December 3, 2020
Hello St. John’s Family,
   On Sunday we celebrated the beginning of a new Christian year as we entered into the season of Advent. I sense 2020 has illustrated—in the most vivid terms—the depth of our longing and anticipation for God to come: to break into the struggle and strife of this world anew with the grace, mercy, and transforming love of the incarnate Christ. As author and Episcopal priest Fleming Rutledge points out, Advent is a time when we eagerly anticipate the “once and future coming of Christ.” Each Advent we hope and long for Christ’s triumphant return as we anticipate the beauty and love revealed through Christ’s arrival at Christmas as a vulnerable baby into a dark, cold world. We watch and wait—weary yet hopeful, sustained through worship and prayer. Note that our Advent devotional is available and is a great guide to use for personal reflection and prayer. I hope you’ll use these meaningful devotions as you ponder both the once and the future coming of Christ this Advent season. May we all lift up together the timeless Advent prayer: Come, Lord Jesus!
   Speaking of Advent inevitably turns our thoughts toward Christmas. In the midst of this chaotic time, many are wondering how Covid-19 will impact Christmas Eve worship. Like so many things this year, our desire for the familiarity and intimacy of cherished worship traditions collide with the need to do all we can to minimize the risk of virus transmission. I and the staff have spent significant time in prayer and discussion on how to offer meaningful and safe opportunities for as many as possible to worship together on Christmas Eve. Based on those discussions, two worship services will be offered.

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.
   I recognize that our worship services this year will be very different from any other Christmas Eve in the history of St. John’s. Yet aren’t our previously unforeseen changes reminiscent of the surprises a young couple endured that very first Christmas? Forced to travel at a most inconvenient time, without proper lodging, Mary and Joseph pressed on faithfully and welcomed a newborn child—the Savior of the world. They were blessed as they witnessed the glory of God in the Christ child. Friends, our God is faithful, and I’m confident we will also witness God’s glory this Christmas! Whether in the Sanctuary, from your car, or over an internet connection, we will be blessed as we come and worship Christ the newborn King.
                                                                                                         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, 12/13,
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 for this week.

Thank you!
This Sunday, December 6, 2020
2nd Sunday of Advent
In-Person Worship
(Registration Needed for both services - see above)
9 AM (in the Sanctuary)
10:30 AM (in Fellowship Hall)

The Beginning of Hope
Pastor Brad
Mark 1:1-8

Accompanist: Brian Barber
9 AM Special Music: Celebration Ringers
10:30 AM Praise Band
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, 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.
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.
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 ( 

Classes for Youth will meet in the St. John's parking lot at 11:30 this Sunday, 12/6 (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 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
ONLINE this year!
(a bit earlier if you would like cards

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.
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 was 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

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