January 21, 2021
PASTOR'S REFLECTION
Hello St. John’s Family,
 
 I want to begin this note by expressing my deep thanks for your sacrifice over recent weeks, as we have forgone physically gathering together for worship. At the time of the year when we most wanted to gather, you sacrificed that honest desire for the benefit of the most vulnerable in our community, and the tired and weary medical professionals who have been pushed to the limit as a terrible pandemic wore on. I know this sacrifice has not been easy or pleasant; I’ve felt it too. Yet I also believe sacrifices like the one you made shines the essence of Christ in dark and difficult times. The Apostle Paul, prior to illustrating Christ’s great sacrifice, urged the Philippian church to follow Christ’s lead: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4). You have done exactly that – thank you for your sacrifice! This Sunday we will again gather, masked and distanced, to worship our Lord. I cannot wait to stand up, welcome you in the name of the Trinity, and see eyes and masks looking my way. Thank you for your sacrifice and thank you for your faithfulness.
 
  While resuming our (very modified) worship gatherings are indeed a bright spot, few will argue that we remain stuck in a troubling and difficult time. The challenges we face – and have been facing – both personally and collectively feel overwhelming. How are we to move forward in the midst of all that? Well, it takes effort and focus on a daily basis, as we prepare to face each new day.
 
 Past colleagues (and my family) often tease me about my fashion sense. Or, more accurately, my lack of fashion sense. Wearing khakis and a dark shirt on an almost daily basis, past colleagues have called it my uniform: an adult version of those old Garanimals outfits for children back in the ‘70’s. I, on the other hand, really don’t see their issue. I get up, walk to the closet, and in less than two seconds know what I’m wearing. Of all the things on which to expend thought and effort, choosing clothes each day are not high on my list.
  
  Though our physical clothes aren’t of great importance, how we clothe ourselves spiritually is of utmost importance for those seeking to follow Christ. The Ephesian church was reminded to put off the old, corrupt and deceitful self, and clothe themselves anew in the righteousness and holiness of God (Eph. 4:22-24). Challenges, concerns and frustrations of this world are a reality; “clothing” ourselves in God’s goodness and justice each day will help us respond to the challenges we face with discipline and grace. In that process, a picture of Christ’s goodness can be extended into a troubled world.
 
                                                                                                     Grace and Peace,
                                                                                                           Pastor Brad
SUNDAY WORSHIP
Sunday, January 24, 2021

In-person Worship Resumes!
Two services at 9:00 am in the Sanctuary
and 10:30 am in Fellowship Hall.
Reservations Required

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!
A RECORDING OF THE SERVICE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE FOLLOWING WORSHIP.  
The Sign-Up Reservation for Next Sunday, 1/31,
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 Week in Worship:

Who Is This Jesus? Series
Pastor Brad
Mark 1:14-20
Accompanist: Brian Barber
9 AM Special Music: GENesis Bells
Amy Cons, Rebecca Carey, Ron Oedemann
10:30: Praise Band
COVID-19 INFORMATION
For those interested in receiving Bucks County's latest vaccine information, please click on the link below:
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.
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.
 
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.

January 26 & February 2
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: Why we can believe the Bible
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!
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
SOUPER SUNDAYS
 
What a year! We've managed to press on through the Covid Virus, political tensions, loss of life, loss of jobs and of course the loss of incomes. Our congregation can help with one of these tragedies by bringing non-perishable food items to church and placing them in the barrel located at the front entrance. The United Methodist Women will be collecting food on all four Sundays in February. 

Our donations this year will be going to the Jesus Focus Ministry located in Southampton. Following Jesus' example of feeding the many, we can do our small part to help feed families in need. 

The United Methodist Women wish to thank our congregation for their continued support with all of our mission projects as well as the support, strength and love you give to communities far and wide.
Thank you,
The United Methodist Women
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.
OUTREACH
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!
St. John's 2020 Advent Mission Offering
Thank you for your support of Compassion International - Water of Life Program
Due to your generosity, over $11,000 was raised and at least 136 families will have safe drinking water for life!
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.
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!
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 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 by mail. Thank you for your commitment to God at
St. John's!
THANK YOU
I fell down the steps on 9/29/20 and I injured 3 fractures on my left ankle. I was in the hospital for a week, went to Attleboro Rehab on 10/3/20 and I was home on 10/29/20. I had a nurse and a physical therapist until 12-22-20.

I can't thank you enough for the many cards, meals, the flowers and the poinsettia plants, the phone calls and people taking me to the doctors.

Thank you so much!

Carole Diemer
The Upper Room Devotional
 for January/February is 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.
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