The Messenger – July 2022

Dear Church Family and Friends,

July is here and it seems to come way too fast. It seems like only yesterday we were shoveling snow and putting down ice melt. I’m sure many of you have already made your plans for the summer. Plans for vacations, plans for time with family members and all those outings that you plan to do during the summer months.

If those plans include celebrating Independence Day on the fourth by going to watch fireworks, to celebrate the freedom we have in these United States, and the decisions our forefathers made to gain that freedom, please remember that freedom is a decision, a personal one.

Christ made that decision when he went to the cross to die for our sins so that we might have freedom. In Galatians 5:1 Paul writes, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

There’s a story told out of Persia about a General who had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door. As the moment of execution draws near, the spies are brought to the Persian General, who asks the question, “What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?” One spy, faced with this dilemma, hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision. He chose the firing squad. Moments later shots rang out confirming his execution.

The General turned to his aide and said, “They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we give them a choice.”

The aide said, “What lies beyond the big black door?”

“Freedom,” replied the general, “I’ve known only a few brave enough to take it.”

“I’ve known only a few brave enough to take it”. Have you chosen the unknown? Let’s read that verse again from Galatians 5:1. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Freedom and forgiveness from your sins awaits. It’s your decision. Be brave enough to take it!

This first sentence of Gal.5 stands as the declaration of purpose for Christ’s redeeming work. It literally means to believers, Christ set us free to freedom. It changed the believer’s condition from one of slavery to freedom.

The second part of the verse encourages the Galatians and all Believers to hold to their position against those who would return them again to slavery.

July 4th, we celebrate our country’s freedom, but if you’re following Jesus, then every day should be your Independence Day. So, if or when you watch fireworks, let them remind you of the source of your greatest liberty.

All those yucky things you’ve done in the past have been washed away. Forgiven by God! You’re no longer held captive by your sin and selfishness. You’re a new person, a child of God who is becoming more and more like Christ every day.

Remember that’s nothing you did for yourself. You’re saved by grace, through faith and not by works. By the grace of God and by believing that what Jesus did on the cross was enough, you’re set free. He ransomed you with his death, paying your penalty for you, an overwhelming debt that you could never pay yourself.

You didn’t gain that freedom by going to church or by becoming a church member. You didn’t gain that freedom by giving money or by being a nice person. You didn’t gain that freedom by being a religious person.

You gained that freedom by your decision to accept Christ as your Savior. You’ve gained freedom by the grace of God through faith. You’ve been set free from the burden of sin. Celebrate that decision this Fourth of July and every day.

Let’s all pray together. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of salvation and the freedom I have through Christ. Today help me to overcome any struggle by remembering the source of my freedom.”


In His Service,

Pastor Joe


Sunday School – 8:15 AM in the Community Building

Choir Practice will resume in the fall

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

Every Wednesday Pastor Joe will be at the church from 9:00am to 11:00am for the summer


Friday, July 1stCanada Day!!!

Monday, July 4th Happy Independence Day!!!

Wednesday, July 13thSession Meeting – 4:30 pm

Thursday, July 14thPresbyterian Women Meeting – 11am

Wednesday, July 20thMen’s Action Group Breakfast & Meeting – 8am

Tuesday, July 26thNewsletter Deadline


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

Please sign up to host one of the social hours on the Sunday after Communion Service on the first Sunday of the month. Hosting only means setting out what is brought and cleaning up afterward. It does not mean bringing everything to share.


Don’t forget to check out our Website – we now have a Donate Buttonthrough PayPal – just click on the button on the home page and make your donation! And also our Facebook page!

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

Don’t forget our card ministry – If you would like a card sent to a particular person to give them a lift or let them know they are missed or offer encouragement, etc. etc., just give the name and address to Cathe. Cards, envelopes and postage will be provided and placed on a table in the Community Building the first Sunday of each month. As we file past the table on our way to the coffee pot, we will be able to sign each of the cards and Cathe will address the envelopes and mail them.

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 – General Fund

3rd Sunday – Kenya/Rev. Malabo

4th Sunday – General Fund

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

Rev. Malaho continues to struggle to keep his school operational. Last month he reported that a storm had blown the roof off their school. It would take $1,000 to repair the damage. Two members of our congregation gave the money so the school could reopen. A week later he sent a picture of the newly repaired school. They now have 350 students, teachers, and support help in the school.

Then two sisters were brought by community leaders. Their parents had died from HIV and they lived with their grandmother, until she died. So he took them in to his house,

They continue to struggle with Covid, Malaria, and flu. Medical attention is a distant “want”. But they have identified a volunteer nurse and medical Tech.  If they could get $3600 they could get medical equipment and supplies to open the school for four months.

Last week he said that they are stressed. They are out of food. They have only beans and sugar to last for 2 days. . We sent our monthly support a couple days early. and as always, he was very appreciative and sends God’s blessings to our church and our people, who have helped him very much.

Submitted By Jim Kessler


Comments are closed.