March 25, 2021
PASTOR'S REFLECTION
Hello St. John’s Family,
 
  Here we go again…
 
 Another week, and more accounts of horrific violence. Be it everyday people completing the mundane task of grocery shopping, or a local young woman on vacation, we seemingly cannot escape the scourge of senseless death and violence in our world. Yes, we’ve seen the images before; of shell-shocked persons frozen by the horrors they just experienced. We’ve seen grieving friends and relatives, unable to formulate how the vibrant, beautiful person they love is now gone. We’ve felt the gut-wrenching, visceral response of agony mixed with anger, unable to comprehend how humans can treat other humans in this way. And, if you are like me, you’ve wanted to lash out, as you can’t remain quiet or still any longer. Perhaps that may be part of our problem, as violence only begets violence – or as Christ said, all who take the sword will perish by the sword (Mt. 26:52).
 
  Yet here we are, left with so much anger and pain, and so many questions. We can begin to wonder where God is in all of this mess. Pausing for a moment of reflection will reveal how that question is one with a definitive answer: God is right here. God is right here, in the middle of the mess and pain. God was there, with each terrified person as shots rang out; God was with our neighbor as she breathed her last breath. God was there for every terrible moment and God remains with those hurting as the difficult moments linger. The God we serve doesn’t disappear and doesn’t blink in the face of tragedy. Our God walks with us – every one of us – every step of the way.
 
  Friends, we are on the cusp of Palm and Passion Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, where Christ’s earthly mission culminates on a roman cross. We will again see, in vivid detail, how Jesus Christ enters into the mess of this world and experiences the worst treatment that humankind can dish out. In that horrific event, Christ not only understands the depth of the pain and depravity we experience, Christ redeems that mess as death itself is defeated. Thus, we can be assured our Lord understands our pain, as Christ has been there. In a moment when we’re struggling for direction, may we cling to the God who is with us, and to Christ, who has walked this very road ahead of us.
 
 I’ll close with the same request I shared last week: please keep all those impacted by the horrific violence of this week lifted up in prayer. May the peace of Christ somehow transcend this mess, and may we see tragedy be redeemed.
 
 
                                                                                                     Grace and Peace,
                                                                                                           Pastor Brad

Palm Sunday and Easter will be simulcast to additional seating in Fellowship Hall.
Anyone who does not pre-register will be seated in Fellowship Hall on these dates.
We'll also have radio transmission in the parking lot on Palm Sunday and Easter.
Tune in to FM 88.9.
SUNDAY WORSHIP
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Palm/Passion Sunday

In-person Worship!
Two services offered in the Sanctuary.
9:00 am and 11:00 am
Reservations via SignUp Genius Required

A recording of the service will be available on our website upon completion.
 
Given the overall decreasing trend in Covid cases and the expansion of vaccinations, St. John’s leadership has investigated options for additional seating in the sanctuary. All discussions have focused on maintaining a safe environment for our most vulnerable attendees while expanding the number of persons who can attend. 

Worshippers will be seated in an alternating pattern, where one row has attendees seated at each end, a row is left vacant, and the following row has attendees seated in the middle of the row. The next row will remain vacant, then the pattern will repeat. Utilizing this approach can potentially increase attendance by 50%, depending on the number of people in each registration.

Please note that all other mitigation measures, including wearing a mask or face shield, maintaining six feet of distance, and pre-registering for worship attendance via Signup Genius will remain in place at this time. Pre-registration is critical in enabling our Ushers to safely and efficiently seat all worshippers. We recognize this is a sacrifice and appreciate your compliance in this endeavor.

One final reminder: if you are not feeling like your normal, healthy self, please do not attend worship. Thank you for your perseverance as we eagerly anticipate the day when Covid mitigation measures are a thing of the past.
 
Please note: The Sanctuary seating for this Sunday at 9 AM is filled.
Reservations for additional seating in Fellowship Hall can be made on
SignUp Genius by selecting "Overflow to Fellowship Hall."
There are a few slots left for the 11 AM Service.

The Sign-Up Reservation for Easter Sunday
will be emailed and posted to the website by Noon, Monday.
Please update the SignUp Genius or contact the church office if there's a need to cancel/update your reservation so another may have the opportunity to attend.
Thank you!
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY
All Sunday School classes will continue on Zoom this Sunday. Note that Pre-K to Grade 6 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! Links to Zoom meetings will be emailed separately. For more information, please contact Susan Seamans, Director of Children's Ministry: childrensministry.stjumc@gmail.com
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 as we discover What's In the Bible! 
Lesson length: 20-25 minutes.
Older Elementary Children (Grades 3-6) 
Orange 252 Kids
Sundays @ 11am on Zoom 
Waiting is a part of life. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait on our own. After all, God is patient. God is in control and knows what’s best for us. This month we will learn about how God can help us experience the patience we need to wait well.
Lesson length: 25-35 minutes
Youth Study - Orange High School XP 3:
Sundays @ 11:30 am on Zoom
It can be easy to forget who God really is sometimes. And it can be even easier for us to forget who we really are, too! But every year at Easter, we get the chance to look back at what God did thousands of years ago to remind us not only who He really is, but who we really are because of Him. Loved, important, forgiven—Jesus’ death and resurrection shows us we are all that and more to Him. Join us as we explore what we can know to be true about ourselves because of the gift we celebrate at Easter—Jesus’ resurrection and after life!
OUTREACH
During this Easter season we celebrate the resurrection of
our Lord and Savior and the new life it brings to us.
 
As a symbol of this new life, we will be giving packets of seeds to everyone on Easter Sunday morning. We will also have packets available on the front porch of the church throughout Holy Week and the week following Easter Sunday. We invite you to plant
these seeds and watch as they burst forth
from seed to beautiful flowers.
 
When your flowers are in full bloom,
Take a picture and share it with us.
 
Please share your photos to: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Q4nfXNQZXePqyCew6.
 You can also go to our website and click More>Photos from dropdown menu www.stjohnsivyland.com/
 
Thank you for helping us share the beauty and love
of new resurrection life this Easter season!
HELP US MAKE A FLOWERING CROSS
ON EASTER
 
Bring flowers and place them on our flowering cross outside the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday!
 
Christ’s resurrection brings new life to the whole world—it is the beginning of the restoration of all things! Even the terrible, rugged cross, the instrument of Jesus’ death, can become an emblem of new life in Christ when we cover it with flowers on Easter Sunday.
 
Help us create this beautiful symbol for all to see as they drive down Almshouse Road. Simply bring flowers – as many as you like! – to place on the cross located outside in the front of the Sanctuary. Volunteers will help you attach your flowers to the cross. We will also have some flowers available in a bucket for you to place on the cross if you don’t have flowers. Please join us for this celebration.
 
The flowering cross will be displayed all week for all to enjoy as a symbol of new life.
BIBLE STUDIES
Thinking About God
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.
 
On Tuesday, February 16, the Tuesday Zoom class Thinking about God will be joined by Walter Edmonds. He will be leading a presentation and discussion on the “Hymns of Charles Wesley”. Walt is a retired pastor and musician living in Monrovia, MD. He is a graduate of Lycoming College, Yale Divinity School and Temple University. He is an accomplished organist and choral director who has served in both musical and pastoral positions throughout his career. He is strongly committed to hymnody and liturgy and was responsible for the Constitutional Hall celebration of the Methodist Hymnal in November 1989. Walt will be leading the Zoom discussion on the hymns of Charles Wesley. If you are interested in joining this session, please contact Paul Henry at phenry605@verizon.net.

March 29 - No Zoom Class
April 6 - Words that Matter: Free Will, Freedom and Providence
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 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!
MUSIC
SAVE THE DATE!
Handbell Festival
April 25th
3 PM
More details to come!
UMW
 Naomi Circle Future Mission Project
What: new bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths.
Where: to be sent to Red Bird Mission for their Christmas gift boxes.
When: Month of June
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/OUTREACH

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.


Last Tuesday, Joanne and I delivered 18 boxes of food to the Eastwick Food Bank.
Annette Glover and all of the volunteers were so appreciative! The need is always so great- moreso this year than ever, as many food cupboards are stressed beyond normal limits from the pandemic. Thank you, St John’s for your passionate generosity for the last 25 years, and in the future!

Lou Lescas
MISSION PROJECT
 
WRAPPING PLASTIC UTENSILS
 FOR THE TRENTON AREA SOUP KITCHEN.


 For those that wrapped the utensils at home, we ask that you please bring the wrapped plastic ware back to the church by Sunday, April 11
 
When completed, the utensils will be delivered to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.
 
Thank you for your participation,
       Pastor Ruth
The Red Bird Mission are CLOSED for the winter
and are expected to open in April.

Drivers Wanted
If anyone at St. John's holds a Pennsylvania Commercial Drivers License (CDL), or knows of anyone who does, the Church's Redbird Missions is actively seeking drivers to haul full trailers of donated goods to the Redbird Mission store in Beverly, Kentucky.
For more details, any interested party should contact
Bob Snarr at (215) 779-9464.
GIVING
MOBILE GIVING

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

Once you've registered, you can either make donations by debit or credit. Lenten Offerings may also be received through our website.

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
Gmail account users:
In addition to your inbox,
please check your "Promotions" file for any St. John's emails.
Bulk emails may appear there. Simply by moving the message from Promotions to your primary inbox or by adding
St. John's as a contact should allow our messages to go directly to your inbox.
Please Note:
In observance of the Easter Holiday,
the Church Office will be closed on Monday, April 5.
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
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 are needed for in-person worship 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 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!
CCLI Streaming License #CSPL049266
Scout Recognition Sunday
On Sunday March 14, St. John's honored the efforts of our Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts,
and adult leaders involved in Scouting!
Melissa McDevitt & Vicki Hermann Matthew McDevitt Evan & Jeremy Goldrick
For those interested in receiving Bucks County's latest vaccine information,
please click on the link below:


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