Category Archives: Programs

Penny Wars for the Poor

The Church and Community Ministry Team is inviting the whole congregation to participate in the 18th Annual “Penny Wars for the Poor.”

This is a charitable challenge to all local faith communities to see which congregation can collect the most pennies. It is a fun way to make a difference.

All proceeds collected will be donated to the Commission on Economic Opportunity (the “People Helping People” organization) and will be distributed locally. Proceeds will be used to End Childhood Hunger in our community.

A container in which to deposit your pennies will be located in Fellowship Hall on March 26th during the Fellowship Hour hosted by the Church and Community team. The container will also be out in Fellowship Hall during the following two Sundays.

Let’s give our idle pennies a purpose and make every “red cent” count!

Image courtesy of clipartfest.com

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Easter Basket Project

Show compassion to those in need during this season of Lent by joining the Church and Community Ministry Team in our Annual Easter Basket Collection. Donations collected provide food baskets for our neighbors who are struggling to avoid hunger and have limited access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Our goal is to provide assistance for 100 families facing food insecurity. Both monetary and food donations will be collected for baskets which will be distributed through the Al Beech Food Pantry, which is based at Church of Christ Uniting.

Supplies such as canned corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, scalloped potatoes, and soup as well as Easter candy for the children will be collected. Monetary contributions will be used to provide gift certificates to families for the purchase of perishable food items. In addition, this year we are also collecting gently used clothing and children’s toys, which will be offered as part of the Easter Distribution.

Members of the Church and Community Ministry Team will be in the narthex prior to Sunday service and outside Fellowship Hall after service on March 12, 19, 26, and April 2 to accept donations. Checks made payable to COCU and noting “Easter Baskets” also may be mailed to the church office.

Every year, our COCU family opens their hearts to those dealing with challenges in providing for their families. The Church and Community Ministry Team thanks you for your support and generosity as we follow the example, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

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Lenten Evening Services 2017

Come and join us and our local Christian Community each Wednesday evening as we travel to a different local church to hear a different pastor and learn about Spiritual Disciplines. The Services will begin at 5:30 p.m., and Wednesday services will be followed by a soup supper. At each service, Communion will be served and a monetary collection will be taken to support Ruth’s Place.

The address for each participating church is listed below the weekly schedule. If you would like to attend, but do not have a ride, please call the church office (570-288-8434).

Weekly Schedule

Wednesday, March 8: Service will be hosted by Church of Christ Uniting, with Reverend Dr. Carol Fleming  preaching on the topic of Worship and Service.

Wednesday, March 15: Service will be hosted by Westmoor Church of Christ with Reverend Joseph Stokas preaching on the topic of Prayer.

Wednesday, March 22: Service will be hosted by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, with Reverend Paul Metzloff preaching on the topic of Confession.

Wednesday, March 29: Service will be hosted by First Welsh Presbyterian Church, with Reverend James Shanley preaching on the topic of Study and Scripture.

Wednesday, April 5: Service will be hosted by Dr. Edwards Memorial Congregational Church, with Reverend Shawn Walker preaching.

Wednesday, April 12: No service.

Maundy Thursday, April 13: Service will be at any of the participating churches. Service at Church of Christ Uniting will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 14 at noon: Join us at Church of Christ Uniting for Reverend Dennis Dewey, Biblical Storyteller: “Hear your favorite stories again for the first time.” Rev. Dewey is from Utica, New York. He is the retired pastor from Stone Presbyterian Church in Clinton, New York.

Locations

Church of Christ Uniting, 190 South Sprague Avenue, Kingston
Westmoor Church of Christ, 57 South Goodwin Avenue, Kingston
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 813 Wyoming Avenue, Kingston
First Welsh Presbyterian Church, 398 Main Street, Edwardsville
Dr. Edwards Memorial Congregational Church, 668 Main Street, Edwardsville

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Advent Evening Services 2016

Come and join us and our local Christian Community each Wednesday evening as we travel to a different local church to hear a different pastor and learn about The Faces Around the Manger. Services will begin at 5:00 p.m. and will be followed by a time of fellowship with appetizers and hors d’oeuvres.

Weekly Schedule

Wednesday, December 7: Service will be at Westmoor Church of Christ (57 S. Goodwin Ave., Kingston) on the topic of The Shepherds, with Rev. Joseph Stokas preaching.

Wednesday, December 14: Service will be at Church of Christ Uniting (190 S. Sprague Ave., Kingston) on the topic of Mary and Joseph, with Rev. Carol Fleming and Rev. James Shanley preaching.

Wednesday, December 21: Service will be at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (813 Wyoming Ave., Kingston) on the topic of The Animals, with Rev. Paul Metzloff preaching.

 

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Christmas Gift-Giving Opportunities

The Service and Mission Ministry Team is once again happy to offer opportunities this Christmas season to serve those who are in need in our community. As you provide for your own family and friends, please share a portion of all that you have received with someone less fortunate.

CHRISTMAS FOOD BASKETS – As the holiday season approaches, many families in our community face the grim realities of unemployment, homelessness, and financial insecurity. The Service and Mission Ministry Team is asking for your help in supporting the Christmas Food Basket Program to benefit needy families. Your assistance is needed to supplement the supplies of our local West Side Food Bank . We invite you to contribute food, such as canned vegetables and fruit, canned soup, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cereal, canned ham, Christmas candy (candy canes, etc. for the children) and non-perishable desserts. Food items can be left in Fellowship Hall or in the Narthex.

In addition, we hope to provide baskets to 100 families. Each basket also will contain a gift certificate to be used to purchase perishable food items. We would greatly appreciate any monetary contribution you can make to help us reach our goal. Members of the Service and Ministry Team will be in the Narthex and outside Fellowship Hall on November 27, December 4 and 11 to accept donations. Donations may also be mailed to the church office. Please make your check payable to COCU and indicate “Christmas Food Baskets” in the notation section. On behalf of Church & Community, and the individuals it serves, we thank you for your generosity.

ANGEL TREE – The Church of Christ Uniting is again a proud participant in the Angel Tree Ministry (ATM) program. This partnership with Prison Fellowship Ministry provides comfort and ministers to children having a parent who is in prison at the Christmas season. On the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, a Christmas tree on display in the Narthex will be decorated with Angel ornaments listing the names, ages, sizes and Christmas gift wishes of 25 children. We invite you to select one (or more) of the Angels from the tree, as you are able, and purchase at least one gift of $20 to $25 for each child. However, let your conscience be your guide on the number of gifts you purchase and the amount to spend. Some of these children may receive only these gifts this Christmas. When you select your Angel, please remember to complete the attached white contact Angel form—with your name, phone number and the Angel’s code number—and leave it in the basket provided on the table next to the tree. Attach the yellow Angel form to the gift. If you purchase more than one gift, please group your gifts together and put the child’s name and code on each package. The wrapped gifts should be left under the tree in the Narthex by Sunday, December 11, or in the Church office no later than Friday, December 16, at 12:00 noon. We are also looking for volunteers to help deliver the gifts. Please join us for a very rewarding Christmas experience! For further information or to volunteer, please contact the church office, or speak to a member of the Service and Mission Ministry Team.

MADDY’S GIFT – The Service and Mission Ministry Team joyfully offers another opportunity for sharing God’s love through gift giving this Christmas season. We will join the parents of Madison Benjamin, as they honor their daughter’s memory, with a toy drive that will benefit children who are hospitalized over the holidays at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Madison, the great-granddaughter of our own COCU members, Virginia and Charles Dancheck, was born with a life threatening condition. Expected to live only one year, Madison survived until she was four years old. In her memory, her parents created this toy drive that they lovingly call “Maddy’s Gift.” Please bring an unwrapped toy, and place it in the box in the Narthex no later than Sunday, December 11.

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Bathing Suits for “Jump Start”

The Service and Mission Ministry Team thanks everyone who supported this year’s project  to provide bathing suits and towels for the children participating in Luzerne County Head Start’s summer “Jump Start” program.  Your contributions enabled us to purchase a bathing suit for each of the 30 children in two classrooms for their visit to the JCC camp.  “Jump Start” is a special outreach to children and their families who face extenuating circumstances, including developmental, social, financial, and physical challenges.  It prepares the children for participation in the Head Start school year classes so that they can receive the maximum benefit from the program. Once again, you opened your hearts to these children to let them know that they are special and valued.

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Vacation Bible School 2016

VBS Cavequest was a huge success! Over 20 kids participated in our program and had so much fun while learning about “Following Jesus – The Light of the World”. While exploring their cave, the kids met 5 Bible buddies that taught them Jesus gives us hope, courage, direction, love, and power. Through games, crafts, songs, Bible quests, and cave exploration, the kids learned that they can truly do anything if they follow Jesus.

We had a great crew of volunteers including Ian MacDougall, Cindy Kazinski, Matt Pawlowski, Alexa Eidam, Beth Admiraal, Anne Lew, Megan Lloyd, Merrybeth Andress, Karen Lindsay, Curt Schwarzwalder, Marlene Murphy, Bob Fannon, Robyn Fannon, Dorothy Lane, and Ginny Dancheck. A HUGE thank you to them for all of their help!

Thank you, also, to our teen volunteers of Oliver Lew, Matt Price, Matt Williams, Annemaaike Reitsma, and Jack Lane.

Thank you, as well, to Charlie Dancheck, Bill Ellsworth, and June Gavenonis for all of their help “behind the scenes”.

A special thank you to Cindy Kazinski for the amazing posters she made of our Bible buddies and the delicious brownies that accompanied our ice cream sundaes.

A special “note” of thanks to Ian MacDougall for a job well done with the music ministry and in particular our final performance.

I feel so blessed to have had so much support with our VBS program and can’t thank you all enough!

– Amy Williams

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Confirmation News

Calling all parents and guardians of 7th and 8th graders or older who did not receive Confirmation yet. Please, contact the church office at 570-288-8434 or Amy Williams at amy@cocu4u.org to register for our upcoming Confirmation program by August 25th.  We are contacting members of our congregation to be Confirmation mentors and need an accurate count for our Confirmation program. Thank you!

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August 7th – Vacation Bible School Presentation

Please join us on Sunday, August 7th, for a Vacation Bible School Presentation from 10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Watch our VBS kids perform five of their songs from Cave Quest: Following Jesus, the Light of the World. Afterwards, join us in Fellowship Hall at 11:15 a.m. for a slilde-show presentation showcasing our last five weeks of VBS while enjoying an ice cream sundae!

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