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October Newsletter

Thirsting for God; Hungry for His Word

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.  – Isaiah 55:1-3a


Recent Pew Research shows more Americans are "switching", that is, changing their identification from "Christian" to "none" or "nothing in particular". Of those who stopped attending worship, many (60%) had some life change – family needs, or they moved and did not seek out a church in their new community. Others are disillusioned with the church. Some found fault with their pastor. Others found their congregation to be unloving or hypocritical. Then others said they just stopped believing.


The Good News in all this is what we can do in response. Whatever their reason for leaving, many of these "dechurched" people say they would return to a local church if a friend or acquaintance invited them. Thom and Sam Rainer report that many feel a void in their life and believe returning to church would help them draw closer to God. They also desire to be with others who share their values.


People are thirsting for God, and hungry for His Word and how it applies to real life. As Isaiah says here, God invites us to Himself – to come – hungry, to come – thirsty. He alone can satisfy our deepest need. Jesus, God in the flesh, also invites us to come (John 6:35): “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” His invitation continues (John 7:37), “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” Christ overflows with all that we need. He invites us to come, to listen, diligently, to His revealed Word of truth, which can transform us in the deepest part of our being so that our soul may live. He invites us to come to Him. Let us extend His invitation to others.


Because He lives,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

                                          Bedford County Life Chain to take Place Oct. 2

The annual Bedford County Life Chain will take place Sunday, Oct. 2, from 2:30 to 3:30 along Business Route 22 in Bedford from the elementary school on the north side of town to St. Thomas Catholic Church at Penn and Richard Sts. For more information on how you may participate, call 814-839-4806

                                                            COMMUNION SUNDAY, OCT. 2

World Wide Communion Sunday. is Oct. 2. St. John’s will offer Holy Communion during the 9:30 a.m. worship service with commune at the altar. Worshippers will go forward by the center aisle and return to their pews via the side aisles.

                                                                        Attention Teenagers

Cove Community Students will meet Sunday evenings October through December from 6 to 8 p.m. at the ARCH in Roaring Spring. Transportation is being arranged from the Woodbury Church of the Brethren.

Exceptions are Nov. 11-13 when a fall retreat will be held at Camp Mantowagan; and Nov. 27 and Dec. 25 when there will be no CCS meetings for the holiday weekends.

Leaders are David Scott, youth pastor of the Woodbury Church of the Brethren, and other adult volunteers. Call Pastor Scott for more information at 814-793-2288

                                            Confirmation Class Meets Sunday, October 9

Confirmation Class will meet from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, in the copy room. We are on Chapter 19. That will be the only meeting in October.

                                      CHOIR PRACTICE CHRISTMAS MUSIC PLANS

The choir continues to meet each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. sharp! Along with a monthly special music selection, the choir will practice additional Christmas songs. Barb Thomas is writing an arrangement of songs and dialogue for choir, various speakers and musicians in an original “Looking for Christmas” December 18 program which will begin at 7:00. The choir will also sing a selection at our Christmas Eve service

                                                             PASTOR TO BE ON VACATION

Pastor Dave and PeggyAnne will be away on vacation Oct. 13-28. Pastor Andrew Camenga will fill the pulpit on October 23.                

                                                               Lions to Hold Wing Nite Oct. 7

The Cove Lions Club will host Wing Night Friday, Oct. 7, at their building in Loysburg, serving nine flavors of chicken wings, french fries, baked beans, cole slaw, celery and ranch dressing from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Eat-in or take-out service will be available. Call 814-766-9912 for more information.

                                                        Homewood’s Fall Bazaar Oct. 6 & 7

After a two-year lapse due to the pandemic, Homewood Auxiliary will be holding its Fall Bazaar again this year, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 6 and 7.

There will be handmade crafts from many vendors, gift baskets and bake sale treats on display in the Givler Cultural Center. Soups, sandwiches and desserts will be available. All are invited to come, brouse and buy.

There also will be a book sale in the Mary Witmer Pavilion on Friday only from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to benefit Homewood’s library. A garage sale at Homewood’s property at 2309 Cross Cove Road will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday only to benefit the auxiliary.

                                               Eye Doctor Is Salad Supper Speaker

The Women’s Guild Salad Supper will be held Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6:30 in the fellowship hall. Dr. Katherine Erlichman is the speaker. A Bedford ophthalmologist, she has been a county leader in the Pink Ribbon Movement to aid victims of breast cancer and to promote awareness and early detection and treatment.

                                 Consistory Eyes Improvements; Pastor Plans Adult Class

The Consistory met on Sept. 6 in the copier room of the church. Needless to say, because we missed a month it was a full meeting. First, Matt Nelson and Christopher Kurtz have agreed to begin learning how to lead worship for those times we have a guest minister. Please keep them in your prayers. Oct. 23 should be their first time at the lectern as they may tag team their first time out. Please mark this in your calendar and come out to support them in this new calling. Pastor Andrew Camenga will be our guest minister that morning.

We are always looking to improve the physical structure of our church and several items are being considered at this time. All improvements we are considering are expensive with a couple of them requiring Congregational approval. First, we are exploring replacing the carpeting and the ceiling tiles in the upstairs Sunday School classrooms and hallways. The other improvement involves the basement and the moisture difficulties we have had for years. We understand the fix we tried before has not worked, so we are looking at different ways to reduce the moisture that is always present. We are also still aware that water during a hard storm still comes into the basement and that needs fixed also. Please keep the Consistory in your prayers that we prioritize our needs properly and make the decisions that are in the best interests of the church at this time.

The pastor would like to begin an adult confirmation class for those who are interested. For those of us confirmed into St. John’s (oh so many years ago) it would be a nice refresher course and for those who have transferred from another church, it will afford the opportunity to learn more about the Reformed Church. These classes will begin at the beginning of the year.

Chris reports that the Community groups are going so well that they are considering a second group. If you would like to host this group at your house, please talk to Chris at your convenience.

Tidbits from the meeting: If anyone wants the display case that is in the back of the church, please talk to Pastor Dave or Joel. The catch is we are not sure we can get it out in one piece. If no one wants it, we will have to remove it piece by piece. This needs to happen in order to set up the new audio/visual system in the back of the church. We hope to display the antiques that are in the case, in the fellowship hall where they can be enjoyed by all. It looks like we will be reverting back to the bulletins with the picture of the church on them and having an insert each week. The reason we stopped using them was COVID. Now that the threat of COVID is waning we believe we can safely use the bulletins again.

The Consistory will meet again on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. in the copy room of the church. All are welcome. Blessings to all.
                                                                                                   —Joel Ritchey, Consistory president


The Northern Bedford Food Pantry at Woodbury is asking for cooking oil, sugar, peanut butter, jelly and personal hygiene items for the month of October

Donations may be left in a box at the back of the sanctuary.

Distributions are normally held on the third Friday of each month, beginning at 9 a.m. New registrations can be accepted at that time. Proof of residence is needed.

                                          PB Meltaways to Be Available Again from Youth

St. John’s Youth again this fall are selling Gardner’s Peanut Butter Meltaway bars as a fund-raiser. All church and Sunday School attendees are invited to help sell them ($1 each). They are in boxes of 48 bars to a box on Deb Bowser’s Sunday School classroom table in the basement, with a signup sheet for Deb to keep a record of how many bars have been taken to sell.

There will be a basket of candy bars and a container for your money, if you want just a few bars for yourself and friends.

The class usually gives the profit to Samaritan’s Purse. In the past it has purchased honeybees, chicks, ducks, or just gave to where most needed. They may also consider Orphan’s Promise (700 Club) to help the many orphans around the world. Class members will vote on it, said Deb.

                                                Guild Plans for Harvest Home, Salad Supper

The Women’s Guild met Friday, Sept. 16, at the church. Donna Smeltzer was in charge of the program but unfortunately had to work. She prepared a program about service, beginning with Colossians 3:23-24, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ.”

As women, wives and mothers, we serve in many different ways. We serve our families, employers, and God under the authority of our pastor. Donna invited Scott Shirk to speak to us about the local Lion’s Club – who they are and what they do. Scott gave us a thorough report. They have similar goals as we have at St. John’s Reformed, to reach out to the needs of those around us. We serve the Lord when we help others.

The business meeting contained a full agenda:

Registrations for the Oct. 21/22 Allegheny Ladies Fellowship Fall Retreat are due Oct. 1. Registration forms are on the welcome table or from Barb T.

The Ladies Encounter at Faith Assembly, Roaring Spring, will feature The Pottery Lady, Carole Wolaver. The event begins at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27. We will carpool if interested.

Our Harvest Home Service is Oct. 16 at 10:45 followed by a fellowship meal (bring a covered dish). The women will plan the service and prepare the fellowship room for the meal. A donation table will be set up in the sanctuary for food and money donations for the NB Food Bank. Carol Deremer will be our speaker. Carol is a teacher at the Greer School for Girls near Tyrone. She is a member of the Chestnut Ridge Independent Fellowship Church, and leads Bible studies and worship services. Carol is the author of three books, “Passionately Pursuing Jesus,” “Hope in the Midst of the Storm” and “You Don’t Have to Be a Victim.” Sunday School will be 9:30 on this day.

Our annual Ladies Salad Supper is Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6:30. Dr. Katherine Erhlichman is the speaker. Please bring your favorite salad/covered dish or dessert to share. The committee, Peggy R., Mava, Beth Cottle and Debbie encourage all to attend and bring friends!

See our Homewood rep, Linda Henderhan, to pay $3 dues to join the Homewood Auxiliary, which supports many projects and events that benefit residents.

Our next meeting is Friday, November 18, 6:30 – Cookie Exchange. Bring 2-3 dozen of your favorite cookies or bar cookies. Donna, Tina and Kim Rodgers will add light refreshments as we sample the goodies! Peg Wachter is in charge of the program. Please join us!
                                                           Respectfully submitted, Barb Thomas, Guild President







                                               Children Celebrate New Sunday School Year

Younger children of St. John’s Sunday School celebrated the start of a new school year on Sept. 4 in the church pavilion and playground.

A highlight of the event was striking a Mandolorian piñata to bring forth goodies. At the top left Luke Sell takes a turn, and on the right Preston Howe tries his luck. Parents André Howe and Lauren Sell are in the background.













Lined up to take their turns at the start of the celebration are (left to right) Lucas and Coleton Clark; Luke Sell; Asher and Lucy holding Ralph Gunnett; Jude and Janelle Nelson with their father Matt in background; Preston, Harper and Bristol Howe and their dad.



           Who We are

                                      This month’s ‘Who We Are’ features Richard ”Rick” and

                                       Beverly Smith of Barley Church Road, New Enterprise.

We were married in October of 1979 in St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Martinsburg, which was Rick’s home church. Beverly’s home church was St. John’s in Loysburg and both Rev. A.M. Gordon, pastor at Loysburg at the time, and the Lutheran pastor, Rev. Gerald Moorhead, officiated the wedding.


Rick’s father, Elwood, farmed on Barley Church Road, and Rick always worked with his father on the farm where we now live. When Rick and I married we took up housekeeping on a nearby rented farm, and the farm operation became a partnership between Rick and his father.


We are both graduates of Northern Bedford High School. Rick went to Penn State and received an associate degree in ag business management. I, Beverly, worked for New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. at the main office after graduating from high school. After four years there I got a job with the Bedford County Department of Human Services, where I retired after 36 years. I have a brother, Chris Mauk, and a sister, Barbara Baker.

I now work part-time as the church secretary at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Roaring Spring, and volunteer at St. John’s. I’m also active in the Women’s Guild. Besides singing with the church choir and singing solos, I use the church copy machine to print out the weekly bulletins. I have also sung with the Cove Community Chorus.


In her spare time, Beverly helps care for her four grandchildren and enjoys walking her Collie, Skye.


Since retiring from dairy farming in 2019, Rick has been helping his nephews, the Bowman brothers, on their dairy farms nearby. Rick fondly remembers showing a championship Holstein named Diane in dairy shows as a 4-H teenager.


We have two adult children. Our son Bryan is a sales person at Forshey’s Farm Equipment in Martinsburg and enjoys raising his own hogs on the home farm. Our daughter Lauren is a physical therapist at Milestone Physical Therapy. Fishertown.


We have four grandchildren, Mikayla and Joelle Widmann and Dana and Luke Sell. They have all been introduced to church and Sunday School at St. John’s.


Rick enjoys history and reads a lot of history, including books by David McCullough. He and the family have made trips to Gettysburg, Antietam, Washington, D.C., and other places or historical interest. Rick was a 4-H leader for the Southern Cove Dairy Club for several years. He has five sisters, Jane Fagans, Patty Bowman, Gloria Guyer, Amanda Feight and Dorcas Holm.


Beverly loves horses and has been caring for and riding horses since she was 14. She has been a 4-H Horse & Pony Club leader for 15 years. She volunteers at Mending Hearts Animal Rescue, Hollidaysburg. The Smith family enjoys spending time at a family cabin in Potter County

                                   Love Inc. is Now ‘In One Accord Ministries, Inc.’

Bedford County’s Love Inc. has withdrawn from the national Love INC
and will continue to operate as ‘In One Accord Ministries.’


The organization will have a Hoss’s Steak & Sea fund-raiser this
Sunday, Sept. 25. Cash Cow cards can be picked up on the welcome table
for those who wish to eat at Hoss’s in Bedford today, and a percentage of
their tab will go to In One Accord.

The new name became official July 1 by vote of the board. In One Accord

is offering the same services as before and hopes all will continue to sup-
port the ministry by volunteering, praying and sending financial gifts to

help the agency help those in need. The mission statement of In One
Accord Ministries Inc.. is to fulfill the commandment given by Jesus, “To
love one another as I have loved you” through the churches of Bedford

Bev Patten remains as executive director and will answer any questions
from potential volunteers or donors. Call her at the headquarters in
Everett, 814-652-0025x3.

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