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June 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.


Call 570-322-7648


T his could be you! As a matter of fact, we really need your help on Saturday, June 30.

                 We are having a “Flood Recovery Work-day. Victim’s homes from September’s flooding still have unmet needs. Please call the flood hotline at 322-7648 or United Churches, 322-1110 to regis ter volunteers by Monday, June 25th. 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 June 30 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).


        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:

 6/11-17 Amber Shuman             6/18-24 Pastor Dorothy Anderson

 6/25-7/1 Rev. Gwen Bernstine       7/2-8 Pastors Jim/Kathy Behrens

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

                7/30-8/5 Pastors Jim/Kathy Behrens

Listen today and tell others about this ministry!



J oin us from 12 to 1 p.m. and you are always assured of a tasty $6 lunch, warm ecumenical fellowship and a thoughtful program designed to enrich your life mentally, physically, spiritually 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.



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

G olf Tournament September 27, 2012*


                   The United Churches of Lycoming County is sponsoring our second annual golf tournament on September 27, 2012 to help support the financial basis of our organiza tion. 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, buns, 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 office will seem a bit different the next time you call or drop by. Ruth Hague, our long time staff person for this program decided to retire the end of May. Ruth had been a volunteer since the beginning of our ministry in 1988 and Secretary/Administrative Assistant for 24 years. We thank her for her dedicated service!

      The new person on staff that you will soon meet is Toni Fogal. She may already be familiar to many of you because she has volunteered in the office, and she looks forward to meeting and working with each of you.  

      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

United Churches

Including our Shepherd of the Streets Ministry

Is Your Church

E - X - T - E - N - D - E - D

In Ministry



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 con tinue 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 embark on your summer vacations, safe travels and know that we will continue to pray for you as you rest and relax!!!

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.

      The Greater Lycoming County Walk: Registration will begin at 1:00 P.M. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 142 Market Street, Williamsport.

      Last year's Greater Williamsport CROP Walk brought over thirty six churches, synagogues, and organizations with donations totaling $14,729.99. The Trout Run Walk was also a huge success and raised $2,474.00.

      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!

      Thank you for doing your part in fighting hunger both locally and globally. 25% of the money we collect comes back to our community and is distributed equally to the American Rescue Workers Food Pantry, the Sonlight House of Muncy, the United Churches Food Pantry and St. Anthony’s Center. The other 75% is distributed by Church World Service nationally and internationally to help people who are hungry. We have taken a local allocation for the past 15 years, which has brought a total of $57,490.80 back into our community. Other walks in our county have added to this total!

      Together, we can make a difference! For more details check or contact Rev. Ken Wagner-Pizza at 322-0126 or .



         “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.


P araments Free to a Good Home: Originally belonged to St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Williamsport. and now ... Lairdsville Lutheran Church...

l - Altar full frontal with "separate" superfrontal attached. Olive Green. 70" wide 37" drop.

      l - Pulpit hanging. Olive Green. l4" x 27"

      l - Bible marker. Olive Green. 3-l/2" x 36"

      l - Superfrontal. Red. 70" wide l3" drop

      l - Pulpit hanging. Red. l4" x 27"

      l - Superfrontal. Purple. 70" wide l3" drop

      l - Pulpit hanging. Purple. l4" x 27"

      l - Bible marker. Purple. 3-l/2" x 36"

      l - Superfrontal. White. 70" wide l7" drop

      l - Pulpit hanging. White. l4" x 28"

Contact Jean Booth, St. Mark’s Church, Lairdsville at 570-584-3550 (corrected #) or .


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. July 8 and 22

      Williamsport Home: Sun. 3:00 - July 15

      Pre Release Center for Men Sun. 3:30 p.m. - July 22

      Presbyterian Home - Thursday11 a.m. - August 30

Events & Opportunities *

Y outh Choir Concert: The Charles Wesley Singers, a 65-member youth choir from the Damascus United Methodist in Maryland, will perform a concert on Friday, June 15, 7:30 p.m. in the Clark Chapel of Lycoming College. This concert is part of their 2012 Summer Youth Mission Tour and is open to anyone. Their Festival Choral and Orchestra Concert is entitled “Feel the Spirit” by John Rutter. For more information, contact Jane Webb, tour director, at 301-253-0022, ext. #101, or at

M onster Yard Sale will be held Saturday, June 30 from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 844 West Fourth Street, Williamsport. For more information call 322-0126.

O rphan Advocacy: Maria Eugenia is a 12-year-old girl from Colombia who needs a family. She will be in Williamsport during the month of July to meet potential adoptive families. She is visiting through the Kidsave organization in Washington DC ( You can learn more about Maria Eugenia, and other children who need families, by contacting her local hosts, Ellen Davis and Steve Johnson at 570-326-5569, or Katy Partan at Kidsave at 1-888-543-7283.

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 June 23 and July 28.

S ojourner Truth Ministries presents “The Story of Sojourner Truth”, as 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 presented by Hillside Catering and consisting of chicken en croute, red skin potatoes with lemon chive butter, green beans, tossed green salad, rolls and butter, beverage, and chocolate or lemon cake. Call or stop by Pine Street UMC (323-4604) to get your tickets or make a reservation.

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. Wanted....

      Food Vendors only ...............$45.......... call 321-3327

      Crafters only.........................$35.......... call 321-2744

      Yard Sale Spaces only...........$25.......... call 279-3561

Join in a fun day and an opportunity to make some cash.

H eartworks: Do you know of a child or teen who has experienced the death of a loved one?

Heartworks, of Susquehanna Health Home Care & Hospice has age appropriate grief support groups for children, teens and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one whether recent or several years ago. Specially trained facilitators at Heartworks helps children and teens express their thoughts and feelings through art, play, music, games and discussion, while adult family members meet separately to explore their own grief and learn ways to help their children. If you know of a family that could benefit from this program or would like to learn nore about becoming a volunteer, please call Linda Bryant or Cherrie Serra at 570-320-7691 or 1-888-499-3177.

C ancer Prevention Study: 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.

      Details on how to make your appointment will be e-mailed to congregations this summer from our United Churches office. To answer questions now contact Jan Ulmer at 326-4149 or .





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:

The GroundFloor of Citychurch


      It is 8:00 on a chilly Friday night in May, and a group of teenagers are heading toward a church basement in downtown Williamsport. Dressed in loose tee shirts and hoodies, baggy pants and metal hanging from all parts of their body, they are not typical of those found going to ‘church.’ But these young people are going to hear the gospel in a me dium they understand and totally relate to - heavy rock music. And their hosts will not be adults but youngsters their own age.

      The “GroundFloor” ministry was birth ed out of Citychurch, 436 W. 4th St., over eight years ago by a young couple working in the church, Gabe and Jesse Dutton. The venue was incredibly popular, in fact, too much so. Each concert drew larger crowds, until finally over 400 showed up in April of 2005. Since the venue held half that number, the overflow caused some havoc on Fourth Street requiring a call to the local police. Authorities were sympathetic to a church trying to provide an outlet for youth. Showing support, Mayor Mary Wolf wrote, “The GroundFloor provides you a place to meet your friends, have a good time and enjoy music. On behalf of the City, I appreciate your advocacy for a positive entertainment venue.”

      But when the Duttons moved in 2006, there were no one left to direct the project. Some local Christian bands, particularly the popular group Heart to Fear, hosted an occasional concert, and there was fruit from the effort. One young man, Greg Schneider, came to Christ as a result of the ministry and joined the regular church’s worship group. But with no one directing the project, there was no ongoing momentum.

      Faced with a burden to do something, the leadership of Citychurch decided to make a bold gamble. In October 2011

the administration and operation of GroundFloor were given over to the youth themselves! It was to be adventure in faith. Elizabeth Moore, fifteen years old, was president of the youth group, and admits they made mistakes those first few months.

                               “At first, we got burned by promoters. We didn’t screen our security personnel well and one quit on us in the middle of a concert. We realized some of our advertising wasn’t making it when small crowds attend some good shows. But we learned and got better in the next couple of months.”

                              The youth learn business skills such as management, logistics and marketing, and also valuable skills in evangelism. Shaleigh Confer, a sixteen years old youth leader comments on their ministry, “We don’t just open the doors and say, ‘here you are, listen to the music.’ We are active all the time. The bands and the crowd tell us that it almost a family-like venue. We talk after the concerts, seeking common ground where we can express our views on what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

      The GroundFloor suffered a tragedy in early March when a popular band member, Josh Andy, age 19, died in an auto accident. Two benefit concerts in April were held for the family, raising nearly $2,500. In May, they hosted two more benefit concerts, one for Shannon Bittler, a Montgomery High School senior involved in a auto accident leaving her with serious injuries, and one for the American Cancer Society, raising over $1500 for these two events.

      It is not a ministry for everyone. Adults who chaperone find the music almost unbearable. But it is not meant for them, and  in a very unique way, it is communicating to a significant segment of the area youth that might not otherwise allow themselves to be confronted with the Christian faith.

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

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

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