GOOD NEWS nOTES The United Church of Christ East Goshen 1201 North Chester Road, West Chester, PA 19380 Worship 10:00 am Sunday 610-692-2951 www.ucceastgoshen.org 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 Prayer 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 Greeters Nursery Acolyte Children’s Chat Octavia Williams & Penny Williams Sue Ogram and Linda Ardao Gerry Ann and Eric Flicker Bunny Watts and Octavia Williams Open Cole Benner-Smith Linda Ardao Open Kyle Yost Cathy Yost Open Jacob Keates Carl Wasylyszyn Open David Keith Becca Sayler Feb. 1 Scripture Becca Sayler Hospitality Bill and Mary Elder Counters 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 Warren. 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 Fellowship 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 Meeting February 2 – Groundhog Day! Will he see his shadow? 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 shelter. February 6 – 1:00 pm “Lunch Bunch” at Athena’s, Goshen Village Shopping Center (Paoli Pike/Boot Road) 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 Street 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! BIRTHDAYS 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 ANNIVERSARIES 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 office. 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 610-927-8800 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!! HOUSEKEEPING IS HOSPITALITY ROOM SET-UP 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 meeting. STORING OUR HISTORY 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. THANKS FOR IDEAS IMPLEMENTED “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: President Carl Wasylyszyn Vice President Todd Speece Secretary Caroline Dunleavy Treasurer 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 questions. 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.
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