“God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

That is the revised standard version of Paul’s words to the Corinthians. When Christianity began, it wasn’t one big congregation, but many small ones, groups meeting in someone’s home. That was fine, but some groups thought their interpretation of Christianity and their ideas of leadership were better than anyone else’s. Paul told them they should not boast about their relationship with God and put other people down.

A minister once spoke about an incident that happened while he was serving a church in a large city. There was a woman often seen in the alleys and streets, going through trash bins and garbage cans looking for things she could sell. The merchants considered her a pest and no one paid much attention to her. One day, the minister was surprised to see Belle come into his office and even more surprised when she asked, “Can non-members make donations to your church building fund?”       

“Of course, they can, Belle, but can you really afford to do that?” the minister replied, expecting her to hand him a dollar or two.

“Let me worry about that!” was her response. She pulled out a check, filled it in and handed it to the minister. He looked at it and protested, “Surely you made a mistake, Belle. Is this really what you want to give?”  

‘Yes, pastor, $2,000 is correct and there will be another in a few weeks. Nothing is too good for my Lord. He’s done so much for me.”

Here was a woman most people didn’t think much of, but she was doing what most people wouldn’t do — serve the Lord. The minister accepted the money gratefully and he remembered God’s words to Samuel when he was to anoint the next king, “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

Recent events

— Sunday was Valentine’s Day and Faith Community Church presented a heart with the words “Jesus Loves You” to the people in the congregation.

— The ladies of the Shamburg Christian Church of God were presented with a rose. At the end of the service, special music was provided by four-year old Lakenzie Beard and her mother, Amie. Everyone enjoyed their song, “Oh, How He Loves You.”

Most people know the story of the good Samaritan, the parable Jesus told about the Samaritan who helped a man in need and wasn’t concerned about who he was. With all the bad things we hear, it’s good to know there are still good Samaritans around.      

One area couple were in town when they had a flat tire. It was so cold and they just couldn’t get the tire off and most people didn’t pay any attention. One car stopped and the man asked if he could help. He tried and they still couldn’t get the wheel off, but he didn’t just walk away. He went to a friend nearby, borrowed a tool and got the tire off. The other tire was put on and everyone was ready to leave. The people who stopped didn’t want anything for their help and even gave their phone number, “if you ever need help again.”

Yes, this is a time when we need to be careful because we don’t always know who to trust. It is good to know that there are people who are willing to stop and help if they can. Thanks to all good Samaritans. What you do is appreciated. God bless you.

TOPS

Pleasantville TOPS met Thursday eveing at the Pleasantville Community Church with five weigh-ins and two visitors. There was a total weight loss of 3 pounds, with four KOPS and one OP. The top loser was Kathy and Loretta was the KOP.

The challenges are: Drink water and watch your portions. The positive thought is: “Did you snack?”

Cathy’s menu was chosen, Kathy won the 25-cent fund and Cathy won the 50/50.

TOPS will meet onThursday at the church, with weigh-in from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 6. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. For more information, call Cathy at (814) 589-7162.

Church schedules

Many church schedules are still “off schedule.” Some churches are just having services online and others are meeting but have a set up for radio or online services.

— The Pleasantville Presbyterian Church has been having only virtual services, but on Sunday worship service will be held at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary. Those who are meeting encourage wearing masks and social distancing. We still need to be careful, wherever we go.  

— Enterprise Methodist Church, Pastor Penny Helmbold - Tonight, 5, Ash Wednesday service. Sunday, 9 a.m., worship; 10:15, Sunday school. Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Bible study.   

— Faith Community Church, Rev. Jerry Drake - Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship.

— Pleasantville Community, Rev. Shawn Jacobson - Sunday, 9:30 a.m., Sunday school; 10:45, worship; 4:45 p.m., Young adults; 6, Youth group. Tuesday, 6 p.m., Men’s and Women’s Bible study.

— Pleasantville Presbyterian - Sunday, 10 a.m., worship in sanctuary.

— Pleasantville Methodist, Pastor Janet Sill - Today, 9:45 a.m., Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry (fire hall). Sunday, 9:50,  worship.     

— Pleasantville Free Methodist Church, Rev. Chuck Riel - Sunday, 8 a.m., prayer; 9:45, Sunday school; 11, worship.

— Pleasantville Independent Baptist, Pastor Richard LaRocque - Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship.  

— Full Gospel, Pastor Dave McCauley - Today, 6 p.m., Prayer and Bible study. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship; after service, potluck dinner.

— Shamburg Christian Church of God, Pastor Fred Frye - Tonight, 6, Bible study on “What happens when life on earth ends?” Friday, 5:30 p.m., Game Night. Sunday, 9:45 a.m., worship; 11:15 Sunday school.

— Grand Valley Methodist Church, Pastor Penny Helmbold - Tonight, 7, Ash Wednesday service. Sunday, 10:30 a.m., worship

Scheduled events

— The Second Harvest Mobile Food Bank will be at the Pleasantville fire hall this morning. Those who pre-registered can pick up their food boxes from 10:30 to 11:30. There is no charge for the food boxes but proof of residency is required. Thanks to the Pleasantville Methodist Church for sponsoring this service.

— The Pleasantville Ministerium will meet at 3 this afternoon at the First United Methodist Church.

— Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is a period of fasting in preparation for Easter — a penitential period extending from Ash Wednesday to Easter, 40 fast days plus six Sundays.

In the early church, the length of the Lenten celebration varied, but during the seventh century, Lent was set at 40 fasting days in imitation of Jesus’ fast in the desert. Many of the old practices are no longer used, but some churches still have an Ash Wednesday service and those present receive the mark of a cross on their forehead with ashes. Sometimes the ashes come from palms burned from the previous Palm Sunday.

Some people give up something for Lent.  It might be a favorite food, an activity or something they should do without. It’s an individual decision.

Pastor Penny Helmbold has planned an Ash Wednesday service for the three churches she serves. The Enterprise Methodist Church service will begin at 5 p.m., the Sanford church service will begin at 6 and the Grand Valley service will begin at 7. Plans are for all services to be drive-thru, with proper safety precautions. If it is too cold, people are asked to park and go inside the church for a walk-through service. For more information, call Pastor Penny.  

— Pleasantville Senior Citizens have not been meeting, but they are scheduled to have their first meeting of the year on Thursday (tomorrow). They will meet at the Pleasantville Community Church and the doors will open at 10 a.m. for games and visiting. All interested seniors are welcome to attend. Dinner will be served at noon, but meals must be ordered by Monday. For more information or to order a meal, contact Martha Sparks.  

— Members of the Pleasantville Fire Department will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in the social room of the fire department. There is plenty of room to spread out and anyone interested is encouraged to attend. The department can always use more help.

— The fire department will have their first fish dinner of the season on Friday. It will be takeout only. The meal will include: fried or baked fish or chicken tenders, baked potato, French fries or macaroni and cheese, coleslaw or applesauce and a roll. Call the fire department at (814) 589-7635 from 1 to 6 p.m., to place your order.  You can pick up your order from 4:30 to 7. The fire department will deliver within the borough.  

— The No Greater Love Club of the Shamburg Christian Church of God will have game night at 5:30 on Friday. The event will be held in the Family Life Center behind the church and chicken salad and refreshments will be served. Safety practices for COVID-19 will be observed.

— Saturday is the beginning of Disability Awareness Week. It is a time to celebrate the gifts and graces of people with disabilities and support full inclusion of these people in our community. Some churches take up special offerings and the money is used to promote awareness of issues and ministries that provide opportunities for fuller inclusion of people with disabilities.

— For several years, the Pleasantville Ministerium has had a special service in February called the Festival of Love. People from different churches participate, sharing their talents and giving their testimony. People from other areas also attend. Due to the pandemic, the ministerium decided to have the festival but it will be virtual this year. Anyone who would like to participate can record their song, poem, reading or whatever they do and contact one of the ministers. The service will be on Sunday, Feb. 21.

— The Pleasantville Ministerium will be having on-line Lenten services this year, beginning Feb. 24, and each Wednesday through Lent. The Lenten series will be on the parables of Jesus. A new one will be posted around 7 p.m. each Wednesday to the Pleasantville Ministerium Facebook page.

Military list

Our military list includes Kimberly Savitz, Kimberly Miles, Heather Luchka, Shy Lewis, Autumn Kinney, Bill Wencil, David Vroman, Trey Tanner, Cody Sterling, Lucas Savitz, Ben Nosko, Andrew Moranski, Ben Lewis, Austin Kinney, Josh Jacobson, Jacob Hart, Dalton Burns, Jay Bowes and Austin Foster.

Prayer list

Former Pleasantville resident David Weber has been transfered to Titusville Health Care and Rehabilitation Center. Cards may be sent to him there at: 81 Dillion Drive, Room 218, Titusville, Pa. 16354.

Continue to remember those who have been affected by coronavirus. Consider getting the vaccine when it becomes available to you. We pray that the situation in our area, all over the country and the world will get better and 2021 will be a good year. Our prayer list includes Kay Seeley, Elwin Van Cise, Paul Thompson, Maxine Brandon, Faith Francis, Bob Stewart, Peter Weis, Dick Jones, Lanny Pollard, Lloyd Jackson, Lenora Wencil, Jami Wencil, Mary Ann Kopper, Richard Kinney, Mike Firster, Gary Fratus, Martha Thompson, Sue Wagner and Audrey Walters.    

Birthday list

Birthday greetings this week go to Lori Johnson, Renee Johnson and Kevin Latshaw on Feb. 19, Nathan Edwards and Don Thompson Sr. on Feb. 20, Shirley Greenwalt on Feb. 21, Marjorie Steffens on Feb. 22, Tara Alberth on Feb. 23 and Jessica Morris, George Greenealt, Curt Johnson, Jr. and Judy Terrill on Feb. 24.

Anniversaries

Happy anniversary to Kelly and Curt Johnson, Sherree and Rod Yochum and Diane and Ralph Walters on Feb. 24.

May everyone have a wonderful day.

Nancy Mulvin can be reached at  (814) 516-3787.

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