Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. The date of this special day this year is February 17th. In contrast to recent practice however, the location of the service schedule will reflect a plan similar to our Sunday morning services, with one service set to take place online in the evening.
Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until next year to come together for the daytime Ash Wednesday service.
The leadership of New Goshenhoppen Church expects to take part in Lenten services with other churches in the Upper Perkiomen community as listed below, but with a plan based on the need for social distancing. Please plan to refer to the Sunday morning worship bulletin for more information. Churches involved in planning for Wednesday night Lenten services:
Friedens United Church of Christ in Sumneytown
New Goshenhoppen United Church of Christ
Palm Schwenkfelder Church
Pennsburg United Church of Christ
St. John's Lutheran Church in Sumneytown
St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Pennsburg
St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Red Hill
Holy Week Services
Palm Sunday, March 28
9:30 a.m. in person worship service outside church
10:30 a.m. livestream service
(Printed bulletins and palm fronds will be available for pickup in the vestibule at the side entrance of Fellowship Hall on Friday, March 26)
Maundy Thursday, April 1
7:30 p.m. livestream service
9:30 p.m. Lenten Prayer Vigil begins
Good Friday, April 2
12:00 noon Stations of the Cross Walk
Meet in lower parking lot of New Goshenhoppen Church and walk together to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Pennsburg. Community worship service at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Pennsburg at the conclusion of the Stations of the Cross Walk.
Easter Sunday, April 4
8:30 a.m. in person worship service at Prayer Meditation Wall
(Note: Please note the different--earlier time). This service will include communion and congregational singing.
10:30 a.m. livestream service
2021 Lenten Prayer Vigil
This year’s Lenten Prayer Vigil is scheduled to be held in the Sanctuary from Thursday, April 1, beginning at 9:30 p.m. and continuing until Friday, April 2 ending at 11:30 a.m.
If you are someone that would be interested in taking a half hour slot to be in prayer and meditation in the Sanctuary, please contact Roger Johnson at 215-679-8442 to schedule a time.
Summer Food Program Mission Project
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we will not be worshiping in person in the Sanctuary on Easter Sunday. Therefore, we have made the decision to forgo the purchase and display of lily plants in the Sanctuary.
In lieu of lily plants, we are suggesting that donations be made to the “SUMMER FOOD PROGRAM” SPONSORED BY OPEN LINK. THIS PROGRAM PROVIDES BREAKFAST AND LUNCH GRAB ‘N GO MEALS FOR ALL SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN (UP TO AGE 18).
Last year Open Link distributed 5,792 meals to community children. This was a significant increase from 2019, due to the pandemic and the struggles it imposed on families. They plan to continue this program during the summer, possibly with as many or more meals needed in the community. Open Link purchased a van so they can travel to various stations within the community, especially areas where there are more needs and families can walk to the van to receive their meals.
If you choose to do so, please submit $10.00 (or more) per sponsorship in honor or in memory of a loved one to the “Summer Food Program” sponsored by Open Link. We will be making a sponsorship booklet (similar to the lily bulletin) to include with the Easter Sunday bulletin.
Outdoor Ministry Committee
The Outdoor Ministry Committee continues to monitor the effects of COVID-19 in our community. We anticipate that there will be spring candy sales. We don’t know if a spring supper or summer programs will be possible at this time.
We will inform you through the weekly bulletin and future editions of The Steeple when and if we are able to schedule any events. We hope to schedule full moon campfires this spring.
Needed: four Lifetime resin, wood grain, 6 ft. picnic tables/benches for use in the New Goshenhoppen Park. Cost: $260.00 each
Please contact the Church Office at 215-679-2041 if you are interested in purchasing an item(s) from the Wish List. The Church Office will be responsible for placing the order for the picnic tables/benches.
Sunday School Happenings
Our Youth Sunday School class continues to meet weekly on Zoom at 10:00 a.m. and will continue to do so through Easter. At that time, we may make an adjustment to our meeting time and/or location. But, our Zoom sessions have been fun and interesting and have been a great way to stay connected in a time when we haven’t been able to be together physically.
Anyone in the congregation is welcome to hear the Gospel message with our Zoom lesson. Contact Bev Benner if you’d like to join us!
Youth Groups are Busy in March
On Saturday, March 27th beginning at 1:00 p.m., the youth will be assisting in a cemetery clean-up with Mr. Dale Benner, the church caretaker. All old Christmas decorations and flowers will be removed so that the cemetery is clear for new spring and Easter decorations.
They will also be assembling the Hygiene Kits and School Kits from the items that will be donated during the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering. During our time together, we will also plan the remainder of our spring calendar.
The Youth Groups will al-so be hosting an Egg Hunt for our Sunday School Students on Saturday, April 3rd at 11:00 a.m.
Strawberry Festival Auction
Get those creative juices flowing to make a donation for the “New Item” Auction, Saturday, June 5th at 10:00 a.m. during the Strawberry Festival at New Goshenhoppen Park. Our big event is only about three months away, so start to make your hand-made items now! Gift Baskets, gift certificates, and other brand new items are also accepted.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX this year! Did you receive a gift that wasn’t quite right for you? Donate it to the auction! Do you want to help out a local business who might need a boost this year? Donate a gift certificate to the auction. All the proceeds from the auction go directly to the Sunday School Department. Please contact Bev Benner if you are able to make a contribution.
Strawberry Festival Flea Market
The Strawberry Festival is just a few short months away! The Planning Committee is working hard to put together yet another great event! We are also looking for crafters, vendors, and flea marketers. So, if you are talented and have a craft to sell or wares to sell or are just looking for a home for some gently used items, please consider renting a space at the Strawberry Festival Flea Market, on Saturday, June 5th. The cost is $15.00. This is a BYOT (Bring Your Own Table) Event. Gates open at 7:00 a.m. for set-up. Start time is 8:00 a.m. until? To obtain a registration form or to reserve a spot, please contact Sherry Peterson.
Women's Fellowship News
Baby Blankets Needed -- The Fellowship's Quilt Knotting Committee and other women of the congregation are making baby quilts and crocheted blankets that are given to babies that are baptized. The supply is running low. The blankets are approximately 42 inches by 36 inches or larger.
If you can provide a blanket, please place it in the container marked “baptism blankets” in the Fellowship Hall vestibule. The Fellowship Hall vestibule is always open.
Funeral Policy in the time of COVID-19
Due to recommendations from the CDC and the Montgomery County Department of Health, the following policies now apply to all funeral services at New Goshenhoppen UCC until further notice:
If possible, we recommend cremation with a celebration of life service at a later date
If cremation is not an option, we are only able to provide graveside funeral services at this time
No more than 10 people may attend the graveside service and they must all be standing at least 6 feet apart from one another
We are unable to provide a viewing/calling hour nor a funeral luncheon/repass
Pastoral participation in funeral services being held inside of Funeral Homes are subject to individual pastoral discretion.
Any and all funeral services that happen during this time will be encourage to have a celebration of life service later, when it is safe to do so.
Local funeral homes are aware of these changes. We understand that the adjustments all of us are being asked to make, for the health and well-being of humanity as a whole, requires sacrifices- which means grief. Even more so for those who are dealing with the death of a loved one. There are many losses during this time: loss of a sense of community by the limitation of only 10 people, loss of ritual to help guide through the grieving process, loss of expectation of a robust funeral service in the sanctuary, and more. Our aim is to accompany people as best we are able through all of these changes, and to do so while centered in the grace of God which is always steady and steadfast.