August Newsletter

We Need to Lift Our Vision to His Perspective

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. – Isaiah 6:1

In Vacation Bible School (VBS) we are learning about the one true God. VBS is a fun time. However, life is not always fun and games. Sometimes earth-shattering events can disorient us. That is what happened to Isaiah – and to the nation when their beloved king of 52 years died. If ever a prophet of the Lord needed a vision, this is a great time.


Isaiah says, “I saw the Lord”. This was a powerful, life-defining moment for Isaiah. Most important is the fact that God is now clearer to him than all the unanswered questions about life’s upheavals that have so consumed him. God is more vivid than the challenges and threats he and the nation are facing. That’s a good place to be: Focused vividly on our ever-present, all-powerful God.


It is essential, Christian, that we have a clear focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. For this world is doing everything to point us in any and every other direction. As we live in these changing times, with all the pressures, threats and challenges before us personally, as a society: we, as Christians, need to see the Lord. We need to lift our vision from our circumstances, to God’s larger purposes – to His eternal perspective.


Again, Isaiah said, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. When you see the Lord, everything around Him is crowded out by His glory. In this description, the train of His robe filled the temple. There is no room for anyone or anything else but the Lord Jesus.


When we cross over into eternity, whatever we envision heaven to be like, I believe everything else will all pale – be set aside – as we are drawn in by the glory of Jesus our Lord. I suspect our first 1000 years will pass as quickly as an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. We will be so enthralled by our Savior, so enamored by His love, so touched by His sacrifice that made it all possible for us to be with Him.

Worship will be so natural, spontaneous, so engaging – because we are in His Presence. Time will no longer be a factor; boredom will be cast out of Christ’s Presence. We won’t be itching to go somewhere else because, when we are captivated by His glory, there is nowhere else that we will want to be! It will be an experience unlike anything we have experienced on this planet.


I pray that each of us will encounter the one true God more vividly as we gather for VBS, for worship, for Sunday school, and in countless other ways. I pray that Christ is your first love.


Grateful for His mercy,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Back-to School Picnic after Sunday School Aug. 22


St. John’s will hold a Back-to-School picnic on Sunday, Aug. 22, after Sunday School. We will pray for students, staff and teachers of public school, private school and home schoolers starting back to classes. All are invited. Bring a dish to share. Further details will be forthcoming.

Confirmation Class Set for September

A Confirmation Class for Middle School students is being planned to start in September. A Parent's Meeting is being planned in August sometime after VBS. Interested persons are asked to speak with Pastor Dave.


Also coming in September will be Sacrament of Infant Baptism.



Pastor to be on Vacation

Pastor Dave will be away on vacation Aug. 25 through Sept. 1 and will be absent from the pulpit on Aug. 29.

Woodbury Church Plans Weekly Food Give-Away

A free fresh food give-away will be held every other Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. (August 10, 24 and Sept 7) at the Woodbury Church of the Brethren. A drive-through pick-up will be held at the church.



Psalm 145, Then Isaiah

Pastor Dave will be preaching this Sunday, Aug. 1, on Psalm 145, highlighting insights related to this week's VBS and beyond. He plans to resume the study of Luke's Gospel during Lent and to resume the study in Isaiah in the next week or two.

Consistory Forms Committees, Looks for Volunteers

Consistory met on July 8 in the Copy Room. Our church family welcomed three new members on July 18 and the Pastor is hoping to have another new members class in September of this year. Our “new” members are not so new. Sisters Cindy Johnson and Marsie Albright have been attending regularly for quite some time and Linda Pressel an even longer time. Her family came to St. John’s when she was a child, and the congregation is happy to welcome all three as certified members.


In committee news Steve Rodgers reports that the power washing and painting of the back porch will be done before Bible School. Since the meeting he has developed a list of projects that the Consistory will discuss for approval at our next meeting. Julie Russell has been asked to chair the Public Relations committee. Chris Kurtz is developing the Spiritual committee and is looking for volunteers to participate. If you feel this is a gift you can use please contact Chris.


The Consistory is exploring the possibility of purchasing a new copier for the church. Joel Ritchey and Pastor Meckley are heading up the search. We are also looking at options to improve the sound and video presentations for the church’s virtual services. We are going to explore moving the audio equipment that is currently in the front of the church to the back and moving monitors from the top of the display case down to the floor.


We are still pursuing ideas pertaining to the wall hanging behind the altar. If you have any ideas or would like to serve on a committee please let anyone on the Consistory know.


Because of VBS the Consistory meets again on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. in the copy room of the church.



Clothing, Toys, Shoes at Woodbury Yard Sale

A yard sale will be held at Woodbury Community Center Aug. 5-7. There will be kid's clothes to adult sizes; some toys, shoes and school supplies. Hours are 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Who We Are

                                                 This month’s Who We Are features Wayne Kagarise of

                                                               Brumbaugh Road, New Enterprise.

                                                            He is a long-time member of St. John’s.

I am 80 years old, and that should tell you something about me. I’ve had a lot of experiences, some good and some bad. I’ve been married and divorced twice, presently single. Debbie Bowser and I have been friends for a long time.


I’m a three-year Army veteran, serving as an acting sergeant for two years in Germany. Coming back to the U.S. our ship lost a day going through a storm on the Atlantic ocean. When I finally arrive home, I came down to church one night and thanked the Lord for safely bringing me home.


My dad, Harold Kagarise, was a heavy equipment operator turned dairy farmer when I was about 11. My mother was, Freda Cecilia (Imler) Kagarise. Both were long active in St. John’s. Dad and Mom were both Sunday School teachers, and Mom was very active in the guild. Dad was a Republican and Mom was a Democrat. Dad became a Democrat and my two siblings, Roderick and Rebecca, and I became Democrats, if that matters.


I’ve been a dairy farmer, a harness horse driver, farrier, and mail carrier for 39 years. I have four children, Steven, Jacqueline (Jacki), Heidi Jo and Paul.


I own and live on my grandfather’s 65-acre farm. He was Sherman Fetter, and his wife was Annie Fetter, who kept me on the straight and narrow. As I grew up, she stayed up at night until I got home, watched me get on the school bus every morning. I couldn’t make a move that she didn’t know it.


My mail route was split twice because the numbers were growing. I went through four vehicles and countless tires before I bought a yellow Chevy Blazer in 1977. I drove it over 15 years and did most all the mechanical work it needed by myself. Since that time I have owned 4 other vehicles and have had a lot fewer flat tires!


I have four kids, 10 grandchildren and I’m expecting my first great-grandchild soon. I’ve been retired 15 years. I taught Sunday School for many years, have served on the Consistory for many years and have received many perfect attendance certificates. In May of 2020 I suffered a stroke, and that forced me to give up those positions. I’m currently recovering from the stroke.


I’m happy to have my grandson, Carson Foor, living with me since he was born. He is now 20 years old, has a good job, and helps me out, especially in the winter, firing my outdoor furnace when I can’t do it.

Food Pantry Request

The Northern Bedford Food Pantry is requesting cake and cooking mixes for August. Donations may be left in the box at the rear of the sanctuary. Fresh garden produce is appreciated

VBS Is Here!

Reminder — “Mystery Island” VBS begins Sunday, Aug. 1 through Thursday, Aug. 5 from 5:30 to 7:40 p.m. each day. All welcome! We have ben blessed with many willing volunteers and prayer partners who are committed to sharing God’s love, wisdom, power and faithfulness in this exciting ministry. We invite those not participating in an official capacity to stop in any evening and simply “be present.” We invite all of you to attend our closing program in support of the students and staff on Thursday evening, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m.


We are supporting three important ministries this year. Daily offerings will be given to the Southern Cove Meals on Wheels program. Donated canned goods and non-perishables will be given to the Northern Bedford Food Pantry. All loose change from our “Precious Treasure in a Bottle” baby bottles will benefit an area Precious Life organization. We thank the Sunday School for funding this VBS adventure, and our church family for generous donations, prayers and general support.

--Submitted by Barb Thomas, Beverly Smith and Lauren Sell, Co-directors

Ladies Encounter Again Planning Activities, Events

Following the uncertainty of the past year, the Ladies Encounter led by Joyce Bassler is again planning events. Please mark the following on your calendar and be in prayer for the organization’s efforts.


•A Prayer and Praise evening is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m. at Faith Assembly, Roaring Spring. All will pray for families, churches, schools, communities, nation and world. These prayers are vital. Please come!


•The Ladies Encounter Event will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at Faith Assembly. (More information to come after church representatives meet on Sept. 11)


•Pastors’ Appreciation Dinner will be Monday, Nov. 1. More information will follow. This is an evening set aside for our community pastors and wives to thank them for their servant’s hearts.


--Submitted by Barb Thomas,church representative

Let’ s Make a Joyful Noise

All those who like to sing and “make a joyful noise” please see Barb Thomas, who is considering a weekly practice beginning in mid/late September in hope of presenting a Christmas Cantata this December.


She is also available to work with solos, duets, and chorus efforts for Sunday worship special music following the proposed cantata practice. It would be helpful for her to know who is interested in participating. Volunteers are needed for special music slots. Please see Barb to schedule.



4-Cs Women’s Retreat to be held Oct. 22-23

Barb Thomas, CCCC Allegheny Ladies Fellowship leader, met with Myra Whysong-Krentz of the Pavia Reformed Church, ALF secretary-treasurer, on July 16 to plan this fall’s ladies’ retreat at Sequanota Conference Center near Jennerstown.


The event will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22 and 23.


The theme is “Café Chocolat — where women delight in God’s grace.” We will use several verses about grace with Ephesians 1:6, “In the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves” will be the focus verse.


A fellowship meal, fun ice breaker games and Bible sessions will fill Friday evening, followed by a late night girls’ gab for those who stay up! (Some of us barely sleep!) Saturday morning/afternoon will include a 10 a.m. brunch, several great Bible sessions, craft, music and laughter. We will conclude the retreat with a worship service, group hugs and promises to pray for one another until we meet again.


Registration forms will be available later this month — due to Myra by Oct. 8.


Breaking Through the Barrier

Somewhere among the youth of today are minds capable of discovering ways to world peace, ways to deeper and more fulfilling lives, ways to new appreciations of beauty in art or literature or music, just as there have been minds capable of splitting the atom. Ours is the task of breaking the thought barrier which keeps our young people from realizing their creative potentiality.

--Samuel B. Gould (1910-1997) Educator


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