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Something to celebrate: 75 years of service

For 75 years, the United Churches of Lycoming County has been bringing together area churches to serve the community. Sunday marks the beginning of a yearlong celebration of that achievement as they look ahead to the next challenges. The UCLC will kick off the celebration, which is titled “Shining Brightly Together,’ with an event livestreamed at 3 p.m. Sunday. McCormick, and Jacque Engle. We owe a big debt of gratitude to all participants and to Kyle Huggins for helping us go virtual with this event. The second event is a year of prayer. Throughout the year, we are publishing a monthly calendar lifting up congregations and ministries in our county and a joy and/or concern they would like all of us to remember in prayer. The logo for this anniversary year of prayer is this heart, chosen to represent the heart of God. Notice that there are many facets to this heart. They represent our congregations and individuals with no two of us the same size, color, or shape. Yet we all have a place in God’s heart, fit together perfectly, and find additional beauty because we are enhanced by our differences! I look forward to celebrating the congregations and ministries in our county throughout 2021! There will be a monthly prayer gathering on the last Sunday of each month at 4 p.m. It will be a virtual meeting on zoom and our newsletter has the details or you can call our office at 570- 322-1110. We will also work together on special projects in the community each month. January finds volunteers providing the lunches on three Saturdays at Sojourner Truth Ministries, as well as sending devotional books and calendars to nursing home residents. Our ancestors in faith were often told to remember times when they knew God was present in their lives. After Moses led his people out of Egypt and into Sinai on their way to the Promised Land, we are told that, “They kept the passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai” (Numbers 9:5 NRSV). This observance is the meal that Christians remember Jesus also celebrating with his disciples on the night that Judas left to betray him, which we call The Last Supper (Mark 14:12-25). That led to Easter Sunday morning! I invite you to remember, observe, celebrate, and pray together during our seventy-fifth year. With your participation, it will be perfect! Rev. Gwen Bernstine, executive director, United Churches of Lycoming County

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