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July Newsletter

Holy Spirit is Here to 'Speak' for Jesus

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. – Mark 10:21a


Has it ever crossed your mind how wonderful it would be to meet Jesus personally – to look in His eyes, to discover first-hand His sense of humor, to hear the inflection in His voice as He taught with wisdom and profound insight, to hear how He would respond to your questions?


Jesus is no longer walking this earth as He once did. However, in John 14 He explains how the Father will send another Counselor to be with His followers. That “another” means “another of the same kind”, referring to the third Person of the Trinity, The Holy Spirit. His point is, it is better to have the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, living in you, than to have God, the second Person of the Trinity, as someone you engage once, or only now-and-then.


I must confess, while I have heard a number of Holy-Spirit-anointed preachers in my time – yet, the thought of Jesus speaking directly to me, to the perplexing situation facing us at the moment, draws me in that direction. Such musings cause me to rethink the actual ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is far too easy for me to overlook the convicting work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-8), or confuse the leading of the Spirit with my own subconscious thoughts or desires.


The Holy Spirit only speaks what is consistent with God’s Word (John 16:13-15), so being steeped in Scripture is helpful to sift out any contrary thoughts. The Holy Spirit dwells within believers (John 14:16-17), prays for us (Romans 8:26-27), reminds us of all Christ taught (John 14:26), empowers us for ministry (Luke 4:18-19; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 12), illuminates our reading of Scripture and gives us discernment and assurance (1 Corinthians 2:9-16; Romans 8:14-16). The Holy Spirit is not only personal, but also present when we gather with fellow believers, even if it is only a few (Matt 18:20). When we gather at The Lord’s Table, The Holy Spirit is present with us and ministers the redemptive work of Christ to us in deep and abiding ways (John 16:14).


As we prepare our hearts for communion on July 8, ask the Spirit to speak to you as Jesus spoke to this rich fellow in Mark 10. This guy ran up to Jesus – so enthused to meet the Messiah and learn first-hand what life is all about. Jesus’ response to his question was not at all what he was expecting. Unlike that fellow, we have God, the Holy Spirit, with us even as we struggle to parse out all God would have us to be and to do. May He lead each one of us closer to His heart, so we may be faithful and fruitful as we live for Him.


Because He lives,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Guild - Christmas

5-Day Club Coming to St. John ’s July 9

Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) again this summer will hold a 5- Day Club at St. John’s for children ages 5-12. The club meets for 90 minutes every day for five days for a Bible-centered ministry serving in every region of the world. All teachers and helpers have been trained and screened by CEF to ensure each child’s protection. Parents are welcome to attend.


There will be Bible lessons, memory verses, songs, prizes, great games and fun activities from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, July 9 through 13. Please let your friends and neighbors with children know this is coming up.


Connie Ochea is coordinating the event and will be seeking your help.



Guild to Meet July 13 at Homewood


St. John’s Women’s Guild is taking its ladies ministry to Homewod at Martinsburg on Friday evening, July 13, to share food and company with residents there who have ties to St. John’s Reformed Church and the communities of Loysburg and New Enterprise.


The gathering will begin at 6 p.m.


“Please meet us with a covered dish to share and a big, friendly smile,” said Brenda Colyer and Barb Thomas. See them for more information.

All Church Picnic Scheduled for July 22

Plans are shaping up for an all-church picnic on Sunday, July 22. Mark your calendar. 

Woodbury Community Center Pavilion is the site. 

The gathering will begin at 10 a.m. with an outdoor worship service, to be followed by a picnic lunch, concluding with games and recreation.

The Sunday School will be planning the games and recreation. Meat and drink provided. Bring a dish to share and your own table service. 

When the Loysburg church was part of a three-point charge with Mt. Pleasant and East Sharpsburg UCCs, the three congregations met together each summer for a joint worship and picnic, at which the late Rev. A.M. Gordon always enjoyed conducting a peanut scramble and/or candy throw for the children. Most of these gatherings were at the Loysburg Lions Building, then owned by the fire company.

Modified Schedule for Choir

St. John’s choir is on a modified schedule this summer. Barb Thomas, director, said the choir would present special music July 1 and 22 and Aug. 12. There will be no practices on July 2 and 23 and none in the month of August. Persons who would be willing to provide special music should contact Barb.



‘Christmas in July’ Craft Party Set for July 25


St. John’s Womens Guild is sponsoring “Christma in July” on Wednesday, July 25 (when else?!!!) from 3 to 6 p.m. in the church basement. All are welcome to join the guild members for an afternoon of Christmas music, cookies and hot chocolate.


Tina Gojeski will lead a snowflake ornament craft for participants to make and take home for Christmas in December. Kim Rodgers will have her sewing machine ready to whip new Biblical costumes into shape. She needs cutters and seamstresses. If you have a portable machine and would like to join the fun sewing, please do.


Volunteers are needed to assist in Chrismon repair and to create new ones. Paper bag angels will also be created — easy for all ages to do. See Barb Thomas or Tina Gojeski for more information and to volunteer your talents. Or simply join us to sing along and eat cookies!

Submitted by Barb Thomas

Summer Communion is July 8

St. John’s summer communion will be held at the 9:30 a.m. service on Sunday, July 8. The date in last month’s newsletter was incorrect. Communion will be served in the pews. 

Youth to Meet July 7 for Bon Fire, S’mores

St. John’s youth will have a get-together from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at the home of Christopher and Chelsea Kurtz. There will be a bonfire, hot dogs, s’mores and fun activities organized by the Kurtzes. See Chris or Chelsea for more information. Spread the word to any youth in your family

Who We Are

This month's Jottings features Linda Henderhan of Bakers Summit, writing about herself so that we all may learn a little more about Linda and know her better. Linda loves her big animals!

I came to Bakers Summit in 1992 from Akron, Ohio. My mother, Opal Garrett, and my brother Gary lived in Roaring Spring.


I have two children, Joseph Durst, who works as a machinist, and Carrie Franjeseuic, who is a neonatal nurse in Akron.


I have three grandchildren — two boys and one girl — and three greatgrandchildren — two boys and one girl — all in Ohio.


I worked at Warnaco in Duncansville until I retired in 2010.


My hobbies are my animals — a burro named Buddy; Oreo, my horse; and a very large mule named Ben. I also have a fur baby (dog) named Princess. I really like to see the children enjoy these animals, even the small children like to feed them treats and take a ride.


I also like my flowers and I like to feed and watch the birds. I have a nest on the back porch. I have been able to watch them build their nest. They worked very hard. And I’m looking forward to see them take care of their young.


I came to St. John’s with Brenda Colyer, who is a neighbor of mine. I liked the church because it really is a family. I always felt accepted, and was able to take part in many of the activities. I have been able to make many new friends and am grateful for them all!


Some of you may remember hearing or reading about my great-nephew, Eli Garrett. My brother’s son, Martin Garrett of Roaring Spring, lost his son Eli to cancer at the age of three. In memory of Eli, Martin now carries on his son’s legacy each Easter time by securing and delivering hundreds of Easter baskets for hospitalized children in many different hospitals.


Thanks to Brenda for editing my notes to you.


God’s love,



Outdoor Movie July 8 At German 7th Day

The German Seventh Day Baptist Church in Salemville is going to be showing the film “I Can Only Imagine” as an outdoor backyard movie at the church at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8.


All are invited. There is no charge to attend. People should bring lawn chairs. If it rains, the film will be shown indoors.



Next Township Recycle Days Are Fri. & Sat., July 13, 14

The Bedford County recycle trailers will be at the South Woodbury Township Building on Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14. Help will be available to unload recyclables from your vehicle from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.


Paper items accepted include newspapers, magazines, office paper, junk mail and flattened cardboard. Also accepted will be No. 1 & 2 plastic bottles and jars, aluminum and bi-metal cans and glass jars and bottles. 



Women’s Retreat Sept. 14, 15


Cozy Mountain Lodge is a Bible-based women's retreat designed to help women grow in their relationship with God and develop lasting friendships with each other. Using the story of Ruth and Naomi from the book of Ruth, this retreat focuses on the significance of making God our foundation.


We will whisk you away to a cozy mountain lodge at Sequanota Conference Center and Camp near Jennerstown where we'll dig into God’s Word, experience uplifting worship and do wonderful relationship-building activities.


Mark your calendars now for Sept. 14 and 15, schedule babysitters and put hubby in charge that you can attend our annual fall retreat – a time of refreshment and restoration. Registration forms will be available in July.

--Submitted by Barb Thomas

P.S. — If you have any Lincoln Logs you are willing to donate or sell cheap, please see Barb – thanks!



CCCC Board Update from Conf. President

by Matt Milligan, CCCC President

Noah entered the ark upon the promise of the Lord to spare his family from the coming judgment and lead them through the waters into a new world. Genesis tells us that Noah obeyed and did all that God commanded him. I wonder sometimees what Noah was thinking on Day 123, after he had watched the world and every soul on earth destroyed. As the ark was just floating on the water with nothing as far as the eye could see, did he look up to the sky and wonder if he was forgotten by God? As anxious as Noah may have been, he was told that God was entering a covenant with him and they would emerge on the other side of this tragedy.


This sometimes goes through my mind as the Board of Directors comes together for a face-to-face meeting. In 2018 we pick up in the middle of a story that God has been writing in the CCCC for some time. Much time has passed since God spoke with such clarity through the leadership of the Conference which led to the work of the Guiding Coalition and the formation of our current Ministry Priorities, Guiding Values, and the subsequent alignment of our systems through the guidance of the Structure Task Force. But that original vision of a CCCC way of life that allows our churches to be the healthiest Christ-centered communities we can possibly be is as strong as ever, and God continues to show His faithfulness as we see the progress being made toward that vision across the conference.

Consistory Considers Maintenance Work

St John’s consistory discussed maintenance work on the church and parsonage at the June 7 meeting.


Both Pastor Meckley and Wayne Kagarise, maintenance chairman, commented positively on the work done by Scott Shirk on the parsonage front entrance porch roof and support posts.

Consistory members continued their discussion concerning replacement of storm windows covering the stained glass windows of the sanctuary. A written quote had been received earlier from Bedford Glass to replace the existing plexiglass storm windows with glass. A verbal estimate was received from Scott Shirk to replace the storm windows with a an alternative to glass but not plexiglass. The consistory is asking for more information on the non-glass material and a written estimate of the cost of installation.


The consistory also learned that an earlier quote received for three overhead doors for the north side of the pavilion has been raised upward since the quote was received last year. The contractor who had been contacted to do preliminary work never submitted a quote for his share of the work, which included a translucent roll-down curtain for the east side of the pavilion. David Snyder made a motion, seconded by Cathy Snider, to consult another contractor for a quote on this phase of the work. The motion carried.


Pastor Meckley reported that a new members class is anticipated soon or in the fall. He also reported he is planning a confirmation class for Grades 7-9 to begin in September. Several potential students were mentioned, others were considered.


The pastor also shared an update on another CCCC church in the Allegheny Fellowship as well as why he was not doing a service for a couple he previously visited. They are each members of other churches and have never attended St. John’s despite repeated assurances they would. Deacon Cathy Snider read a letter from a member who is choosing to take a “sabbatical” from attending our church to heal from her troubling situation. All expressed concern, seeking ways to reach out to this person while not endorsing this course of action. David mentioned a Christian counselor, Jim Brady in Altoona, might be a helpful resource.


A request was received to purchase 16 folding metal chairs from the church. It was agreed that Consistory will purchase padded replacement chairs before selling any unpadded chairs. New light-weight tables have been put into use.


The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. July 5 in the copy room.

45 Children, 25 Adults Attend Vacation Bible School  


Vacation Bible School was held June 10 through 14 with the theme “Babylon – Daniel’s Courage in Captivity.” An average of 45 children attended the five-evening event along with 25 adult leaders and helpers. A large number of parents, grandparents and friends turned out for the closing program on Thursday, June 14. Because of rain, the first evening’s events were all held indoors. The weather was fair for the rest of the week and included various outdoor activities.


“It was a great success if we judge by the smiles we saw on those five wonderful evenings,” declared Barb Thomas, who served as director in the absence of long-time director Peg Wachter.


Pastor David Meckley portrayed Daniel in captivity with Jason Ritchey as Ashpenaz, the Babylonian king’s official. Daniel and Ashpenaz introduced the Bible School students to God's Presence and power even under the most adverse conditions.


First, Daniel shared how his life totally changed when he was captured and sent to this foreign land. The take-away insight is that “When things change, God is with you.” “This is a comforting word to those who have experienced difficult changes in life as well as equip each student for the inevitable changes that await in the future,” Pastor Dave explained.


“Then Daniel asked the children to help him figure out and interpret the king’s dream,” he continued. “Since none of us are mind-readers, we learned to pray to God for His help. Then we saw the faith of the three Hebrews who were thrown into the fiery furnace because they would worship nothing except the one true God. The message being, ‘When you’re afraid, God is with you’.”


Daniel then shared how his associates plotted against him, causing him to be taken off to the den of lions. The lesson being, “When you are lonely, God is with you.” Finally, on Celebration Night with parents and family, Daniel taught the children how God closed the mouths of the lions, delivering him from a deadly predicament. The message from a grateful Daniel was, “When you’re thankful God is with you.” Everyone then sang a song of praise for God’s goodness to each one of us.


Offering Goes to Habitat for Humanity

An offering was received each of the first four evenings for Habitat for Humanity of Bedford County. The offerings totaled $271.50, including $43 in pennies received on “Penny Night,” June 12.

There was no offering received on closing night, but a donation box was available in the fellowship hall during the picnic that followed. The Sunday School voted on June 17 to round up the Habitat donation to $300. The VBS also collected items for backpacks for children in transition, to be distributed by the Children and Youth Agency of the county.


The children began each night checking in with Beverly Smith, attendance director, before going to “Celebration” to sing, recite the Pledges to the American Flag, to the Christian Flag and to the Bible, and learn a Bible verse. This was led by Barb Thomas and Beverly Smith.


The children were divided into four “tribes” according to their ages. The youngest tribe was the Tribe of Dan. The teacher was Beth Clark with helpers Abby Jasper and Jocelyn Welty. Enrolled in that tribe were Charlie Foor, Nicholas Hauze, Ivy Ochoa, Greg Russell, Cannon Gable, Henry Kurtz, Solomon Ochoa, Janie Russell, Liam Gutshall, Rowan Lloyd, Grayson Rodgers, Cora Sweinhart, Hailey Thomas and Max Wertz.


The Tribe of Judah was taught by PeggyAnne Meckley with Amy Snyder as helper. Enrolled were Whitney Foor, Kaleb Miller, Ava Gutshall, Malachi Ochoa, Darcy Gates, Anna Snyder, Wyatt Sweinhart and Joelle Widmann.


The Tribe of Joseph was taught by Kim Ritchey with Josephine Garman as helper. Enrolled were John Colyer, Mallory Gates, Noel Kuklo, Ryan Crawford, Annabelle Hoffman, Nevin Lloyd, Blaire Gable, Arianna Kuklo, Sarah Mowry, Ella Snyder and Deegan Wertz.

The tribe of Asher was taught by Deb Bowser. Students were Rachel Bowman, Bella Gable, Clara Hoffman, Cavan Lloyd, Nathan Colyer, Cayden Garman, Chase Kagarise, Rachel Miller, Mikayla Widmann, Sadie Eshelman, Kaylynn Hauze, Paeden Logue and McKenna Morris.


During the closing program, Barb Thomas recognized the teachers and helpers listed above, plus the personnel who operated the market place and the “palace playground.”


Marketplace leaders were Peggy Ritchey and Sandy Styer, music shop; Steve Rodgers, Scott and Molly Shirk and Aaron Ochoa, metal working shop; Kim Rodgers and Karey Wertz, astronomy school; Tina Gojeski, Beth Cottle and Molly Shirk, jewelry bazaar; Connie Ochoa and Julie Russell, mosaic shop; Mava Cottle and Karey Wertz, Hanging Garden Nursery; Charles Mountain, royal animal courtyard.


Operaing the palace playground was Alaina Gates with help from Ethan Hess and Hunter Kagarise. Joel Ritchey substituted as guard one evening as well as assisting with registration and attendance each night.


Preparing snacks each evening and a picnic supper the closing evening were Brenda Colyer, Linda Henderhan, Peg Crawford and David Snyder. June Mountain, who is still recovering from a heart valve procedure, showed up in the kitchen the closing evening to help cut up water melon.

Guild Homewood
Retreat CCCC Ladies











Martinsburg Gears Up For Big J4 Week


Martinsburg and Morrisons Cove Memorial Park are finishing up details for their annual Independence Day Week celebration.


Again there will be amusement rides, along with many food and games concessions throughout the park all week, July 2-7.

The annual Agriculture Parade begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, and this year a fireworks show is set for 10 p.m. Monday, July 2. The Martinsburg Booster


Association will hold its annual chicken barbecue on July 7 at the park.



The Northern Bedford Food Pantry is requesting Jello and instant pudding mixes for the month of July, in addition to macaroni and cheese dinners.


St. John’s members may leave their contributions in a box on the back pew in the sanctuary. Garden produce also is welcome during the growing season. Contact Doris Miller at 224-5443.

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