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April Newsletter

What Scripture Tells Us of the Last Supper

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed … And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:7, 14-16


Jesus' Last Supper with His disciples was a Passover Seder. Every one of God's Old Covenant People are to celebrate Passover annually. This feast recalls God's deliverance of His People from slavery in Egypt. It also looks with anticipation to the coming of Elijah. There is always an empty chair for Elijah should he choose to come to this family meal. Elijah is recognized as the forerunner to God's promised Messiah. The meal concludes with the hope that "maybe next year Elijah will come."


Jesus, in speaking of John the Baptist, tells us, “and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.” (Matthew 11:14). Later, coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus radiated His glory in brilliant whiteness, and spoke with Moses and Elijah in the presence of His three closest disciples, they asked Jesus why the scribes say Elijah must come before Messiah. Jesus answers, “I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist” (Matthew 17:12-13).


Jesus “earnestly desired to eat this Passover” with His disciples before He died on the cross. This Seder meal is loaded with symbolism pointing to Him as the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies and the long awaited hope of Israel. Jesus came to save us from our bondage to sin and Satan. He used the matzo (bread) and one of the four cups of wine served at the meal to teach that His pending death is the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption. “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28)


On Maundy Thursday, April 6, we will share in a Messianic Seder meal in our Fellowship Hall at 6 PM. You and your family are invited to participate as we appreciate these deep roots of our Christian faith. We appreciate your signing up on the Welcome Table so we can adequately prepare, but we will plan for more - including Elijah!


Growing with you, in Christ

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Easter Sunrise Service 8 a.m. in Pavilion


A sunrise service will be held at 8 a.m. Easter Sunday in the church pavilion. The women’s guild will provide a breakfast afterwards in the fellowship hall.



Sign-ups Requested for Apr. 6 Seder

A Messianic Seder will be held at 6 p.m. April 6 (Maundy Thursday) in the fellowship hall. The Passover Seder tells of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery. Christ shared His Last Supper with His disciples: 

Various elements of this meal give precious insight into Messiah Jesus' fulfillment of ancient prophecy. We will not serve a full meal, but we will sample key elements of the Passover Seder. Please sign up on the list on the Welcome Table so we can prepare adequately.



Religious Release Time Begins April 4

Pastor Dave asks all to please be in prayer for Religious Release Time beginning Tuesday, April 4. Our local ministerium, along with 10 high school student volunteers will be sharing the Gospel with 3rd - 5th grade students from Northern Bedford County Elementary School. Religious Release Time meets at New Enterprise Church of the Brethren and runs through May 9.

Easter Egg Hunt Moved to New Enterprise

St. John's annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Saturday, April 8, at 10 a.m. Due to the recent construction project on the church grounds, it has been decided to hold the Easter Egg Hunt nearby at the former Replogle School building in New Enterprise.


We will be utilizing the pavilion and grassy area behind the building but will have access to the restrooms as needed. The address is: 146 Replogle School Rd., New Enterprise, PA 16664.


For those who are willing, a container of empty plastic Easter eggs has been placed in the church basement for families to take, fill with treats or treasures, and return to the marked box in the church basement by Sunday, April 2. Volunteers are also appreciated to come early on the morning of the 8th to hide the eggs.


We hope that all will come and bring their friends and families to join us as we celebrate our risen Savior with an Easter story, craft, snack, and Easter Egg Hunt.

--Respectfully submitted, Lauren Sell and Julie Russell, co-chairs of the event



Heidelberg Catechism Classes Continue

Heidelberg Catechism study meets Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in the copy room with Pastor Dave.



Ministerium Plans Concert of Praise

Sunday, April 16, 6 PM Concert of Praise at New Enterprise Church of the Brethren. Our choir will sing, along with choirs and other musicians from the Southern Cove & Yellow Creek Churches. Offering will go to In One Accord Ministries and Meals on Wheels.



CCCC Gathering July 10-13 in St. Cloud, Minn.

The 75th anniversary Annual Gathering of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference will be held July 10-13 in St. Cloud, MN. The conference will be held at the Riiver’s Edge Convention Center in St..Cloud with the theme “Forward together.”


Early registrations ends June 5. The event will include plenary speakers, workshops, corporate worship, corporate prayer, fellowship, networking opportunities, special interest groups and time to connect and celebrate all that God is doing in CCCC ministries

Consistory Reports on Work Done, Plans Made

The Consistory met on March 2 in the copy room of the church. We are in the middle of Lenten season so let’s start with the calendar for the season. We will be having a traditional Seder meal on Maundy Thursday, April 6, in the Fellowship Hall of the church. Pastor Dave will offer explanations of the meal and how it applies to Christians. The Easter Egg hunt this year is on Saturday, April 8 and will be held at the Southern Cove Fire Department’s Community Building (Replogle Elementary). We will have a sunrise service at 8 a.m. Easter morning April 9, followed by breakfast for all who attend, and this will be followed by our traditional Easter Communion service at 9:30.


With the exception of planting grass, the drainage project is complete! Thanks to all who chipped in and helped out on the last leg of the project, hauling the limestone and placing it under the back porch. We also thank everyone for your patience during this long process. Like the drainage project, the audio-visual project is now at the mercy of others (contractors) to do their jobs or give us bids to do their jobs. We have added some outlets in the back of the church and had a contractor come in and take measurements for the new encasement for the AV equipment, as well as the shelves downstairs, where we want to expand those shelves and put in glass doors.


We are awaiting estimates from Gelnett to run the wiring and hopefully troubleshoot the problems we are having with the Livestream freezing up during broadcasts. We are also considering changing our phone and internet supplier because Brightspeed just increased their prices. We are taking this month to pursue our options.


The Anniversary Committee presented its ideas to the Consistory for some activities to celebrate our 175th Anniversary. Please see the story in this newsletter. As part of our preparation though, we are suggesting a cleanup day(s) to spruce the church up prior to our celebration. Chores being considered are: cleaning walls, carpets, doors, and if time and supplies permit, possibly re-varnishing the pews.


This meeting is also the time we put together our yearly calendar, however, due to time constraints we tabled this until April. We did hold elections of officers and a motion was made and seconded to retain the officers we have at this time; Joel Ritchey, president; Christopher Kurtz, vice president; Beth Clark, secretary; and Cathy Snider, treasurer.


The Consistory will meet next on April 13 at 7 p.m. in the copy room of the church. HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE and may God’s Blessings rain upon each and everyone of you!!!

--Submitted by Joel Ritchey, president



28 ‘Eli’ Baskets Given for Children in Hospitals


Twenty-eight Easter baskets for hospitalized children were provided by St. John’s members and friends for distribution by Easter.


They will be delivered, along with thousands more, to 50+ hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses in Pennsylvania and neighboring states by the Easter for Eli Foundation. The charity was established by Martin Garrett of Roaring Spring in memory of his son Eli, who died of lymphoma in May, 2009, shortly before his fourth birthday.


Linda Henderhan of St. John’s, Eli’s great aunt, thanks those from this church who have given baskets. Baskets also were being collected at several businesses in Blair and Bedford counties, including Kountry Kettle Restaurant.

Oldest Member?

Charles Mountain poses with a three-layer Hummingbird birthday cake baked for him by his daughter, Barb Thomas, and served as dessert at the chili cookoff March 5 after Sunday School.

Charlie turned 89 on March 8. Several folks were asking, “Is he our oldest member?” Everyone has the right to keep their age a secret, so unless someone is not telling his/her age, yes, Charlie is our eldest member. He has Jean Wakefield beat by one year.


If any readers know differently, please let the Jottings editor (Dave Snyder) know and he will happily make a correction.

From an Old Family Bible (Snyder Family)

Be it known that on the 28th day of April, 1928, there fell 28 inches of snow in Loysburg. (hand written in pencil inside front cover)


The Northern Bedford Food Pantry for the month of April is requesting Chef Boyardee main dishes, ravioli, spaghetti, Knoors packets; also toilet paper, paper towels and facial tissues.


The Cove Lions Club will serve Sunday Brunch on April 2 in the Lions Building in Loysburg from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $12 for age 11 and up; $6 children 5-10; under 5, free. Varied menu of hot and cold items, and drinks.

Guild Hears from Members Portraying Moses’ Mother & Sister

The Women’s Guild met Friday, March 17, in the fellowship hall. Peggy Ritchey and Kim Rodgers presented an interesting narrative of Moses through the eyes of his mother Jochebed and sister Miriam.


Jochebed was the daughter of a Levite, married to Amram, and they had three children, Miriam, Aaron and Moses. When the king of Egypt issued a decree that all Hebrew boys be killed to control the population of the Hebrews, Jochebed hid Moses among the reeds in the Nile River. Pharoah’s daughter found and adopted him. Miriam, watching, quickly offered to find a wet nurse for the baby. Who else? Jochebed of course! Isn’t God amazing?


Peggy and Kim described the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness. Sadly, due to disobedience in their lives, Moses, Aaron and Miriam were not permitted by God to enter the Promised Land, but their mother was.


Peggy and Kim served a delicious replication of a Hebrew meal, beginning with manna sent by God to provide for them in the wilderness. Soup, olives, fruit, nuts, cheesecake and yogurt (goat perhaps?!) with honey were enjoyed by all.


Guild ladies will serve an Easter Sunrise breakfast.


All are encouraged to attend the Ladies Encounter event on Saturday, April 29, 9:30–1:00 (speaker is Bonnie Floyd) at Faith Assembly, Roaring Spring. See Deb Bowser for tickets.


Kitchen cleanup went well on March 14, but extra storage for paper products is sorely needed. The Guild will purchase cabinets to replace the deteriorating closet on the back wall to create additional storage.


Deb Bowser and Barb Thomas will spearhead a “Good News Boutique” flea market in the church parking lot on June 1 and 2 (dates correlate with Woodbury community yard sale.)

Flyers regarding the “Good News Boutique” will be distributed throughout Loysburg. Church and community members can “rent” table space for $10 and sell their items in our church parking lot. The Guild will have a table of discarded items from the kitchen and cabinet cleanup for sale. Church members are encouraged to set up yard sale items, produce, lemonade, etc. and interact with community residents who may participate. This is a great way to clean out cluttered corners and share the good news! And we will do the advertising!


Our next meeting is April 21 at 6 p.m. Peg W., Sandy S., Marsie A are the hostesses. Cindy Johnson has the program. Please join us.

--Respectfully submitted, Barb Thomas, President

Homewood Auxiliary Busy over the Holidays

The holiday season was a busy one for the Homewood Auxiliary at Martinsburg. It was a time of giving!


To thank our staff for supporting our fundraisers throughout the year we purchased Mid’s candy chocolate bars for each coworker, along with a big thank you for making Homewood the special place it is.


Contributions were made to Health Care for Operation Santa, and foaming bath soaps were given to each Assisted Living resident. Earlier in December the Auxiliary donated two life-size baby dolls, along with doll blankets and a change of clothes to residents in the Memory Neighborhood. For pet lovers, a robotic cat and dog were also purchased.


We donated six new Christmas trees for display in our Health Care Center Dining Room.


The Auxiliary also hosted a Homewood Logo Sweatshirt Sale for the staff, volunteers and residents. The purpose wasn't to be a fundraiser, but instead, a service to those folks that wat to display Homewood’s logo proudly. Hoodies, t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets were available for purchase at a reasonable cost––a good advertisement for Homewood.


We also had our annual Christmas Chocolate Candy sale with Mid’s Chocolates. Mid’s Candy, located in Ebensburg, has been making premium homemade chocolate since 1988, It is delicious! We not only raised funds through this sale, but also provided a convenient way for our residents to purchase gifts for their loved ones and family. We had a Marianna Hoagie and Pizza sale on Feb. 23. Fours outside churches participated as well as staff and residents. It was a big success, thanks to all you folks.


As 2023 unfolds, the Auxiliary if going strong and has many great events planned for the coming year. Stay tuned.

--Submitted by Debbie Pierc

Howe Entry Places 1st in Chili Cookoff

St. John’s Sunday School’s second annual chili cookoff was held following Sunday School on March 5. Bruce LaSala served as judge, and awarded first prize to Katrina Howe (left). The other contestants were Ryan Salyards, Sandy Styer and Steve Rodgers, who was last year’s winner. Mrs. Howe used the same recipe that her husband André used last year for 3rd place. “André’s father liked to make this recipe in a big outdoor crock,” Katrina said. She shares the recipe:

Spicy Chili

30 servings - Prep: 20 minutes  - Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes


4 pounds ground beef

4 pounds Italian sausage

7.5 cans (14-1/2 ounces each)

5 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans,

         rinsed and drained

2.5 cup chopped onion

3 large green peppers

2.5 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste

5 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

5 Tablespoons chili powder

5 Tablespoons white vinegar

2.5 Tablespoons spicey brown mustard

2.5 Tablespoons dried oregano

5 garlic cloves, minced

4 teaspoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons hot pepper sauce

2.5 teaspoons salt

2.5 teaspoons paprika

Cheese or Sour cream, optional, toppings


Directions: In a Dutch oven, cook beef and sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes, breaking into crumbles; drain. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve with additional jalapeno, cheese or sour crea


This crew put the finishings touches on the new back porch, leading to the parsonage. They hauled crushed stone from the parking lot to place beneath the porch. Helping were (front) Pastor Dave, Rick Smith, André Howe and Ethan Hess; (rear) Steve Rodgers and John Thomas.

Committee Formed to Plan 175th Anniversary

The Anniversary Committee was formed to plan a celebration for St. John’s 175th birthday. The committee has been working hard and has begun to form ideas for the celebration. Some of the plans are firm and some not so firm as we navigate the process.


What is firm is this: We have set aside two days to honor our church’s history, June 3 and 4. We have chosen these dates because the anniversary date of the church’s founding (May 27) falls on the holiday. June 3 is a day of festivity with a picnic, some children’s activities, and either some entertainment or an old fashioned hymn sing featuring songs from the mid 1800’s. At the last meeting we seemed to be leaning towards the hymn sing.


June 4 will be a more reverent day, beginning with church at 9:30. We will however, cancel Sunday School for an hour or so of personal and historical reflection. We are hoping everyone can participate, tell a story, reflect on what St. John’s has meant or means to you. It will probably be held in the sanctuary.


Following this time of reflection we will ask everyone to go to the Lion’s Building for a banquet and more reflection and story-telling as we fellowship with each other. After the banquet there will be a short closing with a hymn a short message a prayer by Pastor Dave.


Because of the expense of the new drainage system, we are asking for a donation to help defray the cost of the picnic and banquet. The plans that are not so firm such as times, menus, activities etc. will be passed on to everyone in the coming weeks.


We will be sending everyone invitations with confirmation cards, as well as having a sign-up sheet. If you know anyone who has been affiliated with the church and they would like to come please feel free to invite. Extended family too.


We will keep everyone informed via the newsletter, the facebook page, bulletin announcements, as well as verbal announcements in church. If you have any questions or ideas please feel free to contact anyone on the committee: Joel Ritchey, Julie Russell, David Snyder, Peg Wachter, Berneta Gable, or Pastor Dave. Thanks to all of you for your help, patience, and participation in this special event.

--Submitted by Joel Ritchey

4 Attend Chestnut Ridge Women’s Conf.

Deb Bowser, Beverly Smith, Barb Thomas and Peg Wachter attended the 7th annual Chestnut Ridge Independent Fellowship Church “Set the Fire” Women’s Conference on Saturday, March 18. An enthusiastic worship team led us in scripture, prayer and music throughout the day. The men of the church served a continental breakfast and lunch.


Kimberly Nebel-Douglas, Director of Student Support at University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown, youth leader, volunteer in Christian music, and writer of “Sunday Reflections” in Mature Living magazine, was our morning speaker.


Allison Trobaugh, Bible teacher from Greencastle, Pa. is passionate about discipling women to be transformed by Christ. She taught an extensive afternoon study on 2 Timothy 1:1-14, “Fan into Flame the Gift of God.”


Carol Deremer and team interjected wonderful music, group activities, and testimonies throughout the day.

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