We're so glad that you are joining us today!
When we meet together in person, we share our joys and concerns with each other before we focus on our Sunday school lesson. Think about your needs and concerns right now, and if you like, you can share them in the comments. This is a time of great division in our nation, and all Christians can certainly pray for more love and unity, that we might be an example to others.
If you need a prayer to focus your thoughts and to prepare your mind for the lesson ahead, you can use the one below. It is from a study on the Gospel of John by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson.
We're so happy you've joined us for Sunday School today!
It has been a little over ten months since we have met together for Sunday School. It seems like such a long time! When we met in person, we shared our joys and concerns with each other. Take some time this morning to think about what prayer requests you may have. If you would like, you can share them in the comments so that we can all pray.
Today's devotional reading is Psalm 103:1-14. I thought we could use that to build our prayer on. When you are ready, use the prayer below as a guide.
We're so happy you've joined us today!
When we met together in person, we shared our joys and concerns with each other. Consider the past week. We certainly have a lot to pray for! If you have joys or concerns you would like to share, please feel free to put them in the comments so that everyone can also pray for your concern.
When you are ready, use the prayer below to begin. It is drawn from the St. Augustine's Confessions.
Happy New Year!
Epiphany, the end of the Christmas season in the church, is this Wednesday. According to the Presbyterian Mission Agency:
"Epiphany is the celebration of God’s manifestation or self-revelation to the world in Jesus Christ. In particular, we celebrate the revelation of God’s promise and purpose to the nations of the world, as the magi came from the East to worship to the Christ child, and God’s covenant of grace is extended to all who believe the good news of Christ Jesus. The symbolism of light is important: not only because of the star that guided the magi, but as it relates to the bright dawning of God’s self-revelation in Christ."
When we meet in person, we share our joys and concerns together. Take a moment to consider your past week, especially as we have started a new year. What joys and concerns do you have? Who do you need to pray for? Feel free to share your prayer requests with us in the comments. When you are ready, pray the prayer below:
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas this year, even if it looked a little different that most years. If you did not yet see this year's Christmas Program, you can click here to see it.
When we meet in person, we share our joys and concerns. Take some time to think about your past week. Most notably it included the celebration of Christmas, which may have been much different this year than in years past.
Did you find any unexpected joys in the differences? Perhaps you had new insights into the core meaning of Jesus’s birth, free from all the trappings of modern Christmas celebrations. Or maybe you are mourning the season without so many traditions that have brought you comfort and joy in the past. Or maybe you have needs and concern of a whole different kind. You can share these in the comments if you would like. Then pray the prayer below, which is by the Rev. Susan A. Blain and is posted on the United Church of Christ website.
Lighting the Advent candles every Sunday has always been one of my favorite things leading up to Christmas. Every Sunday becomes quiet and thoughtful. We are reminded to consider the promises made to us, the peace that we will receive, the joy we experience, and the love we share. When I thought we might not be able to meet for worship this year, I decided that I still wanted to be able to light candles at home!
We want to wish everyone a blessed Christmas. Rise above today’s chaos and diversions to enjoy your blessings and the Gift of Christmas Day! This picture was taken at one of the Christmas Eve services and oh how we miss the beautiful music and voices brought to everyone during this joyful season! Rejoice in memories and thank God for all the photos we can share and enjoy. Merry Christmas!! Kenny and Becky.
Martha says Merry Christmas too!
Children's Christmas Party
The Story of Christmas
Sunday School Christmas Program
Well, Christine and I were talking about memories that make an impression on you when you are young. And I shared these memories with her, not really thinking of our virtual Christmas Program. But later Christine asked me to write this down to share. And it seems very fitting to share now, given that Rev. Scott has gone on to the sing in the heavenly choir this Christmas! And I’ll share another little fun Christmas Eve Memory too. (There are really too many!)
I think maybe we are very impressionable around 9 or 10 or so years old, I know I was, and maybe that’s why these memories are so vivid to me. Rev. Scott always prepared a beautiful Christmas Eve Service, and to me they seemed very reverent and mystical. This one stands out in my mind very much.
For this particular Christmas Eve, Rev. Scott moved all the chairs out of the choir area, and he put three medium size fresh cut evergreen trees there, and dressed them only with small white lights. The pulpit was moved over to the right hand side. The walls were hung with antique punched tin candle holder lanterns with candles burning in them. There was just one light for the readers at the pulpit. I don’t remember that there was any light on the choir, who were sitting over to the left (where we normally put the Christmas tree now.) Rev. Scott always emphasized memorizing the music, and so maybe they didn’t need much light. He always told us in the junior choir that he wanted us to be “looking up like angels” when we sang. So I suppose that was true for the adult choir too!
The program was the entire Christmas scripture, from the prophecy through the arrival of the magi. Interwoven were lovely hymns and poems. Rev. Scott sang bass (of course), and read some of the poetry. The scripture was all read by Mr. Smith. As a child I was impressed with how well he read, and his fine deep voice. I can picture him well, with his white hair and white beard and dark suit.
In the dark sanctuary with just one light on the readers and Bible at the pulpit, the three small trees, and the hanging lanterns, it seemed that everything else in the world fell away. We could have been worshipping outside. And it seemed very easy to feel the mystery, even for a pre-teen child, the great mystery of God coming to earth that first Christmas in the person of Baby Jesus to save all of human kind. And then we passed the candle light from one to another, as we still do now, and the dark sanctuary was slowly filled with light on the faces of all our dear congregation.
And for another fun memory! Rev. Scott loved including the youth and children in so many ways, and including things any of us suggested. I remember one of the Christmas Eve Services when we sang a “brand new” recently published (1969) Christmas Hymn. We sang two verses of “Pass it On” as we lit each other’s candles and passed the Light of Christ’s love through the congregation. And then we sang Silent Night after everyone’s candle was aglow.
OK, that was fun to share! I hope you each can remember a Christmas Eve service of your own when the love and light of Christ felt so close you could wrap it all around you. God Bless you all.
From all of us at North Buffalo ...
[Pray your personal prayers here]
Help us stay focused on You, this Christmastime and always. Thank You for loving the whole world enough to send the greatest gift, Your Son, so we might truly have a very merry Christmas, even in a not-so-merry kind of world. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
We're so glad that you decided to join us this morning!
As these past few weeks have been rough, I thought I might share a thought for the day with you all. I still get emails from my church in Flagstaff, and the letter from the pastor was quite appropriate for this time. Just click here to read the message.
We're so glad you decided to join us today!
We are so glad that you've decided to join us today!
Today is the first Sunday in Advent.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called, "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Today we light the Promise Candle.
Dear heavenly Father, as we begin the Advent season, teach us the true meaning of Christmas. Each time we light the candle of promise, help us to think about Your promise to send Jesus Your Son. Amen.
2 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Nov. 29th Jim Gregg, Connor Diesel
30th Susan Paul
Dec. 1st Marilyn Hickman, Kathy Bell
2nd Andrew Lozano
SYMPATHY: The Family of Beverly Mounts
The Family of Esther Krajacic
The Family of Dale Taggart (Missionary/Flagstaff)
The Family of Dave Burt
This year, the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is posting an online Advent devotional. It will be available daily on our website as well. Just follow this link.
This is a year unlike any other. We won't be able to have our traditional Sunday School Christmas Program. However, we are looking at doing something virtually. At the bottom of today's service, there is a quick survey so we can see what everyone might be interested in doing.
We were able to remove Beverly Selvaggi and Megan Isley from our on going prayer list as they are both doing well. Pastor Gary remains on two weeks quarantine. Dana Wilson will not hear the results of the biopsy until Monday. He is in Jefferson Memorial Hospital due to an infection, please pray for healing. Betty Matthew’s cousin Carolyn Grimes is in the Washington Hospital and needs our prayers.
Continued prayers for Roma Grose, Ruth Hampe, Susan Schively, Jimmy Davis, Judy Donaldson, Margo Johnson, Melissa Pedigo, Aaron Blake, Lisa Phillips, Mickey Gubitti, Chip Rogers, Dixie Avoila, Virginia Coffield, Dennis McWreath, Chuck Warlow, Chuck Dicks, Randy Moore, Margaret Knabenshue, Janet Schively, Mary Ann Durila, Patty Nagey, Dr. Craig Fox, Karen Eisiminger, Kelley Gump, Mary Ann McFeeley, Ron Westfall, Ed Horne, DonnaWest, June and Keith McGill, Dianna Donaldson, Jessica Duke, Chuck Montecello, April Hincy, 3 yr. old Hayden Dijean, Glenn Miles, Dave Cummings, Ken Jackson, Doug Ward, Mark Knabenshue, Rick McFeeley, Dick McFeeley, Ricky Amos, Alex Kelley, Deron Wood, Susan Alberti, Bryan Dunn, Pastor Gary and John O’Hara.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Call In The New Testament