December News - 2022
The Other Side of Jesus:
He Existed Before He Was Born
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. - Matthew 1:1
Matthew opens his Gospel with the genealogy of Jesus. His human bloodline covers the spectrum: kings, harlots, ethnic Jews, immigrants, faithful believers and idolaters. God knows the extent of our human depravity – and how we are utterly helpless to remedy our problem with sin. That's why God sent – not a prophet or an angel – but God sent His only Son, Jesus.
The true marvel of Christmas is the "other side" of Jesus' heritage. That Jesus existed before He was born – existed eternally as God the Son. He and the Holy Spirit were with God the Father even before the creation of the world. As we read in Colossians 1:15-17 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. To clarify, the Son is "the firstborn over all creation" in terms of authority or rank. He is sovereign. All that follows testifies that the Son of God is not a created being, but is eternal God. Like God the Father, He is "before all things".
The miracle of the eternal God being reduced to a fertilized egg in the womb of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit is the back story of Jesus' virgin birth. The sinless Son of God became human, grew to maturity, was tempted in every way we are, yet never sinned. So when this innocent man died on the cross, it was not for any offense He had committed, but for your sin and mine.
J. D. Greear sums this up in Above All:
"Jesus did not just die for you; he died instead of you.
He suffered your curse so you could inherit his righteousness (Gal. 3:13).
He was clothed with shame so you could sit at the seat of honor (Heb. 12:2).
He was struck down so you could be lifted up (Isa. 53:3–4).
The Father turned his face away from Jesus so that he could turn his face toward you (Mt. 27:46
He lived the life you were supposed to live and died the death you were condemned to die so that you could have the reward He deserved—eternal life in the presence of God (Col. 3:4)."
Through Jesus Christ, we are adopted into the family of God through faith in our crucified and risen Savior. The Apostle John can’t contain himself, expressing the joy of grasping all this truly means, in 1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God – and that is what we are!
We are adopted into God's family through true faith in Christ, as John 1:12 states, But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
Christmas is about the Son of God becoming human, taking on a human family, so we could be forgiven and through faith in Christ be adopted into the Family of God. His birth is all about our new birth!
Grateful He came,
Dave Meckley, Pastor
Children ’s Christmas Program Dec. 18 at 10:45 a.m.
The Children’s Sunday School classes will be presenting a Christmas Program on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 10:45, following the morning worship service in the sanctuary.
The children’s classes, from nursery to Grades 5, will present a modified version of “All I Want for Christmas” (Dennis & Nan Allen). Please plan to attend in support of our precious kiddos and their dedicated teachers.
CHRISTMAS CARD EXCHANGE DEADLINE DEC. 17
Everyone is invited to send Christmas cards (free postage) via our Christmas card box found in the back pew of the sanctuary. Place cards in the box for church family members BEFORE Dec. 17.
Anyone who would like to help youth sort cards for delivery on Dec. 18 may come Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. (Cards need to be here before that time to be sorted into correct piles.) Volunteers also are invited to stay after the card-sorting to help fill the Sunday School Christmas treat bags to be distributed on Dec. 18
Choir and Adult SS Will Present ‘Looking for Christmas’
at 7 p.m. Dec. 18
Please plan to attend our annual St. John’s Reformed Christmas program on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. “Looking for Christmas” contains several teachable moments for both adults and children in a family setting. Dialogue was written by Barb Thomas. Cindy Johnson will play the role of Grandma.
The choir will sing several selections: “Looking for Christmas,” “Light of the World,” “Merry Christmas Mary,” and “Join the Angels”-- music chosen to support Grandma’s discussions with her family. Deegan Wertz will play “Uncle Rick”, Grandma’s son. Bella Gable is Grandma’s helpful daughter, with her “daughters”, Blaire Gable and Ella Snyder.
Grandma’s curious daughter and granddaughters. Bella, Blaire, Ella, and Deegan will sing “When I Kneel at the Manger Tonight,” assisted by the choir. Kim Rodgers plays a busy, sometimes overwhelmed mom who is trying to get it all done, yet finds feelings can be hard to fix. (Basically, Kim plays herself!) Her son Grayson is her shopping partner and both are invited to Grandma’s house to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
A brief message of hope and celebration will be offered by Pastor Dave.
Lorie LaSala will share her talent on the piano and violin, and also direct and play with the Bell Choir. Ryan Salyards will sing “Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child.” Ethan Hess will accompany several selections on drums, trumpet, and guitar.
Debbie Bowser will invite all to “put Christ in Christmas” as the youth light the candles among the congregation and lead our traditional singing of “Silent Night.”
Everyone has worked hard on this program, “Looking for Christmas.” Your attendance will be much appreciated. We urge you to invite family, friends, and neighbors to join us in this special evening, reflecting on the reason Jesus came into the world, and understanding the symbolic meaning of our Christmas traditions.
The choir consists of Beverly Smith, Peggy and Joel Ritchey, Sandy and Jack Styer, Deb Bowser, Beth Clark, Marsie Albright, Tina and Dennis Holderbaum, Peg Wachter, Pastor Dave Meckley, David Snyder, and Brad Gable.
The ladies fellowship will serve light refreshments following the cantata in the fellowship room, led by Molly Shirk, Kim Rodgers, Josephine Garman and Cindy Johnson. Please plan to attend.
Let’s Go Caroling: Wed., Dec. 28, in Loysburg
Caroling is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday evening, Dec. 28. More details will follow. The choir will break for winter, resuming practices on Wednesday, Jan. 25 and providing special music on Sunday, Feb. 5
Congregational Meetings Set Dec. 4, Jan 29
The Consistory met Nov. 3 in the copy room. Pastor Dave has been selected to serve on the CCCC Board of Directors. We congratulate him on his selection and will support him in this endeavor. He will be gone the week of Feb. 6 for a board meeting in Orlando Fla.
We want to begin reminding everyone that our annual Congregational Meeting will be Jan. 29, 2023, at 1 p.m. Once again church and Sunday School hours will be flipped on that date with Sunday School beginning at 9:30 and Church at 10:45. There will be a covered dish meal prior to the meeting. We tell you this in advance so you can begin to prepare any questions, and input you may have. This is the last year for the SEND missionaries, Jim and Angela May, so we are looking for ideas for new missions you may want to support.
With Advent beginning on Nov. 26, the hustle and bustle of Christmas is upon us. Each of us is busy during this season, as is the church with the a musical and Sunday School children’s program coming up on Dec. 18 and Christmas caroling for anyone who wishes to join on Dec. 29. Our Christmas Eve candlelight service this year is on a Saturday and the next day, Christmas Communion.
As you should already know, the Consistory is calling a special congregational meeting on Dec. 4 following worship to seek approval of funding to correct drainage problems we have in the old section of the church. Because the foundation is rock and plastic sheeting cannot adhere to the walls we have opted to install an internal gutter with a vapor barrier against the back wall of the fellowship hall. The gutter will go the length of the wall all the way back and past the electrical boxes. We have accepted a bid of $11,339.59 from Baker’s Waterproofing for this part of the job. The price includes a 10% discount and a $99 fuel surcharge. To cover the plastic on the walls we will be installing wainscoting at a cost of between $2,500 and $3,500 plus labor costs. As an additional safeguard we are also adding some additional down spouting, the cost of which we do not have as of this writing. We hope to keep the total cost for the project just on the north side of $15,000. We will present this information and answer any questions at the meeting.
The next Consistory meeting will take place on Dec. 8 in the copy room.
We pray each of you had a truly blessed Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, food and especially gratitude for the bountiful goodness our Father in Heaven has heaped upon us.
—Submitted by Joel Ritchey, consistory president
NEED OFFERING ENVELOPES ?
If anyone needs offering envelopes going into the new year, please see Cathy Snider, deacon/treasurer.
Confirmands to Meet Twice
Confirmation Class will meet Sunday, Dec. 4 (chapter 22) and Dec. 11 (chapter 23) at 2 p.m in the copy room. We will then resume meetings in January
Gloves, Mittens, Scarves, Hats & Socks for Kids
Baskets under the tree in the fellowship room will be available to collect gloves, mittens, scarves, hats and socks for local children throughout December. These are given to the Northern Bedford School District and distributed as needed throughout the winter. Thank you for your help!
Live Nativity Dec. 11 at Bedford Forge
Bedford Forge United Methodist Church will be holding a drive-through Live Nativity on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. on the church grounds. Enter from the south entrance to Jack’s Corner Road.
Hoss’s day DEC. 4 AT BEDFORD
Hoss’s Steak & Sea House in Bedford is teaming up with In One Accord Ministries (Formerly Love INC) Sunday, Dec. 4 for a fund raiser. Anyone who eats at Hoss’s that day and shows a Cash Cow card will be donating a percentage of their meal price to the local charity. Cards are on welcome table. Dont fail to pick one up
Ladies Meet for Cookie Exchange Nov. 18
The Women’s Guild met Friday, Nov. 18 in the fellowship room. Peg Wachter presented a great summary of God’s Hand in providing for the Pilgrims. She focused on Squanto who was vital to the Pilgrims early existence in the New World. We each read a Founding Father quote and thanked God for our freedom and His love and care.
A short business meeting was held. Sandy Styer gave a detailed report concerning the possibility of purchasing a new stove. Action was tabled until we see what electrical renovations may be needed. Secret Sister and Prayer Mentor forms will be inserted in church bulletins in December.
A “Beauty for Ashes” Retreat will be held here on Saturday, Feb. 18, led by Carol Deremer (our Harvest Home speaker). This ladies ministry exists to share God’s restoration, hope and healing in women’s lives. She plans to invite other churches and the community for a two-fold purpose: 1. To help train women interested in mentoring other women; 2. To minister to local women who are struggling with low self-esteem, abuse, addictions, bitterness, and grief.
A regular Thursday morning Bible study is being planned also for all ladies of St. John’s Reformed and friends. The time will be 9:45 – 11:15. Child care will be provided. More details yet to come.
Kim Rodgers, Donna Smeltzer and Tina Holderbaum provided delicious chicken salad wraps, veggies, humus, crackers and pie to accompany our abundant cookie table! We enjoyed each other’s company as we ate, then divvied out cookies so each lady took home a beautiful assortment.
Our next event is our Christmas party on Friday, Dec. 2. St. John’s Women’s Guild meets once a month for regular meetings and provides special ministries within the ministry to help us develop an understanding of the work of the church, to deepen our spiritual life, and to promote Christian service in our homes, the church, the 4-C’s Fellowship and the world. The first meeting of 2023 is tentatively scheduled for Friday evening, Jan. 13, at 6:30. Secret Sisters will be revealed and new ones drawn for another year of fun and surprises! Ladies of all ages are welcome to attend. Bring a friend.
--Respectfully submitted, Barb Thomas, Pres.
So. Cove Power Reunion to Hold Light Show
The Southern Cove Power Reunion will hold a drive-through Christmas light show at its grounds just west of New Enterprise on two weekends in December. Admission is free.
The dates are Dec. 9 and 10 and Dec. 16 and 17, and hours are from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. each day. Various individuals, families and groups are submitting displays for a second year. Anyone wishing to make arrangements to enter a display this year is invited to contact Barb Detwiler at 814-494-2040 for more information. The Power Reunion will supply the electricity for the lights and provide hookups.
Yule Band Concert Dec. 4 at Everett Grace Brethren
Christmas Band Concert will be presented at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Everett Grace Brethren Church. The 55-piece band is directed by Melvin Van Orman, who is pastor at the church and who was formerly an instrumental music teacher and band director at Northern Bedford High School.
The church has offered a Christmas band concert for several preceding years and had packed the sanctuary each time. Therefore persons are asked to come early for the best seats. The church is located at 14 W. Main St., opposite Sheetz.
Playing cornet with the band will be Ethan Hess of St. John’s and his friend River Troutman on saxophone. Yvonne (Hall) Bowser of Faith Methodist, Woodbury, David Snyder’s niece, also plays French horn with the band.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 7 p.m.
A Christmas Eve candlelight service will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. This will be a service of lessons and carols with a Christmas message, closing with candle lighting while singing Silent Night.
Worship on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, will include Holy Communion at 9:30 a.m. Sunday school will follow after worship.
The usual Sunday School Christmas treats will be distributed the previous Sunday, Dec. 18, during Sunday School.
Meltaways Are Sold Out
Gardner’s Peanut Butter Meltaway bars are sold out. The middle school and high school classes were selling them as a fall fund-raiser.