Worship &

Sunday School

10:00 a.m.

October Newsletter Deadline:

September 23rd

Please send submissions via email

Join us for worship online live Sunday morning (or later) on our Facebook Page.

Or find up close versions of our sermons later on our Website.

From the Pastor's Desk

These recent weeks have seen our fourth school year to begin here in Pennsylvania. Just looking back at the pictures of my sons – it is so difficult to believe that they were only two that first summer when we started here so many moons ago. 

And now, here we find ourselves at the beginning of a wonderful new year, which also means yet another great opportunity for all of us to find the ways and places we need to begin again.

I don’t know about you, but when my kids go back to school, part of me wants to take full advantage of the routine and do every single thing I’ve missed doing. From exercise to reading more books, there are countless options that I can add to my own personal list, and I’m quite certain you each have your own set. 

However, what I might suggest instead this year is taking the time to choose only two or three things at most that will be your focus (probably preaching to myself here). And within those, may I highly recommend that all of us are likely in need of a faith checkup.

Please do not panic! This isn’t one of those moments where the church says, “well, if you don’t believe like this then… [insert bad thing here].” Nor is it a time for me to come by and see how much of your Bible you are reading every day, because believe it or not, that’s not the litmus test, either.

Faith is about something much deeper. It’s about our connection to God on that extremely basic, very raw level. The one that holds tight when everything else falls away. That is the connection cable that we need to strengthen. 

We do this in a few important ways. One is to take time to be alone with God. Perhaps for you this may mean pouring your heart out in prayer. For me though, I figure God already knows all that. So, I focus my time around learning to listen. I do my best to meditate either in silence or around a single phrase from Scripture to help still my mind.

Second thing is study. Learn. Pursue knowledge wherever you can. Be it directly related to Scripture or not, I am convinced that all roads lead home. All of our education helps us to better understand ourselves, our world, and the wondrous Love that created it all.

Third, and perhaps the most important: you cannot do this alone. You need a community to love you. To welcome you. To accept you as you are. And to walk with you as you continue in your becoming, so that you can welcome, accept, and walk with others. This is what church is meant to be. It is what it strives to be on its very best days. (And note to the church here: this is our job.)

So, from this always learning cleric who is still finding her way in this life, this is my best wisdom to you: take time. Study hard. Find family.

And if you are ever looking for a family who will love you just as you are – we have a seat just waiting with your name on it.

Blessings, Pastor Janie

Together In Worship

Holy Communion

This month we will celebrate the Lord's Supper on Sunday, September 4.

Did you know?

Prayers of the People have been a part of Christian worship since the earliest days of the Church. Paul reminds his student Timothy to offer "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings... for everyone" in his first letter to him. By the fourth century, it had become a part of the Roman Rite to a point that both Justin Martyr and Augustine of Hippo both make reference to them.

For us, we pray to God in response to hearing God's word read and proclaimed that we might join in Christ's ministry of intercession. Our prayers are part of what the Psalmist called sighs too deep for words. We lift up our joys and concerns that not only will God celebrate and weep with us, but also that we might carry our sorrows together and leap with one another for joy.

Though led by the pastor, who is acting as a shepherd for God's people, the prayers themselves are an act of the entire congregation. Therefore, our worship book advocates that they should be offered either from the Communion Table or within the midst of the congregation.

And the way we begin our weekly communal prayer practice comes from the ancient mystic tradition. They believed that when God created us, God left an indelible mark upon our hearts - a space within us where God still resides. They also believed that when we still our minds we can tap into Christ's Spirit, literally "Breath," and feel God's presence and ask God's Love to envelope all those who are most in need of our prayers.

Flowers for Worship

Every week offers a new opportunity to glorify God and honor friends and loved ones by placing flowers in our worship service. The calendar for sign-ups is near the kitchen in the Chapel hallway and there are still many more openings between now and the end of the year. Be sure to snag your special weekend today!

Learning Together

Returns Sunday, September 11th @ 10:00 a.m.

for Preschool - Grade 6!!!

Our children will begin their morning in worship and then go with their teachers to Sunday School after Children's Time.

Ada, Otto & Jax's Room

Starting with the basics, this class is for our youngest learners and prereaders as they dive into the stories from worship and the depths of God's love for them!

Preschool - Kindergarten

Room off the Nursery

Ruby, Gabe, & Mimi's Room

Engaging the Bible stories from worship in greater depth, this class is geared for our next set of learners as they continue their walk of faith!

Grades 1-3

Sunshine Bible Room

The Big Room

For our oldest grade schoolers and younger tweens, we have a set of lessons that connect the Bible to their everyday lives!

Grades 4-6

The Library

Together in Fellowship

Knitting Update

The knitting and crocheting group of First Presbyterian continues to do needlework for the benefit and enjoyment of those in the church and in the community. 

We want to once again offer our congratulations to the graduating seniors who are getting settled into their new classes at universities and colleges! We've delivered their senior blankets, and hope the blankets provide a little bit of "home" in their new dorm rooms. If there is a graduating senior in your family, please let the knitting group know. We'd be happy to make a special memento for them as they depart high school for new adventures.

There is currently a display of knitted and crocheted items on the table in the back of the church Parlor. These items may be purchased for a donation. "Prayer Squares" are included and may be a small gift for anyone in need. 

Knitters and crocheters of any ability are welcome to join the group on Wednesdays in the Knitting Room at 3:30 p.m. Any person, who has a charitable idea in mind for the group to work on is also welcome to bring that suggestion to the group. Thank you!

Peaches for Days...

We want to thank everyone who came out to our annual Peach Festival! We also could not have done it without all of our helpers behind the scenes. Keep an eye out for our next Fellowship Opportunities!!!

Caring Together

Please hold in prayer members of our church family and friends who are in special need: Reggie Arford, Roy Bailey, Ann & Laird Benton, Barb Beveridge, Joseph & Rebecca Bledsoe, Craig Brumbaugh, Nancy Buchanan, Eleanor Carson, Chris Clarke, Fred Crawford, Loved ones of Jim Dengler, Kathy Draskoczy, Anne Forsht, Joyce Gingrich, Rodger & Sally Hammond, James Hammonds, Jenny Harkins, Paula Heim, Ticky Hendricks, Jere Hess, Bobbi Hill, Lanse Hyde, Kantak & Day Families, Ron Kennedy, Dee Kissell, Karrie McCall, Norma McPhee, Betty Meyer, Ellie Morgan, Vivian Norris & Family, Vicki Nyland, Sarah Ocker, Janet Orcholski, Ray Overdorff, Pat Parnell, Marlene Patrick, Ed Pratt, Jill Reigh, Aleta & Brad Reist, Bruce Ross, David & Judi Rhodes, Lilliandil Robledo, Rhonda Shawley & Family, Kate Sillman, Mike Sims, June Slep, Charlie Smith, Christie Socie, Doug Soisson, John & Diane Stultz, Marlene Wagner, Reed & Marilyn Walker, Bill & Deb Wandersee, Shirley Weyandt, Phil & Stacey Willis, Zach, Casey & Avery Marie Wineland.

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?

From the moment Susie and I attended our first early contemporary service we have felt very welcome. The primary reason for moving our membership here is that the church embraces and accepts everyone without judgement. This church preaches and shows love to all. We joined this church family amid the pandemic on a zoom call and the restrictions in place made it difficult to assimilate into this new church family. However, we are beginning to learn everyone’s name and recognizing faces without masks and we look forward to more social events where we can share our story and learn yours’. I have been honored to sing with the praise band and the opportunity to serve this congregation in other ways. I look forward for the opportunity to strengthening our relationship with you all as well as strengthening our faith as we journey together. Thank you for making us feel part of your family.

Alan Musselman

Session Member

Did you know?

We are a part of a denomination that serves Christ around the globe? Our Mission Partners, Young Adult Volunteers, and other Presbyterian agencies serve on every continent on earth (with the exception of Antarctica). How do we get to take part of these exciting ministries? Well, one of the most important ways is helping with  our annual Per Capita portion. Every church pays a certain amount per year to help with the ministries of the larger church - at the Presbytery level (in our backyard), at the Synod level (our larger region), and on the national level (a portion of which gets sent to the ends of the earth). You can join in all of these exciting ministries by paying your portion for this year which is $34.25 per confirmed adult member. We appreciate your help in serving Christ in the larger world!

We are very sorry to report...

...that our financial administrative software is giving us some trouble. We can talk to it, but it seems to not be talking back. Therefore, we do not have our monthly income/expense report. 

However, we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that if you have any questions on your personal giving, please do not hesitate to call Angela in the office. She will be more than happy to help!

Give Now!

Leading Together

We are looking for a new Childcare Worker

After more than two years of assisting our church with childcare duties, Taylor Thompson is now in the process of completing her Bachelors at Penn State Altoona and is working full time at T&N Nail Salon. Therefore, she will be retiring from her position beginning this weekend and Deacon Kathy Draskoczy will be filling in during the interim while we search for a more permanent candidate for our position: 

The First Presbyterian Church of Hollidaysburg is seeking a candidate for the part-time position of Childcare Worker. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have experience caring for and nurturing children ages 0-5 years of age, have a High School Diploma or the equivalent, have satisfactorily completed (or be willing to complete) a CPR course for infants and children, and also complete the background checks required by the state of Pennsylvania. Applicant must be available every Sunday from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., as well as for other occasional week-night meetings, and special worship programs (including, but not limited to, Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday).

If you know anyone who you feel would be a good fit, please have them submit a resume to selfreferfpchollidaysburg@gmail.com.

Thank you on behalf of the CW Search Sub Committee!

Dorothy Moore Liller, Administrative Committee

Amanda Seelye, Christian Education Committee

Janie McElwee-Smith, Pastor

Here are some highlights of what your Session has been up to over the summer:

  • We approved that a campus-wide appraisal be conducted for the first time in over a decade by Industrial Appraisal Company to keep our insurance up to date. Cost was $2340.
  •  After much conversation in the spring among Session, Administrative Committee, and Property Committee, we were finally able to receive and act upon a quote from Schoolhouse Hollow to remove and replace the damaged stairs at the sidewalk corner of Walnut & Clark Street, which have become a liability issue. Up to $7800 was allotted for this expense. The stairs will be removed, replaced, and sealed during a week in late September.
  •  After a recommendation from our Treasurer, Sally Unger, we closed our Fidelity investment account, which had lost approximately 25% of its value since the beginning of the year in order to assist in covering upcoming and general fund expenses. The account is quite small, in relation to the much larger Vanguard account, and we received $33,183.22.
  •  After nearly fifteen years of service to FPCH, the leader of our custodial service, Christal Carlin needed to retire due to health issues during the month of July. Her niece, Tiffany Kennedy, who has already been assisting her aunt and who is creating her own service with insurance, was approved to continue on in her stead. 
  • Per Huntingdon Presbyter’s request, we approved to host the annual Session Minutes Review on October 5, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

Our Leadership Team


Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith, Moderator

Jessica Stanek, Clerk

Sally Unger, Treasurer

Gail Allen, Brandon Burns, Shannon Carper, Kathryn Gardner Alan Musselman, Joel Seelye, Diane Zink

Deacons - Pastoral Care & Mission

Joe Carper, Kathy Draskoczy, Barb Evans, Molly Goldstein, Nancy, Michael, Binky Moxin,

Carroll Osgood, Pat Parnell

Administrative Committee

Gail Allen, Dorothy Moore Liller, Susan Musselman, Joel Seelye, Linda Snider, John Stutlz

Christian Education Committee

Becky Burns & Amanda Seelye, Co-Chairs

Kathy Draskoczy, Diane McClanahan, Nancy Michael, Ashtyn Whyte

Fellowship & Outreach Committee

Leigh Casey, Sue Ann Hess, Lynette Luke, Alan Musselman, Brenna Tatusko

Property Committee

Brandon Burns, Bill Edwards, Barb Huff, Kathryn Gardner, Carroll Osgood, Dennis Zink

Worship Committee

Julia Benton & Diane Zink, Co-Chairs

Catherine Cone, Janet Hines, 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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