This Week In Ministry

Institutional Ministry Schedule for Week of Sept. 24th,2023

The following Institutional Services are arranged for and reported by United Churches of Lycoming County:


  • Lycoming County Prison, Pastor Overseer Velinda Smith, New Life Wake Up Ministries
  • Roseview Nursing Home, Minister Jerry Webb, Maple Street AME Zion Williamsport
  • Leighton Place, None Scheduled
  • Williamsport South, None Scheduled
  • Valley View Nursing Home, Mr. Kelly Erhard; Bethel UMC Montoursville
  • We Care of Loyalsock, Apostle Dawn & Bishop Peter Gueary, Liteshine Intl. Ministries
  • Williamsport South,  Pastor Carol Johnson, Redeemer Lutheran Church
  • Williamsport Home, 3 p.m., None scheduled.
  • Pre-Release Center Women, 3:30 p.m., Apostle Dawn Gueary, Liteshine Intl. Ministries
  • Pre-Release Center Men, 3:30 p.m., Bishop Peter Gueary, Liteshine Intl. Ministries

Services during the week include:

  • Heritage Springs, Pastor Tammey Edkin, United Churches of Lycoming County
  • Leighton Place, 2 p.m. Tuesday, None Scheduled
  • Hillside Senior Living, 2 p.m. Wednesday, Mrs. Carol Hetler, United Churches of Lycoming County
  • Presbyterian Home, 11 a.m. Thursday, None scheduled.
On the Radio:
Radio Services are provided by the following congregations:
  • 8:30 a.m. (Saturday) Jersey Shore Assembly of God, WJSA 96.3 FM.
  • 9:30 a.m. (Sunday) Community Baptist Church, Montoursville, WJSA 96.3 FM.
  • 9 a.m. (Sunday) Pine Street United Methodist Church, Williamsport, WWPA 1340 AM/101.7 FM., WILQ HD3

Recent Articles

Thriving As Seasons Change

September 22, 2023

By: Holly Pentz, New Covenant Assembly of God, 1270 Pinchtown Rd, Montgomery, PA 17752

Well, as much as I have fought it, I have had to admit summer is officially over. It is not that I don’t like fall. In fact, I enjoy decking my house with shades of orange and brewing pumpkin spice! I like hoodies and hayrides and hot dogs over a firepit.

It is just that I enjoy summer so much more with its “jump in the pool” mentality, its “need no jacket” freedom and its “burgers on the grill” ease.   Some years, I try to ignore that fall is coming. We take late vacations, stretching summer into September. We keep the flip-flops out and spend time in the afternoon sun trying to retain our tans. And we keep the grill on the deck til the snow flies!

But inevitably, the seasons change. And so perhaps it is better to embrace them than to ignore them. And maybe this is true in life as well.  Life adjustments, just like the changing seasons, can change the thermostat of a household. Situations like kids going off to college, early retirement, an unplanned divorce, or an unexpected baby can leave us shivering, longing for that comfortable chaise lounge in the sun.

If life is changing a bit too fast for you right now, remember that God has set the seasons in motion in His time. Daniel 2:20-21a tells us: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons” (NIV). Your changes have not caught Him off-guard, and He will walk you through them.

And not only will He get you through, He can even help you to thrive within those seasons. Acts 14:17b says, “He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

This year, as the leaves change from green to orange, I think I will try to lean into a new season, instead of digging in my heels until the leaves fall down around me. I want to be like the tree mentioned in Psalm 1:3, which is planted by streams of water “which yields its fruit in season [ANY SEASON!] and whose leaf does not wither,” because the Scripture promises that “whatever they do prospers.” When my season gets scarey, I will remember His Word says in verse 6, “the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,” and I will continue to stand.

And the verse before, Psalm 1:2, tells me how both you and I can do that: “Delight…in the law of the Lord, and meditate on it day and night.” Might I add both summer and fall?



Will Your Anchor Hold?

September 15, 2023

By:  Nancy Baumgartner, White Pine Church-Cogan House Township

As the school year begins, the specter of tests looms large for many students. However, tests are not confined to the halls of education. I don’t know about others, but my natural reaction to being tested is, “no thanks, not today, too busy, not prepared. Catch me later.” Given the choice, none of us would opt to undergo testing. But life seldom gives us a choice. Tests come whether we are ready or not and, often, at the worst possible time. It may be as complex as having to undergo a variety of procedures to determine what is ailing us or as simple as putting on a joyful attitude when a relative drops in with no warning, a full suitcase, and plans to “spend a few days with you.”

Trying to pretend that being tested will somehow pass us by, or wait for an opportune time to come our way, is not only faulty thinking but sets us up for failure. Accepting that tests are part of life can be the first step toward passing them with victory and grace.

But, how to prepare is the question. James 1:2-4 is a good place to start. James is direct and specific in advising us to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (NKJV). Ah, patience! That elusive ability which often takes a lifetime to perfect. But then Paul comes along and assures us in Philippians 4:13 that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And Paul knew a thing or two about being tested.

These two scriptures give us tools to begin preparing for life’s testing: acceptance and assurance. James and Paul were able to give such advice because they knew the testing Jesus endured on his mission to do his heavenly Father’s bidding.

In Matthew 4, Jesus is being led by the Holy Spirit into the desert, there to wrestle with the most diabolical of all testers, the Devil. For forty days, the son of God fought to pass his test.

From this example, we can learn that determination to hold firm to what we were created to be and to accomplish God’s plans for us is crucial. Taking the easy path may be just sin wrapped up as a win.

Jesus’ life was full of tests, all of a difficulty none of us will see or would be able to endure. His strength to pass his tests was anchored in his knowledge that his Father in Heaven would not leave him.

So, in our own lives perhaps the first thing to do when testing comes our way is to check our anchor. Is it secured to the blessed assurance God gives us in Isaiah 41:10? “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Jesus knew he would be provided all he needed for the job. We can know that as well.

When testing comes, and it surely will, remember the last lines of this beautiful hymn written by Rev. William Clark Martin (1864-1914) titled, “My Anchor Holds.” “Tempters seek to lure astray; Storms obscure the light of day; But in Christ I can be bold, I’ve an anchor that shall hold.”


The Intersection Of Work And Faith

September 7, 2023

By: Rev. Larry L. Leland, Jr., Faith United Methodist Church, 700 Fairview Drive, Montoursville, PA 17754

If you were like my family, you spent at least part of last weekend celebrating Labor Day with a picnic with friends. Labor Day has in its origin story a celebration of the labor movement in the United States and the contributions of both laborers and labor/union movements to the economic strength of the country. For many, though, it has become the unofficial end of summer, a three-day weekend, and little else.

The truth is, I pastor a congregation that includes teachers, homemakers, law enforcement personnel, students, business owners, and medical professionals. It also includes retired folks, those whose disabilities make it difficult to find or maintain employment, people who struggle to make ends meet while working two or more jobs, and those who find themselves underemployed and unemployed. The truth is, also, that our people will spend a great deal more time working at workplaces and in the home, or attending school, than worshiping at church. Because of that, I am thinking about Labor Day a bit differently this year. Don’t get me wrong; I am looking forward to a picnic. But I am also reflecting on three truths about the intersection of work and faith.

1. We are created to work. Our work gives us the opportunity to reflect the nature of God, whose image we bear, because God worked and still works. God created and is still creating. Rest is a part of who God is, but so is meaningful work. So it should be for us. In our own origin story, found in Genesis, God places humanity in the garden of Eden and tasks them with naming animals and the overall stewardship of creation.

2. Throughout history, people of faith have often been on the frontlines of seeking justice for workers. We are not perfect, to be sure. And people of faith with sincere commitment to the common good can come to different conclusions about what economic justice looks like. Members of my own faith tradition, though, have historically been active in everything from ending child labor practices to providing living wages to setting the 40-hour work week. As Christians, our desire to see God’s “kingdom come and will be done” extends to caring for all those who labor and those who can’t.

3. God has a purpose for our work. For too long, there has been, even in the Church, a separation between what is seen as sacred work and what is secular. Sacred work has been thought to be confined to religious professionals or missionaries. However, all work can be holy because all Christians are sent into the world to be “salt and light.” It is important to remember that we follow a carpenter who called fishermen and tax collectors to be his first followers. Sometimes, God’s call invites us to leave our nets behind. Other times, our calling invites us to take our faith into homes, schools, businesses, conference rooms, hospital rooms, and restaurants. And the work is holy because God is part of it.

As we leave Labor Day in the rearview mirror for this year, let us look forward to the work that follows. And remember to, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23 NLT).