February 2019



Jason Rissler

(330) 806-7814


E-Mail Address


Youth Sunday School – 8:45 am


Worship Service

9:30 am


Staffed Nursery


Church Office Hours


Monday through Thursday


8:30 am – 3:00 pm


Closed for lunch

12:00 – 1:00 pm




8:30 am – 12:00pm


(330) 878-5113   Office
or (330) 878-1707




E-Mail Address:


Office Manager

Jodi Davis


Office Assistant

Corrinne Gerber



Rick Michel


Chancel Choir Director

Cindy Smith


Handbell Director

Becky Reymond



Gary Garber


For Church updates follow


St. John United Church of

Christ on Facebook





*Harry Wood, Bonnie Wood,


Ron Reiger & Linda Reiger








Bonnie Wood, Fred & Mary Jane Aul

Special Dates

To Remember;

February 3rd

Scout Sunday

Souper Bowl of Caring


February 18th

Office Closed

Presidents’ Day


February 22nd

Newsletter Deadline


February 24th

Annual Meeting

Blanket Sunday


February 25th

630p – Blue & Gold Banquet Set-up


February 26th

5:30p – Blue & Gold Banquet







February 3rd


Debbie Burrier




February 10th


Brenda Bayer




February 17th


Olivia Burdett




February 24th


Suzanne Black










February 3rd


Mason Wagner & Evan Rissler




February 10th


Tessa & Trenton Bitikofer




February 17th


Alexandria Parson & Delaine Malcuit




February 24th


Derek & Brennan Rissler


Lay Leaders


February 3rd

Jerry & Susan Murphy


February 10th

Jim Harper Sr. & Jay Huff


February 17th

Al Osler & Tessa Bitikofer


February 24th

Vickki Hinebaugh & Cole Hutchison

The Pastor’s Page




I just began a 7-week sermon series on the book of James. The series entitled, “Genuine Faith,” will take us to the beginning of Lent. The book of James is a book of practical life wisdom for living out the Christian faith. It is sometimes referred to as the “Proverbs” of the New Testament because of its practical wisdom. James’ short five chapters read as a manual on spiritual maturity.


I recently had a conversation with a gentleman who was telling me about the help that his neighbor was giving him. The neighbor helped in a significant way saving thousands of dollars.   He then said this about his neighbor, “He is a true Christian.” I thought about that statement. His neighbor went to church all his life and was involved in leadership in his church.   But what inspired this statement about being a true Christian was the service the neighbor provided and the way he lived out his faith and commitment to Christ.


A key verse in this series is from James 1:22 where it states, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”  Genuine faith isn’t one that just hears God’s word, it isn’t just going to church but rather it is one that lives it out. Here are some of the things we will look at in the series along with the dates and full scripture text so you can follow along:


Trials and Temptations:Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). How can we count it joy when we face trials? James goes on to say because trials bring about maturity in our lives. When you face trials, know that God is with you. God will get you through and will do his work in you. (January 20, James 1:2-17)


Listening and Doing: “…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19) Many times our human nature is just the opposite - we are quick to speak and slow to listen. Later on in this section James talks about being a doer of the word and specifically mentions looking after and caring for the orphans and widows. (January 27, James 1:19-27, 3:1-12)


Treating all People Well: “If you keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’, you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” (James 2:8) In this passage James calls us to treat all people with love and respect, rich or poor, the one who dresses in fine clothes and the one in shabby clothes. (February 3, James 2:1-13)


Faith and Deeds: “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?” James 2:14a. James gives examples of physical needs of those around us: need for food and the need for clothes. True faith doesn’t turn a blind eye, rather true faith causes us to respond. (February 10, James 2:14-26)


Boasting about Tomorrow: “…What is your life? You are a midst that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14b-15) We boast about plans and projects but James reminds us that our lives are in God’s hands. Each day is gift from God and none of us knows how many days we have. (February 17, James 4:13-5:6)


Fighting and Quarreling: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1) We live in a day when relational tensions are high. James points them back to our internal conflicts and desires. He gives more practical relationship guidance. “Do not slander one another.”(4:11) “Don’t grumble against each other…” (5:9) (February 24, James 4:1-12, 5:9)


Faith and Prayer: “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray….The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:13a, 16b) James also talks about the importance of confession of sins and praying for each other. Prayer should be part of life as breathing is part of life. Prayer isn’t our last resort rather prayer is where we go first. (March 3, James 5:13-19)


I hope this very brief overview of the next number of weeks whets your appetite for what’s ahead. I also hope that if you are unable to attend a week you can take time to read the scripture and reflect on it with us.




God is interested in our maturity. I pray that over the next weeks we all grow as doers of God’s word!




Pastor Jason



February Birthdays

75 & Older




Jean Moran                      02/02


Ray Bender                       02/03


Katherine Wells                02/09


Marilyn Burgess                 02/10


Nancy Lyon                       02/11


Bill George                       02/19


Norma Freitag                  02/26




Happy 90th Birthday to Ray Bender!






Drop In 90th Birthday Party for


Ray Bender


February 2, 2019




Pine Ridge Community Center



Souperbowl of Caring


More than 29 years ago, the Souper Bowl of Caring began with a simple prayer from a single youth group:




“Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those without a bowl of soup to eat.”




Since that day more than $143 million has been raised for local charities across the country through Souper Bowl of Caring.  It has become a powerful movement that is transforming the time around the Big Game into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving.




Through this mission, young people around the country learn what it’s like to make a positive difference in the world - as they collect food, raise money and volunteer to work in charities that provide shelter to the homeless, food to the hungry and compassion to those in need.




As in past years, our church will be collecting your monetary donations for this fantastic event.  Every dollar donated will go to our own Tiger Paw Packs program, our 2019 Souper Bowl of Caring charity of choice, which provides weekend meals to children in the Strasburg School District who qualify for reduced or free lunches. Our local Scout troops will be with us that Sunday to help us with the collection.




On Sunday, February 3rd, be part of this movement that is sharing God’s love with those in need.  Please give generously on Super Bowl Sunday.



Thank You! 


I would like to thank Pastor Jason for being with me and my family during my recent surgery. Also, thanks to all who sent cards and well wishes, it meant a lot to me.


Mary Ellen Gurney












The Outreach Committee will be selling raffle tickets after church for the next few weeks for a chance to win a Tiger lap blanket. Blanket made and donated by Marty Holter. All proceeds go to the Tiger Paw Packs Program.






If you are interested in membership at St. John, please let Pastor Jason or the church office know.  A class will be scheduled with those who are interested.










The Board of Christian Education is asking for donations for “cheer boxes” to be delivered to our shut-in and nursing home members. The donation boxes will be placed in the Narthex and in the back hallway by the chair lift. Suggested items are small bottles of lotion, puzzle books, pens, pencils, small packages of snack crackers or cookies, sugar-free candy, toiletry items, all occasion cards, note cards and postage stamps. We would also like shoeboxes. We will be packing boxes Saturday, February 16th at 10:00am and delivering them Sunday, February 17th.


Thank you for your help with this project!



Change of Date




The 2019 Cookie Hour sign-up sheet is in the Coffee Hour room. We need volunteers.



With Sincere Sympathy


Kevin Hall     January 24, 2019




I always digest my thoughts and feelings through conversation. When I sat for coffee with a friend recently, she asked me about our time in Pennsylvania. It was busy and full of reunions with our friends and relatives. We gathered with over 50 people during a week’s time. Tiring, yes, but it was well spent. My kids missed practices, we left all our presents for family in our living room, and we had sickness, but it was worth every minute. Our families welcome us with open arms and bear our faults and imperfections. They are home. It doesn’t mean that our home isn’t here. It’s just that home has a deeper, more profound meaning that cannot be limited by one place. My heart resides in many places. My loyalties are dispersed.

I saw an old stone and mortar house set back from the road as we drove towards my hometown. I immediately connected with it. It had a pulse that throbbed beneath its quiet appearance. It was the essence of home, having a steadiness and beauty of its own, yet it was familiar to me. Home is really a place that I come back to over and over. It’s an altar, it’s a house, it’s a quiet presence. It’s an intangible, visceral constant, no matter how it changes or morphs or becomes displaced. It’s the assurance that you will find the ground even when you feel as if you’re free-falling. It sees our heartbreak and tears we shed. It sees the anger and frustration between brothers and sisters. It’s a place where you don’t have to try to be someone you’re not. You can be the most honest, and vulnerable you there is. Home takes our messes and heat and yet still cradles us in the dark when we can’t find our way.

This home is a rarity in our current state of events. It’s hard to find your people. It’s hard to find comfort and resolve in our surroundings. We need something more. We need a deeper well.

Mark 10:29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for the sake of the gospel will fail to receive a hundredfold in the present age.”

Hundredfold. If you search this word’s meaning in the dictionary, it can be assimilated to words such as abundant and plentiful. To me, it’s a blessing beyond measure that God would give me mothers and fathers and beautiful, dear people to hold me up in the bewilderments of life. We knock helmets together in the huddle, reworking our strategies over and over. I have the best shoulders to lean on, the strongest hands to hold, the loudest cheerleaders. When I give Jesus my aching, weary heart, he has always given me his best. He has always given me family. In him I find my truest home. Each place that I left and each place that I come back to has pieces of me because of how I loved the people and how the people have loved me. I hope you will continue to be family to each other, the ways you have been family to me. My cup overflows.


John 15:9, 12 “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you... love one another as I have loved you.”


From the song Inland by Jars of Clay:

There are no streets to walk on, no maps you can rely on

Faith and guts to guide you, wander till you find you,

Only raw desire, no match to give you fire, you’ll have to trust your heart.


You keep walking inland,

No man is an island,

Come on home to me...


Heather Rissler


Our Nursing Home Residents



New Dawn




Mary Ann Farthing


865 E. Iron Ave/Rm 708


Dover, OH 44622




Nancy Lyon


865 E. Iron Ave/Rm 418


Dover, OH 44622




Country Club




Eva Longacher


862 E. Iron Ave Apt 108


Dover, OH 44622




Inn at Northwood Village




Katherine Wells


5799 N. Wooster Ave Rm 104


Dover, OH 44622




Bud Longacher


5799 N. Wooster Ave Rm 503


Dover, OH 44622




Carol Huffman


5799 N. Wooster Ave Rm 609


Dover, OH 44622




Lena Hilbert


5799 N. Wooster Ave Rm 212


Dover, OH 44622




Allay Senior Care Center


Of Myers Lake




Margaret Reynolds


3328 – 13th Street NW Rm 15


Canton, OH 44708




Amherst Meadows Senior Center


Joyce Hall


1610 First Street N.E.


Massillon, OH 44646



Park Village




Arlene Reed


1511 Crater Ave/#18A


Dover, OH 44622




Ken Burgess


1525 Crater Ave Rm 307


Dover, OH 44622




Doris Straub


1529 Crater Ave/#10G


Dover, OH 44622




Apartments on the Park Village Campus




Betty L. Ickes


1529 Crater Ave. Apt. 51H


Dover, OH 44622






Bolivar Hennis Care Center




Betty Smith


300 Yant Street Room 125


Bolivar, OH 44612




Apartment on the Country Club Campus




Bob Zeltman


860 E. Iron Ave. Apt. 225


Dover, OH 44622




Country Lawn Altercare




Diana Harper


10608 Navarre Rd. SW


Navarre, OH 44662




The Congregational Care transportation service is a benefit gift from St John UCC to any of our members who are in need of transportation anywhere.

Call 330-343-1419 or 330-413-0685


 February 2019






















Scout Sunday Souper Bowl of Caring


5:00p Tiger Paw/Outreach

6:30p Board of Christian Ed


6:30p Boy Scouts


6:00p Girl Scouts

6:30p Cub Scouts



6:00p Bells

7:00p Choir


6:00p-Music & Worship








6:30p Boy Scouts




6:00p Bells

7:00p Choir











Office Closed

Presidents’ Day


6:30p Boy Scouts


6:00p Girl Scouts

6:30p Cub Scouts



6:00p Bells

7:00p Choir


5:15p Cong. Care

6:00p Missions

6:30p Council






Annual Meeting

Blanket Sunday


5:45-8:00p Girl Scouts/Social Hall

6:30p Blue & Gold Banquet Set-up


Newsletter Deadline


5:30p Blue & Gold Banquet


6:00p Bells

7:00p Choir






© 2019 St John United Church of Christ
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