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Shenkel United Church of Christ


SHENKEL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST 1580 Shenkel Road Pottstown PA 19465


Shenkel United Church of Christ’s “The NEWSLETTER” is a monthly publication prepared, edited, and mailed by the leadership and staff to all members and friends of the church. It communicates news about our life, purpose, and mission as a Church of Jesus Christ. Information related to our partnership as a member of the United Church of Christ and wider church/community outreach is included on a regular basis. The Church is located at Unionville & Shenkel Roads in North Coventry Township.

May 2012 Sun








Agape: 7 PM

Community Lunch Bunch: 11:30 AM











Choir: 7 PM






Quilters: 9:30 AM Spiritual Council: 7 PM Consistory: 7:30 PM

Mensch Mill Open House: Noon to 5 PM



Youth Sunday Healing Prayers

Meeting : 7 PM

Choir: 7 PM




Mid-Day Dinner Club: Noon

Healing Prayer Shawl Prayers: Ministry: 7 PM 9:15 AM Card Making Class: 10 AM Choir: 7 PM



Music Sunday



Quilters: 9:30 AM

Youth Group after late worship Coventry Woods Festival: 1-5 PM

27 Memorial Day Observance: 9:30 in the cemetery


Choir: 7 PM



30 Music and Worship: 7 PM



1580 Shenkel Road, Pottstown PA 19465 610.326.3535 Email: The Pastor’s Pen

Pastor Bonnie L. Moore 484.524.8280

Office Hours: Tues., Wed., Thurs. 9 AM to 1 PM


“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Vice President James White Secretary Connie Armbruster Treasurer Ken Bevan Financial Secretary Chris Gray Assistant Financial Secretaries Lori Scharneck Doug Allen Barry Miller Director of Music Ministry Joan Valentine Johnson Elders Glen Hoff Lynne Moyer Connie Armbruster Chris Gray

In other words, God is calling us to be positive deviants! In 1991, the Jerry Sternin, the new Director of Save the Children in Vietnam, faced what seemed like an insurmountable challenge. He was asked by government officials to create an effective, large-scale program to combat child malnutrition and to show results within six months. More than 65 percent of all children living in Vietnamese villages were malnourished at the time. Jerry and his wife invited the community to identify poor families who had managed to avoid malnutrition even though they faced the same challenges and obstacles as their neighbors and had no access to any special resources. These families were the positive deviants. They were “positive” because they were doing things right, and “deviants” because they engaged in behaviors that most others did not. Long story short - when others began to imitate the demonstrably successful but uncommon practices being modeled by the positive deviants in their communities, the result was the sustained rehabilitation of several hundred malnourished children and the promotion of social change in their communities. I wonder how the world might be changed by followers of Jesus who are “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (positive) and are not “conformed to this world” (deviants)?

Gary McDermit Deacons Jeff Graef

Be God’s, Pastor Bonnie

Mark Dushanko James White Andrew Foss

Newsletter Editor: Judy Embriani

Assistant Editor: Jody Sweinhart

Assistant Editor: Bill Baseley



Bob & Barbara Brown

Bob & Barbara Brown

Early: Jody Sweinhart Late: Barry Yocom

Communion Usher Leaders Early: Lynne Moyer Late: Andrew Foss

5/13 Youth Sunday



Early: Our Youth Late: Our Youth

Early: Our Youth Late: Our Youth




Early: Carol Pearson Late: Faye Pedrick

Early: Lynne Moyer Late: Ed and Faye Pedrick



David & Diane Reinert

Early: Carol Pearson Late: Lisa Yocom

Early: Ron & Carol Pearson Late: Andrew & Linda Foss


* CUL = Communion Usher Leaders (will recruit members to assist in serving communion.)

The Adult Volunteers for our Children’s Church Program for the next month are: May 6th May 13th May 20th May 27th June 3rd

David Derman Lara Faust Connie Armbruster Andrew Foss Linda Foss


We are in need of teenagers to help with this program. Please speak to Linda Foss if you can help.

“Flours” is a collection of pantry items or a monetary donation of your discretion to the Cluster. If a cash donation to the Cluster is made, a wheat arrangement will be placed on the altar. Altar flowers are $30.00 and bulletin dedications are $6.50. Food Sculptures are also gladly accepted. The are many dates open for sponsorship and dedication during this and the upcoming months. Please complete one of the special flower/bulletin envelopes below the sign-up chart, enclose your payment, and either put it in the collection plate or in the Secretary’s box by the office door. You should sign your name on the chart in the narthex by the appropriate date after you have completed your envelope. Please do not sign the chart without completing an envelope.

Shenkel UCC celebrates the sacrament of Holy Communion at both services on the first Sunday of each month. Each time communion is served, some of the bread and non-alcoholic wine that has been consecrated at the altar will be saved in a traveling communion kit, ready to go to the homes or hospital rooms of members who were unable to be present, and would like to receive the sacrament. Please let Pastor Bonnie know if you, or someone you know, would appreciate “distance-communing” with their Shenkel Church family!

FOR YOUR INFORMATION…. PHILLIES PHEVER…. The date has been set for the Reading Phillies! The date has been set for our annual Reading Phillies outing. Reserve the date —August 16, 2012. Forty (40) tickets have been ordered at $10.00 each, including transportation. Watch for the sign-up sheet in the narthex. There will be no steps to climb to our seats, and of course, there will be fireworks! Contact Ann Baccari, your resident Phillie Phanatic, with any questions.

MAY FRIENDSHIP DAY 2012 Pottstown's Church Women United will celebrate May Friendship Day on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at the Salvation Army Citadel at 6:30 PM.


Several Shenkel youth are attending National Youth Event in July & are selling Wawa Hoagie Coupons to fundraise for the cost of the trip. Coupons are $4 each and are good for 1 Shortie Hoagie at any Wawa. Please talk to Kaleena Sweinhart, Sam Pennell, Ben Mocarski, or Cameron Dushanko to purchase your coupons! Youth Sunday is scheduled for May 13 for both services! The May meeting is scheduled for the third Sunday of the month, May 20th. We’ll meet following the late service until 1:30 pm. Bring $2.50/slice of pizza & $.25/soda. UPCOMING YOUTH EVENTS: May 6th — following the late service – rehearsal for Youth Sunday th May 6 — Contemporary Christian Concert in Pottstown May 13th -— Youth Sunday at both services May 20th — following the late service – Youth Meeting July 23rd — 7:30 am – 9 pm – Day at Ocean City August 7th — Day at the Philadelphia Art Museum August 29th — Day at Hershey Park

The theme of this program is "Sights and Sounds of Harmony" "Listening to My Sisters." We will share insights into our own heritage as we recognize how God brings us together from many generations, cultures and faiths to become "One in Christ's Love." For as we love each other in our differences we serve in a spirit of oneness. Please join us in Christian fellowship.

The Mensch Mill Camp & Conference Center begins its 2012 Summer Programs on June 24th. The Summer Camp season runs through August 2nd. There are many opportunities for different kinds of special fun all throughout the summer. To see all available, look for the camp brochure in the narthex, on the social hall bulletin board, visit online at, or call Barbara Sweinhart at 610-3261644. Don’t forget, Shenkel will reimburse campers for 50% of their camper’s registration cost.

Don’t miss out on the fun!

MENSCH MILL OPEN HOUSE Sunday, May 6, Noon — 5 PM Mensch Mill will be open for an afternoon of fun, including: Meet 2012 Summer Staff, Tours, Games and Pony Rides, Hot Dog Roast, Arts and Crafts, Mini Challenge Course, Video—2012 Summer Program, Dedication of Peace Poles presented by New Goshenhoppen UCC Outdoor Ministries. All visitor will have a last chance to register for camp at the ―Early Bird‖ rates! Come and bring your friends!



April Consistory Highlights…. Reviewed Safe Church compliance Learned that the youth are selling WAWA hoagie coupons as a fundraiser Discussed possible nominees to fill the vacant deacon seat and to serve on the PRC (Note: If you are interested, or have someone to recommend, please contact any member of Consistory.) Heard about the plans for a “Children’s Church” type program being coordinated by Linda Foss that will take place during the 10:45 service of worship. Were reminded that Sue Fritz’s time with us as a seminary intern ends on May 6, and that the Lay Committee is working on a final evaluation Complete copies of Consistory Minutes are available from the church office upon request.

As of March 31, 2012

Dear Shenkel Church Family Members, A bright and cheerful “easy on the eye” two-page questionnaire has been compiled by our PRC for this year’s annual church evaluation. The questionnaires are waiting in the Narthex for you to pick up. The PRC is using this written questionnaire to acquire descriptive information from you, our members, that will support our Pastor’s personal development, provide healthy communication among our members, leadership and staff, and encourage improvement of our church’s mission and ministry. We ask that each individual complete a questionnaire and either place it in the box located next to the questionnaires, or give it to a member of the PRC. Deadline is June 3rd. If you would prefer to talk personally with a member of the PRC rather than completing a questionnaire, please speak to any member of the PRC. With our sincere thanks for participating, Pastoral Relations Committee Carol Lykens, Freda Wanner, Dave Derman, Ted Gray, Mary Lou Smith and Pastor Bonnie


Current Fund











DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR THE BULLETIN OR THE NEWSLETTER? Just a reminder that all bulletin announcements should be at the church office by each Tuesday at noon to be included in that week’s bulletin. Newsletter articles must be submitted by the 15th of each month to be included in the next issue.

The Music & Worship Committee is looking for someone who has a good knowledge of setting up audio systems and that would be willing to learn our new audio system and to coordinate setting up the system, lining people up to help, etc. If you are that technical person, please speak to anyone on the Music & Worship Committee. Thank you.

SHENKEL LOVES TO GIVE…. The Cluster welcomes all cash, food and clothing donations between the hours of 8:30 am to 12:00 pm on Monday through Friday. Please come to the back door off the alley. Parking spaces at the rear of the building are reserved for people dropping off donations. Pantry Needs: canned soups and stews, canned and dry pasta, canned fruit, canned vegetables, spaghetti sauce, sliced white bread, peanut butter & jelly, boxed potatoes and meat helpers, and nutritional snacks. Contact Sherrie at 610 910 5995 with questions. Clothes Closet and Housewares: toothbrushes/toothpaste, soap, deodorants, shampoo/cream rinse, denture adhesive Cleaning Products: clothes detergent, toilet cleaners, and multipurpose cleaners. Paper Products: paper towels and toilet paper. Diapers, size 3,4,5. Thursday, May 10 is the date of the second annual Cluster Charity Golf Tournament. For information and to register, please visit

Church Change Changes Churches! The Church Change Offering will be received during worship again this year by our children, using special “noisy” cans, on the six Sundays following Easter. This special offering is used in the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference to prepare the church of the future for our children and youth by training and coaching pastors and lay leaders for congregational revitalization and transformation, and starting new churches in areas with growing populations where we currently do not have UCC churches. Church change changes us! Please bring your loose change and help us make a joyful noise with our Church Change Offering on May 6, 13, and 20. Thank you!

STAUFFER KUTZ WOODWORK Up for Silent Auction! Come see the beautiful wood creations that Stauffer Kutz has crafted for us again this year! Each item will be displayed in the Narthex until June 1st. Simply add your name and the amount you are willing to pay to be the new owner of each item...and on June 10th, we will announce the winners during our Children's Worship service.


REMEMBER TOO…. The Pottstown Cluster Food Bank collection at Shenkel is the 1st Sunday of each month. Please place your items in the large plastic bins in the narthex. AND...Please bring in your used cell phones and empty ink cartridges and place them in the box across from the nursery, or in the box located on the coat rack shelf across from the office. The cartridges are recycled to Staples, and the church receives credits toward the purchase of office supplies. The used cell phones are given to the police department to be distributed to abused women.

During the month of May, we will be accepting offerings for the Help Fund. The Help Fund provides confidential financial assistance for people in times of crisis. Please be as generous as you can. Thank you.

SAVE-A-TAPE PROGRAM WOOO HOOO… Early in April, we received a check from Redner’s Markets, Inc. in the amount of $196.67! This is the result of all the folks who bring in their cash registers receipts from Redner’s! What an amazing and easy way to raise money for our church. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! Just ask for a Save-A-Tape card at the customer service spot at your local Redner’s store, show your card at the register when you check out, then bring your register tapes to church and deposit them in the box in the Narthex. These tapes are collected routinely, presented to the store, and Redner’s donates a percentage of your total purchase to the church. Be careful to bring your tapes in regularly instead of saving them at home, as they do expire if not redeemed within a certain time period. Also, please return the entire register tape. Redner’s will not accept any register receipt that has any part of it removed.



COMMUNITY LUNCH BUNCH Thursday, May 3, 2012 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. COME ONE, COME ALL…. FOR: Lunch,* fellowship and a fun auction. At our May event, we will have lots of fun bidding on wonderful “surprise” items. Everyone is asked to bring a new or used item (in excellent condition only -- minimum value of $3) that is all wrapped up in fancy style. These “mystery items” will be auctioned off by our favorite auctioneer, Barry Yocom. All proceeds this year will benefit the North Coventry Pantry.

*All participants are asked to contribute $6.25 to cover the cost of the lunch and the program. Please sign up on the sheet in the narthex, or call the Shenkel UCC church office at 610-326-3535 by the Monday prior to the program to reserve your spot. For more information please call Ruth Klein at 610-326-4520.

Prayer Shawl Ministry The Prayer Shawl Ministry meets on the third Wednesday evening of each month at 7 PM. The next get-together is on May 16th. Anyone who likes to knit or crochet is encouraged to come. We are always looking for new members to help with this wonderful ministry. You don’t have to be especially experienced, just motivated. If you have any questions, please speak to June Hartung at church, or call the church office at 610326-3535.

CARD MAKING CLASS The card making class will continue to meet on the third Thursday of each month at 10 AM. The cost of the class is $8.00 which will provide each of us with three beautiful cards. The next class will be on Thursday, May 17. To insure there will be enough materials prepared for everyone, please call Ann Baccari at 610-323-5525, or Connie Armbruster at 610-326-6516 if you plan to attend. Hope to see you on May 17th.

Mid-Day Dinner Club


Shenkel's Mid-day Dinner Club meets at 12 noon on the third Tuesday of each month – and you’re invited to join us! The next meeting date is Tuesday, May 15th and we’ll be eating at Applebee’s in Pottstown. The Mid -day Dinner Club is open to young-at-heart adults of any age who enjoy eating out and would like to get to know other Shenkel members a little better. Call the church office if you’re able to join us!

We are moving along on our new quilt, but I have to admit, talking together about quilting ideas and the neighborhood news makes the meetings go by so quickly. This week we spent time talking about “the fire," which I'm sure was on your minds too! The smell of smoke filled Shenkel Valley this morning. By the time you read this, let's hope we've had some measurable rain. It's been so dry this new year! May...hard to believe! Our meeting dates for May will be Tuesday, May 8th and Tuesday the 22nd at 9:30 in the Church Social Hall. See everyone then! Margie Allen

COVENTRY WOODS FESTIVAL at CAMP FERNBROOK Sunday, May 20, 2011 1:00 — 5:00 PM Come, enjoy a Spring day at Camp Fernbrook! Shenkel UCC will have a table at the festival to spread the word about our church. We need volunteers to man the table for 1 hour shifts. Please call Jody Sweinhart at 610-326-3721 if you can help.


STEWARD’S CORNER I just learned that Shenkel Church is almost 175 years old! WOW! It looks pretty good for its age. (The people look pretty good too!) A couple weeks ago I was listening in on a meeting in the Agape room. A dozen people were sitting around the table and talking about a lot of ideas to celebrate this special occasion. They are a bunch of creative, fun-loving, hard working, people who also love their church. Somebody left a list on the table, of the events and activities that they are planning, so I guess it’s okay if I share them with you. Actually, if you were in church on April 15th, for the Holy Humor service, you already saw the skit they presented. So you have an idea of these terrific events to come in the months ahead. May 27th – Memorial Day Recognitions June 3rd - Guest speaker - Conference Minister – Rev. Judith Youngman June 10th - Church picnic and games (And picture taking) July ? - Possible Kayak/canoe trip on the Schuylkill River August ? - Movie & popcorn (and hot dogs) night & (possible camp- out at the grove) Sept. 9th - Rally Day (Pancake Breakfast) (Picture taking for directory) Oct. 6th - All church birthday party Nov. 11th - 175th anniversary day – church service and luncheon (Previous Shenkel pastors will be invited to be our guests on various Sundays through this anniversary year.) And lots more surprises to come! Maybe we’ll even get some special t-shirts! Stay tuned for “BREAKING NEWS!” ALL EXCITED, STEWARD (the “Snitch”)

The Adult Sunday School Class meets every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the social hall. Everyone is welcome to join us! MAY 6 - VIDEO FROM THE ARCHIVES MAY 13 - “MY FAITH JOURNEY” ....ERIC MARTENS MAY 20 - MUSIC SUNDAY MAY 27 - TO BE ANNOUNCED

Memorial Day Observance On Sunday, May 27, we will gather at 9:30 a.m. in the cemetery for a brief (10-15 minute) service of prayer to remember and honor those who have served our country and protected our freedom. Join us!

The third Thursday of each month is a time for prayer and anointing, and also a time for reflection. We will be meeting in the Agape Room from 9:15 till 10:00 AM. Anyone who is in need of prayer or anointing is invited to come. The Prayer Chain list is being updated. At this point we will be removing all names currently on the list, unless notified otherwise. Request for prayers should be placed in the prayer box in the Narthex, or get in touch with any member of the Wholeness Committee. These names will be carried for one month unless notified otherwise. If anyone is interested in ministering on the Prayer Chain, please contact Ann Baccari or Freda Wanner. Members of the Wholeness Committee are Ann Baccari, Ted Gray, Tootie and Louise Hine, June Hartung, Carol Stubbe and Freda Wanner.



Many, many THANKS to Evelyn Rodriquez for her generous leadership at the Caribbean Night Dinner held on April 21. We hope to report the outcome for the fund-raiser to purchase new choir robes since our old ones are forty years old and in desperate need of replacement. If you could not participate in Caribbean Night and sample Evelyn’s marvelous food, please consider a donation to help defray the cost of these needed robes. Each robe costs about $150…and with our growing choir membership, we need to purchase about 35 robes. Thanks for your help. Music Sunday is May 20. The Chancel Choir is going to sing two of the congregation’s favorite anthems from this spring…Ruth Klein can tell which ones! The kids and the Chime Choirs will also be singing and playing at this special service. Gustav Mahler once said: “If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.” This is a very special service filled with music…don’t miss it. Thank you to all the choirs for their special talents during Lent and Easter. It’s hard work to prepare for this season, and we appreciate the dedication of our church musicians. A special Thanks to Kaleena and Morgan for our first Liturgical Dance from April 22. While this kind of dance is relatively new to western culture, it has been done for centuries. An example is King David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant. As we end the music year inside…we are already preparing fall anthems and Christmas music. Remember there is always room for your musical talents at Shenkel. Please consider offering your talents next fall. Just talk with Joan, Lori or Doug if you’re interested. Joan Johnson

From Our Seminarian…... Dear Friends, When I first began talking to Pastor Bonnie two years ago about possibly interning with Shenkel UCC, I immediately knew that there was something special about this church. Thank you for being all that I expected and much more. I am deeply humbled by the warmth of your friendship, the constructive advice, and the opportunity you provided me with to work with your members and Pastor Bonnie during the last nine months. I particularly want to thank you for opening your doors to seminary interns. There’s a world of difference between sitting in the pews and actually leading worship. Pastor Bonnie has been a fantastic mentor and I thank everyone for allowing her to share her skills, talents, and time with me! She has invested countless hours sharing practical pastoral leadership skills and helping me to explore new ways of thinking about congregational life and worship. I feel much more prepared for ministry as a result of her leadership. Thank you, Pastor Bonnie! Beginning in late July, I will begin serving as a Chaplain Resident at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center. The residency is for a one-year period and includes both working directly with patients and classroom education. This program builds upon the training I received last summer when I worked at the hospital in the Trauma unit. I believe that by taking this additional year to pursue Chaplaincy in more depth, I will become a better minister. In the meantime, I will be keeping my fingers involved in church ministry at my ―home‖ church and filling in for others as they need some respite from their daily call. Thank you again for such a wonderful experience…I will miss your smiles and friendship. Yours in Christ, Sue Fritz, Seminary Intern



During the month of May, Shenkel will be praying for these randomly selected members and friends of our congregation: 05/02 05/02 05/03 05/03 05/04 05/06 05/06 05/06 05/07 05/08 05/09 05/10 05/11 05/12 05/12 05/13 05/13 05/17 05/17 05/19 05/19 05/20 05/20 05/20 05/21 05/21 05/21 05/23 05/23 05/24 05/29 05/29

GAIL MUNION GALE JOSHUA DEVINE Kay Ellis Robin Martin KAREN METKA ZOGHEIB Carol Lykens Rebecca Painter Nate Rice JOHN DWINCHICK Connor O'Drain Jody Sweinhart Brooke Miller Keith Baker Matthew Scharneck Ethan Graef Michael Kulp STEPHANIE BAILEY Bette Burkhardt KENNETH L. GALE KATHY LLOYD Katie Eames Lynn Derman GWEN GUNDRUM Michaela Craner Randy Berriker Christina Hauze Evan Flaxenburg Bob Mocarski Nina Shenk Ruth Andrien DANIEL MOSER Andrew Foss


Lois and Elliott Baker

Ethel Miller Karl Metka Cole Bevan Amy, Craig, Nina and Anna Shenk 5/13

Adele and Wayne Klein Mary Sue Moyer Wendy Ambrose Stephanie, Angeline and Jaden Viti Pat and Don Laverty


Darlene, Leroy, Richard, Crystal and Georgina Heimbach Emily Lloyd Elizabeth Bevan Sharon, Robert and Ella Woodman Rachel Lloyd


Ruth Andrien Christine Nye Melissa and Jason Mellinger Ann Baccari Brooke Miller

You all know Trent, Pastor Bonnie’s most recent Seeing Eye Puppy, who left us back in January to begin his formal training at The Seeing Eye. On April 16th, Trent made his official ―Town Walk‖ in Morristown, NJ to demonstrate how much he has learned. The young lady now loving this guy is Rivi, his daily trainer. Rivi reports that Trent is a very special and sensitive guy who loves his work. She sees a fine and happy future for Trent and his yet-to-be determined blind partner. Good work, Trent…..and, of course, Rivi too!

Look at all the fun the Kids on the Move at Shenkel had during our Easter unit! We have a few more weeks left to learn all about that taxpayer Zaccheaus and then we will wrap up the Spring Season with our unit on Creation. Come alone or with a friend...we would love to have you! Then join us on June 10th as our very own Kids on the Move lead worship service to celebrate the 2011/2012 school year! Promise that a fun time will be had by all...and you might even learn something new, too! See you soon!

Shenkel UCC Newsletter  

Shenkel Newsletter