Let Us Make Christ Known in This Generation
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." - Isaiah 43:18-19
God did a new thing 175 years ago when our founders committed to establishing a German Reformed Church here in Loysburg. This was a remarkable step of faith as these early settlers faced many challenges: transforming woodlands into fields and otherwise caring for the basic necessities of life with limited means or infrastructure. While some would be obsessed with survival, we are grateful for those who found gathering with fellow believers for worship, service and witness was also essential to their survival. We look back with grateful hearts for their devotion, tenacity and sacrifice. As we look back, we also must look ahead to how God is calling us in this generation to faithfully rise up to do the “new thing” He has for this new day.
The greatest resistance to what God is calling us to do now, often comes from someone deeply involved in what God just finished doing. While God never changes, He makes all things new. Just as changing diapers is a necessary essential when raising babies and toddlers, it is not a helpful or appropriate practice with teens or elementary children. Not that what we did before was wrong or bad – it was what was needed at the time. The better question to ask is: "what is God doing now, what is God calling us to do in this moment in history?" How can we faithfully make Christ known in this generation – which in many ways is very different than 175 years ago. While, at the same time, people are essentially the same; that is, our need for forgiveness and new life in Christ hasn't changed. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Let us continue to pray, discuss and rise up to make Christ known to this generation as we live for Him.
Growing with you in Christ,
Dave Meckley, Pastor
We Will Honor Graduates on June 11
We plan to honor graduates during worship on Sunday, June 11. Please submit names of graduates: high school, college, trade school, etc to Pastor Dave by June 2 so we can include them as we celebrate the Class of 2023!
Cove Community Students to Meet at Woodbury
Youth from all Southern Cove/ Yellow Creek churches are invited to attend activities each Sunday evening led by Pastor David Scott of the Woodbury Church of the Brethren. In June Cove Community Students will meet at Woodbury COB, beginning at 7 p.m.. There will be no meeting on Father's Day, June 18th
100+ Reservations Received for
175th Anniv. Celebration Luncheon June 4
The Consistory met on May 11 in the copy room of the church. It was actually a rather slow meeting with no new business being brought to the table.
As you may have noticed, Pastor Dave and PeggyAnne are on vacation for two weeks. On May 21 we were blessed with having Pastor Andrew Camenga of the German 7th Day Baptist Church fill the pulpit with Matt Nelson as the worship leader. This Sunday we will have Laurie Stiles filling the pulpit with Joel Ritchey as the worship leader. The Pastor will return for services on June 4th.
We have set aside July 30 as CCCC Sunday when we take a special offering to help our conference.
When you entered the church this morning you may have noticed that the display case has magically disappeared. We have removed it in preparation to install new cabinets for the sound and audio equipment. As of this writing the cabinets not only for the A/V equipment but also the paraments are scheduled to be finished by mid-June. You may also be wondering what happened to all the items in the display case. Fear not and take a trip to the fellowship hall. All the antiques and pictures are on display throughout the hall. The bottom of the display case ended up being a treasure trove of old documents dating back to 1853. If anyone has any old pictures they would like to have displayed please let us know and we will gladly find places for them.
Now, about the anniversary. May 27 marks the anniversary date for the founding of our church 175 years ago. In those years we have had periods of growth and periods of decline. We have learned from those periods of decline not to take our growth spurts for granted. We are now in a period of growth while the majority of other churches are in decline. Praise God!
Let us not take His work in Loysburg for granted. We must continue to work hard at planting seeds so His Word may continue to grow and prosper in the hearts of those we encounter. By His Will we are truly blessed to be a part of something as special as St. John’s.
Sunday June 4th we will have a special service at 9:30 with altar communion. Jack Styer will serve as worship leader and Pastor Dave will lead us in worship. There will be no Sunday School. Following the service e will gather at the Lions Community Center for fellowship and a banquet of turkey with all the trimmings. A total of 108 members, family and friends have reserved seats for this special meal. There is no charge, yet we will accept donations to help defray the costs.
The Consistory has been a part of St. John’s since the beginning and we would like to thank each of you past and present for the opportunity to have served you. It truly is an honor and a privilege. May the Lord bless each of you now and forever more.
The April 13 meeting reviewed the Easter services, and the pastor and the consistory expressed gratitude for the support in attendance at the Maundy Thursday seder meal, sunrise service, Easter breakfast and fellowship, and the communion service. Julie reported that the Easter Egg hunt was a rousing success.
We continue to move on with the upgrade to the A/V system. Gelnett is ready to lay the wiring for the live stream and sound at our convenience. We are waiting to hear about the new cabinets. We are planning to have a cabinet installed where the display case is (was), and this will house the computers for live streaming, the sound system that is now up front, as well as microphones, wires, and assorted wares. Another cabinet will be built to house the paraments which will be up front where the sound system is now. And finally, we are going to expand two shelving units in the fellowship hall to house the antiques and exhibits that are currently in the display case. In the meantime though, we will be cleaning out the display case in the back of the sanctuary and have it removed.
The Anniversary Committee presented a report to the consistory about the upcoming festivities.
If you see new cabinets back by the kitchen, the Guild had them installed for storage. Kudos to John Thomas and Steve Rodgers for building them.
Odds and ends: The Southern Cove Fireman’s parade is Aug. 5 and we have been invited to participate. Anyone who wants to be a part of the parade whether walking or building a float please contact the pastor or Chris to volunteer your ideas and your help. We will be switching back to basic landline phone service so if you need to make a long distance phone call from the church, please use your cell phone.
--Respectfully submitted, Joel Ritchey, president
Jordan Rhoat Welcomed As New Church Member
Jordan Rhoat of Loysburg was welcomed as a new member of St. John’s during the morning worship service on May 7.
Pastor Meckley and Elder Joel Ritchey officiated the acceptace of Jordan, and Chris Kurtz is serving as his discipleship partner.
Pictured with Jordan are his two sons, whom he has been bringing to church and Sunday School. Sole, the older, is in fifth grade, and Elio is three years old.
The congregation responded with a pledge of support in Jordan’s church life.
Photos by Kim Rodgers
PeggyAnne Meckey’s Sunday School class (3-5th grade) sang “Holy, Holy, Holy” with the adult SS classes at their opening May 7.
Guild Reminder: Campfire at Mava’s June 16
Women’s Guild will hold a campfire at the home of Mava Cottle, 5546 Churchview Road (next-to-the-last house in Loysburg headed toward Texas Corner) on June 16 at 6 p.m. All are welcome, men, women and children. Bring a covered dish.
At their May meeting, the Guild heard from David Snyder about the Snyder connection with the church since its founding. William H. Snider and his mother, Susanna (Fluke) Snider were charter members. David’s grandfather, David Buck Snider, was a long-time elder and church leader, and David’s father and uncles continued the family craft of stone and brick masonry. Both William and David B. had laid bricks on the 1881 church, and William was the bricklayer on the 1848 church.
The current Dave Snyder explained that his grandfather, David B. had changed the spelling of his last name to use a “y” instead of an”i”. David B. had enough influence with the consistory to persuade the members to lease a plot of ground next to the church in the 1920s or early ’30s for his sister, Mollie Snider, to build a house in which to live her last years. The house was moved after she died and the land was filled in for a parking lot.
Catherine Fisher, One of Our Founders, Portrayed
Barb Thomas portrayed Catherine Fisher, wife of Henry Fisher and one of the founding members of St. John’s.
Catherine told the adult Sunday School class the her husband was an expert wheelright and had installed water wheels and other milling equipment in several early mills around Loysburg. The Fishers are remembered among the people to whom stained glass windows were dedicated in the church in 1912, replacing the original plain glass tinted blue.
David Snyder has also been presenting vignettes of the church history during Sunday School openings throughout May. His great great grandfather was a founder
FOOD PANTRY LIST JUNE REQUESTS
The Northern Bedford Food Pantry for the month of June is requesting pizza kits, taco kits, tea, coffee, canned fruit, fruit juices and personal hygiene items
Volunteer Needed to Deliver Donations
No one responded to this message in the last newsletter. Here it is again. A volunteer is needed one day each month to deliver the donations that members bring to the church for the Northern Bedford Food Pantry. At one point a few members of our congregation volunteered at the Food Pantry and took with them the items that had been left at the church. In recent years, we have had no volunteers at the pantry, but Charlie Mountain and Dave Snyder have been seeing that the items get delivered. Now, both Charlie and Dave (ages upper 80’s) are no longer able to handle the job. Someone is needed to carry out the donations from the box in the back of the sanctuary after worship on the second or third Sunday each month and haul them either to the food bank or to the Loysburg home of Pat Snyder, who is one of the supervisors of the food bank. Please call Dave (814-575-5255) for further details and for Pat’s phone number.
Bedford Forge Disaffiliates from UMC
Bedford Forge United Methodist Church is one of 141 churches in the Susquehanna Conference to have been approved to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church. The church will retain the pastor, Beth Pyles, and will be the owners of the church and property. As of June 1, 2023, the church will be known as the Bedford Forge Community Church.