September 3, 2020

  Click on the links below to go directly to that section of the newsletter.
Prayer List
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Thank You's
Worship Videos
Article Headline
Family Promise
Pastor Brad's Reflection
COVID-19 Precautions
Meet and Greet with Pastor Brad
Children and Youth Ministries
Zoom Bible Study
United Methodist Men
UMW In-Gathering
UMM Meeting
Featured Article



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Prayer requests can be submitted

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 Upper Room Devotional
for September/October is now available.
Copies are in the Narthex
and also 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.

The Tuesday Devotionals and
Special Emails/Announcements are also posted on our website:
under the "What's Happening"tab.

  • 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.  
OR try  
 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 confidenti
If you have any questions about mobile or text giving,
email Lou Lescas at

You may also send your tithes and offerings to the church office:
820 Almshouse Road, Ivyland, PA 18974

Thank you for your generosity!

Our previously recorded worship videos can be accessed here or
under the "What's Happening" tab on our website - See the "Videos" link.
St. Johns 08-30-20
Last Sunday's Worship Service 
August 30, 2020

 Special Music: Roy Nelson, Alissa Nelson, Valerie and David Sharper  
Accompanist: Brian Barber  


Red Bird trailers will be open for donations on Saturdays and Sundays beginning Sept 5.   
Hours:  9 AM - 5 PM 
Please try to limit bag/box weight to 30 pounds or less.   
Volunteer packers are still needed.
  If interested, please contact  
Rick Poll or the church office ( 
Great news on the Family Promise front: Chris and Charlie, the adorable family with the newborn that we hosted last time, have found housing and are moving in today! They received donations of furniture, but they could really use Walmart or grocery gift cards. If you are able to donate a gift card, please send it to:
Chris and Charlie
c/o Jessica Schwartz
Family Promise of Lower Bucks
1700 Woodbourne Rd., Suite B
Levittown, PA 19057
Also this month, we are "hosting" our current family September 27-October 3. During the pandemic we have had several churches volunteer to house the families overnight for an extended period of time. St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Yardley is hosting during September and October so we are just responsible for providing dinners at the Day Center during our host week. If you are able to provide dinner and dessert, please got to  
and sign up. The password is: fplb19057.

If this is your first time signing up through ivolunteer, you will receive an email immediately after signing up. Please respond to the email--it is simply confirming your email address. The program will hold your volunteer slot for 10 minutes to give you time to reply. It is a very simple process.

Please feel free to sign-up to deliver meals during any week where there is an opening! It doesn't have to be just during our host week.

Mark Your Calendars!!
St. John's is the Thanksgiving week host this year.
November 22-29
We don't know yet if we will be physically hosting families at our church, but dig out your favorite fall/Thanksgiving recipes so we can provide our families with a week's worth of delicious meals!

Stay well!
Sharon 610-888-1329 and Amy 610-322-2276

P.S. Thanks to everyone who voted for Family Promise during the McHales Cares contest! We won the $1,000 prize!!!

If you are interested in a safe, at-home mission project,
we have one for you!
Please join us on Thursday,
September 10 at 6:30 p.m. for a short meeting
to be held in the church parking lot (Bring a lawn chair).
Please wear a mask -- safe distancing practices will be observed.
We will begin with a short devotion/prayer time.
You may then pick up the supplies and take them with you
to complete the mission project from the
safety and comfort of your home.
We ask that you then bring them back to the church.
When completed, the wrapped plastic ware
will be delivered by members of our Mission Team to
the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.
Thank you for your participation,
                                      Pastor Ruth

   Well, here we are, about to begin Labor Day weekend. Typically marking our unofficial end to summer and start of a new academic year, the 2020 edition of Labor Day weekend has the same strange feel that much of the year has had. Perhaps that isn't all bad, as it gives us occasion to pause and recall the importance and significant social and economic contributions of our workforce. Earlier this year, pandemic shortages of critical items we often take for granted (remember the great toilet paper shortage?!?) caused us to reconsider our definitions of essential workers. The most recent unemployment rate in PA is 13.7%, and the 6 measures of underemployment (yes, there are 6!) are all above national averages. We don't want to lose sight of that. It's important to lift up in prayer all those seeking jobs as those who have meaningful employment give thanks to God for that blessing.
   Pausing to reflect on our job or employment status will quickly reveal how much of our identity is attached to our job. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the results of our efforts contribute to a healthy sense of purpose. Yet balance is needed. Reducing our purpose - and our worth - to our labors or economic output is both dangerous and untrue. We are children of God, bearing God's image. That amazing reality is the foundation of our identity and cannot be changed!
   Recognizing our true identity points us to the realization that it is God's desires for us that form the foundation of our purpose. The word vocation essentially means calling, and it names the deep longing we all have to fulfill God's desires for us. For some, that equates to our job. Yet that isn't automatically the case. As author and theologian Frederick Buechner observes: "The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."  That work may or may not come with a paycheck - and certainly doesn't end with retirement!
   One of the amazing things about our God is God's knack for connecting us to meaningful, needed work when we respond to God's nudges. This weekend, I encourage you to spend a few moments in prayer and reflection on where God is calling you. Do you enjoy audio or video systems? God can use you in ministry at St. John's! Do you sense a desire to work with young people? God can use you in ministry at St. John's! Do you enjoy praying for others... working with your hands... posting on social media? You guessed it: God can use you at St. John's!
   So, as you thank God for God's presence and purpose in your life, listen for God's still, small voice. Perhaps a new calling is ready to surface!
                                          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 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: 

Seats are filling up quickly! 
Please sign up by Noon on Friday, 9/4, if you plan to attend.   
A waitlist is available through Sign Up Genius 
in the event of a cancellation.  
You will be contacted by St. John's if a seat opens up. 
Work is underway regarding a second worship offering which will likely begin in mid-September.
More information to come!

This Sunday, September 6    
In-Person Worship - 9 AM   
View the service recording on our website  
(following the in-person service)
"Faults, Sin and Reconciliation"
Pastor Brad  
Matthew 18:15-20   
Worship Assistant: Ruth Portzline, CLM
Music:  Jeff Cartwright, Alissa Nelson, Lynne Tomlinson
Sue Uzelmeier, French Horn  
Ron Oedemann, Bass 
Accompanist: Brian Barber
The Order of Worship will be sent out on Friday.  
You may print a copy and bring with you to worship. 

Pastor Brad would love to meet you!
Meet and Greet opportunities are being scheduled for small groups of up to 10 people to gather for about an hour to share in a time of conversation and prayer. Opportunities to meet outdoors (at the rear of the parking lot under the shade of our trees - please bring a lawn chair!) and indoors in Fellowship Hall will be offered; appropriate distancing and masking precautions will be maintained. Sign-up via SignUp Genius is required to attend.

Come out and hear a little bit about Pastor Brad, ask any questions you may have, and pray together for the ongoing ministries at St. John's!

Tuesday, August 25th Meet and Greet
photo: Carol Rice
Children and youth ministries are available on ZOOM. 
We will take a short break and resume classes for Children (K-3 and 4-5) as well as youth on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 11 am. Classes will be held via zoom.   
More information to come shortly!
       I would like to thank the members of St. John's for all the support you have given me and our ministry throughout my years of service as Director of Children and Youth ministries but most importantly to the young people and their parents for placing your children in my care for the last 10 years both in church and in your personal lives. I have had the pleasure to watch our young people play sports, to watch gymnastic events and many school plays which they were involved in. To see their faces light up when VBS opened up the first day. Hours and hours that I will cherish forever!  
       I have watched them grow both physically and spiritually and have grown myself through them and you! It was both a pleasure and an honor to have been part of their life. For some it has been many years and for some just a short time, but regardless of that time, I share equally the love I have for them and you.
       To the leaders and co-leaders and volunteers of Sunday school, confirmation, missions and VBS! I know throughout the years I have always mentioned you as leaders and co-leaders so as not to put pressure on you as a "teacher", but truly you are teachers!! God instilled in you a gift of love and compassion and yes, even a little patience, to do what you have done and still do with these young people. I could not have done any of this without you and for that I am and will always be so grateful and humbled to have been with you all these years. You have taught me so much that words cannot express how I feel...
         And thanks to Pastor Brad for the passion, love and enthusiasm he has already shown for the young people of our church and for his commitment to continue making this ministry a priority.  
           The young people are in great hands with all of you!
Thank you!
David Bigam 

Paul Henry will be offering a 14 week study course on Zoom beginning on September 22nd, from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. The course will provide a variety of short term topics for study and discussion so that you may join for subjects that interest you or participate in the entire series.
We will begin on September 22nd with a look at The Lord's Prayer. The words of this prayer are very familiar to all of us and we can recite it without thinking. But would you view the Lord's Prayer differently if you were an inhabitant of Galilee in 30 A.D.? Would you understand the prayer differently than a 21st century American Protestant? Join our virtual journey to a first century Jewish village and examine the differences in understanding.
There are no books to purchase, just register for the course and you will be provided with readings for each discussion topic. The discussion topics for the first three weeks are below.

If you would like to register for the first week or need more information, please contact Paul at, or by calling 215-962-6719.
9/22  The Lord's Prayer
9/29  The Apostle's Creed
10/6  Reflections of Genesis 1-3


The year 2020 has certainly not been without challenges for everyone. While we have all tried to remain safe from the Covid virus we have also had to try and keep some sense of normalcy. Many of our family and friends have had to step up and put themselves in harms way just to keep us going. Doctors, nurses, food stores, gas stations, pharmacy employees have all gone back to work to help us.  The list goes on and on.  We might not be on the front line but we can do other things to help. The United Methodist Women have given us just that chance.
From September 13th to the 27th we will be collecting new clothing and other items to help people in need and those in shelters.  
Suggested items:
Pajamas:  Men, women, children, toddlers and infants
Underwear:  All sizes, Adult, teens, children and infant
Diapers:  Children toddler, infant
Adult Disposable underwear:  Men and women, all sizes
Socks:  Men, women, teens, children and infants
Baby Clothes and blankets:  All sizes
New Personal hygiene items: Tooth brushes, tooth paste, deodorant
If you want to help now is the time.
There will be boxes for your donated items inside the church under the UMW bulletin board.  For those who are going to church via the internet there will be a bin outside the front door for easy contact free drop off.
The United Methodist Woman thank you and every person who is touched by your donation thanks you as well.
Stay safe and until we can all meet and worship together again, God Bless.
Kathy Keppol 
UMW Social Action

8 AM

The  September  19th  Men's  Breakfast at  8AM  is  on  Schedule  as  a  Meeting.......But  No  Breakfast  due  to the Virus!  This is  an  important  meeting  to  Kick  Start the  United  Methodist  Men  into  action  for  St  John's  and  the  like.  The meeting will take place outside.  
Bring  your  own  Coffee  and  Danish and Lawn Chair!  
And...bring a mask!  
Thanks, Jack Donovan
Have a Happy and Safe  
Labor Day!
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