Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings from Honesdale, Pennsylvania.
St. Peter’s is well on your way to calling a new pastor! Forms have been filled out and submitted, candidates are being identified, the process explained, and interviews will happen in the not-too-distant future. This is an exciting time. Fill it with prayer and it will not be fraught with peril! God is with you and only ever wants the best.
You took time in my last weeks at St. Peter’s to say words of thanks and good-bye. My family and I felt your tremendous affection and could not have been more blessed than we were at the reception meal following the service on August 26. Thank you to the crew who put that meal together, who set up before, prepared and served food, and cleaned up afterwards. Thank you also to everyone who attended the meal either in person or “in spirit.” I am sorry that my health did not permit me to be more friendly and move about among you, but I was able to greet many of you at the door and many also came to talk with me and my family at the table. What wonderful affection and love we felt that day! Your card and gift were a tremendous blessing to us moving forward. The card, the picture with so many signatures on it, and the individual gifts will all be with us as a reminder for years to come. Your financial gift was also a great blessing, touching many areas of our life over the past two months. On a personal note, I want to thank the Board for its constant support; also, the Worship Committee, the musicians and Kris Betz for giving me the opportunity to tap into my musical interests in worship. I directed the Bell Choir and adapted liturgies, and you sang hymns you’d never heard before – some of which were my own. I was so grateful for these opportunities and was delighted when you welcomed them as well. Thank you, Elaine, for making a way for me at St. Peter’s (which is a euphemism for covering my tardiness and editing my goofs.) As for the Buckwalter family, we miss St. Peter’s! We will never forget our journey with you, sharing God’s love with each other and proclaiming it in word and deed to the world. And, as is appropriate, we will keep in touch now and then so that we can rejoice together in each other’s journey of grace.
God be with you on the road ahead. Any pastor who receives the same affections we received at St. Peter’s will be truly blessed. And, before I go, one final word of advice: when you do call a new pastor, trust that the Spirit has led him/her to you! That means that God has work to do through the new pastor! So, give him/her room to move – to lead with the power of your excitement and support always there. Our world is changing and the church must find new ways to reach that world with the Gospel. Your new pastor will be uniquely qualified for this task. Follow him/her; work together; celebrate where God takes you!
You are always in my prayers. May God return to you tenfold the amazing grace you gave to my family while we were with you.
Yours in Christian love,
--Pastor Ken, Geri, Andrew, Seth
(and sometimes Matthew & Danny)
NEWS FROM THE CHURCH BOARD
St. Peter’s Church is officially a federated congregation!! Both the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod and Penn Northeast Conference have approved the federated documents. Additionally, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has approved the merger of the two congregations. The Board appreciates the congregation’s support and encouragement during the process.
The Church Board will be holding a reorganization meeting in September. At that time, new officers will be elected. We will also be taking steps to combine the membership rolls and giving records. As part of this process, letters will be forwarded to members who have not recently been active participants in the life and ministry of St. Peter’s Church in an effort to welcome these members to reconnect with our church family. We look forward to positive responses and are excited about the opportunities to worship together and serve each other and our community.
The Board is happy to report that Pastor Kenneth Melber has agreed to serve as our “designated pastor” while we search for a full time pastor. Pastor Melber will continue to perform hospital and shut-in visitations.
Additionally, he will teach the confirmation class and attend Board and committee meetings. Supply pastors will be scheduled through the Penn Northeast Conference and Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod to perform Sunday morning worship services.
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 are now moving forward with the search committee meetings with the introduction 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.