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The Messenger – January 2022

The Messenger – January 2022

A printable version of this month’s Messenger with graphics is available to view and download.

Or, if all you’re looking for is the text, feel free to scroll!

Message from Pastor Mike

“May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may God strengthen your hearts in holiness . . . . “

1 Thessalonians 3: 9, 12

Dear St. James Community of Believers,

I have an annual ritual I follow as one year ends and a new year begins: I take my appointment calendar from the year now passing and sit in a quiet place, opening it and prayerfully turn the pages, beginning in the month of January. I read the calendar, noticing the committee meetings, the appointments, the marriage preparation with couples, staff meetings, Sunday School schedules, weekends preached—the names of individuals. I see notations for funerals, often remembering stories about the person whose life we were celebrating, triggering smiles, tears and memories!

This year I’m looking back through calendars, not just 2021, but several years back, looking over calendars I’ve saved for many more years reflecting my ministry here at St. James. When I see names (some individuals who have passed), I’m seeing them as icons—windows into God. I’m seeing names (many of them your names), and I’m looking through those names and seeing the reality of God portrayed.

In this simple, quiet, profound ritual, I’m opening myself to a deeper understanding of God who shows up through the individuals whose names are written there in front of me. I’m noticing the relationship between these names and the faith life shared with me and so many others. I’m being sensitized to insights, wonders and emotions that surround me during these prayerful times. I am being held by many loved ones. I’m realizing that it is next to impossible to manufacture all things beautiful in isolation. I’m knowing how radical grace flows from the heart of God to God’s broken and blessed humanity. I’m believing how we cannot create for ourselves God’s word of grace. We must live it with each other!

These are records of many years of loving ministry here at St. James, in this community, and to the larger church. These are holy reminders of the sacredness of each person whose names are written, scribbled, embodied on these rumbled pages.

At some point, I will burn these calendars in the fire pit on my deck, and as I watch the smoke rise into the cold winter air, I will know they are you, they are me, and they are us—and I will be held in the Presence of Love! And my prayer will be that of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, “…that we will abound in love for one another, and that God will strengthen your hearts in holiness.”

Blessings & love,

~pastor mike

Message from Pastor Andrew

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

-John 1:1-5

The verses above bring before us the opening words of the Gospel of John. Words read throughout the Church at large on the day of our Saviors birth – on Christmas day.

When compared with our other Gospels, John’s offers a very different image in regards to how Jesus entered the world. There is no census, no Mary and Joseph, no manger, no shepherds of the field, no traveling wisemen, no angels, not even a baby. For gospel writer John, Jesus has been in the world from the beginning.

In the original Greek of our biblical text, we find the word ἀρχῇ (ar-kay) translated as beginning. While used in a variety of ways throughout the New Testament, here in John chapter 1, this beginning is connected to its Hebrew counterpart, בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית (bə·rê·šîṯ), as found in Genesis 1, where we read that God created out of darkness… that the earth was a formless void… empty… covered by darkness… and that God spoke all things into being – the first of which, was light.

For gospel writer John, God’s speaking, present at the onset of creation, would go on to become flesh by way of the Christ – the light that shines in the darkness and will not be overcome, the true light that gives light and life to all people, who gives the right to become children of God, full of grace and truth.

There is no denying that our world is all too often filled, even consumed by, darkness. The past year plus has been no exception. Sin appears to be winning over grace. Judgment over reconciliation. Death over life. Hatred over love. Division over unity. Exclusion over inclusion. The list goes on.

Yet, in the midst of all of this, the things of faith present us with an image of God that is far different. One where light conquers darkness. Where grace and forgiveness supersedes even the worst of sins. Where death is not the end. Where love defeats hatred. Where all people, regardless of differences, are one – of equal value – in the Body of Christ. Where all are welcome.

With the coming of a new year, people across the world, many of us included, will make attempts at new beginnings in the form of new years resolutions. Though, if the statistics of years past tell us anything about those of the future, only a handful will be successful in maintaining said resolutions for any significant period of time.

But what if, instead of attempting to create something new out of ourselves, we lived more fully into who we already are – who we were created to be back in the beginning… who we were recreated as in baptism? Made in the image of God, washed and redeemed, deemed beloved children of God.

At our very core, this is who we are – each and every one of us. My personal hope and prayer for each of you as we enter this new year, is that your words and deeds would reflect the image of God we were created to reflect. Be kind to one another. Hold a door for the person behind you. Offer a smile to a passerby (even if it is from behind a mask). Send a kind note to someone in need of hearing. Share words of gratitude. Say you’re sorry when it’s due. If you don’t have something nice to say, listen to your mother’s advice and say nothing at all. Be generous in your giving. Care for the less fortunate. Don’t sweat the small things. Be the light that shatters darkness… Or, as my late internship supervisor once said in a Christmas Eve children’s sermon; “Go out and sparkle!” For we could all use a little more light in our lives.

With love,

Pastor Andrew

Memo from the Minister of Music

Das alte Jahr vergangen ist

Each New Year’s Eve our family takes time to reflect on the highs and lows of the passing year. Recounting those joys and sorrows brings us closer together and helps us to see how God is with us through it all. As dawn breaks on New Year’s Day, we find ourselves renewed and full of hope for the coming year.

There is an old German hymn by Johann Steurlein (1546-1613) that is worth consideration. The first stanza appears here in an 1863 English translation by Catherine Winkworth.

The old year now hath passed away; We thank Thee, O our God, today That Thou hast kept us through the year When danger and distress were near.

This hymn would be unknown to us were it not for its inclusion in Das Orgelbüchlein, a set of organ preludes by Johann Sebastian Bach. In this music, I hear the sorrows of the passing year depicted in descending chromatic lines that evoke a feeling of sadness. At the same time, ascending chromatic lines seem to buoy the music, lending a sense of hope amidst the sorrow. Bach captures the essence of the hymn perfectly: while difficulties and sorrows are inevitable, we are always kept in God’s loving care.

I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Jonathan Noel, Minister of Music

To hear this music, I recommend a version recorded at St. Bavo Church, Haarlem, Holland. The chromatic figurations appear predominantly in the left hand and pedal parts under a mournful, ornamented version of the melody played by the right hand. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnvq3qbKkr8 

Pre-Lent Evenings of Prayer – Save the dates!

“Praying Our Longings: Using Poetry in Prayer”

February 7, 14, 21, 2022 || 6:30 p.m . –  8:00 p.m. (worship space)

Over the past several years we have gathered on the Monday evenings immediately prior to the beginning of Lent to explore, experience, and discuss topics such as Contemplative Prayer, the Examen, the Jesus Prayer, solitude, and more. In 2020, we literally finished these “evenings of prayer” only three weeks before COVID shut everything down. We missed last year completely. Let’s not miss this opportunity as we move into Lent, 2022! I am inviting you into an experience of prayer by using poetry. For those who followed my Morning Musings for more than a year, and who hear my weekend preaching, you know how important poetry is to my inner, spiritual, contemplative prayer life. I’d like to share this part of my life with you!

Therefore . . .for three evenings before we begin the season of Lent, I invite you into a time where we will experience the poetry of Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Denise Levertov, Sufi poets, as well as the Psalms from the Hebrew Bible. I look for it to be an exciting, prayer-filled time together! I will ask you to sign up so I will know how many handouts to prepare each evening! StJamesGettysburg.com/poetry Save the dates! Let’s explore a different experience of prayer going into Lent on March 2, 2022.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

10:00—11:30 a.m. (Pastor Mike leading)

Each week, we will look at the second scripture text for each Advent Sunday. Hybrid model (in-person and on Zoom) for now, please contact Katy to receive Zoom link and handouts. Join any week you can!

Thursday Morning Bible Study

10:00—11:30 a.m. (Pastor Andrew leading)

Those interested in joining on Thursday morning, please email Pastor Andrew for the Zoom link. We gather via Zoom each Thursday at  10:00 a.m.  New participants are  always welcome!

Worship Previews

January 2 — Second Sunday of Christmas

Within the gospel reading’s profound words lies the simple message that God is revealed in a human person. Though we may try to understand how the Word existed with God from the beginning of time, the wonder we celebrate at Christmas is that the Word continues to dwell among us. Christ comes among us in the gathered assembly, the scriptures, the waters of new birth, and the bread and the wine. Through these ordinary gifts we receive the fullness of God’s grace and truth. Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Sirach 24:1-12 (alternate); Psalm 147:12-20; Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21 (alternate); Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:[1-9] 10-18

January 6 — Epiphany of Our Lord  (Worship Jan. 2)

The feast of Epiphany (“manifestation”) concludes the Christmas season with a celebration of God’s glory revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. In Isaiah and Ephesians, that glory is proclaimed for all nations and people. Like the light of the star that guided the magi to Jesus, the light of Christ reveals who we are: children of God who are claimed and washed in the waters of baptism. We are sent out to be beacons of the light of Christ, sharing the good news of God’s love to all people.   Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12

January 9 — Baptism of Our Lord

Today’s festival rejoices in God’s blessings. We recall and celebrate our adoption as God’s children, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promised company of almighty God when we “pass through the waters . . . the rivers . . . fire.” On this day the heavens open again for this assembly, and we receive the gift of God’s Beloved, Jesus, in bread and wine. Readings: Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

January 16 — Second Sunday after Epiphany

The Sundays after Epiphany continue to celebrate the revelation of God’s glory to us as it was made known to the magi and to those on Jordan’s banks at Jesus’ baptism—today using wedding imagery. Our God rejoices over God’s people as those being married rejoice over one another. By the power of the Spirit there are gifts galore for everyone. In Christ Jesus the best wine is saved for last. Taste and see.  Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11

January 23 — Third Sunday after Epiphany

God’s glory is revealed in the reading of scripture. People stand at attention. People weep. People prostrate themselves in prayer. The unity of the church is another reflection of God’s glory. Most gloriously, the promises of God are fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Gather round. Listen up. Glimpse the glory of God. Readings: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a; Luke 4:14-21

January 30 — Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

The glory of God is often revealed when and where it is least expected. God uses our lips to declare that glory, inexperienced and hesitant though they may be. God uses our love to demonstrate that glory and so urges us to exercise it. God uses Jesus of Nazareth, water and the word, bread and wine, to reveal God’s glory where and when God chooses. Take heed, lest the glory of God slip through our midst unnoticed. Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30

Baptism of Our Lord

On January 9, we lift up the Baptized of the past year.

  • Warren James Zeitler
  • Easton Alan Shoemaker
  • Heath Philip Asper
  • Blayne Miller
  • Caden Miller
  • Ela Miller
  • Josslyn Breean Churchill
  • Nicolas Teeter Shen
  • Kian Yves Ballough
  • Valentino Richard Xavier Ballough
  • Brant Thomas Eberhart
  • Amelia Grace Dolbow

Messages for Members

A $500.00 donation was made to the Carter Center in October in honor of Katy and Staci to acknowledge their work for St. James and its communities. This thoughtful donation will help some of the world’s most powerless people attain the skills, knowledge, and access to resources to improve their own lives. Thank you!

Parish Records


December 26: Rosie M. Ketterman Stine

December 29: Helen E. Wilkinson

Upcoming 50+ Wedding Anniversaries

January 27: David and Barbara Hedrick (54 years)

Poinsettias, Wreaths ,and Donations

Poinsettias were given to the glory of God and in loving honor of:

  • All first-responders and health-care workers by Liz Thulin
  • Susan & Richard Henry by Jim, Alison, Lydia, and Annabel Fredericks
  • Our grandchildren, Cole, Brant, Maeve, Vance by Betsy & Tom Keefer
  • Loved ones by Lou & Priscilla Shuba
  • My grandchildren, Zachary & Abigail, by Peggy Green
  • Pastor Mike, Pastor Andrew, and our wonderful staff: Katy, Staci, Jonathan, and Tom by Sam, Ed, Josh, and Jessy Main
  • St. James Ministers, staff, and their families by Miriam & Mike Pinko
  • The ministry of Pr. Michael Allwein by Peter & Martha Riley
  • Our children & grandchildren by Scott & Terri Zimmerer
  • Jimmy Hartzell, Zach Hartzell, and Kathy Rolf by John & Jan Hartzell
  • Siblings and their families by Pegg Gardner
  • Pastor Mike & Lois Allwein by Matthew & Ila Verdirame
  • Nadine Baugher by Tara & Phil Baugher
  • Pastor Michael Allwein by Suzanne H. Williams
  • Our St. James staff by Carol Widerman & Dan Kessel
  • Carolyn Nicholson by Suze, Mir, and Paul
  • St. James’s wonderful staff by Dee Wells
  • Elinor “Teeny” Bender by Tom & Mary Bender

Poinsettias were given to the glory of God and in loving memory of:

  • Margie Keyser by Ed and the family
  • Luther A. & Lois E. Smith and M. Evelyn Smith by Eric & Colleen Smith
  • Dan Blocher by Mom, Dad, and family
  • Arlene & John Lawver by daughter Jane & Family
  • Daniel & Janet Riley and Stanton & Helen Bockoven by Pete & Martha Riley
  • Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Raymond by Betty Raymond & Gene Rakestraw
  • Harry, Ruth, Suzanne, John Bender by Betsy & Tom Keefer
  • Nelson & Hazel Sixeas by their daughter, Janet Rice and family
  • Shelley-Ann Witherow and Jeremy Plank by Teresa Witherow
  • Chester & Ruth Frederick and George & Caroline Shuba by Lou & Priscilla Shuba
  • Sam Green by Peggy Green
  • Wife Doris Bushman by Husband William and children, Joy Taylor & Jay Bushman
  • Gary Bushman by Father and children, Joy Taylor & Jay Bushman
  • Salud Nieting by Bill & Judy Leslie
  • Our parents by Scott & Terri Zimmerer
  • Parents, Hellen & Stanley Gochenour, by Pegg Gardner
  • Hal Platzer, J. Claude Shea & Gertrude M. Shea, Joseph C. Shea, Jr., and Louise Shea Lang by Kathy Platzer
  • Janel Baugher, John Baugher, and Jay & Lou Auxt by Tara & Phil Baugher
  • Samuel A. Small by his children, Jennifer, Samantha, and Daniel
  • Dr. Frank B. Williams by the grandchildren
  • Milton Nicks by his wife, Barbara
  • Charles Angstadt by Carol Angstadt
  • Nelson & Hazel Sixeas by Barry & Jean Sixeas
  • Dennis Frankfort by his mother, Ruth Knaub
  • My parents Bill & Ethel Schultz by Ann Ketterman
  • The Rev. Richard E. Geib and Isabella Hope Smith by Andrew & Christina
  • Our grandparents by Katy & Mark Clowney
  • George R. Bender and Morris M. & Mary Caroline Steinour by Tom & Mary Bender
  • Our parents by Fred & Joan Horak

World Hunger Relief Donations were given to the glory of God and in loving honor of:

  • Kay & Joe MacDowell by Elaine Swanson
  • The ministry of Pr. Michael Allwein by Peter & Martha Riley
  • Our children and grandchildren by Scott & Terri Zimmerer
  • Jimmy Hartzell, Zach Hartzell, and Kathy Rolf by John & Jan Hartzell
  • Nadine Baugher by Tara & Phil Baugher
  • Our children and grandchildren by Lois & Michael Allwein
  • The faithful ushers and sacristy attendants by Ron Couchman
  • Carolyn Nicholson by Suze, Mir, and Paul

World Hunger Relief Donations were given to the glory of God and in loving memory of:

  • Margie Keyser by Ed and the family
  • Luther A. & Lois E. Smith and M. Evelyn Smith by Eric and Colleen Smith
  • Daniel & Janet Riley and Stanton & Helen Bockoven by Pete & Martha Riley
  • Nelson & Hazel Sixeas by their daughter, Janet Rice, and family
  • Salud Nieting by Bill & Judy Leslie
  • Our parents by Scott & Terri Zimmerer
  • Whitner A. Wilburn & Mildred A. Wilburn and Harry M. Young & Edith L. Young by Marty & Anne Young
  • Hal Platzer, J. Claude Shea, Gertrude M. Shea, Joseph C. Shea, Jr., and Louise Shea Lang by Kathy Platzer
  • Janel Baugher, John Baugher, Jay & Lou Auxt by Tara & Phil Baugher
  • Our parents and sisters, Sue & Marge, by Lois & Michael Allwein
  • Our parents by Glenn & Nancy Klinefelter Heller
  • G. Richard & Glenna G. Boyer by Children and families, Kenneth, Anna, Peggy, and Carole
  • Our parents by Fred & Joan Horak


  • Wreath in loving memory of Samuel Green by his wife, Peggy; son, Travis; and grandchildren, Zachary and Abigail
  • Wreath in loving memory of our parents, Richard & Glenna Boyer, by their children: Carole, Anna, Kenneth, and Peggy
  • Wreath in appreciation of Pastor Mike’s tenure of ministry by Norma Wood & Phil Roth
  • Wreath in loving memory of our parents by Kathy & Bill Avery
  • Wreath in loving memory of Patricia Coughlan Bates, John & Catherine Coughlan, Muriel Anderson, Karen Anderson by Claire & Bob Anderson

For YOUth

Questions? Email St. James Youth at [email protected]

Youth Calendar: StJamesGettysburg.com/youth

Meet our new Director of Youth & Family  Ministry!

We are excited to share with the congregation that the position of Director of Youth & Family Ministry has been filled!  We will be welcoming Adam Michael to the staff on January 3.

Many of you probably already know Adam, so when you see him next, please extend a warm welcome and congratulations.  Though really, it’s more of a homecoming!

Youth Group Schedule

  • MS Youth Group – (Starting 1/10) Mondays from 2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • MS/HS Youth Breakfast at the youth house – (Starting 1/5) Wednesdays at 6:45 a.m.
  • K-5 Youth Group – (Starting 1/5) Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Over the weekend of January 7—9, 2022, nine of our St. James senior high youth and two adult chaperones will head to Lancaster in order to gather with youth from across the Lower Susquehanna Synod for the senior high youth retreat known as Winterfest. Winterfest has a long tradition of faith-formation with senior high and college students in our synod.  The event includes large group gatherings featuring keynote speakers and live music, meant to help inspire youth to think critically about how faith intersects their daily lives, as well as small group conversations that challenge youth to go deeper and to explore the ways God may be speaking to them.  The theme for this year’s Winterfest is Beloved — a reminder that we are beloved children of God, named and claimed by God at our Baptism and welcomed into God’s family; loved unconditionally for ‘who we are’ because of whose we are.  We are excited to have a group of youth from St. James participate in this ongoing ministry, and grateful for our adult chaperones for taking the time away from family to support our youth in their journey of faith.  Please hold them in prayer, as well as all of those participating, in your prayers in their time of retreat!

Calling all Youth Volunteers

Youth Volunteers are needed to help at Ruth’s Harvest on Wednesday, Jan. 12. If you are able to lend a hand, please contact Mr. Adam: ([email protected])

Council Corner

December Council Meeting Highlights:

Debt Retirement

Council approved a motion to retire the Worship Area Renewal debt of under $3,000 with funds from the Capital Campaign. Any future donations to Worship Area Renewal will be directed to the Capital Campaign.


The Personnel Committee recommended the hiring of Adam Michael for the position of Director of Youth and Family Ministry. Adam will start on January 3, 2022. Council approved unanimously.


Kyle Smith reported that the Fastnacht coordinators would like to consider holding the fundraiser again in 2022. The event was not held in 2021 due to COVID. After considerable discussion due to current high COVID numbers, Council approved holding the event March 1, 2022, provided that all volunteers, both adults and youth, wear masks, as required at all youth events. Council wanted to be consistent with other youth events since many youth volunteer in the Fastnacht event and benefit financially from the funds raised. Council approved the motion.

Concert Fundraiser

A concert fundraiser to be presented by Jesse Holt on February 13, 2022, was approved by Council. The fundraiser will benefit the Adams County Literacy Council and SCCAP.

Refugee Resettlement Covenant

Six churches in Gettysburg are working cooperatively to sponsor Afghan refugees in the Gettysburg area. A covenant between the 6 churches was approved.

Ringing the Bell

St. James calls the community to worship by ringing its steeple bell prior to each of the Sunday morning worship services. The bell is rung 15 minutes prior to the start of worship: 8:00 a.m. for the 8:15 a.m. service and 10:30 a.m. for the 10:45 a.m. service.

If any of you are interested in ringing that steeple bell prior to worship please be in touch with Dee Wells, Worship Assistant Coordinator (717-586-9734), any of the pastors, or church staff. No age limits required – all are welcome to ring, though parent or accompanying adult may need to provide a bit more strength for a light-weight youth.

Ordering Flowers

Standing Orders: Judy Seilhamer is updating her records for altar flower orders. If you would like to confirm your standing order, please contact her with dates. She is also the point of contact for individual orders for flowers in honor or memory of a loved one.

This can be done in the following ways:

  1. Email: [email protected]
  2. Mail: Judy Seilhamer, 360 E Lincoln Ave, Gettysburg, PA 17325
  3. Phone: 717-334-4301 (leave a call back # if I don’t answer)

Basic flower arrangements are $30.00, red rosebuds are $9.00 (other colors vary in price)

*Finally, we are asking that if at all possible you pick up your own flowers by Tuesday of the following week. In a pinch, we can have someone deliver your flowers – usually to SpiritTrust.

Creation Care Corner

A message for gardeners – old hands, newbies and gardeners-to-be: We want to remind you that the demand for seeds for vegetable, flower, container and windowsill gardens have been selling out in the last two years. In fact, some seed distributors are already having sales. Don’t wait! Plan your plantings and buy your seeds soon. And don’t forget a few varieties to feed your bees and other beneficial insects.


We are Christ’s people, and this is Christ’s house with its doors wide open. If you are passing through, Godspeed. If you are looking for a worship home, stay with us. We invite guests to join us, but most of all, to return often.

Welcome to long-time Lutherans, Christians from every tradition, and people new to faith. Welcome to all who have no church home, want to follow Christ, have doubts, or do not believe. Welcome to new visitors and old friends. Welcome to people of every age and size, color and culture, every sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, socio-economic status, marital status, ability, and challenge. Welcome to believers and questioners, and to questioning believers. This is a place where you are welcome to celebrate and sorrow, rejoice, and recover. This is a place where lives are made new. Come and listen for the Holy Spirit calling you to love your neighbor wholeheartedly, seek justice, create peace, and practice compassion.

As members of the body of Christ, we are called to be ministers of reconciliation both in the church and in the world. Through our baptism we are reconciled to God through the saving grace of Christ Jesus and challenged by the Gospel to be agents of healing and love within our church and society. As a community of faith, we proclaim this statement of welcome.

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