St. Paul’s United Church of Christ Invites You to Meet

Our Distinguished Guest Preachers


The Reverend David Ackerman:  David grew up in Export, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Grove City College and Harvard Divinity School. He grew up as a member of Denmark Manor United Church of Christ in Export and was ordained in 1993 at Smithfield United Church of Christ in Pittsburgh. He served as pastor at St. Paul’s U.C.C. in Trauger for 21 years. He is the author of Beyond the Lectionary: A Year of Alternatives to the Revised Common Lectionary (Circle, 2013). David began serving as Conference Minister of the Penn West Conference, United Church of Christ, on August 1, 2014. He enjoys such outdoor activities as running, hiking, biking and fishing. David is married to Marsha, a high school math teacher in the Ligonier Valley School District. David and Marsha reside in Greensburg.  He will be preaching here on October 1st.

The Reverend Jason Boyd: Jason is a native of Erie, and spent much of his adult life in Seattle.  Presently an Academic Counselor at Mercyhurst University, he has worked nearly two decades in higher education, mostly at the University of Maryland and the University of Washington. He attended Andover Newton Theological School, was ordained in 2010 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ (in Seattle), and has served churches in Massachusetts, Washington, and Iowa. Now a member of Community United Church in Erie, Jason has just transferred his ministerial standing to the Lake Erie Association of the Penn West Conference.  He played ice hockey for 10 years, and is the “parent” of Piago, the World’s Greatest Miniature Schnauzer.  Jason will be preaching here on October 22, November 26, and Christmas Eve.

The Reverend Dr. Verna Call:  Verna recently retired from St. John’s United Church of Christ in Evans City where she served for 9 1/2 years.  She celebrated her 25th anniversary of ordained ministry this past June.   Verna’s Doctor of Ministry project was on the subject of spiritual care for persons with dementia.   She is currently serving on the Board of Directors at St. Paul’s Continuing Care Community in Greenville.  She has two grown children and four grandchildren.  Verna enjoys traveling with her husband.   She will be in our pulpit on October 8 & 29, November 5 & 19, and December 3, 17, & 24.

The Reverend Glenn Sadler:  Glenn retired in 2011 after 8½ years as Director of Spiritual Services at St. Paul’s Continuing Care Community in Greenville.  He is a former pastor of the Woodcock Valley Parish in Huntington County, the Pastor Emeritus of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Somerset, and has served as president and secretary of the Lake Erie Association, and as Moderator of the Penn West Conference.  He was ordained in 1979 after spending 20 years as a tool and die maker, a machine shop manager and in machine shop quality control. He is a popular guest preacher at area churches, and we’re pleased to welcome him back.  Glenn will be in our pulpit October 15, November 12, and December 10.




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          According to the folks who study trends, there’s a new demographic among Christians:  “Dones.”  In the words of one author, “After sitting through countless sermons and Bible studies, they feel they’ve heard it all. One … said, ‘I’m tired of being lectured to. I’m just done with having some guy tell me what to do.’”




     There are several problems with what you’ve just read.  First, the phenomenon isn’t new – it goes back to Biblical times.  The author of the letter to the Hebrews, for instance, devotes the end of chapter 5 and the first half of chapter 6 to the topic of “falling away” and says in chapter 10:  Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  




     Second, the “Dones” complain about having someone tell them what to do.  Religion, though, is about revelation: God revealing Himself and His eternal truths and His guidance for our lives to us.  We get to discuss what He’s telling us; we don’t get to negotiate about the content of God’s revelation, however.  As God tells the prophet Isaiah, My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.




     Third, note the attitude of the “Dones” – everything is about “I” and “me.”  Now compare that with the attitude found in Hebrews – everything is about serving “one another.”  Reformed hymns reflect this idea: they always use the words “us” and “we.”  The Bible is emphatic that the Christian faith is about so much more (but never less) than “me and Jesus”!  When Christ is asked about the greatest commandment, He replies, “Love the Lord your God” AND “Love your neighbor.”




     Our United Church of Christ Statement of Faith says it well:  “[God] calls us into His church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be His servants in the service of men, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at His table, to join Him in His passion and victory.”



     A new year is at hand, filled with many challenges and blessings. 


Be the man or woman God calls you to be!  Let the world know you live life Jesus’ way!  Don’t be a “done” – be a disciple.  Come to church, and bring your family and friends … for their sake, and for yours.