REEL TRUTH at WUMC in August

The Gutenberg Bible – First Bible Printed

The Bible is a collection of sacred words written down for us and for all generations. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Scripture is a testimony to God’s relationship with people throughout time and many persons’ experiences of God in the adventure of life. The Bible is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16) and points to the true Word of God Jesus Christ who is the healer of our brokenness and hope of the world.

During the month of August at Watsontown United Methodist Church, we are going to take a fresh and exciting look at Scripture by going to the movies! Actually, the movies are going to come to us. WUMC will be hosting family-friendly movie nights every Saturday in August; the doors will open at 6:00pm and the movie will be begin promptly at 6:30pm. The movies are all G-rated from lists of popular and classic works by Disney/Pixar. Movies will be shown on our awesome new projector! But the movie experience goes further. Every Sunday, the sermon will use video clips from the previous night’s movie. In this way, we will look at the Silver Screen side-by-side with the Bible to better understand God’s will for our lives and provide a fresh look at faith in all of the avenues of our lives. Refreshments will be provided, so invite your family, friends, neighbors, even random people on the street. The movie schedule is listed below:

August 2nd – The Lion King
August 9th – Monster’s University
August 16th – Finding Nemo
August 23rd – Beauty and the Beast
August 30th – Frozen


Sermon Cast – Money Fish

Date: July 20, 2014
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: Matthew 17:22-27
Description: Matthew 17:24-27 is a very curious story. In it, Jesus and Peter are accosted by tax collectors, appear to resist payment, but then get a miraculous catch of fish to pay for themselves. This is the sort of reading that one my come across during personal devotions, think “Huh, that’s interesting”, and simply move on wondering what the meaning is. Personally, I find this story intriguing because this is the only instance in all of the gospels where Jesus actually makes a charitable donation!

As we consider why Jesus gave to the tax collectors, God’s word continues to invite us to consider why we do–or do not–give to others or to ministries. In my reading, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of Jesus’ motivations for paying the tax was that he believed in or believed in the possibility of life-changing ministry and worship happening at the Jerusalem temple. This sort of motivation is key to meaningful stewardship. God calls us to be generous donors of time, talent and gift. God also asks us to seek out where a difference, where change is being made, and lay our support in that place.

On a side note, below is the recap video we showed about Vacation Bible School from just a few weeks ago. Enjoy!



Sermon Cast – The Urgency of Glory

Date: July 13, 2014
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: Luke 15:1-7
Description: In my mind’s eye, the parable of the lost sheep plays out in an idyllic manner. The Shepherd (Jesus) counts the flock only to find that one is missing. Possibly leaving the sheep in the care of a gatekeeper, he then goes on a picturesque journey over rolling hills–Disney music humming in the background–as he searches for this wandering little scamp.

After some reflection, I wonder if the image is quite different? A frantic Shepherd (Jesus) who has NO desire for the lamb to be lost. He then begins running helter-skelter through fields and forest, screaming at the top of his longs to find the sheep. So I think it is with us, then, that Jesus urgently wants to find us, urgently wants to know us, urgently wants us to be knowing God.





Here Comes the Blueberry Fest!

Date: Saturday july 12, 2014
TIme: 9AM to 3PM
Location: 1319 8th Street Drive in Watsontown (17777)

In 24 hours, Watsontown United Methodist Church will undergo an annual one-day transformation. The festival committee has been hard at work all year coordinating food, vendors, and volunteers. In 24 hours, the world at Watsontown United Methodist Church will exude all shades of BLUE. The 4th Annual WUMC Blueberry Festival is upon us!

Each Blueberry Festival has so much to see and do! If you arrive at 9AM, the kitchens are open for the blueberriest breakfast you’ve ever had. The multipurpose room of the church will host a total of 26 vendors with all sorts of wares (from tasty goodies to duct tape apparel). For those who walk in at lunch time, this year’s main course is a pulled pork BBQ sandwich; the kitchen will also be turning out other delicious items like sausage sandwiches, blueberry buckle, and walking tacos to name a few.

Outside of the church building, eight more vendors pitch their tents. The side lot is also home to a number of family-friendly and children-oriented activities. Irish Meadows Stable will be present with a pony ride, veteran conductor Gene Farley will be pulling the barrel train, and of course the Dunk Tank will be ready to test pitching arms. Also keep an eye out for the bottle ring toss and Dr. Dale’s mini-golf extravaganza. Those who stick around later into the afternoon may also enter the blueberry eating contest!

Looking for a fun and leisurely way to spend your weekend after the craziness of the 4th of July? Look no further than the 4th Annual Blueberry Festival at Watsontown United Methodist Church. We’ll be looking for you!

Blueberry 2014 Logo



Sermon Cast – Faith and Trust: Part 2

Title: Faith and Trust, Part 2
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: Genesis 22:1-14
Description: Last week we discussed Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac found in Genesis 22. Many interpretations of this passage praise Abraham’s unwavering devotion to God. Nevertheless, I have heard few sermons that take Isaac’s perspective of the events. What would it have been like to be the son of a father who said God needed the boy to be sacrificed? By taking this perspective, I think the text may have important truths for us about being open, communicative, and transparent with others about our spiritual journeys.


Sermon Cast – Faith and Trust: Part 1

Title: Faith and Trust, Part 1
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: Genesis 22:1-14
Description: Genesis 22 is a very curious piece of Scripture. The testing of Abraham is lifted up by the writer of Hebrews as one of the milestones in Abraham’s spiritual journey, a moment demonstrating model faith. But ‘faith’ when used in everyday discussion is often treated as a commodity, as a ‘thing’ someone has that helps him or her believe in a God that is invisible. This is a very simple definition of faith; I prefer to use the word ‘trust’ when I talk about faith.

Trust is perhaps one of the more significant factors demonstrated by Abraham in Genesis 22. As Hebrews 11 mentions, Abraham must come to a place where he trusts God’s power to resurrect Isaac, since it is through this son that God also promised Abraham many children and grandchildren. So it is Abraham who learns that even in situations that seem outlandish or impossible, God may be at work in us still.





Sermon Cast – Holy Math Problems, Batman!

Title: Holy Math Problems, Batman
Preacher: Rev. Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20
Description: The Trinity is perhaps one of the most confusing and complicated pieces of Christian theology. According to N.T. Wrigth, however, the Trinity is also a–if not the–definitive mark of Christian theology. Because we swapped last week (Trinity Sunday on the church calendar) with a special blessing of the animals service, this week we reflect on the great mystery of God as 3-in-1.

A Christian symbol for the Trinity

Trinitarian theology can get kind of heavy, so I would like to suggest two key points to how believing in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is meaningful on a daily basis. 1) Believing in the Trinity means that I can live my faith journey by letting God be God. I don’t have to…nor should I suspect I ever will!…know everything about how God operates. I can take the lesson to trust God, even in the things I do not understand. 2) The Trinity is a way to understand just how God can have personal relationship with us. God is not just a distant creator: God is also human like us (Jesus Christ) and lives in our hearts (Holy Spirit).




Sermon Cast – Creation is Blessed; We are Blessed

Title: Creation is Blessed; We are Blessed
Preacher: Rev. Ryan Krauss

Scripture: James 5:13-18, Matthew 10:26-33
Description: The blessedness–or at least the gift–of Creation is easy to comprehend, especially living in a beautiful state like Pennsylvania. Genesis 1 emphatically reminds us that God created all things and deemed the ‘good.’ In our haste to enjoy these gifts of God, however, we overlook the stark truth that if Creation is blessed by God, then surely we are blessed by God.

Many Sparrows

The words of Jesus in Matthew 10 sound diminutive at first. If we are ‘worth more than  any sparrows,’ is Jesus being a species-ist and devaluing birds? On the contrary, I think that Jesus simply calls attention to the fact that sparrows were seen as insignificant yet still received the care and support God the Father. Therefore, if God cares for even a small bird, surely great value is placed on us who bear the very image of God.



Blessing of the Animals!

Do you have friends like these?

Do you love animals? Do animals love you? Here at Watsontown United Methodist Church, we believe the Scriptural instructions to be stewards of the Earth God has gifted us and to care for all living things so far as we have the means (Genesis 2:15).

On Sunday, June 15, 2014, Watsontown UMC hosts a “Blessing of the Animals” service. The event will take place at 10:30AM (during regular worship time) weather permitting. The location for the event is the 8th Street church property on the side lot. Unless you would like to sit on a metal chair, consider bringing your own lawn chair too!

But bring more than your lawn chair. This service is all about praising God for all living things! SO…we invite you to bring your animals, your pets, your livestock, your younger siblings, any living thing that you would like to receive a blessing (even stuffed animals and pictures of your pets). A watering station will be provided for the animals in attendance, and there will be multiple blessing stations during the service to receive prayer and love for the animals. And don’t worry about the noise! We know that an event like this could get a little rambunctious because of all the furry friends; as a result we’ve shortened the service be about 1/2 hour. We do ask, though, to be considerate and bring leashes and crates/’containers’ as you would deem appropriate!

We know that this is something totally new, but spread the word! If you’ve never been or have been away from church for a while, consider joining us for this off-the-wall, pet-n-praise type celebration!

~Pastor Ryan Krauss


Sermon Cast – Ordination, not Inebriation (6/8/2014)

Title: Ordination, not Inebriation
Preacher: Pastor Ryan T. Krauss

Scripture: Acts 2:1-21
Description: Pentecost is a curious holiday (Holy Day) in the Christian calendar. On this day, we commemorate the arrival of the Holy Spirit to powerfully fill and bless the disciples after Jesus’ ascension (Acts 2:1-21). Easter and Christmas holidays we know are important; on them we celebrate moments in Christ’s life that have lasting implications for our spiritual journeys.

Pentecost, too, can have a powerful influence over our spiritual journeys. Pentecost is not just an isolated miracle for a group of men and women. Pentecost demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit to equip believers with the power of the gospel now, and to answer the needs of this very moment.