February 23 @ St. Paul

This Sunday we celebrate the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Holy Communion will be offered by intinction. Sunday school for children K-6 grade is at 9:45 AM.

Serving Sunday: Worship Leader: Pastor Paul Tomkiel; Organist: Jim Rearick; Interim Choir Director/Pianist: Michelle McMullen; Assisting Minister: Art Reede; Communion Assistant/Reader: Ann Reede; Greeter; Eleanor Bird; Ushers: Randy and Judy Wills, Ron Strouse; Counters: Roger Williams, Eleanor Bird, Home Visitor: Judy Kocher; Sacristan: Karen Magnuson; Sign Changer: Morgen Hummel.

*Urgent–Ash Wednesday is this coming Wednesday, Feb. 26 and we need volunteers for the following; Assisting Minister, Reader/Communion Assistant, Ushers 2. If you can help in any of these volunteer spots listed below, please contact Karin at stpaul68@comcast.net

  • Volunteers Needed for: March 1: Assisting Minister; Greeters; Ushers; Counters; Home Visitor.
  • Volunteers are also needed for March 8, 15, 22, and 29. Check out the Volunteer List on the Narthex table.

WELCA of St. Paul will have their monthly meeting and planning on Sunday, March 1 following worship. Lunch will be provided. All women are invited to join us. If you want to help provide the lunch, contact Sally Kolesar 861-1313 or kolesarsally@comcast.net

It is FRIENDSHIP BASKET TIME WELCA is preparing to make up the baskets on Palm Sunday, April 5 with the children and parents of the Sunday school. There is a list of items needed for the baskets on the table in the narthex. Please sign up if you want to donate items that you buy or make OR you may donate money for us to purchase items.  Items or money is needed by Sunday, March 29. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Sally Kolesar (861-1313 or kolesarsally@comcast.net) or Linda Muthler ( muthlers@comcast.net). At this point we have 20 baskets to fill. If you have additional names, please let us know.

HELP MAKE CROSSES FOR THE FRIENDSHIP BASKETS — On the table in the narthex are small crosses that need to be decorated to be included in the friendship baskets. They can be painted, stained, decorated with fabric, or anything you have. Let your inner crafty out and help with a gift.

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.

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.

40,000 CAN CHALLENGE The Synod total for the challenge is 40,432!!! St. Paul has contributed 289 items to the State College Food Bank. We had a great year and were able to help a lot of people. In fact, over the last 5 years we have collected over a quarter million, 263,327 to be exact. We thank you again for being a part of this ministry and for your commitment to helping people in your community.

State College Food Bank Current needs Laundry detergent, Gift Cards to Wegmans and Giant, Jelly (flavors other than grape), Ketchup, Mayonnaise,  Canned Meat (no tuna please), Coffee, Tea, Hot Cocoa, Ranch Dressing, Canned Fruit, Dried Fruit, Pancake or All Purpose Baking Mix, Cooking Oil, Spices, Pancake Syrup

Please note: *We are not in need of the following:  Baby Food, Baby Formula, Macaroni & Cheese, Diced Tomatoes, Green Beans, Peanut Butter, 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.

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 at Grace Lutheran Church in State College.

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.

Stewardship Snippet — FEBRUARY 23, 2020Matthew 17:5While he [Peter] was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” Peter, James, and John see Jesus shining like the sun, his form transfigured into a dazzling presence—and they are terrified. As they are, we’re still listening and following Jesus today to cultivate a heart of love.

Birthdays: March: 3  Adam Hartswick, Tracey Mehalick;   4 Barbie Weber; 6  Teresa Nordberg; 12 Janet Carr; 17 Sally Kolesar

COMMEMORATIONS: Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, martyr, died 156; Sunday, February 23, 2020— Because he is said to have been known by John, the author of Revelation, as well as the important early church fathers Irenaeus and Ignatius, Polycarp serves as a vital link in church history. He was burned at the stake at age 86 for refusing to renounce his faith.

Elizabeth Fedde, deaconess, died 1921; Tuesday, February 25, 2020–Born in Norway and trained there as a deaconess, Fedde was asked to come and minister to the poor and to seamen in New York City. She established the Deaconess House in Brooklyn as well as Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis.

Ash Wednesday 2020 MessageFrom Bishop Rhyne

The first time I assisted with the Imposition of Ashes was during my internship year in seminary. The congregation I was serving had an altar rail where people would kneel for ashes. The pastor went one way around the rail and I went the other. It was going pretty well until I came to a mother with a one-year-old little boy. He was wearing only a diaper and was perfectly content sitting on top of the altar rail. His mother asked me if he also could have ashes. So, I made the ash cross and said to this very young child, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” I hadn’t expected how deeply this would touch me. The Imposition of Ashes is a solemn and a holy event. It holds up a mirror to our mortality and reminds us we will meet death one day. We shall all return to the earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. In placing ashes on that child, I was struck by how all- encompassing is our mortality. I had a moment of existential angst realizing that truly none of us will survive this life. Death will come one day for all of us—even this little one. It was a sobering moment.

If Ash Wednesday were only a reminder of our mortality then it would be a very sad day. Through my experience with this young child I was reminded we don’t just smudge ashes on people’s foreheads—we make the sign of the cross.

On this first day of Lent we remember it is through the cross Jesus saves us. The cross was death for our Lord—a death he went to willingly because of his great love for us.

In the waters of Baptism, we are claimed by Jesus and the sign of the cross is marked on our forehead to remind us nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. The ash cross we receive today reminds us we belong to the Lord who made heaven and earth and he will never let us go.

May God continue to bless and keep you through this season of Lent. 

 +Bishop Michael Rhyne, Allegheny Synod