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Message from Pastor Andrew

So they took Jesus; 17and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

28After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

~ Luke 23:16b-18, 28-30

1On the first day of the week, at early dawn, [the women] came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.

~ Luke 24: 1-8

Good Friday is often described as a day of paradox. As we come together for worship, our liturgy reflects the emotions of those events that gather us – the disciple’s betrayal and denial, Jesus’ arrest, and his subsequent crucifixion and death on the cross. We enter the sanctuary in near darkness with silent lips and unresolved hearts, where we find a stripped alter from the night before and an old candelabra whose candles will be extinguished one by one as the night goes on. As we leave, we do so as we gathered – in silence, surrounded by darkness, with unresolved hearts, some with tears streaming down their cheeks. Along with those who witnessed the events of the crucifixion firsthand, we are filled with question after question – Why did it have to happen like this? What does Jesus’ suffering and death mean for us? What now? Yet as we do, we also remember with thanksgiving, the night our Lord was betrayed and gave up his Spirit for the life of the world – for us…

As we return for worship on Easter Sunday, our liturgy reflects emotions far different. The sanctuary is bright. The music is vibrant and festive. The altar is draped in white and gold, surrounded by flowers. And the Alleluia banner is held high alongside the Christ Candle. Our tears of sorrow have transformed into those of joy.

Yet, while the mood has shifted, the questions remain – Why did it have to happen like this? What does it mean for us? What now?

The truth is, we can’t fully answer such questions. Except, in a very general way, that of: what it means for us? The answer: Everything. Everything…

In baptism, because of Christ’s death on the cross and his rising from the tomb, everything changes. We are reborn children of God and made members of the Body of Christ, the Church, and joined to God’s mission for the life of the world – our lives never to be the same again. We are called to let our lights shine before others that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. We are, quite literally, called to be Christ for those we meet – bringing hope and healing, forgiveness and new life, in all that we say and in all that we do.

With this, I wonder – How are we doing? How are you doing?

As we work our way through the season of Lent – to the foot of the cross and to Easter – What would it look like for you to take the gift of resurrection life seriously? To respond appropriately to what God in Christ has done for you? What would it look like?

Is it forgiving that person you really don’t want to forgive? Is it offering a helping hand to someone in need? Is it volunteering at SCCAP or with Ruth’s Harvest? Is it reflecting on where you spend your time and money and shifting things around in such a way where God becomes the priority? Maybe it’s sharing your gifts with the church by becoming part of a committee, signing up to help with Sunday school, becoming a Stephen Minister, or joining one of the choirs. Maybe it’s participating in worship in a more intentional way – being a reader, usher, greeter, communion assistant, or assisting minister.

Friends in Christ, we have been given the greatest gift of all through the cross and the empty tomb. A gift given freely, not for us to freely do with it as we please, but that all we have, all we are, all we do, would point back to God. Not to keep for ourselves, but to share with others and all God has made.

So, let us live more deeply into that which we are called to, responding to God’s amazing gift of love with joyful hearts. Let us give generously, proclaim the Good News through word and deed, invite people to come and see, and love without limit, bringing new life in whatever ways we can as Christ has for us.

Peace, Pastor Andrew

Worship Previews

April 3 — Fifth Sunday in Lent

Our God makes all things new. In the first reading God promises it. In the gospel Mary anticipates it, anointing Jesus’ feet with costly perfume in preparation for the day of his burial. In the second reading Paul recalls his transformation from the persecutor Saul into an apostle. In baptism, God’s new person (you!) rises daily from the deadly mire of trespasses and sins. Readings: Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8

April 6—Lenten MidWeek Service at 6:30 p.m.

Message by Carole Smith

April 10 — Sunday of the Passion / Palm Sunday

Today we follow Christ from triumphal entry to the cross, each waypoint of the journey marked by Jesus’ compassion for those who would betray, mock, accuse, or do violence to him. Though persecuted and beaten, Jesus the Son of God is not disgraced; instead, he asks forgiveness for those who put him to death. We have walked the Lenten pathway these forty days, each of us invited through baptism to “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” We enter this holy week accompanying Jesus to the cross with both grief and thanksgiving in our hearts, trusting in God’s redeeming love. Readings: Luke 19:28-40; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16;  Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 22:14–23:56; Luke 23:1-49 (alternate)

Holy Week Worship Services at 7:00 p.m.

April 11 & 12—Monday & Tuesday—Stations of the Cross
April 13—Wednesday—Lenten MidWeek Service—Kim Guise
April 14—Maundy Thursday
April 15—Good Friday, Tenebrae Service of Shadows

April 17 — Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death,” Paul writes. Today Christ is risen, and we gather together with astonishment and joy. Christ is risen, and we have been set free from the bonds of death. Christ is risen, and we are forgiven. Christ is risen, and with the women at the tomb and Peter, we are amazed. Let us rejoice: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia! Readings: Acts 10:34-43; Isaiah 65:17-25 (alternate); Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; Acts 10:34-43 (alternate); Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18 (alternate)

April 24 — Second Sunday of Easter

In spite of all we have heard and all we have seen, it is often hard to believe. Because it is hard to believe, we will invest ourselves in the Easter mystery for fifty days (a week of weeks). Because it is hard to believe, John the evangelist will provide sign after sign celebrating Jesus’ victory over death. Because it is hard to believe, the risen Jesus will return to us again and again in the mystery of holy communion, inviting us to touch and taste his presence, and offering us his peace. Readings: Isaiah Acts 5:27-32; Psalm 118:14-29; Psalm 150 (alternate);  Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31

Messages for Members

Thank you, St. James, for the privilege to work alongside you through the past couple of years. My time here has been blessed with purposeful work, deep and meaningful relationships, and the building of community. I’ll forever be inspired by way the St. James congregation and staff lead into the uncertainties of this life with love and faithful dedication to the Christian calling.

Peace, Staci

May Save-the-Dates

Sunday , May 1 at 4:00 p.m.—Ministry Celebration Honoring Timothy & Barbara Braband, St. James Worship Space

Sunday, May 22 at 1:00 p.m.—Picnic Celebration for Pastor Mike’s Retirement, REC Park

Weekly Bible Study with Pastor Andrew

Thursdays 10:00—11:30 a.m.

Through the season of Lent, Thursday morning Bible study will center around Adam Hamilton’s book “Journey to the Cross,” a Lenten study that explores Jesus’s final hours.

This Bible study meets through Zoom. If you’re interested, reach out to Pastor Andrew for the resources you need to participate.

All are welcome.

Note of Appreciation from Pastor Mike

“For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes!”
                                                                      ~ Dag Hammarskjold

Dear St. James family,

We want you to know how deeply we were humbled by the outpouring of love and affection from this St. James faith community, not only for the amazingly prayerful worship services on the weekend of February 26-27, but also, for the plethora of kind words so many of you shared with us, either in person, or in the countless cards we received.

The generosity in the monetary gifts given to Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S., Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development, as well as the gift certificate to Gettysburg Bicycle Shop were indicative of the generous outpouring of gratitude we received in a most modest way! The “Emeritus” designation was totally unexpected and brought tears to my eyes.

We hope each one of you knows how important you have been to us, and how important you will continue to be to the future of St. James. Be assured!

If you have not yet picked up a copy of the Morning Musings gift book, please stop by the church office to obtain one. If you are living out of town, please let me know and I will mail one to you.

On life’s journey, memories are meant to spur us on to creating a future worthy of our calling. As we continue to write the stories of our futures, may we be challenged by the words of God to the prophet Micah: “I ask of you, only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God” [6:8]. Thank you!

Blessings & love,

~ Pastor Mike and Lois Allwein

Youth News

I’d been anxious about scheduling our first St. James Youth Committee meeting of 2022.

Joining the staff just as we emerged from the Two-Year Timeout, I’d heard stories about dwindling attendance and muted conversations as we awaited a return to normalcy.

With workcamp, potential youth house improvements and a spring and summer schedule to discuss, the need for a youth committee had quite possibly never been greater. Weirdly, that is what caused me to hesitate.

What if I throw a planning party and no one comes? I’m embarrassed to say it was easier to hope without action for a time.

The problem with hope without action is that nothing gets done. So, two weeks ago I sent a survey to 15 people asking for available times. After a mixed response we put a date on the calendar, put our faith in God and the congregation, then we waited.

On March 21, St. James showed me how important the youth is to this congregation. Ten people gathered in the library or online to discuss pros and cons, action steps, and more. For the kids, our focus remained on heaps of joy, providing opportunities to explore identity, and finding our place in the community — hopefully while enjoying delicious food.

We narrowed workcamp to two weekends: July 10-16, or July 24-30, so mark your calendars! We also
contemplated a family bowling gathering and decided to throw a barbecue before the end of spring. Speaking of throwing, high school youth will be chucking some axes at Back Alley Axe at a soon to be scheduled time. Keep an eye on your email!

Our committee is currently manned by Kyle and Kasey Smith, Rich Luquette, Travis Smith, Janina Kloster, Kate Dutrow, Beth Becker, Alli Crowell and Sally Abma. Others are welcome to join.  If you have suggestions or concerns, we need to hear them.

Most importantly, if you hear kids sharing joy or profound insights stemming from events taking place at St. James, please, please, please let one of us know! There is no greater feedback than knowing what is inspiring our youth.

Yours in Christ’s love,

Adam Michael, Director of Youth and Family Ministry

Youth Group Schedule

  • HS Youth Group – Sundays 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • MS Youth Group – Mondays 2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • MS/HS Youth Breakfast – @ the Youth House; Wednesdays 6:45 a.m.
  • K-5 Youth Group – Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Calling all Youth Volunteers

If you’d like to contribute time, expertise, and energy to Youth Ministry through St. James, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Mr. Adam, our Director of Youth and Family Ministry. He can guide you through the process of becoming a Youth
Volunteer!

Council Corner

March 16 Council Meeting Highlights:

COVID Discussion

Much discussion centered around a recent COVID task force meeting regarding use of masks. The ELC began not requiring masks for the children although staff continues to wear masks. Wording for church masking resulted in the following language: Masking is optional. Masking is recommended during singing. This, or similar language, will be distributed in the eBlast and Messenger.

New masking recommendations went into effect for worship services starting March 26 & 27.

Personnel Committee

Resignation – Following a motion from Peggy Green and second from Shirley Sanders, the resignation of Staci Grimes, administrative coordinator, was accepted and Katy Clowney was authorized to advertise for a replacement. Staci’s last day in the office is Friday, March 25, but will continue limited remote work thru April 8 to complete a website revamp project. It was noted that Katy will need volunteers to help in the office with vouchers and other administrative tasks.

Interim Pastor – A full-time interim pastor has not been able to be acquired. Two available pastors required salaries commensurate with an experienced lead pastor which Personnel Committee found unacceptable as it exceeded the budget. In addition to retired pastors who have offered assistance, a part-time interim pastor, Clifton Suehr, is available about 12 hours per week. Pastor Geib is in discussion with Pr. Suehr about specifics.

Call Committee – Council will begin seeking nominations for a Call Committee as we search for an associate pastor. Council will begin the collection of names of congregants willing to serve. At the April Council meeting, Council will select from nominees a diverse representation of St. James to serve on the 7-member Call Committee.

Old Business

Nominations for Council are needed for the April meeting. At present, Shirley Sanders plans to run for a second term, and Will Lane who is serving out the term for Barbara Neth, has agreed to run for a full term. Therefore, Council needs a minimum of two additional nominations and a youth representative nominee.

Good for Council / Church / God

Will Lane reported that the Creation Care Task Force is discussing plans to begin a garden project at SpiriTrust with the hopes of an  intergenerational project with SpriTrust residents and Youth from St. James.

Pr. Geib reported that Jonathan Noel had Middle School youth who play instruments bring instruments to Youth Group to possibly arrange instrumental music at St. James.

Pastor Geib will be sending a letter to congregants asking them to sign up for a meeting with him over the coming months. A questionnaire will also be included for members to complete.

Sign-up for a Meeting Time with Pastor Andrew:  StJamesGettysburg.com/PrAndrew-Meeting
Complete the Questionnaire to facilitate your conversation:  StJamesGettysburg.com/PrAndrew-Questionnaire

Easter Flowers and Donations for World Hunger Relief

To the glory of God and in memory of Dan Blocher by parents Jane & Glenn Blocher;  our parents Arlene & John Lawver and Rhea & Norman Blocher by Jane & Glenn Blocher.

To the glory of God and in memory of Nelson & Hazel Sixeas by Janet Rice and her family.

To the glory of God and in memory of George & Hetty Joiner by Diane Joiner and Sam Smith.

To the glory of God and in memory of Jack Bucher by his wife, Jenny.

To the glory of God and in memory of Lynne Kreisher by Liz Thulin.

To the glory of God and in gratitude to the faith community of St. James for your love and support during the last 18 years by Pastor Mike & Lois Allwein.

To the glory of God and in honor of my daughter Devin Currens and Conrad, and my son Caleb Currens and Megan; and in memory of my parents, Mae & Art Ulrich by Sue Currens.

To the glory of God and in honor of our daughters, Hannah & Alana; and in memory of our parents, Doris Guise and Barry & Edna Showers by Michael & Kimberly Guise.

To the glory of God and in honor of our St. James Church Staff by Carol Widerman & Dan Kessel.

To the glory of God and in memory of our parents by Skip & Nancy Heller.

To the glory of God and in memory of Betty & Jack Davis and Naomi & Grayson Main by Ed & Sam Main.

To the glory of God and in honor of our parents Curvin & Bonnie Tyson; and in memory of our parents Carl & Mary Louise (Mauston) Saunders by Gary L. & Korena S. Mauston and family.

To the glory of God and in memory of Horace & Evelyn Waybright by Alan & Cindy Zepp.

To the glory of God and in memory of John & Betty Kunkel by their daughter, Judy Ketterman.

To the glory of God and in memory of Ruth & Guy Crist and Crosby & Rhoda Hartzell by Lois, Vance, Kay, John, Jean,
Conner, Ross, Susan, Beth, and Brad.

To the glory of God and in honor of Pastor Michael & Lois Allwein and Pastor Andrew & Christina Geib & family by Wayne & Susan Hill.

To the glory of God and in honor of Elinor (Teeny) Bender; and in memory of George Ross Bender, Morris and Mary
Caroline Steinour by Tom & Mary Bender.

To the glory of God and in memory of Annette B., Elizabeth L. G. L., Connie C. and Jim C. by Carol & Bob Cook.

To the glory of God and in memory of our Grandparents by Mark & Katy Clowney.

To the glory of God and in memory of Sue Flesner by David Flesner.

To the glory of God and in memory of Milton Nicks by his wife, Barbara Nicks.

To the glory of God and in memory of Hal Platzer by his wife, Kathy Platzer.

To the glory of God and in memory of Geraldine Ann Waybright Settle by the Aiello family.

To the glory of God and in honor of Jesse Holt, Jr., by Suzanne Hubbard.

To the glory of God and in memory of G. Richard & Glenna G. Boyer by children & families: Kenneth, Anna, Peggy, and Carole.

To the glory of God and in honor of our children Kimberly & Michael McGlaughlin and Robin & Nicholas Bair by their parents;  and grandchildren Luke, Taylor, and Olivia Bair by their grandparents; and in memory of Robert McGlaughlin by his wife, Margaret, and our parents Glenn & Mabel Sterner and Robert C. & Frances McGlaughlin by Margaret McGlaughlin & family.

To the glory of God and in memory of our parents, Stanton & Helen Bockoven and Daniel & Janet Riley by Marty & Pete Riley.

To the glory of God and in honor of Eliza, Rhea, Alli, and Nate; and in memory of John, Janel, Lou, and Jay by Tara & Phil Baugher.

To the glory of God and in memory of Salud Dieting by Judy & Bill Leslie.

To the glory of God and in honor of Pastor Andrew and all the St. James Staff by Dee Wells.

To the glory of God by Lauren Austin.

To the glory of God by Pat & Dave Crowner.

Calls to Action

Mission Support

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”

In his message last month, Pastor Andrew reminded us that the world tells us to put our treasure where our heart
already is. Jesus tells us to put our treasure where we want our heart to go.

During the mid-week Lenten services, we have heard from members reflecting on the theme “Reborn” – messages of new beginnings. As you continue your journey through this Lenten season, have you considered where you put your treasure?  Where do you want your heart to go?  Has the pandemic affected what you treasure?  Has there been a change in where you want your heart to go?

Parish Records

New Members

  • March 16              Adam Sachse and Kate Dales

Deaths

  • March 2                Rebecca Harris
  • March 15              Barry Sease

Upcoming 50+ Wedding Anniversaries

  • April 2, Waldo and Patricia Hartman (62 years)
  • April 3, Carl and Nancy Yingling (57 years)
  • April 8, William and Paula Shoemaker (50 years)
  • April 15, Barry and Sharon Keckler (55 years)
  • April 15, Louis and Priscilla Shuba (55 years)
  • April 29, Wally and E. Gail Crum (55 years)