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Commitment Sunday: October 6, 2013

Members recently received a mailing for our 2014 Annual Appeal. Your pledge card and a return envelope were included. We ask that you complete this card thoughtfully and prayerfully.

Members recently received a mailing for our 2014 Annual Appeal. Your pledge card and a return envelope were included. We ask that you complete this card thoughtfully and prayerfully. When you bring your pledge card to church on October 6, you will be asked to bring the card forward at the start of the worship service as a visible sign of your commitment to support the basic weekly ministries at Holy Spirit.

Why should you pledge?

  1. Completing a pledge card provides you the opportunity to consider how God has blessed you and how you will respond to those blessings.
  2. Completing a pledge card involves planning and should include prayer and discussion within your family as to what your response will be.
  3. Completing a pledge card provides a level of commitment which you can accomplish in the coming year.
  4. Pledges are a way for your congregation leadership team to more accurately develop a financial plan for next year.
  5. Having such a financial plan in place gives all of us a foundation and guidance to plan for the future.

Every contribution, no matter the size, helps us be faithful disciples and enables us to grow in the ministry and outreach of our church. Thank you!

Elizabeth Eaton elected ELCA presiding bishop

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Northeastern Ohio Synod, was elected Aug. 14 presiding bishop of the ELCA at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

PITTSBURGH (ELCA) – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Northeastern Ohio Synod, was elected Aug. 14 presiding bishop of the ELCA at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. Eaton is the ELCA’s first presiding bishop-elect.

Prior to becoming synod bishop, Eaton served as pastor for ELCA congregations in Ohio. She earned a Master’s of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., and a Bachelor’s degree in music education from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

From the Pastor: September 2013

During September we will hear a great deal about how to use our talents and resources. And we need to pray and think carefully how we will support God’s church in the coming year. We will be encouraged to “make the leap” and offer our time and gifts of the spirit in one or more of our ministries.

As timing would have it, I am writing this note to you five days before my schedule prostate surgery. While I’ve learned a lot about what to expect, I have no idea of what it will actually be like. I know that’s not a very earth shattering proclamation. In fact it’s a very obvious one.

But I wonder if that is what it is like as we consider offering our gifts to support the ministry of the congregation and the greater church. We have learned about many ways we can use the skills God has given us. But until we are engaged in an activity, we don’t know what it will actually be like.

During September we will hear a great deal about how to use our talents and resources. And we need to pray and think carefully how we will support God’s church in the coming year. This is the month we will receive a packet of information on how and why to make our pledge of support for 2014. We will be encouraged to “make the leap” and offer our time and gifts of the spirit in one or more of our ministries.

This is something I’m going to think about while I am recuperating at home so that when I return to active service in October, I will be more focused, and perhaps more determined, to use my gifts of the spirit, to the glory of God and to the common benefit of the entire community.

More Than Money: Stewardship Offerings

With the start of a new school year, many people find September a good time to evaluate their personal priorities and often find new ways to serve.

Sharing your time and talent is an important aspect of Biblical stewardship.  With the start of a new school year, many people find September a good time to evaluate their personal priorities and often find new ways to serve.   What are your special talents?  Could you use them for our ministry at Holy Spirit or the community beyond our walls?

Think of what could enrich your worship experience.  Perhaps it is serving as a lector or deacon, singing on the choir, or attending Sunday School or Bible Study.  Maybe reaching out to the greater community of faith would add special meaning to your life as a Christian.  You can help God’s people through volunteering at the Hempfield Food Pantry or through Love INC.  We expect many of you will help create personal care kits and school kits on September 8 to help those in need in many parts of the world, through Lutheran World Relief. Thank you for your gifts of time and resources  to assist these ministries.

Recently, the Thursday night bible study was reminded that all of us have been given gifts of the spirit to use for the common good of the community. Consider using your God given gifts for the benefit of God’s kingdom.

Fall 2013 Adult Education at Holy Spirit

This year, you can be part of an exciting line up of presentations: scripture study, special guests, and a variety of topics, spiced with healthy portions of good will, good humor and good people. (Not to mention coffee. There has to be coffee!) Adult education happens after Sunday worship, about 10:45 a.m.

Are you ready for a fall season filled with awesome times of learning?

This year, you can be part of an exciting line up of presentations: scripture study, special guests, and a variety of topics, spiced with healthy portions of good will, good humor and good people. (Not to mention coffee. There has to be coffee!) Adult education happens after Sunday worship, about 10:45 a.m.

SEPTEMBER

The Church And Its Mission Around The World
Learn how our service at Holy Spirit makes a positive difference around the world.

  • September 8: Sunday School Kickoff and Service Project for Lutheran World Relief
    Wear your new Holy Spirit T-shirt and help assemble school kits and personal care kits for people around the world.
  • September 15: So…Where do Those Kits Go?
    Norma Good, our expert on all things Lutheran World Relief, tells and shows us where these school kits and personal care kits go and why it’s important to keep making them.
  • September 22: Hope in Haiti: What it Is and why Folks Love Going There
    Holy Spirit member Becca O’Shea will share her experience of being in Haiti this summer. She has been part of our synod’s presence in one particular place in Haiti. Learn why it’s making a positive impact.
  • September 29: Lutherans of Ethiopia: A Holy and Courageous Church
    Lancaster County has a growing community of Lutherans from Ethiopia. New Holy Spirit member Melese Anamo will share the story of the church in his native land and how it brings the gospel to people across the country.

OCTOBER

A Celebration and a Look In The Mirror

  • October 6: Welcome Back Allison and Pastor Eshbach!
    It’s time for a party! A time of pure social enjoyment to celebrate the return of our newly healed staff members.
  • October 13, 20 and 27: Who The Heck Are We?
    A look at who we are as Lutheran Christians, American Lutheran Christians, ELCA Lutheran Christians, Holy Spirit Lutheran Christians. This will also serve as our new member class for the fall. Please invite some friends to join us for these three weeks, culminating on Reformation Sunday.

NOVEMBER

A Study, a Visit and a Meeting

  • November 3 and 17: Saint Matthew’s Gospel
    Beginning with season of Advent we begin the lectionary year which features the Gospel of St. Matthew. We will take time in November to study what Matthew wrote, how he wrote it, and to whom he wrote it. This is good stuff for the Biblical scholar in you.
  • November 10: It’s the Bishop!
    We are extremely fortunate that only ten weeks into his service as Bishop, Holy Spirit will be hosting the Rev. James Dunlop, the new bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod. Bishop Dunlop will preach and preside at worship and following a reception in the narthex, we will have an hour of conversation with the bishop.
  • November 24: Semi-Annual Meeting of the Congregation
    Our regularly scheduled congregation meeting. We will approve the operating budget for 2014, receive a bulletin of report and dream big for how we can keep our discipleship vibrant as we serve our community of Lancaster County and our community of the world.

DECEMBER

A Study of the Season of Preparation and Watching

  • December 1: Advent Craft Workshop
    Oh boy! We get to be with the children again, making an Advent craft to direct our focus on this most holy season.
  • December 8, 15 and 22: The Meaning of Advent in Our Lives
    Advent is a most spiritual time of reflection about who we are, where we are, and what we hope for in the future. Each week a different theme will be presented. They include: The Gospel Texts of Advent, The Music of Advent, concluding with The Hope of Advent. Don’t rush past Advent. Waiting for Christmas has special significance for Christians, which you will appreciate as we move through the season.
  • December 29: No class. Merry Christmas!

Stay tuned for the Winter/Spring 2014 Term!