December 10, 2020
Hello St. John’s Family,
   In preparing to write to you this week, I spent considerable time reflecting on what to say. I was searching for words that are meaningful and relevant; something that speaks to anticipation and hope and is grounded in reality. As I reflected, one subject constantly took over my thoughts: Covid. I looked at scriptures… Covid. Thought of Advent and Christmas plans… Covid. Went to get our dog who was whining at the door… Covid. For a very brief moment, my mental logjam was interrupted by the thought of just how much of a mess the political partisanship in our country is, but then I was right back to Covid. It was (is) driving me crazy. Can we not go five minutes, and can I not write one Cornerstone note, without speaking to Covid? Apparently not. Perhaps you’re in a similar place.
  I guess I was having one of those “moments.” Still, it’s frustrating. We want this to end; we want to live and celebrate and fellowship and sing. We try to divert our thoughts and we try to focus and pray. Yet it’s hard. Every day we are constantly reminded of a virus that brings suffering and pain; loneliness and, sadly, death. We’re all tired of death. We long for life.
  And then it happened. In the middle of my “moment” God broke in. One of the scriptures in my devotions this morning was in Ezekiel. On the opposite page I saw Ezekiel 37: The Valley of the Dry Bones. I read that passage eagerly, hearing of God bringing a prophet into a valley full of dead, dry bones, then instructing that prophet speak life to those bones. Proclaim God’s blessing on those bones. Proclaim God’s breath will fill those bones and bring them to life! Excitedly I read the passage again, knowing those words are for us. God has put his Spirit within us, and we shall live. God will bring forth life and vitality and life-changing ministry here, in us and through us. Make no mistake: our bones shall live!
  Friends, hold on to that promise. Hold on tightly to the vision of God bringing renewed hope and vitality to us and through us. These are dark and trying times, yet our God is there with us, ready to breathe life into lifeless situations. God is at work – and God’s Word never fails.
                                                                                                           Pastor Brad
3 PM In-Person Worship: Registration will be required via Signup Genius, with worshippers seated in the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall (video feed from Sanctuary will be projected in Fellowship Hall). The Signup Genius will be released for the 3pm service on Tuesday, 12/15. Registration will be on a first-come basis until capacity is reached. Musical selections from bell choirs and singers will be offered, however congregational singing will not be possible for this service. The service will conclude with candlelight via handheld LED candles distributed at the beginning of the service. Masks are required. We anticipate a livestream or an uploaded video of this service will be available on YouTube shortly after the service concludes.

7 PM Drive-in Worship: Worshippers will view from their cars a live worship service projected via the TV Truck, a mobile billboard with an 11x6 foot LED display and FM radio transmission. Worship will originate from the Sanctuary, include bell choirs and singers, and conclude with “candlelight” via a flashlight or cell phone light brought by each worshipper. Singing along to the carols is encouraged within your car. Parking will begin at 6:30 PM; reservations are not required. Note that only those participating in the service and their immediate family members will be able to access the Sanctuary. We anticipate a livestream of this service will be available on YouTube.
 Whether in the Sanctuary, from your car, or over an internet connection,
we will be blessed as welcome and worship Christ the newborn King.
As a reminder, our ability to continue in-person worship is contingent on compliance with mandates and best practices, including wearing masks or face shields, maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet, use of hand sanitizer and frequent hand washing, and adjusting foot traffic to minimize close contact. The SignUpGenius reservation tool has enabled us to coordinate the reduced capacity and traffic flow patterns in the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall and will continue to be used. Most importantly, if you registered for worship but do not feel like your normal, healthy self, please remain at home and worship along with the recording of the service.

Know that we recognize how difficult the past months have been. Thank you for your patience and consistent compliance with all aspects of our approach. Your commitment to Christ and heartfelt caring for each other are greatly appreciated.
 Please read: 
We've been blessed by a steady increase in attendance at our worship services!
If you are planning to attend, it is critical to register each week,
via Sign Up Genius or by calling the church office. 
This enables our ushers to promptly seat you while maintaining safe distancing
necessitated by Covid. 
Thank you for your sacrifice, patience and compliance with these interim procedures, as we all eagerly await the day when we can fill God's sanctuary again!

The Sign-Up Reservation for Next Sunday, 12/20,
will be emailed and posted to the website by Noon, Monday.
The Christmas Eve 3 PM service Sign Up Reservation will be sent out on Tuesday, December 15.
Please update the SignUp Genius or contact the church office if there's a need to cancel/update your reservation for this week.

Thank you!
This Sunday, December 13, 2020
3rd Sunday of Advent
In-Person Worship
(Registration Needed for both services - see above)
9 AM (in the Sanctuary)
10:30 AM (in Fellowship Hall)

Pastor Brad
"Who Are You?"
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

Accompanist: Brian Barber
9 AM Special Music: Ring of Faith Bell Choir
10:30 AM Praise Band
Join us for St. John's
Drive-Thru Living Nativity!

This Sunday, December 13, 2020
Come experience the Christmas story - complete with live animals - and enjoy from the comfort and safety of your car!
Be sure to tell all your friends and family!

For more information,
Contact Ruth Portzline ( 

St. John's 2020 Advent Mission Project
Compassion International
Water of Life

If you would like to support this worthy cause, please return the card received in the mail to the church office by Christmas Eve. You may also donate securely online through our website.
A sister congregation, Somerton UMC, is offering a virtual Christmas pageant on Sunday December 20 from 12-1PM in support of a critical mission they support called the Liberia Education Project. If you're looking for an opportunity to support the education of vulnerable Children in West Africa and be uplifted by a Christmas Pageant, consider checking this out!
Update on Poinsettias:
For many years, the St. John's congregation has honored loved ones and beautified the sanctuary by purchasing poinsettias during the Advent season. Due to the challenges of Covid and modified worship arrangements there will not be the large-scale poinsettia display this year. A small number of poinsettias have been purchased and are in the sanctuary now.

Though individual plants are not for sale, you still have the opportunity to recognize beloved family and friends. The two large plants on each side of the altar are in honor and memory of those we cherish. If you'd like to name a loved one (either in honor or memory), send an email with the subject line of "Poinsettia Recognition" to by Friday, December 18; noting the name of the person(s) to be recognized and whether its in honor or in memory. A comprehensive list of all persons recognized will be sent via an enews update shortly before Christmas, and also printed/placed on the altar on Christmas Eve. In lieu of purchasing a plant, a contribution to the Advent Mission Project, Water of Life, is suggested.
Classes for Youth will meet in the St. John's parking lot at 11:30 this Sunday, 12/13 (weather permitting).Classes for Pre-K through grade 5 will continue on Zoom this Sunday. Note that each lesson will have a video component and will also include follow-up materials that guide parents in talking about the concepts throughout the week. Hope to see you on Zoom!
Young Children (Pre-K to Grade 2)
What's In the Bible? 
Sundays at 11 am on Zoom 
Join Buck Denver and a group of hilarious friends as they journey through the Bible and discover what it means for us. Amy Scarlett will lead us for the opening weeks as we discover What's In the Bible!  
Lesson length: 20-25 minutes.

Older Elementary Children (Grades 3-5) 
Orange 252 Kids
Sundays @ 11am on Zoom 

The real meaning of Christmas is simple: we celebrate Jesus, God’s greatest gift.  We can find hope, joy, love, and peace when we remember that God sent Jesus to be our Savior. In this series we will learn about a very important promise God made in the past that came true for all of us!
Lesson length: 25-35 minutes
Youth Study - Orange High School XP 3:
Sundays @ 11:30 am
Church Parking Lot (weather permitting);
Bring Your Own Chair, pen and paper!

Who doesn’t love Christmas lights? They just have a way of making the holiday season feel a little bit brighter. That’s why in the next series, we’re going to point our youth to the brightest spot of the Christmas season - Jesus' Light. We will look back at that first Christmas and the light that Jesus brought to the world thousands of years ago. We are hoping to meet outside this week, but please check your email this weekend for any weather related updates. Please bring a chair and pen and paper!
Wednesdays 7-8:30 PM
Fellowship Hall
Leader: Ken Lee
You are invited to join our Wednesday night Bible study in Fellowship Hall from 7 to 8:30PM. We're currently doing the Gospel of Matthew using the William Barclay New Daily Study Bible beginning with Chapter 14. This study is a continuation from last March but since each class is a standalone discussion of the Scriptures there is no need to catch up, just jump in. Take a deep dive into Matthew's Gospel to better understand what he wants you to know. Originally written to first century Jews, it is still relevant for us today! Barclay makes it easy to understand. 
If anyone needs a book: either they can order it or we can and they can reimburse the church. We are social distancing and wearing masks in class but taking breaks for a breather.
Please contact Ken Lee ( for more information.
Prayer requests can be submitted
online (click here).or through the church email,

All "Ongoing Prayer Concerns"
will be listed for two weeks.
 Please submit a new prayer request,
if you desire to renew the listing for 2 additional weeks.
Hand made prayer shawls (or lap robes for men) are again available for those experiencing serious illness, bereavement, or other major life issue. Each comes in a sealed plastic bag. Recipients need not be members of St. John's. Requests can be made via the comments section of the prayer request form on the church website, by calling or emailing the church office, or by calling Carol Rice at 215-357-1203. Requesters will be notified of contactless pickup arrangements at the main entrance of church building.

The Red Bird Mission are CLOSED for the winter.

Thanks to everyone who has donated to this program, helping the people in Red Bird Kentucky. They are grateful for all items that have been sent. The Red bird committee would also like to thank all the volunteers who gave their time packing trailers. 
Your effort’s have been greatly appreciated. 
Red Bird Committee

Donations of non-perishable food for the Eastwick Food Pantry are needed throughout the year. Please place contributions in the shopping carts located in the narthex and fellowship hall lobby. 
Volunteers are also needed to deliver food and clothing to the Eastwick Food Bank. Please contact Lou Lescas, if you are available to help. 
Thank you for your support.

Just three years ago the people of St. John’s made a commitment to support a project that Lycoming College (a United Methodist related institution) began to provide real-world experiences for their students and to help a very poor and destitute village in The Dominican Republic.

The Grace Café is not yet serving coffee, but you can buy the coffee for your home. Please consider drinking Warrior Coffee and giving it as a gift this season. We all have so much, but drinking a cup of Warrior means we are “fighting for what’s right one cup at a time”
For information on how you can purchase Warrior coffee contact Paul Henry at 215-357-9398 or via email at

The year 2020 has been, to say the least, a very challenging year!

As we head into the Holiday Season many of us will be celebrating without our extended family and friends. We also know that financially many people are hurting and may be wondering how they will be able to afford gifts for their loved ones. We can help.

St. John's Angel Tree will continue this year but in a slightly different manner. We are going virtual. There will be an on-line list of families and their gift requests and you will be able to select a name and purchase a gift that will help to brighten their Holiday and let them know we care.

To continue with our effort of social distancing you will be able to drop off your gifts to the Narthex between 8:30 and 11:30 on Sunday December 13th. There will also be a box outside of the church doors as well.

The sign up sheet and instructions can be found here below:
If more information is needed on a gift or recipient, please contact Kathy Keppol at 215-357-7404. She will be happy to answer any questions or supply more information.

Thank you and have a safe and Blessed Holiday Season.

United Methodist Women
For the first time a great group of women helped decorate the Church for Christmas. 
The United Methodist Men were grateful for the women’s touch. 
The Recover Breakfast II hosted a small group of Men and we had a special guest, Pastor Brad. 
Pastor Brad lead us in a Prayer and during the discussion time and shared his concerns and challenges of being a Pastor during this virus. 
There were some reflections on the part of Gary Winkler concerning our freedoms 
due to this pandemic. 
The Chicken BBQ kicked around an idea of food vendor/amusement set up was suggested and/or a change of date - September 2021. 
There was a lot of laughter and discussion. A Very Good Time.  

Mark your Calendar!
No meeting for December.
Recovery Breakfast III is planned to be at the Sycamore Grill
January 16, 2021 (the third Saturday of the month)

Merry Christmas!
Jack Donovan and Paul Henry 
There are two significant needs - and great opportunities to serve
at St. John's!

A small team of dedicated audio-visual ministry volunteers enable us to offer meaningful online worship each week. We're in need of additional help, as there's very little flexibility within the team in the event someone needs to be away. While some aspects of this ministry requires technical expertise, other aspects are very straight-forward. If you have the ability to advance PowerPoint slides, you can help us offer online worship!

Similarly, ushers are needed at both our worship services to greet worshippers, direct them to their seats, and assist with questions. This is a simple yet meaningful opportunity to serve God by serving our St. John's family. Please consider serving God by assisting with one of these this crucial ministries. Those interested in serving can contact the office at or (215) 357-6998. Thank you for your faithful support of all we do in service to Christ at St. John's!

  • Just go to our website
  • Click on the 'Give' button in red and register.

Once you've registered, you can either make donations by debit or credit.
All you have to do is text the amount you wish to give to 877-960-2396.
You will immediately receive a one-time registration link, then just follow the prompts to complete your donation!

It's quick and secure.
The same vendor that handles electronic giving for us, Vanco Services, has state of the art encryption, so you can rest easy that your transaction is 100% safe and confidential. 

You may also send your tithes and offerings to the church office:
820 Almshouse Road, Ivyland, PA 18974

If you have any questions about mobile or text giving,
email Lou Lescas at
2021 Offering Envelopes are now available for pickup at St. John's. If you attend church and know someone who isn't right now, please take their envelopes with you after worship and drop them off to them. You'll do them a favor, and save the church the cost of mailing them. Thank you for your help!
Thank you for your faithfulness in giving, and to all those who have pledged to support God's work at St. John's in 2021. To date, we've received 109 pledges totalling $272,000, approximately half of our anticipated budget of $559,000. If you haven't pledged and would like to, you can do so online, or returning a pledge card in person or by mail. Thank you for your commitment to God at
St. John's!

The latest Devotionals, News and Worship Videos can be be accessed below, as well as, under the
"What's Happening"tab on our website.

St. John's Ivyland
820 Almshouse Road
Ivyland, PA 18974
Rev. Brad Leight, Sr. Pastor