Posts from the ‘Announcements’ Category
Work on a groundbreaking revision of The United Methodist Hymnal, designed to be a print/digital contextually adaptable resource for primary use in the United States, begins this fall following the selection of the full Hymnal Revision Committee.
The process for Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH), the Council of Bishops, and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools to select the 15 committee members began in late 2016 and continued through the spring of 2017.
The revised hymnal will be significantly different from the traditional printed hymnal, with a much deeper and broader scope of material and delivery methods that utilize current and future technology.
The current hymnal, published in 1989, includes four major sections with a limited number of hymns, songs, acts of worship, services, and prayers. The 2020 UM hymnal will potentially contain thousands of items in these same categories, gleaned from previously published resources such as the 1989 hymnal, Mil Voces Para Celebrar, Songs of Zion, The Faith We Sing, Zion Still Sings, Worship & Song, and many other collections.
The Hymnal Revision Committee will select from these resources and from other published works of contemporary music and text literature, new and existing hymns, songs and prayers submitted for consideration, and might commission additional works.
New delivery methods will make it possible to include the many additional resources. Rather than one print version of the hymnal that is the same for all churches, each United Methodist congregation will be able to have a customized print version, if that is the delivery method they prefer.
A core of material, which will be present in every print version of the hymnal, can be augmented with selections from a Hymnal Revision Committee-selected and General Conference-approved supplemental body of work.
Just over a week after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, reports are beginning to reveal its impact on the island’s Christian community, including more than 1 million Protestants.
Approximately 3,000 churches were damaged or destroyed by the Category 4 hurricane, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) estimated. Wanda Rolón, an NHCLC board member and one of Puerto Rico’s best-known pastors, said that she was “not aware of a single church that escaped damage or harm.”
In addition to flooding, downed trees, and buildings ripped apart by 150 mph winds, the storm cut off electricity and communications networks. The Christian TV station, CDM Internacional, as well as several Christian radio stations went off the air. A Bible distribution ministry lost its inventory when its building was hit.
Of about 90 Southern Baptist churches in Puerto Rico, so far the North American Mission Board (NAMB) has heard from a dozen, all of which suffered limited damage, Baptist Press reported.
“We don’t have buildings right now to have meetings,” evangelist and doctor Luis Paz told CT in Puerto Rico last Sunday. “We are outside, bringing hope to people, the ones that need the most. We have brothers and sisters who don’t have homes right now, but the church is open to them.”
About half of Puerto Ricans go to church at least once a week, according to the Pew Research Center. (Most of the island’s 3.4 million residents are Catholic, and about a third are Protestant.) But some churches haven’t had power since Hurricane Irma hit earlier in the month. Without power, or due to other damage to their buildings, they’re forced to skip regular services or to worship unplugged outside.
The first Sunday after the storm, many Christians opted for impromptu gatherings in houses. In Arecibo, La Iglesia del Centro suffered minimal damage and held one smaller worship gathering. Pastor Gadiel Ríos encouraged members to open their homes for prayer and worship with their neighbors; some in his congregation of 350 have lost everything.
In better-off areas, metal debris and sinuous branches piled up in the streets, soccer fields, and swimming pools; for those who fared worse, the unwieldy piles sit where their houses once stood.
Paz, a minister and medical doctor, traveled to the capital, San Juan, on Sunday—exactly when he’d usually be worshipping with his 1,200-person congregation, Iglesia AMEC Casa de Alabanza—to pick up generators for clinics and request supplies for churches in the northwest.
When Maria made its way through Puerto Rico last Wednesday, he was up at 3 a.m. to do his daily prayers and Bible reading, pausing every few minutes to check the trajectory of the swirling storm.
“We thank the Lord no matter what,” said Paz, who later ended up singing hymns with his family as they scooped water out of their flooded home. “The Lord is not good when Irma started to go out and not good this time [when Maria hit]. The Lord is good all the time.”
The NHCLC partnered with Convoy of Hope to call upon congregation in the United States to sponsor damaged churches in Puerto Rico as well as in Mexico, after its recent earthquake. The NAMB will also facility church partnerships with Southern Baptist congregations, in addition to sending care packages to pastors, Baptist Press reported.
Rolón’s Pentecostal congregation, Iglesia La Senda Antigua, has been collecting and distributing basic necessities like food, formula, and diapers; the church will resume its worship services this Sunday.
Samaritan’s Purse took 200-plus tons of supplies to the Caribbean in September, including cases of water, gas jugs, sturdy blue tarps, and the generators that ended up at Paz’s clinics.
The evangelical relief organization distributes supplies to all who need aid, but coordinates efforts with partner churches. In Puerto Rico, Samaritan’s Purse has connections with congregations that participate in its iconic Operation Christmas Child shoebox program, as well as pastors like Paz who took part in president Franklin Graham’s crusade there in February.
“We know churches are not relief agencies, but they have a role to play when there is suffering and loss,” said Daniel Zeidan, who coordinates partnerships between Samaritan’s Purse and local churches whose communities need aid. “They will be there after we leave. What the church does now will have an impact that will last a long time.”
How To Help
- Anyone wishing to help can make donations directly through UMCOR’s Domestic Disaster Response Advance #901670 or by contributing through Central Church via this web site with a notation for UMCOR.
People hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma need time to “get their arms” around the most pressing needs. But United Methodists can start helping by donating to the United Methodist Committee on Relief, collecting and assembling flood buckets and earnestly praying.
Amy Fuselier, director of UMCOR relief supplies, said the unprecedented number of active storms in the Atlantic and Gulf is making the need for flood buckets urgent.
“I am asking all churches with the ability to quickly produce and send flood buckets to do so,” she said in an email appeal.
Once a team has 1,872 buckets, UMCOR will arrange transport of the buckets to Sager Brown in Baldwin, Louisiana. Sager Brown seems to be the most central location to get buckets to all those in need, she said.
How To Help
- United Methodists wishing to help can make donations directly through UMCOR’s Domestic Disaster Response Advance #901670.
- Churches and individuals also can assemble cleaning buckets. Here is how.
Williams said in addition to local United Methodist churches, community organizations have been bringing items to the church to send to storm survivors.
Big or small, every bucket counts. Staff members at the United Methodist Publishing House set up an assembly line Sept. 7 and put together 50 buckets for UMCOR. The buckets shipped out Sept. 11.
Florida is still in the process of figuring out what the needs are.
Pam Garrison, disaster response coordinator for the Florida Conference, asked people to “give us time to get our arms around this and figure out the next steps so that those impacted get the help they need, when they need it.”
Garrison said more than 6 million people in Florida are without power, which makes it challenging to communicate with churches, pastors and laity.
“The only donations requested at this time are donations to UMCOR, where 100 percent of what is given will help not just Florida but our neighboring conferences who have also been hard hit,” she said.
Gilbert is a multimedia reporter for United Methodist News Service. Contact her at 615-742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests.
When you #StartWithaSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Central United Methodist Church.
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From the top of the picture, you will see four arrows.
Arrows 1, 3, and 4 point to holes in our sidewalk resulting from the City’s removal of the parking meters. In some cases, the City put blacktop in the holes, which broke down into gravel over several years and washed away. These holes have now been filled with cement for a more durable (and hopefully permanent) repair.
Arrow 2 points to a large break in the sidewalk. You can see the two large pieces of concrete that were removed to begin the repair. The rain water running down 13th Street has also undermined the slab, so a more comprehensive repair will be needed. I used the cement that we had on hand to smooth out the top a bit, although it is still not flush with the rest of the slab. More cement will also need to be packed under the slab to stabilize it and keep further rain water from undermining the repair.
There is much more that needs to be done to eliminate our sidewalk issues on 13th Street, including repairing or replacing missing curb stones along this upper part of 13th Street, but we can at least claim victory today over these 3 parking meter holes.
We then blew off the sidewalks, and Chrissy followed-up by spraying another dose of weed killer on where the weeds had been popping up.
Hopefully, this 1, 2, 3 treatment will knock those pesky weeds down for the rest of the summer.
A big Thank-You to Dex and Chrissy for stepping in when we were crushed for time to help make our Church presentable for Tony’s final send-off.
A tireless worker and active member of Central Church for 51 years, Tony also served as Chaplin at the Medical Center in Beaver as well as at the Beaver Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Chippewa.
Over his many years at Central, Tony held virtually every office, including serving as our Chairman of the Stewardship and Finance Committee, as a Certified Lay Speaker, and as Lay Leader of Central Church in his final years. He also was a faithful member of our Church Choir over several decades.
In an era in which the Church is often viewed as just another community commodity, with people coming and going on slight breezes of whim, Tony provided a solid and continuous example of what it really means to be a faithful follower of Christ. We will all missing his good humor and endless willingness to engage in the work of God’s Kingdom.
All of the funeral arrangements will be at Central Church on Friday, August 11, 2017.
Family Viewing will be from 12 Noon – 1 pm in Central’s Parlor.
General Viewing will follow, from 1-6 pm, also in the Parlor.
The funeral worship service, planned by Tony himself in 1999, will be held in the Sanctuary at 6 pm.
Following the funeral service, a funeral luncheon will be served downstairs in the Fellowship Hall. (A private interment will be subsequently conducted at Sylvania Hills.)
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in memory of Tony to the Memorial Fund of Central Church.
Please remember his daughter, Debbie, and the rest of his family in prayer as they move through this difficult time.
Jim was a member of Central Church for 49 years, and previously served as Church Treasurer, President of the Board of Trustees, and member of the Administrative Council.
Jim is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Ruth & Douglas Aley, and two grandchildren, Dexter (Lindsay) Aley and Amber Aley, all members of Central Church.
In addition, Jim is survived by two brothers, Richard (Diedre) Balmer and Matthew (Mary) Balmer, all of Beaver Falls; his sister-in-law, Janice Balmer, of Darlington, PA.; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and his second wife, Arlene (Grguras) Balmer, and her daughter and granddaughter, Lori & Sabrina Ross, of Sigel, PA.
If desired, contributions can be made in James’ name to the Central United Methodist Church, PO Box 311, Beaver Falls PA 15010.
Not only is this update a beautiful change from the old, 113-year-old windows, they will give us higher energy efficiency, and greater security from break-ins.
Stop by and say Hi!
It may be hot, but the water is cold!!
Central Church will be offering free bags of chips and bottles of ice-cold water at this year’s Car Cruise in Beaver Falls on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The Car Cruise runs from 1-9 pm.
Our table this year will be at 10th Street and 7th Avenue, so stop by to say Hi, get a snack, and slake your thirst as we enjoy all of the interesting cars on display!
In giving thanks for those who have served in our armed forces, risking their lives for our liberty.
May God bless those who have sacrificed and the families of those service members who have done without in duty to our country.
On behalf of Central Church, may you have a blessed holiday weekend!
Instead of having its regular Sunday worship service, Central Church will join with other area Churches for a Community Pentecost Service in the LGI at the Beaver Falls High School at 10:30 am on Sunday, June 4.
See you there!
The Church will provide meatloaf, cake and punch. Please bring a dish to share and a gift for our newest little one!
With the help of 72 men from our Saturday AA group, we started the process of tear-down to refinish the floors at 9 pm Saturday after their meeting since we now need to get such projects completed before people arrive for our free community lunch around 10 am on Tuesday.
After the Fellowship Hall was cleared, the floor was scrubbed twice late Saturday night and prepared to receive the new finish. Six thin coats of finish were applied starting Sunday evening and ending this evening. Six coats were necessary to get a balanced, uniform look to the shine. The 6 coats also mean that we should be able to snap the finish back at least a few times with our burnisher when the shine fades with use.
After the final coat cured, we carried the tables and chairs back into the Fellowship Hall tonight and got everything set up so our Soup Tuesday crew can start as early as they like tomorrow morning.
Many thanks to our dedicated Trustees for providing us with a brilliant, shining floor for Easter this weekend!
Here are the “Before” and “after” pictures so you can gauge the improvement for yourselves!
Central Church has a vibrant spiritual life that includes a robust missional feeding ministry to anyone in our community who comes through our doors. Every Tuesday, we provide a free lunch, and every Friday, we have a free community dinner. Several Saturdays each month also feature a free breakfast.
In addition, Central Church hosts weekly meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous on Friday and Saturday evenings. Add in our Sunday School and Worship offerings on Sunday, and you can see that our routine calendar is very full, even before adding in special events and programming.
The success of our community outreach programming is a blessing to both our volunteers and community participants, but the associated wear and tear and jam-packed calendar creates some stress in other areas, such as routine and periodic maintenance.
In particular, all of the groups using our Fellowship Hall throughout the week make it difficult to fit in our routine maintenance of the floor, and the periodic stripping, resealing, and refinishing of our old floor tiles presents real problems with finding an uninterrupted block of time to tear down and carry out all of the tables and chairs, scrub and strip the floor, reseal, refinish, and cure the new finish, and carry back and arrange all of those tables and chairs. Add in the shortage of youthful backs and getting the job done in the tiny available time blocks is almost impossible.
Central Church’s AA program has blossomed in recent years, from a small group of 20 men to weekly meetings of 80 men and women. Despite their size, this group has managed to retain the warmth and fellowship of a much smaller group, and the folks attending are always willing to lend a hand to a friend in need.
When we made the decision to refinish the Fellowship Hall and hallway floors in this final week before Easter, we mentioned our plans to the group and asked if they would be willing to help by folding up their chairs after their Saturday evening meeting to help us get a jump on getting all of the work done before our community luncheon on Tuesday.
Instead, all 72 men attending on Saturday night meeting stayed after their meeting and completely cleared out the Fellowship Hall and hallway in 17 minutes flat! Even at top speed, our volunteers would have needed hours to achieve a similar feat.
Getting that huge task out of the way enabled our dedicated floor crew to get a big jump on the process of scrubbing and stripping in advance of the refinishing yet to come.
Our thanks go out to our AA friends for all of their help. What a blessing to have such a dedicated group meeting in our Fellowship Hall every week!
Stay tuned for further updates as the work continues!
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. – James 2:18
FAITH IN ACTION is coming to Beaver County on April 15, 2017.
Faith in Action is an interfaith ministry that utilizes volunteers to provide rides for those 60 years and older who need to get to the doctor and medical appointments.
Those in need can call 1-800-207-6701 two weeks prior to the appointment , follow the prompts and someone will get back to schedule your ride asap.
Volunteer drivers are needed in the Big Beaver, Chippewa, Darlington, Patterson, Beaver Falls , New Brighton and Rochester areas. To volunteer call 1-800- 207-6701 and hit prompt #5.
Brent Vernon is a Christian South Florida-based singer, songwriter, ventriloquist, children’s author & illustrator. songwriter and performer, who will be performing at Central Church at 7 pm on Friday, March 17.
You can view some of his material on his Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pg/BrentVernonOnFB/about/. The same Facebook page also contains excerpts of some of his songs.
We will have a cookie and punch reception for Brent in the Parlor after the concert so folks can get to know Brent a little better. (The only cost is an optional freewill offering.)
Please plan on joining us on Friday, March 17 for a special time together!
Mark, the son of Tony and Kayla Deltondo, was born at 10:15 am this morning, coming into the world at 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and has been named in honor of Tony Sr.’s younger brother.
With Mark’s older siblings, Tony Jr. and Laycie, the expanding Deltonto family now increases to five.
Please take a moment to congratulate Tony and Kayla on their latest addition to both the Deltondo clan and the Central Church family!
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017 and running through Easter Monday, on April 17, our “Food for Thought” page will feature daily Scripture readings and a brief meditation to help align you to Lent and the coming Easter.
Please join us as we embark on this journey of Lenten reflection!
Rev. Darryl Lockie from College Hill UMC will provide the message, and other pastors, including our own Pastor Jan, will participate in the worship service.
Other combined Lenten worship services are currently being discussed at the Beaver Falls Ministerium, so stay tuned for further developments.
In the meantime, please mark your calendars to join us at First Presbyterian Church at 7 pm on March 1 as we begin our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday.
Go to our Church Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Central-United-Methodist-Church-of-Beaver-Falls-PA-362949807093157) and check out our new daily inspirational post. We’re going to have one of these posted each day.
It would be really helpful if you would “like” it and then share it to your own timeline.
Soon, the inspiring images you share will show up in the newsfeeds of your Facebook friends. Not only will your Facebook friends see our Church name, they can like, share or leave a comment on the image, giving us the opportunity to reach those that are hurting, those that need uplifting and those that do not yet know Jesus.
As you share the post, please take a moment to pray for those who will see it. Pray that they will be encouraged and challenged, and that God will use these simple posts to draw others closer to Him. This is a great way to be actively engaged in praying for our friends who do not yet know Jesus.
Share our inspiring daily posts every day or as often as you can to help us reach those individuals and to help us introduce our Church to them!
We’re used to answers popping up on a screen right in front of us. But when the questions examine the truths that give meaning and purpose to life, finding the answers takes more than simply typing a few words and pushing a button.
Adam Hamilton believes that powerful answers to many of our complicated questions are contained in the Apostles’ Creed, an early statement of foundational Christian beliefs.
In Creed, he explores not only what Christians believe, but also why they believe, and why it matters, which in turn leads readers to confront and examine their own core beliefs and go beyond reciting the Creed’s familiar words.
- Jesus Christ
- The Holy Spirit
- The Church and the Communion of Saints
- The Forgiveness of Sins
- The Resurrection of the Body
Join us starting Sunday, February 12 at 10 am as we look into one of the foundational creeds of the Christian Church!
Key Bible Verse: Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way. – Psalm 16:11, The Message
Dig Deeper: Psalm 16
I have come to believe that from the moment of conception, we are being formed with an adventure in mind. We were created to touch, taste, smell, see, and hear life. Our Creator has big plans for us. No settling for mediocrity. Rather, we have a high calling etched into our bones and written on our hearts.
God wants to engage us from first squall to last drawn breath and deliver us into a life he has dreamed for us. Whether our earliest memories are sailing the high seas in a steamship or walking in a kindergarten class by ourselves for the first time, the exploration of the world within us and around us is a drumbeat. And the beat goes on.
We were made to explore. For some of us that exploration is more outward than inward, like Admiral [Robert] Peary going to the North Pole. For others it is more inward than outward, like [Blaise] Pascal and his thoughts or Thomas Merton’s contemplations. Whichever it is, we were made for curiosity and more. That design drives us. It shapes our thinking and our dreams. It forms expectations of what life should be and lays the foundation of who we will become. It shapes our destiny.
I would submit it is our destiny.
—Richard Foth in A Trip Around the Sun
My Response: What specific experiences have shaped my life and faith?
Adapted from A Trip Around the Sun: Turning Your Everyday Life into the Adventure of a Lifetime by Mark Batterson and Richard Foth with Susanna Foth Aughtmon. Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group (BakerPublishingGroup.com)
Pastor Jan has been in first a hospital and then in a rehab facility since her automobile accident while returning from visiting some of our shut-ins on Thanksgiving morning.
Pastor Jan will be transported from the Providence Care Center to Central around 9:30 am on Sunday, January 8, 2017 so she can lead our worship service (and communion) at 11:00.
Since she cannot yet stand on her healing legs, she will preach from in front of the first pew in a wheelchair.
After the service, a wheelchair transport will return her to Providence where she will resume her rehab.
Our District Superintendent is also planning to be in attendance for our worship service tomorrow morning as a show of support for Jan.
See you then!
The following article by
We thank God for the opportunity to provide free warm and nutritious food for body and soul to many people in the City of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, as we work to cultivate a season of peace and joy for the people God has placed in our lives.
“Come to me all you who are weak and burdened and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
On December 16, 2016, the Beaver County Times reported that Beaver County is among the poorest counties in western Pennsylvania, according to data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau. (See http://www.timesonline.com/news/local_news/beaver-county-is-among-the-poorest-counties-in-western-pa/article_8fcd858c-c312-11e6-a269-0b0fd180c24f.html.)
The county’s median salary of is 10 percent less than statewide, and 1 in 5 children in the county live in poverty. Statewide, the county is in the middle of the pack, ranking 29th in median income and 32nd in poverty rate.
“It’s tough in Beaver County,” said Mike Rubino, executive director of the United Way of Beaver County. “It’s something to think about — just one of our supported programs, the Salvation Army, is feeding 4,000 people each month through food banks.”
According to the federal poverty guidelines, a family of four lives in poverty if their household income is lower than $24,250.
The new data comes from the census bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates program, which uses information from the American Community Survey, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, federal tax records and other federal data collection programs. It is used to determine how much money school districts will receive through the federal Title I program.
According to a release from the census bureau, the majority of counties — more than 84 percent nationwide — did not see a statistically significant change in median income between 2014 and 2015. Even fewer counties saw a significant change in poverty rates.
Central Church provided over 10,000 free, nutritious meals to our community in 2013. In 2014, that number increased to 11,500, and the numbers of the hungry coming to us continue to increase as we reach the end of 2016, all through the generosity of many small givers and an active congregation of less than 25 dedicated souls.
- Please click on the “Donate” button in the right column of this page if you would like to support this critically-needed outreach ministry.
Every meal that we serve is hot, nutritious, and wholesome. A warm welcome and a promise from God go a long way to lift a heavy heart. When someone knows how much God cares, they don’t feel lonely and powerless anymore.
Please join us to care for those in hard times. Your gifts meet desperate needs for food, and you pave the way for hurting people to be blessed.
This is our prayer for everyone who walks through our door – providing hope for new life.
United Methodists are being asked to name their favorite and least favorite hymns as part of the initial research conducted by Discipleship Ministries and a diverse committee to revise The United Methodist Hymnal after almost three decades.
The first of several online surveys is under way to support the development of the new hymnal, which will be a hybrid print/electronic resource for use in multiple contexts.
“We are a singing church, and this survey will help us launch an important new hymnal for our denomination,” said the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary (CEO) of Discipleship Ministries, which shares responsibility for the denomination’s hymnal with The United Methodist Publishing House.
The survey, “Favorite and Least Favorite Hymns,” is available online through Jan. 9 at http://sgiz.mobi/s3/Favorite-Hymns-2016 and seeks responses for all United Methodists.
The initial survey will be followed by other general surveys about hymn and worship resource preferences and use and about worship styles and perspectives on congregational music, said Naomi Hope Annandale, director of research and strategic evaluation at Discipleship Ministries, who is directing the hymnal research.
While you’re making your holiday plans, why not take a break from the hectic shopping season and take a moment or two to reflect on the true nature and reason for our Christmas season.
Central Church would like to invite you to a special Christmas concert on Saturday evening, December 17.
Central Church is hosting a special concert of Diane’s Joysong Christmas on Saturday, December 17 at 7:00 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.
After growing up in a pastor’s home, Diane hit the night club circuit traveling around the country. She is a master of stagecraft, an actor at heart, who understands the connection of lyric and music.
More than a singer, Diane is a thoroughly engaging performer who is thoroughly engaged. Her joy attests to her passion for the Lord and her personal connection to Him while embracing everyone in the audience.
The concert will begin at 7 pm and will be between 45 & 50 minutes – a perfect, refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the season, especially for those who are active in the work and ministry of our local Churches.
The public is invited to attend the concert. There is no admission charge, but a free-will offering will be received.
Please share this opportunity with your friends, and join us on December 17!
Pastor Jan was involved in an auto accident on Ing-Rich Road on Thanksgiving Day morning returning from visiting shut-ins.
She collided with a telephone pole at sufficient speed to crack the telephone pole and destroy her car. Both of her femurs were snapped above the knee.
In view of the extent of her injuries, the Medical Center transferred her to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Oakland, where metal rods were placed in her femurs in a 10-hour-long surgery.
Following the surgeries, a CT Scan discovered a blood clot in her lung, for which she is now receiving blood thinners.
Pastor Jan has now been transferred from UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Oakland to the Providence Care Center in Beaver Falls to begin her long road of rehabilitation.
Your prayers for Pastor Jan’s recovery would be appreciated.
11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness
14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. – 2 Peter 3:11-18
So as the prophets of old and those to whom they ministered looked for the coming Jesus (the Messiah), so we God‘s people look for His second coming…the second great advent. Christians look for a new heaven and a new earth, in which a great deal more of the wisdom, power and goodness of God and Savior Jesus will be manifested.
In these new heavens and earth we shall be freed from the futility of our former life and the sin with which it was polluted. Now only righteousness shall dwell; this is to be the habitation of such righteous persons as do righteousness, and are free from the power and pollution of sin; all the wicked shall be turned into hell; those only who are clothed with a righteousness of Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit will be admitted to dwell in this holy place.
What is the basis for this thought? First of all, if we look for anything which God has not promised, we presume upon Him. Second, if our expectations are according to the promise, both as to the things we look for and the time that they will occur, we will not be disappointed. Scripture says, ―He is faithful who has promised it all.‖ “See therefore that you elevate and are in command of your expectations of all the great things that are to come according to the word of God.
As to the new heaven and new earth, look for them, praising God for this new advent. The second coming of Jesus sees him clothed in white robes of righteousness in place of swaddling clothes!! He is alive! Expect to see Him any time. …what kind of people ought you to be?
As we move into the second week of Advent, our elves at Central Church have been busy decorating the Parlor with Christmas trees to match the theme of our current short-term Sunday School study, “The Redemption of Scrooge”, based upon Charles Dickens’ classic novel “A Christmas Carol”.
“A Christmas Carol” is a story of brokenness and redemption. The beginning is dark – the book opens with, “Marley was dead.” Scrooge begins the story as an unrepentant miser whose greed has caused harm to himself and others, and ends with him a changed – a redeemed – man.
Just as Christ brings light and hope to a world in darkness, the events of A Christmas Carol shine light into the darkness surrounding Scrooge’s life, ultimately leading him to embrace the peace, hope, love, and joy that we associate with Christmas.
Our study is looking at the four main parts of A Christmas Carol the opening and visit of Marley’s ghost, the visit of the Ghost of Christmas Past, the visit of the Christ of Christmas Present, and the visit of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
In our study, we are exploring how we can draw from the past, present and future, important truths about brokenness and redemption and the Advent themes of peace, hope, love, and joy.
Take a moment when you’re at the Church to examine the three Christmas trees in our Parlor: the Tree of Christmas Past, the Tree of Christmas Present, and the Tree of Christmas Yet to Come.
As we walk with Christ, we discover the divine all around us, and, in turn, the world invites us into a deeper picture of its Creator.
Join us this Advent as we continue our exploration of A Christmas Carol and discover how God is working in and through us and in the world around us to tell God’s great story of redemption!
Starting Sunday, November 27, 2016 and running through Saturday, December 31, our daily “Food for Thought” selections will be taken from the 2016 Advent Devotional by Central Church’s own Pastor Jan Davis.
Please plan to check back each day and share with us in the daily reading as we prepare our hearts and minds for the miraculous gift of Christmas.
In preparation for the first daily devotional tomorrow as Advent begins, here is a short introduction from Pastor Jan:
Each year when Christmas approached, I made a list of what I was hoping to receive. I remember the hope I felt as I awoke on Christmas morning and looked expectantly under the tree. Do you still remember the intensity of that feeling?
The years have now passed and my list has certainly changed. Now what I am hoping for cannot be bought or wrapped and placed under a Christmas tree – but I continue to hope. I wonder, what are you hoping to receive this Christmas.
It is my prayer that this Advent booklet, which contains a number of devotions, will guide you throughout the Word of God to the only source of Hope I am aware of:
God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
May God truly give you the desires of your heart this year!
– Pastor Jan