The Messenger – October 2022
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A Message from Pastor Andrew
A bit of pastoral confession. For whatever reason, I’ve found myself struggling with the things of worry a good bit as of late. struggling with feelings of worry more frequently as of late.
I suspect a variety of reasons…
The weight of three years of COVID catching up with me. The many faces who have yet to return to worship and the effects it has had on who we are as a church. The many staff transitions we have had amidst this time, still not yet fully staffed. The loss I have experienced personally and those we have experienced together as a family of faith. Wondering what the future will hold. The many discouraging things of the world.
The list goes on…
No doubt many of you can relate… The realities of life, summed up succinctly by the late great poet/singer-songwriter, Johnny Cash – “Life ain’t easy…”
As our Congregation Council met this past month, charged with the task of approving the 2023 budget amongst many other important items, we reflected on some of these worries as a group—most especially those impacted by weekly offerings that simply don’t meet the bottom line. So, I sat and listened as our elected leadership shared concerns on where we are, as well as ideas on how we might turn the corner. On how we could adapt the budget to fit a lesser amount of money in the plates… On how we could lead membership to prayerfully consider giving more. On how the endowment could help support the budget to meet the needs, even if just temporarily. And too, as they asked the difficult questions – What do we do if giving doesn’t increase? What parts of the budget, what ministry, could be cut? Are we able to (will we be able to) afford an associate pastor? Though difficult, all good things for discussion. All things pastors (this pastor included) find themselves reflecting on all too much.
Worry, worry, worry…
If you’ve worshiped with us throughout the month of September, you know we have been participating in the ecumenical movement known as the Season of Creation. As we continue with this series throughout October, our focus will shift from a stewardship of land and sea, plant and animal, to a stewardship of humanity (of ourselves and of each other). Then, in wrapping up the series, to the stewardship of our time, our talent, and our treasure… to how we use those resources God has blessed us with to be a blessing to others.
In all these areas of stewardship, we find ourselves in a state of tension between where we are (where sin has gotten us) and where we should be (where God created and calls us to be).
After listening to our council members discuss with our current financial reality for quite a while, the time eventually came for me to offer some thoughts. My words from the heart, out of love, from a place of concern. We, here at St. James, are so richly blessed – not a congregation that should be working from a place of scarcity, but from one of abundance. Together, we serve the Gettysburg community and beyond through our support of countless service organizations to care for our neighbor in need, the list too long to name in this article. We have a building that provides a space for people to gather when there is no other place to go – in times when it is needed the most, whose halls are filled with the laughter of children from sunup to sundown most days throughout the week, that stands as a beacon of hope in ways we rarely fully realize or take the time to think about. Our worship is thoughtful and reflective, inclusive, and welcoming – that invites visitors each and every week. We have a hardworking and committed staff, who believe deeply in the work that we do and continuously give of themselves for the good of the church. All out of faith for the One who gave it all for us.
As we wrap up our fall focus on the things of stewardship, I pray you will reflect on how our worship over these two months has affected your lives within and beyond the church walls. Did you plant a tree or volunteered at the SPCA? Have you reached out to someone, mended a relationship, or offered forgiveness? Have you thought about how you might use your time and talents to spread the Good News? About how you could increase the giving of your treasure to support the ministries of the church?
“Life ain’t easy.”Johnny Cash
We know this to be true. Each of us could likely list a lot of worries that weigh us down personally and communally – worries that too often become our focus. But thanks be to God, we have a God who holds us through it all… who guides our steps… who invites us to be a part of something bigger than what this world has to offer – to be a blessing as we have been blessed… who gave us the gift of each other…
As I reflect on my times of worry, though at times difficult to see, I know in my heart there isn’t one when God hasn’t proven to be faithful. In the beauty of God’s good creation. In the gifts of family and friend. In the Word. In being fed with the bread of life. In the prayers offered. In the love and support of this place – in each of you. For this I am grateful.
Take Organ Lessons at St James!
The Braband Organ Scholarship is ready to receive its first student! Will it be you?
The newly created Braband Organ Scholarship was announced during the festival celebration honoring the 45-year music ministry of Timothy and Barbara Braband this past May. The church has been soliciting funds for the scholarship endowment and, by recent act of council, has been made available to begin funding lessons. The scholarship is now accepting applications!
The scholarship was set up to help curb the shortage of church organists by encouraging youth to take organ lessons. Each scholarship winner receives a year’s worth of lessons at no cost. The only cost to the student would be some music, a pair of organ shoes, and the commitment of time to practice!
I am calling on all members of St James to keep their eyes and ears open for potential students who would benefit from the scholarship. Priority will be given to youth, but adults may certainly apply.
Potential students may contact me directly with questions or to receive a copy of the application. As part of the application process, the student will need to demonstrate some basic piano skills at an audition for the scholarship committee.
Please help get the word out about this unique opportunity!
October 2: 5th Sunday in Creation—Fauna Sunday (St. Francis)
Waterlife Worship Service @ 10:45 AM
Preacher: The Rev. Andrew Geib
Readings: Job 39:1-8, 26-30 & Luke 12:22-31
October 9: 6th Sunday in Creation—Humanity Sunday
Preacher: The Rev. Fritz Foltz
Readings: Genesis 1:26-28 & Mark 10:41-45
October 16: 7th Sunday in Creation—Managing God’s House—Time & Talent
Preacher: The Rev. Andrew Geib
Readings: 1 Samuel 3:1-10; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; & Matthew 4:18-22
October 23: 8th Sunday in Creation—Managing God’s House—Treasure
Preacher: The Rev. Scott Zimmerer
Readings: Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 17-18; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Psalm 24; & Matthew 6:19-21
October 30: Reformation Sunday
Preacher: The Rev. Andrew Geib
Readings: Isaiah 1:10-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12; Psalm 32:1-7; & Luke 19:1-10
Celebration, Trees, & More
The Season of Creation, an Ecumenical Celebration of Creation, is drawing to a close, but it’s nice to think about its meaning and how we carry the season into our lives. It makes sense that we look at celebrating creation in tandem with stewardship, and that care of creation is part of stewardship, Thanks to Pastor Andrew for making that connection for us, and thanks to Jonathan for finding great worship resources!
The Creation Care Task Force is having a busy fall. Several St. James members, including Task Force members, were at the Ag Center over four days in September to sort and distribute nearly 12,000 trees to Adams County residents free of charge. Thank you St. James for meeting Pastor Andrew’s challenge – to order and plant 250 native trees offered by the Adams County Planting Partnership. You ordered 367! Thanks to the Folks of the ACPP, along with the Keystone 10 Million Tree Partnership and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for providing the native trees that made this possible.
Now, we have trees to plant! We are organizing a work party to assist a St. James couple plant their trees, which are destined to become a vegetated strip to protect a creek.
The date is Saturday, October 15. Details are yet to be decided, but look for a sign up sheet in the Gathering Area.
We are looking for more folks to join us. Our meetings will shift to an evening Zoom format, hopefully making it easier for more of you to join us. We welcome new ideas and activities to further the work of healing and celebrating God’s Creation gift to us.
Creation Care Task Force meetings are every 3rd Tuesday of the month, beginning in November. Details will be in the November Messenger and at the Time and Talent Weekend Table.
Come talk to us on the weekend of October 15 & 16 at our table for the Time and Talent Weekend.
Council Corner – September 21 Council Meeting Highlights
En Bloc Agenda, Included Approval Of
Council Minutes (8/17/2022)
Treasurer’s Report of Church Financials & ELC Financials
Motion from Personnel Committee: Housing Allowance for Pastor Andrew be designated to $30,000 out of total compensation effective immediately
Motion from World Outreach: Congregation participate in a Personal Care Kit Campaign for Lutheran World Relief (collect items October 9 – 23)
Motions from Executive Committee:
– Congregation Committee Chairs be appointed
– Council designate $23,000 of the $25,000 of gifts received from the Braband Organ Scholarship be placed in a designated account within the St. James Endowment Fund
– Youth House kitchen and dining room be available to Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S. for early Sunday morning breakfasts
Special Order of Business
Tom Uhlig from the Endowment Committee presented the current status of the Endowment Fund. Total endowment is $935,000 with $96,000 from dividends available for spending. Spending needs to occur, and spending plans need determined by the overseeing committees: Mission Fund, Youth, Music, Building, and Good of the Church (council).
The Call Committee has worked on a document indicating the goals of the church as part of the Ministry Site Profile. Council members should review the document and offer input. Shirley Sanders reported that the MSP should be completed by the first week in October.
Personnel and Council are entertaining the possibility of hosting a United Lutheran Seminary Intern for one year beginning in January. The candidate has completed all classes and would be a full-time member of the staff. A stipend would be required for the intern.
Finance Committee has submitted a recommended 2023 budget. Seeing the new possibility of the intern, and the possible revision of the budget, Council will vote on the budget in October, and will be made available for the Annual Congregation Meeting in November.
Good for Church/Council/God
· Katy Clowney shared that some members of the church would like to start a meal chain or supply of soup and bread for members in time of need. Conversation will continue with Social Ministry.
· Pastor Andrew lifted up that over 60 individuals attended the Fall Festival & Blessing of Animals at Vossler’s Farm. Thank you to Brad Smith for set-up and games, Ernie Kranias and Sharon Kaya for music, and Lyne and Darryl Aurand for the pulled pork.
· Shirley Sanders reported that Operation Christmas Child is ongoing.
· Sharon Kaya expressed gratitude for the children who are reading the prayer of the day in worship.
Sunday, November 20, 1:00 p.m.
Please mark your calendars and attend the meeting.
Annual Report Booklets will be available in print on Saturday, November 5th and will be included digitally in the eBlast on Friday, November 4th.
LWR Personal Care Kit
You can make a difference in the lives of people suffering from political upheaval and environmental disasters. Join the World Outreach committee and donate to the Personal Care Kit Drive from Sunday, October 9th to Sunday, October 23rd.
We ask the congregation to join us and support LWR by gathering supplies and making kits at home. Bring the kits with you to October services or drop them off at the church office anytime during offfice hours!
Include the Following in Each Personal Care Kit:
- ONE light-weight bath-size towel (between 20” x 40” and 52” x 27”), dark color recommended
- TWO or three bath-size bars of soap equaling 8 to 9 oz., any brand, in original wrapping
- ONE adult-size toothbrush in its original packaging (Please seal ONE toothbrush in a business envelope if from a multi-pack)
- ONE sturdy comb or plastic pick, remove packaging
- ONE metal nail clippers (attached file optional), remove packaging
Some Important Guidelines to Remember:
- Be sure to shop for light- or medium-weight towels, which take up less storage space and are easy to wash & air dry.
- Bath towels vary in size. The 52” X 27” size listed in the guidelines is the maximum size. 20” x 40” is a good guideline for a minimum.
- Please do not donate items with any religious symbols, messages or logos/graphics/names
- Please do not donate any items decorated with a U.S. flag, patriotic or military symbols, or references to the armed forces, including camouflage.
- Do not add other items or leave out any of the items listed.
- All items should be brand new and in good condition.
- Do not put kit or any items in plastic bags or wrap.
How to Pack Your Personal Care Kits:
- Fold the towel in half
- Place the rest of the items in the towel
- Fold and roll so nothing falls out
- Secure with yarn, ribbon, string or rubber bands.
Time & Talents—God’s Gifts & Our Response
Time and talent are two of the gifts we each receive from God. We all have the same amount of time and are called to use it faithfully by lovingly caring for family and friends, by doing meaningful work, by taking time to refresh ourselves, and by using our time to be God’s hands in the world.
Our talents can vary widely and some folks would be hard pressed to name their own talents (though others could probably do it for them). We often think of talents as only those gifts which are extraordinary, belonging to Nobel prize winners, opera divas and the like. But talents can be both big and small. Some of us have a talent for growing plants, for teaching, for dancing, for fixing things, for athletics, for cooking, for technology, and much more and most of us have the talent to write a letter (OK, an email), visit a homebound or lonely friend, make a child laugh, provide transportation, talk to a stranger, or hold a door open. The list could go on and on. And we all have both the time and the talent to pray even if as Anne Lamott says it is simply to pray “Help,” Thanks,” or “Wow.” Our time and talents are gifts that we use in ministry.
On the weekend of October 15 and 16 after the worship services there will be a Ministry (read that Time and Talents) Fair in the Gathering area and hallway at St. James. It is a give and receive event. Please come to see what opportunities are available that might use or stretch your talent, but also come share your ideas for how to use both time and talent. As a faith community, we need new ideas to grow as well as help to maintain existing ministries that enrich our community. Your input is important.
See you at the Fair!
Operation Christmas Child—October
We have one more month before Operation Christmas Child boxes will be packed. The Sunday School students will pack the 60 boxes in early November and then they will be taken to the drop off location. Thank you for your generosity in supporting this project.
The month of October we will collect:
- Children’s Hats, Scarves, Mittens, & Gloves
- Mini Etch-a-Sketch, Small Frisbees, & Slinkies
- Play-Doh & Plastic Cookie Cutters
- Sticker Books/Stickers & Picture books,
- Small Stuffed Animals
- Small Musical Instruments
- Colorful Adhesive Bandages
- Small Flashlights with batteries
- Deflated Soccer Balls or Kickballs with Air Pump
Don’t forget—items are for children ages 2-9 years old. Everything must be small enough to fit inside a shoebox.
We are also asking for monetary donations to defray the cost of shipping the boxes-which is $10 per box.
Thanks again for your support of this worthwhile project, as we spread joy to these children receiving the boxes!
Please contact Shirley Sanders or the office with any questions.
For more information about Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child, you can visit their website at samaritanpurs
Nov 6—All Saints Sunday
Nov 13—Waterlife Worship Service, 10:45 AM
Nov 15—Gettysburg Community Concert Association, Barclay Brass
Nov 18-20—MS Youth Retreat at Nawakwa
Nov 20—Miracle Workers, leading worship
Nov 20—Annual Congregation Meeting
Nov 21—Soweto Gospel Choir, Majestic Theater 7:30 PM
(Registration due to Jonathan by October 20)
Nov 25—Youth World Cup Viewing Party
Nov 30—Advent Mid-week “Unfailing Light” Worship
Food, Fellowship and Fun for YOUth!
St. James is serving breakfast every Wednesday before school for the middle and high school youth. We will meet in the Youth House @6:45 AM. Join us for yummy food and fun times.
Don’t forget to invite your friends! The more, the merrier!
Welcome All Knotters
Hallelujah! The St. James Quilt Committee will once again have 30+ quilts ready for the final step of knotting. It is always fun to spread the quilts on several tables and catch up with one another as we knot.
Come join us on Monday, October 17 and Tuesday, October 18 from 9:30 a.m. until noon. Let’s get these quilts ready to send to the Lutheran Disaster Relief and Recovery Quilt Mission.
If you can tie your shoes, you can KNOT a quilt!
11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
Our Call Committee has been working through a Call Process on behalf of our congregation. This is because pastors are not hired hands who are employed by a congregation through the kind of process most of us used to get a job. It is because a pastor is called by a congregation. In fact, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a person cannot be ordained until they have been called by a congregation. In order to remain an ELCA pastor, one must always be under call, or on leave from call (a period of time regulated by synod bishops and synod councils). When the pastor no longer works, they are called to the Retired/ Disabled Roster.
An ordained pastor receives both a call from God to serve and from a congregation who has discerned that he/she/they should come to serve as a shepherd for their faith community. Together we are engaged in developing a description of who we are, why we exist and what type of pastor do we need to support us in the mission to which God is directing us. This description is the Ministry Site Profile (MSP). Once it is complete, our bishop and the ELCA will use it to help identify the pastor who will best fit with our congregation. Once the MSP is completed, hopefully sometime in October, we’ll share it with you.
We’re not hiring someone who will serve as an employee. We’re looking for a shepherd to join with Pastor Andrew in knowing us and leading us.
Join us in prayer:
Loving and Good Shepherd, we thank you for providing an example of how to care for your flock. We ask for your guidance in finding a Pastor who will do their best to mirror your example and care for our Congregation in a way that is pleasing to you and comforting to us. Help us to put into words the important criteria with which we seek them and bless this congregation with the presence of your Holy Spirit. This we ask this in Jesus’ name.
Recycle Bicycle Event
Don’t forget—Saturday October 15, 9AM—Noon
Come to the St. James parking lot to donate no-longer-needed bikes, helmets, equipment, and spare parts.
The Rev. Marty Young
50 + Anniversaries
Robert & Joanne Heflin
Glenn & Jane Blocher
Greg & Vicky Daskivich
Mike & Miriam Pinko
Did we miss your 50+ anniversary? Our sincerest apologies!
Please let us know by calling Megan: 717-334-2012, ext. 202.
She will update your contact information in our database and include you in next month’s Messenger!
Visiting St. James
Monday—Friday, 9:00 a.m.—3:30 p.m.
Wednesdays until 5:30 p.m.
The rear door at the parking lot is open; come on in!!