Let God Rearrange Your Thinking
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the
nations, I will be exalted in the earth! – Psalm 46:10
Life can get busy. Deadlines, appointments, family obligations, church
responsibilities – I’m impressed you’ve taken the time to read this! Even
with summer, many find themselves in a rush to cram in as much fun and
adventure while the sun shines. This life-giving word from today’s Scripture
calls us to find time to “be still.” Stillness and silence are two spiritual dis-
ciplines that are especially difficult for Christians to practice. Yet, to set
aside my “to do” list and be still in God’s Presence is a profound act of faith:
faith that God is in control;
I can trust His sovereignty;
my true treasure is in heaven.
Our prayers do not rush right into our list of wants, opinions or ques-
tions, but Jesus taught us to open our prayer, “Our Father, who art in
heaven, hallowed be Your name.” We wisely pause to recognize the mag-
nificence of our God who hears and answers our prayers. Taking time to
draw near to God helps us to learn to trust Him and become more like Him.
We begin to see life more through eyes of faith.
We are wise to allow this stillness to follow us into our everyday living.
James 1:19 says, “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow
to anger.” The world speaks quickly and loudly. The 24-hour news chan-
nels bombard us with information, often with people talking over each
other. Texting is often fast and furious, with curious abbreviations so one
can text even faster. We can be tempted to raise our voice so we can be
heard above the clamor. But God’s ways are not our ways. As followers of
Christ, our ways are not the ways of this world. I continually need remind-
ed of that, as I find myself repeatedly drawn into the flow of worldly think-
ing, whether its snarky retaliation, one-ups-man-ship, pleasure, power,
position or prosperity. It can be tricky to recognize how deeply I have sunk
into worldliness at times.
But when I pull back from the world to focus on God, just being still in
His Presence is rejuvenating. In ways that defy explanation, God realigns my thinking with His way of humility, mercy, forgiveness and love. The Apostle John expresses God’s heart in his third letter, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth" (1:4).
Enjoy some quiet stillness as you enjoy your summer.
Growing with you in Christ,
Dave Meckley, Pastor
Andrew Camenga to Preach here July 14
Rev. Andrew Camenga, pastor of the German Seventh Day Baptist
Church at Salemville, will be guest minister at St. John’s Reformed on
July 14. Pastor David Meckley will be away that week attending the annual gathering of the CCCC in Minnesota. Pastor Camenga has filled the pulpit here previously and has been well received by the congregation.
Guild to Meet July 12 at Homewood
St. John’s Women’s Guild is taking its ladies ministry to Homewood at
Martinsburg at 6 p.m. Friday, July 12, to share food and company with
residents there who have ties to St. John’s Reformed Church and the
communities of Loysburg and New Enterprise.
“Please meet us with a covered dish to share and a big, friendly smile,”
said Peggy Ritchey. See her for more information.
Pastor to Represent St. John’s at CCCC Gathering
Pastor Meckley will be representing St John's at the CCCC Annual
Gathering July 9-12 at the University of St Thomas in St Paul,
Minnesota. The theme is "The Good Shepherd" based on 1 Peter 5:2. This
is not only a time for Pastors to learn, but is also a time for the many lay
delegates attending to learn how to support their leaders in ministry.
Other details are in the Foresee, copies are on the Welcome Table or
online at CCCCUSA.com
Volunteers are needed for greeter and children’s messages on several Sundays during July.
Modified Schedule for Choir
St. John’s choir will practice July 8 and 29. There will be no choir practices on July 1 and July 23, Ladies only will meet July 15, according to Barb Thomas, director. Persons who would be willing
to provide special music in August should contact Barb.
Pastor’s Class Begins Study of Heidelberg Catechism
Pastor Meckley’s Sunday School class began a study of the Heidelberg
Catechism on June 23. He welcomes newcomers. Copies of the
Heidelberg Catechism are in the pew racks and can also be found online.
All Church Picnic Scheduled for Aug. 4
After the success of the church picnic last year another picnic is being
planned for August 4 this year, again at one of the pavilions at the
Woodbury Community Center. As of this writing there will be an outdoor
worship service at 10 a.m., followed by a covered dish meal, and activi-
ties for all ages. There is no Sunday School that day. Volunteers to help
plan and lead activities are needed. More information will be made avail-
able as we proceed toward the date.
Other business at St. John’s Consistory meeting on June 6 in the copy
room included the following:
Scott Shirk and helpers will begin work on the windows in July. In
addition, they will cut the dead spruce trees at the back of the parking
lot. If any of you have ideas about fund raisers we can hold to offset the
cost of the windows please tell any member of the consistory.
We reviewed the church’s policy on use of the fellowship hall and
sanctuary. It was decided that we have been undercharging people out-
side the church for their use. The fee for use of the fellowship hall was
raised to $100 for those who are not members of the congregation.
Members will continue to use the hall at no charge as will community
groups. Donations will be gladly accepted. Use of the sanctuary will
remain at $50 for those who are not members of the church.
It was also voted on and approved to make some schedule changes for
communion services. Instead of rotating pew, altar and intinction in that
order, the motion calls for pew communion half the time and alternate
between altar and intinction communion the other half.
There will be no consistory meeting in July unless a special meeting
is called for a specific purpose.
Pastor Dave announced that the Southern Cove/Yellow Creek
Ministerium has scheduled a Prayer Walk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20,
on the Northern Bedford Schools campus.
Appreciation was expressed to Deb Bowser for weeding around the
Submitted by Joel Ritchey, consistory president
Community Theater Acquires Loysburg Methodist Church
Colin and Mary Ellen Laird of Loysburg, doing business as the Cove Community Theater, have purchased the Loysburg Methodist Church from the Susquehanna United Methodist Conference. The transaction took place with the blessing of the Bedford Forge United Methodist Church after the two congregations had merged and decided to use the Bedford Forge church for worship and keep the Loysburg church for Wednesday evening youth gatherings and other activities. The Lairds
agreed to allow the children and youth ministry to continue there.
Meanwhile the Loysburg building is being converted to a dinner musical theater. “Our first performance is ‘The Ark’ on Sept. 14 and 15,” Mrs. Laird said. The theater is Christian based, she added, noting “We have a lot of opportunities for volunteer positions.” The Lairds have directed several previous dramatic productions.
There will be many expenses to bring the building up to code, the new owners said. One of their first fund-raising efforts will be a Hoss’s eat-out benefit at the Bedford and Duncansville locations on Sunday, June 30. People of St. John’s who are interested may pick up a certificate from the welcome table, show it when they order at Hoss’s, and a percentage of their check will be paid to the theater group.
Next Township Recycle Days Are Fri. & Sat., July 12, 13
The Bedford County recycle bins will be at the South Woodbury Township Building on Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13. Help will be available to unload recyclables from your vehicle from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
40 Children, 25 Adults Attend Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School was held June 9 through 13 with the theme “In
the Wild.” An average of 40 children attended the five-evening event along
with 25 adult leaders and helpers. A large number of parents, grandpar-
ents and friends turned out for the closing program on Thursday, June 13.
“It was a great success,” declared Barb Thomas, who credited Joy
Nelson and Sarah Gunnett for their work in organizing the Bible School
and directing it for the first time.
Beverly Smith, Sunday School treasurer, reported that the offering for
the week totaled $454 with $98.94 given in pennies on penny day. On
June16 the Sunday School voted to round up the total to $500 for Jacob’s
Way, a Christian housing and rehabilitation facility being established in
Cresson by a Cove couple, David and Emily Summers. Jacob’s Way will
help men by providing housing, clothing and food, as well as educational
and vocational support.
Adults participating in this year’s VBS included the following:
Registration — Beverly Smith and Joel Ritchey
Recreation — Josh Gunnett, Mike Jones, Chelsea Kurtz, Pastor Dave
Meckley and Hunter Kagarise
Crafts — Sarah Gunnett, Tina Gojeski and Bethany Jones
Music — Barbara Thomas and Beverly Smith
Where Needed — Connie Ochoa and Matthew Nelson
Mission Presentation — Noah Staudenbaur
Teachers and assistants:
Nursery — Beth Clark and Abby Jasper
Grades 1-2 — PeggyAnne Meckley
Ages 4-5 — Erin Staudenbaur and Molly Shirk
Grades 3-4 — Alaina Gates and Amy Snyder
Preteen — Deb Bowser.
Each class participated in the closing program and Pastor Dave gave a
Bible lesson. The entire group sang two soongs and the congregation
joined in a closing song. A picnic lunch was provided for all.
Barb Thomas and Beverly Smith, who led music classes in Bullfrog Bog
with each age group throughout each evening were pleased with the chil-
dren’s participation. The children will provide special music for the 9:30
a.m. worship service on July 7, singing the VBS theme song “In the Wild”
and another favorite “What You're Made For.”
Who We Are
This month Jottings features Ryan Salyards of Osterburg, writing about himself so that we all may learn a little more about Ryan and know him better. Ryan
calls himself a farmer and a butcher.
You could say that I have come to grace the pews of St. John’s through
a series of unfortunate events. You could say that, but I wouldn’t. It seems to me that there’s often a kind of irony to the workings of divine providence.
God sometimes carves our lives from knotty wood of difficult circum-
stances, but it’s the burls in the trunk, the imperfections in the grain that
often bring him the greatest glory. After all, His strength is demonstrated
through our weakness, His provision by our need. That being said, I count myself blessed and call myself thankful to find myself in the fellowship of you fine people. So, in an attempt to allow you all to get to know me better, I’ll include a few pertinent details about myself in this addendum to the monthly newsletter.
I am twenty-eight years old and am the father of Augustine Hemlock
Salyards, who was named after St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo, and the state tree of Pennsylvania, a stand of which grows above our house.
Augustine has hair the color of a Hereford steer. I was married once, but
am no longer. Neal and Cheryl Salyards, who some of you may know, are my parents, and Erin Staudenbaur is my sister. Big Noah showed up without explanation several years ago, and we have been thus far unable to shake him. I have enjoyed being “Uncle” Ryan to their herd of children
along with Henry and some of the other kids here at church. I’ve been fortunate to have several of the same friends since high school and earlier. I’ve known Christopher since kindergarten at Providence Academy where my sister and Josh also attended during elementary school.
As far as my personal history with the church goes, I have grown up in
the reformed faith and attended Westminster Presbyterian Church in
Hollidaysburg for the first twenty-five-or-so years of my life. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t count Christ as my savior. I attended Geneva College and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, with the intention of attending seminary or graduate school. Instead, I became a farmer.
Now I am both a farmer and a butcher at our family business, Jubilee
Hilltop Ranch. We raise and butcher beef and pork that supplies many of
the high end restaurants in Pittsburgh. All in all, I’d rather be a farmer
than a professor any day.
I like to fish and hunt, but seem to do a lot more fishing. I like to read
and am interested in philosophy, theology, cooking (particularly meat),
and wooden architecture (old barns, timber framing, log buildings, etc.).
On the weekends I often go to our cabin down by Canoe Creek State Park where I typically work on things or wander aimlessly through the woods, which is also a hobby of mine. I’d have a hard time deciding on a favorite book, that is apart from the Bible, because I have to say that, but my favorite movie would be a tie between Jeremiah Johnson and Cool Hand Luke. My favorite musician is John Prine. I once played Huckleberry Finn in a play and on another occasion crawled into a beaver den. They weren’t home. Despite a few hard times and the occasional setback, I’ve had a good life. It is God’s grace that has made it worth living. I’m glad to be here at St. John’s with all of you. See you on Sunday.
CCCC Women’s Retreat Oct. 25, 26
Barb Thomas, leader, and Myra Wahkon-Krutz, secretary/treasurer of
the 4 C's Allegheny Regional Ladies Fellowship have chosen “Beautiful
Feet” — a Bible study/retreat kit written by Deb Burma — for the annual
Ladies Fall Retreat which will be held on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and
26, at Sequanota Conference Center in Jennerstown.
Your feet take you many places, don't they? They get tired, blistered and
calloused from the running you have to do and the types of shoes you have to fill. But you can be sure that God has equipped you with uniquely beautiful feet for your walk with Him. Please join us as we take a closer look at our feet and the feet of others, learning more of God's grace in Christ, who walks alongside us and forgives our sins. We will find out more about our unique "shoe size" and examine various styles of shoes we wear on our walk through life.
Several Bible study sessions will focus on what makes truly beautiful
feet. Mark your calendars now, line up pet sitters and childcare and pre-
pare to be swept off your feet by our Savior as we walk in His Word. More
details and registration forms will be available in August.
Submitted by Barb Thomas
Church Was Scene Of June 15 Wedding
St. John’s sanctuary was the scene of a wedding on June 15. Pastor
David Meckley officiated at the marriage of Rhiannon Korzak and Sean
Imler. The bride is a niece of Deb Bowser.
The bride’s parents are Barry and Karin Zellers, and the bridegroom’s
parents are Timothy and the late Debbie Imler. The couple honored
the memory Sean’s mother and also the memory of Edward Crawford,
grandfather of the bride, and Levi Imler, grandfather of the bridegroom.