Advent I: Preparing the Way
Sunday, November 30
“Prepare the way, O Zion, your Christ is drawing near”
Sunday, November 30 is the 1st Sunday in Advent — the beginning of the church year and the time when we begin in earnest to prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of the baby that has changed our world. Outlined below are some of the special happenings we are planning for this important season. You are invited to be part of each and every one. In fact, it is a wonderful time for newcomers to try out SPC! Click on the image (above) to download a flyer filled with details.
Anniversary Sunday, Pie Share, Turkey Drive
Sunday, November 23
We gather together on Anniversary Sunday for worship, education, and fellowship, celebrating those who have come before us and welcoming our newest members. The entire church family is invited this morning to worship in the Sanctuary at 10:30am. Tom Starr will serve as lay preacher, much of our music will be accompanied by brass, and our newest members will be introduced.
Help folks at Chester Eastside Ministries celebrate Thanksgiving with the same traditional fare we enjoy in our own homes. We will be collecting donations from 8:15am-11:30am in the Fellowship Hall Kitchen and driveway. SPC is the primary sustainer of Chester Eastside’s Thanksgiving effort — dinners for roughly 150 families! — and we are counting on members (and friends) to rise to the occasion once again. Most wanted: turkeys (frozen, please), canned hams, vegetables, potatoes, stuffing, juices, cranberry sauce, gravy, desserts, apple cider. Cash donations and/or non-perishable foods of any kind are appreciated, too.
8:15-10:00am Dropoff; 11:30am Fellowship
All are invited to greet our newest members, catch up with not-so-new members that perhaps normally attend a different worship service, and give thanks for God’s bounty, served up today in the form of pies of great variety. The variety, in fact, depends on you! Please bring a pie or two to the kitchen Sunday morning. Some will be shared here today and others sent to Chester Eastside along with the rest of the Turkey Day donations. Thank You.
Sunday, November 16
At all Worship Services
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” 2015 pledge packets were mailed 2 weeks ago; Session has already begun preliminary work establishing a realistic budget for 2015. It’s up to each and every one of us to get our commitments for next year on paper (or completed online at Pledging) in a timely manner so that we can budget wisely. To those who have already done so; thank you.
Saturday, November 15
9:00am-1:00pm Church Gardens and Grounds
There are any number of projects that our Property Committee is hoping to accomplish next Saturday — some much needed tree pruning in the courtyard, a possible cleaning out of the HUM Room, and LOTS of leaf management and general grounds clean-up. What actually gets done, of course, depends on participation, so please get this date on your calendar! We invite your help here for as little or as long as you can assist. Leaf blowers, rakes, tarps, and pruning tools will be helpful, too. Questions? Please contact Property elder Doug Harnsberger (see members's directory) or Facilities Manager, Mort Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Potluck Dinner & Game Night!
Friday, November 7
6:30-8:30pm in Fellowship Hall
Church members and guests are invited to spend an evening at SPC sharing a meal and some friendly competition!
Dinner: Please bring a dish to share with 8-10 people, based on the first letter of your last name:
A-H: Appetizer/Salad I-P: Entrée Q-Z: Dessert
Play: Game lovers of all ages are welcome (though this is not a drop-off event). Adults are invited to challenge kids to a game of Just Dance or play Apples to Apples or any other games that reach across the boundaries of age. A variety of games will available for young and old to play together throughout the evening. Feel free to bring a favorite game that you’d like to share.
For All the Saints
All Saints’ Sunday, November 2
The 1st of November, All Saints’ Day, is a day set aside to remember and be inspired by the elect who came before us and are now numbered within the great cloud of witnesses. In all three services on Sunday morning, the names of church members who have passed from this life to the next since this Sunday last year will be lifted in prayer. Like Reformation Sunday, celebrated the week prior, It is a time rich with memory and appreciation for those who have come before us.
Dedication Sunday, October 26
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. — John 14:27
The Peacemaking Offering, organized by The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), funds the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, which works around the world to transform cultures of violence into communities of peace. 50% of the funds go to local efforts – as organized and approved by SPC’s Peacemaking Committee. Funds in recent years have enabled us to bring in International Peacemakers, hold conferences, and advocate for active nonviolent solutions to conflict. Funds this year will support efforts in three main areas:
Human Trafficking Awareness
Globally, 35 percent of women have experienced physical abuse or some other form of violence. Your gift to the Peacemaking Offering supports international initiatives like Orange Day or local crisis centers that strive to prevent and end violence against women.
Nonviolent Responses to Bullying
One in three young people in the United States have been bullied by their peers. Your gift to the Peacemaking Offering supports programs like “Disrespect: It’s Not Okay,” which focuses on giving young people the proper tools to engage in nonviolent responses to bullying.
Your gift to the Peacemaking Offering encourages International Peacemakers who are working to increase acceptance and understanding around the world.
C.R.O.P. Walk 2014
1:00pm Registration; 1:30pm Walk begins
Needed: Both Walkers and Suporters
CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service (CWS) and organized by local volunteers to raise funds to end hunger. The 2014 Swarthmore-Wallingford CROP Walk will be held on Sunday, October 12. Registration — right in our parking lot — begins at 1:00pm. The 10km walk begins and ends at SPC. Shorter segments (6.5k and 3.5k) may be walked as well.
The Hunger Group is hoping to form some teams to walk this year! This is definitely a community event — a good walk for a good cause on a nice October day is hard to beat. Registering to walk, forming a team, and supporting a walker can all be done online. The Swarthmore-Wallingford walk has its own page on the CROP website:
Type: “Swarthmore-Wallingford” in the search box. Thank You!
Sunday, October 5
On Sunday, October 5, we will join Christians of all denominations in all parts of the world in celebrating the joyful feast to which we all have been invited. The table in Loeffler Chapel will be draped with the colorful cloth gifted to us by our mission co-workers in the Philippines, Cobbie and Dessa Palm. The breads we break and share will represent a broad array of ethnic cuisines. Communion will be served at all three worship services: 8:30 (Early Worship) in the Sanctuary, 8:45 (Church Family Worship) in Loeffler Chapel and at 11:00 in the Sanctuary. Come; all is prepared.
Guest Preacher, Walter T. Davis
At Traditional Worship, we welcome to the pulpit guest preacher, Walter T. Davis. Brought to us by the Peacemaking Committee as the kickoff speaker in a 3-week series of Sunday morning programs, Walt is one of several authors and co-editor of Zionism and the Quest for Justice in the Holy Land and since 2008 has been co-chair of the education committee of the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) His credentials include that of professor (emeritus) of the Sociology of Religion at San Francisco Theological Seminary, an M.Div degree in theology from Union Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in social ethics from Boston University
Sunday, October 5
9:30am in the Study
Each Fall our Membership Committee hosts an “Open House” — a time for interested guests and visitors to meet and chat with some of our pastors, staff, and committee members over light refreshments. Members: please encourage any visitors you have seen in church on recent Sundays (or at the Fall Fair the day before! ) to come to the Study between services on Sunday, October 5. Printed invitations will be available at worship entrances on Sunday mornings and at the Information Table throughout the Fair.
Visitors: please get this date on your calendar! Questions? Contact Dorrie McGrath in the church office (610-543-4712 or email@example.com.)
Colorful balloons will identify the Study door, and helpful church members will point newcomers in the right direction. Ours is not an easy building for newcomers to navigate, so please, today and every other day, ask questions!
Farewell Celebration with Lisa Day
Sunday, September 28
12:30pm in Fellowship Hall
A festive gathering of the entire church family to celebrate the 6 years of faithful ministry with which Associate Pastor for Congregational Care and Older Adult Ministry, Rev. Lisa Day, has blessed us.
Memorial to the Lost
Installation: Saturday, September 20
Dedication: Sunday, September 21
Volunteers Needed for Installation; Display will remain for several weeks
In an effort initiated by our Peacemaking Committee, SPC will be installing and dedicating a “Memorial to the Lost.” This display, to be assembled in front of the church along Harvard Avenue, will consist of approximately 160 t-shirts displayed on t-forms featuring the names and dates of individuals who have lost their lives to gun violence in Delaware County in the past 5 years. SPC members are invited to join volunteers from “Heeding God’s Call,” (and anyone else in the community that is interested) to help set up the memorial.
The Memorial will be dedicated on Sunday following Traditional Worship (approximately 12:30pm).
Sunday School for All
Sundays at 9:45am beginning September 14
The building blocks of solid Christian education are the Bible stories and lessons shared over and over – with layers of understanding revealed through retelling, questioning, and flavoring with life experience. The process begins early and is a lifetime undertaking. Small classes of children close in age create the ideal environment in which to nurture the hearing and interpreting of God’s word. Our new Sunday schedule provides the time to make this happen, and Children’s Ministry Coordinator Ashley Charles and the Children’s Ministry Committee have been hard at work identifying curriculum materials and planning classroom space to serve both students and teachers. What we need now is critical mass — enough children each Sunday in each age group — to create a sense of community. One of our current youth advisors recently noted that some of her favorite people are those she got to know in her 1st and 2nd grade Sunday school class. Who knows what friendships might take root this year? Come to Sunday school at 9:45 --- and urge everyone you know to do the same – and let’s just see what happens when we put things in God’s hands.
New Program Year Sets Sail
Sunday, September 7
Multiple Worship Services, Sunday School for all, Choirs and Youth Groups and Brunch, oh my!
Labor Day (Monday September 1) is not so much a day of rest as a springboard into a full and exciting September. Session meets the following day, the chancel choir resumes rehearsals Thursday, September 4, and on Sunday, September 7, we set sail on a Sunday schedule that includes separate times for 3 styles of worship, a powerful lineup of classes for children, youth, and adults, a full evening of youth group activities, and countless opportunities for fellowship and outreach among members and neighbors near and far. See announcement, left.
At the center of our morning on this "opening day" are an all-church brunch hosted by our Parish Life Committee and an Open House hosted by the Children's Ministry Committee. From 9:30am to 10:45, we are invited to enjoy French toast, orange juice, and other tasty breakfast offerings in Fellowship Hall. Families with children age 2 through 5th grade are invited to spend some time visiting the classrooms in McCahan Hall, where they will meet some of the teachers, see who else is in their class, and have a chance to sample some of the activities that might happen on any given Sunday.
Mission Shareholders’ Brunch
Sunday, August 31
11:30am in Fellowship Hall
High school youth and the adults who traveled with them to Mingo County, West Virginia to work under the auspices of Appalachia Service Project report on the work accomplished and the experiences they shared.
Sunday, June 8
10:30am in Worship
Middle School Mission: at Church Family Worship (in Loeffler Chapel): Middle schoolers and adults working with them at Broad Street Ministry this summer are ready to serve and we will commission them here and now.
High School Mission: High schoolers and adults working with them in West Virginia with ASP (Appalachia Service Project), as well as SPC youth serving in leadership roles at Massanetta, Montreat, and ASP this summer are ready to serve and we will commission them here and now.
Sunday, June 1
10:30am in Traditional Worship
High school seniors who have blessed us with their presence are recognized and blessed for the journeys ahead.
Fall Fair Drop-off
Saturday, May 17 9:00am - 12:00noon
In the Parking Lot
Twice a year members, friends, and neighbors are encouraged to bring household items, books, collectibles, children's toys and games, and any other treasures that might be grist for the mill of our annual Fall Fair. Your "trash" may be our "treasure." Please organize donations, if possible,and box them up according to the booth that might be able to sell them: Collectibles, Flea Market, Toys & Games, Books, Jewelry & Accessories. Questions? See the Fall Fair page.
Stock Sale 2014
Sundays, May 4 through 18
11:15am in Fellowship Hall
Shares of Stock Support SPC High School Youth working with ASP this Summer
Many of SPC's high school youth (and a good number of adults eager to teach them some new skills and serve as group leaders) will be traveling this summer to Mingo County, WV, to work with/through the Appalachia Service Project (ASP). ASP’s mission is one of making homes for residents in rural communities safer and drier.
Our youth are “selling” shares of stock ($30 per person or $50 per family) to support their efforts. Shareholders covenant to pray for the stock sellers. In return, they receive a letter about the trip from the person they have supported and are invited to a stockholder’s brunch where those who traveled share their experiences and what have learned. Please chat with some of our young mission trippers in Fellowship Hall Sunday morning to learn more!
Saturday, May 3, 9:00am - 3:00pm
Indoors and Out!
1) Bring a friend! Cleaning chores are no-one’s idea of fun until there’s someone offering encouragement. We are committed to working together on this.
2) Bring some food! Can’t stay but want to be of help? Donate some sandwich makings or fruit for our lunch hour.
Tell us you will be here. Signup at Work Day Signups or call the church office so we can plan materials appropriately. Thank you! On behalf of the Property Committee, the church budget, and all who care about keeping our physical plant a safe and welcoming place, thank you!
Family Camping at Kirkwood
April 25-27, 2014
Many of our young families -- close to 40 SPC-ers in all -- will be enjoying a weekend of outdoor fellowship on the fabulous property maintained by the Presbytery of Philadelphia as a campground and retreat center for the use of local churches and families as well as summer campers. Please keep these friends in your prayers and ask them about their experiences when they return.
Holy Week and Easter
Beginning Palm Sunday, April 13
Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Holy Week begins with the waving of palms and celebration of Jesus's triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
It continues with weekday morning communion services (9:30am in Loeffler Chapel), a Maundy Thursday potluck dinner (6:30pm) followed by Maundy Thursday Worship/Communion (7:45pm), the Community Good Friday service (12:00pm), and three worship services (7:00, 9:00, and 11:00am) Easter morning.
Schubert's Mass in G
Sunday, March 30 10:30am
in the Sanctuary
The Chancel Choir and guest singers welcome Andrew Hauze at the organ and a professional ensemble of string players. Directed by Jeff DeVault, we share this special musical offering in Traditional worship on the 4th Sunday in Lent.The Chancel Choir and guest singers welcome Andrew Hauze at the organ and a professional ensemble of string players. Directed by Jeff DeVault, we share this special musical offering in Traditional worship on the 4th Sunday in Lent.
Potluck Dinner & Game Night!
Friday, March 21 6:30pm
in Fellowship Hall
Bring the whole family (friends welcome, too!) to church on Friday night to enjoy one another's favorite food and challenge one another with your favorite games.
Food: International flavors encouraged! Bring a dish that represents either your heritage or a favorite place in the world. Type of dish is based on the first letter of your last name:
A-H - Entrée; I-P - Dessert; Q-Z - Appetizer/Salad
Play: Game lovers of all ages are welcome (though this does not mean parents may drop off unsupervised kids). A variety of games will be available but participants are also invited to bring their favorites.
Lent Begins Ash Wednesday, March 5
Devotions Booklet Offers Daily Readings and Reflection
Daily reflections on scripture passages are authored by SPCers. Booklets are available in hard copy throughout the church or may be downloaded here: Lenten Devotions 2014.
Wednesday Evening Lenten Supper & Study
Wednesdays, March 11 through April 9 in Fellowship Hall
Soup Supper beginning at 6:30pm
All welcome! Bring your own sandwich; we will provide the soup.
Lenten Worship & Study beginning at 7:00pm
Dr. Springsted leads a brief service of worship followed by discussion of faith based on his book, The Act of Faith; Christian Faith and the Moral Self. Copies of the book ($15 each) will be available for those interested.
Pizza Lunch and Rock Climbing for the Whole Church Family
Sunday, February 23 Registration due Wednesday, February 5
12:00 lunch in Fellowship Hall
1:00 departure for Go Vertical
SPC church families are invited to an indoor rock climbing adventure! Participants age 6 and up are invited to pizza at the church at noon, followed by a trip to “Go Vertical” on the waterfront in Philadelphia. Cost is $23 per climber for two hours of fun! Waivers must be signed for all climbers, so adult supervision is required. Please RSVP to Ashley Charles (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday, February 5.
Sunday, February 23 11:30am
in the Study
Visitors expected! An open invitation to friends and neighbors interested in learning more about SPC to meet and greet our pastors in person. Our pastors will make some introductory comments and invite your questions. Other staff and committee members are eager to field questions and share more about their personal areas of interest. Children welcome. Refreshments provided by the Membership Committee.
Mission in the Middle East
Tuesday, February 18 7:30pm
in the Study
SPC’s World Mission and Peacemaking committees have arranged for former PC(USA) mission co-worker Doug Dicks to share his own experiences in the Middle East, discuss the future of the Middle East as he sees it, and comment on Secretary of State John Kerry's recent activities. Friends and visitors are welcome. Please use the Study entrance.
Sunday, February 2 9:30am -- 11:30am
SPC youth join others all around the nation in collecting money to fight hunger as we leave worship this Sunday.
The need in nearby communities like Chester and North Philadelphia is great. Mission partners Chester Eastside and Broad Street Ministry report that they are trying to feed record numbers of clients. And needs are always greater in the winter months, when heating bills leave less money for food. Today's contributions can make a difference. Both cash donations and non-perishable food contributions are welcome. Non-perishable foods (soups, stews, pasta, dried milk, peanut butter, and mac 'n cheese are the favorites) may be placed in the designated bins in the Outreach Center or in the boxes provided today outside of Loeffler Chapel and in the Narthex. Thank you.
Movie Night! Short Term 12
Friday, January 24 6:30pm in the Study
Sponsored by our Presbyterian Women (PW)
Short term 12 is an independent film about love, trust, and hope amidst the challenges of foster care. Read more at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2370248/ Rated R, content is not appropriate for young children.
Questions? Contact Jacki Miller at email@example.com.
Food: Jacki will have a pot of vegan gluten free bean soup on the stove. First come; first serve. If you want something to with it, please bring enough to share.
Youth Ski Trip!
Friday, January 24-Sunday, January 26
Youth group participants will depart Friday at 6:30pm for a weekend of skiing, snowboarding, and hanging out over hot chocolate in the lodge. Skiing/snow boarding is at Camelback, lodging at Trout Lakes Resort. Payment and emergency forms are due by Sunday, January 12. Information is posted on the Youth News page.
MLK Day of Service
Monday, January 20, 9:00am -- 1:00pm
Carpoolers gather in Church Parking Lot at 8:30am.
Boys & Girls Club in Chester
201 E. 7th Street Chester, PA 19013
Through a partnership with the Unity Center in Chester, SPC members are invited to volunteer their time on this day of service in activities and clinics at the Boys and Girls Club in Chester. Projects will include cleaning, painting, and putting together personal care packages for shelters. Children (accompanied by parents or responsible adults) are welcome here!
Chester Eastside Ministries/St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
9th & Potter Streets Chester, PA 19013
We are also looking for volunteers to help Chester Eastside Ministries complete the move to their new home at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, just a few blocks away. These tasks definitely require strong able-bodied individuals.
Details are still being worked out and will be posted soon, but getting a good idea of how many people are interested is critical. Please stop at the MLK signups table in Fellowship hall on Sunday morning or email the Outreach Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you (and your family?!) are able to help. We will know more next week about lunch arrangements, what supplies will be needed, and the like.
Interfaith Hospitality Network Guests
Sunday, January 26 through Sunday, February 2
Signup in Fellowship Hall Sundays, January 5,12,19
or via email to IHN@swarthmorepres.org
Homeless families brought to us through IHN will be making our church school classrooms their homes this week. Volunteers are needed to make them feel welcome. Options include single shifts (make dinner, hang out from 6:00 to 8:30pm, or stay overnight), repeated shifts (through which you get to know our guests much better) and behind-the-scenes support (set-up, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) Sign up in Fellowship Hall on Sunday morning (where volunteers can field your questions) or be in touch with one of our coordinators at IHN@swarthmorepres.org.