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Pastor Lisa Borrell's Message for December 2020, Church Council Connection, and Music News

Updated: Dec 17, 2020






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Please click the link (Youtube livestream link)

to participate in our Advent, Christmas Eve,

and Sunday morning worship services online.

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Since we are worshipping virtually for the Christmas Eve Service and will miss the tradition of singing "Silent Night" holding candles. I am asking the following: Please take a photo of your family holding candles and send it to Angie Fulmer at by Sunday, December 20th. Angie will put the photos together into a slideshow at the end of the virtual service so we can still share that candlelight experience with each other.

Kelly Clarkson - Silent Night



by Vince Gill and Jenny Gill with lyrics





May God fill you will his New goodness every day and

may the love of Jesus overflow from you to others throughout the year!


In case of a pastoral emergency, please contact Pastor Lisa Borrell

at 610-838-0731 or or email



At our December 6, 2020 meeting, the Congregational Council and I made the difficult decision to close the church again for (at least) the next three weeks — including Christmas Eve — due to the heightened resurgence in COVID cases and in alliance with the guidelines suggested by our Governor and the CDC which strongly urge places of worship to find ways to offer worship other than “in person” experiences. It is our hope and plan at this point to safely reopen again on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

Please know that this decision was not made lightly nor without much discussion. We acknowledge that, while not everyone will agree with this decision, it is the best measure we can take right now to help flatten the rising curve and keep everyone safe. We acknowledge, too, that Christmas is a most sentimental holiday in which folks find comfort in tradition … the gatherings and feasting with family, the joyous singing of favorite hymns and carols, the candle lighting while listening to melodious refrains of “Silent Night,” the retelling of Christ’s nativity so long ago, the cheerful greetings extended to church friends. (These things still can happen, albeit in a different form.) However, it is our responsibility to act on behalf of the welfare of the whole congregation. In a year that has thrown us more curveballs than we ever could have imagined, we are trying to move forward with providing meaningful experiences while, at the same time, exercising our best judgment. We care about YOU!

To that end, we will continue to live stream our worship services through YouTube and the church’s website. We are working to provide on-line bulletins as well (via the website) which may be printed out for your use at home. Sunday morning services will premiere at our regular worship time (10:00 a.m.). Our Christmas Eve service will premiere at 8:00 p.m. on December 24, 2020. Be assured, there will still be music! God’s Word and promise shall abide! Prayers will continue to be offered on behalf of those in need. The celebration will go on!

Sealed Communion elements will be made available to anyone who would like them. They will be in a weather-proof container on the front porch of the church by the office doors. Individual candles will also be available for your own personal use on Christmas Eve. Feel free to stop by and take what you need. Though we may be in different households as we celebrate this holiday season, nothing can take away from the sense that we are a family in Christ.

Please know that if you placed an order for poinsettia plants, I will be at the church on Christmas day between 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. so that you may pick them up. (Please use the entrance by the ramp.) If that time does not suit, please call the church office or send an email so that other arrangements can be made. And as our Treasurer, Terry, reminded us this past Sunday at our congregational meeting, though the doors of the church may temporarily be closed, the ministry as well as the expenses of the church go on. The community will continue to be fed; worship will take place; support will be given to area ministries and outreach programs, etc. You are encouraged to make use of the on-line Vanco services to give your offerings or to mail them directly to the church office during this time.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support of the work we do in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and for being a blessing to so many others. Wishing you the peace and joy that the Christ child came to bring. Pastor Lisa Borrell

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December Angelus Message

Dear Members of New Jerusalem ~

Here are some good observations from a little magazine Chris and I received in the mail … “Once, maybe a couple of times in a generation, something will happen whose ripple effects spread and spread, changing how we go about our daily lives in some surprising, long-lasting ways. World War II, for instance, transformed our economy; the Civil Rights Movement revolutionized the politics of race and class; the fall of the Berlin Wall created the easy-going 90s; and September 11th completely changed how we travel. For better or for worse, the coronavirus pandemic will change how we make our way in the world.”

No one could have imagined when we happily rang in the new year and decade last January 1st that our lives would become topsy-turvy in ways that could not be fathomed. Restaurants not offering indoor seating to its hungry patrons? Teachers not being able to greet or teach their students in person? Shoppers not being permitted into grocery stores without a face mask? Churches not holding traditional worship services?! Craziness! And yet, we adapted … opting for take-out food or dining al fresco; taking classes and holding meetings via Zoom; making fashion statements with our facial coverings of many patterns and colors; creating parking lot worship while passing the peace through honking horns and hand waves. Things surely are different, but through it all, we have managed to keep on doing our jobs, our homework, our shopping, our ministry.

There has been a lot of behind the scenes planning and discussion in regards to the upcoming Christmas Eve services in light of the resurgence in COVID numbers and more strict regulations being put into place. None of it is being taken lightly as we create our own path down a road we’ve never traveled before. Yes, things will be different = we will continue to hum along with favorite hymns instead of singing in full voice; we will remain physically distanced from one another in the pews; the live-streaming of the service will continue to premiere on YouTube; several choir members will lead the music from behind plastic barriers; and cleaning of the sanctuary will take place after each service. It’s not what we’d prefer, but it is what must be done at this time. We do this while knowing full well that it may be for naught if we find ourselves in a position where we must close our doors again in accordance to CDC guidelines.

But please know this … if the church must close, Christmas will not be canceled! We will still celebrate the birth of our Savior. We will still hear the songs of the angels. We will still look for the bright star to illumine our way to the manger. We will still know the sense of quiet wonder as we approach the baby King who entered into our world to love away our hurts, heal our hearts, and kiss us with the peace of heaven. No virus can take that away from us. Period.

As you make your preparations for this most beloved holiday, don’t forget to stay connected with each other and your church. Say a prayer, send a card, meditate upon the blessings you continue to enjoy, perform little acts of kindness to those who cannot repay, go out of your way to help your neighbor, and so reflect the light of Christ. May the Prince of Peace fill your hearts with a renewed spirit to love and serve Him faithfully.

Blessings to one and all, Pastor Lisa Borrell

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At our last meeting, the Congregational Council discussed many aspects of the safety protocols to be established as we soon will be resuming INDOOR worship on Sunday, November 8, 2020. These may be revised as we continue to tweak what works most efficiently for our congregation. PLEASE NOTE: AS OF


+ Persons at a high risk due to age or health are encouraged to stay at home, especially if exhibiting symptoms such as high fever, cough, loss of smell or taste, or shortness of breath.

+ Masks must be worn at all times properly covering one’s nose and mouth. (Only children who are 2 years of age or younger are exempt from this practice.) If you would arrive at church only to discover that you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you. Additionally, hand sanitizer will be available at various locations for your use.

+ There will be no formal collection of offering during the service. Receptacles will be provided in the Narthex area for worshippers to deposit their offering envelopes (which also may be mailed in to the church office).

+ Holy Communion will continue to be received via individually sealed cups/wafers which will be distributed as worshippers enter the sanctuary. We will commune in the pews and collect the used packages for proper disposal after worship.

+ To minimize the risk of transmitting germs, worshippers will not be greeted with handshakes following the service nor will the traditional “passing of the peace” take place. Members and friends may certainly speak with each other outside.

+ At this point in time, no congregational singing will take place during the worship service. The reasoning behind this is that there remains the risk of producing aerosols (droplets of water suspended in air) that can spread the coronavirus. We will work hard to make a joyful noise in other ways (organ/piano/bells; possible soloists or instrumentalists who are socially distanced from the congregation). While this may not be ideal, it is the safest practice for the welfare of all.

+ Likewise, we will not be hosting any coffee hours or in person church suppers until it is deemed safe to do so.

+ One person or one family unit will be permitted in the restrooms at a time.

+ Worshippers will maintain social distancing while in the sanctuary. Pews have been cordoned off and marked so that people will visually be reminded of where they may be seated for the service. The pews in the balcony will also be available for seating for those who are more readily able to climb steps.

+ Children must remain with the adults with whom they came.

+ The church will be cleaned after worship each week to ensure cleanliness for the next gathering.

Any virus outbreak in the "in person" worshipping community will necessitate the

closing of the church until further notice when it is deemed safe to re-enter.

The Council understands if you do not feel comfortable attending in person worship just yet. We respect your decision and invite you to tune into the service (via the church’s website at Youtube livestream link) as it will be live streamed each Sunday. We are working on all the details to make that happen so we may reach as many interested viewers as possible. This is a learning process for all of us and we thank you kindly for your patience and understanding as we navigate these unchartered waters.

Just as we have figured out how to adjust to a different world than what we had, we are appreciating the new dimensions of worship that still speak to our faith experience. I thank you for your willingness to engage in this way, whether in person or via online services.

In all circumstances, never forget that we still are the church! As Martin Luther proclaimed in his most recognizable Reformation hymn, “A Mighty Fortress,” God’s truth forever shall abide. Even COVID –19 has no power over us.

Blessings to you all,

The Rev. Lisa K. Borrell–Pastor

New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church



The church continues to have expenses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

and we encourage you to mail in your offering or

use during this time.

Thank you and God bless


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)



Greetings from your New Jerusalem “Apples” Church Council

Church Council Members in Action

Please remember that even though we are not all worshiping together,

we are together in spirit.

Church Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

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Reminder that Sunday, December 13, 2020 will be our annual congregational meeting. We will be voting on the proposed 2021 budget as well as to elect Council members. All confirmed members will be accorded voice & vote. (One must be present in order to vote.) The budget was included in the November newsletter. If you have any questions regarding the proposed budget, please contact Terry Ravier at 610/360-0956 before the meeting. She will be happy to address your questions.

As the calendar year is coming to a close, I am hopeful that everyone can reflect on the past year and find something to be happy about. I am personally happy with our entire congregation. There is a saying... “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Well, our congregation did just that. Members participated in outdoor/indoor/ online worship services; maintenance of the building continued; members reached out by phone to other members or sent cards, and we had some talented individuals lead us in song. The list is endless. Thank you to everyone for being patient, understanding and willing to try something new this past year. "Let brotherly love continue" Hebrews 13:1

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all,

Cindy Hart—Church Council President

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Cindy Hart at 484-548-3937 or Sharon Bender at 610-597-8764.

God bless you and be safe!


The Council officers for 2020 are:

  • President: Cindy Hart

  • Vice President: Sharon Bender

  • Treasurer: Terry Ravier

  • Secretary: Kathy Fenstermacher

  • Council Members: Glenn Campbell, Tina McCardle, Jere Reiss, Robin Rooth-Fogel, Marianne Zellner, and Cindy Ziegler

For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the LORD,” plans to prosper you and

not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Peace be with you, Cindy Hart, Council President

As always, we pray for all the council members and

all those in leadership positions for this congregation.

You have to find a way to respect these new boundaries related to coronavirus,

but still live the version of life you're used to. That's what life is, regardless of circumstances. If I could offer advice to any person today, it would be

to stick by your faith. Know that your God is with you and will

take care of you all the way through. We will get through this.

Council Question Box




Return by December 6, 2020

  1. I/we would like a call from Pastor Lisa Borrell. Yes or No

  2. I/we would like to be removed from all correspondence. Yes or No

  3. I/we would like to be removed or become inactive as of January 1, 2021 from the rolls. Removed or Inactive

  4. I/we would like our information in the 2021 church directory. Yes or No

(If no, mark a P next to information that you want kept private—

for church record only)

First Name(s): _______________________________________ & _______________________________________

Last Name: ____________________________________________________________________________________

Mailing Address: ______________________________________________________________________________

City: _______________________________________________ State: _________ Zip: _____________________

Home Phone: __________________________________________________________________________________

Cell Phone(s): ________________________________________, ________________________________________

Email Address(s): ______________________________________, ______________________________________

List Family Members:

Name(s) Birthday(s)


1. _____________________________________________________________ ___________________

2. _____________________________________________________________ ___________________

3. _____________________________________________________________ ___________________

4. _____________________________________________________________ ___________________

5. _____________________________________________________________ ___________________

6. _____________________________________________________________ ___________________

7. _____________________________________________________________ ___________________

Our bylaws B8.02.b: A confirmed member who does not attend church service, who does not partake in holy communion, and who has made no contribution of record to this congregation shall be classified as an inactive member without the right to vote.


What is Mutual Ministry at New Jerusalem? Did you know that there is a Mutual Ministry Committee here at New Jerusalem?

Mutual Ministry is loosely defined as the interaction between the pastor, professional staff, Church Council, and the congregation to foster communication and support between these three groups. Typical tasks of the Mutual Ministry Committee include providing a listening ear to each group and a means to interact in a confidential way to resolve issues that may arise between, and within, each group. The committee also assists Church Council in conducting an annual performance review of the Church’s professional staff, as well as providing input into creating and revising employee job descriptions.

Currently, this committee is comprised of three members (Tina Miller, Tina Young, and Tim Fulmer) who are appointed to serve a three-year term as approved by the Pastor and Church Council President. The committee is currently seeking additional members, so any interested members of the congregation are invited to contact Pastor Lisa; Church Council President, Marianne Zellner; or any current Mutual Ministry Committee member for more information.

Any member of the congregation that desires to seek assistance from the Mutual Ministry Committee may do so by contacting a member of the committee to arrange a meeting with the committee to discuss issues dealing with interactions with pastor/professional staff, Church Council, and/or other members of the congregation. All contact with the Mutual Ministry Committee is kept confidential between the parties involved in the issue; and the hopeful outcome of this process is to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all parties.


Our Music Director, Edward L. Walakovits, is a skilled Organist and Choir Director with more than 30 years of experience. He is experienced in playing the pipe organ and piano. Ed has a working knowledge of liturgy and choral styles. He is an effective leader with an eye for developing and motivating choir members. Ed graduated from Moravian College with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance with a minor in Music. Please be sure to welcome Ed to New Jerusalem Church!

All are welcome ~ Please join us for choir practice on

Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.

Pop-Up Choir ~ Once or twice a month, the choir invites members and guests to join them to sing the Anthem and praises to our God! The response has been very positive and uplifting for all!

Pictures of some of our choir members singing and Ed playing the piano from

inside the church for our

Outdoor Worship Service on

Sunday, September 27, 2020.

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NEW ~ The Worship and Music Committee is looking for any and all volunteers who are interested in special singing, either solo or with others and/or playing an instrument for additional special music to enhance our worship service and should be coordinated with Ed Walakovits–Music Director.


Endowment Committee News!

2020 Fall Endowment Grant Applications will be available in the church office, endowment mailbox in August. Please contact the church office and an application will be sent to you. Deadline for applications is October 18, 2020.

The Endowment Committee anticipates there will be a distribution of income available this fall from the Mission & Ministry Endowment Fund. Remember that per policy, the use of these funds must fall into one of the following ministry areas:

  • Mission: Local, regional and world projects

  • Education: Higher education and continuing education expenses

  • Youth: Support for youth of all ages

  • Worship and Music: Support for the worship of the church

  • Capital Projects: Major renovations and building of new facilities for the church

Also there will be a distribution of income available from the Property Endowment Fund. Remember that per policy, the use of these funds must fall into one of the following property areas:

  • Maintenance; General Upkeep

  • Restoration

  • Repairs

  • Capital Project

  • Equipment Purchases

  • Property Acquisition

The Endowment Committee will also have a distribution from the Christian Education Endowment Fund. Remember that per policy, the use of these funds must fall into one of the following property areas:

  • Sunday Church School

  • Vacation Bible School

  • Christian Youth Activities

  • Adult Christian Education

  • Teacher's Education

Endowment—The gift that keeps on giving!

See any Endowment Committee member if you have questions.

Tim Frey, Chairperson

Russ Pacala Jr, Vice Chairperson

Tina McCardle

Drake Brintzenhoff


You can also visit New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church on Facebook at


​​May the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes, the love of God be

reflected in your hands, the wisdom of God be reflected in your words,

and the knowledge of God flow from your heart,

that all might see, and seeing, believe.

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Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present,

nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

God, the creator, Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter,

bless you and keep you in eternal love.


The members of New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church wish you a blessed day and we pray that your day is filled with hope, love, peace, and good health!

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