May Newsletter 

Immerse Yourself in Christ to Find Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. - John 14:27

 

Jesus speaks peace to His closest followers when they were facing a major crisis. Their world is about to be turned upside down - at least as they see it. Jesus has foretold His pending arrest and crucifixion. He has assured them this is all by God’s sovereign design. He also introduces them to the Holy Spirit who will be with them and empower them to carry on the mission. Unfortunately, none of this makes any sense to them, except later in hindsight. They faced a series of major upheavals without understanding that this was all God’s plan to bring salvation, despite Jesus’ painstaking efforts to explain all this.

 

We have come through a hard year riddled with various disputes and unrest. “Peace” is probably not the first description we would use to summarize this time. That may be because peace does not come from this world, or social media, or any human organization. True peace only comes through Jesus Christ. His peace is so unlike anything we find in this world.

 

While we live in this world, literally immersed in this world, it is all the more imperative that we be immersed in Christ, His Word, His Presence, and His priorities. As Steven Furtick said, “You cannot breathe the air of anxiety and expect to live in an atmosphere of peace.” We must make deliberate choices to immerse ourselves in Jesus’ life-giving thoughts, truth, music, perspective and Presence. We will always be moving against the current of this world. Christ is our strength. He is our joy. Only by His Holy Spirit can we bear good and lasting fruit in a world that needs - desperately needs – His light, life, joy and hope.

 

There is much in this world not to our liking. I find that reassuring, since this world is not our home. We need Christ’s peace and the Holy Spirit in order to be good stewards of the opportunities we have each day to witness for Christ, to bring His redemptive perspective to the issues of the day. Living for His everlasting Kingdom – our true home – makes our winsome witness in our brief time on earth all the more imperative. I pray God uses each one of us to open the eyes of those in our sphere of influence to God’s better way of peace and life.

 

Because He lives,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Day of Prayer Event May 6 in Woodbury

The Southern Cove / Yellow Creek Ministerium is hosting a National
Day of Prayer event at the Woodbury Community Center on Thursday,
May 6 at 7 p.m.

Pastor Mark Lingenfelter of Hopewell Grace Brethren Church will share
reflections on Psalm 51 to introduce a time of repentance. Small group
prayer times will also be part of the experience.
 
 
Community Youth Group Being Organized
 
Cove Community Students (CCS) is a new community youth group consisting of youth from area churches as well as individuals who desire personal growth and belonging.

Our hope is that these individuals will come to believe in Christ and join
a church. This ministry is for students in middle school on up into college
age. CCS is still in the planning stages, looking to begin meetings Sunday
nights starting with a kick-off June 6.

 
Meetings will be at the Koontz CoB Parsonage on Churchview Road,
Loysburg. The leadership team includes Pastors Dave Scott (Woodbury
CoB) and Eric Poteat (Koontz and Waterside CoB). Volunteers are being
sought to teach or facilitate small group discussion. Fundraising ideas as
well as assistance from area churches are also welcome.
Consistory President’s Report

St. John’s Consistory met April 8 in the copy room. The agenda this
month was somewhat light.

The pastor discussed the livestreaming of services he has been doing
weekly. Because the livestreaming has been working well, he is discontinuing pre-recorded sermons. Chis Kurtz and Josh Gunnett are helping with the livestream, setting up and monitoring the camera during the service. Consistory discussed purchasing a new computer for the
livestream as the church’s computer is not powerful enough and requires
more memory.

The pastor will be on vacation the week of May 2 and will be out of the
pulpit that day. We are happy to welcome back Doug Mingle as the supply pastor that day.

The consistory continues to review potential candidates to replace the
two vacancies on the board. Hopefully, we will be able to announce all the appointments after our next meeting.

Consistory decided to pursue the installation of the drainage system
and sump pump in the basement. Cumberland Waterproofing came to the
church on April 14 and installed both the drainage system and sump
pump at a cost lower than the estimate given. The company told us that
anyone with leakage problems in their basements can feel free to call
them. Contact info is at the back of the church.

COVID-19 update: St. John’s has been blessed this past year in that a
few members who contracted the virus have recovered, but there have
been no deaths and no apparent evidence of spread throughout our membership. We continue to monitor the numbers closely and have been able resume some activities we were not able to have even two months ago. Special music has resumed, although it must be performed behind the protective shield on the pulpit or with face shields; the Sunday School had its Easter egg hunt and the Women’s Guild held its Discarded Treasure sale. All are looking forward to Vacation Bible School with all activities to be held outside.

The CDC has stated that where all participants of a group are vaccinated,
they may meet without face coverings. Although some of the groups in
the church have met that criteria as a whole, we still must take caution.
Unlike several months ago we believe we are beginning to see that small
light at the end of the tunnel. We on the consistory are grateful to serve a
congregation of loving and patient brothers and sisters in Christ who care
for each other and are willing to make sacrifices for those who are most
vulnerable. Thank you.

 
The next meeting will be held on May 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm in the copy
room of the church. All are welcome.

Submitted by Joel Ritchey, President
MYSTERY ISLAND - Vacation Bible School

Barb Thomas and Beverly Smith, assisted by Lauren Sell, are co-directing
this summer’s “MYSTERY ISLAND,” using Answers VBS curriculum.
This was chosen last year by Joy Nelson, but unfortunately BVS was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“We have high hopes that we can participate in an exciting and ‘normal’
Bible school,” according to Barb Thomas. Traditionally Bible school has been held the week following the end of school, but the uncertainty of whether or not we can proceed caused a delay in planning. Forms have been distributed to try to determine the week that will allow the most volunteers to participate and what areas in which they would prefer to work. The responses will allow leaders to determine who might prefer to work. Suggestions also are sought for designation of recipients of the weekly offering.

These forms are due April 25. A copy of the form can be found on the
following page. Barb, Beverly and Lauren will determine the time, dates
and volunteer positions after analyzing the forms. Please be in prayer for
this important ministry, and for the children and volunteers involved.
Guest Speaker May 2

Douglas Mingle of Roaring will be the guest speaker for worship at St. John’s on May 2. He has been with our congregation previously and his visits are always welcome. 

Pastor Dave and PeggyAnne will be visiting family in Florida for a
well-deserved vacation.

Mr. Mingle and his wife Jo Ellen are owners of the Roaring Spring True Value (better known as the Roaring Spring Department Store). They are members of Trinity United Methodist Church where Doug is a certified lay speaker with the UM Susquehanna Conference.
News from Love INC
 
Volunteers are desperately needed to deliver donated items to families. If you can help, please contact Jeff at 814-652- 0025 ext. 1. Also refrigerators and washing machines are needed as well as household items.

A program is planned for the National Day of Prayer to be held May 6 at the Gazebo on the Square in Bedford at 12 noon. 
 
Love INC is scheduled to participate in the Memorial Day celebration
Friday May 28 through Monday May 31 at the Interstate 70 East at Hancock, Md., from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. Fresh baked goods, snack bags, fruit, gluten free items, doggie treats, etc. are needed. Love INC is looking for volunteers for the day. Please contact Bev at 814-652-0025 ext. 3 with questions and volunteering.

The next Hoss’s Day will be Sunday, June 6. Coupons will be
available.
30+ Youngsters Enjoy Egg Hunt  Despite Chilly Morning
The annual St. John’s Easter Egg Hunt was held outside the church on
April 3, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. It was a crisp, spring morning, thankfully,
without rain.

The event began with an Easter message provided by Chelsea Kurtz with
excerpts from The Jesus Storybook Bible, which was written by Sally
Lloyd-Jones.

 
Children were then released by age to search for eggs hidden on the
church grounds. Generous donations of eggs and candy were received so
that children did not leave empty-handed. Drinks and treat bags with
snacks, spring time toys, and the Jelly Bean Prayer were also provided.

 
The event was well attended with 30-35 children present. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with our church family as well as members of the community. Thank you to everyone who attended, assisted with hiding the eggs, and provided donations! We are looking forward to the Easter Egg Hunt in 2022.

Respectfully submitted by Chelsea Kurtz and Lauren Sell,
co-chairs of the event
Food Bank Remains Open
 
The Northern Bedford Food Pantry at Woodbury remains in operation
during the virus restrictions. Recipients who qualify are able to drive through and be handed their monthly food packages by volunteers.

 
The pantry is asking for canned pasta and cereals for the month of May. Donations may be left in a box at the back of the sanctuary. They will be delivered to the food bank before the monthly distribution. Make sure no donation have expired. 
 
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.
Good Turnout at Sunup

Cold temperatures did not hamper a good attendance for a sunrise service on Easter in the pavilion.

Chris Kurtz gave the message. Ethan Hess played his bass guitar for “Christ the Lord Has Risen Today” and read scripture. Barb Thomas played keyboard for the singing of resurrection hymns with Bella and Blaire Gable leading the singing.

The Women’s Guild served a continental breakfast in the fellowship hall before the indoor worship and Holy Communion.
Who We Are
                                             This month’s Jottings from St. John’s features
                                              the Andre and Katrina Howe family of Guyer
                                              Corner Road, New Enterprise. 
                                             We’re Andre and Katrina Howe. We have 
                                             three kids, Harper, Bristol and Preston.
                                             We live on Andre’s family’s farm,
                                             Deana Jak Farm in New Enterprise
                                             where we raise Hereford cattle to sell and
                                             show across the country.

Andre grew up in Chester County with his 5 siblings (3 brothers and 2
sisters). Growing up he played ice hockey, and showed livestock in 4-H. He moved to New Enterprise in 2010 to co-manage the operation with his brother.
 
Katrina grew up in southern Lancaster County, on her family’s farm where they raised Angus cattle. She also was very involved with 4-H,
FFA and showing Angus cattle. Katrina worked as an xray tech for several years until she married Andre in September 2014 and moved
out here with him.

Even though we grew up with different breeds of cattle you could say our hobby of showing cattle is our common interest and really what brought us together. We are blessed that our kids can grow up similar to us, on the
farm, outdoors, learning all aspects of life at a young age. 

We started attending St. John’s in 2019, thanks to the Gable family. We thank everyone for welcoming us with open arms!!
Who Likes Dandelions? We All Do!
 
St. John’s Women’s Guild met Thursday, April 15, in the church fellowship room. Molly Shirk began her program by asking “Who likes dandelions?” All of us did! Molly shared great information about dandelions and soil. Dandelions indicate the soil is compacted. The dandelions multiply and their long roots loosen up the soil. 
Sometimes soil lacks calcium. Dandelions leaves deposit calcium when mowed. Dandelions are one of the first flowers for bees to get pollen. Some Bible scholars believe they may be the “bitter root” mentioned in scripture or possibly milk and honey for the milky substance that comes from the stems. 

Molly has several recipes that utilize dandelions: vinegar, tea and jelly. Molly plans to make the jelly! Molly read a devotion by JoAnn Morrison called Dandelions. “Dandelions are ignored or attacked, never nurtured or cared for, and yet they bloom profusely. Christians should be more like dandelions. Our sunny, yellow faces should be a reminder that simple faith has deep roots that are impossible to dislodge. We should be as easily accessible as a dandelion. Jesus was.” Molly’s program encouraged us to pop up like dandelions in one another’s life to share the gospel message.

President Peggy Ritchey opened the business meeting. Barb Thomas read the minutes from March 19, approved as read. Mava gave the treasurer’s report in Beth and Beverly’s absence. We have $1,223.63 in checking and $1,720.52 in savings. Peggy thanked all who donated and participated in the Easter Baskets created for Homewood residents and shut-ins, and also the Easter Sunrise continental breakfast. Those able will stay after the meeting to finish setup for the Discarded Treasure Sale Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17.

Barb Thomas was the only one present to report on the Mother/Daughter
Banquet. (Committee includes Beverly Smith and Tina Gojeski.) Because permission has not yet been granted to hold a meal at the church, and due to the time needed to prepare, engage caterers, etc., sadly a banquet will not be held again this year. Barb will ask the committee if they might consider planning a Family Night sometime this summer in lieu of the annual banquet.

Hostesses Peg Wachter and Sandy Styer served a delicious lasagna dinner, salad, cookies and ice cream. A very nice time was had by all. Present were; Peggy Ritchey, Molly Shirk, Peg Wachter, Sandy Styer, Beth Cottle, Mava Cottle, Linda Henderhan, Donna Smeltzer, Katrina and Bristol Howe and Barb Thomas.

Our next meeting is May 21, at 6:30. Jean Wakefield and Jane England have the program. Brenda Colyer and Linda Henderhan are the hostesses. Please come!
 
Respectfully submitted,
Barb Thomas, secretary
Thank You from Breezewood Trucker-Traveler Ministry
Dear Friends of the Trucker-Traveler Ministry: Greetings and grace from the crossroads at Breezewood! What a year it has been, but God has blessed us richly.

The Breezewood Trucker-Traveler Ministry would like to take this time to thank you for your contributions and your prayers to the ministry this past year. Without your support we would not be able reach those in need.
 
Chaplain Maxwell
A Letter from the Conference Minister
 
Dear Friends at St. John’s Reformed Church of Loysburg:

Greetings in the love and grace of our Lord Jesus!
 
Thank you for your faithful support of the CCCC during 2020. A copy of
your giving is included. (Quarterly payments of $500 totaling $2,000.)

 
The year 2020 was a challenging year for all of us! The effects of the pandemic and the social unrest affected all of us. Yet, God was faithful in meeting our needs and providing the resources that we need to continue our ministry. Our leadership appreciates your partnership in the ministry of the Gospel.
 
A copy of our 2% Mission Challenge brochure is enclosed.(See vestibule
bulletin board) I am grateful that many of our churches have responded
to this challenge and are supporting the work of the Conference in significant ways. your support is making a difference. Please review
this brochure to better understand the vision that God has given us and how your support is making a difference.

I pray God will encourage and strengthen you in your ministry!

In the Lord,
Rev. Dr. Ronald Hamilton
Conference Minister
Mystery Island VBS Volunteer sign up
(Ladies and men of all ages are welcome.
Teens 7th Grade and up also are welcome to help!)

Name: _________________________ Phone: ____________________
 
Do you prefer VBS to be held: Morning_________ Evening __________
 
(Monday thru Friday) __________ (Sunday thru Thursday) __________
 
Area preferred: teacher_________ helper_________ crafts _________
 
kitchen ________ playground ________ publicity/decorating ________
 
other ______________
 
Substitute support (fill in as needed)_______________________
 
Approximate number of children you may bring _____________
 
From June thru August, please list all weeks that you WILL NOT be available to help. We will attempt to schedule the week that will suit the most volunteers.
_______________________ _______________________

 
_______________________ _______________________
 
_______________________ _______________________
 
_______________________ _______________________
 
Suggestion/ideas for mission to designate our weekly offerings?
 
___________________________________________________
 
Please return this form to Barb Thomas or Beverly Smith before April 25
For additional info/questions – Barb, 766-2507 or Beverly, 224-4213
Steve Rodgers and Ethan Hess got mulch and were helped by Pastor
Dave and John Thomas putting down the mulch down prior to Easter.
Successful Sales at St. John’s
Many donations and many helping hands made the Discarded Treasure and Soup Sales successful on Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, at St. Johns' Fellowship Hall, 9:30 - 3:00 each day.
 
Our first helping hand came from David Snyder who showed us how to turn on the heat and so we began our morning tasks.
 
Vegetable, turkey noodle, ham and bean, and green pepper soups were prepared by Debbie Bowser, Linda Henderham, PeggyAnne Meckley, Barb Thomas, Mava Cottle and Beverly Smith. The cost was $8 per quart, and it was all sold, giving us a profit of $550.
 
Items for our Discarded Treasure Sale were donated by our church family and community members. Everything was in good condition, including household items, toys, books, decorations and many other interesting things. This committee was comprised of Mava Cottle, Linda Henderhan, Sandy Styer, Kim Ritchey and Peggy Ritchey. Others dropped things off and gave a helping hand. I recall seeing Molly Shirk, Beth Cottle, Donna Smeltzer, Barb Thomas , and there were others. The Discarded Treasure profit as of this writing was $670. OtisDawg Homemade Treats was also present selling his treats for the cause. The Ladies Guild thanks each of you who supported us. Our proceeds totaled $1,220. It will be used to support our church missions here at St. John’s.
 
--Submited by Peggy Ritchey
 
What Is the Consistory?

“Consistory” is the traditional term for the church governing board in Reformed congregations. St. John’s constitution calls for a consistory consisting of four elders, four deacons and the pastor.

The constitution and bylaws also spell out the duties of the consistory, although those have been amended over the years. 
 
Presently the elders serving are Joel Ritchey, Brad Gable, and
Steve Rodgers. Deacons are Beth Clark, Cathy Snider and Chris
Kurtz. There are presently two vacancies following the resignation
in March of Wayne Kagarise as an elder and Charles Mountain as a deacon.
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