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November Newsletter, 2022

God Wants Us to Know Him; He Reveals Himself

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. – Psalm 19:1-3


Do you remember those most brilliant sunsets a few weeks ago – pink, blue, purple – so many colors just flooded the sky – in every direction! These brilliant shades streamed all over – as far as you could see – from west to east. I find sunsets inspiring. They are especially impressive over a lake – or the ocean. It is a good time to pray and talk with God.


The colors, the vast ocean, the waves washing ashore all help me realize – what the Bible calls: the glory of God. God didn't just make the sun and the sea functional: the sun warms the earth, the sea keeps within the boundaries of the tides. God also made them beautiful – magnificently attractive! He didn't have to do that. This reveals His love, His genius, His creativity.


We can see a sunset or a starry night sky and realize this didn't just happen, that some almighty, powerful Genius put all this together – it is so breathtakingly beautiful! But a powerful Creator is a stranger to us – we just admire His handiwork. However, Almighty God is personal. He made us, He knows us – and He wants us to know Him! So God has revealed Himself, not only in Creation; God has also spoken to us in His Word, the Bible.


Psalm 19 continues in verse 7, The Lord’s teachings are perfect. They give strength to his people. The Lord’s rules can be trusted. They help even the foolish become wise. The Lord's instruction is right; it makes our hearts glad. His commands shine brightly, and they give us light. There are many voices we can listen to. It is God's voice – found on the pages of Scripture, that speaks to us truth that has endured the test of time. God's Word is true and can be trusted. That's one reason we read, study and teach the Bible.


Growing with you in Christ,
Dave Meckley, Pastor

               All Saints Sunday Service of Remembrance Nov. 6

Pastor Dave is requesting anyone who has a name to be added to the remembrance list for the All Saints Sunday worship service to give him the name in writing as soon as possible. Those who have lost their lives during the past year will be remembered during the service. An alphabetical list of names has already been prepared and can be viewed on the welcome table.

                                 Consistory Seeks Bids for Drainage Work

St. John’s Consistory met on Oct. 6 in the copy room of the church. It was actually a rather uneventful meeting, which is not uncommon in the months before we begin looking at the budget for 2023.

The pastor has been on vacation and is participating in a special service for Don Wise, a friend of many years who is being enshrined as Pastor Emeritus at his church on Oct. 30. We thank Pastor Camenga of the German Seventh Day Baptist Church for filling the pulpit on Oct. 23 and Associate Pastor John Nothwang of Christ Church for filling the pulpit on Oct. 30. We are also grateful that Matt Nelson assumed the role of Worship Leader for Pastor Camenga on the 23rd and that Chris Kurtz is assuming the role as Worship Leader for Pastor Nothwang on Oct. 30.

Advent begins Nov. 27 and we will begin the celebration of the Christmas season with the Hanging of the Greens during the service that morning with that part of the service concluding with the children during the beginning of Sunday School. However, before we can hang the Chrismons we will need help setting up the Christmas tree. Please, if you have some time that weekend let Steve Rodgers know you are willing to volunteer. We have set aside dates for special offerings: Hoffman Homes on Nov. 13, and the Heifer Project International on Dec. 4.

As a follow up to last month’s story, the Consistory began entertaining bids to repair the moisture problem that has plagued the basement for decades. We hope to gather as much information as we can and then will call a special Congregational Meeting to seek your input and approval to proceed. We also are moving forward with the audio/visual updates and will keep you updated as progress is being made.

The next meeting of the consistory is Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. in the copy room. All are welcome.

                                             --Submitted by Joel Ritchey, Consistory President

            No Community Thanksgiving Service in So. Cove This Year;
                                  Christ Church Extends Invitation

There will be no Community Thanksgiving Service in the Southern Cove this year as has been planned in previous years by the Southern Cove/Yellow Creek Ministerium. Christ Church in Roaring Spring is planning a special Thanksgiving Eve service and is inviting St. John’s members to attend. The service will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Everyone is welcome.

                         Hoffman Homes Collection Boxes to Appear

The holiday season should be a time of joy for all children. Many at Hoffman Homes do not go home for Christmas. You can help spread holiday cheer to the children and youth who are there by donating to the Holiday Cheer program. Designated boxes will be circulating around the church. Please give generously. Hoffman Homes staff will purchase, wrap and present gifts to those who can’t go home over the holidays. The last day to give is Sunday, Nov. 28. The Women’s Guild will round up the dollars donated to the next $50 amount and send it early in December to give staff time to help make the residents wishes come true! Hoffman Homes for Youth are located in Littlestown, near Gettysburg, Adams County.

                      Fill Up and Turn in Your Little CEF School Buses

Child Evangelism Fellowship, South Central Chapter, supplied St. John’s with dozens of empty cardboard school buses in October and is asking our members to fill the mini-buses with pocket change until Sunday, Nov. 20. On that date the filled buses will be returned to CEF. Persons can pick up an empty bus from the welcome table and return filled buses to the box beneath the welcome table.

The South Central Chapter, covering Bedford, Blair and Huntingdon Counties, brings Christian eduction to children through Released-Time classes in local schools and afterschool Good News Clubs. During the past year the local CEF chapter has shared the Gospel with 65 children, and three children have accepted Christ as their savior. In the past CEF has offered Five Day Club classes for children at St. John’s and other area churches. Donations will help with funds to start up the Good News Clubs, purchase lesson materials, devotional books, postage and other operational expenses for the clubs.

                                   36 Attend 4-Cs Women’s Retreat

We had 34 overnight campers and four Saturday attendees for the 4-Cs Allegheny Ladies Fellowship Fall Retreat at Sequanota Conference Center Oct. 21/22.

We used Deb Burma’s “Treasured” Bible study, which included a PowerPoint presentation and participant handouts to promote interactive learning and deepen group discussion. This is a group that loves to laugh, talk, sing, eat, read the Bible and pray together!

After a delicious covered dish supper Friday, Myra Whysong-Krentz led Session 1. “You were not chosen because you were valuable; you are valuable because you were chosen.” We also played a fun get-acquainted game with lots of prizes! We were given treasure boxes of scripture cards, “diamonds,” and a lovely charm bracelet. Some choose to retire to their rooms around 9p.m. but many of us continued sharing conversation, laughs, concerns and prayer requests late into the night.

We had two Bible sessions Saturday morning after early morning coffee, tea and doughnuts with a 10 a.m. brunch sandwiched between the two.

Penny Corle led Session 2 as we explored the amazing transformation process God uses to turn us – dirty lumps of coal – into His diamonds in the rough! It takes time (Bible study and devotions, worship, prayer and fellowship), pressure (adversities, pain, suffering and difficult circumstances), and heat (hatred, anger, jealousy, bitterness and unforgiveness) to turn our dark, sin-filled hearts into His precious gem!

Sue Northcraft led Session 3 as we learned of the cut and color of our Master Craftsman’s diamonds. Just as every stone is uniquely cut, we too are uniquely crafted. One can’t be shy if her personality is outgoing. One can’t be a details gal if she is better at seeing the big picture. We will struggle if we try to be someone we are not.

We had a beautiful hour of reflection – time to meditate, walk, visit with one another – under the canopy of Autumn’s most brilliant colors. Connie Ochoa, assisted by her mom, Jeanne Detwiler, and her daughter, Ivy, led us in a craft. We were encouraged to be creative as we pasted gems and doodled designs on individual journals pre-printed with our retreat verse from Deuteronomy 14:2, “The Lord has chosen you to be a people for His treasured possession.”

Our last session was led by Patti Deal who taught of the carat and clarity of a diamond. A carat is measured by weight. God measures His diamonds by weight too, not by the scale, but by the heavy influence we have on those around us.

Do our attitudes, words and actions show the zeal of our faith? Clarity describes the brilliance of a diamond. Materialism, greed, gossip, lies, slander, selfishness, etc., dulls the light of Jesus in us. When we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and are living out God‘s Word is when we shine!

                          Wife of 4-Cs Regional Leader Participates

Barb Thomas led praise & worship music before and after sessions. Patty Larson led devotions before supper Friday evening. Shirley Dubeau led devotions before brunch. [Shirley is the wife of the 4-C’s MidEast Regional Conference Minister, Rev. Tim Dubeau, who presides over PA, NY, western Mass., Michigan, part of NJ and eastern Ohio.]

Shirley’s gentle spirit and enthusiasm for Jesus shone brilliantly. She urged us to spend a daily, systematic time in the Bible & gave us a helpful handout to get us started. Barb Thomas was delighted to have Shirley as her roommate & all are blessed to know her as our new sister-in-Christ in the fellowship! It was a wonderful retreat in every way! Marsie Albright, Tina Holderbaum, Peggy Ritchey, Sandy Styer, Barb Thomas & Peg Wachter attended.

               Choir Practicing Musical Written & Arranged by Director

Choir practice has moved to 7 p.m. each Wednesday to accommodate Bell Choir practice at 5:45 – 6:45. The choir is rehearsing for its Dec. 18 Christmas program, which will include several choir selections, dialogue performed by youth and adult members, and special music by various church musicians. The program, “Looking For Christmas,” was written and arranged by Barb Thomas.

Please mark your calendars for 7 p.m. Dec. 18, invite family, neighbors and friends, and plan to attend as we look for Christmas in the right places! The guild will solicit and serve refreshments after the program.

                          CONFIRMATION CLASS TO MEET

The Confirmation Class will meet Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. in the copy room. Pastor Dave will lead a study of Chapter 20. Future meetings will be scheduled that time.

                                   Mitten Tree To Appear Soon

The Mitten tree will make a grand entrance in the fellowship room downstairs to be decorated in hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, and socks for area children. We will collect throughout December. Thank you for your help!

              Berneta Gable, Snider Homestead Farm Honored

The Bedford County Chamber of Commerce awarded double honors to Berneta Gable and to her farm, Snider Homestead Farms, located along Brumbaugh Road west of New Enterprise.

At an awards banquet at the Bedford County Airport on Sept. 22, Berneta, her husband Brad Gable and other family members were there to accept the Chamber’s Excellence in Agri-Business Award for 2022. What then came as a surprise to Berneta and family was that she also received this year’s Athena Award, given to a woman who excels in her field and serves in the community to help teach other women leadership. The award is sponsored by the Bedford Business and Professional Women’s Club and Thomas Automobile Dealerships.

Kellie Goodman Shaffer, president and CEO of the Bedford County Chamber, presented the award, saying “This year’s Athena honoree is a champion of her industry . . . not only here in Bedford County but throughout the state, the nation, and even around the globe. What she does is considered hard enough work for men, but it is a labor of love for our Athena, part of a small percentage of women leaders in her field.”

While accepting the award, Berneta called it “the biggest surprise of my life.” She went on to explain how she ended up as a farm owner/manager, how she and her sister once threw away their baby dolls and asked for a farm set. Berneta went to Penn State, planning to become a teacher “since women didn’t farm at that time,” she said. But she returned to the family farm and “took over.” That was 50 years ago. She is now helped by her husband Brad, her son Aaron, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and a few hired hands.

A fellow woman farmer, Lori Sollenberger of Hidden Hills Jerseys, Everett RD, said of Berneta, “At a time when women were uncommon and often overlooked in the dairy industry, Berneta quietly went about the business of running the family farm and building an exceptional herd of her beloved Guernsey cattle.

                        Sunday School Holds Harvest Party for Kids

About 50 persons attended a harvest party for children at St. John’s the evening of Oct. 16. Roughly half were kids and half were parents and grandparents. Three families were new to St. John’s.

Ryan Salyards served sausages and cheese steak sandwiches and many from the church brought snacks and desserts. (A special shout-out to Joy Nelson for baking a lot of beautiful cupcakes.)

The costume “shop” was a huge hit with kids paying for their costumes with cans of soup for the food bank filling two large boxes. “We will likely do it again next year,” said Leah Salyards, chief organizer of the event.

Tina Holderbauam created and facilitated two creative games.

Sarah Gunnett did a fantastic job making balloon animals, wearing a colorful wig.

Matt Nelson delivered a very encouraging message to the group in the fellowship hall to close the evening’s activities.

                         Guild Was Busy in Oct. Preparing for Events

Women’s Guild had no regular meetings in October but was busy! We presented Pastor Dave and PeggyAnne gifts of thanks for Pastor Appreciation Month on behalf of the congregation on the first Sunday of October. The sanctuary and fellowship hall were decorated in festive autumn style for the Harvest Home Service and fellowship meal. The ladies provided paper products and drinks for the covered dish prepared by all. We received bountiful donations of staples, produce, canned goods, cereals, etc. that were given to the NB Food Pantry. The Sunday school benefited too with an already set up & decorated hall for their Harvest Party that evening.

Six of our ladies attended the 4 C’s Ladies Fall Retreat (separate article) Oct. 21/22. Our annual Salad Supper was held Oct. 27. We will have a cookie exchange in conjunction with our November 18th guild meeting. Peg Wachter has the program. Donna Smeltzer, Tina Holderbaum, & Kim Rodgers are the hostesses. Each lady is asked to bring 2-3 dozen cookies (bar cookies & store bought welcome) to be sampled during refreshments & shared among us.

Linda Henderhan, church representative. for Homewood Auxiliary is accepting $3 donations to join the auxiliary, which provides more services for Homewood residents than one can imagine. The guild also contributes to Hoffman Home near Gettysburg and is requesting church folks to give generously to the Hoffman Home box. This is mailed in early December for staff to purchase Christmas gifts for residents who are unable to be “home” for Christmas for a variety of reasons. We will have our “mitten tree” in the fellowship hall to be decorated throughout November with hats, scarves, gloves, socks and mittens for local children/youth.

Our Ladies Christmas Party will be held Friday, Dec. 2, with a 6 p.m. social and 6:30 meal. Price for the ham dinner is $6 per person. Ages 6 and under are free. Bring a $5 gift to exchange if participation is desired. Our theme is “Jesus Came!”. All St. John’s ladies, family and friends are welcome to attend. Reservations are due to Beverly Smith by Nov. 22. Committee members are Barb Thomas, Beverly Smith, Tina Holderbaum, and Sandy Styer.

Our November meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the fellowship hall with Tina Holderbaum and Kim Rodgers as hostesses. Each lady is asked to bring 2-3 dozen cookies (bar cookies & store bought welcome) to be sampled during refreshments and shared among those attending.

                                        Community Meals

The Cove Lions Club will hold its monthly Sunday Brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Lions Building in Loysburg. Cost for all-you-caneat brunch is $12.

The So. Cove Vol. Fire Co. will offer turkey dinners for take-out from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Replogle Bldg
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