January 7, 2021
PASTOR'S REFLECTION
Hello St. John’s Family,
 
I woke this morning and quickly realized the Cornerstone reflection I had sketched out yesterday morning would need to be scrapped. As I glanced at my notes, it hit me again how yesterday was Epiphany: the day when we as Christians celebrate the revealing of the eternal Light of Christ to all the world. It’s hard to miss the irony, in that great darkness clouded our country with the events at the Capitol yesterday. John’s gospel, though, speaks truth and hope: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1:5).
 
I sense many today are troubled, struggling to comprehend yesterday’s events. I think we can start by pausing to grieve. As the images we’ve seen pop into our minds, pause and grieve the brokenness, the dysfunction, and sin that pervades this world.
 
As we grieve, we can begin to reflect on and process what took place. For Christians, we always must remember that Jesus is Lord. I wrote that yesterday, and I truly believe that. Our respected and revered institutions are just that: meaningful, respected institutions. Above all of those are the resurrected and living Lord of all – the eternal Word. All things will submit to Jesus (Philippians 2:5-11 states this well). Hold on to that truth right now.
 
From there, we can ask an incredibly important question: where is God in this situation? One of the greatest gifts of my seminary education was the training to reflect theologically. Basically, that is a fancy way of saying Christians are called to pause, pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal how God is present and ready to act such that God’s good ways are revealed. I firmly believe God is present, and longs to bring good out of any and every situation (Romans 8:28). We as Christ’s followers are called to discern how God can bring goodness and justice out of sin and tragedy. So, as we continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to bring peace, order, and respect to our institutions and country, also seek how God is longing to bring good out of the brokenness that we are experiencing such that Christ’s glory is revealed.
 
Friends, that process will take some time. This is where the discipline of Advent’s waiting serves us well – don’t give up! Perhaps journaling as you pray will help you along. Remain steady and faithful in this task, knowing that God will respond. And each step of the way, look for glimpses of God’s glory.
 
In closing, I’d like to share one of those glimpses I received this morning. Looking out our window upon a bright, sunny morning, I saw two birdfeeders full of birds enjoying a morning snack. Goldfinches, song sparrows, cardinals and red-bellied woodpeckers were all enjoying a beautiful new day. At that moment, lyrics from Maltbie Babcock’s beloved hymn, This Is My Father’s World, popped into my head:
 
This is my Father’s world / O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong / God is the ruler yet.
 
Wise and beautiful words indeed! May they bless and keep you-
 
                                                                                                           Pastor Brad
COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS
SUNDAY WORSHIP
This Sunday, January 10, 2021
Baptism of the Lord Sunday
A recording of the 9 AM worship service will be posted to the website upon completion.
www.stjohnsivyland

Pastor Brad

Accompanist: Brian Barber
9 AM Special Music: Quartet- Jack and Tammy Coapman, Alissa Nelson, Roy Nelson

OUTREACH
St. John's 2020 Advent Mission Offering
Thank you for your support of Compassion International - Water of Life Program
Due to your generosity, over $10,000 was raised and at least 126 families will have safe drinking water for life!
Drive-Thru Living Nativity!

Thank you to all that helped make our 3rd Annual Drive-Thru Living Nativity such a beautiful evening as we shared the glory and hope of Christ with our community! Over 350 cars came through and experienced the Christmas story!
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY
All Sunday School classes will continue on Zoom this Sunday. Note that Pre-K through grade 5 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 

Life is filled with moments where we can decide to reflect God’s character, take responsibility, and use what we have wisely. This month’s series, Rules for Life, is about following through and doing what needs to be done, so that we can point others to Jesus, the One who took the ultimate responsibility for us and made it possible for us to be with God forever.
Lesson length: 25-35 minutes
Youth Study - Orange High School XP 3:
Sundays @ 11:30 am on Zoom

Emotions are everywhere especially after the year 2020! The problem isn’t feeling all the feels - the problem is when these emotions start ruling our world. In this four week series we will help our youth identify ways their emotions can be good and bad and use scripture to help them identify ways to deal with their emotions while reminding them that trusting Jesus to lead them is healthier than being controlled by their emotions.
MUSIC MINISTRY

Click on the links to enjoy the music from
our St. John's Bell Choirs.
Ring of Faith - December 13, 2020 - 3rd Sunday of Advent
Genesis Bells - December 20, 2020 - 4th Sunday of Advent
CCLI Streaming License #CSPL049266
BIBLE STUDIES
Theology 102
Paul Henry will be continuing his Zoom Class “Thinking About God” on Tuesday, January 19, at 10:30 am. If you are interested in joining these discussions please contact Paul at 215-962-6719 or phenry605@verizon.net so that he can get you set up on Zoom.
 
This presentation and discussion format is designed with a number of topical areas so that you can participate as topics interest you or you can be a part of the Zoom course through April.
 
The first presentation will focus on a 20 year study that was done by Harvard University to determine if active church participation could result in better health outcomes. The study was completed in 2019 and was not impacted by the pandemic. Join us and see what it says.
Bible Study Opportunity: The Gospel of John
The Gospel of John is often considered the greatest Spiritual writing of who Jesus is as it reveals His mission to bring salvation to all of God's children by His life, ministry, death and resurrection. Beginning Wednesday, February 3, Ken Lee will be offering a weekly Bible study of John's Gospel utilizing Jesus in the Gospels curriculum. The group will meet each Wednesday at 7pm in the Parlor. By studying this Gospel in Fellowship, the group aims to develop and grow our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

If you are interested in participating, please contact the church office by January 20, and indicate if you need a Study Manual. The cost of the Study Manual is $32; St. John's will provide assistance as needed to ensure the cost isn't prohibitive. 

This is an excellent opportunity to grow in and strengthen your faith - hope to see you in February!


PRAYERS
Prayer requests can be submitted
online (click here).or through the church email, stjumc@aol.com
Prayer requests are reviewed
Monday-Friday AM.

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.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY 
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.
MISSIONS









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 NEEDED 
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, stjohns820@gmail.com if you are available to help. 
 
Thank you for your support.
WARRIOR COFFEE

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 phenry605@verizon.net
UMM
Recovery Breakfast III is planned to be at the Sycamore Grill
January 16, 2021 (the third Saturday of the month)
Help is needed to take down the Church Christmas Decorations
this Friday January 8th at 9 am. All welcome. Bring a Friend!
Contact Jack Donovan or the church office for more information.
HELP NEEDED
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 will be needed once in-person worship returns 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 in the New Year by assisting with one of these this crucial ministries. Those interested in serving can contact the office at stjumc@aol.com or (215) 357-6998. Thank you for your faithful support of all we do in service to Christ at St. John's!
GIVING
MOBILE GIVING

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

Once you've registered, you can either make donations by debit or credit.
OR try TEXT GIVING 
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 stjohns820@gmail.com
2021 Offering Envelopes are now available for pickup at St. John's. If you know someone who may not be able to get out at this time, please consider taking their envelopes with you and dropping them off to them. You'll do them a favor, and save the church the cost of mailing them. Thank you for your help!
PLEDGE UPDATE
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 123 pledges totalling $294,000, over 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!
DEVOTIONALS

The Upper Room Devotional
 for January/February is now available.
Copies are in a container on the front porch of the church.
Be sure to pick up your copy and take one for a friend as well.
On Tuesday, January 12 we will resume our “Tuesday Devotions."
We want to thank everyone who contributed to our Advent Devotional
as well as those who faithfully write for our Tuesday Devotions.
If you would like to be part of this mission of St. John’s, please contact Pastor Ruth.
WHAT'S HAPPENING!
The latest Devotionals, News and Worship Videos can be be accessed below, as well as, under the
"What's Happening"tab on our website.
www.stjohnsivyland.com
CCLI Streaming License #CSPL049266


St. John's Ivyland
820 Almshouse Road
Ivyland, PA 18974
215-357-6998/stjumc@aol.com
stjohnsivyland.com
Rev. Brad Leight, Sr. Pastor