The Messenger – January 2021

Dear Church Family & Friends,

As I was sitting at my desk this morning and thinking about what I’m going to write for the Messenger. I began to wonder what changes 2021 will bring. 2020 has brought more changes to our lives and to our church then I could have ever imagined. As your pastor, I’ve had to make lots of decisions, in this past year on how we are to continue worshiping together, without physical contact, without putting people at risk of contracting the coronavirus, and I pray that I may be able to continue to do so in 2021.

It’s been my goal, my mind set, my perspective to present and preserve that which God has provided for us here on Franklin Hill. And to keep my focus on what Paul taught the people of Galatia. He wrote to them in Galatians 5:25.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

And so, with that scripture in mind ,I think that it would be appropriate for me to ask you the same question I constantly ask myself, just as Paul asked the people of the churches of Galatia. He wrote to them in ;Galatians 3:2-5.

I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing–if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?”

Then later in the letter Paul encouraged the church in Galatia to move forward through its difficulties. Just as Paul was teaching them through the Spirit. So do his writing encourage us today. He wrote:

Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

We all know how one small decision today could have a big impact on tomorrow. And chances are you can think of some way right now that you know God would love us to include in how we share our faith, in how we worship God together.

I invite you to share with me how the Spirit is leading you. So that together we may;”keep in step with the Spirit.”

In His Service,

Pastor Joe



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


Wednesday, January 6th – Ephippany

Sunday, January 10th – Installation of Elders: Bruce Franchak and Cathe Parks

Thursday, January 14th – Presbyterian Women Meeting, 11am

Sunday, January 17th – Corporation Meeting following Worship Service

Wednesday, January 20th – Men’s Action Group – 8am

Wednesday, January 20th – Session Meeting at 10am

Tuesday, January 26th – Newsletter Deadline

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

Prayer Shawls – If anyone knows of anyone who would need a prayer shawl, please let Carolyn White know

Plastic Grocery Bags – Please give bags to Bonne Travis – these are used to crochet sleep mats for the homeless.


The Souper Bowl of Caring began in 1990 with a simple prayer said by Reverend Brad Smith at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina: Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.

The Souper Bowl of Caring empowers and unites communities to tackle hunger using the energy of the Big Game. Its vision is to transform the Big Game into a nationwide movement inspiring people to give locally and make a collective impact on hunger. People collect monetary and food donations traditionally during the weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. All of the money and food is then given directly to local charities of the group’s choice.

The Souper Bowl of Caring has branched out to include schools, businesses and congregations of all faiths. Together, they have raised more than $163 million in monetary and food donations. In 2020, thousands of groups collected over $10.6 million of food and contributions.

The Souper Bowl of Caring will celebrate 30 years of giving and serving in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

The Franklin Hill Presbyterian Church will be collecting non-perishable food items and monetary donations until Super Bowl Sunday. The Session will distribute these contributions locally through our Local Missions Outreach Program.


News from Kenya:

11/24 – COVID 19 seemed to peak here about mid November. Locally, they had 12 experienced medical personnel go down with Covid. They had been terrified and despaired. In his house, one 16 yr. old girl can’t walk, bathe, or toilet by herself and needed to transport to the hospital. Our finances also helped 2 children in pain and suffering.

12/2 – Our recent funds were used for foodstuffs, and firewood. He also had enough to by a small motorcycle especially for medical needs. THANK YOU!!

12/18 – They don’t have enough for essential items for “Ambassadors of Love” children’s home.

12/24 – They wished us a Merry, Merry, Blessed Christmas. Our financial support helped them achieve social/economic development projects.

We sent them new funds before Christmas.

12/26 – They had 45 families join them for eating, drinking, and celebrating. They offer us deepest gratitude and blessings for making this happen. These people would have had no other Christmas celebrations. They are always very appreciative for all the support that we send from our church, and realize that our help has made serious improvements to their lifestyle and helped their children with an education. By Jim Kessler

If you are in the parking lot, PLEASE TUNE YOUR RADIO TO 89.5 FM TO HEAR THE MORNING SERVICE. PLEASE NOTE: We ask that you wear a mask as you ENTER the church.

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. PLEASE check your E-Mail or Messenger Sat. evening & again Sunday AM each week for possible closing of SUNDAY Services do to any unforeseen weather conditions.



ECO National Gathering

The Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO) National Gathering will be Virtual this year January 29 – 31 (Friday – Sunday). This will allow everyone in the FHPC an opportunity to witness all or a portion of the gathering. You must preregister by going to the web-site below and click on

Register Now!.

You will get an e-mail before the conference with a full schedule of events and topics.

You will need to have ZOOM downloaded on your computer to see the gathering events.

Below is the first time slot expanded for your review.

All times listed are Pacific Standard Time zone. Please calculate accordingly for your specific location. All sessions will be recorded.


11:00 AM to 1PM (PST)

Choose a Pre-Conference: ECO Deep Dive (Click Here to See Options)


Attend a pre-conference over Zoom to learn from ECO Synod leaders and connect with others on how you and your church can benefit from resources that will help you flourish in one of the following areas:

  • Cultivating Emerging Leaders
  • Curious About Church Planting? Planters, Churches + Presbyteries
  • Everything You Need to Organize and Govern Your Church For Maximum Kingdom Impact
  • How ECO is Developing Leaders For The Future
  • Around the World during a Pandemic: Walking with the Global Church
  • Pastoral Transitions: How to Flourish in A Transition Season
  • Understanding Sacraments: The Lord’s Supper (with new resource)


Loose Change Offerings ( coins and bills)

1st Sunday – Local Missions

2nd Sunday – General Fund

3rd Sunday – Kenya/Rev. Malabo

4th Sunday – General Fund

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


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