A Newsletter of the Sayre Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Editor: Wendy McKeithan
Pastor Kevin recommends “Partners in Prayer 2014”
written by the Bethany Fellows for your devotional
reading this Advent season. Bethany Fellows is a
group of young, newly ordained ministers of the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ.) Each daily devotion contains a scripture reference and a spiritual
meditation followed by a closing prayer. Use this Advent devotion to help you prepare your Christmas feast
- with restored hope, reimagined peace, recaptured
joy, and revived love. Cost is $5.00. Sign-up sheets
are available at the bulletin board (Lincoln Street), in
the sanctuary, or contact the Church Office,
[email protected]/570-888-2683. Orders
must be received by November 16 so copies can be
delivered by November 23. The first Sunday in Advent is November 30.
An Art Exhibit will be held at our church on Saturday,
November 15, 2014 from 10 am - 4 pm. The members of
the Palette & Brush Artist Guild who meet at our church
weekly will exhibit their fine art. Pastor Kevin will be exhibiting his wood creations. Items will be for sale if you are
looking for a unique and one-of-a-kind Christmas gift. Others who may like to exhibit their own artwork are invited to
join this show. Contact the Church Office by Wednesday,
November 12, 2014 if you would like to participate. Live
music and refreshments will also be provided.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
6:30 pm at Sayre Christian Church
in the Fellowship Area
Menu includes Baked Ham, Roasted Potatoes,
Mixed Vegetables, Fruit Cup, & Assorted Homemade Pies
Cost is $7.50 plus an offering
Join Oliver McKeithan as he shares his pictures
and stories of Ireland. Music (Irish, of course)
will be provided by our Praise Band.
All men of our church are invited to attend this opportunity
for fellowship and good food. Please invite friends and
family. Young men and boys are encouraged to attend.
If you would like to attend, contact Wendy McKeithan in
the Church Office by Monday, November 17, 2014.
The East Central District of the Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ) in PA will hold the Fall Festival
of Music on Sunday, November 9, 2014 at the
Canton Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ) at
7:00 pm. Choirs and/or individuals from the seven
churches of our district, join together in a special worship service that highlights the music ministry of the
East Central District. Special guests for this service
are the Troy High School Chamber Choir and guest
conductor, Ms. Sydney Blade, who is the Troy Area
High School/Intermediate School Choral Director. A
mass choir consisting of individuals from the Christian
churches of the district also present a special performance. All members of each congregation and the public are invited to attend this special worship experience! If you would like to attend, but need a ride, contact the Church Office (570-888-2683) or Pastor
Kevin (570-886-0006.)
SEED FAITH CIRCLE (Disciples Women’s Ministry)
Will be preparing and serving the meal for the East Central
District Men’s Dinner on their usual meeting date which is
November 18, 2014. Look for information in the bulletin
and December “Church Candle” concerning the date for
the December meeting. If you are able to assist with the
meal, contact the Church Office.
NOVEMBER 27, 2014
We will be meeting again on Tuesday, November 25,
2014 in the Board Room at 6 pm to discuss the life of
Bathsheba. All women are welcome to join us for this time
of fellowship and learning. If you are interested to attend,
just come, or you may contact Wendy, 888-2683.
Once again we have enjoyed an extended display of God’s beautiful wonders of creation! Autumn is such a special
time here in Pennsylvania, certainly one of the highlights of the time Shannon and I have been with you in Sayre. I hope the
beautiful autumn display is one of those gifts from God that just never gets old or routine for you.
In the church it is easy to develop routines and traditions that sometimes lose their freshness and excitement, and
sometimes even lose their original meaning. I am never one of those people who seeks to change things just for "the sake of
change." That just doesn’t make sense. On the other hand, as an institution that is much more than an institution, when the
Holy Spirit is at work in our midst, we shouldn’t be surprised when new ideas or new ways of doing things bubble up among
our congregation and our leadership. Just look at what happened when the Holy Spirit showed up at Pentecost 2000 years ago.
I want you to know that the team of leaders that you elected to give guidance and make decisions for our church have
been prayerfully studying the trends of our church, and those of our neighborhood and world around us. And those prayers are
answered sometimes with ideas for new ministries, new practices, new looks, and new possibilities. Now, it is really hard to
know if an idea is truly from God, without some process of discernment. Of course, prayer is the best place to start such discernment. But, eventually we have to just step out and try the idea, take a risk, or, as I like to call it, "make a smart experiment.” When we make a "smart experiment" as a church, it follows much prayer and much prayerful and thoughtful discussion
among our leaders. But, at some point, we have to "experiment smartly." To make sure an experiment is "smart" we first pray
for guidance. Then, we have open discussion among those who have been given authority to make decisions by the congregation. Then, we decide a time period for the "experiment," and a method of evaluating the results. A "smart experiment" does
not become permanent until good communication and feedback has been solicited. **This is critical. We need those who are
effected by any new program or ministry, or other change, to give constructive comments and suggestions to our church leaders. That’s the only way we can get a good evaluation and know how to proceed. **So, as I look out the window and see God
changing things all around us in creation, I am thinking back on some of the "smart experiments" that we’ve tried in just the
last few months:
1) The Community Garden, got off to a good start this year, despite blight and fungus. We need more people to get
involved in the future. 2) We started a Facebook Page, which we are still trying to improve and get more people to participate
in (inside and outside the church). 3) We had to remove a few pews (for a wedding, and for painting) and then decided to see
how we might get along without them. It has taken some adjustment, but we’ve found the extra space for moving around and
gathering as community to be nice, and surely more safe and hospitable. 4) Oh yes, we painted the sanctuary, entryway and
side vestry. Of course, everyone has their own favorite color, but the added warmth and beauty is much greater than we expected. 5) We just finished our first Stewardship emphasis month as part of our budget planning process. We don’t know the
results yet, but we have certainly learned about gratitude and generosity from Jesus’ teachings and example. 6) We have been
inviting the community to join us on Monday evenings for "Guitar Club," and have had a good response so far, especially from
beginners. We’ll have to see if we can build the "club" with more experienced players. But, we are having fun and making lots
of music! 7) We tried a Fall “Back to Church Faire,” with a full weekend of concert, dinner, movie, and Irish theme throughout. The feedback has not been great, except the concert, the Ireland slides, and the potato bar. 8) After our second Halloween
Fest, it seems that we’ve found a successful way to reach out to our neighborhood and build some bridges with some young
families. 9) We have begun new programs for Children’s Church, Teen Group, and Youth Group, in new formats. We’ll be
hearing more about each of them as they develop.
I’ve been reminded that 100 years ago this fall, Sayre Christian Church, made the "smart experiment" to turn the
church ninety degrees, to face Keystone Ave, rather than tearing the building down and rebuilding from scratch. A hundred
years later it seems to have been a good move! So, what’s next? We are going to try a new Advent/Christmas worship event on
December 14th, where we will decorate and celebrate the season with symbols, colors, songs, and scripture; called "Hanging of
the Green." I think it will be a very meaningful and certainly a joyful worship experience! Of course, we maintain many longtime traditions in our worship, fellowship, and leadership ministries. These, too, we need to continue to evaluate so that we
continue to provide excellent ministry to our congregation, our neighborhood and beyond. With this in mind, I/we, as leaders,
are always open to constructive comments and suggestions for how we can do better and keep our experiments "smart."
So, please, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me, the church office, our Board Chair – Paula Kraus,
our Elders Chair – Julie Allis, our Trustees Chair – Richard Valentine, or any others of our leaders. We can’t include your
valuable input if we don’t know about it. We want to grow into the church that God wants us to be. So please help us!
Blessings, Pastor Kevin Arensman
Gilberta Corneby, Susan Hurd
Eric Rava, David Padilla
Shawn Shaw, Amber Edwards
Lorraine Barten
Operation Christmas Child
For the past twenty years, Samaritan’s
Purse, an international relief organization,
has coordinated Operation Christmas
Child. Individuals are asked to fill a shoebox with various items (school supplies, hygiene items,
toys, etc) for a boy or girl, 2-14 years of age. The Local
and Global Outreach Committee would like to encourage
church members to support this program which can be
done in various ways. You may fill a box and bring it to
the church by November 16. Or, until November 16, you
can bring items that are needed in the box. Place them in
the basket located at the altar area in the sanctuary. On
Sunday afternoon, November 16, 2014 we will put together shoeboxes that will then be delivered to a Collection Center. Bring a bag lunch if you like. Beverages
will be available. We will start putting boxes together
about 12:30 pm. Brochures which offer more detailed explanation for the packages are available at the front entrance of the church, at the back of the sanctuary, and at
the bulletin board. The box will be given to a boy or girl.
Age categories are: 2-4 years, 5-9 years; and 10-14. Items
needed are:
• Toys such as dolls, toy trucks, stuffed animals, kazoos, yo-yos, jump ropes, and balls; school supplies
such as pens, pencils & sharpener, crayons or markers,
stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar
calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
• Hygiene Items such as toothbrush, mild bar soap,
comb, washcloth, etc.
• Other: T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair
clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries.) Empty shoeboxes will also be needed or a plastic container the size of a shoebox.
• We cannot send: used or damaged items, war related
items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures,
chocolate or food, breakable items, aerosol cans, liquids or lotions, or out-of-date candy.
You may also support this program by participating in
“Coins for a Cause.” The coins that are collected through
October and November will be used for the shipping of
the boxes to an overseas country. It costs $7.00 per box.
If you have any questions, contact the Church Office, 570888-2683.
The Special Thanksgiving Offering of the Christian
Church (Disciples of Christ) will be received on Sunday, November 16 and November 23, 2014 during the
worship service. Your gift to the Thanksgiving Offering
helps underwrite the education of students attending our
14 member undergraduate institutions and our seven
seminaries or divinity houses. You are helping ensure
that when students from your congregation go away to
study they will “Come Home” to a Disciples institution.
For generations thousands of students have attended the Colleges and Universities of the Christian
Church receiving both a quality education and the opportunity to remain within our Disciple’s heritage. The
Thanksgiving Offering helps continue this tradition.
Consider how important teaching and learning is to our
faith community. Then, consider your investment not
just in the student’s opportunity to learn but also as an
act of stewardship for future generations.
Likewise, consider the many generations of pastors, who, if not for the support of faithful congregations
and individuals over the ages would not have flourished
as our pastors, teachers, and leaders. Have you considered the impact of the pastor in the life of your church,
community, or region? Our institutions help prepare our
pastors for the service and leadership they provide to our
The Thanksgiving Offering benefits the Colleges, Universities, Seminaries, and Divinity Houses
affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of
Christ.) These learning communities are an extension of
the church, challenging students to understand and respond to God’s call to serve. Your support provides
scholarships, church relations programs, and chaplaincy
offices. Most importantly, your support of the 2014
Thanksgiving Offering helps Disciples “Come Home.”
An envelope for this offering will be provided in the
bulletin on Sunday, November 16, 2014. Please give as
God directs you to.
NOVEMBER 11, 2014
Thursday, DECEMBER 4 at the ARENA, Elmira NY
A Christmas Concert featuring Steven Curtis Chapman,
Brandon Heath, and Jillian Edwards will be held on
Thursday, December 4, 2014 at The Arena in Elmira NY
from 7:00-10:00 pm. Ticket prices are: VIP for $36.50
(priority seating, early admittance, Q & A prior to doors
opening at 5 pm and a keepsake lanyard); Artist Circle
for $26.00; and General Admission for $22.00. Doors
open at 6:00 pm. Group rates are not available. It is
planned for a group from the church to attend the concert.
However, individuals must call and order their own
tickets. Tickets can be purchased on-line at or call Family Life Network at 1-800-9279083. Plans are to carpool to Elmira NY, enjoy dinner
together, and attend the concert as a group. If you would
like to be a part of this group, contact Sue Hurd, 570888-1384.
The Elders continue to meet monthly. Currently we are
working through a study on the Lord's Table. Some may
wonder why the Elders would have to do a study on the
Lord's Table since we should already know about that,
but as Christians we should always be learning about Jesus, His life, His attributes, and His work. We may think
we already know what we need to but there is always
something more to learn. If you read scripture one day
and it means one thing, you can read it another day and it
may have a whole new meaning that you never thought
of. This is why it is important to stay in God's Word. The
more you read, the more you will get a clear understanding of how God wants you to live your life and what you
can do to live the life He wants you to live.
Have a blessed day!
We would like to express our sympathy to the family and
friends of those who have recently died:
• Robert “John” Enlow died unexpectedly on October
11, 2014. He was the son of Marlene Enlow.
• Ralph Felt, father of Bob (Phyllis) died at the Personal
Care Home of Memorial Hospital in Towanda on
October 15, 2014. He was 96 years of age.
• Bob Chesny passed away at the age of 92 years in
Elmira NY on October 25, 2014. His wife, Phyllis,
is the sister of Hazel Bradley.
• Rev. Wesley Bourdette, formerly of Sayre and an
active member of the Sayre Christian Church during
his youth, died unexpectedly on October 26, 2014.
He was ordained in the Sayre Christian Church in 1957
by the Pennsylvania Region of the Christian Church,
Disciples of Christ. If you would like to send condolences to his wife, Meg, the address is:
806 Maryvale Drive, Cheektowaga NY 14225-2715.
• Gilbert Rogers, brother-in-law of Don and Donna
Johnson, passed away on October 27, 2014.
We pray that God will offer comfort and strength to those
who will miss their loved ones.
• The Athens Boys Soccer Team won the Northern Tier
League title and will be playing in the District Playoffs.
Shawn Shaw is a member of this team.
• Holly Shaw, a recent graduate of Indiana University of
Pennsylvania, was asked to be a part of the Delta
Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society.
• Oliver McKeithan was recently installed as the VicePresident of the Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters
of Bradford County for the year 2015. He is a Big
Brother to Jacob.
If you would like to give on-line to the Sayre Christian
Church, you may do so by visiting our website: Scroll to the bottom of the page
and you will see the “DONATE” button. You may use a
paypal account or a credit card to pay for your donation.
Why use paypal? It’s an easy way to send money and you
can donate without sharing your financial information
(over 50,000 on-line merchants accept paypal.) If you
have any questions about donating on-line, contact Paula
Kraus, our financial secretary, or Oliver McKeithan, our
Treasurer. There is a 3.05% fee for each giving transaction and you cannot identify designated giving. Your gift
will be deposited in to the General Fund. You would
need to send a separate e-mail to the church address
([email protected]) if you would like to request designated giving.
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ His Son
And now, let the weak say I am strong
Let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us
Song by Henry Smith
A HalloweenFest happened at our church during the
Trick or Treat time in Sayre on Thursday, October 30,
2014. Cider, juice, hamburgers, hot dogs, as well as
candy were made available to the trick or treaters in
the neighborhood. Pastor Kevin and “his band,” Zachary Anderson, and Shawn Shaw provided music for
the time. We would like to thank all those who helped
with the advertising of this event, provided candy and
other food items as well as those who offered their
time on Thursday evening to set up, prepare the food,
serve the food and candy, take pictures, and clean-up!
Things we have to do . . . I dread the coming of cold
weather. Not because I mind being cold. I do, but that is
beside the point. I mind the extra work that season change
causes. You have to remember to winterize the car and
your home. You have to store summer outdoor things.
Bring out the winter stuff like Ice Scrapers, shovels and
salt, coats, hats, and mittens. Put away the summer clothes
and dig out the winter duds. Then there is the leaf raking,
and, at the Kraus House, walnut picking, cleaning out the
summer plants that have gone dormant, and bringing in
the potted plants. It's a lot of work and last week I
sprained my ankle which makes it harder to get around.
So why don't I ask for help? I don't know. Maybe it is the
way I was raised to be independent, maybe the fact that I
am getting older and my independence will soon be totally
lost. So I want to hang on to what ever shred I can salvage. But I know the Bible encourages us to help each
other. In Ecclesiastics, Solomon talks about two being better than one. How they will help each other when there is
trouble and comfort each other. Jesus tells us to 'share' his
yoke. This tells me that we are not meant to do things on
our own. We are created to be a community, not isolated
individuals. I even think that sometimes God will put us in
positions where we cannot get free until we ask for help,
teaching us that help is a blessing for both. A wise man
once told me that if you fail to ask you deny another the
blessing which comes from helping. We have been given
amazing opportunities to help lately with our Stewardship
Campaign. If you have not completed an Estimate of Giving card, I encourage you to prayerfully consider that as
an opportunity for blessing. In addition, Sarah Rava has
asked that we help her youth group by blessing them with
the opportunity to help us with our yard work. These are
just two areas where we can bless each other, I am sure
that there are others. Pay attention, look around at the people you encounter. Is there a way you can offer a blessing
or be blessed by helping or asking for help?
Blessings From Paula Kraus, Board Chairperson
Five individuals participated in our Chili Cook-Off held
after the worship service on November 2, 2014. . . . Allan
Frisk, Rick Rava, Kevin & Shannon Arensman, Sue Hurd,
and Krystle Garrison. Those attending the cook-off were
given tasting cups to determine which one tasted the best
to them. Later, they filled their bowls with their favorite.
Votes were taken. The chili prepared by Allan Frisk was
voted “the best”; chili prepared by Sue Hurd was chosen
second. But, one person said they tried all of them and all
of them were good! Someone called for a re-match, so
someday, in the future, there may be the “Second Chili
The Set-Up
• Serving
Enjoying the Food and Treats
25 - Pam Diehl
Theresa Wakefield
Donald Belcher
26 - Nicole Cole
Cathy Dibble
27 - Eric Northrup
Randy Donovan
28 - Alicia Hawkins
29 - Charles Kline
November 1 - Nicole Boockoff
2 - Jake Beatty, Jr.
Lucille Northrup
3 - Sheila Donovan
Jean Agnew
Thomas Hand
6 - Bob Winslow
Amy Franks
Randy Greeno
7 - Jean Driscoll
Jared Donovan
8 - Henry Alexander
9 - MacKenzie Robinson
10 - Nick Rava
Peter Schultz
Robert Hill
Lenore Savage
11- Laura Stephenson
Hazel Bradley
12 - Briana Bronson
14 - Christopher Bennett
Stephen Chernosky
15 - Amy Brown
16 - Sandy Brown
Linda Coe
Nancy Swartwood
Rob Johnson
17 - Richard Bowman
Cathie Hand
Mary Lou Keir
18 - Betty Pack
Gerald Cron
19 - Cathy Greeno
Howard Sinsabaugh
Betty Hazel
Kaden Kithcart
21 - Crystal Sluyter
22 - Alexander Saxon
Gabrielle Foley
Abagail Foley
Joe Kraus
24 - Donald Valentine
Daniel Valentine
Thomas Donovan
November 3 - Colin & Sheila Gelbutis
13 - James & Debbie Glose
17 - Jeffrey & Kathy Robert
18 - George & Virginia Williams
20 - Donald & Donna Johnson
20 - Jim & Briana Bronson
22 - Jeremiah & April Robert
22 - Rick & Kathy Rava
24 - Peter & Brenda Schultz
24 - Charles & Holly Kline
27 - Mike & Janice Brady
27 - Norman & Sherrie Fairbanks
On SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14, we will celebrate a special Advent/Christmas worship service which will lift up
the songs, symbols, and scriptures of the Advent season.
This will be a meaningful, exciting, and fun way to prepare ourselves in worship for the coming of the Christ
Child. We will need volunteers to help with readings,
songs, or simply carrying in some of the decorations and
symbols during worship. If you would be willing to help,
please contact the Church Office, 570-888-2683 or
[email protected]
Please add these other activities to your calendar . . . for
December 14, a Congregational Meeting will be held
after the worship service. And, Pastor Kevin and Shannon
are inviting everyone to a “Tasting Party at the Parsonage”
tentatively scheduled for 3-5 pm. Look for further information in the next newsletter and bulletin.
Bridging the Gaps of life in the Name of Jesus Christ
This annual 24 hour fundraiser will be held from 5 pm
Friday, November 28 through 5 pm, Saturday, November
29 at the Sayre Theater. The Bridge assists residents in
emergency situations in the Sayre, Athens, and Waverly
school districts who are at or below 200% of the poverty
level. Some examples of assistance that is provided is:
rent with an eviction notice, security deposit to secure
housing, utilities such as electric, water, gas, & sewer, fuel
oil, propane, kerosene, coal, wood, and prescription medications. There are limits as to how many vouchers a
household may receive, generally 3 in a 7 year period and
how close together they can be issued, generally 6 months
apart. During the “Sleep-Out” individuals/families sign-up
to sleep-out at the shelter temporarily built at the Sayre
Theater. These people ask for pledges to sponsor one hour
block of time. Anyone can use this opportunity to give
back to the community by participating in this fund raiser.
More information about the “Sleep-Out” is in the Church
Office. If you would like to provide a monetary donation
to “The Bridge,” envelopes are available at the back of the
sanctuary. Or, mail your contribution to The Bridge, P.O.
Box 202, Sayre PA. 18840
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28
The last week of October, new parking signs were
installed on Lincoln Street between West and South
Keystone Avenue. These signs are not permanent, but
to be placed for 90 days. Please give us your feedback
as to how you feel about the convenience and need for
these signs. These changes have been made due to the
increased traffic on Lincoln Street which have caused
concern for the safety of all. You will notice that the
curb is painted white to identify the area for a “Loading
Zone.” This is to be used temporarily for unloading
your vehicle or if you will be visiting the church for a
short time. The area from the end of the “Loading
Zone” to S. Keystone Avenue is designated as “No
Parking.” From the end of the “Loading Zone” to West
Street there are two parking spots for handicapped.
Please call the Church Office or Pastor Kevin if you
have any concerns about these changes.
On Sunday, November 23, 2014 the Community
Thanksgiving Service will be held at 7:00 pm at the
Valley Presbyterian Church located at 459 Park
Avenue in Waverly NY (across from Muldoon Park.)
Bring a canned food item. The food and offering will
be used to support efforts to end hunger in the Valley.
Come and join clergy, musicians, and churches of the
Valley as all participate in a non-denominational worship service as we express our thanksgiving to God, the
true source of all the blessings we receive.
Would you like to adorn our Sanctuary for the coming holiday season by ordering a poinsettia. Each plant can
be given in memory of, or in honor, of your loved one(s.) You may take the plants home after the Candlelight Service,
or you can designate them to go to someone who is homebound. Please fill out the order form below and return it with
your payment to the Church Office or Wendy McKeithan. Please order as soon as possible. We would like to have a
display of poinsettias in the sanctuary by December 14. However, orders will be taken if received after December 14.
Color choices are red, white, and pink. Only one size plant is offered, a 6-1/2 inch (1 plant) for $7.00.
____Red _____White _____ Pink --- Total #_____Total Cost ______ Cash_____ Check # _______
Ordered by_______________________________________________________________________ Phone #_______________
To be given in Memory of or in Honor of (circle one):
_____I will take my plant (s) home or ______Please give the plant (s) to a homebound person.
Sayre Christian Church
427 South Keystone Avenue
Sayre, PA 18840-1527
Kevin Arensman, Pastor
Church 1-570-888-2683
E-Mail: [email protected]
SAYRE, PA 18840
Dated Material
Please Process Promptly
November 2014
is Honor God, Share the Love of Christ,
and Change Lives
Ministering Grace and Peace.
November 2 Food Pantry Sunday
“Transformation Sunday”
Chili Cook-Off in the Fellowship Area
8 School for Congregational Life - 9 am-5 pm
State College PA
Fall Festival of Music at 7 pm
Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ in Canton PA
11 Church Board Meeting at 6:00 pm
15 Art Exhibit from 10 am- 4 pm
16 Assembly Party for Operation Christmas Child
18 ECD Men’s Dinner Meeting at 6:30 pm
at the Sayre Christian Church
16/23 Special Thanksgiving Offering received
23 Thanksgiving Community Service at 7 pm
at the Valley Presbyterian Church
Park Avenue, Waverly NY