September 17, 2020

  Click on the links below to go directly to that section of the newsletter.
Prayer List
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Daily Devotionals
Thank You's
Worship Videos
Red Bird Trailers Open Sat/Sun
Family Promise
Pastor Brad's Reflection
COVID-19 Precautions
Children and Youth Ministries
Zoom Bible Study
UMW In-Gathering
UMM Meeting



Please click to view


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.

This Sunday, September 20      
In-Person Worship   
9 AM
in the Sanctuary  
or 10:30 AM in Fellowship Hall   
A video recording of the 9 AM service will also be available to view on our website  
(Following the in-person service)
Life in the Kingdom
"Moments of Uncomfortable Grace"  
Pastor Brad   
Matthew 20:1-6 
Worship Assistant: Ruth Portzline, CLM
Music:  Jeff Cartwright, Alissa Nelson,  
David and Valerie Sharper 
Piano: Brian Barber 
The Order of Worship will be sent out on Friday.  
You may print a copy and bring with you to worship. 
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.
Stjohns8 13 20
Last Sunday's Worship Service 
  September 13, 2020

 Special Music: Jeff Cartwright, Lynne Tomlinson, Jackie Jusino, Roy Nelson 
Accompanist: Trish Conover 


Red Bird trailers are open for donations on Saturdays and Sundays  
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!!!

UMC LINKSumc logo
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows;
but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.
John 16:33
Do you ever forget things? Prior to March of this year, I would always say that my lapses of memory were "senior moments" but now I have a new way of excusing my bad memory. I say I'm having a "Covid moment".
I often do really dumb things. Like between dialing a telephone number and waiting for someone to answer, I can totally forget whom I'm calling. And when a friend asks if I want to have lunch on Wednesday...I have to look at my calendar to see if I'm free and, folks, it's not that I have such a busy social calendar. It's that I just can't remember what I'm doing on Wednesday. Ugh!
Some people joke that forgetfulness is merely a common sign of aging. "At our age you start wondering more about the hereafter-You walk into a room and wonder...Now what am I here-after?"
Our Scripture from John is a really good one for us to remember. We are told that we all will have troubles in this life. Right now we are dealing with a problem that none of us would ever have thought we would have to deal with. It's been a tough few months and it's not over yet. But even though I may forget some things, I will never forget that God has promised that He is in control. He said, Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. And, brothers and sisters, that includes Covid-19.
The Bible is full of God's promises - one account says there are 3573! I wouldn't be surprised if there were more than that! But 'm not going to take the time to sit down and count all of them - I'm just going to rest on all of God's promises to me and believe that He means each and every one of them. And, guys, I'm relying on the most wonderful of all of God's promises- the promise of Heaven!
So, keep the faith. One day this pandemic will be over and until that time, just depend on God's Word. Depend on His faithfulness, His love, and His peace. If we do that, we will be blessed with His joy!
Remember, with the promise of heaven in our future,
the problems of the present are more bearable.

Pastor Ruth
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: 

In the event of a cancellation, you will be contacted by  
St. John's should a seat become available.
Thank you! 

We're excited to announce three great Sunday School programs will be offered for the children and youth of St. John's in the coming weeks! Each lesson will be hosted on Zoom, will have a video component, and will also include follow-up materials that guide parents in talking about the concepts throughout the week. Those planning to participate are asked to email with your name, your child's name and grade, and your email address. If you have questions on any of the programs, please contact the Office. 

Young Children (Pre-K to Grade 2)
What's In the Bible?  
Beginning Sunday, September 20 @ 11am
 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
Beginning Sunday, October 4 @ 11am 
Our older elementary children will explore fun and engaging lessons from The Orange Group. Susan Seamans will lead off the year with a challenge to Drop the Act... and live with integrity! Children will see that integrity means choosing to be truthful in whatever we say and do - we can all drop the act and choose to be who God made us to be!  
Lesson length: 25-35 minutes.

Youth Study - Faith in an Anxious World 
If you've ever felt pressure or anxiety from school, friends, college applications, sports, parents... you are not alone! Hear young people share about the real pressure you face, and learn how our faith can guide and strengthen us in difficult times. Ashley Zesinger and Heidi Gutsch will be our leaders - you won't want to miss this 4-week study
! Study begins Sunday, September 20 @ 11am; please have a Bible, notebook/journal and pen with you.  
Lesson length: 50-60 minutes. 

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,
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

Music at St. John's
We would like to thank the singers and Instrumentalists who have been providing music for our Worship Services.  Your willingness to share your talents and Faith is appreciated by everyone.
TWO of our Handbell Choirs will be rehearsing / performing in the coming weeks.  "Ring of Faith" (adults) has already begun rehearsal, and "GENesis Bells" (youth & adults) will begin rehearsal on September 27.  Hopefully, "Celebration Ringers" can resume shortly.  Rehearsals are being held in the Sanctuary, where correct SOCIAL DISTANCING can be followed.  All ringers are wearing masks for the protection of everyone.  If you are interested in participating in one of our Handbell Choirs, please contact Roy Nelson or Alissa Nelson for details.  Adults and Youth are welcome.
It has been a difficult 6 months for everyone involved with the Music Ministry at St. John's.  Not having choirs participate in Worship is very difficult for almost everyone who participates in those groups.  It is especially difficult for those of us who are in the music profession, both in Church or in School.  We look forward to the time when it will be "safe" to resume singing as a group.  We'll rely on the "experts" in the music field, and trust their judgement as it pertains to large vocal and instrumental performing groups.  

Roy Nelson, Director of Music Ministries, 215-962-8928 

As many of you know, previously on R.I.S.E. Sunday we worked on sewing Little Dresses for Africa and Sani-pads for young girls in Africa. Because of COVID-19 we have had to put R.I.S.E. Sunday on hold, but the need has not been put on hold. So, the Mission Team is offering the opportunity for you to work on these items at home.
We will meet on Wednesday, September 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Church Parlor to distribute sewing supplies and patterns that you can take with you to work on in the safety and comfort of your home.
If you don't sew but are willing to cut out the pieces, we would love for you to come as well.
If you are interested in being a part of this mission project, please contact me at or
215-357-6998, ex 306.
Thank you for your Heart for Missions.
                                           Pastor Ruth
SUNDAY, October 4, 2020
4:00 PM
(Front Yard of Church.)
(In case of rain we will move to Fellowship Hall)
Everyone is invited to attend with their animals
(properly restrained, of course).
If you wish you may bring a picture of your pet
to be blessed.    
We will give thanks for all God's creation,
and celebrate His gift of creatures, great and small.
Social distancing practiced and masks required.
Each animal will receive a personal blessing, a gift,
a treat and a free picture of this special event.


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, Danish and Lawn Chair!  
And...bring a mask!   
Jack Donovan 
* If planning to attend the meeting, you will need to sign the waiver agreement.  Paul Henry will have copies at the meeting.