Monthly Archives

November 2020

A Moment To Praise 11.30.20

By | A Moment To Praise

A Moment To Praise 11.30.20

Joyce Lochinger

Joyce Lochinger, Gravel Hill Worship Leader

Decorating

I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving! I hope that you enjoyed some time reflecting and being thankful to God for all of His goodness.  I’m sure that a lot of you have also started the process of Christmas shopping, baking and decorating: inside and out!

In my decorating, I have always had a few favorite things that make Christmas special to me. These items must come out and be on display. The first item is my Nativity that I adore. My girls were instrumental in convincing Shawn to buy the set for me, and it means a lot to me. Next, is my collection of Santas, most of which have been given to me by Shawn, Jenna, and Shay. Lastly, I cherish my ceramic Christmas tree that originally belonged to my grandmother.

Broken & Loved

I’m sure you have seen the type of Christmas tree I’m talking about, but just in case, take a look at this picture. Now, my tree is not exactly like the one pictured. You see, I got my tree after my grandmother had passed away, and it had been found in a collection of items that had been long forgotten.  Once my parents got the tree home, they noticed that it wasn’t working. It had a broken electrical connection and it wouldn’t light up. My father was not an electrician, but he was definitely a handy guy. He was able to rig it so that the tree would light up, even if the plug looked a little messy. He made it work, and I was so excited! I put the tree on display every Christmas since – 27 years!

Last year when I took the tree out of storage, for the first time in all those years, it wouldn’t light up! I was so sad! If I sent it to an electrician, I wouldn’t have it back in time for Christmas. I just couldn’t part with it and not have it for the season.  Quickly I realized that I could still put it out on display and it would still make me feel good inside. It didn’t matter that the tree didn’t light up, what mattered was being able to have the reminder of my grandmother and all the Christmases I had been blessed to share with her and my family. Even though the tree was broken, I used it and it gave me joy!

A Moment To Praise 11.30.20 in Scripture

God reminds us that even though we are broken, He can also still use us:

Isaiah 66:1-2

He reminds us that when we are at our lowest point, He will pay attention to us.  He tells us that we are still important to Him, and that He can still use us!

Please take a moment when you’re decorating to take notice of those older decorations that may have not made it from last Christmas to this one. As you do, think of yourself, a broken vessel who is ready to allow God to work completely in your life. Allow Him to restore you to fullness and purpose through Him, no matter how broken you feel.

A Moment To Praise 11.30.20 in Song

The attached song is so powerful. I love this one! Please listen and prepare yourself for God to use you for His kingdom during this Christmas season!

Broken Things by Matthew West

Have a great week! And by the way, if anyone knows a good electrician, let me know! 🙂

Thankful Thursday 11-26-2020

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 11-26-2020

What We Have

Thankful Thursday collectively celebrates today here in the US. Across the nation, the focus of today is gratitude. We pause to observe our lives and all the pieces that come together to make it what it is: from the physical provisions to the emotional comforts to the relational connections that bring us all together even when we are physically apart.

How do we make those connections? You find one answer here: Galatians 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. What does keeping in step with the Spirit look like? A few verses earlier gives us a glimpse: Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. We can enjoy this fruit by staying in close relationship with Jesus.

As you pause today to celebrate what you have, think about the love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in your life. Your answers are the beginning of blessings for which you can lift thanks, gratitude, and praise to our Lord and Savior today. Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings to you!

Christmas Market 2020 is happening virtually right now! You can support the local beneficiaries with your donations either online (choose the Christmas Market option) or by sending it to Gravel Hill Church (131 Gravel Hill Rd. Palmyra, PA 17078). The final donation total will be shared at the beginning of December. Can’t wait to see how we all come together!

Worship Notes:

Given the rise in COVID-19 cases, we will not be offering our 9:15 service as previously mentioned until further notice. Sincere thanks for your understanding!

Typically we would have Communion the first Sunday of Advent; however, this year, we will be postponing it.

Thankful Thursday 11-26-2020 Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to Sunday In-Person Worship 8 AM & 10:30 AM (click the time you want to come to sign up) or Online Worship at your chosen time. To know more about these services, click here. Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Wednesdays Be In the Light Activities at Gravel Hill: limited activities happening. Contact your leader for news on your group’s gathering. Look for worship services online on our Sunday Sermon page.

On Facebook (Gravel Hill Church) and Twitter (@GravelHill): A Moment To Praise and A Moment To Praise For Kids! find postings from our worship leader, Joyce. She shares a small devotional, scripture, and worship song.

Weekly Wink 11.25.20

By | Weekly Wink
Weekly Wink 11.25.20

November 25: No youth group tonight. Instead we will gather Saturday, November 28th @ 9 am to help decorate the church.

Now accepting donations through the end of November for the online Christmas Market to support the local charities we help each year. Donate online here and Click Christmas Market. Physical donations (please note it as being for Christmas Market) can be made in the offering plate on Sundays or by mailing to the church office (Gravel Hill UMC, 131 Gravel Hill Rd, Palmyra, PA 17078).

November 29: Sunday 8:00 & 10:30 AM Worship. (Online) Service will be available online under our Sunday Sermons. Sunday bulletin (Hill Highlights) via email – sign up here.

*The Ken Staver Sunday School class will not be offered until further notice.

Worship: Sunday 8:00 & 10:30 am Live Streaming (Online) with Limited In Person Worship. To maintain appropriate social distancing, spaces are limited and RSVP is needed for each person attending. To RSVP, click your attending time below:

Online Sunday School activities are provided weekly for kids via the Facebook group: Gravel Hill UMC Sunday School. Click to request to join!

Special notes: Given the rise in COVID-19 cases, we will not be offering our 9:15 service as previously mentioned until further notice. Sincere thanks for your understanding!

Typically we would have Communion the first Sunday of Advent; however, this year, we will be postponing it.

Weekly Wink 11.25.20 Ahead: Look for us online!

Mondays: A Moment To Praise

Tuesdays: A Moment To Praise For Kids!

Wednesdays: Weekly Wink

Thursdays: Thankful Thursday

Fridays: Sermon/Message Title & Scripture Sharing

Saturdays: Reminders

Sundays: Online Worship

Current Missions:

Gravel Hill Tithing (Learn more here.) Say thank you for the blessings you have so the Gravel Hill body can support our missions.

Aluminum can donations are being accepted to support the youth group. Donations may be placed by the pavilion doors in bags. Collection occurs the 3rd Sunday of every month.

Ongoing Opportunities:

Gift Shopping Made Easy! You can shop for gift cards while at home and benefit Gravel Hill. Purchases support the off-site Ministry Fund. Learn more about Gravel Hill’s Scrip Program by clicking here. You can start shopping now. Create username and password. Gravel Hill’s Enrollment Code is: 21L936DB32931.

Have questions? Please contact Ashley.

Email Sign Up (Sign up to receive emails by clicking here.)

A Moment To Praise For Kids 11.24.20

By | A Moment To Praise
Moment To Praise For Kids 11.24.20

Thanksgiving Friend

Joyce Lochinger

Miss Joyce

It’s Thanksgiving week! Yay! I love this holiday! How about you? It’s mostly getting together with my family that I enjoy so much! But, I know that some folks don’t have family nearby, or they don’t have family with whom they can get together this year.  That’s sad! When that happens, I have heard of friends getting together for Friendsgiving instead of Thanksgiving! Have you heard of that?

If you could invite anybody to dinner who would you invite? I’m sure you have a lot of friends, but you probably have a best friend. This person is someone who you love to be around, someone who likes the same games, shows and movies like you do. What are some qualities of a best friend that you appreciate? Loyalty? Happiness? A loving spirit? Forgiving? Interestingly enough, all of those adjectives describe someone else in our lives who should be the most important friend of all: Jesus!

A Moment To Praise For Kids 11.24.20 in Scripture

Here’s how the Bible describes Jesus as a best friend in scripture:

Bible Gateway passage: John 15:13 – New International Version

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

www.biblegateway.com

I know you all have great best friends, but I’m sure that none of them have ever laid down their life for you like Jesus did. We know that we can always trust and count on Him because He is God’s Son. This year, whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or just having a normal day at home with your family, remember to thank God for His son Jesus Christ, the best friend anyone could ever ask for! Check out this song about just that!

A Moment To Praise For Kids 11.24.20 in Song

My Best Friend by Hillsong Kids

A Moment To Praise For Kids 11.24.20 Learn More

For a fun craft, have your friends send you pictures of how they are spending their Thanksgiving break. Make a collage of their pictures and hang it in your room.  Don’t forget to put Jesus’ picture right in the middle!

Have a great, safe Thanksgiving!

Miss Joyce

Special Notes: Given the rise in COVID-19 cases, we will not be offering our 9:15 service as previously mentioned until further notice. Sincere thanks for your understanding!

Typically we would have Communion the first Sunday of Advent; however, this year, we will be postponing it.

A Moment To Praise 11.23.20

By | A Moment To Praise

A Moment To Praise 11.23.20

Joyce Lochinger

Joyce Lochinger, Gravel Hill Worship Leader

This Is The Day

Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone!

I wanted to let you know today that you can and should be thankful to God for everything, no matter what! It’s a bold statement, I know! Now, I’m sure I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking things like, “But I have this or that going on.” Or “I am mad about the state of affairs in the world today.” Or “I feel like God has abandoned me in all my troubles.”

Maybe you’re also having some other thoughts too! Regardless, I’m telling you that God asks, even requires us, to be thankful to Him always. We’re to do this whether or not we feel like it, whether or not it’s easy, and regardless of whether or not things are good. Rather, we are to do this because He deserves it, and He is worthy. Read His Word:

A Moment To Praise 11.23.20 in Scripture

Psalm 100:4

We have been invited into His holy place. We’ve been asked to enter into His gates. We have been requested to be a part of His realm. If we take a moment and we focus our minds on what that entails and how very special it is, our first reaction will be to praise Him, no matter what! What a blessing that feeling is!

One of my favorite kids’ praise songs is an old one! It is called, “This Is The Day.” It repeats that first line twice on purpose, just in case you don’t catch it the first time. I think it is also an easy reminder to all of us that every day is a good day to praise and thank God.

My prayer for you this Thanksgiving week is for you to be able to put aside all of your fears, your thoughts and worries, and focus on the day before you. Then, you can focus on those that will come next. Living in a daily, grateful mindset may just rub off on you and others! Happy Thanksgiving!

A Moment To Praise 11.23.20 in Song

Grateful by Elevation Worship

Grateful | Official Lyric Video | Elevation Worship

Elevation Worship brings you the official lyric video for “Grateful” from their album “There Is A Cloud”. Subscribe to get the latest videos and songs: https…

youtu.be

Have a great and grace-filled week!

Special Notes: Given the rise in COVID-19 cases, we will not be offering our 9:15 service as previously mentioned until further notice. Sincere thanks for your understanding!

Typically we would have Communion the first Sunday of Advent; however, this year, we will be postponing it.

Thankful Thursday 11-19-2020

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 11-19-2020

Rest & Joy

Thankful Thursday sits one week out from the granddaddy of all days that give thanks. So today in our weekly tradition of noticing the ordinary and being grateful for it, we will focus on the gift of rest. As I glance at the other end of the couch, Cooper, our chocolate lab, is perfectly demonstrating the importance of resting.

The rhythmic rise and fall of his body calls me to slow my breathing to his calm level. As I do, the muscles around my shoulders release and relax into peace. But wait, there is a tail happily pounding the cushion beside me, and yet his eyes are closed!

Just like Cooper, we can find joy and happiness in rest. Over the past week, I’ve found myself taking some daytime naps. And I feel better upon awaking! Inspecting the going-on of life with all of its question marks and unknowns, I exhaust myself with to-do lists, connecting with people  (electronically these days), and preparing for my tomorrows with both a plan and backup plan. I need to revisit my connection with Jesus more frequently. Because it is spending time with Him and in His Word, where I follow the instruction in Mark 6:31.

In the quiet time with Jesus, I find renewal and rest. And I find the connection to the joy behind all the tasks that exhaust me when I’m not approaching them from a perspective with Jesus. I’m so grateful for my personal relationship with Jesus, the rest that it brings, and the joys with which it fuels my life. I pray that you may find rest and joy in spending some time with Jesus today.

Rest, Joys, & Blessings to you!

Christmas Market 2020 is happening virtually right now! You can support the local beneficiaries with your donations either online (choose the Christmas Market option) or by sending it to Gravel Hill Church (131 Gravel Hill Rd. Palmyra, PA 17078). The final donation total will be shared at the beginning of December. Can’t wait to see how we all come together!

Thankful Thursday 11-19-2020 Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to Sunday In-Person Worship 8 AM & 10:30 AM (click the time you want to come to sign up) or Online Worship at your chosen time. To know more about these services, click here. Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Wednesdays Be In the Light Activities at Gravel Hill: limited activities happening. Contact your leader for news on your group’s gathering. Look for worship services online on our Sunday Sermon page.

On Facebook (Gravel Hill Church) and Twitter (@GravelHill): A Moment To Praise and A Moment To Praise For Kids! find postings from our worship leader, Joyce. She shares a small devotional, scripture, and worship song.

Weekly Wink 11.18.20

By | Weekly Wink
Weekly Wink 11.18.20

 

November 18: Youth Group tonight! *For your calendar next Wednesday (11/25), there will be no youth group gathering. Instead we will gather Saturday, November 28th @ 9 am to help decorate the church.

Now accepting donations through the end of November for the online Christmas Market to support the local charities we help each year. Donate online here and Click Christmas Market. Physical donations (please note it as being for Christmas Market) can be made in the offering plate on Sundays or by mailing to the church office (Gravel Hill UMC, 131 Gravel Hill Rd, Palmyra, PA 17078).

November 22: Sunday 8:00 & 10:30 AM Worship. (Online) Service will be available online under our Sunday Sermons. Sunday bulletin (Hill Highlights) via email – sign up here.

Worship: Sunday 8:00 & 10:30 am Live Streaming (Online) with Limited In Person Worship. To maintain appropriate social distancing, spaces are limited and RSVP is needed for each person attending. To RSVP, click your attending time below:

Online Sunday School activities are provided weekly for kids via the Facebook group: Gravel Hill UMC Sunday School. Click to request to join!

Weekly Wink 11.18.20 Ahead: Look for us online!

Mondays: A Moment To Praise

Tuesdays: A Moment To Praise For Kids!

Wednesdays: Weekly Wink

Thursdays: Thankful Thursday

Fridays: Sermon/Message Title & Scripture Sharing

Saturdays: Reminders

Sundays: Online Worship

Current Missions:

Gravel Hill Tithing (Learn more here.) Say thank you for the blessings you have so the Gravel Hill body can support our missions.

Aluminum can donations are being accepted to support the youth group. Donations may be placed by the pavilion doors in bags. Collection occurs the 3rd Sunday of every month.

Ongoing Opportunities:

Gift Shopping Made Easy! You can shop for gift cards while at home and benefit Gravel Hill. Purchases support the off-site Ministry Fund. Learn more about Gravel Hill’s Scrip Program by clicking here. You can start shopping now. Create username and password. Gravel Hill’s Enrollment Code is: 21L936DB32931.

Have questions? Please contact Ashley.

Email Sign Up (Sign up to receive emails by clicking here.)

A Moment To Praise For Kids 11.17.20

By | A Moment To Praise
Moment To Praise For Kids 11.17.20

Scarecrows

Joyce Lochinger

Miss Joyce

Some of my favorite things to see in the fall are scarecrows. Many of us have scarecrows around as decorations. I have seen little girl and little boy scarecrows, firemen and policemen scarecrows, and even Mickey and Minnie Mouse scarecrows. You know I personally like those very much! But all of these scarecrows are for decoration and not for practical use.

If you’re a farmer, you know that scarecrows can be helpful, not just decorative! In fact, I did a little scarecrow research and found out that people have been using scarecrows all over the world for over 3,000 years. The first time a scarecrow showed up in reported history was by the Egyptians for use in protecting their wheat fields near the Nile River! That means that scarecrows were probably around when Jesus was a little boy! Isn’t that interesting to imagine? I’m sure the Egyptian scarecrows resembled who they were and their culture more than ours would.  I bet there were no Mickey or Minnie Mouse scarecrows along the banks of the Nile!

But the purpose of the scarecrow was to ward off any bird that would attack and eat the crop that was so valuable to the farmer and his life. Some birds are so destructive and work so quickly that they can eat a whole field that the farmer would have used to feed his community.  Yikes! That’s scary – no wonder there are scarecrows to scare off trouble makers like that!

A Moment To Praise For Kids 11.17.20 in Scripture

We also have someone to help scare off trouble in our own lives. That’s God! We can count on Him to be with us at all times and also to help give us calm when things in life start worrying us! All we have to do is ask Him to be with us and put our trust and faith in the fact that He will be there. Read this Bible verse for a gentle reminder!

Psalm 56:3

A Moment To Praise For Kids 11.17.20 in Song

It’s hard, especially when things are crazy around us, but I know that you will trust God and put your faith in His hands. Listen to this fun VBS song about not being afraid.

I Will Not Be Afraid | Crocodile Dock Music Video | Group Publishing

Enjoy the music…sing and dance along to the I Will Not Be Afraid music video from Crocodile Dock! Download this song! https://music.apple.com/us/album/i-will...

youtu.be

A Moment To Praise For Kids 11.17.20 Learn More

And when you’re down, create your own scarecrow and maybe put Psalm 56:3 on the back of it to remind you daily of the trust and hope we have in God!

Easy DiY Fall Scarecrow Popsicle Stick Craft – Simple Mom Project

These are just some of my favorite ways to incorporate this art and craft project for kids into your daily home and classroom life. No matter what you opt to do with this easy DiY fall scarecrow popsicle stick craft, I’m confident that your kids will have a blast!

simplemomproject.com

Have a great week!

Miss Joyce

A Moment To Praise 11.16.20

By | A Moment To Praise

A Moment To Praise 11.16.20

Joyce Lochinger

Joyce Lochinger, Gravel Hill Worship Leader

Grace

What is the biblical definition of grace?

In Western Christian theology, grace is “the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it”.

How much does God love and care about us that He would freely and willingly continue to offer us His grace? Grace is not a one time deal. It’s not a “get it now before it sells out!” proposition, or, as some of you might remember the Kmart blue light specials, “this deal only lasts while the blinking blue light is on! Only then can you get this irresistible buy!” No, God’s grace is not like that!

Thank goodness! Could you imagine needing to be forgiven, realizing that you had sinned and wanting to confess it to God only to have him say, “Sorry, that deal is unavailable at this time!” or “Sorry, we’re sold out of grace at right now!” or “Can’t you see? The blue light’s not currently flashing!”

It sounds silly, and it is, because God has a totally different plan for grace in this scripture as opposed to this scenario.

A Moment To Praise 11.16.20 in Scripture

2 Timothy 1:9

I love this verse because it is telling us that grace was God’s plan for all of us through Jesus Christ since the beginning of time. We are that important to Him. We as Christians should know that very well; He did sacrifice His son for our lives and for our salvation!

I encourage you to bask in His love for you every day and take advantage of His grace. He will always be available to you and your requests for forgiveness and grace will always be heard. There is a line that speaks to me in the attached song for this week, and it plays over and over in my head. Here’s what it says:

I don’t want to abuse your grace

But God, I need it every day!

Isn’t that true? We can be needy with our requests. But the fact of the matter is that we need Him every day…I would even go as far as to say that we need Him every minute of every day!

Once you accept His grace and let it fill your life, you will be a different person!

Let that warm your heart today and help you to move on to be freed up to do His kingdom work in your own life.

A Moment To Praise 11.16.20 in Song

Check out We The Kingdom and their song, Holy Water.

Have a great and grace-filled week!

Thankful Thursday 11-12-2020

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 11-12-2020

The Story

Thankful Thursday calls for cozy cuddles. Curl up with a soft, warm blanket. Grab a good book. Settle in for a soaring story line taking your mind from beyond your couch to places only dreamed of.

The book that is home to the best story ever, the Bible, waits for each one of us. With layers of stories, direction, and wisdom, it reaches us in the present moment we turn to it. It is alive. In ways that only God knows and makes possible, He meets us through His word.

While we don’t know what our next moment holds (especially here in 2020), God does. Many people in the Bible share their journeys through life with God. We have the opportunity to learn about each by spending time in His word. As we do, the lessons of the past meet us in the present of today. The ultimate story shared for you and for me comes in John 3:16. Take a look and you can find the best never-ending story ever!

Blessings!

As a reminder, you can listen in to this week’s read-along Dr. Seuss story: Oh, The Places You’ll Go! from Pastor Dan tomorrow on Gravel Hill’s YouTube channel. Grab your favorite snack. Settle in and enjoy!

Thankful Thursday 11-12-2020 Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to Sunday In-Person Worship 8 AM & 10:30 AM (click the time you want to come to sign up) or Online Worship at your chosen time. To know more about these services, click here. Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Wednesdays Be In the Light Activities at Gravel Hill: limited activities happening. Contact your leader for news on your group’s gathering. Look for worship services online on our Sunday Sermon page.

On Facebook (Gravel Hill Church) and Twitter (@GravelHill): A Moment To Praise and A Moment To Praise For Kids! find postings from our worship leader, Joyce. She shares a small devotional, scripture, and worship song.