Join us for a 4 week Bible study beginning November 24th on Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado. This study will be the basis for our sermon series throughout Advent. All are welcome to attend. Study books are available online or through the church office ($8). We will continue with our 7 p.m. ZOOM meeting each week. Please contact the church office so that we can either make sure there is room for everyone or send you the link to log in.
Pastor Lenore will be offering a book study in January on “Reforesting Faith: What Trees Teach Us About the Nature of God and His Love for Us.” This is a great study that connects the study of God’s Word and Creation Care. We will gather for three sessions to discuss this book. Order ahead so that you can be prepared. Books can be ordered online or at the church office. Please register with the office if you are interested so that we can arrange times/methods (live or ZOOM) that work for everyone.
Longest Night/Blue Christmas Service
The Christmas season is often marked by expressions of joy, excitement, and happiness. It’s a time for family to gather and for churches to worship, pointing to the hope that is found in the coming of the Christ child. However, this time of joy and expectation can often overshadow the pain and hurt many experience during this season, especially in 2020. Maybe it’s the empty chair at the table or the loss of a job and security or just the loss of peace of mind amidst all of the turmoil. This worship service is scheduled around the winter solstice (the longest night of the calendar year) on December 21st, reminding us of truly the longest period of darkness of the year. It is also the traditional feast day for Saint Thomas the Apostle, making some connections between Thomas’s struggle to believe the tale of Jesus’ resurrection, the long nights just before Christmas, and the struggle with darkness and grief faced by those living with loss. Please feel free join us or invite a friend who might be struggling in these days. This short service will be held at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. Please note: due to new Covid-19 restrictions, this will be offered as an live on-live service via our Face Book page.
Because of Bethlehem…..we find hope, peace, joy, love and Jesus! Join us each week through Advent as we hear how we can find encouragement on the road to Bethlehem.
Virtual Tour of Bethlehem
Love to travel but can’t during the pandemic? Always wish you had a chance to tour the Holy Lands? Been there and want to remember the experience? Now’s your chance! You are invited on a virtual tour of “the little town of Bethlehem” led by tour guide Faris Azar (yes, he really is a Holy Lands tour guide and a faithful Christian) who will join us from Jerusalem. Connect via ZOOM on December 20th at 3 p.m. (EST) to walk the streets with us. We will be taking a love offering (which can be sent to Saint John’s-Newberry UMC, labeled “Bethlehem Tour”) to help the Azar’s neighbors who have been hard hit, both physically and financially, by the pandemic. Please contact Pastor Lenore or the church office to reserve your spot and have the ZOOM link emailed to you. (Decent internet that allows for streaming will be needed.) First come, first serve. Limited space available. We would love to see you there!
Christmas Eve Worship
Three opportunities to worship the Christ Child! At 3 p.m., will be hosting our family-friendly worship service for all ages with a little twist (come join us to find out). At 7 p.m., we will have our candlelight service with seating in both the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. We will meet outside (weather permitting) for our candle lighting and singing at the conclusion of the service. 10 p.m. is our communion service, also with overflow seating offered, if necessary, to provide space for everyone with appropriate distancing. We, too, will light candles and sing outside as we are able (weather permitting). There will be no pre-service music this year, but we will include lots of music in our worship services for you to enjoy. Please note: due to new Covid-19 restrictions, the 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. services will be offered as on-line services via our Face Book. At 9 p.m. we WILL be offering an OUTSIDE service with carols, scripture, word and candlelight in the parking lot.
Light the Night in Memory/Honor of a Loved One
We will be offering luminaries outside of our church on Christmas Eve to shine Christ’s light in our community. You are invited to sponsor one of these luminaries in the name of a loved one. Proceeds will be used to help support some of our mission projects both locally and internationally. Needed: We need your CLEAR gallon milk jugs (please rinse well, remove labels, no lids) to make our luminaries. Please bring them to the church by December 13th so that they can be prepared. Thank you!
Advent Giving Tree
We will be offering again this year, ornaments for our Advent Giving Tree. If you would like to purchase an ornament in honor or memory of a loved one, fill out an Advent Giving Tree Card (located on the round table in the lounge), attach your money or a check made payable to Saint John’s-Newberry UMC and place it in the basket. We ask for a minimum donation of $15 per ornament. Fill out an Advent Giving Tree tag and using the small string, attach your ornament to the tree. Following Christmas, you may remove your ornaments from the tree.
Williamsport Area Christian Mental Health Support Group:
is a space for Christ-centered support, safety and healing for those in our community who experience mental health difficulties, either themselves or in their families. A spiritual support group is not group therapy, but a ministry in which members seek to help support each other during their time of need and to grow spiritually in their relationship with God. When & Where: (Beginning September) 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the Month; 6 – 7:30 p.m. at West End Christian Community Center, 901 Diamond Street and 2nd & 4th Thursdays of the Month; 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at The Sojourner Truth Ministry. Bring your lunch if on lunchbreak. An experience of supportive relationships, prayer, healing and inner strength. You are not alone. Call 570-323-9456 or 570-326-5569 with any questions.
Take What You Need, Give What You Can… 24-Hour Food Pantry:
Suggested items to be donated: soups; paper products; canned fruit; laundry supplies; canned vegetables; personal care items; peanut butter, etc. Please no glass!! Items may be placed in the basket in the lounge by the fireplace. Monetary donations are also appreciated.