What's Happening


Noon Zoom with Pastor Tom begins May 27

posted May 21, 2020, 5:10 PM by Lois Kerchner

Leola Members and Friends,
Look for “Noon Zoom with Pastor Tom” starting Wednesday, May 27. This is a time to zoom in with questions and discussion and any issue you would like to explore!

E-giving Option for LUMC

posted Apr 8, 2020, 5:25 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Apr 23, 2020, 7:30 AM ]

With the limitation of no in-person services, LUMC has added a way for you to give online without leaving your home.

Pastor Tom's Encouraging Mini Messages

posted Apr 1, 2020, 1:46 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated May 21, 2020, 5:19 PM ]

May 21, 2020

Philippians 2: 1-16
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Th
erefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.

4/29/2020 When Jesus fed the multitudes, he didn’t do it himself while his disciples watched. He gave THEM the bread and fish! He placed in THEIR hands the means of life. Today, we are seeing in the very same way the disciples “distributing the elements” or the life sustaining food. Let’s not miss God’s Presence and work in the countless people who are caring and feeding and driving and risking and more!  

4/29/20      Cow Manure and Bells and Wealth

T.S. Eliot wrote, “All our life is exploration, and the end of all our exploring is to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”   

Tonight, at 6:00 P.M., I stepped outside and took in what is likely an unpleasant odor to many.   To me it was rejuvenating.   The church bell rang, and a moment of transcendence occurred.     Childhood.   That hell from which I vowed to escape.   Those long, dreary days of boredom and labor.    Those grown-ups who seemed content with life and each other in a world which promised glamour and wealth and happiness.

Then, the smell.  The bell.  The memories of those saints.   And for a moment, I realized, “This.”  


Video of Pastor Tom "The Hat Video"  April 15, 2020



                                 Palm/Passion Sunday:   I Love You Sunday!”

The great irony of the crucifixion is that Jesus, who was everything, had everything taken away from him.  

Jesus, a King who will die with nothing but a crown of thorns.

Jesus, who was willing to bring all humanity to his side, putting others first, ended his journey walking alone.   All that love, and this was the payoff.

Jesus, who was one with creation, dies nailed to it, a wooden cross.   With his arms still wide open.

My mentor led me to wonder if Jesus was crucified because he offered something that we always say we want:  Love.

It has been said that when we say those words, “I love you,” we give the other power over us. We give them power to destroy us, shape us, break our heart. Perhaps that’s why true love is so dangerous; perhaps so rare.

Love can hurt and love can crucify.   And yet, here is Jesus, showing us on Easter, that love remains the only way to a resurrected life.

Lazarus Saturday

John 11: 43-45

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.  Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”   45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

Today is the day before Palm Sunday.  In the Orthodox tradition, this day commemorates the raising of Lazarus by Jesus.  It is called “Lazarus Saturday.” 

Yes, Jesus brings Lazarus back to physical life. But the main point of raising Lazarus is not to show us that Jesus can raise a dead man back to life for a brief period of time. 

The main point of raising Lazarus is to teach that Jesus, here and now, can overcome death!   It is a revelation that Jesus offers life nowRight now!   Jesus offers us a life that will never die because it is God’s only life! 

Lazarus died eventually. And so will you and I. But Jesus offers us a life right now that lives through death so that when we die we already have God’s life running through us! 

Be at peace!

Pastor Tom

This is a photo of a section of the Valley of the Shadow of Death mentioned in Psalm 23. Once it was a road of great risk and fear. Today we walk a different kind of road, a virus that has stunned the world and each day brings fear and sorrow. Many today pray Psalm 23 and find the comfort and faith it has provided for centuries. Why not open your Bible now, turn to the Psalm, and draw on that same strength?

Pastor Tom

Friends. Family. Not far back, on a trip to Bethlehem, I took this photo. Not to be cute, but to highlight the struggles that many people endure each day. Here, fellow Christians must manage life with limited water rations. And other luxuries I have taken for granted. Their strength and unshakable faith challenged me then, and even more now. I lived in Juarez, Mexico and found even greater hardship. So, let us all, who claim the name of Jesus, reflect deeply upon our blessings and responsibility. And follow what the Holy Spirit compels us to do.

Pastor Tom

Coronavirus updates from Pastor Tom & Committee

posted Mar 16, 2020, 12:10 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated May 26, 2020, 5:47 AM ]

Church Services thru Sunday, April 26 will be cancelled.  The links below are letters from Pastor Tom with more information about our church and the Coronavirus.  Café will be closed until further notice.

Two Plagues; One Reformer

In the year A.D.1527, the bubonic plague broke out in Germany.   In the midst of this terrible crisis, Martin Luther spoke words on personal responsibility and caring for one another:

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God”

I find this comforting and encouraging.  God will lead us if we seek His face, hear His voice, and follow.


Pastor Tom

Conestoga Valley Ministerium Gofundme

posted Mar 14, 2020, 11:23 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Apr 30, 2020, 9:49 AM ]

Here’s a chance to help locally through the Conestoga Valley Ministerium. 

Support LUMC at Amazon Smile

posted Mar 3, 2020, 7:45 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Mar 12, 2020, 7:53 AM ]

Support Leola United Methodist Church by shopping at Amazon Smile.   
Here are the directions, if you need help with the link below.

Change Your AmazonSmile Charitable Organization

On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you are prompted to select a charitable organization from our list of eligible organizations. You can change your selection at any time.

To change your charitable organization:

1.     Sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser.

2.     From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page, and then select the option to Change your Charity. Or, from your mobile browser, select Change your Charity from the options at the bottom of the page.

Select Leola United Methodist Church as the organization to support.

Tomato Plants/Seedlings Available May 8-9. Place orders ahead

posted Jan 27, 2020, 6:07 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Apr 22, 2020, 9:45 AM ]

for info sheet about tomato plants that will be available for pickup May 8-9. Orders and pickup arrangements must be placed ahead at 717-656-7600. These plants have been grown originally for the Lancaster County Master Gardener annual plant sale, which has now been canceled due to the “COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank You for Cookie Sale Combatting World Hunger

posted Jan 27, 2020, 12:38 PM by Lois Kerchner

Thank you so very much for your support again this year of the Cookie Sale to Combat World Hunger. I am sure those who received the trays as gifts were delighted and hopefully you had a chance to enjoy some of the cookies yourself and perhaps even share with Santa.

 Including donations, we “sold” the equivalent of 71 trays of cookies. This will provide 26,625 meals to children in Haiti. The trays we did not sell were donated to our church to distribute to organizations of our choice. After numerous calls to places unable to use these cookie trays, Garden Spot Village gratefully accepted them to give to residents who can no longer bake or are without family nearby. As the thank you note from Garden Spot Village reads, “You made their day!”

 Again, Thank You for your support of this cookie sale.

Clarity on Possible Changes in the United Methodist Churches

posted Jan 27, 2020, 12:30 PM by Lois Kerchner

The link below gives you some clarity on the possible changes that may occur in the United Methodist Church.  This topic has been in the news, and Pastor Tom spoke of this in the services recently. This summary is written by Diane Hopkins

Click for link about Clarity on Future Paths for the United Methodist Church

Click for Bishop Peggy Johnson's Letter concerning a possible separation agreement

Combined Services, Lunches and Events 2020

posted Jan 27, 2020, 12:23 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Mar 24, 2020, 9:04 AM ]

February 9th - Games Day     

June 28th  or July 5th - Potential Post VBS     

July 26th  - HYSSONG concert    

December 6th - Christmas Dinner    


Other Events:  

April 10th - Ministerium combined Good Friday Service

June  - VBS     

September - Kensill Auction    

October 24th - Harvest Party    

November 7th - Craft Show

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