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June 2022 Newsletter

Jesus Equips Us to
Make Christ Known to All

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:6-8


This conversation between Jesus and His disciples took place on Ascension Day, after the risen Jesus had appeared – alive, following His crucifixion, death and burial. He appeared alive again to hundreds of His followers for 40 days. His parting words before ascending into heaven assured His disciples – then as well as today – that we would be empowered by God's Holy Spirit to spread the Good News of Jesus to the ends of the earth. God's Holy Spirit came in power on His disciples ten days later, on Pentecost, which we celebrate on June 5 this year.


One point that stands out to me is how the disciples approach Jesus at this key moment. Their faith has been rejuvenated by seeing their crucified Savior risen from the dead. He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. They are seeing more clearly than ever before Jesus' mission and message. Their conclusion is very different than how Jesus sees what comes next. They ask if Jesus is going to restore the kingdom to Israel – supernaturally usher in the glory days of David and Solomon for their generation – perhaps even revisiting the question of who would get to sit on Jesus' left and right side.


Rather than having this be the end of the mission, Jesus equips them (and us) to begin in earnest the task of making Christ known to all the world – beginning with those closest to home, but ultimately reaching the ends of the earth. Jesus' victory over sin, death and the grave are just as potent, however, the call is not to coast – but to share this Good News with everyone we can! We want no one to miss out on God's gift of love in Jesus!


One timely way for all of us to share in Jesus' Great Commission is through Vacation Bible School which starts Monday, June 13, 9:30 AM. If that conflicts with your work schedule, you can still support this outreach in various ways, including inviting family and friends to participate, as well as praying for this outreach to our community. May God's Holy Spirit equip each one of us to witness for Jesus in ways that bring Him glory!


Because He lives,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Bible School Is Just a Few Weeks Away

We are just a few short weeks away from Vacation Bible School! Volunteers this year include Pastor Dave, leading music/assembly each day; Beverly Smith and Joel Ritchey, manning registration; Barb Thomas handling publicity/promotion; Cindy Johnson, Mava Cottle and Barb Thomas, preparing and serving snacks; PeggyAnne Meckley and EllaMae Barnwell, leading games; Molly Shirk and Joy Nelson, decorating the church; and Lauren Sell, leading crafts., assisted by Molly and Joy.


There are four age groups: Nursery (up to 3 years), Pre-Primary (4-6 years), Primary (7-9 years), and Junior (10-12 years). Beth Clark will be teaching the nursery class, with Marsie Albright as her helper. Erin Staudenbaur will lead the Pre-Primary class, with Sarah Gunnett helping. Leading the Primary class will be Katrina Howe and Chelsea Kurtz. And Deb Bowser and Leah Salyards will be co-teaching the Junior class.


Additionally, there is a signup sheet for snack donations, which can be found on the back table at the church or downstairs at one of the adult Sunday School class tables.


If anyone else would like to help with Bible School, we would be grateful for your help. Please contact director, Joy Nelson in person, by phone 814-931-4543, or email if you’d like to help or have any questions. If you have children you’ll be sending to Bible School, please help us out—pre-register by emailing Beverly Smith at by June 5. We look forward to a wonderful week.

--Submitted by Joy Nelson, director

New Members Received

New members were received by St. John’s congregation May 1 during a ceremony conducted by Pastor Dave Meckley and Elder Joel Ritchey. Front (left to right): Leah Salyards, Sandy Styer and Katrina Howe; back: Dennis Holderbaum, Jack Styer and Andre Howe. Leah, wife or Ryan Salyards, who was already a member, joined by reaffirmation of faith. Dennis, husband of Tina Gojeski, who was already a member, joined by reaffirmation of faith. Jack and Sandy Styer joined by letter of transfer from Canan Station Mennonite Church, Altoona, where Jack was former pastor. Andre Howe joined by believer’s baptism, and his wife Katrina by latter of transfer from Mechanics Grove Church of the Brethren, Lancaster County. Bob Shope had completed the new members class and had been scheduled to be received in May, but health concerns prohibited his attendance that day. He will be formally received sometime in the near future.

[Photo by Kim Rodgers]

Mothers & Daughters Learn about Parrot

Persons attending St. John’s Women’s Guild Mother-Daughter banquet on May 6 learned about Amazon parrots, and one particular Parrot named Ponchita, owned by Sarah Garcia.


Sarah bought Ponchita when the bird was only two days old. It is now 24 years old and could live to be 80 years old. It is a blue fronted Amazon. She explained she gets its wings clipped to keep it from flying.


Sarah was accompanied by her 12-year old daughter Eleanor They live on Lutz Road, Snake Spring Township. Sarah met her husband while stationed in the service in California. She bought the parrot for $500 and trained it. The children in the audience got acquainted with the parrot but were not permitted to touch it. It performed a few tricks and spoke a few words/phrases in English.


Mrs. Garcia is a daughter of the late Allen Baker, who grew up on what is now the Wiand farm on Mountain View Dr., near the Northern Bedford Elementary School. Allen operated a well-known dairy farm in Friend’s Cove most of his life but kept in close touch with folks in South Woodbury Township. He passed away earlier this year in Bedford on his 90th birthday.


Approximately 80 persons attended the banquet in the church fellowship hall. The meal was catered by the Woodbury Café.


Ellen Rupp Swope was presented with a bouquet of flowers in appreciation for her faithful years of janitorial service at the church.










Sarah Garcia shoulders her 24-year-old blue fronted Amazon parrot, Ponchita.

Attention Teenagers

Cove Community Students will meet each Sunday evening in June at the Yellow Creek Church of the Brethren from 6 to 8 p.m.


Leaders are David Scott, youth pastor of the Woodbury Church of the Brethren, and other adult volunteers.

Club Plans Kids’ Fishing Derby June 18

The Southern Cove Rod & Gun Club will host its annual “Butch” Garman Kids Fishing Derby at 8 a.m. June 18 at the Pines Pond along Churchview Road near Snake Spring Mountain, south of Loysburg. Youngsters 16 years and younger are welcome.


Prizes and trophies will be awarded in three different age categories. There will be free hot dogs, hamburgers, snacks and drinks. Contact Melvin Leach at 814- 224-4691 for more details.


The derby is named in honor of the late George Garman, husband of Josephine Garman, who has been a member of St. John’s since the passing of her husband.

Consistory Plans Cleanup Day, June 11

St. John’s Consistory met on May 12.


We, as a church family, have been blessed with a number of new members and baptisms/dedications recently. It is truly a gift that we can watch our family grow. It is also a responsibility that we are given as we nurture and help our new members grow in their in their faith and assume new responsibilities within the church.


Pastor Dave has been asked to fill an unexpired term on the board of the CCCC. This is an honor for him but also an added responsibility. Please keep him in prayer as he answers this new calling. Because of this he will be leaving for the CCCC conference earlier than usual and has requested to have Sunday July 24 off. His request was approved and we have asked Jack Styer to fill the pulpit that Sunday. The board also approved the reciting of the CCCC statement of faith once a quarter in addition to the Apostle’s Creed. We will have it printed on the back of the bulletin. June 26 is the last Sunday in this quarter.


We also discussed upcoming events that are planned for the church. On Saturday June 11 we are planning a clean up day and need volunteers to come in and help clean the outside and inside of the church. Some of the outside tasks that need done are planting shrubs, laying mulch, power washing, etc. as well as cleaning the inside of the church. We chose June 11 so the church is spic and span for Vacation Bible School, which begins on June 13. Check with a consistory member to find out what time you can help.


On June 24 and 25 the Guild is having its annual Discarded Treasure sale at the church. Start setting aside those slightly used treasures you have (no clothing or shoes please) to help raise funds for the guild.


On August 7 we will be having our annual church picnic with plenty of food and games/activities for everyone. That day church will begin at 10 a.m. and Sunday School will have its opening from 11 to 11:15 a.m. Following the Sunday School opening we will have a picnic for everyone. The Consistory will supply the meat, buns and condiments, and we are asking you to each bring a covered dish. We will begin a sign up sheet before the picnic so we know how many of us can attend and who will bring what dishes so we don’t triple or quadruple on food items.


We are considering using a microphone for the children’s story and looking at the hearing devices we have, trying to figure out why they are not working as they should. We may also purchase another lapel microphone.

The next meeting will be June 9 at 7 p.m. in the copy room . --

Submitted by Joel Ritchey, Consistory president

Choir Practice

Practices are held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays

No practice on June 1, 15 & 22

Practice on June 8 and 29

Pick Up a ‘Daily Bread’

If you haven’t already done so, please pick up a copy of Our Daily Bread for the quarter beginning June 1. Copies are on the Welcome Table, courtesy of the Women’s Guild.


The booklet provides a one-page devotional, a scripture passage and a brief prayer for each day in the quarter

Food Pantry Revises Policies, Requests

The Northern Bedford Food Pantry, beginning in May, returned to the practice of allowing recipients to walk through the Woodbury Community Center room where items are on display during the monthly distribution, which is usually the third Friday of each month but can vary according to holidays on the calendar.


During the pandemic, the food distribution was by drive-through only, and recipients still are required to drive through and receive a box with standard items, many of which are supplied by the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg. The basic box contains such items as cereal, jelly, mac’n’cheese, peanut butter, 4 canned vegetables, 3 canned fruits, 4 soups, canned meat, potato (canned or dry), jello/pudding and pasta. Extras added to the box each month include 2 meats (frozen), milk, cheese, eggs, butter, bread, juice, frozen vegetables and produce. When available items such as Knoors mixes, flour, sugar, scalloped/au gratin potatoes, macaroni and spaghetti sauce are added. Also distributed at the drive-through are Kid’s Packs (one for each child in a family) that contain cereal, pudding, fruit cups, fruit juice, Chef Boyardee products, soup, milk, mac’n’cheese, a meat product and snacks, but no peanut products.


What’s New

With the re-opening of the walk-through distribution, recipients, after driving through for their basic box, may park their vehicles and walk inside, where four or five “choice” tables will offer extra items they may pick up to take home. The Food Pantry is looking for more of these “extra” items that come through donations rather than from the state food bank. These include cake mixes and icings, pancake mixes, syrup, stuffing, baking mixes, cookie mixes, pizza kits, taco kits, Rice-a-Roni, ramen noodles, beef stew, tea, coffee, condiments (catsup, relish, mustard), sugar, flour, chili seasoning, oil, hot choc mix, holiday food items, crackers, cereals and broths.


In addition the Food Pantry is now welcoming personal care items, hygiene items, cosmetics, shaving cream, tooth paste, shampoo, diapers/Attends, etc. Other choice tables contain cleaning items, dish and laundry detergents, paper products, other household supplies, and, in the summer, more snacks for kids. Senior and elder boxes also are available.


At the present time the pantry has an abundance of canned soups, peas, beans and corn, but could use canned carrots, mixed vegetables, yams, kidney beans and pork and beans.


Fresh garden produce is accepted, but such item should be brought to the distribution site early on the day of distribution

Guild Explores ‘When God Doesn ’t Make Sense’

The Women’s Guild met Friday, May 20 at 6:30 in the fellowship hall. Barb Thomas presented a short program in lieu of Jane E. and Jean W., who were unable to attend.


Taking excerpts from Dr. James Dobson’s book, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense,” and reading various scriptures, we discussed circumstances that can be difficult to explain or accept.


We looked at Job, Paul, Jeremiah, Moses and the folks in Hebrews 11 “Heroes Hall of Fame” to see that God uses imperfect people in His perfect plans. God’s plan doesn’t always look great to us when we are going through hard times, but what matters is eternity.


Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God does not need to explain why he does or doesn’t do something. He wants us to trust Him regardless. We know that He loves us and will never leave us. We can rejoice in knowing that God uses everything to accomplish His purpose.


We concluded by singing “His Eye Is on the Sparrow”. If He cares for each little bird, we can be sure He cares for each one of us too!


The business meeting was conducted. The ladies will be preparing and serving the Cove Lions Club’s Charter Night dinner at the Lions building on Thursday, July 28, at 7 p.m. Kitchen prep will begin at 2 p.m.. Your donations and help are much appreciated for this community service.


Copies of a newly revised prayer chain list are available, along with an additional prayer mentor opportunity for all ladies. See Barb for the revised list and prayer mentor forms, which must be filled out and submitted to Barb no later than June 5.


The Guild’s Discarded Treasures sale will be June 24 and 25 in the basement and pavilion.


David Snyder is requesting help from anyone who would like to accompany him on visitations to Homewood and to shut ins. Please see David to volunteer.


Our next meeting is July 15 at 6:30 in the fellowship room. Deb Bowser has the program. Molly Shirk and Beverly Smith are the hostesses.

-Submitted by Barb Thomas, President

                           Natalie Nelson and Ethan Hess

                           pause to admire each other’s

                           Easter finery on Resurrection Sunday.

A string quartet played for music ministry one Sunday in May and had the congregation sing along. Barb Thomas has played her lap dulcimer frequently in church and has used it to accompany soloists on occasion. Ethan Hess has played his electric guitar from time to time, but chose his banjo to play with Barb and with Jack and Sandy Styer on this occasion, Jack on guitar and Sandy on upright bass.


Jack and Sandy had been part of a gospel music group called Strings of Faith for a number of years and had performed with that group at St. John’s on several occasions.

[Photo by Kim Rodgers]

On thIS Rock

I will build my church, and the 

gates of Hades will not overcome it."

- Matthew 16:16, 18

The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference will hold its Annual Gathering July 19- 22 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Providence, RI. 


The past two years the gathering had to be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this year’s gathering will be in person. Pastor Dave will represent St. John’s and also will attend early to fill a vacancy on the CCCC board. Lay members may also attend. Anyone who is interested should contact Pastor Dave. Speakers will be Ed Stetzer, Nick Granitsas and Ron Hamilton.


Persons may register online by going to for conference information and access to the registration links. An early registration discount ends June 3. Mailed registrations must arrive at the Home Office by June 3.

Pizza & Taco Kits, Tea & Coffee Asked For June

The Northern Bedford Food Pantry at Woodbury is asking for Pizza Kits, Taco Kits, Coffee and Tea for the month of June. Donations may be left in a box at the back of the sanctuary.


See a story elsewhere in this issue of Jottings regarding the Food Pantry’s policy revisions and a list of on-going requests.


If you would like to make a monetary donation to the food pantry please make out your check to NB Food Pantry and mail it to the treasurer, Janis slick at 131 Hipples Cave Rd., Woodbury, PA 16695.


The pantry is operated by an all-volunteer staff. New volunteers are welcome and needed on distribution days. Persons can register at the siteon distribution days to receive free items if not already registered.

Hunter-Trapper Ed. Class Set

The Ravers Gap Sportsmen Association will host a Pennsylvania hunter-trapper education program on June 10 & 11 at the clubhouse west of Woodbury on Mill St. extension.


Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday with lunch provided.


Pre-registration is required. Persons may call 814-766-0108 to register or register online at under education hunter-trapper education, in-person classes, Ravers Gap.


Participants must attend both days to complete the class.

Natalie Ethan.jpg
sarah garica & parrot.jpg
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