Encouraging Words

Video lessons of faith
for challenging times

Since the COVID-19 pandemic first disrupted all of our lives in March 2020, the staff and leaders of PCOL have generated 97 short videos (through November 17) with “encouraging words” to help us through these times.

PCOL’s Adult Education Committee has been inspired by these lessons of faith, which can be useful at any point in one’s life – especially when times are difficult.

In most of the videos, the presenter refers to a Bible passage or another insightful source. In the listing below, you’ll find links to each “Encouraging Word” video and to many of the references mentioned within them.

We hope these links (below) will be helpful in your personal journey through challenging times.

Note: The Encouraging Word series is now on break. An Advent Devotional series will begin on November 28, 2020.






Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

“Make a life here” (while in exile)

Jeremiah 29


Rev. Kyle Anderson

“I was blind, but now I see.”

John 9:1-12


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

“Whatever is true … think on these things.”

Philippians 4:4-9


Jill Cifelli

An intro to PCOL’s labyrinth


Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

Two inspiring acts of compassion

Acts 16:16-40


Rev. Kyle Anderson

Finding hope in a dream about dry bones

Ezekiel 37:1-14


Alison Young

A child’s retelling of the story of Noah’s Ark

Genesis 6-8


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

“For everything, there is a season …”

Ecclesiastes 3


Mary Hayes

“God will always unbind you.”

John 11:1-44


Rachel Johnson

Two friends on a difficult journey

Lord of the Rings


Jill Cifelli

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

Taking Communion in our homes

Luke 22:14-20


Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

Laughter is good spiritual medicine

Proverbs 17:22


Rabbi Elisa Goldberg

So much to be grateful for … (Dayenu)

Exodus Chapters 3-19


Rev. Kyle Anderson

“Lean on Me” by Bill Withers



Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

“How the Virus Stole Easter”

Kristi Bothur


Rev. Marcia McKillop

Signs of hope all around us


Rev. Kyle Anderson

Behind closed doors … God is with us

John 20:19-31


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

Reflections on the resurrection


Mary Hayes

Finding comfort through an unlikely passage

Joshua 3


Courtney Steininger

“Hallowed be thy name”

Prayers of the Cosmos


Jill Cifelli

Christ asks us to be his Easter people

Women’s Devotional Bible


Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

What will happen next?

Now What?


Rev. Kyle Anderson

Trust in God

Psalm 16


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

Laments – putting our real selves before God

Psalms of lament


Jill Cifelli

Finding God through thinking of birds

Matthew 6:26


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

What’s in your closet? “Clothe yourself with love”

Colossians 3:1-17


Rev. Kyle Anderson

“A Scattering of Blocks”


Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

Am I my brother’s keeper?

Chambers Walk


Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

“O taste and see” the goodness of God

Acacia      Psalm 34


Jill Cifelli

The restorative value of prayer

Oasis Ministries


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

What should replace “normal”?

Sonya Renee Taylor


Alison Young

Art as a form of self-care

Heartwood – Spell Songs


Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

‘They’ll know we are Christians by our love”

John 13:31-35


Jill Cifelli

A video montage of church family members


Jill Cifelli

“The Secret Seed” – a prayer for spiritual growth

A Diary of Prayer


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

Thinking of the pandemic as a sacred time

Lynn Ungar


Rev. Kyle Anderson

“Heaven feels a little too close to me.”


Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

Standing up straight as a spiritual practice

Psalm 112


Rev. Kyle Anderson

God will not leave us as orphans

John 14:15-21


Elizabeth Ferguson

Finding joy in seeing a groundhog

Psalm 149


Maya Ferguson

“I hope there’s a baby deer in your life.”

Isaiah 43:19


Quinn Ferguson

A badger’s story of overcoming obstacles

Stoffle’s story


Brent Ferguson

“Let no flower of spring pass us by.”

Matthew 6:25-33, …


Rabbi Elisa Goldberg

Balancing self-care with concern for others

Hillel the Elder


Jill Cifelli

The path forward is sometimes hidden


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity

The church in VUCA times


Rev. Kyle Anderson

Some Good News: Lawrenceville Edition


Alicia Morrison

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46


Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

Thinking of pets as a source of divine grace


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

We’re not all in the same boat

UCC devotional on Acts 27


Jill Cifelli

“To notice the sacred in trees.”

Jeremiah  Book about trees


Rev. Kyle Anderson

Trinity Sunday: God’s love and peace are with us

2 Corinthians 13:11-14

06-08 Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos What will things look like a year from now? Jeremiah Ch 7   Ch 8   Ch 9
06-10 David Fox Thank you, and an update from Arm in Arm Arm in Arm website
06-12 Rev. Marcia McKillop “Let us tend to our garden.” Luke 12:22-34
06-15 Rev. Dr. Janet Williams Making your mess your message Robin Roberts
06-17 Tracey Gates Personal notes “make this world a little kinder” Proverbs 16:24 and 18:4
06-19 Rev. Kyle Anderson There’s hard work to do. Let’s do it together. Micah 6:8
06-22 Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson Jesus lived to save us from our sins Inspired – Rachel H. Evans
06-24 Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos Introducing “Lights of Lawrence” w/Sophia Stio Lights of Lawrence


Alicia Morrison

We are not grieving alone. God is with us.

Phil 4:6-7   Allow/D. Faulds


Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson

“Something sound … while we’re still around”

Romans 12:9-18

07-01 Rev. Kyle Anderson Finding hope and encouragement in the sunrise Psalm 46
07-03 Jill Cifelli God is with us, even when times are complicated Hebrews 13:8
07-06 Lauren Hoak “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.” Matthew 7:1-5
07-08 Rev. Dr. Janet Williams Do justice. Practice lovingkindness. Walk humbly. Amos 5:24      Micah 6:8
07-10 Tom Wilfrid How to access any of these videos and references The chart you are seeing
07-13 Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson The gift of grace. There’s nothing you have to do. Frederick Buechner: Grace
07-15 Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos What I’ve lost – What I’ve found “Make Art Here”
07-17 Jess Logan, Lauren Hoak and Darren Saint-Ulysses “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” Lyrics and video
07-20 Kris Deni An encouraging poem and an inspiring song Mary Oliver    Geographer
07-22 Lauren Hoak A song for when we feel weary “Softly and Tenderly”
07-24 Rev. Dr. Janet Williams Meditation helps us focus on the good Philippians 4:8
07-27 Rev. Kyle Anderson One generation commends your works to another Psalm 145
07-29 Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos Theological wisdom from the woodshop Psalm 118     Genesis 1
07-31 Rachel Johnson “Day by day …” Lyrics
08-03 J. Vamos/K. Anderson Announcing a video break for August Reruns available


Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos

Starting a spiritual discipline

d365.org  prayasyougo.org
The Bible  Daily Lectionary

09-17 Rev. Kyle Anderson “You’ve GOT this … because God’s got you.” Joshua 1   Isaiah 41
Matthew 6   Philippians 4
09-22 Jill Cifelli An invitation to stay curious A related article
09-24 Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson What spills out of your cup when you’re jostled? Psalm 23    Galatians 5
09-29 Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos “Seek the light …” Thomas Merton’s vision
10-01 Alicia Morrison The gift of goldenrod 2 Corinthians 5:21
10-06 Rev. Dr. Janet Williams The perspective of abundance Psalm 23
10-08 Elise Bates Russell From Camp Johnsonburg: How blessed we are! Camp Johnsonburg
10-13 Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson Sleepless nights? Take it to the Lord in prayer. Psalm 77
10-15 Alicia Morrison The children of our church need you Children’s Sabbath Deuteronomy 29
10-20 Rev. Dr. Jeff Vamos Hoping to see each other’s faces Genesis 32
10-22 Rev. Kyle Anderson “Be glad, and don’t worry.” Philippians 4:1-9
10-27 Jill Cifelli Listen for small things we share in common
10-29 Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson God’s “kingdom” comes to us in glimpses Yeast        Mustard seed
Pearl of great price
11-3 Rev. Dr. Janet Williams Origami – for the healing of our world The Story of Sadako
11-5 David Felsch God works through us in this world
11-10 Jill Cifelli Waiting can be unsettling – but can deepen faith Abraham & Sarah
11-12 Rev. Dr. Louise Johnson Prayer: a relationship that needs to be nurtured Matthew 6:7
11-17 Rev. Dr. Janet Williams Encourage yourself: A Question and Answer Jar

Note: The Encouraging Word series is now on break. An Advent Devotional series will begin on November 28, 2020.