“Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be?’...And the angel answered, ... ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible.’” For Mary to have a baby was impossible, but it happened. Miracles happen every day, but people don’t always see them that way. Christmas more than any other time is considered a special time for miracles. Do you believe? Just wishing for something does not make it happen, you have to have hope. You have to really believe. You could be surprised by what really does happen.     

When the Great Depression hit in the 1930s, it was a difficult time for many people in the U.S. One family in the Midwest struggled to put food on the table and had no money for luxuries. One day the young boy in the family heard that a circus was coming to town and admission would be $1. He wanted to go, but that was a lot of money at that time and his family just didn’t have it. His father told him that if he could earn the money on his own, he could go. The boy worked hard and was able to get a ticket.

The day of the circus came and the boy was so excited. He went to watch the performers and the animals parade through town, and when a clown danced over to him, the boy put his ticket in the clown’s hand. He watched and cheered as the rest of the parade went by, then hurried home to tell his parents all about it.

His father listened, then took the boy in his arms and said, “Son, you didn’t see the circus. All you saw was the parade.”

Christmas is that way for many people. They get so excited about the get-togethers, the parties and the different  celebrations that they miss the main event. This Christmas, remember what happened in a humble stable 2000 years ago and what the birth of Jesus really means.

“The world drowns the carol with its sleighbells—    

Gifts wraps the manger — shoves it out of sight; Yet through the darkness deepens and the din swells, The Star of Bethlehem still shines as bright.”

              

Recent events

— Grace Fellowship Church of Titusville held their annual live nativity Friday and Saturday evening and many area people visited Bethlehem. As they entered from the east, visitors passed a camel and the three wisemen who began their journey when Jesus was born and followed the star.

Roman soldiers met visitors at the gate and informed them that taxes had to be paid before they left the city. As they drove through Bethlehem, visitors passed through the marketplace — booths with fruits and vegetables, animals and homemade goods. The inn was full, the town was crowed and some of the crowd simply laid down and slept under the stars. In the distance, an angel appeared to the shepherds on the hill. In a stable, Mary and Joseph watched baby Jesus in the manger, while angels sang.

There is no charge to visit Bethlehem (“coins” for the taxes are provided) but many brought non-perishable food items for the area food bank. Appreciation is extended to Grace Fellowship Church and all who help provide the live nativity. It is a welcome reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. May God bless all involved.     

— Pleasantville had a successful Ho Ho Ho Night Friday. There were many present who hadn’t been there before, but everyone was well-behaved and kind, sharing the true spirit of Christmas. The children enjoyed face painting and visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free refreshments were served, including cookies made at VoTech and they were delicious. It was a fun evening. Appreciation is extended to all who help with this celebration.

— Diane Locke Miller lives in Maine but is currently staying with her mother in Pleasantville. Last Friday, Diane got together with two former classmates, Elaine McIntyre Murray from Elizabethtown, and LaVonne Smith Pompellio from Sugar Grove. The three girls grew up in Pleasantville and went to school together and have remained friends through the years. They try to get together whenever they can. On Friday, Elaine and LaVonne went to the Locke home and visited with Mrs. Locke and Diane. The girls reminisced and “caught up” on recent happenings. That evening, the girls went out to eat in Titusville, then LaVonne and Diane took Elaine to her in-laws in Meadville. LaVonne returned to Sugar Grove and Diane went back to her mother’s. It had been a pleasant evening for all three girls and they look forward to their next visit.       

— The Shamburg Christian Church of God had their annual cookie exchange on Saturday afternoon. Although not as many were able to participate this year, there were still several kinds of cookies involved: sugar cookie Christmas trees, cinnamon caramel, chocolate chip dipped in chocolate, pecan bars, Santa’s favorite (red and green sprinkles and red and green M&Ms) and a variety of other cookies. Refreshments were served and the ladies enjoyed the afternoon. Appreciation is extended to Danielle Sharp for organizing the event.   

— Pleasantville had a surprise activity Sunday afternoon. If you first saw the flashing lights, you thought there was a fire or accident, but the area horse club was making a holiday trip around the borough. Those involved met at the fire hall and then rode passed Dollar General, down Merrick Street to Main and turned back on State to the fire hall. The horses were decorated for Christmas and the riders were all ages - children and adults. One small horse pulled a little cart and there was a dog dressed like Santa. Cody Whitman and David Wescoat followed in the fire truck and played Christmas carols. It was different and intersting and hopefully will be done again next year. Congratulations to those involved in the horse club and thank you for giving the Pleasantville area something different for their holiday celebration.

TOPS news

Pleasantville TOPS met Thursday evening at the Pleasantville Community Church with eight weigh-ins. There were three KOPS and five TOPS, witih Christy and Sally as the top losers and Janet as the KOP.     

The challenges are: Drink water, no pie and have salad at least three times this week. The positive thought is: “Did you eat ice cream?”

Belinda’s menu was chosen, Christy won the 25-cent fund and 50/50 rolled over.

TOPS had their Christmas party and everyone brought a different dish. There was plenty to eat and everyone had a good time. A donation was given to LOVE Inc.

For more information about TOPS, contact Cathy, at (814) 589-7162.

Church schedules

— Enterprise Methodist Church, Pastor Penny Helmbold — Sunday, 9 a.m., worship; 10:15, Sunday school.  

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

— Pleasantville Community, Rev. Shawn Jacobson — Saturday, 9 a.m., young adults meet. Sunday, 9:30 a.m., Sunday school; 10:45, worship and nursery available. Tuesday, 6 p.m., men’s and ladies Bible study.  

— Pleasantville Presbyterian — Thursday, noon, 60 Plus; 6:30, session meeting. Sunday, 9:30 a.m., worship with guest speaker.

— Pleasantville Methodist, Pastor Janet Sill — Thursday, 10 a.m., Bible study on “Because of Bethlehem,” led by Pastor Janet. Sunday, 9:50 a.m., worship; 11, Friendship Circle, “David’s House.”                

— Pleasantville Free Methodist Church, Rev. Chuck Riel — tonight, 6:30, worship team; 7:30, prayer meeting. Sunday, 8 a.m., prayer; 9:45, Sunday school; 11, worship; 12:30 p.m., small group, “Learning to Pray Upsidedown.”     

— Pleasantville Independent Baptist, Pastor Richard LaRocque — Tonight, 7, Bible study/prayer meeting. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship.    

— Full Gospel, Rev. Ben McCauley — tonight, 6, prayer and Bible study. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Lord’s Extended Hands Store. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11 worship.  

— Shamburg Christian Church of God, Rev. Fred Frye — tonight, 6:30, Bible study. Saturday, 6 p.m., church Christmas party. Sunday, 9:45 a.m., worship; 11:15, Sunday school.     

— Grand Valley Methodist Church, Pastor Penny Helmbold — tonight, 4, G & S Helping Hands; 6, Bible study. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship; after service, Christmas dinner.       

           

Upcoming events             

— The Pleasantville Bicentennial Committee will meet at 6:30 this evening in the kitchen of the Pleasantville fire hall. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend.    

— Pleasantville Senior Citizens will meet from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, at Pleasantville Community Church. All seniors are welcome to come for lunch, games and fellowship. Lunch is seved at noon for a donation, but reservations must be received by Monday. For more information or to sign up for lunch, contact Ginger Mangel or Leona Burrows.  

— Members from the Shamburg church will be participating in the live nativity this weekend at the Cooperstown Evangelistic Tabernacle. The event will be held from 6 to 9, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening and is open to the public. Be prepared, because you don’t drive through Bethlehem, you walk, but it is worth the trip.   

— The lights at Burgess Park in Titusville will be on from 6 to 9, every night through Dec. 31. Santa and his elves will be there on Fridays and Saturdays and this Saturday, the Erie Ice Works will present an Ice Carving Demonstration.     

— Pleasantville Elementary School will have Frosty Fair this Friday, from 6 to 7 p.m. Instead of gingerbread houses, they will decorate snowmen. For more information, phone the school. The Pleasantville Christmas concert will be presented at 6:30 and 7:15 p.m., Monday at the Titusville High School. The Titusville Middle School will have their concert at 7, Tuesday evening at the middle school.  

— Saturday is the last day of deer season, and I haven’t heard of many successful hunters. There are a lot of deer around, but they are smart. Good luck to the hunters.

— The Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry will be at the Pleasantville Fire Hall on Dec. 18. It is open to all ages who meet the income requirements, and there is no charge for the food boxes, but pre-registration is necessary. Phone Pleasantville Methodist Church, at (814) 589-7385, and if no one answers leave a message and someone will return your call.  

— The holidays can be a difficult time for those in the military. Send a note or card to let them know they are not forgotten.

Military list

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

    

Prayer list

Our prayer list includes Kyle Miller, Jerry Potter, Tina Van Cise, Lloyd Jackson, Paul Thompson, Martha Thompson, Sue Wagner, Elwin Van Cise, Mike Firster, Kay Seeley, Gary Fratus, Richard Kinney, Jami Hillman and Audrey Walters.

Birthdays &

anniversaries

Birthday greetings go to Shirley Pringle, Dustin Crawford and Fawn Hall on Dec. 12, Shanna Gibson, Donna Drake, Kathy Dunkle, Jackie Peeples and Gary Myers lll on Dec. 13, Cathy Gibson, Pat Whitman, Xaidien Singleton and Charlie Ackerinson on Dec. 14, Cody Sterling and Taylor Walters on Dec. 15, Barb Carson on Dec. 16, David Beers and Rhonda Gafner on Dec. 17 and Autumn Pepple Bonnie Shetler, Sara Nicols and Vanessa Nicols on Dec. 18.    

Happy anniversary to Rayne and Kim Hasbrouck on Dec. 11, Cathy and Paul Sutton on Dec. 13, Lori and Jim Kemp on Dec. 15, Cathy and Mike Firster on Dec. 16 and Pam and Tim Drake on Dec, 17. May everyone have a wonderful day.

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

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