10:00 a.m.


December Newsletter Deadline:

November 23rd

Please send submissions via email

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From the Pastor's Desk

The other night as we headed into town for a committee meeting, one of my sons looked up at the sunset sky and said, it’s my favorite part.

There really is nothing quite like the myriad of colors that God paints into the great in-between that is our horizon at dusk time. And the truth is that right now, we are surrounded by transformation. Betwixt pure heat and pure cold, watching the seasons rise and fall away, even as our lives are consistently progressing in ways we never could have imagined.

Whether we like it or not, that is the reality of life. 

Autumn has always been my favorite season precisely because just like sunrise and sunset, it reminds us that change can be so incredibly beautiful. 

But also quite scary. And hard. And messy. 

Oftentimes we end up in places we never would have thought we wanted to go. (Usually ending up there only with lots of kicking and screaming.)

Yet, we get there nonetheless. And it is there that God does the most remarkable and amazing things.

When life becomes what we do not expect, then we finally learn the lessons God has always wanted for us: how to become the unexpected. Adapting with the movement of the cosmos. Shifting to fit a new mold. 

Only when everything shatters around us and falls to dust can we find the greatest gift of all: rising again into precisely who God is calling us to be.

Never underestimate God’s movement in our midst. Just remember – God’s sense of humor is nearly as impressive as God’s love is sublime.


Pastor Janie

Reminder: Daylight Savings Ends Sunday!

Together in Worship

Holy Communion

This month we will celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper on All Saints Sunday, November 5, 2023.

Did you know?

Throughout the ancient world, fire has always represented a holy and sacred presence. During the ancient Temple period of Judaism, the Holy of holies was believed to be a cloud of light before which stood a candelabra of six branches with a central lamp of eternal flame. Similarly, the central altar also held an eternal flame. To this day, Jewish synagogues still hold their eternal lamps for our Jewish brethren.

            For those of us who follow Christ, we follow the light which no darkness can overcome (John 1:5). Since at least the fourth century, we have used light symbolically to remind ourselves of Christ’s presence in our midst whether through a candle or oil lamp. The flame centers us. Calms us. Reminds us that there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love. 

            The next time you find your mind wandering on Sunday morning, look for the candle on the Communion Table – and remember, just there is a power there that nothing can overcome.

All Saints Sunday

This weekend, on Sunday, November 5, join us for Communion and candlelight as we rejoice and give thanks for all of the faithful who have helped us along our earthly journeys with God.

Dedication Sunday

On Sunday, November 12, we will rededicate our lives and our hearts to Christ and God's ministry in this time and place with a very special reaffirmation of our Baptism and special music.

Thanksgiving Sunday

On Sunday, November 19, come and sing your favorite hymns of harvest and home as we gather 'round the table to give thanks for God's many blessings!

On Sunday, November 26, we will be decorating our Sanctuary (& Campus) for Advent & Christmastide. Please mark your calendars and plan to stay after worship!

Advent begins on Sunday, December 3!

Mark Your Calendars!!!

Saturday, December 9

Fantazia & the Chamber Strings

Wednesday, December 20

Together in Fellowship

Annual Thanksgiving Feast

Sunday, November 12 at 6:00 p.m. we are having our annual Thanksgiving Feast for the whole church! We will supply the turkey and gravy and we're asking you to bring the fixings - sign-up sheets are outside the church office now. So be sure to get your favorite dish covered now!

Thanks to everyone for a great Pumpkin Fest, Trick or Treat, & Halloween Party!

Mark Your Calendars:

Annual Advent Festival

Sunday, December 3rd

5:30 p.m.

Wreathes, crafts, fun, and games!

Learning Together

LAST Call for Thanksgiving Eve!

This weekend is the last chance to get Marianna's Hoagies & Pizzas for delivery on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 22nd. Cost is $10 each, with all of the profits going towards the Youth Mission Trip next July to Winchester, Kentucky. Contact a youth group member or Pastor Janie to get your order in by Sunday, November 5th!

Advent Devotional Preview

How does a weary world rejoice?

For our adults, our Christian Education Team has selected a devotional created by the pastor-artists at A Sanctified Art, LLC who also create the artwork that we use each week in worship. From their creative team: "This devotional is designed to help you practice joy in a weary world. Each week offers art, reflections, poetry, and hymns. Beginning with the start of Advent and concluding with Baptism of the Lord Sunday, journey through these pages at your own pace." Hard copies will be available beginning Sunday, November 26. And if you would like to receive this resource digitally, please email Pastor Janie.

For our younger families...

This year our Christian Education Team has selected a simple and fun resource that children and parents alike will love as you count down the days to Christmas together! From the creative team at Illustrated Ministry: "An Illustrated Advent Calendar provides you, your family, and/or your community with twenty-five activities to enjoy together. These activities will help get you into the Advent and Christmas spirit. Each calendar comes with a black-and-white copy as well as a full-color version. You may want to print out the full-color version for a fun and colorful display in your home during Advent. Or you may want to print out the black-and-white version and color in the shapes as you complete each activity." We will have a few hard copies by Sunday, November 26, but we will also be emailing this resource to all of our young families directly before December 1!

(And grown-ups, if any of you would like to be added to that email list, just let Pastor Janie know before December 1 ;)

Coming Soon...

Joining us a little later on this month will be our next youth group fundraiser: Rent-a-Youth - Holiday Edition. Options and prices will go on sale right around the beginning of Advent, so keep your eyes peeled for some of the best deals of the season and get a little extra help during the holidays!

Serving Together

Chuck & Deb Monts Visit

On Sunday, November 5, at 6:30 p.m. join us for dessert & coffee and a chance to hear from Chuck & Deb Monts about their year serving in Malawi! Special thanks to the Knitting Group for their help in hosting this event!

Christmas Poinsettias

Once again our Deacons will be selling poinsettias to adorn our Sanctuary for the end of Advent and Christmas Eve. They will go on sale on Sunday, November 19 and be on sale through Sunday, December 3. However, to be sure you get the colors you want, you can preorder your poinsettias now by emailing the church office by clicking here with your color choices and dedications and bringing a check or money with you on Sunday! Poinsettias are available in red, white, or marble for $10 each and are being purchased from Warner's Florist, with all extra proceeds going to Evolution Expressions to support local at risk youth. Thank you for supporting our church and community!

Christmas4Kids is Coming

We will again be "adopting" kids in our community through American Rescue Workers this Christmas season. The gift tags will begin arriving by mid-month and the unwrapped gifts will be due back by early in December. Get ready to be Santas little helpers!

Caring Together

Please hold in prayer members of our church family and friends who are in special need: Britta Albright, Reggie Arford, Marlene Aurandt, Lois Beer, Ann & Laird Benton, Nancy Buchanan, Eleanor Carson, Miriam Dalby, Michele Fiore, Anne Forsht, James Hammonds, Rodger & Sally Hammond, Paula Heim, Ticky Hendricks, Bobbi Hill, Jimmy Hines, Ron Kennedy, John Long, Norma McPhee, Betty Meyer, Tristan Meyers, Booker & Janet Moore, John Moryken, Binky Moxin, Nancy Musselman, Eleanor Myers, Jim Myers, Sarah Ocker, Ray Overdorff, Pat Parnell, Ed Pratt, Jill Reigh, Aleta & Brad Reist, June Slep, Doug Soisson, John & Diane Stultz, Bill & Deb Wandersee, Avery Marie Wineland.

Please hold our larger world in your prayers, including the people of Liberia during their Presidential Election, the people of Israel & Palestine, and the people of Lewistown, ME.

Please also hold our troops in your prayers, including Trent Sipes, Kyle Gardner, Andrew Rosamilia, Cameron Sellers, and Harrison Heim, who are directly related to our congregation. Pray for our leaders and the leaders around the world as they are making decisions in the coming days. And please pray for all those who find themselves in harm's way that they may know God's presence and that they will have what they need.

Giving Together

What does FPCH mean to you?

"No one has ever become poor from giving."

Anne Frank

Per Capita Giving

Every year, our church takes part in the mission of our larger denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA) by participating in Per Capita Giving. With a price set by the Presbytery, the cost includes the budgets of the larger governing bodies of which we are a part, divided by all of the churches and their members. For us, this is the Huntington Presbytery (our immediate region), the Synod of the Trinity (our larger region), and the mission arm of the General Assembly. As we have the opportunity to send commissioners to every governing body and to serve on their committees, we have the chance to participate in making decisions about how these numbers are selected. This year's per capita amount is $39.24 and will be paid for every confirmed adult member of the church by the end of 2023, whether they attend worship or not. Your Session invites you to participate in the larger body of Christ in the world by paying yours today!

Donate Now

Leading Together

On Tuesday, October 24, Session had its regularly stated meeting. In addition to approving Altoona Brass Collective’s annual Christmas Concert on December 9th, looking at the upcoming Youth Group fundraisers and the outcome of the Pumpkin Fest fundraiser, Session spent nearly its entire meeting discussing the budget for 2024. Receiving reports from every committee and the diaconate, along with input from the Church Administrator about regular utility bills, Session spent the meeting combining all of the reports and then discussing salaries for the year ahead along with looking at the budget overall. In addition, plans for Stewardship season were also discussed. 

            Following the meeting, additional motions were approved to ensure there was enough candy for Trick or Treat beyond what was provided by the congregation, to approve Fantazia’s annual Holiday Concert on December 20th, to purchase the Advent Devotionals, to move the church credit cards to First National Bank to save money, and to call the Special Congregational Meeting on November 19th.

Our Session has called a Special Congregational Meeting for Sunday, November 19 following worship for the express purposes of receiving and acting upon a report from the Congregational Officer Nominating Committee and for acting upon proposed changes to the Pastor's Terms of Call for 2024.

Presbyterian Cemetery Lots For Sale

Want to be laid to rest near the site of our church's founding? Contact John Stultz of Stultz Real Estate for more information, 814.695.4463.

Our Leadership Team


Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith, Moderator

Jessica Stanek, Clerk

Sally Unger, Treasurer

Shannon Carper, Leigh Casey, Kathryn Gardner, Joel Seelye, Mark Shawley

Deacons - Pastoral Care & Mission

Nancy Michael, Moderator

Kathy Draskoczy & Binky Moxin, Co-Vice Moderators

Joe Carper, Barb Evans, Vicky Nyland, Pat Parnell, & Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Administrative Committee

Dorothy Moore Liller & John Stultz, Co-Chairs

Lois Beer, Susan Musselman, & Joel Seelye

Christian Education Committee

Becky Burns & Amanda Seelye, Co-Chairs

Lily Chestney, Kathy Draskoczy, Nancy Michael,

Mark Shawley, Nora Stanek, & Ashtyn Whyte

Fellowship & Outreach Committee

Leigh Casey & Brenna Tatusko, Co-Chairs

Sue Ann Hess, Lynette Luke, Rhonda Shawley, & Jessica Stanek

Property Committee

Brandon Burns & Corey Stephens, Co-Chairs

Bill Edwards, Kathryn Gardner, Erin & Doug Meyers, & Dennis Zink

Worship Committee

Julia Benton & Catherine Cone, Co-Chairs

Laura & Shawn Cunningham, and Bonnie Ward


PDF Calendar

Our Staff

Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith, Pastor

Email: revjaniefpch@gmail.com

Walter Yatta, Music Director

Email: walyatta@verizon.net

Angela Koelle,

Church Administrator

Email: churchmouse10@gmail.com

Phone: 814.695.9019

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