Siblings in Christ,
There are times in our lives when it seems easier to say, "it must be part of God's plan" than to deal with accepting realities for what they are. It is as if difficult situations, such as a diagnosis or the loss of a job, can somehow be made less terrible if at least someone knew something about its coming. Better yet, if the difficult situations came to be as a result of our own actions, calling its God's plan means that we had no control over its happening, and so we are free from blame or a need to confess or ask for forgiveness.
Whether we are trying to make sense of a situation we have no control over, or if we are trying to shift blame upon someone else by resorting it to "God's plan," I think the desired effect is the same. Ultimately, we want to know that someone will be there to help us through the messy and confusing chaos that comes as a result of change. We all just want to know that the pain and loss we experience will not be experienced in vain, and that we won't go through it alone.
The good news for us and for all of God's creation is that God promises to be with us through every challenge and change in our lives. When a loved one dies, God is there. When we make a decision selfishly instead of considering the wants or needs of another, God is there. When we treat those we love poorly, God is there.When we feel overwhelmed by anxiety or fear, God is there. When we choose to remain silent when we should speak up, or shout when we should be listening to what the other has to say, God is there. When we face the unthinkable, God is there. God is there through all of life's changes, offering us unconditional grace and love, so that we may, in turn, share these same gifts with our neighbor when the opportunity arises.
Peace in Christ Jesus,
Pastor Lauren Applegate
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IT'S A BOY FOR THE APPLEGATES—CONGRATULATIONS!
They welcomed Marcus Brandt Applegate to their family on May 3, 2018.
PASTORAL CARE COVERAGE WHILE PASTOR LAUREN IS ON MATERNITY LEAVE
The following Pastors have volunteered to provide pastoral care coverage for New Jerusalem Church.
May 5–13, 2018 Pastor Phil Spohn, Chirst Lutheran Church-Hellertown 610-349-4616
May 14–20, 2018 Pastor Becca Middeke-Conlin, St. Paul's-Easton 203-915-7303
May 21–27, 2018 Pastor Dan Brettell, St. Paul's-Fountain Hill 610-428-7701
May 28–June 3, 2018 Pastor Jeff Carstens, St. Luke's Old Williams 484-554-9403
June 4–10, 2018 Pastor Jenny Heavner, Trinity-Salem Parish 484-550-1023
June 11–17, 2018 Pastor Becca Middeke-Conlin, St. Paul's-Easton 203-915-7303
June 18–24, 2018 Pastor Becca Middeke-Conlin, St. Paul's-Easton 203-915-7303
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While Pastor Lauren is on maternity leave, please feel free to contact the church office at 610-838-0731; Council President, Marianne Zellner at 610-216-1016; or Council Vice President, Bill Young at 610-797-8440 for pastoral emergencies.
Greetings from your New Jerusalem “Apples” Church council. Congregation members are invited to attend Church Council meetings as spectators. Our meetings run 7:00–9:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. If you have a question or concern that you want addressed at a council meeting, please notify me by Sunday of that week or place it in the question box located in the Narthex. Of course, you can always share your thoughts and concerns with any current council member and ask them for help as well. As your Council President, I am available by email to email@example.com or call 610-216-1016.
The Council officers for 2018 are:
President: Marianne Zellner
Vice President: Bill Young
Secretary: Barbara Young
Treasurer: Jesse Hart
Council Members: Glen Campbell, Greg Frederick, Pat Leith, Tina McCardle, Ron Miller, Terry Ravier, Tami Welch, Cindy Ziegler
April 2018 Summary
April was a whirlwind starting with Easter Sunday. What a crowd we experienced with the addition of the members of St. Paul's United Methodist Church!
The Music Director search is making progress. We have coverage now through June. We have some potential candidates that will be interviewed in June when Pastor is back from maternity leave.
Council reviewed some of the Preschool requests, merger updates, St. Paul's United Methodist Church building use requests, Synod Assembly, and committee reports.
We managed to get coverage for all of the Sundays while Pastor Lauren is on maternity leave. Some Sunday services will be lead by a lay leader from the congregation, while others will be covered by a Supply Pastor.
I ask for your continued prayers for all the council members and all those in leadership positions for this congregation. Please note that I will be having reconstructive surgery on my foot on May 11, 2018. If I feel I am unable to handle a situation during that time, I will be relying on Bill Young to cover.
Peace be with you,
Marianne Zellner, Council President
Council Question Box
No questions this month.
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Music Director Search ~ New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church seeks qualified candidates to fill the vacant position of Director of Music. Candidates must exhibit proficiency in playing the piano, and be willing to learn and play the organ, if not already proficient. The successful candidate will exhibit passion, energy, and enthusiasm in performing assigned tasks. Responsibilities include providing musical accompaniment during worship services; rehearsing, leading, and teaching large groups with varying abilities, including choirs and musical ensembles; and collaborating with the Pastor, other worship leaders and committees to complete administrative tasks and develop an appropriate and meaningful worship experience. Weekly 9:00 a.m. Sunday Service, Monthly 6:00 p.m. Saturday Service, 100 AWA, 1 Choir. Continuing Education money available.
Submit letter of interest, resume, and salary expectations to church office at:
New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church
3233 Apples Church Road, Bethlehem, PA 18015; 610-838-0731 (phone)