First United Methodist Church of Wind Gap PA

First United Methodist Church of Wind Gap PA Living in God's Amazing Grace! Sunday Worship at 10am online. All Are Welcome.

Operating as usual


Sunday Worship 12/6/2020

Advent 2

Love...God's way

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Sunday Worship

First Sunday of Advent

"What a mess"

Isaiah 64:1-9


Food box distribution today

Tuesday, 11/24.... 3:45 - 5:45 PM

First UMC of Wind Gap
19 W. West St
Wind Gap

Pastor John .... 570 426-0456


Sunday Worship 11/22/2020

"A different kind of King
A different kind of Kingdom"

Matthew 25:31-46


Up date on COVID Protocol at Church


Sunday Worship 11/15/2020

Matthew 25:14-30

Will we be found faithful ??


Food Distribution

Farmers to Families Food Box

Today, Tuesday, 11/10
1:30 - 3:30 PM

First UMC of Wind Gap
19 W. West St
Wind Gap PA

Pastor John. 570 426-0645


Sunday Worship

What season are you in ??
What season is our church in ??

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


Can You Imagine (All Saints Day 2020)
Pastor Ann Tinner
Reading : Revelation 21 : 1-8


All Saints Day Remembrance Service

Sunday, November 1, 2020. 10:00 AM

If joining us on FB, you can put a name in comments for us to light a candle

Feel free to have a candle ready at home to light during Remembrance time.

First UMC of Wind Gap


Trunk or Treat....and More

Saturday 10/31... 6 - 8 PM

Candy & treats for Kids

HOT DOGS for All

Frozen Food Distribution for families !!!

First UMC
19 W West St.
Wind Gap PA 18091

Pastor John. 570 426-0645


The Two Great Commandments
Sunday Service 10/25/2020
Scripture: Matthew 22: 34-40


Sunday Worship 10/18/2020
"Provide Children What They Need"
Scripture Reading: Matthew 22: 15-22

The BYM Community Cookout is Suspended until further notice. This time of year it is getting colder and darker early and...

The BYM Community Cookout is Suspended until further notice. This time of year it is getting colder and darker early and with COVID-19 restrictions we do not have the capacity to move indoors. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and if anything changes we will let everyone know. We would like to Thank Everyone who came out to our gatherings, the Great Musicians that blessed us with there talents and all those who have volunteered there time and resources to make this happen. God Bless you all and we hope we can resume this soon. Thank You!

BYM Community Cook OutThursday 10/8/2020 5:30 – 7:30pmFirst UMC19 W. West Street Wind Gap PA, 18091Music by: Kathy and W...

BYM Community Cook Out
Thursday 10/8/2020
5:30 – 7:30pm
First UMC
19 W. West Street Wind Gap PA, 18091
Music by: Kathy and Willie
COVID-19 Protocols in effect


Food Distribution
today, Tues, 9/6, 5:30 - 7:00 PM

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box

Includes Apples, onions, yogurt, cottage cheese
hot dogs, liquid whole eggs, scrapple.

1 Box per family, currently have 43 boxes.

First UMC of Wind Gap
19 W. West St.
Wind Gap

Pastor John ... 570 426-0645

"Living in God's Amazing Grace"

THE COURAGE TO CHANGE— REFLECTIONS ON THE SERENITY PRAYERFor my sermon of this morning I would like to reflect on the we...


For my sermon of this morning I would like to reflect on the well-known Serenity Prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous, which was originally written by the late American theologian from Union Seminary in New York, Reinhold Niebuhr. A.A. adopted it as an official prayer sometime after the close of World War II. Who was Reinhold Niebuhr and how did he come to write that prayer?

Reinhold Niebuhr was the product of the German Evangelical Church in America. His father, Gustav Niebuhr, was a minister and a model for his son to follow. Niebuhr’s father left his native Germany and immigrated to America because of disagreement over German military service. Gustav was somewhat liberal and progressive for an evangelical Christian. His son, Reinhold, followed in his father’s footsteps and entered the ministry.

After a very successful pastorate of 14 years in Detroit, during which he did a great deal of writing and lecturing around the country, Niebuhr was offered the position of associate professor of Christian ethics at Union Seminary in 1928, which he accepted. It was a fortuitous decision and set the course for an illustrious teaching career of nearly 30 years, during which he published some well known books in theological circles such as, Moral Man And Immoral Society. Niebuhr was involved in a host of social issues over the years—issues of war and peace, civil rights and race relations, labor and unemployment, etc.—

He ended up as a pragmatic democratic liberal much influenced by such thinkers as William James, Walter Lippman and Arthur Schleisinger. I mention these things to give you the context out of which Niebuhr wrote his now famous Serenity Prayer. This was not the prayer of a man who was wrestling with purely individual problems—struggling with bad habits and discovering the limits of his personal strengths and weaknesses—though he no doubt had come to terms with such things. No, this was the prayer of a man who had struggled mightily with the great social issues of his day, struggled and often failed, won perhaps little victories here and there for one worthy cause or another.

He eventually came to the recognition that all social and political goals and ideals were forever flawed by the harsh facts of human nature—power, greed, pride, fear and despair—contending always with the higher virtues of love, justice, compassion, pity and hope. And all of it played out on the stage of human history. The dream of creating a near perfect society, the Kingdom of God on earth, was a hopeless and impossible religious ideal, yet necessary fuel for the endless spiritual quest.

Niebuhr wanted to be a theological realist, a social pragmatist, and a moral idealist all in one, to have religion make sense in the real world of work and politics, and to not be disillusioned by the inevitable failures and shortcomings of any human undertaking. Yet at the same time to keep one’s faith in God and the better side of human nature what ‘er betide. All of this is reflected in the Serenity Prayer, which Neibuhr wrote in the 1940’s when the nation was at war with Germany and Japan. The original prayer went as follows:

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed; courage to change the things that should be changed; and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

A note of political irony lies in the fact that during the war a copy of Niebuhr’s prayer was distributed to hundreds of thousands of service personnel by the USO, and then after the war a German translation of the prayer was adopted by the West German Army Academy as their official motto for military service—a fine irony indeed, since it was from the service of the German military that Gustav Niebuhr had fled his former country nearly a hundred years before.

A final note of political irony happened the year before Niebuhr’s death in a political ad for: “Silent Majority’ Serenity Prayer in Fabulous Crewel Stitchery.” For Niebuhr to have his prayer claimed for Nixon’s “Silent Majority” was “cruel” irony indeed. Poor Rennie, as he was called by his friends, was not a happy man to see his prayer claimed by the political opposition. But it was just one more example of how universally appealing his Serenity Prayer was and still is whatever one’s nationality or political persuasion.

There’s a lot of good common sense and practical wisdom in that prayer for a world of real politick. In any event with a Presidential election coming our way in 2020 there are a lot of changes yet to come. If we are not happy with the changes that have been wrought by the current office holder we will have the opportunity to institute other changes more to our liking, or our not liking, as the case may be.

The same would apply to our changes in religious and spiritual leadership in the office of the ministry here at the UU Meeting House in Chatham. It is an opportunity for all of us to pull together once again as a congregation whether we were fully satisfied with previous ministries or not. And to make the best of what we can do, with and for one another, and be ready to support a new ministry in our midst. Changes are coming. Courage to change will be required of all of us. The Serenity Prayer is a good place to begin our journey together.

The Serenity Prayer does indeed touch on common universal human experiences of life—anxiety and acceptance in the face of inevitable tragic events—fear of change and difficulties in bringing about constructive changes in self and society—the struggle to achieve serenity, courage and wisdom in all that we do or happens to us. Niebuhr’s Prayer pulled it all together in a few simple sentences, which everyone could understand and relate to. It was the kind of prayer that A.A. could easily adopt and apply to the life experiences of alcoholics.

“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change.” There are so many things we cannot change in our lives. We waste vast amounts of physical, psychic and spiritual energy with useless regrets, failed fantasies, or embittered recollections. I may be blind, deaf or lame—black, white or yellow—alcoholic, diabetic, anorexic—short, tall, fat or skinny—introvert or extrovert—bald or curly—handsome, beautiful, plain or ugly—bright, average or below in native intelligence—strong or weak in physical constitution. There are some things we cannot change in ourselves except within certain very well defined limits, (new year’s resolutions or not).

An alcoholic cannot change the fact that he or she has developed an irreversible constitutional addiction to alcohol beyond that person’s ability to control. All one can do is resolve, with the help of God and the support of other sympathetic human beings with the same problem, to abstain from drinking, one day at a time. I can’t change the fact that I inherited male pattern baldness from my father (or mother), where it came from doesn’t matter. But, I recall as a young man of 19-20 going to a hair specialist, getting zapped in the head with ultra violet electrical charges and rubbing various salves and lotions into my scalp, all in hopes of saving my hair. But try as I might the salves didn’t save and I had to learn to live with a wide part in the middle of my head.

I can’t change—you can’t change—the mistakes in human relationships made in the past year or years of our lives. We can make amends to a degree, say we’re sorry, ask for forgiveness, forgive others, and forgive ourselves (much harder to do). But we cannot change the fact that we have been (and will be) at times angry, insensitive, selfish, stupid, uncaring, forgetful, dishonest, mean, even spiteful. That’s the human condition. There are few saints among us, and even the saints have their flaws. We can’t change the past. What we can change is our relationship to it and our attitudes and actions stemming from it.

It also helps to have a sense of humor about ourselves and the human shortcomings of all human beings past and present. Niebuhr, I think, would have got a kick out this parody of his prayer renamed “The Senility Prayer.” It goes like this: “God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.” Next to humor we need a bit of foolhardiness which borders on courage.

This leads us to the second proposition in Niebuhr’s great prayer—courage to change the things that should be changed. Notice that Niebuhr originally referred to things that should be changed, not merely those things that can be changed. There is a world of difference between the two. We have the power, limited though it may be, to change all kinds of things in many different directions, good and bad. The question is, of all the things that could be changed, what should we change and to what end?

The word should is in the imperative mode and implies a sense of rightness and moral order. Though the psychoanalyst Karen Horney warned us about the neurotic guilt fostered by too many “shoulds” in our lives—“Don’t Should On Me” is the defensive response). Still we cannot avoid the presence of real moral obligations in our lives. The power of the should, of the call to righteousness, justice and peace, is also a fact of human beings living in society, and more so in religious societies and churches.

We owe it to ourselves, to God, and to others to do what we can to keep ourselves reasonably healthy in body, mind and spirit. Life is a gift and what we do and think and say makes a difference in the world, contributes to the evolving pattern of human historical existence. Other people care about us, count on us, need us to complete the bonds of love and justice in their lives. If we drink too much, smoke too much, eat too much, and get stressed out with too many emotional and mental problems, we add to the disharmony in others’ lives and in the collective life of humanity. The things we should change in our life and society are those things that by changing will help restore a sense of harmony, health and well-being and contribute to a social pattern of love, justice and peace in the world. No easy task, to be sure. That is why the prayer asks for courage to change the things we should and can.

Though change is the one fact in our lives we can all count on whether we like it or not, we all know how difficult it is to bring about conscious, deliberate, rational and moral change in our individual lives and even more so in the collective life of society. There is an innate conservatism in us that is resistant to change, even constructive change. It is sometimes easier to live with the bad habits we know than to give them up and face the unknown in ourselves.

Extend that resistance to change, to the attempt to change institutions and social structures, and it is magnified even more. It takes courage to participate in the difficult social and political changes of our times. It takes courage to initiate less dramatic but no less difficult changes in our personal, domestic and vocational lives, but courage we have if we reach for it, pray for it, and draw upon what A.A. calls “a power greater than ourselves.”

That power is not necessarily an anthropomorphic deity outside of ourselves. It can also be a power deep within us greater than our current, limited and restricted view of ourselves, the God within. We all have the potential to be more than we are at the moment—more loving, more forgiving, more honest, helpful, hopeful, joyful, caring and compassionate.

All we need is to learn how to draw upon the strength of that higher self, that greater power within. Grant us courage to change the things we should and can.

Finally, we come to the concluding line of the Serenity Prayer, wisdom to know the difference between the things we can and cannot change. We cannot know ahead of time whether the changes we would bring about are possible or even desirable, or whether the results of such changes will be as we intended. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

If we enter into a marriage relationship with the intention of making someone over to fulfill our expectations of a perfect lover and helpmate we soon learn that it is impossible to change someone else when they don’t have a mind to. The title of a once popular play (a decade or so ago) expresses this intent: “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”

dWell, we all know that none of us are perfect, especially you, and if anyone’s going to change, it better be you, because I’m not up for it. The fact of the matter is, to change ourselves, even when we do have a mind to, is difficult work enough. To think that we can change someone else, especially our marriage partner, is ultimately an illusion. Sometimes this wisdom is gained by the painful experience of separation and divorce. The next time we marry wiser and more mature. Or NOT as the case may be.

Wisdom to know the difference—such wisdom is an art, the art of living, gained by risk, failure, intuition, study, experimentation, success. We can never be too wise for our own good, only too wise for someone else’s good. “Judge not that you be not judged”, taught Jesus. Take the mote out of your own eye before setting about correcting the faults of everyone else.

If both parties in a relationship have a mind to bring about constructive change together that is another matter. Then it becomes mutual self-improvement and contributes to social change on a small scale. In pooling our wisdom we help to build a better world. We don’t have to be wise all by ourselves. We can learn from others and they from us.

A church at its best is a spiritual community intent on constructive change in self and society. God knows, we can all use a little help from our friends as together we seek the courage to change. That’s what we need to be about as a church and congregation with a new minister. Let us be about the challenges of ministry, a challenge that belongs to each and every one of us.

Prayer: Help us, O God, to be wiser than our years, stronger than our tears, more courageous than our fears. Help us to change first ourselves, then our world, for the better. “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days.” Amen.


19 W. West St.
Wind Gap, PA


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Our History

Methodism in Wind gap dates from the incorporation of the First Methodist Church on 3,1902. Before that time a group of Evangelicals erected a church in Wind Gap at the cost of $2500 in 1893. Because of some difference of opinions and the inability to pay bills, the United Evangelical Church decided to abandon the building in 1901. At about this time a small group of Methodists lead by Charles A Daniels desired for themselves and those who should follow a house of worship. It was their foresight that resulted in the formation of the present congregation. Permission was obtained to use the building for a limited time in order that the strength of the movement might prove itself in time. Since no Preacher was appointed, local preachers and clergy supplied the pulpit. These men often came on foot to preach in the enthusiastic manner of the day. The tentative understanding under which the was started almost resulted in its failure to continue. Negotiations were being made for the building but the prospects of closing a deal were not bright. The faithful band prayed, and God answered. On June 8, 1902 Walter L Moore was appointed as the pastor of the Belfast and Wind Gap Methodist Churches. With the establishment of service, the success of the venture was assured, and a ministry to Methodist families in the area, and the start of Methodism in Wind Gap.

On September 3, 1902 Charles A Daniels, Milton Hahn, James Kostenbader and Joseph Titus entered into an agreement to purchase the building. This brought an answer to prayer for a house of worship. The Original membership of the church consisted of nine members for the struggling church. The articles of incorporation were drawn up that day. Since then, the church has operated under its original charter with two exceptions: the word Episcopal was dropped from the name following the action of the General Conference in 1940 and, secondly the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church. On May 1, 1903, the individuals holding the church deeded it over to the Methodist Episcopal Conference. On May 3, 1903 the Epworth League (later known as the Youth Fellowship) was formed to minister to young people. Today with our Association with Covenant United Methodist church Youth group meets there. On July 28, 1903, the Ladies Aid Society (later known as United Methodist Women) came into being and was an important and vital ministry until the 1970’s. Around 1905 Ed Shover was the first choir director and Grace (Albert) Harding was the substitute pianist. The church was well known for its revival meetings during the fall season. The revivals were led by traveling evangelist(s), who usually held the meetings nightly for three weeks.

In 1915, the sanctuary was remodeled, and the entire church was given a facelift through interior and exterior painting for a total cost of $3500. In June 1926 the Hamilton Bible Class was formed after Rev. George Hamilton died while serving the church.

The Wind Gap Boy Scout Troop was organized under the sponsorship of the First Methodist Church and the efforts of its pastor Rev. Smith in 1918. The church was nearly destroyed by a fire in 1923. During the re-furbishing the basement was remodeled and raised so it could be used for Sunday School classes and Meetings. In 1928 the first Sunday School Orchestra was started under the direction of Wills Harding.

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This weeks Journal post! Please check it out and share your thoughts! 💕📖📒
I needed a picture for the bulletin cover. So I got out a pencil and paper and drew one.
Hymns for Sunday's service 6/21/20
Lyrics for Sunday Hymns
This Sunday's hymns: Be Still My Soul by Katharina von Schlegel, 1855 #534 in the UMC Hymnal 1. Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change, He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. 2. Be still, my soul: your God doth undertake To guide the future, as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let no- thing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below. 3. Be still, my soul: when dearest friends de-part, And all is darkened in the veil of tears, Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart, Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears? Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay From His own fullness all He takes away. 4. Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on When we shall be forever with the Lord. When disappointment, grief and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past All safe and blessed we shall meet at last. NEXT Coming up Morning has Broken by: Eleanor Farjeon 1915 UMC Hymnal #145 1. Morning has bro-ken, Like the first morning. Blackbird has spoken, Like the first bird. … Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning! Praise for them, springing, Fresh from the Word! 2. Sweet the rain’s new fall, Sunlit from Heaven. Like the first dew- fall, On the first grass. … Praise for the sweetness, Of the wet gar - den, Sprung in completeness, Where his feet pass. 3. Mine is the sun - light, Mine is the morning, Born of the one light, Eden saw play. … Praise with elation, Praise every morning, God’s recreation, Of the new day!
I miss all of you so much! Praying you're all staying safe and healthy!!😊
Thank you for helping me with funds I really appreciate it so much thank you again
There has been much sad news this week for our Slate Belt Community with burglaries of churches, including our own, and private properties. But today we want to celebrate the much positive in the Slate Belt.... We are very happy to announce : ....tonite is our Free Because You Matter Community Cookout 5 - 7pm... All are welcome... First UMC 19 W.West St Wind Gap.. come join us Because You Matter and you are special to God and to us.. Tonite we are having hamburgers,hot dogs, beans, pasta salads, desserts, beverages.... We also have live music by Wayne Farley and a special visitor, Bishop Peggy Johnson We also give a special invite to our Slat Belt Regional Police, who did an awesome job this week and everyday....on duty or off duty stop by today for a burger and a THANK YOU ! BYM meal is EVERY THURSDAY ! ALWAYS FREE ! Join us any week... Please checkout and like our Facebook.... @firstumcwg For questions contact Pastor John Vidal at 570 426-0645.....God Bless !
Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles." Psalm 103:1-5