February 2 @St. Paul

This week we celebrate the Presentation of Our Lord. Holy Communion will be at the altar.

Sunday school for children K-6 grades is held every Sunday at 9:45 AM. Kids are free to ask a friend(s) to join them.

Serving Sunday: Presiding Minister: Bishop Michael Rhyne; Worship Leader: Pastor Paul Tomkiel; Organist: Jim Rearick; Pianist: Michelle McMullen; Assisting Minister: Linda Rosensteel; Reader: David Pribulka; Communion Assistant: Stacy Pribulka;  Greeter: Diane Kemmerer; Ushers: Ike Rosensteel, Ron Strouse, one more needed; Counters: Ike and Linda Rosensteel,; Sacristan: Karen Magnuson;  Sign Changer: Morgen Hummel; Home Visitor: Sally Kolesar.    

This Sunday in worship, we welcome Allegheny Synod Bishop Michael Rhyne who will bring the message. The Rev. Michael Rhyne was called as Bishop of the Allegheny Synod in June 2014. Bishop Rhyne is married and is a father of three. Bishop Rhyne’s hope for the Allegheny Synod is that we can all remember that Christ Jesus is alive, active, and at work in our churches. 

WELCA of St. Paul will meet directly after worship for planning. Lunch will be provided.

There are worship volunteer spaces open for February.  Sign-upsheets are on the narthex table. Please prayerfully consider where you might be able to serve.

HELP WANTED: NOMINATING COMMITTEE MEMBERS for 2020. Members serve only one term and include outgoing council members. The Congregation Council is looking for at least two other congregation members to serve on this committee. Please contact a council member if you are interested in serving. Council members are Morgen Hummel, Sally Kolesar, Michelle McMullen, Linda Muthler, Linda Rosensteel and Roger Williams.

Ash Wednesday Worship is Wednesday, February 26 at 7:00 PM with the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion.

Year-end statements are ready. You can pick-up.  Check the table in the narthex and pick up your copy, otherwise they will be mailed next week. Also, if you haven’t already done so please pick up your 2020 offering envelopes located next to the year-end statements.

The New Directory: There was a slight delay getting the new directory finished. It will be ready next week. If you have any changes to be made, please contact the church office. 

Thank you: By now you have probably picked up your offering envelopes for the year 2020. This is an excellent time to consider how much you are giving. If your envelope is shared, this is a good time to have a conversation about whether your family should give more or less in the coming year. Has your financial situation changed in the last year? Perhaps you will want your contribution to reflect the change. The congregation council appreciates your generosity in support of the church in 2019 and asks for your careful consideration in 2020.

April 23 is the Spring Caucus Meeting for the Nittany Conference for delegates to the Synod Assembly. Place to be announced. Meeting will start at 7:00 PM.

Save the date: The 2020 Allegheny Synod Women’s Organization Convention will be held April 18, 2020 at Evangelical Lutheran in Duncansville. More information will come by mail soon.

Annual Ecumenical Services Announced –Please join us for our Annual Ecumenical Prayer Services–February 9, 2020, 3:00 PM; Grace Lutheran, State College; February 16, 2020, 3:00 PM St. John Gualbert Cathedral, Johnstown.

Upcoming Events:

Sunday school for K-6 grade each Sunday at 9:45 AM

February 17-Fellowship Sunday

February 23-Transfiguration of Our Lord

February 26-Ash Wednesday—Lent Begins– Ash Wednesday worship will be Wednesday, February 26 with the disposition of ashes and Holy Communion.  7:00 PM.

March 1-First Sunday in Lent

April 5- Palm Sunday

April 9-Maundy Thursday

April 10-Good Friday

April 12-Easter Sunday

February Readings:

February 9—First Reading: Isaiah 58:1–12; Psalm 112:1-10; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; Gospel: Matthew 5:13-20.

February16—First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm: 119:1-8; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Gospel: Matthew 5:21-37

February 23— Transfiguration of Our Lord–First Reading: Exodus 24:12-18; Psalm: 2; Second Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-21; Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

February 26—Ash Wednesday–First Reading: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58: 1-12; Psalm: 51: 1-17; Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5: 20b-6:10; Gospel: Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-21

Birthdays for February: Feb. 1 Linda Muthler; Feb. 3 Karin Lowry; Feb 9 avid Kolesar, Lloyd Niemann; Feb. 14  Jennie Norberg, William Stout;   Feb. 15  Todd L. Wheeler; Feb. 21  Max Barnes.

COMMEMORATIONS

Presentation of Our Lord; Sunday, February 2, 2020: Forty days after the birth of Jesus we mark the day Mary and Joseph presented him in the temple in accordance with Jewish law. There they were greeted by Simeon, an aged priest who offered the song “Lord, now you let your servant depart in peace,” as well as by the prophet Anna, who spoke of the redemption of Israel.

Ansgar, Bishop of Hamburg, missionary to Denmark and Sweden, died 865: Monday, February 3, 2020–A monk who helped bring Christianity to Scandinavia, Ansgar returned to Germany where he was named bishop of Hamburg. He is remembered for his love for poor people.

The Martyrs of Japan, died 1597; Wednesday, February 5, 2020: Christianity was brought to Japan in the sixteenth century by Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries. The religion was suppressed, however, and in 1597 twenty-six missionaries and converts were crucified. Nevertheless, Christianity survived and later prospered.

STEWARDSHIP SNIPPET February 2, 2020

Matthew 5:9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Stewarding and nourishing a heart of love helps us to live out Jesus’ teaching in the Beatitudes. As children of God we strive for peace, justice, and dignity for all God’s beloved creation. In Christ, we are called to love.

Steward your life: Cultivate a heart of love: Jesus taught, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” –Matthew 5:43-45a

Red hearts, flowers and chocolates remind us that February is the uncontested month of love. It’s excellent (and easy) to love those close to us, but Jesus tells us to go wider, deeper, riskier – to love even our enemies. In so doing, Jesus says, we become children of God.

This challenges us to embrace love as the key discipline and develop a heart so full of love that it flows to even our enemies. Isn’t that how we’re supposed to live as disciples? It’s just good stewardship of our lives.

For this “month of love,” practice loving your enemies. The effort is especially timely in our season of discord, when our loudest voices encourage us – through name-calling, denigrating, lying, smearing – to hate those with whom we disagree. Even calling them “enemies” is too much (they’re really neighbors!).

Loving our “enemies” doesn’t mean we agree with them or tolerate bad behavior. It means respecting, listening, discussing, refraining from anger and revenge. Here are some ideas for loving our enemies:

  • Jesus gives us the first step: Pray! For them and for you!
  • Stop seeing them as enemies. They’re our neighbors whom God loves.
  • Resist hate, the very thing our culture encourages.
  • Treat everyone as you would want to be treated.
  • Lastly, keep praying.

By embracing love as a spiritual discipline, we cultivate a heart of love that opens our lives to the transformation Jesus dearly desires for us — to be children of God. Now that’s good stewardship. –Rob Blezard                                                                                               

 Copyright © 2020, Rev. Robert Blezard. Reprinted by permission. Pastor Blezard serves as an assistant to the bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod and works as content editor for wwwshipoflife.org. He blogs at www.thestewardshipguy.com.

Pastor Paul’s In-Office Hours: Wednesdays  11:00 AM to 1:00 PM; or by phone or E-mail.

Secretary’s Office Hours: Tuesdays and Fridays 11:00 AM-3:00 PM; Visitors are welcome at any time! But, if you wish to see our secretary, Karin, at any time outside of her posted office hours, please contact her at 814-699-1701 or call the church office and leave a message.  E-mail is stpaul68@comcast.net