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July Newsletter

God Sets Aside a Time to Stop and Rest

 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:11


Summer is a time for rest. Public schools are on summer vacation. Many plan trips, picnics and family reunions in the summer. Summer is a good time to consider God's gift of Sabbath. Rightly understood, Sabbath is a gift. When Moses presented the Hebrew people with The Ten Commandments, including the Fourth Commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8) – imagine how the people reacted! These formerly enslaved people may have never had a day of rest! Now, God gives them such a day every week!


Sabbath was established in the creation narrative, "And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done" (Genesis 2:2). The word translated "rest" means to stop or cease. God ceased, or stopped His creative work. There is another word translated "rest" used in Exodus 20:11 (above) that means to settle down, remain, to take up residence. It was in the cool of the day that God "was walking in the garden" to dwell among His people (Genesis 3:8).


The Garden of Eden was the first tabernacle, or dwelling place of God on earth. His image-bearers (priests) had nothing to do but fellowship with God and tend His garden. When they were expelled from Eden, with cherubim guarding the entrance, God had Moses build a tabernacle, which was adorned with cherubim and pomegranates. Then when Solomon built the temple, its walls were made of cedar and the floors of cypress – all wood. On the cedar was carved the form of gourds, palm trees and open flowers (1 Kings 6:18, 29). Likewise the cherubim overlook the inner sanctuary. After Solomon's prayer of dedication "fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple (2 Chronicles 7:1). The fruit, the wood, the Presence of the Lord in the tabernacle and in the temple are all reminiscent of the Garden of Eden where God first dwelt with His people. "Sabbath is a burst of Eden into ordinary time."


We learn from the creation account that each day begins with evening, with a time of rest. We begin each day (evening) resting in God's provision and protection. Each day begins with a time of Sabbath. The gift of Sabbath expresses God's love for us – that our value is in who we are, not in what we do or produce. Unlike pagan idols, God does not need anything. God desires relationship with us through His Son Jesus Christ.


All history is leading to the time when "the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God" (Revelation 21:3). From the beginning of creation God sets aside a sacred time, particularly once every seven days, for us to stop, to rest, to worship God and focus on His Presence, will, love and goodness.


Grateful for all His good gifts,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Bible School Closing Presentation to Be July 7

A presentation by Vacation Bible School participants will be given
Sunday, July 7, at the beginning of the Sunday School hour, 10:45 a.m.
Parents, grandparents, friend and relatives are invited to attend.

Picnic Set July 12 for Guild & Church Families

The Women's Guild is sponsoring a Picnic/Campfire/Bingo outing at 6
p.m. Friday, July 12, for our church family! Everyone is welcome!


Cindy Johnson and Marsie Albright are the hostesses. The event will be
held at the Mellott Picnic Pavilion,184 May Apple Lane, Roaring Spring (off
the Frosty Hollow Road).

Low boil, hot dogs, beverages and s’mores are provided! Bring a covered
dish to share, and a wrapped gift for Bingo! Bring a gift—Win a gift! Gift
table for adults and gift table for children!


Last Day to sign up on sheet at the welcome table in the back of the
church will be Sunday July 7.

Next Communion

Holy communion will be offered at the altar during the 9:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, July 21.

Two Lay Delegates May Vote at CCCC Annual Event

St. John’s consistory met on June 20 in the copy room of the church.

Pastor Dave again reminded everyone that the CCCC annual gathering
is July 28 in Providence RI. There is still space available for two delegates
from St. John’s. If you have never been to New England and would like to
experience the conference please see Pastor Dave.


He also informed the consistory the he will perform a wedding at St.
John’s this coming April 19, 2025, as Abby Jasper and Blair Young
requested to use the church for their upcoming wedding. Although they
attend church in Imlertown, they wanted to have their ceremony in


When you see Dick and Beth Clark please give them a big thank you for
cleaning the carport, weeding the mulch and cleaning out the dumpster.
Not the most popular jobs to do, but they went quietly about getting it
done and it is appreciated.


If you haven’t noticed, keep an eye on the altar candles and you will

notice they have been burning evenly and staying lit throughout the serv-
ice. After years of providing light, the old candle holders were developing

wax build up making the candles burn unevenly and burning out. The
consistory has replaced those holders with oil based candle holders and
the problem now seems to be corrected. Speaking of candles . . . the
Women’s Guild is replacing the Advent wreath and the consistory
approved the purchase of oil-based advent candles.


There was another meeting on June 30 for the church retreat at Camp
Mantowagon this fall. There will be a story forthcoming to keep you
informed of all the activities that are being planned.


There will be altar communion on July 21.

The pastor will be leaving July 28 to attend the CCCC Board of Directors
meeting and the CCCC Annual Gathering in Warwick, RI. Ryan Salyards
will be preaching and Matt Nelson will lead worship that day.


During the Sunday, Aug. 11, worship at 9:30 a.m. a service of Child
Dedication will be held.


The consistory is taking its summer break in July and will meet again
on Aug. 8.

(Submitted by Joel Ritchey, Consistory President)


Laurie Stiles Accepted as New Member

Pastor David Meckley leads the service of new membership acceptance for Laurie Stiles (second from right) with Elder Joel Ritchey and Barbara Thomas participating in the ceremony June 16. Laurie has been attending St. John’s frequently since her daughter, Leah Salyards, became a member. She is the wife of David Stiles and resides in Martinsburg. She has served as pulpit supply in a number of area churches, including Mt. Pleasant at rural Martinsburg, Huntingdon and Saxton UCCs.


Barb Thomas and PeggyAnne Meckley are sharing the responsibilities of serving as Laurie’s discipleship partners. Mrs. Stiles provided music ministry and a children’s message the morning of her acceptance into the congregation. All members joined in reciting a welcoming response in unison.

[Photo by Kim Rodgers]


No CCS Meetings Until August

Pastor David Scott of the Woodbury Church of the Brethren has reported that there will be no Sunday evening gatherings of Cove Community Students during July. The meetings will resume in August.


The Northern Bedford Food Pantry for the month of July is requesting
Beef Stew, Compleats, Mini-Ravioli, cake/brownie mixes, icing, cleaning
items, personal care items. Garden produce if harvested and delivered
on distribution day (3rd Friday).

Choir practice

There will be choir practices at 6:30 p.m. on July 10 and Aug. 7 & 21.
Beginning in September, practice will be held every Wednesday evening.


Volunteer are needed to sign the calendar on the welcome table for greeters,

offertory usher, music ministry and children’s messages for the months of July and August. If any questions, see Joel Ritchey regarding greeters and ushers; Beth Clark or Pastor Dave regarding children’s stories/messages; and Barb Thomas regarding music ministry.


Where the German Reforms Settled in PA

By David Snyder

St. John’s Reformed Church of Loysburg was founded by second and third generation of German immigrants to the North American colonies. When the European emigrants sought a new life, many came in the late 1700s and more in the 1800s. Many Swiss and Dutch Reforms settled in New York state, while many German Reforms and Baptists settled in the area around Philadelphia.

A majority of our neighbors here in southern Morrisons Cove are descended from pietists, who emigrated from the Palantinate area of German. Many settled on unclaimed land as “squatters.” and later were able to claim title to the land afte  clearing it for farms.

A smaller number were Reforms, who took their name from the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, when Martin Luther and other reformers rebelled against the Roman Catholic Church because of some of its practices, including having sinners pay priests and bishops to have their sins forgiven.

All were seeking religious freedom as well as a better life. The pietists, first known as the German Baptists or ”dunkards” because of their  practice of baptizing in creeks and rivers, are now Church of the Brethren, a major denomination throughout the U.S.

The Reforms spread into central and western Pennsylvania from what are
now Bucks, Montgomery and neighboring counties. A major difference
between the German Baptists and the German Reforms was their worship
practice. The dunkards were “plain” people, much like today’s Amish and Old Order Mennonites — no fancy church buildings, no steeples with bells, no stained-glass windows or other such adornments, mostly lay speakers. The Reforms, however, stuck with many of the fancy church ideas they had learned from their Catholic upbringing — brick and stone buildings with Roman or Gothic arched windows, bell towers, interior furnishings of varnished wood, gold crosses, candle sticks, etc.


The German Reforms were more particular about their clergy than the
Baptists. They insisted on ordination for ministers before they were allowed to administer Holy Communion.


The following information is quoted from the 150th anniversary history of St. John’s Reformed Church of Martinsburg (written in 1954 by Melvin Guy Hartman).

The honor of being the founder of the German Reformed Church in
Pennsylvania truly belongs to John Phillip Boehm. He was a pious German 
schoolmaster, who had been driven out of the Palantinate by Catholic persecution, and had come to this country about the year 1720, settling in the region now known as Montgomery County


(to be continued)

Guild Learns June Is Spiritual Renewal Month

St. John’s Women’s Guild met June 14 with 14 members present. Tina
Holderbaum opened the evening with a word of prayer, then began her

program, “The Biblical Meaning of June.” She touched on a few Bible verses that relay how June is a time for spiritual renewal of faith, time of fruitfulness and harvest. Tina said how it is important to us to bask in the

spiritual light of God and reflect on the blessings of the past and have
hope and anticipation for what lies ahead. She also gave some specific
dates in June and their spiritual meanings.

President Beverly Smith opened the business meeting, collected offer-
ing. Secretary and treasurer’s reports were read and accepted.

1. Advent Wreath Update: Julie Russell provided an update, showing an
example of how the current brass Advent Wreath can be adapted to hold
a 1”x12” refillable oil Advent candle. The women were pleased with the

suggested appearance of the Advent Wreath, and Julie was asked to pro-
pose to Consistory (June 20) to purchase the refillable oil Advent Candle

Set (3 purple, 1 pink).

2. Mother/Daughter Social Report: Tina informed the group the
Mother/Daughter Social was well attended by almost 60. The committee
received numerous thank yous and compliments regarding the food and

entertainment. Marsie asked if a donation would be given to the entertainers. Beth provided information as what was done in past. Marsie is to think about it.

3. Members were reminded that the Sept.13 meeting is cancelled.

4. Family Camp Weekend Sept. 13-15 update: Barb will be soliciting for
food items for the lunch on Saturday, Sept. 14. Julie informed the group
the next planning meeting is to be June 30 after Sunday School, at which
more details to be discussed. Julie will bring pictures taken during the
tour in May for those who are interested.

5.Church Kitchen Update: Marsie and Beth are in the process of obtain-
ing estimates for upgrades, first being the electric upgrade, followed by

possibly cabinets and countertops. More information will be provided during the August meeting.

6. Cindy shared a thank you card from the Homewood Auxiliary representative, Janet Brumbaugh, for the May birthday cake and cards.

7. Tina shared a thank you card from her mother for the birthday cards
that were sent to her for her 85th birthday.

8 .The Ladies Fall Retreat will be Sept. 27-28. Barb will provide information at a later date.

Under new business, Beverly distributed and discussed the updated
visitation schedule for June–November 2024. David Snyder has been
added to the VIP list. Beverly always welcomes new people to help.

Marsie and Cindy discussed the Campfire/Covered Dish meeting to be
held July12 at 6 p.m. They plan to have a sign-up sheet soon. This event
is open to ALL church members. Plans for the evening are to have a low
boil, hot dogs, covered dishes and play bingo. (Bring a wrapped gift if you would like to play).


--Submitted by Julie Russell, secretary

Powerwashing the Pavilion/Carport

Dick Clark power washed the carport/pavilion in

preparation for Vacation Bible School while his
wife Beth weeded 
the landscaping-mulch around the

church and also cleaned out the trash dumpster.

The pavilion was used each morning during VBS for some of
the activities.

Turkey Dinners Continue at New Enterprise

Take-out turkey dinners continue to be served on the third Sunday of every month at the Southern Cove Vol. Fire Co. Social hall (former Replogle Elem.School) in New Enterprise. Hoursare 11 to 1. The cost is $12.

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