Spiritual

Pastoral Care

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If you or someone you know in the church needs pastoral care, please contact Pastor Susan on her cell phone 610.393.6971.  


 Pastor Susan will be on vacation August 12 through August 19. If you find yourself in need of pastoral care, please don't hesitate to call her cell phone and she will get back to you as soon as possible to arrange for another pastor to tend to your needs.   


Worship

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Our worship experience is the spiritual center of our church and a vital part of our Christian life where we are renewed and empowered to go out into the world following the ways of our Savior, Jesus Christ to share the blessings we have received here with others. If you have comments or questions about our worship life together, please speak with our Pastor, Rev. Susan Hanson, our Worship Committee Chair, or any Consistory member.  Or send an email to stvincentucc@gmail.com

Prayer Requests

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Prayer Request Forms and Thinking of You Cards are available on the shelf near the office door.  Please leave requests in the church office, email them to stvincentucc@gmail.com, or give them to Pastor Susan before announcement time so they can be included in our prayers on Sundays. Thank you!

August Pastor's Message

What Were YOU Doing During the Summer of Love?

  

I was ten years old during the social phenomenon known as the “Summer of Love”. But, I still remember seeing on the news how a hundred thousand hippies gathered in San Francisco and other big cities across the country that summer. People called them “flower children” because were into art and music and poetry and spiritual practices that their parents surely didn't share – so in my ten year old mind, I thought of them as “fragile” like flowers.


But they were tougher than they looked - suspicious of their government, rejecting of their parent's consumer, materialistic lifestyle, and vehemently opposed to the war in Vietnam. Some of them, I heard though I didn't quite understand, experimented with drugs and sex – but all I knew was that their music was “really loud” and kind of overwhelming. Even so, I thought they were beautiful. I loved the way they dressed, the way they danced, and all those colors! They shared things and created “community” wherever they went. It seemed to me that they were changing the world just by being who they were and spreading the love. And I wanted to be part of it too someday. 


I'll always be thankful for the one thing I took away from the summer of 1967. It made me realize that the world is a much more eclectic place than I knew about in the little town where I was growing up. There were all kinds of people in the world – different opinions, different ways of looking at things, different ways of “looking” - period. And my ten year old heart decided that was okay – even good. I didn't know a lot about Jesus at that age – just your usual Sunday School stuff. But I knew this – Jesus told us to “love one another” - plain and simple. The ultimate gift we can give to another person is to love them “just as they are” - like Jesus did. And I saw that in action in the “Summer of Love” in a way that has always stayed with me. 


Wouldn't it be great to create a “Summer of Love” Jesus style? Well, we could – right here in our own families and our own communities - and let it spread everywhere we go all summer long. It doesn't have to take a lot – just be loving, be kind, be good wherever you go and you will help change the world for the better. The hippies certainly were not perfect people – but they knew something for certain – Love is the Answer - Always and Forever! Amen, Amen!


Love, Pastor Susan  


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Stewardship

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Giving is a Gift

The world tells us that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” But Christians in the church take a different view of things. We consider that everything first comes from God. Life itself is a gift from God. Money alone cannot extend it or make it more meaningful. And when we give back to the work of God for the sake of the world he loves, our act of thanks-giving becomes an expression of our love and faith, and grace. 


The Bible teaches us that “giving back” is part of our “partnership” with God – our way of taking care of the creation he has placed in our care. In the Old Testament, the Israelite people adopted a practice of offering back to God, the first fruits of their harvest. It was a reminder to them of their stewardship of the Creator’s world. Later in the Old Testament, when people were not merely farmers, but merchants and tradesmen as well - they were encouraged to simply give a “tithe” (about 1/10th of their income). 


Tithing 1/10th of your income has never been universally practiced in the Christian Church – but it has served as a “guide for giving” for many individual Christians. What might be more important is that we give regularly to the church throughout the whole year. People who make “giving” a matter of habit, like their attendance in church, often testify that this practice has a positive influence on their sense of faith, of doing good, of fulfilling their partnership with God. 


Even Jesus spoke often on the topic of stewardship – pointing out the widow who gave “everything” because she trusted God to take care of her; teaching parables that showed the difference between good and bad stewards; using workers in the vineyards to teach us about the kingdom and our place in promoting it through our acts of justice and stewardship. 


It is true that a “church is not a business” - but like a business, we have obligations which we must honor in terms of costs – our staff salaries, our building and utilities, our office supplies, our worship and music resources, our benevolences. And like a business expenses rarely go down from year to year. Still, the church leadership strives to be good stewards with the money we receive from our members. We simply ask that each of us “give as we are able.”


Please take time to look at your family budget and decide what you are willing and able to give to our church budget. The amount you give is entirely a matter for your personal decision but it should be: • Given thankfully and cheerfully • In proportion to your means • Regular and committed. 


To assist you in this goal, we have arranged for you to use the option of having your church contributions directly withdrawn from your bank account on a regular basis. Then, whether you are here or away for the weekend, you will still be giving to your church with thanksgiving. 


There are forms on the back table in church for you to make this arrangement. On the form you can indicate the amount you want dedicated and on what date of the month. It is completely safe and your information will be kept private. Fill out your form and give it to the pastor in a sealed envelope. If you have any questions about this process, please talk to Pastor Susan or our Church Administrator, Linda G.. Thank You!!!