Faith United Church of Christ

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Pastor's Perspective
Online Worship OnGoing
Faith Proudly Supports

Pastor's Perspecitve

Rachael Ward
Here is a brief introduction from Rachael:

Dear Faith,

I was raised amongst teachers where a plethora of music played daily, and the arts were encouraged. My hometown offered me the perspective of what it means to live in a place where everyone knows your name and I carry that with me into every space I inhabit. Truly, our names are sacred.

My wife Chelsea and I call Decatur, GA home, and recently are nesting into our first home together a few minutes from the seminary I attend. Like you, I’m grieving that I can’t be with my colleagues in-person, who I cherish worshipping and learning algonside. Yet, I continue to be inspired by communities that find the Spirit joining them together in new ways. Faith, I’m so encouraged by how you are one of those communities and looking forward to joining alongside you.

Chelsea is a Montessori teacher so there’s always an ever-evolving conversation around how to love children well in our household. I work with a Boys & Girls Club organization that has gifted me the ability to mentor youth of all ages. Together, my wife and I, are venturing into becoming novice kayakers and seekers of the outdoors as our balm during this time. The fresh air does the body good.

As Pastor Jes mentioned on sunday, currently, I attend Columbia Theological Seminary and am pursuing my Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Practical Theology with a concentration in Pastoral Care – which – brings me to you Faith.

There are infinite possibilities for what God has for us in this world and in every waking moment we have the opportunity to love each other deeper, as we discover those possibilities. I believe with all of my being that a part of my call is to do just that for the people of the Church wherever I am. This season, that is with each of you Faith.

A year ago, I reached out to Rev Jes about mentorship and discerning my call in parish ministry and pastoral care. The Spirit works in mysterious ways and I’m humbled to be here with each of you as Faith gives me the opportunity to seek the possibility of God, together.

May it be so – looking forward to creating a new thing with each of you.

Rachael Ward

Online Worship

There are a few logistical pieces of information for you.

Below are the Zoom links for all the different connections to support you spiritually this week.

All of the links remain the same from week to week. Passwords are sent separately, and may be changed from time to time as security requires.

To preserve the safety of our children, those links are sent in a separate mailing list.

I invite you to bring a candle to light in your homes to share in the lighting of the Christ light where you are. Please feel free to do this every Sunday.

You are welcome to invite friends to worship. We are so honored and privileged to be of service in providing spiritual care during this hard time in our world. God is at work in each of you and our worshipping life together as we pray online.

My prayers are with you - Pastor Jes

[website manager edit: if inviting someone, please direct them to the church email ( so they can be added to the mailing list directly.]
a locked padlock on a computer code background

Do you leave your house key taped to the front door?

Neither do I.

In a similar fashion, the passwords for Faith's Zoom meetings will be sent by separate emails and may be changed from time to time.

This is to prevent "zoombombing"--a new form of hacking similar to photo bombing, but when hackers hijack a Zoom meeting and take over the screen share. I've learned of recent examples. In one of the worst cases, hard-core porn was displayed over the screen share. In another, well, I'll summarize by saying loads of hate speech and heckling ruined another meeting.

Is jumping through these kinds of security hoops inconvenient? Absolutely.
Are we doing it anyway? Absolutely.

We DO want you to share this newsletter!

If you receive FaithWorks! Weekly, but have not "signed up" or "registered" with Faith Church (eg sending us your email to be added to the mailing list), please let us know by contacting me at:

Please DO NOT share the separate emails with the passwords though!
When someone asks about joining us online, send them to the email above and I'll get them signed up.

Thank you for your understanding and your willingness to endure a bit of inconvenience to protect the congregation (especially the kids!).

Faith Church, Administrative Assistant

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10:45 AM Sundays
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Meeting ID: 677 056 469

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Election Guide 2020 You may have heard something about an election this year.

Use this link to download a non-partisan voter's guide from our friends at Interfaith Power & Light.

Click here to download the guide!

Democracy, Values & the 2020 Election: A Reflection Guide for Faith Communities includes discussion questions in each section, as well as sample questions to ask candidates. We hope it will be a valuable tool to center our values in the decisions we make when we vote.

Whether you use it with your congregation via video conference discussion, or with a small in-person group, it is a powerful resource to think through and discuss important issues.

Hands folded in prayer, resting on an open bible Lectio Divina Prayer Circle Forming

I'm thrilled to welcome a new Faith attender, Susan Fairo, who is skilled in spiritual leadership and is kindly offering to lead a prayer circle for spiritual nourishment this Fall. Prayer roots us in the grace we profess and praying together weaves us together in a holy community. I encourage you to reach out to her to explore Lectio Divina and join other Faith members praying together.

Praying for you all - Pastor Jes

Lectio divina (which means divine reading) is an ancient, contemplative practice that uses scripture as an entry point for personal prayer. Lectio divina takes you through a series of steps (“movements”) that provides a way for you to listen for what a selected scripture passage is saying to you and how it relates to your life. It increases your communion with God and your knowledge of God’s living word.

Starting on Thursday, October 8, I will be facilitating a prayer circle using lectio divina: we will meet on Zoom for approximately 1 hour, from 7 – 8PM, for 8 weeks (Oct 8 – Nov 19). Please contact me (Susan Fairo) if you would like more information or know that you would like to participate. or text 206.349.7285.

The Community Care Auction by IHS Has Begun!

Interfaith Human Services is proud to announce that our Community Care Auction began today at 12:01 am. The online auction will run through 10 pm September 30th. The auction has over 170 items listed with low starting bid amounts. All proceeds will go towards Interfaith's work to "Strengthen Families Through Financial Stability."

We have all been impacted by the pandemic. A major issue for nonprofits like IHS has been the cancellation or delay of fundraisers that are key to our work. This auction is one way we are striving to make up for lost donations.

We would like to thank the many businesses and individuals that have donated items and time to make this event possible. Please visit our auction pages to see how many great items we have and the folks that have donated them. We have items that include but are not limited to:
  • Collectible/Vintage
  • Art
  • Gift Certificates
  • Books
  • Handmade
  • Be sure to visit all our pages! Maybe start your Holiday shopping early.
    BID EARLY - BID OFTEN Visit this link and register to bid!

    On Going

    Culture exchange Group sign The Cultural Exchange Meetup group is focused on sharing cultures from around the world. Penn State is the common denominator bringing people from across the globe to Happy Valley.

    They meet weekly to discuss various topics.

    Click here to learn more about this topic. These events are online.

    Handshake word cloud about caring

    “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Charles Dickens.

    What comes to your mind when you see the word CARE? Have you ever felt others really don’t care about you? I often heard people say, “who cares, it’s all about them.” Here at Faith UCC we have a caring church family and we invite you to be part of that family.

    We have a team of Caring Leaders who help us to stay connected. They inform our Pastor Jes and Sandy Miller, the Caring Coordinator, to decide how to share with our church family. The important question is: How do you want to be cared for?” When people share information with us that they wish to keep confidential, we respect their wishes.

    The following people, members and friends, are the Caring Leaders who volunteer to reach out to help us stay connected. Each leader will contact the people on their list by calling, sending a note or meet up, to get to know you better. They are: Edna Bicehouse, Jane Childs, Jean Frank, Sue Doran, Rev. Ernie Hawk, June Irvin, Mary Jane Wild, and Jim and Sally Welsh.

    Please feel free to call Sandy Miller – 814-777-0339 – or Email if you have any questions or concerns. We want to make sure you are included, and welcomed here at Faith Church.

    If you are interested in participating in the Caring Network (receiving pastoral care from lay leaders) or would like additional information, please contact the office. <

    No, it’s not Candid Camera.

    Faith Church now has a Smile Amazon account.

    When you purchase online, please consider using the button above, and Faith will receive 0.5% of the total price. Click on the image to be taken to Amazon Smile to order your goodies and donate to Faith by doing so!

    Contact the office if you’d like to know more.

    Shop with Great Lakes Scrip

    In April 2017 we began an on-going fundraiser in partnership with Great Lakes SCRIP. Just to review, Great Lakes SCRIP is a program which allows members and friends to trigger retailer contributions to Faith Church in the course of their regular shopping.

    Through this program we obtain shopping cards for local businesses—e.g. Giant Foods, Weis Markets, CVS—as well as on-line shopping sites like Amazon, LLBean, etc. These cards are the same as the ones you can buy at kiosks in many stores—the difference is that Faith Church receives the “commission” on the sale of the card, rather than the store. The beauty of SCRIP is that there’s no need to purchase anything out of the ordinary. Faith Church benefits when you buy your gas and groceries, or whatever else you routinely purchase. If you like to give gift cards for birthdays and holidays, why not buy them through SCRIP? If you have planned events on the horizon, consider using SCRIP cards to purchase supplies.

    Participants follow these simple steps:

    1. Choose from the orange list of participating businesses, found on the round table in the Gathering Space (or at the SCRIP website --click on the “Retailers” link.)
    2. Decide the number of cards you want and the whole-dollar denomination for each card.
    3. Fill out an order slip and prepare payment. (Order slips are also in the Gathering Space.)
      Checks should be made payable to Faith UCC, with SCRIP written on the memo line.
      Give the order and payment to Lois Bair.
    4. Cards in stock are available immediately. Orders placed on Sunday should be available for pick-up within one or two weeks.
    5. Use the cards as cash for shopping at the designated business. (They’re treated as gift cards at most check-out stations, and gas points and rewards apply as with any other form of payment.) You spend the face value of the card, and Faith UCC receives a percentage of the card purchase.

    NOTE: Cards do not expire and can be used by anyone.

    One key to success with SCRIP is for folks to anticipate future shopping needs and obtain the appropriate cards in advance of their purchases--for example, the Women’s Guild orders Weis cards to be used in their shopping for the June Strawberry Festival.

    The other key to success is the same as for most fundraising—the more, the merrier!

    Please consider giving it a try!

    Lois Bair

    license plates If you would like a parking tag for our "massive" lot,

    please see one of the trustees or contact the office.

    If you have a church parking tag, please contact the office with your license plate number. Wouldn’t want to have your car towed for forgeting to use the parking tag!

    no seafood, allergy Please contact the office

    if you have an allergy, sensitivity, or anything similar to foods, cleaners, etc. It's been a while since we've asked--and we'd like to make Faith a healthier place for you!

    See you there!

    Pastor Jes

    broadcastmic Did you know you can hear Pastor Jes’s sermons online?

    Take a minute to share with your (social media) spheres of influence!

    Click here for the Sermons page.

    You can also find them on Facebook and Youtube!

    If you have older recordings from Faith Church, maybe we can archive those here too! Please contact the office about it.

    church directory Contact Jeff in the office to access the online directory or get your very own printed version. (Printing on demand to go greener!)

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    Faith Church Proudly Supports:

    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:

    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

    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:

    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:

    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:

    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:

    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:

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    open bible Here is a sample of the IPL daily devotional:

    Many, many faith traditions include a pause for gratitude in connection with meals. This table prayer invites us to eat in communion with every person who brought that food to us: the farmers and farmworkers who planted, tended, and harvested the chickpeas, pasta, garlic, and tomatoes; the tenders and pruners of the olive grove that grew the oil; each person whose hands guided the equipment making tomato paste, and pasta, and pressing olive oil; the truck drivers who transported the boxes to the grocery store; the workers who unpacked and restocked cans, boxes, and bottles; the person who purchased the groceries, or who made the car or the bicycle, or the walking shoes that allowed us to travel to the market to do the purchasing ourselves. Each pair of hands helped prepare our meal. We dine with multitudes. And we give thanks. (If you're looking for an easy, crowd-pleasing, plant-based recipe you might already have the ingredients for, try this.)


    When we are challenged we do not rise to our expectations. We fall to our level of practice.
    - Archilochus, via Daily Good

    Let us choose, then, what we practice, beginning with attention and gratitude, which feed and water so much more. Hear a bird and its varied songs; meet smiling eyes above the mask of a nodding neighbor or stranger; see a dandelion and, in a flash, remember a child's delight in blowing and wishing the seed-parachutes into the wind. Make space in each day to gather those moments back to you, and to give thanks, and, maybe, to share them with another.

    If this kind of perspective resonates with you, sign up < href="">here.

    open bible Here are links to daily readings from:

    the UCC online Devotional,

    and the Revised Common Lectionary

    Penn Central logo

    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.

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