The Messenger – December 2020

Dear Church Family,

Advent is here again. As we go into December we lite the second candle. The candle of love. Our theme this advent season is,” LOVE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS “. (Luke 2:11) And if you have been joining us in Sunday School you know that we have started a study by David Jeremiah titled ,”THE JESUS YOU MAY NOT KNOW “.

I would invite you to join us.

With those two themes in mind I remembered questions being asked during our Sunday school class. Questions like; If God loves us so much that he sent his son Jesus to die for us, why does he let bad things happen to those he loves? And why does he allow sin in the world? Isn’t God all knowing?

We have all, at some point in our lives, asked these questions. The Bible tells us that Job did too. And with good reason. He lost everything. In Job 37 one of his friends Elihu, responded to Job’s questions by asking him questions. One of which was; “Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?” (Job 37:16).

Elihu concluded his speech with a tremendous truth that faith in God is far more important than Job‘s desire for an explanation for his suffering. He came so close to helping Job, but then went down the wrong path. The answer he gave him we find in Verses 23 and 24.”The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. Therefore, men revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?”

It’s true that God is all knowing. But we still all wonder why he created us and subjects us to all the bad things we see happening in this world when He loves us, and calls us His children.

I remember a time when a woman once asked me that very same question. In return, I asked her if she was a parent, and she said yes. I then asked, “Do parents who choose to have children not know that their kids will have free wills and make some bad choices? Of course! Yet love takes risks. God has demonstrated that all of us were made free. He even made those that He knew would potentially rebel and reject him.

What would it be like if the Lord only made people who were “programmed” to love Him? Obviously, there is something wrong with that because real love cannot be forced. It must be freely given. It was so important to God that humans be free to make their own choices. He created people who could truly trust Him or turn from Him.

Some people suggest that God’s knowledge about what will take place in the future somehow interferes with history and people’s choices. Others believe the Lord “turns off” this ability to know things ahead of time. But just as a video camera can record events without interfering with those happenings, so God’s foreknowledge never violates human freedom.

When our world has run its course and Jesus comes to destroy sin forever, the entire universe will acknowledge, “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!” (Revelation 15:3). All will agree that the plans of God to create the world and permit sin to enter was handled with complete fairness and LOVE.

The most incredible part of God’s love is that He was even willing to come and die to save people who rebelled against Him. That shows me that the Lord can be trusted.

“Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”(Psalm 147:5).

Be confident of God’s love for you, no matter the circumstances .


In His Service,   Pastor Joe


Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus.”
—Neal A. Maxwell

“Bless us, Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; teach us to be patient and always to be kind.”
—Helen Steiner Rice


Sunday School – 8:15 AM in the Community Building

Choir Practice Every Thursday at 1:00pm (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

Sunday, December 6th2nd Sunday in Advent

Thursday, December 10thPW meeting and Luncheon – 11am in the Community Building – Don’t forget your Secret Sister Gift

Thursday, December 10thWorship Team meets after luncheon to pack cookies

Sunday, December 13th3rd Sunday in Advent

Wednesday, December 16thMen’s Action Group – 8am in the Community Building

Sunday, December 20th4th Sunday in Advent

Monday, December 21stFirst Day of Winter

Thursday, December 24th Christmas Eve – Candlelight Service – 7pm

Friday, December 25thMERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Tuesday, December 29th Session Meeting 10am

Tuesday, January 5thNewsletter Deadline

Thursday, December 31st New Year’s Eve / Watch Night

Friday, January 1stHAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Winter Months – Session discussed the procedures the congregation will follow during the winter months. People will enter and leave the Church by the front door. Mask must be worn as they enter and go to a pew. Mask must be worn when they leave the Church. Pastor Joe will stand near the pulpit when the service is finished to speak to people before they leave. He will not stand by the front door. Session is asking that people do not congregate in the vestibule or loiter for a long time in the sanctuary when they leave. Hand sanitizer will be located by the front door for people to use.

The Worship Services for the Advent Season have been planned. A Christmas Eve Service will take place at 7pm. Ushers will be used to escort people to a pew. They will try to keep families together. People will wear a mask as they enter the Church and go to a pew. Pews will be marked off as to where to sit for social distancing. When the pews are full people will be escorted to the community building where they can watch the Christmas Eve Service on the TV. Mask will be worn and social distancing will take place while in the community building. Those who wish to stay in the parking lot can do so and listen to the service on 89.5 FM radio. The candle lighting will take place by the congregation. Candles will be available for those in the community building. People will be asked to hold something in back of the candle flame as they blow it out. It could be their hand, the hymnal or a bulletin. They could also use their fingers to distinguish the flame. Ushers will escort people from the Church when the service is over. Candles will be collected as they leave.

The Presbyterian Women’s group accomplished many things this year, even though some of events, such as the Advanced Watchwomen Retreat in April and the Ladies Spring Banquet in May , as well as our April and May meetings, were canceled due to COVID. We were able to collect used pill bottles, along with many others in the church for Haiti, as they had no way to receive their medications other than in their hand. We learned to make mats for the homeless from plastic grocery bags. We donated to the Bross Family due to losing their home to a fire, we prepared and completed meals for several funeral services, Halloween bags were made for the residents of Meadow View nursing home. We also provided gift cards for the Women’s Resource Center. Thanksgiving bags were made for the residents of Barnes Kasson Skilled Nursing Facility as well as cards for each of them and for Meadow View. For Christmas, little Christmas trees were made and decorated for the residents at Meadow View nursing home and Barnes Kasson Skilled Nursing Facility, as well as little gift bags for each.

The men’s group has been very active this year. They did projects for the Church and two Church members as well as doing maintenance items in the Church, community building and old hall. They also were busy maintaining the Church property. Individually, they were on call to do whatever they needed to do, which they did, for our Church, Church members, neighbors and friends throughout the community. An individual even cut down and removed a dead ash tree for a Partner of the Church. Lots of work was put into the sound system by several people due to the pandemic to broadcast the Sunday Services to the parking lot. This is an outgoing project with improvements being made all the time.In the spring they helped volunteers from the Church with the spring cleanup to the parking lot and Church property. Members from the men’s group built steps and installed them for a Church family from their back door of their home. This fall they helped members of the Church move into a new home. They scraped paint and sanded the ramp coming out the back of the Church so it could be stained by 2 ladies from our Church. Two railings were built and put in place coming from the road to the sidewalk in front of the Church. These railings were then painted. Three men removed the ramp and railing coming from the sidewalk to the Church. A new ramp and new railings were installed by Park’s Construction. The Church shutters were removed and painted by a member of the Church. The Church was power washed before the shutters were reinstalled. Men raked gravel and filled in the ruts in the parking lot. New security lights were installed to the parking lot poles and to the pole by the community building. Outlets and conduit were installed on each pole in the parking lot and a new outlet and circuit breaker installed to the pole by the community building. The Church property was maintained by members of the men’s group. They mowed grass around and below the community building. The back side of the sand mound was pushed mowed by Rose Jones. They worked in the flower garden, raked leaves in October and disposed of them. They keep the park cleaned by keeping the grass mowed and weed whacking where needed. They removed an old stump by the pavilion and cut up the rotted cross that fell from the pavilion. They cut up the pole that held the basketball hoop when it rotted and fell down. They installed a new basketball hoop that was donated by Rick and Rose Jones.  Other maintenance work done was to paint the door to the shed and paint the roof to the entrance to the old hall. They scraped paint from the lower windows in the old hall. They removed old putty and added new and then primed and painted the windows.

Prayers Shawls – 8 Shawls were given to individuals throughout the year.

Anyone wishing to share a talent, to sing, play an instrument, read a poem, tell a story, or give testimony, etc. during worship, please contact Joe or Bonne.

Don’t Forget to check your mailbox – as you enter the vestibule on the wall to the left.

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

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