This Week In Ministry

Sunday March 19, 2023

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

  • Lycoming County Prison, 1:45 and 3:15 p.m., None scheduled.
  • Williamsport South, 2 p.m., Ms. Debra Buckman, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Williamsport.
  • Valley View Nursing Home, 2 p.m., Vicar Carol Johnson, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Williamsport.
  • We Care of Loyalsock, 2 p.m., Ms. Patricia Burket, State Road United Methodist Church, Linden.
  • Williamsport North, 2:15 p.m., Rev. Gwen Bernstine, Lycoming Presbyterian Church, Williamsport.
  • Rose View Center, 2:15 p.m., Mr. Jerry Webb, AME Zion Church, Williamsport.
  • Williamsport Home, 3 p.m., None scheduled.
  • Pre-Release Center, Men, 3:30 p.m., Mrs. Gail Slocum and Mrs. Carol Hetler, Yokefellows.
  • Pre-Release Center, Women, 3:30 p.m., Mr. Don Slocum, Yokefellows
Services during the week include:
  • Heritage Springs, 10 a.m. Tuesday, None scheduled.
  • Leighton Place, 2 p.m. Tuesday, None scheduled.
  • We Care of Loyalsock (Bible Study), 10 a.m. Wednesday, Pastor Tammey Edkin, United Churches of Lycoming County.
  • Hillside Senior Living, 2 p.m., Wednesday, Pastor Tammey Edkin, 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

Citizens Returning to Our Community

March 3, 2023

Formally incarcerated individuals face many obstacles in life upon their release from prison. In the past, many of us have used terms or labels, that often foster a negative image of a person who may already have one step down upon returning to their home or establishing a new residence in our community. A returning citizen is far more enhancing than perhaps ex‑con, felon, fugitive, or on probation, etc.

Returning Citizens may struggle with obtaining employment, finding suitable housing, health issues, addictions, and mental health issues. On the flip side returning citizens are tax payers, employed and may be sitting beside you on a Sunday morning. They have a history as do all of us. We are all better people than actions or decisions we made on the worst day of our lives. The gospel message is of forgiveness.  Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?(Matthew 18:21‑22) Of course Jesus tells him Seventy times seven. Although the disciples had been with Jesus for some time, they were still thinking in the limited terms of the law, rather than the unlimited terms of grace and love.

It is important to acknowledge employers, land lords and so many organizations, agencies and individuals who reach out and assist a Returning Citizen. Often it is you as a person who can do so much behind the scenes to assist and welcome a person who has had a difficult past. We recall the old adage but for the grace of God there go I.

This Thursday, March 9th from 7‑8:30pm, the Christian Social Concerns committee of United Churches will be hosting a Zoom discussion entitled Beyond the Bars. This online event will explore the realities of incarceration and ways to faithfully engage our Returning Citizens.

To register: email

Hebrews 13:1‑3 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers… continue to remember those in prison as it you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as it you yourself were suffering.@

-Mr. James Foran, Retired Director of Faith Formation, St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Yokefellow Prison Ministry Board Member, Member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society

A Good Name Is Better Than Riches

March 1, 2023

By Apostle Dawn White-Gueary of Lite-Shine Ministries, Williamsport, Pa

How many of us are drawn to names of importance, such as a childhood icon, a movie star, a teacher, a leader, or a spiritual mentor? Names can carry a very strong presence, as well as either a good or a bad reputation. Proverbs 22:1 in the English Revised Version states that “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” The Passion Translation reads: “a beautiful reputation is more to be desired than great riches, and to be esteemed by others is more honorable than to own immense investments.”

We know that Proverbs was written as the Book of Wisdom. This verse implies that while our names have been chosen, to maintain a good reputation is also important. There is a very specific reason why you have been given your name. Each one has been chosen with great thought, perhaps with much research and prayer. Perhaps it has even been given as a family heirloom to carry on the legacy of your bloodline. In the same way, how we refer to God is important. Just as God has His name, Jesus has His name, and the Holy Spirit has His name, each serves a specific purpose, while also working together in unity.

Let’s start with the beginning in Genesis 1:26 where it states: “and God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” This not only means that He has orchestrated and designed us each by name, but that we have also been made in His image, which also exemplifies the importance of how we represent not only ourselves, our families, our loved ones, but God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

There are several passages in scripture that reveal we are God’s treasure, His hidden handiwork. Isaiah 64:8 states, “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 denotes that we are like fragile jars that are containing great treasure, which, in fact, is the greatest gift that we could ever behold. The greatest treasure that we could ever possess is to have Jesus living inside our heart and for the Holy Spirit to be our guide, our teacher, our comforter, our advocate, and our friend.

God is counting on us to represent Him well through continuing to remain postured in humility, obedience, and in daily surrender to Him. No matter what your earthly name, we have all been predestined into “sonship” and by the spirit of adoption through Christ Jesus in accordance with His pleasure and His will.

This not only adds a whole new dimension to our earthly name, but it also brands us with a seal through His blood and brings us into a place of favor and richness that we need to uphold and to protect. That carries much weight and accountability as to how we represent His name. It is not about vanity, nor is it about how great we are because of our abilities or even our failures, but it is about upholding our God-given responsibility to represent Him well and to guard the very treasure (anointing) that He has entrusted us with as His light bearers and His Glory carriers.


No More Cussing

February 23, 2023

By Rev. David Mansfield, Retired Disciples of Christ Pastor

Since retiring, I find I want to do a lot more cussing. I know; pastors are not supposed to curse, but hear me out, please. You see, my arthritic hands don’t work as they used to. I can’t open those snack bags anymore, and even those zip-lock ones cause me grief. I lose my grip on slippery bags, and the contents fall to the floor, requiring clean up. Bottles and jars are sealed tighter than they used to be, it seems to me, so that opening a simple bottle of water can be a chore. All these things I used to do without a thought, but now they are a source of frustration; thus, the choice words come flying out.

A few months ago, I was with a small group of pastors who I meet with for meditation and prayer once a month. When I was asked what I wanted prayer for, I said, “Pray that I stop cursing.” They looked at me with stunned silence, mouths hanging open. One person broke the silence: “Pastor Dave, I can’t imagine you ever cursing.”

I replied, “Well, I do” and explained my story. So they laid hands on me, and each prayed for me, some giggling under their breath in unbelief.

I am happy to report that those prayers were answered sometime later as I was gifted with insight into the spiritual fruit of gentleness. The nine fruits of the Spirit are “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (NIV). They are listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Love, joy, and peace are the ones that get top billing, but gentleness seems to get lost. Gentleness is a Christ-like quality. In Matthew 11:29, we read: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Gentleness is an attitude and an action. It is shown in how you love and care for others and how you act and speak. There is strong connection between gentleness and words. We read in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” We all know the power of gentle words at the right time that can be life giving. Gentleness is revealed in daily life by an understanding smile, a comforting touch, the delicate use of compassionate words, a gentle feeling, and a gentle approach to self and others.

Gentleness is evoked by something that is precious and vulnerable like a newborn baby, a new puppy, the innocent question of a child, and an aging saint bound to her bed. Beauty found in a lovely rose or a work of art or experience of time spent in nature can also evoke feelings of gentleness.

We treat things gently because they are fragile and precious, like a flower or something that holds a sentimental value to one we love. Think of gentleness as what you do when you carry three eggs in one hand across a room. The eggs are fragile and precious (due to current rising costs).

If you are as I am, you find it easier to be gentle with others but not so easy to be gentle with yourself. Is it possible to experience myself as precious, fragile, and vulnerable?

Often, I feel disappointed in myself, frustrated by my limitations. Such condemnation does not give rise to gentleness. At such times, I want to “whip myself into shape” or berate myself for some failure. What if, instead of judging myself so harshly, I gently look at myself as a unique gift of God and admit and accept the weakness, which makes me a fragile, earthen vessel? Gentleness towards myself is only possible when I recognize and own my own vulnerability. I must be able to look at myself with a forgiving eye. What would happen if I treated myself like those three eggs in one hand being carried across the room?

So I am learning how to be gentle with myself, accepting my limitations as the circumstances God has placed me in. When I stop fighting my frailties and allow myself to be the earthen vessel that I am, my frustration level goes down, and those words get caught before they fly.