Click on the links below to go directly to that section of the newsletter.
IN THIS ISSUE
Join us for worship
Calendar
Advent/Christmas at St. John's
Christmas Decorating
Poinsettia Plants
Prayer List
Red Bird Trailers Closing for Winter
Eastwick Food Bank
Pastor's Reflection
Thanksgiving Eve Service
Music
Festival of Carols
St. John's Kids
Youth Group
Advent Study
Book Club
Thanksgiving Turkey Collection
Angel Tree
Living Nativity
Hunterdon Hills Trip
Divorce Care
GriefShare
CPR Certification
   
JOIN US FOR
WORSHIP  
  
Worship Services:
8:00 and 10:30 a.m.
Traditional
 
  9:15 a.m.
Praise  and Worship
   
THIS SUNDAY  
COMMITMENT SUNDAY
2020 Financial Commitments will be received and blessed.  
 
November 24, 2019
"A Thanksgiving Psalm"
Pastor Ruth 
Psalm 100

215-357-6998
 
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Monday - Friday
9:00 AM -2:00 PM   
 
   
Commitment Sunday
Reminder that we will be receiving and blessing the
2020 Financial Commitment cards in worship this Sunday, November 24.
Please bring your commitment cards to worship this week.
(Additional cards are available in the pew racks.)

If you are unable to attend worship this week, you may mail or drop off your cards to the church office in the next few weeks.  "Pledge online" is also available for your use (stjohnsivyland.com)

NURSERY
Available at both  
9:15 and 10:30. 
We welcome all children birth through 4 years old.  The nursery is equipped with a calling system and will alert you in worship if your child needs you.
 
For more information about our Children or Youth Ministries, please contact Director,
David Bigam, dbigam@gmail.com   
THIS WEEK'S CALENDAR

Thursday, November 21
6:45pm
 Ring of Faith

7:30pm
 NA

7:30pm
Al-Anon

8:00pm
Adult Choir
 
Saturday, November 23
10:00am
 GriefShare: Surviving the Holidays

Sunday, November 24
 Angel Tree

9:00am
 Adult Sunday School

10:30am
 Children & Youth Sunday School

11:30am
 Joyful Voices

6:00pm
Youth Choir

Monday, November 25
6:30pm
 Grief Share

6:30pm
Girl Scouts Daisies Meeting

Tuesday, November 26
10:00am
 Down to Earth

5:45pm
 GENesis Bells

6:00pm
 Divorce Care

7:00pm
 Praise Band

7:30pm
AA

Wednesday, November 27
6:30pm
 Youth Group

7:00pm
 Gospel of Matthew

7:00pm
Thanksgiving Eve Service

Thursday, November 28
6:45pm
 Ring of Faith

7:30pm
 NA

7:30pm
 Al-Anon

8:00pm
Adult Choir

2019 ADVENT/CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8th
8:00 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Worship
 
Festival of Carols
at 6:00 p.m.
An evening of Christmas Music and Caroling
Presented by St. John's Choirs
 
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15th  
A service of Christmas Music presented by the Choirs
at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. only (PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE)
 
Drive-Thru Living Nativity
5:00 p.m. - 8 p.m.
 
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21st
Blue Christmas Service
7:00 p.m.
A time of worship and reflection, of healing and hope for those who are finding themselves in places of pain, loss, or discouragement during the holiday season
 
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22nd
8:00 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Worship
 
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24th
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services
5:30 p.m.
Children's Christmas Pageant Children's Choirs
 
7:30 p.m.
Youth Choir, Adult Choir and Handbell Choirs
 
9:30 p.m.
Christmas Eve Communion Service
Music Meditations
 
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29th
8:00 A.M., 9:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Worship  
 
 
REMEMBER TO SUPPORT OUR ADVENT MISSION OFFERING
YOUR ENVELOPE MAY BE PLACED IN THE MANGER IN THE NARTHEX
 
Please make checks payable to St. John's United Methodist Church

CHURCH CHRISTMAS DECORATING

Please join the Un-retired Lord's Workers as they decorate the church for Advent and Christmas on Wednesday, December 4th at 9 AM.  They are looking for additional help.  If you are available and enjoy Christmas decorating, please come out. Your help will be much appreciated.

CHRISTMAS POINSETTIA PLANTS 
 
We will be having our Poinsettia Garden on Sunday, December 15, December 22 and Christmas Eve.   
If you would like to order a plant, please fill out a flower envelope and place in the offering plate.  Please be sure to indicate if your poinsettia is in memory or honor of someone or to the glory of God. 
PAYMENT MUST BE ENCLOSED WITH YOUR ORDER.  The cost of each plant is $7.00.  Deadline for ordering is Sunday, December 8th.
PRAYERS

 

PRAYER LIST

Please click to view

 

All "Ongoing Prayer Concerns"  
will be listed for 
2 weeks.  
Please submit a new prayer request card if you desire to renew the listing for 2 additional weeks.
If your contact information changes: 
address, phone, email, etc.
please notify the church office at 215-357-6998 or stjumc@aol.com.
You may also indicate any changes on the
sign-in sheet during worship and we'll be sure to update your information in our files.
Thank you!
GIVING
MOBILE GIVING
  • Just go to our website stjohnsivyland.com
  • Click on the donate now button and register.
Once you've registered, you can either make donations by debit or credit.  
OR try  
TEXT GIVING 
 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
al. 
 
If you have any questions about mobile or text giving,
email Lou Lescas at  stjohns820@gmail.com

(Click for more information)
Log in to smile.amazon.com each time you shop and help make St. John's smile!
DAILY DEVOTIONALS
Looking for a little inspiration during the week?  
Try an online devotional.    
(has many devotionals to choose from)
(Devotional for Women)
(Devotional for Men) 
The Grace Cafe is open Sunday mornings for fellowship and refreshments. 
 
 
Order forms available in the  
Grace Café.

Thank you for supporting the Village of El Naranjito in the Dominican Republic and   
"Fighting for What's Right One Cup at a Time."

 2020 ALTAR FLOWERS
Altar flower sign-ups for 2020 are now available on the bulletin board.  If you would like to place flowers on the altar, please put your name next to the date you would like.  The cost is $25.00
MISSIONS
The Red Bird Trailers
will be closing for the winter this  
Sunday, November 24th  
and will reopen in the Spring.
   
Prayer Shawl Ministry
 
New members of the ministry group are always welcome; lessons and guidance can be provided for beginners and those with rusty skills.


The group meets mon thly on the second Tuesday to knit or crochet together and to pray over the completed items. For more information, contact Carol Rice at 215-357-1203.

__________________________________             
This has been a busy ten months for the Prayer Shawl Ministry! Since January, 54 shawls or lap robes have been distributed, 8 baptismal shawls presented, 4 prayer hearts (for those who already have a shawl) created, and almost 50 baby and child hats delivered.
 
 
 
Pictured are the latest group of hats which went to World Vision (4 child size) and The Baby Bureau in Warminste   r (14 baby size)  
 
 
Look for the nice thank you letter received from the The Baby Bureau on the prayer ministries bulletin board next to the Grace Café. 
 
 


DONATIONS NEEDED 
Donations of non-perishable food for the Eastwick Food Pantry are needed now and throughout the year. Please place contributions in the shopping carts located in the narthex and fellowship hall lobby. 
 
Volunteers are also needed to deliver food and clothing to the Eastwick Food Bank. 
Please contact  
Lou Lescas,  stjohns820@gmail.com
 if you are available to help.  
 
Thank you for your support.


RONALD McDONALD HOUSE TABS COLLECTION
Naomi Circle is collecting tabs from beverage cans for Ronald McDonald House.  You will find a container under the sign hanging on the UMW bulletin board. Please place them in a plastic bag and put it in the container. This is an ongoing collection, so keep bringing them in as you collect them.   Thank you.  

click to view the thank you letter
 
BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS
Pictures are available in the Narthex


 
What a wonderful day it was giving thanks for all God's creation, and celebrating His gift of creatures, great and small!

UMC LINKS umc logo
 
  
  
November 21, 2019
PASTOR'S REFLECTION
           Don't you hate it when you totally get caught off-guard? Because when that happens, you get reminded of how incredibly unpredictable life is. I wish I could explain that phenomenon to you (and to myself!) from a theological standpoint, but no ... we just have to add that thought to our ever-lengthening list of questions to ask God when we finally meet Him face-to-face.
            I was perfectly fine Sunday morning. I was perfectly fine when I went home from church. I let the dog out, changed my clothes, ate lunch, and then decided to take a quick trip to Tanner's for some produce. All very normal stuff.
            I had a number of items in my cart - milk, grapes, bananas, apples, lettuce - when all of the sudden, I felt a faint "thump" in my chest and then a fluttery kind of feeling accompanied by lightheadedness. I decided I didn't feel good so I left my cart, walked out of the store & got in my car. I then decided I was probably just imagining it. So I sat there for a while, walked back into the store where I promptly decided I might faint (which I've never done in my life so I don't know how I'd know what that feels like!)
            I went back out to my care and decided I was being crazy, so I went home. I checked my Apple watch. Hmmmmm. My heart rate had been perfectly normal all day until I was in Tanner's. All of the sudden, it had more than doubled - maybe even tripled. I sat down, drank some water, and after another 15 minutes of arguing with myself, decided something wasn't right. So I drove myself to the hospital still thinking I was probably nuts.
            I told my tale of woe to the triage nurse and I was quickly whisked into an exam room, hooked up to a monitor, the doctor came in, said it was atrial fibrillation and my rate was incredibly fast - 250 beats a minute. He said, "I'd rather not fool around with medication trying to get this down, I'd rather just knock you out and shock your heart. Is that okay?" I said, "where will you do it?" He said, "right here". I said, "when?" He said, "ummmm ... in about 5 minutes." Good grief! As soon as I woke up, he told me it hadn't worked and therefore I had won myself an admission." The good news is that my heart converted back to normal sinus rhythm in the next few hours. So after a lot of tests (everything was normal), I was discharged Monday evening with some prescriptions. Oh joy.
            Things like this really DO make you stop and think because we never really know what the future might bring, or even what the next two minutes might bring. Which is a rather disconcerting feeling, don't you agree? And it seems to me that human beings have two possible choices when it comes to how to cope with the unpredictable. We can either just make our mind up to somehow be STRONG and to put on a façade in order to prove to people that we are in control. Inwardly, however, we know we are NOT in control and so we suffer from fear, anxiety, hopelessness, anger, depression and a host of other types of negative and life-ruining emotions. The OTHER choice is that we admit to ourselves that there are times we CANNOT be in control, and so we turn the control over to God. We admit that we are weak and we trust in the fact that God is strong. And we believe with all our heart that whatever happens tomorrow, even whether we live or die, we will STILL be alright because God's love is wide, deep and eternal, and He holds us in the palm of His hand.  God is good - all the time.
                                      
                                       Pastor Janice

THANKSGIVING EVE SERVICE
Wednesday, November 27
7 PM
MUSIC

Enjoy an evening a Christmas Music and Caroling 
presented by the  St. John's Choirs. 
Choirs, Handbells, Special Music, Orchestra,
Carol Singing 

Dan Smalley Food Drive
Please bring non-perishable items to the Festival of Carols to support the 
Eastwick Food Bank in memory of our friend,
Dan Smalley!
____________________________________________
 
Also, please join us for our Music Sunday services!
"A Christmas Music Celebration"
Sunday, December 15
2 Services Only - 9:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
Vocal and Handbell Choirs

Come Sing and Ring with Us!

 
VOCAL & HANDBELL CHOIRS for ALL
St. John's Vocal Choirs provide opportunities for EVERYONE to be involved in music. From young children through adults, we have a place for you in our music program. Beginning musicians and experienced singers are welcome in our Vocal Choirs.
 
Joyful Voices!
Our Joyful Voices Choir is excited to announce we have welcomed five new members!  We would be thrilled to welcome even more new members. 
Any children grades K-4 are eligible to participate.  Rehearsals are on Sunday morning, following the 10:30 Worship Service.  Please consider having your child participate in the Joyful Voices choir. 

 
For more information on our Vocal and Handbell Choirs, please contact:  
Roy Nelson, Director
215-962-8928
roynel@aol.com 
 

ST. JOHN'S KIDS
 
St. John's Kids News
10:30 Service Only 
All children and youth please go directly to classrooms for Sunday School. 

Pre-K - 2nd Grade - Room B
Grades 3, 4 and 5 - Room A
Grades 6 thru 12 - Youth Room

Leaders and Co-Leaders are always needed for our classrooms as well as Nursery.  If you feel called to help in these areas, please let me know!  Clearances are required! Please contact me anytime and we can talk. Thank you for your consideration...David Bigam  
dbigam@gmail.com or cell 215-206-6779;  
Church 215-357-6998 
 
_______________________________________
 
We are proud to be bringing you this year's pageant...
"The Not-So-Silent Night"
 
Practice for all speaking parts will be this Sunday, November 24 for a read through. 
Sunday, December 8 - Speaking Only
Saturday, December 14 and 21 - Speaking and Non-Speaking
THE WREATHS ARE IN!
YOUTH GROUP
 
Fellowship and fun for youth grades 6 thru 12.

Looking for something meaningful to do on
Wednesday nights?
YOUTH GROUP  - Wednesday Nights!
That's right, it's now on Wednesdays!!!
6:30 - 8:00 PM
Join us for light snacks, a devo and fun.
___________________________________________
 
MORRISVILLE FOOD BANK MONDAY
Monday, December 9th
Please contact David Bigam.
Do Not Miss This Opportunity! 
Come and experience great Fellowship
on the 2nd Monday of every month! 
Morrisville is open to EVERYONE interested in going to help make 220 grocery bags full of food. 
Families are always welcome! 
Following this event we always head to Chick-fil-a for Milkshakes!!!!
________________________________________________
   
CONFIRMATION CLASS
Sunday Mornings at 9:15 - Room E
This week's topic is "Discipleship"
Are you ready to spread the word?
_______________________________________________
And as always
Bring a Friend and Bring a Can!

Have you HELPED anyone today?
Have you SAID SOMETHING NICE to anyone today?

David Bigam, Director of Children and Youth Ministries
dbigam@gmail.com

ADVENT STUDY
Down to Earth
Starts this Tuesday, November 26
at 10 AM - Grace Cafe
Facilitator: Pastor Janice
 
More than 2,000 years ago a baby was born in a backwater village of the Roman Empire - and the world was changed forever! In this 4-week Advent video study, Mike Slaughter explores the extraordinary story of how the Son of God chose to become a lowly human. We are challenged us to respond during Advent with down-to-earth love, humility, and obedience.
Sign up at the table in the narthex.
The PM session has been cancelled.
Please note change of location.

BOOK CLUB
Our next Book Club will be on
Tuesday, December 3
10:00 AM & 7:00 PM
in the Church Parlor.
"Holes" by Louis Sachar
All are welcome.
Leaders are Barbara Schneider and Carol Campbell.
UMW
Thanksgiving Turkey Collection
 
Please bring donations to the church by this Sunday, November 24th.
 
Thanksgiving is a time for a grateful heart, family togetherness and food.  Most of us are blessed with all three.  Many families, however, do not have the means to celebrate with the traditional feast we are accustomed to enjoying.   For years, the members of St. John's have worked diligently to try to correct this situation by donating turkeys for needy families.  Once again, we are collecting turkeys, free turkey certificates and monetary donations to provide a holiday meal for the less fortunate.   
 
Frozen turkeys may be placed in the freezer in the kitchen.  Certificates and donations can be placed in the bag on the UMW bulletin board.  
 
Thank you for your support of this project.


CHRISTMAS ANGEL TREE 2019
    Sunday, November 17th -
Sunday, December 8th

Where does Santa keep his Elves?
Why, right here at St. John's United Methodist Church!
The Elves are busy decorating our Angel Tree with the names of needy families in our Philadelphia and Bucks County area.
 
Please take a tag from the tree, purchase a gift and return the unwrapped gift with the tag attached to the Narthex  
by Sunday Dec. 8th.

Should you have a gift receipt, please attach it to your gift with tape. This is a big help for the parents, should there be a change in size or a duplicate gift.

Thank you for sharing in this wonderful tradition and may you all have a truly blessed Holiday Season.

Should you have questions please contact Kathy Keppol at 215-357-7404 or speak to any of the United Methodist Women. 
OUTREACH
St. John's Christmas gift to our community!
December 15, 2019   5 PM - 8 PM
"Drive-thru Living Nativity"
Last year over 100 members of St. John's family were involved in this wonderful event. We were all blessed to be able to give our gift of
The Drive-thru Living Nativity to our community.
Over 200 cars drove through to experience the Christmas story - complete with live animals.

Volunteers Needed!
Sign-ups sheets are available in the Narthex!
 
If you missed this outreach opportunity
last year, please consider participating this year.
We guarantee that you will be blessed!

HUNTERDON HILLS PLAYHOUSE TRIP!
Tuesday, December 17th

  • Bus leaves St. John's at 9:30 AM
  •  Matinee production of Our 2019 Holiday Musical,  a musical with songs, comedy sketches, dance numbers, and orchestra
  • $95 per person (includes deluxe motor coach transportation, full course meal, dessert buffet, tax & gratuity.)
  • Sign-up sheet in the Narthex, or contact Lara Bolte (610-945-5750 or larabolte@gmail.com).
  • Sign up by 12/10. Payment due ASAP. Make checks out to St. John's and write "Hunterdon" in the memo line.
ADVENT DEVOTIONALS
Our 2019 Advent Devotional will be available on Sunday, December 1.  Devotionals will be available in the Narthex after all three services. 
Be sure to get one for yourself and one to share with a family member or friend as well.
 
If you or someone you know has experienced separation or divorce, either recently or a long time ago, we want to invite them to this support group.
 
TUESDAYS, from 6pm to 7:30pm  
in the Church Library
 
A complete schedule by topic, more details, and sign-ups are at:
Fall Session: Sept. 17 to Dec. 17, 2019   
*No Class on November 5 
 
Spring Session: Jan 28 to April 21, 2020  
  • Each rotation lasts 13 weeks but you can join or miss anytime and make up sessions during the next rotation if desired.
  • There is a one-time $15 registration fee but scholarships are available. Payment is done in class, please sign up online so we can communicate with you. (Checks payable to: St. John's UMC)
  • No Childcare offered.
  • Our facilitators, Sarah Floyd and Donna Hartfeil can be contacted at:
Located at:
St. John's United Methodist Church 
820 Almshouse Road 
Ivyland, PA 18974
 
We meet in the church library classroom which is the first room on the left when you enter from the main parking lot which is on the left side of the church. Knock on the double doors on the side of the church. There are a few stairs up. If you cannot do stairs the leader will greet you and bring you to the handicap entrance.
 

  
 
Surviving the Holidays Seminar
This Saturday, November 23 
10 AM to 12 PM in the Library  
_______________________________________ 
GriefShare 13 week Sessions  
Mondays from 6:30-8:30 
 
2019-2020 GriefShare Schedule:
  • September 9-December 2, 2019:  13 Week Session
  • Saturday, November 23, 10 a.m. until noon in the Library -
    Surviving the Holidays seminar
  • January 6-April 6, 2020 (no class Presidents' Day): 13 Week Session
  • May 1-August 3, 2020 (no class Memorial Day):  13 Week Session
You may register online at griefshare.org
There is a $15 fee for materials.  For further information, contact Ruth Portzline or Chaplain Erin Maurer or go to griefshare.org.

CPR CERTIFICATION
First Aid - AED Training

Dr. Andrew DeSaro will be offering an evening of CPR/First Aid/AED training

Tuesday, January 14th
6:30-9 PM
$35 per participant

Each participant will receive a book and will receive CPR certification.

Please sign up in the narthex ASAP!
 
H ave a Blessed Thanksgiving!