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Pastor Lisa Borrell's Message for January 2021, Church Council Connection, and Music News

Updated: Jan 10, 2021








AT Youtube livestream link.

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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



January 7, 2021

Dear congregation members,

At a specially called meeting last night, January 5, 2021, New Jerusalem’s Congregational Council made the decision to continue with online worship services only through Sunday, February 7th, and to keep our facility closed to all groups (not including the Food Bank) until then as well. At that time, we will reevaluate the situation and make some determinations about future worship services including Ash Wednesday and the upcoming Lenten season.

This is a difficult call to make, but one that is essential. Because of the mounting cases of COVID — not only within our own congregation, but in our community and county as well — we felt that this was the best direction we could take in order to help our church members heal, recuperate, and get stronger, and to help flatten the curve on this insidious virus. As many are sadly finding out, the effects of it are very real and can be life threatening. We are using the best information we have, along with our best judgment, to try to keep everyone as safe as possible. In that same vein, we ask for your continued prayers for all individuals and families who are affected by COVID. If you know of someone personally, you may also want to send them a card or give them a call to let them know that you are thinking of them. Knowing that you are surrounding them with your love and prayers can go a long way in their recuperation.

At this same meeting, new members of Council were welcomed and officers were elected for 2021. We are grateful to Wendy Ernst and Barbara Young for giving of their time and talents to serve the congregation in this capacity and we welcome Marianne Zellner as President, Sharon Bender as Vice President, and Robin Rooth-Fogel as Council Secretary. We are indeed blessed with a good team of elected representatives who care deeply about New Jerusalem and the ministry that we share and we extend our thanks and appreciation to Cindy Hart for her service as President during this most challenging year which dealt with a pastoral vacancy (and subsequent vote/election) on top of the pandemic and shutdown.

Please be reminded that sealed Communion elements will continue to be made available to anyone who would like to utilize them while watching the worship service online at home. They are in a large plastic container on the porch outside of the church office. Please take adequate supplies for yourself and other family members. Additionally, the “Portals of Prayer” booklets are also available. They are published quarterly and are a nice resource to use for daily devotions.

Below are some tips for viewing the worship services online. We are aware that there have been a couple of minor glitches and our tech team is working hard to get them resolved. This is a learning process for all of us, so we thank you for your kind understanding. ~ Pastor Lisa Borrell

Instructions to watch services online:

2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "YouTube livestream link". (You might need to download the program to your computer so you have access to YouTube. If so, download and go to the next step.)

3. About the middle of the page, you will find tabs. Click on the "videos" tab.

4. Below the tabs, you will see "uploads" and "play all". Click on "uploads".

5. Click "upcoming videos" if watching live or "past live streams" if watching later in the day.

6. At this point, it will list all worship services by date. Simply click on the date you wish to view!

New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church

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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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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

A Few of Our Church Council Members in Action

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

we are together in spirit.

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At our Annual Congregational Meeting on December 13, 2020, the proposed budget for 2021 was accepted; we acknowledged the end of Terry Ravier's Church Council term—thank you for your time and talents throughout the years; and we welcomed Wendy Ernst and Barbara Young as our newest Church Council members—thank you for your ministry on which you are about to embark as you serve this congregation and our Lord.

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As the calendar year came to a close, I am hopeful that everyone can reflect on 2020 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

Happy New Year to all,

Cindy Hart—Church Council President

God bless you and be safe!

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NJELC—2020 the Year of COVID-19, a Pastoral Search, and 2021 a New Beginning

A special note of thanks to the Call Committee as they searched for a new pastor; to Pastor Rick Brown and Pastor Lisa Borrell for leading our Outdoor Worship Services; to Pastor Lisa Borrell as she became the new pastor at NJELC; and to all the Church Council members and the other people working behind the scenes for holding on and walking us through this crazy year of COVID-19

with your creativeness, persistence, and your love and trust in God.

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At a special meeting on January 5, 2021, new members of Council were welcomed and officers were elected for 2021. We are grateful to Wendy Ernst and Barbara Young for giving of their time and talents to serve the congregation in this capacity and we welcome Marianne Zellner as President, Sharon Bender as Vice President, and Robin Rooth-Fogel as Council Secretary. We are indeed blessed with a good team of elected representatives who care deeply about New Jerusalem and the ministry that we share and we extend our thanks and appreciation to Cindy Hart for her service as President during this most challenging year which dealt with a pastoral vacancy (and subsequent vote/election) on top of the pandemic and shutdown.

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Church Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

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The Council officers for 2021 are:

  • President: Marianne Zellner (610-838-9545)

  • Vice President: Sharon Bender (610-597-8764)

  • Treasurer: Terry Ravier

  • Secretary: Robin Rooth-Fogel

  • Council Members: Glenn Campbell, Wendy Ernst, Kathy Fenstermacher, Cindy Hart, Tina McCardle, Jere Reiss, Barbara Young, 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, Church Council

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




  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 ______________ 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 have been received in the church office and at the November 2020 Church Council meeting the recommendations of the Endowment Committee were approved. Congratulations to all the recipients!

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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