GOOD NEWS nOTES - United Church of Christ East Goshen

The United Church of Christ East Goshen
1201 North Chester Road, West Chester, PA 19380
Worship 10:00 am Sunday
February 2015
Rev. Angelee Benner-Smith, Pastor
Caroline A. Dunleavy, Director of Music Ministry
Denise Schlesinger, Administrative Assistant
Pastor’s Thoughts…
As those with all sorts of social media at our
fingertips, we see a variety of people, places and
areas of life. We not only read of others’ life stories
but we see the faces and hear the voices with
accents and languages we are not always
comfortable or familiar with. We can travel around
the world with the click of a button or a push of the
mouse. Who are our brothers and sisters?
When Al, Ritter, Andrei and I were in Russia in
2004, we attended a worship service in a Baptist
Temple setting in Bryansk, a small town about 2
hours southwest of Moscow. As we sat in the
second pew (my we were daring) we heard 3
sermons, experienced Holy Communion and
greeted others around us with a “peace be with
you”. The worship lasted 2 hours as we tried to
translate in our minds with the use of a small
translation book, the Russian words and tried to
imagine their English equivalents. Then we heard
a familiar sound – from the microphone at the front
of the church, the cantor began to lead the
congregation in two hymns which reached over the
continents and into our hearts in a new way. With
tears in our eyes, we sang “In the Cross” and “Give
God the Glory” in English, while the majority of the
gathered congregation sang the same hymn in
Russian. We were home! Music indeed does
bridge the gap of differences as Sarah Dessen,
teen author of the novel, Just Listen has said in her
book ~
“Music is the great uniter, an incredible force.
Something that people who differ on everything and
anything else can have in common.”
~ Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
As you ask the question from Gospel Mark 3:35,
“Who are my brothers and sisters?” I invite you to
sing a familiar hymn and pray this prayer.
Pastor Angelee
Lord, help us to take responsibility for someone
other than ourselves. Help us to walk with you, not
alone, but in the company of others. Enable us to
look at perfect strangers and, in your name, call
them sisters and brothers. Give us the insight to
see the needs of others as claims upon our lives.
Lord, help us to take responsibility for someone
other than ourselves. Amen.
~ William Willimon
Volunteers for February
Feb. 1
Feb. 8
Feb. 15
Feb. 22
Children’s Chat
Octavia Williams &
Penny Williams
Sue Ogram and
Linda Ardao
Gerry Ann and
Eric Flicker
Bunny Watts and
Octavia Williams
Cole Benner-Smith
Linda Ardao
Kyle Yost
Cathy Yost
Jacob Keates
Carl Wasylyszyn
David Keith
Becca Sayler
Feb. 1
Becca Sayler
Bill and Mary Elder
Don Rising and Kathleen Zirolli
Feb. 8
Bunny Watts
Bonnie and Steve Yost
Bill Edrington and Pam Onyx
Feb. 15
Aidan Dunleavy
Don Rising and Charity Harter
Feb. 22
Bill Edrington
Sue Ogram and
Penny Williams
The Nelson Family
Don Rising and Kathleen Zirolli
Communion Servers: Linda Ardao, Pam Onyx, Todd Speece, Charity Harter
Prayer Group
The next Prayer Group Meeting ~ “Soup and
Prayer” will be on Wednesday, February 25th
at 6:00 pm at Church. Please RSVP to Jim
The 2015 Flower Dedication sign-up sheet is on
the bulletin board in the Narthex. The prices will
remain the same ~ $15.00 for one vase, $25.00 for
two vases.
The Season of Lent is Upon Us
On February 18th we will begin our Journey of 40
Days of Lent. We’ll prepare ourselves for Easter
joy on April 5th. The first stop on our journey will be
Ash Wednesday when we share Holy Communion
and the imposition of the ashes from last year’s
Palm branches. Plan to join others as we
remember Jesus’ ministry of healing, teaching and
loving. The Ash Wednesday service begins on
February 18th at 7:00 pm.
Dates for February Calendar
February 15 - 10:00 am Worship, 11:15 am
February 1 – 10:00 am Worship ~ Holy
Communion Shared ~ Installation of Council
Members, 11:15 am Fellowship, 11:30 am Worship
and Music Meeting
February 16 – President’s Day ~ 7:00 pm Council
February 2 – Groundhog Day! Will he see his
February 18 – Ash Wednesday ~ Lent Begins ~ A
service at 7:00 pm
February 21 – 9:30 am Makin’ Music
February 4 – 7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal
February 5 - 4:00 pm We prepare and serve the
evening meal at the West Chester Salvation Army's
February 6 – 1:00 pm “Lunch Bunch” at Athena’s,
Goshen Village Shopping Center (Paoli Pike/Boot
February 7 – 9:30 am Makin’ Music
February 8 – 10:00 am Worship, 11:15 am
Fellowship, Directories available in church office
February 10 – 8:30–10:00 am Breakfast at the
West Chester Senior Center - 530 East Union
February 11 - 7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal
February 12 – 7:00 pm Finance Meeting
February 14 – Happy Valentine’s Day! 10:00 am
Makin’ Music
February 22 – 8:30 am Breakfast, 10:00 am
Worship ~ Baptism, 11:15 am Fellowship, Receive
New Members
February 25 – 6:00 pm Soup and Prayer Group
Meeting, 7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal
February 28 - 9:30 am Makin’ Music
Shop at Giant?
Here’s a way to help the church
by doing your weekly grocery shopping. Just
purchase a Giant gift card through the church in
any denomination and use the gift card to purchase
your groceries. Giant will refund 5% of the total
amount of gift cards purchased to UCC. Please
pre-order/pre-pay for gift cards. See Bonnie
Jackson, the church council secretary, for more
information and details.
We celebrate the following February Birthdays
and Anniversaries. God Bless you as you grow!
2/9 Rhonda Keljikian
2/10 Elisabeth Speece
2/17 Carol Swingle
2/23 Jordan Casey
2/25 Beverly Myles
2/25 Caroline Dunleavy
2/26 Jimmy Clemens
2/18 Steve and Christine Bailey
If you would like your birthday or anniversary (with or
without the year) included in future newsletters, please
see Beth Sayler to add your information to the
list. You can also leave a note for Denise at the church
With joy we baptized Andrei Benner-Smith and
Anastasia Benner-Smith on January 11th at the
10 am service. Anastasia was joined by parents
Janae and Andrei and godparents Charmaine Vega
and Ritter Benner-Smith. Standing with Andrei was
member Bonnie Jackson, his sponsor. May God
surround these newly baptized with the grace and
sustaining power of Christ!
Prayer Wall
We continue to offer a place for prayers on our
prayer wall to anyone who would like to offer a
personal or community prayer. It is located by the
windows where the table is in the Church Narthex.
One side has a sign “For God’s Eyes Only” and you
are invited to place private confidential prayers
there. The other side has a sign “For the Prayer
Group to Pray“. This side is for you to place
prayers which will be opened and prayed as the
Church Prayer Groups meet monthly. You are
encouraged to use this form of praying as we
together commit ourselves to be a congregation
with “Intentional Prayers”!
~ Pastor Angelee
Annual Congregational Meeting
Our yearly meeting of members (and friends who
attended) was held on January 25, 2015 following
Worship. We received reports from each
committee and voted on our 2015 Budget. Our
new Council will be installed into their positions at
the 10 am worship service on February 1st. Plan to
attend and receive these wonderful volunteers.
Directory 2015
The Directory is updated and a copy is kept in the
Church Office. Copies will be available for our
Congregation on February 8th. Pick up in the
church office.
Congregational Life
Our February Breakfast at the West Chester
Senior Center, 530 East Union Street will be
Tuesday, February 10th. New breakfast options
are: Full breakfast for $4.00, healthy option of fruit,
yogurt and breakfast bar for $2.00 and a light
option of cereal and toast for $1.00. All ages are
welcome. Please note if the West Chester Area
School District is closed or open late, the Senior
Center is closed.
1st Sunday of Each Month
Consider a food gift to our Chester County Food
Bank as you receive spiritual food at our
Communion Table each month. Leave your food
gifts in the Narthex by the Sanctuary doors. God
Bless your generosity!
Calling all Friends of the Church
Are you interested in joining with the congregation
in membership? Listed below are New Member
Classes to consider.
March 7
March 15
March 22
All women are invited to attend. All women are
invited to enjoy fellowship and delicious food with
the "Lunch Bunch" this Friday, February 6th at
1:00 p.m. at Athena’s, Goshen Village Shopping
Center (Paoli Pike/Boot Road). Please contact
Linda Ardao at 610-547-1068 with any questions.
Change of Address
William & Doris Flicker
Phoebe-Berks Village Commons
9 Heidelberg Drive, Suite 70
Wernersville, PA 19565
Saturday, Class 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Sunday, Class 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Breakfast – 8:30 am
Receive New Members - 10:00 am
Let Pastor Angelee know of your interest by
Wednesday, February 25th. Hope to see you there!
Do you want to share your faith?
Do you
want to grow in your faith? Do you want to be
involved in a young person's faith journey? Of
course you do!! To do all of these, join the ranks of
UCCEG's dedicated corps of Sunday School
teachers!! Contact Charity Harter
([email protected] or 484-639-4366) for details
on how to grow your faith!!
In 2014, Church Council discussed the importance
of keeping rooms and spaces in better order so that
we offer the best hospitality that we can to our
visitors as well as the many community groups and
organizations that use our facility. You will be
hearing and seeing more about room diagrams that
will show a standard setting of furniture to which
everyone will be asked to restore a room when
using it.
Look for these diagrams posted in each room as
you prepare to leave following your scheduled
We need to find and securely store/file our
important documents and archival items to
preserve the church history. At present, much of
that is scattered about. If we can gather it
together, then we will also be able to occasionally
display items in a meaningful way. If you are
interested in helping with this “archives” project,
then please speak with Beth Sayler.
“a place for everything and everything in its place”.
Pam Onyx and Ray Hunter recently spear headed
a project to tell our story and welcome visitors when
they enter the church building, Thanks Ray and
Pam for Our beautiful new Tri-fold board which
speaks our hospitality. Bart Yost and Greg Sayler
helped to organize our “stuff” as they pulled
together a designated storage area for Fall Festival
items in our upper level storage space. Thanks Bart
and Greg!
As we share our space with many other groups let’s
make the view others see of our church an
extension to our extravagant welcome!!
Financial Team
Several years ago, the financial officers began
meeting prior to the monthly Council Meeting to
review the financial reports and activity. This has
become a regular and important meeting. The
regular attendees include the president, vice
president, treasurer, assistant treasurer, financial
secretary and pastor. Topics of discussion have
included day-to-day finances, as well as fundraisers
and stewardship programs. Non-council members
are welcome to attend meetings. Please make
your interest known to any member of the team.
How can you help?
At the close of our Annual Congregational Meeting,
we were still without three Council Members for
2015. No one had accepted the nomination for the
Chair of Building & Grounds, Mission & Outreach or
Congregational Life. These positions must now be
filled by Council appointment. Filling the slate this
year was a challenge, as 2/3 of the Council stepped
down from their positions. We now have 75% of
the Council positions filled. According to our bylaws, we can't just divvy up those responsibilities
among the current Council Members. Each Council
member can do only one job.
As a former Council Member, I urge each of you to
prayerfully consider what part you can play in filling
these openings. We don't just need Council
Members. We need committees to share the
load. If each committee chair has a strong
committee to work with, the job is much
easier. Instead of trying to figure out how to cover
all the responsibilities, the responsibilities would be
shared. Serving on a committee gives you a voice
and an opportunity to get to know other members
better as you support the work of UCC East
Goshen. Please consider serving as a committee
member or chairperson.
~ Beth Sayler
Our 2015 Council Members:
Carl Wasylyszyn
Vice President
Todd Speece
Caroline Dunleavy
Kathleen Zirolli
Assistant Treasurer
Don Rising
Financial Secretary
Bill Edrington
Christian Education
Charity Harter
Church Growth
Pam Onyx
Music & Worship
Linda Ardao
We Need You:
Mission & Outreach
Congregational Life
Building & Grounds
The Committees listed above are waiting for a
member to “step-up” and take on a leadership.
Can your gifts of time, energy, vision and faith
combine to serve one of these positions? Ask Vice
President of Council, Todd Speece, to answer your
Adult Ed
Our Evangelical & Reformed Heritage
Adult Ed is back! Please join us for a new foursession unit, "Our Evangelical and Reformed
Heritage," on 2/15, 2/22, 3/1 and 3/8. Sessions will
be held at 11:30 AM following the Sunday worship
service. The unit is being team-taught by Al
Benner-Smith, Bill Edrington, and Caroline
Dunleavy. The current national United Church of
Christ denomination traces its roots to several
predecessor traditions, including the Evangelical
and Reformed. Topics include the Evangelical and
Reformed's European origins, church planting and
growth in the American Colonies, 19th and early
20th Century developments and controversies, and
the Evangelical and Reformed's role in the
formation of the modern United Church of Christ.
During our Bonhoeffer study, we mentioned
that it would be interesting to visit the U.S.
Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. I am
following up on this item: If you are interested
in trying to coordinate this as a group, I would
be willing to do so. Please let me know! (Some
of you may recall when we organized a group to
view the Rembrandt exhibit at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art several years ago.) I am assuming
we would do this later in spring when the weather is
better but before summer, so I am asking now in
order to allow sufficient time for coordination. The
museum admission is free, although beginning
in March, we would need to order free, but timed,
tickets online.