What's Happening


Kensill Fund for Hope Auction Cancelled

posted Aug 3, 2020, 11:40 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Aug 4, 2020, 9:57 AM ]

The Kensill Fund for Hope Auction scheduled for September 26, 2020 has been cancelled. The Kensill Fund for Hope is a foundation established to provide both educational services and scholarships for students who need financial aid for their studies and who participate in the ministries of the Mid-Town Parish UMC in North Philadelphia.  We will miss our time of fun and fellowship, the delicious food and great treasures to be had at the auction.  We will also miss the main source of income for the scholarship fund this year.  It is our hope and prayer that you will continue to support KFH with monetary donations this year.  (Save those other donations your unearthed from your storage areas and closets during your stay-at-home weeks until we hold our next auction!)  Checks made payable to KFH may be sent to Leola UMC.  The foundation is a 501(c)3 and you will receive a receipt for your donation.  Thank you for your support.

Face Masks- Share the love, not the germs

posted Jul 29, 2020, 12:47 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Jul 29, 2020, 12:47 PM ]

News about Church Sanctuary Opening, Trustee Report

posted Jul 12, 2020, 3:20 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Jul 12, 2020, 3:28 PM ]

Trustee Report for Church Council

July 8, 2020

A special meeting of the trustees was held virtually on July 5, 2020, to get ready for the first inside-church Sunday worship service. These are the items, steps and requirements that must be adhered to in order to accomplish that.

1.   The equipment that has been collected includes masks, gloves, face shields, spray bottles, a None Contact Thermometer, microfiber cleaning clothes, and hand sanitizers.

2.   The sanctuary will have to be cleaned and disinfected after each service.

3.   It will take 10 volunteers to effectually disinfect the church. We had a good response from the survey that was sent to our members.  There were approximately 16 volunteers that are willing to help us.  We will be training the volunteers to disinfect the sanctuary, the narthex, the elevator, all entrances, exits and railings.

4.   The first inside worship service, for members of the congregation, will be on Sunday July 26th at 10:00 am. We will continue to offer the Zoom service and other options that are in place at this time if requested.

5.   There will be only one entrance into the sanctuary and three or four exits out.

6.   There will be ushers to help in assuring the social distances between different groups and guidance markers to assist in the distancing.

7.   All worshipers will be required to wear masks at all times including singing and following social distancing.

8.   Families with children are welcome to attend the worship service.  The children will need to remain in their seats with their parents.  There will not be nursery or Sunday school provided. 

9.   Masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and all exits.

10.        Collections plates will be at the entrance to the sanctuary

11.        Bulletins and song sheets will be on the tables at the entrance of the sanctuary.

12.        When the sanctuary is cleaned and disinfected, it will be lock until the next service.

The Trustees have struggled with making these decisions.  It surely is not what we are accustomed to or how we would like to continue. This is a very uncertain and challenging time with a lot of unknowns.  Our focus has been and will always be the safety of our members and until we have more definitive answers, we have no options but to follow the rules.


Other decisions made going forward.

1.   We will do only one service until more information is available.

2.   Children’s Sunday School will be considered to open in September, with parental support.

3.   Adult Class will be at the instructor’s request and support for the attendees, who will be responsible for the planning and disinfecting of the space that is being used, using the disinfecting processes identified by the Trustees.  The option to have classes by Zoom is available with the help of the staff.  A plan to hold classes in the church must be presented to the Trustees for approval. 

4.   No other events in the church are being planned.

The Trustee’s Committee is submitting this request to the Church Council for approval to begin having in-church Worship services on July 26th, with the recommended regulations. 


Please feel free to contact me If there are any questions or concerns


Respectfully submitted,

Mary Clinton – Chair, Trustees Committee


 *This proposal was accepted and endorsed by the council on July 8, 2020.

Drive-In Church Service June 21, Photos

posted Jun 18, 2020, 11:20 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Jun 21, 2020, 8:16 PM ]

LUMC held their first Drive In Service on June 21.  Thanks to all who helped plan it.  So good to actually see our worship leaders and members of our congregation in person.




Upper Room, Envelopes, Communion Elements for pick up

posted Jun 18, 2020, 11:15 AM by Lois Kerchner

Members Envelopes, Upper Rooms and Communion elements are available to be picked up at the church Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., If you would like them to be delivered, please call the church office during the times listed above. 

Noon Zoom with Pastor Tom begins May 27

posted May 21, 2020, 5:10 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Jun 10, 2020, 1:02 PM ]


Friends. Each Wednesday at 12 I host “Noon Zoom with Pastor Tom”. We cover a variety of topics from discussion of current events to matters of Scriptural interpretation, and more. It is a safe zone where all opinions are respected.      Pastor Tom

Leola UMC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Leola UMC's  Wednesday Noon Zoom Meeting with Pastor Tom
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 838 3281 0266
Password: 955680
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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 Jul 12, 2020, 3:45 PM ]

Church Services thru Sunday, April 26 will be cancelled.  The links below are letters from Pastor Tom and committee 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. 

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