PENNSYLVANIA SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE
OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
St. Andrew's
United Church of Christ

1320 Spruce Street, Reading, PA  19602-2161
"More than a Century of Service to the City"
EXPLORE



Hello and welcome from St. Andrew’s United Church of Christ in Reading. Thanks for visiting our website. We hope you will find this church snapshot to be helpful and informative. We invite you to visit our church so that we may welcome you in person!
THIS  WEEK @ CHURCH
WEEK OF DECEMBER  7 — DECEMBER  13
  Wednesday
 7:00 PM – Narcotics Anonymous - Living Room Group - In-person meetings suspended for COVID-19
  Sunday
 10:45 AM – Service of Worship
 1:05 PM – Consistory Meeting
NEWS  &  NOTES
  The Hanging of the Greens / Holiday Dinner
  All are invited to join us for The Hanging of the Greens, which will take place during the 10:45 a.m. worship service on Sunday, December 11th. Worshipers join in preparing our church nave for Christmas. We decorate our Chrismon tree, place candles in the windows, and start the magi off on their journey following that star toward the stable in Bethlehem.

All in attendance are invited to remain for our holiday covered dish dinner in the choir room in Fellowship Hall at 12:30 p.m. Beverages will be provided, and those who are able are asked to bring a covered dish to share.
  Bethany Children's Home
  During the 10:45 a.m. worship service on Sunday, December 4, 2022, we lifted up the ministry of Bethany Children's Home, a United Church of Christ institution providing residential services to children and youth in Womelsdorf. Each year we collect "white gifts," unwrapped gifts received for Christmas giving to Bethany's residents. (A list of suggested gift items is available from the church office.) We also receive a special monetary offering in support of this important ministry.
  Special Worship Services for Christmas
  We invite you, along with your neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family to join us on Saturday, December 24, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. for our traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Service. (There should be ample room for all in attendance to be properly socially distanced should there be any COVID-19 related safety concerns.) Plan to be with us to sing traditional carols for Christmas, to hear our guest organist Janice Kaucher and special music for the season, and to mark the high points of the service as the baby Jesus takes his place in the manger scene while the Nativity story from the Gospel according to St. Luke is read, and later as we all sing "Silent Night" by candlelight.

Because Christmas Day, December 25th, is a Sunday this year, we will be joining our friends at Olivet Reformed United Church of Christ, 1648 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA 19601, for a celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion at 9:15 a.m. This special joint Service of Word and Sacrament will include Christmas carols, scripture readings, a brief homily, prayers, and Holy Communion. Ample on-street parking along Centre Avenue and on Exeter Street will be available for the worship service.
  Christmas Fund Offering for Veterans of the Cross
  On Sunday, December 18, 2022, we receive our annual special offering for the Veterans of the Cross. Our gifts provide pension supplementation and special Christmas checks for needy retired clergy and their widowed spouses, as well as emergency grants to clergy families experiencing financial hardships. Our gifts also help subsidize the cost of health insurance coverage for qualified lower-income retired ministers and lay church workers and their widowed spouses.
  Poinsettias
  St. Andrew's Church will be adorned for Christmas with ten 1-branch poinsettias (4-5 multi-bloom), each in a 6-inch pot wrapped in dark green foil from our supplier Temple Greenhouses. We invite members of our church family to support our Memorial/Friendship Fund by sponsoring a Christmas Poinsettia. The cost of a sponsorship is $8.50 per plant; any money received over and above the cost of the plants will be given to the Helping Harvest. Please call the church office if you would like to become a Poinsettia sponsor.
  2023 Offering Envelope Boxed Sets
  2023 offering envelope boxed sets are available to be picked up in St. Andrew's Chapel. As usual, we have pre-packaged with the boxes a set of special offering envelopes for the year.
  Coffee Fellowship Time
   Coffee Fellowship is usually held once a month. We hope that you will join us for this special time together on the third Sunday of each month. THIS ACTIVITY IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS. All are invited to gather in church office at 10 a.m. on the next third Sunday when we are able to continue our monthly Coffee Fellowship routine.
  Altar Flower and Worship Bulletin Sponsor Information
  The worship bulletin sponsor sign-up sheet for 2023 is posted on the narthex bulletin board. The cost per Sunday or special service remains $5. You can just enter your name to claim any available date, or call the church office, and we'll do it for you!

We also invite you to consider sponsoring our weekly altar flowers (or a memorial or honorarium bouquet); the cost for 2023 remains $45.00. If you would be interested in becoming a sponsor for 2023, please contact the church office.
  Spirit on Tap
  "Spirit on Tap" is a program to encourage theological discussion, explore alternative viewpoints, and stimulate dialogue around issues of faith and spirituality. Sponsored by area United Church of Christ congregations, Spirit on Tap gatherings are usually held on the fourth Tuesday of the month from September through May (check the schedule for occasional alterations in the routine) at 7 p.m. The location for the 2021 - 2022 season of Spirit on Tap is the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Reading.
  Sharing Our Pastor With Olivet Church
  As of January 1, 2020, St. Andrew's Church entered into a shared ministry agreement with Olivet Reformed United Church of Christ, 1648 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA 19601. Pastor Baal serves both congregations, with Olivet Church worshiping on Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m. St. Andrew's Church provides office support for the Olivet congregation; Olivet Church contributes to the cost of health insurance for the pastor.
  Food Pantry Sunday
   The first Sunday of every month is Food Pantry Sunday. On that day our chest is placed in the church narthex to receive worshipers' gifts of non-perishable food items for our local food pantry. Some foodstuffs are retained for emergency distribution, and the remainder plus monetary gifts are now being forwarded to Helping Harvest (formerly the Greater Berks Food Bank).
  Living Room Group - Narcotics Anonymous
   The Living Room Group of Narcotics Anonymous has been meeting on Wednesday evenings in St. Andrew's Church's social hall for more than twenty-five years. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. each Wednesday; enter the building via the Miller Street entrance (side entrance). In-person meetings have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  Redner's Save-A-Tape Program
   St. Andrew's Church continues to participate in Redner's Markets' Save-A-Tape program, which enables us to receive a 1% rebate contribution from all eligible customer receipts we collect for submission. To participate, you must stop at the Customer Service desk or store office and obtain a Save-A-Tape Card (at no cost, and there are no forms to fill out); then present the card to the Redner's cashier whenever you check out, save your register tape, and place it in the box in the church office. We have earned $200.64 from this program in fiscal year 2020-2021.
  Sharing Our Space with Spanish Congregation
  The Consistory has entered into an agreement with Discipulando las Naciones Church allowing the congregation to make use of St. Andrew's Church facilities. This non-denominational congregation conducts Sunday afternoon worship services as well as Tuesday and Friday evening activities in the downstairs classroom areas.

OUR CHURCH
The congregation of St. Andrew’s U.C.C. has been worshipping and serving in our community since 1891. The church is located in the residential neighborhood of East Reading. The hospitality is warm and the people are friendly. We gather for worship every Sunday at 10:45 am. (The weekly calendar at left will note special summer worship times from July 1 through Labor Day.) St. Andrew’s Church offers many opportunities for volunteering and service to others. So, come be challenged and refreshed, and find a place where YOU can make a difference in the world. You'll be glad that you did!

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