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From the Pastor- June 2022 Discernment

 You will hear me refer to this a lot. And when you hear it you will likely find yourself wondering, “wonderful, but how do we do that?” I will ask you time and time again to follow where God is leading us. But how do we know where God is leading? It brings to mind Thomas speaking with Jesus in John 14 where he says, “Lord we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

Spiritual discernment is a way of sifting through the choices and challenges of this life in a way that leads us towards God’s desired future for us.  It is the process of learning to sift through our internal voices that are echoing and projecting our own desires.  It is both simple and challenging. We cannot presume to know with complete certainty what is the will of God. However, with practice and in community we can see the Spirit’s movement over time. Discernment is done with intention. It’s done with connection to the Holy Spirit but also with detachment from our ego and personal desires.

So now we know what it is and even why we would engage in spiritual discernment. How do we engage in spiritual discernment?  It is done step by step. First we learn the spiritual tools that will help us to pay attention to God at work in our lives.  This is done through a whole host of prayer practices. Just like there are all sorts of different kinds of learners, there are different ways to pray that will fit each of us better. Next we practice discernment or decision making, in the small  and ordinary places of our lives.  We develop the muscle memory and get practiced at our connected detachment.  Only when we have done this in the small things will we be ready to do this in the big areas and big challenges of our lives. If it sounds like a lot, you would be right.  It is simply a way of operating that may be entirely new to you.  But it is also simple. It is simple principles and practical spirituality for your life.

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

-Jeremiah 29:11

Tanzania Auction

       Welcome back the Tanzanian Style Auction!  This event was brought to us by Pastor Cliff Eshbach and was a great success!  We hope you will all be excited about recreating this event this summer and come prepared with checkbook in hand.

       Proposed date is Sunday, July 17 following the worship service.  Details as to the where and how are still being worked out.  Chip Froehlich will be our auctioneer.  Stay tuned for more information.

What can you do now?  Start thinking about items you may wish to donate.  It could be home made crafted items, home baked goods, home grown items from your garden, services (mow lawn, rake leaves, etc.), and whatever you think someone would pay money for.  Remember, these should be quality items, no yard sale items or leftovers.  Be creative!  Our first donated auction item, if you remember, is a children’s Bible story book signed by Pastor Tim Seitz-Brown on his last Sunday with us. 

Please let Suzann Schwenk know if you will be donating and what we can expect.  Do not bring your items to the church until we give you more information.  Let’s have fun and make this event a huge success!

Suzann Schwenk

Stewardship Chairperson

ALIVE! 2022

September 23-25, 2022

CAMP NAWAKWA

ALIVE 2022! is happening this September. Put the date on your calendar NOW!  Registration is OPEN NOW!  ALL 6th, 7th and 8th grade students (Fall 2022) are invited.

Question? See Deb Dandridge (717-201-6323 or debdrd@gmail.com).

Talk to Alex or Zain to hear about ALIVE! 2021.  We had a great time!

Summer Hymn Sings

The summer Hymn Sings will be held on Sunday June 19th, July 17th and August 21st.  The Hymn Sings will take the place of the Prelude on those Sundays.  We will begin singing at 9:15 am.  Come prepared to request that we sing a verse or two of your favorite hymn.  Note: you many want to check the page number for your favorite hymn ahead of time.

From the Pastor- May 2022

Greetings Friends in Christ!

I must tell you what a joy it has been to be with all of you. Our Holy Week celebrations grounded us in this most important time.  We leaned in close to hear these words and deeds of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem in triumph and exited this world on a cross. As we waited through Holy Saturday our youngest asked me. “Why do we call that day good?” 

“Why do you think we call that day good?” I replied. 

“Maybe because we found out just how much God loves us?” she stated with a hint of a question.

Humanity’s violence was absorbed on the cross that day. And we gathered together on Easter Sunday knowing that humanity’s sentence had been overturned. The joy of Easter was palpable in our gathering. Those tiny little mischievous bells rang out announcing our joy and our hope knowing that the cross is not the end of the story but the beginning of a rich and cosmic epic.

Today I am filled with hope. Though we are all weary and exhausted from this prolonged state of stress that we have all been through, there are signs that the stone is being rolled away from our slumber. Our pandemic brains are finding new purchase, and we are venturing out more and more. 

I am excited to learn more about all of you.  I want to hear about who you are and where you think God might be stirring in our midst.  I want to know about your everyday life and how God is showing up unexpectedly.  Call me your pastor but know that I think I also might be your midwife. Because something is stirring and new life is forming.

I want you to know that I am available to you. Though I wish I were at times, I am not a mind reader. Please reach out when you need support. Never say to yourself that the pastor is too busy for you.  I love when I am busy with the work of the kingdom.  To that end, I want you to know how you can reach me. I am almost always available by cell phone, email, or text.  I will be keeping regular office hours on Monday through Thursday from 9-12.  You will often find me at church beyond those hours but an appointment is recommended so that you don’t miss me if I’m out on a visit or at a meeting.

Pastor Gretchen
Cell:717.679.0264

Email: 3131Pastor@gmail.com