Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thanks for a Great Year

Dear Susquehanna Xpress followers,

I would like to say thank you to all of you who have watched, participated, and offered support and feedback on the program this year.

I thoroughly enjoy meeting inspiring new people and sharing their ministries so that more people may benefit and learn of God's love. know that many of you and your churches have wonderful missions that allow people to see God in the flesh. I'd love to meet more of you and to be able to share your stories.

May God bless you and yours in the new year, Brittany Spriggle

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SusUMC Disaster Response Team offers help to flood victims and others affected by disasters. Volunteers are still needed to help people whose homes have been affected by the Septemeber floods in PA. If you would like to help please contact Rev. Larry Siikanen at, or 570-898-8710

The Longest Night

Christmas is a time of singing our favorite Christmas hymns, baking cookies, and spending time with family and friends. Yet Christmas can also be a bittersweet reminder of memories of loved ones no longer with us. That is why some churches try to reach out and hold special services specifically for those who are hurting.

Today, December 21, is the longest night of the year. Many churches choose this day to hold the service because it symbolizes the darkness that people feel as they go through the holidays without that loved one. Yet the church offers hope and the promise that Jesus' light can break through the darkness and give comfort.

Do you know a neighbor or coworker who is feeling down this Christmas? Perhaps you could locate one of these church services and offer to accompany them to it. Even if they are not comfortable with a church setting, you can be the church to them, by dropping a nice card acknowledging their loss, or setting aside a few moments to visit with them.

The church should be on the look-out for those who are hurting, and validate their feelings while offering hope. In that way, the person does not feel like they are in a "stained glass masquerade" (as the Casting Crowns song calls it). People should not feel as if they have to put on a happy face to enter our churches, our homes, and our lives. Part of being a Christian is mourning alongside of them, while helping them to to see that our Lord and Savior will never leave us even in our darkest times.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Joy of Loved Ones Who Are Tuned in to God

This Sunday my pastor spoke about Mary's visit to her relative Elizabeth. She said that the journey likely took her up to nine days on foot. All the way Mary was probably thinking about the news that Gabriel had told her that she would bear a son even though she had never been with a man. Greater still, she would be carrying the son of God!

We can only imagine how Mary must have felt. She probably was nervous about what others in town would think of her being pregnant and unwed. Most likely she wondered if people would even believe her story of the extraordinary news that the angel had told her.

The bible tells us that she hurried to Elizabeth and Zechariah's house. As soon as Mary uttered her greeting, Elizabeth exclaimed "God has blessed you above all women, and he has blessed the child you carry. Why do I have this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. Happy is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill the promises he made to her."- Luke 1:42-45

The next scripture we have is Mary's Magnificat in which she praises her Lord and Savior. What a comfort it must have been for Mary to hear Elizabeth's joyous validation of her miraculous pregnancy. Elizabeth was a religious woman and very tuned-in to the will of God. This Christmas I am so thankful for those in my life that have their dial turned to God's station and give me holy encouragement, despite what the world may think.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Heart for the Homeless

Rev. Nancy Goff visited homeless ministries on her 5 week sabbatical. Her heart was touched as she participated in the mission of Bread of Life and I am My Brother's Keeper. Follow the links to learn more about these service organizations.

Collaborative Youth Ministries

Rev. James Lyles reaches out to urban youth in the Harrisburg area. If you'd like to learn more about his ministries visit his Facebook page