November 19 , 2020
Hello St. John’s Family,
The temperatures have turned, and it’s finally feeling like November! I pray this note finds you well, and that the crisp chill in the air isn’t chilling the warmth in your hearts. At a time when disappointment and troubling news is constant, our world needs the real and sure hope of Christ more than ever. I see that hope in your lives: in your genuine caring, your eagerness to help others, and your fervent prayers. Thank you for your faithfulness and for being the wonderful witnesses to Christ that you are!
This Sunday in worship, we’ll have the opportunity to make a new commitment to honor God faithfully through our prayers, service, and giving. Watch your mail for a letter outlining the good work accomplished in Christ’s name this year and where God is calling us in the future, as well as a pledge commitment card (we’ve heard that some have been a bit slow to arrive). I ask you to prayerfully consider the commitment God is seeking, and to make that commitment in faith. Then join us Sunday – in person or virtually – as we consecrate our commitments together. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to God’s work at St. John’s.
Recent months have been difficult ones. I sense one of the greatest difficulties of our current society is the animosity and anger that has resulted from differences of perspective. Be it philosophical, political, or otherwise, any difference is viewed as absolute – and often renders anyone with different views as mortal enemies, evil to the core. Like you, I’m troubled by this and have struggled over how to live as God would desire. As I’ve reflected, God put an example of caution in my mind: Jonah.
One of the amazing things about our God that never ceases to humble me is how God constantly looks to extend opportunities for anyone and everyone to experience divine, saving love. That’s the message of Jonah, one of my favorite Biblical accounts. The people of Nineveh were by all accounts a complete mess; a people who antagonized and tortured the Israelites (check out Nahum 3). Yet God, full of mercy, wanted to save them. That’s why Jonah was sent. That’s why Jonah ran the other way. And that’s why Jonah pouted angrily when God did what He promised and saved the city as the people of Nineveh changed their ways. God’s message to Jonah: should I not have concern for all people? And if God can have mercy on a city like Nineveh, aren’t we called to extend grace, mercy, openness, and civility to our neighbors – with whom we have so much in common – yet may disagree over certain points?
Friends, I offer this as a reminder: God loves all people! Red and Blue and everything in between! At a time of sharp division and difficulty, I sense followers of Christ need to remember that. Instead of dwelling on differences, we are called to extend God’s love, invite others to experience that, and model the freedom we receive from Christ when we yield to His ways (Matthew 11:28-30). Let’s keep that in focus, remain steadfast in prayer, and eagerly anticipate the great works of saving grace that God accomplishes in our time!

                                                                          Pastor Brad
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, 11/29,
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.

Thank you!
This Sunday, November 22, 2020
In-Person Worship
(Registration Needed for both services - see above)
9 AM (in the Sanctuary)
10:30 AM (in Fellowship Hall)

Remember the Lord
Pastor Brad
Deuteronomy 8:6-14, 17-18

Accompanist: Brian Barber
9 AM: Jackie Jusino, Message in Music
10:30 AM: Praise Band

St. John’s Advent Devotional is now available.
Copies are in the Narthex and also in a container on the front porch of the church.
Be sure to pick up your copy and take one for a friend.
The Devotions will be sent out to St. John’s church family as an email as well each day.
Join us for St. John's Drive-Thru Living Nativity!
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Come experience the Christmas story - complete with live animals!

Volunteers Needed!
Contact Ruth Portzline ( 
If you missed this outreach opportunity
last year, please consider participating this year.
We guarantee that you will be blessed!

This Sunday (November 22) the Youth Group will gather outside from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the church parking lot for class. 
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 
Our older elementary children will explore fun and engaging lessons from The Orange Group. This month Lance Kenney will talk about gratitude and inspire the children to share their gratitude by letting others know that they are thankful. 
Lesson length: 25-35 minutes
Youth Study - Orange High School XP 3: Sundays
11:30 am to 1 pm
Church Parking Lot;
Bring Your Own Chair!

Please join Pastor Brad, Heidi Gutsch, and Ashley Zesinger this week for a thought-provoking devotion, followed by another round of Q & A! The kids will again be able to ask Pastor Brad questions about anything! But this time, Pastor Brad will have a few questions for the kids! We are planning on meeting outside this week, but please check your email this weekend for any weather related updates. Please bring a chair and pen and paper!
Paul Henry is offering a 14 week study course on Zoom, Tuesdays from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. The course will provide a variety of short term topics for study and discussion so that you may join for subjects that interest you or participate in the entire series.
We began on September 22nd with a look at The Lord's Prayer. The words of this prayer are very familiar to all of us and we can recite it without thinking. But would you view the Lord's Prayer differently if you were an inhabitant of Galilee in 30 A.D.? Would you understand the prayer differently than a 21st century American Protestant? Join our virtual journey to a first century Jewish village and examine the differences in understanding.
There are no books to purchase, just register for the course and you will be provided with readings for each discussion topic.

If you would like to register for a week,
please contact Paul at,
or by calling 215-962-6719.
11/24 - Thanksgiving Break

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

Exciting improvements are happening on the steps of St. John's!
Starting this Saturday, upgrades to the main entrance will take place and should be completed in time for the first Sunday in Advent. The center area will be unobstructed and accessible; disturbed areas will be cordoned off for safety.
Temporary inconvenience - permanent improvement!


The Red Bird Mission will be closing for the winter November 15th 2020.

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 Village of El Naranjito, high in the mountains contained about 350 people who existed by growing coffee. For years the villagers of El Naranjito had one product to sustain them and they were dependent on outside parties that paid them as little as eight to ten cents a pound for their coffee.
Lycoming College decided to make an impact by providing the resources to eventually sustain themselves and eliminate their incredible poverty.
In the first year that Lycoming became involved and began selling Warrior Coffee, they paid the farmers $1.85 for 600 pounds of coffee. We also purchased and worked with them to plant macadamia and avocado trees. This not only gave the villagers a second and third product to take to market, it also provided shade for the existing coffee beans. As every serious coffee drinker knows shade grown beans provide much better coffee.
By 2018, Lycoming purchased nearly 10,000 pounds of coffee and paid $2.26 per pound. All profits were returned to the community. Lycoming installed clean water systems, provided 15 solar power devices to provide electricity to the community. Lycoming built playgrounds and worked with the school in Peralta, a much larger town at the base of the mountain to insure the village children were educated. Lycoming had a recent graduate commit to live in the village for a year to continue all these gains and to work with the villagers to create their own Co-operative to manage the sale of coffee and the other products.
The village was learning sustainability and working toward Lycoming’s goal to leave within eight years and take our experience to another village in a remote part of the world.
St. John’s was exclusively serving Warrior Coffee and members were purchasing the coffee for use at home and as gifts. Then came the Corona Virus. Lycoming had to withdraw from the Dominican Republic and some communication was lost. To date no one in the village has contracted the virus, but the town of Peralta has had several cases, causing the villagers to isolate in El Naranjito.
But there is good news! The villagers continued the work Lycoming had been doing and harvested their crop a few months ago. The Coop arranged for the exporting of the coffee. So far the Villagers have been successful in growing a crop and managing the export of beans to the United States. But we must sell the coffee for them. That is our task until we can return and complete the project begun 5 years ago.
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 November 29th, Sunday December 6th and 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
The International Living Animal Gift Market is now open.
All manner of wonderful creatures can be purchased throughout the Month of November online this year!
These gifts of animals provide an entire new way of life for the people who receive them. They provide food, income, health care & educational opportunities for poor families worldwide.
Since 2001, St. John's through UMW has donated over $76,000 to Heifer.
Thank you for your support!
Please contact Rosemarie Malizia at 215-598-8567 home or 856-364-0238 cell for more information or if you would like to request cards.

The Recovery Breakfast II
Saturday, November 28th
10 AM

Hosted by the United Methodist Men
for All Men of St John's at the Sycamore Grill, Newtown

The Recovery Breakfast II is to bring back the Fellowship that supports our faith in God and to provide an engaging spirit to do good works.

Red Bird Mission Chicken BBQ Church Maintenance

The meeting is a general discussion of our mission and gathering volunteers to decorate the church for Christmas on Friday, November 27th, 9 AM. (Men or women interested in helping to decorate can contact Jack Donovan or the church office).

The October Breakfast confirmed a safe environment by the 22 men that attended. There is a lot of room for safe distancing. Breakfast is paid for by the UMM.

Directions: 255 North Sycamore St.
Richboro/Newtown Rd. to Newtown at Sycamore (532) make left at light, after second light make first right... left into parking lot. If you have a problem with stairs, park out front.

Have Courage, Keep the Faith....
Jack Donovan
Anyone interested in helping the United Methodist Men decorate the church for Christmas on Friday, November 27th , should please contact the church office or Jack Donovan at 917-856-1425 or

  • 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
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!

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Please Note: The Church Office will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 27.

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