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November Newsletter

Dealing with Pain:

It's a Vivid Reminder that...

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

As we approach this season of Thanksgiving, I ask us to reflect on the more difficult ways we are called to give thanks. What follows is a post from Rev. Steve Gammon, who previously served as Conference Minister of the CCCC. He is undergoing chemotherapy and shares some precious insights on dealing with pain that I pray minister to you in whatever circumstance you face.

“1. Pain is a vivid reminder to us of what is soon coming, when by God’s grace, there will be no more of it. 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).

2.  Pain is a vivid reminder to us that the Lord is very near.


The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).

3.  Pain is a vivid reminder to us to pray to the Lord, and always to give Him praise.


Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved, for you are my praise (Jeremiah 17:14).

4.  Pain is a vivid reminder to us that we need and we have a Savior, and we can trust Him fully.


Consequently He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them (Hebrews 7:25).

- The Greek word that is translated “save” in this verse means to heal, preserve, save, do well, make whole.

5.  Pain is a vivid reminder that we can choose to resist the devil, and to remain firm in our faith, and to remember that others are suffering too, and that soon this pain will be finished.


Resist him (the devil), firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you (I Peter 5:9-10).

To all of this, I say, “Yes, and Amen!”  If you find yourself in pain today or if you do in the future, I pray that the truths expressed in these verses may provide some encouragement to you, even as they have for me.  I know firsthand what I attest to you today that in great mercy and love the Lord grows and teaches and holds us close, even in and through our pain.”


I am learning to grow a truly thankful heart.


In His grace,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Christ Church Invites All To Reformation Service


Christ Church of Roaring Spring has invited St. John’s members and others to attend its annual Reformation Service at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. Pastor Joel Kletzing will tell of Aoio Paleario, an Italian reformer. A soup supper will follow.

Faith United Methodist Church to

Host Thanksgiving Service


A community Thanksgiving service is being planned by the Southern Cove/Yellow Creek Ministerium. It will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, at Faith United Methodist Church, Woodbury.


The speaker will be Pastor Darwin Steele of the Bell Seventh Day Baptist Church, Salemville. Other clergy will participate in the service. An offering will be received for community services provided by the Ministerium.



If Thanksgiving Is at Hand,

How Far Behind Can Christmas Be?

Look for the Hoffman Homes Donation Box

The Hoffman Homes box will make its rounds in the church sanctuary in late November/early December. Money or checks (payable to Hoffman Homes) will be donated to the facility near Gettysburg to help purchase Christmas gifts for residents who are unable to go home for the holidays. Hoffman Homes has been helping troubled children and youth for many years, providing therapy, education and a family environment to youngsters who have been abused and neglected. Your donations can make a difference to a child or teen who thinks no one cares. The last day to donate is Dec. 1. (We send it early so the staff has time to assess the needs, shop and wrap.)


Mitten Tree to Appear in Basement

The Mitten tree will soon appear downstairs to be “decked' with mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks. These are donated to Northern Bedford schools to be used for needy students throughout the winter or given to Angels Among Us to distribute. We will collect these until Christmas. Thank you for your help!

--Submitted by Barb Thomas



Operation Christmas Child Wants Filled Shoeboxes

Operation Christmas Child boxes must be returned, filled with special treats for a girl or boy (label please!) and include $9 postage by Sunday, Nov. 17. Barb will take them to a nearby drop off center. Thank you for your participation. The shoebox program is sponsored by and carried out by Samaritan’s Purse with support from churches throughout the country. Instructions are on the welcome table

Live Nativity Scene Nov. 30 at Love INC

A Live Nativity at Love In The Name of Christ in Everett will take place at the Mission Center, located at 80 State Street, on Saturday, Nov. 30. Volunteers dressed in costumes of Jesus’s day will portray the birth of Christ at several different stations and tell the story of His birth with the last stop at the Cross where His crucifixion and resurrection will be told. The event begins at 5 p.m. with an invitation to come inside for cookies and drinks after walking through the presentation.

--Submitted by Peg Wachter

Tanks Svc UMC

Fall Prayer & Praise at Grace Fellowship Center, Leamersville


Please join the Encounter at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 12 at Grace Fellowship Activity Center for the Fall Prayer and Praise with Joyful Noise. Men and teens are invited to join in as we pray in one accord for our churches, pastors and leaders, communities, schools and teachers, our nation.


In the Spring, we are looking forward to our Ladies Spring Encounter at the Blair County Convention Center on Saturday, April 18 2020. "Getting Good at Being You" with Mary Southerland and Gwen Smith. See me if you'd like tickets ($30 for the event, $15 for lunch) or you can order online at March 1 they will be available at select local businesses. Also for all teen girls, there is a Pizza Party and Girl Time on Friday April 17 at 6:30 ($10 advance ticket donation, $12 at the door) with Gwen Smith.

--Submitted by Connie Ochoa, Church Representative to Encounter

Fall Prayer Praise

Ladies Encounter Marks 20 Yrs. at October Event; Fall Prayer & Praise Set for Nov. 12​

It sure is exciting to say that Ladies Encounter has been meeting for 20 consecutive years! So, in anticipation of an uplifting and spiritual evening, many women gathered at Faith Assembly in Roaring Spring on Tuesday, Oct. 15, to welcome Lynn Cowell from Proverbs 31 Ministry. The evening began with a welcome from Joyce Bassler as well as a few announcements. Praise and Worship was led by a newly named group called "Generations." They are a beautiful mixture of sisters in Christ, who sing and play musical instruments for the Lord.


Lynn Cowell's words for the night spoke of Rahab and how to keep the scarlet cord hanging. She began with a story of a wonderful family Christmas, memories in the making, when she received a phone call from a sobbing friend 1,000 miles away. Why God? Where are you, God? So much doubt came from that one phone call. We, as humans, can't fix the fractures that come into this life and God didn't have emotional roller coasters in life planned for us. He gave us confidence though and it is not loud or proud. God gave us an example of a confident woman in history who was named Rahab. Rahab opened the door to the spies and then proceeded to hide them. That was her first and second act of faith. Her third act of faith was to turn away the messengers sent from the king. She sent the opposition away, in the opposite direction. Rahab moved forward in her faith. She more than likely heard that 'head trash' that we all hear, but tuned it out in order to be able to strengthen her faith.


Striving stirs from a soul that believes that what I do is who I am. Lynn reminded us to choose confidence in Christ as we pick up His truth to read, to fuel our hearts with faith and not fear. Faith and fear can not occupy the same space. They may wrestle but one will ultimately win. Rahab hadn't had a relationship with God but is quickly building one as she helps the two spies whom she knows are on the Lord's side. The fourth right move was asking for help from God, asking him to protect her and her family because she alone couldn't do it. She knew to believe in God whom she had heard great things about.


As we listened that evening, we were reminded to take one right step at a time. Even when opposition comes to the door, the phone rings with bad news on the other end, what do we do with that? Simple and easy are not the same thing, but we can shift our thinking to God. We can keep that scarlet cord hanging from nothing other than our faith in God that comes from a personal and intimate relationship with Him. Even when we feel there are no instructions or maybe we should pull that cord up, God is doing something and we need to be quiet. His perfect love drives out all fear. Lynn spoke that the more she knows God loves her, the more her confidence levels out; the more the world's labels for us are replaced with His. We are enough. We have everything we need. We are perfect in God's eyes. He delights in us. He will never leave me or forsake me. We need to share our testimonies so that others know of God's great work. Rahab had heard these testimonies and what God had already done. She stepped out in faith and God gave her the desires of her heart it seems. Keep coming back to God's word and keep the red cord hanging

Guild Christmas Party to Be Held Dec. 6


St. John’s Ladies’ Christmas Party will be held Friday, Dec. 6, at the church fellowship hall. A social gathering from 6 to 6:30 p.m. will be followed by a meal at 6:30, prepared and served by members of Bedford Forge United Methodist Church. The cost is $11 for ages 11 and up, $5 for ages 5 to 10, and free for children 4 and under.


Please bring a gift of $5 to $10 value if you would like to be included in a gift exchange. If you have children with you, bring wrapped gifts for them to open.


Reservations need to be turned in to Brenda Colyer by Nov. 24.



Window Project Nearing Completion (Except Payment)

St. John’s Consistory met briefly on Oct. 10 in the copy room at the church. The primary discussion revolved around the storm window replacement, which should be completed in the next week or so. By the generosity of the congregation and the efforts of the various organizations in the church we have been able to pay half the cost of the project, but we will still be in the red by $6,000. Although the church can and will be able to cover that cost it will use most of our reserve monies. Without those reserves we may have to put off any future projects that may arise. We still need your help. Please pray and see if you are able to help in any fashion, and then please follow your heart. It is all we ask.


We'd like to thank Wayne Kagarise and Steve Rodgers for trimming the shrubs around the church, spraying and laying new mulch. The maintenance committee also reports new motion lights have been installed outside the Sunday School

/ Fellowship Hall door. Gary Sipes did the installation. Thank you, Gary, for donating your time to this project.


The next consistory meeting will be held on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in the copy room at the church.

--Submitted by Joel Ritchey, Consistory President



Community Chorus Concerts Nov. 23, 24

Cove Community Chorus will present a Christmas concert entitled “The Best Christmas Ever” on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m. at the Spring Cove Middle School auditorium in Raring Spring. The concert will be directed by Tom Kunkle who has recovered nicely after heart surgery last year.


Singers from St; John’s are Beverly Smith, Wayne Kagarise, Birch Snyder and Peg Wachter. Birch and Peg will participate pending recovery from surgical procedures. Keep them in prayer. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased from any chorus member.

Guild Christmas
Cove Chorus
Harvest Home Fall Fest on October 20 consisted of crafts and games for children. 
Matt Janelle.jpg

CROP Walk Exceeds Goal


A CROP Walk spearheaded by the Bedford Forge United Methodist Church on Oct. 6 at NB’s Panther Stadium raised $2,712, exceeding the $2,000 goal. Other churches in the Southern Cove/Yellow Creek Ministerium participated, but no one from St. John’s registered. Of the funds raised, 25% will go to the Northern Bedford Food Pantry and the balance will go to CROP, a Church World Service agency that provides safe food and water around the world. 

Who We Are

This month’s Jottings features Neal and Cheryl. Each month one family, couple or individual from St. John’s is asked to write about themselves so that we all may get to know each other better.

Neal was born in Duncansville and raised as the youngest of nine children. His family is very close and still all live in a close proximity of each other. He was raised in church, taking turns with his siblings sitting on the bench while his mother played the piano at church. Much of his life he has had a strong faith, but as he grew, he began questioning some of the beliefs the church was promoting. With the marriage to his wife some 33 years ago, they began looking into other churches. His brother introduced us to our church home where we had stayed for over 30 years, the Orthodox Presbyterian Reformed Church of Hollidaysburg.


Neal has been in the agricultural field since high school. He is a livestock nutritionist and in 2012 we purchased a farm. Jubilee Hilltop Ranch was born as an all natural, beef and pork family owned farm that supplies several upper end restaurants in the Pittsburgh area. It has been a blessing to have our children come back from college and work with us (even the grandkids help out).


I, Cheryl, was born and raised in the city of Altoona but enjoyed escaping to country every summer to the family grounds in the Beaver Dams. While in junior high we started attending church some but then my mother had surgery that came with complications. My mother would begin living in a 10-year coma-like stage. This was the beginning of my true walk with the Lord. My father turned to a very charismatic church that quite honestly scared and pushed me away from church. As I started my rebellion stage at college, I was blessed to find a great man who would eventually become my husband, my protector and my provider. He was the only “boyfriend” who would visit with my mother in her state. Of course, this is Neal! We married and started attending a reformed Bible-teaching church where his brother had started attending. By God’s grace, the Spirit moved in me and Christ truly became my Lord and Savior.

Several years later our son, Ryan, was born – whom you all know! He is actually the way we came to St John’s and we are thankful for worshiping together. So our whole gang: Neal and Cheryl, Ryan and Gus, and of course Erin (our favorite and only daughter) with her Noah, Noah, Savannah and Royer – We are all here! With this being the month of Thanksgiving, we are very thankful and blessed by our faith, family and fellowship with St. John’s.

Bonnie Burr.jpg

Bonnie Burr Speaks at Harvest Home Service


“Light,” “Faith” and “Love” were a few of the joys Pastor Bonnie Burr pulled from her large backpack when she delivered an uplifting Harvest Home message on Sunday, Oct. 20, at St. John’s. The Women's Guild was in charge of the Harvest Home Service.


After the organ prelude by Barb Thomas, Peggy Ritchey offered Harvest Home greetings and thank yous for donations of food on the harvest table, which will be delivered to the Northern Bedford Food Pantry. Connie Ochoa opened the service with The Call to Worship. Beth Clark led the congregation in the Confession of Sin. Mava Cottle followed with the Responsive Prayer. Beverly Smith led the Assurance of Pardon and the Apostles Creed.


Special music was by St. John's Choir, singing a spiritual written by Otis Skillings, a widely respected musician, who based the words on John: 8-12, "I am the Light of the World, whosoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life"


A large group of children surrounded Pastor Burr as she presented each one with seed pods which she had gathered from her yard. She explained that gathering seeds and scattering them provides a healthy harvest.


All were invited to a fellowship meal downstairs followed by crafts and fun.


Our ushers for the service were Cathy Snider and Tina Gojeski. Our greeters were Beth Cottle and Berneta Gable.

--Submitted by Peggy Ritchey, Guild President

Guild/Boscov’s Fund-Raiser Brings in $475


‘Friends Helping Friends’ — a fund-raiser of the Women’s Guild in cooperation with Boscov’s Department Store has raised $475 to date with a little more not yet turned in. Guild members throughout September and October sold $5 cards to friends and acquaintances who could use them on Oct. 16 for major discounts on purchases that day. Barb Thomas and Beverly Smith manned a table in the store on that date.


The guild’s next meeting will be its annual cookie exchange at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8. Hostesses will be Beth Clark and Berneta Gable. Members are asked to bring three dozen cookies to share.

Youth Selling Candy Bars

St. John’s youth are selling Gardner’s Peanut Butter Meltaway bars. They are asking church members to help sell the candy bars. They sell for $1 each. Persons can sign a sheet and pick up the bars they hope to sell.

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