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May 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. 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 address

Thank You for receiving

our Newsletter via E-Mail.

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




♬♬♬♬♬♬♬ UNITED CHURCHES SUNDAY * ♬♬♬♬♬♬♬

Happy United Churches Sunday to us!

                          Happy United Churches Sunday to us!

                          What great ministry we do together!

                          Happy United Churches Sunday to us!

P lease join us in celebrating United Churches Ministry on June 3, 2012. It is amazing to realize that United Churches Ministries reach well over 150,000 people every year throughout the county with our hard working staff and over 500 volunteers. These numbers include the work of our Shepherd of the Streets Program, Food Pantry, Fuel Bank, 816 Nursing Home and Prison Worship Services over the year, weekly Footsteps to Follow column in the newspaper, weekly News and Views radio show, daily phone devotion line, ecumenical events - worship services and educational opportunities, campus ministry, collections for the hungry and needy in our world, and yes - even this newsletter you are reading!

      Please join us throughout the year in celebrating these 66 years of ministry together in our county. There are endless possibilities, some of which include...

   •   Using our brochures and envelopes to help your congre-

gation be aware of, pray for, and support United Churches. (They are available by contacting our office)

   •   Be part of our 2012 Challenge by providing an additional donation to United Churches this year.

   •   Keep the ministries of your sister congregations in prayer as well as the ministries we do together.

   •   Do something at least once a month to be involved with the ecumenical community.

   •   Get to know members of other congregations at our 2nd Annual United Churches Golf Tournament on September 27 (details on page 2).

   •   Plan to attend the Ken Davis Comedy Concert on November 11 to support our Shepherd of the Streets Ministry (details on page 6).

   •   Invite Gwen, Morris, Gail, or Sharon to come to your congregation to share about our ministry.

   •   Join others in the eating at Hoss’s for a community fund raiser on May 18 (details page 7).

I am sure you can come up with additional ways you cane celebrate our ecumenical life together and insure that it continues to be vibrant and Spirit led!

Visit us at the following web site -


Call 570-322-7648


T his could be you! In fact we really need your help to solve the unmet needs of people in our community who are still working hard from September’s flooding so they can get back into their homes this summer.

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

      Perhaps you or you and your group would be willing to commit to a weekend helping on this mission field, or a few days or evenings. Perhaps you are willing to commit to completing a specific project. We have a growing list of families needing assistance from which we will gladly match

your skills so that projects can be completed. Please contact our flood recovery office, 322-7648, to be a local mission volunteer!


        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:

 5/7-13 Rev. Gwen Bernstine 5/14-20 Rev. Margaret Balliet

 5/21-27 Sandy Grier 5/28-6/3 Pastors Jim/Kathy Behrens

 6/4-10 Rev. Nessie Whaley 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

 8/6-12 Rev. Nessie Whaley 8/13-19 Amber Shuman

 8/20-26 Sandy Grier 8/27-9/2 Rev. Gwen Bernstine

 9/3-9 Pastors Jim/Kathy Behrens 9/10-16 Rev. Nessie Whaley

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.


  9-  Tom Wetzel and Kay Huffman, Members of the Williamsport Music Club, “Inspirational Messages In Song”

16- John Ressler, Executive Director, Albright LIFE, “Called to Serve Seniors"

23- Jordan and Kate Egli, Greater European Mission, “Planting Churches in France”

30- Karen L. Brown, M.D., Susquehanna Health Palliative Care, “The Difference Between Hospice Care, Palliative Care and the Bridge Program”



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 organization. Your strong support and commitment in helping us to make this another success is needed. Last year our first attempt was a great success. We raised over $8100 and were a big part of celebrating our first year in recent history of actually paying all our bills without having to tap our investments. Our goal for 2012 is $9,000 and we can do it with your help.

 ❂     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



                                                                                                       J. Morris Smith, Th. D.,

                                                                                                       Contact at: 322-6538



T hough the Shepherd of the Streets takes no state funding, the reduction in aid to the poor in the current state budget has had its toll upon us. All human service agencies utilizing state funding were hit by budget cuts at a time when unemployment has increased and with it residual physical and mental health issues. The medical access card (MA) as of January 1st, allows payment for only six prescriptions per month, leaving the user to pay full price for all over six. At the same time, adding to the meds not on the subsidy list, many more were deleted leaving the user to pay full price or do without (and many of them are the most expensive).

      MA will pay only about 60% of medical costs, so the doctors that are willing to take MA patients have to limit how many they will accept. This means that most must find a physician in surrounding towns which means that Shepherd of the Streets (SOS) has had an increasing expense of transportation costs to see these doctors, not to mention the horrendous rise in the price of gasoline.

      Added to that increase in demand on our funds is the fact that many who are poor cannot get MA due to rules and regulations prohibiting access. Some of these rules are just and some very unjust, but regulations nevertheless. Yet, a person who is sick needs their medicine, and the only regulation that SOS is bound by, is that a person must have a bona fide script. If they have MA that is a great help…if they do not have MA, they are by God’s mercy, still in need of their medicine.

      These issues have imposed more on us these days, despite the poor economy and lack of public assistance. Out of the prescription fund also comes glasses, medical supplies and fees.


      Another fund that is impacted is the discretionary fund which provides the price of steel-toed shoes to those being hired by gas companies. OSHA requires that they cannot be on the job without steel-toed shoes, yet it will be two weeks before their first paycheck. Health and safety are primary works of SOS. So we buy their work boots, so they can get on the job. This service has had a manifold increase during the past year. More is demanded which tips the scale to less resources available.

      SOS is also the place to get fees for birth certificates, ID cards, and fees for background checks. ID’s have increased from $10 to $12 to $13.50. Costs for birth certificates range from $10 to $35 depending on the state and three background checks cost $45. An ID card is necessary to get a job, but to get the ID (since 9/11) one must have an original birth certificate, a social security card and two proofs of residence. SOS wants those capable of work, to be able to enter employment.


      Shepherd of the Streets is the presence of the body of Christ in the field of the poor. We want the poor to know Jesus and so we minister in His Holy Name. Please help us meet the needs the poor who desire good health and worthy employment, who want to raise their children in the safety and security our society has achieved for the good of all.

      Your contributions undergird our witness for Christ and become your witness as well. All that we do is for the Love of God. A state cannot do what it does out of love…only a person can be so motivated. Thank you for your loving gifts, both of funds and by providing 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

      Thank you for your support of this ministry. Your support to the Shepherd portion of United Churches general budget, to pay salaries, and expenses to keep the doors open and be available for those most in need in our community, and to advocate on their behalf is a very important.

United Churches

Including our Shepherd of the Streets Ministry

Is Your Church

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

In Ministry


from our Christian Social Concerns Committee

T hen he took a little child and put it among them, and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me, but the one who sent me’.” (Mark 9:36-37) In answer to the question who is the greatest, Jesus embraced a child and made clear that care for children demonstrates love of God. At the local, state, and national levels we have opportunities to demonstrate whether we love God by how we care for children – especially those in greatest need. Currently food stamps (SNAP), food for infants and their pregnant/nursing mothers (WIC), and school and community lunch programs are being threatened with cuts in funding. What is a person of faith willing to do to preserve adequate funding on behalf of children?

Lycoming County Unemployment Rate: The preliminary rate of unemployment for Lycoming Cty. for February 2012 was 8.0%. This figure was 0.1% higher than in January 2012 and marked the second consecutive monthly increase.

Local School Lunch Programs Reveal Pervasive Level of Need: The recently released data for the 2011-12 school year for Free and Reduced Lunch programs in county schools reveals a high level of need for children.


School District

% Free


% Reduced Eligible

Total %

East Lycoming




Jersey Shore
















South Williamsport








Lycoming County Average





Our County’s total is higher than the state average of 40.7%. The data reveals that in addition to Williamsport many of the smaller school districts have significant numbers of children living in or near the official level of income based on family size that constitutes poverty. Slight increases were experienced in Jersey Shore, Montoursville, Muncy, and South Williamsport school districts. One child is too many. Instead, 6,913 children are in need throughout the county.

Five Things You Probably Don't Know About Food Stamps: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is in the news these days. Below are five things you probably don’t know about the program.

 1.   A large and growing share of SNAP households are working households.

 2.   SNAP responded quickly & effectively to the recession. 

 3.   Today’s large SNAP caseloads mostly reflect the deep and prolonged recession and the weak recovery.

 4.   SNAP has one of the most rigorous quality control systems of any public benefit program.

 5.   SNAP’s recent growth is temporary. Over the long term, SNAP is not growing faster.



Gail Burkhart, Coordinator 322-1627

G od is so good and the blessings keep flowing on our Pantry. We had our inspection by the North Central Food Bank (where we purchase food and to whom we send reports) and all was well, in fact the director brought a new staff person along because she ‘knows we do things by the book and would be a perfect training site’. Our volunteers felt good with that praise. We’ll have a State inspection soon but I don't expect any issues with that either.

      We’ve been blessed with a new volunteer able to work flexible hours when a volunteer needs to be off or when we have extra busy days. When you have ten volunteers you invariably have issues that arise: sickness in the family, funerals, conflicts in other schedules, that need to be covered and everyone willingly works out their schedules to accommodate the needs of their fellow volunteers. It's a great exercise in patience, understanding and kindness to watch everyone haul out their calendars. And by golly, we make it work!


      Each month we see an increase in the volume of clients. The location is closer for many, and of course we see people who are the fallout of domestic situations, flood victims, partners who may have been incarcerated, jobs that disappeared, increased water bills that soaked up the grocery allowance and the other utilities that have skyrocketed and not been planned for. 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 embark on your summer vacations, safe travels and know that we will continue to pray for you as you rest and relax!!!


Sharon Comini, Coor., or 570-419-5376

O ur spring semester is finished now, and I’d like to share some highlights from the semester. One of our memorable activities was taking a walk along the labyrinth at Trinity Episcopal Church. It was a quiet time of reflection and prayer for us. A labyrinth is a spiritual tool to help us become closer to God. The twists and turns are metaphors for our individual faith journeys. When the path led us to the outer edges of the labyrinth, we remembered how at times we feel very far from our destination and far from God. As we headed back toward the center we became more aware of not only God’s presence in our lives, but also of his power. As we prayed and walked out of the labyrinth we were reminded to go out into the world and face our daily challenges, knowing God is with us. The labyrinth served as a much needed time of meditation for the students. I also felt rejuvenated from this quiet, meaningful, prayer walk.

      Another highlight was attending a Seder Meal at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. We enjoyed a great dinner, but more importantly, learned about the worship aspect of the Seder Meal and the symbolism behind it. The Passover story is powerful and I am glad we were able to attend.

      We congratulate two of our students who will graduate this month. Ross Judy will get his bachelor’s degree in Business & Technology Management and Mass Communications Media. He hopes to go to seminary. David Harman will be getting an associate’s degree in Electrical Technology. He will be returning in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree. May the Lord bless both of you in your future endeavors

       For our last service project of the semester, we worked with our advisor Deb Buckman and the Earth Smart Club to pick up trash along Northway Road near Rt. 973. After we were done, we enjoyed some pizza and fellowship. I’m always looking for new service projects. If your congregation needs some work done, please let me know.

      We gave out about 100 study bags for the students as they prepared for finals! We would like to thank St. John Lutheran Church, Pastor Kerry Aucker, and Molly Mitchell for working with their youth to put the bags together for the college students. While we were passing out the study bags, a student came up and said, “I just wanted to thank you for putting prayers for finals in the study bags. They got me through my finals last semester.” That just goes to show that you never know when you are making a difference.

      We appreciate the support we’ve received this past school year. May the Lord richly bless your ministries.


from our Christian Social Concerns Committee

From Biosphere to Bioregion to Bible:

Resources for Entering Unknown Territory

W ith 7,775 US weather stations recording broken high temperatures in March, it seems imperative to, in the words of Peter Maurin, recognize "the need for ongoing clarification of thought." Thus, here are resources to help us understand the potential impact of climate change,the environmental consequences of energy endeavors, and biblical guidance for charting our earthly future.


  ♦    Blowout in the Gulf: The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of Energy in America by Wm. R. Fruedenburg and Robert Gramling.

  ♦    Changing Planet, Changing Health by D. Ferber and P.R. Epstein

  ♦    Climate Wars: What People Will Be Killed for in the 21st Century by Harald Welzer

  ♦    The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines by Michael E. Mann

  ♦    HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard

  ♦    Methodist layman Bill McKibben, a columnist for Sojourners magazine and founder of, is an author of many books, including The End of Nature; Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age; Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.

  ♦    Reinventing Fire by Amory Lovins

  ♦    World Environment Day 2012 theme is "Green Economy: Does It Include YOU?" Held yearly on June 5, and the UN Environmental Sabbath is that week. This year is the 40th anniversary of the United Nations Environmental Programme.

  ♦    "Fueling Our Future with Efficiency" 2012 Summer Conference,

  ♦    The Island President (film re: Maldlives Islands threatened by rising ocean waters, see )

  ♦    FUEL (film)

  ♦ re: glo-bal warming and climate change myths

  ♦ re: cutting our global warming emissions

  ♦    For and about young people:

      Big Miracle (film: see (books that connect children and


Companions in Wonder: Children and Adults Exploring Nature

      Together, edited by Julie Dunlap and Stephen R. Kellert

                                       -continued on page 6

N ewsletter Publication: This will be final hard copy newsletter to go out until September. To continue to get news and information and alerts over the summer please give us your e-mail address. This is also a great way to save postage and trees! Let Gwen know today at . (You’ll get the newsletter in full color pdf file!)

Creation Corner..... continued from page 5


  ♦ Chesapeake Bay Foundation

  ♦ Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

  ♦ Pa. Assoc. of Environmental Educators

  ♦ Pa. Interfaith Power and Light

  ♦ re: Marcellus Shale

  ♦ re: Marcellus Shale


  ♦    DVD "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" re: Marcellus Shale Gas extraction. Info via e-mail to ; also see Organizations United for the Environment

  ♦    Civic Empowerment in an Age of Corporate Greed by E.C. Lorenz

  ♦    The End of Country by Seamus McGraw (re: Marcellus Shale)

  ♦    Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale by Tom Wilber

  ♦    Spring/Summer Hike Schedule for Northcentral Pennsylvania:

Biblical Resources

  ♦    May 12 "Green & Just" Virtual Conf. of the Lutheran World Fed. Register at wordpress/greenandjust







  ♦ new-books-on-bible-and-ecology?

  ♦    DVD of the PA Interfaith Creation Care Symposium (4/19/2012, Selinsgrove PA) four sessions on Marcellus Shale natural gas forest fragmentation/restoration ecology; climate change; sustainable communities; eco-theology. Contact

  ♦    Resources from the "Getting Greener Faithfully" April 17-18 Spring Convocation at the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary. See



         “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.


Rev. Danesta Whaley, Regional Director - 326-6868


W e are God’s vessels to be used for HIS purposes to bring glory to HIM. (II Cor. 5:20). Yes Beloved Ones, you have a purpose and God has a divine plan for your life. As we avail ourselves to HIM, there are many doors that are open. Let’s walk through those open doors!

      Thank you for your prayers for Yokefellow Ministry, they are making a difference! Our first regional meeting held on April 14 was a great success with 29 people attending. It gave us opportunity to connect more with one another and it was good to connect with those the Lord has touched through this ministry.

      We also walked through the open doors at the Watsontown Baptist Church as Yokefellow was invited to share to the Northumberland Baptist Men’s group. As we talked, God was gracious and the men had open ears to hear and for God to be glorified. They sowed into our ministry and also availed themselves to help. What a blessing!

      As we approach our warmer weather – opportunities await. Here is a quick glance at ways you can become involved with us. Mark your calendars for these events:

  •    Volunteer Training for new volunteers and those who need re-certified on Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. - Noon at the Yokefellow Center, 1200 Almond St.

  •    Open House (our 2nd!) on Saturday, September 15, 2012 – from 1-5PM – come and go – connect – eat – Fellowship.

  •    Yokefellow statewide Annual Conference – October 12-13, 2012 – Best Western/Country Cupboard

Continue to be HIS vessels everywhere you go!


T he American Rescue Workers is desperately in need of your used clothing items today! The recycling of used clothing, shoes, purses and belts provides 83% of their operational budget every year! Please remember them for your used items as you spring clean, yard sale or upgrade to new styles. Please call 570-323-8401 ext. 10 for a home pick-up; drop your items off M – S, 9 – 9 at their Donation Center on 643 Elmira Street; or take your things to a truck station – see for a schedule. They need your used clothing because...

   •   The ARW operates the only emergency homeless shelters in Williamsport and Lycoming County offering over 25,000 bed nights of LOCAL lodging per year. Our hunger prevention programs will feed approximately 100,000 LOCAL people annually.

   •   The sale of your clothing donations in their retail thrift stores and to recyclable marketers provides 83% of their operating budget.

   •   Think ARW anytime: spring cleaning – changing closets – left after your yard/church or rummage sales – estate liquidations - any season, any time!

American Rescue Workers - Since 1934

Helping our community…our citizens…your clothing!


P astor of Student Ministries Wanted:Friends Church in Hughesville is currently searching for qualified candidates for the position of Pastor of Student Ministries. This is a part time (likely bi-vocational) position. Any interested applicants should contact Pastor Dan Cale ( for more information.

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 570-584-3555 or .


E AT OUT and Benefit United Churches: Thrivent Financial for Lutherans have teamed up with Hoss’s Steak and Sea House to raise money for us here at United Churches. Please consider visiting the Hoss's in Williamsport on Friday, May 18, 2012 to aid us in raising money to benefit United Churches of Lycoming County. Please clip the box below and present it on May 18th at Hosses in Williamsport. Hoss's will then donate 20% of your total check paid to United Churches of Lycoming County. If a lot of us go and there are $1,200.00 in sales, Hoss's will donate 25%!


                          COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER

                       Present this Card on Friday, May 18, 2012

                              At Hoss’s In Williamsport Hoss’s will then donate 20%+ of your Total Check


     For: United Churches of Lycoming County

     Group #: 16337

     Please Present Ticket When Ordering

                         Thank You!

Voucher distribution is prohibited on Hoss's property.

H EALTHY FAMILIES 2012 will be a day of fun & resources for the entire family! It will be held Saturday, May 19th at the Pickelner Arena, Williamsport YMCA from 10 -2, hosted by the Williamsport YMCA, Comfort Keepers, and the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition. Resources will be available to families living and working in our County. Everything from nutritional information to activities and clubs will be available. The goal is to educate and enlighten our residents on everything available to them in Lycoming County.

E AT OUT Again at Hoss’s and benefit Sojourner Truth Ministries on Sunday, May 20. Tickets can be picked up at Sojourner Truth Ministries, 501 High Street in Williamsport.

C hurch Anniversary: Central Baptist Church 601 Seventh Ave., Williamsport will celebrate their 125th Anniversary on Sunday May 20. You are invited to attend all or any part of the celebration. Worship is at 10:15, dinner at 11:30 and program and sharing of memories at 12:30. Call 322-3562 for meal reservations.

Events and Opportunities - Continued from page 7

K ey Life Decisions Seminar: A presentation to prepare yourself for key life decisions: financial planning, estate planning, tax strategies and the benefits of pre-planning end of life matters. The presenters are:

     James S. Armstrong, Jr. of James S. Armstrong Assoc.

                                        *Premier Accounting Services James G. Malee of Malee Law Firm

                                        *Estate Planning & Elder Law

     Ryan A. Miller of Edward Jones

                                        *Making Sense of Investing

     Barbara Niklaus of Southern Care Hospice

                                        *Hospice Care

     Virla Ocker of The Hillside

                                        *Senior Living

     Kevin G. Novotny of James C. Maneval Funeral Home

                                        *Funeral Planning

This hour long seminar will be presented in two locations:

     First Baptist Church, 420 Elmira St. Williamsport

       on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. Reservations: 326-2046

     St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Fleming Parish Center

      720 West Fourth Street. Reservations: 323-9456

        on Thursday, May 24 at 1 p.m.

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. May 27,

      The Hillside: Sun. 3:00 p.m. May 20,

      Rose View Center - Thurs. 2 p.m. - June 7

      Sycamore Manor - Wed. 10.30 a.m. - June 13

      The Meadows - Sun - 3 p.m. June 10

N ational Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI): A NAMI chapter is developing in Lycoming County. The group is in its organizational phase. If you are aware of any family, consumer, community member or professional that is interested in developing and being a part of NAMI Lycoming please share with them that the next meeting is Thursday May 24th at 6:30pm at Robert M. Sides 201 Mulberry Street, Williamsport PA.

      NAMI is an organization for persons with a serious brain disorder, their families, friends and professionals. It is a group to develop friendships and partners. The purpose for the organizational meetings is to identify our local needs and goals for the group, establish the leadership and officers, and then prepare for regular monthly meetings.

      At this time the President of NAMI PA and a small group are traveling to Williamsport to assist with the organization of NAMI Lycoming.

B roadway Celebration: The Williamsport Chamber Choir and Orchestra is pleased to announce the final concert of its 2011-2012 season, “A Broadway Celebration” May 11th at 7:30pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, Williamsport. Under the baton of Music Director Erik Clayton, this concert centers on music from two time periods in Broadway’s history: the Golden Age up to 1950, and the modern era 1950 to the present.

      The centerpiece of the concert featuring the “Golden Age” of Broadway includes the genius of George Gershwin in Porgy and Bess, and Irving Berlin’s timeless songs, including “Blue Skies,” “Putting on the Ritz,” and “God Bless America”. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera leads off the modern Broadway set which also includes music from Leonard Bernstien’s Candide. To round out the evening, we will perform two choruses from Italian opera: “Va, pensiero” from Verdi’s Nabucco and the “Easter hymn” from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. Come enjoy the wonderful music of these beloved favorites! Tickets are $5 for students and children, $10 for adults.

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 East Third Street, Williamsport. 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 will complete a brief survey, sign a consent, and have a blood sample drawn by a trained phlebotomist. The appointment will take between 20-30 minutes.

      Detailed information and the information on how to make your appointment will be e-mailed to congregations in June or July from our United Churches office. To answer questions now contact Jan Ulmer at 326-4149 or .

                                            -continued on page 9

Events and Opportunities - Continued

P rayer Request: Please keep St. Joseph the Worker Parish in prayer this summer as the final masses and closing rites are held for Ascension and Mater Dolorosa Churches in early July.                                                      mayemailonlinenl2012.gif  

Y ou are invited to an Open House specifically for the Faith Community on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. at our Susquehanna Community Health and Dental Clinic, 460-471 Hepburn Street (in the Hepburn Plaza in Williamsport).

      You’ll receive a tour, a presentation on the services, and learn about their new federal designation and what it means for their patients and our community and the emerging role of our faith community. Please RSVP to Melissa Farenish at 570-567-5412 or .

C amp Ladore: The Salvation Army Williamsport Corps Community Center is now accepting applications for week long camping sessions at The Salvation Army – Camp Ladore. Camp Ladore is located in Waymart, PA. and encompasses 1,400 acres of beautiful woodlands, trails and a 265-acre lake. Activities such as kayaking, swimming, hiking and ropes challenge courses help children develop confidence, promote physical fitness and install the value of teamwork. Additional activities include arts-n-crafts, basketball, soccer, volleyball, fishing, music instruction, hay rides and bible study. The Williamsport Salvation Army is offering the following camp dates for children ages 7 through 12:  

             June 20 – June 25 July 18 – July 23

A $40 registration fee for each camper is required. Upon completion of full application $20 will be returned to the family. For more information or to register your child contact: Rhonda Fields;

or (570) 326-9187 x 105. The Salvation Army thanks the Williamsport and surrounding community for their support of the Williamsport Corps Community Center.






Saturdays - May 12, June 2,

July 14, Aug 11, Sept 8

Central Baptist Church - Register @ 322-3562

601 7th Ave, Williamsport

Gone Fishin’

10 a.m. - Noon

Age 3 - Grade 6

June 12 - 16

St. John’s Newberry United Methodist Church

2101 Newberry Street, Williamsport

Operation Overboard

9 a.m. - Noon

Age 4 - Grade 6

June 17 - 21

Salladasburg United Methodist Church

310 Main Street, Salladasburg

Big Apple Adventure

6:30 - 8 p.m.

Grades K - 6

June 18 - 22

Third Street United Methodist Church

931 East Third Street, Williamsport


Call 322-0091

6 - 8 p.m.

June 24 - 28

Registration 6/24 @ 5:30

Community VBS held at St. John Lutheran Church

229 South Broad Street, Jersey Shore

Sky: Everything Is Possible

With God Mark 10:27

6 - 8 p.m.

K - 6 grades

June 24 - 28

Church of the Savior Lutheran

522 North Grier Street, Williamsport

Pre-register by calling 326-7082

Amazing Desert Journey

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Age 3 - Grade 5

& Special Ed

July 14

First Christian Church of Montoursville

5329 Lycoming Mall Drive, Montoursville

The Big Apple (Gal. 5:22,23)

Bring canned fruit for Food Bank

9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

K - 6 grades

July 15 - 19

Trinity United Methodist Church

1971 Lycoming Creek Road, Williamsport

Everything Is Possible

With God (Mark 10:27)

6 - 8:30 p.m.

July 22 - 27

St. Paul-Calvary United Methodist Church

1427 Memorial Avenue, Williamsport

Sonrise National Park

Supper included

5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Age 5 - Grade 6

July 23 - 27

DuBoistown United Methodist Church

133 Summer Street, Duboistown


Call 322-5398

6 - 8 p.m.

Ages 3 - 12

July 29 - August 2

St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Quiggleville

1877 St. Michael’s Road, Cogan Station

“Fun - Faith - Food”

6 - 8:30 p.m.

All Ages


“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 as individuals, congregations and especially in working ecumenically through your Ministerium and our United Churches.

      Now, you might ask just what does it mean to be .... that word ... ecumenical...? There are many answers to that question, but today I’d like to share two from a list of fifteen that were written by Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP, who currently coordinates the Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington DC. Fr. Ryan writes that among other things being ecumenical means:

         ✝   To be ready to celebrate vitality in the body of Christ wherever it is found. What advances the reign of God in any church helps all churches. The churches are not like competing corporations in the business world, so that the stakes of one rises as the lot of others falls. Any loss of divine truth and life is a loss to Christ and his Church. The only triumph a Christian seeks is that of Jesus and his cross. Our rivalry is not with one another, but with sin.

         ✝   To be alert to the presence of God and the action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of other Christians and members of other living faiths. The Church of God does not have a mission as much as the mission of God has a church. The Church is the sign and sacrament of God’s presence in the world, but God’s activity is by no means limited to the Church and its members. The Church serves the advance of the Kingdom but is not tantamount to it.

      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 food pantry of St Joseph the Worker Catholic Parish in Williamsport has origins stretching back into the history of Annunciation Catholic Church, one of the parishes that consolidated to form our current parish in 2009. Starting out as an impromptu response to neighborhood needs directly from the priests’ kitch en at the Rectory at 410 Walnut Street, in the late 1990’s parishioners of Annunciation organized a distribution center for non-perishable groceries from the Rectory basement. When the Rectory at 410 Walnut Street was sold, the distribution center moved to the former St Joseph School building at 711 West Edwin Street. Every Wednes day afternoon at 4:00, fifteen to forty families are supplied with some of the “basics”, cereal, juices, vegetables, pea nut butter, tuna, pasta and jarred sauce. In addition, some frozen items, especially bread donated from Lycoming Bakery, are given out along with the basics.

      This small, but active ministry to the poor of our city is supported exclusively and entirely by parishioner donations. Every week, along with their support for the parish, parishioners bring canned and dry groceries and place them in the vestibule of the church to restock our shelves for the less fortunate. Some parishioners make cash donations or provide gift cards to area grocery stores. The “staff” are a volunteer group of ten parishioners who organize and distribute the food, the lion’s share of this ministry. When the Lord Jesus said, “I was hungry and you gave me food.” (Matthew 25:35), he issued a challenge to all who call him Lord, to care for those for whom He cares. It is our hope that this care will continue to be a part of Saint Joseph the Worker’s mission here to show Christian charity toward the “least of these”, His brothers and sisters in Williamsport.

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

Please contact Gwen at United Churches, 322-1110 or

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

and see one of the ways God has worked with CityChurch.