Category Archives: Parish Life

Fishing Day – June 12, 2016

“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”

Join us for a day of Fun, Food, Fellowship, and Fishing!!

When: Sunday, June 12th, 2:00 to 4:30 PM
Where: Leslie Bullock’s Place in Noxen
(Directions available in Church Office)

Bring a salad or dessert to pass!
Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, and Drinks will be provided!

RSVP by June 5th to Amy Williams at

Rain Date: Sunday, June 19th

Ages 3-9 will ‘dry fish’ for prizes

Children 10 and up ‘live fishing’ must be
accompanied by a responsible person over 16

Looking for fishing equipment (poles, tackle)
to be borrowed for the day

Download (PDF)


October Worship

October Worship begins with our World Communion service- reminding us of the faith that unites us to Christians around the world, and ends with Anniversary Sunday which is the annual celebration of our call to be united as Methodists and Presbyterians together.  Our lectionary readings for this late ordinary time in year B come from Job and Hebrews and will inform Pastor Carol’s preaching emphasis on the nature in the world of human sin.

October 4
World Communion Celebration; Peace and Justice Ministry Offering

Scriptures:  Job 1:1, 2:1-10 God allows his faithful servant Job to be tested by Satan; Mark 10:2-16 Jesus is tested by the Pharisees on the question of divorce; Hebrews 1: 1-4, 2: 5-12 Jesus is the reflection of God’s glory even as he shares our human nature.

Hymns:  O God of Every Nation, This is My Song, In Christ there is no East or West

October 11
Columbus Day Weekend but your church is NOT on vacation- so don’t miss out!

Scriptures:  Job 23: 1-9 Job wants God to answer for his suffering; Mark 10: 17-31 The rich man asks Jesus what he must do to be saved; Hebrews 4: 12-16 Scripture judges us.

Hymns:  Immortal Invisible God only Wise, Will You Come and Follow Me? O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee

October 18

Scriptures:  Job 38: 1-7, 34-38 God answers Job’s demand for an audience; Mark 10: 34-44 James and John want special treatment from Jesus; Hebrews 5: 1-10 Jesus is the great high priest who interceded for us with God

Hymns:  Praise to the Lord the Almighty; Blessed Jesus, at your Word; To God be the Glory

October 25

Anniversary Sunday- The Rev. Robert Kazinski guest preacher

Hymns:  Come Sing, O Church in Joy; A Mighty Fortress is our God; Lord You Give the Great Commission


Church Without Walls- Sunday, May 3rd

Church without Walls is an opportunity for congregation members, friends and visitors to participate in community service projects throughout the day.  We will begin the day with a condensed worship at 10 a.m. in Fellowship Hall.  After worship, we will break into our work groups to begin our projects for the day.

Church without Walls is an opportunity to be a church out in the surrounding communities involved in hands on mission projects to build fellowship among our church members and community. The chosen projects and the community members they help will provide a collaborative framework for a faith-building experience.

If you would like to get involved in any of the projects listed below please call Lesley O’Boyle at the church office at 570-288-8434.  There are projects for all ages, skill levels and abilities.

Celebration:  Come and join the Celebration Team at Wesley Village for our Church Without Walls project on Sunday, May 3rd at 10:00 a.m. We will join the residents at Wesley Village and Make a Joyful Noise for a few fun hours of singing and fellowship. We’ll need some singers and bakers to make this project a success.

Church & Community:  With your gardening hats and gloves, join the Church and Community Ministry Team in the landscaping of a local Head Start center for our Church Without Walls project. Together with the Property Team, we will weed and plant at the center on Meyer St. in Edwardsville.

Additionally, the Church and Community Ministry Team will provide bathing suits and towels to approximately 30 children of the Head Start Jump Start program. This summer program includes water activities and a week at the JCC camp for which these items are needed. Partner with us by donating a child sized beach towel. A collection box will be in the Narthex.

Education:  As a part of Church Without Walls, the Education Ministry Team would like to invite everyone to participate in the 3rd Annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes with the walk team, “Friends and Family for a Cure.” You can register for the walk or make a donation to the team by visiting the team page at or in person on the day of the walk. The JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes is on Sunday, May 3rd at PNC Field in Moosic (home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders). Registration starts at 9:00 A.M. and the walk begins at 10:00 A.M. There will be food, entertainment, and vendors.

The Education Ministry Team will also be taking donations of items to be collected for bags for patients at the First Hospital.  We are collecting crayons, notebooks with no spiral wire bindings, pencils, activity books (puzzles, sudoku, etc.)  Items can be dropped off to Lesley O’Boyle in the church office.  On May 3rd, we will make cards and organize the items donated into the bags and deliver them to First Hospital.

Finance:  The Finance Ministry Team will be providing and serving a meal to the men of VISION on May 15th when they are staying at St. Stephen’s church.

Member Care & Development:  Member Care & Development will sanitize the Indoor Play Area at the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association.

Mission:  Can’t travel to Honduras to build schools and churches, but still want to participate in a meaningful mission project?   No worries!  We have two volunteer opportunities for you right here in the greater Wyoming Valley.

The Mission Ministry Team has committed to two Church Without Walls activities, and we’re looking for church members who would like to volunteer for one (or both!) of these projects.  It is not necessary to be a member of any particular church Ministry Team.

No special skills required.  Just a desire to serve.

1)  St. Vincent Soup Kitchen, Wilkes-Barre.  Sunday, May 3, 2015, 9am-1pm, to make sandwiches, set-up and serve.

2)  Habitat for Humanity.  Saturday, May 2, 2015, approximately 10am-2pm, to prepare and serve lunch to volunteers working on a Habitat home at a location in the greater Wilkes-Barre area.

Please contact Evelyn Kersey (at 570-696-544 or or the church office to sign up for one of these activities.  Thanks!

Personnel:  The Personnel Ministry Team of COCU has chosen “Sleep Tight” as their project for Church without Walls Sunday in May. All are invited to participate by donating new pajamas for children of all ages. Please drop the pajamas in the donation box located in the entrance to worship or to the church office by April 26th and do not gift wrap them. They will then be donated to local agencies to be distributed as needed. With your help we can make a great deal of children snug and happy!

Program Planning:  Program Planning will be putting together Mission Central Hygiene Kits in Fellowship Hall.

Property and Church & Community:  With your gardening hats and gloves, join the Property Ministry Team in the landscaping of a local Head Start center for our Church Without Walls project. Together with the Church & Community Ministry Team, we will weed and plant at the center on Meyer St. in Edwardsville.

Stitch Ministry:  Stitch Ministry will be making tie blankets in Fellowship Hall which will be donated to local community organizations.



February Worship

February 1-Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 

Communion served in pews- Souper Bowl Hunger Offering

Sermon:  Not for Bread Alone

Scripture:  Deuteronomy 18: 15-20 Behaviors for the Promised Land; Corinthians 8: 1-13 Christians model behavior so that others may not come to harm

Hymns:  Morning is Broken; This is My Father’s World; How Great Thou Art

February 8- Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Scouting Sunday to honor our young people

Scripture:  Mark 1: 29-39 Jesus’ Ministry of Healing; 1 Corinthians 9: 16-23 Paul as Apostle

Hymns:  Great is Thy Faithfulness; We are One in the Spirit; All the Way My Savior Leads

 February 15- Transfiguration Sunday

Pulpit Exchange with the Rev. Scott Loomer

Scripture:  2 Corinthians 4: 3-6 Glory of God

Hymns:  Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory; O Wondrous Sight, O Vision Fair;  Jesus Take us to the Mountain

 February 18- Ash Wednesday- Lent Begins

6:00 p.m. Service in the Sanctuary

Communion at the rail and imposition of ashes. The theme is ‘Receive Justification.’  Let’s start off Lent on the ‘right’ foot, by falling on our knees!

February 22- First Sunday in Lent

Sermon:  Defining Moments

Scripture:  Mark 1: 9-15 Jesus shares his identity with disciples; Genesis 9: 8-17 God makes a covenant with Noah and sets a rainbow in the sky.

Hymns:  Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above; Forty Days and Forty Nights;  Lord of the Dance

February 25- Second Wednesday in Lent

6:00 p.m. Service in the Sanctuary

This year our celebration ministry team has decided to have services each Wednesday in the Sanctuary, with light refreshments following the service in Fellowship Hall before choir practice.  As before, they will be 30-45 minutes in duration but each service you will have the opportunity to partake of communion at the rail. Our theme will be THE PARABLES OF LENT. In stories of lives transformed, Jesus invites us to receive the means of grace as we are offered: Justification, the Word, the Treasure, Mercy and Forgiveness.


Remember to deepen your faith journey during Lent by participating in a study session: Adult Class on Sundays at 11:30 p.m. in Luken’s Lounge; Thursday Lunch Bunch at 11:00 a.m.; Circle of Grade meets on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m.

Thursday Lunch Bunch is looking at ‘questions of faith’ video reclaiming Jesus for our time


December Worship

December 7- Second Sunday in Advent- Communion- The Candle of Peace

Sermon:  Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Scripture:  Isaiah 40: 1-11 God Comforts the People; Mark 1: 1-8 John the Baptist Prepares the Way

Hymns:  Blessed Be the God of Israel 209; Comfort Now My People 87; Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus 82; Creator of the Stars of Night 84; Communion Invitation

December 14- Third Sunday in Advent- The Candle of Joy- New Members Received- Pageant- All Church Brunch

Sermon:  Getting the Message Right

Scripture:  Isaiah 61:  1-4, 8-11 God Delivers the People; John 1: 6-8, 19-28 John’s Baptismal Identity

Hymns:  O Come, O Come Emmanuel 211; On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry 96; O Lord, How Shall I Meet You? 104

December 21- Fourth Sunday in Advent- The Candle of Love- Delivery of our Angel Tree Gifts

Sermon:  Something to Sing About

Scripture:  Luke 1: 26-38 Mary’s Magnificat; Psalm 27 Wait for the Lord

Hymns:  Angels from the Realms of Glory 220; Angels We Have Heard on High 238; The First Noel 245

December 24- Christmas Eve- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday- The Christ Candle Completes our Advent Wreath

Sermon:  New Beginnings

Scripture:  Isaiah 9: 2-7 The People in Darkness See a Great Light; Luke 2 Jesus’ Birth

Hymns: O Come All Ye Faithful; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; Away in a Manger; What Child Is This?; Break Forth O Beauteous Light; Silent Night; Joy to the World; Peace, Peace

December 28- First Sunday of Christmas- Christ’s Story Continues in Our Stories

Sermon:  Sermon will be given by the Rev. Dr. James L. Harring

Scripture:  Isaiah 61: 10- 62: 3 God Sends a Savior; Luke 2: 22-40 Jesus is Presented in Temple

Hymns:  Hark the Herald Angels Sing 240; Good Christian Friends, Rejoice 224; Joy to the World, the Lord is Come


November Worship

November 2- Celebration of All Saints and Holy Communion

Sermon:  Crossing Over Jordan

Scripture:  Joshua 3: 7-17  Israel crosses the Jordan into the promised land

Hymns:  Come, Let Us Join Our Friends Above 709; My Life Flows On 821; For All the Saints

November 9- Recognition of our Veterans & Annual Meeting of the Congregation after worship

Sermon:  Get Ready, Get Set, Go

Scripture:  Matthew 25: 1-13 Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids; Joshua 24: 1-3, 14-25 Covenant Renewal

Hymns:  O Church of God United 547; Fight the Good Fight 846; Eternal Father, Strong to Save 8

November 16- Stewardship Sunday- Rev. Phyllis Bowers of the United Methodist Stewardship Foundation Preaching

Scripture:  Matthew 25: 14-30 Jesus’ parable of the talents;                  1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11 Salvation in Christ

Hymns:  Heralds of Christ 567; The Church of Christ in Every Age 589; Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service 581

November 23- Thanksgiving Sunday- Celebration of the Reign of Christ the King

Sermon:  Women of the Church- lay speakers Donna Dickinson, Cindy Kazinski, Leslie Bullock

Scripture:  Matthew 25: 1-46 The judgement of the Nations; Ephesians 1: 15-23 Inheritance of the Saints

Hymns:  We Gather Together 131; Now Thank We All Our God 102; Come, Ye Thankful People Come 694; Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven 66

November 30- First Sunday in Advent

Sermon:  Waiting on the Lord

Scripture:  Isaiah 64: 1-9 God will come from heaven;                                 1 Corinthians 1: 3-9 Wait for revelation of Christ

Hymns:  Blessed be the God of Israel 209; Comfort, Comfort Now My People 87; Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates 213


Lenten Lessons Schedule

Please join us beginning Wednesday, March 5th, Ash Wednesday, for our Lenten Lessons.  The services will start at 5:30 p.m., in Fellowship Hall followed by a light soup supper.


All lessons will be in Fellowship Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m., soup supper will follow at 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 5, ASH WEDNESDAY

Soup provided by Celebration Ministry Team


Wednesday, March 12, Lesson: John & Mark

Soup provided by Finance Ministry Team


Wednesday, March 19, Lesson: Lazarus

Soup provided by Education Ministry Team


Wednesday, March 26, Lesson: Simon of Cyrene

Soup provided by Mission Ministry Team


Wednesday, April 2, Lesson: Nicodemus

Soup provided by Church and Community Ministry Team


Wednesday, April 9, Lesson: Tomb Guard

Soup provided by Member Care/Member Development


Thursday, April 17, Maundy Thursday

Service at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary, Communion will be served


February Worship Calendar

February 2

4th Sunday after Epiphany – Celebration of Communion


Micah 6: 1-8      What does the Lord require of you? Do Justice, love kindness…

Matthew 5: 1-12  Jesus gives the sermon from the mount- and the beatitudes


How Then Shall We Live?


399 Take My Life, and let it be Consecrated; 395 Take Time to be Holy; 103 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise; 89 Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee




February 9

5th Sunday after Epiphany – Second Sunday Singers join our choir 9:15 a.m.



Isaiah 58: 1-9a   The difference between false and true worship – words and deeds

Matthew 5: 13-20  Followers of Jesus are called to be salt and light in the world


Please Pass the Salt


77 How Great Thou Art; 467 Trust and Obey; 419 I am Thine, O Lord



February 16

6th Sunday after Epiphany



Deuteronomy 30: 15-20 God sets the choice before us between life and death

Matthew 5:  21-37 Jesus’ exhortations against anger, adultery, divorce, and swearing


Life is an open book – how does your story read?


132 All My Hope is Firmly Grounded; 142 If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee;

463 Lord, Speak to Me



February 23

7th Sunday after EpiphanyScout Recognition Sunday



Leviticus 19: 1-4, 9-18    Ritual and Moral Holiness (God’s commandments)

Matthew 5: 38-48  Do not retaliate and Love your enemies


Tough Love


178 Hope of the Word; 140 Great is Thy Faithfulness; 130 O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee


The choir anthems chosen for February are based in African American spirituality in honor of Black History Month.  Thanks to Carl Ruck for keeping us aware of this great tradition!


January Worship Schedule

January 5               2nd Sunday after Christmas and Celebration of Epiphany:  Installation of officers

Isaiah 60: 1-6   The light shines in the darkness;    Matthew 2: 1-12 Wise Men Come

Sermon:           The Wise Still Seek Him

Hymns:            221 In the Bleak Mid-Winter;  254 We Three Kings of Orient Are;  248 On This Day, Earth Shall Ring; 251 Go, Tell it On the Mountain

January 12             Baptism of the Lord – Communion Celebrated and Baptismal Renewal

Isaiah 42: 1-9   The Servant of the Lord;   Matthew 3: 13-17 Jesus is baptized in Jordan

Sermon:           A Life Pleasing to God

Hymns:            249 There’s a Song in the Air; 252 When Jesus Came to Jordan; 256 We would see Jesus

January 19             2nd Sunday after Epiphany

John 1: 29-42 Jesus is called the Lamb of God;   1 Cor. 1: 1-9 Grace given in Jesus Christ

Sermon:           What Child is This?  Jesus Identity

Hymns:            188 Christ is the World’s Light; 357 Just as I Am, Without One Plea; 301 Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

January 26             3rd Sunday after Epiphany

Isaiah 9: 1-4     The people in darkness see the light;    Matt. 4: 12-23 Jesus begins ministry

Sermon:           More than a Glimmer – The Light that Shines

Hymns:            129 O Sing a Song of Bethlehem; 187 Rise, Shine You People; 182 Word of God, Come Down to Earth                    


Pictures from Church Without Walls

On Sunday, September 29th the congregation of Church of Christ Uniting along with friends from the community joined in the Church without Walls Project.  Together over 60 people joined together and used their talents, grace and love to work on over a dozen community service projects to serve others.  The following are some pictures documenting the day.

To enlarge a picture, click on the picture with your left mouse button.

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November Worship Schedule

November 3

All Saint’s Sunday- Communion and Prayer of Remembrance

Scripture:  1 Thes. 4: 1-12 Living a life that is pleasing to God and Luke 19: 1-10 Zacchaeus

Sermon:  Saints Go the Distance

Hymns:  709 Come, Let Us Join our Friends Above; 708 Rejoice in God’s Saint’s;

711 For All the Saints

1:00 P.M. American Guild of Organists meeting at COCU

November 10

Veteran’s Day Remembrance- Stewardship Sunday

Scripture:  Haggai 1: 15b-2: 9 Rebuilding the Temple and Luke 20: 27-38 Questions of Resurrection

Sermon:  Building for the Present- and Future

Hymns:  581 Lord Whose Love in Humble Service; 399 Take My Life and Let it be

Consecrated; 593 Here I Am, Lord

November 17

Annual Meeting of the Congregation following worship for the purpose of electing officers and setting the terms of call for the pastor

Scripture:  Isaiah 65:  The glorious new creation and Luke 21: 5-19 Destruction of the Temple

Hymns:  577 God of Grace, and God of Glory; 592 When the Church of Jesus; 571 Go Make of All Disciples

November 24

Christ the King Sunday- The Rev. Roger Griffith is our guest preacher for the day

Scripture:  Jeremiah 23: 1-8 Restoration after exile and raising up the line of King David and Luke 23 Jesus on trial before Pilate is declared to be the King of the Jews

Sermon:  What do we mean when we call Jesus ‘Lord’?

Hymns:  131 We Gather Together; 157 Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun; 716 Rejoice the Lord is King



New Member Reception

A new member reception will be held on Sunday, March 17, at 3 p.m. at the home of Pastor Carol Fleming. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the congregation is welcome to come and learn more about COCU.  If you have any questions on becoming a member or the congregation or attending this reception please feel free to contact the church office at 570-288-8434. 


A New Service Opportunity Awaits You

A dream and plan of the Parish Life Ministry Team took one giant step closer to becoming reality this summer, thanks in part to a grant from the Lackawanna Presbytery new and emerging ministry fund that helped cover COCU’s enrollment fee in Stephen’s Ministry

If you haven’t heard of Stephen’s Ministry before this, we hope it will be the last time you can say so! Over the fall you will be hearing a great deal more – about what it is – and what it isn’t.

Stephen was the first deacon of the church whose story can be found in Acts 6 and 7. The role of deacon was developed after Greeks complained to Hebrews about their widows and orphans being neglected in ministry. People ‘of good standing and full of the Spirit and of wisdom’ were chosen to reach out in ministry to the most vulnerable in the community. Stephen, the first martyr of the early church, was thus chosen as a model for this ministry of one on one, Christ-centered care and support of people experiencing a crisis or going through a difficult time. A Stephen’s minister meets with his or her care-receiver for about one hour each week, for as long as that person needs care during loss, grief, divorce, chronic illness, new parent-hood, an empty nest, or retirement.

A Stephens Minister walks with a care receiver through difficult days to provide support and encouragement, prayer, and hope. A Stephen’s Minister is NOT a therapist, counselor, doctor, or other health professional, nor a substitute fill-in for the pastor. But just as the first apostles discovered, after a crisis there is often an ongoing need for support that the pastor can’t provide after he/she has gone on to the next crisis in the congregation. That is when a Stephen’s Minister can make all the difference!

Stephen Ministers must undergo 50 hours of training before being assigned a care-receiver. In addition, there are on-going hours of supervision and continuing education each month to equip laity for this important role in the congregation. COCU sent four people to an intensive training for Stephen’s Leaders in Pittsburgh from August 2-8 where they learned about the organization and how to best equip members for this ministry. There are 250 organizations (other than churches) involved in Stephen’s Ministry that include hospitals, military, correctional institutions, and social service agencies. We joined more than 55,000 pastors and other church staff and lay leaders who have attended leadership training that began first in 1978 (four held each year). There are now more than 500,000 Stephen Ministers trained in congregations and organizations through skilled Christian care-giving to walk with hurting people during difficult times.

Could God be calling you to this important ministry of care and outreach in our church? Pray about your participation! Pray for our leaders; Pastor Carol, Donna Dickinson, Jan Reese, and Marilyn Bezek! Open your mind, and your heart, to this new opportunity. Open your ears and eyes to upcoming announcements and interpretation. Pray for the personal support and encouragement and financial resources needed to continue to develop and train members for this ministry. We’re counting on YOU!

Pastor Carol


Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Yankees

July 31st will be a perfect night out at the ballgame and time for fellowship.  Come join the COCU family for a fun time at the game!  Tickets are $7.50 per person and include admission to the game, a voucher for a sub sandwich, chips and soda from Dominoes Pizza and a hat.  Tickets are still available.  If you are interested see Mary Baker or fill out a flyer located on the bulletin board in the hallway.