September, 2021

Summer has just about ended and fall is fast approaching. Our Visioning Team has been meeting throughout the summer, and we are lining up some fall events at CUMC. Hopefully the resurgence of this newer strand of COVID will not require anything like the kind of massive shutdown we saw this past year. Listed below in this newsletter are some of the events our church is planning for the upcoming months.

Long Park Reverberate

Water Street Mission (Ministries) is planning an evening of worship for those of us in the Lancaster area on Tuesday evening, September 14th. It's called Reverberate! The evening event will feature testimonies and worship music. Our church, along with three other congregations, has been invited to lead a segment of the worship. We feel it is an honor, and a great opportunity, to serve the community, and especially highlight our country gospel ministry.

Our country gospel band will be playing, and we encourage those of you in the congregation to come out and support this event. We plan to buy t-shirts that will advertise our country gospel nights hopefully, you'll purchase one of the t-shirts and be a walking advertisement for our congregation that evening at Long's Park! In case of rain, the event will be held the following Tuesday night, September 21st. The time of the event will be announced at a later date.

Grieving Our Losses" Seminar

How long does it take to live again with joy after the death of a loved one? Are there other losses in life that can produce similar grief? Is what I'm experiencing in my grief normal or not? Are there things I can do to assist the healing process after a devastating loss? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed in a seminar offered by Pastor Harry entitled "Grieving Our Losses". The seminar will be held on four consecutive Thursday evenings, September 9, 16, 23 and 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the church.

If you are dealing with some type of significant loss in your life or would just like to know more about the grieving process and how to be of help to those who mourn you are invited to be part of this group. It is open to everyone. Please speak with Pastor Harry if you intend to come, or if you have questions or would like more information.

Blessing of the Animals

We are planning once again to have a Blessing of the Animals Service at our church parking lot on Sunday, October 3rd, at 3 p.m. This is an occasion to thank God for our pets, and to celebrate God's gift of our animal friends. There will be pet treats and human treats, as well as a very brief time of worship.

This is designed to be a community outreach, so invite your friends and neighbors to come. Even if you don't have a family pet, you are still encouraged to come and be a host to represent our church for those in the community who bring their pets. If you would be willing to help in some way with this event, please let Pastor Harry know. In case of rain the service will be held in the church fellowship hall.

Trick or Treat Night We hope to resume our church's participation in Trick or Treat night, something we were unable to do last year because of the COVID shutdown. At this point we are not sure of the status of Trick or Treat. Much will depend on the course that the COVID virus takes and how our community responds. But if there is Trick or Treat for the kiddies we want to set up a table outside our church and join in the fun! Stay posted for updates on this!

Online Service

Our online services continue, premiering on our church's Facebook page each Sunday morning at 9 a.m. We are grateful to Elizabeth Zito and Brady Spangler for their work in putting together these weekly services, and to those people in our church who serve as hosts for the service. Normally each week we get about 75 to 125 views for the worship service. We praise God that we are reaching people we did not reach before we began this ministry. We have developed a following of people who are not members of our church.

Plans are being made to hire a part-time "Online Pastor", someone who will develop this ministry from just being something people watch, to actually connecting viewers into an online church community. This new hire will also work within our church in its ministry of outreach to our neighborhood and community. We will soon be advertising for someone to fill this position, so please pray that God will send us the person He wants to lead us in this next step for our congregation!

Adult Sunday School

The Adult Sunday School class is beginning a DVD study called "Go Fish", featuring Andy Stanley. Andy Stanley is the founder and senior pastor of North Point Ministries, a network of churches in the Atlanta area that ministers to thousands of people each week in their in-person services, and thousands more through their TV ministry, DVD studies, books, and other ministry venues. Andy is the son of Charles Stanley, the venerated pastor, author and TV personality who has blessed millions of people over many years of ministry.

The "Go Fish" study will begin on Sunday, September 5th and conclude on Sunday, October 10th. The promotional material has this to say about this study: "People love to tell stories of their fishing adventures. When it comes to faith, however, most people clam up. Why is it we can't talk about what God has done in our life as naturally as we can spin fishing tales? This six-part DVD explores the motivation behind sharing our faith and how it can become a natural part of our lives." Session topics are: "We Were All Fish Once", "Why Fish?", "Fish Guts", "Fishing Buddies", "Muddy Water", and "The One That Got Away".

Beginning Sunday, October 17th, the Adult Sunday School class will begin a study of a book written by Erwin Lutzer titled, "We Will Not Be Silenced," Responding Courageously To Our Culture's Assault on Christianity.We are living in the midst of a cultural war in the United States. Issues deeply divide us as a nation. The book covers such topics as gender equality, Black Lives Matter, critical race theory, diversity, freedom of speech, the rising interest in socialism, among others. The topics are controversial, but we in the church ought to be examining these issues in the light of the Scriptures and our historic faith. Don't miss this study!

Support For Kenya

Thank you to all who have committed to monthly support of three Kenya pastors. Your giving enables these three men to each have a salary of $75 per month. While that seems insignificant to most of us Americans it now provides some amount of income, whereas these pastors were working for no pay prior to this.

Pastor Harry has had four mission trips to the village of Musese, where the church is located. God has done wonders in this little church, as it has grown, and given birth to a number of daughter churches! Through missionary giving by those in the U.S. in churches Pastor Harry has served, a school has been started, a medical clinic set up and operating, classes teaching useful trade skills are part of the church's outreach, a commercially dug well is on church property, providing water for the community, cows provide milk for the school children, crops are grown on land purchased through mission giving just some of the amazing things God has been doing in the little village of Musese, Kenya. Praise God, and thank you for your giving!

Update on COVID-19 We are all aware of the newer strain of COVID that is raising its ugly head and infecting many people, not only in our country, but the world. We are keeping watch on what is happening with this new outbreak. As of now, we continue our policy as we gather for worship of asking that those who have not been vaccinated to wear masks, and those who have been vaccinated to choose whether or not they wish to wear a mask. If anything changes in our procedures we will notify those in the congregation. We do ask that if you feel ill in any way with cold or flu-like symptoms that you stay home - and hopefully watch our online service that day.