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The following prayer should be familiar to many of you as it has been used many times as the offertory prayer during worship.  “Blessed are you, O God, Maker of all things, we offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us, our selves, our time, and our possessions.  Use us and what we have gathered in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us. Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

This was the theme of Rev. Robert Blezard’s article in the June/July 2021 issue Living Lutheran magazine.  He writes that everything in creation, including our very lives, comes from God.  No exceptions.   As stewards, we have been created as human begins in the divine image and put in charge of what God has made.  As we read in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and those who live in it.”  This is a much greater understanding of stewardship than just being in charge of our money and possessions.  We offer to God not just our money, but all of what we are.  As expressed in the hymn “We Are An Offering”, #692 ELW, “We lift our voices, we lift our hands, we lift our lives up to you; we are an offering.”

May all we think, say, and do reflect these thoughts. 

Suzann Schwenk

Stewardship Chairperson

Portions from Living Lutheran’s June/July 2021 issue.  Reprinted with permission.

Call Committee Update

Holy Spirit Family,

This is an update on the Call Committee.  The Church council has asked several members of the chuch to be on the call committee.  They will start the process shortly on finding a new pastor. We are hoping to give monthly updates to the church as we move through the process. I pray for a quick and efficient call as I know must of you do also. Thank you to all the members that are giving their time and talents to help with this process.

Robert Slutter

Council President

From the Interim Pastor- July 2021

Dear Spirit siblings,

What an honor to be called as the intentional interim pastor at Holy Spirit!

How humbling it is to walk with you after your saying farewell to a person in whom I see Christ at work in the world, Pastor Cliff Eshbach.

And what an unknown adventure and time of transition you enter into as a congregation.

What will the Holy Spirit teach us between the time of farewell and the hopeful welcome you will give to your next settled pastor? My role is to respect you—meaning to “see you again and again and again.”

Together we will joyfully respect Holy Spirit by looking at the congregation’s culture (what unique identity has Christ given you?), your partnerships (who has the Lord called you to work with in building up the Kin-dom of God?), your leadership (who is the Spirit calling forward for what comes next?), your future (where is Christ leading you?) and your mission (God is up to something with Holy Spirit so let’s listen together to find out what that is!).

In July, let’s plan to gather safely around a meal, one-on-one or in small groups, and begin listening to the Spirit together.

Here’s what I will tell you about me. I have dear friends all across Pennsylvania. I’ve lived in the USA, Jamaica and Tanzania. My wife and I have an exchange student daughter in Germany who is hoping to send her son to stay with us next year. I’ve been to Iraqi Kurdistan as part of the Christian Peacemaker Teams. And I was born in Washington D.C. and have been a lifelong fan of the sports teams in the city, and attended the Wild Card victory that launched the Nationals toward their 2019 championship. Finally, I’m young for my age and have stories and many memories, including Pastor Eshbach.

See you soon and look forward to getting to know you all, remain in One Peace until then, Christ’s,

Pastor Tim

Cell: 717-332-4216

Vacation Bible School

This year VBS will be online. Pick up your Vacation Bible School Bolt materials on July 18th at the church either after the service or from 5-7 p.m. Starting on July 19th, check out the church’s website for 3 exciting days of VBS at home!  This is open to all ages and all families.  

From the Pastor- June 2021

When you begin a journey, most times you never know when it will end. For a teenager, the amount of time it takes to get the skills to pass a driver’s exam can not be measured. When you’re ready, you know.

For the individual, or the couple, engaged in downsizing to move into a retirement community, there is no set time. When you’re ready, you know.

The same is true when a pastor discerns the call to retirement. When you’re ready, you know.

Not that this is an easy decision to make. Far from it. You don’t just set down a tool and walk away. It is more involved. More involved because ministry is about relationships and mutual care. Witness and collaboration. It is about sharing Jesus with the world.

When we say our goodbyes on June 27 we will have spent 3,024 days together. Some were somber, even sad days. Some were challenging. Most were fulfilling. And a few were even silly. It has been a healthy balance.

Healthy is how I view Holy Spirit as it prepares to start a new era of ministry. I believe this congregation is spiritually healthy (that’s always first), administratively healthy (great lay leadership and the best staff ever) and financially healthy (both in week to week and in long term forecasts and goals). That takes effort to maintain. And you will.

Our first year together was marked by that surprise diagnosis of my prostate cancer (now long gone). Our last year together was marked by pandemic and fire (on the way to being gone, and repaired). In between were many, many times of serving Jesus in word and deed in some familiar ways and in some new ways. Be prepared to lean on the familiar and embrace the new as you walk the path of faith, first with your very qualified interim pastor, and later with your newly called pastor.

Thank you for the past 3,024 days (or 72,576 hours). Especially for how you welcomed and embraced Barb and I with hospitality and grace. This is a hopeful time for you. We will be cheering you on.

The Rev. Clifton D. Eshbach,