A Message from Pastor Sarah:
Dear Friends...this month words not from me, but from the gifted writer and retreat leader, Joyce Rupp. I share with you excertps from her poem, "Watered Gardens".
God of openness, of life and resurrection,
Come into this Easter season and bless me.
Look around the tight dead spaces of my heart
That still refuse to give you entrance.
Bring your gentle but firm love.
Begin to lift the layers of resistance
That hang on tightly deep inside of me.
Open, one by one, those places in my life
Where I refuse to be overcome by surprise.
Open, one by one, those parts of my heart
Where I fight the entrance of real growth.
Open, one by one, those aspects of my spirit
Where my security struggles with the truth.
God of the Resurrection , God of the living,
Untomb and uncover all that needs to live in me.
Take me to people, events and situations
And stretch me into much greater openness.
Open me. Open me. Open me.
For it is only then that I will grow and change.
For it is only then that I will be transformed.
For it is only then that I will know how it is
To be in the moment of rising from the dead.
May the God of the Resurrection open us, the people of Stone Church, to new life in Christ...Pastor Sarah
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! A heartfelt thanks to: Dr. Armendia Dixon for her dedication to seeing “A Diamond on the Diamond: The Multifaceted History of Stone United Methodist Church 1968-2021” to completion …Jane Ellen Nickell for leading, and to many for participating, in our Lenten study “Entering the Passion of Jesus”…All who bring joy and order to worship each Sunday morning (including ushers, musicians, counters, “florists”, communion stewards, CYF and broadcast booth volunteers: Leanne Venesky, Susan Lipiec, Carrie Morley, Sarah and Tyson Johnston, Carolyn Turnbull, Charlie and Jen Royer, Nancy Frambes, Bev Barickman, Ron Snow, Debbie Knapp, Darlene and Jim Ross, Barb Baker, Anne Finney, Jane Ellen Nickell, Patty Brown, Phyllis Stockton, Debbie Knapp, Andra Fee Mulhearn, Susan Liepec, Marti Mailliard, and Sue DeArment… To all who give, pray and serve… THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Palm Sunday Worship Service - April 2, 2023 - 9 AM
Jared Box Assembly Gathering - After worship - Sunday, April 2nd in Miller Parlor
Join us in Miller Parlor as we take the items we have collected for the Jared Box project throughout the months of February and March and put together our Jared Boxes for distribution. Many hands make light work!
Easter Sunrise Service --
A Sunrise Service will be held in the gazebo at Diamond Park in Meadville on Easter Sunday at 7 AM. All are Welcome! He is Risen!
"A Diamond on the Diamond: The Multifaceted History of Stone United Methodist Church, 1968-2021" --
Author Dr. Armendia Dixon presented her latest book to the congregation during the worship services on March 12, 2023. During the dedication of the book, a copy was presented to one of the two woman that the book is dedicated to - Mrs. Patricia Lafferty. Mrs. Lafferty has been a member of the congregation since 1942 and has contributed to the ministries of Stone UMC in countless ways. The book is also dedicated to the author's mother, Mrs. Denothras Pickens Pierce, who was a longtime active member of Stone UMC before her death in 2008. Copies of the book are now available at Barnes & Noble booksellers, Amazon and iTunes. For more information, please visit the Christian Faith Publishing website.
Raise Right...Why not right now?
Trying something new can be intimidating...but the rewards can be tremendous - especially when that new thing is the Raise Right fundraising program!! Since launching Raise Right, Stone UMC has earned more than $750 to put towards our mission and ministries. If you haven't checked it out yet, visit their website at www.raiseright.com or talk to Coordinator Erin Lindsay-Means to learn more about how you can support church ministry with Raise Right. Our Stone UMC Enrollment Code is: R2JAWC962GJA
SAVE THE DATE
There will be a Sending Off Celebration in honor of Pastor Sarah for her upcoming retirement in June. The celebration will be held on May 21, 2023. More details to follow.
Church Directory Update
We are working on an update to the church directory and would like to include photos of all members. This update will be done in-house with software we already have nd not by an outside company. We are asking all members to send an electronic photo of you and your family by email or drop off a photo at the church office by May 26, 2023. All photos will be returned. Our goal is to have the updated directory available for Pastor Kendra when she arrives in July. The updated directory will also be available to the membership. Please email photos to: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are writing to express great appreciation to Dr. Dixon and her team of researchers and compilers for the work they did in putting together the "Diamond on the Diamond". What an overwhelming, labor-intensive achievement, to put into print the happenings back 40-50 years prior! It is an honor to have the book dedicated to our mom, grandma, and great grandma Nana (Pat Lafferty). At 92 years old, she has been a member of Stone United Methodist Church for 80 years and feels blessed to have achieved that milestone in her life and still be able to serve the church. It is also wonderful to have Mrs. Pierce, Armendia's mom, memorialized in the book. She was a dedicated volunteer. We would like to give a big shout out to Pastor Sarah for her role in the book and her ministry to Stone Church. Thank You and Bless You All, John & Cindy Karns, Chris, Dawn, Nathan, Carter & Alaina Karns, Heather, Nick & Gabriel Basko
Safe Sanctuaries Training - A Must-Have for all Church volunteers
Mark your calendar! The next Safe Sanctuaries training for church volunteers will be Monday,April 24 at 7PM in Miller Parlor.
To Carly Spataro and her husband Dr. Akash Chandawarkar on the birth of their daughter Aria Tara on January 30th in Jacksonville, FL. Aria's grandparents are John & Kathy Spataro.
Bibles for Children...
Calling all families with children ages 8 and up! We would love to give your child a Bible if they want one. We plan to hold a special blessing for them during a worship service in May. If you would like your child to be included, please contact Cyndi Bland for more information.
Children & Youth of Stone UMC - IT IS GOOD
You won't want to miss the Stone UMC Children & Youth as they present their next production - "IT IS GOOD" during our worship service on Sunday, April 23rd. Make sure to mark the date to be here in the "audience" in person or tune in to one of our livestreams on Armstrong Cable Channels 23 or 100 or at our website stoneumc.org and support our young people!
THANK YOU STONE!
The Turnbulls would like to thank our Stone Church family for all their prayers, food, visits, flowers, and support since both of our surgeries. Your generosity will never be forgotten. Your kindness means more to us than you’ll ever know. We are truly grateful to all of you as we recover. Jim & Carolyn
Fair Trade Equal Exchange Update
Dear Congregation, As the sacred day of Easter approaches, this is a reminder that Stone Church participates in the Equal Exchange Interfaith coffee, tea and chocolate program. This program makes chocolates and other products available that are fair trade, meaning that small farmers are guaranteed a fair wage so as to support their families, and organic, meaning no pesticides are used in their production. We anticipate ordering some milk chocolate and dark chocolate mini bars, perfect for Easter baskets, as well as some larger chocolate bars. You may go online to view the various chocolate bar flavors at www.equalexchange.coop/interfaith. You can make a purchase through the church by contacting Gloria Shields at 814-337-6271 or the church office at 814-724-6736. In Christ's Justice and Peace, Gloria
Savor for Scholars
The Savor for Scholars event benefits the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund. The event will feature international foods, an auction, prizes and gift baskets. Music will be provided by 50 Miles to Empty. Savor for Scholars is being hosted at the Italian Civic Club on Saturday, April 22nd from 6-9 pm. Tickets are available online at mlkmeadville.org, in person at The Woolen Mill or by contacting any of the committee members.
Summer Planning Gathering
Who is all in for summer? Summer will be here before we know it and we want to be ready! To that end, all are invited to a dinner gathering in Miller Parlor from 5-6:15 PM to begin planning for our summer season.
Bring Your Coat Donations to Palm Sunday Services
At a planning meeting in January, a small boy from our congregation mentioned we should collect “shirts” for people in need. To spin off of Noah’s idea of a shirt collection, we are asking folks to bring in their new and gently used coats to be given to those in need in our community. Please plan to bring your coats to be blessed on April 2nd during our Palm Sunday worship service.
Memorial Service Planned for Rev. James Dean Hammerlee
A Celebration of Life will be held at Stone UMC on April 14, 2023 at 2 PM.
April Worship Calendar -- April 2 (Palm Sunday) -- April 6 (Holy Thursday, communion service at 7PM), April 9 (Easter Sunday, Sunrise Service 7AM in Diamond Park, 9AM worship in the sanctuary), April 16 (Second Sunday of Easter), April 23 (Third Sunday of Easter, Children & Youth production of IT IS GOOD), April 30 (Fourth Sunday of Easter)