Look Back, But Don’t Get ‘Stuck’ in the Past
Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many. – Isaiah 51:1-2
God calls His people to look back “to the rock from which you were cut.” God instructs us to remember the solid legacy of our forebears as we move forward, faithfully, in step with God’s Holy Spirit. We are inspired and challenged by the sacrifices and courage of those who have gone before us. This is healthy and prudent.
Unfortunately, some obsess over “looking back” in ways that hinder moving forward, or even living faithfully in the present. In Luke 3:8 John the Baptist warns those who have gotten “stuck” in their past to consider the rest of reality. He declares, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
In short, John cautions us to not coast on past faithfulness, but be diligent THIS DAY in our devotion to God. God made Israel successful in taking Jericho. However, their past success could not be assumed, as they were defeated at Ai (Joshua 7). There was presumption and disobedience in the present that needed to be exposed and dealt with. As Christians we must cherish our heritage; we must also live fully in the present; we must look expectantly to future generations as well as our eternal hope in Heaven. In all things we must look to God, Who ALONE blesses our efforts with success. It is God we serve, and He alone is to be pleased and glorified.
Along this line, I was inspired by the example of a football coach who had led his team to a Cinderella season including a post-season appearance in the Rose Bowl – their first in decades. Months later, as the team began spring training, this coach opened their meeting by handing out the awards that many players had earned the previous season. Some players exchanged glances. They knew their coach didn’t normally dwell on the past. But as the coach continued to call players forward and handed them placards proclaiming their achievements, they were cheered on by their teammates. One of the other coaches gave the coach a placard representing his 17 national coach-of-the-year awards.
Then, as the applause subsided, the coach walked to a trash can marked "last season." He took an admiring glance at his placard, then dumped it in the can. In the silence that followed, one by one, the team's stars dumped their placards on top of their coach’s. He had shouted a message without uttering a word: "What you did last season was terrific, lads. But look at the calendar: It's a new year."
Because He lives,
Dave Meckley, Pastor
Back to School Clothing Give-Away Aug. 3,4
A back to school clothing give-away for all families will be held Friday, and Saturday, Aug, 3 and 4, at the Northern Bedford Clothing Bank in the Woodbury Community Center. Hours are 9 a.m.to 2 p.m. both days.
Everything is free, but donations will be accepted.
The event is sponsored by the Woodbury Church of the Brethren.
Mava Cottle to Again Host Guild Campfire on Aug. 17
The next Women's Guild event will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 17 at Mava Cottle's home for a campfire. Mava, Brenda and Beverly are the committee in charge of picnic foods, games, devotions, etc. All are invited — men and women, girls and boys of all ages — as we enjoy the beauty of God's creation in the presence of the mountains and surrounding countryside. A few men attended the guild’s meeting at Homewood in July and all are encouraged to join the women and children at Mava’s campfire.
Back-to-School Family Picnic Set for Aug 19
A back-to-school family picnic (and corn boil if corn is available) is being planned for Sunday evening, Aug. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the church pavilion. Everyone is invited, especially families with school-age children.
Look for a sign-up sheet on the welcome table. Kitchen help, gillers and playground monitors are needed. The gathering will include a devotional led by Pastor Dave and a commissioning of students, teachers and school staff who are present.
PASTOR AND WIFE TO GO TO 4-Cs FAMILY GATHERING
Pastor Meckley and his wife PeggyAnne will attend the CCCC’s Annual Gathering July 31 - Aug. 3 at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass.
The consistory approved Peggy-Anne to serve as St. John’s lay delegate. (Two lay delegates are authorized, but no one else expressed interest in attending.)
A special offering received for the CCCC on June 24 (4-Cs Sun-day) netted $274. The consistory voted to round the figure up to $300.
Pastor Earl Herr (ret.) will supply our pulpit on Aug. 5. He was the long-time pastor of Martinsburg Brethren in Christ and has been a guest pastor here previously.
All-Church Picnic at Woodbury June 22 Well Attended
Food for nourishment and food for thought were plentiful at the all-church picnic held Sunday, July 22. in one of the pavilions at the Woodbury Community Center. There was a good turnout despite cool, cloudy weather.
The outing began with a worship service led by Pastor Dave and lots of singing, accompanied by Barb Thomas on her keyboard.
The pastor’s message was based on Philippians 2:1-4: “...being one in spirit and purpose...in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
The sermon led into an evaluation exercise in which members first were asked to get up and move to converse with someone whom they usually do not encounter in conversation, and then answer some key questions: (1) If you could add, subtract or change one thing in our church, what would it be? (2) What do you think St. John’s will be like in three years? (3) What is the No. 1 strength of this congregation? (4) What challenges do we face as a congregation?
After the meal adult conversations continued while Sunday School teachers led children in games.
Cathy Snider provided pulled pork and other consistory members provided hot dogs and rolls. Many brought dishes to share.
Who We Are
This month Jottings features Josephine Garman of Salemville Road, New Enterprise RD, writing about herself so that we all may learn a little more about her and know her better.
Born in Friends Cove, Colerain Township, Bedford County, I came from a family of 11 children. We all learned how to work at an early age. Most of all we were taught to respect others.
I graduated from Bedford High School in 1966. While in school I worked at the Coach Room restaurant and the Washington Bakery, both in Bedford. Also in 1966 George and I were united in marriage. Together we raised our two sons, George IV and Joel. George IV is employed at Walmart Distribution Center and Long’s Outpost. Joel is employed by the New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. in Ashcom. I have three grandsons and one granddaughter.
We moved near New Enterprise in 1969, shortly after George served three years in the Army. This is where he was employed on the Paul I. Detwiler farm, working there for 46 years.
After graduation and before moving to the Southern Cove I worked at the Fairfoot Shoe factory in Wolfsburg. When I came here I worked at the Cove Shoe factory in Martinsburg. Then I picked apples, took care of an elderly lady and then worked at PennKnoll Village. Now I am doing lawn care here on the farm, which I enjoy.
I feel blessed to join St. John’s Reformed Church. It’s great to feel welcomed. I made many new friends. After many invitations, I have to thank Barb Thomas for introducing me to the church family. I also have to thank Pastor Dave for his great worship services.
We have a camp in Cameron County, which was to be our retirement home, but God had other plans for George, who passed away in 2015.
My best animal friend is my Schnauzer, Junior. I enjoy the outdoors, mountains, wildlife, horses and cattle. My dislikes are spiders and snakes.
Michigan Couple Visit’s Father’s 1st Pastorate
Ted and Peggy Beals of Grass Lake, Michigan, visited St. John’s for morning worship on July 8 after meeting with Pastor Dave Meckley the evening before. Mrs. Beals is the former Margaret Dillinger, daughter of Rev. George Dillinger, who served as pastor of the Hickory Bottom Charge of the Evangelical and Reformed Church from 1933 to 1936. It was his first pastorate. Peggy was only four years old when her family moved to North Carolina to serve a new pastorate, but she remembers living in the Loysburg parsonage and traveling to the other two churches in the charge — Mt. Pleasant near Martinsburg and East Sharpsburg near Roaring Spring.
Mr. and Mrs. Beals were traveling by auto from their home in Michigan to Philadelphia, where Peggy’s younger brother David was celebrating his 80th birthday. They booked motel accommodations in Bedford and then looked up Loysburg and Pastor Dave, returning in the morning for worship. After worship David Snyder led the visitors to the Mount Pleasant church, where worship was in progress. Without interrupting the service, Mrs. Beals was able to find her father’s picture along with other former pastors in the entry area. Both she and her husband took pictures of the building.
They arranged to meet with Dave Snyder later in the week, on their way back from Philadelphia, to visit the third church in the charge, East Sharpsburg. David arranged for Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Grubb of the East Sharpsburg congregation to meet them at the church, where they took both outside and inside pictures before continuing their journey home. Rev. Dillinger’s photo is also posted inside the East Sharpsburg church.
Theodore F. Beals is a medical doctor, teacher and researcher, who retired from the Veterans Administration. Mrs. Beals is a retired nurse and teacher.
Fun and Learning Take Place during CEF’s 5-Day Club
This was the second year we opened our doors to kids 4 through 12 to the Child Evangelism Fellowship's 5-Day Club.
This club is taught by young adults who go through some rigid training! They really know their stuff! It is fascinating to see their passion for evangelism. Two out of the three teachers returned from last year and the third was a new recruit.
These young adults use their summers as homeland missionaries, teaching kids about the Gospel and how awesome a gift we have received in Jesus. The club was held Monday, July 9, through Friday the 13th, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. each day. During that time the kids were introduced to new songs and games. Each day they were to memorize a verse from the Bible. Some had songs to accompany them, such as “Ro, Ro, Romans 5:8.” The leaders held an afternoon 5-Day Club elsewhere in the Cove the same week.
We averaged about 11 kids depending on the day. Bible stories were told with excitement and told at a child's level they could relate to. "Word Up" was one of the ways used to keep the kiddos’ attentions. When the teacher said "Word Up" the children stood and shouted that day’s sentence, such as "God can save anyone!”
The kids enjoyed hearing about a boy name Ringu in a story that continued each day. On the last day we learned he chose to become a missionary himself! The “God's can” offering went to support a missionary family. The kiddos were able to see a picture and hear all about them and how they traveled. God can use anyone!
The kids also had an opportunity to accept Christ as their Saviour or to ask questions.There is a lot of information packed into that 90 minutes, but the kids enjoy it and have fun listening to the young adults whose hearts are truly in love with our Saviour. On Friday they played a review game with the youngsters, and it was cool to see how the kids knew the answers from listening all week.
Connie Ochoa and Linda Henderhan organized, prepared and served snacks each morning before the children went home – crackers, fruit, pretzels, etc. They thank all who donated food items. It was a great week for all!
--Submitted by Connie Ochoa
World Relief Sends Team to Border
Family Reunification Report
July 18, 2018, San Ysidro, California
World Relief sent a team of four people to the international border between Mexico and the United States at San Ysidro. During our time on the ground, we were able to get an understanding of the situation and serve families in need, providing legal services and consultations.
We traveled to a shelter where families fleeing violence and persecution stay while waiting to be called for their interviews. Similar to refugees resettled internationally by World Relief, these families have fled horrifically violent situations and are hoping to resettle in a country where their children will be safe.
Many of the families we met were mothers traveling alone with small children. A legal services provider on our team was able to offer consultations to help these families — guiding them through the asylum process while they overcome the trauma of violence and fear. At the port of entry where we're working, an informal system has developed where individuals are given a number that holds their place in line. This prevents families from having to camp outside of the border and wait days or weeks before being able to enter and declare their legal reasons for seeking asylum.
Each day, a limited number are called, and those families can then begin the long and arduous process of seeking asylum. We saw roughly 70 numbers called per day. While we found some services available for detained families, there is definitely a need for more varied and in-depth legal support and consultations.
We will continue to monitor conditions on the ground and establish partnerships with other organizations working to serve these vulnerable families.
--Submitted by Courtney Tudi, Director of National Immigration Programs,World Relief
PASTOR’S NOTE: World Relief is a global humanitarian relief and development organization that stands with the vulnerable and partners with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities. With over 70 years of experience, World Relief works in 20 countries worldwide through disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peace building and has offices in the United States that specialize in refugee and immigration services.World Relief is endorsed by the CCCC. I appreciate the reports of missions agencies with first hand perspectives of such situations.
- David Meckley, Pastor
Visit www.worldrelief.org/reunite to find out more about the Family Reunification Fund.
Read to Feed Book Store Open Wednesdays, Saturdays
The Read to Feed used book store at the Woodbury Community Center is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Wednesday and Saturday. It also is open every third Friday during the monthy food distribution at the Northern Bedford Food Pantry, also located in the community center. All proceeds from book sales go to support the food pantry. Books may be donated to the store during its hours of operation. If you have any books to donate, drop them off, and while you’re there look for something you would like to read. There is a great selection.
Hoss’s Benefit for Love INC Is Aug. 5
Hoss's Steak & Sea House in Bedford will hold a benefit for Love INC on Sunday, Aug. 5.
A percentage of customers’ checks will go to Love INC for all diners holding a “Cash Cow Card” or number. Peg Wachter will have the coupons available in church for interested persons to pick up and dine out on that date.
Consistory Continues Storm Window Considerations
St. John’s Consistory met July 5 and continued discussions on replacement of the storm windows over the sanctuary’s stained glass windows. Scott Shirk had submitted bids for removing old storm windows, painting the window frames and installing quarter-inch Lexan. Earlier the consistory had received a bid from Bedford Glass for installing clear glass to replace the existing Plexiglas. That bid did not include painting the frames before installation. The consistory decided to ask Scott Shirk for a bid to replace with glass rather than Lexan.
At the request of Barb Thomas, the consistory voted to allocate $500 to the Women’s Guild to supplement the cost of registration for the CCCC regional women’s retreat. The Sequanota Conference Center and Camp had increased it rental fees significantly so that individual registrations for the retreat would have had to be increased from $45 to $70. With the allocation from the consistory, registration will remain at $45. The retreat will be Sept. 14 and 15 with a Sept. 1 deadline to register.
Christmas in July‚ Day of Fun, Work
A fun and productive afternoon was held in the church fellowship hall on Wednesday, July 25 (when else?!!!) with Deb Bowser; Alaina, Mallory and Darcy Gates; Tina Gojeski; Linda Henderhan; Kim and Grayson Rodgers; Donna Smeltzer; Beverly Smith; and Barb Thomas.
Barb guided Mallory, Darcy and Grayson in making Paper Bag Angels. Tina led the children in creating beautiful, glittery snowflakes from empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Tina and Barb made one for themselves also.
Beverly and Kim inspected Chrismons for wear and tear as Donna and Alaina cut out new ones. Linda and Deb applied glitter & trim to old and new Chrismons for the church Christmas tree in Advent.
Eventually we all had a hand in adding wire hangers, cutting out and decorating. Throughout the afternoon hot chocolate, coffee and hot tea were available to drink with cookies homemade by Deb and Barb, all while listening to Christmas music.
Kim had her sewing machine set up and fabric was available to make new costumes. However, the group decided to wait until a Christmas program was planned to know what styles and sizes were most needed.
--Respectfully submitted, Barb Thomas