AUGUST / SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2022
From The Pastor...
You are amazing. St. Mark's and St. John's congregations, you are amazing. In this world that seems to only focus on what is going wrong, you are being the church now and are willing to explore what the church is becoming in the future.
We have a ton of great stuff happening as we journey into the fall. We also journey with questions as we explore what our churches are becoming.
First, let’s look at what’s coming up:
The Pastoral Installation Service for St. Johns will take place on Sunday, September 18th at 10:00am. This will be a joint worship service with St. Mark's and St. John's worshipping together at St. John's in Haven. Brunch will follow the service. We welcome Rev. Kevin McLemore from PSEC as the conference representative for the service. We will also be blessed with a combined choir and a combined bell choir.
Borough Day is September 24. St. John's is busy organizing their Gift and Basket Raffle. If you wish to support the raffle, you can stop by the church on Friday, September 23rd from 6-8 pm or at Borough Day. And, of course, St. Mark's has PIE!!! Wet bottom shoofly, apple or cherry crumb, pumpkin custard, pumpkin roll and Jewish apple cake. Order ahead through either church office. You can also get pie at Borough Day, but you never know when we are going to sell out.
St. John's will have their Winter clothing give-away on October 22. Both congregations will be collecting clothing to be offered to the community.
This is the “short list”. We know there is a lot more on the schedule. We are praising God together in so many wonderful ways.
We are also trying to figure out how we are going to be the church as we move forward. Christian education is evolving and we are determining what forms that will take for the 2022-2023 program year. We are recruiting children and young adults so we can determine interest and activity levels. We are looking at youth groups and whether we might have a Confirmation class.
We have questions together. We are trying to discern how we will be the church in an uncertain future. But we know, we know that God is blessing us as we journey together in hope.
I pray that you see that God is good, and God is working HERE!
Upcoming Services & Events…
07 – COMBINED WORSHIP WITH ST. MARK’S @ ISLAND PARK
Holy Communion Service, 10:00AM
Refreshments to follow the service
14 – Worship Service, 9:00AM
21 – Worship Service, 9:00AM
28 – Worship Service, 9:00AM
30 – Consistory Meeting, 6:00PM
04 – Holy Communion Service, 9:00AM
11 – Worship Service with Rev. Mark Dewald, 9:00AM
18 – SERVICE OF INSTALLATION FOR PASTOR KEVIN
Worship Service, 10:00AM
23 – Annual Gift & Basket Raffle, 6:00-8:00PM
24 – Annual Gift & Basket Raffle, 9:00AM-4:00PM
25 – Worship Service, 9:00AM
27 – Consistory Meeting, 6:00PM
02 – WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY
Holy Communion Service, 9:00AM
09 – Worship Service, 9:00AM
16 – HARVEST HOME SUNDAY
Worship Service, 9:00AM
23 – Worship Service, 9:00AM
25 – Consistory Meeting, 6:00PM
30 – REFORMATION SUNDAY
Coffee & Conversation, 8:30AM
Worship Service, 9:00AM
BOTTLED WATER – During the summer months, chilled bottled water will be available in the Narthex prior to and immediately after the 9:00AM worship service on extremely warm days. Let's all stay healthy and hydrated!
COMBINED WORSHIP – Worship with us on Sunday, August 7 @ 10:00AM as we join with Saint Mark’s congregation for a combined outdoor Holy Communion Service at Island Park. Light refreshments will follow the service. Water and paper products will be provided but you may bring a snack to share if you wish. There will be no 9:00AM Worship Service at the church that day.
SEPTEMBER 11 WORSHIP – Rev. Mark Dewald, son of Saint John’s Church, will be the worship leader on Sunday, September 11 while Pastor Kevin is on vacation. Mark and his brother Tim were ordained here at Saint John’s. Worship with us as we welcome Mark back to Saint John’s Church!
SERVICE OF INSTALLATION – Sunday, September 18 will be a very special day for our congregation as we officially install Rev. Kevin Fruchtl as Pastor of Saint John’s Church. This service was delayed by many factors including COVID and scheduling issues. Our worship service will be moved to 10:00AM and we will be joined by members of Saint Mark’s congregation. The service will include music by the combined choral and handbell choirs from both churches. Following the Service of Installation, Saint John’s will host a brunch (as in “Palm Sunday Brunch”) in Biddle Hall prepared by the men of the church. We hope you will join us as we officially welcome Pastor Kevin and his family!
BATHROOM REFRESH – Over the last few weeks, our painting crew has spent some time giving our bathrooms a much needed “refresh”. Stalls, doors, trim, and vanity areas were repainted, new hardware installed, minor repairs completed, and all surfaces deep cleaned. Check out the results the next time you are at the church.
KITCHEN UPDATES – As we resumed activities at the church following the pandemic, it was noted that some of the Kitchen appliances were not working properly. Consistory approved the purchase of 2 microwaves, a refrigerator, and a sanitizing dishwasher from Martin Appliance, Myerstown PA, at their July meeting. The Kitchen will also be deep cleaned and some minor painting completed in the near future.
COFFEE & CONVERSATION – Please join us on Sunday, October 30 @ 8:30AM in the Chapel for our next “coffee & conversation” as we celebrate Reformation Sunday. Historical items from the founding and early years of Saint John’s congregation will be on display.
GIFT & BASKET RAFFLE – Please join us on for our annual Gift & Basket Raffle to be held on Friday, September 23, 2022 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM and Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 9:00AM to 4:00PM, in conjunction with Schuylkill Haven Borough Day. If you would like to help us with this fundraiser, which is our largest of the year, please consider donations of gift cards to your favorite store, restaurant, cash, a theme basket or even a few hours of your time. Many types of baskets and prizes will be available, something for everyone!
SHARED MINISTRY COUNCIL – The Shared Ministry Council met in July and elected Dennis Herring from St. Mark's as President and Ann Rich from St. John's as Vice President. Council members from St. John's include Scott Jacoby, Tina Luckenbill, Mark Revenis, and Ann Rich. The meetings will be held at St. Mark's until June 2023. There were no significant issues presented. The Shared Ministry Council will be submitting a proposal for Pastor Kevin's compensation package for 2023.
VISION / CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT TEAM – The Vision / Capital Improvement Team was appointed by Consistory to address potential capital improvement projects at the church that would enhance our ministry and mission. These proposed improvements, if accepted by the Consistory and approved by the congregation, will be funded through the proceeds from the sale of the Parsonage property. The team includes Pastor Kevin, Timothy Gipe, Fiona Jacoby, Bill Luckenbill, Jim Rich, and Karen Toback. The team has met twice and developed a list of potential projects which are now being researched and prioritized. A report will be presented to Consistory in the near future. If accepted, Consistory will then determine which items to bring before the congregation for approval.
RENTAL POLICY – Don't forget, Bittle Hall is available for meetings, parties, and other events. If you or someone you know would like to rent Bittle Hall for an activity or event please contact the church office or download the BITTLE RENTAL AGREEMENT & GUIDELINES.
Mission & Outreach…
FALL / WINTER CLOTHING GIVEAWAY – The Fall/Winter Clothing Giveaway will be held Saturday, October 22. Rain date is Saturday, October 29. You may begin to bring your CLEAN winter clothing to the church beginning Sunday, September 25. Items may be placed in the Mission Room next to the Conference Room.
HARVEST HOME FOOD COLLECTION – On Sunday, October 16, we will celebrate “Harvest Home” during the 9:00AM Worship Service. This ancient festival celebrates God’s blessings and the bounty of ingathering during the autumn harvest. We will be collecting non-perishable items for the Schuylkill Haven Food Pantry throughout the month of October. Special music will also be presented by our choirs during this service.
AUGUST MISSION FOCUS –
Fuel Fund – Throughout the month of August, we will be focusing on our Fuel Fund. As we all know, fuel oil prices are now at an all-time high and this year, more than ever, we will need to be good stewards of our resources. Consistory has been discussing ways to be conservative with our fuel use at the church. Please be as generous as you are able to help us build up the Fuel Fund.
SEPTEMBER MISSION FOCUS –
Neighbors in Need (NIN) – NIN is a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of this offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to UCC churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice.
OCTOBER MISSION FOCUS –
PA Breast Cancer – The PBCC is the source of action and information for women in Pennsylvania with breast cancer. Whether it’s through FREE care packages, their annual conference, or traveling photo exhibit we provide a fun and educational way to support and bring awareness to newly diagnosed women and long-term survivors.
Schuylkill Haven Food Pantry – The Schuylkill Haven Food Pantry is sponsored by the Council of Churches and located behind the Evans Delivery building on Market Street. Federal, state, and local food contributions are distributed on the third Friday of each month from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm to families or individuals who meet eligibility. Volunteers are always welcome to assist with the shelving and distribution of food items. Needed items include: peanut butter, jelly, canned vegetables, spaghetti sauce, canned meats/fish, juices, boxed pasta, stuffing, instant potatoes, baked beans, canned milk, dry milk, cold cereals, baby food, paper products.
Worship & Music…
REFORMATION SUNDAY – On Sunday, October 30, our 9:00AM Worship Service will focus on the 505TH Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Join us for worship as we trace the path of our congregation from this monumental event to the present day. We will also have Coffee & Conversation in the Chapel before the service with a display of historical items from the founding and early years of Saint John’s congregation.
ORGAN & PIANO RECITAL – 2022 marks the 5th Anniversary of the Reider Organ. We will celebrate this wonderful instrument with a special Sunday afternoon recital presented by two of our former organists – Deb Perkins (1978-1988) and Jill Sonday (1999-2019). A luncheon or supper is also being planned. Watch for more information as we are planning for a date in October or November.