April 2019 News
April 2019 Newsletter
“For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them” (Isaiah 66:18-19)
Thank you to the group that is reading “Jesus Wants to Save Christians, A Manifesto For the Church in Exile” by Rob Bell. We have gathered only 2 times, but our conversations and thoughts have been great and the book is helping to shape those ideas and conversations. The book has presented some ideas about how God wants us to live as God’s body in this world and we have looked at how scripture shows us faithful times where groups live out the covenants of God and the times when God’s people have been unfaithful to what God has called us to do and to be.
We have seen connections to a cycle that Rob puts forth in his book when it comes to the faithful and unfaithful points of God’s people. Rob begins with the cry of the Israelites in Egypt, as God comes to them amidst their oppression, then God takes the people to Sinai and makes promises with them there and puts forth rules for how to live out what God desires for us all. This connection takes the Israelites into the promised land and they begin to build up cities like Jerusalem where the Temple is built. This is the peek and blessed time for the people, but Israelite leaders and the people begin to forget the story of their ancestors out of Egypt, they begin to forget all that God has done for them and they forget to be faithful to God by caring for those that are oppressed in their time, so they eventually are conquered and taken into Exile because of their unfaithfulness and return as servants and slaves in another land, just like the time in Egypt when they cried out to God. So the cycle returned to the start and God reminds the people of their story with the message of the prophets and teachers so that we can return to the promises of God and the faithful ways of living those out in our lives, like in Jerusalem.
That cycle happens throughout history, in many places in our world, not just the Biblical story. The cycle goes from Egypt, to Sinai, to Jerusalem, to Babylon by name. The actions and events that lead from one section to the next is Christians or people crying out to God (Egypt), Then God answers and delivers them, decreeing a new era of life and covenant together (Sinai), followed by entering a time of blessedness, prosperity, and ultimately decline (Jerusalem), and finally because of the decline and unfaithful living leads to an exile experience once more (Babylon). The time in Jerusalem is the time where we constantly must make the choice to continue to follow God’s ways and remember the stories of how God has been faithful time and time again, or else if we don’t we as individuals or as groups run the risk of becoming the oppressors of others around us. Which leads us to the situation of forgetting what God has done and our promises of God and God’s ways.
This cycle has played out countless times and we must make the choice to remain connected to God by listening for the call of the oppressed, as God does, and we must continue to offer our best to God, because it is our best way of remembering the faithfulness of God and our need to continue that connection to the promises God has given. The ultimate reminder of our return from exile was when Jesus came to us and his act of taking away our sinfulness which returns us once more from exile and we are returned in a victorious way to our connection to God’s promises and life with us. May we celebrate that connection and undeserved gift this Easter.
Blessings and Prayers for all God’s People,
Worship Schedule this month:
April 7th – (Theme of Worship: Something New) Isaiah 43:16-21; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8. First Sunday Fellowship to follow worship and Intergenerational Choir Practice.
April 14th - (ToW: Into Jerusalem) Palm Sunday. Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 19:28-40. Normal Sunday School following worship.
Thursday, April 18th – Maundy Thursday Service 7pm in Fellowship Hall. Exodus 12:1-14; 1st Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, (31b-35).
Friday, April 19th- Good Friday Service 7pm. Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Hebrews 10:16-25; John 18:1-19,42.
April 21st -- (ToW: Resurrection Joy) Easter Sunday. Early Service @ 7AM, Breakfast @8AM, and Regular Worship @ 9:15AM. Acts 10:34-43; 1st Corinthians 15:19-26; John 20:1-18. NO Sunday School to follow worship.
April 28th – (ToW: Resurrection Witness) 2nd Sunday of Easter. Acts 5:27-32; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31. Regular Sunday School to follow worship.
Look Further Ahead
May 5th - (ToW: The Way Forward) 3rd Sunday of Easter. Acts 9:1-6 (7-20); Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19. First Sunday Fellowship and Rummage Setup.
Roxie & Don Girton and family wishes to thank our Dreisbach Church family for all the prayers, cards, calls, meals and well wishes that we received following the passing of Roxie’s son Douglas Dodge.. Special thanks to Pastor Nate for his homily at Doug’s funeral service. All was greatly appreciated.
A Congregational Meeting will take place following worship service on May 5th. We will be voting on several key components of the CARE program. We will also be voting to pass the All Hazards and Disaster Readiness/Response Plan.
Consistory would like to make the congregation aware that do to privacy laws the pastor will no longer be contacted by the hospital or nursing home if one of our members is admitted or passes away. If you or a loved one is affected and would like the pastor to be made aware please contact him on his cell phone. This is the best method of receiving a timely response.
Consistory has approved the creation of a standing Vision Committee. This Committee is charged with creating a Vision Plan that intentionally focuses on the future of Dreisbach. Such initial work will require a thorough review of all aspects of our church community (worship & music, volunteer leadership, finances, external community involvement, etc.) and intentionally gaining thoughts from all member types (active, semi-active, inactive, former, various age groups, etc.) on these areas today vs where they think we should be in 1, 3, and 5 years. To ensure the greatest chance for success in this visioning process, we are seeking 8 – 10 members to serve on the Vision Committee that represent various interests, skill sets, age groups, member types, etc. It is expected that committee members will meet at least monthly for the foreseeable future and be asked to perform various "homework" assignments between meetings that leads to the plan for presentation to the Congregation later this year. Please let Julie Rockey or Pastor Nate know if you would be interested in serving on this very important committee no later than April 14th. A joint meeting of those interested in serving on the Vision Committee and Consistory is planned for April 30th at 7pm.
College Student Care Packages
We are in need of names and addresses for our college students. We will be mailing care packages out on April 22nd. Please give information to Sue Leitzel or Sharon Magyar by April 14th. A box for donations and a list of suggestions is located in the back of the sanctuary.
“Adopt A Highway”
Dreisbach's commitment to helping keep the Buffalo Valley beautiful continues with our Spring "Adopt A Highway" day on April 28th! Volunteers are needed to pick-up roadside garbage on Dreisbach Church Road between Route 45 and Turkey Run Road. Sign-up sheet will be in the rear of the sanctuary. Penn DOT will supply all garbage bags, gloves, road signs, etc. All participants must sign a waiver. Questions should be directed to Julie Rockey or Don Bowman.
Mother Daughter Banguet
Mark your calendars, the annual Mother’s Day Banquet will take place on May 11th at 6:00pm. Tickets are $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for children. Please see Sue Leitzel or Sharon Magyar to purchase tickets.
Spring Rummage Sale
When we think Spring, we think of cleaning out those closets and corners where no longer loved items are gathering dust. In doing that house cleaning keep the annual Spring Rummage Sale in mind. Dates are May 9th, 10th, and 11th. Carol Willow is sale coordinator. Judy Willow may be calling you! She is seeking volunteer workers. Connie Bastian is doing publicity. We need you or your donations to make the sale a success. The sale will enable us to raise several thousand dollars for mission projects.
Help is needed for all phases of the sale: donations, people to unpack items, sort, and place on tables; clerks, baggers, and a cleanup crew. Posters need to be distributed; your help adds to the success of the sale. Racks and tables will be set up on Sunday, May 5th after fellowship time. Doors will be open at 9:00 Monday morning for workers to begin sorting. Each following day someone will be at the church with doors open so volunteers can come and go at their convenience. Please call Carol Willow or Connie Bastian for more details. Call Judy Willow to volunteer.
Some rules for donations: please no worn-out furniture. Check with Carol before dropping off large items of furniture. All donations should be usable items. An appliance needs to be in working order – label as such.
Rummage may be brought to the church Sunday afternoon on May 5th. Please try to have rummage at the church no later than Tuesday evening, May 7th.
Our re-runs will benefit people in our community, provide funding for missions, and model good stewardship of resources.
Backpack Program Wrap-Up
After 5 weeks of preparing backpacks for 162 students each week in the Mifflinburg elementary and intermediate schools, a huge thank you goes out to all that helped in any way. From donating food items and money to saving plastic bags this important ministry would not be possible without your generous support! Thank you to all who came on Wednesday evenings to fill those backpacks and a special thank you to Don and Nancy Bowman who were dedicated each week to deliver the backpacks to the schools, what a team! Many hands make light work!
Warmer temperatures are on the way and so is Vacation Bible School. This year we invite you to “ROAR” with us June 10th thru the 14th. Closing will take place Sunday, June 16th during worship. This epic African adventure engages the whole herd. At “ROAR”, kids explore God’s goodness and celebrate a ferocious faith that powers them through this wild life. Registration forms are available in the back of the sanctuary. As always lots of help is needed to make the week run smoothly. Please contact Judy Willow or Pam Pfirman to see how you can help.
Easter Egg Hunt
The Easter Egg Hunt will take place on April 20th at 10:00am. We will have it rain or shine so come prepared with rain gear if necessary. Children ages 1-10 are welcome to participate. We just request they be signed up ahead of time so we can prepare appropriately. We are in need of candy donations and volunteers to help prepare and hide the eggs. Sign Up sheets are available in the back of the sanctuary. A donation box will be under the table for the drop off of Easter Egg Hunt items. Monetary donations are also accepted. Contact Pam Pfirman or Chelsea Mensch if you have any questions.
The Dreisbach UCC Prime Timers will be meeting at the Old Turnpike Restaurant, Thursday, April 18th at 12:30pm. Come and enjoy lunch and a time of fellowship. Lunch will be Dutch treat. Anyone 50 or older is welcome to join the group. A signup sheet will be located in the back of the sanctuary.
The next meeting of the Prayer Shawl group is Monday, April 23rd at 6:30 at the church. All are welcome.
A joint meeting of the new Vision Committee and Consistory will take place Tuesday, April 30th at 7:00 pm.
Congregational Meeting will take place on May 5th following the worship service.