March 2024

Pastor's Message - Lenten Greetings! 

We are continuing our Journey of Stones series at Stone United Methodist Church. Lent seems to be a long journey. We get hopeful for spring and pray Punxsutawney Phil was correct. We might even get sidetracked and start thinking about the Resurrection or Easter baskets, but the journey of Lent is essential. We must focus on our sins and our need for grace and mercy from a Savior who came to love us. May God give us the perseverance to travel this road together. 

Let us pray . . . God of grace, we are a weary people. Ash Wednesday was four weeks behind us; Good Friday is three weeks ahead. Give us strength for the journey, and enough faith to carry us to Calvary and the cross. In the name of the Crucified One we pray. Amen. 

Join us for Journey of Stones and life. We are the Stone Church with the warm heart. Grace & Peace, Pastor Kendra 

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

A heartfelt thanks to: February ushers, musicians, "florists", communion stewards, greeters, counters and helpers of all kinds; to Debbie Knapp for tackling the cleaning of the balcony pews, to Cyndi Bland and Pat Loutzenhiser for the fresh coat of paint on the walls and counters of the CYF office; to Jeff Loutzenhiser and his fellow trustees for their meticulous attention and care to the repair and maintenance of the church building, to all who decorated for the Lenten season including Joyce Minnis, Barb Baker, Darlene Ross and Sue Johnston; to everyone who helps with Children's Church and Sunday School, especially Jane Smith, Armendia Dixon and guest presenter Sue DeArment for her Wildlife In Need program; to everyone who helped in the planning and preparation for the first floor kitchen update especially Barb Baker and Darlene Ross for their hours sorting and cleaning out the kitchen so work could begin; to all those who give of their time and talents to fulfill the day-to-day needs of the church through our committees and Council; to all who give, pray and serve...Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Automatic Door Makes Church Accessible to All

The South Main Street entrance to the church has gone AUTOMATIC thanks to a grant for more than $6,000 from the Winslow Foundation as well as the collaboration of the church and the Meadville Community Soup Kitchen.  The new wider entrance is equipped with an automatic door opener with push button activation making the building fully accessible for our visitors and members.  

The benefits of the new entrance began to be seen immediately as the Stone Children's Center housed on the second floor of the building are now able to better navigate their large multi-child strollers through the doorway. The new entrance will  aid in the easier distribution of Senior Food Boxes, assist in deliveries for the church and soup kitchen as well as making the building accessible for all.


With your help, UMCOR supports humanitarian relief and recovery efforts around the world. UMCOR Sunday donations cover UMCOR's operation costs so that 100% of donations received for emergency appeals go directly to communities in need.

Easter Flowers

Let's make the sanctuary bloom with springtime colors this Easter!  Choose from Tulips, Hyacinth or Daffodil for $12 each or Easter Lily for $15 each.  Flowers will adorn the altar and may be picked up after the EAster worship service on Sunday, March 31, 2024. Please make checks payable to Stone United Methodist Church and write "Easter Flowers" in the memo line.  All orders are due to the office by Sunday, March 17, 2024.  Order envelopes are available in the sanctuary and Thoburn Lobby.

Souper Bowl Thanks

A big thank you to everyone for the SOUP-ER support of this year's Souper Bowl to fight hunger in our community.  The proceeds from our event are being split between the Meadville Community Soup Kitchen and the WiNS - weekend nutrition program for elementary students.  Your generous support meant we were able to raise $651 for these caring, local organizations.

Fairview/Fairmont Family Center Paper Product Drive

Thank you to those who have donated paper products for the Fairview/Fairmont Family Center - they continue to have this as a need and are very thankful for our support.

Communications/Technology Members Wanted

The Communications/Technology Committee is seeking a few more members to help plan and maintain the technological needs of the church.  The committee meets quarterly via Microsoft Teams.  If you have an interest in technology, social media or communications and would like join our group - please contact Comm/Tech Chair Tyson Johnston at

Bicentennial Planning Group Now Forming

In 1825, a group gathered in the blacksmith shop of John Lupher and organized a church which would grow into Stone United Methodist Church.  As we look ahead to 2025 and the 200th anniversary of that event, we would ask anyone who would like to be a part of the planning for our Bicentennial commemoration to please contact Jen in the office to have their name added to the Planning Team.  814-724-6736 or

Keeping In Prayer

  • Our condolences to the family & friends of Diane Walker. (Bethany UMC) 
  • Our condolences to the family & friends of Judy Marie Brown, mother-in-law of Patty Brown.

Spring Lay Ministry Courses - Sign Up Now!

The 2024 Spring Lay Ministry School (Erie-Meadville District) begins on Sunday, April 7th and concludes on Sunday, May 5th.  Whether you want to grow in your faith and ministry or just are looking for an opportunity for self-enrichment, you are welcome to register. Classes will meet each Sunday from 2 PM to 4 PM at Edinboro UMC (113 High Street, Edinboro, PA 16412). Participants will receive their course materials during the first meeting. All registrations must be received by Wednesday, March 27th. Click the link below to register today!

NEW THIS YEAR! Bishop Moore-Koikoi will be visiting during the first meeting (Sunday, April 7th) AND you are encouraged to invite your pastor to the last meeting (Sunday, May 5th).


This spring's selection of courses include:

Discover Your Spiritual Gifts (Bill Clute) This course helps participants understand spiritual gifts and how the church can use them to fulfill its mission and ministry. Participants will also learn what it means to be a spiritual leader and will be equipped to lead others in exploring and using their spiritual gifts 

Leading Public Prayer (Kendra Balliet) Praying in public can be daunting, but prayer is something one learns. This course on praying in public will help the participant grow in confidence and skill in public prayer and enrich their personal prayer life. 

Called to Preach (Dennis Swineford) Called to Preach is designed for those who have not completed formal preaching training, for pastors seeking a basic refresher course, and for others who are called upon to preach in a pastors absence. Called to Preach is the required preaching course in the lay speaker track of study.

Waking Up White (Ed Schoeneck) This elective course will explore anti-racism topics.

Annual Shoe Drive is Back!

SAVE YOUR SHOES and donate them to help those who are homeless or who have a disability.

Erie United Methodist Alliance and All God's Children Ministries are hosting the 12th Annual Shoe Drive to benefit their missions.

You can help, simply by gathering and donating your gently worn, used or unwanted new shoes.  

25 pairs of shoes = almost $10 to help local individuals and families dealing with homelessness, or those with disabilities.

Please rubber band or tie the shoelaces together of your old, unwanted shoes (condition must be new or gently used).  Drop them off to the collection bins placed in our sanctuary on Sunday morning or to Thoburn Lobby during office hours (Mon, Wed, Thursdays from 9am-2pm).

Equal Exchange Coffee and Candy is Back in Stock

Raise Right

Get started today with enrollment code: R2JAWC962GJA

Buy Gift Cards for the stores/brands you love (there are hundreds to choose from)- and a percentage of your gift card purchase will go to Stone United Methodist Church!  Here are just a few examples:

Kohl's - 7% -- Michael's - 6% -- Dairy Queen - 6.5%