Weekly Update
June 26, 2020
Worship Moments
Each Sunday, Worship Moments is live-streamed from our sanctuary at 8:30AM, and also be uploaded at 10:30AM to be viewed at your convenience. Tune in via our app, website , Facebook , or YouTube .
Outdoor Worship: June 27-28
Beginning this weekend, June 27-28, outdoor worship services (~30 minutes each) will be offered. These are weather-permitting, so please check our website for updates.

  • All in-person services require pre-registration. We welcome all to attend, and "membership" is never a requirement nor expectation. Feel free to extend an invitation to friends and family. Please note that venturing out to join others increases health risks, especially for those who may be at higher risk for severe illness. Use your own discretion. If you are not feeling well, please stay home and join us for our live-streamed service.

  • Bring your own chair or blanket, and plan to arrive early for check in. Please note that the church building will remained closed.

  • The Saturday, June 27 service will be at 6:00PM in the grassy area by the labyrinth. It is limited to 25 persons, however, family groups in cars are welcome to park in the spaces around the grassy area. We will be using amplification, so you should be able to roll down your windows to hear the service. Car groups also need to pre-register.

  • Three services begin on Sunday, June 28. Two are at 10:00AM, each limited to 25 persons—one in the Chapel in the Woods, and one in the grassy area behind the church (beside the Sanctuary). A parking lot service will be at 7:30PM. Follow parking instructions as you enter, and set up your family chair groupings on the white lines of the parking spaces on the church side of the lot. This service can accommodate up to 100 people.

  • Please wear your masks and continue to practice social distancing. Thank you for your efforts to keep our community safe!
This Week
Directory Updates - Final Week for Submissions!
We are updating our Guide Book! Please contact Jacque Lang with any contact information updates since last year. (Different phone number, new address, family member moved, change of name, etc.) There are also advertising opportunities, so please let us know if you are interested.

Contact information updates should include any updates, AND if you would like to be listed in the Guide Book. Please note that if we do not receive updates by next week, your information will be published as it was in last year's Guide Book. If you are unsure if your information is correct, please let us know!
Faith's Chapel in the Woods
Last year, St. Paul’s Church Council voted to rename our outdoor chapel “Faith’s Chapel in the Woods” in loving memory of our former Administrative Director Faith Geer. St. Paul’s artist Boyd Dawson created a sign marking the chapel with its new name, from an old saw Faith had used at past work camps. Thank you to Robb Montgomery for the inspiration to repurpose Faith’s saw; believing in the beauty and value of those that might otherwise be ignored was a lifelong passion for Faith. This weekend we will hold our first small worship gathering in Faith’s Chapel in the Woods, and we will pray a dedication prayer at each of our worship services. We continue to be thankful for and amazed by Faith’s far-reaching witness of the love and grace of God in the ministries of St. Paul’s and beyond.  
St. Paul's Neighborhood
Welcome to our neighborhood! In this week's episode , meet Ann Cadman and learn about the St. Paul's Prayer Chain.
Help Us Send a Welcome
Pastor Chad Bogdewic will be joining our St. Paul’s pastoral team as of July 1. Your Staff/Parish Relations Committee would like to invite you and your family to help welcome him and his family by sending a card or a personal note. We suggest that beyond your words of welcome, you might want to include a photo of you and your loved ones and say a few words about yourselves. Not only will this be a kind gesture, but it will help Pastor Chad and his family get to know their new church family better! Click here for details.
More than 1500 Masks Made!
Our sewers from Stitching Together and our community have stitched more than 1500 masks:
  • 400 masks for St. Paul's members and children
  • 600 masks for church-related requests (Daily Bread, NHCO, Gateway Hospice workers, Red Bird Missionary Conference, Eastbrook Mission Barn)
  • 500 masks for other non-profit agency requests (the Navajo Nation, Grane and Monarch Hospices, the Olive Branch)
  • Many, many other masks for family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors not counted in this total

To all of you - those who made donations of supplies, cut, sewed, picked up and delivered these masks - a HUGE THANK YOU. Many of the folks have used their own "stash" of fabric, thread, and elastic until it ran out. We have used a lot of the fabric from the Stitching Together closet as well, and individuals have purchased additional supplies as needed. 

The need for these reusable cloth masks continues and we will continue to make masks well into the fall. If you are able to offer a small donation to St. Paul's UMC (Stitching Together in the memo line) for a mask, please consider doing so when you pick one up.
Update From Pastor Jeff
This weekend we begin our first regular in-person worship experiences at St. Paul’s. The livestream Worship Moments will continue at 8:30AM, and the video will be available after that on our Facebook and YouTube pages.

The in-person services beginning on Saturday and Sunday will all be out of doors, weather permitting. All services require pre-registration, so we will have your information for contact tracing, should that become necessary. If it’s raining at the time of the service you have registered for, that service is cancelled. If we have any other “weather alerts,” they will be on the website.

Bring your own chair or blanket, plan to arrive early, as our volunteers will be drifting around checking people in and making sure we have your contact information. A hospitality volunteer will also be on hand to guide you to the appropriate parking area. Please wear a face covering or a mask to all services, and set up your "camp” for social distancing! Each service is planned to last about 30 minutes. The church building will NOT be open, so remember your Mom’s reminder to “go before you leave home.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Friends, if you belong to an “at-risk” group—those with pre-existing health conditions, you are over 60 years of age, or are immunocompromised, please consider refraining from in-person worship until we are in safer times. Venturing out from your home, and joining others, even with social distancing and face coverings, increases health risks, especially for any of these folk. Measure your risk, make your decision, but remember, staying home and watching Worship Moments may be a safer option for you.

One of the hardest decisions we have made is to keep the St. Paul’s church facility closed until September. The medical professionals we have consulted say that opening the building to outside groups or even our own classes and groups is still a great risk. This is compounded by the fact that we have restarted our Child Care and Kidz Korner programs to aid parents needing these services as they return to in-person work. In order to keep the children in these programs safer, we have had to spread them out and use more of the building, for the present time. Other groups using the facility would require inordinate amounts of cleaning and disinfecting to meet the requirements of the CDC and PA guidelines for operating childcare programs. Like all churches and organizations, we are hoping we “beat down” the Coronavirus to where we may begin more normal operations, come Fall. Please join us in efforts to pray and work for remedies for this virus, and resist the current temptations to “be done with it” and ignore safety standards. Already, the widespread eschewing of these safeguards has elevated both the risk and the rate of infection of COVID-19, with several States having to roll back their “Green Phases.” Let’s do our part to assure that this doesn’t have to happen in PA!

Let us all join together to pray for the health and safety of all of us and all of our neighbors, as well as pray for all of the people from medical personnel to grocery workers who take risks to help us all. Stay safe, stay well, Beloved! Shalom!
Children's Ministries
Where am I?
We're starting a new remote project. We are asking every child to take 2 photos of themselves in a location somewhere around the tri-state area. Give enough spacial clues that upon seeing the image somebody might be able to recognize the place. For example, your child could stand next to a statue, a fountain, a lake, in a park, near an attraction, a restaurant etc. Email photos to Erin by July 14. She will put together a slideshow with all the images and we'll see who can guess the most spaces. Prize certificates will be awarded to those who know their neighborhood best!

See if your child/ren can figure out where our friend is in this slideshow !
Intentional Acts of Holy Kindness: Love Your Neighbor Day
St. Paul's is celebrating Love Your Neighbor Day on July 12 between 2-4PM.

Love your Neighbor Day is part of St. Paul's, Intentional Acts of Holy Kindness Project. We will be celebrating sharing love with all our neighbors by hosting a Drive- thru snack and beverage distribution. You can drive through and pick up treats for yourself and/or you can pick up treats to take to your neighbors elsewhere.

Check out this link to see how you can help donate supplies or serve your time toward this Act of Kindness.
Share A Story
Over the next few Sundays, Erin will share stories that will help teach important lessons. We would love to have our children who are comfortable readers start to read the stories that are shared on Sunday morning with each other. Please sign up if you child is interested. We have a few recording options. After signing up, you'll be contacted and we can work out all the details.
Intentional Acts of Holy Kindness: Card Project
Thank you to all those who helped make this project so successful. When you receive a card, please email a selfie of you with your card to Carla Porterfield . We are very excited to share all of the heart-warming pictures with you!
Masks for Younger Children
Stitching Together, a loosely organized “crafty” group at St. Paul’s UMC, is offering to make DIY fabric masks for younger children of St. Paul’s when parents request them . Masks are currently recommended by the CDC for children 2 years of age and older. These masks are made with two layers of 100% cotton fabric which is very breathable. Some masks contain a flexible metal piece in the nose bridge area. (Some children might find it more annoying than helpful!) There are two different styles: a one-size-fits-all flat mask, and a shaped mask available in a small (approximately 2-5-year old) and a medium (approximately 6-10 year old) size. There is a sample of each in the Church Office entryway near the box with the masks.

The ear loops are not technically adjustable. However, there are some ways that they can be made to fit more snuggly (not necessarily tight) to the face:
  • Tie a small knot in each ear loop to make them smaller.
  • Loop a shoestring or some other similar piece through both ear loops and tie as snuggly as needed at the back of the head.
  • Girls can use a barrette to do the same thing.
  • Loop through the adjustable strap of a ball cap.
  • OR you can figure out something unique – let us know what that is!

We are not able to accommodate special requests at this time, but your feedback is appreciated!

Stitching Together is a ministry that uses sewing talents in a way that some parents may find helpful during this Green Phase of dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic and working within all official guidelines.
Opportunity for Upper Elementary Aged Children
Any child entering 3rd-5th grade (or a bit younger/older) is welcome to be part of a creative project presenting the "Books of the Bible." Please respond if your child is interested. We need a few more participants!
Adult Children's Ministries Meeting
We'd love you to be a part of our planning. Feel free to participate as you are able. We know you might not be able to attend every meeting. You're ideas are welcome anytime!

The next Zoom meeting will be July 9 at 7:00PM.
Youth Ministries
Stay Connected
Be in contact with Tami as we explore ways to stay connected and enjoy the outdoors this summer.

Bring Your Own Breakfast & Bible (BYOB&B) will begin July 1, and weather permitting, will take place at the church each Wednesday at 10:00AM. Contact Tami for details.
Adult Ministries
An Invitation to Discipleship
Many, many of us are weeping on the inside for those who have been harmed by the recent injustices we have seen. Some of us feel hurt, some feel guilty, and some even feel angry, at the oppression and abuses we have been shown. None are really new, but we now see them more plainly, and they feel raw.

St. Paul’s Working for Justice ministry has, for the past few years, been addressing a range of important justice issues. There have been several, but today some which seem the most relevant include: fighting racism, reducing gun violence, environmental justice, white privilege, and better police relations. All of these severely impact the disadvantaged, and people of color in our country. 

At the last justice ministry meeting we decided to move forward with renewed commitment to address systemic racism (a book study/workshop) and also local policing (meeting again with police Captains). Other new initiatives are in the pipeline; these are just the start of what will be a long journey.

We seek to be good disciples of Jesus and are reminded by the words of Micah 6:8 : “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice , and to love kindness , and to walk humbly with your God”.

We invite you to join us to live our Christian values with real, practical, and achievable actions. 

Next virtual meeting: July 9 at 7:00PM
Please contact Michael DiMonte for the link, and any assistance with connecting.
Pastoral Visits
Your pastors are willing to offer socially-distant porch/yard visits to you, at your home or at the church. Please contact Pastor Karen if you would like to arrange a visit. We love you and we miss you!
Pastor Jeff's Bible Study
For seven weeks this Summer, we’re going to jump around the Bible. No, we’re not going to jump ON the Bible, but examine several of its themes in the Old and New Testaments. At least initially, the study will be offered via Zoom, online. I’m encouraging you to take your iPad, your smart phone, or your laptop and find a nice spot out of doors and join us!

We “meet” each Wednesday at 10:30AM or at 7:00PM. You are welcome to join at either time, and free to switch times, from week to week, whatever fits into your schedule. And since this is not a “series” study, it doesn’t matter if you miss a week or more. Tune in when you can! We’ll meet every Wednesday up through Wednesday, July 29.

Here are the texts we will be examining, so you may study ahead and do a little research, yourself:

July 1: Matthew 11, “The Last Great Prophet”
July 8: Genesis 25:19-34, “Problem Children”
July 15: Romans 8:12-39, “Holding on for Dear Life"
July 22: I Kings 3:5-15a, “The Humble Prayer of a Public Servant”
July 29: Genesis 32:22-31, “WWF Match of the Millennium”

Email Pastor Jeff to register for either study, and he will email you the meeting code for either timeslot (or both, if you want to be flexible as to when you join in).

If you are tuning in via your computer or tablet, here are the Zoom links for both Wednesday studies:

Pastor Karen's Bible Study
All are welcome to join the Zoom meeting on Wednesdays from 9:15-10:30AM ( email Karen for the link). Come and enjoy friendship in Christ as we study the lectionary scripture readings together! 
We appreciate your continued financial support during this time of challenge and hardship. We’ve dialed back as much as we can to save costs, but many of our ministries to children, youth, and adults continue, as does the need to maintain our facility, preparing it to welcome you all back! Giving may still be done online . For those of you who typically place your gifts in the offering plate, please consider mailing them to the church office (1965 Ferguson Road, Allison Park 15101), as our financial staff are making sure these get deposited.

Have you found yourself shopping online more often? Please register for Amazon Smile in the name of St. Paul's and use the UMC Market (Allison Park) as a portal for all your online shopping. St. Paul's receives a small percentage from your purchases at no extra cost to you!