September 24, 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
Pastor Brad's Reflection
COVID-19 Precautions
Children and Youth Ministries
Zoom Bible Study
UMW In-Gathering
Family Promise



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 27      
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
Pastor Brad   
Worship Assistant: Ruth Portzline, CLM
Music: Alissa Nelson, Roy Nelson,  
Valerie and David 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.
Stjohns9 20 20
Last Sunday's Worship Service 
  September 20, 2020

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

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 ( 
UMC LINKSumc logo
   Earlier this week as I drove by Solly's I couldn't help but notice - and smile at - the appearance of a gigantic orange pumpkin! As of Tuesday, fall was officially here, and I'm very excited for the arrival of my favorite time of the year. Fall brings pumpkins and changing leaves and warm, sunny days followed by cool, crisp nights. Fall brings football... even if Penn State hasn't started yet and the Eagles look terrible. Fall brings apple cider and scarecrows and candy corn! Above all, fall is an opportunity to experience the blessings of a bountiful harvest as we remember and give thanks to our God of abundant provision.
   Giving thanks for God's abundant provision may seem a bit difficult right now. After all, 2020 has largely been a year marked by struggle and loss. Yet despite all the difficulties we've encountered, we're still surrounded by blessings each and every day. Look outside - we've already been blessed with beautiful autumn days. We're still able to enjoy the beauty of mums in bloom as we look for a perfect pumpkin for carving. We'll still have the blessing of our favorite fall treats that inevitably tempt us so much that we partake more than we should. For me, fall offers constant reminders of the multitude of ways in which God's faithful provision not only sustains us, but blesses us abundantly.  
   Psalm 65 is a song of thanksgiving for the abundant provision that God brings forth from the earth. When I read verses 11-13, they immediately remind me of the blessings of the autumn season:
You crown the year with your bounty;
    your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
    the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
    the valleys deck themselves with grain,
    they shout and sing together for joy.

   I hope you have many opportunities to enjoy the beauty and blessings of the fall season this year! As you do, think of how the hills, meadows and valleys sing for joy of God's glory, and give thanks to God for His abundant provision in any and every situation.
                                       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 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: 
We've been blessed by a steady increase in attendance at our worship services! If you are planning to attend, it is critical to register via Sign Up Genius. This enables our ushers to promptly seat you while maintaining safe distancing necessitated by Covid. Thank you for your patience and compliance with these interim procedures as we all eagerly await the day when we can fill God's sanctuary again!

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?  
Began 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 began Sunday, September 20 @ 11am; please have a Bible, notebook/journal and pen with you.  
Lesson length: 50-60 minutes. 

Paul Henry is offering a 14 week study course on Zoom, Tuesdays 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 began 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.

If you would like to register for a week,
please contact Paul at,
or by calling 215-962-6719.
9/29  The Apostle's Creed
10/6  Reflections of Genesis 1-3
10/13 Being Christian in a Pagan World

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 
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.


Advent is the season of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas. This should be a time for families to come together in prayer and devotion. 
St. John's would like to encourage this devotional time by preparing an Advent Devotional containing a reading for each day in Advent. These devotions will be written by members of our congregation.  
If you are interested in contributing a devotion, please contact
Pastor Ruth.

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.
THIS SUNDAY, September 27, is the LAST DAY 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


Please Provide a Meal next week!
This month, we are "hosting" our current
Family Promise 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. Dinner And dessert should be delivered at 6 PM to 1700 Woodbourne Road; Suite B Levittown PA 19057   If you are able to provide dinner and dessert, please sign-up at: 
and sign up under the Host 2020 Host Signup for September. 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.

If you need assistance signing up please call Amy Scarlett at 610-322-2276 or Sharon Byle at 610-888-1329.