The Messenger – January 2020

From The Pastor’s Desk…..

Dear Church Family,

Recently I was sitting in the parking lot at the mall waiting for Bonne to return from shopping, and I started counting my blessings God has given to me this past year. The ways he has blessed me through my family, the church, the opportunities He has given to me, and I began to think how unusual that must seem to others. To be so blessed just isn’t the norm.

As I watched a young couple, with a young boy, come to unload their cart into the car parked next to me, I heard the young boy ask, “Daddy am I acting normal yet?”

What a great question from a young boy! Can’t you just imagine some of the conversations between the father and his son? Surely normal had been defined, emphasized, clarified and repeated many times. Perhaps their remained some doubt in the child’s mind so he asked in a voice full of hope and optimism.

That episode reminded me of how many times I have asked myself, “Am I acting normal yet?” How can normal be clearly defined in today’s world of multiple standards, opinions, and environments? At this stage, I’m not sure that normal is something we should strive for.

There is a standard, however that I do strive for. It is already defined in John 13:35. At the last supper with the disciples, Jesus told them that people will know that we are His disciples if we love one another. “By this all will know that you are my disciples; if you love one another.” So the question to ask is not am I acting normal but do I love others? Am I showing this love in such a way that there is no room for doubt? I am His disciple.

In this New Year I hope you will pray with me this prayer…..

Father, I know it well. You command me to love others. Help me to stay faithful even when I don’t feel like loving; when others aren’t very lovable. Thank you for loving me all the time, ESPECIALLY WHEN I’M NOT ACTING NORMAL! Amen.

In His Service,

Pastor Joe


Sunday School – 8:15 AM in the Community Building

Choir Practice Every Thursday at 1:00pm

Evening Bible Study – Postponed Until Further Notice

You may reach Pastor Joe at 570-465-7303 or his cell #570-267-4570

Every Thursday Pastor Joe will be at the church from 2-4pm if you need him

Wednesday, January 1st – Happy New Year

Monday, January 6th – Epiphany

Thursday, January 9th – Presbyterian Women meeting – 11am in the Community Building

Sunday, January 12th – Annual Corporation Meeting, Installation of Elders, following Worship

Wednesday, January 15th – Men’s Action Group Meeting – 8am in the Community Building

Thursday, January 16th – Session Meeting, 2pm in the Community Building

Monday, January 20th – Martin Luther King Day

Tuesday, January 28th – Newsletter Deadline

 Mission For Bill’s Kids – A total of $445.00 was collected. Thank you to all who donated.

 Mission for “Souper Bowl” will be starting soon, more details to follow

 Prayer Shawls If anyone knows of someone in need of a prayer shawl, please let Carolyn White know. Nine (9) shawls were given this year.

 Presbyterian Women are collecting empty plastic medicine or vitamin bottles that will be sent to South Africa for individual receiving medication at health centers. Many times that have no containers for their medications. Please wash and remove all labels. Please give to Linda Rood, or there is a basket in the vestibule.

 Mission For Kenya -The big challenge this month was trying to determine a method to transfer funds to Rev. Malaho. We have always used the Money gram program which always charges eight dollar fee. but this month he was denied access. No reason given. I retrieved the money and sent it by Western Union, also eight dollar fee. Again, no reason given.  Then I sent money by bank transfer to his bank account, but there is $50 sending fee and $12 receiving fee. This was successful, but very high cost. We were told that funds were denied because of it being a high risk area, especially during holiday. In the meantime, they had no money to pay electric bill, and that shut off power to their water well. This triggered his Malaria to flare up and put him in  sick bed. There is no report if they had any Christmas celebration. Their schools are scheduled to start on Jan. 4 and they need supplies and food, because many of the students are orphans with no home and no food except at school. I asked about other supporting organizations and they are extremely grateful to our church because they have no other support, When Rev. Malaho is sick or gone, Julia, his wife is deputized to run the school and family and she is VERY THANKFUL for our help and she sends her wishes to our church for a merry Christmas season. By Jim Kessler

 Men’s Action Group ***For help with small projects for church family and neighborhood, please call Pastor Joe Travis at #570-465-7303 or email him at

 Loose Change Offerings ( coins and bills)

1st Sunday – Local Missions

2nd Sunday – Local Missions

3rd Sunday – Kenya/Rev. Malaho

4th Sunday – Community Building

5th Sunday – Trehab Local Food Bank (whenever there is a 5th Sunday)

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