May God fill you will his New goodness everyday in 2019 and may the love of Jesus overflow from you to others throughout the year!
Siblings in Christ,
At our recent Church Chat, the topic of “welcome” came up. We were asked to consider a time when we have felt welcome in a new place. What made us feel that way? The responses that came forth from our conversation highlighted the people in that place; people introducing themselves, or one person helping us to meet one or two others before meeting the whole group. We talked about the place itself; the places were “lived in” and had a homey feel, yet things had their place.
We we were asked how it feels to be welcomed in a church setting, and many of the same characteristics applied. We then thought about how it feels to be welcoming towards others. We talked about how it takes effort to extend a welcoming word and hand. There is no way of knowing how the other will respond to our welcoming word or attempt to start conversation, yet we need not let that stop us from meeting people where they are. Overall, the group was thankful that we are being recognized as a welcoming community, and are looking for new ways that we can express our welcome.
The value placed on welcoming others is not a new concept within the Christian tradition. It predates Christ’s birth with texts from the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah that call the people of Israel to treat the stranger and outsider with love and care, as they themselves were once strangers and outsiders. You too were once in a place where you had concern over fitting in, providing for your family, and needing a community to welcome you in, so do well for those who are experiencing it now.
I was startled to find a newspaper clipping from an opinion column, “Respectfully Yours”, By Jacquelyn Youst entitled “Why no more Sunday-best for church?” hanging on one of the bulletin boards at church recently. The letter written by an Anonymous reader of the column asks Jacquelyn why people don’t dress up for church any more. Jacquelyn then shares her thoughts on the matter, claiming that the practice of dressing nicely should make a comeback as the “come as you are” style of church has “gotten sloppy”. I understand that there are many in our community miss the way things used to be where the expectation was everyone came to church dressed in their best clothing. I also understand that there are a lot of reasons why people come to church in clothes that others would not deem as “nice enough”; be it financial realities, some internal struggle that they are responding to when they choose their clothes, not having time to do laundry due to other responsibilities, different family dynamics, and changing expectations and values, just to name a few. What has not changed is that we are called by our welcoming God to be a welcoming community, that meets people where they are no matter what their clothes look like, in hopes that through our welcome they come to know God more fully and experience newness of life.
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 Church Council President, I am available by email to email@example.com or call
The Church Council officers for 2019 are:
President: Marianne Zellner
Vice President: Pat Leith
Recording Secretary: Barbara Young (Non-Council Member)
Treasurer: Terry Ravier
Council Members: Sharon Bender, Glen Campbell, Kathy Fenstermacher, Cindy Hart,
Pat Leith, Tina McCardle,Terry Ravier, Jere Reiss, Marianne Zellner, Cindy Ziegler
To each of you, may God direct your paths as you serve your term(s) on the Church Council and as a liaison to the various committees of New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church.
A special note of thanks to the following individuals who have completed their term(s) serving
on the Church Council and have given their time and talents to the glory of God:
Greg Frederick, Jesse Hart, Ron Miller, Bill Young, and Tammy Welch
January 2019 Summary
At January’s meeting our 4 new council members took their place at the decision making table. Elections were held and the results are listed above. We talked about the organ contract and made arrangements for the organ professional to begin his work. There was also quite a lot of discussion surrounding requests from Saucon Bible Fellowship concerning the purchase of the Christ, Lower Saucon property. A special congregational meeting will be held on January 27 after worship to vote on the agreement of sale. Other topics included a review of the worship cancellation process, an update on the website and plans for updating it, and the need for Mutual Ministry members. The church financial audit has been set for January 26th.
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!
All are welcome! Choir practice will be held on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Please talk to Mr. Phil if you have any questions or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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