The Monthly Messenger - June 2023

A Message from Pastor Sarah...

 Dear Friends,    When asked a few months ago how I would like the church to celebrate my retirement, my response was simple and specific. “With cake… white cake, from Giant Eagle, with buttercream frosting. Oh, and I’d like a corner piece”.  At Sunday’s celebration, there was cake (of which I did get a corner piece), delicious sweets, bowls of fruit, lots of people, and so much love! Thanks to all who made this celebration possible!    More than just a thank you for the party, thank you for your commitment to Christ’s ministry lived out  as the people of Stone these past twelve years. As I move into retirement, and you move on with a new pastor, I know God has more work to be done and more joy to be shared.    One of my favorite scripture passages comes from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians; “Now to the one who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generation, forever and ever. Amen. “   That is my prayer for you, and me, as we move into a new day. All in the Peace, Power and Presence of the Risen Christ… Pastor Sarah


 THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! A heartfelt thanks to…All who supported the Heifer International Project (it was all very “mooo-ving”)…Cindy and John Karns for donating the mulch and their fellow mulchers Brian Johnston, Debbie Knapp, Jim Schlosser, Sarah and Dave Roncolato…All who provided the sweets and all the love for Pastor Sarah’s retirement celebration… Those who bring joy and order to worship each Sunday morning (including ushers, musicians, counters, broadcast techs, “florists” and CYF volunteers): Myla and Skyler Bland, the Virtual Choir, Cyndi Bland, Susan Lipiec, Tyson Johnston, Bev Barickman, Ron Snow, Debbie Knapp, Jim and Carolyn Turnbull, Phyllis and Gerald Stockton, Darlene and Jim Ross, Barb Baker, Marti Mailliard, Anne Finney, Jane Ellen Nickell, Patty Brown and the Royer family…Second Harvest Senior Food Box delivery volunteers: Cindy and John Karns, Jim Schlosser, Bob and Debbie McConnell, Matt McElhiney and Chuck Larson…Jeff Loutzenhiser for seeing the renovation of the lobby bathrooms through to completion…Pat Loutzenhiser, Kyle Janes, Jen Royer, Jackie Russell and Children’s Center Board and Staff for making important changes while navigating challenging times…Debbie Knapp and the Staff-Parish Committee for leadership provided through this time of transition… To all who give, pray and serve…     THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! 

Jesus is Everywhere! A Summer Family Activity -

He’s back! Flat Jesus is making His way into your home this summer! He’d love to come along with you and your family on all your summer adventures to help spread the good news that Jesus is always with us. Miss Cyndi plans to start handing out Flat Jesus soon and you may have already received yours. If you have not or are interested in having a Flat Jesus for some summer fun, please contact Cyndi Bland. We will be having “What have you been up to Wednesdays?” on Facebook and Instagram where you can post your photos of your family's Flat Jesus adventures. Be sure to tag and follow Stone UMC and @_flat_jesus_  on Instagram when posting your photos. Let’s have some fun with Jesus this summer!!

Gift Cards for Dad with Raise Right

Looking for a last-minute gift for Dad this Father's Day?  Treat Dad and help support the United Methodist Committee on Relief at the same time!  All proceeds from the purchase of Raise Right gift cards in the month of June are being donated to the important work that UMCOR does around the world each day!  

Moooo-velous Heifer Project Success!

Many thanks to all who participated in and supported the Stone UMC Children and Youth Heifer Project mission last month.  We raised a whopping $902.62 and with those funds we were able to not only purchase a heifer to help a family but also a sheep, a pig and two swarms of bees!   

Raise Right Pop Up Shop 

Stop into our Raise Right Pop Up Shop in the lobby after service on the first Sunday of each month to order gift cards, shop from our selection of gift cards on hand or just learn more about how purchasing gift cards for your everyday purchases through Raise Right is helping support the mission projects and ministries of Stone UMC.

Please Be Careful - 

 Recently, there have been multiple occurrences of identity spoofing where an unknown bad actor has impersonated a member of the church through email using a similar but different email address.   DO NOT respond to any email requests for help, information, money or otherwise without verifying with the actual person via direct TELEPHONE to make sure they actually sent the email.   It is possible that you may also receive a  phone call or other written correspondence from a bad actor requesting help, information, money or otherwise.  If ANYTHING seems suspicious, DO NOT share any info and hang up.  Please use caller ID and other methods like asking a question that only the real person would know the answer to.   REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY to the church office.  Thank you and please remain vigilant.    

Congratulations to our Graduates! 

 Luca DiRienzo - Meadville Area Senior High

McKenna DiRienzo - Chatham University

Gideon Morley - Homeschool

Brayden James Schlosser - Cochranton Jr-Sr High

Taylor Paige Schlosser - Conneaut Area Senior High

Miranda Sepulveda - Kent State University

Welcoming Pastor Kendra!

 Pastor Kendra Balliet will begin serving Stone UMC with our worship service on Sunday, July 2, 2023.  Our SPRC committee has been busy planning several small group opportunities for you to meet and get to know Pastor Kendra throughout the summer.  Look for more information on these gatherings on our website and in our e-news beginning mid-June.   Pastor Kendra is currently serving the West Bedford Cooperative Parish which consists of eight churches.  She brings the message to Buffalo Mills UMC, Alum Bank UMC and Point UMC weekly.  She has also previously served the Mahaffey Area Larger Parish, the Clymer Charge, the Luthersburg Charge, the Shawnee Charge and Moorhead UMC. She was ordained as an elder in full connection at the 2021 Annual Conference after graduationg from United Theological Seminary with a Master's of Divinity with a concentration in leadership and revitalization.  She is also a graduate of Clarion University of PA where she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education.   Pastor Kendra was raised in Brockway and DuBois, and spent 20 years as an educator before answering the call to ministry.  Her husband, John, is also a pastor.  He will be serving at Linesville UMC.  Kendra has three children and John has two, all of whom have grown and flown the nest.  They also have two teenage grandchildren.