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October Newsletter 

Reclaiming Kindness

Kindness, like humility, is underappreciated, even among Christians. Consider the other "fruits of the Holy Spirit." Love is rightly celebrated across the theological spectrum, as are goodness and faithfulness. Joy is often featured as the theme of conferences, books and podcasts. Peace has a universal appeal. Patience – not so much, but that's a topic for another time. Gentleness, or meekness, is the outcome of true humility. Self-control is usually esteemed as a worthy, even admirable ambition. Kindness seems to me to be the Spiritual Fruit that gets a pat on the head and a "bless your heart" dismissive acknowledgement.


In this fallen world, we see the Old Testament Prophet Micah summarizes basic Godliness: "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (6:8). After justice, kindness and humility round out these three Godly characteristics. The commendable "Proverbs 31 woman" is distinguished with these traits: "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue" (Pv 31:26).


Kindness includes what we say, and when. For instance, Job, in his agony, was visited by three friends who preached platitudes rather than words of compassion. Job answers Eliphaz, the first of his three friends to speak, noting, “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty" (Job 6:14). Job is chagrined by the betrayal of his friend who piled on blame and contempt rather than a kind word in his misery. With so many people today suffering from anxiety and depression, reclaiming kindness seems to me an essential Christian ministry.


When Jeremy and Steph shared testimonies of their ministry to immigrants in Austria, I was moved by the powerful way God is working in the lives of these people in transition. The hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly life-giving, and most remarkable in the lives of those in such desperate, uncertain circumstances. Kindness sees the individuals, hears their stories, and recognizes their concern for the safety and welfare of their children and families is similar to my own. These testimonies provided me a humane as well as spiritual perspective on the issue.

Greg Atkinson says, "Kindness is the self-awareness to know you have the power to make or break someone else's day – and eventually change the world. Kindness has no hidden agenda, no strings attached; its only purpose is to express love to another person made in the image of God."


May God blossom in each of us all of the fruits of His Holy Spirit. May kindness be chief among them as we point others to the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior (Titus 3:4-6).


Because He lives,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Traditional Harvest Home Sunday Oct. 15

The Women’s Guild will hold the annual Harvest Home Service/Fellowship meal on Sunday, Oct. 15. As in previous years the hours for Worship and Sunday School will be switched with Sunday School at 9:30, worship at 10:45 and a fellowship meal at noon.


Our Harvest Home speaker is Anita Keagy, founder of JoyShop Ministries in 2006. She has shared her message nationwide and internationally of the keys to abundant life and joy in God’s presence. All church family and friends are encouraged to join our Jr/Sr high class and our two adult classes in the sanctuary for Anita’s Bible study which will take place during the 9:30 Sunday school hour. Following a brief break, worship will begin at 10:45, led by the Women’s Guild.   


Anita has a compelling story of how God used a very difficult situation in her life for His glory. She lives in Washington Boro, Pa., near Lancaster, with her husband Paul. They are the parents of 5 adult children and 11 grandchildren. Anita attended Messiah College and received training from Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries and Anne Graham Lotz.


Please bring a covered dish share during the meal which may be kept hot or cold in the kitchen while we attend Anita’s 9:30 Bible study and our 10:45 Harvest Home Service.



Bible Studies Resume Oct 15

Bible Studies will resume meeting on the first and third Sundays at 6 p.m. starting Oct. 15 in the downstairs classroom. Our first study will focus on John 11, the raising of Lazarus. We will then continue from there through the Gospel of John.

All Saints Service of Remembrance

All Saints Service of Remembrance will be observed on Sunday, November 5. Names of persons who have passed away in the last year may be submitted to Pastor Dave – written down or by email by Wednesday, November 1 helps ensure they are listed correctly.

Consistory September Meeting updates:


An air filter system was installed on the sanctuary HVAC and paid for as an anonymous gift. This is greatly appreciated and will be helpful as cold and flu season arrives. A technician fixed the live stream, the hearing assistance devices and other improvements in the performance of the audio-video equipment. The new flat screen TV in the fellowship hall is now in working order. The old TV was recycled.


Appreciation was expressed for Stephanie and Jeremy Seep’s presentation on their work with Oasis Refugee Ministry in Austria. The Church Bar B Q and Back-to-School celebration was well received. Grilling by Ryan and his team was outstanding.


Pastor Dave officiated the wedding of Shane Thomas and Jennie Dries on September 9. He also prayed with the NBC volleyball team prior to a game. The Prayer Walk at NBC schools had about 100 participants of all ages.


CCCC Regional Pastor Tim Dubeau will preach October 1 when Pastor Dave is on vacation. Pastor Tim will then meet with the consistory during the Sunday school hour. He will talk with them about planning for succession. While still well in the future, a healthy transition takes more than 90 days to prepare. Each of us should be starting to train and equip the next generation of leaders. An interim time can be an anxious time. Uncertainty doesn't always bring out the best in people. Anxiety can move people to try to find a "quick fix," which can leave lingering regrets. Calling an intentional interim pastor through Interim Pastor Ministries for 18 months would be a wise investment, add stability with an experienced, seminary-trained pastor who is equipped to guide us through the interim process, prepare us for our next settled pastor, provide stability and consistency in the pulpit and on consistory so we can make a thorough, unhurried, responsible search that affirms our structure, our polity, and our core values.


Julie has prepared an application for an AED through The Nason Foundation. She is preparing a maintenance plan including monthly testing (chart) and training. Church Directory updates will be completed the end of September.


The contractor will replace the Parsonage roof next month. Shelving in Fellowship Hall is in need of a contractor to complete.


Chris reported that Community Group has resumed and is meeting on the second Sunday of the month after Sunday school.


Pastor Dave will resume Bible Study the first and third Sundays starting October 15.

Homewood‘s Bazaar Thur. & Fri. Oct. 5 & 6


Homewood at Martinsburg has announced plans for its annual fall bazaar. It will be held Thursday and Friday, Oct. 5 and 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days in the Civler Cultural Center on the north end of the campus.


“We will have lots of wonderful crafts and food. It will be a great place for fellowship and early Christmas shopping,” said Debbie Pierce, Homeoood’s volunteer director. Sho noted that proceeds benefit the Homewood Auxiliary.


The public is invited to come and shop from the 30 craft vendors who will be displaying their handmade creations, and to purchase food while there. There will be two kinds of sandwiches and three kinds of soup to eat in or take out.


Taking place on Oct. 6 only from 8 noon will be a garage sale at 2309 Cross Cove Road, adjacent to the campus. Quality furniture will be among the items offered for sale.


Also on Friday only will be a book sale by the Homewood Library from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Witmer Pavilion on campus. The offering of books include hundreds from the collection of the late Susan Diethrich, given by her niece and nephew, Amy and Adrian Snyder, for the used book sale.


Volunteers are needed to help at the bazaar. Contact Debbie Pierce at 814.793-1350.



Cove Lions to Resume Sunday Brunch, Pizza Night

The Cove Lions Club will hold Sunday Brunch today, Oct. 1, from 11 a.m. until 1:30 or sold out at the Lions Building in Loysburg. The club’s Pizza Night will be Friday, Oct. 6, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the same location.


The club is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.




Chorus Plans Concert

Cove Community Chorus has begun rehearsals for a holiday concert Nov, 18 and 19 at Memorial Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg. 


Beverly Smith of St. John’s sings with the group.


Sue Stoudnour of Martinsburg is the director.

Cove Community Students

The youth will gather at the Woodbury Church of the Brethren from 6 to 8 p.m. each Sunday evening in October. 




Bedford Forge Plans Fall Fest Sat., Oct. 14.

Bedford Forge Community Church is inviting the public to its Fall Fests from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at its Yellow Creek location (384 Jacks Corner Rd.


There will be a cruise-in from 3 to 5 p.m.; a performance by the men’s singing group Route 869 at 5 p.m.; a visit by the Sno-Oasis food gruck from 2 to 7 p.m., face painting, carnival games with prizes, Pat’s Pumpkin Patch, bounce house and fall crafts for children. There will be free burgers, hots dogs, sloppy joes, fries and drinks. The Fall Fest will replace the church’s trunk or treat candy give-away held previous years before Halloween.



This Little Article Helped Revise History

A small article in the Morrisons Cove Herald of June 30, 1899, helped David Snyder revise the written history of St, John’s Reformed Church. The early history of the church, which was written and recorded by the the third pastor five years after the church’s founding, was based on what the early church members told him about what happened in 1847-48. Consequently he listed among the founders William and Elizabeth Snider (David’s great-grandparents). When David came across a clipping he found in the family Bible (copied here) he knew something was wrong. It listed William Snyder and his mother as founders of the church.


William’s mother was Susanna (Fluke) Snider of Waterside, widow of John Snider.


Her son, who possibly was living with his mother at the time, had lost his first wife in childbirth, and he didn’t marry his second wife until the mid-1850s. She was Elizabeth England from Friend’s Cove, south of Bedford, and had been incorrectly identified in the “official” history as a founder of St. John’s. Elizabeth apparently joined her husband as a member of St. John’s when they became man-and-wife and she became active in the congregation.


William and Elizabeth had one son, David B., and three daughters, Susan, Kathryn and Mary Ann (better known as Aunt Mollie Snider).


David’s grandfather for some reason changed the spelling of Snider to Snyder.

Need a Directory Update?

If you have changes to your contact information for our Church Directory or need a copy, please reach out to Julie Russell in person; via cell 814-414-1100; or email:

Grandson Inspires Grandma’s Guild Program

The Women’s Guild met Friday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. Barb Thomas opened her program by introducing the one who inspired her to focus on “Turn, Turn, Turn, A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven”. It began with grandson Max who reintroduced her to a summer of childhood – catching fireflies, riding bikes and playing on the New Enterprise playground with equipment Barb used as a Replogle first grader! “Our journey to adulthood goes so fast!” she exclaimed.


She was drawn to Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 as she considered what God has to say about seasons and stages of life. There is a time to be born, live, die, kill, dance, mourn, cast away, gather, etc. The passage is beautiful and poetic, yet also tragic and sad. Aren’t our days and years similar? God gives us road signs along the way to help us. ‘Soft Shoulders’ tell us we can lean on Jesus. ‘Curves Ahead’ warn us of uprooting, tearing down, weeping, grieving, searching, hate and war. ‘Yield’ tells us to be flexible, to give up our own personal agenda to accommodate God’s plans and preserve unity in our families and church families.


We discussed God’s huge ‘Unloading Zone,’ where we can take our problems, fears and worries as He lightens our load. ‘Slow Down’ reminds us to stop and smell the roses, breathe deeply and focus on the people around us. We may not be as active and nimble as nine-year-old Max, but God can use us to our final day for His purpose.


We had a blessed time sharing our passions and what we are thankful for. We recognized the godly women no longer present in our circle and Barb encouraged all to leave a legacy of faith and love to the next generation when we too exit the circle for our eternal journey.


Barb opened the business meeting. Peg Wachter read the secretary’s report and Beverly Smith gave a treasurer’s report. Our agenda is full of wonderful fall events!


The Ladies Encounter is Tuesday, Oct. 10, 7-9 p.m. at Faith Assembly, Roaring Spring. Barb Roose is the speaker. Her topic is “Winning Your Worry Battle.”


Please see separate articles detailing Homewood’s Fall Bazaar, Oct. 5 & 6 and St. John’s Harvest Home Service/Fellowship Meal on Oct. 15.


Deb Bowser, Barb Thomas and Beverly Smith will serve on the nominating committee. New officers for 2024 two-year terms term will be elected at our November meeting.

Cindy Johnson and Tina Holderbaum served delicious refreshments on beautifully fall-decorated tables. Every lady received a fall decoration from Cindy to take home.


Our next meeting will be Friday, Nov. 10, 6 p.m. Peg Wachter has the program. Beth Clark and Berneta Gable are hostesses. It is our annual cookie exchange. Please bring 2-3 dozen cookies of any kind — homemade, bar cookies and storebought are fine — to be sampled and divided to take home to share with the family.

Respectfully submitted, Barb Thomas, Guild Pres.

In One Accord to Hold Fund-Raising Dinner Oct. 17

In One Accord Ministries of Bedford County will hold its annual fundraising banquet from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Oct. 17 at Crossroads Bible Church, north of Cessna along Route 220.


Reservations are needed by Monday Oct. 2. The theme me will be “The Goodness of God.


Did You Notice the Beautiful Card, Beautiful Words?

If any St. John’s folks stopped to check out the vestibule bulletin board in recent weeks, they probably saw a thank-you card from Sharon Herr. They may not have realized that this was a special hand-made card with a special hand-written message:

Thanks doesn’t seem adequate for all of you who prayed for me in my multiple ED visits and lace of diagnosis. PTL your prayers were answered and I’ve been able to eat normally again for 2-1/2 month now. Never underestimate the power of prayer!


Also hand-written on the card was this quotation from Matthew 21:22 (NIV):


If you believe, you will receive whatsoever you ask for in prayer.”

Ladies Encounter Lists 2 Separate Fund-Raisers


Ladies Encounter passes to save 25% on purchases at Boscov’s can be obtained for $5 each at the Encounter meeting Oct. 10 (see Women’s Guild story elsewhere in this issue for more details about the meeting.) The passes are also available on the website:


A separate fund-raiser will be a Hoss’s Day Sunday, Oct. 22 at Duncansville and Bedford locations. Tickets will be on the welcome table and must be picked up and shown at checkout.


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