Faith United Church of Christ

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In the Spot Light?
Pastor's Perspective
This Week
This Month
Next Month
Longer Term Forecast
Faith Proudly Supports

Spot Light

Pastor's Perspecitve

jes kast You Belong

Let’s rewind in history. Imagine that it’s the year 1563 and we live in a region of Germany called the Palatinate. Martin Luther has already nailed his 95 theses to the All Saints Door in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517. The Reformation has begun and will last until about 1648.

The church in Europe is in a place of monumental change. Everything that was understood to be true about the church is being challenged. The old practices no longer fit the new generation. The new generation has caught the vision of The Reformation and wants things to change. The power would no longer reside within the ordained few. The power would be in Scripture that would be available to all people, grace given to all, a relationship to Christ for all people not mediated through a priest, a life of faith, and to God’s glory alone not the glory of humankind. The Reformation was an awakening of the democratization of the Spirit of God that was poured out for all people and once again the access to God was given to all.

Back in Germany, the ruler of the land, Elector Frederick II, thanks to his wife, Princess Marie of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, is a new convert to the ideas of John Calvin – another monumental Reformer. He decides to gather a large group of ministers and commission them to write a Reformed confession in the form of 129 questions and answers that would serve the people as a devotional tool for preaching and teaching of Scripture. This devotional document, called the Heidelberg Catechism, would serve as one of the most influential catechisms in the Reformed tradition of the Reformation for years to come including today.

Which brings us to 2019. The Pastoral impulse of the Heidelberg opens up with the first question, which frames our thoughts this month:
Q 1. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him. Wandering pilgrim, resistant doubter, joy-filled believer – by the grace of Jesus, we belong to God.

It is in that spirit that we live and minister together as Faith United Church of Christ. Our bold proclamations of warm welcome, our joyful worship that lifts the Spirit, and our faithful fellowship that seeks to serve our community is theologically undergirded by our belief and proclamation that we all belong to God. You belong to God. No matter what a church has said in the past, or what your family has said, or even what you have said in your own mind – you belong to God. God’s grace is with you.

The last Sunday in October, Protestant churches honor the movement of the Reformation and we make room for the new Reformation. We will sing A Mighty Fortress is our God (which Martin Luther wrote) and we will pray that God gives us the spirit of nimble hearts to make room for what is new as we build off the old foundations.

As the church is globally changing again, we are called to be part of the new movement of God’s spirit. It’s an exciting time as we learn and respond to God’s fresh Holy Spirit in our lives. And at times, we may wonder what does the future hold and what part is ours to play. As we follow God’s leading together, let the pastoral words of the Heidelberg guide us and grant us the Peace of Christ. You belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to our faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. Each one of us belong!

Let our witness to our community be a proclamation of God’s lavish grace of belonging to each and every person!

Belonging in Christ together,

Pastor Jes

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This Week

3rd Way Collective Our next Home Cooked Meal happens on Tuesday at 6pm, hosted by Fran and Osseo! We also encourage you to participate in the weekly Standing at the Gates for Justice vigil on Mondays at 4pm. If you would like to help out this semester by hosting a home cooked meal, joining us for a pub night, or helping to plan or coordinate some other event or activity, please contact Ben directly! (See below)

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

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

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This Month

martin luther statue The Forum Class meets at 9:30 every Sunday in the library room.

The first Sunday of each month is used for a discussion of current published articles of interest to Faith members. Other Sundays currently study Christianity from the Reformation until today. About half the time is watching a DVD on the day's topic with the remainder of the time used for discussion.

Topics for October are
  • 10/13 - The Anabaptist Radicals
  • 10/20 - Puritans, Kings, and Theology in Practice
  • 10/27 - Christians under Muslim Rule

  • Please join us for interesting and productive discussions.

    child with bible My thanks to all

    who volunteered to teach over the summer weeks. I hope you enjoyed your time with our children! Blessings to you!

    Our October schedule will be as follows:

    Church School -- October 2019

  • October 6, 2019 - Communion, Parent Care Day
  • October 13, 2019 – Please and Thank You - The Thankful Leper Luke 17: 11-19
  • October 20, 2019 – Pray and Don’t Give Up Luke 18: 1
  • October 27, 2019 – Headed for a Fall/The Pharisee and the Tax Collector Luke 18: 9 - 14

  • Paris to Pittsburgh is a hopeful and realistic film about climate solutions from National Geographic.
    See the trailer.
    St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Friday, October 18th at 7:00 pm
    Snacks and fellowship start at 6:30.

    Town Hall with the Conference Minister

    We invite members of the Northern Association to join us for dinner and conversation with our Transitional Conference Minster, Rev. Carrie Call. We will have fellowship and good food first, then Rev. Call will provide an update about Penn Central Conference, touching on topics such as new staffing, updated strategic planning, and the Hartman Center.

    Please bring your questions and concerns as well as your enthusiasm and ideas for our Conference! We look forward to seeing you on October 29th at 6:00 p.m. at St. John’s UCC, Lewisburg.

    Questions? Email Dave Downer

    stained glass window depicting St Paul with letters Several months ago, the Taco Bell franchisee, Charter Foods, gave the Consistory written notice of their decision not to renew their lease after the current 5-year term ends on February 28, 2020.

    In response to their notice, your Consistory appointed a voluntary, 310 Working Group comprised of Wayne Bicehouse, Clif Merchant, Carlton Miller and Clovis Morrisson. After discussion and discernment, the 310 Working Group was expanded at the September Consistory meeting to include Chrissy Bowers, Barb Chellman, and Margaret Hammond.

    Together the 310 Working Group has been charged with considering the various options, conducting research regarding the options for Faith Church and present to Consistory, what they believe is the best option for our congregation. Currently, Consistory members and the 310 Working group are working to research and determine whether development, lease, or sale of this property would be the best option for Faith United Church of Christ’s future as it aligns with our Mission, Vision, and Values.

    On October 6, Consistory has called a non-voting Congregational Meeting to create an open and transparent communication as we prayerfully discern and research the best options to bring to a vote at a later congregational meeting.

    At the October 6th Congregational Meeting it is our hope to
  • Formally introduce the 310 Working group members,
  • Provide a history of the 310 property and its role it has played in our Church
  • Share what 310 is looking at and considering
  • Question and Answer session to learn the Congregational voice.
  • All who worship with us are welcomed to attend the October 6th meeting.

    Together in Service,

    Jared Hammond
    President, Consistory

    Nittany Greyhounds is holding a Shoe Drive. They are collecting OLD SHOES, any type or condition of shoe, even flip flops. They will benefit individual families and communities in developing nations, to start, maintain and grow micro-business to feed, clothe and house their families.

    Nittany Greyhounds, located outside of State College have been rehoming retired racing greyhounds for 24 years and found forever homes for over 1800 greyhounds.

    If you have any questions direct them to: John Poorman (St John’s Boalsburg) at 814-808-0038 or Ellen (Nittany Greyhounds) at 814-933-6981. St John’s has a collection box set up.

    FaithWorks! Monthly magazine cover The Otober 2019 edition of the FaithWorks! monthly magazine is now available here.

    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.

    boy at microphone Choir Rehearsals are Thursday Evenings @ 7pm
    Oct 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31

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    Next Month

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    Long Term Forecast

    Out of the Cold, Centre County

    The OOTC Day Shelter meets needs that are ongoing in Happy Valley.

    In partnership with Faith UCC and St. Paul's UMC, OOTC3 provides 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" below.)

    The Day Shelter is a work in progress and is anticipated to remain open through the season!
    They meet at Faith on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during regular office hours, and Monday and Friday at St. Paul's next door.

    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:

    Penn State Beaver Stadium Bold indicates home games. (Yes, it was reversed earlier. Apologies for the error!)

    • Idaho, Aug 31, 3:30 PM
    • Buffalo, Sep 7, 7:30 PM
    • Pittsburgh, Sep 14, Noon
    • Maryland, Sep 27, 8 PM
    • Purdue, Oct 5, Time TBA
    • Iowa, Oct 12, Time TBA
    • Michigan, Oct 19, Time TBA
    • Michigan State, Oct 26, Time TBA
    • Minnesota, Nov 9, Time TBA
    • Illinois, Nov 16, Time TBA
    • Ohio State, Nov 23, Time TBA
    • Rutgers, Nov 30, Time TBA

    Adademic Event Fall 2019 Spring 2020
    Student Arrival Aug 23-25 Jan 11
    Classes Begin Aug 26 Jan 13
    Break Nov 24-30 Mar 8-14
    Class End Dec 13 May 1
    Finals Dec 16-20 May 4-8

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    On Going

    Handshake word cloud about caring

    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. <

    QR code to survey The email survey for the annual directory information update was sent this month.
    Use the QR code or the link to update your information OR send your new information to us!

    With so many new folks joining Faith Church, we want to ensure we have accurate contacts and preferences.

    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

    serving coffee The Fellowship Hour in Romig Fellowship Hall following worship
    is a chance to get to know better the people sharing the pews with you as well as the guests who 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.

    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

    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 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.

    Lemondade pitcher As part of our outreach to our community,

    Faith Church will be serving lemonade and ice water to incoming students and their parents, Friday, August 23rd from 11-5. This is a great way to get to interact with our neighbors across the street! All are Welcome!

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