Vacation Bible School and Annual Blueberry Festival

Wow, how did July get here so quickly! The summer is in full swing and the people of Watsontown UMC are keeping busy as ever. If you haven’t connected to the weekly Kid’s Café ministry yet, you don’t know what you are missing! Every weekday in the park, volunteers from the church and community have been serving over 50 free lunches every day. And, of course, church leaders have been working hard to put together our premiere events for July: the Blueberry Festival and Vacation Bible School.

Come on out to the church Sunday July 5 to Thursday July 9 starting at 6:00pm each night for Vacation Bible School. Brought to you by the Go Fish Guys, this year we are going Backstage with the most important book in the world, the Bible. Young people will be engaged in Bible reading, games, sports, crafts, snack and dancing. Get pumped with great tunes, skits, and the fire found only in God’s Holy Spirit. No preregistrations are required but are certainly welcome. Click on the drop-down menu above to learn more about how you can connect to this great event.

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And stick around for July 11 for the 5th annual Blueberry Festival. Running from 9:00AM until 3:00PM, there will be food, vendors, crafters, kid’s games, pony rides, friendship, fellowship and more! Click on the Blueberry Festival dropdown menu above for all of your Blueberry Festival needs.

Be blessed and keep enjoying your summers!
–Pastor Ryan

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Reflection on WUMC’s 2015 Women’s Retreat

Retreat - Group Shot

The following is a written reflection by Camy Brungard about the WUMC Women’s Retreat that occurred in April 2015 at the Timberwind Lodge.

What a great weekend for our 2nd annual Women’s Retreat. Each person needed the weekend for different reasons, and we all embraced each other. We listened to each others’ stories. We laughed together & we cried together. I walked away feeling more connected to my WUMC sisters.

During our Bible Study we took time to ‘stop and smell the roses’ during our ‘Walk in the Garden.’ We discussed the different seasons of life our Master Gardner has each of us in. During the study, everyone did an individual prayer walk where we enjoyed the beautiful day, reflected on Scripture, answered questions, and talked privately with God. We came back together to consider the weeds in our lives and be grateful for the gifts God has given us, affirming the beauty God is growing in us.

Retreat - FoodWe were treated to a weekend of wonderful food. Snacks & appetizers, soup & sandwiches, meatloaf & macaroni and cheese, and many different breakfast ites to choose fro, plus many desserts. No one walked away hungry. THANK YOU to Carol Parker and Edna Miller for shopping, prep cooking, cooking, & cleaning up after all our meals.

What else did we do all weekend? You could find ladies taking walks, sitting on the porch enjoying fresh air, and watching for deer. Inside many games were played and sewing skills were put to the test. You could find others sitting quietly enjoying a good book or taking a much needed nap. Sunday morning we had a wonderful hymn sing before everyone headed home.Retreat - Bible Study

We hope next year to welcome many more WUMC women to join us. Mark your calendar now for April 1-3, 2016. We make sacrifices all the time for our families and work. Make this a priority for yourself next year. Join us for the weekend and leave feeling rejuvenated and loved. – Camy Brungard

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Blueberry Festival and T-Shirts

The blueberry festival is coming on July 11!

Mark those calendars everyone because Watsontown United Methodist Church’s annual Blueberry Festival is on the way, July 11 from 9:00AM to 3:00PM. Just like last year, we will have t-shirts to commemorate the event, and you can even add your very own signature to the back of the final product ($5.00 sponsor)! The logo is similar to last year’s, just replace the “2014” with a “2015”:

Blueberry 2014 Logo

A set of advance orders for t-shirts are being collected for those who would like to sport one prior to the big day. Shirts are available for $10 (Youth S/M/L; Adult S/M/L/XL) and $13 (2XL/3XL). V-Neck shirts are also available at $13 (Adult S/M/L/XL) and $16 (2XL/3XL). If you are interested in picking up this advance t-shirt, contact the WUMC office via phone (570-538-1017) or e-mail (office@watsontownumc.org). Money does not need to be turned in right away; the office just needs a count for the initial order!

“Taste and see that the Lord is Good!” (Psalm 34:8).

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Sermon Cast – Who Stole Baby Jesus?

Date: January 18, 2015
Preacher: Rev. Ryan Krauss

Scripture: Luke 2:22-40
Description: There must be a near universal desire in humans to hold babies. Or to want to hold babies. My sister recently gave birth to an adorable set of twins; at a large family gathering in October (my wedding), it was absolutely impossible for me to get a finger on this adorable children because EVERYONE ELSE wanted to hold them. It goes without saying that snatching a baby away with asking is simply “bad form.”

Baby-snatching is the name of the game in the little-known Scripture from Luke 2:22-40. Jesus’ parents have taken the infant to the temple to perform several necessary rituals, when all of the sudden they are bombarded by strangers Simeon and Anna; the former snatches the little boy up in the middle of a prophetic frenzy while Anna goes on an evangelistic spree not unlike the shepherds in the Christmas Story. All this while Mary and Joseph where just trying to get their child blessed!

The devout, if strange, actions of Simeon and Anna teach us an important truth about leading a life of joy and celebration. We must continue to trust in God’s promised hope of a new and brighter tomorrow. No matter how bad today gets, no matter how overwhelming the circumstance, God will continue to sustain us and provide new vigor and possibilities in the morning (Psalm 3:5).

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Sermon Cast – The World’s Strangest Stewardship Sermon

Date: 1/11/2015
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T Krauss

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Matthew 2:1-11
Description: Stewardship is that one great topic, that one great spiritual discipline that no one in the church enjoys addressing. While Jesus arguably talk more about finances in the Gospels than any other topic, his followers have had a poor track record on the subject. Many of us are familiar with either churches, institutions, or sermons that beg a little too much, pile the guilt a little too thickly, or simply come off as way too greedy that whenever the pulpit mentions the dollar sign, we close our ears. It’s Epiphany, and stewardship has been one of my own wake-up calls and ‘ah-hah’ moments  recently.

The essence of stewardship is cheerful giving (2 Corinthians 9).

Paul writes that giving should be a cheerful affair! Giving should come from an overflowing heart. Yet, if this is true, I also believe that receiving the prayers, gifts, talents, and tithes of a congregation should also be done with joy! Here is where the institutional church does a poor job: we do not say “Thank You” well or often enough. I encourage you to listen to this message and hear a very heart-felt “Thank You.”

-Pastor Ryan

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Sermon Cast – Home for Christmas: You Can Count On Me

Date: 12/7/2014
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: Isaiah 40: 1-11, Mark 1:1-8
Description: In the second week of our Advent Sermon Series, we consider the topic of commitment. The iconic song “I’ll be Home for Christmas” brings to mind the hope of trustworthiness with the lyrics “You can count on me.” In this respect, every decision of family or friends to travel great distances during the holidays is an act of commitment. Purchasing plane tickets, driving for great lengths and hours are all evidence of our connection to and support of those we love. At Christmas time, the message of the Christ Child is one of God’s unwavering commitment to us.

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Sermon Cast – Home for Christmas: The Last One In

Date: November 30, 2014
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: Mark 13:24-37
Description: One of my favorite Christmas songs is a rendition of I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Vince Gill. Whether in grade school, college, grad school, and even now in the ministry, I always want to be home for the Christmas holiday. I know that not everyone has the same experience, but home for me is safe, nostalgic, and filled with the ones I love most.

As we begin to celebrate Advent in 2014, we remember that a central piece of the Christian story is that Jesus, who once made his home with us (John 1:14), will also one day return ‘home’ to us again. This is commonly called the Second Coming. Jesus asks us to ‘be alert’ and ‘be awake’ not out of fear but out of hope. A child waits at the window sill for mom or dad to come home from swing-shift out of the simple joy of being brought back together again.

So Jesus calls us this Advent to come home for Christmas. Our true, heavenly home. While we wait, we live in the hopeful expectation of being reunited with our great Savior, in spirit now but in the flesh on a great day to come.

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Sermon Cast – Collaborate with God

Date: October 19, 2014
Preacher: William Marshall

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-7
Description: Lay Preacher Jack Marshall provides the final message to the fall series “In Progress,” a look at the development of our spiritual journeys in God’s hands, under God’s guidance, and as co-laborers for God’s heavenly rule on earth.

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Cardboard Pumpkins

Halloween is occasionally criticized by the Christian community for a variety of reasons: the celebration is pagan, occult-ish connections abound, the holiday promotes unbiblical superstitions. While I’d rather defer to greater authorities on these subjects, I’ve written a concise piece on the Christian origins of Halloween in this month’s newsletter. My conclusion? Halloween is a natural and fitting Christian Holiday!
On October 26, 2014 at 4PM Watsontown United Methodist Church hosts a Trunk-or-Treat event for the Watsontown/Warrior Run area. This event is perfect for families and children uncomfortable with some of the conventions of Halloween, the lateness of official trick-or-treating, or the uncertainty of selecting neighborhoods to visit. The church parking lot on 1319 8th Street Drive will be lined with open trunks from which children may gather candy. Additionally, the multipurpose room will be open for social time, refreshments, and games. In several other room of the church, children may listen to a Halloween story or help out with this season’s mission project: Operation Christmas Child. Join us and tell your friends!

One week after Trunk-and-Treat, the youth group of WUMC, along with scouting organizations and other young people, will participate in a Box City simulation. This event will run from 4PM Saturday November 1 through 12:00PM Sunday November 2. Designed to raise awareness to poverty and hunger, these young people will craft a ‘town’ out of cardboard boxes on the church lawn and dwell in them for the evening. In conjunction with Box City, the young people will be receiving donations to support the local mission Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Community donations toward this cause will be accepted at the 8th Street Church during the hours of the event. For more information, click the newsletter link above.

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Sermon Cast – All You Need, Ever

Date: 10/12/2014
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T. Krauss

Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:1-7, 1 John 4:7-16
Description: Today was a special day in worship at WUMC. In honor, recognition, and thanks to community First-Responders, we hosted a service and luncheon, inviting many local fire fighters, police officers, emergency workers, and dispatchers to join us. Johnny Jolin offered several special music selections, and a memorial wreath was purchased in memory of those who are no longer with us.

The Scripture passage from our In Progress sermon series is apt for such a day as this. In the ‘road map’ of 2 Peter 1:5-7, the pinnacle and goal of the Christian journey is sacrificial love.

The entire service for 10/12 is recorded on CD; if anyone would like a copy, please contact the church office.

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