& Sunday School

10:00 a.m.

December Newsletter Deadline:

November 25th

Please send submissions via email

To see our worship up close at home, click one of the links below!

Facebook  Web  YouTube

From the Pastor's Desk

Last weekend we looked again to the story of our forebears who worshipped God at “Blue Spring,” otherwise known as the head of Scotch Valley. How in 1788 they chose to form Frankstown Presbyterian Church, which would later be renamed Hollidaysburg Presbyterian Church. Even when literal fire and snow brought the buildings low, or the sparks of hatred and oppression drove us to use our tunnels to protect those escaping to freedom, or two pandemics a century apart pushed us to the brink – through it all, our congregation has and does still stand. 

Why? Because those who came before us made the choice to seek and serve God in this place. Not just once, but over and over again. Every major landmark in the history of our church marks one of those choices. Yet it was likely a daily choice for those believers who came before, just like it is for us today.

You see, the great cloud of witnesses to whom we will refer this Sunday – on All Saints Sunday – well, they were not so different from you or me. They lived regular lives. They faced challenging times. They found joy in unexpected places. They saw life and death come and go, just as we do. And in the midst of all of it they chose to remember that God was with them. Present. Active. A moving, breathing ferment. Just as God still is today.

God will always choose us. Scripture reminds us of this promise repeatedly, in both Testaments. I will be with you, God said to Moses. I will never leave you nor forsake you, God reminds Joshua. I have called you by name and you are mine, God promises Isaiah. I am with you to the very end of the age, Jesus assures his followers. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, Paul prompts. God is always here. Already working in our midst.

When I teach little children the promises of God that we find in Scripture, I always focus on these three. The first is that God loves us more than we can possibly imagine. The second is that God is with us, wherever we are, wherever we go, no matter what. Now the third, this is where I want us all to pay attention: because God loves us and God is with us, we get to be brave. Have courage. Move mountains. Do all the great incredible things that people of faith have done before us. 

1 John 4:18 reminds us that perfect love casts out all fear. It may be difficult, be we need to cast it out. Let it go. Push it away so that we can look to where God wants us to focus.

For whatever challenges lie ahead of us, we are blessed that we can latch onto the strength and courage of our forebears who built this church from a tent into a log cabin. Then rebuilt the cabin when it burnt down. Then bravely bought property and built a cupola on a house of brick until the snow did it in. Then finally rebuilt a structure that stands today. They kept moving. Kept focusing on how God was working with them.

My friends, what we do know is this: the choice is ours now. To courageously step up and step into the future God has in store for us. Even if we do not know precisely what it will look like, we can be sure of one thing – God is already there. 


Pastor Janie

Together in Worship

Holy Communion

This month we will celebrate the Lord's Supper on All Saints Sunday, November 6, 2022.

Did you know?

The earliest known observances of All Saints date back to the fourth century. In those days, churches at various places throughout the Roman empire remembered Christian martyrs near May 13By the fifth century, this practice had come to be held on the Sunday following Pentecost in northern Italy. However, Rome kept the practice near May 13 for the next few centuries in order to block out the Roman pagan celebration of Lemuria, during which the people drove out the vengeful spirits of the dead.

By the eighth century, there is evidence that Catholics in the British Isles, especially in Ireland, were holding a feast for all beatified saints on November 1. It is believed that this was to offset the Celtic pagan practice of Samhain, the harvest festival that opened the portals between the here and the hereafter, allowing the dead to walk among the living. According to tradition, Pope Gregory III dedicated Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to “all the saints” in the eighth century. And thanks to the influence of Louis the Pious and Charlemagne, among others, Pope Gregory IV spread All Saints Day to the entire Western Church. (The Eastern Church still celebrates it the Sunday after Pentecost.)

While our Catholic brethren often celebrate Allhallowtide, the three days of All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween), All Saints Day, and All Souls Day as three separate days with their own distinctive meanings from October 31 through November 2, Protestants have taken a different tac in the centuries since the Reformation. 

In the Roman Catholic tradition, Saints are special believers who have been set aside and marked as especially holy in the eyes of the church. With the martyrs, they are given a special day of celebration on All Saints Day. Whereas, All Souls Day is for the rest of us regular believers. 

However, for those of us who are the theological descendants of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, we believe that the Communion of Saints includes all believers in Christ, the living and the dead. For we are all equal before God. While we do not have a celebration of All Saints on November 1, we do take the first Sunday in November to honor all of those in our lives who have had an important impact on our faith, both the living and the dead, as a part of our worship service.

Christ the King Sunday

Sunday, November 20 is "New Year's Eve" in the church's liturgical calendar. The final Sunday of the year before we begin anew on the first Sunday of Advent, we give thanks for Christ who will "come in glory to judge the living and the dead, who's kingdom will have no end." That same day, we will also honor the season of harvest and give thanks to God for all of the blessings we have been granted, as individuals and together.

Advent begins Sunday, November 27!

Following worship on Sunday, November 27, we will have a Decorating Party to get the remainder of our Advent-Christmas decorations up and ready for the remainder of the season. Please mark your calendars and plan to stay!

Messiah Sing!

Sunday, November 27, we will host the Academy of Sacred Music as they once again lead our Hollidaysburg community in a Messiah Sing. The music begins at 3:00 p.m. Don't forget that the singers tend to sit towards the front, but you're always encouraged to join in!

Serving Together

Christmas Poinsettias

Once again our Deacons are selling poinsettias to decorate our Sanctuary for the final Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve. The plants are available in red, white, or a marbled variety for $10 each. The plants are being purchased from our local Warner's Florist and the proceeds from the sales go to support Presbyterian Disaster Assistance as they continue to work with those who are recovering from the natural disasters that have struck this year. Dedications can be made in memory or in celebration of your beloved friends and family. And while our Deacons will be available to assist you with your purchase on November 20, 27, and December 4, you can email the office and pay for your order online now to be sure and get your favorite color selection. Thank you for supporting our local business owners and global community!


As is our tradition, our church family is "adopting" children and teens who are under care at American Rescue Workers during this holiday season. Available gift tags, children and families will be arriving at the church within the next week or two. If you would like to adopt an entire child or set of children from a family, please contact Pastor Janie as soon as possible. Otherwise, keep an eye out for the gift tags. All gifts will be due back to the church by Sunday, November 27 (or at the very latest Monday, November 28). Thank you for keeping the magic of Christmas alive by serving all the "Christ-childs" in our community!

A Year of Service in Malawi

In 2023, our former Pastor Chuck Monts and his wife Deb will be traveling on a mission year to Lilongwe, Malawi from January to December. Deb will be instructing nurses and Chuck will be teaching at a Bible College and Preaching. If you would like to learn more about their upcoming mission and/or give financially to support them, click on the button below. 

Monts Mission to Malawi

Together in Fellowship

Thanksgiving Feast!!!

Everyone is invited to our annual FPCH Thanksgiving Feast on Sunday evening, November 13 at 5:30 p.m. Sign-ups for side dishes and desserts are available next to the Church Office. The church will be providing turkey, gravy, and bread. Be sure to bring your friends and family as we all gobble down!

Pie Night

Following Thanksgiving Eve Worship be sure to stick around for a time of fellowship with our sisters and brothers from across all of our local churches - including coffee and some scrumptious homemade pies!!!

We've switched days!

We're now meeting on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. at coffee shops in our community for a time of fellowship, prayer, and, of course, coffee! Don't miss this great opportunity to get to know your fellow presbyterians better and be sure to bring your friends, too!

November 8: Boro Coffee

Look for the hidden door at the far end of the US Hotel parking lot.

November 15: Coffee on 3rd

See a garage converted into a bright by warm setting!

Annual Advent Festival

Sunday, December 4th

5:30 p.m.

Wreathes, crafts, fun, and games, with a very special guest!

Special thanks to everyone who helped with and came by for Pumpkin Fest & Trick-or-Treat!

Learning Together

JAM Night

Don't miss our last night of normal JAM for the year THIS Sunday, November 6. All of our younglings, children and youth, will be doing visits to some of our homebound members - spreading a little light and love as the evenings continue to deepen. 

Youth Group

This month our "youth only" outing will be to see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever the weekend of November 11th. The final date and time will be chosen closer to that weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for more details!

Advent Devotionals

This year we will have a daily Advent devotional that can be delivered directly to your inbox! Published by Presbyterians Today, Kindling the Flame of Love begins in mid-November and includes forty days of devotions, Scripture readings, and prayers. The Church Office will also print a copy for you if you would prefer to have a hard copy. Please email Pastor Janie now to sign up so you too can join in preparing to receive our Newborn King!

Family Advent Devotionals

In addition to our fully formed adult devotional, we have a very special devotional that we will be emailing to our young families. This resource was created to help even our youngest disciples engage the wondrous miracle that is our God becoming flesh in the child of Bethlehem. As a special treat, we have included the cover-art coloring page from this devotional for everyone this month. It is a reflection on the God of the universe being born as a tiny human child. Enjoy!

A few highlights from JAM this season...

Building Together

This is the sign you're looking for...

A couple of weeks ago, members of our Property Committee could be seen on the Walnut Lawn repairing our red sign at the corner of Walnut and Clark Streets. You might have noticed it leaning a bit of late. It is now freshly reset and cleaned. Be sure to check it out on your next visit to our campus and thank the members of our Property Committee when you see them!

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, Diane Blyler, Craig Brumbaugh, Nancy Buchanan, Eleanor Carson, Sam Chestney, Lance & Kaitlyn Clark, 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, Emmy Kousolekas, Karrie McCall, Norma McPhee, Betty Meyer, Ellie Morgan, Tristan Myers, Vivian Norris & Family, Vicki Nyland, Sarah Ocker, Bob Oliver & Family, Janet Orcholski, Ray Overdorff, Warren Elliott Page, Pat Parnell, Marlene Patrick, Ed Pratt, Aleta & Brad Reist, David & Judi Rhodes, Lilliandil Robledo, Rhonda Shawley & Family, Kate Sillman, Mike Sims, June Slep, Charlie Smith, Christie Socie, Doug Soisson, John & Diane Stultz, Ron Wagner & Family, Reed & Marilyn Walker, Bill & Deb Wandersee, Shirley Weyandt, Phil & Stacey Willis, Zach, Casey & Avery Marie Wineland, the family of Pat Wolf.

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.

Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you're in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer...

(Romans 12:12)

Beginning on Sunday, November 27, as we celebrate the first Sunday of the liturgical year, we will begin a new email Prayer Chain called Collective Hope. This will be in addition to our Prayer List that is included in our Bulletin and Tower Light. Whenever someone has a request, they will contact a key, trained person who will then send an email to people who have chosen to be on Collective Hope so that they can be praying at any time and in every place. If you would like to be on this email list, please contact our Church Office so that we can add you! Thank you for your prayers!!!

A change to the Prayer List

Also, starting on December 1, we will be handling our weekly & monthly Prayer List a bit differently. While our homebound members will remain on the list, the rest of our list will be wiped clean at the beginning of every month. However, everyone has the option to be added back onto the list. You will simply need to contact the Church Office and let us know that you would like to be added again for the following month. Please be sure to let us know by Sunday, November 27 if you would like to be on the prayer list for December. Thank you in advance for your help!

Giving Together

What does FPCH mean to you?

Dedication Sunday

On Sunday, November 13 we will celebrate not only who we have been and who we are as a church family, but also the bright and wondrous future God has in store for us. This will include special music and the dedication of our gifts and pledges for the coming year. We hope that you will mark your calendars and plan to join us for this important day in the life of our church!

Donate Now

Leading Together

This month our Session met on Tuesday, October 18. One important decision made, at the request of our Worship Committee, was to repeal the final COVID-19 restriction and return to traditional Communion service beginning Sunday, November 6. It was also determined that, in order to conserve our resources and achieve greater fellowship, we should move Sunday worship into the Chapel for the remainder of October through Christ the King Sunday (November 20). And while we will move back to the Sanctuary for Advent through Christmastide, we will return to the Chapel for the winter months that follow. Finally, at the recommendation of our Administrative Committee and following extensive research by our Church Administrator, Angela Koelle, FPCH will be switching from Shelby Financial Systems to ICON, at a savings of over $5000 per year.

Childcare Worker Position Still Available

We are still looking for our next Childcare Worker: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have experience caring for and nurturing children age 0 to Kindergarten 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 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m., as well as for special worship services (including, but not limited to, Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday); weddings and funerals around their schedule; and very occasional weeknight meetings. Pay is $15 per hour. If you know anyone who might be interested, please have them email the church at selfreferfpchollidaysburg@gmail.com.

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 latest Church Directory - click below to access it!

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

Nancy, Michael, Moderator

Joe Carper, Vice Moderator

Kathy Draskoczy, Barb Evans, Molly Goldstein, Binky Moxin, Carroll Osgood, Pat Parnell

Administrative Committee

Dorothy Moore Liller & John Stultz, Co-Chairs

Gail Allen, Susan Musselman, Joel Seelye, Linda Snider

Christian Education Committee

Becky Burns & Amanda Seelye, Co-Chairs

Kathy Draskoczy, Diane McClanahan, Nancy Michael, Ashtyn Whyte

Fellowship & Outreach Committee

Leigh Casey & Brenna Tatusko, Co-Chairs

Sue Ann Hess, Lynette Luke, Alan Musselman

Property Committee

Brandon Burns, Chair

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

Other Ways to Connect

Facebook  Web  YouTube