Strong Rebuke Has a Lesson for Us
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God…” – Matthew 22:29 ESV
Wow! We may be surprised to see Jesus come on so strong. Yet, here is a lesson for all of us to grow on. Jesus takes a no-nonsense approach to the Sadducees’ errant teaching. You can read and reflect on the whole account in Matthew 22:23-33. In short, Jesus confronts the Sadducees’ denial of the resurrection of the dead due to their inattention to all that Scripture teaches.
Basically, Jesus is saying the Sadducees should have understood from Exodus 3:6: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Matthew 22:32) that the resurrection of the dead is implied here. This is based simply on the tense of the verb – I am, present tense, rather than past tense, I was. Jesus sees this is enough for these influential Sadducees to realize that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, and, therefore, they should have recognized that the dead are indeed raised.
This should give pause to all of us who hold to a “second-hand” faith or a nominal understanding of what the Bible says. We learn from this incident how important it is for us to study the Scriptures, “which are able to make [us] wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). I encourage each one of us to take this to heart. Whether you join a Sunday school class, Bible study, home group or study the Scriptures in your personal devotions, let us “grow up in [our] salvation, now that [we] have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2).
Every Sunday we recite The Apostles’ Creed, a brief synopsis of the Bible’s teaching on essential Christian truths. As Dr. Albert Mohler notes, “All Christians believe more than is contained in the Apostles’ Creed, but none can believe less.” The Apostles’ Creed does not address every essential truth, such as the authority of Scripture, humanity’s fall into sin, the deity of Christ or salvation by grace through faith. Nonetheless, this creed does provide us a helpful baseline for our Christian study and growth. This is the true faith revealed in Scripture that was recited by martyrs and used by the Protestant Reformers in worship and in teaching believers.
The Heidelberg Catechism expands on what Scripture teaches about each point in The Apostles’ Creed, as well as The Ten Commandments and The Lord’s Prayer. Copies of The Heidelberg Catechism will soon found in our pew racks as we incorporate this study aid into more of our life together.
Growing with you in Christ,
Dave Meckley, Pastor
National Day of Prayer Service May 2 at Woodbury
The Southern Cove/Yellow Creek Ministerium is coordinating a National Day of Prayer gathering at the Woodbury Community Center on Thursday, May 2, at 11 a.m. Pastor David Meckley will take part, along with other clergy, in leading the service. All are encouraged to attend.
Consistory to Meet May 9
The consistory will meet on Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in the copy room. Visitors are welcome.
Bridge Dedication Program at St. John’s Will Honor
Darrell Magruder, Killed in Vietnam
St. John’s Reformed Church will host a PennDOT bridge dedication on Friday, May 24. At that time the bridge north of Loysburg that carries Route 36 traffic across Three Spring Run, just south of the intersection with Route 869 to New Enterprise, will be named the Lance Cpl. Darrell Magruder Bridge.
Magruder was a son of the late Helen Imler, and he grew up attending St. John’s. He joined the Marines while in high school and had completed a four-year enlistment and had re-enlisted just three months before he stepped on a land mine on April 17, 1966, and died two days later. His mother and stepfather, Harry Imler, were making arrangements to visit him at a military hospital when they received word of his death. He is survived by several siblings, including Mary Grace Greenleaf of Roaring Spring, who, along with State Rep. Jesse Topper of Bedford, is arranging the dedication.
St. John’s Women’s Guild will be serving refreshments at a reception in the fellowship hall following the dedication.
Bible School ‘In the Wild’ Set for June 9-13
This year’s Vacation Bible School will be held five evenings, Sunday, June 9, through Thursday, June 13. Joy Nelson and Sarah Gunnett are co-directing, and the theme is “In the Wild.” A meeting of all volunteers to develop plans for the week was to be held after Sunday School on April 28. If you missed the meeting and would like to help out, let one of the directors know.
Purchase of Heidelberg Catechisms Approved
St. John’s Consistory, at its April 4 meeting approved the purchase of 100 copies of the Heidelberg Catechism in a modern translation titled “Christian Truths.” They will be made available to all attendees and will be placed with the Bibles in the pew racks.
This year’s CCCC conference will be held July 9-12 in St. Paul, Minn. As a church we are permitted to send two lay delegates to the conference. “The conference is a wonderful experience and an oppotunity to better understand how the CCCC operates,” Pastor Meckley told the consistory. St. John’s pays for the pastor’s registration and expenses.
The investments the consistory made a couple of years ago have recovered from some of their losses and are beginning to show a return on our investment. The reason it has taken this long is because we made sure we invested conservatively. The good thing about the account we have is we are guaranteed to not lose money. We will only make money on our investment or, at the worst, recoup the money we invested in its entirety.
Cameron Garman is the only church member who will be graduating from high school this spring. A date will be set to honor him in church.
The next consistory meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, in the copy room. The meeting is open to all who wish to attend.
--Submitted by Joel Ritchey, consistory president
SPECIAL OFFERING ON MOTHER’S DAY
Again this year there will be a special offering collected for Homewood on Mother’s Day. Brochures and special envelopes will be distributed with the worship bulletins in advance. This benevolent fund pays to continue caring for residents at Homewood when their own financial resources have been depleted. Homewood has never asked a resident to leave for financial reasons. Homewood has subsidized more than $10 million a year in care at its four nursing care facilities. If you donate by check, make it payable to the Homewood Foundation. If you donate by cash, your gift will be forwarded to Homewood by the church treasurer.
25th Love INC Banquet May 14
The 25th annual Love in the Name of Christ fundraising banquet will be held at Crossroads Bible Church, 5564 Business Route 220 north of Bedford, on Tuesday, May 14, at 6 p.m.
The theme this year is “Rejoicing....25 Years.” The Women’s Guild is sponsoring a table of eight. If you would like to attend, please contact Peg Wachter by May 2. “We would like to fill our table with representatives from our church,” said Peg.
At the banquet attendees will share a delicious meal while having fellowship with members from other churches that support the Love INC ministry, and all will hear testimony from someone whose life has been touched through this outreach. Since this is a fundraiser, an offering will be received.
New Sound System Is In and working
The new sound system in the sanctuary at St. John’s was installed in mid-April and was used for the first time during the Maundy Thursday reenactment of the Last Supper. There are a few “bugs” to be worked out, but it appears that folks will be hearing better, both the sermons and the special music. Folks with personal hearing disabilities are invited to use one of the four personal hearing devices that came with the system. Anyone wishing to try one out, should ask the minister, a greeter or an usher.
The system was installed by Gelnett & Associates, LLC of Northumberland, PA, at a cost of $12,399. Consistory approved using $5,000 from the church’s memorial fund and borrowing suffcient funds from other church accounts to pay for the system. It is hoped, however, that enough money can be raised in the coming months to repay the other accounts. Over $2,500 had already been earmarked from offerings for the sound system.
SPECIAL OFFERING ON MOTHER’S DAY
Again this year there will be a special offering collected for Homewood on Mother’s Day.
Brochures and special envelopes will be distributed with the worship bulletins in advance. This benevolent fund pays to continue caring for residents at Homewood when their own financial resources have been depleted.
Homewood has never asked a resident to leave for financial reasons. Homewood has subsidized more than $10 million a year in care at its four nursing care facilities. If you donate by check, make it payable to the Homewood Foundation.
If you donate by cash, your gift will be forwarded to Homewood by the church treasurer.
Food Bank Needs Pasta
The Northern Bedford Food Pantry at Woodbury is asking for canned pasta and cereals for the month of May. Please leave your donations in the box on the back pew.
Pavilion Filled for Early Service on Easter
Nearly every chair was filled for the sunrise service on Easter, but clouds hid the sun until later in the morning. Cameron Garman and Ethan Hess opened the service with their brass instruments, playing “Christ the Lord Has Risen Today.” Pastor Dave on guitar and Barb Thomas on keyboard accompanied group singing of a hymn. Ethan Hess read Scripture and Chris Kurtz (far left above), youth leader, gave an inspiring message.
The service was followed by a breakfast in the fellowship hall with many hot and cold breakfast dishes to choose from, provided by the Women’s Guild. Almost every table was filled.
The kitchen crew (right) consisted of Josephine Garman, Barb Thomas and Linda Henderhan.
(Photos by Kim Rodgers)
Who We Are
This month’s Jottings features Brad and
EllaMae Barnwell and their children, Alexander
and Maebree. EllaMae is the daughter of
Pastor Dave and PeggyAnne Meckley. She
and the children visit St. John’s frequently,
even though they live in Maryland, and
attend church there when not in Loysburg.
EllaMae Barnwell is the oldest daughter of Pastor Dave and PeggyAnne
Meckley. EllaMae, her husband Brad, and their two children, Alexander and
Maebree live in Frederick, Maryland, but enjoy visiting and attending St.
EllaMae grew up in central Pennsylvania and went to college in Brockport,
New York where she was on the gymnastics team. After graduation, she moved
to Maryland to become a teacher. Now EllaMae is a Reading Specialist, and she
works with children in grades 3-5.
Brad grew up in the Frederick, Maryland area. After working in the IT business
for many years, he started his own photography business, which is now
his full-time job. Brad loves taking all kinds of photographs, but specializes in
family and wedding photography. This type of photography often happens on
weekends, which makes it harder for Brad to travel to Loysburg as often as
EllaMae and the kids do. EllaMae and Brad were married in Frederick,
Maryland in 2010.
Alexander is a happy, energetic five year old who loves building Legos, riding
his bike, and playing with friends. He will be starting kindergarten in September.
Maebree is a fun-loving three year old who loves singing, swinging,
playing “babies”, and doing everything her big brother does. Right now both
kids are playing soccer and taking gymnastics classes. Brad played soccer his
whole life and still plays on adult indoor leagues three days per week. EllaMae,
of course, still loves gymnastics and enjoys watching the kids play both sports.
Back at home in Frederick, the family attends Frederick Christian
Fellowship, an independent church with approximately 1,200 members.
EllaMae serves in the children’s department where she teaches the four-year-
old class. Alexander and Maebree love church, their friends, and their teachers.
We are truly touched by how welcoming the St. John’s family has been to
our whole family. We always feel like we are part of your church family, and it
means so much to us. We are blessed to have our children experience the
warmth and fellowship of a small-town church, and we know that St. John’s
is playing a huge role in our children’s spiritual development.