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October Newsletter 2021

What Does God Look Like? Like His Son Jesus

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Col 1:15


Have you ever wondered what God looks like? John 1:18 says that “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” John, of course, is referring to Jesus, who, as Colossians 1:15 testifies, is the image – the spittin’ image of the invisible God.


You heard about the child in art class who was intently focused on her drawing. The teacher came up asked what she was drawing.


Without looking up, the child answered, “God.”


“Oh honey, no one knows what God looks like.”


Without missing a beat, the child replied, “They will when I get finished.”


We needn’t take a look at the drawing of a precocious child to know what God looks like. God has revealed Himself to us. That is what distinguishes Christianity from other faiths. Ours is a revealed faith. Our God has made Himself known to us – to everyone, really, in the beauty of creation. Theologians call that General Revelation.

There are countless clues in this orderly universe: in the beauty of this world; the wonder of the human body; the animal kingdom; ecosystems - they all declare that there is a Designer.


But that is not all, for general revelation is not enough to get an adequate understanding of God. God has revealed Himself even further in what is known as Special Revelation. God’s Special Revelation comes in two forms:

a) God has given us His Word, recorded in the pages of Scripture.

b) God’s Word made flesh in His only Son Jesus Christ.


Jesus truly reveals to us God’s heart, God’s plan, God’s attitude toward us, and toward all humanity. God, who is Spirit, is made visible to us in the person of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God.

Growing With You in Christ, 
Dave Meckley, Pastor




Communion Oct. 3

The sacrament of Holy Communion will be offered at the 9:30 a.m. worship service on Oct. 3, Worldwide Communion Sunday. Communion will be at the altar.

Choir Rehearsals Resumed Wednesday, Sept. 22

Choir practice resumed Wednesday, Sept. 22, 6:30 – 7:45 p.m., and will continue on Wednesday evenings.


New members are welcome. The choir will provide one special music selection each month. It will prepare a Christmas cantata in hope of presenting it in December. Anyone who would like to sing a solo, duets, quartets, etc. please see Barb Thomas. She will practice with those after regular choir practice.


On the choir’s first Sunday back in the choir loft since the pandemic shut-down, the choir will sing an arrangement of “In Remembrance” in observance of Worldwide Communion Sunday that day, Oct. 3.

 Harvest Home Service Set for Oct. 31

A Harvest Home service is being planned for Sunday, Oct. 31, with Sunday School at 9:30 a.m., worship at 10:45 with a guest speaker, followed by a carry-in fellowship meal. As in previous years, the women of the church will be in charge of the worship service. Many of those same women will preparing dishes at home to bring in for the noon meal. Details will be announced in weekly bulletins.


Natalie Joy Nelson was baptized by Pastor Meckley during worship on Sept 5. She is shown here after the service with her parents, Matt and Joy Nelson, and her three siblings


Confirmation Class meets in Copy Room on Sundays at 2 PM


Covenant Group

Covenant Group meets at home of Chris and Chelsea Kurtz Sunday at 5:30 PM. Fellowship, prayer, discussion of the Scripture in that day’s message.




Children provided special music during a worship service in September. Volunteers are needed for special music, greeters and children’s lessons

Religious Release Time Classes to Start Oct. 12

The Southern Cove Ministerium is providing Religious Release Time again this fall for children in grades K-2 at Northern Bedford County Elementary.

In the spring classes are offered to students in grades 3-5. The students are bussed to New Enterprise Church of the Brethren.

Students meet Tuesdays, October 12-Nov 9, 1:30 - 2:30 pm.

Kindergartners study the Wordless Book - a color-coded presentation of the Gospel.

First graders study Moses and the Ten Commandments.

Second graders study Samuel, Saul and David. 

Pastor Dave has been involved with release time in the past as well as lay volunteers from St. John’s. If you can help this fall, contact Pastor Dave or another member of the ministerium.

Homewood Aux. Cancels Annual Fall Bazaar

Due to the spike in corona virus cases during August and September the Homewood Auxiliary has canceled its annual fall bazaar, which was scheduled for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

The bazaar is always one of the auxiliary’s major fund-raisers, and it is hoped it can be safely returned in the fall of 2022.

Also canceled was the Oct. 7 fall meeting and luncheon of the Homewood Auxiliary. Nancy Lucas, auxiliary president, encourages all members to renew their membership and support future auxiliary fundraising efforts.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the Homewood Auxiliary has continued to raise money and support nursing care unit at Homewood through several fund-raisers.

Earlier this year these fund-raiser brought in nearly $10,000. With $15,500 it has available, the auxiliary was able to purchase maintenance free outdoor furniture; materials for the woodshop volunteers to make three cabinets for the Dietary Department; buy six devices for the Health Care unit that allow staff members to safely help residents stand up from a seated position; and buy five electronic blood pressure machines.

Pastor to Be on Vacation


Pastor Dave will be on vacation October 18-25. Doug Mingle will fill the pulpit that Sunday. 

There will be no confirmation class on October 24.



NB Food Pantry Request

The Northern Bedford Food Pantry is requesting boxed stuffing and cranberry sauce for the month of October. Any other non-perishable and un-expired items are appreciated. Donations may be left in the box at the rear of the sanctuary.


Bedford County Life Chain Will Stretch Through Bedford


The annual Bedford County Life Chain will take place Sunday afternoon, Oct. 3, along busy Route 220 North in Bedford.


Volunteers in support of right-to-life are invited to participate. Signs may be picked up at the Bedford Elementary School parking lot, beginning at 2 p.m. and will line the highway south to St. Thomas Catholic Church, Richard and Penn Streets in Bedford. Participants are welcome to bring bottled water, lawn chairs, umbrellas and strollers.

Organizers said the Life Chain is a peaceful and prayerful public witness of prolife Americans standing in honor of over 60 million lives lost to abortion. 

Guild Studies Overcoming Cacophony

Peggy Ritchey began her program on Sept. 17 with a warm welcome. She put us into groups of 2 since our numbers were significantly down. We had 3 groups. Peggy gave each group a riddle and asked us to come up with an answer which we would come back to later in the program. Peggy read from Max Lucado’s book “Cure for the Common Life.” He looks at 3 phases – our everyday life, God’s glory, and finding our strengths and weaknesses. “Listen to your inner music, because no one else can hear it like you,” encouraged Mr. Lucado. Peggy defined the word cacophony – a mess, disharmony. When we find ourselves living in cacophony, we can ask ourselves “What do I like to do?” and “What do I do well?” to uncover our gifts and talents.


“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (Corinthians 12:7) Everything we have, everything we are, the breath we take, and the blood running through our heart comes from God. We are unique individuals, created in God’s image. We solved the riddles Peggy had given us earlier – a bald man, a sister, and a map! We sang “Blest Be the Tie” and Peggy closed in prayer.


The business meeting opened with the reading of the minutes from July 30 and the treasurer’s report, both approved as read. Peggy encouraged each lady who is participating in the Secret Sister program to please remember their secret sister with cards and small gifts throughout the rest of this year, especially birthdays and holidays. These will be revealed at the January 2022 meeting.


Peggy has appointed a nominating committee consisting of Peg W., Linda Henderhan, and Beverly Smith to prepare a slate of officers for 2022-23. These will be elected at our November meeting. If you have a heart for our women’s ministry, and are able to attend regular meetings and events, let one of these ladies know you are willing to serve!


Salad Supper Oct. 15

The Salad Supper will be held on Friday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m. The committee, Peg. W. Linda Henderhan, Cindy Johnson and Josephine Garman invite all ladies of all ages to bring a guest and a covered dish. Bev Patten, Love INC director, will be our speaker for the evening.


Barb Thomas encouraged all to attend the Ladies Encounter Fall Prayer and Praise, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Faith Assembly, Roaring Spring, and also the Women of the Bible presentation by Anita Gutschick, sponsored by the Ladies Encounter, on Oct. 5, 7 p.m., also at Faith Assembly.

Consistory to Pick Up Tab for Retreat Attendees

The guild has been blessed by the consistory with a generous scholarship, allowing each lady from St. John’s (and a guest if desired) to attend the 1-1/2-day 4Cs Ladies Fall Retreat on Oct. 22 and 23 for $35 each! Thanks to our church leadership for such a blessed gift. Registrations and your $35 payments are due to Barb Thomas by Oct. 1.

Cindy Johnson and Barb Thomas served light refreshments following the meeting. Cindy made a cheeseball buffet, while Barb supplied angel food cake and apple cider. Assorted crackers, sherbet and beautiful fall decorations created a festive atmosphere. All were also treated to door prizes thanks to Cindy’s generosity! It was a lovely evening.

Present were: Peg. Wachter, Cindy Johnson, Sandy Styer, Peggy Ritchey, Beverly Smith and Barb Thomas. Our next meeting will be the Salad Supper on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. in the church fellowship room.

Respectfully submitted, Barb Thomas, sec.

3 from St. Johns Attend Prayer & Praise

Pastor Dave, PeggyAnne, and I attended the Sept. 21 Prayer and Praise evening at Faith Assembly sponsored by the Ladies Encounter. Joyce Bassler, leader of Ladies Encounter, welcomed all and shared a couple local healing miracles.


Pastor Del Smith offered an opening prayer. Mike and Laura Clark led several praise music sessions.


Pastor Dave Meckley prayed over the Ladies Encounter Ministry and upcoming events, that many ladies will attend and that hearts will be drawn closer to Jesus. Pastor Matthew Hornberger prayed for our schools and teachers. Pastor Ed Jelliff prayed for all caught in various addictions, for our children to not be tempted to try drugs, and later he prayed for our country and it’s need to return to God.


Pastor Joe Furry acknowledged all nations and prayed for the gospel to be shared all around the world. Pastor Steve Brumbaugh passionately prayed for the military, our veterans and their families, citing the trauma and difficulties they face that affect their personal lives in tragic ways. Pastor Rich Singler prayed for our churches and pastors, that all will be encouraged and steadfast in ministry. Mike Clark offered a closing prayer.


It was a wonderful evening praying together with fellow believers, knowing God hears the prayers of His people and He works for the good of those who love Him.


The Ladies Encounter next event will be Tuesday, Oct. 5, 7–9 p.m., at Faith Assembly in Roaring Spring. The Fall Encounter will feature dramatist Anita Gutschick who will share her personal testimony, and will bring the stories of Anna the Prophetess and Mary of Bethany to life with her presentation. No tickets. A free will offering will be taken.

--Barb Thomas, St. John’s LE church rep

All Saints Sunday November 7 

All Saints Sunday will be observed November 7. Names of persons who have passed away this last year may be submitted to Pastor Dave in writing, email, etc to be included in the Service of Remembrance.

Who We Are

This month’s Who We Are features Mrs. Margaret “Peg” Wachter of Salemville Road, New Enterprise, a long-time member of St. John’s.

My twin sister and I were born in our parents’ bedroom in Friends Cove on Sept. 30, 1941. Midge was born first and was unresponsive. The doctor was busy delivering me and laid her aside but our grandmother was there for the births and worked with Midge saving her life. I’ve always been grateful for Grandma! We were the eighth and ninth children of Harold and Gladys Whetstone. It was great being a twin because I always had a best friend. We were always together and our mother dressed us alike. We were not identical, but people still confused us with the wrong name on the girl. We went to elementary school at Colerain Township until eighth grade when we moved into Bedford High School, graduating in 1959. We decided to stop dressing alike when we went to High School. Sadly, my twin sister died in August 1999 from complications of diabetes. I miss her still.


I met Ferdy and we were married Sept. 2, 1960 and Midge was my maid of honor. I was hers in 1963 when she married Dick Harr. Ferdy and I took up housekeeping in a little mobile home that we bought and set up in the Loysburg Gap near what is now the shuts-down New Frontier Restaurant. Ferdy was a plasterer and I worked in the sewing factory in Everett. Our first son, Tim, was born in 1962, and I quit working and enjoyed mothering. Work was really scarce for Ferdy by this time since the economy had gotten bad, so in the spring he went to Washington, D.C., where things were booming. He found work immediately and it seemed pretty permanent, so in August, we moved our little mobile home to Alexandria, Va. I felt like a fish out of water but eventually got used to my new life. We made friends with a couple who lived across the street and that friendship lasted until both passed away several years ago. I still keep in touch with their children. Our second son Merle was born there in 1964, and we had traded our little mobile home for a larger one..


The Viet Nam war was going on and Ferdy was called in for classification and he thought he would be called up so he sent me to cosmetology school, thinking I would have a career in case he had to go and didn’t come back. Thank goodness the war ended and that didn’t happen.

But now I went to work and needed to leave the boys with a sitter, which was a hard thing for me. I worked in the River House Apartments, which were located near the Pentagon. I was shy and didn’t really know what to talk with my customers about because I thought they were out of my league and I was a country girl. Since my boss had placed me next to him and he chattered constantly, I didn’t feel the need to talk. But one day Alex took me into the back room and said “Peggy, your work is very nice, but unless you build a report with your customers, I’ll have to let you go.” So I learned to talk about anything; the weather, my kids, their work, etc. I needed the job because by now Ferdy and I were saving money to move back to Pennsylvania. We didn’t want to raise the boys there and wanted them to have the kind of upbringing we both had. Besides that the civil unrest had begun and we saw the burning and looting that took place in D.C.


We were looking for a place to buy here in Pennsylvania, and after several disappointments finally, by God’s grace and direction, we were able to buy the little farm where I live now. We moved here in the spring of 1969 and I opened my beauty salon in New Enterprise in 1970. On one of our visits home Ferdy had met Dick Hammond who was looking for another plasterer, so he had work right away. He worked for Hammond & May until the plastering business was being overtaken by drywall. Ferdy was laid off from Hammond due to the downturn in the business, so he began his own drywall business and he became very well known and quite busy.


Tim and Merle attended Replogle Elementary school then went on to Northern Bedford High School. Both were good students and were involved in sports, band, chorus and school musicals. Tim graduated in 1980 and Merle in 1982. Tim attended Penn State Altoona Campus and Shippensburg State College. He works as a computer analyst at Shawnee State Park. Merle attended Penn State Altoona and also the main campus and works with fiber optics and electronics. He also joined the Army and spent 25 years in the Army Reserves deploying for a year in Iraq.

I worked in the beauty salon and had built a nice business. Eventually I needed help and Emy Hall came to work with me. She married Dick Koontz and quit when she got pregnant and began her family. Then Barb Thomas came to work with me. In December 1989 I suffered a dislocated disc and had surgery in January 1990. The surgeon told me I could go back to work in three months and I tried, but there was still too much pain, so I retired, leaving my business in the capable hands of Barb and Emy, who had come back to help

Ferdy and I got involved with The AFS Exchange student program and hosted our first student in 1987, a boy from Brazil. We subsequently hosted 13 more students and if I told you about those experiences, it would take a book. But all were very rewarding experiences.


Our local AFS chapter was having some problems and they sent a woman from Harrisburg who was an area representative for the program to try to help us. Her name was Rae Margolis and she said she would help if we would appoint someone as a district representative to work with her. Ferdy volunteered me for the job, something I think he probably regretted later. I was responsible to recruit families to host students that she selected for us. I needed to interview families, get approval for school placements, conduct orientations and support the students and families throughout the experience. It was a volunteer position that was more like a full time job. But I loved the involvement with families here and students from all over the world. I chaperoned students on their end of year bus trip which took us to two communities each year where an AFS chapter would host us. I met many AFS volunteers in several states this way. These trips would end at C.W. Post College in New York, where the students were put on buses to the airports for their trip home. This was a very emotional and exhausting day.


Eventually, Rae told me that I was ready to take the responsibility of area rep., which meant that I would select the students for our area in addition to all the other things I was already doing. I eventually expanded the area, placing students in the surrounding counties. I made visits to the schools and was told by several school personnel that they were impressed with AFS because the other programs placed students but never came back to check on them. That surprised me because student exchange programs are under the auspices of the U.S. State Department which requires school visits as well as monthly reports on students and families. I was rewarded for my hard work with AFS by being awarded two chaperone trips.

The first was escorting American students home from Spain following their summer program there. I was leaving for Spain when flight 800 went down in New York. My flight was held up for hours without knowing the reason why. Coming home, I heard many of those students saying they wished they had gone for the year since they didn’t have enough time to learn the language well. The second trip was escorting American students to Switzerland for their year there.

We had hosted a boy from Switzerland and I stayed with his family for two weeks while being treated to all the wonderful sights of the country by Michael’s mother. But I did have a problem getting home, because I happened to be flying on Sept. 11, 2001. We were diverted to Montreal, Canada, and that was a whole experience in itself. That happened on a Tuesday, and I didn’t get home until Saturday. And I’ll never forget the smell in New York City. No one who was there can forget that. I retired from AFS in 2011 when the students I had placed that year departed. All in all, AFS was a very rewarding experience, and I have many pleasant memories of students and people that I met through those years.


I volunteered at Love INC for many years and devoted a lot time to that as well as doing things related to the church. I began attending St. John’s when we moved back from Virginia and it is a big part of my life. I’ve sung in the choir and always enjoyed our Christmas cantatas. I’ve taught Sunday School to a variety of age groups. I enjoy being a part of the Women’s Guild and liked helping with suppers that we used to serve. Because of health issues, I can’t do those things now. I’ve had both knees replaced and two spinal surgeries causing me to rely on my walker to get round. But I try to look at the positives in my life and keep a good attitude.


The worst day of my life happened Sept. 23, 2013. Ferdy was mowing up on the hill above my beauty shop and evidently suffered a heart attack. The mower rolled back off the hill landing on him in the parking lot. Our neighbor was filling silo and saw Ferdy there while bringing a load of corn silage down from the field. He called 911 and they tried to resuscitate him but to no avail. I’ve often wondered if they could have if the tractor hadn’t landed on him. I’ll never know. This changed my life forever, causing me to join the widow’s club, which is something no one ever wants to do. But life goes on and time does help heal. Life is just never the same. I decided to join the Cove Community Chorus the next year since I find music to be therapeutic. I’ve enjoyed that and continued singing in the Christmas and spring concerts until Covid put a stop to it.


I mentioned that Midge and I were the seventh and eighth children in the family but we had a little brother who was born five years and one week after us, bringing the family to ten kids, five boys and five girls. When I watch the Waltons on TV, it reminds me of our home. Now, though, I’ve attended the funerals of eight of my siblings. June Mountain and I are the only ones remaining. But I look back on my life and realize thhat God has been very good to me and He continues to sustain me day by day.

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