Siblings in Christ,
“Keep your chin up.” “Come on! You got this.” We’ve all either heard or said things such as these; especially around the holidays, when the societal pressure is up to be jolly and bright, yet there are plenty of individual and communal reasons that leave us feeling faded and gloomy. These statements are surely said with the best of intentions when we notice that someone we care about is down in the dumps or not acting how we expect them to act. However, the desired effect of these words can surely fall short. You see, because there are internal and external realities that we face that can make it impossible to just keep our chin up and or push ourselves to get better. These internal and external realities, such as a decrease in physical ability, the onset of depression, anxiety, and grief, all have the ability to prevent us from meeting the expectations of others and ourselves. This is where the well-meaning platitudes fall short.
So what can we say in these situations that speaks truthfully to someone who we see is struggling? What can be said that recognizes the difficulty and loss while offering support that isn’t dependent upon their own will power and efforts? “I see you’re having a hard time. I care about you and want you to know you have my love and support.” Or if you have the time to listen, “It sounds like you’re having a rough time. Is there something that you want to talk about?” If they are open to sharing, listen and validate their experience, “I can see how that would make you feel…” If they aren’t ready to talk, “I care about you, no matter how you are feeling, and will be here to help along the way if you need me.” If it is a recurrent issue, “Are you talking to someone (ex: pastor, counselor, therapist) about that?” Each of these responses lets the person know you care and that you are open to helping them get through whatever it is they are facing if they are open to accepting it.
If you’re the one in the funk and find yourself feeling faded and gloomy; I see you. Its okay to feel the way you do. You are loved by God, and by me. I care about you, and I am here to offer support along the way.
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 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
November 2018 Summary
November’s meeting was focused the future. We were looking ahead at the Congregation’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, December 9, 2018 and nominations needed for church council members. There are several new members needed, so if you are interested, please let me know. We were able to approve a budget to present at the Congregational Meeting as well. Committee Chairs will be asked to submit a report for the Congregation ‘s Annual Report. Other items of business to note included the approval of several additional Endowment grants, a plan to add another avenue of communication for members without email, and an idea to have a Book/DVD Fair to help find loving homes for our surplus of books and DVDs that are not needed church use. There will be more information on the dates in the near future.
I’d like to hold up three major projects that served our members and the community this past month. Our first Pet Blessing was a huge success with the blessing of 21 pets and was featured in the Valley Voice twice. We also did a fabulous job with the Socktober gathering of socks for donation as well as the items for homeless Veterans. The service and the decorations and sparkler photo were so meaningful and well executed. We are a thriving and vibrant community doing God’s work in this world. We are a blessing to each other and our community. For that I am thankful.
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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Mr. Phil Diaz' Music Corner
Music has always played a pivotal role in Phil's life. Success at the PMEA District, Region and State Chorus festivals motivated Phil to pursue vocal studies at the collegiate level. Studies at The University of The Arts, The Boston Conservatory, and East Stroudsburg University have only strengthened his musical foundation. He has performed with the Pennsylvania Lyric Opera, Amici Opera, Boston Conservatory Opera Studio, Philly Pops, and at Northampton Community College. Phil has extensive conducting and music directing experience having directed ensembles at The University of the Arts, Northampton Community College, Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, and Northampton Area High School. Many of his vocal students have successfully auditioned into music programs at DeSales, Muhlenberg, Ithaca, Northwestern, The New England Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music. Phil is a proud member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing, Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and The Nazareth Bath Regional Chamber of Commerce. In his spare time, Phil enjoys reading, working out, and traveling. Phil is very excited to be a part of New Jerusalem community and looks forward to a great year!
Join the chorus for Christmas! With Christmas right around the corner, we would love to have additional voices to join us! Rehearsals for Christmas have begun on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. We will be rehearsing weekly until our Christmas Eve services on December 24th. Please note that we may schedule an additional rehearsal or two, if needed. Please talk to Mr. Phil if you have any questions!
Performers needed for Christmas Eve! We are looking for performers to share their musical gifts at our 7:00 p.m. music service. Vocalists, instrumentalists, and ensembles of all kinds are welcome to perform. If you have performed in the past or are interested in being a part of this special service, please talk to Mr. Phil!
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