Faith United Church of Christ

  • worship
  • project serve
  • facebook
  • twitter

Faith News

Here's what's happening at Faith Church! Click the "+" to see more.

If you have an announcement you'd like to see here, contact the church office.
By Email: or Phone: (814) 238-3904


Read All About It!


In the Spot Light?
This Month
Next Month
Faith Proudly Supports

Spot Light

Monday, February 25,

we will begin our two weeks of hosting Out of the Cold for overnight guests; this includes an evening meal and breakfast.
I hope you will be as generous as you have been in the past in helping to provide the food for those meals.

We will need dinner (casseroles, salads, desserts, etc.) and breakfast (microwave sandwiches, bagels, etc.) items.

There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Gathering Space so you can indicate what you can provide--and thanks in advance for your willingness to help.

There is also a description of several roles that still need to be filled, like help unloading the supply truck Monday afterno

Back to Summary

This Month

jes kast Rev. Dr. Prathia Hall was a key inspiration in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I have a Dream Speech.

King once said of her, “Prathia Hall is one of the platform speakers I would prefer not to follow.” She was a preacher that spoke with the power of the Holy Spirit to the hearts of the people. She sought freedom, her sermons preached freedom, and she led others into the fight for freedom. Fierce and firm in God’s word she once said that, “I stood in the authenticity of my being: Black, preacher, Baptist, woman. For the same God who made me a preacher made me a woman, and I am convinced that God was not confused on either account.” She was a key leader in the Civil Rights Movement whose faith in Jesus Christ inspired her to work for racial justice.

I think of Dr. Hall this Black History Month as I reflect on the Scripture passages before us in worship. Consider what we will hear from the Gospel of Luke. Before Jesus began his ministry, and after he was baptized, he goes to worship in the synagogue and reads from the prophet Isaiah chapter 61:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Jesus proclaimed that his ministry is about letting the oppressed go free! Jesus was the original Freedom Fighter. Jesus pronounced dignity when the world wanted to strip someone of their self-possession. The life of the Christian is one of freedom in the spirit and this life leads us to mercy, justice, and dignity for all.

Our work, as a church, is to pronounce that same dignity to each other in a world that so often wants to strip our dignity away. At Faith UCC we unapologetically pronounce that YOU MATTER to us and to God! We want you to bring all your unique identities with you to church -- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary, black, African-American, indigenous, Latinx, woman, man, child, disabled, educated, unemployed, searching, believer, divorced, recovering, and the list goes on into the many ways we know ourselves. God honors our identities and that is what we seek to do, too.

At Faith UCC you don’t have to check one of those identities at the door, here you are welcome to bring all those identities with you and discover new identities in this sanctuary of God’s care. Here we listen to each other and say, “Though your story is not mine, I will listen to you more deeply to bear witness to your joys and pains with empathy and respect.” Listening is one of the greatest acts of dignity we can give and I hope you consider joining us for this month’s Listening Café on February 5th at Olde New York Place (2298 East College Avenue, SC) at 6:00-8:00 PM!

May we know the example of Dr. Hall and be honest about the many ways God has created us as we honor Black History Month and walk in the way of Jesus who teaches us freedom.

God’s freedom and spirit to each of you!

Pastor Jes

serving coffee The Fellowship Hour in Romig Hall following worship
is a chance to get to know better the people sharing the pews with you and guests who may join us.
(And, if you are able to come, invite guests you might meet that day to join you in fellowship.)

We can always use help in providing the food that is offered, so please sign up on the sheet in the Gathering Space if you can help in that way or just by helping with serving and cleaning up.

children's books Winter is upon us
and we have something that might help pass the time for your young children.

We have found that there are a number of good books in the Nursery that were not being used. They are now in file boxes on the grey shelving in that room (to the right in the corner when you enter).

There are books for reading to little ones or those "easy readers" for those who have started to read. There is a list of the books on the shelf and they are organized alphabetically.

Books should be used so please help yourself; just check off the book if you take it so someone else doesn't look for it. If you can return it--great; if not, that's ok too.

office hours Beginning next week (January 14), the church's office hours will change.

Administrative hours will be 9:30-1:30 Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday.

Pastor's hours will be 9-5, Monday-Thursday.

Pastor Jess will also be ministering in the community from time to time during her "Listening Cafe" slots. The Listening Cafe times and places may change from month to month but will always be posted here in the News section.

Please check the Listening Cafés post for changes.

Note that Pastor Jes values community connection. This means that she may be interacting with our downtown neighbors even though she's "scheduled" to be "in the office." Calling ahead to check may be help you schedule better.

email You likely have already begun seeing a difference in Faith email.

Many of you have been aware of the "delivery failure notices" that have been plaguing the comcast account for over a year. No longer!
Although we haven't fixed the problem attached to that account, we have found a work-around: we're now using the church's Gmail account. So far, no issues! Yay!

Many thanks to Pastor Jes for suggesting it!

The office email is:

Pastor Jes also has a new email:

We will still be monitoring the old account, but expect to be done with it completely shortly.

Contact the office (at the new email!) if you have any questions.

child with bible Our February schedule:

This is it for February!

  • February 24, 2019 -- 7th Sunday after Epiphany - Luke 9: 28 – 36 -- Jesus on the Mountaintop

  • Please join us every Sunday. You are truly missed when you aren’t with us!

    Barb Chellman - Church School Coordinator

    boy at microphone Choir Rehearsals are Thursday Evenings @ 7pm
    February 7, 14, 21, & 28

    church directory Our most recent directory was published just prior to Pastor Jes arriving; we wanted to give her the most accurate contacts for Faith Family & Friends to help her and her wife, Jessy, get to know us.

    Since then, they have settled in Bellefonte, and adding them to the directory really wasn't optional! Contact Jeff in the office for accessing the online directory or getting a printed version. (Printing on demand to go greener.)

    3rd Way Collective This is our final week of classes before Spring Break!

    We have one event this week - a pizza and movie night on Thursday at 6:30pm at Houseasaurus exploring a film about a neighborhood in Philadelphia impacted by gun violence.

    We are excited to be co-leading a group of 18 students to the USA/Mexico border for an immersion trip starting next weekend.

    Also consider joining Standing at the Gates for Justice vigil at the Allen Street Gates which takes place every Monday at 4pm.

    You can visit this site to make a year-end gift or sign up for monthly giving:

    We are looking for hosts for our home cooked meals this spring. Sign up here to help out in this unique way!

    Campus Pastor Ben Wideman

    We continue to look beyond University Mennonite Church to support the work of 3rd Way Collective in this year. Individuals or organizations can pledge at

    For our full schedule and to find out how to support this ministry please visit or contact

    A reflection is posted each month at

    Back to Summary

    Next Month

    boy at microphone Choir Rehearsals are Thursday Evenings @ 7pm
    March 7, 14, 21, & 28

    Back to Summary

    On Going

    Out of the Cold, Centre County

    The OOTC Day Shelter meets local needs that developed since the closure of Hearts for the Homeless this past summer.

    OOTC is partnering with Faith UCC and St. Paul's UMC to provide this service Monday through Friday. The service includes showers, meals donated by local restaurants, and some short term case manaagement.

    This differs from the overnight host site, which rotates every two weeks. (See Out of the Cold, under "Faith Church Supports".)
    The Day Shelter is a work in progress and is anticipated to remain open through early May.

    If you would like to help as a volunteer or through other means of support, please send us an e-mail at: For more information, see their website:

    martin luther statue The Adult Forum Class continues to meet at 9:30 each Sunday morning.

    We have been studying the first part of ‘The History of Christianity from the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation’.
    Each class consists of a ‘Great Couses’ talk by an expert (by DVD) of about 30 minutes followed by an open-ended discussion.

    We expect to follow this course for most of the first quarter of 2019.

    The topics expected for the four Sundays in January are:
  • The Councils and the Trinity
  • Expansion Beyond the Roman Empire
  • Justinian and Byzantine Christianity
  • and Eastern Orthodoxy and Islam.

  • Please join us in Meyer Library for a interesting and productive experience.

    This is a good place to get to know those who join you In worship and to enjoy a lively discussion while you learn about our heritage.

    Penn State Lion Shrine at night Faith UCC welcomes college students to join us in worship and fellowhip, and we would love to be your church away from home!

    Our church is conveniently located directly across from the Penn State campus, and our weekly Sunday worship services are at 10:45 AM during fall and spring semesters. Come as you are, and please join us for refreshments immediately following the service.

    We are a long-established, Open and Affirming, inclusive faith community. Students are welcome to join us in other church activities such as: the church choir, participating in and teaching Sunday School classes, food and fellowship, annual CROP and AIDS walks, mission trips, and service projects.

    The Sacrament of Holy Communion, or the Lord's Supper, is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of each month as well as on special days of the church year. All Christians are invited to share the bread and the cup from our Lord's table.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by email at

    figure with puzzle piece If you would like to become a member of Faith UCC, or you simply want to learn more about our UCC identity, please let Pastor Bret know of your interest so that a two-session class may be started at times you may attend. You may email him, or call (814) 237-3904.

    Hurricane from orbit Hurricane Florence has directly devastated a large swath of both the Carolinas and has caused extensive flooding along the Eastern US. Even here in PA: water levels broke the records set in the wake of Hurricane Agnes in 1972 all across the state.

    Thank you to all who have expressed great compassion in wanting to provide relief aid.

    Here are a few ways you can help:

    PRAY - Please keep the victims, families, leaders and responders in your prayers.

    MAKE A DONATION - As always, our UCC response has been quick and will be on-going.
    There are no administrative fees -- 100% of funds designated for disaster relief to the United Church of Christ are used for disaster relief and rehabilitation programming.

    This link is to the UCC donation page.

    VOLUNTEER - A list of volunteer opportunities can be found here.

    PURCHASE CLEAN UP KITS- You can assist hurricane and other disaster relief efforts by pre-assembling various kits that are warehoused by CWS, ready to be shipped at a moment's notice when the need arises. There are still matching grants available!

    Thank you for your abundant generosity!

    Back to Summary

    Faith Church Proudly Supports:

    Centre Safe

    For over 40 years, we’ve been the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.

    However our mission is to eliminate domestic, relationship, and sexual violence for everyone – women, children, men, and people of all gender identities and diverse backgrounds.
    Our mission remains the same: Empowering survivors, so they may live lives free of violence.

    So we are becoming Centre Safe: Empowering Survivors, Eliminating Violence as we envision a safe Centre County.

    You are not alone; help is available for women, men, and children who have experienced dating & domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Call toll free at 1-877-234-5050
    All of our services are professional, confidential, and free.
    Inclusive of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

    For more information, see our website: 24-HOUR HOTLINE: 814-234-5050 | TOLL FREE: 1-877-234-5050 | TTY: 814-272-0660

    MidPenn Legal services

    MidPenn Legal Services is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to providing equal access to justice and high quality civil legal services to low-income residents and survivors of domestic violence in 18 counties in Central Pennsylvania.

    For more information, see their website:

    Hoffman Homes for Youth

    Hoffman Homes for Youth is committed to promoting the personal growth and achievement of the children and families we serve through continuous quality improvement, education, staff development, and the use of evidence-based practices.

    Our team of caregivers is devoted to creating a culture of healing that enables our children to recover and thrive, and to realize brighter, healthier futures. We do this by following the seven commitments of the Sanctuary Model and adhereing to our Core Values & Guiding Principles:

    • Honesty & Integrity
    • Safety & Well-being
    • Dignity & Respect
    • Commitment to Excellence

    Hoffman Homes for Youth • 815 Orphanage Road • Littlestown, PA 17340
    Phone: (717) 359-7148 • Fax: (717) 359-2600

    For more information, see their website:

    hartman center

    HARTMAN CENTER is the Outdoor Ministries facility owned by Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ since 1964.

    Programming includes retreats, conferences, workshops, dinner meetings, summer camps, and other events which, while designed for particular age levels and interests, are open to all persons without regard to race, creed, or ethnic origin, and who accept the guidelines and philosophy of the Center.

    For more information, see their website:

    Out of the Cold, Centre County

    Out of the Cold: Centre County is an emergency shelter open from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. every night from mid-October to early May.

    During the 2017-2018 season, fourteen congregations helped to provide overnight shelter for 118 guests, filling 2473 cots and serving almost 5,000 meals!

    Staffed almost entirely by volunteers, the host site rotates every two weeks.
    Each evening our guests are welcomed warmly, served a hot meal, given a cot, warm blankets, and a place to sleep.
    Breakfast is served and in the morning and before leaving guests can register to return that evening.

    Basic case management is available for guests wanting assistance acquiring housing.

    Out of the Cold: Centre County is a grassroots effort and is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

    If you would like to help as a volunteer or through other means of support, please send us an e-mail at: For more information, see their website:

    Bethany Children's Home

    The mission of Bethany Children’s Home is to continue a Christian ministry, begun in 1863, to serve children and families within our care.
    We strive to provide a safe place of nurture, protection, and supportive care to aid our residents in their self-understanding, growth, and healing toward a brighter, healthier future.

    Our vision is of a community where all youth and staff are safe in their environment and feel safe within themselves.
    To bring this vision into reality, we provide the resources needed to children and families to work through their losses, enabling them to have a brighter future.

    For more information, visit their website:

    Park Forest Preschool

    The Park Forest Preschool is a nonprofit, tuition-free school for two, three, and four-year-old children from low-income families.

    We offer a comprehensive program that includes education, social skills, and developmental motor skills taught by qualified teachers in a friendly, safe environment.
    In each classroom there are one to three teacher aides, providing additional attention.

    Classes meet from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. from September to December and from January to May.
    The two year-old class meets Tuesday through Thursday while the other classes meet Monday through Friday.
    Check out our online calendar for a details on class schedules and school events. Nutritious breakfasts and lunches are provided daily.

    The school also provides the following services to students and their families:

  • Health screenings–medical, dental, vision, developmental and speech
  • Clothing bank for the children
  • Holiday food and gift boxes
  • Emergency funds
  • Weekly parenting classes
  • For more information, see their website:

    Back to Summary


    open bible Here are links to daily readings from:

    the UCC online Devotional,

    and the Revised Common Lectionary

    At the Annual Meeting, the vote on the Plastic Foam Resolution was adopted. The resolution on plastic foam states,

    "Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ encourages all congregations to avoid the used of plastic foam in food packaging and other activities within their church facilities. Be it further resolved that congregations educate their members about plastic foam and that they encourage them to use alternatives such as paper products of better yet, ceramic or other dishwasher safe products."

    UCC Disabilities Ministry

    The newly reorganized Disabilities Ministries Team is proud to share that we have received a $1,000 grant from UCC Disabilities Ministries Board (UCCDM) to help us expand our work of disability justice and inclusion within Penn Central Conference. Stay tuned for information on a series of workshops throughout the conference on the national Accessible 2 All (A2A) Designation and the background of the work of disabilities ministries.

    Back to Summary