From the Pastor

There is much to read in this edition of The Courier. That is because there is much going on at Holy Spirit right now.

Hello!

There is much to read in this edition of The Courier. That is because there is much going on at Holy Spirit right now.

This month, two pages have been set aside to detail some, just some, of the outreach ministries where we have had an impact. These are primarily locally based efforts, but we have had an impact around the world with our companion congregation in Tanzania, and through our contributions of personal care kits, school kits, and quilts to Lutheran World Relief.

The children and youth ministry engages that generation with special times like the Lego Club, and the October outing to the corn maze.

October is the month we join together and make our pledges of support to this congregation for 2015. That happens when we process our pledge cards forward on Stewardship Sunday, October 5th.

And there is more. All of these good things have their start as we gather on Sunday morning for word and sacrament worship. This is our foundation, gathering as one community at the table of our Lord, receiving the means of grace, that we are called to share with the world.

There is a place for you to share your gifts and talents. But first, be part of that special time on Sunday morning. And be part of this community which extends the hand of grace here and throughout  God’s creation.

CLFTON D. ESHBACH
Pastor

From the Pastor

Given how many other groups and movements lay claim to our allegiance today, can the church ever expect to exert the level of influence in our lives that it once did?

I recently read an article from the Rev. Dr. David Lose, the new president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (and who grew up in Lebanon County too). The article is entitled The church’s role in our lives? Yes with a question mark at the end of the title.

The thesis question is: Given how many other groups and movements lay claim to our allegiance today, can the church ever expect to exert the level of influence in our lives that it once did?

After some history about the influence of the church upon the culture over the centuries, the article states that civic groups, associations, clubs, sports leagues, and others have made the church less than the center of our lives. Some of the items mentioned were once part of the activity of congregations. I played church league softball in Berks County. My grandfather was a pretty good dart baseball player in a similar church league.

So what is he church to do? Dr. Lose leans toward the concept that the church should help, “bring our other activities into focus, that we might see these different enterprises in light of our faith.” In order for that to happen, the church must have as a goal, “of forming Christian faith in our people.”

He writes, “Slowly but surely [we must] learn the Christian story and, more importantly, learn how to use the story to make sense of our lives and share our faith with others.”

That’s why we offer times of education and discussion for all ages on Sunday morning. But may it also mean that we need to offer times of learning at different parts of the week. The Thursday night study group is one example. But how about on a weekday morning? Or an online discussion group working together on a question of the week? Or an early morning conversation at a local coffee shop?

As we take advantage of these times to learn together, we can make progress in our ability to have our faith make sense and to give us the ability to share that faith with other people. God knows we are a work in progress.

CLIFTON D. ESHBACH
Pastor

From the Pastor: October 2013

This month of October is important for our community as we offer our pledges of support for 2014, participate in a first ever health fair, study together in our Christian education offerings and prepare for the great festivals that remain this year. This would be an excellent time for you to invite someone to partake of the home cooking that is Holy Spirit. Invite someone now to see how we offer our service to God.

THANK YOU !

Your prayers, words of concern, comfort, and yes, even the silly jokes and bad puns have all helped considerably as I continue to recover. Thank you!

As I wrote last month, I had no idea what it would be like. Now I can tell you that while everything went very well with the surgery,  it was not the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had.

The first week in the hospital, dealing with the surgical issues and fighting an infection is something I do not wish on anyone, and pray I’ll never have  to deal with again.

But once I came home, things began to improve. There is something to be said about “home cooking!”

Now I’m looking forward to the home cooking of being back with you on Sunday morning, and beyond. While I still have a couple of issues to deal with, they will resolve themselves in the coming months.

This month of October is important for our community as we offer our pledges of support for 2014, participate in a first ever health fair, study together in our Christian education offerings and prepare for the great festivals that remain this year. This would be an excellent time for you to invite someone to partake of the home cooking that is Holy Spirit. Invite someone now to see how we offer our service to God…

….sharing Jesus love in word and deed.

CLIFTON D. ESHBACH
Pastor

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.