Faith United Church of Christ

Faith News

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Summary

Pastor's Perspective
Online Worship OnGoing
Faith Proudly Supports
Resources



Pastor's Perspecitve: Mid July

jes kast
Making room for the spirit, as I said on Sunday morning in my sermon, requires us to tend to our souls. Imagine that our spirits are like gardens. We pick weeds, we prune dead leaves, we nourish the plants with water and sun. Or in my case, you don't plant all the beet seeds together in one place because that will cause them not to grow. Oh boy did I learn a lot this time around.

Our spirits also need tending to. We make time to read our Scripture during the week. I recommend memorizing even just one verse as a focus in your own meditations when life is hard. Perhaps Psalm 39:7 "“And now, O Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you." Our hope is the God of heaven and earth. God gives water to our weary soul, God gives encouragement to the lonely, and God gives us faith to know our lives matter and we can make a difference.

Let us tend to our souls. What is God growing in the garden of your Spirit this summer?

Prayer: God the Great Gardener - Tend to my soul with loving care. Make something beautiful in my life. Where there are weeds, gently remove them so that I may love you and love others. Amen.

Together in Christ, Pastor Jes

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 (faithuccsc@gmail.com) 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: faithuccsc@gmail.com

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!).

Jeff
Faith Church, Administrative Assistant

Branch with cherry blossoms close up

10:45 AM Sundays
Palm Sunday
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Meeting ID: 677 056 469

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News

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.



Interfaith Human Services logo

Hello everyone,
as you know the needs of the community not only don't stop at times like this they increase. Our furniture and appliance program is running low on items as shelters and other programs have focused even more on transitioning folks to independent living.

Harry Miller, our Furniture and Appliance coordinator, is still able and willing to do pick ups. We can make curbside for folks that can get the items out of the home or we can arrange to pick up in wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Items we can use: dressers, sofas, dining room tables and chairs, appliances and bedroom furniture

Items we can not use: large desks, large armoires/entertainment centers, sofa beds or pianos

We would appreciate you sharing this with your faith community, friends etc... Harry can be reached directly by email: hfm2141@gmail.com and you can leave messages on the voicemail at IHS: 814-234-7731

Curt Knouse
Executive Director
Interfaith Human Services
814-234-7731
www.interfaithhumanservices.org

an owl with headphones on a laptop

In Case You Missed It

Pasto Jes and Faith Church were one of 3 ministers and congregations on a CNN special about how they are taking worship to the web.

stained glass window depicting St Paul with letters Hello my friends of Faith,

So much has happened and so much is continuing to happen in the world and our Faith community.

Phone calls, meetings, texts, Zooming for worship, Zooming for Faith meetings, Zooming with Penn Central Conference to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, and hours of thinking and praying for guidance has been a theme over the last month(s) all related to Faith Church. So many things have changed, so many things have stayed the same, and so many new beginnings are occurring in our worlds personally, locally, and globally. Jobs have been lost, retirements forced, retirement parties postponed, retirement planning has changed, graduation parties postponed, homeschooling is everywhere, the amount of information, misinformation, political positioning, polarization, discrimination, hate, and xenophobia is rampant.

AND YET

The calling from God is happening; we just need to listen. The comfort of the Lord’s embrace is seen in the outreach and service from one person to another, the care in a phone call, the sending of a letter, the delivering of groceries, the making of masks, and the genuine “hello” in ones’ eyes to another while out for a walk. It is this love for humanity, the care for each other, the authenticity of wearing a mask because one is more concerned for others than themselves (masks are hot and uncomfortable) that gives me hope. The love and care we embody to take uncomfortable steps of care and caution to save earthly life is just another example of the love we have for our faith family at Faith. This love does not stop because we are at a distance; it is alive and well.

There are many things that we at Fatih are doing that is different from our historical past. We are worshiping virtually, we are not gathering in person, and we are serving ourselves and others in new ways. I believe none of us would wish ill health or death upon anyone, so I encourage all of us to take the proper steps to socially distance, practice very good hygiene (helps protect self), and wear masks to help protect others. Currently, during this period of remote worship, and time of social distancing we are experiencing God's calling for us to do more and capitalize on the positive. As Pastor Jes preached last year, turtle speed helps us slow our pace, focus/re-focus on each other, discover new ways to self-manage, and find our spiritual path.

As Consistory members gathered remotely, we had an opportunity to reflect on the past, work on the present, and create a new future (post Covid-19). Our ministry teams have been very busy working to care for Faith in a faithful way. Consistory was able to make caring and advancing decisions toward taking the next steps to repairing and restoring our beautiful and spiritually enriching stained-glass windows. The Trustee Ministry Team has done extensive research and work to make recommendations. This project has been in the works for up to 3 years, and taking the next steps is an awesome opportunity for Faith. As a result of Trustees report, Consistory has asked Trustees to create a timeline for the project, and work with the Finance Committee to explore avenues to finance the project. Another example of God’s work is the gift from an anonymous donor who would like to help contribute to upgrading the Faith's computers. The Media and Technology team in Consistory is working to explore options to upgrade all the computers from their current state including a focus on cyber security. In the long term, this will help support ministries moving forward, both in person and virtually.

In addition, some Consistory and Trustee members were able to attend the Penn Central Conference Covid-19 zoom where the Conference leaders discussed recommended steps and guidelines to re-opening United Church of Christ (UCC) churches. In UCC fashion, they leave the final re-opening to each individual church. To continue learning Consistory invited the Reverend Dr. Carrie Call to join us at Consistory to talk with us and answer some questions as we begin to explore what our future holds. Both the conference call and meeting with Dr. Call through Consistory resulted in identifying big themes: take time to faithfully care for our church pastor and members, create a Re-Open Task Force, review guidelines from the CDC, Department of Health, local community, and UCC., and look at 3-month increments since so much is changing daily/weekly related to Covid-19.

The Re-Opening Task Force is going to look at all that will be needed to re-open at Faith UCC. Yes, that is a large all-encompassing area to focus on and vital so Faith UCC continues to faithfully care for ALL of our community. This will include (but is not limited to) cleaning methods, safety protocols, foot traffic flow patterns, social distancing seating, sign displays, offering collection, and communion. Additionally, the task force will consider all this with our continued virtual outreach, caring for our most vulnerable, how we proceed if/when a positive Covid case occurs after re-opening, etc. The first step is to actually have representation from the congregation, Consistory, Trustees, Pastor Relations, etc.. Once the task is formed with representation, they will be charged by Consistory to start taking the steps to do the proper research, planning, and ultimately make recommendations for Consistory to consider prior to Re-Opening the church.

To form the Re-Opening Task Force, Consistory was asked to consider a task force of members who work in the medical professions, those with a science background, restaurant and food management experience, lifelong members, and possibly the education field. If you or someone you think would be a good fit please email Jeff at faithuccsc@gmail.com, or myself at jaredmhammond@gmail.com.

Over the next few months we will be navigating very important and difficult conversations concerning how Faith serves through our ministry; how Faith leads through our mission, vision, & values; how Faith creates a stronger and more impactful future through caring for our physical spaces; and evolving to continue to serve locally and beyond. I encourage all of us to be willing to reflect upon and look for ways each of us give our treasures of time, energy, labor, talents, and monies to lead Faith forward through these uncertain times.

Together through God we serve,

Jared Hammond
Consistory President

Out of the Cold, Centre County logo

Out of the Cold as become a year round program because of COVID-19. Plans are being made to assist guests through August of 2021.

At the same time, C19 has decreased the number of volunteers, most of whom are retired and in high risk categories. To make up for the shortfal, OOTC will be looking to hire one or two part0-time staff to cover the overnight supervision.

OOTC will still be needing spaces though, facilities to use for the overnight guests. Also appreciated are meals and hosts. And of course, anyone who would be willing to build relationships to minimster while overnighting with the guests on occasion.

The following is still true:

If you wish to help, consider buying gifts cards from local businesses, especially restaurants, to give to OOTC guests. This not only eases the burden on OOTC staff and volunteers regarding meal prep and delivery, it gives the guests some much needed variety, AND supports local businesses which might in danger of closing permanently.

You can also help prepare meals, as is usually done during the overnight season, breakfast and dinner. Lunches might also be helpful with so many restaurants closed.

Contact the office if you're interested in helping with food--making meals for immediate distribution, or the gift card idea.

On Going

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 www.shopwithscrip.com --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: www.bethanyhome.org.

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: www.ccwrc.org. 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: hartmancenter.com/.

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


ACCREDITED BY THE JOINT COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION OF HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS
Hoffman Homes for Youth • 815 Orphanage Road • Littlestown, PA 17340
Phone: (717) 359-7148 • Fax: (717) 359-2600

For more information, see their website: www.hoffmanhomes.com.

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: www.midpenn.org.

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: ootccentreco@gmail.com For more information, see their website: www.ootc3.org.

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: www.parkforestpreschool.org.

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    Resources

    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.)

    Or

    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="http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=5fLwdB1%2FFcdjM3qNbvV7kOZoOvrJU3gm">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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