The Messenger – November 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!
The calendar graphic is clickable, and then you can zoom to more easily read the text.
A Message From Pastor Andrew
27“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.”Luke 6:27-31
We begin the month of November with All Saints Sunday. The day of the Church year that we draw our attention to the saints – those who have gone before and those of us who continue to walk as yet by faith.
While the traditional understanding of sainthood revolved around those people who had done some form of extraordinary good or lived lives beyond perfection, like so many other things that came out of the Protestant Reformation so did a new understanding of what it means to be a saint. An understanding closer to the biblical model. The belief that we are all saints. Not because of any sort of higher living, but because of God’s grace in creation and in Christ.
In Luther’s Large Catechism, he reflects on the promise of God’s Word in relation to our Sainthood.
God’s Word is the treasure that makes everything holy. By it, all the saints have themselves been made holy. At whatever time God’s Word is taught, preached, heard, read, or pondered, there the person, the day, and the work is hallowed, not on account of the external work but on account of the Word that makes us all saints.
For those of you who have been more regular in your worship attendance or in your following of our various communications, you have a pretty good idea about the good things happening here at St. James. Throughout the months of October and September, we made our way through our fall stewardship series, the Season of Creation. A lot of work went into planning each of the weekend services. We learned a new liturgy, went off lectionary, coordinated artwork, choir anthems, and special music to fit the week’s theme, and brought in guest preachers. Thanks to Adam and Jonathan and a great group of volunteers, our Wednesday K-5 youth programming tied the weekend focus into their weekly lessons, crafts and activities. We planted trees, watched dancing dogs, and collected personal care kits and money for Lutheran World Relief. We laughed and played, sang and worshiped.
At the end of October, we held our annual Halloween Open House. An event that has grown each year, bringing in people from the community who may otherwise never grace the presence of the church doors. Young and young of heart filled the gathering space, playing games and making crafts, enjoying sweet treats, and listing to fun spooky music on the organ before heading out to enjoy the parade side by side family and friend.
Behind the scenes, our Call Committee continued their work on our congregation’s Ministry Site Profile. A document, which, at a joint meeting with the synod, Council approved, getting us one step closer in calling an associate pastor. At the same time, Council had some of the more difficult conversations I have experienced in my seven plus years of ministry around the things of finances. If you were in worship on our final weekend of the Season of Creation as we focused on Treasure, you got a glimpse of these conversations. Conversations we’ll enter into more seriously at our annual Congregation Meeting on the weekend of November 20th. Simply put, our current regular giving isn’t supporting the budget and won’t afford us to call an associate pastor.
There are a lot of good things happening at St. James. As our Council President, Jim Dunlop, shared in his minute for mission on Treasure Sunday – great things are happening here… the way we’re living into the gospel is meaningful and engaging… And that is the truth. Great things are happening. We are living into the gospel in meaningful and engaging ways. In a recent conversation I had with one of our newer members, they reflected that “St. James is like no other congregation they’ve ever been to – we’re living out the gospel.”
All of us, by way of Christ, God’s Word, and the waters of baptismal grace, are saints. Not a title to be earned, but one given freely to each as a gift. Like all gifts, we should give thanks for the gift of sainthood.
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And there is no better time to give thanks than now. Give generously and sacrificially with your time and talent and with your treasure. Have the difficult conversations at home about how you could increase the fruits of your personal stewardship. Bring a friend to church. Not because the church needs it, not because the pastor is asking you to, but out of gratitude for God’s blessings, as a part of your spiritual wellness.
The world is in desperate need of the Good News that Christ came to bring. That which we have a responsibility to share with others.
Love… Do good… bless… and pray… Turn the other cheek… give… Do to others as you would have them do to you…
Recycle Bicycle Event Was a Success!
We asked for your unused bikes, and you showed up in a big way!
Members of the St. James Youth Group and South Mountain Velo Club collected a grand total of 117 bicycles that were donated to Recycle Bicycle.
The bikes will be refurbished for people in need. Some have already found a new home.
A Message from Adam
St. James family,
First of all, I want to say thank you for the time off to be with my son in the earliest stage of his life.
Miles was born on Aug. 24 and has brought more joy to our lives than any event we’ve experienced. As we near his two-month birthday, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to hear his first coos, see his first social smiles, and to provide my wife a chance to rest while she was getting back on her feet.
Our volunteers were outstanding getting youth group started in September. We’ve hit the ground running since I’ve returned.
With the elementary school, we’ve focused on how we can use our time, talents and treasure to glorify God. The peacocks and dandelions the kids constructed in the hallway by the office exemplify how alone we are beautiful, but together we are a masterpiece.
The kids were rewarded with a quarter for a successful search during a treasure hunt. The youth minister told them he’d double their money if they pledged to donate it to the Lutheran World Relief fund for Ukraine. Quarters clanged around the bottom of the pail to the tune of $18. Many kids promised they would bring more money for the noisy offering the following weekend.
Our confirmation class has embraced learning about the trials and tribulations of Martin Luther on Sunday mornings. Many return later in the evening for youth group and dinner church, where we’ve averaged between 10 and 15 kids. Lately, we’ve been decorating and making prizes for the St. James Halloween Bash while also finding a little time for hide and seek in the church, a favorite of kids young and old.
On an October Saturday, five of our kids helped me collect 117 bicycles during a community drive for Recycle Bicycle. The Harrisburg-based charity takes bicycles in any condition and refurbishes what it can to give to kids and families that cannot easily afford transportation. Some bikes are distributed in cities like Harrisburg, York and Carlisle. Others are sent overseas to third-world countries.
Families should have received emails about a confirmation retreat, work camp and Winterfest dates. Please make sure you’re checking your inboxes to provide the information we need at this time.
In Christ’s love,
November 6: All Saints Sunday
In holy baptism God makes saints out of sinners. In holy communion God forgives the sins of all the saints. In worship today we give thanks for all the saints “who from their labors rest.” In the same breath we petition our God for the strength to hear and to heed the admonitions of Jesus in today’s gospel. Sealed by the Spirit and sustained by the Savior’s body and blood, we live with joy as God gives us breath, to the praise of God’s glory.
Preacher: The Rev. Andrew Geib
Readings: Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18; Psalm 149; Ephesians 1:11-23; Luke 6:20-31
November 13: 23rd Sunday after Pentecost
The end is near. There is no doubt about it. The warnings are dire. The tone of today’s texts is ominous. But the baptized know how to live in the meantime. The baptized are strengthened for the living of these days in word and sacrament. The baptized rally around the invitation of the apostle: “Do not be weary in doing what is right.”
Preacher: The Rev. Andrew Geib
Readings: Malachi 4:1-2a; Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; Luke 21:5-19
November 20: Christ the King
Jeremiah’s promise of the execution of “justice and righteousness in the land” finds ironic fulfillment in the execution of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. It appears utterly contradictory that a king should be crucified with a criminal. This victory appears for all the world as humiliating defeat. Yet through the gate of death Jesus opens the door to paradise.
Preacher: The Rev. Andrew Geib
Readings: Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm ; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43
November 27: 1st Sunday in Advent
The new church year begins with a wake-up call: Christ is coming soon! In today’s readings both Paul and Jesus challenge us to wake from sleep, for we know neither the day nor hour of the Lord’s coming. Isaiah proclaims the day when God will gather all people on the holy mountain and there will be no more war or suffering. Though we vigilantly watch for the promised day of salvation, we wait for what we already have: Christ comes among us this day as the word and meal that strengthens our faith in the promises of God.
Preacher: The Rev. Andrew Geib
Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
Council Corner – October Council Meeting Highlights
En Bloc Agenda, Included Approval Of
· Approval of Minutes from September 21, 2022
· Acceptance of Treasurer’s Report
· Church Financials
· ELC Financials
· Acceptance of New Members: via affirmation of faith: Ashlyn Heller, via baptism: Josiah and Rilynn Robinson
· Motions from Executive Committee:
· Lucinda Bringman be designated a signatory on the St. James Endowment funds for transactional purposes. Other signatories already authorized are Dee Lockman and Karen Lentz.
· The congregation gather for its annual meeting on Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 1:00 pm in the worship area.
· Approval be given to the transaction to sell a parcel of land gifted to the St. James Boy Scout Troop 79. This is not the Scout cabin in Buchanan Valley.
· Motion from Personnel Committee:
· The housing allowance for Pastor Andrew Geib be designated to $30,000 out of total compensation for 2023 effective January 1, 2023.
· Motion from ELC Governance Committee
· The ELC be permitted to conduct its annual gift card fundraiser in November and December.
All items in the en bloc agenda were approved.
Special Order of Business
There was discussion on the Call Committee Research Data results with particular attention on challenges and places where change is needed. Most noted are financial issues (meeting the budget), members who have not returned to worship after the pandemic, lack of parking, and worship experiences (traditional vs contemporary).
· BInternship site update: The congregation will vote to approve an intern at the annual meeting in November. The internship would be for one year and begins in January 2023.
· Motion from Finance Committee: 2023 St. James Budget be recommended to the congregation for adoption at its annual meeting in November 2022.
· There was discussion of the budget with concerns that current giving will not support the budget. Council will communicate this information to the congregation.
· Motion to amend the motion. Motion seconded. The motion reads that Council will recommend the motion for adoption by the congregation at the annual meeting with the expectation that Council will revisit the budget quarterly and will adjust the budget if giving is not back on track. Motion approved. Motion to recommend the budget to the congregation was approved with seven votes yes and one vote no.
· Motion from ELC Governance Committee: The 2023 Early Learning Center budget be recommended for approval at November Congregation Meeting. Motion carried.
· Motion from Sharing Ministry Committee: That the 2023 Sharing Ministry budget be recommended for approval at November Congregation Meeting. Motion carried.
· Call Committee Update: MSP has been submitted to the ELCA.
· Discussion around potential candidates: Council will consider first call candidates and those with 4-9 years of experience. Call Committee asked Council to confirm that the congregation would call an LGBTQ candidate. There were no objections.
The congregation will need to approve the voting members for the 2023 Lower Susquehanna Synod Assembly in June 2023 at the annual meeting. Potential representatives are Alan and Cathy Haynes. A youth representative is also needed.
Good for Council – God for Church – Good for God
Pr Andrew lifted up:
· The most recent WaterLife service recognizing the number of children singing and the dramatization.
· The youth group activities are energized by Adam’s return after the birth of his son.
· The number of visitors at worship services each weekend.
· Upcoming baptisms
· Halloween open house
· Thanksgiving Eve Service with bluegrass liturgy
Mission Fund 2022
Lutheran Disaster Response: U.S. Tornadoes: $5300.00
On the night of Dec. 10 and early morning of Dec. 11, 2021, an outbreak of at least 30 tornadoes swept through six states. By January, 88 people were reported dead across five states, at least 75 of them in Kentucky. Homes and businesses were destroyed, and in some areas electricity and water systems will take weeks to repair.
Lutheran Disaster Response collaborated with the Indiana-Kentucky Synod and other partners in the area to assess the damage and develop immediate and long-term response plans. Recovery will likely take years, and Lutheran Disaster Response is prepared to accompany survivors until the response is complete. Gifts to “U.S. Tornadoes” will support tornado survivors and be used in full (100%) to assist those affected by tornadoes now and during the long road of recovery. Together, we can provide immediate and long-lasting support.
Lutheran Disaster Response and the Indiana-Kentucky Synod are collaborating with Kentucky VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) to assist in the development of long-term recovery operations.
Refugee Resettlement Partnership of Gettysburg: $4,000.00
Following the evacuation of refugees from Afghanistan throughout late summer and fall of 2021, the Refugee Resettlement Partnership established a Covenant of Cooperation for collaboration among the eight partner congregations regarding the guidance, goals, and expectations for the resettlement of refugee families from Afghanistan or other countries into the local community of Gettysburg. The Refugee Resettlement Partnership of Gettysburg is the entity responsible for project activities and coordination between the Partners.
Working under the guidance of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services resettlement offices, the RRP partner churches provide both material and personal support for the refugee family or families, such as housing and household items, clothing, employment and educational counseling and placements, community orientation and counseling, and routine transportation needs.
The Refugee Resettlement Partnership will require substantial funds from the community to fulfill the responsibilities noted above over a period of up to two years per family. Individuals from the St. James congregation have generously contributed to this initiative, along with members of the partner congregations. This Mission Fund contribution is part of our community’s response in welcoming Afghan refugees to Gettysburg.
A November to Remember – Music Notes by Jonathan Noel
Many years ago, Augsburg Fortress published a collection of hymn settings for organ by Wayne Wold entitled, A November to Remember. The settings are of hymns commonly used for Thanksgiving and the festivals of All Saints and Christ the King. The title of the publication led me to embrace the idea of November as a liturgical season of its own rather than a continuation of the countless Sundays after Pentecost.
November begins with All Saints Sunday, when we remember those who have died in the faith and celebrate the promise of eternal life. The month ends with Christ the King, the final Sunday of the church calendar, when we celebrate the full and final victory of Christ over death. And, of course, Thanksgiving Day is an important part of our American tradition and Thanksgiving Eve services are held in many churches.
The lectionary readings in November have much to say about the end of time, what is yet to come, and God’s promises to us. It is no coincidence that these end-of-days festivals occur in autumn when the days become darker and colder. Animals secure food and shelter to survive the winter, and plants go dormant, awaiting the warmer days of spring.
In November the music of our worship will change to reflect the feel of this short season. The one-stanza hymn, God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage (ELW 509), will be sung each week as we stand to proclaim the gospel. In this stanza, we are reminded that it is the Word of God that guides us on our pilgrimage and offers us the hope to which we cling in these last days.
God’s word is our great heritage and shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life it guides our way; in death it is our stay.
Lord, grant while time shall last your church may hold it fast
Throughout all generations.
Text: Nicolai F.S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872; tr. Ole G. Belsheim, 1861-1925, alt.
Music: Ein feste Burg, Martin Luther, 1483-1546
Call Committee Update
The Ministry Site Profile (MSP) is completed! Our Call Committee has met every week since mid-May (with the exception of 3 weeks in July while we were waiting for survey submissions) with the primary task of writing this document. It asks what the characteristics of our congregation are, what are the trends we see in our community and our congregation, for what do we have energy, what is our purpose, how are we gifted and what are some of the tasks and gifts we think are needed with our associate pastor. It’s 14 pages long! On October 10, we met with our congregation council along with the Rev. Beth martini, Assistant to the Bishop for Mobility to review it and the council has adopted it.
We’re glad to be able to share it with you. Please click this link to access the document: Call Process Updates – St. James Lutheran Gettysburg (stjamesgettysburg.org) You can also contact our church office if you want to request a printed copy of it.
What happens after this? For now, the work goes in the hands of our Bishop and his Assistants. We’ve included in our profile that we are open to either a pastor with experience or a first call candidate who is approved for ordination, that is, someone just out of seminary. The Bishop’s team will consider what candidates there are that might be a match for us. They will give a name to Pr. Andrew, and he will review that person’s Rostered Minister Profile. If it’s a first call person, they will only give that person’s name. If there are experienced pastor(s), they may give up to three names, but that depends on the availability of pastors. They won’t delay if they don’t have three; they’ll just give Pr. Andrew whatever appropriate names they have. Pr. Andrew will determine if we go farther with that person. Once he is ready, he’ll pass the name on to the Call Committee. We will review their documentation and interview the person at least once. We may view online sermons or travel somewhere to hear the person preach. All of this will be confidential, so neither Pr. Andrew nor we will be able to share what is happening. When we can recommend someone unanimously, it will go to the council. Then the council will decide whether to recommend to the congregation. The final step is a call vote.
So you can see even though this important document is now finished, it will still take some considerable time to complete the process. And we’ll keep you up to date as much as possible.
So please keep praying! Here is the text we’re asking everyone to focus on this month:
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God, And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The Call Committee
Sept 27 Ralph H. Arendt, Jr.
Sept 28 Joyce E. Walter
Oct 6 Katherine E. Bigham
Oct 21 O. Fred Schutt, Jr.
Upcoming 50+ Wedding Anniversaries
Nov 20 Dave & Brenda Herberling 52 yrs
Dec 7: Advent Mid-week Worship; Fellowship @ 5:15 PM and “Unfailing Light” Worship @ 6:30 PM
Dec 9: Christmas Caroling
Dec 14: Advent Mid-week Worship; Fellowship @ 5:15 PM and “Unfailing Light” Worship @ 6:30 PM
Dec 17 Breakfast with Santa, 8AM-11
Pictures with Santa from 9-10 AM
Photos by Brienna Richelle Photography
Dec 21: Advent Mid-week Worship; Fellowship @ 5:15 PM and “Unfailing Light” Worship @ 6:30 PM
Dec 24: Christmas Eve Worship; 5PM; 6:30 PM – outside; 8 PM; 10PM
Dec 25: Christmas Morning Worship
Visting 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!!