Stewardship Snippet: December 1, 2019 Matthew 24:42Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

Consumer culture tells us to buy and spend so that we may have the perfect holiday. Jesus, on the other hand, reminds us to pay attention because he is coming. We are called to be alert and ready, focusing on all that really matters.

Commemorations: Francis Xavier, missionary to Asia, died 1552; Tuesday, December 3, 2019 A native of the Basque region of Spain, Xavier became a missionary to India, Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Philippines. He also helped to found the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

John of Damascus, theologian and hymnwriter, died around 749; Wednesday, December 4, 2019, A monk in an abbey near Jerusalem, John wrote many hymns as well as theological works. One of his works, The Fount of Wisdom, remained influential for centuries.

Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, died around 342; Friday, December 6, 2019, Little is known about Nicholas, except that he was a bishop in present-day Turkey. According to legend, he was famous for his giving to the poor, and so has become a symbol of anonymous gift-giving.

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, died 397; Saturday, December 7, 2019, While a governor of northern Italy, Ambrose was elected bishop of Milan on the same day he was baptized. He was a famous preacher, a writer of hymns we still sing today, and helped lead St. Augustine to faith.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sunday, December 1 is the First Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of the new church year.  Sunday school for children K through 6th grade is at 9:45 AM every Sunday.  Holy Communion will be at the altar.

Serving Sunday December 1: Worship Leader: Pastor Paul Tomkiel; Music Director: Debbie Strouse; Organist: Jim Rearick, Pianist: Michelle McMullen; Assisting Minister: Morgen Hummel; Reader: Franie Pollack; Communion Assistant: KarenMagnuson; Greeters: Stacy and Dave Pribulka; Ushers: Ike and Linda Rosensteel, Ron Strouse, Carl Tier; Counters: Roger Williams, Jeff Muthler; Home Visitor: Linda Rosensteel; Sacristan: Delorse Homan; Sign Changers: Stacy Pribulka, Morgen Hummel.

Advent Christmas Concert is thisSunday, December 1 at 3:00 PM here at St. Paul.This is a community event andeveryone is invited. A reception will follow.  A cookiereception. will be held following the concert. A free-will offering will be taken and the funds will be evenly divided and distributed to: Interfaith Human Services, State College Food Bank, and the Community Café at St. Andrews.

December is the time for making a list of gifts we will give and also for making tax deductible contributions. The St. Paul Congregation Council encourages you to consider making a gift to St. Paul!

Poinsettias:  Please sign up to purchase potted poinsettias to decorate the sanctuary for the Christmas Eve service! They are available in two sizes—a single bloom for $8.50, or a double bloom for $15.00, and you can choose from red, white, or pink colors. Orders must be placed by Sunday December 1. Payments can be made in your offering envelope by designating the amount and the word “Poinsettia” on the front of your envelope. Your poinsettia may be designated in honor or memory of someone, and will listed in the Christmas Eve bulletin.

We are RINGING THE WISHING WELL BELLS again this year to support Interfaith Human Services! Our congregation will be responsible for the Wishing Well at Meyer Dairy all day on Monday, December 16. We need 12 individuals, couples, families, or friend groups to cover 12 one-hour time slots from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

The sign-up sheets for both the POINSETTIAS and the WISHING WELL are in the narthex.

Come and join us for our Advent worship/light meal evenings, Thursdays, December 5. 12. & 19. Worship is at 6:00 PM and a light supper at 6:45 PM. All are welcome. Anyone wishing to bring a dish to share, see Karen Magnuson.

St. Thomas/Blue Christmas worship will be Friday, December 20 at 7:00 PM here at St. Paul. with Holy Communion. Everyone is welcome to attend.

A congregation member has donated blankets that were made by the women in the congregation probably in the 1960s or 1970s. WELCA is selling them for a donation. There are 5 left. Please contact Linda Muthler or Sally Kolesar if you would like one. Any that are not sold will be donated to a homeless shelter.

December, January, February and March sign-up sheets for flowers, wine, bulletins and candles are on the narthex table. 

Pastor Paul’s Office Hours:  Wednesdays, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM or by appointment and by    phone 717-440-3453. Office Secretary’s new hours:  Tuesdays and Fridays, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Readings for December 8: First Reading:   Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Second Reading:; Romans 15:4-13; Gospel Reading: Matthew 3:1-12

Member Update: Sandee Hemman’s correct phone number is: 814-238-5515. Please make the corrections in your directory. Morgen Hummel’s new address is: 150 Ridge Road, Pennsylvania Furnace, PA  16865. Please make the change in your directory. Paul Anderson’s phone number is:  814-238-1543. Please update your directory.

DVD of program, Men in Blue, shown at the PGM Presbyterian Church in October, is now on dvd.  You can borrow this dvd for viewing. Please see the sign up sheet on the narthex table.  Copies can be purchased for $15.00 by contacting Carol Ziegler at the Presbyterian Church in PGM.

Allegheny Synod 40,000 Can Challenge December 1, 2019, through February 2, 2020.  Again this year, we are inviting your congregations to gather food items for your local food banks, agencies, and organizations which care for people in your community. All donations should be directed to your local organization.  Each week the Office Secretary will inform the Synod Office the number of donations our church gives. Thank you. A basket is in the narthex by the coat racks for your offerings.

Latest food bank needs: Laundry detergent, Jelly. Soup (Chunky, Progresso, etc.), Gift Cards to Wegmans to purchase fresh potatoes & ham, Canned Yams (less than 40oz.), French Fried Onions, Canned Carrots, Canned Mixed Vegetables, Canned Spinach, Canned Beets, Canned Pineapple, Canned Pears, Flour (2-5 pound packages), Sugar (2-5 pound packages), Cooking Oil, Salt, pepper, and spices, Tomato products (stewed, paste, sauce, etc.), Canned pasta sauce and Sloppy Joe sauce (Chef Boyardee, Manwich,  etc.), Canned Chicken.

Please Note: *Please place any gift cards in the Rosensteels’ mailbox. You may also donate money to the Food Bank through your offering envelopes.  *We are not in need of the following:  Baby Food, Baby Formula, or Protein Beans *We cannot accept expired or opened food items. Please check the expiration dates on  items before donating them. Our food donation guidelines provide assistance in determining what can be accepted. *We thank the St. Paul family for all of your generous donations to the Food Bank. On Friday, October 18 a total of 49 pounds of food was delivered! Thank you to Linda and Ike Rosensteel for taking items to the food bank.

In October, St. Paul members contributed 65 pounds of food, etc. Thank you for your generosity!

Blood Drive. Thursday, December 12 from 1:30 -6:30 PM at the Ferguson Township Lions Club.