December Newsletter

WE ARE

WOVEN TOGETHER

IN CHRIST       

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The Christmas Hat & Mitten Tree was up for Bethesda Children’s Home.  Many wonderful gifts were put on and under the pretty Christmas tree.  Melvin and Dorothy Slezak are delivering all those special gifts everyone gave so they could be readied for the children.  Thank you everyone for helping make the children’s Christmas extra special.  And thank you Dorothy and Melvin for helping us carry on the tradition.  You make it all possible.    

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The new 2021 Flower Chart is up for the Standard and the Altar.  The cost is still only $15.00 and a beautiful way to remember a person or event.  Please be sure to stop by and fill in those special dates before they get taken.

Attention All Committees and Societies… Time seems to just fly by doesn’t it?  If only we knew what tomorrow will bring.  As of right now only the Lord knows.  How are we supposed to plan anything with this Covid-19 running rampant?  We will just have to have no plans for right now.  Believe you me none of us can wait until this virus is under control.    

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Please don’t forget to check out our website, www.holytrinityhermitagepa.com.  It has the December Newsletter articles along with many interesting things concerning our church.  Thank you to Chuck Foltz who continually updates it for us.              

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We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family of John E. Tomko. 

May the strength and devotion of your faith comfort you at this most difficult time.   John did so much around this church that he loved so much, and he will be missed more than words could say.  

Some of our fondest memories are of John, Jason and his grandson Landen ushering on Sunday mornings.  He was so proud of Landen and how well he did his job.  John and Jason both were so very proud.  And then when Landen started to acolyte John sat in the pew with a big smile on his face and as we recall his chest was puffed out a little too.  John had a love of his family and a love of his church that few have.  

Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.  Matthew 25:21 

A Prayer for Patience  

     given by Betty Frye & Kathy Crisan

God, teach me to be patient;

Teach me to go slow.

Teach me how to wait on You

When my way I do not know.

Teach me sweet forbearance

When things do not go right

So I remain unruffled

When others grow uptight.

Teach me how to be quiet

My racing, rising heart

So I might hear the answer

You are trying to impart.

Teach me to let go, dear God,

And pray undisturbed until

My heart is filled with inner peace

And I learn to know Your will.

                                       Helen Steiner Rice

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We wish we could name everyone who gives the church of their riches, time and talents.  Our church is filled to the brim with wonderful helpful people.  We are going to name some more of those wonderful people again this month.  It is a very stressful time here at Holy Trinity.  Marlene Sypolt wants to celebrate Jesus every Sunday with the children.  All while she is striving to keep them the children and teachers safe.  A very tedious nerve-racking job to say the least.   

She wipes and cleans and tries to practice the virus guidelines.  A very tall order but she manages to do it.  The children leave church on Sunday all giggly and happy. How very special is that!  What would we do without her?   Then there is 

Sheila Susen what a monumental job she does for us every year.  

She makes sure all the offering envelopes, memorial gifts and flower orders are recorded for each of us, then she prints out a statement for all of us and puts them in an envelope in alphabetical order.   Talk about time consuming.  She is phenomenal.  She is a double check for our income reports every week.  

Kathy & Chuck Long help wherever needed, go around fixing stuff, painting stuff and even replacing stuff.  You should see the huge ceiling fan they put up in the church kitchen.  Wow! is it large.  They also help cook and bake.  They are a dream team that we have for our church.  In other words, we couldn’t dream up a team that would be any better than them. Then there’s James Antel, people have told him he should be a Pastor because he does such a wonderful job helping his Uncle Ron Tomko.  

The reason everyone thinks he should be a Pastor is because he does everything he does perfectly with his heart and it

exudes from him.   A blessing from above that is for sure.  How about our “Lay Distributors of Holy Communion” twice a month they help Ron and James with the worship service.  They are Joanne Gerda, Sandy Kimmel and Cindy Kapusta.  Thanks to them we can have communion on the Sunday’s Pastor Seeley isn’t with us.  Our most sincere thank you to them for helping to keep our service as close to the same as we can.

                             (Over)

  How about Chuck Foltz…He is magnificent.  We have one of the best church’s websites in the valley.  Chuck has forgotten more than most of us even remember about computers.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Computers actually scare me just thinking about the possibility of it breaking down.  Talk about a nightmare!  And to think Chuck is all ours, Yea!   We must also sing praises about Ruth Klein who has been our church treasurer for many years.  Sometimes I say, “You’d think it was her money!”  That is how special she does her job.  We never have to worry about getting taken advantage of.    She writes every check, balances all the books, pays the staff their paychecks every month, works on the yearly budget, sits on our church council and has a work ethic that can’t be matched and always has a beautiful smile on her face.  Please know, she takes her job seriously and the books balance and every penny is accounted for.  She is awesome.    

     One thing all these people have in common is that they work from their hearts.  To them it isn’t a job it is a privilege and honor to work for us and the Lord.  We know this because they never complain and when we see their smiles it makes us smile too. Thank you all so very much for all you have done and still do, for all the yesterdays, the todays and for the tomorrows to come.  We are grateful and acknowledge that we are truly blessed to have so many wonderful caring people that are a part of our church family.  Now if I forgot to mention you, please know our Lord knows you and what you do for Him and our church.   Thank You Thank You! And a Merry Christmas and a                                                                                           happy, healthy New Year to all!              Let us pray that 2021 will bring us all,  the entire world a world of good health and a special love for each other that brings us even closer than we were before this nightmare even started.  

Christ’s ministry to bring healing to the world continues even more today.  Bringing Nurse Ministry to the congregation fulfills that call.  A special thank you to Karen Borden, Kathy Long and Cindy Kapusta who on the first Sunday of every month give blood pressure screenings.  Of course until Covid-19 is under control we will not be checking blood pressures.  God willing we will be down the road soon.

Guess what?  The Dorcas ladies are collecting toys for Salvation Army to give to needy children for Christmas.  They have to receive the gifts here by Sunday December 6th.   They request that they not be gift wrapped.  There is a tote in the entrance way to the church.  The list of toys that they are requesting is on the table by the bulletins.  You can take one with you if you wish to get an idea of what toys are wanted.  What a very special way to give back and thank God for all He has blessed us with.  And it puts smiles on the faces of children in our own community.

Sunday School News

Well here we are approaching December and the Christmas Season.  Things are so different this year for the Sunday School.  We will not be doing a Christmas play this year because of the Masks and Social Distancing.  Sadly, we won’t be able to have our usual Christmas Party.  But Christmas will still go on and we will still celebrate the birth of Jesus.  It will just have to be a little different this year.  We are just happy that for right now we are able to meet and be together.

Our wish for you is that each and every one of you stays safe and healthy.   We are looking forward to 2021 and brighter days ahead.

I saw this and thought it was worth sharing.

A Prayer for Putting On a Face Mask…

Creator God, as I prepare to go into the world, help me to see the sacramental nature of wearing of the cloth.  Let it be a tangible and visible way of living love for my neighbors, as I love myself. 

Christ Jesus, since my lips will be covered, uncover my heart, that people would see my smile in the crinkles around my eyes.  Since my voice may be muffled, help me to speak clearly, not only with my words, but with my actions.

Holy Spirit, at the elastic touches my ears, remind me to listen carefully and caringly to all those I meet.  May this simple piece of cloth be shield and banner, and may each breath that it holds, be filled with Your love, In Your name and in that love, I pray. Amen

God Bless, Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year

Marlene Sypolt

Sunday School Superintendent

There will not be any Sunday School on November 29th, December 20th, 27th and January 3rd.  We will resume on January 10th as long as it is still safe to do so.

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We have some wonderful news!!!  

Chuck and Candice along with their daughters, Makayla & Alyssa just welcomed into this world their son and brother, Parker Jay Foltz.  Parker weighed seven pounds two ounces, was Twenty1/2 inches long and came into this world on November 18, 2020.   Mother and son are doing fine.  Congratulations!  May our Lord bless him with good health and much happiness always. 

This is the famous Breakfast Bake.  Thank you Michael Boldish for sharing.

10 eggs
1/2 cup milk
16 oz refrigerated breakfast biscuits (I used the Pillsbury flakey kind)
      ***DO NOT COOK FIRST***
4 scallions or onions
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar
If you’re into the meats – cooked center cut bacon or cooked sausage
11×17 pan, sprayed with cooking spray (Note: I think a 9×13 works better, but it might need to bake a little longer)
1. Mix your eggs and milk in a large bowl. Cut each biscuit (I’m all about scissors in the kitchen) into fours and add it to the bowl. I like to do this before I cook the bacon or cut up the scallions – give the biscuits some time to really soak in the eggs.
2. Cut up your scallions, shred your cheese, cook and break up your bacon (or sausage). Add everything to the bowl.
3. Mix it all up and pour into your pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes .. 

closer to 30 so it isn’t runny
YUMMY!! Serve with Fresh Fruit Salad and lotsa coffee/tea and assorted juices
*** BLC Hint/Tip *** – if you want to make this the night before leave it in the mixing bowl in the fridge covered with saran. In the morning, give it a good stir then pour into prepared baking dish and proceed to bake as directed!!! —

**Last hint ** – NOT low carb or low calories – it’s about portion control here! Great for brunch, big families, Sunday breakfasts.


You could always divide it in half if it is too much.

Wise words to maybe live by.

1. Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout.
 
2. So why is a car’s windshield so large and the rear view mirror so small? Because our past is not as important as our future.  So, look ahead and move on.

3. Friendship is like a book. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.

4. All things in life are temporary. If its going well, enjoy it, that won’t last long. If its going badly, don’t worry, that won’t last long either.

5. Old friends are gold ! New friends are diamond! If you get a diamond, don’t forget the gold !  Because to hold a diamond, you always need a base of gold!

6. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, God smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!”

7. When God solves your problems, you have faith in His abilities; when God doesn’t solve your problems, He has faith in your abilities.

8. A blind person asked St. Anthony, “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He replied, “Yes, losing your vision!”

9. When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them; sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10. Worrying does not take away  tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.

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This came to us from Karen Blosz.  It is a conversation with God from one of His children.

Me:  Okay, God, here’s the thing.  I’m scared.  I’m trying not to be, but I am.

God:  I know.  Want to talk about it?

Me:  Do we need to?  I mean, you already know.

God:  Let’s talk about it anyway…We’ve done this before.

Me:  I know, I just feel like I should be bigger or stronger or something by now.

God:  *waiting patiently, unhurried, undistracted, never annoyed.

Me:  Okay.  So, I’m afraid I’ll do everything I can to protect my family and it won’t be enough.  I’m afraid of someone I love dying.  I’m afraid the world won’t go back to what it was before.  I’m araid my life is always going to feel this unsettled.

God:  Anything else?

Me:  EVERTHING ELSE.

God:  Remember how your daughter woke up the other night and came running down the hall to your bedroom?

Me:  Yes.

God:  You were still awake, so when you heard her running, you started calling out to her before she even got to you … remember?  Do you remember what you called out to her?

Me:  I said, “You’re okay!  You’re okay!  

You’re okay! I’m here.”

God:  Exactly.  I hear you my child.  I hear your thoughts recing like feet down the dark hallway.  There’s another side to all of this.  I’m there already.  I’ve seen the end of it.  And I want you to know right here as you walk through it all, you’re okay.  I haven’t gone to sleep and I won’t.

Me:  *crying.  Can we sit together awhile?  Can we just sit here a minute before I go back to face it all?  

God:  There’s nothing I’d love more.

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I hope and pray everyone reads this.  Because it gives us the hope that Covid will end and boy do we need that hope. 

Thank you so very much Karen for sharing this with us.

Dorcas notes from their last meeting on November 16, 2020

November 16th   12:00pm Noon

Attendance 12

President Kathy Long called meeting to order at 12:15pm

Chairlift permit is approved waiting to be installed.

Have older AED looking into buying another one.  Walter Cowan will check with doctors that work at fire station 

Fresh peppers in refrigerator there are hot, mild and sweet peppers that are in oil or sauce.  Price per pint will be $5.00 with money going to Dorcas

Old Business-   Cindy Kapusta did a demonstration on the AED and CPR.

Cookies for Shut-in’s date to make them will be December 1st at 9:00am

We can bring from home also.

We read a thank you from Pastor Nelson for providing him with meals etc.

We got a toy wish list from Salvation Army’s Stephanie Childs.  Copies of the list were placed on the table upstairs where the bulletins sit. 

There will be a tote in the narthex for donations to be placed unwrapped.  All donations must be given by December 6th.  

Motion made by Kathy Crisan

Seconded by Stephanie Banjak

ELCA- we will buy one goat and chicks totalling $60.00 Motion made by Betty Frye, seconded by Kathy Crisan.

Christmas Donations:

Dorcas will buy four poinsettias

$750.00 to General Fund

$750.00 to Building & Maintenance

$100.00 to Community Food Warehouse

$75.00 to Prince of Peace

$50.00 Turkey Fund

$100.00 Patty Boldish

$100.00 Meals on Wheels

$75.00 Salvation Army

$75.00 Aware

$75.00 Joshua’s Haven

$100.00 Ron Tomko

On December 1st when we bake cookies, we will do a $5.00 gift exchange

Motion to close meeting made by

Kathy Crisan and 

seconded by Stephanie Banjak

 We closed with the Lord’s Prayer

Respectfully Submitted

Joanne Gerda

For all our Slovaks out there…The traditional Christmas Eve dinner consisted of Oplatky, Mushroom Soup, Fish, Pirohy, Peas and Kolac.  

     In our grandmother’s home on Christmas Eve we would dine on the most delicious Pirohy ever made.  My grandmother would fill them with mashed potatoes, fried sweet cabbage, cottage cheese and some kind of prunes. (Truthfully) I ate mostly mashed potatoes and the sweet cabbage ones.    My Baba was the best cook and baker to ever live.  Oh what I wouldn’t give to enjoy sitting with her and eating until I couldn’t eat anymore.  It was her birthday too which made it even more special.  Our entire family came, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends you name it.    Oh, what a Merry Christmas it was. I also remember my mother’s cousin Sue Banjak having the traditional dinner every year.  I would take my Mom to her house where there were a full house of family and friends gathering to share the Vilija Dinner.  Then everyone would be off to church.  What wonderful memories they are for sure.   

Ever hear of Kapustnia 

                (Christmas Eve Soup)?

It is a traditional part of the Christmas Eve meal that was shared by Slovak families.  The recipe came to us from a newsletter sent to us from ASCA of the Mahoning Valley.  

The author was Loretta Ekoniak.  She writes…Here, I have included several ways to make it and several variations.  Hopefully one will be similar to your Christmas memories!

  1.  You can use any type of mushrooms, called huby

 in Slovak (Keep the liquid for use in the soup):                                                                                                                                                           One pound fresh mushrooms, cleaned, cut and cooked in about one quart of water, or three ounces dried mushrooms soaked overnight, or one eight ounce can of mushroom pieces.

  1.   Make a zapraska (roux) with one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon flour, frying until golden brown. (be careful not to burn it.)
  2. With the zapraska still in the pan on the heat, slowly stir in about one quart of liquid (the cooking water, the soaking water, or the liquid from the canned mushrooms).
  3. Add in the mushrooms, along with:

     Sauerkraut juice to taste

     ½ cup or so of sauerkraut

     Vinegar to taste

  1.  The you vary it according to taste and memory!  You can add cooked noodles-any small noodle such as star shaped, orzo, or egg flakes.  Some people add lentils or beans-I like to use great northern beans.  Actually, this is a very good soup with just the noodles and beans for those who do not like mushrooms.
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