February 7th Order of Worship

11 a.m. Traditional Service

Flower Dedication

The sanctuary flowers are given today in loving memory of Diane M. Glass from Steve, Nancy, and Stefani Fotovich.

February 5, 2021

Dear Union Church Family,

Judging by the number of responses I received from last week’s email concerning loneliness, it seems the message struck a chord with many of you. Indeed, in a pandemic of loneliness we long for the joy and life-giving power of friendship. Wherever friendship is present and experienced, it is a beautiful thing. And conversely, the absence of friendship is always sad and tragic. Shayne Wheeler, in his wonderful book “The Briarpatch Gospel,” writes these words about Jerry:

“Jerry was a freak. For most of us the saving grace that rescued us from the universal prejudice and cruelty of middle school was finding someone to look down on, someone who was more awkward, more uncoordinated, more shunned by the opposite sex than we were. In my school that was Jerry. He was the unchallenged low man on the totem pole, the pubescent pariah. And everyone knew it. Even Jerry knew it. I wasn’t popular, cool or athletic. But at least I wasn’t Jerry. One of Jerry’s legs was significantly shorter than the other one. So he didn’t walk. He waddled. He wore one of those shoes with a four inch soul. Kids joked that it made him look like Frankenstein. But the worst part about Jerry was the smell. In all my twelve years on the planet I’d never whiffed anything like it, and I was convinced that prolonged exposure would destroy my internal organs. Others shared my concern because when Jerry passed us in the halls, it was as if he was surrounded by a repellant magnetic field. Nobody would get within six feet. He was like Moses parting the Read Sea, only this sea was cruel, mocking and unforgiving. One day I was in the restroom when Jerry came in. The other boys quickly made for the exit. I wasn’t so lucky. I was unable to retreat. In desperation I drew in all the fresh oxygen left in the room. Would the air in my lungs be enough to sustain me until I could flee? I wasn’t sure. I had to try. And that’s when I saw it. I noticed that Jerry hadn’t approached the urinal in the customary way. He was standing a little sideways and had unbuttoned his shirt from the bottom. What’s he doing? In my mind I was screaming don’t look. But curiosity got the best of me, and I violated lavatory protocol. Glancing quickly in Jerry’s direction in an effort to figure out his odd posture. Jerry had a catheter bag. Of course, I didn’t know what that was at the time. All I knew is that he had a bag full of urine attached to his waist and hidden under his ill-fitting clothing. And he was dumping it. That explained the smell. The sad part was that it wasn’t even his fault. It’s the unfortunate and unavoidable aroma that made Jerry the outcast in an already alien, callous and unrelenting middle school universe. Still holding my breath as if my life depended on it, I wondered for the first time how it must feel to be him, to have literally no friends. To sit alone at lunch every day, to have no one get within six feet of him at any time. It must be horrible.”

Again, the presence of friendship is beautiful. But the absence of friendship is incredibly painful. True friendship in this world is rare. Few value friendship. Few really experience it. We have made friendship a verb in our culture. You “friend” people. Social media provides us the illusion of having just scores and scores of friends. But we don’t have friendship. We don’t know how to be a friend and we don’t even know what it looks like. These days we pay therapists, or even hairdressers, to do what friends used to do. To be attentive, sympathetic, engaged listeners.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:24 that “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Well, this coming Sunday we interrupt our series in Ephesians to talk about that very friendship that you and I (and our broken, lonely world) so desperately needs. The sermon is taken from several, assorted texts and is entitled “What a Friend We Have in Jesus!” In addition, we will gather around his table for the family meal. So join us in person or on-line at 11:00am. Nursery care is once again available for infants thru 3 years old.

See ya in church,


P.S. Please consider joining in with other Union families to help create a Lenten devotional to share together in this important season. All you need to do is make a ten minute video reflecting on the scripture for the selected day. Click the sign up link to select a date and complete your reflection of the scripture that corresponds. Completed Devotionals should be returned to Kellyn von Arx. (uym@unionpresbychurch.org) More details are available on the MyChurch App.

View Here
Thank You!

Alice Calhoun and family want to thank the Union Church family for the prayers, support, and sympathy cards in our time of loss. Thank you all!

Lenten Growth Group

Our Growth Group offering for the season of Lent and Easter will feature a video-based, 7-week study with acclaimed Bible teacher, Nancy Guthrie. We will read and study The Lamb of God: Seeing Jesus in Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy by Nancy Guthrie. Each week’s gathering will include a video of Nancy’s teaching on the topic, discussion of the topic and Nancy’s presentation, as well as time for fellowship, conversation, and prayer. We will offer two different times that you may register for participation: Sundays from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Union Church, or Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Mt. Pisgah. The Sunday evening Growth Group will also include nursery care. Participants may join the study in-person in the sanctuary (safely distanced and masked), or via Zoom. We are asking those who are interested to register in advance so that we may adequately prepare the space, nursery coverage if needed, and order sufficient materials. The cost of the book is $10.00 (cash or checks payable to “Union Church” due at the start of the Growth Group). The deadline to sign-up is February 7th.

We hope that you will join us for this opportunity to enrich your faith, connect with others, and maybe meet someone new!


Wednesdays: February 10, 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Sundays: February 14, 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21, 28

Lenten Devotional Sign Up

It may be hard to believe, but Ash Wednesday is one month away. Many of us may still have Christmas decorations up, and yet we are already beginning to turn our attentions to Lent.

This year, we are asking for volunteers to help with our reflection and worship during such an important time in the church. On the link below, you will find a list of all of the daily Scripture readings from the Lenten lectionary. And here is where we need your help, family.

We are asking you to consider joining your brothers and sisters in reverence of this holy season. Simply select a day (or more) to volunteer to create a short reflection or devotion that will be shared with the entire Union Church family, via the website. These reflections can be created by an individual, as a couple, as a family, or as a household (or any combination).

Reflections need not be long or too involved. A short paragraph will do just fine. These should be 10 minute devotions that can easily fit into any busy schedule, and join Union Church together worship from anywhere. If you do not feel you can express yourself through your own words, think about how the daily reading resonates within you. You may be led to share a poem, a passage from a book, or even a song that shares a theme with that particular piece of Scripture.

We have all been blessed with unique abilities with which to worship the Lord. This Lenten season, we are hoping that you will share yours with your Union Church family.

Click the sign up link to select a date and complete your reflection of the scripture that corresponds. Completed Devotionals should be returned to Kellyn von Arx (uym@unionpresbychurch.org) by Friday, February 12, 2021.

Food Pantry Donations Needed

The Deacons are accepting non-perishable grocery items for the monthly food pantry. We need spaghetti sauces, cake mixes, icing, canned fruit and vegetables as well as chili ingredients. We do accept all food donations. Additionally, paper products, cleaning supplies, health and beauty items will be accepted. Please put all donations in the donation boxes in Fellowship Hall. Thank you for your support!

2021 Offering Envelopes

The 2021 Offering Envelopes are available for pickup in the sanctuary.

Open Flower Calendar Dates

If you would like to purchase flowers to honor or remember a loved one, call the office. $30 check payable to Union Church Deacons [placed in the offering any Sunday]. Flowers can be picked-up in the kitchen after service or donated for delivery to a Union Church member. Remaining available dates for 2021 are February 21st, October 31st, and December 5th.

Union Church of Robinson Twp.
6165 Steubenville Pike
McKees Rocks, PA 15136

Ph: 4127871818
Email: Click Here

Sunday Morning Combined Worship is at 11 a.m.