Newsletter & Blog
Pastoral Letter: Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas! Dear Hawley UMC Family, Grace and peace to you in the Name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! It is with a joyous heart that I write this letter to you and invite you to an exciting new class I will be teaching during Advent. As we embark on the sacred season of Advent, we invite you to join us for a special class in the church library at 11:15 AM on December 3, 10, and 17. Together we will be exploring, "What does it mean to be United Methodist?" Advent, a traditional season of reflection and preparation, is the perfect backdrop for this exploration into our United Methodist identity. The class is open to everyone, but it will also double as our “new membership class” for this season. New Members will be welcomed into our Church family on January 7, 2023, as we celebrate Baptism of Our Lord Sunday together. It is my hope that both experienced Christians and new believers will join us for this class so that we can all learn and grow together. Bring your burning questions and let us embark on this journey together. Whether you’ve been a Methodist your entire life or are new to this denomination, we all have something we can learn together. We will explore fundamental aspects of our beliefs, addressing questions such as: ● What does the UMC believe about Heaven and Hell? ● What is sin? ● Who makes the rules in the UMC? ● What are sacraments? ● What happens during Holy Communion? ● Why is baptism important? ● Why is there suffering in this life? ● And just who was that John Wesley guy, anyway? This class not only provides a learning opportunity but also serves as a space for spiritual growth and fellowship. I hope you will join us on this meaningful journey, as we seek to deepen our connection with each other and with God. Hope to See you there! God Bless, --Rev. Rebecca P.S. You’re invited! We are having an Epiphany Party/ Open House at the Parsonage! Stop by anytime between 2 PM-6 PM- Friday, January 5 th to share in some cookies and check out Jeff’s holiday train layout!
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A Fall Prayer for Hawley UMC and the Surrounding Community Last month, we joined together in praying an adapted version of Wesley’s Covenant prayer. This month, please join us in praying especially daily for the lost souls in our community who do not yet know the love of Jesus Christ. May they find comfort here at Hawley UMC. O Great Creator: We lift up our town of Hawley, and the surrounding community, before You in prayer. As the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp, may we experience a bountiful harvest of Your love and grace. May the people of Hawley experience the beauty of the changing seasons, both in nature and in our hearts. May Your presence be felt in every corner of our town, drawing souls closer to You. Lord, we know that many people out there are searching for something. May they find You instead of the false idols of this world. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, lead them to encounter Jesus in their lives, and may their hearts be transformed by His saving grace. May we go out to seek the lost. If it is Your will, may they be led here to Hawley UMC. May they find comfort, peace, and meaning for their lives here among our church family. May our church be a beacon of light, shining Your peace and grace into the darkness of this world. May we reap a rich harvest of Your love and grace. Amen.
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Dear Hawley United Methodist Church, May the peace of Christ be with you! In case we have not yet had the chance to meet in person, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Rev. Rebecca L. Holland and the Bishops of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church have appointed me to serve as the new pastor of Hawley United Methodist Church. My first official day serving as pastor here at Hawley is July 1, 2023. As an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, I am called to Word, Order, Sacrament, and Service. I have also taken a vow of itinerary. This means I listen when the Holy Spirit says, “Go!” I served my previous appointment for almost ten years, and I am honored to now have the opportunity to serve you. I earned my Bachelor’s in the Science of English Education at Millersville University of Pennsylvania and my Master’s of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. While in seminary, I had the opportunity to gain experience working with both small and large congregations while interning at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, a multi-point parish. I also served as a pastoral intern at the General Board of Church and Society where one of my main focuses was the Imagine No Malaria Project. I began serving full-time in the Altoona District in 2014 and was ordained as an elder in 2018. My husband, Jeff, and I were married in 2017. We were saddened to discover that we could not have children because of some of my health issues, but we have two fur babies (Wesley the Dog and Zeus the Cat) that we love dearly. My Jeff also began serving a new appointment this year. On July 1, he became the pastor of Daleville and Maple Lake United Methodist Church. Jeff and I enjoy trains, exploring antique shops, and trying new restaurants. We also both love history. I enjoy reading, writing, running, and taking our furry baby, Wesley the Dog, for long walks. Besides Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, two of my great loves in this life are books and music. I love music (I play flute as well as a little piano and guitar) and I feel incredibly blessed to be serving here at Hawley because I am so impressed by your music ministry. In the short time that I have been here, I have been deeply moved by the musical gifts of our Chancel Choir and our Bell Choir. I am a voracious reader and I also enjoy writing. I am currently working on a book that explores Disability Theology through a Wesleyan lens. I have written three books and feel particularly called to write this next book because of my passion for Disability Ministries. I serve as the chair of the Disability Ministries Task Force of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church and am also the chair of communications for the Disability Ministries Committee of the United Methodist Church. I hope to do my small part to help make the church a safe place for anyone and everyone who wishes to come and encounter Christ. One of the reasons I am so passionate about Disability Ministry is because I am visually impaired. Please allow me to assure you that I am more than capable of fulfilling all my duties as a pastor-- I simply do things a little differently. For example, you may see me reading large print from my iPad or walking to and from the church since I don’t drive. If you see me out and about and I don’t wave to you, please know that I am not ignoring you. I am just very nearsighted! I am an extrovert and a people person. Please stop by my office hours if you would like to chat! I would love to hear from you and get to know you! My office hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 AM-3 PM. You can also reach me on my cell phone at 570-854- 8006 or through email at RHolland@susumc.org. As an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, I never know what the future will hold. I don’t know how long God will see fit to allow me to remain here at Hawley, but while I am here, please know that I am committed to serving our church family. My door is always open if you wish to talk. May God bless the time we have together. May it be fruitful, and may we spread the love of Jesus Christ together throughout our community and the world. I am praying for you, dear Church Family. Sincerely, --Rev. Rebecca —-----------------------------------
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Author Blog: http://www.BeckieWrites.com
(Focusing on Faith, Books, and Disability Awareness)