WORSHIP IN JULY
Old Union continues its “Summer of the Spirit,” as our worship services focus upon the Third Person of the Trinity.
7/1/2018 John 14:15-27
7/8/2018 John 15:26-16:15
7/15/2018 Isaiah 32:12-20
7/22/2018 Galatians 5:16-26
7/29/2018 1 Corinthians 12:1-14
7/1/2018 Julie M.
7/8/2018 To Be Announced
7/15/2018 Pete M.
7/22/2018 Alex H.
7/29/2018 Bonnie T.
Old Union will support PRISM (Pittsburgh Region International Student Ministries) once again this year by collecting items for their Garage Giveaway, which will be held on August 18. Please drop off your useful household items in good condition in the fellowship hall coat closet. Consider items such as bedding, small appliances and lamps, desks and tables, and kitchen items. We will deliver our donations on Wednesday August 15, so please bring your donations before then.
Because of the declining number of teenagers participating in youth group, we will meet on Monday, July 30 at 7:00 to discuss possible changes to our youth program. Please join us if you have ideas, or if you would like to encourage the youth of our church.
Old Union’s General Fund, which pays our budgeted expenses, is about $3,000 behind where it should be at this point in the year. Last year at this time we were comfortably ahead. Consider redirecting your contributions to the building fund for the general fund, now that the mortgage is paid off. And to make giving easier, you can sign up for Automatic Offering. Visit the church website or pick up a form in the church lobby to learn more.
Weather permitting, Old Union will worship in our outdoor pavilion during July. Feel free to bring a seat cushion, folding chair, or blanket. With our newly paved parking lot, there is no gravel or step to get from your car into the pavilion!
On May 31, the Mars Home for Youth dedicated a new Learning Pavilion and Patio. In recognition of Old Union's long-standing support of their work to help troubled youth and their families, they honored us with a brick in the pavilion. See a photo in the church lobby!
PRISM (Pittsburgh Region International Student Ministries) reaches 85% more students now than it did ten years ago, by sharing hospitality and introducing them to the gospel. The top counties that students come from are China and India, where Christianity is a minority religion. When students return home, they can bring the gospel with them! You can add to Old Union’s support of their work by marking your contribution “PRISM.”
From its earliest days, Old Union Church was part of a denomination that opposed slavery. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, however, not all of its members supported the was as a way to eliminate slavery. The church session suspended the membership of 20 members who opposed the war, and on one occasion two members engaged in a fist-fight over the issue on a bridge over Breakneck Creek. Before the end of the war most of the dissident members apologized, accepted the session’s authority, and were re-instated as members. James Wallace, however, expressed such delight over the assassination of Abraham Lincoln that he was summoned before the session for condoning a violation of the Sixth Commandment, and was removed from membership.
NEW WILMINGTON MISSION CONFERENCE
The premier mission event for Presbyterians takes place each year an hour away on the campus of Westminster College. This year’s conference will be held July 20-27, and you can attend for a day or even just a morning or evening. To learn more, go to NWMCmission.org, or speak with Mary Rae T.
On July 22, a team organized by Old Union Church will fly to Corpus Christi Texas, to spend a week assisting with the rebuilding work in the area hit hardest by last summer’s Hurricane Harvey. The team will include people from seven churches, including five from Old Union. This will be our largest mission trip team ever! Approximately half the cost of the trip is covered by money allocated by session from the Mission Endowment Fund, with the rest coming from other churches, presbytery and synod grants, participant registration fees, and donations. Please pray for a safe and successful trip as we seek to encourage and build up those who have suffered through one of our nation’s worst disasters.
BY THE NUMBERS:
The average age of a Presbyterian pastor is 54 (Peter will turn 55 in August).
72.3% of Presbyterians are members of churches with more than 150 members, but 72.4% of churches have less than 150 members.
26% of Presbyterian ministers drop out of ministry after five to nine years.
The average age of newly-ordained Presbyterian ministers is 39.1 years.
Old Union Church suffered a split in 1833 over a disagreement about the US Constitution. At the time, Old Union was part of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, commonly known as the “Covenanters.” Among other things, the Covenanters insisted that civil government holds a sacred agreement, or covenant, with God to receive authority from him and to fulfill obligations to him. Because the US Constitution claims authority from “we the people,” Covenanters complained bitterly that it did not acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Some Covenanters therefore refused to participate in civil government, even going so far as to refuse to become US citizens. Others were more moderate, and sought to witness to their point of view by participating in civic affairs. Old Union’s congregation split over this issue, with one group leaving and building a second chapel across the road from the first. According to legend, on warm summer Sundays the two churches would open their windows and try to out-sing each other! Apparently the moderate group lost the competition, and after six years moved to our current location. The more extreme group remained at the location along Fetzer Road for a number of years and eventually formed the North Union Reformed Presbyterian Church, which can still be found on Beacon Road in Forward Township, and the Mars Reformed Presbyterian Church, whose building is now the smaller white apartment building in the center of town behind the former Mars Presbyterian Church across the street from the bank.
At the conclusion of the Civil War, Old Union Church granted their pastor, Rev. Richard Patterson, a leave of absence to serve as superintendent for a Freedman’s School in Tennessee to assist with the advancement of former slaves. During his year in Tennessee the congregation contributed generously to the support of the school.
Rev. Robert Gilfillan served as Old Union’s pastor from 1894 until his death 1898. Before entering the ministry he fought in the Civil War and was wounded in the chin at Cold Harbor. According to legend he wrapped a handkerchief around the wound and continued to fight. When he was found dead in a field where he had been harvesting oats, his death came as a heavy blow to the congregation.
Old Union Presbyterian Church | 200 Union Church Road, Mars, PA 16046
724-538-8672 | OldUnionChurch@gmail.com
724-538-8672 | OldUnionChurch@gmail.com