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November 2020 Newsletter

Published by Moscow UMC, 2020-11-15 10:02:22

Description: November 2020 Newsletter


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The Moscow United Methodist Church 126 Church St Office Phone: (570)842-7251 Moscow, PA 18444 e-newsletter November 2020 PASTOR LETTER Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thessalonians 5:16- 18 (The Message) Happy November, the month of the Thanksgiving holiday. This month began with All Saint’s Day and includes Veteran’s Day, Christ The King Sunday, and the beginning of the Advent season. Let us not forget we turned the clocks back and had an election. Sounds like a busy month! Looking at the list of notable days set aside in November, all involve persons in relationship with God and one another. There is joyful remembrance of the past, celebration in the present, and looking forth with hopeful anticipation of what the future holds. This year is like no other. All people have faced new challenges, mostly revolving around the Corona Virus pandemic. Yet no matter what we encounter in the everchanging world, we must always live in faith, not sink into fear. Believing in our unchangeable Rock of Salvation, trusting in our Lord whose love endures all things, and on trying days praying more, these are the best ways to remain strong, steady, and ready for daily living. God is ever available to listen and answer our deepest, most heartfelt prayers. God’s all encompassing, sustaining merciful grace shall guide us through any and all challenging times in life. No matter what occurs, in all times, we are to give thanks to the Lord. Thanksgiving Day might be different in how we gather in 2020, yet the reason for this special day is vital to keeping us spiritually centered. Let us praise God for what we are abundantly given more now than ever before. There have been various feasts and holy observances for showing praise to God from early biblical times. In modern times different countries recognize Thanksgiving Day, although not on a universal day. In America, Thanksgiving has an interesting history of evolvement. There was a time

Thanksgiving lasted for three days. After much discussion in 1941, the US government set this cherished tradition we engage in as an official holiday to be on the fourth Thursday in November. Although, we know unfortunately every year, this God centered holiday has becoming overrun with sale ads and recently even stores being open for shopping. Commercialism has taken time away from this mere 24 hour period of the majority of people intentionally taking time out to honor God fully for the many blessings they have been given. Of course, parades, football games, and over indulging also attempt to steal the holiness from this special day. We can’t let God get lost in the shuffle of all that attempts to take away from rejoicing and simply being content with grateful hearts for all the provisions the Lord does truly bestow upon us in overflowing measure. Again though, this year there may not be all the outside added extras that take time away from giving thanks. May all people choose to focus those extra moments in devotion. From harvest to home to family and friends, we are blessed and ever hopeful for the greatest blessing, the promise of glorious divine living forever. Scripture actually teaches us we can highly praise our Lord anytime, anywhere. When we connect to pray and share valuable, cherished time with loved ones to carry with us, may we also not forget to pray for those less fortunate than us and not allow Thanksgiving to end when the clock strikes midnight. Keep the celebration going! Here are some biblical truths to aid in remaining steadfast in giving thanks to God throughout the whole year. Thanksgiving is a Trinitarian act, encompassing God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is proof of our faith and assurance in God for when we are sincerely grateful, we are not feeling anxiety and stress from the world. Thanksgiving sanctifies creation, as we celebrate the earth’s bounty which fulfills our physical needs, just as Thanksgiving proclaims the Gospel through which our spiritual needs are met. Thanksgiving is to be an integral part in all circumstances for God is not a random part of our daily lives, God is alive within and about us with every breath we take. Prayers to all for a cheerful November of precious, priceless experiences, making memories that bring joy and warm your hearts. Always rejoice in the rich heavenly goodness and plentiful promises of peace and prosperity yet to come from Christ our King.

ANNUAL CHURCH CONFERENCE Our Annual Church Conference was held virtually on October 24th. The District Superintendent, Reverend Judy Walker led us in a time of worship before going through our Administrative and Ministry Packets for 2021. The packets were approved, so we are set for 2021. Thank you to all those who helped with preparing for and attended the conference. As a follow up to worship which was about Jesus sharing what the two greatest commandments are (love of God and love of neighbor), the District Superintendent set forth some questions for us to ponder as a church regarding how we will share God’s love with one another and our neighbors. Please read through those and let Pastor Lori know your thoughts. She also gave us cards to randomly extend encouragement to others. An example of the cards is below. We will be printing these cards off in the office. Then all members are invited to pick up some “Love Your Neighbor” cards to pass on. If you would like to print them from home to pass on, please do. From the District Superintendent Reverend Walker: As a follow-up to our worship time, I invite the Moscow Church to be in conversation around the following questions: 1. How are you doing with loving one another? Are there conflicts within that need to be resolved; are there fightings without that need to be discussed (what’s causing division and strife in the larger church and in the world that needs to be discussed in your community of faith); are there fears that need to be conquered? 2. How are you doing with loving your neighbors? Then share some stories of how you have “loved your neighbors” with the District Office ([email protected]) by January 31, 2021. We will put together a Scranton-Wilkes/Barre District Love Your Neighbors Guide and Devotional in time for Lent. Prayerfully by sharing what we do as the Churches of the SWB District, that will offer ideas and encourage others to “Go and do likewise.”

NORTH POCONO MINISTERIUM COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING SERVICE The ministerium group continues to meet virtually. They are putting together a virtual Community Thanksgiving Worship Service. Each area church will prerecord a portion of the service. The full service will then be available for our North Pocono community to join in ecumenical worship for Thanksgiving. While for safety reasons we may have to be physically distanced, our social and spiritual connections continue on. The service will be accessible on Tuesday, November 24th. It will be sent out to the church email list and posted on our Facebook page. FINANCIAL UPDATE FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER Income $8,064.54 Expenses $12,541.82 As per the General Fund financial report for October, our church expenses exceeded the income received. We realize it is a trying phase as we continue to move through the pandemic. We pray for all those who may be facing difficult times. We are grateful for all the special donations, tithes, and offerings that are being collected on Sundays and those being sent in to keep the church active in ministry and help with daily operations. God is ever faithful and trustworthy. In prayerful discernment with faith, we ask that all who are able continue to send in their pledges, tithes, and offerings. Options for giving include: Sunday collections, mailing in to the church office, Electronic Funds Transfer, and PayPal. PayPal donations can be made through the church website.

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER EVENTS AND MISSIONS A big THANK YOU to those who have sacrificed their time in service recently. The church marches on with outreach and missions. Our Welsh Cookie Crew made over 60 dozen cookies. Of course, the cookies were sold out before they were finished. We had a number of persons who wrote handwritten cards of thanks and encouragement to all those in the NPSD who are working with much dedication to keep the students learning in a safe and secure environment. Please continue to lift educators, essential workers, medical professionals, emergency personnel, and the endless volunteers from charitable organizations in your prayers. The weekend before Halloween we hosted a Trunk or Treat for a cause. It was a beautiful day. A number of children and their families from the surrounding community came through to grab sweets. They also brought material and monetary contributions for the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter. Last Saturday, a drive through collection of needed items was held for the Food Pantry and Dry Goods Pantry in the lower parking lot of the church building. A truckload was delivered to the pantries. Praise be to God! We are the church together shining God’s light of hope throughout the NP area. Watch for more outreach opportunities to come.

So blessed God called me to be in ministry with such a wonderful, caring church family. Blessings to you all and those you hold dear today and every day. Have a joyful Thanksgiving! In Grace, Pastor Lori Angel Tree We are currently working on obtaining the Angel Tree list for this Christmas Season. We will send out an email with the information about how to pick your angel if you would like to do so once we have all the information. You can send an email to [email protected] or call the church office if you would like to be notified when the information is available. We will be setting up specific times for those of you not comfortable attending the in person worship services to be able to come to the church to pick out your angel.


Sunday School Update: Sunday School is still being held virtually. We are still sending out packets that contain a story from church lectionary and a project, as well as our weekly prayer, and any updates we have to offer. We are currently using the Remind App as well as an email list. If you would like information on being added to our list please email Barbara Havenstrite at [email protected] or [email protected] In October we did pumpkins for St. Mary’s Villa as our mission. We painted and delivered 50 pumpkins for the senior shut ins. These pumpkins were well received by the Villa. For November we sent out about 50 thank you cards for veterans that the children colored and passed out or mailed, thanking them for their service. If they didn’t know veterans, we asked that they send them to A Veteran at St. Mary’s Villa or Gino Merli Center with addresses provided. We thank God every day for the health of our wonderful children and their families. Finally, we will be sending cards to Ryder, a little 4th grader from North Pocono who is in the hospital with cancer. We will also be saying prayers for him. May God Bless him and his family.

Learning Tree Preschool: Our year is moving very quickly! This month we will continue reviewing all of our letters and numbers we have learned thus far. We will also learn the letters Dd, Gg, Oo, Ll, Ff, Bb, and the numbers 9 and 10. Our themes for this month will include: Veteran’s Day, Deer in Winter, Turkeys, and Thanksgiving Today and Long Ago. We had a very happy and safe Halloween Party for our Pre-K and Preschool classes! Thank you to all who came out to see us perform!!

Administrative Council Meeting Minutes Moscow United Methodist Church Administrative Council Virtual Meeting Minutes Tuesday, October 13, 2020 Attendees: Pastor Lori Robinson, Paulette Fotta, Howard McIntosh, Kim Havenstrite, Steve Phillips, Pat Verrastro, Linda Verrastro, Heather Phillips, and Barbara Havenstrite Pastor Lori began the meeting with a prayer. SPRC: Pastor Lori distributed the proposed church officers for 2021 as well as the proposed ministry committees/teams for 2021. These were discussed and the following names were added: Jennie Chmielewski will act as the communication coordinator and Muriel Smailes will be the church historian. Howard made a motion to approve the church officers – second by Pat and all were in favor. Barbara made a motion to accept the committees/teams – second by Pat and all were in favor. Both will be submitted with the documents for the church conference on Saturday, September 24th. The minutes from the September 23rd Ad Council meeting will need to be amended to include a vote to accept the changes to the safe sanctuaries policy. Howard made the motion to accept the changes made to the safe sanctuaries policy – second by Pat and all were in favor. Howard made a motion to accept the minutes from the September meeting. Second by Barbara – all were in favor. Budget Report: The budget report for the month of September was reviewed. Linda was able to pay two months’ worth of ministry shares and everyone agreed to pay two more months. Howard made a motion to accept the budget report. Second by Pat – all were in favor. Pastor’s Report: The re-opening of the church has been successful. Pastor Lori will continue to live stream the church service also. The new cameras have been installed and were able to be purchased fully by donations. The annual conference will be held virtually on Saturday, September 24th. Howard made a motion to accept Donna Mela as the lay member to annual conference. Second by Pat – all were in favor. The Pastor’s salary was approved for 2021 as presented by SPRC – Paulette made the motion to approve and

Howard made the second – passed unanimously. Pastor Lori will email the committee a copy of the 2019 audit to be officially approved. The church has continued its missions even during this pandemic. The Sunday school classes have painted pumpkins to donate to St Mary’s Villa. The church will organize a socially distanced Trunk or Treat for the community on Sunday, October 24th. There will be a drive-thru food drive to benefit the North Pocono Food Pantry. With the help of the SPRC, the church will reach out to all the teachers, staff, school board members, etc. thanking them for their support and hard work. Over 500 handwritten cards were sent. Lay Leadership: Pat has continued helping out at the North Pocono Food Pantry. Over 300 pounds of tabs have been collected for the Ronald McDonald House. The lay service ministry will take place at the end of October through early November. The Learning Tree Preschool: The Learning Tree has enrolled a new student for the Pre-K program. There was discussion regarding the total amount of tuition vs. the amount being paid in salaries. Trustees: The Wednesday morning crew continues to meet virtually and maintain the upkeep of the church in small groups. There were recently some water issues with the bathroom and kitchen in the parsonage that have been addressed. There was discussion regarding the Trustee budget and whether an audit would be necessary. Sunday School: Sunday School began on Sunday, September 20. Barbara will continue to mail out packets to the 33 children enrolled and Jennie will post a live meeting link on the Facebook page. They are looking for a Veteran’s Day mission for next month. A big thank you to the Moscow Agway for donating the pumpkins that will be painted and donated to St Mary’s Villa. Safe Sanctuaries: Barbara will be sending out notifications to anyone that needs updated training or clearances. Next meeting will be Tuesday, November 10th. Barbara made a motion to adjourn. Second by Linda – all were in favor.

CHURCH OFFICERS 2021 ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL Chairperson: Howard McIntosh Lay Leader: Pat Verrastro Annual Conference Lay Representative: Donna Mela SPPRC Chairperson: Paulette Fotta Trustee Chairperson/Representative: Church Treasurer: Linda Verrastro Finance Chairperson/Representative: Lay Leadership Development (Nominations) Chairperson: Pastor Lori Robinson Pastor: Lori Robinson Council Secretary: Kim Havenstrite Young Adult Representative: Youth Ministry Representative: UMM President/Representative: UMW President/Representative: Paulette Fotta Worship Chairperson/Representative: Michael Shoff Education Chairperson/Representative: Barbara Havenstrite Mission & Outreach Chairperson/Representative: Pastor Lori Robinson Safe Sanctuaries Coordinator: Barbara Havenstrite Preschool Board Chairperson: Heather Phillips Finance Team Finance Chairperson: Linda Verrastro Pastor: Lori Robinson Lay Member to Annual Conference: Donna Mela

Administrative Council Chairperson: Howard McIntosh SPPRC Chairperson/Representative: Paulette Fotta Trustees Representative: Lay Leader: Pat Verrastro Financial Secretary: Diane Kanavy Stewardship Chairperson: Glenn Czulada Treasurer: Linda Verrastro Auditors: Susan Hunt, Barbara Havenstrite Other Church Leadership Representatives: Communication Coordinator: Membership Secretary: Paulette Fotta Church Historian: Muriel Smailes Disaster Coordinator: Merle Lyon UMW/Funeral Coordinator: Paulette Fotta & Beth Czulada Memorial Fund: Carol Verrone Camping Representative: Sarah Shoff Red Cross Representative: Lois Linko Transportation Ministry Representative: Congregational Care/Card Ministry: Lori Brink & Carol Reuther Hospitality: Heidi Franssen, Theresa & Harold Galey

MINISTRY COMMITTEES/TEAMS 2021 Staff Parish Relations Committee: 2021 2022 2023 Cis Lyon Paulette Fotta Carole Burnette Consuelo Brown Pat Verrastro Diane Croom Sharon DeLucy Lorie Riegal Karen Kobeski Parsonage Committee: SPPRC Chairperson: Paulette Fotta Trustee Chairperson: UMW Representative: Carole Burnett Wed. Morning Representative: Ray Roese Trustees: 2021 2022 2023 Allen Bendinsky Wed. Morning Rep.(Ray) Gus Herman Nate Bifano Ken Cramer Carol Verrone Pastor Lori Robinson Frank Ciero John Havenstrite Lay Leadership Development Committee (Nominations): Pastor Lori Robinson 2021 2022 2023 Consuelo Brown Nate Bifano Erin Fotta Lynn Crannell Jennie Chmielewski Susan McClain Pre-School Board: Five members plus a SPPRC Rep. 2021 2022 2023 Carole Phillips Heather Phillips (chair) Laura Havenstrite Vicki Herman Diane Croom (SPPRC Rep.) Fleckenstein Trustee Representatives: (Finance Chair, Treasurer, Trustees Representative are also on Committee) 2021 2022 2023 Frank Ciero Pat Verrastro Steve Phillips Worship Team:

Chairperson & Bell Choir Director: Michael Shoff Lay Speaker: Pat Verrastro Worship Tech. Chair: Pat Verrastro Nursery Director: Hanna Witherite Flower Coordinators: Lois Linko, Audrey Pierre Acolytes: Jean Chapman Communion Stewards: Nancy Schwenk, Karen Morgan, Gary Boam Music Director/Organist: Jennifer Scott Children & Youth Choir Director: Jennifer Scott Bell Choir Chair: Sharon Kelly Bell Choir Assistant: Sue McLain Flower Committee: Lois Linko Flower Committee Treasurer: Audrey Pierre Scripture Reader Coor.: Donna Mela Greeters/Ushers: JoAnne Winters Safe Sanctuaries Task Force: Michael Shoff, Sarah Shoff, Sharon Kelly, Pat Verrastro, Barbara Havenstrite, Paulette Fotta, Pastor Lori Robinson, Susan McLain Fleckenstein Scholarship Selection Committee: 2021 2022 2023 Dave Lamm Wendy Simon Heather Phillips Education Team (Sunday School & Youth Ministries): 2021 2022 2023 Jennie Chmielewski Barbara Havenstrite Kim Havenstrite Susan McLain Kim Chasmire Gayle Simpkins Mission & Outreach Team 2021 2022 2023 Barbara Havenstrite Harriet Hanna Linda Guse Jennie Chmielewski Nicole Musewicz Carole Burnett Erin Skonieczki Financial Counters: Carole Phillips, Susan Hunt, Lois Linko, Dan Shilling, Trustee Rep. Auditor(s): Barbara Havenstrite, Susan Hunt Social Media Evangelism Team: Pastor Lori Robinson, J Croom, Jennie Chmielewski

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