New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church

3233 Apples Church Road

Bethlehem, PA 18015

Sunday Worship: 9:00 AM

Saturday Worship: 6:00 PM

(1st Saturday of the Month)

Sunday Church School: 10:30 AM (Sept-May)

Office Hours: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Mon-Fri)



Handicapped Accessible

In case of inclement weather, please watch Channel 69 WFMZ, or call the church office to listen to the message.

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Pastor Lauren's September 2018 Inspiration, the Church Council Connection, and Music Director Search

August 31, 2018

Siblings in Christ, 


September marks for many of us another beginning with the next academic year starting, while for many others of us it is just another month with a quickening pace as we enter the final quarter of the year.  For our whole community, it is the month in which we hope to make big strides on the many areas that have been undergoing transformations this year.  This month our new Music Director will begin his time with us (more information on that later, check out Parish News), and we will hopefully receive the legal approval of our merge!


With the many transitions happening, I am aware of how much stress there is within our community.  I am also aware of how with high levels of stress we begin to handle our relationships with less care and grace, as our energy is spent on awaiting the expectant changes to take effect.  With less care and grace in our relationships, there is an increase in conflict, as we may be quick to pick fights, to be critical of another’s actions, and to be less tolerant of the unexpected interruptions that would otherwise not bother us.


As we turn to scripture with these realities on our hearts and minds, I am reminded of Matthew 18:15-22:

[Jesus said] “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.  If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.  But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.  Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”  Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?  As many as seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.”


It is critical in times like these, when the stresses of life are wearing us thin, that we make an effort to seek reconciliation with those from the community who we feel have wronged us.  It is times like these that we need to practice healthy modes of communication within our church, as Jesus shares in the text above, telling the other what we feel they have done wrong and how it has hurt us.  If the person does not care to listen or to offer an effort to do better next time, we can then ask others to get involved to help us communicate how and why this person has hurt us, and if to no avail, we can ask other leaders of our own community to get involved.  Never is our focus to ostracize the other, but we try to make right those things that have been broken; like trust and expectations.  Through this process, it is our hope that we may come away from the experience with stronger, sturdier relationships, and a deeper trust that God is present with us, whenever two or three are gathered.


Peace in Christ Jesus,

Pastor Lauren Applegate



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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 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


August 2018 Summary


Summer used to be a quieter time for church related agendas, but August was not quiet this year.  Council had a very full agenda with much to discuss.  The major topics discussed included a decision for the hiring of the Music Director, merger updates, our confirmation program, property issues at Christ-Lower Saucon (CLS) and the Upper Room roof.  Our committees have been doing a lot of work and planning as well.  I want to thank all those that participate on committees and get so much work accomplished.  


I ask for your continued prayers for all the council members and all those in leadership positions for this congregation.


Peace be with you, 

Marianne Zellner, Council President 



Council Question Box

No questions this month.


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Music Director Search Has Concluded ~ Sing praises! The awaited day is coming with our New Music Director!


The task force that was charged with finding, interviewing, and recommending their selection for our new Music Director to the Council has prayerfully and faithfully completed its task!  With Council’s approval, we have offered the position of Music Director of New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church to Phil Diaz!


Phil has many musical gifts, including the ability to lead others in song in a fun and relatable way.  We feel that he will be able to help us use our gifts so that we may praise God together.  Mr. Diaz will start with us on Monday, September 24, 2018. 


Both he and we are looking forward to the adventures that await us all!  Be sure to join us on September 30 for worship to welcome him to our community!  We are thankful to all who took the time to be part of this process, from the task force members to the applicants, and hope that God continues to see us through the remainder of this transition.  Check back next month for a bit more about Phil.




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Endowment Committee News ~ At their May meeting, the congregation council approved the recommendations of the Endowment Committee for the 2018 Spring Grant applications.  Congratulations to the following ministry areas:


Mission & Ministry Fund

Couples retreat                                                           $  300.00

New computer                                                            $1,500.00

2018 Faith-A-Poolaza                                                 $  960.00


Property Fund

Property Committee Steeple Fund Loan                    $3,500.00

Property Committee Outside Lighting                        $3,160.00


Christian Education Fund

Sunday School / Vacation Bible School                     $1,032.00


This was an exciting year for the Endowment Committee.  To have so  many viable grant applications speaks to the work this congregation is doing.


Endowment—The gift that keeps on giving!


2018 Fall Endowment Grant Applications will be available in the church office this September.


Mission & Ministry Fund fall amount is $2,240.00

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


Property Endowment Fund fall amount is $5,607.00

($3,500.00 is earmarked for the Steeple Fund / Boiler Loan)


Remember that per policy, the use of these funds must fall into one of the following property areas:


Maintenance; general upkeep



Capital Project

Equipment purchases

Property acquisition


Christian Education Fund fall amount is $1,371.00

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


If you have any questions, please see any Endowment Committee member:


Tim Frey, Chairperson

Russ Pacala Jr, Vice Chairperson

Tina McCardle

Mike Gerstenberg

Drake Brintzenhoff


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