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July 2012 Newsletter

                              The Churches


                                Lycoming County

United Churches’ News

Published Monthly by the

United Churches of Lycoming County

202 East Third Street, Williamsport PA 17701

Phone: 570-322-1110, E-Mail:

Office Hours: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Monday - Thursday

Issued mid-monthly, September through May with some special e-mail only summer issues.. Items marked with an asterisk may be of special interest to your congregation. Deadline to submit articles - First of each month.



Please notify us if you changes of e-mail address

Thank You for receiving

our Newsletter via E-Mail.

     It is a wonderful donation of postage, office supplies and volunteer time.

Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty

CROP Walk 2012

O ur community's annual walk to fight hunger, the CROP Walk, is scheduled for Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 1:30 P.M. at the River Walk in Williamsport! This is our 2nd year at this location. Registration will begin at 1:00 P.M. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 142 Market Street, Williamsport.

      All recruiters will then be invited to our CROP Rally on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at New Covenant United Church of Christ, 202 East 3rd St., Wmspt. between 4-6 P.M. This is the time for you or your recruiter to drop in and get your CROP materials and talk about this year’s walk. The recruiter envelope and walker sponsor forms will be available. Additional information is available online at .

      According to our records, this year will be our 33rd walk. During the past 32 years the Greater Williamsport Walk has collected $731,090.79. The Trout Run Walk has collected $42,471.82 since their beginning. And through Lycoming County, in Williamsport - Trout Run - Jersey Shore - Hughesville - Muncy - Montgomery we have raised $1,002,087.28 to help CROP stop hunger!




J oin us from 12 to 1 p.m. and you are always assured of a tasty $6 lunch, warm ecu menical fellowship and a thought ful program designed to enrich your life mentally, physically, spir itually and socially. The parking is free in the Pine Street lot north of the church from 11 to 1:30. No reservations are necessary, but a call to Gwen, Office-322-1110 if you are not a regular attender will help the caterer know how much food to prepare. The fall schedule will be listed in our August newsletter.



18- Rev. Larry Waltz, President, Blooming Grove Historical Society, “Our German Heritage: Circa 1828"


Call 570-322-7648


T his could be you! As a matter of fact, we really need your help on Saturday, August 11.

      We are having a “Flood Recovery Work- day. Victim’s homes from September’s flood ing still have unmet needs. Please call the flood hotline at 322-7648 or United Churches, 322-1110 to register volunteers by Monday, August 6th. We will need to know the skill levels of those planning to participate so that we can match projects and volunteers. You must be 16 to participate.

Local groups and individuals will be doing the following:

        □    clean-up and some demolition

        □    drywall hanging and painting

        □    framing and construction

        □    some electrical and plumbing work

        □    general cleaning and furniture replacement

        □    debris cleaning and yard work

      Volunteers will meet at New Covenant UCC, 202 East Third Street, Williamsport at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday August 11th to receive their assignment. Everyone should wear sturdy shoes, bring work gloves, and a favorite tool bucket if you have one (with your tools labeled).



N ursing Home Service Leaders Needed: We have several services currently available in our nursing home ministry this summer.

Please contact Gwen at 322-1110 or to volunteer. Right now the list includes:

      Manor Care North: Sun. 2:15 p.m. Aug. 12, Sept. 16

      Manor Care South: Sun. 2:00 p.m. Aug 26

      Valley View: Sun: 2:00 p.m. Sept. 16 and 23

      Williamsport Home: Sun. 3:00 - Sept 2 and 9

      Pre Release Center for Men Sun. 3:30 p.m. -

             Aug. 26, Sept. 30

       Presbyterian Home - Thurs.11 a.m. - Aug. 30, Sept 27


        DIAL - A - DEVOTION *

            Have you called yet?

         The number is 322-5762.

       It's available 24 hours a day.

D evotions are three minutes or less, change weekdays and once on the weekend, and are designed to lift your spirits and help you to have "A Closer Walk with God." The devotionalists this winter include:

7/9-15 Rev. Margaret Balliet           7/16-22 Rev. Georgianna Welch

7/30-8/5 Pastors Jim/Kathy Behrens 8/6-12 Rev. Nessie Whaley

8/13-19 Amber Shuman         8/20-26 Sandy Grier

Listen today and tell others about this ministry!

G olf Tournament September 27, 2012*

                   The United Churches of Lycoming County is sponsoring our second annual golf tournament on September 27, 2012 at White Deer Golf Course to help support the financial basis of our organization. Your strong support and commitment in helping us to make this another success is needed.


 ❂     Church sponsorship for only $50

 ❂     Registration and fees ( $80 per player) - we had 108 golfers last year we want at least 120 golfers this year

 ❂     help us find hole sponsors for only $100; larger sponsorships also available

 ❂     we need Door Prizes - anything of value of $10 or more

 ❂     donations of hot dogs, soda, water, snacks we are also collecting items to be given to each golfer, pens with Logos, pads of paper, coupons, etc..

Additional information and all checks should be sent to Ken Weiss, 1250 Almond St. Williamsport, PA 17701 or contact him at 323-6325 or - checks payable to United Churches.



Our Shepherd of the Streets shelves often need restocked and we look forward to seeing you as you bring in the hygiene items, bedding and baby needs you generously donate and drop off at our Shepherd office at 669 Center Street, Williamsport. The list of hygiene items are:

   Regular sizes please....

      Deodorant         Toothpaste and Toothbrushes

      Soap                  Shaving Cream and Razors

      Tissues              Shampoo and Conditioner

      Toilet Paper      Women’s Hygiene Products

      Combs              Blankets/Sheets/Pillowcases

      Nail Clippers    Towels and Wash Cloths

      Baby Diapers, Wipes, Shampoo, Powder, Oil, Q-Tips


Gail Burkhart, Coordinator 322-1627


E ach month we see an increase in the volume of clients These are tough times for all of us, some more than others. So that we may continue to serve the 'food insecure' of our county, the food pantry is in need of the following items this month:

Oodles of Noodles     Mac-n-cheese

Granola Bars          Tomato Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup   Chunky Soup

Canned Fruits       Powdered Drinks

Coffee Creamer (powdered) Saltine Crackers

Hamburger Helper (any flavor) Tea Bags

Pasta Spaghetti Sauce        Ketchup and Mustard

      Many blessings to all of you as you continue your summer vacation, safe travels and know that we will continue to pray for you as your rest and relaxation!!!

Church Co-Op Annual Meeting

      The annual meeting of the Church Supply Co-op will be held Wednesday, August 8 at 10 a.m. at Church of the Savior, corner of Grier Street and Memorial Avenue, Williamsport. At that time bids for the heating oil contract will be opened and the best bid accepted.

      Again this year they will ask oil companies to give two separate bids. One for the usual discount off the tank wagon price. The second will be a “cap price” bid. Bidding “cap price” means that oil companies will quote a cap price at the meeting and no matter how high oil prices go, members do not pay more than the cap price, if the price is lower than the cap price members pay the lower price.

      The plan is then available to member churches and their paid staff. To belong to the co-op congregations pay a one time fee of $100. If a congregation withdrew as a member, for some reason, the reinstatement fee is $50. Retired clergy in the area are invited to be part of he co-op at no charge.

      Member congregations are encouraged to send a representative to help make decisions for this meeting. Representatives from interested congregations are also welcome to attend. If you have questions contact Pam Burkholder at or 321-8254x3.

P arish Nurses Organizing: Any registered nurse interested in Parish Nursing is invited to join others with the same interest as we organize a networking group of Lycoming County Parish Nurses. Thursday, July 26, 10:00 am, Christ Episcopal Church. Call Dawn Blanchard at 772-6765 if you have questions.


The Christian Social Concerns Committee

R achel Carson's Silent Spring began its serialization in The New Yorker magazine 50 years ago in June 1962, and was published as a book later that year. The title alluded to a springtime devoid of song birds. Since then, it’s appropriate to ask "have we learned anything?"

      One lesson may be that we have learned to apply the "precautionary principle" in our relationship to chemicals - that unless they have been proven to be innocent, we ought to be very cautious toward them. Thus we ought to have a "right-to-know" about their environmental impacts.

      A second lesson, or reminder, is the ecological one---the interconnectedness of all nature. Carson described how DDT not only killed insects but also entered the food chain, so that even though DDT did not harm (for example) brown pelicans directly, the birds were becoming extinct because the toxins caused their shells to thin.

      A third lesson, or question, arises. This has personal meaning for many, and also a wider societal meaning, Less than two years after Silent Spring was published, Rachel Carson died of breast cancer. Has the environmental movement she helped launch, to stop the poisoning of our air, land, and water, remained unfinished, so that we cannot rule out environmental toxins as cancer-causing triggers?



         “Fully Alive”

  A Comedy Concert for

       the Entire Family

Sunday. November 11, 2012

              6:30 p.m.

   Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

Williamsport Area High School, 2990 W. 4th St. Wmspt.

Music provided by “Spoken For” and Band

This concert will benefit our The Shepherd of the Street Ministry of United Churches and is being coordinated by First United Methodist Church of Williamsport. Tickets:

      Gold:          $20 (Preferential Seating 370 available)

      Advance:    $15 (General Admission)

      Door:          $20

      Groups:      $12 (Groups of 6 or more)

Get your tickets online at or at First UMC Williamsport after September 6th.

      A short promotional DVD that can be used as part of your announcements in your congregations is available from our United Churches office. Posters will soon be available.

Events & Opportunities *

D aniel’s Closet provides free clothing for children, women and men. Located at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1101 Washington Blvd, Williamsport it will be open from 9-11 am on Saturday July 28.

S ojourner Truth Ministries presents “The Story of Sojourner Truth”, told by international storyteller Denise Valentine on Friday, July 27. Dinner is at 6 and the show will begin at 7:30 and both will be at Pine Street United Methodist Church, 441 Pine Street, Williamsport. The cost is $20 which includes a chicken dinner. A poster can be sent by contacting us at .

D ivine Providence Hospital Auxiliary will be hosting a Backyard Festival and Yard Sale on Saturday, July 21. They yard sale will begin at 8 a.m. and the festival will run from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

B enefit Concert for Journey House: The world-famous Philadelphia Jazz Orchestra (PJO) will be perform at New Covenant United Church of Christ on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. This is the 10th Anniversary season for this all-star college and high school student group that preforms all over the world under the direction of Joe Bongiovi. (Yes, the same Joe who spent time in Williamsport when he attended Cochran Elementary School.) The PJO is just returning from performing at Jazz Festivals in Switzerland and Italy and will be performing at the kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Tickets for this concert are available from New Covenant UCC, Adults: $20, Students (18 and under) $10. If you enjoy the big band sound and jazz music, you cannnot miss this performance! Proceeds go to Journey House, a transitional living center for homeless families, owned and operated by New Covenant Community Inc., in partnership with the United Way and the Lycoming Housing Alliance.

M ickey, the film from the family story by John Grisham will be presented free at the Community Arts Center on Sunday, August 5 at 2 p.m. It is being presented by John Mackey Quizzo and Family Promise of Lycoming County as a fund raiser to benefit Family Promise of Lycoming County. Food will be available for purchase and donations are welcome. Contact us at if you would like their poster.

C ancer Prevention Study-3: What if you could prevent even one family from hearing the words “you have cancer”? This year you can fight back against cancer by enrolling in the American Cancer Society’s new research study called the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). By joining CPS-3 you’ll help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer, which will ultimately save lives.

  The study is open to anyone who...

   •   Is willing to make a long-term commitment to the study, which involves completing periodic follow-up surveys at home for the next 20-30 years.

   •   Is between 30 and 65 years old.

   •   Has never been diagnosed with cancer (not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer).

To participate you will need make an enrollment appointment for our local American Cancer Society office, 1948 E. 3rd St., Wmspt. You will come to the ACS office for your appointment either August 9 between 3 and 7 p.m. or August 10 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. You’ll complete a brief survey, sign a consent, and have a blood sample drawn by a trained phlebotomist. Appointments take 20-30 minutes. To make your appointment visit: or call 888-614-5888. Contact for a poster.

C hurch Leadership Institute (CLI): Registration is now open for CLI's two courses in its fall 2012 term: Biblical Interpretation and Pastoral Leadership. CLI is the lay clergy training program of the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Classes include students of other affiliations as well as those interested in single courses for training in other areas of church leadership. For information, contact Rev Eleanor Siegrist (814-944-1468 or

W alk to Prevent Suicide: The 4th Annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk will be held Sunday, September 23 at Indian Park, beginning at Pavilion 5. Registration will be at 1 and the walk will be at 2. Contact for a poster.





From anywhere call: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

Lycoming County Crisis Intervention: 570-326-7895


“HomeMade Missions”

T he Board of Directors of the United Churches of Lycoming County continues to be astounded by the many and varied ways that our congregations reach out and make a difference in our community. We are uplifted by the ways we portray the body of Christ in Lycoming County.

      Our hearts are warmed as we watch congregations reaching out to help make life better for people in our community. Our 2012 Challenge continues to highlight how each of us can’t do it alone but together we can make a huge difference. This is what United Churches is all about. This is the fourth article to highlight examples of what we call “HomeMade Missions” which come out of the heart and soul of our congregations. These efforts are local, indigenous and respond to human need as perceived in the challenging words of Jesus to love our neighbors. This month we spotlight:

The Fourth of July Celebration at St. Mark Lutheran Church


      What started out as a fellowship event for the members of St. Mark Lutheran Church to enjoy popcorn and lemonade as they watched the fireworks has grown into a 4th of July tradition that has continued for 12 years. The members of St. Mark Lutheran Church have greeted and fed the multitudes who were passing by on their way to Williamsport's fireworks display. Over the years, their numbers and activities have grown. Last year about 400 people walked by and were fed hot dogs, popcorn, Cheetos, pretzels and candy. Iced tea, lemonade, soda, and water were pretty popular too. About eight years ago, a patriotic concert was added to the celebration. Dick Lakey, their former music director, had started this tradition and last year, Jungwha Kim their new director of music continued the concert. The program includes audience favorites, such as “Stars and Stripes Forever,” the National Anthem, patriotic readings, other organ and instrumental works, and some sing-a-longs. Last year, 150 people enjoyed it.


      When the congregation first started opening their celebration up to the community, some folks stared in disbelief, since everything was free. Some were skeptical. Others jumped right in and helped themselves to the goodies being handed out. Not only did they get to eat, but the kids received books, tapes, Sunday

School coloring sheets, and candy. Donations were accepted, and the money collected went to St. Anthony’s Center. In the end, hundreds of people were fed heaping helpings of goodwill. The congregation got to meet people in our community. And the community meet them, no strings attached, just as neighbors. Most folks appreciated the hospitality. In fact, one man who was visiting the area and stopped by for a hot dog had emailed St. Mark’s to let them know how much he appreciated the celebration and how he was very impressed with their hospitality.

      Most of the items passed out are donated by members of St. Mark’s. Here are some statistics about what was passed out last year; 40 lbs. of popcorn, 5 gallons each of lemonade and iced tea; 5 cases of soda, 400 bags of snacks.

      Their annual 4th of July celebration is a great “Friend” raiser where they have the opportunity to meet neighbors in our community. It’s all about enjoying the fellowship in the name of God and Country and according to Becky Miller Pryor, the coordinator of the event, it is growing more and more every year. It is a great way to celebrate the 4th of July and the St. Mark’s Congregation feels blessed to be part of this home grown mission. They would love for you to stop by next year.

Does your congregation have a mission you think could be uplifted and featured? Contact Gwen at

Watch for another spotlighted HomeMade Mission in August (in an e-mail newsletter only)

and see one of the ways God has worked with the Episcopalians in our midst.