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Home Explore January 2022 E newsletter

January 2022 E newsletter

Published by Moscow UMC, 2022-01-13 17:40:30

Description: January 2022 E newsletter


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The Moscow United Methodist Church 126 Church Street Phone: (570)842-9372 Moscow, PA 18444 Email: [email protected] Website: January 2021 e-Newsletter Table of Contents: Pastor Letter (2) Finance Update (4) Advent Adult Sunday School (6) From the Trustees (7) Christian Connections (7) Learning Tree Preschool (8) Sunday School (9) Foundations of Our Faith (10) Covid Precautions (11) Circle of Prayer Churches (12) Ronald McDonald House Donation(13) Donation Station(14) December Review(15) 1

Pastor’s Letter See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 Happy New Year! 2022 has begun. 2021 was a perplexing year due to the ongoing pandemic and other personal and communal concerns for each and all of us, yet we press on knowing Emmanuel, God is with us. As was mentioned during last Sunday’s worship message, a new year often comes with persons making resolutions in an attempt to improve their lives – their health, their habits - let us hope that all self-promised improvements are made prayerfully for progressive outcomes. We need to keep the revelations and Light of God that occurred at the Epiphany, a priority standard while moving through every day we are given, while at the same time, work to improve ourselves to live the best we are able for ourselves and others. In everything, God must be included to bring success. It can be hard to push ourselves beyond the comfort zones we create for what we perceive to be security purposes. Yet at times, challenging ourselves should be attempted for spiritual growth. Now is an opportune time to think about confronting our hesitations and divinely discerning something new God may be desiring we do for the greater good of humanity. The world needs all Christians to live what they profess. It would offer hope, compassion, and assurance that is much needed. Instead of the old saying “New Year, New You”, possibly if we adjust the phrase to “New Year, New Do” there is then motivation 2

to DO, not for “you” (self), but instead intentionally DO for God. By trusting and leaping through the barriers of our comfort zones, the potential is there to strengthen our faith. With greater strength of faith, we then WILL be able to move beyond ourselves to reach others, to accomplish spiritually inspiring acts for God, ever knowing God is with us. In releasing control, letting God lead, viewing all of daily living from God’s perspective, just imagine the peaceful kindness infused with holiness that would be shared, revealing a new way for those yet to possess the hope needed to live completely anew in the New Year. Let us indeed CHALLENGE OURSELVES as The Church TOGETHER to start a “Righteous Revolution” in 2022. Prayerfully choose a small or large faith strengthening stretch exercise with a Godly goal to be blessings for the lost, lowly, and lonely among us and/or to simply reach out to those who might be staying in more who need a sense of companionship. Seek, Serve, Share heavenly grace to fan the flame of the Holy Spirit and spread the Kingdom on earth. United, may we strive to thrive in progressive discipleship. As The Church, we can also encourage one another in communicating updates or divine transforming encounters with one another. By witnessing to God working through us for the “New Year, New Do” ministry revival, we could generously improve the many area households who do not have any spiritual guiding connection. Let the faith journey of 2022 commence and the Son of God shine anew through each of us. 3

FINANCE UPDATE General Fund Month of December: Income - $ 23,429.00 / Expenses – $15,655.00 (+ $7,774.00) General Fund Year End of 2021: Income - $130,271.00 / Expenses - $126,449.00 (+ $3,822.00) Ministry Shares Paid 2021: 12 / $1,552.00 per month Looking at this end-of-the-year financial report, it is quite different than others we have recorded this year. It has been a trying year for many churches, spiritually and financially, as the pandemic presented various difficulties throughout the entire year. It too, was vital to purchase equipment and technology that was necessary 4

to assure all people could join in worship and other aspects of church while not being at the church facilities. For MUMC, not only were we navigating through the pandemic effects, we were also going through another major transitionary time. In 2021, we became a stationary church again, after being a charge with the Gouldsboro UMC for one year. For MUMC to end the year, with all our Susquehanna Conference connectional Ministry Shares paid, for the first time since 2016, and with a positive balance for the month of December and year end, is a remarkable testament to the faith of this family of God. Let the following sentiments regarding the church finances again echo words recently communicated, “as a church, to state that we have been blessed by the merciful grace of God in 2021 is an understatement. Through the trying and triumphant times, we thrived together as the family of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We were active in ministry and mission, extending outreach to those around us in our neighboring community and far beyond. It is wonderous to report that we paid all of our Ministry Shares to the Susquehanna Conference for the first time in five years, The generosity and overflowing acts of trust in God in time, talents, resources, financial giving, have been incredible. God is great! Your faith in giving is inspiring and so needed for such a time as this. The Holy Spirit is alive and moving at MUMC! A big THANK YOU to everyone for standing firm in what we believe and are empowered to accomplish to make the world a better place and further God's blessed kingdom on earth”. 5

Collectively, our members and friends, gave increased donations and we engaged in fundraisers that took extra time and effort making certain we would be the Church of Christ, showing the highest honor and glory to our God. We came through months of financial concern to move into the new year with a positive balance. All is MUCH appreciated! Many prayers that the Holy Spirit continues to move fervently among us, that we will remain on this encouraging path keeping daily operations going, with uninterrupted and growing ministries and missions, and consistent payments of Ministry Shares. With God all things are possible, may we maintain our faithfulness to doing God’s will and increase opportunities for spiritual bonding in the fellowship of believers. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own life……..“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified…….You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:28, 32-35 Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow! 6

TRUSTEES The Trustees met on December 13, 2021. Among the items discussed were: • The proposed paving of the parking lot in spring 2022. This will be a major cost to the church. • The upstairs and downstairs men’s bathrooms are in need of repair to stop the leaks. • The IT system to broadcast the services has been fixed and should be working fine moving forward. • The building use form and safe sanctuary policy which must be signed by any outside group using our sanctuary/social hall. • The policy regarding the Boy Scouts of America and the official BSA ballots have been submitted by the due date. As always, if you see something that needs attention, please contact one of the trustees. CHRISTIAN CONNECTIONS The Christian Connections virtual Bible study continues to meet in Spirit on Tuesday evenings at 6:15. This is a group that shares in discussions on themes that come fully from scripture verses and Gospel accounts. It is spiritually bonding and strengthening. Please do join us. The link to join is sent out every Tuesday. The group will meet in January and February on the following dates: January 11th, January 18th, February 8th, February 15, February 22nd. 7

LEARNING TREE PRESCHOOL December was a month to remember from rocking around the Christmas tree and learning all about family, gingerbread and Christmas! Letters J, K and L had us shaking jingle bells, flying pretend kites and watch out... 5,4,3,2,1, Floor is Lava! Circle time is a favorite in our classroom and the children are now successfully reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, days of the week and naming all the months of the year. They can be heard singing God Bless America and seen shaking their sillies out! A great big giant Thank You to everyone who helped make our Mendicino's fundraiser gift card sale a huge success! We are eager to welcome a new month, a new year and letters L and M, in January you will find us hiding snowballs, ice skating, singing songs about chubby little snowmen and learning all about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while reviewing our numbers 0-10! Good bye to fall hello winter! 8

SUNDAY SCHOOL Our Sunday School students had a very busy month in December. We were very excited to be able to perform the Christmas Pageant this year, celebrating a very special gift with a special message. The children put on a wonderful performance as usual. We finished up the month with the children putting together Blessing Bags to give to any homeless person they may come across. Thank you to the generous donations from our congregation, each child walked away with a bag, and we will have some extras if any members would like to participate in this mission. After a 2 week break to celebrate with our families, we are looking forward to returning to the classrooms. 9

FOUNDATIONS OF OUR FAITH Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Charles Wesley 1707-1788 Christmas carols as we know them now were abolished in 1627 by the English Puritan parliament because they were part of a “worldly festival” which Christmas was considered to be. As a result, there were very few Christmas hymns and carols in the 17th and 18th centuries. Charles Wesley’s “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” was one of the few written during this time. Like many of his over 6,500 hymns, the text clearly presents Biblical doctrine in poetic language. It begins in the first stanza with the angels outside Bethlehem and an invitation to join them in praise of Christ. It continues with the virgin birth, Christ’s deity, the immortality of the soul, the new birth and a prayer for the transforming power of Christ in our lives. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” was first published under the title “Hymn for Christmas Day” in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, and originally had 10 shorter stanzas. The hymn we now sing is the result of many alterations by numerous individuals and hymnal editorial committees. Wesley suggested the text be sung to “Salisbury Tune” which we know as the tune for “Christ, the Lord, is Risen Today” – whose words were also written by Charles Wesley. The tune we use today was written by Felix Mendelssohn in 1840, some 100 years 10

after the words were written. Mendelssohn also wrote the music to last month’s featured hymn, “Now Thank We All Our God.” COVID PRECAUTIONS With the rise in Covid cases, we just wanted to send a reminder of the precautions we are taking to keep everyone safe. We are encouraging everyone to wear a mask while moving around the church, regardless of vaccination status. We also encourage those in attendance to remain socially distanced. We will be reimplementing weekly contact tracing. If you are feeling unwell, we invite you to join us virtually for our live stream. 11

CIRCLE OF PRAYER CHURCHES Just before Jesus went to the cross, he prayed that his followers would be one (John 17:11), We echo that in the Great Thanksgiving when we ask God to “make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world.” We in the Susquehanna Conference express that unity in part through our weekly circle of prayer. This helps us strengthen our spiritual bonds and advance God’s preferred future for our churches. Each week, ten Susquehanna Conference churches, along with a covenant church from Sierra Leone, are put forth to be remembered in prayer. These churches are listed on our conference web site ( We are pleased to let you know that the Connecting Ministries staff, the churches of the Susquehanna Conference, and our brothers and sisters of Sierra Leone will be praying for your church this month. Moscow United Methodist Church has been selected to receive prayers during the week of Sunday, January 9, 2022, through Saturday, January 15, 2022. Please make sure you share this with your congregation. I know the people who worship with you will feel supported, encouraged, and strengthened knowing that over 800 congregations are praying for them. May you not only feel the power of God’s spirit but also the love of other Susquehanna and Sierra Leone churches, especially during this week of prayer for your congregation. May Christ’s peace be with you. 12

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE TABS We are very excited to announce the collection and donation of 554 pounds of aluminum tabs to the Ronald McDonald House in Scranton. The church has been participating in this program for 10 years under the leadership of Pat Verrastro. The first year 10 pounds were collected, and the donations have grown each year. Donations are collected at our church, Lenoxville United Methodist Church, and the North Pocono Food Pantry. Thank you for your continued support of this wonderful ministry. This collection was recognized with an article in the Scranton Times on December 29, 2021. 13

DONATION STATION For the month of January, we will be continuing our collection for the Women’s Resource Center. This organization helps women and children escape domestic abuse situations. Some of their most requested items include: hygiene products, cleaning products (scrub brushes, sponges, cleaning solution, etc), and diapers size 3 and up (any size diapers are accepted, but there is a need for larger diapers). You can find the complete Wish List at If you are planning on leaving a violent situation, or you know someone who may be in an abusive relationship, please call Women’s Resource Center Hotline at 570-346-4671 or 1-800- 257-5765 to talk about your concerns. 14

DECEMBER REVIEW Our church had a very eventful December, beginning on December 14th with our Sunday School Pageant. The children were very excited to show everyone their special gift for Christmas. On December 19th we presented our second Live Nativity, with an alpaca from Alpacas of Windy Haven Farms, a sheep from Buttercup Farms, and a goat from one of our members. Immediately following the Live Nativity, we went into the social hall to warm up with some hot chocolate and cookies. After warming up for a bit, we invited everyone in attendance to join us caroling down Spring Garden Street, finishing up at Academy Gardens. Throughout the festivities, we also hosted a bake sale in the social hall. It was a busy day celebrating the birth of our savior. Thank you to all who participated in our annual Angel Tree Collection. It is always such a blessing to see the tree in our Narthex surrounded with gifts for families in need. This annual ministry continues to be a favorite among our members. We finished December with our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Everyone was very thankful to be celebrating in person again this year. We also continue to celebrate with members who are unable to join us in person. 15


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