Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. The people of the United Methodist Church

Paoli United Methodist Church

We are a church involved in missions. We support the school nurse's program, Habitat for Humanity and the Jubilee Christmas program for Throop elementary school. On the fourth Sunday of each month we have a "Mission Moment" segment to keep the congregation informed on our current mission projects. Howard Detweiler is our current mission chairperson.

The Paoli United Methodist church is working to help others in need.

If you visit us, we keep the last two rows/pews at the back of the sanctuary open for visitors and we wear name tags to help visitors feel more comfortable as you are greeted.

Learn more about our missions »

Healthy Connections and Contacts

Your total health is a network of connections and contacts. It is all about your mental, physical and spiritual parts working together to maintain balance. Your health is a continuous process, the interplay of different forces and conditions. No problem can be seen in isolation. Our task at the Paoli church is to help you get back into a healthy balance when faced with a major life decision or various types of internal or external crisis situations.

Major life choices:

  • Thinking about getting married? Premarital education
  • As your marriage relationship changes, are you able to change too? Short term marriage crisis counseling
  • What heritage do want to leave behind for others to remember? Dying well
Exterior of the United Methodist Church on a sunny day.
Sanctuary of the Paoli United Methodist Church during a Sunday morning worship service.

Visitors are always welcome at the Paoli United Methodist Church. The church has a place for you to renew and grow in your faith. Here you will be welcome to dedicate your time, talent and treasure to the Lord. Come join us!

Our weekly Sunday morning services are:

Early Worship 8:15 AM
Sunday school
and Bible study
9:00 AM
Second Worship 10:15 AM

Everyone is invited to have coffee and donuts and share some fellowship in our Fellowship Hall before the Bible study classes begin. Nursery services are available during both the Bible study classes and the worship service.

Orange
County
Bicentennial

January 2016

January 24 — Mission Moment
Sermon: The Scripture is Fulfilled
Luke 4:14-21
14 Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the whole countryside. 15 He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
16 Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. On the Sabbath he went to the synagogue as he normally did and stood up to read. 17 The synagogue assistant gave him the scroll from the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
   because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me to preach good news to the poor,
   to proclaim release to the prisoners
and recovery of sight to the blind,
   to liberate the oppressed,
19 and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

20 He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed on him. 21 He began to explain to them, "Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it."

January 31 — Stewardship Moment
Sermon: Anger
Jeremiah 1:4-10
4 The Lord's word came to me:
5 "Before I created you in the womb I knew you;
before you were born I set you apart;
I made you a prophet to the nations."
6 "Ah, Lord God," I said, "I don't know how to speak
because I'm only a child."
7 The Lord responded,
"Don't say, 'I'm only a child.'
Where I send you, you must go;
what I tell you, you must say.
8 Don't be afraid of them,
because I'm with you to rescue you,"
declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord stretched out his hand,
touched my mouth, and said to me,
"I'm putting my words in your mouth.
10 This very day I appoint you over nations and empires,
to dig up and pull down,
to destroy and demolish,
to build and plant."

Luke 4:21-30
21 He began to explain to them, "Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it."
22 Everyone was raving about Jesus, so impressed were they by the gracious words flowing from his lips. They said, "This is Joseph's son, isn't it?"
23 Then Jesus said to them, "Undoubtedly, you will quote this saying to me: 'Doctor, heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we've heard you did in Capernaum.'" 24 He said, "I assure you that no prophet is welcome in the prophet's hometown. 25 And I can assure you that there were many widows in Israel during Elijah's time, when it didn't rain for three and a half years and there was a great food shortage in the land. 26 Yet Elijah was sent to none of them but only to a widow in the city of Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 There were also many persons with skin diseases in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha, but none of them were cleansed. Instead, Naaman the Syrian was cleansed."
28 When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was filled with anger. 29 They rose up and ran him out of town. They led him to the crest of the hill on which their town had been built so that they could throw him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.

February 2016

February 7 — Communion Sunday
Sermon: They Saw His Glory
Luke 9:28-36
28 About eight days after Jesus said these things, he took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes flashed white like lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, were talking with him. 31 They were clothed with heavenly splendor and spoke about Jesus' departure, which he would achieve in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and those with him were almost overcome by sleep, but they managed to stay awake and saw his glory as well as the two men with him.
33 As the two men were about to leave Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master, it's good that we're here. We should construct three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"—but he didn't know what he was saying. 34 Peter was still speaking when a cloud overshadowed them. As they entered the cloud, they were overcome with awe.
35 Then a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, my chosen one. Listen to him!" 36 Even as the voice spoke, Jesus was found alone. They were speechless and at the time told no one what they had seen.

February 10 — Ash Wednesday
7:00 PM Ash Wednesday service with communion and adult chancel choir

February 14 — First Sunday in Lent
Sermon: Temptation
Luke 4:1-13
1 Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. 2 There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving. 3 The devil said to him, "Since you are God's Son, command this stone to become a loaf of bread."
4 Jesus replied, "It's written, People won't live only by bread."
5 Next the devil led him to a high place and showed him in a single instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 The devil said, "I will give you this whole domain and the glory of all these kingdoms. It's been entrusted to me and I can give it to anyone I want. 7 Therefore, if you will worship me, it will all be yours."
8 Jesus answered, "It's written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him."
9 The devil brought him into Jerusalem and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, "Since you are God's Son, throw yourself down from here; 10 for it's written: He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you 11 and they will take you up in their hands so that you won't hit your foot on a stone."
12 Jesus answered, "It's been said, Don't test the Lord your God." 13 After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity.

The use of ashes related to repentance and sorrow has a long history in Jewish and Christian practice, but the specific use of ashes on the forehead related to the beginning of Lent only began around the 10th century and was widespread by the 11th century. It is nto a completely ancient practice and is perhaps a result of a shift in emphasis of Lent from preparation for baptism to the journey of penitents to get good standing in the church once again.

February 14
Sugar Plum Ball father-daughter dance, 6–8 PM.

February 21 — Second Sunday in Lent — Food Pantry Sunday
Sermon: Covenant
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
1 After these events, the Lord's word came to Abram in a vision, "Don't be afraid, Abram. I am your protector. Your reward will be very great."
2 But Abram said, "Lord God, what can you possibly give me, since I still have no children? The head of my household is Eliezer, a man from Damascus." 3 He continued, "Since you haven't given me any children, the head of my household will be my heir."
4 The Lord's word came immediately to him, "This man will not be your heir. Your heir will definitely be your very own biological child." 5 Then he brought Abram outside and said, "Look up at the sky and count the stars if you think you can count them." He continued, "This is how many children you will have." 6 Abram trusted the Lord, and the Lord recognized Abram's high moral character.
7 He said to Abram, "I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession."
8 But Abram said, "Lord God, how do I know that I will actually possess it?"
9 He said, "Bring me a three-year-old female calf, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon." 10 He took all of these animals, split them in half, and laid the halves facing each other, but he didn't split the birds. 11 When vultures swooped down on the carcasses, Abram waved them off. 12 After the sun set, Abram slept deeply. A terrifying and deep darkness settled over him.
[...]
17 After the sun had set and darkness had deepened, a smoking vessel with a fiery flame passed between the split-open animals. 18 That day the Lord cut a covenant with Abram: "To your descendants I give this land, from Egypt's river to the great Euphrates."

Psalm 27
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation.
     Should I fear anyone?
   The Lord is a fortress protecting my life.
     Should I be frightened of anything?
2 When evildoers come at me trying to eat me up—
   it's they, my foes and my enemies,
   who stumble and fall!
3 If an army camps against me,
     my heart won't be afraid.
   If war comes up against me,
     I will continue to trust in this:
   4 I have asked one thing from the Lord—
   it's all I seek:
     to live in the Lord's house all the days of my life,
     seeing the Lord's beauty
     and constantly adoring his temple.
5 Because he will shelter me in his own dwelling
   during troubling times;
   he will hide me in a secret place in his own tent;
     he will set me up high, safe on a rock.
6 Now my head is higher than the enemies surrounding me,
   and I will offer sacrifices in God's tent—
     sacrifices with shouts of joy!
   I will sing and praise the Lord.
7 Lord, listen to my voice when I cry out—
   have mercy on me and answer me!
8 Come, my heart says, seek God's face.
   Lord, I do seek your face!
9 Please don't hide it from me!
   Don't push your servant aside angrily—
     you have been my help!
   God who saves me,
     don't neglect me!
   Don't leave me all alone!
10 Even if my father and mother left me all alone,
   the Lord would take me in.
11 Lord, teach me your way;
   because of my opponents, lead me on a good path.
12 Don't give me over to the desires of my enemies,
   because false witnesses and violent accusers
   have taken their stand against me.
13 But I have sure faith
   that I will experience the Lord's goodness
   in the land of the living!
14 Hope in the Lord!
   Be strong! Let your heart take courage!
     Hope in the Lord!

Lenten Bible study on the book of Isaiah, at the church.

February 25 — Thursday evening Lenten book study.

February 28 — Third Sunday in Lent — Mission Moment
Sermon: Seek the Lord
Isaiah 55:6-9
6 Seek the Lord when he can still be found;
   call him while he is yet near.
7 Let the wicked abandon their ways
   and the sinful their schemes.
Let them return to the Lord so that he may have mercy on them,
   to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness.
8 My plans aren't your plans,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways,
   and my plans than your plans.

Lenten Bible study on the book of Isaiah, at the church.

March 2016

March 3 — Thursday evening Lenten book study.

March 6 — Fourth Sunday in Lent — Communion Sunday — One Great Hour of Sharing
Sermon: The Elder Son
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
1 All the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around Jesus to listen to him. 2 The Pharisees and legal experts were grumbling, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 Jesus told them this parable:
[...]
11 Jesus said, "A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the inheritance.' Then the father divided his estate between them. 13 Soon afterward, the younger son gathered everything together and took a trip to a land far away. There, he wasted his wealth through extravagant living.
14 "When he had used up his resources, a severe food shortage arose in that country and he began to be in need. 15 He hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to eat his fill from what the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything. 17 When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired hands have more than enough food, but I'm starving to death! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I no longer deserve to be called your son. Take me on as one of your hired hands.'" 20 So he got up and went to his father.
"While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion. His father ran to him, hugged him, and kissed him. 21 Then his son said, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.' 22 But the father said to his servants, 'Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! 23 Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must celebrate with feasting 24 because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!' And they began to celebrate.
25 "Now his older son was in the field. Coming in from the field, he approached the house and heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. 27 The servant replied, 'Your brother has arrived, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he received his son back safe and sound.' 28 Then the older son was furious and didn't want to enter in, but his father came out and begged him. 29 He answered his father, 'Look, I've served you all these years, and I never disobeyed your instruction. Yet you've never given me as much as a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours returned, after gobbling up your estate on prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.' 31 Then his father said, 'Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive. He was lost and is found.'"

Lenten Bible study on the book of Isaiah, at the church.

March 10 — Thursday evening Lenten book study.

March 13 — Fifth Sunday in Lent
Sermon: Mary the sister of Lazarus

Lenten Bible study on the book of Isaiah, at the church.

March 17 — Thursday evening Lenten book study.

March 20 — Palm Sunday — Liturgy of the Passion — Food Pantry Sunday
Sermon: Not Guilty
Luke 22:14 - 23:56

Lenten Bible study on the book of Isaiah, at the church.

March 24 — Thursday evening Lenten book study.

March 27 — Easter Sunday — Mission Moment
Sermon: He is Risen
John 20:1-18
20 Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they've put him." 3 Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. 4 They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. 5 Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn't go in. 6 Following him, Simon Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus' head. It wasn't with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place. 8 Then the other disciple, the one who arrived at the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 They didn't yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying.
11 Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. 13 The angels asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
She replied, "They have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they've put him." 14 As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn't know it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?"
Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him."
16 Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabbouni" (which means Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, "Don't hold on to me, for I haven't yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, 'I'm going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
18 Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, "I've seen the Lord." Then she told them what he said to her.

Devotional thought

Choral Singing

The most popular and enduring arts-related activity in the United States is choral singing. Twenty-eight point five million people sing in one or more of about 250,000 choruses. There may be scientific reasons for this: Singing, particularly in groups, makes people happy.

Singing releases endorphins, the feel-good chemical of the brain—and choral singing has the greatest pleasurable effect. In one study, choral singers on average expressed greater happiness than the general public, even when those singers were carrying greater burdens than the average person not singing in choirs.

Another benefit of choral singing is based on the fact that it's a social activity, which gives a sense of belonging and combats loneliness. Singing is an essential part of any worship service.

The psalmist wrote:
By night may a song be on my lips, a prayer to the God of my life!
Psalm 42:8