Dear Friend in Christ,
How blessed we are! Harvest time in the United States is always a reminder of how abundantly God has blessed this nation and this world. We will celebrate this in worship at St. Peter’s on the Eve of Thanksgiving and I hope many of us will be together that evening to say aloud to God, “Thank you! What a country you have blessed us with!”
A song I used to sing often as a child was, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.” We sang it at almost every midweek prayer meeting because the oldest regular attendee of those services requested it almost every Wednesday during the hymn sing time. It comes to mind for me nowadays at widely varying times – when I look at my family and home and realize all the wonderful things that make up my daily life as well as when I feel unhappy because my illness never gets better. The wide range of inspirations to my humming this song makes me think I know why Mrs. Copenhaver used to have us sing it every Wednesday night. There is simply no more meaningful, life-affirming way to fill our time than to take stock of all the beautiful things with which God surrounds us day to day. It lightens sadness, amplifies gladness, inspires us to value possessions, teaches us to treasure loved ones, motivates us to thank people, and sometimes even reminds us to take better care of things we’ve been neglecting. And more. We sang it every Wednesday because a wise old lady knew that the best way to feel good about our good, good world – and our wonderful God – is to deliberately observe the abundance of beauty and blessing with which God fills our lives. It needs no more explanation, only repetition. You cannot understand this wisdom in any way other than to do it. So . . . count ‘em. Every day!
You endured a long, long, long letter from me last month. So, as a little “thank you” to those who read (and tried to understand) it, I’ll keep this one very short. But please do not think a short letter means that there is not much to say about St. Peter’s this month. What a wonderful string of opportunities you have to worship, learn, fellowship and share together in November 2017. Most of you have been through this series of events for years . . . but I have not; and, as an outsider, I can tell you: “What a place!” St. Peter’s offers its members an amazing array of opportunities to express your faith in God. I hope you will be part of it in as many ways as the Spirit leads you.
Finally, let us not forget the beautiful neighbors God has given us in the Gulf region, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, Mexico City, northern California, and other places around North America where disaster has struck. Give to church-related charitable ministries; pray for them three times every single day; and, consider whether or not the Spirit is calling you to direct service in any of these places. (If you feel led to go and help, let me know and I will get you connected with folks who can help you.) We will let you know the total amount of our love offerings from October for these very causes. Thank you for your faithfulness!
Well, this has been a short letter, so I’m sure you still have plenty of energy for the rest of the newsletter. So, read on! Much is happening in November. And, keep in touch through worship as much as you can, too, where we will keep you up to date on how the church is responding to the aftermath of hurricanes and earthquakes around the world.
Yours in Christ,
NEWS FROM THE CHURCH BOARD
On October 1, 2017, the congregation voted to move forward with the process of becoming a federated congregation. The By-law Committee has arranged a meeting with Attorney Kevin Strohl of Steckel and Stopp for October 23, 2017 to formally begin this process. Further, the committee and church board are continuing to draft a proposed constitution and by-laws for the federated congregation. The board will provide the congregation with updates as to their progress. If you have any questions or comments regarding the procedures, please speak with a member of the church board.
St. Peter’s Church is entering a time of transition. The board is confident that God will lead us through this process and the many important decisions that lie ahead. We are asking for prayers and support from the congregation during this process.
The Board would like to thank the following people who have offered their time, knowledge, and patience to represent our congregation and serve on our Search Committee:
Mike Hunsicker (Chairperson) Cathie Miller
Terry Miller Burdell Snyder
Jill Hoppes Charlene Miller
Jan Altenberg Nancy Knadler
We pray that the congregation will trust our leadership, and trust that God is working through us. We ask for the congregation’s strength and support to help guide us through this time of transition.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and for the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
We unanimously decided to suspend the search committee meetings with the introduction of the idea to become a Federated church. This is very exciting to us to look into this new chapter, we all have spoken about being one as a church opposed to just Lutheran or U.C.C. This gives us the ability to accomplish that, as one of the search committee’s members spoke “Now we would truly be a Union Church”
- With that being said our identity (as a church) will change through this process, which will help the search committee to determine the direction we will move forth in the future.
- The Shared Ministry we adopted has paved the way for this next step for all of us.
- We as a search committee have had numerous discussions about us voting as one, this would alleviate that.
- Please reach out to Board Members as well as Search Committee Members with your questions and we will do our best to find you answers.