First United Methodist Church
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.

Bulletin - Dec 17

December 17, 2017








PASTOR: Pastor Wade Berkey



CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: Monday-Thursday 8:00-4:00 PM




If you are visiting for the first time today,


            We are so glad that you are here! Should you need any kind of assistance during the service, please contact one of the ushers or the attendant at the Welcome Center. We would love to answer any questions that you may have. Please be sure and complete the Connect Card (a bulletin insert) and place it in the offering plate later in the service. You can check us out at or on our Facebook page to find out more information about us.

            Our prayer is that you have felt welcomed today and that your week will be blessed.


We Gather Together and Praise God

Music to prepare us for worship!


Ringing of the Call to Worship Bell


The Lighting of the Advent Wreath                                                           Insert


Call to Worship 

A reading of Luke 1:46b-55


*Opening Hymns:        “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”                         Insert

                                         “Emmanuel, Emmanuel”                                   No. 204


 *Opening Prayer (2 Samuel 7, Luke 1) 

Before your Word becomes flesh, O God, connect us with the wild, the ancient, the urgent. Connect us to your words uttered in human voice, from tent and tabernacle, full of fear and mercy. Connect us to your words uttered in angelic voice, from the holy Name. Attune our minds and hearts to you, O God of mystery and greatness. Amen.


We Hear  God’s Word

Scripture Reading:                  Hebrews 4:15             (N.T. p. 220)

The Children’s Play               “Thank You God, For Christmas”   

Sermon Series-The Christmas Experience!

Sermon Title-This is God’s Plan?



We Respond to God’s Word

Praying Together

Silent Prayer/Altar Time/Pastoral Prayer

Invitation to the Offering

Grass may wither, but God’s word endures forever. Flowers may fade, but the promises of Christ abide. In offering our gifts to a world in need, we transform wealth that fades into an indestructible currency of God’s love for the world. Let us give freely and joyfully in the spirit we find in Christ Jesus.


Offering Prayer

Gathering of the Offering      


Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.


Going Forth to Serve God

*Closing Hymns:      “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”  (verses 1-7w/antiphon)

                                                                                                                 No. 211                                                                                

The Blessing/Sending Forth

Music to send us forth for God’s purpose! 

*Congregation stands if able.

Ask an usher for a large print hymnal or bible or personal hearing device.

Our Mission…

is to know Jesus and to make Jesus known.


Our Vision…

is to be the church that displays the love of Christ and connects with people of all walks of life through worshiping, growing, and serving.











Sunday, December 24, 11:00 AM, Family Christmas Eve Service

Sunday, December 24, 8:30 PM, Traditional Candlelight/Communion Service



If you would like to usher for the 8:30 Christmas Eve Service, please see Carol Wolfe. Thank you



December SIFT Luncheon will be held on Thursday, December 21st at noon in the Covenant Center. The Menu will be Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans/Corn, Everyone attending is asked to bring cookies to share. The program will be Pastor Wade reading the Christmas Story and we will be singing Christmas carols. Reservations due by Monday, December 18th at noon.





On Sunday, December 17th you will have the opportunity to enjoy the flavor of Christmas at a variety of churches in Kittanning. This is simply an opportunity to enjoy the decorations of the season at area churches. The tour will begin at St. Luke’s UCC at 2:00 PM. The churches that are participating will be—

St Luke’s UCC – 2:00 PM

First UM Church – 2:20 PM

St. John’s Lutheran Church – 2:35 PM

Grace Presbyterian Church – 2:50 PM

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – 3:05 PM

Family Life Church – 3:20 PM

Salvation Army – 3:35 PM

You can walk or drive between the churches and cookies and hot chocolate will be served at the Salvation Army.


Remember our nursery (with parent paging system) is available to all children thru 4 years during Sunday School and Worship.



Lenten Devotionals are due in the office no later than Wednesday, January 24th.  Please honor this deadline. Thank you.



Please pick up your 2018 offering envelopes at the front doors. Thank you



Mature Driver Improvement Course will be offered at the Covenant Center next year. The next class will be January 25, 2018 from 12:00-4:00 PM. For more information  there are posters on each bulletin board and reservation slips at each door. Tuition is only $16. There will also be a class in May, July and November.



The First United Methodist Church Library is NEVER CLOSED! Please feel free to visit our library anytime you are in our church.



Manorville United Methodist Church has started a Casual Church Service on Wednesdays. It is a come-as-you-are-attire, dinner is provided. Wednesday, December  20th at 6:00 PM.



There will be a display of nativities on Sunday, December 17th from 4:00 PM-6:00 PM at Manorville United Methodist Church. If you would be interested in displaying your favorite nativity, please talk to Pastor Wade or Pastor Ali by December 15th.




Matching Funds Available to Pay Conference Apportionments

          Conference apportionments are payments made by local charges to the Western PA Conference of the United Methodist Church.  They are used to fund things like salaries and benefits of the Bishop, District Superintendents, and conference staff, the many missions and programs run by the conference, and grants to local churches.  The grant we received to help fund our engagement with the About Face Church Outreach Consultants (the Zimmermans) was provided by the Western PA Conference, as was a grant to help defray increased healthcare insurance costs in 2016.  Another example was the financial

assistance we received to help make repairs after the flood of 2005.

          In a letter last month, the Finance Committee explained that, due to decreased income, we are in danger of not being able to pay our full share of conference apportionments this year.  Now we would like to announce a plan to help pay the remaining apportionment.  Between now and the end of the year, there are three special offerings in which members are traditionally asked to participate:  Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas.  Money that comes in through these special offerings in excess of our 2016 total will be used to pay

the remaining conference apportionments.  In addition, a generous donor has offered to match these payments!  Last year, these special offerings totaled $4,586.  That means that every dollar collected through the special offerings

that exceeds $4,586 will be matched 100% until our apportionments have

been paid in full.  What a blessing!  (As of the end of October, we need

$9,426 to pay the remaining apportionment.)

          While this is truly exciting news, we must be careful.  Any giving to

these special offerings must not take the place of regular weekly or monthly offerings.  Shifting our offerings from regular giving to these special offerings to pay our apportionment will help the conference but hurt the church, as it may cause us to have insufficient funds to pay our local bills.

          Whether you are accustomed to participating in these special offerings or not, we encourage you to do so this year as a thankful response to God’s gifts of grace in our lives!

          Please direct any questions you may have to John Yankasky or Tim Scaife.




TODAY, December 17th

9:30 AM Sunday School

11:00 AM Worship

2:00 PM Church Tours


MONDAY, December 18th

 6:30 PM Finance


TUESDAY, December 19th

8:30 AM 3R’s

11:00 AM CCOP-CC

6:00 PM Women’s Fellowship

7:00 PM New Found Freedom-CC

WEDNESDAY, December 20th

3:45 PM ARC Manor

6:00 PM Adult Choir


THURSDAY, December 21st

12:00 PM SIFT Luncheon

7:00 PM Heavenly Daughters


SATURDAY, December 23rd

3:00 PM Fink-CC

6:30 PM We Surrender-Church


SUNDAY, December 24th

9:30 AM Sunday School

11:00 AM Family Christmas Eve Service

8:30 PM Candlelight Christmas Eve Service


THE CHRISTMAS TREE is presented to the Glory of God in memory of Bob Schaeffer, given by Roy & Bobbi Williamson


THE FLOWERS on the organ are presented to the Glory of God in loving memory of Lauretta Scaife and Naomi Lias, given by the family


THANK YOU to the following individuals for assisting with today’s service:

Usher Team:                                       Epworth/Melissa Flanders

Worship Sound System:                     John Wolfe

Acolyte:                                              Joey Kachur/Dane Dimond  

Welcome Center:                                Sandy Scherf

Scripture Reader:                                Dan Wolfe 

Bell Ringer:                                        Jocelyn King