go to church anywhere, and now we see them here on Sundays singing God’s praises, or leading a class, or volunteering on a ministry team, or giving to support God’s work, my eyes fill with tears of gratitude to God. This is a place where lives are being changed, and this is a congregation who welcomes and encourages new folks to “belong and become.” I can’t help but praise God and look forward to the next round of “blessings!”

Thanks for who you are St. Andrew’s congregation!

Pastor Dale

From Pastor Dale’s Desk

Each year, very early in December, I try to reread the Christmas Story from Luke 2 and Matthew 1-2. This read-through is not to gain new insights about Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, or even the Christ Child. I do this read, early in Advent, to remind myself of the “People Who Missed Christmas” when Christ came to Bethlehem’s manger. There’s the innkeeper, who was so busy with business that he passed up the opportunity to welcome the Lord. There’s King Herod, who was not going to give up the lordship of his life to any other king. There’s the religious leaders, who gave the Wise Men directions to Bethlehem, but were so caught up in their religious activity that it did not occur to them to personally go and celebrate the new thing God was doing in their world.

No doubt there will be people in December 2012 who will make the same mistakes and miss Christmas; people like you and me if we are not careful. We get over-booked, or haven’t surrendered our lives to the lordship of Christ, or get so caught up in the religious traditions that we miss encountering the God who longs to do something new in us. They are easy mistakes to make.

So reread the story with me, early in December. Let’s remind ourselves not to be among those who miss the true wonder of Christmas. “God is with us,” the Savior has come, God is at work in our neighborhood, there’s Good News of God’s love and salvation to share, Heaven has come to earth and our lives will never be the same—because of Christmas.—-Don’t miss it!

Peace and Love

Pastor Dale

From Pastor Dale’s Desk

Let me share an amazing number with you. On any given Sunday there are between 12 and 20 visitors worshiping with us. I’ve heard pastors lament that some congregations don’t see 20 visitors in a year. All those people God is leading our way each week! What a blessing! Just now, about 15 of those recent visitors are in our New Member class and have decided to cross the line of commitment and make St Andrews their spiritual home. Again, what wonderful things God is doing here.

If the church growth gurus are correct, most of these people are with us because of the invitation of a family member or friend. As I have gotten to know this new member class, the gurus are right! You have been inviting. Another thing the gurus tell us is that most of these folks decided within 8 minutes of their first visit whether or not they would be making a second visit here (that’s before they ever hear the choir, the preacher, or join in a single hymn). AND, the gurus were right again! These new members tell me that it was your smiles, your words of welcome, friendliness, and your love for Christ and one another that made coming here very special for them. Well done, St Andrews family! Please plan to be with us on May 20th to celebrate these new additions that your love has brought to this family and to recognize those who have been a part of St. Andrews for fifty years as well.

PS- An interesting observation, and request, that has come out of interviewing some of our new folks. I think it is good information to pass along to all of you:

“St. Andrews ‘old-timers’, please share your names with us ‘newbies’ as we meet and greet. I gave my name to a dozen friendly people, but had no idea who these wonderful folks were that were sitting all around me.”

That’s an easy fix! Offer the gift of your name along with your warm welcome and handshake. Again- Well done, St. Andrews family!

Love and Peace,

Pastor Dale

From Pastor John’s Desk

As the popular modern expression goes, “back in the day” or as I would put it, “back when I was a lot younger than I am now”, I worked in the office of The Turbotville Block Company. Part of my duties was selling masonry related products like a liquid that helped to bond new concrete to old concrete for a patch job. It is all about bonding new and old in our common Christian experience.

CENTER STAGE is a United Methodist Publication that serves as a resource for leaders of midlife and older adult ministry. In the spring 2010 issue of this magazine Dr. Scott Youngblood asked this question, “How can the church reach younger people and at the same time engage older adults in ministry?” This question is perplexing many churches in the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church and in all sorts of churches of different faith tradition across our land. I think Dr. Youngblood’s question also begets other questions like: how young is young and how old is old? Friendships are built on common ground. Shared interests or hobbies, similar lifestyles, and mutual social concerns are more important in determining common ground that chronological age.

 

I dislike the world ‘old’ when applied to people. Most of the people I now deal with in ministry are: ‘mature’ with some being more mature, vintage or classic than others! I rejoice that St. Andrew’s is actively seeking someone to minister to youth for my gifts and graces are with those who may well have an AARP card in their wallet or pocketbook.

It is all about bonding new ideas and old traditions and bonding the young and the mature in Christian fellowship. The liquid bonding agent is the very blood of the now Risen Lord Jesus.

I don’t know what the answer is to Dr. Youngblood’s question is. If I did know I would be writing books and collecting royalty checks from Cokesbury! I do know that my prayer is that the wisdom of the Holy Spirit will guide us, regardless of our age, to bond closer together in the common ground of Christ’s kingdom here upon the earth.—Pastor John

From Pastor Dale’s Desk

Dear St. Andrew’s Family,

It’s hard to believe that Easter is only a few days away! We have spent the season of Lent on a journey with Jesus on his way to the cross; with stops in the Upper Room, the Garden of Gethsemane, Pilate’s Hall, and the hill called “Golgotha,” where the Savior was crucified.

On Easter we journey to the Empty Tomb and celebrate the Lord’s glorious resurrection. Make plans now to be with us for the celebration.

1) Attend as many of the services as you can:

The Cantata, “The Day He Wore My Crown” presented by our choir on Saturday, April 7, and Sunday, April 8, at 7pm.

Easter Sunrise Breakfast with Devotional- Sunday at 7:30am.

Sunday School for all ages at Sunday at 9:00am.

Worship Celebration, Sunday at 10:30am with all choirs participating

2) Invite friends. You may be surprised to learn that many of your friends are looking for a church to attend on Easter.

3) Lend a hand to help. Extra services will mean more work to be ready. Volunteer to greet, usher, (pick up a piece of trash if you notice one), say “Hello” to the person you sit beside (you never know how God may use your welcoming smile!)

4) Celebrate Personally the Good News for your life. Your past is forgiven, your future is in heaven, and “the same power that raised Jesus from the dead” is available to give you power for living today! (Ephesians 1:19-20)

Hallelujah! It’s Easter!

Pastor Dale

Easter Thoughts from Pastor John

Time marches on! I have discovered how quickly time goes by in retirement. The good news is that I have more time for reading then I did when I served a three church parish. In eight months of retirement I have managed to read 6 books about the Civil War, one book about Custer’s Last Stand and a novel about the British Navy in the age of wooden sailing ships. When I start any novel I always read the last page first to try and determine how the story ends and what happens to the main character.

The wonderful thing about reading fiction or history is that the reader can return to the past or venture to places that one would not have the means or the courage to actually go there. I don’t know about you but I have no burning desire to go to sea in any type of ship at any time and though I have made a study of the Little Big Horn I really would not want to ride with Custer on June 25th, 1876.

Presently I am reading Karl Menninger’s thought provoking WHATEVER BECAME OF SIN? In this season of Lent it is a reminder that all of us are notoriously guilty of being a sinner in some form or another. The good news is that Lent reminds people that we do have a savior to help us resolve the problem of being utterly surrounded by sin. The last three chapters of Dr. Luke’s Gospel have a lot to say about this issue. It is a good thing for us to re-read the story even though we know how it ends and what happens to Jesus on Good Friday and Easter Morning.

Read the ancient text as if one were reading a novel. Observe the plot developing to kill Jesus. Grasp the account of what it would have been like to have been present at institution of Holy Communion there at the Lord’s Supper. Thank God that we were not an actual witness to the mocking, beatings, and the gory death that Jesus endured for us upon a criminal’s cross.

Some years ago famous people were asked if they could go back in history and witness a great event which one would they choose. General William Westmorland stated that he would like to walk through the quiet cemetery garden after the women and Peter had left and discover the tomb Jesus borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea was empty. With faith and the help of God’s printed word we may do this and re-discover Christ the Lord is risen indeed!

Blessed Easter to all from: Joan, Matthew, Madison and Pastor John