News and Events - February 18, 2021 Issue

We serve all of God's people by sharing the love of Christ and ministering to our community. 

To play Song "On Eagles Wings"  click on the link below
A weekly newsletter
February 18, 2021 Issue

"but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

St. John's United Church of Christ
Jonestown, PA
Welcomes you to Sunday Morning
Virtual Worship at 10:30 AM

Preparing for Lent video
Preparing for Lent video

February 21, 2021

Join us for "At the Crossroads", a special series 
of services for the season of Lent.
Each service in the series reveals in some way how Christ and his cross lead us to decide the path of God's will in our many crossroads in life.
In the Ash Wednesday service in this series the psalmist David reaches the crossroads of confession and confesses his sins to the Lord. We are called to confess our sins to the Son of David and find forgiveness in him. The service includes an Imposition of Ashes, readings from Scripture, a children's sermon, a sermon dialog with David and hymns that help us to see the direction we must take at the crossroads of confession.

Message to On-Line Worshippers:

We are happy that you chose to worship with us. May you experience God's presence and find spiritual renewal.   Please click on the "Worship Attendancelink below to share your experience, pastoral care requests, and prayer concerns.

Worship Attendance link:

St. John's UCC Virtual Worship Services are available
even if you do not have a computer or smart phone.
Use the UberConference program to listen in on the telephone. See instructions below.
You can now listen in on worship through a landline/home phone or cell phone.
Here's how this works:
  • Call the Church Office and let us know you want to participate.
  • You will receive a call from the church just before worship begins.
    • The caller ID will not be St. John's number, because the call originates elsewhere.
  • To listen in on the worship service, simply press 1 and #
  • You will instantly be listening in
  • If you do not want to listen in that day, either don't answer the phone or hang up.
  • We will mute everyone so we don't hear you during the worship service.
  • You would still hear us because we would not be muted.
We are working hard to provide a meaningful worship experience by involving participates and archived Chancel Choir and Bell Choir music. Thank you for your participation that helps us to see familiar faces that provides a little more normality in very abnormal times.
We are working out some technical challenges and appreciate your patience.
Moving forward, you will receive a church email through Constant Contact at 10:00 every Sunday morning with the link for the worship service, a link for the "Attendance pad" (where you can make comments and prayer requests), and the bulletin.

Kudos to Carter Innes for his artwork which was used as the cover for our Ash Wednesday Bulletin!!


Sponsored by W.O.W. (Women of Worship)
Donate Coats, Gloves, Hats, and Scarves
"Everyone needs a little help sometimes. After all, no one is meant to go through life alone. If life has given you blessings, it's important to share those with your community."
 - Jamie Ballard,Woman's Day
It's winter, and it is cold outside.
Some days more than others.
Some days it's cold inside, too.
Do you have coats taking up room in your closet
that you will not wear again?
Is there a basket of gloves, mittens, hats, and scarves
holding more than you'll ever use?
You can help warm someone who needs
a coat, gloves, hat, or scarf.

This is an ongoing event for as long as we have cold weather. 
Please continue to bring Coats, hats, gloves, and scarves to the 
church between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm Monday - Friday.
Let us help others. Let's help them now.
John answered, "Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same."                     
-Luke 3:11

JOY Pantry
48 W. Market Street
Jonestown, PA
As we begin a new year and during the ongoing pandemic, the Jonestown Outreach Pantry is continuing the distribution of packaged boxes based on family size.
We always need these canned items: corn, chicken, chili, beef stew, pasta, fruit and chunky soups.
Financial donations are always welcome and can be mailed to
JOY Pantry, PO Box 121, Jonestown, PA 17038
Your prayers for our ministry are appreciated as well.
Linda Wood, Volunteer Director
Worship Volunteers
Pastor Roben is seeking volunteers to serve as lectors 
(scripture readers). If you are interested in serving 
St. John's in this way, please let us know by 
doing one of the following:
Text Pastor Roben at 717-215-7817
Call Secretary Barb at 717-865-4453

Making Connections

While we practice social distancing, remain connected.
  •  Send an cards to uplift someone today!
  •  Post positive comments & photos to the church's Facebook page**
  •  Share good, uplifting words about St. John's.


Let the whole world know what God is doing in and though us here at St. John's!
**To post on St. John's Facebook page, email or text photos and messages to Facebook administrator Peggy Miller at

The Upper Room

The March/April issues have arrived and are on the table at the
church entrance along with the remaining January/February issues.
If you want a copy mailed to you, please let Church Secretary know.
717-865-4453 or  Thanks.


Practice for both the Bell Choir and 
Chancel Choir is suspended 
until further notice.
Band Together (Strength Training)
Suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions 
until further notice.  

What is call-em-all?
In an effort to keep you more informed about what is happening at St. John's UCC, like special services, or winter closings or other special happenings etc. the church is going to begin using a phone dialing system to contact all our members. The new phone dialing system will also be used for Sunday morning cancellations due to weather related issues in addition to radio and television announcements.
How does it work?
You will receive a phone message recorded by either the Pastor of the Church or the Board President informing you of what is happening at the church. This is not a "robo" call but rather a direct call using the church phone number 717-865-4453 and will show up as coming from St. John's UCC. You will have the option at the end of the call to "opt out" if you no longer want to be contacted by the church. The system will leave a voice mail message if you do not answer and works with both land lines as well as cell phones.

New Horizons is an opportunity for single adults, sponsored by the Parish Life Committee of Lebanon, Penn Central Conference, and United Church of Christ. For additional information for future programs, please contact Nancy Light (865-2910), Eleanor Hollowell (865-8087, Barb Hopstetter (273-5725, Dolores Wolfe (867-1807) or Donna Eberly (865-0163.
February 27, 2021 at 2:00 PM
Bring your favorite games to play.
Meet at Grace UCC at 1000 S.5th Ave, Lebanon.
Our hostesses are Marie, Grace, and Evelyn.
Dinner to be determined due to Covid-19.
March 27, 2021 at 2:00 PM
Meet at Christ Church UCC, 200 S. White Oak St., Annville
Nancy Darkes's son-in-law, George C. Gress, will provide a Travel Program.
Dinner following at Hoss's.


Giant Gift Cards are now available 
along with BG's Market

To purchase gift cards in any amount,
contact Church Secretary, Barb Koons

Office Phone: 717-865-4453
Office Email:

Nar-Anon Meetings
Thursdays at 6:30 pm
Currently meetings are via phone.
Dial 717-851-7711 and enter access code 715720#


Each Wednesday Pastor Roben records the worship service for Sunday morning.  She must receive prayer requests no later than noon each Wednesday to include the requests for prayer during the service.
Please call or text her with your prayer requests at 717-215-7817.   

Nursing Home                     Family & Friends
Beatrice Warlow                  Wyatt Wentsler
Florence Rhan                     Kaitlin Lawrence
Fay Krumbine                      Frank Brown
Shirley Haldeman                Brenda Marinkov
Joan Cousins                      Christie's friend, Vanessa
                                            Ken Bomgardner
Members                             Military
Mary Young                         Jason Galloway, Army, deployed Walter Reed Hospital
Donna Breidegam               Donna Wauthier, deployed to Afghanistan
Barbara Stahl                      Sgt. Carlos Patinoquiroz, deployed to Afghanistan
                                      Maj. Kevin White, deployed to Kuwait 
                                            Duane Koons, Pa. National Guard, deployed to Washington, DC

Richard Bordner's mother passed away (at age 103) as did his sister.  
Please keep Richard & Eleanor Bordner in your prayers.

Greeting Card Outreach
If you want someone to receive a card, please be sure to include the address.  Cards are sent out monthly to those on the list.  For more info, give Barb a call.
Prayer Chain
This is maintained via email.  If you wish to be in the Prayer Chain Group
please advise Barb and include your email address.
Visitation Requests
Please contact Pastor Roben Roof
Cell Phone: 717-215-7817
Office Phone:  717-865-4453

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Please let Pastor Roben know when someone is 
in the hospital or has passed away. This would include 
information about funerals. 
From the bulletin on Sunday, February 14, 2021  

Bible Quiz 

The precise number varies depending on the Bible version, but roughly how many times does the word "love" occur in the Old and New Testaments combined?
A. 200-300
B. 400-500
C. 600-700
D. 800-900
Answer:   C

Church Office

Church Secretary, Barbara Koons, is in the office 
weekdays from 8:00AM to 1:00 PM

NOTE:  On Tuesday, Feb. 23rd she will not be in the office.

If you need any assistance at a time when she is not in, please
call or email her at 717-265-4637 or  
Thank you.  Be safe and God bless
 Pastor's Schedule

The above schedule is subject to change as needs arise. 
2021 Passion Offering Schedule

The Board of Directors has approved the following schedule for 2021.  When making your contributions, please indicate on the 
check that it is for that month's Passion Offering.

Church World Service
Messy Church
One Great Hour of Sharing
Jonestown Outreach Pantry
Strengthen the Church
Holy Joe Café
School Supplies - through JOY
Bethany Childrens' Home
Lancaster Theological Seminary
Church World Service - CROP
Jonestown Families in Need
The Christmas Fund

Thank you for your gifts. 

Carl Lingle
Kim Longenecker
Michael Gerhart
Shirley Fortna
Riley Koons
Alexis Brandt
McKenna Harrah
Danielle Koch
Jennifer Stahl
Ryan Schaeffer
St. John's UCC Board of Directors
We are still looking for two additional members for the Board of Directors.
Please consider serving your church by giving of your time and experience as a member of the Board of Directors. Join the current board members and Pastor Roben as they plan for the future of St. John's.
When you were affirmed as member of St. John's UCC you pledged to "participate in the life and mission of this family of God's people, sharing regularly in the worship of God and enlisting in the work of this local church as is serves this community and the world." This is a perfect opportunity to do just that.
Give this your prayerful consideration and let Tim Schaeffer know if you would like to serve in this way.
Tim's Contact Info: Phone: (717) 821-6570   Email

 Offering from Sunday, February 14, 2021

St. John's received from you $1,415.00 through electronic offering and $1,595.00 in the mail, totaling $3,010.00.
Amount needed each Sunday: $ 3,500.00

Enjoy the Convenience of Electronic Giving

It is encouraging to see both new and familiar faces at our worship services. Throughout the year, many of you already support the congregation with your time, talent and financial contributions but greater participation is always welcome. We encourage you to look into our electronic giving program. It takes just a few minutes to set up a recurring giving plan. Contact the church office for more details or pick up an authorization form today.  

If you have tested positive for Covid-19 or have been exposed to someone with the Coronavirus, please call Christie Schaeffer and let her know -- 717-304-3775.  
This is necessary for the purpose of tracking exposures at St. John's.  
Thank you for your help.  
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Continue practicing Safety regarding Coronavirus COVID-19
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak.  Here is a link to a website for updated information:
Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
  1. Wash your hands frequently.  
  2. Maintain social distancing. 
  3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  4. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  5. Seek medical care early

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing.  Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance


Message to the Conference
"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them..."
(Matthew 6:1 NRSV)
One of the scriptures for Ash Wednesday is from Matthew Chapter 6, in which Jesus goes on at length about how we should avoid practicing our piety in public, nor should we announce when we are praying or giving alms. Instead, we are to do these things in secret, and God will see our practice in secret.
This passage always catches me off guard, I admit. As a minister I am used to practicing my piety in public. I'm called upon to speak words of impromptu wisdom, offer up beautiful prayers on the spot, and provide biblical insights as the expert in the room. Somehow my ordination has granted me a particular status. I am assumed to more spiritual, closer to God, and holier than others. Lord have mercy.
Jesus is consistent in the gospels about status and the ways we seek it. He warns his followers about elevating themselves above others, especially when it comes to practicing our faith. He pushes them to look within and focus on their own shortcomings. Humility, as understood by Jesus, recognizes that we are not better than anyone else. This was a radical message since looking around would show the disciples dramatic degrees of difference in status in the world, from wealth to politics to religion. How liberating to hear that God sees what we do in secret (and prefers it!) and that we all have access to God, regardless of worldly status.
This message is important on Ash Wednesday. After all, how many of us used to receive ashes on our foreheads and then wear them all day, for the world to see? I did. Until I went to seminary and I experienced something different. We gathered in chapel for the imposition of ashes and the usual solemn service. But at the close of worship as we were leaving we were offered a cloth to remove the ashes from our faces. After all, we had just heard the passage from Matthew - we needed to take it to heart, didn't we? Some of the students confessed that removing the ashes was hard - they actually wanted the world to see 'proof' that they were spiritual and recognized the beginning of Lent. That desire to prove our spiritual worth and status before the world is what Jesus challenges.
I believe this passage is a call to reflect on our practice(s) of piety - especially for clergy. How much of the perception of our status before God is based on our public shows of piety? How well we pray when in a group? How often we are called to preach? How many protests we attend wearing our stoles? How many likes we get when our spiritual reflections are published? I confess that I am part of this. I like to be recognized. But Jesus reminds me of a fundamental truth - my true status is that of disciple, child of God. My piety should bubble up and overflow out of me in response to that truth, not as a way to gain the applause or approval of the world. Every Ash Wednesday I have the chance to learn this again. We all do.

Rev. Dr. Carrie Call
Conference Minister
Penn Central Conference.

St. John's UCC     (717) 865-4453      

Barbara Koons, Secretary             Rev. Roben Roof, Pastor