top of page

April Newsletter

Disciples Had Self Doubts; We Do Too

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” – Matthew 26:20-22 ESV


Jesus shared His Last Supper with His closest followers, men He has poured His life into during His three years of earthly ministry. These are the ones He would entrust to carry on the ministry He has initiated. Leadership transitions are crucial. More than competence – which can be learned, one looks primarily for character and demonstrated devotion in future leaders. Who is truly prepared to carry on in Jesus’ stead? As followers of Christ commissioned to share His Gospel wherever we go through life (Matthew 28:19-20), this is something we all must consider.

The mood is marred by Jesus’ startling revelation that there is a traitor among us. Even more alarming than the presence of a betrayer, is the realization that every one of these followers of Jesus suspects himself. They each question their own loyalty and devotion to their Lord – for whom they have left everything to follow.


In the midst of this Lenten season, where we ramp up our spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, prayer, fasting, service and the like – as we seek to deepen our devotion to Christ, we do well to meditate on this incident as a window into our own heart. Any notion that discipleship is a stairway of incremental spiritual progress is about to be torpedoed. Failure, in ourselves and others, is not the end of one’s spiritual journey, but an opportunity to learn more profoundly what true discipleship demands. As we meditate on the doubts expressed by these disciples who witnessed Jesus’ most definitive miracles, it opens us to grow more deeply in the wake of our own doubt. As we consider this vulnerable moment where Jesus’ trusted followers recognize the seeds of betrayal in their own hearts, it gives us permission to examine the traces of denial and betrayal that lurk within us. I dare say we will find this time of reflection to be a humbling encounter with these very real followers of Christ – who are more like us than we may care to admit.


On Maundy Thursday, April 18 at 7 PM, 13 men from our congregation will present a re-enactment of Jesus’ Last Supper with each of The Twelve reflecting on this defining moment. I invite you to come with an open heart as we each examine our devotion to Christ, and learn and grow in our love and obedience to Him.


Because he lives,


Dave Meckley, Pastor

Men of St. John’s to Portray Jesus, Disciples

On Maundy Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m., 13 men from our congregation will present a re-enactment of Jesus’ Last Supper with each of The Twelve reflecting on Jesus' startling words, "One of you will betray me." To this each one of them asks, "Lord, Is it I?"

We will close the service with Holy Communion. The choir will sing.

The living dramatization of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper is a recreation of da Vinci's world-famous painting with thirteen living characters.

Leonardo, versatile genius of the Renaissance, was born in Vinci, Italy, in 1452. Though he excelled in many fields, he is remembered today because of two wonderful paintings; the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. In 1494, when Leonardo was 42, he was commissioned by the Duke of Milan to decorate the dining room of the convent church, which was the favorite shrine of the Duke's young bride. As an appropriate theme for this dining room, the painter chose The Last Supper. His painting was not intended to be a faithful reproduction of the original scene as it had taken place in first century Palestine, but as it might have taken place in 15th
Century Italy. He chose what he considered the most dramatic moment of The Last Supper.

In this living dramatization, the twelve apostles speak their minds to themselves, to each other and to the Lord in the light of the words that they have just heard Jesus speak, "One of you will betray me." The dramatization was written by Ernest K. Emurian in 1954.









Egg Hunt Set for 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20


Again St John’s will host an Easter Egg Hunt for church children and other youngsters in the community. It will be held at 1 p.m. on April 20, the Saturday before Easter.

Our high school students are asked to come to hide the eggs.
Church members are asked to please pick up plastic eggs from the church basement and fill them with candy or small trinkets. At least 30-40 dozen are needed for the hunt.

There will be crafts, snacks, a short devotion and the hunt.


Last Year for Resurrection Cross on Easter

This may be the last Easter that the Lenten Cross at St. John’s will be covered with flowers as a Resurrection Cross for Easter. The “old rugged cross” in the sanctuary throughout Lent has been converted to a “resurrection cross” for several decades, but the committee members who have handled the operation have decided to make this the last year. They learned a year ago that lily blossoms were not available from area florists, so mums were used. Kim Rodgers,

who will spearhead the effort again this year, has found no florist that can supply lilies at an affordable price and only one florist who will supply mums for the cross. The cost has gone up each year for the 140 blooms needed.

Order forms for blossoms will be distributed with the worship bulletins, and persons may purchase a bloom in memory of a loved one or in honor of someone. Orders for the flowers are to be turned in no later than Palm Sunday. The 10-foot cross will be decorated on the Saturday morning before Easter. The cross was made about 20 years ago from the trunks of two red cedar trees that had been church Christmas trees.

The 9:30 a.m. worship service on Easter will include Holy Communion (by intinction), an Easter message by the pastor and an Easter anthem by the choir. Sunday School will be at 10:45 a.m.



High School SS Class Planning Sunrise Service


The high school Sunday School class is planning a sunrise service at 8 a.m. on Easter. All are invited. The Women’s Guild is serving a breakfast at 8:35 a.m. in the fellowship hall.

Attendance has grown each year since St. John’s started sunrise services. They has been held in the pavilion when the weather permits, where the sun can be seen as it rises over Tussey Mountain.

Mother-Daughter Banquet May 3


Ladies, mark your calendars for the annual mother-daughter banquet!

It will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, in the church fellowship hall. A chicken dinner will be served by the Bedford Forge United Methodist Church. The price for tickets is $13 for folks 11 and older; $7 for children 5 through 10; and free for ages 4 and under. A sign-up sheet will be in the back of the church on the welcome table or call Beth Clark
at 766-2964 for reservations by April 28.

Love INC Banquet May 14


The annual fund-raising banquet for Love in the Name of Christ (Love INC) will be held May 14 at the Crossroads Bible Church north of Bedford. More details will be shared in the May newsletter. 

Love INC is seeking volunteers to help staff the ministry center in Everett, particularly office help.
Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Encounter to Host Duck Dynasty Stars

Ladies Encounter held a representative meeting on March 23 at the Grace Fellowship Activity Center, Leamersville. We discussed past events as well as upcoming. The day opened with refreshments and door prizes along with a devotion and prayer.


It was reported that there were about 488 ladies in attendance at the Fall Encounter, 2018, with Amy Carroll, and if I recall correctly, it was said two ladies accepted Christ into their hearts. Praise the Lord! At the Prayer and Praise held later last fall there were 52 in attendance, including the band members. At that meeting community members pray over churches, schools and the nation. Let's make a goal to raise that attendance number this year! Save the date — Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019.


The Spring Encounter events this year will be April 26 and 27 with Duck Dynasty stars Alan and Lisa Robertson. This year is quite different than past years but the changes are exciting! Friday night will be the Teen Girls Encounter Pizza Party called Ducky Decisions with Lisa Robertson (advance tickets $10). It will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. downstairs at the Blair County Convention Center. At the same time men and teen guys are welcome upstairs for Reflections from the Beardless Brother from 7 to 9 p.m. (advance tickets men $20/teens $10). On Saturday Ladies Spring Encounter, “Hope for Any Situation,” will start at 10 a.m. with both Alan and Lisa Robertson. Advance tickets are $25/Lunch $15.


You may purchase tickets online at or at the Roaring Spring True Value Department Store, Thompson Pharmacy (Hollidaysburg), Everett Flower Shop and Northern Bedford Pharmacy.


They say these two are very encouraging! So let's raise each other up and invite our friends and family no matter what their current moods! We all can use a good laugh and a whole lot of Jesus!


Other Upcoming Events


Ladies, you may also want to add to your calendars: Lynn Cowell from Proverbs 31 Ministry comes to Faith Assembly in Roaring Spring on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019!


And everyone can help Encounter benefit from Hoss’s Cash Cow Cards. They are at the back of the church for Sunday, May 5. Have a meal and donate to a great cause at one time!


—Submitted by Connie Ochoa, St. John’s Representative to Encounter

Ladies Plan Discarded Treasure Sale April 26, 27


A Discarded Treasure Sale (formerly known as a rummage sale) sponsored by St. John's Women’s Guild will be held in the Fellowship Hall and the pavilion area on Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.


Members of the congregation are asked to donate items that they no longer use, in "slightly used condition" for this sale, but no clothing or shoes. Homemade baked goods will also be for sale along with Otis Dawg homemade dog treats. The guild is asking members to donate baked goods, which should be dropped off evenings of the previous days or early on sale days.


Persons may bring sale items to the church basement beginning the Monday after Easter.


“We will have some interesting things for sale — donate and shop — bring your friends — remember, one man’s discard is another man’s treasure,” said Peggy Ritchey, Guild President.

Religious Release Time Classes to Be Offered

The Southern Cove and Yellow Creek Ministerium is again offering Religious Release Time for students at Northern Bedford Elementary School. The classes will meet for one hour each Thursday afternoon, April 18 to May 16.


In the spring classes are offered for students in Grades 3-5. Using curriculum from Child Evangelism Fellowship, our third graders learn about Jesus’ birth, baptism and early ministry. Fourth graders learn about the later aspects of Jesus’ ministry, including His suffering, death, resurrection and ascension. Fifth graders are taught about Pentecost and the ministry of the early church.


Local pastors, including Pastor Dave, and several laypersons lead the sessions and serve as helpers.


The New Enterprise Church of the Brethren graciously offers its building to host these classes. Carbaugh bus company provides bus service to transport the children to New Enterprise and back to school.




Guild-Made Hoagie Sale Raises $1,173


A ham and cheese submarine sandwich sale by the Women’s Guild on March 13 netted $1,173.45 to go toward the new sound system.


The guild sold 313 hoagies and made $10 on the sale of extra ham. Starting at 6 a.m. volunteers, including several men, assembled the sandwiches in the church basement, using ingredients supplied by Saxton Foodliner. The 12-inch subs were available for pick-up before 8 a.m. They sold for $7 each.



Matthew Lunardini Now In Army Basic Training


Matthew Lunardini entered basic training for Army Military Police on March 12 at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri.


He is the stepson of Christina Lunardini, who is in the Army. Christina is the daughter of Deborah Bowser of St. John’s.

chancel 1950.jpg

   This photo of the chancel area in St. John’s sanctuary was taken on Easter in 1950. The chancel was remodeled shortly after that and new furnishings were built. Only the ministers’ chairs, the choir chairs and the hymn board remain in use. An end of one of the earlier pews shows at the bottom left, and one of the earlier ceiling lights shows at the top left. The piano was moved to the basement and later given to David Snyder, replacing his piano, which was ruined by a flood in 1996.

Local Ladies Attend Chestnut Ridge Conf.


Deb Bowser, Brenda Colyer, Mava Cottle, Jeanne Detwiler, Connie Ochoa, Peggy Ritchey, Beverly Smith, Sandy Styer, Barb Thomas, Peg Wachter, and guests LouAnn Kurtz and Peg Crawford, attended the Chestnut Ridge Independent Fellowship Church’s fourth annual Women's Conference on March 16. Myra Whysong-Krentz from Mt. Zion Reformed Church in Pavia joined the Loysburg group for the day's activities. (All 13 of us won door prizes!)


The theme for the day was HOPE. The host church choir sang “Hope Was Born This Night.” Joyful Noise, a contemporary Christian group from Martinsburg Brethren in Christ Church, led several sessions of worship, praise and prayer. Several St. John's ladies led an ice breaker session planned by Barb Thomas.


Cyndi (Foor) Bulger of Everett, founder of “Women to Women” ministry in 1993, began the morning sessions speaking about an experience in her life with depression and self-pity. Using many scripture verses such as Psalm 34:18, 2 Cor. 1:3-4, and Psalm 43:5, she assured us that God hears every pray, every cry for help, and sees every tear that falls. “Our Hope is in YOU Lord” was recited over and over by the ladies, prompted by Cyndi.


Cyndi used the text from Mark 5 of the woman who touched Jesus' robe to teach of His compassion and power to heal. “What has you bleeding?” she asked. “Illness, unsettled matters, relationships, financial burdens? Hope and faith go hand in hand.” She shared that she had times when her life looked like a train wreck. God showed her He loves a good train wreck! That is a great time for God to show how powerful, big, amazing and miraculous He is!


Carol Deremer was the afternoon sessions leader. First she masterfully explained Psalm 23 verse by verse, making a personal connection between sheep and people; a shepherd and the Lord. “Draw nearer to the Good Shepherd, be still and listen to His voice; be guided in His Word,” she continued. “Our struggle is not against people but Satan, and God's table is over-flowing,” are some of the many lessons learned in Psalm 23. Carol's second session was called “Is Your Ticket Good?” inspired by a recent visit to her daughter in Gatlinburg, Tenn., when they were denied entrance to a dinner show because their tickets weren't for the correct dates. Carol asked how many are living in fear and insecurity concerning their eternal future. A teacher at the Greer School for Girls in Tyrone, Carol says recent surveys find that this generation is the first that does believe the future will be better. Hebrews 6 talks of the hope in God's promise to Abraham, made possible to all believers through Jesus. Carol encouraged us to not be sluggish (Hebrews 6:12) but stay diligent and faithful. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)


Susie Mickle co-ordinated the event with Carol. Brenda Colyer assisted the ladies in two skits and in the second one she played a lead role! Each lady attending received a bag with an anchor stamped on the front to symbolize HOPE, and it was filled with goodies from the host church which were explained to us by Patty Larson and Kathy Dull. We had a delicious breakfast of juice, fruit, oatmeal and baked goods, and a wonderful buffet of soups, sandwich makings, veggies, dips and cookies for lunch. It was a lovely and hope-filled day!

--Respectfully submitted by Barb Thomas

Who We Are

This month’s Jottings features Clay and Dottie Hull of New Enterprise. Each month one family, couple or individual from St. John’s is asked to write about themselves in the newsletter so that we all may get to know each other better.

Clay Hull was born 94 years ago in his childhood home, just steps away from the home he has shared with Dottie during their 60-year marriage. A graduate of Replogle High School, Clay was active in the chorus and played snare drum in the band. Clay played in the Fishertown Band for 22 years. Later, he taught himself harmonica, which he still plays in church. And, he loves to whistle.


After graduation, he worked on the family farm and did custom work for other local farmers as well. He remained active in the Senior Extension Club in Bedford (a group for Bedford County young people); and he also has stayed active in the Cove Lions Club, the Southern Cove Fire Company, and his church choir.


Dorothy (better known as Dottie) was born in Carrolltown, Cambria County, in 1937 and moved to Bedford in1952. A graduate of Bedford High School, Dottie was active in the chorus and played tenor saxophone in the band. She graduated from the Mercy School of Nursing in Pittsburgh and worked as a registered nurse at Bedford Hospital and Nason Hospital. She later served as director of nursing at the Morrisons Cove Home, now named the Village at Morrisons Cove. She retired from there in 2000. Dottie now serves as ombudsman for Blair and Bedford nursing homes. And she actively enjoys Red Hat and playing cards with friends!


Clay and Dottie met roller skating or square dancing, depending upon whom you ask. They do agree that they enjoyed many nights doing both while dating. Camp Sunshine, near Bedford, was a favorite place for them to enjoy a steady stream of activities with life-long friends.


Clay and Dottie married in 1958 and were blessed with four children: Beth Hull of New Enterprise; Bruce Hull (partner Vicky Ritchey) of Osterburg; Matt Hull (wife Sally) of Keedysville, MD; and, Jennifer Brooks (husband George) of Virginia Beach, VA. Clay often tells people that having kids was the best decision he ever made!

Five grandchildren – Sarah, Bradley, Mary (Mimi), Sadie, and Clay – are an additional source of joy.!


After their marriage, Clay continued to farm. In addition, he grew from a hobbyist photographer to a working photographer. He took family, wedding, and school photographs for several generations of Cove residents. Clay also sold life insurance in his spare time – a position he held until he turned 90 years of age!


Clay and Dottie were lifelong members of Loysburg United Methodist Church. They feel blessed to have found a second church home at St. John’s Reformed Church.!

Memorial Funds Transferred to Bldg. Fund

The Consistory held its monthly meeting on March 7. Many items were on the agenda, including reviewing the funding for the new sound system and the storm window replacements. It was moved that the consistory transfer monies up to $5,000 from the memorial fund to help cover costs of the projects. That motion was approved. However, there is still much help needed in covering the costs and the board is asking the congregation to pray on how each of us can help, either with fundraisers or with personal contributions.


There will be a special Maundy Thursday service on April 18, with a re-enactment of the Lord’s Supper. It will be similar to the service held about five years ago only with new re-enactors. This was a wonderful service then and should be even better this year. Communion will be incorporated into the service.


We are blessed at St. John’s to be a growing church in a time when other congregations are dwindling. As we discussed at the congregational meeting, one of the problems with growth is space within the church. Joel Ritchey, president of the consistory, and Pastor Meckley met with Sunday School superintendent Matt Nelson to discuss the space problem confronting the Sunday School. Several options were discussed, and there will be a meeting with the Sunday School teachers following Sunday School on April 7 to discuss these options and explore other ideas in order to better address the situation. The solutions we are looking for at this time are only short-term solutions. Once the sound system and the new storm windows are installed and the costs covered, we will begin to look at a long-term solution. Although space is a problem at the present, it is a good problem, indicative of God’s good grace. He will guide and direct us through this time. Keep on praying for our church and for those churches whose populations have decreased, that they may once again continue to grow.


A gentle reminder to everyone that the nursery held during church is intended for children up to kindergarten age. This will help with the space during the church service. We are in the very early stages of setting up a junior church for the children. We will keep you advised as this project progresses.


Elections were held with officers being reinstated as follows: Joel Ritchey, president; David Snyder, vice president; Cathy Snider, treasurer and Beth Clark, secretary.


Please remember that the consistory meetings are open to everyone so, if you are interested in how the board operates or if you have suggestions for us, or if you just feel like attending the meeting, please do so. The next meeting is at 7 p.m. April 4 in the copy room of the church.

Submitted by Joel Ritchey, consistory president

Guild Learns How Noah’s Family Survived


St. John's Womens' Guild met on Friday, March 15, in the fellowship hall.

Kim Rodgers and Peggy Ritchey presented the program. Peggy portrayed Noah's wife and Kim, one of his daughters-in-law (Shem's wife). They explained that Noah loved God and always obeyed him. When God told him to build an ark, he did. God then flooded the earth to rid it of evil.


Noah's family and all the animals God sent went aboard the ark. They worked very hard feeding, cleaning and caring for the animals and themselves for 375 days. Noah sent out a dove, which returned with an olive branch, indicating the flood was over. The ark found land on Mt. Ararat. A rainbow appeared – there would never be so great a flood again.


A typical Noah family meal was served, including lentil soup, dry bread, cheese, dried fruit, nuts, olives, grapes, peppers, melon and sweet cake for dessert.


Peggy called the business meeting to order. The secretary’s and treasurer’s reports were accepted with no corrections or additions. A thank you card was received from Birch Snider for a gift card from the guild following his surgery.


The Secret Sister program was explained. Forms are available and all ladies are invited to join. Forms will be available on the welcome table for several weeks.


The silverplated items are back at the church. Discussion will continue. A suggestion was made to include them in the "Discarded Treasure Sale" on April 27.

Four guests from Homewood – Mardi Lesher, Jean Kensinger, Marian Grassmyer and Janet Brumbaugh – came to thank our Guild for support we give to Homewood in numerous ways, including auxiliary membership fees, resident birthday parties, silent auction, hoagie and quilt sales. They gave each lady a candy treat.


Barb Thomas prepared a sign-up sheet for the Easter Sunrise breakfast. It was passed at the meeting and will be placed in the sanctuary as a few other items are needed.


The next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on April 12. Sandy Styer, Peg Wachter, and Molly Shirk will be hostesses. Beth Clark will lead the program.


Beverly Smith reported later that the guild sold 313 hoagies and made $10 on extra ham that was sold for a total profit after expenses of $1,173.45. The proceeds have been designated to go toward the new sound system.

Winnie Langtry Moves to New Home

Winifred Langtry, widow of a former pastor at St. John’s, has decided she can no longer live alone and has put her house in Hopkinton, N.H., up for sale. She is now residing at Golden Crest, a retirement home in Franklin, N.H.


In a Christmas letter she gave friends her new address, where she can look out the window and see the beautiful New Hampshire scenery, and where she has 70 or so neighbors.


Her address is Room # 50 (the same as her former house number), 29 Baldwin St., Franklin, NH 03235. Her phone number is 603-520-5843.


The letter gives an update on her family as follows:


“Thanks especially to Doug and Gary and Chris for their help in closing out the house and getting it ready to sell. I miss my neighbors and friends, but this is a wonderful place with three meals a day and so much assistance all the time.


“Doug lives in Massachusetts on Cape Cod with his family, where he owns a plumbing business. Donna is a speech pathologist at one of the local elementary schools, and Cassie graduated from college and is working and living at home. She will be entering law school when she finds the right one. My car is now owned by Cassie and she uses it to work and to make plans for law school. I miss it but could no longer drive.


“Gary and Angela live in a duplex in Pennsylvania, and their children live near them.


“David and Joy live in Oregon with their son, Nate, who is furthering his training in the culinary field. Alex, their daughter, visited me last summer when she was in the area.


“Gary and Doug’s families spent a week this past summer in New Hampshire, and I enjoyed seeing all of them. We had a great time together, and I hope they do something like that again.


“I enjoy hearing from you all, so please keep on calling and writing to me.

Love, Winnie”

Thank You Notes


Dear Friends in Christ,


I want to thank you for your generosity and caring. I am humbled by the love you have shown me and my husband Jeff. You are folks we don’t know and have never seen. We feel very blessed by the outpouring of concern and prayers.


Your donation has helped to ease some of the hospital/doctor bills. It has helped lessen concerns as I continue to heal and get stronger. Currently I only need to use my walker when I am going to a doctor’s appointment and other outings.


God is good. He is the Great Physician and does perform miracles! Thank you again!


With love in Christ,

Sharon and Jeff Hollingshead


Note: The Hollingheads were given the offering collected at the Christmas program in December.



To all the consistory and church family and friends,


I want to thank all of you for being my family and friends for 31 years. It meant so much to me to be able to clean the church and talk to all of the ladies at the church. The talks helped me get through the day and the night. I want the church members to know I won’t forget any of you. Some day I’ll be back.


I want so much to thank you all for the gift card and the Christmas money. It was very much appreciated by me. God bless you all. You all are my family.


Thanks again for everything.


Love in Christ,

Ellen Swope

Food Pantry Requests Veggies, Pork & Beans


The Northern Bedford Food Pantry is seeking donations of canned vegetables and pork and beans during the month of April.


However, all canned, boxed or non-perishable food items are graciously accepted, as well as monetary donations.


Distribution is on the third Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed to help during distribution and on the preceding day for set-up at the Woodbury Community Center.


Monetary donations can be sent to Janis Slick, treasurer, 131 Hipples Cave Rd, Woodbury, PA 16695

Recycle Trailers in SW Twp. on April 12 & 13

On April 12 and 13 the Bedford County Conservation District will have its mobile recycle collection bins at the South Woodbury Township Building on the corner of Brumbaugh and North Roads between Loysburg and New Enterprise.


Persons may sort and drop off newspapers; magazines; office paper/junk mail; flattened cardboard; plastic bottles/jars with recycle numbers 1 & 2 (separated); metal cans; and glass jars and bottles, clear or colored. The plastics trailers are at the site throughout the month.

bottom of page