109 York Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325

The Messenger – March 2014

The Messenger – March 2014

Click here to download a PDF version of The Messenger.

Update on Call Process

In the February 17 issue of the Gettysburg Times, there were four wonderful pictures of St. James over the years (thank you to Dave Flesner and Tommy Riggs for the history and the pictures!)  The four pictures began with the original building from 1848, then 1888, then 1912, and finally 2014.  The title at the top of the page was “Times a-changing.”

The four pictures reminded us of how the church building has changed over the past 166 years.  As I looked at those pictures, it made me wonder how the people inside those buildings have also changed over the same time period.  And it naturally made me think about our current time of transition and where our call process might now be leading us.

Our Congregation Council held a stimulating retreat on Saturday, February 15.  We had lots of conversation around such topics as what pastoral and staff leadership might look like in the coming years and how this directs this call process, especially in light of the ministry our congregation currently is involved in.  We talked of ways to begin conversation with our membership as well as the process to put together a Call Committee.  We want to begin this conversation with Sunday School classes and plan to hold several forums on weekends in order to hear from as many people as possible.

Several immediate options are being explored to make sure we continue to remain faithful to the pastoral care of our members, to our outreach to the community, and for our worship as we begin the season of Lent and simultaneously move out of our worship space for several weeks as the work of the renewal project is begun and completed.

Many persons have come forward to offer their help during this time of transition.  We have persons helping in projecting the announcements each weekend, helping with the Bible story time each week with Child Care Chapel, as well as several who have volunteered to help with visiting our homebound members and taking the sacrament of Holy Communion.  I am also exploring more creative uses for some of our trained Stephen Ministers. Thank you, thank you for your help during this time!  Never forget that God’s mission needs a church.  Let’s always be that church, especially as times are a-changing!              ~Pastor Mike


Worship Area Renewal Update

Work is ready to begin in our worship area and in the gathering area, offices and main floor hallway.  We will not vacate the building like we did in 1998 when the addition was put on the church; however, we will need to relocate our weekend worship assembly.  Beginning on Saturday & Sunday, March 8 & 9 we will worship in the downstairs dining room.  Sunday School classes will meet in their regularly assigned rooms unless otherwise instructed.  Some evening meeting locations may need to be re-assigned and staff offices will be interrupted. With many being curious about the work in the worship area, we respectfully ask that people not go into the worship area until it is completed due to the dust and the dirt. Please observe the signage which will direct people to certain areas, especially during the weekend. What can you expect upon completion of the project?  Our worship will be enhanced with a new baptistry, carpet, platform, chairs, benches, ambo, altar table, credence tables, projection, cameras, and upgraded lighting. The columbarium will be installed on the top floor between the brick arches.  New carpeting on the entire main floor, new sub-flooring near the water fountain, carpeting in the offices as well as flat screen tv’s in the gathering area, main hallway and library – for instruction, scrolling announcements and playback of dvd’s. We anticipate being back in the worship area by April 6. Updates will be announced weekly at worship as well as on the St. James website at www.stjamesgettysburg.org.  Please know that all financial gifts/pledges are welcome at this time and thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Worship Previews

March 1 & 2, Transfiguration of Our Lord – The Rev. Dr. Marty Stevens, preaching

5:30 pm Saturday Holy Communion

8:15 am & 10:45 am Sunday Holy Communion

9:30 am Sunday School for all ages

texts:  Exodus 24:12–18, Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16–21, Matthew 17:1–9

First Sunday Fellowship at 9:15 am; hosted by Child Care Governance & Endowment Comm.

(Return last year’s palms, so they can be used for Ash Wednesday.  Also, bring canned

and dry good items for our local food pantries; under the auspices of Social Ministry.)


Our Lenten Journey Begins on Wednesday, March 5, Ash Wednesday

The forty-day Lenten pilgrimage takes us on a marvelous and hopeful journey. The themes for Lent lead us from Jesus’ temptation in the desert – to Nicodemus being born of water and the spirit – to Jesus offering living water – to the blind man being healed by Jesus and the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Jesus creates the possibility of change and new life. Come and see!

Wednesday, March 5, Ash Wednesday – Many opportunities for worship are available throughout the Gettysburg Lutheran Community.

10:00 am Quiet Service of Holy Communion and Imposition of Ashes at St. James

11:35 am Service of Holy Communion and Imposition of Ashes  at the Lutheran Seminary Chapel

7:00 pm Service of Holy Communion and Imposition of Ashes at St. James

At the conclusion of the liturgy we will offer a blessing of thanks for our worship furnishings that have served us so well since their dedication in May of 1971, after the destructive fire.  Everyone is invited to be a part of this time of blessing as we transition to another chapter in the worship life of St. James. 

March 8 & 9, Lent 1

5:30 pm Saturday Holy Communion  (Daylight Savings – before going to bed, move clocks forward one hour.)

8:15 am Sunday Holy Communion

9:30 am Sunday School for all ages

10:45 am Waterlife Holy Communion

texts:  Genesis 2:15–17; 3:1–7, Psalm 32, Romans 5:12–19, Matthew 4:1–11

Wednesday, March 12

7:00 pm Midweek Holy Communion “Unfailing Light” liturgy;  Members of St. James will offer reflections on the theme:  “Making Change”–change of season, circumstances, plans, habit, and heart to name a few.

March 15 & 16, Lent II

5:30 pm Saturday Holy Communion

9:30 am New Day Contemporary Worship and Sunday School for ADULTS

8:15 am & 10:45 am Sunday Holy Communion

texts: Genesis 12:1–4a, Psalm 121, Romans 4:1–5, 13–17, John 3:1–17

Wednesday, March 19

7:00 pm Midweek Holy Communion “Unfailing Light” liturgy

March 22 & 23, Lent III

5:30 pm Saturday Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing

8:15 am & 10:45 am Sunday Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing

9:30 am Sunday School for all ages

texts:  Exodus 17:1–7, Psalm 95, Romans 5:1–11, John 4:5–42

Wednesday, March 26

7:00 pm Midweek Holy Communion “Unfailing Light” liturgy

March 29 & 30 Lent IV

5:30 pm Saturday Holy Communion

8:15 am & 10:45 am Sunday Holy Communion

9:30 am Sunday School for all ages

texts:  1 Samuel 16:1–13, Psalm 23, Ephesians 5:8–14, John 9:1–41

(Fifth Sunday Servant Event benefits the Homeless Shelter; under the auspices of Social Ministry – you will be asked to remove a “suggestion” from the Giving Branch, hanging outside of the worship area, and bring back said donations March 29 or 30.)

OUR THANKS TO Boy Scout Troop 79, Cub Scout Pack 79, and all those who graciously gave donations to our recent “Souper” Bowl Weekend, which resulted in $1,046 – an increase from last year’s $713 collected for our local Soup Kitchen.  And a special thank you to members of our Social Ministry Committee for overseeing this worthwhile ministry.  We are ALL winners in this “Souper” Bowl event!

Let’s read a book during Lent!

Looking for Lenten Discipline?  Here’s a suggestion:  read a book!  And on Passion/Palm Sunday, April 13, let’s get together at 5:00 pm in the Gathering Area and share our thoughts and ideas about the book, around a simple meal of soup and bread.  Let’s read the book, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, by Nadia Bolz-Weber.  WARNING:  this book is both sarcastically irreverent and beautifully honest!  It is meant to be disturbing to one’s comfortable faith, yet never meant to damage one’s faith journey.  I found it to be a stimulating and exciting book for one’s spiritual expedition!  There is some language that can seem crude.  Nadia is an ELCA pastor, but not the pastor most of us are used to seeing every Sunday morning.  Some from our congregation heard her at the ELCA Youth Event in New Orleans.  Others will hear her at the Congregations Together In Mission Event (CTIM) in Hanover on March 15.  As taken from her website:  [This book is for]  “…every thinking misfit who is as suspicious of institutional religion as they are of themselves, yet are still seeking some transcendence and mystery in their lives.” (Kindle edition for $10.99; paperback $12.34 from Amazon.)  Let’s read this book together!

You can read The Messenger on our website at www.stjamesgettysburg.org or pick up a copy in our gathering area at the church.   As of July 2014 we will no longer be bulk mailing The Messenger.    If you would like to receive this by regular mail, please sign-up in the gathering area.  (We will continue to mail to all home communicants).  If you would like to receive The Messenger via e-mail, you can also sign-up in the gathering area or you can subscribe on our website.

What does it mean to be a RECONCILING IN CHRIST (RIC) Congregation?

The Reconciling in Christ Program was established in 1983 as a way for Lutheran congregations to declare publically their welcome to gay and lesbian individuals.  As this ministry of reconciliation and hospitality continued in 2002, that explicit welcome was expanded to include bisexual and transgender persons.  Over the past 10 years, various groups have been in conversation about this issue here at St. James.  A year and a half ago a task force began to meet regularly to explore the possibility of St. James becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation.  Several months ago, members of the task force began conversation with our Congregation Council.  Now we would like to expand the conversation to all members of the congregation. We feel that one-on-one conversations are the best way to ensure that we consider each other’s viewpoints. With this in mind, members of the task force will be contacting some of you to discuss what you envision for this congregation in the future.  Also, we invite you to contact any member of the task force if you would like to talk with one of us.  Members of the task force are:  Shirley Armstrong, Sarah & Baird  Tipson, Pastor Mike, Tim Braband, Sally Hoh, Alana Anderson, Ron Couchman, Angela Dunn, Greta Englund, Anne & Will Lane, Judy & Bill Leslie, Carol Widerman.



January 29, 2014           Vernon L. Heflin, Sr.

February 2, 2014           Sherlie M. Little


February 16, 2014            Alivia Ann Colgan


February 10, 2014            Jeremiah R. Dixon – sponsor – Leon Pisano


March 22, 1959                  Robert S. & Barbara A. Weikert


Tom Bender, Brad Smith, Randy Smith, Glenn Blocher, & Rich Snively for snow and ice removal this winter!   GOOD JOB GUYS!  We also thank Barbara Neth for her homemade goodies that she shares every Sunday between worship services!

February 19, 2014 Council Report

~ Submitted by Claire Anderson, Corresponding Secretary

Congregation Council held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.


Visit from Bishop James Dunlop and Assistant to the Bishop, Rob Blezzard:  Bishop Dunlop and Pastor Blezzard visited Council this month to initiate the conversation about the Call Process.  Bishop Dunlop encouraged St. James to use the transition time to recognize the loss of a beloved pastor, to reflect on what we have accomplished in our mission thus far, and to consider where we will go.  He talked at length about consciously thinking ahead to determine in which areas our congregation wants to “grow”, what resources we currently have within the congregation, what “skill sets” our pastoral, lay and staff leaders have, and what skill sets we will need to complement and challenge ourselves. After answering questions from Council members, Bishop Dunlop reminded us that this is a time for prayer, and a time to trust in the presence and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

Worship Area Renewal Update: Minister of Music Tim Braband shared the “estimated calendar” renovation timeline with Council.  Tim and Building Supervisor Tom Bender have created a plan of action to move the furnishings out of the worship area and to set up the dining room for worship in March and early April.

Interim Status: Pastor Allwein reported that the Personnel Committee will review the job description for the Visitation Pastor at their Match meeting.   There may be candidates looking for part-time work and/or sharing responsibilities.

Council Retreat:   Council met for five hours on February 16, 2014.  We began a conversation about who we are and where we are (in our Five Year Plan.)  We generated a list of current programs. Council has shared these ideas in a bulletin board in the lobby/gathering area.  We ask members of the congregation to read the bulletin board and consider the broad reach of our work.  If we have missed a program(s), fill out a heart or hand with those ideas.  This information may be helpful in composing a Parish Profile.  Council wants to engage all members in sharing visions for the future.  There will be a Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, February 26, at 7:00 pm to create a survey and plan an information gathering process that is accessible and responsive across the ages and interests of all members. 

2013 Budget:  Office and Finance Manager Mella DeNoma will meet with Sturgill and Trostle to restructure the chart of accounts and she will then complete the January 2014 reports.  Council will review these at their next meeting.

Mission Fund: Finance Chair Tom Young reported that because we have borrowed Endowment Fund money to pay for the Worship Area Renewal Project, there is about $1500.00 in the Mission Fund at this time.

Slentz House, 117 York Street:  Pastor Allwein reported a change in the Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S. contract.  St. James will not charge a monthly rent, but will require C.A.R.E.S. pay for monthly utility expenses.

Motions:  Council approved: (1) a motion from Property Committee to remove the line item annual donation of $2500 to C.A.R.E.S; (2) a motion from Barb Vossler/Child Care to include Vacation Bible School in the Child Care Governance Vision Plan; (3) a motion from the Personnel Committee to increase the fee for Wedding Hostess from $100 to $150 and the fee for the Building Supervisor from $100  to $200; a motion from Council to donate the $500 application fee for the Diaconal Ministry program to Jennifer Bradshaw.

New Business: 

•    Council President Welby Snyder will meet with the Property Committee to discuss improvements in building security.

•    Welby Snyder shared a proposal to decrease the size of Council over four years.  He asked Council to think about the proposal for discussion in the next few months.

•    Pastor Allwein asked that five volunteers from St. James provide, prepare and serve breakfast to Soup Kitchen guests on Sunday, March 2 at 6:30 am.

Mission Fund Committee – Submitted by David Flesner

At its annual meeting in January of 2010, the Congregation re-affirmed a resolution by Congregation Council to allocate one tenth of undesignated bequests to support the local and worldwide mission of the church.  In January of 2012, the Congregation approved a motion that included annually transferring to the Mission Fund 40% of the end-of-previous-year amount in the Endowment Fund exceeding six months of operating budget for the current year.  Other monies may also be transferred by Council to the Mission Fund.  Individuals as well may make designated donations to the Mission Fund.

The purpose of the Mission Fund Committee is to solicit suggestions from members of the congregation about organizations or programs to be considered for support and then to evaluate the suggestions and make specific recommendations to Council for distribution of the Mission Fund monies.  The following organizations and programs received Mission Fund support in 2013:

  • Adams County Literacy Council Downtown Tutoring Center
  • Casa de la Cultura
  • Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S.
  • Healthy Options Program
  • Augusta Victoria Hospital (Jerusalem)
  • Source of Life Ministries   (Haiti)

The committee is now ready to receive suggestions from members of the congregation for the 2014 distributions.  If you have an organization or program that you wish to recommend for consideration for possible support, please send the following information to David Flesner by e-mail (dflesner@gettysburg.edu) or in writing through the church office before Friday, March 21:

1)      Your name and your contact information (telephone and/or e-mail address).

2)      The name and contact information of the organization or program that you are recommending (name of a person, telephone, address, website, etc.).

3)      The mission of the organization or program and a rationale for support from St. James, including the extent of need for that project.

As the committee develops recommendations for distribution of the Mission Fund monies, it keeps in mind the overall mission of St. James:  “We respond to God’s abundant grace by being hearers, proclaimers, and doers of the Word.”

David Flesner, Chair; Pastor Mike Allwein; Claire Anderson, World Outreach Representative; Ray Hopkins, Jr., Social Ministry Representative; Welby Snyder, Council Representative; Barbara Vossler, Child Care Governance Representative

Members of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans are encouraged to designate their THRIVENT CHOICE DOLLARS ® BY MONDAY, MARCH 31–after that date any undirected Choice Dollars ® will expire.  Please don’t miss this opportunity to help support St. James Lutheran Church by going to www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice/ or call 1-800-THRIVENT and state “Thrivent Choice ®.”

Columbarium Update

With a quarter of the niches sold (11 out of 44), the first arch of niches has been ordered.  Installation of this section of the columbarium will take place within six months.  Those still considering purchase of niche(s) can do so by calling Columbarium Committee Chair Richard Englund (259-6113) to set up an appointment.  Niche(s) are selected and sold on a “first-come, first-served” basis.

Easter Flowers and Donations for World Hunger

Once again, we are given an opportunity to enhance the beauty of the Easter worship and to also provide the gift of life to those who hunger.  Please fill out this form and return before Friday, April 4th to:  Judith Seilhamer, 360 East Lincoln Avenue, Gettysburg, PA 17325.  Checks need to be made out to SACRISTY COMMITTEE.  Please indicate if you are ordering flowers OR giving to World Hunger on the memo line.


Lists will be printed on a separate sheet and placed in the gathering area for Easter.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Judy Seilhamer at 334-4301.



                number of Easter flowers at $10.00 each

$              for World Hunger (any amount welcome)

$             total amount enclosed

In honor of                                                                                                             

In memory of                                                                                                        

By                                                                                                                            .

[  ]  Check if you are getting your flowers after Easter Sunday, April 20, 10:45 am service.

A Stephen Minister is a child of God who walks beside a person who is hurting. Stephen Ministers are trained to provide emotional and spiritual care whenever needed, and all conversations are totally confidential. Please call Pastor Mike (334-2012) or Sue Hill (334-1273) to be referred.  You are never alone!

 “What Kind of MAN Would Receive the Care of a Stephen Minister?”

  • A man like Adam…who was cut off from all that gave meaning  to life and needed someone to remind him of God’s promise.
  • A man like Noah…who witnessed the destruction of everything  around him and needed someone to wait with him for a new day.
  • A man like Abraham…who had to leave everything he knew and loved  behind him and needed someone to journey with him to a new life.
  • A man like Moses…who faced great opposition and needed  a companion to support him and speak on his behalf.
  • A man like David…who grieved the death of a wayward child and needed a shepherd’s care.
  • A man like Elijah…who thought he was all alone and needed a still small voice to encourage him.
  • A man like Job…who lost everything and needed someone to silently endure his pain with him.
  • A man like Peter…who found himself in over his  head and needed the strong hand of a faithful friend.
  • A man like Paul…who knew the unending distress of a thorn in the flesh  and needed someone to rejoice when he rejoiced and to weep when he wept.
  • A man like JESUS…who knew the intense disappointment, sorrow, grief,  rejection, and loneliness and needed an angel of God to minister to him.
  • A man like YOU.      Copyright © 2000 by Stephen Ministries, St. Louis

 Mark your calendars!  The St. James Troubadours are back on Sunday, April 27 at 4:00 pm for a BROADWAY EXTRAVAGANZA! Your toes will be tapping with music sung by Wayne Hill and Dwight Michael accompanied by Mike Matsinko and Tim Braband – “Oklahoma”, “Oliver”, “1776”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Mary Poppins”, to name a few, will help to melt the winter snows away!  Plan on joining us for this community event enjoyed by many.

Adult Discussion Class meets Sunday mornings from 9:30-10:30 in Room 200, end of the main hallway. Judy Leslie is the contact.  All are welcome:

Mar.  2         –       “The Two Kingdoms (1)” led by Dick Englund

Mar.  9         –       “The Two Kingdoms (2)” led by Dick Englund

Mar. 16        –       “From the West Bank to Augusta Victoria to Petra” led by Angela Dunn

Mar. 23        –       “Personal Stories from Gaza City” led by Haya Mohanna

Mar. 30        –       “The Council of Trent” led by Fritz Foltz and Baird Tipson

Good Samaritan Class meets Sunday mornings from 9:30-10:30 in Room 303, upper level, an elevator is available. Nina Dolly is the contact.  Join us:

Mar.  2         –         Becky Brown

Mar.  9         –         Nelson Strobert

Mar. 16        –         Norma Wood

Mar. 23        –         Joe MacDowell

Mar. 31        –         Ron Couchman

Vacation Bible School 2014 will be held at Christ Lutheran Church, Sunday-Friday, July 13-18. St. James Lutheran, Christ Lutheran and Prince of Peace Episcopal will again be joining together to provide this fantastic ministry for our community!  If you would like to serve on the VBS Planning Committee, please call Sally Hoh (334-2012 ext. 207) or Julie Keyser (339-0634).  All are welcome at VBS!

A Challenge That Had to Be Met

A challenging concern for years had been the limitation of Camp Nawakwa’s 115 acre property.  These limitations prohibited further site expansion to allow for program growth or facility additions.  At risk was the possibility of continuing to preserve the unique character of the camp.

The top priority of the Lutheran Camping Corporation’s strategic plan, adopted in 2007, was to address this growing concern, particularly the camps eastern and northern boundaries due to the close proximity of the cabins and retreat lodges to these borders.

As the strategic plan was being completed, land adjacent to Nawakwa became available for purchase.  The board of directors, in December of 2007, purchased the 220 acres of adjacent land with the assistance of a $1.55 million loan from the Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA.

Nawakwa is now a camp with room to roam and plenty of space to conduct current ministry activities.  There now is space to accommodate creative new programs and the capacity to add new facilities and structures to support them.

Now that Nawakwa has tripled in size, new wilderness campsites have been established and the trail system has more than doubled.  During one full summer, staff, counselors, and campers worked together in a “natural classroom” to revitalize 25 acres of degenerated agricultural land into productive wildlife habitat, learning first-hand how to be good stewards of God’s creation.  In 2011, a high ropes course with a 300 foot long zip line was added.

Nawakwa is now protected for future generations to be a place and time apart, free from encroachment and impact of unrelated development on the camps borders.

The “Seeding the Future” campaign, authorized by the Lower Susquehanna Synod Council, will fund the balance of the cost of the new land and leave the LCC debt-free and well prepared to enter into new ministry opportunities while remaining financially stable.

More information will be forthcoming in the form of several Minute for Mission as to how you can support this vital and exciting ministry.

March 2014 – Children & Youth Ministry – We Are The Church!

And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common.  They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met. They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw.  Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.        Acts 2:44-47

So…what exactly does it mean to be The Church?   What do we believe?  Who are we?  What is it at the heart of St. James that makes us a church and not just a social organization?

Senior High Retreat at Camp Nawakwa March 28, 29 and 30!  Senior High Youth!  Please reserve your spot at the Senior High retreat by speaking to Sally!  By filling out the parental permission form!  The $10 deposit secures your spot and helps cover the cost for the weekend.  If you need to arrive late, depart early, or leave for a sporting event, please let Sally know!  We’ll use the weekend for fun and fellowship and to start planning Youth Sunday which will take place May 11!   Please pray for the High School Youth on retreat at Camp Nawakwa!  

Fastnachts!  Thank you in advance to everyone who purchased fastnachts and volunteered to help make fastnachts!  We’ll report final totals in The April Messenger!

High School Reading Group with Pastor and Mrs. Foltz will meet at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, March 19, April 9 and May 7!

Wednesday Breakfasts for MS & HS youth every Wednesday in March! (Remember if school is delayed, breakfast is also delayed.)

Elementary Youth Group  – There’s room for you on Wednesdays!  For info, please see Sally Hoh or Tim Braband.

3:30 – 4:15 pm      K-2nd grade in the Youth House

(3rd-5th grade Jubilant Choir in the Choir Room)

4:15 – 5:00 pm      3rd-5th grade in the Youth House

(K-2nd grade Alleluia Choir in the Choir Room)

MS & HS Youth Group

Youth in grades 6 through 12 are invited to join us for Youth Group and Choir on Sundays!  Friends are always welcome!

Middle School Youth Group                    5:15 – 6:30 pm

Koinonia Choir (6th-12th grade)              6:30 – 7:30 pm

High School Youth Group                        7:30 – 9:00 pm

March Schedule Changes:

NO Middle School or High School Youth Groups or Koinonia Choir on Sunday, March 9.  Please attend the musical at Gettysburg High School in support of our musicians and actors!

NO High School Youth Group on Sunday, March 30 following the Senior High Retreat at Nawakwa.  Middle School Youth Group and Koinonia Choir WILL MEET!

Service SaturdayYouth in grades 6 through 12 are invited to take part in a variety of service projects on the Saturday before Easter, April 19! We’ll begin at 10 am, have pizza together  around 12:30, and conclude by 1:00 pm.  Friends are welcome!

The Messenger will next be mailed Wednesday, MARCH 26th.  All church-related articles must be e-mailed to dnimtz@stjamesgettysburg.org before Saturday, MARCH 15th.