St. John's UCC

Ministry in the heart of the city

From the Pastor’s Desk

Posted by: AKramer on November 29th, 2015

Have you noticed that every year the Christmas decorations in the mall are being put up earlier and earlier and the Hallmark channel is already running new Christmas shows on weekends? It feels like we jump from Halloween to Christmas, with barely a mention of Thanksgiving. Only the cooking shows are focusing on Thanksgiving and they are talking about the meal.
How do you prepare yourself for Christmas? What is your favorite tradition? Is there something that you must do or it doesn’t feel like Christmas to you? Maybe you bake cookies or go shopping the day after Thanksgiving or play Christmas music. Perhaps it doesn’t feel like Christmas until you have watched “Rudolph” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” or the tree is up, lit and decorated. Could it be that Christmas for you is when you have all the figures of the Nativity set placed perfectly in the stable?
For many of you it wouldn’t be Christmas if you weren’t worshiping by candlelight, singing, “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve or attending the children’s pageant or singing the “First Nowell”.
All of these traditions evoke memories, but they are not the reason we celebrate Christmas. It is a cliché, but Jesus is the reason for the season. If Jesus hadn’t been born and acclaimed as the Messiah, we would probably be celebrating the winter solstice.
As Christians, Christmas is the time we rejoice in the birth of our Savior, who showed us what it means to be fully human. We remember the difficult journey made by Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, and we thank God for this precious gift who incarnates love, peace, joy and hope for all.
Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas. This year make time in your preparations to remember the reason for the season. Focus on Jesus as being born anew in your life.
Add these events to your holiday traditions: the Advent Breakfast and Workshop on November 29, 9:30-10:30, lighting the Advent Wreath, attending the Christmas Pageant on December 20, going Christmas caroling the same day and watching the light fill the sanctuary on Christmas Eve.
After all the word holiday means holy day.
May all your days be holy days.

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

Wishing you Hope, Peace, Joy and Love,
Pastor Karen

Advent Song

Posted by: AKramer on November 29th, 2015

Nov-Dec Disciple

Posted by: AKramer on November 17th, 2015

Disciple Nov 2015 issue 9

October, 2015 Disciple

Posted by: AKramer on October 16th, 2015

Disciple Oct 2015, Issue 8

August-September Disciple

Posted by: AKramer on August 19th, 2015

Disciple Aug 2015, Issue 6

July – August Disciple

Posted by: AKramer on June 24th, 2015

Disciple June 2015

May-June Disciple

Posted by: AKramer on May 20th, 2015

Disciple May 19, 2015, issue 4

April – May Disciple

Posted by: AKramer on April 22nd, 2015

Disciple April 2015, Issue 3

Safe Child Policy

Posted by: AKramer on March 19th, 2015

Pennsylvania law (HB 435) now requires all church  volunteers working with children 18 years and under to complete the following clearances.

Volunteers  (Copy and paste url or use Facebook page for direct links)

PA State Police Criminal Background Check (no cost for volunteers)

PA Child Abuse History Clearance (no cost for volunteers)


Employees  (Copy and paste url or use Facebook page for direct link)

In addition to the above, all employees 14 years and older are required to complete the following:

FBI fingerprint record check ($27.50)

Free Online Mandatory Reporter Training

Reporting   (Copy and paste url or use Facebook page for direct link)

Any employee or volunteer learning of an abusive situation is now required to report this situation online at

St John’s Safe Child Coordinator:  Judy Garrigan  610-965-7182



What is the Church?

Posted by: AKramer on February 7th, 2015

The United Church of Christ | Penn Northeast Conference
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