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Message from Pastor Andrew
1After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.
The verses above, provide us with the opening words of our assigned gospel reading for the first weekend of July. Contextually, these verses are found within the third section of Luke’s Gospel, known by most as the Travel Narrative. By this point in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus has been born and baptized, he has been clearly identified as the long-awaited Messiah, and now, as he travels to Jerusalem, he seeks to spread the Good News of the coming of salvation in all its fullness to all people. To seek out and save the lost through word and deed, by breaking down barriers set up by the sinful nature of the world – the separation of women and men, of children and those of high status, Samaritans and Jews, and so on. And too, by calling those who seek to follow him to do the same. To go ahead of him and spread the Good News. To labor in his name that the harvest would be plentiful. A calling, Jesus clearly states, will at times be difficult, even dangerous. 3Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.
It’s no secret that our lives, our world, can be difficult, even dangerous, at times. The past few years have made this ever so clear. The things of COVID – not knowing what to believe or how best to respond, what is right and what is wrong, who to trust and who not to. The things of politics – not knowing what to believe or how best to respond, what is right and what is wrong, who to trust and who not to. The social justice issues, racial justice issues, environmental concerns, and those conversations around the value of life – not knowing what to believe, what is right and… You get the point…
For people of faith, the difficulties run even deeper because of how Christ calls us to live – lifting the needs of neighbor above our own, loving our enemy, offering endless forgiveness, sharing the Good News in a world indifferent, even resistant, to it. The truth is however, going back to the beginning (at the very least to The Fall) the world in which we live has always presented such challenges. For the Bible tells me so… A truth, Jesus was well aware of as he sends his disciples out to two-by-two as the first evangelists.
Earlier in the month, our Evangelism Committee met in the Library on a Tuesday evening. It was good to gather again with this group after a time away due to the pandemic. With the addition of three new members, there was a renewed energy within the group. We spent time reflecting on who we are as a committee and how we might lead St. James to be an invitational church in new and exciting ways. We thought creatively how we might go out into the world, traveling together, spreading the Good News of God in Christ through word and deed.
As we make our way through the summer, while our Evangelism Committee will have some concrete ways that we as a congregation can become more invitational, I challenge you to engage in this work on your own as well. Invite a friend to come to worship or Sunday school. Reach out to someone you haven’t seen and tell them you miss them. Share our posts on social media. Bring your children to one of the many youth activities on our calendar and have them bring a friend.
“The harvest is plentiful… Go on your way…”
July 3—Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
God is the source of our nourishment. Jesus’ invitation to “take and eat . . . take and drink” is a repeated one. In holy communion, in the word read and proclaimed, in the assembly of the people of God, the dominion of God has come near. Rejoice! Your name is written in heaven.
Readings: Isaiah 66:10-14 | Psalm 66:1-9 | Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16 | Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
July 10—Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind is to reflect God’s mercy in responding to one’s neighbor. That mercy found its most profound expression in the “gospel that has come to you”—namely the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That gospel mercy comes to us again today: at the font, at the table, and from the pulpit. It is very near to you.
Readings: Deuteronomy 30:9-14 | Psalm 25:1-10 | Colossians 1:1-14 | Luke 10:25-37
July 17—Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Perhaps the church, at its best, is “all ears.” God urges the faithful, again and again, to “listen up!”—to heed the word that gives life. So it was with Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Martha, and the early church at Colossae. So it is today as we join the assembly to hear the word of God, the word of life.
Readings: Genesis 18:1-10a | Psalm 15 | Colossians 1:15-28 | Luke 10:38-42
July 24—Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Persistence in prayer is encouraged by Jesus and wins the attention of God when Abraham intercedes for Sodom. The life of the baptized—to be rooted and built up in Christ Jesus—is to be nurtured with prayer. God hears and answers prayer and so strengthens God’s own. “When I called, you answered me; you increased my strength within me.”
Readings: Genesis 18:20-32 | Psalm 138 | Colossians 2:6-15 [16-19] | Luke 11:1-13
July 31—Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Today’s texts offer instruction and encouragement for all who are occasionally overwhelmed by the “unhappy business” of life. Jesus urges us to take care and be on guard against all kinds of greed. We who have died with Christ in holy baptism have also been raised with him and are encouraged to elevate our thinking, seeking the “things that are above.” To that end we seek the sustenance of the Lord’s supper and the encouragement of God’s word.
Readings: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23 | Psalm 49:1-12 | Colossians 3:1-11 | Luke 12:13-21
June 15 Council Meeting Highlights
May was a 5-Sunday month, yet Actual Giving was only around $55,000. The church is still running a surplus, mainly in part due to not being fully staffed. The Early Learning Center has a significant surplus due to the ARPA grant; however, even without the grant, the ELC is running a small surplus on the year. Reports were accepted unanimously.
Committee & Task Force Reports
The evening sexton, who is responsible for cleaning the child care level during the week, has submitted their resignation. It has been difficult retaining an employee in this position. The ELC Governance Committee and Personnel feel that engaging a cleaning service may lead to better reliability and longevity. Since the majority of responsibilities revolves around the ELC, the ELC would finance the position from its operational budget, and reduce its monthly commitment to the church by $1,000. That amount had essentially funded the evening sexton position in the past.
A replacement for the administrative coordinator has been identified. Background checks and clearances are currently underway prior to recommendation to council for hire.
Evangelism Committee is re-engaging and has outlined a number of smaller initiatives: name tags for worship, visiting newly developed residential communities like Amblebrook, “Invite-a-Friend” Sunday and more. Pastor Andrew is asking the congregation to invite individuals and families that you haven’t seen recently.
Call Committee is working diligently; planning 2 listening sessions, developing a survey, interviewing Pastor Andrew on his vision and thoughts for the associate pastor position. Communication with the congregation will be regular.
Officer Elections, to begin in July
- President—James Dunlop
- Vice President—Brent Smith
- Secretary—Carol Widerman
- Treasurer—Karen Lentz
Voted upon unanimously.
Good for Church/Council/God
Preparation for Operation Christmas Child/Christmas in July is underway under the auspices of Social Ministry and Christian Education.
Compliments of the new AV system in the worship space; audio has certainly improved. Additional mics are to be installed which will further improve the audio.
Appreciation was given to outgoing council members: Wayne Glaser and Bill Shoemaker for their service. Emili Scavitto was recognized for her service on council as youth representative. Emili will attend Thiel College in the fall and will also play basketball.
Recognition and welcome to new council members: Ann Ketterman and Ed Main; Will Lane and Shirley Sanders are beginning a second term.
Reconciling in Christ has resumed work and is working on exciting projects. St. James participation in the Pride Fest & Parade was encouraging.
Household meetings with Pastor Andrew are going well. If you haven’t yet signed up to meet with Pastor Andrew, please do so.
Pastor Clif Suehr has now been on staff for over a month, and has received positive feedback regarding his visitations and home communion. Pastor Suehr is enjoying his time at St. James and hopes the call process is quick, not for his sake, but for St. James, and is happy to stay as long as needed.
If you passed through a drawbridge on the way to our worship area just after Vacation Bible School, you may have had some questions.
Let me tell you a little bit about our friends, the Knights of North Castle.
For a week at the beginning of the June, a little more than 130 kids joined us in the worship area every day for a quest to find the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Justice, the Shoes of Peace, the Shield of Faith and the Helmet of Salvation. A magical, sneezy ice dragon named Sparky, played by Addy Dunlop, and a well-dressed squire named Armorer Brody led our youth on a journey to become Knights of North Castle.
On the way, they explored the Old and New Testament in a variety of ways, conducting experiments with sound cannons during science, learning to trust guardian angels while navigating tumultuous lava moats and fireball attacks during activities, and chowing down on chocolate-covered pretzel swords at snack. At the music stations, the kids shook, rattled and rolled while memorizing a few earworms, and inquired about the modern application of their lessons during story time.
Before setting out each day the kids were reminded of the week’s banner verse,
“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.”
Having never organized VBS before, many times I doubted we could pull it all together. I should have paid a little closer attention to that verse. With guidance from God and the vast experience of teachers and religious leaders, each day’s themes came together like the suit of armor our knights were looking for.
VBS may not have gotten off the ground without the early work performed by Pastor Jay Eckman and continued by Vicar Julie Jackson over at Christ Lutheran in Gettysburg.
At St. James, Julie Keyser, Cindy Zepp, Ila Verdirame, Mandy Ryan, Julie Dunlop, Suzan Seibel-Willard, Ashley Drechsler and Pastor Andrew Geib helped set the groundwork and many worked as leaders throughout the week. Also serving were Shirley Sanders, Lyne Aurand, Ashly Miller, Beth Becker, Bernadette Sterner, Cara Russo, and Susan Cole. Our youth team of Addy and Sam Dunlop, Blayne and Caden Miller, Emili and Gabbi Scavitto, Madison Slaybaugh and Izzy Drechsler kept energy and morale high throughout the event. Several others from Christ Lutheran also joined our efforts.
If you see any of the people listed, please take some time to thank them for their service to the church, and don’t forget to ask our kids about their experiences during the week!
Christmas In July: Operation Christmas Child
It is time to be thinking about Operation Christmas Child. “What? Christmas in July?” you ask. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse. Last year as a congregation, we collected and filled 50 shoe boxes and we are going for 60 boxes this year.
We are starting to collect these items in July and continue through November. November they will be packed and delivered to the collection site. We will notify you in The Messenger each month what our ideas are for that whole month. Remember the items are going to be for children ages 2 through 9 years old.
The month of July we will collect
- Wrapped bars of soap
- Wash cloths
- Single packs of children-sized toothbrushes (no toothpaste)
Also, if you would like to give a monetary donation to help defray the cost of the boxes or helping with shipment, that would be appreciated, too.
Last year we were overwhelmed with the congregation’s generous response and look for it to be even more successful this year!
We are also looking for a few people to help to organize the items ahead of time and to help the day (or days) we pack the boxes with the Sunday School children. Please contact Shirley Sanders or the office to volunteer for this project. Thank you!
For more information about Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child, you can visit their website at samaritanpurse.org.
St. James Jammers
On Monday afternoons during the school year, I meet with middle school youth for a time of singing. During these visits I discovered that every one of them plays a musical instrument! So, I gave them some music to learn, and we made a video recording just before the summer break. This video will be shown during worship on July 3rd.
The students had fun demonstrating their instruments to each other. They took great interest in learning about the differences in how the instruments are played. Many were fascinated by the alto clef of the violas, all seemed puzzled by the percussion clef. There was amazement that the saxophones had to play in a completely different key to produce the same notes as the other instruments. There was banter of course: which instrument is better, plays faster, higher, louder, and the like. The best part is that the students enjoyed working together to make the video, and came to respect and appreciate each other’s unique instruments, gifts, and talents.
What I observed that day is a metaphor for life. Just as the students with their different instruments, skills and experiences came together to create a work of beauty, so shouldn’t we come together to create a beautiful world? Like the students, our coming together means taking the time to learn about one another, build up one another, appreciate and respect one another. Like the players in a great symphony, we may need to play in a difficult key, or go faster or slower than we would like, always listening to those around us, but we do this gladly, keeping our eyes on God, our Great Conductor.
Call Committee Updates
Our call committee at St. James has been hard at work, meeting weekly to do our part on the task before us: completing our congregation’s Ministry Site Profile. This is the document which will seek to describe who we are, our vision for mission including trends in our community context, our characteristics, our purpose, giftedness and mission, and finally our leadership needs. It’s an in-depth look at what we discern God is calling us to be and do in this place. It’s important that we carefully listen to God together. So we need your help; we can’t do this without you!
Listening Sessions have been set: the first one was Sunday, June 26 and the second one is Sunday, July 24, during the Sunday School hour (9:30 – 10:30AM) in the worship space. Please plan to attend. This will be a time for our committee to listen to your thoughts about the answers to the questions this document poses. The intent is for us to listen to you, although we will take a brief amount of time, if people wish, to answer questions you may have.
Look for a survey to be available around July 10. You’ll receive notification via the eBlast and worship announcements. You will be able to complete it online or in paper form by picking up a hard copy in the office. The survey will be another way you can help us in our attending to God’s voice to hear of the mission God has for us at St. James. You can come to one or both Listening Sessions, and complete the survey, or just do one of these. We need your input before we can attempt to illustrate who we are as the congregation of St. James.
We also invite you to continue praying for Pr. Andrew, our church staff and this process. The call committee has chosen texts from the Bible for all of us to think about together, so please pray over these texts with us:
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.
Psalm 25:4-5 4Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. 5Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
Psalms 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Mark 11:24 So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received[a] it, and it will be yours.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to watch our synod’s video description of the call process, please take the time to view it: https://bit.ly/LSSCallProcess
Yours In Christ,
Lucinda Bringman, Amy Crist, Jim Flanagan, Ernie Kranias, Glenn Munsee, Kasey Smith, Anne Lane, committee alternate, and Shirley Sanders, Congregation Council Liaison.
Contact information available from the office.
Listening Session, July 24, 9:30am, Worship Space
Congregational Surveys: stay tuned for details; available around July 10
August Youth Activities
HS Rock Climbing at Rock Bottom, Hanover: 8/1
K-5 Lock-In/Workcamp: 8/13—8/14
Family Nights in the Park
formerly known as God on the Ground
Friday, August 26, 4PM—7PM, Gettysburg Rec Park
Free hotdogs & hamburgers; food truck fare for purchase; music by worship teams/praise bands; classic cars, corvettes and motorcycles on display; skateboard demonstrations.
Do you have a song in your heart? Consider singing with the St. James Summer Choir. This low-commitment, come-as-you-are-able choir sings easy anthems at the late service over the summer months. No previous experience is needed. To participate, simply come to the choir room at 10:15 a.m. on Sundays.
Miracle Workers: Relay for Life
The St. James Miracle Workers will be participating in Relay for Life on Saturday, August 20 at Oakside Community Park in Biglerville. If you are interested in walking with the team, they would love to have you! The event will take place from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. There will be music, food, bingo, basket raffles, activities and entertainment and emotionally charged ceremonies for the entire family.
If you would like to sponsor the Miracle Workers in their walk to fight cancer, you can contribute at www.relayforlife.org/paadamscounty, click the “DONATE” button, and search “Miracle Workers” and select “Relay for Life of Adams County presented by WellSpan Health.”
To join the Miracle Workers relay team, please see Amanda Bair or contact her at email@example.com.
Increase in Flower Prices
In order to maintain the quality of our flower arrangements (in the face of inflation), the cost of flowers for the nave will increase. Regular memorials or honoraria arrangements are increasing to $35.00 and red rosebuds are increasing to $10.00. This increase will begin on July 1.
Please speak with Judy Seilhamer about detailed pricing for larger bouquets and alternate colored rosebuds when you sponsor flowers.
Holy Land Presentation
July 17, 9:30am, worship space
Beloved in Christ,
Somethings might bear repeating, I am hoping this may be one of them.
I would like to invite you to join Pastor Geib, Pastor Khader El-Yateem, (a native of Bethlehem, and Director of Evangelism for the Florida-Bahama Synod, ELCA) and myself on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Those of us who live in or around Gettysburg know the value of “being on the field.” While there are so many informative works to read about the battle, it is just not the same as being there to experience Little Roundtop, Devil’s Den, the Angle, or even the Cyclorama. We can read about them all in great detail, but until you stand there… We get it.
The hospitality we find throughout this pilgrimage, belies the complexity of the politics of Israel and Palestine. We stay in Bethlehem where we will see and experience firsthand how the conflicts and the occupation affects the daily life of the residents of Palestine, many part of the remaining and sadly dwindling Christian community.
So, come join us on this “pilgrimage,” it will change forever your relationship to the stories of our faith. You will never read or hear them in the same way. We know standing there does make a difference. Join us on Sunday, July 17 at 9:30 a.m. and bring your questions and consider coming along next February.
With our prayers,
Confirmations—June 5, 2022
Jezebel Abma David Langman
Addison Dunlop Blayne Miller
June 14 Linda Starry
Upcoming 50+ Wedding Anniversaries
July 26 Gary & Ann Ratay 53 years
May 24, 1967 The Rev. Martin T. Young 55 years
June 11, 1972 The Rev. Richard F. Michael 50 years
June 18, 1967 The Rev. William O. Avery 55 years
July 12, 1992 The Rev. Gilson Waldkoenig 30 years