109 York Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325

The Messenger – April 2023

The Messenger – April 2023

Cover of the Messenger is looking at cross from the perspective of inside a tomb.

You can download a copy of The Messenger with graphics by clicking here. Or if you just want to read the text, keep scrolling!

Events at St James Gettysburg April 2023

A Message From Pastor Andrew

“Hosanna to the Son of David!

  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

 Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

  -Matthew 21:9b

As we enter the month of April, we enter into the holiest week of the church year.  The first weekend of the month, being Palm Sunday.  The day that kicks off Holy Week, which of course leads to Easter.

As we gather for Palm Sunday worship, we hear those all too well-known words shouted by the crowds of people along the road while Jesus enters Jerusalem for the final time – “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

This word, Hosanna, is a liturgical word for both Jews and Christians to this day, though carries a slightly different connotation for each.  Translated as ‘save’, ‘rescue’, or ‘savior’, in Judaism it refers to a cry for divine help, in Christianity it is a cry of praise. 

Maybe the greatest paradigm shift in all of scripture takes place in the four days between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, as the crowds move from shouts of hosanna to those of crucify… when the one who comes in the name of the Lord is betrayed, handed over, arrested and sentenced to death, then hung on a tree…

Luther once said, “Take this to heart and doubt not that you are the one who killed Christ.  Your sins certainly did, and when you see the nails driven through his hands, be sure that you are pounding, and when the thorns pierce his brow, know that they are your evil thoughts.”

Following Luther’s train of thought, as it was for those in the crowds as Jesus led the parade of palms, who then called for his death, we too are faced with a choice.  A choice given to us on any given day, at any given moment.  Will we shout hosanna?  Or will we shout crucify?  Will we choose the path of sacrificial love?  The path of life-giving service?  Or will we choose the path of sin and death? 

From a pastoral perspective, I could not be happier with the direction we are heading here at St. James.  We’ve brought on a seminary intern for the first time in over twenty years.  Our worship attendance is slowly returning to some pre-covid numbers, with visitors joining us each week.  We will welcome in over thirty new members next month.  Our youth group is growing across all ages, with upwards of forty-six kindergarteners through fifth graders here on Wednesday afternoons.  Council is discussing the possibility of bringing in a church growth consultant to guide us in an evangelism campaign of sorts. 

In all of this, there is an excitement in the air.  While there are a variety of reasons for this, at the core, I believe this renewed life is a result of our living into who Christ calls us to be – who we claim to be, maybe most clearly, in our Welcome Statement. 

So, the scripture says; “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”  Blessed is Christ the Lord, our Messiah.  Blessed are you when you come in his name – when you sacrifice of yourself for the good of your neighbor, when reach out in love, when you welcome the stranger.  Blessed are we when we do so together, when we cry out his praise. 

May we continue to be a blessing to others as Christ has been to us.

With love,

~Pastor Andrew

A Message From Vicar Libby

“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love.” 

– Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network

When I think of my favorite childhood memories, most of them ironically have to do with food. I can remember the applesauce cake at my fifth birthday party, Sunday dinners with my Pap’s pie, and the time spent cultivating our garden alongside my mother. There was always pride in making our own food with the vegetables we grew, and joy in sharing our harvest with loved ones.

Food is, and always has been a way that I love to connect with friends and family. I love the memories made in the kitchen and the authentic conversations that emerge over a dinner table.

This past month has been filled with similar memories. Food has been shared in memories with members, snacks with youth at Youth Group, and monthly staff lunches.  Each meal has brought fruitful conversations and a sense of being in community with God’s loved ones.

This past month, I was reminded of the ability of food to bring people together. One of my favorite parts of worship has been gathering around the communion table for the sacrament of Holy Communion. I am reminded of all the loved ones here at St. James whenever I hand the Body of Christ to worshippers. It is a moment of connection, of remembrance, and of joy. A few weeks ago following a respiratory infection, I chose to refrain from handling the elements. For the first time in a few months, I was able to join others around the table and watch the distribution of communion as an observer instead of a communion assistant. It was an opportunity to experience the impact of sharing a weekly meal with others and see friends experience the incredible love of Christ. Everyone is welcome at God’s table, and all come away from the table sustained by the Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite parts of Lent at St. James has been our midweek Lenten meals and services. There is something special about people coming together to share their food, and I have been amazed at the community that has resulted from the intentionality of this mealtime. The Lenten services that follow have been fuller than I expected, and the community that is formed at mealtime extends into a welcome from our midweek speakers. The result is an intentional community bonded through shared experience.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne…Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, …”

-Matthew 25: 31-46

As we emerge from Lent, a season of repentance and reflection, we will finish sharing meals every Wednesday evening. And yet, there are still many opportunities to share food and love for others throughout the week. Whether we serve breakfast for CARES or assist with snack time at Youth Group, ask a friend to go for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine after work, or drop off some cookies with a homebound member, there are always opportunities to share God’s love through food and drink.

This month, may we embrace the spirit of community from the Lord’s Table and allow it to enrich our community outside of Sunday morning.

–Vicar Libby

Music Notes from Jonathan: Dissonance and Resolution

I had some wonderful teachers in college. My undergraduate organ professor was one. He was a true mentor both inside and outside the classroom and his wisdom extended far beyond the topic of music.

During one lesson he suggested that the music would be more effective if I would “lean into” the dissonances a bit more. (Dissonances are created when two or more notes clash in an unharmonious way). Either I had a puzzled look or questioned him on this, but I will never forget his response: there can be no consonance without dissonance, no peace without conflict, no joy without sorrow, no Easter without the Cross.

I got the point. All dissonance, the music is harsh and difficult to endure. All consonance, the music is uninteresting and lifeless. It is this cycle of tension and release that moves the music forward and gives it life.

Intentional or not, Dr. Lowry gave me a life lesson that day. Going through the tough bits of life makes the good parts sweeter. Perhaps the joy of Easter is sweeter for having walked with Christ through the sorrows of Holy Week.

Jonathan Noel

Worship Previews

April 2: Palm Sunday

Today, we encounter the paradox that defines our faith: Jesus Christ is glorified king and humiliated servant. We too are full of paradox: like Peter, we fervently desire to follow Christ, but find ourselves afraid, denying God. We wave palms in celebration today as Christ comes into our midst, and we follow with trepidation as his path leads to death on the cross. Amid it all we are invited into this paradoxical promise of life through Christ’s broken body and outpoured love in a meal of bread and wine. We begin this week that stands at the center of the church year, anticipating the completion of God’s astounding work.

Preacher: Vicar Libby Baker-Mikesell

Readings: Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 31:9-16

Philippians 2:5-11 Matthew 21:1-11

April 3: Holy Monday; 7PM Worship

April 4: Holy Tuesday; 7PM Worship

April 5: Holy Wednesday; 7PM Worship, no dinner

Speaker: Pete Bender

April 6: Maundy Thursday; 7PM Worship

This evening our Lenten observance comes to an end, and we gather with Christians around the world to celebrate the Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Tonight we remember Christ’s last meal with his disciples, but the central focus is his commandment that we live out the promise embodied in this meal. As Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, so we are called to give and receive love in humble service to one another. Formed into a new body in Christ through this holy meal, we are transformed by the mercy we have received and carry it into the world. Departing worship in solemn silence, we anticipate the coming days .

April 7: Good Friday; 7PM Worship

Life and death stand side by side as we enter into Good Friday. In John’s passion account, Jesus reveals the power and glory of God, even as he is put on trial and sentenced to death. Standing with the disciples at the foot of the cross, we pray for the whole world in the ancient bidding prayer, as Christ’s death offers life to all. We gather in solemn devotion, but always with the promise that the tree around which we assemble is indeed a tree of life. We depart silently, and we anticipate the culmination of the Three Days in the Easter Vigil.

April 9: Resurrection of Our Lord -Easter

This is the day the Lord has made! Christ is risen, and through him all creation is made new! Indeed, “God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34): Christ’s resurrection truly brings life to everyone. We sing hymns of praise, gather around sacred words, and proclaim God’s faithfulness, power, and love in the feast of holy communion. With the women at the tomb, we are astonished, elated, and grateful. We depart with joy to proclaim the good news of God’s endless love. 

Preacher: The Rev. Andrew R. Geib

Readings: Acts 10:34-43 Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Colossians 3:1-4 Matthew 28:1-10

April 16: Second Sunday of Easter

In today’s gospel the risen Christ appears to the disciples and offers them the gift of peace. Even amid doubts and questions, we experience the resurrection in our Sunday gathering around word and meal, and in our everyday lives. Throughout the coming Sundays of Easter the first two readings will be from the Acts of the Apostles and the first letter of Peter. Even as the early Christians proclaimed the resurrection, we rejoice in the new birth and living hope we receive in baptism.

Preacher: Vicar Libby Baker-Mikesell

Readings: Acts 2:14a, 22-32 Psalm 16

1 Peter 1:3-9 John 20:19-31

April 23: Third Sunday of Easter

Creation Care Sunday

Today’s gospel begins with two disciples walking to Emmaus, overcome with sadness, loss, and disappointment. They had hoped Jesus, who was crucified, would be the one to redeem Israel! Yet the risen Christ walks with them and then opens their eyes in the breaking of the bread. Each Sunday our hearts burn within us as the scriptures are proclaimed and Christ appears to us as bread is broken and wine is poured. The story of Emmaus becomes the pattern of our worship each Lord’s day.

Preacher: Vicar Libby Baker-Mikesell

Readings: Acts 2:14a, 36-41 Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19

1 Peter 1:17-23 Luke 24:13-35

April 30: Fourth Sunday of Easter

Today is sometimes called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Jesus is called the “gate” of the sheep in today’s gospel. The risen Christ opens the way to abundant life. He anoints our heads with oil and guides us beside the still waters of our baptism. Each Sunday he spreads a feast before us amid the world’s violence and war. We go forth to be signs of the resurrection and extend God’s tender care to all creation.

Preacher: Vicar Libby Baker-Mikesell

Readings: Acts 2:42-47 Psalm 23

1 Peter 2:19-25 John 10:1-10

World Outreach Committee – Mission Scholarship Application

The mission of the World Outreach Committee at St. James is to engage every member in the global mission of Christ’s Church in the world through prayer, education, service and sharing of gifts. Although we have had this scholarship in our budget, it has been several years since it has been safe to advertise and offer a scholarship of $1400.  We encourage members to actively participate in mission projects. 

We invite you to tell us about your mission plans to see if we can help with some partial support from this scholarship fund.  Submit a statement to the St. James Church Office marked “Application World Outreach Mission Scholarship.”

Please cover the following points with enough detail to help us to learn what you hope to accomplish during your mission project.

1. Provide name, address, telephone and e-mail.

2. Describe where and when you want to go and what you want to do.

3. Tell us about the level of support you will need.

4. Explain how your mission project will support the mission goals of the World Outreach Committee and the St. James Lutheran Church community.

5. Be sure to sign and date your statement.

The application deadline is May 15, 2023 with notification by June 1.  The scholarship must be used during 2023. If you have questions about this program contact Claire Anderson at [email protected] or any member of the World Outreach Committee.

2023 Easter Flowers & World Hunger Gifts

Palm branches are given in loving memory of Guy E. and Sarah A. Raffensperger by their children and spouses.

The Pascal Candle is given in loving memory of Treva Weikert by the Redding Family.

Easter Flowers and Gifts to World Hunger are Given. ..

In Memory of…

Madeline Orndorff, given by Treva and Hurshel Shank Sr.

Luther and Lois Smith, given by Eric and Colleen Smith Family

Franz Foltz , given by his parents, Fritz & Faith Ann

My husband, Richard Thulin, given by Liz Thulin

Rev. Martin T. Young , Harry and Edith Young, Whitner and Mildred Wilburn, given by Anne, Michelle, Mark, Trish, Maddie, and Grant Young, and Connie Wirfel

Jack Bucher, given by his wife, Jenny

Sadie Pounder and Joan Miller, given by Sharon Kaya

Our parents, given by Tom and Barbara Vossler

George R. Bender, Morris M. Steinour and Mary C. Steinour, given by Tom and Mary Bender

Ruth and Guy Crist, Rhoda and Crosby Hartzell, Elizabeth and Leroy Crist, given by Beth and Brad Becker and family, Jean and Conner Blaine and family

Our parents & grandparents: Arlene & John Lawver and Rhea & Norman Blocher, given by Jane & Glenn Blocher, David Blocher, Jennifer Perchulyn, & families

Dan Blocher, given by parents & siblings:  Jane & Glenn Blocher, David Blocher and Jennifer Perchulyn

Grace Uhlig, given by Tom & Jean Uhlig

Hazel & Nelson Sixeas, given by Barry, Jean, and Tom Sixeas

All my family and friends: you are missed, given by Shirley Sanders

Elizabeth LaBarbara, Gennaro LaBarbara, Annette Battaglia, Connie Cook, Jim Cook, given by Carol and Bob Cook

Bob McGlaughlin, given by his wife Margaret

Curt & Frances McGlaughlin, given by their daughter-in-law, Margaret

Glenn & Mabel Sterner, given by by their daughter, Margaret

Milton Nicks, given by his wife Barbara and family

Nelson & Hazel Sixeas, given by their daughter Janet Rice & Family

Rhoda L. Hammers and Donald L. Hammers, given by Donna & David Rakestraw and Wanda, Craig, Jason, Rachel and Emily Wilson

Our grandparents , given by Mark & Katy Clowney

Hal Platzer & Claude and Gertrude Shea, given by Kathy Platzer

Herb and Fran Raymond, given by Betty Raymond and Eugene Rakestraw

Our Parents & Son: Glenna, Richard, & Jason Boyer, and Theresa & John Stevens, given by Kenneth & Judy Boyer

Barry & Edna Showers, Howard & Doris Guise, given by Michael & Kimberly Guise

Patricia Martin, given by Love, Jason, Kerri, Drew & Gavin Cole

Jocelyn Brown and Maryellen Murrey, given by Lou and Priscilla Shuba

Ralph and Ada McGregor, given by Matt and Ila Verdirame

G. Richard & Glenna G. Boyer, given by their children Kenneth, Peggy, Anna, and Carole & families

Our Parents and Fern Klinefelter, given by Glenn & Nancy Heller

Our Mother, Charlotte Swope, given by Charles & Debbie Raffensperger and Family

Salud Nieting, given by Judy & Bill Leslie

My Grandparents Bob and Dot Baker, and Aunt Beth Baker-Kirsty, given by Vicar Libby Baker-Mikesell

John and Mary Doerfler; Edgar and Ruth Allen; Joseph And Mary Doerfler, given by John and Monica Doerfler

In Honor of…

Our Mothers, Charlotte Kercsmar and Lorraine Waybright, given by Bert and Sherry Waybright

Mary Jo Frey; Michael Seilhamer & family; Heather Seilhamer & family, given by John & Judy Seilhamer

Our family and Peggy Novotni, given by Chris and Jenna Waybright

My Holy Land family and Pastor-leaders, given by Dee Wells

John and Selene Scavitto, given by Sharon Kaya

Elinor (Teeny) Bender, given by Tom and Mary Bender

Our grandchildren Hannah Perchulyn, Landon, Kaelyn & Brittni Blocher, given by Jane & Glenn Blocher

Robert Leedy, given by Sam & Joan Leedy

Our granddaughter, Lara Antje Viersma, given by Michael & Kimberly Guise

Jesse and Yvette Holt, given by Suzanne Hubbard

St. James staff, given by Carol Widerman and Dan Kessel

Owen Swartz, Lily Swartz, and Our Children, given by Margaret and Rod Swartz

Loved ones, given by Lou and Priscilla Shuba

Our daughters, Stacey Schlosser, Rebecca Dooley, Lauren Hill, given by Wayne and Susan Hill

Our Father, Jule Swope, given by Charles & Debbie Raffensperger and Family

St. James Staff, given by Vicar Libby Baker-Mikesell

The church and its mission, given by Bill & Paula Shoemaker

Call Committee

Currently, the Lower Susquehanna Synod includes St. James under their “Interviewing” category of congregations with a pastoral vacancy. This means that the congregation has completed, and the council has adopted our Mission Site Profile (MSP), which describes who the congregation understands itself to be, what the congregation has discerned as the mission to which God calls us, and information considering what type of pastoral leadership is needed. The summary of this document is available to anyone who searches the ELCA site for congregations in the call process. The full document can be obtained by pastors interested to learn more by inquiry to our Bishop’s office.

Since the congregation has moved into this segment of our call process, the call committee is now unable to share information with the congregation. This will change once the call committee is prepared to unanimously recommend a candidate to our congregation council. Until that time, much is taking place even though we cannot keep you informed. Pr. Andrew, the council and the committee agreed the call process would proceed as begun in May 2022 even though we also agreed in November 2022 to become an internship congregation.

Before the committee can make that recommendation to the council, Pr. Geib will have received information from the bishop’s office, reviewed the Rostered Minister Profile of the pastor or candidate for ordination, and determined that he wishes to hold conversations with the candidate. If the discussions (as many as needed) proceed, Pr. Andrew may then recommend the pastor/candidate to the Call Committee. The Call Committee will follow with its own interview process, which may take however much time the committee feels is needed and may include hearing the candidate preach. Both Pr. Andrew and/or the committee may feel that someone they have interviewed is not actually a potential candidate and then end the process with that person, but the congregation will not hear about it. Once the Call Committee agrees with Pr. Andrew that the person is a match for what St. James has described as the leader we need, it will vote to recommend to council. After the council conducts their own interview, they will determine whether or not to recommend to the congregation. This last step is when you will be informed. Until that point, everything is confidential. We realize this can be frustrating- to not be able to hear what is happening as it does. But you can understand the necessity of this: when an individual decides they would like to seek different employment, they don’t generally inform their employer until they are prepared to resign and move on. You can see that if a pastor is interested in moving to a different congregation, it could be distressing to their congregation. If the process doesn’t proceed to a new call, it will be far better for everyone if only as small a group as possible is aware of the situation; for this reason the synod limits the information to the call committee only, and in the case of an Associate Pastor position, to the lead pastor also. Likewise if a candidate for ordination begins a call process but isn’t called, it would not be helpful to them for that to be public knowledge. It’s also important to remember that the pastor/candidate for ordination also has the right to terminate the process at any point, including even after a congregation votes to call them: they can decline to accept the call. Prayer and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit is crucial throughout all of this.

(continued on next page)

Given our MSP states that we are open to a candidate for ordination for our Associate Pastor, you may also be wondering how the process works for a seminarian to become available for call. At three points during a seminarian’s education, the Candidacy Committee of their home synod works with them to determine their status. The first step is “Entrance” when the committee agrees that the person should proceed with Seminary with a goal of earning a Master of Divinity degree. Next, the committee hopefully moves to “Endorsement” which indicates progression. The Committee seeks to ensure that the seminarian has received both an external call- meaning others have expressed to the person their belief that God is calling the student, and an internal call, in which the person discerns for themselves that God is calling them to pastoral ministry in the Lutheran Church. Once the seminarian has completed all course work and a full year internship, the final step is “Approval for Ordination.” It is at this point the person may enter the call process. All of these steps must proceed in order and either the seminarian or the Candidacy Committee can end the process at any point.

Feel free to bring your questions or concerns to any member of the Call Committee and we’ll be glad to explain or answer as best as we are able. Please keep the call process, Pr. Andrew, the pastor/candidate for ordination who will eventually serve St. James, and the Call Committee in your prayers.

Lucinda Bringman, Chair, Call Committee

Lutheran World Relief School Kit Campaign

The World Outreach Committee and the children in the Youth program invite you to contribute to St. James’ LWR 2023 School Kit campaign.  This season we ask the congregation to make a monetary contribution to purchase supplies for the school kits.  World Outreach will then purchase all items for the kits.  We have set an ambitious goal of 100 kits!

Adam Michael and the children in the after-school program will culminate their 2022-23 year assembling these items on May 17th.  Emma Wagner, our LWR Regional representative, will bless the kits during services on May 20 and 21.  Middle school and high school youth will help pack and load the kits during Youth group on May 21st.

Please write LWR School Kit campaign on the envelope or your check’s memo line and drop off your contribution to the office or in the offering basket anytime between April 16 and May 7.

Each school kit will include:

· One sturdy drawstring bag

· One 16-24 pack of crayons

· Four 70 sheet notebooks

· One pencil sharpener

· One 30 cm ruler

· One pair blunt scissors

· One 2 ½ inch eraser

· 5 #2 unsharpened pencils with erasers

· 5 blue or black ballpoint pens

You can make a difference in the lives of people suffering from political upheaval and environmental disasters.

Young at Heart: Keeping up with the kids

What does it mean to be welcoming? How can we build authentic connections with outsiders while still nurturing the relationships that are most important to us? How do we reach those we bump heads with or who feel judged, even neglected?

Our youth group recently watched the story of The Woman At The Well, told through the television show, The Chosen. In the filmed version of the story, Jesus meets the lonely, outcast Samaritan woman with a cheeky, yet curious demeanor and bats away hostility with playful banter. If it were not Jesus, he might even be accused of flirting.

But when the conversation turns serious, he listens to her concerns and worries. He sympathizes with the barriers she feels hold her back from celebrating her place in God’s kingdom. It’s only after doing so that he reveals he is the Messiah. He uses a deep knowledge of her past to convince her, then promises that God will not exclude us for our past transgressions, nor the tribes we come from. He asks only that we worship in spirit and in truth. He promises that worship need not be held in a synagogue or temple, but only in our hearts.

Every time I watch the scene, a lump rises in my throat. It’s clear the woman has given up hope that she will ever again be valued by another person, but when she knows she’s been seen by God, she’s transformed.

When it comes to the supernatural, all we can do as Christians is affirm in faith the promises Jesus makes and let the Lord work. But all of us can help to transform lives by making people feel seen as valued and loved members of a community. It requires us to slow down, sometimes drop our plans, to listen, and to care.

Each week, our youth groups gather to play games, to eat, to learn a little about the Bible and to sing. But that is all merely ceremonial if we aren’t approachable — if we don’t engage with the kids in spirit, truth, and love. It can be challenging in a short time period, but it’s essential to our success.

A recent explosion of youth group registrations has me hopeful that we’re on the right path. Our elementary school participation has increased from 27 students at the end of last spring to 45 in mid-March of this year. Our middle school has grown from 7 to 13 members, and our high school group has added one new member to bring us to seven.

With our class sizes expanding, we will be trying some new things this spring to make sure we are providing age-appropriate challenges and time for each child to be heard. Next year, I am considering having Grades K-2 youth group on Wednesdays and Grades 3-5 on Thursdays. An end-of-year survey will help guide me to the right decision.

If you know any youth that might benefit from a community of acceptance and love, email me at [email protected] or

 you can fill out our online registration form by going to www.StJamesGettysburg.org/youth/youth-group/

Upcoming Youth Events

April 16 — K-5 laser tag/ fun center in Westminster

April 21-23 – High School retreat at Nawakwa

Knot A Quilt Days

Volunteers have been busy over the winter. We set a semi-annual goal of 40 quilts every spring and fall. We need your help adding the finishing touches before they are donated to LWR.

If you can tie your shoes or a fishing lure, then you have all the skills you need to knot a quilt during the Spring 2023 Knot a Quilt sessions. All age and abilities are welcome, come help for a long as you can. Bring a friend, and we’ll bring the snacks and juice!

When: April 24-25 and May 1 from 9:30AM to Noon 

Where: Room 303

Council Highlights– March 15, 2023

En Bloc Agenda (Council will vote to approve these in one motion.  Any council member may request to remove a motion from the bloc to have it separately discussed and considered)

· Approval of Minutes from February 15, 2023

· Acceptance of Treasurer’s Report: Church Financials & ELC Financials

· Acceptance of New Members via affirmation of faith: Jon and Betsy Griffiths; Sherri, Matt, Victor, Olivia, and Henry Robinson; Mark and Sonja Withrow; Brian and Tina Kessel; Keith Rodgers; Shane Miller; Janet Cole; Jenna, Chris, Carter, Burke, and Findley Waybright; Albert Fraschetti; Barry Truesdall; Rick Umstead; Xingi Su, James and Noah Pucket

· Via baptism: none during Lent

All en bloc items were approved.

· Special Order of the Day:  CROP Walk Presentation by Jesse Holt: Tentatively planned for Spring 2024. This will be a community-wide endeavor. Council was in agreement that St. James would be the meeting place for planning the event.

· Special Order of the Day: Miracle Workers Presentation by Carrie Bixler and Amanda Bair: St. Patrick’s dinner and dance at Gettysburg Fire Hall on March 18, 2023.  Miracle Workers will charge admission and give away door prizes but not conduct a raffle. Council will have further discussion about small games of chance at future meetings.

Old Business

Review SMART Goals and progress:

· The goal of 110 shifts for making fastnachts was met.

· Worship was 259 at Feb 4-5 services.

Church Growth Strategy proposal:

· Discussion on written proposal from Pr Nathan Swenson-Reinhold.  Council voted to table discussion.  Pr Swenson-Reinhold will be invited to attend the April Council meeting via Zoom for dialogue with council members.

New Business

Establish Nominating Committee for Council Elections:

· Jim Dunlop and Brent Smith are not seeking second term. Carol Cook and Alan Haynes are willing to run for second term.  Jim Dunlop, Brent Smith and Sharon Kaya will serve as nominating committee.  All council members are asked to recruit candidates for council.

Motion from Personnel Committee: 

· That the congregation offer Ashley Dreschler the position of director of the Early Learning Center. Motion carried.

Synod Assembly voting members:

· Motion to approve Alan and Cathy Haynes as voting members to the 2023 Synod Assembly carried.  The goal is to also recruit a youth or other member to attend.

Looking Ahead

Budget Goals vs Actual Review – April 2023

· Building Usage – target early 2023:  Holdup is unknown cost of window replacement.

· Building Safety:  Quote on cost of installation of security cameras received.

· Stewardship and Giving

· Fundraisers and Philosophy

· Other ideas

Good for Council – Good for Church – Good for God

· Will Lane shared that the Creation Care Taskforce received a $1,500 grant from the Adams County Community Foundation to purchase plants for the pollinator garden being planned at SpiriTrust.

· Reflecting on her recent birthday Sharon offered praise and thanks to her St. James community.

· Pr Andrew lifted up the increase in worship attendance and youth activities.   He also shared that Bible Study has seen an increase in participation.   He thanked the council for the opportunity for him to travel with St. James members to the Holy Land.  (continued on next page)

And he appreciated all of Vicar Libby’s work while he was gone.

He shared all of this in good spirit.

Sharon Kaya ended the meeting with prayer.

Next Meeting:

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 (devotions led by Alan Haynes)

Parish Records


March 8 – Glenn H. Hankey

March 19 – Donna M. Taylor

March 23 – John S. Reed

Upcoming 50+ Wedding Anniversaries

April 2 – Waldo & Patricia Hartman celebrate 63 years

April 3 – Carl & Nancy Yingling celebrate 58 years

April 8 – Bill & Paula Shoemaker celebrate 51 years

April 15 – Barry & Sharon Keckler celebrate 56 years

April 15 – Louis & Priscilla Shuba celebrate 56 years

April 29 – Wally & Gail Crum celebrate 56 years