1400 Market St.
Williamsport, PA 17701
WORSHIP IN DECEMBER AT ST. LUKE
Sunday, Dec.1st, Advent1, Advent Lighting
8:00am - Holy Communion in Chapel
No Sunday School Ministry
10:30am - Holy Communion
Sunday, Dec. 8th, Advent 2, Advent Lighting
8:00am - Holy Communion in Chapel
9:15 am - Sunday School/Confirmation/Youth Ministry
10:30am - Holy Communion
Annual Congregational Meeting I
Advent Workshop 4:00-5:00pm & Potluck Dinner 5:30-6:30pm
Sunday, Dec. 15th, Advent 3, Advent Lighting
8:00am - Holy Communion in Chapel
9:15am - Sunday School/Youth Ministry
10:30am - Holy Communion
Hunger appeal offering
Sunday, Dec. 22nd, Advent 4, Advent Lighting
8:00am - Holy Communion in Chapel
9:15am - Sunday School/Youth Ministry
10:30am - Holy Communion
No coffee hour
** Tuesday, Dec. 24th Christmas Eve, candle light **
From the pastor
We look forward to the calm, silence and beauty of the Holden Evening prayer service which will be sung in the chapel every Wednesday this month preceding Christmas. Accompanying the gentle music will be the flicker of votive candles. I commend them to you for your focus this season, rather than simply settling for commercial Christmas displays’ dazzling lights, and the glamour of bright shopping mall windows. Candlelight can direct us towards the presence of the holy in our midst. It can turn our minds and hearts towards those aspects of the holidays to come that are most important. It can speak quiet assurance and offer warmth for those experiencing bleaker times, when celebration is not appropriate to life experiences or memories don’t allow for easy cheer.
The chapel isn’t the only place you might find the spiritual warmth of flickering candlelight. Often a lit candle will set the tone for a conversation of spiritual direction. Spiritual direction is conversation in which one person shares in the mutual consolation and support of another through the word that God in Christ directs into our hearts. It is prayerful companionship. It is a formal session and customarily involves silence, prayer, quiet conversation and discernment. The director usually asks a fee for this, though at St. Luke we have a scholarship fund for anyone who would like to explore engaging in the process. Did you know that we have a spiritual director working out of St. Luke? Melanie Taormina has a certificate in direction from Oasis Ministries of Camp Hill, PA. She is willing to work with anyone who would like to engage in a session of direction, to see if she is the appropriate director for you.
You can also create the flicker of candlelight for your own devotional moments. Advent is an especially good season to set an intentional time to read from scripture or from written reflections. This year, in addition to the devotional booklets Christ in the Home and Word in Season, we have an Advent devotional for home use from Gettysburg Seminary, available in the west hall on December 1. Slow down these weeks to create time and space for reflection.
These are three suggestions, then, for preparation for the Feast of Nativity. On Dec. 24th, we’ll come to a candlelight service blazing into the dark of night, and celebrate, indeed, Christ, the true light, coming into the world. We await this celebration with joy and expectation.
“The Advent wreath is given to the glory of God and in loving memory of
Harold Lewis by the Lewis Family.”
CHRISTMAS DONATIONS NEEDED for filling Christmas bags for our St. Luke shut-in’s and friends. A box will be located in the west wing for your donations. Suggested items: Juice boxes, tissues, chapstick, hard candies, individual packs of crackers or snack items and homemade cookies. Sugar free snacks for diabetics also needed. Anyone interested in helping pack and or deliver bags areinvited to meet in Bell Hall Tuesday, December 3rd at 3:00 PM.
ADVENT WORKSHOP- Sunday, December 8, 4 PM
WHO: Youngsters pre-K to grade six and their friends
WHERE: 4 PM in Bell Hall on the afternoon of Dec. 8th
WHAT: Children will be sent to workshops of crafts, storytelling and singing centered on Advent themes. There will be a potluck supper at 5:30 PM, with a distribution of gifts to the youngsters and an announcement about a Christmas contest for young artists.
PARISH-WIDE ADVENT POTLUCK SUPPER, December 8th, 5:30 PM
We look forward to the opportunity to come together as a parish over a meal and to spread the good cheer of the season. On December 8th at 5:30 PM an Advent potluck will take place in Bell Hall. All households of St. Luke are invited. You will have the opportunity for fellowship and viewing the Jesse tree decorations that the youngsters have made at their workshop. Hopefully, you’ll hear the beautiful strains of children’s voices singing Advent carols. The church school has also decided to bring out the church china and make a grand occasion of this splendid time. Find St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, reminding us of the simplicity of the heart and rounding out the dinner with a distribution of presents. Please sign up for the potluck by marking the dish that you plan to bring on the Advent Potluck chart located in the west hall.
DECEMBER 8TH CONGREGATIONAL MEETING SESSION I We will vote on the 2014 Budget; and elect members to Congregation Council, St. Luke Fund, and the 2014 Nominating Committee. The meeting will follow the 10:30AM Service on Dec.8th.
DANIEL’S CLOSET is a free clothing ministry at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Needed are clean winter clothing for children and adults. Particular needs are blankets, children’s clothing, and clean sturdy shoes for kids. Almost 300 people were served in Oc. A collection box is located in the west hallway.
Look to the light of worship this season….
Wednesday nights at 7 PM in Advent
Led by cantors Mark Bergren, Charles Mahler and Jessie Young, this simple sung worship service of Holden Evening Prayer will calm your nerves, allow you to sit down and take a break and experience time at a slower, holier pace. Look for tens of votive candles flickering warmth and reassurance as we wait in the dark of evening for Christ, the light of the world.
Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship – 7PM and 10:30 PM, December 24th
Christ, the light of the world, has been born. We rejoice and sing with “angel choirs,” meaning the church school choir at 7 PM and the adult choir at 10:30 PM. Hear the Christmas story proclaimed anew and commune “at the manger” of your folded hands where Christ, the bread of life, is placed.
The Feast of the Nativity, 9:30 AM, December 25th
At this celebration, all the minor lights of the season--on Advent wreathes, lights in stores or in house decorations and upon Christmas trees and every altar candle -- become relative to the true light which shines in the darkness, which the darkness has not overcome. Hear John’s gospel read and find the quiet peace of God’s love at the parish Christmas Day service of worship.
YOUTH are holding a fundraiser to help raise money for an upcoming Mission Trip planned for Dec. 27th – 29th. We will be traveling to New York City and staying at the Cornerstone Center at Our Saviors Atonement Lutheran Church. While there our service project is to prepare and serve a meal for the neighborhood at Holy Lutheran Church at Central Park West. To help defer our expenses we are offering a beautifully inspirational 2014 photo wall calendar printed by God’s Creations. It will be available for sale before and after 10:30 worship at the desk outside of the parlor area. The cost of the calendar is $10.00 each. The youth are very excited about this mission opportunity and your help in sponsoring this trip is greatly appreciated.
WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY MEETS MONTHLY will meet on Friday, December 13th, 9:30 a.m. in the home of Janet Heffner. Barbara Coates will lead the lesson based on, “Biblical Women”. The Biblical woman we will be studying is Zarephath. Come find out who she was and why her story has an important message for us. All women are invited to attend.
THE SEW-FINE QUILTERS No meeting in December for the Sew-Fine Quilters. Join us on January 6, 2014, in Bell Hall from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. as we resume making quilts for charities.
WOMEN’S BOOK CLUB meet at 12:15 the second Monday of the month for food, fellowship, and discussion of good books at Julie's Coffee Shop (on the southeast corner of Third & Pine). The book for the month of December A SONG I KNEW BY HEART by Brett Lott. Please join us!
PRE-SCHOOL AT ST. LUKE The Pre-School has been busy learning and having fun! Here are some of the activities they've been doing: October 31 was the very fun Halloween parade and party. On November 14 firefighters and a fire truck came to visit. November 27 is the popular Friendship Feast. In December the Pre-School is going to the Milton Train Museum and they are ending 2013 with the Christmas Program on the 17th at 6:20 pm.
The Preschool board members appreciate the continuing support from our Preschool parents, teachers, and St. Luke church members. Our annual pancake & sausage breakfast was the best ever this year. We served 240 people in four hours on Nov. 16th. Scrambled eggs were a huge hit this year, Jessie Young and Allison Bloom kept the eggs cracking. Dave & Lynn Shade, Shane Confer, pancake flippers, Ed Kelley and Harry Williams ran the kitchen. A working crew of 31 preschool parents and board members helped serve the breakfast.
Many thanks to Stephanie Confer and Allison Bloom for helping to organize this fundraising event. Blessed Thanksgiving to everyone. Marilyn Eshleman
The Preschool is collecting now for our annual yard sale in July 2014. If you have items you would like to donate, please contact Marilyn Eshleman at 570-322-5202.
PAPER PANTRY (Shepherd of the Streets) Especially needed is deodorant, toothpaste & toothbrushes, soap, shaving cream & razors, tissues, shampoo & conditioner, toilet paper, women’s hygiene products, combs, blankets/sheets/pillowcases, nail clippers, towels & wash cloths, baby diapers, wipes, shampoo, powder, oil, Q-tips. Items will be collected in the West Hall
FOOD PANTRY Items always needed are Oodles of Noodles, mac-n-cheese, granola bars, tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, Chunky Soup, canned fruits, tea bags, powered coffee creamer, saltine crackers, pasta, spaghetti sauce, ketchup & mustard, microwave popcorn, microwave mac-n-cheese, powdered drinks, microwave soup cups. Our food pantry collection crate is inside the west entranceway door.
THE SENIOR CHOIR rehearsal, Thursday nights at 7:00PM.
HOLDING MEETINGS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES PLEASE clear those dates and times with Sarah Young in the church office to avoid conflicts, Thank you!
RECYCLE YOUR compact fluorescent bulbs here. Place them in the green collection box located under a chair in the office foyer, and we will recycle them for you. To date, St. Luke has collected and recycled over 200 CFL’s. Please note: no straight-tube fluorescent lights, short or long, can be recycled.
MEMBER BOOKLETS NOW AVAILABLE help yourself to the Manila-backed booklets in the leaflet stands in the back of the church and by the front door. The booklets detail the ministries of St. Luke. You can re- familiarize yourself with the activities of the church and have a handy list of contact numbers as a reference.
WORSHIP RECORDINGS are available in the office foyer if you missed a week and would like to hear the service.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE We encourage you to fill out the yellow prayer request cards found in the wooden box on the wall in the back of the church. You may return them to the pastor or to the office by placing them in the mailbox outside the office door.
TO START THE PRAYER CHAIN, please call Shirley Collins at 323-6784 or Leah Lewis at 323-4103.
PHONE TREE USE AT ST. LUKE As you may have noticed, we have been making use of the new phone tree system at St. Luke. If you do not want to be part of the phone tree system, please call the church office in order to have your name removed from it. We appreciate your thoughtful response.
EXPECTING TO BE HOSPITALIZED? Federal regulations require hospitals to keep your admission completely private. If you choose not to have your name, location in the hospital or medical condition released, the only way we will know you are in the hospital is if you inform us. If you or a family member is hospitalized, please call the office (323-7309). If you want to be visited, do not rely on the hospital to let us know.
“ELCA “GOOD GIFTS”
An alternate giving program this Advent
(Seeds and farming tools, ducks, water jugs, vaccinations for children, etc.)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a church that is called to do God’s work in the world. Together as the ELCA, we do more than we could ever do alone: grow our congregations, inspire new leaders and care for those around the world who live with hunger and poverty.
ELCA Good Gifts are a creative way to do just that. Your gifts go beyond your regular congregational offering to support the ministries of the ELCA that mean the most to you and your loved ones. Each ELCA Good Gift changes at least three lives: the life of the person helped by your gift, the life of your friend or loved one, and your own.
On December 1st, a display table will be set up with:
- Good Gifts Catalogs Gift Cards
- Barn Coin Banks Animal Stickers
Browse the catalog and select from more than 50 gifts to give in honor of a friend or loved one. While you’re at it, choose something for yourself!
Your gift will carry God’s love to others, making a difference in their lives in the world. All of your donations support long-term, sustainable solutions that ensure that these good gifts last for more than a couple of days or weeks. They keep on giving for years to come and help a family on its way to a fresh start.
Last year we had an overwhelming response from the St. Luke congregation. Let’s do it again this year!
“GOOD GIFTS” KEEP ON GIVING”
“CHRISTMAS-AT-SEA” GIFT SACKS
Merchant ships carry 90% of the world's trade. They carry oil, autos, food, chemicals, clothing and textiles, electrical/industrial/office machines, timber, iron and steel, and just about anything else that Americans buy. A typical freighter or tanker carries 22 to 25 crew members. Except for one or two months a year of home leave, crew members spend all their working lives on the high seas. Their wages are modest to say the least, and their work is hazardous, lonely, monotonous, and cold. They must also contend with foul weather and pirates.
Seafarers and International House (SIH) is a ministry to seafarers that serves the needs of these crew members. In existence since 1873, it's a Lutheran related port mission. Port chaplains act as advocates for the seafarers who have not been paid by the ships' owners, provide cell phones for calls home, offer ounseling, conduct worship services, and provide van shuttles to malls, doctors' and dentists' offices, and hospitals.
HERE'S WHERE WE CAN HELP: At Christmas time the chaplains distribute gift sacks filled by congregations like ours. The Global Mission Committee of our synod hope to contribute 500 filled sacks in 2013. As our project starts DECEMBER 29, our goal is to assemble 25 sacks for Christmas 2014 (enough for one ship). The Service Ministry chose to collect this time of year to take advantage of the after-Christmas sales. Each sack contains:
ONE SWEATSHIRT (HOODED OR UNHOODED-SIZE L OR XL)
THREE PAIRS OF SOCKS—THERMAL OR WHITE GYM
ONE CASUAL PULLOVER T-SHIRT—SIZE M OR L
ONE CHRISTMAS CARD
The men enjoy sweatshirts and t-shirts emblazoned with the logos of sports teams or NASCAR drivers. So pick your favorite team or driver to send to sea.
On December 29 look for the lighthouse at the back of the church and choose one item to purchase as you check out the after-Christmas sales. We hope also to pack Christmas cards so please sign a card with your first name, St. Luke Lutheran Church, 1400 Market Street, Williamsport, PA 17701. Please bring your gift and your signed Christmas card to the church by the end of January 2014.
“-----I WAS A STRANGER AND YOU WELCOMED ME.”
We thank all who donated chancel decorations for the harvest festival, and, particularly for Janet Heffer's help with the genesis of the festival and Chris Metzger's donation of hay bales and corn stalks. The in-gathering of canvas bags is especially appreciated as the food items will help stock the shelves at the United Churches Food Pantry, 320 Park Ave., Williamsport. Clients shop at this location on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-3 and we hope that no one in the community will go hungry this Thanksgiving.
of you may remember Donna Bell, wife of Pastor Francis Bell who
served as minister at St.Luke from 1956-1982. Sadly, Donna passed
away on November 9 at the age of 89. After leaving Williamsport, she lived
in Allentown for the past 13 years. She still read The Spectrum every
month and had many fond memories of her years at St. Luke and her
many dear friends in the congregation.
Donna's daughters Virginia, Elisabeth, and Mary and their families would like to thank Pastor Elisabeth for officiating at Donna's funeral and honoring her so graciously. They would also like to thank the members of St. Luke who so generously gave of their time to prepare a delicious luncheon for family and friends after the service.
Thank you to all of our St Luke family for cards, good wishes and Lovely flowers celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary. Again Thank you, Floyd and Mary Jane Webster
NAVIGATING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
(The following article is not published with any
political endorsement in mind, rather to aid in folks’ health and
well-being. If you need to find health care coverage, the information
below will be useful to you. The article provides an over view of the
program and specific information for your benefit.)
-Pastor Aurand and the Service Committee
About 44 million Americans, roughly 1 in 7, were without health care insurance in September. In Pennsylvania the figures were about 1.5 million, or 1 in 8. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) attempts to provide coverage for all, regardless of ability to pay.
The sign up period for those who do not have it or for those who are changing their policies is now through March 15, 2014. If you sign up by Dec. 15, 2013 coverage will begin on January 1. If you have Medicare or Medicaid, you need not enroll in the ACA, as the changes to Medicare do not effect policy decisions.
Pennsylvanians not in Medicare or Medicaid can seek coverage in the federal Marketplace, for governor Corbett opposed a state-operated exchange. The choices for Pennsylvania enrollees include 52 approved policies provided by three major insurers: Geisinger, Health America, and Blue Cross.
Insurance plans under ACA must include certain coverage essentials. However, as this is being written, it appears that sub-standard plans may be renewed for another year.
You may enroll by mail, phone, or on the government website HealthCare.gov. Locally there are trained navigators to assist you. Jan Todd, a federally trained navigator at the Community Health and Dental Center in the Hepburn Plaza, can offer objective help. Geisinger locations also have navigators offering Geisinger policies. Rite Aid may be providing navigators. HealthCare.gov provides answers to questions, though proceeding through to final enrolment has been problematic in the early weeks of operation. It may be working smoothly by the time you read this.
Some plans include dental and other reasonably priced riders. New policies, whether bought through the federal Marketplace or in the private market must meet the new law's coverage requirements by 2014, which include doctor and hospital visits, ER care, maternity and newborn care, covered wellness exams, prescription drugs, laboratory services, coverage for pre-existing and chronic conditions, pediatric services for oral and visual issues, psychotherapy and counseling, and more.
If you have employee coverage that includes the ACA's ten minimum essentials and doesn't cost more than 9.5% of your income, you can stay with the plan. If you are paying more, you can shop.
The ACA does not permit pricing according to age or gender, and children until age 26 may be included in a family plan, even if the child is married or no longer a dependent.
Younger healthy people may wish to risk higher deductibles in cheaper policies. However, high deductibles for major illnesses are a gamble that some will lose.
If I shop around, can I keep my current doctor? Yes. As with previous choices in health insurance, plans list primary care physicians; so choose a plan that has your doctor on the list.
Do I still have control over my health decisions? For the poor, including the working poor, the ACA offers more personal control, allowing them to be proactive through covered exams and visits instead of waiting for illnesses that require emergency-room-only options. Those with adequate means lose no control other than eventually having to own policies that meet the minimum requirements, whether purchased through the federal Marketplace or outside of it. If you do not wish to own a policy, you must pay a tax (AKA "penalty").
Is the new law fair? As with car insurance, those less likely to need the insurance help will pay for those who do. Healthier and wealthier folk will be indirectly subsidizing unhealthier and poorer folk. However, that has been the case, anyhow.
Is it socialized medicine? No. Private insurers get the business, though the government sets certain standards for coverage.
Are there "death panels"? No.
Does it rob Medicare? No. It uses savings from caps on what Medicare pays in reimbursements to doctors and hospitals as well as what Medicare is recouping from fraud convictions.
Will I be paying more? Perhaps, though you may be eligible for subsidies or tax credits. Six of ten will pay less, according to current estimates. Those that pay more will be getting broader coverage, perhaps some coverage that they do not want. Administration and oversight of the law may increase taxes. Tightened controls on Medicare fraud and unnecessary medical procedures may offset such costs. The gradual closing of the prescription drug donut hole will mean savings for many.
Is the law too complicated to work? It's complicated, but a similar law enacted in Massachusetts ("Romneycare"), after having the bugs worked out, has a 60% favorable rating. There was a hassle in instituting the National Prescription Drug Act too, but it is going smoothly now.
What information do I need to enroll? You will need your SSN, W-2s, and other information on your income and household members, such as a copy of your recent tax return.
How does the ACA affect my Medicare? It increases your discounts in the prescription drug donut hole until 2020, when the gap is completely closed. It puts more resources into fighting Medicare fraud and waste (almost 15 million dollars have been recovered in the last four years). And it now covers a yearly wellness visit and free preventive care that includes cancer, cholesterol, and diabetes screenings, immunizations, diet counseling, and more.
Will there be enough health care professionals? While shortages exist now in some areas, the administration has invested heavily in the National Health Service Corps to triple the number of clinicians from 3600 in 2008 to nearly 10,000 in 2012. The ACA continues this funding.
Sources: Jan Todd, navigator at the Community Health and Dental Center, www.HealthCare.gov; www,healthlawanswers.org; http://www.pahealthoptions.com; http://www.aarp.org/health/affordable-careact/; http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/bystate/pa.html
from “enotes” – The Williamsport Symphony Newsletter, November 2013 – Reprinted by permission
Up Close and Personal: The Three Baileys
Dave (trumpet), Diana (saxophones) and Drake (violin) – a musical family you can, on occasion, see onstage in three different sections of the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra: Dave in the 2nd trumpet chair, Drake in the second violin section, and Diana in the wind section when the scores call for one kind of saxophone or another. This season you'll see Drake and Dave on our stage, and you may well see Diana in the pit bands for area high school musicals. What starts a player's interest in music and who influences him/her always makes a good story. For Dave, it began when he was 6 and his father took him to hear the Count Basie Orchestra at the Corning Glass Center.
At the end of the first signature Blues form with the rhythm section punctuated by Basie's signature "plink-plink" on the piano, I knew at that moment I wanted to be a musician.
Diana began music in 2nd grade as a piano student of neighbor Lola Huber. She was in 7th grade, however, when she started on the saxophone, encouraged by her teacher Dave Bailey (that same Dave Bailey as in the previous paragraphs). He "listened to the raucous tones of my early saxophone playing." Teachers throughout high school and at District Band also encouraged and inspired her. Both music educators, Dave taught instrumental music, general music and band at elementary, middle and high school levels in Bellefonte and Montoursville for 35 years, retiring in 2005.
We asked Dave what trumpet players he most admires.
Rafael Mendez, Clark Terry, Maynard Ferguson, and several without big names. Wynton Marsalis is so impressive because he lives at the pinnacle of both classical and jazz performance, and is one of the most kind and gracious artists I've ever met, though I must say, I'd pass up a chance to hear any of them in order to sit in a rehearsal or concert next to my favorite trumpet player - Dale Orris.
Diana spoke about women as sax players.
When I see women playing saxophone, more of them do actually play alto. I'm not sure why, however. I have found the biggest disparity in the ratio of men to women in the jazz bands in which I play. In college, I was not the only female in the sax section, I was often the only female in the band. I believe these odds are changing, however. In the Williamsport Community Jazz Orchestra (WCJO) saxophone section, women outnumber the men.
Both Diana and Dave play in the Penn Central Wind Band (Lewisburg) and the Repasz Band. Diana also plays in the WCJO, playing charts from the classic jazz orchestras. Dave plays in the Billtown Brass and the "Tarnished Six," a Dixieland band in State College.
I feel blessed to be where I am. I dare say there are few communities demographically similar to Williamsport that are so replete with so many performance opportunities for good musicians in so many genres.
At age 5, son Drake began piano lessons with teacher Alice Nacinovich. Two years later, he began learning violin with Suzuki teacher, Pat Thayer. Through high school, he played in All State Orchestras and in 2006, he auditioned for Maestro Robin Fountain after which he played in the first violin section in the WSO until graduation.
Drake spent a year in pre-med at Temple and then transferred to Penn State in the music program. Two years ago, he chose another track and currently is the head cook at one of the busiest restaurants on the Golden Strip - Dolly's Diner. Drake continues as a member of the WSO playing in the second violin section.
Like sisters/twins Janet and Judy in the clarinet section or the Leidheckers (Aegina, flute; Bob, percussion), the Baileys are another family who share music and sometimes the WSO stage.