Category Archives: Church and Community

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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COCU featured in Our Town: Kingston

UPDATE: WVIA-TV will broadcast an encore presentation of Our Town: Kingston on Saturday, June 26th at 12:00 noon.

Tune in to WVIA-TV on June 2nd at 8:00 p.m. to see our own Joyce Shiplett and Michelle Giza  give a little bit of information on the history of the Kingston Presbyterian Church, the First United Methodist Church, and Church of Christ Uniting. Both were interviewed for the upcoming documentary, Our Town: Kingston. A cross section of Kingston churches, businesses, and people will be featured in the hour long show.

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Church Without Walls – May 1, 2016

Church Without Walls is an opportunity for congregation members, friends, and visitors to participate in community service projects throughout the day. It is an opportunity to be a church out in the surrounding community, involved in hands-on mission projects to build fellowship among our church members and the community. The chosen projects and the community members they help will provide a collaborative framework for a faith-building experience.

We will begin the day with a condensed worship at 10 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. After worship, we will break into groups to perform several different mission projects, both on- and off-site.

OFFSITE PROJECTS

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY PROJECT: One group will be getting a one-day head start on the rest, providing a lunch for the Habitat For Humanity work crew on Saturday, April 30th (they don’t work on Sundays). The work site is located at 68 Barnes St., Ashley, Pa. We are looking for about five people to help prepare, deliver and share lunch at the work site. We will also tour the project, meet the family and learn more about Habitat. Participants will meet at the church before noon and carpool to the work site (as parking may be limited). For more specific information, please contact Barb Swanson or Amy Ellsworth. [UPDATE: This project was cancelled due to poor weather conditions (the Habitat work crew cancelled work for the day).]

WESLEY VILLAGE PROJECT: We will be sponsoring a sing-along at Wesley Village, 209 Roberts Rd., Pittston, Pa. We need volunteers to come to Wesley Village on Sunday, May 1st, to help our Minister of Music, Carl Ruck, make a joyful noise as we sing a few of the residents’ favorite hymns, and then have some fellowship with those who attend. The sing-along will begin at 10:00 a.m. (Please note: The Wesley Village group will NOT be starting at COCU.) We are also looking for some bakers to provide cookies and/or snacks and drinks. If you would like to go but need a ride, please contact the church office.

LYNDWOOD CENTER PROJECT: The Lyndwood Center in Hanover Township is the home to educational and behavioral programs for Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18 (such as the LIU 18 Pre-K Counts Program). This mission project involves the beautification of the exterior landscaping of the building. Bring your rakes, shovels and gloves to help in this worthwhile project! (Some more information about the new Lyndwood Center can be found in this Times Leader article.) [UPDATE: This project was rescheduled and completed on Saturday, April 30, due to the poor weather forecast for Sunday, May 1.]

HEAD START PROJECT: We will be conducting a spring clean-up project at the Edwardsville Head Start Center, 111 Meyers Street, Edwardsville, Pa. We will also be placing mulch and planting flowers around the building.

KINGSTON POOL PROJECT: We will be painting the entrance to the newly renovated Kingston Pool. (More information about the pool renovation project can be found in this WNEP news story. Some pictures of the new pool equipment while under construction can be found here and here.) [UPDATE: This project was cancelled due to construction/work-site status (due to construction delays, the work site was not ready for us to paint).]

 ONSITE PROJECTS

RUTH’S PLACE PROJECT: We will be preparing Spring “Pick Me Up” kits for Ruth’s Place Women’s Shelter. Donations can be dropped off in the marked box on Sundays in the narthex and the reception office weekdays: full size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash; perfume, body spray, mousse, lip gloss/balm, hair brushes, nail clippers, emery boards, nail polish and remover, body and hand lotion. All are welcome to help put the kits together on Sunday, May 1st, in Fellowship Hall.

FIRST HOSPITAL PROJECT: On Sunday, May 1st, we will be making cards and putting together bags for patients at First Hospital in Kingston. We are asking for word search, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, sketch pads (not spiral bound), crayons (no built in sharpener), washable markers, watercolor paints, playing cards and tissues. Please drop these items off in the church office and put “Attention Matt Pawlowski and Alexa Eidam, Church Without Walls” on your donations.

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“Our Town Kingston”

Something that may be of interest to our church community:

WVIA-TV will be featuring Kingston in its “Our Town” series, premiering Thursday June 2nd at 8:00 p.m. They are seeking residents/volunteers to brainstorm and determine what landmarks, events, and stories to videotape, as well as storytellers and videographers. The first meeting is Thursday, February 18th at 7:00 p.m. at the Kingston Forty Fort Fire Department Headquarters Meeting Room, 600 Wyoming Avenue.

For more information, please see the “Our Town Kingston” announcement on WVIA’s website.

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Easter Basket Project

The Service and Mission Ministry Team is sponsoring COCU’s annual Easter Basket Project. 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. Items such as canned corn, soup, pasta, and cereal and Easter candy for the children are needed as well as monetary contributions which will be used to provide grocery gift certificates to help families purchase perishable food items.

Volunteers from the congregation, coordinated by the Ministry Team, will be in the narthex prior to Sunday service and outside Fellowship Hall after service on February 21 and 28 and on March 6 and 13 to accept donations. Checks made payable to COCU and noting “Easter Baskets” also may be mailed to the church office.

Our COCU family is always so willing to open their hearts to those dealing with challenges in providing for their families. The Ministry Team thanks you for your support and generosity as we join together in this service and “show our faith by our works.” James 2:18

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Thank You from Jump Start

From late May through early June, children’s bathing suits and beach towels along with monetary donations were collected through a project set up through COCU’s Church and Community Team.  These donations were generously given to support children enrolled in Head Start’s summer “Jump Start” program.

Please click here to see the thank you card COCU received from the “Jump Start” program for our donations.

“Jump Start” works with children who will be participating in Head Start’s preschool program in September and who face extenuating factors in their social, developmental, and/or family situations which put them at greater risk of not reaching their potential. The goal is to work with them and their families prior to the start of the school year to begin addressing their needs as soon as possible so that they can more fully participate in and benefit from the program.

“Jump Start” is built around a summer camp experience where children learn while having the opportunity to be outdoors in the Wilkes-Barre Head Start Center’s award-winning playground where they participate in various activities, including a water play area. They also visit the JCC camp where they get to use the pool. For many of the children this will be their only chance to enjoy playing outside in a safe and instructive environment.

The generosity of our COCU family is a living example of our faith as we do the work Jesus has defined for us– to open our eyes to the needs of others, to open our hearts to those in need, and to extend our hands to fill those needs.

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Kids Program Needs Your Help

As part of the Church and Community Ministry Team’s mission statement ‘to seek out areas of human need, to present those needs to the congregation, and to initiate actions to meet the needs’, we will be asking for donations to support children enrolled in Head Start’s summer “Jump Start” program.

“Jump Start” works with children who will be participating in Head Start’s preschool program in September and who face extenuating factors in their social, developmental, and/or family situations which put them at greater risk of not reaching their potential. The goal is to work with them and their families prior to the start of the school year to begin addressing their needs as soon as possible so that they can more fully participate in and benefit from the program.

“Jump Start” is built around a summer camp experience where children learn while having the opportunity to be outdoors in the Wilkes-Barre Head Start Center’s award-winning playground where they participate in various activities, including a water play area. They also visit the JCC camp where they get to use the pool. For many of the children this will be their only chance to enjoy playing outside in a safe and instructive environment. Our goal is to purchase bathing suits for each of the 30 children who will be enrolled and to provide each with a beach towel.

From late May through early June members of the Church and Community Team will be in the Narthex before service and outside the fellowship room following service to accept monetary donations for the bathing suits as well as contributions of child size beach towels.

The generosity of our COCU family is a living example of our faith as we do the work Jesus has defined for us– to open our eyes to the needs of others, to open our hearts to those in need, and to extend our hands to fill those needs.

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Come Out to a Blood Drive on May 15th

Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference in the lives of others.  Hosted by the Church and Community Ministry Team, a Red Cross Blood Drive is scheduled to be held on Friday, May 15 from 12:00 PM- 5:00 PM in Fellowship Hall.

The benefits of donating include:

  • It feels great to donate
  • You get free juice and delicious Keebler cookies
  • It’s something you can spare – most people have blood to spare …yet, there is still not enough to go around
  • You will help ensure blood is on the shelf when needed – most people don’t think they’ll ever need blood, but many do
  • You will be someone’s hero – in fact, you can help save more than one life with just one donation

So save the date, donate, and save lives.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, you can visit: redcrossblood.org and use the Sponsor Keyword “COCU”.  Thank you!”

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Walk to Benefit Autism Coalition of Luzerne County

The Church and Community Ministry Team will participate in a walk to benefit the Autism Coalition of Luzerne County on April 25th and we  invite you to join us. Information and registration forms are posted on the bulletin board. Registration will also be conducted the morning of the walk and online at: www.ACLCWalk.com.

We also have plans to participate in a walk in the fall, we will keep you informed.

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